Tasting, one two three


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It’s probably me.  Or, the stoneage computer. Being on dial-up ‘cuz I’m so poor. But this thing here takes so long, I forget where I ma.  Back to blogspot. I know it better. Works faster, for me.

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No.1 SON

No.1 son:Hey how’s it going’.

Reply: Pretty Good.

No. 1 son:What’cha doin’

Reply: Not much.

And so it goes. The conversation runs about ten minutes in length. No.1 son is in a hurry because he’s due at work soon. It’s Mother’s Day.  He’s a waiter at one of the most upscale restaurants in Minneapolis.  After a restaurant review puts them in the top three in the city, the waiting list grows.  Want a table. Plan two months ahead when you call for reservations.

No. 1 son tells himself that Mom sounds like she’s got a cold… And she sounds much older.

It dawns on him that the person he’s talking to isn’t his mother. She’s a nice enough person, friendly and chatty, but not Mom.Where did I go wrong?

His speed dial is set to a number that Mom discontinued several years ago when she got a new phone after letting the account lapse.He tries again, this time calling the land line instead of the cell phone number.  They both laugh at the mix up.

No.1 son

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The Back Fence


Let’s face it. I ain’t no tech genius.  After 56 minutes of double clicking, checking status,upload this, file that, I give up.  You can find me back at Seven Roads To Home in blogspot. All one word.

The toad wouldn’t smile for me, either. Yes, he’s slightly out of focus. Pffstmpf.

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Not A Chicken

Rooster Retablo

I wanted to write”Thirty years ago I traded my red and white Volkswagen van with blue stars on the front bumper for a four- wheel drive Chevy Blazer.”  Then I realized, it was actually forty years ago.

The Blazer cost me $4000. I drove it from the show room on the south side of Milarky to a tenant farm in Sheboygan County where this idealistic young teacher tried to bring the country into the lives of inner city children.  All the teaching assistants were afraid of the “dirty” chicken I brought into the classroom.  My science unit on pulleys, axles and levers involved splitting wood on the playground. Every black kid in the ghetto needs to know how to split wood. I think I convinced them that milk comes from cow not a waxed carton. As a reward for good behavior I brought the cream of the 4th grade crop out to the farm on a Saturday where they could run and climb trees on the five, huge acres that came with the old farmhouse. That year, the 31,000 miles I commuted in that Blazer with the stiff suspension turned my back muscles into pulp and the four wheel drive made me reckless.

From a new start up magazine with stories of going back to the land and subsistence farming, I got plans for a rabbit hutch. I built two hutches which housed four bunnies.  I quit raising rabbits after four turned into one hundred and forty four. I had to fence off the chicken coop to house the rabbits.  My step Dad gave me his killer recipe for sour rabbit. I found it excruciatingly hard to kill a fuzzy bunny.  The same is true for butchering chickens.  It would take me two weeks to get up the steely nerve to do in those cute baby chicks even if they now were dumb birds who pecked each other to death.

The rooster who came with the herd of peeping chicks in March grew into a fearsome foe. He attacked me with sharp spurs, so I locked him out of the chicken coop and watched him nervously run around the building at sunset.  Tired of the spectacle, I gave in. In retrospect, I should have left him out for coyote food.

The same magazine, now forty years later, is a glossy thing.  I leaf through to an article about aggressive roosters.  The first line makes me guffaw. “Repeat after me, I am not a chicken. ” The rooster views an intruder in the hen house as another rooster.  I fell for the ruse, just as the writer of the article explains. You are not a chicken. Don’t act like one. When my rooster attacked, I drop kicked him off the chicken wire fence separating chickens and bunnies before those sharp spurs could draw blood.  That’ll teach him. Dumb me. I often repeated another mantra in the classroom. You are smarter than a fourth grader. I wasn’t.

As I peruse the rest of the magazine, I lust after having my own portable sawmill. I’ll never have to go to the board store again. I scoff at the electric ATV thinking that the power will run down just as I climb the last hill on East River Road.  Composting my own poop, building hand made tomato cages from everyday materials like PVC pipe or two by fours, building a round house, raising goats for goat milk, eating those noxious weeds that pop up in your garden sound like fun. The cages would cost a mere $8 each for the wood ones and $25 each for the PVC pipe cages.  In the years when I hesitate tossing out the extra 40 tomato plants I raised from seed, it would cost me an incredible $480 to $1500 for cages.  People would drive for miles around to see the guy who’s selling $8 per pound organic tomatoes.

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Still Bizzy

we're watching you

You’d have to ask Dawn about this painting.

I originally intended to insert a photo of bats with wings outstretched on our deck rail, but couldn’t find the image in the dark reaches of my hard drive. Then I was going to expound upon a teeny, tiny bat clinging to the cement siding of the breezeway, hidden under a laundry line pole. The bats  fell from a folded up patio umbrella to the deck rail when I opened it up one morning-17  big ‘uns.

Dawn is taking pictures with her new digital camera.  I yell out “Bats” to her through the open breezeway door. She hears “Matt’s”. Matt is number one son’s name. ” Matt’s what?”  “Why do you want a picture of Matt?” she says.

This is a follow-up of a question I hear her ask,”Do you want that cat on your eyebrows?”

Wow, we both need a hearing aid.

She actually said, “Do you want that cap on your eye drops?”

Got to till the potato garden.  My soil test reveals the Ph is a little high(above 7.0)  I haul two wheelbarrow loads of old pine needles and scatter them in the eighty foot row.  According to the charts potatoes like it between 4.5 and 6.0. It’s another experiment in obsession since we harvested 500 lbs of spuds from this plot.  Good is great but more is better.  The soil test says I can bring down the Ph one full point by adding 225 lbs of peat moss.  Can’t afford no peat moss.

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Sign By The Barn

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