Tag Archives: Alaska

The limits of January

19 Jan

Good thing for sick days, or I’d get nothing done. This is the second time I’ve been knocked down in a month and I’m about done with this sniffly, drooping mope-orama. At least it’s a good time to write, as long as the delirium keeps telling me I’m a pretty fair writer.
It’s dark still but it sounds like the weather feels like I do; soggy, complaining, confined and pushing at the door. I had PLANS, damn it.
I decided to clean my closet! Actually it was my whole house but I started with my bedroom.  The half empty drawer I took out of the dresser is still on the bedroom floor, a few stacks of de-selected clothing too, two days ago. The Christmas tree is still looking festive- if a bit dehydrated. I should take him down. A few ornaments slip to the floor in the night, I assume an earthquake. I make sure I praise it’s Noble beauty everyday. You neverIs that vitamin D I spy over yonder? know- some day I may be it and it may be me, for all we know of time and space and consciousness and reality. If I had to be a Christmas tree, if that were my fate, I would at least like to be acknowledged for it.

I try to focus on spring duties, projects and plans. I have a few notebooks of inspirational lists and reminders. In fact there must be one on every flat surface in this house. How’d that happen? They’re being buried by balls of crumpled tissue paper.

I’ve concluded January is the perfect month to accept my limits.  My body’s limits, my limited time and my limited attention span.   I feel better already.


Sunburn and Rain

3 Jul

July brought the rain.

It’s 47 degrees outside and feeling normal at last. But what’s normal anymore. Normal. The older I get, the the hazier that description becomes.
We experienced record warm spring temperatures that followed a winter that felt encasing in it’s grip of ice and cold.   I started to long for a day or 2 of mist and rain, the kind that smells like green moss and ferns.    I was getting worried about the peonies that were shooting up and forming buds faster than the sun burn was reddening on my forehead.  I needed to get to the feeding portion of this adventure quick but weeding was sucking up all my time.

Finally, I have my compost tea extravagance soaking into the soil and I feel alittle more on top of it and alittle less withered.  It’s taken a few days to dampen the soil enough for it to accept the liquid and not let it roll off it’s shoulder- spurned.

I had watched a magnificent storm front build and crash over the Kenai mountains late one night in June.  The sight of it made me stop and want to breathe it in.  The front swept up into the sky over the mountains in a lavender, pink, orange and mauve wave with layers of grey and blue clouds skirting the edges.  The bay below was deep teal color like tie-dye silk.   All day had been hot, dry and windy– it pulled the moisture out of everything.  Now there was the reason.              It was the kind of sight that makes you understand how a symphony might be born into the mind of a great composer.  And you know something grander than anything you can comprehend is happening somewhere.JUNE 2013  CRPF ready for summer 163

I felt the static in the air. I finished mowing, then the tilling, put the equipment away, closed the shop doors, the greenhouse and high tunnel- locked all the gates, all the while watching that impressive sky.  I could see the wind line advance from the glacier front to cross the bay toward me.

By midnight I was closing the windows as a few drops of rain sprinkled the glass.

I felt a vast and complete connection to being alive, being here in this place.

I ate, washed and dropped into a depth of teal colored space as soon as I hit the bed.








Peonies, full of promise

23 Jun
High tunnel peonies, a glimpse of summer!

High tunnel peonies, a glimpse of summer!

Holy cow, it’s a scorcher!

13 Jun

Summer arrived this year like it broke out of jail. No casual stroll, no leisurely chit-chat; summer pounced. The last thinning snow piles withered under the ray-gun eye of the sun. I don’t remember ever having a spring/summer arrive with such purpose before. We’ve had weeks now of dry clear skies, it’s just not done in these parts. The girls I hired to help here at the farm are from Missouri and Michigan, both giggle at my proclamations of the day being “a scorcher!”.    They mimic me and fain heat stroke.    Ok, so it’s 70, but to me it feels like 90, I swear!  I even have a sun burn to prove it.
Today I look out at a white frothy foamed in Bay. I see the snow swiped peaks across the bay but the water is beneath all that white. Poor souls down there. To be robbed of even one of these glorious days is criminal.
Especially after the past few years of desperate anemic summer temperatures.
I’m off to pot up some lovely ladies to sell at the Homer Farmer’s Market. What an amazing vibrant community event our Farmer’s Market is; no community should be without one of their own. I’ll try to remember to bring my camera to capture the festival feeling, the friends and neighbors and fabulous produce!   My biggest challenge will be capturing the taste of the fresh baked pastries on film, it may take several tries.

How can a Month be both the shortest and the longest at the same time?

16 Apr

I keep the bird feeder full, it keeps me sane-r. The 2 feet of hard, sharp unchanging snow needs to have those feathered citizens- looking so busy- to give the world some movement and vitality. This is a taxing month. On the one hand I pine, long, crave the wet green of spring proper; on the other it is bearing down from the distance, like the distant sound of thunder whose clouds you can’t see. Spring that I long for also means a frentic pace that has me weeping by evening, tallying the jobs yet undone. What can I do to prepare for the manic days ahead, to make space in the pace- so to speak? I hate being so busy, that terrible pushed feeling. For years now I’ve felt an invisible hand on my back, pushing onward, even as I stumble. I didn’t even stop to ponder the feeling, I just kept my little legs spinning. Then- Bam! One exhausted day I thought, What the hell is this? I don’t want to live like this- I don’t need to. My job is done. No one is going to go hungry, no one will sleep out in the cold, no one will be traumatized or disappointed. Those days are past now. What a thought! The kids are grown and happy- successful enough for me to borrow money from them. Things are good. Husband has a job he loves, good…. And he’s workaholic enough for both of us. See the therapy I can give myself? I’m a pretty self contained unit. 🙂 Nessecary self-support network.
Now just breathe.
It looks like a scene from the movie “The Birds” out there, you’d think this was the only grocery store in 100 miles. Makin’ hay while the sun shines, huh guys? Well it’s not a bad idea my little friends. The way I’m chucking responsibilities around here, you never know if the bird feeder is next! (You’re on your own guys! Buck up! It’ll be good for ya, build character and all that.) I’m off to pick violets.
In my mind.


Moose Jacuzzi

12 Oct

Moose Jacuzzi

Can’t really blame them, it’s so inviting…. but this little guy put 4 holes in the liner trying to get out. Time for new innovation in pond protection.

High Tunnel Heaven

6 May

The salmon season kicks off this year on May 17th. I should have less than a foot of snow left lingering and loitering around here when the salmon show up. I’ve been spreading garden lime and sand, black dirt and mud, anything that will help. Last year our son came home and was so enamored with the Kubota that he blew the snow off the entire yard while we were away. Ahhh, was that nice. This year there’s too much snow and it’s too heavy for those fun and games.
The wood stove ash I spread during the winter on the fields has helped melt out spots where I can see the rows. It’s going to be along time before I see any pink sprouts. 😦
Thank the heavens for that High Tunnel. And in the same breath, thank the heavens for the wisdom that enabled the NRCS to fund all these delightful, happy gardeners with their high tunnels. It will change the way Homer eats and uses it’s food forever-because there is no going back. Once you experience warm earth and tee shirt weather inside your high tunnel in April in Alaska, see those sprouts of asparagus and returning herb plants, the leaf of your apple tree unfurl, well you are addicted. You are converted. You are enthralled. Spring will never mean the same thing again. It won’t evoke memories of icy mud and slushy weeks of sleet, of cold cramped fingers; it will mean the smell of warmed earth and joyful living plant life, all there waiting for you. All months before the outside world even sees the sun on the earth.