Friday, April 28, 2017


 SPRING and ALL by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

 By the road to the contagious hospital under the surge of the blue
 mottled clouds driven from the northeast.....a cold wind.
 Beyond the waste of  broad, muddy fields  brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

 patches of standing water the scattering of tall trees...
 All along the road the reddish purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy stiff of bushes and small trees

 with dead, brown leaves under them leafless vines......
 Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed SPRING approaches....
 They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. All about them the cold, familiar wind.....

 Now the grass, tomorrow the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf....
 One by one objects are defined, it quickens: clarity, outline of leaf....

 But now the stark dignity of entrance.....still, the profound change has come upon them;

 Rooted they grip down and begin to awaken......
William Carlos Williams ( 1883-1963) was  a Puerto Rican American doctor, who was one of the leading poets of Imagism. His mother was a painter and he, in turn, painted not only literally but with words.  He suffered strokes in the latter part of his life, and was racked with depression because of his ill health.  But his poetry lives on.......

Sunday, April 23, 2017

6Cat Black Cider....

"It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like CIDER and a sky so blue you could drown in it." - Diana Gabaldon (Outlander)

Tis the day to whip up the last batch of fermenting apples from last fall, into CIDER.

I had no idea there was a carboy or two of apple cider ready to go. So much fruit from our trees. Can't keep track of it. Or the six cats. Three indoors. (Bo. Poe. Bunny) That's ours. And three outdoors. (Cordelia. Smokey. Spencer) The ones who visit. The ones who sleep on our steps, on the porch , on the wicker furniture, on our fence, on our gate. One even has his own yellow cup to drink out of.

I name all the batches of cider and wine that we make, after cats. This time I thought it would be  great to have their names on the label. Problem is,  couldn't fit all their names on the square. 

So, "6CAT" it is. I think they'll understand.

It's an ordered affair . Making cider.  Many steps to  coerce the bubbly into glass. First you have to wash bottles , upside down, in a sterilizing bath.

Then they dry. Also upside down.
Testing time. Adding pure blackberry flavouring to the existing apple concoction.

"The tarter the apple, the tastier the cider."-Beverley Lewis (1949) ( The Revelation. Christian author)
Then time to bottle for real....

Bottles are kept in huge walk in freezer. You take out only a few at a time. So you are constantly running back and forth.
Eventually, "6CAT BLACK CIDER"  is bottled, capped, wire capped, and wrapped with paper. Ready to sit in the cellar. Ready to give away.  Ready for another season of apples to  fall from the trees. 
"One that would have the fruit must climb the tree." -Thomas Fuller

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"In the spring, ever new..."

 RETURN: by Mildred Bowers Armstrong (1901-1984) 
When other hearts are tuned to a glad singing
 In the spring, ever new,
 Ever song bringing;
 When other hearts are feeling
 The joy I knew,
 Let me come back again,
 Singing , too...
 I shall know when the pale petals blow
 And spring comes flashing back
 Another year.
 You must not search and call.
 When the first petals fall
 I shall be here.
 If you cannot see
 The hands and eyes of me
 When petals fill the air
 You will hear a song
 The wind blows along......I shall be there.
 Mildred Bowers Armstrong earned a Bachelors from Northwestern in 1923. She wrote many books of poetry. In 1928 she won the Yale  Younger Poets Prize.This poem was found in the 1948 One Thousand Beautiful Things Collection, Peoples Book Club of Chicago.
2017 Photograhs