Weather is a constantly changing. Duh! Like you are not aware. Tonight it is very balmy. I sat in my rocker after sunset saw the moon rise and thought deep thoughts especially after reading Michael’s article about migration. I migrated here by marriage many years ago and am content to be living here. The moon shown briefly then slid behind the Ponderosa Pines in the shelter belt. I won’t get a view of its August fullness until it rises above them. Moon rises, you know, in the east. Pretty enough tonight to take a mind out of body. I read most of the science of the earth, moon and planets – rocks and projections and all that but I have to imagine it. I have soft loam soil for planting, but the truth is – I like to dig. This morning I watched squirrels bury walnuts among my flowers. They pat the soil over them to be sure they stay put. None of this requires deep thought, or maybe it does. There’s a balm in the air that’s affecting my brain. I would sit out there for hours and watch the moon but for the moths wanting bits of my leg. Coward that I am, I escaped the dark balmy night and replaced it with the wonders discovered by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison and a plethora of brilliant engineers.
Archive for August, 2012
When reading over my story of Jamaica with the expectation toward publishing a book I revisited the description of an unusual food I have eaten nowhere else. I had joined an EarthWatch Institute with Mark Smith as leader of the group. Jamaicans are only allowed to marry natives of the country. He had a son there which he visited several times a year and I went with him two separate times. I forget what the food tasted like but I have the three sided shell now dried and hard and well preserved from which the food was removed. Whatever was necessary to make the flesh edible was done and I ate it with many meals although I never participated in its preparation, or harvest for all of that.
Ackee – Akee – Achee
Scientific Name: Blighia Sapida
Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. Its name is derived from the West African Akye Fufo. The scientific name – Blighia Sapida – is in honour of Captain William Bligh, who brought the fruit from West Africa to Kew (port city in Jamaica) in 1793. The Captain was also responsible for taking Jamaican pineapples to Hawaii and South Sea’s breadfruit to Jamaica as well as garnering a wicked reputation because he shanghaied men for his crew, that is he drugged them, brought them aboard, chained them to the oars that moved the ship. A handful of islands grow ackee as an ornamental tree, but only Jamaica looks at it as a tree that bears edible fruit. Ackee grows in bunches on powerful, strong-rooted trees. The trees grow all across Jamaica, particularly in the farming regions of the south central plains in Clarendon and St. Elizabeth. There are two bearing seasons: between January to March and June to August.
The fruit turns bright red on reaching maturity and splits open along the seams with continued exposure to the sun. When open it reveals three large black shiny seeds and bright yellow flesh. Traditionally it is at this time that the ackees are harvested. The fruit of the Akee is not edible. It is only the fleshy arils around the seeds that are edible. The fruit must only be picked after the fruit has opened naturally, and must be fresh and not overripe.
I put my back to the grindstone today. Well it certainly feels like it’s been tortured. Point is that I have chunks of wood begging to be carved and the shop is carpeted. At least it was until a few hours past. A good vise attached to the table in the shop will hold any of the fore mentioned chunks. Wood chips that fell during carving clung to the nap of the carpet therefore cleaning up after a project wasn’t easy. The carpet had to go. The 80 degree temperature opened my sweat glands and when water poured out my gorgeous body was cooled, so to speak. Getting the carpet out is what sponsored the problem. The shop is a place for furniture, shelves, and storage. Get the picture? Before the carpet was bared for removal much muscle worked to move boxes of stored stuff out. Even with boxes removed I had to cut and tare corners and edges of carpet before it could be moved. Only about 8 by 8 feet you wouldn’t think the carpet would be so heavy. But that amount of stiff stuff was stubborn. Took some cussing, I mean cutting, to get it out the thirty inch door. Even more to get half of it into the waste bin. That’s how little the bin will hold. From now on wood chips will be easily swept up off the very nice cement floor that Ron put down so many years ago.
So comfortable and pleasant that after I had a cup of coffee, I laid back down and snoozed. Cecil dropped by offering to help with my yard cleanup began by Yvonne and Fernando. They had left nothing undone so he got off lightly. He caught me up on other events of interest. He takes long motorcycle trips I like to hear about but have no wish to otherwise indulge. Danny gave me rides when he first got his cycle but I prefer the enclosure of my Hyundai or some car of others. For the time being I have travel out of my system and can watch photos roll over on my wall photo album. Very nice memories to relive.
I am home again at 407 Abbot Street after several weeks in California for Alex (grandson) and Beth wedding. Lovely ceremony, great folks. I will blog with more descriptions about that. Back to get into my old routine. No, not possible. Go forward. Never stay the same. Plane ride tedious. Nancy met me at SeaTac and brought me home. She left early for her Bellingham home where hubby awaited her. I left my plants in the care of Yvonne and Fernando Aguilar who watered diligently. He mowed grass as well. All looks great! and Not just because I am happy to be home. I slept restlessly in my own bed. Fridge to be emptied and cleaned. Nancy gave me a file of wedding photos which are in a separate picture file. Do I have a schedule to meet? No. Relax and be happy!
Nancy reminded me that she would pick me up Saturday so we could board a plane at SeaTac to attend the wedding. I chiseled for hours and with just a little more smoothing the GIFT will be ready for the wax finish. A good thing I wanted to stop for supper because I am weak in the elbows from the rap, rap, rapping – hammer to chisel. Sweat poured off which is normal for me when I stand in the sun with the temperature at 100 degrees. Such is the weather in Richland in August. An early breeze came from the north so I think that our autumn is not far behind, never mind that season legally, by the calendar at least, does not begin until September 21. I am ready for a vacation. Fun in the sun in Cal A forn I a-a-a.
Although I had psyched myself up to get on with carving, I worked for several hours and had to give my arms a rest. I am looking forward to the wedding, very excited, in fact, and anxious to finish the GIFT ahead of time so it can be properly finished, with wax, I think, but not ready yet. I keep the GIFT in view turning it around to critically study all angles. I rinsed out Tee and shorts to save myself from a trip to the laundry. The breeze will dry them nicely. Why I feel as if I am walking on egg shells, I have no idea but that’s it. I don’t think it has to do with the carving or its finish. I just feel uptight. I poured myself a glass of milk and will relax outdoors with it and hopefully that will have a settling affect. A short nap would be ideal.
About all the pounding my arms want for today. Chiseled on the GIFT for hours after breakfast, paused for Kiebasa at lunch and later for orange scream ice cream. and then more chips flew. Work day ends at five pm, right? Right. Nothing to do but set back in the breeze and light up the stars. Big bright moon puts all but the brightest into the background. That’s ok. They’re there and will out shine me. Meanwhile my arms and fingers get to rest. Go back to read more of Richard Dawkins, Ancestor’s Tale. His unusual way of describing evolution. The book is thick and hardback so I read sitting with it on my lap. No way will it be story for settling into my sleep phase. Let that fall on my face, it would knock me out!
My gas gauge is accurate, at least I think it is, so when the needle hovers very near zero, I go straight to the station. The notion was on my sub conscious when I hosed dust off the car this morning so to the pump I went. I think my tank holds about ten gallons. I pumped in more than nine and one half gallons. Whew! What if the engine would cough up its last fumes when I am on a highway in the middle of nowhere? Ron never wanted the indicator to get below the one quarter mark. When we traveled a lot he always calculated the gas needed and made certain it did not. I thought that was too conservative, but now that appears to be very prudent. Pull over. Fill ‘er up!
Moving sprinklers is ok but a soaker hose will do a better job, I think, and not have to be moved. I spread one out having to untangle it as I did. The soaker hose is fifty feet long and was a bugger to straighten out especially at 90 F. I hope I have the holes on top which makes for better coverage. One is now at work sprinkling. Looking good. Me. Tired. Freddies potato salad and four beans did not energize me as much as I hoped so I will simply sit and enjoy a beer for now. Once I get the second soaker situated I will be able to figure just how much time will be needed for each section. Life requires way too much work compared to the time used for calculating.