Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

Greetings Gentle Readers,
Father’s Day has come and gone and now Summer is finally upon us. Allow me, if you will, to give a belated salute to father’s everywhere. I have a dear friend that chose not only to open up his heart a second time but to adopt and become an instant father as well. I can only thank the wonderful men out there who decided that they wanted to be not only a teacher and protector but an example of manhood to a little girl or boy out there. So many men I know help to prove that fatherhood is in the heart and mind if not always from the blood. Thank You Gentlemen!

Summer here in Chicagoland has been amazingly gentle and rainy. Solstice was spent near the Bridgeport area collecting Ordivician fossils. While I will admit that fossils are not my most favorite there are aspects that still fascinate and beguile. The ride with the Lizzadro Museum was pleasantly uneventful and as the bus looped its way to the bottom of the quarry I once again was in awe of how one area can be so replete with stone. The day was overcast yet just sunny enough to require sun screen. The quarry piles were filled with fossils and here is the fascination: At one point in the past this area was covered by sea life and aquatic critters to such an extent that even with tides and storms there were yards deep deposited to a sea floor. Climbing to the top of a shifting pile of stones and you feel like the whole small world is yours. Every stone has some sort of fossil from a weathered calcite crystal imprint to snails and clams to the elusive receptoculites. A father was there with his two children and we both managed to find pyrite cubes with calcite and fossils. It warmed my heart to see someone openly sharing the natural world with their children. Even the young girlie girls were exploring the quarry while one young boy decided to tell me about the living creatures that were in the pond. And here I will digress Gentle Reader and admit that I have always wanted to skinny dip in a quarry pond; the thought of all the stone around me with open blue sky above and cool water lapping around my bare legs. But I warn those who are as romantic in vision as I am: Most quarry ponds have a bad ph and will do equally bad things to your skin.

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Sunday was cool and pleasant enough to have the air conditioning off and the windows open. Somewhere in the neighborhood there was a live band playing perky modern jazz and the music floated across the breeze. At the other side of the apartment a World Cup Party was in progress and one could hear the cheering and exclaiming. Even with a migraine the day was bucolic and pleasant.


The cotton wood trees are a new experience for me.  For a week the street was lined with great poofs of fluffy white while the air looked almost silky when the sunbeams cut through the tree branches.  Somehow it was like walking through a fairy tale world and did bring a special feeling to the morning dog walks.  Not as romantic but still as poetic in its own right is the great mulberry plopping that comes after the cottonwood tree seeding.  The same thunder storms that flatten down the white tree fluff now bring down plump purple-black fruits all over the porch and sidewalk.  The ninja squirrels are even more hyper as they feast on the mulberries, running from the seeds at the feeder to the mulberry tree.


And because the mulberry plopping tree is outside by the porch that leads to the laundry, I am reminded, Gentle Reader that I need to go and empty the dryer of it’s contents.  So I end this post wishing you gentle winds, glorious rains, and sunny days.

Be Well

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Well, I’ll be! There is more than one reader for this blog of mine. At this point I can safely say that miracles never cease. Thank you my dedicated readers.

It has been almost a month since I last posted but not quite a month. Our AC is making strange sounds, my education is a joke, there are more weeds than mint in the garden, and Summer is in full swing. Please forgive me now but my mood is more sour than optimistic and I refuse to lie to you or lie in what is still a journal of sorts for myself.

I read recently that 80% of woman who have Seasonnal Affective Disorder (SAD) have it in the Summer and live in the Atlantic sea board. I read that and said “Hey! That’s me!” As much as Summer is a season of watermelon and bare feet it just brings me into the dumps. Two of the funniest things (in a sarcastic way) are that my hobby and life’s blood is collecting rocks, best done in the Summer, and one of my dear friends who is a tombstone hugging, Halloween loving Goth, always take’s her lunch outside in the Summer sun to lift her spirits.

The neighbor’s teenage kid while polite and quiet has taken up knife throwing. I can ignore the constant thump thump and truly do not worry about him having a knife. Heck when I was in high school that would have put him on my “cool” list. The problem is when he keeps missing the board and hits our fence. Our fence is not very fancy and is fairly bedraggled but we need as many boards to stay up as possible. I must say so far he has good strength behind the throw, as four of our fence slats can attest. This morning I asked him to throw on a bigger board and can now hear the thunk thunk against his Daddy’s fence and can only hope he keeps up the strength in his arm.

Recently while at work I ran across a huge book with maps included on places to collect rocks in NC. I dutifully copied many of these down between customers to the exhibit. I later looked at the publishing date and saw that it was more than twenty years out of date. Not daunted I went to Google Earth and started to hunt down these old quarries, iron mills, and crossings between state roads. While several places are now housing developments or malls I had the oddest of fun times finding Old Iron Mine Road or Quarry Drive. The quarry may now be a square shaped pond or the slag from the iron mine being shown in a small historic museum but somehow history keeps going. I felt like I could be a great archeological investigator like the ones in Britain who discover great Roman and Celtic artifacts because of place names on a road side or the nickname to a farmer’s field. I will let you know how the quarry search goes when I decide to hit the road and collect.

I am having to give up the great Rock Hound Round-Up with MAGMA again this Summer and encourage all mineral or stone enthusiasts to Attend the whole week of comradery and fun. I hope every one attending has the best of times and finds the perfect specimens.

I came across this FANTASTIC clothing store on-line that has absolutely lovely made clothing. The designs are made for woman who are not all anorexic and saddlebag deficient. The designs are creative and medievalish some with a bit of Goth and some with a bit of Asian flare. A lady at my museum told me about the site because she was just dressed great and I asked her where she got the outfit. I promptly forgot about the site for several months until I saw an add on FB and thought “wait, that’s the site the lady told me about.” Thank you well-dressed-stranger lady!

The sun is finally starting to lower sufficiently in the sky and I am going to pray the AC sticks it out for one more season. To all of the Dear Readers,
Be Well

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Hi, I have returned from the Reel Mine and begun looking over my stash of crystals. I have to give kudos to the owner for overcoming a hostile neighbor and welcoming over 50 strangers onto his property who were armed with picks, pry bars, and shovels. Three feet from my most productive dig spot was a fellow rock hound who was pulling out plate sized plates and crystals the size of small hen eggs. At the moment he pulled them out of the very hard ground the crystals appeared to be the size of soccer balls. More credit to all my friends who were able to retrieve more than a thumb nail specimen from The Reel.

The weather has been sublime, and while I dug at the mine the weather was ideal. Sure there was a rain shower but under the branches of the pine trees I was just fine. The pollen has been gong crazy and I am afraid not a single seed of soapwort or wormwood will come up. My moonglow datura plants have not leafed back out and I am afraid they may have died off during the winter. The bean plants are perking out like crazy and that is a relief. Now I have to make sure my squash comes out, the seeds went down this afternoon. With any luck the vines will climb everywhere and create quite the picture in my yard.

I know that to most folks the Spring is a time of growth and Summer is life itself. I love Spring, it is a glorious slow warming that just melts all the pain and begs for the cleaning and reinventing of the home and soul. Summer on the other hand… lets just say I was once told by a very intuitive and mystic woman “Your part of the Winter Court.” (said with a kindly “well duh” look on her face.) I have been depressed and in an amazingly BAD funk for over two weeks. Last night I broke down crying in the bedroom, weeping about how depressed and horrible I feel and how depressing and horrible it is to feel depressed and horrible. After I had gotten most of this out of my system my dearest husband looks at me and says “It’s your Summer funk.”
“Sweetie, you always get depressed when Summer comes.”
“I do.?”
“Yep, usually at the end of May and you don’t come out of it until July. Your just early.”

It is amazing what 20 years and some perspective can do. I can’t get rid of the feeling that Summer is a time of death and drought and unbearable heat. I know that Summer means the fruit I love and the wonderful bees and honey and flowers but in the depth of my bones it yells death and I can’t stand it. So I have not posted for a while in order to spare you from the grumpiest and most whiny of moods. Perhaps there is a scientist out there that can research Seasonal Mood Disorders that happen at times other than winter.

I just took a stroller, infant car seat, buzzy chair and bassinet to the dump. My heart nearly broke as all the pastel colors were thrown into the bin with old wicker and lawn mowers. Charity groups will not take them and there were no takers on Free-cycle. How sad a comment on today’s produced goods that people are too afraid to take second hand items for fear of recalls.

I called the quarry at Castle Hayne and found out that they do indeed allow digging on Thursdays and Fridays if there is no blasting. Once again thank you Martin Marietta for letting collectors of stones and fossils into your mines. My work friends are all planning to go after the exhibit is over so we can all collect together. Our exhibit is about fossils and in a strange way my boss can have an educator’s thrill that his people are that inspired as to continue the research off hours no matter how fun the research may be. We plan on being at Castle Hayne on the 13th of May, straight down 40 to the beach it is easy for most of us to reach. For any diggers during the spring and summer, all seasons really, carry cold water with you when digging and put on sun screen: Heat prostration and sun burn are not your friends.

The Aurora NC Fossil Fair is 29th of may and is also free. Dirt from the PCS Phosphate mine is free for the searching and I plan on taking a bucket or two home. The south east fossil lovers all come out for this event and it is almost like a spring fair. The fossils are more modern than those at Castle Hayne, as modern as fossils can get, and tends to have more sharks teeth and animal bone.

Summer will be here sooner than the Solstice for those of us in the south so I give you fair warning about the heat and garden plants. As soon as I know that Summer is here I will say so but so far it is just on the verge and not arrived fully yet.

For all the dear readers who are a part of the Summer, enjoy your days in the sun. The rest of us need only remember there are only 6 more months.

Be well and thrive dearest visitors.

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