arrow, brooks brothers, business chores, clothing, cov-ver, farm chores, filson, fishing, hay, hens, home chores, hunting, jc penny, koi fish, long leaf pine, polo ralph lauren, quarter horses, russell moccasin, sears, st. john's bay, wigwam
Back in the day, before the deluge of the modern mail order catalog, I eagerly used to await the latest Sears or JC Penny wish book. Once I had the catalog in my hands, I would carefully go through the pages, picking this and that for some vaguely defined executive future. Happily ensconced in the world of Sears and JC Penny, I put together many an outfit to wear to the office, on the golf course, at supper, in the garden.
Here we are now; flashed forward forty plus years, and those early dreams of an outfit here and an outfit there did not quite turn out as planned. Dress at Totem Hall is nothing but practical. Horses, chickens, pine trees, hay fields, vegetable crops, fruit trees, and koi fish demand nothing less, and those are just the living entities that want attention. I have not mentioned the pool, barn, home, fencing, drive, studio, well house, all of which have their particular care and needs.
Above, spread out over the bed, is my day. Below is my day, in detail.
Brooks Brothers and Polo Ralph Lauren
(age and, well, age means boxers instead of briefs)
(southern boys always wear crew neck tee shirts, always)
(the ubiquitous button down, worn out, frayed, usually Brooks Brothers)
(if there is a better pair to hunt, fish, farm, garden, chore, or spreadsheet in, show me)
• Socks & Boots
Wigwam and Russell Moccasin
(heavy-duty, warm, need to fill the boots)
(ma’am, just bury me in my boots, please)
St. John’s Bay
(goodwill find, wish it had pockets, absolutely love it and I like browns)
(my best buddy, very floppy, much worn in, much loved)
I am an early riser, and that is a good thing given all the little chores that define my day, family, farm, home, business. One of my all time, absolute, favorite duties is waking my youngest up so he and I together can pull our collective selves together and make our way to his day school. This morning, like so many more before it, started with me quietly going up the stairs, turning on lights, gently shaking my son awake. He never pops right up, takes after his mother on that account. Back downstairs in the living room, making my way to the kitchen, and my misplaced cup of coffee, I suddenly realized that all this is no more this time next year. You see my youngest, like his older brother before him, is off to boarding school. In a bit of a panic, I looked around, taking in the sights, and the silence, particularly the silence, for, as I said, the boy takes a bit a time get up and running. Anyway, as I stood contemplating the silence, and the passage of time, I took several pictures with my trusty iPhone, which I now share with you, my dear reader.
Oh, well, yes, I really do owe Lewis Carroll an apology. Curious curios collected over the years, each one with a story, a memory, even though some of those stories and memories are lost to time, or distorted by time, kind of like a Julian Barnes story.
What we collect, what does that say about us, right? And further, where we place, how we place our little objects, what too does that say about us? It caught my eye; it means something. I must have it, cherish it, forever. It will look just right, right here…
Even in our little bit of paradise, things break down, and chores must be done. Here, at Totem Hall, we do those chores; we have quite consciously made it a point not to hire staff. When, for instance, boards on our board fence break down, off I go.
I must admit to not being the brightest of light bulbs and I am okay with that. Consequently, it took me several years to come up with a way to handle broken down fencing on my own.
The first insight was using the C-clamp, rather than trying to wrestle with the board and hammer into place a new nail. Free hands are a good thing, especially when trying to leverage a 16-foot board.
My next discovery came from the contractor who built an additional paddock area for us. He used a drill and screws as opposed to a hammer and nails. In observing that method, honestly, I felt as if I had discovered fire, electricity, and the wheel. all rolled into one. I could say goodbye to the bear claw and broken off nails buried somewhere deep inside the post. I could say goodbye to smashed thumbs and bent nails.
I could earn extra time, which leads me to my just reward for all this work…
While looking for sea glass, I keep turning over ideas for future rambles. Horses, bees, pine trees, swimming pools, kitchen gardens, foreclosures, fiat currency are all in the mix. But for now…
Several months ago, Miss Tabitha at Bourbon & Pearls took what many thought at the time, including maybe herself, was a permanent break from writing. My plan then was to publish a tribute, a requiem if you will, to all that was goodness and light in her writings. Of course, life on the farm, and well, you know, the putting off of this and that, meant that I did not come up with my grand tribute, my grand obituary. Now, the fabulous Miss Tabitha is back, as they say, better than ever, and, quite simply, I just want to celebrate Bourbon & Pearls. If you have not read her work, go and spend some time on her site. Miss Tabitha has a keen eye, and an even keener wit. She actually does post and, in doing so, the world is just this much of a better place.
It is a dreary, rainy day here at Totem Hall, which means that really I have nothing better to do than to roll up my sleeves and tackles loads upon loads of paperwork.
I find it so strange how much paper gets pushed about in this electronic age of ours. For some reason, I remember promises made by the powers to be that things would be different. No matter, invoices must be sorted, taxes filed, forms filled, balances balanced.
Of course, when all this shuffling and filing and crumpling get to be too much, I can always tuck in for a nice winter’s nap.
In my part of the world, winter is fast giving way to spring, albeit without a fight. Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen record setting rains, followed by a brutish cold snap. Through it all, flowers bloomed here and flowers bloomed there, and not just our winter friends, the camellias. Though they made their appearance in town, out in the country, the only ones missing from the party are our daffodils and paper whites. The wonder and beauty of flowers, of course, is the ability to take a snip, or two, and bring that wonder and beauty inside, something I have been able to do every day this winter, which is truly a blessing. Anyway, to celebrate another morning of freezing temperatures, and in eager anticipation of spring, I present a collection of some of our winter flowers taken out, and about, at the Hall.
The rains came and came and came some more.
These are some straight up facts.
- 00.07 inches per hour
- 04.37 inches per day
- 04.42 inches last 24 hours
- 11.26 inches this month
- 12.27 inches this year
The tree frogs are enormously happy…