Sunday, September 17, 2006


After Morning Offering Jim went to our yard to weed it and weed-eat the verges of our walks and plantings. I made a chocolate pudding which was interlaced, parfait style, with a strawberries and whipped cream mixture. This was in anticipation of Jim’s friend, Smut, arriving in the evening.

I put in a call to Carmen, who had called yesterday to volunteer for help here at Camelot. Talking with Gary, we decided that it would be wonderful to have some help in rearranging current pictures in our stairwell to free up the space so that we could hang the chakra drawings along the stairs. Carmen was glad to help and spent the afternoon planning, plotting, measuring and nailing. We still have to get the drawings backed with poster board of some kind, but the preliminary work is done. Later in the afternoon, when her work was done on the pictures, I walked around the yard with her, as she is interested in volunteering in the garden and with the compost. As always, there is work aplenty to do there!

When Mick was finished polishing the yard, we went into St, Matthews, which, as they say in these parts, was working alive with people. Jim’s DR repairman has a shop there, and our brush mower won’t shift into neutral, so we cannot use it. They will call us when they have healed it!

We stopped at the Whole Foods grocery to get some Dr. Hauschka products for my skin – that brand is the only one which works on my sensitive skin, of all the holistic and organic products I have tried. I am so grateful to Dr. Hauschka, whoever he is! We dropped off cleaning and came home in the streaming sunshine. This time of year is splendid in Louisville. The sun grows gentler and more golden while the leaves begin their wonderfully subtle process of coloring up, firing and dropping. We rolled the windows down in Jim’s ancient truck and enjoyed the day.

Once home, Jim went back into the yard for special projects. Ed was also in the yard taking down some played-out berry bushes at the back of the yard, plus some fence posts and chicken wire that had at one time been placed across that line of bushes, presumably to hold grape vines. The vines have died to the point where there are no leaves left. Having weeded grapevine leaves constantly ever since moving here, I would have guessed that those vines NEVER die. By the end of the afternoon, our little acre was looking very spiffy.

Meanwhile I came upstairs and worked on e-mail, whittling the Inbox down to only four letters by game time. Jim got Sedgie and we settled in to watch Louisville beat Miami, a most enjoyable exercise, despite the sad sight of Brian Brohm tearing a tendon in his right hand. Coach Petrino is to be congratulated on fielding such good men for the home team – I graduated from U of L in 1966 – because Brohm was a replacement! Now Cantwell is replacing the replacement, and doing a wonderful job as well.

The game ended, Jim and I took our whirlpool. Jim cleaned the kitchen while I continued to sit with Sedgie, who is barely there, but as always is positively vibrating with devotion and the desire to be with us and hear our voices. He spent the rest of the evening in my lap, all sprawled out and turned so his belly fur shows. It is good to see that this slow death process has not made him particularly uncomfortable. He just cannot eat. We feel privileged to be able to spend this time with him in gratitude for the best kitty ever.

Smut arrived just in time for the Nebraska game. Their old home team did not particularly distinguish itself, but the old friends – Smut reckons they started playing sports together in seventh grade and gradually became best friends throughout the remainder of their high school years – had a good time anyway. Jim was the shortstop and captain of their state-champion baseball team and the quarterback and captain of their football team – at 5’ 7” in height, such a position indicates that the coach values the player’s judgment highly – and Smut played right alongside him in both endeavors, plus track and field. Such teamwork makes for solid friendship, and they enjoy each other a lot. It’s grand to see Smut. Like Jim, he looks nowhere near his age and bursts with good health and good humor.

Smut is a great example of the positive values of our so-called hippie generation. When Jim went “back to the land” here in Kentucky in the seventies, Smut came out to visit, loved the lay of this sweet land of foothills and creeks and decided to bring his bride, Fox, here. (Yes, Fox is also a nickname, a very complimentary one, stemming from her name being Roxanne.) They bought land, built their own dwelling and lived simply. Both Fox and Smut had trained as social workers and they have worked for many years now helping our state’s people.

About ten years ago now, they saved up to buy a good sized piece of farm land. They went to work building their own house again and this time, the place was extraordinary. Smut and Fox never stop. They now have an incredibly well kitted-out farm, with a good equipment and tool shed, a root cellar and a greenhouse in addition to a large pond and carefully prepared and protected kitchen garden space, which they made by digging down several feet, placing rocks there for drainage and then filling the beds with improved soil. The fences around the garden go down two feet into the ground – to the rock layer – to keep critters out.

Fox weaves at her loom these days, having retired from full-time social work in order to have some fun being grandma to her five grandchildren. She home-schooled both of her kids. Gifts from Fox can be wonderful canned goods or beautiful weaving – knocking the socks off of mere store-bought things.

Jim and I came upstairs after we said good night to Smut, leaving Ed in the living room to watch the end of another game he was following, and snuggled until bedtime at 11 PM.