Friday, October 23, 2009


The goat we sold.

The fish fry we had. (bluegill and bass, fried cabbage, rice)

A hickory horned devil I think. I love that name. There were a good number of luna moth caterpillars at this same time too, which was a couple of weeks ago.

The wooly worms this year have been totally cool but I haven't gotten a non-blurry photo of one yet. We have them all over the barn -- I think they come in the hay -- but they are also to be seen trying to cross the road and some other unlikely things like that. Anyway, I'm talking about the wooly black and brown ones. The way I always heard it was that the more black they had on them, the worse winter was going to be. Well, this year they are mostly brown with just small stripes of black at the ends. Some of them have even been all brown. So, according to the wooly worms, this shouldn't be a bad winter. I do hope we get a good freeze or two to kill the bugs.

Gosh but I do love October. Except that I know I'm getting old now because I also do think of winter in a way that I didn't when I was a kid and had electric heat that was paid for by my daddy. I remember my grandmother dreading winter and while I don't think I dread it quite like she did, it does cross my mind that things get harder in the winter, that daily chores can be more of a challenge. The husband put a load of shale on the worst part of the road today. Not being able to negotiate the road is one of the things that can make life a lot harder. Having the wood stove going is a thing that makes life easier in the winter though.

The quilt on the mountains in the autumn. My mountains. The mountains that shelter and nurture me and have my family for generations. The arms of the very earth that have endured to embrace me. I love these mountains.


annettelikesrain said...

Truly beautiful. All of it.

annettelikesrain said...

Oh, and that new header and that new quote are wonderful. The quote's especially perfect!

CG said...


Wendy said...

Your wood cookstove is lovely.

I love October, too. In some traditions, it marks the transition between the end and the beginning. It's a good time to reflect on the past year and give some thought as to goals for the next.

Kirsten said...

"The quilt on the mountains in the autumn. My mountains. The mountains that shelter and nurture me and have my family for generations. The arms of the very earth that have endured to embrace me. I love these mountains." ...that is beautiful, denise...just plain beautiful.

CG said...

Thanks Kirsten. From when I was a little kid, really little, I felt that way.

Jessica said...

I look out at the mountains I see from my home and am blessed that they are there. But this year has felt different b/c I am wondering about what is happening at Coal River Mountain in West VA. Massey Coal Co. is taking the top off of Coal River Mountain - 6000 acres and probably 1000ft of elevation will get dumped into the valleys below, choking streams and headwaters and poisoning the watershed for the people below. It started Oct. 23rd and I have seen such no effort on the part of people who can actually stop this do so. I have called people, written emails, faxes, and supported the protest but it feels worthless. I look out at the beauty of the mountains and am amazed that so many people can share that awe yet take the top of a mountain off in the name of cheap energy. Your perspective on government and people is interesting to me. I have received little in the way of interest from people I know who are like me and have little power in these matters and they seem to quite frankly not give a shit. What is your take on all this - why don't we care enough to do something that matters, how can we love something that we destroy?

CG said...

Jessica, I noticed your posts on MTR. My personal take on it is that it is useless to do anything other than use less energy -- *radically* less. This has been my major falling out with people because most people are only willing to be different in ways that are convenient and perhaps even "cute". Not ways that actually require something of themselves. People who need to be admired can never really make choices that make a real difference.

I remember my mountains in the heyday of strip mining, and I know how they've "recovered" from that. I live beside of land that has been clearcut within memory and it has "recovered". (and you should see what one stupid neighbor is doing even now . . . ) Life is remarkably resilient. Good thing.

But yes, I think MTR is wrong, period. But it is a symptom of corporatism and consumerism and things like that. May it all be stopped . . . but the thing is, people like you (and me too) will not have their comfortable lifestyles without it. People are not willing to live using very little in the way of energy until they have to.

Except for me maybe.

And they will have to.

And don't underestimate your real power. It is in your choices, in where your priorities live.

CG said...

ps there is an entire mountain gone in my home county right now. I knew people who lived through the Buffalo Creek Flood. Meaning that all this is very real real to me. Not a picture, not a theoretical.

CG said...

and then I wonder . . . is it just proselytizing or do you mean to have a real conversation? I don't find many takers on the real conversation thing but I always always make the mistake of thinking that is what we're engaged in.

CG said...

ah, yes, thought so.

Jessica said...

ouch! I think you have a unique perspective, you are a smart lady, wise in ways, but ouch! you do know how to get right to the point of things! I sometimes come out of my small world and see things that really shake me up and I know this has been going on so long, but I didn't take the time to really understand it. I guess it just makes me wonder about the bigger issues of why in the world are people in mass doing this and I do include myself in the lot. I feel like to be quiet is to let it happen, but to just say something without action is not very effective either. I don't really have any more to say about it because in the end it is what I do that is more important. I probably should not have posted on the blog in the first place, I just wondered what your thoughts were.

CG said...

No Jessica, I'm glad you did. I was just interested in the more conversation and got impatient. That's mine. How I am.

Anyway . . . I'm glad you posted on your blog and brought the question here. The underlying cultural issues about yankees exploiting these mountains and our people (because that's always what it is) is complex and the best exploration of it that I know is Night Comes to the Cumberlands. But that isn't an excuse for us natives allowing it either.

But people allow it in large part because they want to eat. People allow it in large part because to go a different way is painful, especially alone. The crowd, and fitting in, and having stuff and having convenience, call loudly.

I suppose you might be aware that I don't believe in "protests" and such, but it is mostly because I don't think they work. I don't know of anything at all that does work, honestly. I've tried to be an example but I haven't seen hoards of folks taking up the charge to living closer to home and doing more for themselves. In fact, I've seen more people decide, from my example, that it is just too hard! (wry laughter there) Voice in the wilderness. If a tree falls in the forest . . .

But I still think, logically, that if just 10% of people changed themselves, the whole world would change. No protests, no selling out, just live differently.

And certainly for me that begins with birth . . . and unmedicated birth, and attachment parenting, and real live unschooling. How we choose to live as families affects how we live as communities, but if families do not live in sustainable manners, then communities can't, and it can't just be when it is convenient or cute or the in thing to do.

The most sustainable example to look at is usually poverty in the third world. Live like that and your impact will be pretty low.

Ok, I'll shut up now and I'll hope that you'll be able to heal from my ouching you.

Cielo said...

My reading chip isn't working too well at the moment, so I'm in late on this one.

Anyway, do you know this song? Every time I hear it I think of you. It is Scottish, so some of the words are interesting.

These Are My Mountains

For fame and for fortune, I wandered the earth and now I've come back to this land of my birth
I’ve brought back my treasures But only to find they're less than the pleasures I first left behind

For these are my mountains, And this is my glen
The braes of my childhood, Will know me again
No land's ever claimed me, Tho'far I did roam
For these are my mountains, And I'm going home

The burn by the road sings, at my going by, the whaup o’er the head wings with welcoming cry
The loch where the scart flies
At last I can see, its here where my heart lies, it’s here I’ll be free

Kind faces will greet me and welcome me in
And how they will greet me
My ain kith and kin
This night round the ingle
Old songs will be sung
At last I'll be hearing My ain mother tongue

CG said...

love it! Husband says there is an Appalachian song of the same name, different verses but wondering if it is the same tune. You know how songs do.

CG said...

Jess, hiding. So sad. What are you ALL afraid of? Like the Amish shunning? I'm not pure enough! I don't hold to the correct book/dogma. sadsadsad