Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I, Blogger

Self-portrait by Jean-Michel Basquiat

The lovely Borjana Eghbalian of the blog Green and Stylish has tagged me for the Kreativ Blogger award, which requires me to reveal 7 things about myself in this post and pass the award on to 7 bloggers that I admire (and secretly want to know more about) and then leave a post on their blogs to let them know. I will also proudly display the Kreativ Blogger award image. Thank you Borjana!

So, about me..

Image here
1. As a child, I fell in love with an abandoned, octagonal house (with remnants of a wrap-around porch) seen at some distance from the road on trips to visit my grandparents. I wanted this abandoned house to be mine, to rescue it, bring it back to life, but my parents would never stop to let me go explore it. This is certainly a clue as to why I am here now, at Garvinweasel.

2. I like to write and sketch ideas and images in a Moleskin carnet with my Lamy Safari fountain pen, black ink. I have a sketch of the four acre garden plan for Garvinweasel in my current book, along with some information architecture and cloud computing diagrams with notes on predictive analytics algorithms.

3. I am incomprehensibly crazy about the nine dogs that live at Garvinweasel (Lady, Bigfoot, Daisy, Bear, Penny, Beatle, Missy, Dudley and Lucy). We have fostered twenty-five dogs over the past four years.

4. I like to read. I found a pre-publication copy of Susan Minot's first book, "Lust", in a loft I once rented on Grand Street (in New York's Soho), left there by the previous tenant, who seemed to have moved out in a hurry. I mailed the book once from Paris to girl in Seattle, along with, for some reason, a tie from Barneys NYC. She returned the book, but I can't find it now, and I sometimes miss my tie.

5. Once a month, usually on a Saturday, I drive my '67 Ford pickup to town and get my haircut in the old barbershop on the town square, across from the courthouse. Sitting in that barber chair within the tobacco smoke-stained walls, warm shaving foam around my ears and on my neck, the smell of Barbicide in the air, I feel like I have been given a Valium IV and dropped into the set of a grainy movie adaptation of a southern gothic novel.  If I was very rich, I would buy a big painting by Basquiat every March at the fair in Maastricht, and I would get a haircut and hot-shave in this barber shop every Saturday.

 Photo of Joni Mitchell by Jack Robinson 1969

6. I like to listen to the music of Hildegard Von Bingen, Miles Davis, Radiohead, Brian Eno, Joni Mitchell and Iggy Pop (from whom I have a hand-written letter, but that's another post). I usually listen on last.fm, but if no music is available, I can hum Mozart's "Requiem".

7. My personal style is basically white linen or cotton shirts, hand-made cuff-links, vintage Rolex Air-King, my French muck boots (Le Chameau), khakis or Levi's and a hint of Hermès Bel Ami.
    My blogger tags...

    I pass the Kreativ Blogger award to these 7 bloggers in appreciation:

    Wendy at Little Chapel on the River
    Jane at My Pear Tree House
    LeAnn at Linen and Lavender
    David at The Neo Lifestyle
    Desiree at Vosges Paris
    Shawn at Country French Antiques
    Julie at The Provence Post

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    A Green and Stylish Thank You!

    Checking my email this morning, I was surprised and delighted to find that I have been tagged, by Borjana of the wonderful 'Green and Stylish' blog, with the Kreativ Blogger award. Seeing Borjana's lovely wellies in her post, I decided to set up a quick shot of my own (Le Chameau 'Country Walkers'), with some of the Garvinweasel pack and their green and stylish winter house providing an appropriate background. If I am at home, it is most likely these boots are on my feet, and I took them off for a few minutes this morning to snap this picture (some of you may recognize the hay bales from an earlier post). Thank you Borjana... I will return with my list of personal revelations and blogger tags in the next day or two.

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Garden Journal

    The groves were God's first temples.  
    ~William Cullen Bryant, "A Forest Hymn"

    Thomas Jefferson kept a garden journal for sixty years. I've been meaning to start one for the past four. Not that I've done much in the garden. I sometimes spend an entire weekend picking up sticks and branches, and though it is a necessary task, it hardly seems worth writing down.  I find the time I spend outdoors doing these seemingly menial or trivial tasks actually provide a space in time that is otherwise difficult to find in the everyday sense. 

    I enjoy being out there with the birds and the dogs, and I am constantly looking around the property while performing needed chores, dreaming about what I could do here or there, envisioning a pond or an orchard, a vineyard or a hedgerow. My perspective on much around gardening and property management has changed. I used to rake leaves; now I am gathering raw material for organic compost, for use in a future kitchen garden. My compost heap is several hundred cubic feet, and will eventually yield a ton or more of the stuff each year.

    Someone gave me a $50 Visa gift card as a Christmas gift, and I will use it to order 500 pine tree seedlings from the state's forestry service today, for delivery in February. I will soon learn something about tree planting, and plan to capture some reflections of the experience and post some images here.

    Image: here