Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘September

Getting Bolder

leave a comment »

Even though the number of trees around us that are starting to show some colors of autumn is few, a couple took a jump yesterday toward premium brilliance. Those spots of bold color are particularly eye-catching.

That dot of redness stands out distinctly against the green around it. When this happens, I imagine what that tree would look like if all the leaves changed to the same degree at the same time.

Around the corner from that area is a maple tree turning orange.

I hope this is an indication of fall color intensity we can look forward to seeing more of as the month progresses.

I heard that the ever-changing sunrise and sunset times are moving 3-minutes per day about now. That’s a loss of 21-minutes of daylight this week. Could less sunlight mean slower grass growth finally?

I’m ready to be done mowing for the season. I suspect we still have a ways to go until I can park the mower for the winter.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 13, 2021 at 6:00 am

September Eleven

leave a comment »

Twenty years later, I’m pausing to remember my trauma of that day, witnessing so many other peoples’ trauma over the unimaginable death and destruction unleashed by fanatical terrorists hijacking commercial jets containing passengers to use them as explosive missiles.

I spent the first moments, and then the unfolding hours, trying to grasp the reality that such things could be happening. We didn’t learn of the events after the fact. We witnessed much of it as it was happening. I’ve never really liked hearing the sound of a commercial jet flying overhead after that day twenty years ago.

This morning, I turned on some of the television coverage of memorial events being held at the three locations where the planes crashed. In Minnesota, they read the names of people from the state who were killed that day, as well as Minnesota members of the military who died in the wars since.

Thinking of John Lennon’s lyric “Imagine there’s no countries…,” how many more names would need to be recited if loved ones from Afghanistan were to read the names of all who died in the twenty years since.

Meanwhile, in the idyllic surroundings of our home on this beautifully warm September day, we are living life in peace. The first hints of color continue to slowly transition in the panorama of trees along the edges of our woods.

On this third day of being the only person feeding our animals, they are all settling into my way of doing things. On Thursday evening, the horses demonstrated a fair amount of uncertainty navigating the feeding routine, but as I have adjusted my methods and they’ve responded willingly, this morning was as serene as ever.

Having watched Swings lose as many pellets out of her mouth as she consumes, I’ve started soaking her servings in a little water first and that seems to be making it easier for her. We had hoped having their teeth floated would help her more than it appears to have done.

This morning I decided to try again to use the hay boxes I built. They were powering through a single bale so fast the last time we tried using these that we switched to providing the net feeders from which they were used to eating.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

If they make it through a bale too fast today, I’ll plot a modification to the grate that might slow it down to something comparable to grass-grazing speed, if I can guess what that actually is.

It seems illogical to me that they would prefer dry hay bales over the two large fields of fresh grass that we provide them full access to day and night, but I’m not a horse. I trust they know why they make the choices about what to eat.

As rescued thoroughbreds, they know about memories of trauma.

Today we are soaking up the peacefulness we have been afforded and adding another day of distance from the source of our past traumas.

We will never forget, but we will always seek that world where we all be as one.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 11, 2021 at 10:01 am

Magnificent Days

with 2 comments

We are enjoying magnificent weather this week for the month of September, although in the back of my mind the very summery temperatures echo too well some of the anticipated ramifications of the warming planet.

No floods or fires in our region at the moment. Just high heat (80°F!) and evolving colors in the tree leaves.

Wandering down the backyard hill toward the opening to the labyrinth, the leaves are still primarily green. Beyond that, there are brilliant splashes of gold, orange, and red showing up with surprising speed.

Our growing season seems to be ever-lengthening, but the end of this summer’s agricultural period is undoubtedly near. The declining hours of daylight aren’t being altered by the changing climate and plants don’t grow so well in the dark.

On the bright side, I think my lawn mowing might be done for the year.

Yesterday morning at work I received a sweet text from Cyndie letting me know that she heard “Rocky the Roo'” making progress on learning how to crow. She said his call had a definite sing-song inflection that was recognizable as the vague hint toward the ultimate “cock-a-doodle-doo.”

I wonder if the magnificent weather days will be just as mesmerizing with non-stop echos of rooster crowing reverberating across our valley. We didn’t check with any of our neighbors about how they might feel about the prospect. At the same time, none of them have ever asked us if their gunshots, barking dogs, hollering for missing cats, or high RPM farm machinery soundtracks have been any problem for us.

I think it a feature, not a bug, of living in the country.

Where pretty much every day is magnificent, no matter what the sounds.

.

.

Cake Mistake

with 2 comments

Missing ingredient? She swears not. Wrong ingredient? Confident there wasn’t. Overfilled pans? Can’t say it wasn’t, but both to this bizarre degree? Hard to pin down.

Cyndie tried an unfamiliar recipe to bake a vanilla cake for Julian’s birthday. Since it was an untested recipe, she decided to conform strictly to the directions, a somewhat uncommon mode for her.

It didn’t take long to suspect something was amiss.

The batter was boiling over in the oven. Both the six little bunt shapes and the square pyrex pan.

There was nothing very cake-like at all in this failed birthday bake-xtravaganza.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Old ingredients? Nope, she said.

Baking powder or soda? Both included.

Did you mix up the amounts? No.

I want her to try again to see what happens. She has no interest in going near that recipe ever again.

After a quick visit to the grocery store for more supplies, Cyndie went for a layer cake.

It didn’t boil over.

Happy Birthday, Julian!

(And Happy 39th Anniversary, John and Cyndie! It’s a gorgeous blue-sky September day today, just like that day in the garden was on the shores of Lake Minnetonka.)

I don’t remember the weather 32 years ago, because we were indoors in a hospital room. I do remember driving 2-year-old Elysa to the hospital to see Momma and meet her new younger brother.

September 19 is a special day for our family.

*********

This year, we celebrate it with a tinge of sorrow in the shadow of yesterday’s passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Here’s hoping she will still be guiding us all from her continued heavenly perspective.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2020 at 9:47 am

Packing Up

leave a comment »

Even though today is Labor Day holiday in the U.S., our group all headed home from the lake a day early yesterday afternoon. There is plenty to deal with at home for families kicking off the fall season, and driving yesterday served to avoid many of the camping and boat trailers that will be returning today. Traffic was hardly an issue on our route.

This being the end of summer activities at the lake, before leaving, we took the bittersweet step of packing up most of the inflatable water toys.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

We set up a station for cleaning and deflating, and each large floating toy was detached from its anchor and brought into shore. Many hands made for small work and we washed, dried, deflated, and rolled up the big trampolines for winter storage in the garage with impressive efficiency.

While we occupied ourselves with that project, Cyndie took the initiative to scour her family’s small cabin to pull off and bag bedding and remove foods and cleaning supplies.

Before hopping in their car, Julian and Allison deflated their small floaties.

Just like that, in a blink, summer is over once again. It happens every year, but each time seems to come faster and faster.

It also always seems too soon to be seeing trees turning from green to red/yellow/orange, but on our drive yesterday, there were multiple sightings.

I think I spent more time in long sleeves over the weekend than I did in short. I may not pack up my summer attire yet, but I will start bringing out my warmer clothes.

It’s the season of doubly crowded closets and dressers. Too soon to put away all the warm weather clothes, but too chilly to avoid pulling out the fall and winter gear, too.

I’m not complaining, though. It’s a small complication in the otherwise glorious advantage of enjoying the full range of 4-seasons weather we experience.

It develops strength and character, both physically and mentally.

This time of year is actually my favorite, so I am in my glory right now. Happy September everyone! (Does it show that I don’t live in a hurricane zone?)

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 2, 2019 at 6:00 am

Another Staycation

leave a comment »

We were able to getaway in town this weekend, leaving Jackie to take care of animals at home. Cyndie and I went off to spend a couple of nights at her parents’ house in Edina. Fred and Marie were headed for a cruise in Germany with friends of theirs, and we provided transportation to the airport yesterday.

Before that, we snuck out for a convertible cruise through our old Eden Prairie stomping grounds. The fabulous September sunshine provided ideal conditions. We stopped by a park to visit folks gathered for an EP fundraising event and enjoyed live music performed by Wondercure, some life-long friends.

After leaving the airport, we headed past an even older neighborhood of ours in south Minneapolis to hook up with more EP friends. We strolled with Paul and Beth along the Linden Hills streets for dinner near Lake Harriet.

Back at their house, we were treated with other-worldly dessert creations from a nearby bakery.

It all feels so cosmopolitan!

How did we come to deserve such richness of life, friends, and food.

It is not lost on me how much the remarkable warm September sunshine and blue skies contribute to making a day seem so positively regal.

Our experiences would have been much different had it been cool, gray, and wet.

I’m just sayin’.

.

.

 

 

Written by johnwhays

September 9, 2018 at 9:35 am

Done Trenching

with 4 comments

We had a variety of options available to work on yesterday, but chose to stay with the project to bring electricity to the chicken coop. It seemed as though the chickens were wondering when we were going to show up. When I stepped out of the house, they were all up near the front door.

I turned back to warn Cyndie, because she was bringing Delilah out with her. Despite a recent occasion when I was distracted while holding the leash and Delilah jerked violently in an attempted chase after the chickens, Cyndie reports a series of well-behaved, closely supervised, successful passes between dog and chickens.

Delilah is acutely aware of the chicken’s presence as Cyndie leads her past for a walk.

Despite the third consecutive day of abnormal heat for September, we braved the blazing sun to complete the trench to the barn. That was not an easy feat, because the last stretch crossed an area where we had laid down a lot of gravel for the driving path extending beyond the back of the barn.

To put it mildly, it was rather unforgiving. That’s great news …for a road. Not so great for trench digging.

Once inside the barn, we routed the cable to the circuit breaker box on the far side. That was about the extent of energy we had left to offer. Final connections will wait.

The hard part is complete.

We are done trenching, thank you very much.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 25, 2017 at 6:00 am

Let’s See

leave a comment »

Let’s see that again. One of the conveniences of keeping a daily journal in the form of a blog is the ability to easily review what has come before. Last night I reviewed my posts for September 19th going back 8 years. I tend to pull out the same few pictures for the occasion every year.

Happy Anniversary, Cyndie!

As well, today we celebrate the birth of our son, Julian! HAPPY BIRTHDAY my son! You are truly a pride and joy for us to behold. May you have a special day and fabulous year ahead.

Remember these?

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

September 19th is a very special occasion for us. Huzzah!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2017 at 6:00 am

Can’t Help

with 2 comments

Despite a near-lifetime of harassing Cyndie for her penchant to state the obvious, I can’t help myself from occasionally doing the same thing. Isn’t that the way it goes? All too often, it is the very reason we nag about behaviors of others. We’re unconsciously revealing issues of our own.

But that’s beside the point.

For some reason, I can’t hold back today from gushing over how gloriously gorgeous the weather was for us yesterday. Obviously, all things being relative, it came across as more over-the-top than ever by comparison to the previous few days of: higher than normal dew point temperatures, unseasonably warm air temperatures, and at the end of Saturday, some heavy rain showers.

Yesterday was beautifully sunny, the air was freshly scrubbed, and the temperature was comfort, perfected. The icing on that cake was the continuing colorization of the turning leaves that amps up the brilliance of a September day.

A day like yesterday is exactly why Cyndie and I picked this month to be married. In fact, it will be 36 years ago tomorrow.

I recall from back then, not being able to help myself from wanting to spend the rest of my life with her –despite all the things about myself that she would reflect over the years, for my ultimate edification.

Much to my good fortune.

I am such a lucky guy. …Oh, there I go, stating the obvious, again.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 18, 2017 at 6:00 am

Getting Orange

leave a comment »

Things are growing more orange around here. Yesterday at breakfast, Cyndie called me to come look at the difference in color of our eggs, compared to the ones purchased at the grocery store. Looks like the free-range diet of our three chickens is producing deep color in the yolks, seen on the right, below.

We spent the Labor Day holiday doing a lot of work, for a day off. Starting with a couple of hours cleaning out the compost area, using the loader bucket on the diesel tractor. There’s now plenty of room to store a winter’s worth of manure, just in case winter gets around to showing up.

Then we split up and Cyndie used the power trimmer in the labyrinth, while I entered a race against time to get the hayfield mowed before it rained.

Looking back toward the horses, I spotted another splash of orange color erupting from the green of our tree line.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like September.

At the end of a long day’s effort, we put our tools away and headed for the house under the drops of a perfect late-summer rain shower.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 5, 2017 at 6:00 am