Beautiful Melrose, Florida

Hmmm….what is THIS track? Shudder.

We saw lots of deer, and I wonder what that other track is?

The long road I have enjoyed walking since childhood.

Coming and going.

Big Bird.

Summer roadside wildflowers.

Mother and child.

Oranges way out in the woods.

Bittersweet memories.

This is a tortoise den; sometimes these are taken over by rattlesnakes.

Green and dreamy.

Old craggy pine.

Reindeer moss.

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SO many duties and concerns swirling in my head, so of course I put it all aside and had an art attack last night. I made three collages and started a file of cutouts and supples to take along on my solo trip “down home” to FL next week (note to robbers–our home will be fully occupied)!

This collage is one that, I’m flattered to say, Helen picked out for her birthday/anniversary gift and I hope it finds a place in her den of serenity and creativity that we call “the tree house”.

Noah is on his way home NOW! Harold graciously–heroically, even–drove out to Rockville, MD to pick him up, with all his “stuff”, and bring him home. They’re doing the trip with no break–I’m sure they’ll be napping tomorrow. It’s going to be exciting to see Noah, but I’m panicking about the state of the house–why does entropy set in so immediately and completely when a space is vacated?

I don’t want him to have to perch on top of my detritus so I’ve been weeding out the “man cave” and finding lots of buried treasure in the process.

It’s embarrassing to admit but I’m freaking out a bit about leaving Tango. I know the pets will be in excellent hands with the guys but T and I have been spending most of every day together since I’ve been working at home so much. I knew that birds bonded strongly to their “people” but I did not expect the reciprocal attachment to be so powerful. I’ve really come to love this little friend–the way he stands guard protectively on my pillow when I nap; the way he rides on my fork hand hoping to sneak a taste, the way he rests his feathered forehead against mine, concentrating so hard when I am teaching him a new whistle. Sigh.

It’s also hard leaving the garden during this important time for planting, watering, and nurturing. I’m happy to be going to see my mother and other FL family but I’m also homesick already. Most of all, when I get back I look forward to spending LOTS of time with Harold.

Well, that’s about it. Tango wants some of my yams so I gotta go.

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Students do the nicest things

I’m just back from my last Public Speaking class of the semester, and my lovely student Nurta Hade brought me a gorgeous Somali butter cake as a gift. I have already cut into it so I borrowed this photo from Somalirecipies.com.

This cake is perfect for breakfast or a snack–not too sweet, and fragrant with cardamom, one of my favorite spices. Nurta also brought me a package of green cardamom pods–they smell like heaven–for making authentic Somali tea.

I recommend both of these treats, especially together!

Somali Butter Cake

4 eggs1 1/4 cups sugar1/2 cup butter; melted1 1/2 cups flour; sifted1 tsp. baking powder1 tsp. cardamom powder1/2 cup milk1. Mix the eggs, sugar, and butter in a bowl.2. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and cardamom.3. Add the milk and mix until smooth.4. Pour the mixture into a greased pan.5. Bake in a preheated oven ( 300 F) for an hour.
*Recipe from Tammy’s Somali Home http://tammyssomalihome.blogspot.com/2008/07/butter-cake.html

Somali Tea or Shaah (This is better than any chai you’ve ever tasted)

2 teabags
6 cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
5 thin slices of ginger
2 cups water
1/4 c. sugar
1 cup milk
1. In a kettle, add the teabags and the water.
2. Crush the cardamom, cloves, and the cinnamon using a pedestle and mortar.
3. Add the crushed spices, ginger, and sugar to the kettle.
4. Once it has boiled, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add the milk and gently bring to another boil.

*Recipe from Tammy’s Somali Home http://tammyssomalihome.blogspot.com/2008/12/shaah-somali-tea-and-somali-sweets.html

I’m addicted to Somali food. If you want to try more delicious Somali recipes, “Tammy’s” is an excellent place to start, as well as www.Somalirecipes.com

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Pages

They don’t know you yet but
they will soon be familiar with
your smell
your habits as you twist your hair
pull on your bottom lip
sigh, yawn, rub your eyes.

They will learn the weight of your
palm, your fist, your elbow,
chin-in-hand
and will bear the round
benediction of your coffee ring.

They will inherit the dust
of the erasures
of things you deem too shameful
to leave upon their faces, they will
gather the notes
of the songs you didn’t know you knew
and sing them back at you.

They will stare into your face
so long, and as you return
their gaze
you will learn to see
many new selves within their blank aspect.

They will sometimes mock you.

They will be your most pleasing lovers.

They will always
drink your tears.

© Nancy A. Henry

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Marine Biology

Marine Biology

Nature is an indifferent mother, I say
dutiful at best, she does what is required,
but not with tenderness.

That is a lie, you insist—
many animals practice nurturance,
play, camaraderie of a sort,
faithfulness
and choral singing besides.
Whales write new songs for every season,
every task and journey.
This is what you taught me.

Alright then.

Well what else is there to do
in the deep but practice the chords of heaven
sweep open-mouthed
through great fortresses of herring,
rock to the gentle hula
of the sea, make love like two spaceships
docking, teach strange iceblue songs
to your little calf, tease ocean liners
as they sludge past your easy grace
with motors and trouble?

© Nancy A. Henry (1998)

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