Monday, June 24, 2013

Sticks and Stones

Just weighing in on the Paula Deen kerfuffle. I think the Food Network is over-reacting by firing her for a racial slur admittedly used years ago. Paula's about my age and I'm sorry, young'uns, but language such as this used to be somewhat common.

Polite? Never. Derogatory? Depended on the situation. Hurtful? I'm not Black but it is a term they use on each other. Does who says it really make a difference?

I think the crowd should not be allowed to sing Dixie at the Kentucky Derby. After all, it references returning to a time and place when slavery was accepted:

"The song originated in the blackface minstrel shows of the 1850s and quickly grew famous across the United States. Its lyrics, written in a comic, exaggerated version of African American Vernacular English, tell the story of a freed black slave pining for the plantation of his birth. During the American Civil War, "Dixie" was adopted as a de facto anthem of the Confederacy. New versions appeared at this time that more explicitly tied the song to the events of the Civil War. Since the advent of the North American Civil Rights Movement, many have identified the lyrics of the song with the iconography and ideology of the Old South. Today, "Dixie" is sometimes considered offensive, and its critics link the act of singing it to sympathy for the concept of slavery in the American South. Its supporters, on the other hand, view it as a legitimate aspect of Southern culture and heritage and the campaigns against it as political correctness. The song was a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln- he had it played at some of his political rallies and at the announcement of General Robert E. Lee's surrender."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Time Flies

I've been staying very busy in a mundane way. We have just over an acre of land and a lot of it has been divided into garden beds that need maintenance. It took me two afternoons just to prune the dead branches off the rose bushes next to the driveway. I've planted quite a few perennials and annuals so watering takes about 90 minutes. I single-handedly pruned the branches off and dug up the roots of a dead Canadian hemlock. I planted a lilac in its place and another lilac in a different bed. I've only got about 1/3 of the dead canes cut from the raspberries and I'm afraid the grass has won the battle in the strawberry patch. Lots of blossoms, however, so I think we'll get berries. I'm not a vegetable gardener but our next door neighbors gave us broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes so I felt obligated to plant them. I also scattered some carrot seeds and zinnia seeds that came with a pair of Playtex gloves. One of my hollyhocks is blooming, even though it's only about six inches tall and my sweet peas seem to be doing well.

The mosquitos are fierce and congregate by the back door where the dogs go in and out and sneak into the house when the door is opened. I went to eight different stores in town on Thursday trying to find one of those electric bug zappers. A nice sales lady told me she had one that worked great in Colorado but our long daylight hours make it kind of ineffectual in Alaska. She suggested getting a model that also has some kind of odor attractant so I went home and ordered one from Amazon. It should arrive Tuesday. Die suckers, die!

My riding lessons have been going well. "My" horse was entered in a three day jumping show last weekend so I rode Thursday morning instead of Friday afternoon. I know darn well he is leery of the far side of the arena so I avoid riding there. For some reason I was feeling confident so I started long reining him over there. He spooked right and I fell off left. The base of my spine is still a little tender.

He had Tuesday off since he'd been jumped quite a bit plus participated in a clinic on Monday. I was headed to the barn Friday when out of nowhere a mallard hen and her tiny ducklings appeared in front of me on the road. I slammed on my brakes (fortunately no one was behind me) and they proceeded to start to cross. Then a big truck traveling the opposite direction threw them in a tizzy and they scattered every which way. I just sat there until I saw them off to the side of the road. I didn't see any roadkill on my way home so hopefully either they made it to the other side or gave up trying.

Heard Joan Baez singing, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down the other day and it has been running through my head ever since. Move on Virgil; I'm tired of hearing your name.