Music and Farm, The Cycle of Life

Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for August, September & October 2019

Our feature photo for this autumn is sunrise on September 26th.  The waning crescent moon can be seen to the right, catching the growing light of morning. The rising mists take on dawn’s colors before coalescing and floating away over the Cascades as clouds.   Color and intensity change rapidly at the bookends of the day, requiring one to be aware of the impending transition, put aside other activities, and observe the Earth and sky at work.  I feel privileged to witness such beauty unfolding into a new day, or writing the final chapter of one.

Sunrise on September 26th. Click on any image in this post to enlarge.

Sunset on September 22nd. Such a warm coverlet of golden light upon the day’s clouds!

News from the farm

Our weather tended toward cooler and cloudier in late summer, and a bit wetter than recent years.   We were pleased not to see any days over the mid 90s, and the extra moisture helped with fire suppression and watering the gardens.   Rainbows abounded; sunrises and sunsets were more dramatic and colorful than usual due to the canvas of cloud cover.

A molten sky on September 5th.

Early August was still fairly dry, but cloudy, as can be seen in this photo of Rick watering the vines.  We had good grapes, but did not get the pinot noir netted in time.  Birds, wasps and we suspect foxes helped themselves.  Fox scat loaded with grape skins and seeds was noted along the gravel road, and the unmistakable growly bark of Mr. Grey Fox and family was heard off in the woods.  We counted four of them this year.   No wine was made this year – no wine grapes, and no spare time.

The grass was dormant, dry and brittle on August 6th.

Sunflower and attendant bee on August 1st. A feral flower that came up in the rose bed.

The same sunflower plant commiserating with a wet rose on August 10th.

Time passes all too quickly here on our little farm in the Cascade foothills.  Once again, another year has almost completed its cycle.   The garden beds, except for the ones containing cold-hardy kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts, have laid themselves to rest following numerous sub-freezing mornings.  We are grateful for the bounty of squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.  Each year, Jack Frost, herald of Old Man Winter, paints a silvery shroud upon the land, smiting all but the most cold tolerant.   The rising sun slowly warms the glittering frozen, stoically rooted in place; by early afternoon the extent of the destruction is evident.  Dandelions, those cheerful, intrepid souls, still bloom, although much lower to the ground.  Small birds attack the globular seed heads; the breezes disperse the tiny parachutes, which sometimes lodge in spider webs.  After a windstorm, remnants of the webs, still carrying seeds, cling to their anchors, their builders dead or in hiding.

A fern growing among the vinca on the north border, turned to gold by frost.

Like spring and summer, autumn wears a cloak of many colors.  Although the reds and golds here seem muted compared to my native New England, western Oregon puts on a fine show, assisted this year by cooler temperatures and some summer rainfall.  Mostly we observe tired leaves wither into pale yellow and brown, and quietly slip away with the daylight hours.

A blueberry bush in full autumn color.

News from Canada!

Cynthia Reyes has published another excellent memoir, Twigs in my Hair, accompanied by lovely photographs from Hamlin Grange. The chapters are well-written, straight from her heart, the vivid descriptions leaving me with the feeling that I was there, too, seeing all through her words. Although I knew I would love this book based on her earlier memoirs, ” A Good Home” and “And Honest House”, I found myself particularly moved by her latest work, as she takes her readers through her early days and gardens in Jamaica, her first real teacher and mentor, Mr. Smith, to all the various gardeners she has come to know, learn from and share with over the years. Beginning with her accounting of her elderly mentor Mr. Smith, it became apparent that one’s relationships with others need to be tended just like our gardens, each person being different, with different needs. Lives are gardens, blossoming and fruiting if carefully tended. Love of gardening and love of life, even in the face of physical adversity in the form of a serious accident, are the ties that bind this work to the heart of not only any gardener, but to anyone with an interest in life.

Created with GIMP

News from the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms

Mr. Nano, ever watchful.

The Feline Correspondents Desk of Salmon Brook Farms received the sad news back in September that Lucky, occasional guest columnist and distinguished member of the Sicilian Feline Correspondents Desk has died.  Lucky was recused from the streets by our friend M.G., who realized by his movements that he was blind. Lucky’s eyes were infected past the point of saving, requiring his eyes to be removed.  He adapted beautifully to life on the olive farm, even climbing trees.  On September 8th, his curiosity about the world outside the olive farm beckoned him to escape through a hole in the fence.  He was struck by an automobile. Correspondent Lucky will be remembered for his plucky can-do spirit, and knowledge of olive farm operations.    Mr. Nano, with the help of friends M.G. and J.P., will present the eulogy.

Correspondent Lucky, scouting for news in his beloved olive trees. Photo credit M.G.

When Lucky arrived on the olive farm in Sicily, he was a wild one, blind and injured, and trusted no one.  Time and patience eventually won over this tough marmalade street cat, and Lucky became overseer of the farm and his caring humans.  His communication style was unique, described as sounding much like a quacking duck.  When he needed to check his surroundings or go exploring, he would extend his paw like a cane, and wave it around until he touched something solid, or found empty space. Lucky also knew when to turn left on the walkway around the house because he could sense the changes in the passing air. 

Lucky holding court with fellow correspondents. Photo credit M.G.

In spite of his blindness, he could climb trees, climb up on rocks, tables and chairs. Always testing the boundaries, he learned how to push the window screens out and escape. Furniture had to be moved away from the windows, although this action did not deter him.  Lucky would sit under the window, staring up, and planning his next escape. His veterinarian called him Houdini. Lucky was also clairvoyant, appearing to know when a sewing project was being planned. He could found napping in the middle of the fabric or in front of the sewing machine.

Lucky hard at work. Photo credit M.G.

One of Lucky’s favorite spots was under the grape arbor that covered the driveway. With his head pointed up, he could listen for the birds and track them with a unique head bobbing movement. Among his favorite locations was up the spiral stair case up to the terrace, where there was a birds nest behind one of the lights. He was not able to reach it, but the chirping and comings and goings of the birds fascinated him for hours.

Olive trees in bloom. Photo credit M.G.

Lucky took his gardening and olive tending activities seriously. He would be in the fresh tilled or planted beds or up the olive trees making his supervisory rounds. Lucky touched many people during his life.  Friends who met him never forgot him and were fascinated by his ability to navigate blind. Correspondent Lucky will never be forgotten, and will always be loved.

Lucky on patrol in the olive farm garden. Photo credit M.G.

Lucky is survived by M.G. and J.P., and all the feline and canine residents of the olive farm.

– Resident Feline Correspondent Nano, reporting for Salmon Brook Farms

Sicilian countryside as seen from the olive farm. Photo credit M.G.

Music news (schedule posted on the Performance Schedule page)

For those readers who missed previous posts or are new to this blog, I will be posting on mostly seasonal basis now. Hopefully someday, I may be able to actually catch up on the many projects, including updating the pages associated with this blog, as well as stay in touch with all of you. I will keep the performance schedule updated regularly.  New videos will follow as soon as I can get to it.

One of my favorite places on the coast!

Dorian Michael graciously invited me to play a couple of songs during one of his shows. Photo credit Rick Ross.

I bring three guitars along, the Martin, Guild, and my old Ventura. providing me with a larger palette from which to paint music. Photo credit Rick Ross.

If you are in the area and wish to see me play live, please visit the Performance Schedule page in the ring menu at the top of this post.

The old Ventura 12 string I am playing here is no longer made. I have only come across one other one in all these years, and it was not made as well as this one. Photo credit Rick Ross.

For those readers who are new or catching up, do visit the Salmon Brook Farms YouTube channel. Our first Tiny Farm Concerts one song music video was posted at the end of March, 2017.   I am 16 years older and a good bit more grey since my first and only CD was released back in 2003, but still in the saddle. It has been an interesting ride, with more to come!  I am now almost sold out of CDs and must get to work on the new one.

For those who have missed previous posts and wish to view the channel content, here are links to the previous two videos. There will be more videos when I can get back to this project.

The Orchard, our distributor, has placed some of our music from the Keepsake CD on YouTube. Anyone wishing to see the entire track listing and stories behind the songs should visit my personal page under MUSIC in the menu at the top of this post. Depending on what country you live in, the music placed on YouTube by The Orchard may be blocked. Readers can also access some songs from the CD via the old IUMA archive site.

In the meantime, in your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep your own local music alive. Go out and see someone you don’t know, host a house concert, download songs or buy CDs. Or even just stop for a minute to hear someone at a Farmers’ Market. Live, local musicians provide a wealth of talent most people will never hear about in this age of iPods, Internet and TV.

Lavinia and Rick Ross
Salmon Brook Records / Salmon Brook Farms

Eastern clouds over the farm catching afternoon sun on September 16th.


113 thoughts on “Rick and Lavinia Ross Farm & Music Newsletter for August, September & October 2019

  1. Timothy Price says:

    Beautiful photos. That is so sad about Lucky. He had a good life after being rescued. I did not know that foxes like to eat grapes. The turkeys, other birds and I expect the raccoons get our grapes. But we never do anything with out grapes, so it’s fine for the critters to enjoy them. I like those sunflowers. We have not had fancy sunflowers for a few years now. We get a lot of the small wild sunflowers. That’s great you got to play with Dorian Michael. One of these days we’ll make it out to your neck of the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tim, thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the photos! Yes, foxes are opportunists and will eat fruit of various sorts. In summer,one can see cherry pits in the scat, followed by plum pits.

      Lucky was an amazing kitty who will be missed.

      Yes, we always see Dorian when he comes through the area. We were fortunate enough to see him twice this year.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping byand for the kind comments! That was one unusual sunflower that came up in the rose garden. I almost pulled it up when I first saw it, but then realized what it was, and waited to see what developed. The birds and bees really enjoyed it this year.

      Lucky was one amazing cat. He will be missed!

      Hopefully we have more normal weatehr next year, net the grapes earlier, and will have a good wine harvest.


  2. You really had some magnificent skies this summer. Lovely photos of dear Lucky. I was fascinated to read all about him and his escapades. RIP Lucky I love sunflower/rose image. 😍 Definitely commiserating. How wonderful that you continue to bless people with your delightful music, Lavinia. You are very talented. Best wishes to you and your household. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, and for the kind comments, Sylvia! Yes, Lucky was a special kitty, and will be missed.

      I love to play music for people, and will do this for as long as I can.

      I will keep your iguana Mr. Igasho in my thoughts and prayers. I hope to continue seeing his picture on your blog site! Best wishes to you all in return.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those are really lovely photos and descriptions, Lavinia. I love that bold sunflower! I’m so sorry about Lucky! However, Mr. Nano’s tribute reveals how much he was loved, and how well he will be remembered. I adore foxes but I was sorry to hear that they chowed down on your grapes this year. Many hopes for fun and success with your musical efforts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, and for the kind comments, Leah! Yes, Lucky was a very special kitty and will be missed.

      The little feral sunflower that grew in the rose bed was a real surprise. Some bird or rodent dropped the seed in the right place. Yes, the foxes are adorable opportunists. 🙂

      I will play music for people as long as I can. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely seasonal post, Lavinia; I always enjoy your lilting words and the beautiful photos! I’m sorry to hear about Lucky, although it sounds as if he was loved and well-respected. So amazing for one without sight! I hope that winter treats you and yours well:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, sad news about Lucky.

    When I had a small grape arbor, three varieties, the season to harvest always started off with raiding robins. The last year I lived at that address, I placed a net over the grapes. Occasionally, a robin would still get inside the netting and have one binge of a lifetime!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Doug! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, Lucky was an amazing cat, and will be missed.

      Birds inside the net are something we see here on occasion. I do remember early in the season one year, a crow strutting up and down the lines of grapes, seemingly checking up on “his” crop. Raccoons have deft enough hands to pull off individual grapes through bird netting. Our neighbors fostered baby coons one year, and we had those little ones filching grapes. I watched them through the window, as two rows of table grapes come right up to the house. Cute little fellows. One was named Rochester.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Herman says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post and beautiful photographs, Lavinia. Always looking forward to read what’s happening on the Farm.
    So sorry to read the sad news about Lucky. He was an amazing and adorable cat.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my dear friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, Herman, and for the kind comments! Yes, Lucky was one amazing cat, and he will be missed. Lucky was a Force of Nature, like Mr. Bowie. It’s still hard for me to believe Mr. Bowie is gone now, too.

      Wishing you and Jimi cat a wonderful weekend, my friend. Take care, both of you. Stay warm and well, and enjoy some dark chocolate and espresso, and cat treats for Jimi. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The news about Lucky is so hard to hear. He was a wonderful creature and dutiful correspondent. He will be missed.
    Sorry to hear about the grapes too.
    We’ve had a very wet summer here. I’m accustomed to the ritual afternoon showers, but this year was much more that. I only lost 2 plants due to over-watering. Our main problem now is iguanas eating the hibiscus and young mimosa trees.
    I understand why you can only post quarterly, so take care, both of you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you GP! Thanks for stopping by! It was terrible news about Lucky, and I felt so bad for MG and JP. I have photos of Lucky wrapped around JP’s neck while he was on the computer. Lucky was one plucky, determined cat, who lived life to its fullest in spite of his troubles.

      Sorry about the hibiscus and mimosa trees. Wildlife where they are not native can be a problem, like the nutria that come through the farm every now and then. Up in the foothills, the climate can be too cold some winters, and they die out. In mild years they come through. The pet trade, and the fur trade in the case of nutria, have exacerbated the problem. Nutria, once native to South America, now unfortunately enjoy almost worldwide distribution. Many years ago, even the government was recommending nutria to curb invasive plants. They knew not what they doing in that department.

      Micheal’s tree got its deer protection up last weekend, but a windstorm has caused me to rethink how I put the net up. I’ll be back at it this weekend. It’s now coming into rutting season here, and those males trying to scrape the velvet off of their antlers do a lot of damage to young trees. If only they would use a fence post or woodlands scrub instead! 🙂

      All the best to you, GP. I’ll be by to catch up on reading over on your site soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You take care of business, Lavinia, leave your reading for spare time when there’s nothing else to do! I would feel guilty otherwise. I appreciate you taking such great care of Michael’s tree, I think about it and you and Rick quite often!!
        PS. 2 of the 3 hibiscus appear to me making a comeback and I think the mimosa trees are, hard to tell in the “winter” shape they get in. haha
        Take care of yourselves, my friends.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Your site is educational, and brings me peace knowing more about the circumstances under which my father lived and fought during WWII. I am inspired by these stories of the Greatest Generation. There will always be time for you. 🙂

        Glad to hear the hibiscus and trees are making a recovery. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • My father wouldn’t talk much at all about his time in the Pacific. It was always a mystery to me. I understand him much better now, although I can never truly know what it was like to be in his shoes.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about Lucky, but I’m glad he had such a good life after being rescued. Your season seems to have been lit by some wonderful sunrises and sunsets, but I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t have time to harvest the grapes – it sounds as though they were feasted on by the farm’s creatures though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Andrea! Yes, Lucky was a special cat. He will be missed by all who knew him.

      We had net up on some of the table grapes, so we had some eating grapes, but the pinot noir behind the deer fencing gets insect netting, which also stops the wasps, birds and foxes. Unfortunately, the foxes are small enough to slip through the large mesh hog fencing, and they had a grand old time, along with birds and wasps. There wasn’t enough time this year to get up insect netting.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautifully written, especially the opening sunrise paragraph, as befits a good songwriter. I’m sorry about Lucky, a truly inspirational cat. Given that you are so busy I am even more grateful for your regular comments on my posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Derrick! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments! Yes, Lucky was an amazing cat and an inspiration. He will be missed by all who knew him.

      I can keep up on a fairly regular basis with a few people (I still fall behind from time to time), but that is all. Some I catch up with and do a block of reading at a time, as the stories fall into multiple posts, some I can only visit sporadically. There are so many good people and blogs out there, but only so many hours in a day. It is hard to choose. I value all of you in my community.

      We are now in the season here to get your Michael’s cedar tree planted. I am still mulling over the exact location, and deer protection for it.

      All the best to you and Jackie, and dear little Nugget and friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You have been busy among all that beauty! I remember Mary Chapin Carpenter telling a story of someone saying to her “You sure do change guitars all night long. Do you play them or are they just props?” Too bad he hadn’t read your blog, but the comment was probably years before anyone was blogging. I do love your skies and that blueberry bush! I would use them as foundation plantings, they are so lovely. My condolences for Lucky, though it sounds as though he had a good life and was determined to live it. The waning crescent is a beautiful catch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Lisa! Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments! That is a great story about Mary Chapin Carpenter.

      Glad you enjoyed all the photos. The blueberries had a bad berry year this year due to late spring frosts, but they are so delicious in a good year! And, very colorful in fall.

      Lucky was an amazing cat who will be missed by all who knew him.

      All the best to you. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow. What a post. I feel as if I have just enjoyed a great visit with you and caught up on your life. It’s sad to hear about Lucky’s death, of course. But what a fine tribute from the feline correspondents and yourself. What a life he lived, blindness and obstacles notwithstanding. Thanks for letting me visit with you. It’s testament to the impact of this post that I will visit a few times more and perhaps comment again: it is a rich update beautifully written with various stories compellingly told. I am sorry about the Pinot noir but happy you are still performing. Thanks, too for the lovely words about my book. They warm my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always good to see you, Cynthia! Thank you for stopping by, and for the kind comments! Yes, Lucky was an amazing feline who lived life to its fullest extent, no matter what the obstacles. He will be missed by all who knew him.

      Your book connected with my heart. It made me think about the gentle wisdom of the many people I have known over the years who helped plant and grow the garden of my own life. I am pleased my words brought warmth to your heart. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This was an entry worth waiting for. I love the stories and pictures. Your book review of Twigs in My Hair was moving and sensitive. Mr. Nano’s obituary about Lucky was delightful. Kudos to all involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see you, Pat. Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments. I try to observe nature, and hopefully am quick enough to get photos, and adequately tell her stories. Cynthia’s book touched my heart, as did Lucky’s passing. Many thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. So nice to see a post from you, Lavinia! I keep going back to admire your photographs of stunning sunrises and sunsets and as always, your descriptions of the weather and life on the farm are a joy to read.
    I was sorry to read of the death of Lucky. What a life he had led and how intrepid he was!
    I also enjoyed your review of Cynthia’s book. I will try to get it one day.
    Best wishes for the continuation of your live music making and I hope you’ll be able to net the grapes in time next year.
    Clare xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Clare! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments. Yes, Lucky was an intrepid cat, and a true inspiration. He will be missed.

      I think you will enjoy Cynthia’s book. It touched my heart. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Teagan, and thank you so much for the kind comments! Yes, Lucky’s tragic accident was a sad event. His pawprints will be tough to fill at the olive farm.

      I am still waiting for you to finish Guitar Mancer. I’ll remind you now and then how much I enjoyed reading that series and think it should be made into a book.

      Readers, please visit Teagan at her blog. She is a skilled writer and an enjoyable read.

      Many hugs back!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Bear says:

    Loved the photos, Lavinia & Rick! Beautiful all around. All is fine here…we are now up to 3 felines; Izzy, Nick and Odin (Odie)…Rosie is not too happy about the odds! So sorry for Lucky. It is never easy to let them go. BUT as I realize, there is always another that needs a home! All the best to you guys!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bear, so good to see you! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments! Yes, Lucky was a unique kitty, like your Otis.

      It is time for your horse farm cats, the New England Feline Correspondents Desk, to send in a report for the end of December, 2019. After that, I’ll be going to a strictly quarterly blog in 2020.

      Best to all back there,
      Lavinia,Rick and the Cats of Salmon Brook Farms 🙂


  15. niasunset says:

    Dear Lavinia, Good Morning, I am so sad too for Lucky, this is really so tragic. You know I am a crazy cat lover… Always makes me cry when I hear a loss… But she will be always in our memories, even for us too… You share them all and we love your cats. Your photographs are so beautiful, Autumn is another beautiful time of the year. I wish you all to have a nice Winter days dear Lavinia, and your lovely voice here always of course I wished to be there and to listen and to watch your performance too… Happiness and Blessing, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, dear Nia! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments. Yes, Lucky was a special cat who will be missed by all who knew him. His humans MG and JP are touched by all of you from around the world writing in to express sadness at his passing.

      All the best to you and your family, and to little Tomurcuk, Cesur and Ibis cats. Happiness and blessings to all of you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Very sorry to hear you didn’t make any wine this year! The rotters. We were enormously lucky this year as, although another year of drought, our harvest was more than double it was last year. The young vines have finally grown up. Here’s to more beautiful sun rises and sets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Annie. Good to see you! That is good news on your vines and harvest! Hopefully weather and time will be kind to us next year, and we will get our insect nets up in time.

      I agree, here’s to more beautiful sunrises and sunsets. This Earth is a beautiful place. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. ” No wine was made this year – no wine grapes, and no spare time.” This says the all about this year , Lavinia . However your gardn gave you some good crops .
    I hope next year will be more normal.
    I see the picture of Rick watering the vine as I had to do to get some small veggies .
    Courageous gardeners !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Michel! Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! We hope next year will be more normal, too. We did have a good run of some things, although tomatoes did not ripen well this year. Rick pickled all the green ones.

      Love to you, Janine and the family, ❤


    • Always good to see you, Phenny, Nellie, Mama and Dad! Thanks for stopping by from France, and for the kind comments! Yes, Lucky was a Force of Nature and will be missed by all who knew him. I still think about your Easy pup. I know that must still hurt.

      Hope your olive tree blooms for you this coming year! Love to all of you. ❤


  18. JP says:

    Thanks, Mr Nano, for your lovely tribute to our little fuzzy pal Lucky.
    We were as lucky to have him with us as he was to have been rescued
    by MG.

    Thanks also to the many blog visitors for their kind words of condolence.

    Thank you, especially, Lavinia for inviting us to tell his story on your
    wonderful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Losing Lucky was like losing one of our own cat crew, and Mr. Nano feels as though he lost a brother. MG is an amazing, wonderful person for spotting and rescuing Lucky, as are you, JP – you were his “dad”. Thanks to all of you on the olive farm for your stories and photos. ❤


  19. How lovely to hear from you Lavinia … I always enjoy your posts. Although I am so very very sorry to hear about dear Lucky. What an amazing kitty he was! Thinking of his family .. he will be missed. Thanks too for your update and wonderful photos .. those sunflowers are fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Julie! Thank you for stopping by from Frog Pond Farm in New Zealand, and for the kind comments. Yes, Lucky was a very special kitty, and will be missed by family and friends.

      That sunflower self-seeded. It was beautiful! 🙂

      All the best to you and your family, Julie from all of us here. We are going into winter has you head into summer in your hemisphere. Looking forward to those beautiful farm photos of yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m sorry to hear about the grapes. Oddly, the first thought that came to mind was a verse from the Song of Solomon: “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”

    I was even more sorry to hear about dear Lucky. He adapted so well, and obviously had a spirit that inspired those around him. His eulogy would have pleased him, I’m sure.

    Your autumn color is as beautiful as your sunflower. I was glad to hear of your rain, too. I hope your winter isn’t harsh in any way, and that you’re able to enjoy it rather than battle it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always good to see you, Linda. Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the foxes are opportunists, as shown by the contents of their scat. This year we have been short on time for many projects. Perhaps this was a blessing.

      Lucky was a very unique cat, and very lucky to have been rescued by MG. I think you are right, he would have enjoyed his eulogy.

      The color was more intense this year, although not anything like New England. We were pleased to have a wetter, cooler summer this year. Winters seems like it might be more interesting than usual, and I hope we do not have to battle it. 🙂

      Dixie’s memorial iris did not bloom this year , but I am hoping it will next year.

      All the best to you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I have been impressed by the precision of Lucky eulogy. With this we see really him living in front of us . Although he was bling he succeeded almost all of his enterprises.
    I liked also the photos of you, Lavinia, playing guitar .
    About songs and video I have been strongly moving with the green fields of France : those green fields with poppies were in my area of Somme-Artois . Thanks again for this moving comment.
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Dear Lavinia, such a beautiful newsletter; it reads like an ode to autumn. I’m reading, and writing this comment, while I listen to your gorgeous voice sing. I especially love The Keepsake song. Thank you for sharing your world, I enjoyed reading your update even with the sad news about Lucky. Sending love to all, whose lives were enriched by this wonderful feline member!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is always good to see you, Khaya! Thank you for stopping by and for the kind comments on the writing and the music. I enjoy your posts as well!

      I am glad you enjoyed the song “The Keepsake”. The page on the ring menu at the top of the post has the story behind the song here.

      I was saddened to hear of Lucky’s passing. Our friends in Sicily who rescued him off the street, and all those whose lives he touched, will miss him for a long time to come.

      Thank you again for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you, Lavinia for your comment about pumps and fountains . I agree totally with what you say about technology. All has to be well balanced . Tomorrow is the first of December . I hope the weather will be of season not like our summer and even the end of spring that were anormaly dry.
    I hope you got a great Thanksgiving yesterday.
    Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to hear from you, Michel! We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving day here. I picked brussels sprouts from the garden for the vegetable. The mornings have been quite cold, although the days warm up a bit with the sun. It is too much like January weather too soon though!

      Wishing you and your family a beautiful December, filled with love, good food and cheer. ❤


  24. You had some nice autumn color. We kinda jumped straight to winter in October, and some up and down weather this month. Netting anything fruit, have to do that mainly to keep away the squirrels. Sometimes, we’ve done that with sweet corn.

    Hope you had a good Thanksgiving day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see you David! Thanks for stopping by! We also slid right into colder weather here. Our daytime temperatures can swing 20 to 30 degrees over the course of the day in winter (and as much as 40 or even 50 degrees in summer), but yesterday never got out of the 30s.

      Our Lucio cat got his stitches out on Thanksgiving day (our vet was open), but his cone did not come off until Saturday morning. He had four tumors removed earlier in the month, and fortunately all were benign. Two turned out to be fatty tumors on the inside of his legs, the other two were occluded milk ducts. This is a 14 1/2 year old male cat. Cats, including the males, do get breast cancer, and it is aggressive, so it was a relief to hear these were benign.


      • Are you sure you live in Oregon? (lol) Those temperature swings are like what we have here in Colorado. The first winter storm we had in early October, the day before was 84, next day when it was snowing at its heaviest, 24. That night, after the skies began to clear, 14. That’s when you really feel the cold.

        Glad Lucio is on the mend. It must have been nice to have your regular vet open on Thanksgiving. Often, it’s the emergency vet clinic if anything comes up over a holiday weekend. Lucio must have been happy when the cone came off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The temperature swings and little to no rain in summer make it a pleasant season. It can be down in the 40s at night, clear and dry, and be over 90 or 100 during the day, great camping weather. Spring and fall are the bookends of summer, with unstable weather. Winter is our rainy season, although we get plenty of sunny days.

        Lucio is quite pleased to have his cone off now. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see you, Kevin! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments.

      It is not my intent to review books or music on this blog site, but I have made an exception in this particular case. There are plenty of bloggers out there with more time and interest in reviewing other people’s work than I do. I am not a reviewer.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Finally! Hi Lavinia! Well, you wrote for three months worth, and one month after that, I arrived. Just in time and lucky to find all those wonderful fall photos. I think my fave was the sunflower whispering to the rose. (We know they talk to each other, right? 🙂 ) And such a lovely eulogy to Lucky, but so sad that after surviving so long with his blindness that that should be his end. But he was an explorer … still sad to lose such a brave and wonderful animal. I trust this finds you well and getting ready to bundle up for winter. Jeanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see you, Jeanne! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments! Yes, a lot happens in three months. It was so had to hear about Lucky. He was a special cat.

      The sunflower and rose spoke to a number of people. Yes, they do talk to one another. 🙂

      Winter has arrived here all too early for me. Many mornings in the low 20s.

      All the best to you, Jeanne! Good to see you posting again and that you are drawing more French Bulldog holiday cards. Your artwork is beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Thanks for the compliment on my artwork. I wish I had much, much more time to devote to it, but hey – we do what we can, right? 🙂 Low 20’s – yikes! We are very busy with a thick coat of sleet/freezing rain coating everything right now, but thankfully, have not gone into the 20’s yet. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Steve, thanks for stopping by! Yes, this whole year has gone by in a flash, and it has been a busy one here. Someday we will get back east again and visit some of these wonderful places you write about (and take beautiful photos of) on your blog site. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2020. 🙂


  27. Poor Lucky. I’m so glad he knew the love of a home in his life. I have a soft spot for orange and white kitties as I’ve also loved one of my own. Sounds like your garden gave you a good amount of veggies. I bought some pickled carrots last weekend at a Handmade event. They were so so delish, I’m now planning my own. Hard to get fresh, little carrots at this time of year though. Such a lovely photo of you there with your guitar ! Keep the homefires burning ❤ xk

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kelly-Boomdee! Always good to see you, and thank you so much for stopping by and for the kind comments!Yes, Lucky had a good home with MG and JP on their olive farm. It was sad news to all who knew him when he passed on.

      We had a very strange weather year here, and were pleased to have as many good things from the garden as we did. We are still getting broccoli,kale and brussels sprouts from the garden. Your pickled carrots sound good. I would love to grow some, but need to amend the soil more. We have heavy clay here, not ideal for carrots.

      All the best to you and Mr. B and the cats up there in Canada. Boomdee on! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Those are spectacular skies.

    Sorry to hear about Lucky, though you can at least say he left his life like he lived it – unafraid and refusing to bow down to his disability. A truly inspirational life.

    Apologies for my poor performance as a reader, but at least my lateness allows me to wish you and Rick the compliments of the season and give you our best wishes for the New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too, Inese! Always good to see you, and thank you for the kind comments.

      Lucky was very lucky to have had such a good life with my friends M.G. and J.P. They loved him very much. He will be missed.


  29. I love those sunflowers. Just beautiful! And those grapes look delicious. I like the fall pictures too. I am rather glad to be getting closer to spring though. I want some longer days and sunshine! Haha. You have such a cool, informative and fun blog here, Lavinia. Looking forward to future posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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