423b2e
423b2e

8.31.2011

the Bernoulli / Venturi question


Daniel Bernoulli

In my post on southern vernacular architecture, one of my resources cited the use of the Bernoulli principle in dog trot architecture. Soubriquet, one of my esteemed readers, took umbrage at this statement and responded thusly:

"However, an intensely argumentative donkey, the person quoted who says the dogtrot .."was cooled naturally by the Bernoulli Effect", is, as we say, talking out of his arse.
Bernoulli's Principle describes a reduction in pressure, proportional to the velocity of flow within a fluid.
Any cooling in a dogtrot or breezeway is down to heat energy being used to promote a phase change of moisture from liquid to vapour. Humans and animals will cool in a breeze, but dry materials will not change in temperature.
The reduction in pressure will have a tiny contributory effect, but barely measurable.
Bernoulli's NOT a cooling mechanism. "

Bulletholes, another esteemed reader, responded to Soubriquet's comment:

"Souby, I think what they intended was that even if the breeze was blowing in a direction perpendicular to the breezeway, the resulting drop in pressure (Bernoulli's?) at the ends of the openng would still create a draft not otherwise available. but I'm way over my head here, and relying on an answer I got wrong on a question when I was in the sixth grade, 1968. It still haunts me. "

After extreme googling, I'm going on the record to say both readers are somewhat right and somewhat wrong in their assumptions. This is what I've learned about the Bernoulli / Venturi question as it applies to architecture.

"The Bernoulli Effect, also known as Bernoulli’s principle, describes the relationship between the flow speed and pressure of a fluid; most notably, an increase in speed occurs with a decrease in pressure. Published in 1738 by Dutch-Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli, the principle can be applied to both hydrodynamic systems (i.e. fluids move faster through a constricted pipe) and aerodynamic systems (i.e. air pressure helps an airplane achieve lift). In architecture, the Bernoulli Effect is the basis of many ventilation systems, especially passive ventilation systems that utilize no mechanical energy. Designers often employ Bernoulli’s principle for
passive cooling and passive ventilation to generate suction or control speed of air flow with windcatchers and deliberately sized windows and openings

An important concept in understanding how wind-generated pressure differentials produce air movement is "Venturi action," which is based on the Bernoulli effect. From Bernoulli's theorem, the pressure of a moving fluid decreases as its velocity increases. Figure 34 shows a funnel-shaped tube that opens to a side tube. When air is channeled into the larger end of the funnel, it accelerates as it passes through, owing to the reduced open area through which the same volume of air must pass in the same period. This increased airspeed lowers the pressure in the airstream at A with respect to the atmospheric pressure at B in the lower part of the side tube. Thus air is drawn up the side tube by the pressure difference which is proportional to the square of the velocity. This concept can be used in a variety of ways to provide steady streams of air through buildings.

Air movement by pressure difference: air moves from an area of high air pressure to an area of low pressure. Like heat, which moves from a hot zone to a cooler one, air seeks an equilibrium. On a large scale, the development of high and low air pressure areas creates wind. But as wind moves around obstructions, it creates mini-zones of relatively higher and lower air pressures. These can be tapped to bring airflow through buildings.

  • Wind blowing towards a surface – the windward side – exerts a positive pressure on it. As it hits the surface, the air stream splits and moves around the sides of the obstruction. The air stream then melds together again the far side of the obstruction, re-establishing its flow some little distance behind it. Immediately behind the obstruction – the leeward side – the air pressure is negative. Air is pulling away from the obstruction, which results in some suction. Think of sheltering behind a wall in a high wind: although the wind is not hitting you in the face, your hair and clothes flap behind you, pulled by the suction of the negative air pressure.
    In a light breeze, the negative air pressure generated in the lee of obstructions like a building is mild, not enough to ruffle clothes. But it is enough to suck air out of any openings in the building. This is one source of suction a passive solar design can exploit this.

  • The Venturi effect: when air is channeled into a constricted opening, its speed increases. Than, according to Bernoulli's principle, if a stream of air speeds up, its pressure drops. A cunning designer can use these principles to speed up air flows and/or generate suction. For example, when wind blows towards an open window, some of the air stream enters the opening. If the window is small, the Venturi effect means the air will force through under some pressure and so speed up. On the other hand, if the window is large, the pressure of the air flowing through it will drop, lessening its speed. Obviously, a window or an opening will not create the desired air movement in a room unless an air outlet of some sort is also provided. Experience has shown that air movement is faster and steadier when the area of the openings on the leeward side of a structure is larger than the inlets on the windward side.

From RDG: So.... from what I'm understanding, when wind blows around an obstruction, mini-areas of low pressure and high pressure are formed creating a 'suction' action. By channeling this air through a constricted opening, air speed increases, especially if the openings on the leeward side (negative pressure side) of the structure are larger than the windward (positive pressure side). If I build the leeward opening of my dog trot larger than I build the windward opening, I am encouraging an increase of air speed through my dog trot. More breeze and I feel cooler, evaporation rates non-withstanding.

Class is dismissed!
xxx

8.30.2011

sometimes life hits you square in the face



xxx

southern vernacular architecture


Thanks to Frederick + Frederick Architects in Beaufort, South Carolina for the following information on southern vernacular architecture.

"In vernacular architecture there is a strong relationship between site, climate, and the elements of building in the generation of the building form.- Richard Hyde

Prior to the advent of air conditioning, an understanding of local environments enabled southerners to build in ways that buffered the harsh climatic realities. As Europeans moved to the southern colonies it typically took them a generation to adapt their native architecture to the climatic conditions of the region. Five lessons they learned are equally important today.

  1. Houses one room thick maximized cross ventilation. The thin plans also provided ample light that prohibited mold growth in dark areas.
  2. The best orientation of this thin plan was east to west to reduce solar gain. The windows were located to catch the prevailing summer breezes.
  3. Large porches or verandas were always located on the southern side and often on the east and west, too. The verandas protected the house from both the sun and the rain, provided circulation, and created a cool place to sit and sleep in the summertime.
  4. High ceilings allowed the heat to rise and provided a more comfortable environment.
  5. By raising the houses off the ground several things were accomplished; it allowed the first floor to be out of the flood plain in coastal areas; breezes are better on the raised first floor; and air circulating under the house helped reduce the heat gain."
The Dog Trot

the Thornehill dog trot, Greene Co. Alabama

the Shackleford dog trot in North Alabama

"The dog trot is a traditional southern vernacular form also known as “two pens and a passage”. One room was typically used for sleeping and the other for cooking. The open center passage was the main sitting room that was cooled naturally by the Bernoulli effect. The center passage was often used as the dog kennel and thus the name dog trot. Dog trots are found in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas."


"I" House or Plantation Plain Style

Georgia

Georgia

" A typical southern house was the “I” house, named because of the tall narrow profile. This house was two stories with a simple gable roof and a shed roofed one story porch in front and a shed roofed addition on the rear. Typically, there were masonry chimneys on each end of the house. This simple house was one room deep which maximized the amount of light and cross ventilation. It had high ceilings which allowed the heat to rise and provided a more comfortable environment. The one story porch allowed the second floor sleeping rooms to have ventilation on three sides. Occasionally there would be a double porch on the front. Kitchens were usually in a separate building behind the house; this kept the heat from the fireplace out of the main house and also protected the main house in the event of a kitchen fire."


Modern Day dog trot


"This is a modern dog trot. The center hall of this dog trot is enclosed with folding walls, so the house can be opened to capture the breezes when
the weather is nice. There are folding walls between the center hall and the “two pens” so the center can be opened independently of the rest of the house. The rear is one large screened porch."


Information for the following section came from Oklahoma's Historical Society


The Shotgun House

New Orleans, Louisiana

Oklahoma

"The shotgun house is one of the most prevalent and persistent types of folk architecture in Oklahoma. Like shotguns found elsewhere, it is one room wide, two or more rooms deep, and one story high, and it has a door in each end. The name derives from the belief that shotgun pellets fired through either the front or rear entrance could pass through the entire house without damaging the interior; however, in many shotguns the front and rear doors were offset. Evidence suggests that this name is actually a corruption of the word “shogon.” In West Africa, “shogon” means “God’s House." Although its origins are disputed, the shotgun is believed to have emerged in New Orleans in the early nineteenth century. Research indicates that this architectural style came to New Orleans from West Africa via Haiti. In Oklahoma its presence is attributed to various cultural groups that settled the state from the 1840s onward.

Petroleum and lumber companies found the shotgun economical and practical. It was quickly assembled, it required neither blueprints nor skilled carpenters, it used locally available and inexpensive materials, and it was portable and durable. The houses could be either loaded intact on railroad flatcars or quickly disassembled into six or eight pieces (roof, walls, floor, and room partitions) and relocated to or rebuilt on a new site. It was used primarily for sleeping, because work continued around the clock, with workers sleeping in eight-hour shifts. In Oklahoma the shotgun house thus became a "workingman's cottage.'"

from RDG: I hope this clears up a few misconceptions about vernacular architecture of the south. These are just a few examples - tons more exist.

xxx

8.28.2011

the porch



They Sit Together on the Porch

by Wendell Berry

They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
What each one knows the other knows. They have
One mind between them, now, that finally
For all its knowing will not exactly know
Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding
Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone.

xxx

Journey - yeah!!




I made out to this song ......... A LOT! Journey was the soundtrack to my high school years love angst. And part of my college years as well, come to think of it. LOVE THEM!

xxx

8.27.2011

soubry's prizes



The reason you haven't found any ribbons on your parts is because I've been stealing them and saving them up for you. I'm thinking of having them all hung together in a humongous frame ...
;)

xxx

for heavens sake, you want me to post all your trophies as well ???
xxx

8.26.2011

a funny story from Soubriquet



A woman was having a terrible time sleeping. Her large dog,
which slept in the bedroom with her and her husband, snored
like a buzz saw. She contacted the Vet who told her of an
old remedy that was handed down to him by an old Southern
lady. He said when the dog began to snore, tie a ribbon
around the dog's testicles.

Hoping for a good night sleep, she looked into her sewing kit
and found a short piece of red ribbon and placed it on the
night stand. When the dog began to snore she got up and
delicately tied the red ribbon around the dog's testicles.
The dog immediately stopped snoring and stayed asleep.
Amazing she thought, and quickly went back to sleep.

Later that evening, her husband came home from a night out
with the boys, stumbled into the bedroom and after undressing,
flopped into bed. He immediately began to snore loudly,
waking his wife. She reasoned that if it worked for the dog,
maybe it would work for her husband. She got up and went to
her sewing kit where she found a length of blue ribbon.
Quietly and softly she tied the ribbon around her husbands
testicles and he immediately quit snoring. She was amazed
again and promptly returned to sleep.

The next morning the husband awoke with a terrible hangover
and as he stepped into the bathroom to relieve himself. As
he stands in front of the toilet, he glances in the mirror
and sees a blue ribbon attached to his privates. He is very
confused, and as he walks back into the bedroom, he sees the
red ribbon attached to his dog's testicles. He shakes his
head and looks at the dog and whispers, "I don't know where
we were ...or what we did ...but, by God ...We took FIRST
and SECOND place."

xxx

and he claims I never read my emails ....

8.25.2011

caption this ...



Truthfully, I just want to know WHY?? Who thought this up? Gee, Mr. Jones, your pelts are so compelling ....... If you are a PETA person, avoid this post.

xxx

8.23.2011

a tale of two blogs


I could actually entitle this post "A Tale of MANY Blogs." I started blogging in early summer 2006 having discovered it from my boss at the time. He showed me how to start one up on Blogger and away I went. My first blog was called 'The Sojourner's Table" which quickly morphed into "The Sojourner's Late Night Drive-Thru" as I did most of my then blogging late late at night. For reasons too varied and complicated, I have started and 'killed' more blogs than I can name.

"Through the Garden Gate" has stuck with me since 2009. I think it is here to stay though I did come close to committing blogocide during the worst of my depression last year. I'm glad I didn't. However, I do have a few blogging interests that have stayed with me through the years; hence, the birth of two additional blogs: Lola's Loves and Red Dirt Girl.



I've had many variations of Lola's Loves through the years. It is a blog that celebrates sensuality. I guess you can say it has been exploration of my own sensuality as I have grown and changed. It is erotic but not pornographic. Yes, there is nudity, erotic poetry, humour and an exploration of eros. I admit, sometimes it is a wee bit naughty. The blog includes images that I find beautiful and compelling; poetry that speaks to my inner self. I don't advertise the blog and rarely do I comment on it. I consider it to be a personal erotic journal. I'm finally 'coming clean' and describing this blog to you, my faithful readers, because I'm attempting to integrate all these disparate parts of myself. The reason I don't integrate its themes into Through a Garden Gate is simply because I have school age children who would be MORTIFIED if they perused mom's erotic blog! You can find a link to Lola's Loves in my sidebar. It's not everyone's cup of tea and that's okay.

Red Dirt Girl is under construction and a LABOR OF LOVE! My favorite blog of all time was a blog entitled Red Dirt Girl. It had two sections: one section featured my own poetry and the other section, my favorite couture shoes. It was a hoot of a blog, and the majority of my current readers came from the original Red Dirt Girl. From 2006 to about 2008, I had a very prolific run of writing poetry. When I killed the poetry blog, I lost a number of poems I had written because I did not back up the blog / print it out etc. I have a number of poems still existing on my laptop. However, I have this irrational fear that one day this computer will crash and most of my poems will crash into oblivion with it. So I am beginning to post my poetry at Red Dirt Girl. And I love finding images to go with the poetry. All the poems on Red Dirt Girl are original and my own. So yes, it is copyrighted by K.Reyes /a.k.a Red Dirt Girl. As I have time, I might go back and annotate the poems, give a little background into what inspired the images. For now, I'm just trying to get the poems uploaded. You can find a link to Red Dirt Girl in my sidebar. I will respond to comments left on that blog.

Sidebars on both new blogs are located at the bottom of the pages and have links to bring you back to Through a Garden Gate. I hope you take a moment to peruse and enjoy!

xxx

8.22.2011

my favorite rusty truck


gay hill, tx
Minor Miracle
by Marilyn Nelson

Which reminds me of another knock-on-wood
memory. I was cycling with a male friend,
through a small midwestern town. We came to a 4-way
stop and stopped, chatting. As we started again,
a rusty old pick-up truck, ignoring the stop sign,
hurricaned past scant inches from our front wheels.
My partner called, “Hey, that was a 4-way stop!”
The truck driver, stringy blond hair a long fringe
under his brand-name beer cap, looked back and yelled,
“You fucking niggers!”
And sped off.
My friend and I looked at each other and shook our heads.
We remounted our bikes and headed out of town.
We were pedaling through a clear blue afternoon
between two fields of almost-ripened wheat
bordered by cornflowers and Queen Anne’s lace
when we heard an unmuffled motor, a honk-honking.
We stopped, closed ranks, made fists.
It was the same truck. It pulled over.
A tall, very much in shape young white guy slid out:
greasy jeans, homemade finger tattoos, probably
a Marine Corps boot-camp footlockerful
of martial arts techniques.

“What did you say back there!” he shouted.
My friend said, “I said it was a 4-way stop.
You went through it.”
“And what did I say?” the white guy asked.
“You said: ‘You fucking niggers.’”
The afternoon froze.

“Well,” said the white guy,
shoving his hands into his pockets
and pushing dirt around with the pointed toe of his boot,
“I just want to say I’m sorry.”
He climbed back into his truck
and drove away.

xxx

the one who got away


He fed her. He attempted to pet her. He gave her treats. No going. Shilah never warmed up to the charming Soubriquet. She even didn't want him to take her picture. Just a note, Soubry:
She's sleeping better at night! And I haven't heard that growl ....

xxx

pity party



It's true. I'm sad. And I'm sad that I'm feeling so sad - you know that feeling? I'm wearing baggy sweats and a T-shirt riddled full of holes. No hair washing or leg shaving today, no siree! A handful of potato chips and a couple of spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, but food isn't really enticing me at this party. I wish I could just sleep the day away. However, now that I am med-free, I have no pharmaceutical options to make a sleep filled day an option. Television is a bore and I just finished my book, by my favorite author, which I found to be, yep, horrible reading. I guess I can say I'm on the verge of being depressed.

What triggered this sad state of being? Besides imagining that the entire world is living a fuller more exciting life than I am, I recently had to say good-bye to my beloved. His companionship is a balm to my more fractious soul parts. I enjoy his company no matter how inconsequential the doing is (cleaning up dishes, folding laundry, watching him fix my back door etc.) We laugh. We read poetry together. We take drives out of bubbletown and find many of the same things interesting. So there was the first blow.

Second knock-down: saying good-bye to my college-bound son. He's the first to leave the nest. As a mother, I acknowledge that one spends a life preparing their children to go out into the world and make their own mark. It IS a rite of passage and one I would not wish for him to miss at all. College is a great age: freedom, minimal responsibility, money still from mom and dad if you're lucky, and no mortgage payment. But I keep seeing him at age 2, chasing seagulls on the beach and laughing his heart out. Or blowing those huge bubbles in the back yard and then popping them. Or how about the time he petted a cat for the first time and it purred ?? Not to mention the times he curled up next to me for one more story to be read. Or asked for help on breaking up with his first serious girlfriend? Truthfully, he no longer needs me in the same way and it has been a process. But I've been clinging to him and now? I miss him.

Soubry sent me this thoughtful comment on 'dealing with a woman's sadness':

"
As for sadness, well, you're quite right, men try to fix things, and can not understand the female wish to embrace misery. Men, when miserable, withdraw to the cave, hammer on things, and work it out in solitude. We figure out that if it can be fixed we should fix it, if it can't then we should work through it, drown it out with activity, or ignore it.
How much is nature, how much nurture?
Little boys fall off their bikes, skin their knees, and are told to be brave, not make a fuss. Little girls tend to get fussed over.
Then we grow up, perhaps it stays with us. One has a role that embraces sorrow, the other is expected to be stoic.
Women have a tendency to want to sorrow in company. We're just wired differently."

And I agree with his thoughts. I want to be embraced in my sorrow. Hugs are great. Words I don't need too much other than ones such as: this will pass. I understand how you feel. I love you and you're not alone. Because truly, I think the most frightening aspect of this all is how alone I feel at the moment. Two significant good-byes in two weeks .... please tell me it gets easier.

xxx

8.21.2011

frustration



I searched and searched for a poem that illustrates the confounding differences between how men think and how women think. I never found exactly what I was looking for, but The Bench certainly exemplifies the profound differing points of view. For instance, when I say to my beloved, "I am sad." I mean simply: comfort me in my sadness. What my beloved hears is, "Danger Will Robinson! There is a problem that must be fixed. Fix it!" or maybe not. I could be projecting. Anyway, I am posting only a portion of The Bench (because the argument in it did get a little tedious towards the end.) And if you have any words of wisdom / point of view, please please feel free to share!


The Bench
by Mary Ruefle

"My husband and I were arguing about a bench we wanted to buy and put in part of our backyard, a part which is actually a meadow of sorts, a half acre with tall grasses and weeds and the occasional wild flower because we do not mow it but leave it scrubby and unkempt. This bench would hardly ever be used and in summer when the grasses were high would remain partially hidden from view. We both knew we wanted the bench to be made of teak so that it would last a long time in the harsh weather and so that we would never have to paint it. Teak weathers to a soft silver that might, in November or March, disappear into the gray hills that are the backdrop of our lives. My husband wanted a four foot bench and I wanted a five foot bench. This is what we argued about. My husband insisted that a four foot bench was all we needed, since no more than two people (presumably ourselves) would ever sit on it at the same time. I felt his reasoning was not only beside the point but missed it entirely; I said what mattered most to me was the idea of the bench, the look of it there, to be gazed at with only the vaguest notion it could hold more people than would ever actually sit down. The life of the bench in my imagination was more important than any practical function the bench might serve. After all, I argued, we wanted a bench so that we could look at it, so that we could imagine sitting on it, so that, unexpectedly, a bird might sit on it, or fallen leaves, or inches of snow, and the longer the bench, the greater the expanse of that plank, the more it matched its true function, which was imaginary. My husband mentioned money and I said that I was happier to have no bench at all, which would cost nothing, than to have a four foot bench, which would be expensive. I said that having no bench at all was closer to the five foot bench than the four foot bench because having no bench served the imagination in similar ways, and so not having a bench became an option in our argument, became a third bench. We grew very tired of discussing the three benches and for a day we rested from our argument. "

xxx

8.20.2011

mothering



Ode
by Elizabeth Alexander

I love all the mom bodies at this beach,
the tummies, the one-piece bathing suits,
the bosoms that slope, the wide nice bottoms,
thigh flesh shirred as gentle wind shirrs a pond.

So many sensible haircuts and ponytails!
These bodies show they have grown babies, then
nourished them, woken to their cries, fretted
at their fevers. Biceps have lifted and toted

the babies now printed on their mothers.
"If you lined up a hundred vaginas,
I could tell you which ones have borne children,"
the midwife says. In the secret place or

in the sunlight at the beach, our bodies say
This who we are, no, This is what
we have done and continue to do.
We labor in love. We do it. We mother.

xxx

8.18.2011

soubry likes pink houses


a house Soubriquet liked in Senoia, GA

In my earlier post entitled "Little Pink Houses" I erroneously implied that whilst Soubriquet was busy photographing rusty trucks, I was begging for cute little house pics. Well, I was wrong. Soubriquet has informed me that he photographed the houses because he likes them. AND he would have photo'd more if I had slowed down the car a bit and driven him around more small towns than I did. I apologize for this misunderstanding. I, in fact, like rusty old trucks very much as well. And I am looking forward to Soubriquet's posts on houses and rusty old cars (nudge, nudge). I hope this puts the lid on any further discussion of 'Who likes what the best ....'

xxx

8.17.2011

growing up


When I was small, my mother routinely washed my hair in the kitchen sink. I had to lay upon the shortened counter, and she used the spray attachment. I hated this ritual. All I could think of was my long hair falling down the goopy drain and getting even dirtier!! My mother remarried when I was 5, and my new stepfather declared that until I could care for my own hair properly (washing, brushing, putting it up in pony-tails), I had to cut it all off. I cried for days. Even my mother's hairstylist questioned the edict. So off came the long locks and on came the dutch boy bowl cut I sported until I was 8 or 9. No wonder hair is such an 'issue' for women, eh?


Hairwashing
by Julia Alvarez

She washed my hair whenever I misbehaved,
ducking my head into a sink of water,
lathering up a head of old man's hair,
short quills, soft fur-
her porcupine, her bear,
her bad bad girl.
"Hold still!" she yelled.

I couldn't. I was growing up
even as she scrubbed for dirt,
horns, anything that looked like sin.
She could not clean inside the bowing head
tidy the messy loves to come.
She could not set a quarantine on Eden
till she had found the serpent there.
She could not wring desire from my body
or take the curl out of my hair.

xxx

8.16.2011

for my little sis


Sis feeding Romeo pears fresh from the tree.

Inventing a Horse

By Meghan O'Rourke

Inventing a horse is not easy.
One must not only think of the horse.
One must dig fence posts around him.
One must include a place where horses like to live;

or do when they live with humans like you.
Slowly, you must walk him in the cold;
feed him bran mash, apples;
accustom him to the harness;

holding in mind even when you are tired
harnesses and tack cloths and saddle oil
to keep the saddle clean as a face in the sun;
one must imagine teaching him to run

among the knuckles of tree roots,
not to be skittish at first sight of timber wolves,
and not to grow thin in the city,
where at some point you will have to live;

and one must imagine the absence of money.
Most of all though: the living weight,
the sound of his feet on the needles,
and, since he is heavy, and real,

and sometimes tired after a run
down the river with a light whip at his side,
one must imagine love
in the mind that does not know love,

an animal mind, a love that does not depend
on your image of it,
your understanding of it;
indifferent to all that it lacks:

a muzzle and two black eyes
looking the day away, a field empty
of everything but witch grass, fluent trees,
and some piles of hay.

Her trail horse, Cash

Her eventer / jumper, Summer

An enjoyable evening, chez Sis

xxx

8.15.2011

i miss our lazy mornings ...


Morning
~by Billy Collins

Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,

then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?

This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—

maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,

dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio,

and, if necessary, the windows—
trees fifty, a hundred years old
out there,
heavy clouds on the way
and the lawn steaming like a horse
in the early morning.


RDG: I miss buzzing on Assam tea, porridge with lots of sugar and then heading back to bed ...
xxx

8.14.2011

Little Pink Houses


Tomball, TX

I don't know exactly when my obsession with old houses came into existence. From earliest childhood memories, I've been drawn to dusty attics, warped wooden floorboards, chinking in the walls, gingerbread trim and picket fences. Whilst squiring Soubriquet around the South, I noticed we took decidedly male / female roles when it came to picture taking time. He was busy angling for another shot at that cool rusty truck up on blocks. I pestered him to take the photo of that 'oh so cute little house.' I imagine his dreams were of grit and gears and motor oil and manly tools whilst mine were of the domestic variety: tea and the paper in the kitchen, dogs sleeping underfoot, a sweet garden to muck about in and our own private library of course! A place to call our own.


Gay Hill, TX

Gay Hill, TX
A long, long time ago, I designed landscapes. This is one of my designs.

Gay Hill, TX

Newnan, GA
Soubriquet's favorite

Senoia, GA
The scary house that kept following us!

xxx

8.11.2011

cowboys and bicycles



Mulga Bill's Bicycle

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, "Excuse me, can you ride?"

"See here, young man," said Mulga Bill, "from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy's Gap to Castlereagh, there's none can ride like me.
I'm good all round at everything as everybody knows,
Although I'm not the one to talk—I hate a man that blows.

But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There's nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There's nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I'll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I'll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight."

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above Dead Man's Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But 'ere he'd gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver steak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man's Creek.

It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dead Man's Creek.

'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, "I've had some narrer shaves and lively rides before;
I've rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I've encountered yet.
I'll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it's shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It's safe at rest in Dead Man's Creek—we'll leave it lying still;
A horse's back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill."

~ by A.B. (Andrew Barton) "Banjo" Paterson (1864-1941)
from: The Sydney Mail, July 25, 1896

xxx

8.09.2011

he's gone



He's gone. Two weeks wasn't enough. Two months wouldn't be enough. This is the part that I hate. The leaving part. The parting part. Four years and seven trips between us. It doesn't get easier. We've traded pieces of ourselves. Together we're whole. Separate we are yearning. Simply said: I miss him.

A poem, of course.


The Unquarried Blue of Those Depths is All But Blinding

By Ashley Anna McHugh

There are some things we just don’t talk about—
Not even in the morning, when we’re waking,
When your calloused fingers tentatively walk
The slope of my waist:
How love’s a rust-worn boat,
Abandoned at the dock—and who could doubt
Waves lick their teeth, eyeing its hull? We’re taking
Our wreckage as a promise, so we don’t talk.
We wet the tired oars, tide drawing us out.
We understand there’s nothing to be said.
Both of us know the dangers of this sea,
Warned by the tide-worn driftwood of our pasts—.
But we’ve already strayed from the harbor. We thread
A slow wake though the water—then silently,
We start to row, and will for as long as this lasts.


And another:


On Marriage

By Meghan O'Rourke

Stone by stone, body by body in the grass:
For this we trade our lone compass,

Become swans instead, adrift in glaze-
Light, kilned in the arms of each other

Into vessel-vassal new. Or shrew,
As the case may be. What would you do?

Listen to the footsteps in the thistles.
Put the kettle on for tea, and whisper it to me.


xxx

8.08.2011

road trippin' with an englishman


and a few wild mulettes


all photos courtesy of Soubriquet

So I persuaded the Englishman to take a road trip to Georgia with me and my wild mulettes. No matter how we sliced it, this was a 14 hour odyssey across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. And we did the trip twice in one week! He was ever so good: no complaining. No heavy sighing. Ok, maybe a few sighs. He stayed awake and kept me company. The fam loved him. What an 'ossum' guy!


downtown Newnan, Georgia

Mobile Bay Delta bridge, Alabama

You know you're in Louisiana ...

Baton Rouge and the Mississippi Bridge, Louisiana

the wild mulettes

the mighty Mississippi River

riverboat casinos

Texas at sundown
xxx