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Persimmon Prediction Winter 2011-2012

Before it dumps a foot or more of snow, rendering my prediction moot, you should know the persimmon seeds indicate another white winter even though we didn’t have a white Christmas AND today’s temp may reach 60 degrees. Ignore those facts and pull out the snow melt, shovel, and Yukon-duty boots.  According to these we’re going to need them…

All Spoons

2011 Persimmon Seed Sample

Eighteen seeds from six fruit were split and nothing but spoons showed themselves. It’s also interesting to note only one utensil was found in each fruit. In other words regardless how many seeds a particular fruit held, the same utensil was in all of them.

2011 Persimmon Seed

The Farmer’s Almanac Blog gives the possible utensil discoveries and their prediction for the coming winter: “A knife shape will indicate a cold, icy winter (wind cuts through you like a knife). A fork shape indicates a mild winter. A spoon shape stands for a shovel to dig out all the snow.”

Naysayer?  Don’t believe a wet head or bare feet will make you catch cold or that Vicks rubbed somewhere on your body can’t cure winter ills?  Check out this scientific data before you laugh too loud: But First, Persimmons.

Other persimmon related posts:

A Spoon In My Persimmon

A Big Fat Persimmon Lie

Panforte and Persimmons: Road Trip Discoveries

Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

But First, Persimmons

This is not the post I expected to write. It’s been awhile and maybe the cogs really do get rusty with abstinence. The reacquaintance with the keyboard brought visions of words that would convey the hum of warmth from the low slung New Mexican sun, the scrubbed clean scent of the juniper warmed by it, and the exaltation at the long shadowed, iconic Western images favored by it.  But it all became abstract and elusive when I sat down.

I did take the long-awaited solo road trip. You know the favored Fall one that starts with a bit of fear my running away may be permanent and ends with a proud shot of the trip odometer? It was a stellar trip from beginning to the 2,500+ mile end. And Arizona got into the mix this time.

But first, persimmons.  They’re the fruit of the gods you know.  I love the twig cross bar – beautiful and reminiscent of Asian pottery jars (the fruit originated in China).

There are several varieties, but most have this distinctive (and very memorable) quality – the unripened fruit is so high in tannins, your mouth will be welded shut upon the slightest nibble of the unripened fruit (technically a berry). It’s a common joke pulled on unsuspecting southern children, who will in almost all instances eat anything. Captain John Smith described them best: “If it not be ripe it will draw a man’s mouth awire with much torment. But when it is ripe, it is as delicious as an apricot.”  What’s not to love about a fruit this complex?

Wild Persimmon

The seeds – about the size of a watermelon seed – are hard as a hammer and slick as black ice (I compared this characteristic to snot last year). They protect a translucent white center that cradles a very distinct cooler-than-cool utensil.

If you manage to split one perfectly without blood tainting the lucite center and an ensuing trip to the emergency room, you’ll see something like this:

A Spoon In My Persimmon.

This was from two years ago, but it’s onehelluva perfect split (thank you Dooley McGyver). And not a bad shot.  Great light will do that.

The Farmer’s Almanac Blog gives the possible utensil discoveries and their prediction for the coming winter: “A knife shape will indicate a cold, icy winter (wind cuts through you like a knife). A fork shape indicates a mild winter. A spoon shape stands for a shovel to dig out all the snow.”

I’ve wondered about finding a spork.

This is last year’s seed samples.  There were several spoons as well, but none worth photographing. And these were hard earned so if you don’t clearly see a knife, use your imagination.

Accuracy so far?  Here’s the winter associated with the perfect spoon above:

Winter 2009-2010

And here’s the winter associated with last year’s knife:

Winter 2010-2011

So far for the two years I’ve been tracking this older than Methuselah harbinger, there have been only spoons and knives. Not a single fork (mild winter predictor) have my eyes seen.

So how about this year?  The wild persimmons are abundant on my parents’ ranch. The tree was a real beauty dripping with the unripened fruit – a color I mentioned in a previous post that was so glorious fashion designers would need a brown paper bag.  Deer were camping out around it waiting for the fruit to ripen and fall. Not really.

Here’s my “take” from the recent persimmon gathering treasure hunt – a turtle shell and a fossil.  Almost as thrilling as the year I found a perfect arrowhead.

the annual persimmon sample

The seed you ask?  What’s the cute little utensil in the seeds of this year’s crop?  The turtle shell has protected them until this weekend. I’ll be splitting and photoing and baking a new recipe with them, so you’ll just have to check back.

Want to read more about this ancient compact jewel?  Here are three previous posts.

A Spoon In My Persimmon

A Big Fat Persimmon Lie

Panforte and Persimmons: Road Trip Discoveries

 

Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

 

I promise

September 19, 2011 - Personal Journal

Dear God,

It’s been a very long hot oppressive (expletive deleted) summer. Which of course I [mostly] don’t blame You for despite the slips of tongue I committed over the summer that might have included Your name.

Based on centuries of precedence, relief is just around the corner in the form of cooler temperatures at which time any hard feelings for the horrid summer will be completely forgotten – I promise. And with those dreamy breezes that tickle my skin causing the giddy thought of a jacket, my annual long-as-I-want-to-roam SRT that rejuvenates, liberates, and solidly reconnects me to life’s priorities comes as a bonus. At which time I will thank You profusely and attempt once again to refrain from the bad language I’m so given to. I swear it’s genetic if that helps any.

Looking forward to our special reconnect,

Tammie.

Beyond Hot

August 3, 2011 -- Beyond Hot

August 31, 2011 - the 45th day over 100 degrees

 

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An Interview of SRT by Smart Computing Magazine

Blaine Flamig, a writer for Smart Computing Magazine is a SRT fan. I realize the magazine is an unlikely one to feature road trips but there’s a rule that says never turn down an opportunity to spread the word, assuming you have one. I do. So I did. Besides, geeks and nerds drive don’t they??

When I’d worn thin the pages with my interview and got enough coffee rings on the first copy to need the second copy, I finally turned over a few other pages and was pleasantly surprised at the usefulness of the content For instance, the article “What To Do When Your PC is Slow” resulted in my trashing the Sony PC and getting a Mac. “Cloud Backup – How it Works, Why It’s Safe”, saw Carbonite becoming my new best friend. Although I have to add, they are slow slow slow. The initial backup of the new Mac took several weeks – no kidding. I no longer needed the article “Sync Your PC & Mac”, because I no longer had a PC, but “Erase Your Hard Drive”, stepped up in importance for the PC that now sat sullen on the floor,  haughtily held all my secrets in the world. There were more articles that dead-eyed ‘inquiring minds want to know’, but I never got past the titles – figured one more unusual charge and the credit card company would be calling to see what the hell I was up to.

Either I’m a sucker and extremely susceptible to suggestion or the magazine is a mind reader for those of us who know just enough to be dangerous with everything IT, but have lingering questions that no one else seems to address.

SRT in Smart Computing Magazine

The interview:

Smart Computing – Tell us about the blog’s origins.

SRT: I’ve always wanted to call myself a writer and not laugh and stutter while saying it. So I figured a blog would give me reason enough to finally apply the description with a straight face.   Having spent 40 years dreaming about travel and exploration, I married a man with some means and realized the road trip travel style I thought had been a necessity due to limited funds, was instead my preference.  When that nugget of truth surfaced, the blog gained a platform and I, a voice.  I must confess however that I did upgrade my travel vehicle from a front wheel drive 1993 Mazda MX-6 (just enough clearance to not be a turtle killer), to a new Onstar equipped, heated seats, 4-wheel drive Yukon.  It doesn’t shudder when I take it places we really shouldn’t be.

Smart Computing – What draws you to traveling and to solo road trips in particular?

SRT: Dreams. And an early understanding the people who lived just down our dirt road lived much different lives (and I wanted to know how and why).  Well that’s what drew me to travel in general. The solo road trips were born during the hard charging years of 60+ hour weeks in the financial services industry – retail with an ego.  What initially began as a way to cope and survive evolved into a passion.  Heaped on top of the high stress work, I’m a people pleaser. I think some of us are predisposed to be people pleasers and that’s not something you can escape by leaving a career. And I don’t think that label is reserved to women. The only way to escape the cursed fussing over others is to separate ourselves completely.

Short of becoming a hermit, a periodic unplugging from that predisposition is an intoxicating, rejuvenating breath of air that no amount of money can buy. Blog readers have asked me about taking a dog for a companion because they can’t fathom being totally alone.  Of course I couldn’t care less if you want to take a dog. But I will tell you the experience will be completely different. The liberation of making decisions on the fly, as fast as the brain can process, unfettered by the diplomatic process of asking what someone/something wants to eat, see, do, and when, is something everyone should experience once.

About the whole you-go-on-solo-road-trips-so-you-can-do-things-you-wouldn’t-do-at-home, you know the ‘what happens on the road stays on the road’?  Afraid not. Diane Arbus, the famed photographer took that tact, and she wasn’t a very happy person. I’m a fan of her work, but if I’d ever had the opportunity to speak with her I would have strongly advised against the sex with strangers on Greyhound buses. I go on SRTs as a release from being gracious and interested (always sincerely – it’s part of the curse of being a people pleaser).  I don’t want to create any new ties, have any appointments, no one to see on the return trip, lunches with friends, time targets to meet, some strange someone knowing where I’m headed, who I am, etc.. I go to shed myself if only for a tiny, but perfect slice of time.

Smart Computing – Has the blog turned out to be what you originally intended?

SRT: Of course not. I had no original intention anyway, really.  It’s become more impassioned towards road trip travel than I’d originally foreseen. My own beliefs toward travel, road trips, solitude, discovery, have been not surprisingly, honed by the exercise of writing down my thoughts.  The blog has gained focus over time. I’ve become the purveyor of the road trip revolution, at least in my own mind. I believe it’s possible to travel on a walk to the local grocery store. I don’t subscribe to the notion there’s a difference between travelers and tourists and personally feel that entire argument arose from the arrogance of those travelers looking down their noses at those on tour coaches, exiting en masse with cameras in hand. Those who gag on the word tourist couldn’t travel down their own street and do it well.

Smart Computing – What has the reaction been in general to the blog?

SRT: Excellent. Surprising. Unexpected. I’ve been published because of the blog. Had a book deal and movie rights purchased.  NOT. Writing opportunities have however come my way. Being a writer? It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  Hard work, low pay, nothing glamorous.  It’s interesting to hear the comments about how afraid people are to travel alone, to be alone, to drive off into the sunset alone.  Again, I’m not talking solely about women. The “I really want to do this but I’m afraid to do this alone” is something I hear more from men than women.  It surprised me too.

We’ve become so plugged-in the connections have morphed into chains. Now we don’t know what to do with the gorgeous sunset when there’s no one to text, no one to email, no one to speak to next to us. The power to self entertain may be the greatest death of our technological advancements.

**********************************************************

Here’s the full blurb about SRT that appeared in the magazine’s monthly feature: “That’s News to You.”

 

Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

Once A Year Capture

August 27, 2011 - photography

Maybe it’s the prolonged heat. Or the boredom from nursing a back injury.

A blast of light that turned a fairly dark tan wall into a projection screen caught my eye as I walked by. A wall mounted mirror in the bathroom to the right of this scene was positioned perfectly to reflect the setting sun coming through a window. The mirror fielded the light onto the wall.

This is what the camera captured – straight out of camera. Since my hand/arm with elbow bent holding the camera to the left of the shot is visible, I’m calling it a self portrait.

The Art of Looking

After noting the time of day, the next day I watched for this to happen again. But the sun’s change in angle over just a day’s time meant this was a once a year capture.

Remind’s me of Ruth Bernhard’s doorknob shot. Well, the circumstance, not the photo.

Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

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The Grand Climb

 

Tammie DooleyAbout SRT... I’m a traveler, writer and photographer for whom the open road frequently summons. Adventurous solo road trips are a staple for me, and a curiosity. So I created this website to share them and inspire you to step out and give them a try. Welcome!

A soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone – Wolfgang Von Goethe

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