Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And now, a word from Marcus

"Your mind will take on the character of your most frequent thoughts:  souls are dyed by thoughts.  So dye your own with a succession of thoughts like these.  For example:  where life can be lived, so can a good life."  --Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And now, a word from Marcus

"You are a soul carrying a corpse, as Epictetus used to say." -- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Deep South, Deep Freeze

Many consecutive days of below-freezing weather here in south Mississippi.  Not used to it.  Inch-thick ice on the dog's water trough and the creek each morning.  Deer are on the move, many tracks at the back of our property.  The goldfinches have not yet arrived, and I wonder if they will this year; though they are erratic and hard to predict in their movements.  But even the local avian fauna are laying low, conserving heat, I imagine.

Set out another Ouachita thornless blackberry last week, and have one more to go, once the weather warms back up again, as I don't want the roots to freeze solid after I plant it and water it.  Next I need 1 more turkey fig, to go with the two I got last year; 1 more Jackson pecan, to go with the two from last year; two more cypresses; and 1 Jap red maple.  That'll do my plantings for the year, unless I play around with sunflowers or corn in odd corners of the yard.  The latter will do for chicken feed.  The poultry yard is nearly complete.  I hope to have it completely ready for birds come April.

I am nearly finished with my silver buying for the year.  I honestly cannot afford to get much more.  Silver is fast approaching $20 an ounce (outperforming gold!), effectively pricing me out, for the most part.  I still find silver dimes in change at work, and I always know I'm gonna have a good day when I find a silver dime in the mornings.  I have a roll of fifty now, and at $1.50 melt value per coin, that's $75!  But now that I am easing on my personal silver buys, I am putting away a roll of nickels each week.  They are actually worth five cents melt value now, and will likely continue to increase in value.  JWR makes a good case for stashing nickel rolls over in SurvivalBlog.

My brother gave me a hawking vest and a hawk call (made of deer antler) for Christmas.  What a wonderful thing to do.  I have been practicing with the call, and am beginning to sound somewhat like a buteo.  Tax time is coming, and I hope to add a set of digital scales to my hawking gear, bringing me that much closer to my goal of working with a hawk.  I have decided to look into keeping quail (coturnix or bobwhite) as a side hobby, which will afford a ready food supply for my raptor, and bridge my limited knowledge of both keeping poultry and working with a hawk.

The flower buds are swelling on the Japanese magnolias in our yard, a reminder that winter is not forever.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

And now, a word from Marcus

"...remember this retreat into your own little territory within yourself.  Above all, no agonies, no tensions.  Be your own master, and look at things as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal creature.  And here are two of the most immediately useful thoughts you will dip into.  First, that things cannot touch the mind:  they are external and inert; anxieties can only come from your internal judgement.  Second, that all these things you see will change almost as you look at them, and then will be no more.  Constantly bring to mind all that you yourself have already seen changed.  The universe is change:  life is judgement."

 -- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ebay Auction of the Moment


Note that this auction is for a Kennedy half dollar minted in 1964, the last year for 90% silver coins issued by the U.S. Mint for general circulation.  At $10 plus $1.95 shipping, this is well above the current melt value of $6.  Melt value, though, does not take into account factors including the coin grade, and I imagine the mint state of the coin here would drive the value higher.  Regardless, as a comment I recently read about gold said (paraphrasing):  "Regardless of the dollar value, the weight stays the same."  You will have 12.5 grams of silver, essentially gaining that in trade for what is in reality worthless "funny money" printed by the shadow banks of the Federal Reserve.  I for one will take the silver, any old day.

Happy New Year!

To all friends of and sojourners at The Gable Grey:  may 2010 be a joyous and prosperous year for you and yours!  I look forward to your company in the months ahead!
Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"