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Front Porch News

maeve 26 Feb 09 - 01:09 PM
cobra 26 Feb 09 - 12:26 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Aug 07 - 08:29 PM
Amos 20 Aug 07 - 08:19 PM
Janie 20 Aug 07 - 07:44 PM
wysiwyg 20 Aug 07 - 10:16 AM
Wesley S 20 Aug 07 - 10:01 AM
Wesley S 20 Aug 07 - 09:53 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Aug 07 - 02:10 PM
maeve 17 Aug 07 - 01:17 PM
Wesley S 16 Aug 07 - 04:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 16 Aug 07 - 03:34 PM
HouseCat 16 Aug 07 - 10:11 AM
GUEST 16 Aug 07 - 06:01 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Aug 07 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Guest, Marnie 15 Aug 07 - 05:13 PM
HouseCat 15 Aug 07 - 03:53 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 07 - 03:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Aug 07 - 03:34 PM
HouseCat 15 Aug 07 - 03:33 PM
Ebbie 15 Aug 07 - 02:57 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Aug 07 - 02:13 PM
Wesley S 15 Aug 07 - 01:57 PM
Ebbie 15 Aug 07 - 01:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Aug 07 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,ibo 14 Aug 07 - 11:21 AM
Bee 14 Aug 07 - 07:21 AM
Janie 14 Aug 07 - 01:42 AM
KT 13 Aug 07 - 01:01 AM
Ron Davies 12 Aug 07 - 09:42 PM
Ron Davies 12 Aug 07 - 09:35 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 07 - 07:57 PM
Janie 12 Aug 07 - 06:11 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 07 - 06:02 PM
Janie 12 Aug 07 - 05:18 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 07 - 05:03 PM
Janie 12 Aug 07 - 04:55 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 07 - 04:25 PM
wysiwyg 12 Aug 07 - 04:01 PM
Janie 12 Aug 07 - 03:41 PM
KT 12 Aug 07 - 03:32 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 07 - 01:37 PM
Janie 12 Aug 07 - 01:20 PM
wysiwyg 12 Aug 07 - 12:20 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 07 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Aug 07 - 11:31 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Aug 07 - 09:51 PM
Janie 11 Aug 07 - 09:01 PM
wysiwyg 11 Aug 07 - 05:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Aug 07 - 04:15 PM
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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: maeve
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 01:09 PM

This was one of my favorite threads, cobra. Thank you for refreshing it today, when Max is about to move house and Mudcat in one swell foop. This thread and others like it are why I enjoy reading and posting on Mudcat.

Thanks, Jerry & company on the porch. Thanks,Max & company on the 'Cat.
I'll see y'all after the dust settles.
maeve


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: cobra
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 12:26 PM

I have just discovered this threaad whilst doing a trawl through the past. And what an absolute delight it is. The thread itself has the rhythm and cadences which people have attributed to the front porches of days gone by.

If I close my eyes I can almost hear the grasshoppers and, somewhere in the background, the baseball radio commentary.

Thanks to you all for sharing.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 08:29 PM

Hey, janie, and all.

Days are cool around here... more like Autumn than mid August. It didn't even hit 70 today. And neighborhoods in small towns aren't quite dead yet. For the last two days, our neighbors on our left have had a cookout on their deck, and while it isn't a front porch, it's raised enough so that they can see over our fence. We can hear their music, and they can hear ours. Yesterday was my son Pasha's birthday and we had a family gathering on the side of the house. Front, back, side... in some ways, all the same. We had a terrific time. Pasha, my wife Ruth, Pasha's son "Little" Pasha and I built a large, screened-in gazebo two summers ago, and this summer, we replaced a rotting wooden fence with a white vinyl one. We also laid a patio of paving stones, with a bar at one end. (No one in the family is a drinker, but the bar is festive, and can serve soda pop just as well as hard liquor. Pasha brought his tunes along, and I brought a portable CD player out to the side of the house. Pasha was playing soul music, and everyone was dancing on the patio. I was cooking on the grill: you definitely do not want to see me dance... it's dangerous to be too close to me when I do. Meanwhile, our neighbors directly behind us shared two bouquets of flowers, which graced the tables, as centerpieces, and contributed some freshly-picked tomatoes from their garden. Our neighbor also trims the hedge that separates our property, and takes great pride in doing a wonderful job. I help him out too, and we consulted with him on the section of new fence in the corner of our property that is shared with his. And that's the way it is in Mr. Rasmussen's neighborhood. Can you say "Peaceful", children? Most folks go out for a walk, so I've gotten to know almost everyone within six blocks (and their dogs.) Front porches may be gone around here, but neighborliness is still in fashion.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Amos
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 08:19 PM

Here in Southern California, porches are something of a rarity. But we do have a wide driveway onto which our garage opens up, and we often throw open the garage door to let the breeze from the ocean (which is just over the hill to the West) come in, and set a spell; neighbors come by and we have a little exchange of howdies. It's almost as good as a porch, but not quite. Someone from our street organized a neighborhood barbecue last weekend, and we got to chat with half-a-dozen people from the block that we hadn't had much time to talk with. It was very positive to refresh those connections and share hot dogs. I even sang them a few songs, which they seemed to like.

We, too, have watched our real estate bubble breath in and then out. And we have the same conundrum about the capital inherent in our real estate which is also our home among friends in a place we really like living. I doubt we'll sell anytime soon. We've put a Gawdawful amount of work into the place to resurrect it from a tacky tract home, and we really enjoy living among the fruits of our own labors, or those we hired on.

Even here only half-a-mile from the sea, it gets gruesomely hot in mid-August, but the rest of the year is generally balmy. I have no idea how the warming trend on Earth is going to effect this region -- it probably will get summery all year around, if not sweltering, over the next decade or two.

That's all the news that's fit to print from West University City, in Sunny San Diego.

A


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 07:44 PM

Temps are back up into the blister zone. The porch is hot, but not nearly as hot as the house this time of evening. The saucers under the potted plants are mosquito nurseries (and the only moisture around other than the birdbathes), but I'll carry a box fan out there in a bit, sip a glass of wine, and wave as neighbors and townsmen walk by. We'll commiserate about the heat and the drought. I'll lament the loss of another beloved dahlia, baked to death in the parched ground, or marvel at the ability of the bronze fennel to just keep going dispite only a trace of rain in the last 4 to 6 weeks.

Some one might ask about the music drifting out of the wide-opened front window, and I will proudly tell them it is a new CD I just got today from my friend Barry Finn, as fine a singer of chanty and work song as one might want to hear. That might lead to a discussion to the effect of, Must One have a New England Accent to Do a Chanty Justice? Or maybe not.

Some one will tell me what ridiculously high price that bungalow down on Margaret Lane went for just before the mortgage market went wacko. A disinterested third party watching from a little distance would be able to read the unspoken thoughts on both our faces 'What would my charming old wreck of a hundred-year-old house sell for?' Then watch each of us shake our heads, torn between a safe retirement and a priceless sense of place and community.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 10:16 AM

I received an surprise external hard drive over the weekend that we have needed for the home computer for some time; it comes at the same time we're making decisions on what will be stored in the folded-down camper to await next year's vacation and what will stay in the house.

We use the porch as a sort of staging area for the comings and goings of the various items. No surprise-- some of the items turn out to be rank discards, since having one of an item in the house and another one in the camper is clearly "enough" so that I can toss crap in bad shape.


This thread, in a way, has sparked imagery of that external hard drive as a "camper" full of things I will be happy to see in due course that I do not need to trip over in my main area of activity. And the flash drive I also received (last May) is, in effect, a porch where things come and go, sit and visit for a time, and then either go home or join the "family."


It's not so much that I'm anthropomorphizing my electronics, as that the decisions processes involving 3D items came with some difficulty-- (what to do? which choice is best?) but that the decision process over the digital files seems to be going so much better since I'm applying what I first learned about our camping stuff.


Both my brain and my CPU are working so much better as a result! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 10:01 AM

NPR Story


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Aug 07 - 09:53 AM

From CBS News:

FRONT PORCH SITTERS UNITE

(CBS) Unlike most unions that are at least loosely associated with the concept of work, Louisville Local 1339 of the P.P.S. is about anything but.

"We weren't looking to start anything, it just happened," founder Claude Stephens tells CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman for "Assignment America."

Claude says all he did was post a page on the Internet inviting people to join the Professional Porch Sitters Union and simply "Sit down a spell. That can wait" he wrote.

He says he never intended for people to actually join, but boy, did they.

"How do you start up a local of this union?" Hartman asks.

Claude says, "You sit on your porch as often as practical."

There are now thousands of locals in all 50 states and at least four countries.

There's now even a radio show out of Washington, D.C. where the hosts sit outside their studio and sit.

Of course, Claude makes the perfect guest.

Claude thinks his idea is taking off because Americans long for what the porch represents.

"When you're on your porch you're a part of your community. When you're in your house you're not," he says.

The porch is a uniquely American phenomenon. People used to live on their porches until a air conditioning and television came along.

"The other thing that probably started happening is weird, wacky people started sitting on people's porches. And then how do you get rid of 'em?" says Hartman while sitting on a porch.

It can be a problem. But Claude thinks most of us would do well to spend a little quality time with our neighbors for a change -- whether they have anything worthwhile to say... or not.

Claude does get off the front porch on occasion. He even works as an education director at a nature center.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 02:10 PM

I just figured that sommer was an olde English variant, maeve..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: maeve
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 01:17 PM

Oops, GUEST 16 Aug at 6:01 was cookieless moi, and sommer=summer. I reckon you figured that out already. ;)

maeve


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Wesley S
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 04:12 PM

John Grisham works for me. Although when we were on vacation last week I managed to read "No Country For Old Men" by Cormac McCarthy. It was a corker of a book.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 03:34 PM

Front Porch reading is very different than beach books, or airline terminal books. I try to remember to bring a book with me when I fly that would read well on the front proch, but often forget and have to settle for an airline terminal book. Either Dean Koontz or Stephen King.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: HouseCat
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 10:11 AM

Marnie, so many of those books brought back great memories. I have laughed myself to tears over Bailey White's stories. I'd have to add anything by Eudora Welty.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 06:01 AM

Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea Trilogy and Tehanu, and various volumes of poetry would be on my porch, as well. I'd also add Marassa and Midnight, Escape to Freedom, and The Monument to the J Fiction list.

I love the mental picture I have from Janie's wren invasion. When I lived in a tiny shed here in Maine, a screen fell out of my window one sommer. A newly fledged eastern phoebe fluttered in early in the morning, landing seven times before I scooped it up and sent it on outside. Within hours, the mites that fell out of its feathers had infiltrated, and within days, they had reproduced to the point that I had to evacuate to a tent outside. It took two months to get rid of the tiny biting nuisances!

Our "porch" is out back, looking out over the young orchard and across to our neighbor's hayfield. The birds are everywhere, from hummers and warblers to turkeys, ospreys, eagles.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 06:29 PM

Thanks for posting that list, Marnie. Quite a few of the books are favorites of mine. I guess I'd add To Kill A Mockingbird and Walking Across Egypt to the list..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: GUEST,Guest, Marnie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 05:13 PM

A few years ago the library where I work produced a bibliography of
"Porching" books. Many of the books have porches or porch chairs on the cover, but others were chosen because they are suitable for reading on your porch....while you are waiting for passers-by. If you are porch deprived, I suppose you can read them on your deck, in your garage, or from the peak of your roof.

Here's the list:
Parting Gifts by Charlotte Vale Allen
DANDELION WINE by Ray Bradbury   
Bingo by Rita Mae Brown
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
Elm Creek Quilters books by Jennifer Chiaverini
Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
A Parting Gift by Ben Erickson
Bennie Harper mysteries by Earlene Fowler
SULLIVAN'S ISLAND by Dorothea Benton Frank
TWO WOMEN by Marianne Fredriksson
THE SAVING GRACES by Patricia Gaffney
Anne George's Southern Sisters mysteries
FRONT PORCH TALES by Philip Gulley
Friendship Cake by J. Lynne Hinton
Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
The Mitford series by Jan Karon
Intimate Strangers by Alexandra Kay
Shadow Song by Terry Kay
Close Encounters by Sandra Kitt
Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
CONFEDERATE JASMINE AND THE FAT TUESDAY TREE: A POETIC HERBARIUM by    Ann Lewis
Favourite Summer Stories from Front Porch Al by Alan Maitland
Ladies of Covington Send Their Love by Joan Medlicott
HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT by Whitney Otto
WINTER SOLSTICE by Rosamunde Pilcher
Miss Read's Thrush Green and Fairacre books
DREAM COUNTRY by Luanne Rice
FIREFLY BEACH by Luanne Rice
Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson
Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book by Bill Richardson Jewels of the Sea trilogy set in Ireland by Nora Roberts
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann Ross
Miss Julia Takes Over by Ann Ross
Any book by Dorothy L. Sayers
OUTER BANKS by Anne Rivers Siddons
FAMILY LINEN, FANCY STRUT, FAIR AND TENDER LADIES, CAKEWALK by Lee Smith
Mama Makes Up Her Mind by Bailey White
SWEET TEA AND JESUS SHOES, an anthology by 6 well-known Southern women, among them Donna Ball, Virginia Ellis, Sandra Chastain and Deborah Smith and a subsequent anthology, Mossy Creek

For those who would love to travel to a foreign locale but can't --
The Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater
Garden in Lucca by Paul Gervais   
Chocolat by Joanne Harris (plus Blackberry Wine and/or Five Quarters of the Orange)
Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes
In Maremma by David Leavitt
On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Non-Fiction:
SITTING ON THE COURTHOUSE BENCH: AN ORAL HISTORY OF GRUNDY, VIRGINIA by Lee Smith
Cookbooks dealing with produce (snapping green beans, shelling peas on the porch).
Consuming Passions: a food obsessed life by Michael West
Art of Napping by William Anthony
Cat's Cradle instructions

Juvenile Fiction:
The Elizabeth Enright books, especially Gone-Away Lake, Return to Gone-Away, Thimble Summer, and Then There Were Five
Paulsen's HARRIS AND ME


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: HouseCat
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 03:53 PM

I have a neighbor who prefers his roof to his front porch. He takes a folding chair and straddles it on the peak of the roof. He then yells at everyone who walks past and gets a big kick out of the fact that they can't figure out where the shouting is coming from.

I've seen a few folks sitting in the garages here too Jerry, but everybody thinks they must not be from 'round here.;~) I don't have a garage but if I did it would be a mess I'm sure.
Wesley, there's a push by our town council encouraging folks who don't have porches to consider adding one on, for the very reasons you cite. We are a great town for walking too.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 03:39 PM

We have this 'teeny' little front porch, though there's room for a big one...the back porch is bigger, and there's a patio out near it, but that's where the skeeters live as soon as we have the first rain and hot weather! I love the view from my back porch, but right now it's full of 'stuff' and no fun to sit on. Didn't plan it this way...it just happened.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 03:34 PM

You want to know people, buy a dog... I know every dog in the neighborhood, and I don't even own one. But, we go for a walk most mornings, and sooner or later you meet all the dog owners. And their dogs.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: HouseCat
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 03:33 PM

We're on our 9th day of over 100 degree heat, so the porches down our road are pretty empty. Come fall, we'll be out every evening enjoying the breeze.
Our house is called Wren's Nest Cottage, though we've never had an invasion like the one Janie had. Our wrens get all uppity if I forget the bird bath, and they come to the kitchen windows to complain. The back porch is covered in jasmine and they love to hide from the heat in it.
I spend alot of time dreaming of autumn...air crisp as an apple. Crunching through the fallen leaves that I hate to rake, not because of the chore, but because I love to see them on the ground. Going to the farmer's market for pumpkins and piling them around on the front porch. Sitting on said porch in my favorite old ratty sweater with a hot cup of coffee, listening to the morning sounds.
Y'all come set a spell.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 02:57 PM

Good point, Jerry. Probably in response to a changed mindset.

Here in Juneau we do tend to know our neighbors but I've lived in many places where that was not true, at all. Juneau is made up of little regional communities that each comprise anywhere from 8 to 16 blocks. These communities - Starr Hill. Chicken Ridge. The Flats. Gastineau Avenue, and many more - have annual, or more frequent, potlucks and parties.

I roam around behind my dog three times a day and I have met and chatted with many more people in these two years than I had known before. Not to mention that I know the name of just about every dog for a mile around. :)


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 02:13 PM

Here in Derby, Connecticut there's a phenomenon I've never seen before. People sit in their garages on lawn chairs and watch the passing traffic. Not just one or two: a lot. Some garages have as many as three lawn chairs set up permanently. You could sit in our garage and watch the street, I suppose. But, you'd have to sit on top of a huge pile of stuff, and if you fell off, you could break your neck.

Decks are nothing like front poorches. They exist for privacy.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Wesley S
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 01:57 PM

I've read that the front porch started to disappear about the same time that TV was invented. Hmmmmmmm.....

There is an interesting neighborhood that was recently built near our house. The streets were designed narrower so that cars would drive slower, all the houses have front porchs and the garages are in the back. The builder intentionally built the streets so that people would walk more and it would be easier to have conversations with folks on their front porch. I hope this concept catches on. It's how homes were built during the 20's and 30's.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Aug 07 - 01:01 PM

Seems like since porches went 'out', everyone switched to back-of-the-house decks. Wonder why there aren't more decks at the front?

Yes, KT plays the fiddle. When I first met her, almost 20 years ago, I thought that was what she did- I didn't know she sang!

Since I don't have a front porch story, I'd like to share my yesterday.

I had a nice day. The weather here in Juneau for the last week has been gorgeous- if by that one means temperatures in the 70s with a light breeze, low humidity, bright blue sky with high puffy clouds. You know - the kind of thing y'all get 'down south'. (Here in Alaska, down south is anywhere from Minnesota on.) Here in a temperate rain forest we don't often experience it. Personally if I had to choose between them, I'd opt for the moist, cool, sweet air that is normal for us, but this kind of weather is wonderful, from time to time and just temporarily. (Hush, KT. Some people just don't know when they're well off.)

Anyway, yesterday I traveled on the tram up through the green forest to a restaurant at the top of a mountain to meet the two people who are planning our second annual Mountain Music Fest in September. My role is to select and book the performers- in other words, the fun part.

We sat there at the windows with the treetops outside with our lemonade and we planned and plotted happily. I showed them my list of YES performers and the sample poster for the event.

We decided: If you promote it, they will come.

:)


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:02 PM

A front porch song for you, Janie:

       KATY DID

Chorus: Katy did, Katy didn't
         It wasn't me that did it, it was Ka-aty
         Katy did, Katy didn't
         It wasn't me that did it, it was ka-aty

Some one's been snitchin' in the kitchen
A box of cookies almost gone
And when I ask, whose been in there
All's I get's the same old song

On the workbench in the basement
It seems like all my tools are gone      
And when I try to catch the culprit
All's I get;s the same old song

I don't know where this Katy lives
But it must be somewhere quite near by

All's I get's the same reply

Can't remember all the words, although I wrote the song. I'm finally working on a major project to record and print out the words to all the songs I've written. Guess I'd better put this one on the front burner.

Porches that need painting are either good news or bad news, depending on whose porch they are, and who has to do tha painting..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 11:21 AM

our front porch could do with painting,is that good or bad news?


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Bee
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 07:21 AM

Was down home two weeks ago, and went over to look at the old house, where my mother was born, which is falling to ruin after 150 years or so (a sad story of being inherited by family who live far away). It has a verandah across the front, split by a small porch that contains the never-used front entry. No screens, though. We sat out there, smelling lilacs and honeysuckle, and hoped for a breeze to keep the skeeters at bay.

Ourselves, we have a long deck facing the lake, and if it wasn't pouring rain, I'd be out there with my coffee. Good morning to you all!


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 01:42 AM

Just came in from the front porch. The night insects are busy announcing the news that late summer is upon us. Wish I knew insect sounds better. I hear crickets and cicadas and something else, but I don't think it is a katydid. Katydids don't sound to me like they are saying "Katy did!" , so I never quite remember what they sound like from year to year.

Unless, of course, one makes it into the house and starts up in the middle of the night. Then I know exactly what creature it is that disturbs my fragile sleep.

I'm sitting here at the computer with two fans blowing and roaring. If my son were to cry out in a dream, it is unlikely I would hear him. The fiddling of the insects, however, pierces right through this artificial noise. Just think of those thousands of tiny legs, scraping against each other or a wing, seeking the opportunity to procreate with absolute singleness of purpose.   Enough of them will will succeed that they will likely long outlast our kind on this planet.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: KT
Date: 13 Aug 07 - 01:01 AM

Yes, Janie and Jerry, I do play fiddle, a little. From the sounds of your descriptions, I play more like Jerry, than Janie's little sis. I play for fun and like lots of styles, but am not accomplished by any stretch. I do have fun with it though, no doubt about that!

Ron, like you, I love harmonies. Playing for dances is fun, but you're right, it can be a workout!

Now, wouldn't it be some fun to all get those instruments out and play right here on the porch!


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 09:42 PM

By the way, Jerry, that sounds like a great song. You are a true wordsmith.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Ron Davies
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 09:35 PM

Actually it can be a lot of fun to play second fiddle--or another harmony. And it's surprisingly well appreciated.

But I find it's actually easier to when asked to play fiddle to say I don't play fiddle. That at least lets the orthodox fiddlers know right up front. And it's true some of them don't want any harmony. Or much variation, if any. So I move on to the next group.

I probably could learn to play fiddle. And I was drafted to be the fiddle--since I have a fiddle--for a dance once. Oh boy, that was a workout. Fortunately there was another melody instrument.

It really does seem a lot more fun to be a harmony instrument.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 07:57 PM

"It was made of seasoned Georgia Pine in 1929
And it stood there in the door frame and withstood the test of time
With a heavy spring to slam it shut, and a knob of crystal glass
Patched and painted through the years, they made 'em built to last"

   From Screen Porch Door

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 06:11 PM

I just found a Carolina Wren egg lying on the counter behind my blender! I'm sure it has been there since late this spring when we experienced (omminous music, please)The Invasion of the Wrens. At first I thought it was a jelly bean.

We had a problem with the back storm door this spring, and until we got it fixed, we were constantly shooing Carolina Wrens out of the house. I'm still finding the occasional wren's nest tucked into odd corners of closets and shelves.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 06:02 PM

I've played second fiddle more than I'd like...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 05:18 PM

I don't really understand that degree of devotion to one particular style of playing. Of course, I also don't know anything about playing the fiddle.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 05:03 PM

That's fine, janie. More power to her. I just played for fun. Haven't played fiddle in twenty years, I bet. And no one even noticed..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 04:55 PM

My fiddlin' little sis is definitely a purist when it comes to fiddle tunes. She says there is no point in laying claim to being an old time fiddler if she is not playing in the old time key. While she listens to and enjoys a variety of music, when it comes to fiddle music she protects her ear. Avoids listening to styles of fiddle that might unconsciously influence her Appalachian old-timey style. She doesn't object to others doing whatever they want in that respect, but she is very, very firm about what and how she plays fiddle.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 04:25 PM

I didn't know you played fiddle either, KT. Even more unbelievable, I played fiddle for several years. I got by because I played with another musician who played a very heavy-handed, loud hammered dulcimer. I told him that if he ever stopped playing mid-stream and people heard how bad I really was that I'd slip some termies into his hammered dulcimer, sight unseen. I never learned to play fiddle "right." I remember once playing Forked Deer with my friend Peter, and someone came up afterward all indignent-like. He said, "Nobody plays Forked Deer in D! It's always played in C.!!!!"
I said, "Somebody does now." In honesty, I don't remember any more what key every fiddler on the planet played Forked Deer in (ending with a preposition, yet.) I played it the way I could play it. I heard it in my head, and that's where the notes came out on the fiddle. Besides, my friend Peter was perfectly happy playing it in the only key I could play the song..

Folk purists can be enormously pompous.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 04:01 PM

KT, I thought no-see-ums were mostly for inhalation! :~)

The new Off powdery thingie ain't bad. It's the only one I've found that doesn;t smell bad enough to make me puky and that doesn't feel greasy and burny. AND it keeps the skeeters away. If I'd had it when we still led a monthly summer Porch Pickin' we'd prolly still be hosting it.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 03:41 PM

KT, I didn't know you played the fiddle!

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: KT
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 03:32 PM

Hi, all! May I join you on the porch for a spell? I love porches!
The hundred year old house I live in had a porch back in the mining days, but it's long since been converted to an entryway. I would dearly love to have a porch to sit on on summer evenings. When I'm traveling, and passing through neighborhoods, I'm always exclaiming, "Oh, look at THAT porch!" I notice little about the rest of the structure, but the porch never escapes me.

Just the thought of a porch evokes warmth, relaxation, community, laughter.....

Susan, your mention of the "skeeter" abatement got my attention. Last night I played for a dance which was indoors. It was a gorgeous evening, and the heat cranked up as the dancers got going. Someone opened the door during one set and quite suddenly, the band was being eaten alive! (by an army of tiny little things we call "no-seeums." ) I was playing fiddle and it was with great difficulty and discipline I attempted to keep a steady rhythm for the dancers. The rest of the band was in the same boat and we were a mess in very short order! One of the dancers heard our cries for mercy and supplied us with some bug dope, but not before those little buggers had had their way! When I got home I looked like I had the measles....counted 23 and that was only on one arm between elbow and wrist!


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 01:37 PM

Ah yes, Janie: Front porches are made for singing on in the evening. Banjos work fine, too. Sounds like you an all natural floor show going on all day!

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 01:20 PM

The view from the front porch is fine today. The temps and the humidity are down and there is just enough of a breeze to make the garden dance and keep the skeeters at bay.

Mornings in the garden belong to the birds. As I sat on the porch this morning, morning coffee in hand, a hummingbird hovered right beside me, checking out the pink flowers on a big pot of angel wing begonias before heading back out to the salvias. The goldfinches were busy taking apart the seedheads on the cone flowers, and a male cardinal decided he had better take advantage of the birdbath before the sun heated the water. A pair of house finches raised a brood in a hanging candle sconce this spring. The whole family now likes to perch on telephone wire over the garden. My bedroom opens onto the front porch, and I am often awakened early by the song of a Carolina Wren who likes to sing from the porch rail.

Now, at midday, the butterflies are busy working the tithonia, bronze fennel and Brazillian verbena. Looking out my window now, I see assorted swallowtails, viceroys, monarchs, cabbage whites and painted ladies, plus some species I don't know. Bees, wasps and other flying insects are at the flowers from sun-up to sundown, the buzzing and humming of their wings provides constant background music for the flowerheads as they wave and weave in the breezes.



Late night is when I really have time to enjoy the porch. All is quiet, then. It feels like I have the world to myself. That is when and where I do most of my singing. Moths move from flower to flower all night long, illuminated by the streetlight across the road.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 12:20 PM

My front porch has a naugahyde recliner out of the rain and sun, a cold stone floor, and a can of bug spray I can tolerate. I love to watch the swallows across the road soar and swoop at sunset to nail evening bugs, and I love to hear the bats pour out of the attic as night falls.

Hm, may have to add a bar fridge. :~) Our new Coleman electric cooler back from vacay will work jes' fine.....

Hardi's porch recliner is a folding camp-chair with attached legrest.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 07 - 07:03 AM

Leenia: Seems like you folks have really been hit with the heat this summer. I've performed at the Boonville, Missouri folk festival on two occasions and even though it is held in April, while it's still chilly out here in Connecticut, it was at l east as hot as the blazes, if not a little hotter. I've been in St. Louis in June, and spent a summer collection fossils in Kansas and Missouri during the summer, so I know how hot it gets.

We've been having it real easy around here. We're heading off to church soon and Ruth asked me to check the temperature. It's 62...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 11:31 PM

I don't use my front porch much, though I have a nice one. The temperatures of 90 to 100 have a lot to do with it, also the need to keep out of the sun.

My kitchen sink has two windows over it. This year I planted morning glory vines outside those windows. (They grow on nylon ropes which hang from hooks in the window trim.) It is so nice to go into the kitchen in the morning and see the lush green leaves and purple blooms.

Yes, they are purple, not the usual turquoise. The seed packet said they attract hummingbirds, and I hope to see some this fall. Here in the city, we only get occasional hummingbirds that are following the Missouri River flyway and come into gardens to rest.


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 09:51 PM

Sounds like old times to me, Janie. It says a lot about how houses are built these days. Everything happens in the backyard, preferably with a 6 foot high vinyl fence so that your neighbors can't see you. You can hit the automatic garage door opener and when you pull into the driveway, close the door without getting out of the car. You can go for weeks without even saying as much as "Hello" to anyone. The saving grace here in Derby is that people go out for a walk. The difference is that very few people go out just for a walk. They go out to walk their dog, or for excercise.
Not many people go out for a walk because they enjoy walking. After my divorce in my first marriage, I raised my two sons alone as I was give sole custody. It was a wonderful blessing, but between an extremely demanding job and raising two kids alone, the only time I truly had to myself was when I went to the bathroom, or for a walk.
Unless someone wanted to walk with me (which was rare) I had the time to relax, enjoy the sights and sounds of the neighborhood and have the luxury of no one asking me to do something for them. I still love to walk, and am constantly entertained by the experience.

My wife Ruth and I are going to South America in September, so we're brushing up on our Spanish. There's a couple who moved into the neighborhood recently who are from Guatemala, and the husband's Father is up here living with them for the summer. I met him while I was out walking this morning and said, "Good morning," and he answered, Buenos Dias! I goit a big laugh out of that and responded, "Buenos Dias! It's those little things that make walking such a pleasure. Or, discovering the wild raspberries and grapes growing along the side of the road.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Janie
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 09:01 PM

A big front porch is still our air conditioning. There is no doubt in my mind the reason I know so many people in this little town is because 1. We don't have air conditioning, and 2. The majority of my garden is in the front instead of behind the house. Much of the year, I'm out in it every evening, tending the plants and soil. One of the joys is that I eventually meet almost anyone who gets out in the evenings after supper for a walk.

The heat this last week has been a little rough to bear, big front porch or no....

Janie


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 05:15 PM

Dunno if they're white-- as far as I know they don't discriminate but they don't hold still long enough to be sure. :~)

If we're going into the evening hours, I can recommend the new Off powdery spray for skeeter abatement. Wish the dog could use it for fleas!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Front Porch News
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Aug 07 - 04:15 PM

Welcome back, Susan. Do you have fleas as white as snow?

It looks like the kitchen table thread is up and running, but as long as it's such a lovely evening I'll just sit here on the porch for awhile. Back in the days when, if you wanted to get cool in the summer you sucked on a piece of ice off the ice wagon, the front porch was our air conditioning. Our house had a screen-in porch that ran the length of the front of the house and halfway down one side. It was a favorite place for us to relax after supper. Today's decks can't measure up to a front porch.

"Gliding on the porch swing on a lazy Summer's eve
Waving to the neighbors, out to catch the evening breeze
And every time the kids ran out, they'd slam that screen porch door
And that's about the only time my Father ever swore"

                                  From Screen Porch Door

Jerry


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