Gorgeous day to do outdoor work.

Ron is almost done with the street clearing. We brought two truckloads to Emma’s for the sheep. As usual, the brave brown sheep enjoyed the greens while the other timid ones stayed back.

I cleared more gone-bys from the back and weeded the garden. Transplanted daisies. Tried digging up the maple, but it has three big roots, including a taproot, so I figured to leave it to the pros.


Saw Dr. Harris today. He offered no encouragement, said the only thing that could be done for my ankle is fusion.

I have late-stage arthritis and no cartilage in my left ankle: I’m walking with bone-on-bone.

Put up the Halloween decorations.

Adoption and Liberalism

Americans share a common understanding of what adoption is, a common belief in the “facts” of adoption, a common view of themselves and the “other” in relation to adoption, and a common undifferentiated belief in adoption as the best solution to many child welfare problems. This American understanding reflects a naive blindness to the roles of self-interest in adoption, a disinterest in the power, privilege, gender inequality, class and wealth differentials that drive and have always driven adoption, as we understand it, and a common ignorance of the history of the institution of adoption.David Smolin and Desiree Smolin

Adoption and Liberalism

Liberal Hypocrisy in Adoption

McLean: Truth or Legend?

During the late 15th century (probably) on Mull a feud took place between Maclean of Duart and Maclean of Lochbuie over land ownership (not over chiefly rights). Duart imprisoned Lochbuie on an island with an ugly crone as a servant. Nature took its course and a child arrived who later inherited the Lochbuie chieftainship. Legend?

More about the son, Murdoch the Short:

Ewen was killed prior to 1538 in a feud with his father John Og, who had gone to Hector Mor Maclean of Duart for support against Ewen. After the Battle, Hector Mor imprisoned John Og on the fortress island of Cairnburg Mor, on of the Treshnish Isles about two miles off the coast of Mull, away from women so that John Og could have no new heir. Without a Lochbuie heir, Hector Mor felt that he could easily take over the lands of Lochbuie. He did allow John Og to have an ugly maidservant however, and in due course she became pregnant.

The story goes that when Duart found out that the maidservant was pregnant, she was taken to Torlosik so that they could keep an eye on her. There, Duart directed the doctor (Ollamh Muileach, in Pennyghael), that if a daughter was born it could live, but if a son was born he was to kill the child. One version of this story says that the maidservant bore twins, a son and daughter. The nursemaid, who had been friends with (Ewen the Little Head), showed only the daughter to the doctor and hid the son, named Murdoch Gearr or(Murdoch the Stunted) he was born about 1496. The nurse took the child to Glencannel, where he was raised by a family of MacGillivrays.

John Og was succeeded by his illegitimate son Murchadh Gearr, or(Murdoch the Short), who became the sixth Maclaine of Lochbuie, he was legitimated in 1538.

Caledonia, Dougie MacLean

Music and Lyrics by Dougie MacLean
Published by Limetree Arts and Music (MCPS and PRS UK)

I don’t know if you can see the changes that have come over me
In these last few days I’ve been afraid that I might drift away
So I’ve been telling old stories, singing songs, that make me think about where I come from
That’s the reason why I seem so far away today

Let me tell you that I love you and I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me and now I’m going home
But if I should become a stranger you know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia’s been everything I’ve ever had

I have moved and I’ve kept on moving, proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing, found others on the way
I have tried and I’ve kept on trying, stolen dreams, yes there’s no denying*
I have traveled hard sometimes with conscience flying somewhere in the wind


Now I’m sitting here before the fire, the empty room the forest choir
The flames that couldn’t get any higher they’ve withered now they’ve gone
But I’m steady thinking, my way is clear and I know what I will do tomorrow
When the hands have shaken and the kisses flow then I will disappear


Rain, Grass Seed

I’m having second (and third and fourth) thoughts about the “islands” I planted in the back, and where I should plant the new shrubs.

Yesterday, I picked up loam at Blacksmith Shop Farm. Ron and I managed to unload, spread and seed it without destroying ourselves.

It’s been drizzling since this morning: perfect!


Ron found his hearing aids! On his workbench! How neither of us spotted them in all these months is a mystery.

He is happy to be able to hear again.

Woke up thinking it was Sunday. We were out of coffee. Couldn’t understand why there was so much construction noise across the field and traffic on the way to S&S, but no Sunday Times. Ron informed me that it’s only Saturday. I gain a day this weekend!

Finally talked myself into doing yard work today. Actually, more like having good work weather and feeling well enough to dig in.

Got the lawn mowed and the new grass seed watered. Picked up a goodly amount of gravel as well.

Finally put down the marsh grass and covered everything with the old wire fencing to keep it in place.