Paul, the Spitting Image

Today was my Uncle Paul's funeral. Uncle Paul had worldly success, but it is so fascinating that when you die, no one cares about your worldly success. What mattered today was his influence on his family and friends. He embodies the Warnock name -- tall, intelligent, thick hair, strong personality, outsized work ethic, love of learning, and love of playing, especially outdoors. Driven, smart, firm in convictions. I can tell you that many of these traits come straight from Scotland, our ancestral home. 

Paul was not my actual uncle, he was my grandfather's youngest brother, but he took on a larger role in my life after my grandpa died because Paul was the spitting image of my grandpa -- his twin, his double. He would walk into the room and me and my cousins would gasp because it looked and felt like Grandpa had come back from the grave. Everyone would cry and hug him. I told him several times that he would have to be my stand-in grandpa, and he indulged all of us. I don't know how to express what it felt like to have my dead grandfather walk into a room, in the form of Uncle Paul -- they looked that much alike. And their voices sounded alike. And Paul was as tall as me (6'4") so getting a hug from him was a special treat. 

Aunt Helen has been bedridden for years and we all thought we were waiting for Helen to go, so imagine the shock when Uncle Paul died. My grandpa wore himself out taking care of my bedridden grandmother, and Uncle Paul did the same. Their fidelity to their wives is a bright example to me of the real definition of what it means to love someone. 

Uncle Paul embodied the very best of the Warnock family name, and I hope to grow up to be like him. He was a deep thinker, a deep spiritualist, unafraid to ask questions, unafraid to make money and weld influence while passionate about doing good and lifting burdens. He understood Plato's Cave, what is meaningful,  and what will eventually crumble to dust without meaning. Today I was reminded so strongly of my great-grandpa Irvin, Paul's father, and great-grandma Lexia and how their influence has come through generations now. 

Thank you, Uncle Paul and Aunt Helen. I don't think you know how many people, including me, were quietly watching and studying your example. 

Today was Harvest Day at Our House (Nov. 12 2014)


A boxful of carrots, parsnips, beets and a random potato :)

 Ada helping me pack the carrots

First we filled a couple boxes with loose, cheap sawdust.

Then we "planted" the carrots in it, and watered until damp.

We did this now, on Nov. 12, because the ground is going to start freezing this week, so it was time to either dig the carrots or cover them. Because I am doing a major garden renovation this fall, I needed to move the carrots out of the garden instead of covering them. Theses boxes have now been moved to shelves in the garage, where we can pop down and "shop" as needed all winter :) 

Also in our garage "store" is a wheel barrel full of pumpkins and squash.

And a huge bag full of onions from the garden. So we should have good eating all winter, until it is time to start harvesting the greenhouse carrots, beets, and onions in springtime, as well as the springtime outdoor perennial onions. You can see all our vegetable varieties at Happy winter!

A New GMO Potato

A new genetically modified potato has been approved for use in the U.S. by the USDA. 
Since the first GMO potato failed at market, this time they cleverly use fearmongering, saying it is GMO for public safety reasons, because potatoes are so dangerous. Very clever way to get another GMO approved so that another vegetable can be removed from the public domain. And this:
"Potatoes are the latest genetically engineered crop to get approval in the United States. Others include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, canola, sugar beets, certain types of yellow squash and zucchini."
And this: "The nonbruising characteristic of the Innate potato is similar to that of genetically engineered nonbrowning apples, which have not yet been approved for commercial growing by the Department of Agriculture."

Here is the full NYTimes article: