Friday, March 28, 2008

in our midst

"Danny Schmidt is a singing poet in the tradition of Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen - a righteous artist dealing in the rough, beautiful truth. If you love a good song, he's a major find."

Hey you all...we will have a wonderful singer songwriter in our midst come April. His name is Danny Schmidt, his newest CD Little Grey Sheep hit number one on the folk charts and he is coming to Illinois! Anyone I can encourage to attend, I will...and take them with me to see Danny in Rockford Illinois on April 6th, Sunday. I'll list a few venue dates here and also his lyrics to Company of Friends, a wonderful song I can abscribe to. Couldn't be, wouldn't be worth much to myself or others if I didn't know the friends I do- with love and encouragement that fills my tank full. Yep.


When I die, let them judge me by my company of friends
Let them know me as the footprints that I left upon the sand
Let them laugh for all the laughter
Let them cry for laughter’s end
But when I die, let them judge me by my company of friends

When I die, let them toast to all the things that I believe
Let them raise a glass to consciousness
And not spill a drop for grief
Let the bubbles rise at midnight
Let their tongues get light as thieves
And when I die, let them toast to all the things that I believe

I believe in restless hunger
I believe in red balloons
I believe in private thunder
In the end I do believe

I believe in inspiration
I believe in lightning bugs
I believe in slow creation
In the end I do believe

I believe in ink on paper
I believe in lips on ears
I believe what's shared is savored
In the end I do believe

I believe in work on Sundays
I believe in raising barns
I believe in wasting Mondays
In the end I do believe

I believe in intuition
I believe in being wrong
I believe in contradiction
In the end I do believe

I believe in living smitten
I believe all hearts will mend
I believe our book is written
By our company of friends

Copyright 2007. Words and music by Danny Schmidt.

Thur 4/3 - Chicago, IL
On the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology
At The Bog in the basement of The Hub
Free Concert sponsored by IIT, starts at 9pm

Sat 4/5 - Wilmette, IL
Lilfest Concert Series
Show starts at 7pm

Sun 4/6 - Rockford, IL
Charlotte's Web Concert Series
in the Just Goods Listening Room
Afternoon concert - starts at 2pm

Have a good one, take care-

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

till yet

Good morning. It is well to observe another new day of Spring. Has it sprung, truly? Nope, I don't think so...not yet. It is merely teasing us with it's warm southerly winds and it's sunshine and buds almost bursting on the trees. I'm not convinced yet, nope. I think we're still in for some wintry mix, my seeds lay dormant in the ground, they're not convinced either. When I find that first mushroom, that little gray morsel of mystery, soon ( I hope!) then I'll let my winter guard down.

The garlic is fooled though, as it reaches it's tiny little green stemmed arms up to the sky, it needs some more straw covering- it will have to grow right through that blanket even further, stretching, extending it's life force through to the sunshine. And...I cannot till yet, cannot get the clover in soon enough for me- hopefully the wind yesterday and the sunshine today will dry out some more- the earth that is still held in a mud ball in my hands as I picked it up yesterday afternoon, applying enough pressure, hoping the soil would not stay contained in that little ball, but alas! It crumbling, no falling away from the form which told me that tilling was still out of the question.

After work today, I will scoot on over to Lincoln to pick up my new seeder- the beets are still in the seed packet, the radishes haven't been planted enough and the onions...still about 100 to go, yep- enough to keep me busy, sustained. And all of this takes time, much time- and patience and acknowledgement that it is not my way but the way that I have to contend with, humble to. In the dark of this morning, this early morning...I can be patient, be still, be ever hopeful- but the sunrise will shed light, more light on great anticipation on my part and my way will be forced upon the land again- oh, I never learn anything so much in the light as I do in the dark. Except maybe how good sunshine feels, even in chaos and windy conditions, it is so good to feel the sun on skin. Yep.
Take care,(& break out the sunscreen!)

Monday, March 24, 2008

take root

I wasn't going to write a thing this morning...misery loves company but company runs out the door when misery wails. I'm not miserable really, just thought I was- had a thick as molasses day yesterday, Easter- holidays stink, they just do and I've tried every way around them from wrapping up everything with bright shiny ribbons, to fragrant flowers to coloring about if I make a deal with you and myself? I'll celebrate every day of my life, but holidays-nope, take them away, give them to the people who know how to appreciate such times. OK, it's a deal. Now...on to why I did find inspiration to write.
I was moping around here yesterday, cooking a blue streak, laying out Easter stuff for the kids, never smiling- I'm quite sure my attitude probably made the deviled eggs happy...anyway, even this morning found me in a funk. Money is tight, so tight that when I write a check to pay for this or that- the ripping noise releasing the paper from the checkbook emits a high shrill squeaking whistle, it's embarrassing really- I overheard the feed store guy once say, "she's so tight she squeaks, but her checkbook's so tight, it whistles!!! Scares the hell out of every dog in the county!" (Yes, I made that up- but it is possible...) See, I over drafted my account Friday...forgot to include in my loose accounting the fact that I have electronic transfers coming out once a month...and so on top of the planting and planning and working and holiday and woman living in shed and son not pulling his weight and 46 year old body not acting enough like 26 year old in-great-shape-farm worker...well, let's just say overwhelmed became with the bank notice- over the stress limit. So- what do I do...Miss hopeful, Miss optimistic, Miss it-will-all-work-out...well, I had a bit of a pity party. (No one was invited and no one came 'cept me, thank goodness.) Even I didn't stay long...the music stunk, the food tasted blah, and the company was boring and negative, a real fearful, doubtful experience. "Must seek inspiration..." I thought to myself as my soul lay parched and dying in the dry desert of despair (yes, I really think these things out loud too.) Long story longer...

"The People's Grocery-Healthy Food for Everyone" Watched a video, went online to see more of what these young people were about. West Oakland California- seemed a pretty hopeless place to my eyes. 42 liquor stores- no grocery stores, none. How would these people in such a depressed area get food, healthy or otherwise? They could not drive, very little employment opportunities...the liquor stores made pretty good sense. Drink yourself dry, have pity parties galore...invite the whole neighborhood, let the doubts fill the place, I mean- what's the point? Where, in such a place would or could inspiration ever take root?! The People's Grocery.

I cannot properly convey my awe at the young people who have started this, who have given a community a chance to thrive, a youth movement that says "we're all in this together", a co-founder's vision of love and service and devotion and dedication to making a good difference in the world. A model, truly- for what can work, even in the most depressing, depressed areas- for the good of humanity.
So- if you've lost perspective a bit, like I had...hold their story up to yours, share their story is one to be shared. Should be heard, realized...I know it's not going to make the front page of People, or even the local newspaper...but it should, it really should. "Must buy T-shirts from them, help their message them in any way I am able to do..." With hope, take care-

Friday, March 21, 2008

the brightest of days

"To sacrifice something is to make it holy by giving it away for love."
Frederick Buechner

Good Friday to you...
The peas are in the ground as of yesterday afternoon, along with turnips and lettuce and Tatsoi and spinach and radishes and, oh I forget- I only know my back told me to stop about an hour before I did. But it felt so good, the planting. And this morning urges me to get my onions in the ground before the rains surely come, but again, my wintered back says "just watch it sister!" And I am so glad I started an early planting, because I learned that my Earthway planter is set to be retired- seems like every foot or so I had to smack it to get it to release seeds. A somewhat frustrating though good lesson in patience...I didn't even cuss, only smiled. Another lesson in patience is planting the oh so tiny lettuce seeds- when the wind blows even slightly, the little seeds leave their row, flying out of the boundaries of the safety of straight lines into the hoeing zone where weeds find a home. Yep, I sure need that new Earthway...and soon.

And this day finds me again in a remembrance of Easter's past, of coloring eggs and making up baskets and finding just the right kite for each child. Yes, Easter is kites and bubbles and jelly beans and the finest of dresses and hats for two little lovely girls and big bright ties for the boys. And the pictures! Always the pictures of the faces, filled with anticipation-"Where did mama hide the eggs? In the crook of the old Maple out front? In the Iris patch? In the watering can?" And the hunt took place with squeals of laughter and racing hearts and feet...the big ones leaving the easiest found eggs for the little ones. After the egg hunt was up, off to church- the brightest of days there. Everyone dressed up, Easter Lilies set around the altar, their fragrance floating above each pew, the creamy white blossoms signifying anew, resurrection.

Remembering, planting seeds, missing someone...and holding it all up to memories mirror, the reflection shows love, only love. Good Friday. Peace be with you, take care-

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

holy now

"...there's Uncle Joe, he's a movin' kind of slow- at the junction...(Petticoat Junction.)"

See if that little song doesn't stay in your head all day. Just had to bring it up, remembering that show with the sisters and the mom and old Uncle Joe who got up early just so he could take a nap. Yep. I get up early just so I can make a pot of coffee and put the tea kettle on...for dessert, kind of. Oh I love my tea, herbal and otherwise. Which brings me to the point, the explanation of writing this early morning- the tea kettle relates to time taken out of time. To sit and wait for the boil, to mindfully pick and place a tea bag in the stoneware pot and pour the whistling hot water over it. To watch the steam rise, carry the little pot here- next to this keyboard and pick out a story, a tale of time come, time gone, and time now- this very moment finds me alive and happily so.

I don't know about you, but I find some importance in being still in moments such as this, reflecting on lists made, good strong intentions, whittling away the mess of loss of time- so many things carry us away from the project or the moment at hand. I suspect that most people in my life (who have observed me in my daily manic ways) not realize that out of sixth gear I do shift, generally in the morning, or out in the gardens and always in the woods- I slow, I'm quiet, I'm purposeful in that I meld with the silence, the stillness, the shrillness too at times of bird songs and tight breezes. Yes, most do not know this side of me- I suppose I rarely share it, it is mine and mine alone- selfishly sitting out on the sidelines why life whizzes by for so many. Oh, I use to whiz along too, never stopping, realizing the beauty to be had, the miracles all around- for me, it seems...everything is holy now. (From a song, love that line.)

May this week find you well, precious to yourself- as precious as the time, the moments we have here. Oh and do look for the green overcoming the winter's weight of greys and brown, it's popping through little by little, overcoming- resurrecting the bleak with the beauty of Spring.
Take care-

Sunday, March 16, 2008

keep calling

Travelin' On

Cats in a pile on the porch swing
chickens all laid up to roost
Black dog's howling some fight song
And the darn peacock's still on the loose

And a memory worth keeping
keeps calling
The tune still fresh in my mind
You're not gone, no really
not truly
Was time for your travelin' on

The sun still shines on those cedars
the road still ends at my door
The war over there keeps on killing
and the sorrows continue to pour

And your memory worth keeping
keeps calling
The tune still fresh in my mind
You're not gone, no really
not truly
Was time for your travelin' on

The blanket there on the rocker
the one knitted 'specially for you
Grandma had took up her needles-
wove memories of warmth out of blue

And the memory's worth keeping
keep calling
The tunes still fresh in my mind
They're not gone, no really
not truly
Was time for their travelin' on
-Just time for their travelin' on

And we miss them, Lord knows
we miss them
To pretend that we don't is just wrong
and sayin' "was" is too endless-
I think they're just traveling on
Yeah-I believe they're all
travelin' on

(T.L. Starks)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

of every day

Good morning. I have been warned that I needed to write something...and soon! (From a friend that misses hearing from me...kind thoughts followed up with threats of "or else!") Here is the low down of not enough time lately for even a little bit of writing-

A Big Fish has visited me, no longer in my dreams but actually in my company- side by side we have been busy getting ready for the planting season. Wonderful ally, this farm is shaping up!

My tenant has moved in, moving in. Taking some getting use to- sharing this farm, this space with another who is sweet and happy to be here but...I so love my privacy, that I'm having to find little corners to escape the chaos. It will all work out.

The seeds are here! Arugula for pestos...Basil for tomatoes...Lettuce, mixed breeds for wonderful salad mixes at the Wild Hare Cafe in Elkhart, Illinois.(Another plug for this special place, if you're in the area Tuesdays through Saturdays, you must drop in...truly, a delightful, delectable experience.) Heirloom tomatoes...Seeds collected from last year, hoping for germination...Potatoes, fingerlings-wonderful varieties for every taste...Flowers to fill Ball jars for market...on and on the seeds of and for everything!

The walks. Every day. The greening, the fuzz of buds on the smallest of twigs jetting out as high as the branches can hold them against the sky. Soon, very soon- the burst of buds and more bird songs happily, ever expanding music for the soul of the listener. The morning frosts upon everything, making even the old summer kitchen seem new in it's glossy diamond like coating. Oh yes. March is wild and wonderful every moment of every day.

Planning for the farm tours occurring here at Beauregards Farm this summer. Will I ever pull it all together?!

Imploring the 18 year old, the Senior- to stick it out, 3 months until graduation...hang in there son, by your fingernails if necessary, I know I'm biting mine.

Watching. Seeing the happiness in the faces as Spring casually, sometimes collidingly(bloggers get to make words up, remember...) with winter still. Noticing these days the joy in even the faces of the drivers who have encountered me on these country roads many times as I have frequently raised the farmer finger to them in passing- many are actually flipping back! Oh yes, it feels good to connect- even when merely driving by.

There is more to tell, so much more...but, work time is coming soon, the time change has made it tougher to rally early enough-and the morning beckons "come!" The Starlings are gathering up loose straw and making nests-the Peacock climbs upon the roof and calls now and sometimes late into the night for a mate- so much to see and tell soon...
Take care-