Thursday, December 31, 2009

courage and compost



"Well, we're living in the time of the compost pile. Almost everything is rotten, but the compost is where the good things grow." 
James Hubbell




James Hubbell is a poet, architect, a man with a vision of beauty- necessity.  I googled his name as I had recently read an article or rather an interview, I found his thoughts abundant and quite profound.  The quote above was seized immediately by me, copied and transferred here.  To my surprise, he is not quoted enough on the net.  One has to wade through "the between the lines" ocean of information to glean a view of this man's spirit.  Seems these days, as Mr. Hubbell so aptly
puts it, the compost pile is heaped with a rotten core- but as the pile heats up, I hope in the coming year, many will find the remnants to be worthy of mighty growth.
With that said...here goes my attempt to put it in a wonder-full perspective.


2009 Compost 


Keep the faith, all else goes on the compost pile.


Add heat by remembering the joy of days gone by, of moments alive still in my veins and muscles, in my heart and very soul; those visions that made my eyes widen with wonder.


Add moisture by crying many tears, I tend to get mean when the waterworks aren't allowed to open up and cleanse the roughness of any given situation- I vow to cry more and curse less...


Add garbage, lots of garbage to the pile! For instance, past battles- fought and lost.  Past arguments- the ones where I knew I was right but would wrong another too deeply to have even mattered a pinch.  Past failures- super woman only exists in comic books,  simple woman does the best she can do with the tools she's acquired and even gets her cape a bit dirty in the end.  Past hurts- some I never saw coming and some I welcomed with open arms and then wondered, "why me?!"  Past mistakes- failure is like an iceburg to a tiny rowboat, one tip of the paddle in the wrong direction and your down in a titantic way...better to navigate in open seas, keeping one eye peeled for gigantic ice towers, and by all means- wearing a life vest that says SOS-Seek Only Solutions. 


Add grub...good food scraps, organically or sustainabley grown and most certainly local fare.  


Add yard waste and wood scraps- prune the matter that doesn't matter and pick up all the twigs, what doesn't root must be thrown on the pile so that other things might grow.


2010  Amendments


Take the good soil leftover from the compost heap and add seeds of-


Kindness
Passion
Courage
Forgiveness
Wonder


I do believe with proper growing conditons, all that might add up to the most amazing garden.  One that I am very much looking forward to...


Again, I am compelled to ask you to remember... tattoo it if you must!!!-


Fear Accomplishes Nothing


(Just look back over the last year, when you accomplished a feat- perhaps losing 10 pounds. Was it fear that got you walking every day, or was it hope?  How about when you had to confront a significant other with a problem?  Was it fear that made you take the bull by the horns and stand your ground or was it the courage that it took to stand up, knees shaky as ever- to confront the problem, thereby clearing the air so understanding could float on down clear as day to all eyes concerned?  When I speak of fear in this way, I do not mean herculean feats, I mean every-day-all-your-life, getting-on-that-two-wheeler-after-the-training-wheels-were-removed-bicycle and hoping with everything you had- that you might actually gain balance and ride.  Was it fear that turned the pedals?  Or was it faith?)


Thank you for giving a darn, listening and remembering together- as a child we remember the darkness of a closet as a fearful thing, as adults- fear all too often is let out of the closet to inhabit the whole house.  I hope to become like the fearless child I once was, many years ago- she will be the compost queen once again, riding, peddling like the courageous being she always intended to be.  Happy New Year to the courageous compost building children that we were...and can be again.


Take care.

Thursday, December 24, 2009





Nature is beautiful, always beautiful! Every little flake of snow is a perfect crystal, and they fall together as gracefully as if fairies of the air caught water-drops and made them into artificial flowers to garland the wings of the wind!

Lydia M. Child





...be of good cheer, it is the most wonderful time of year!
Love 
Joy
Peels of laughter
and wonder to you and yours...




Merry Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2009

same light

Winter Solstice 2009 occurs at 9:47 am PST, 5:04 pm GMT on December 21, 2009 (22 Dec. in Thailand and points east.) This is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and from now on the Solar force will get longer and stronger, a welcome relief for those of us who need lots of sunshine to keep our dispositions equally sunny.
by Robert Wilkinson of Aquarius Papers





Good morning.


Today is the shortest lit, darkest day of the year.  It is a time for  many- to let go of old influences, differences- to say or write of the things you wish to relinquish- to see leave your life.  This is where, in times past- the yule log came in.  The ritual began many years back to ignite a log and to burn in it's flame- messages on parchment, bark or some kind of medium that one might write on or draw pictures to symbolize the intention.  And then, the same exercise would begin again with drawing or writing of what you wished to see come into your life.  Again, the intentions would go into the flame, one at a time or all in a list or perhaps upon a pine bow, one might  say, "Joy please come back into my life, I wish for happiness to fill the spaces left open by all the things I do so intend to let go."  


History tells us of pagans (who were really just poor peasants, many of them country people- not heretics or heathens as the church back in the day would have all believe because of their odd tendencies to worship nature- the sun, moon and stars,)  just plain and simple folks who cherished the divine in every living thing... and in each other.   The herbs the good earth gave them thereby curing many of their ailments were gifts treasured and often spoke of in ceremonies.   And to this day, we still use the old ways to cure many common ills.


 These days when people speak of pagan or being a pagan- to me that just means they choose to believe as their freedom dictates.  Nothing scary, or evil....isn't it funny how we often give the unknown, the misunderstood a cloak and dagger of sorts, declaring them unchristlike or even worse, devil worshipper?!  That always tickles me in a way, and sometimes when an actual pagan declares to me that they are pagan, I say- Good for you, I'm Terry!  Almost always I am then met with a very quizzical look, then  kindness- that agreeing to disagree thing, willing to uphold the divine in each and every one of us- regardless of the little tag dangling from our character!  Usually brings about an understanding, an acceptance- clarity then rears it's bright and shiny face and in that same light- we all dance.


To believe in one's personal God or Goddess or Baby or King or Candles or ???? To each his own- Every one of those beliefs have the one thing in common that this day  lacks- Light.  In the following days...in longer lit, lesser dark times- may we all begin again to truly live in the Light that is the Divine in the all and everything.


Joy to all-



Sunday, December 13, 2009

it's all a blur....


My Maine adventure thus far...picture-less posts no more!

Downeast photo taking is like walking into a candy store and being allowed to consume whatever your little heart desires.
 Everything is beautiful.  Real.  Splendid.  Scrumptious.  Inspiring.  Dizzying.  Stimulating to an intoxicating degree.

 Enjoy...








Big as a bedsheet welcoming sign...









Sea and shoes meet finally in the surf at Roqe Bluffs State Park, Machias Maine.
And here are pics I took from my window at Cohill's Inn (& Spirits...), the following morning found me entranced by the snow and scallop draggers.  These photos literally taken from my bed, camera pointed towards the Bay of Fundy...and the food and folks who run the place- ever lasting friends.   And Irish.   Landing in one of my favorite points on this here earth- Lubec Maine.  No one knows for certain how they find it or why they stay...there's something deep and mysterious about it.  Definately a mystical place...I absolutely love it.



My first snow.  In Maine.  And the lighthouse posed perfectly, don't you think?!  I literally could barely breathe at the sight of new snow...tears of joy came all to often that morning.  Emotional woman....


Even indoors, the reflection of the outside is enough to keep a gal humbled for life...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

TRUE CALLING~214



I almost didn't catch it...today is my anniversary. Number 214, this post is...started the blog thing back in 2007 with Chainsaw Reaction. Couldn't help but traipse backwards through all the "writing" and the pictures. Heck- I even realized a bit of wisdom in all those volatile thoughts- some quite original. Bam!!! That's why I started writing a blog. Some folks say it like it's a dirty word- Bl#!*%g. I say it proud-BLOG! Blogging permitted me to open up, to see inside, to reflect, to inspire, to be inspired- and each and everyone of you- responsible.

That's a good thing.

I am in unfamiliar territory now. Everywhere I look, I see beauty yes...but all is so foreign to these eyes, I don't quite yet- speak the language. Fearfully I wonder if I ever will...but fear and wonder should never go hand in hand, wonder is an opening- not a closed fortress such as fear. So- these words I write from here on out need to be strong and brave and full of wonder...God help me. Amen.


Go ahead, make my day...


Now, should a single soul here on the net comment on how they make the best out of the really scary stuff, even through blurred vision- I, being a truewonder and all, will gladly give to the charity of their choice-
a TWO HUNDRED and FOURTEEN DOLLAR DONATION
in honor of the anniversary of True Calling
Because it would sure do me good to do you good- Let Me Help.

Let's count our blessings together, you and I.

Let's add up all the wonders, extract all the sorrows, stack them all up together against another soul's journey who can't quite make ends meet and send them 214 blessings.

(And your reflection as to why this group or individual speaks to your soul, calling for our attention.)
Please include a link or email to the group or individual so that I may pay it forward. (Or simply email me when called upon to do so through the comment thingy...)

How will I choose a winner?! My heart will tell me so...if yours speaks straight to it.


Take care-

***And should the equation get out of hand...perhaps others will take it upon themselves to fund a true calling- a plea for a bit of mercy and will pay it forward too.

Monday, November 30, 2009

the pine jungle

The world has gone to the dogs, that'd be Gideon, Etta and "the pincushion" formerly known as Gracie. Each and every waking moment seems to tend to their needs, I have to keep them tied up, walk them and find some material, possibly not of this earth- that Gideon can't chew through. She even dismantles chains. These dogs came from a farm on a dead end road with acres upon acres to roam free, to dig up possums and chase coons, to wander aimlessly at will. But Maine changed their outlook, their free wheeling ways, their tender puppy naivete...

On a bad day, Maine is pretty. On a good day, Maine is beautiful. On a beautiful day, Maine is mind bending. On a day like Saturday- Maine is Maine, not to be taken for granted; ask the kayaker who started out on a mirror calm lake trip when suddenly, the weather changed and white caps flapped and flipped the little vessel, leaving the kayaker to tend with a Nor Easter... (Or as I like to call them: Nor east, nor west, nor south, nor north-STAY PUT!)

Or ask the motorist powering down Highway 9- lakes abundant, pine trees proudly standing thick amongst the moss covered loam or staunchly straddling ravines and rocky edges, the smell is of a pristine quality, the sights a most nourishing eye candy when suddenly, out of no where comes a beast who takes up half the road just by simply stepping from the timber to black top, in one single stride. Twisted metal and steel, broken glass and bones lay in a heap as the Moose glides as if a ghost, back into the pine jungle- while the motorist tries to piece together how a locomotive simply ran him over, out of no where it came with no warning, no cross road alarms, nothing to prepare him for the derailment.

Ask the new greenhorn, the farmer- the adventurer who throws caution to the wind, laughs at danger and spits in the eye of certain border crossers who are about thee most rudest, inconsiderate beings I have ever had to share the atmosphere with. Yes, just ask me about futile situations- why I can outrun the best, out jump the rest and crawl like a centipede when necessary by golly. But throw a porcupine in there, a walking-garbage-extracting-pin-cushion-pig and my friends, you can call me whipped. Porcupines are the original terminators, demolition devils, rooting sapsuckers and fortified with quills of mass destruction. How the heck you gonna make friendly with something like that?!

You don't. You quiet yourself and your pet while in their vicinity, which by the way- is anywhere they choose to be. And did you know they climb trees?! UH_HUH!! And did you know that ignorant labs such as Gracie can also climb trees?! ME EITHER!!!! Guess what happens when a porcupine and a pup like Gracie share the same branch? A whole lot of piercing going on....

Yep, Miss Grace has become an acupuncturists dream- why! she's got piercings fiercer than any punk rebel could ever even dream of! Nose ring? Please....Lip pierced?...you're wasting my time! Nipple posts? Now you're just making me sleepy... Miss Grace's got piercings where no quill should ever go. Heck, she even swallowed a few...'cept for the ones that caught in her throat, stuck out of her tongue and gums and caused her mouth to be propped open on the 3 hour drive to the emergency clinic for such wayward, unanticipated porcupine/dog encounters.

Fun, fun, fun here in Maine...my utmost respect, dear Maine. Please, please, please I pray- let me see the Moose a half mile before I need to, and please I pray- lead my Kayak away from temptation and tidal waves, but mostly dear Maine, I plead...deliver me and mine a remote wireless fence that might in time, contain my "girls" and perhaps, if it's not too much to ask- give me the million dollar question answered-
How the heck do you repel a porcupine???

Never wanted to make a million dollars before(- if I did, I'd just have to find all kinds of wonderful ways to give it away), but perhaps if I put my noggin' to the grind stone and came up with a sure way to piss off the porcupine into oblivion, I do believe I might be living in that house on the hill at Pocomoonshine.

Take care out there!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

and the soup.

Good morning!

My journey was a looooonnnnggg one...traveling with two giddy Labs and one little nervous terrier made for many stops, pee breaks and wrestling Gideon to the ground when she slipped her collar somewhere in upstate New York and tried to make a break for it, midst semis and oncoming traffic. Then in Oneida, an Indian woman who had a fight with her husband, decided it best to spend the night in the hotel parking lot, next to my pickup- with her jalopy running at full throttle sans a muffler. "Let the howling begin"- (Gracie woofed to Gideon), and so the police were called and I was almost evicted because my dogs were causing a ruckus. I explained to the authorities that perhaps if the non-paying guest would just shut her vehicle down and stop raising hell, all would be well. Thank goodness, that is what eventually happened. Peacefully finally at rest, the girls laid back down in their camper home and slept....ahhhhh, as did I.

One other incident bears recalling...Lake Eerie, it's blue boldness all along the turnpike- called to me, "Get off the turnpike, come to the water's edge, you must!" And so I did. For about two hours I exited via Route 5, all along the long lake's shoreline and exclaimed silently to myself-"This is utterly beautiful and vast, like the ocean! Somewhere I will stop and let these girls look at a real lake!"
The girls, Gideon and Gracie- did not find the enormity of the lake and white capped waves comforting. Matter of fact- they were terrified and would not dare step hide nor hair of their great paws into the watery edge. Miss Etta on the other hand- chased the tide, in and out- snapping and barking gleefully with her new found friend, Lake Eerie. Oh, and I stopped in a little hub for lunch and enjoyed thee most delectable soup my taste buds ever had the glorious pleasure to encounter- a steaming bowl of Butternut Squash with apples soup. My oh my, heaven in a bowl. The waitress, who must have had long days and little appreciation for her toll tending to customers- was dry at first, muffled almost. But! I found a crack in her solemn shell, and out came the sweetest soul thus far I had encountered on my trip. I remember she had a long red braid falling just to the center of her back and loose, untamed hairs tucked behind her ears in such a way that seemed as if she might not be able tolerate one more wild hair, with the exception of her newest customer...me. She and I talked, me mostly...but the questions I asked her were just enough to get her juices flowing, oh how she melted. To be appreciated, I do believe- was a gift she had not encountered yet that day. I left her a tip, a simple act to show that one good egg might make up for all the hard boiled others in her day- and this sweetheart came out to my truck and actually tried to give it back to me. She said it was too much- I smiled and said it was my joy, that she was kind, that I had been traveling a great deal and her kindness had made my day, well that, and the soup. We both laughed, wishing each other well.

This morning found me waiting on the thin red line to appear over the Pocomoonshine mountain, the Big Fish said that is how the sun rises here...in North East Maine, right over the rail of my deck...in Maine. I live...in Maine. I drive...in Maine and exclaim to myself, no longer silently but triumphantly...I Live In Maine! To think that after all this time of longing and loving a little farm for 18 years, that I might find love again...in the land, in the journey. Oh I have...oh I do...I want to live friends...here in Maine- living is large and lovely and magnificent and wonder-full.

More on the journey...when I get my laptop hooked up. I'm sitting in on the BF's computer...and may I add that the Big Fish greeted me with a sign hung proudly and prominently off the second story of his home, big as a bed sheet, painted with love. Can you imagine? Now I know why that sweet red haired lady cracked open...love and appreciation kind of wraps you up and gets you glowing and warm like a flame in a wood burner. Speaking of wood....off to split some.

Take care-

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When Good Chicks Go...

God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers,
AND thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,
A gauntlet with a gift in "it".
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Good morning,

One more time before I go, I've stopped in to say hello, goodbye...Sayonara; if it is to be, so be it.

Here's a low down on the high craziness that goes along with moving, relocating, shakin' down and moving on:

Bullshit is unavoidable. (A new adage to the phrase "shit happens")
I like my take on it, between happens and unavoidable, the latter is undeniable, therefore- prepare for the unexpected.
(Please pardon the cursing, though please know, those cuss words have a bit of grace mixed in too.)

Thick skinned people become thin skinned after too many sleepless nights, Veteran's Day Florist from Hell comments and haulers who never show up to take the stuff they promised to come and get, so at the zero hour, after selling truck- you have to find someone else to take the stuff- making the thin skinned wonder get on all fours and sob. Cleansing, yes- Confidence building-no.

There are friends, and then there are friends. Moral support, hand holding, hugging, kicking my rear when it needs kicked, all rolled up in a bundle of warriors led by our own personal wonderful don't know what I'd do without her- Mrs. Doubtfire: Audrey. ( More like Ms. Hopefire)

"What do you mean my coffee pot is packed?!" And where's the garlic press, and teapot, and where do I sit?, and that book I was reading? and has anyone seen my glasses? and my camera? no, no, no, don't pack my retainer-yes, I actually put that thing in my mouth!

And my personal favorite-

Old tractors such as Betsy look great all on their own, but when selling said tractor- location, location, location! So I parked the old girl in the old corn crib- my, my she's a beaut surrounded by ancient cathedral-like peaks and slats of light. Everyone that lays eyes on her in that situation would get all nostalgic and Must have her, right?! So I go out there yesterday, manipulate her starter, tap her hood, say a prayer, pull the choke, lift the lid and jiggle her ground strap (she loves that, gets her every time!) and with the hood standing up, she roars to life!

Unbeknownst to me, a bundle of mice and their huge extended family had moved right in there on top of old Betsy's engine, and when she roared to life they burst out of there like Jiffy Pop Popcorn hot on the stove without a lid. Good God, they were all over me-up my pant legs, hanging from my shirt, crawling on my hands. I screamed and screamed and screamed some more, but I couldn't let off of Betsy's throttle and well, I couldn't touch the mice either, I mean EEEWWWWW!!! I shook the rafters and my eldest daughter with my screaming, she came running (not fast enough I can tell you) And what does she do when she arrives??!!! Laughs, guffaws, holds her belly and serves her right- pees her pants laughing! And they're still everywhere...running on the running boards, coming down the wire, and these were not your little country/city cute little run and hide mice, no sirrreee, these were LEAPING MICE!!!! MIGHTY MOUSE MICE- every one of 'em were singing-"Here I come to save the DAY!!!" (I can only reflect back on my mice morgue, and this was nature's way of getting back at me)...so, I surrender right here right now- no more frozen mice, no more traps, no more glue:BUT GOD AS MY WITNESS- I aim to find me the biggest, meanest, mouse inhaling cat and never will I be without one again., Nature against nature- mouse versus cat, 'nuff said. (And yes I wet my pants too.)

Believe me when I say, I've come undone. And I don't think it's the worst thing in the world. Balled up tighter than a Broody Hen upon her eggs- something had to give. I do. I surrender. Raising the White Flag. Rolling with it. Laughing 'bout it. Crying if it is to be.
See you soon, take care!


****(Attention please...this is the final installment of the Illinois truewonder, next up, new chapter, turning the page-Maine truewonder coming soon...)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Way We Get By

The Way We Get By - Click to Watch the Trailer



I wanted to get this on site, I feel it is well worth the attention. Perhaps on Veteran's Day, as I plan to do-you might consider watching this program. It will be nation wide on Wednesday on your favorite PBS station, beginning 9:00 PM Eastern Time and here in the central time zone at 8:00 PM.
This is an outstanding film about outstanding individuals giving our men and women in uniform encouragement in the form of meeting the plane at the Bangor Maine Airport, for every arrival and departure of soldiers. These folks have come together for five years, no matter the inclement weather- at any hour to remind our soldiers they are indeed welcomed, loved, appreciated and deeply valued for their service.
Semper Fidelis.

I will be unhooking the ol' computer on Thursday, so I will try to come on here one more time before the big trip and lay bare the story, the final leg, the move and everything that matters in between. Love and kindness, take care-

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stellar!!!


Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.
Kahlil Gibran


There's a thinker with a cup of java thrown in. Huh...imagine a pimple, come on- hang with me here... a pimple that first erupts with much pain and redness, when finally it comes to a head- you realize that the most painful part is already over. Now you only have to live with an ugly blemish that will in time heal- both inwardly and outwardly. And once the thing heals, it's only remembrance is- frankly, you're glad that it's gone and perhaps now, you'll wash your face before retiring without fail, stay away from too much chocolate and be thankful your face is free of ugly zits!

Don't blame me for the crazy analogies, you came here- you're just asking for it! Anyway, once you've borne the pain- the task is at hand to complete the cycle and become a student of the lesson...or a victim of the pain.
So- here's where I'm at:
Purchased a new truck to replace the old one that my reckless son wrapped around an electrical pole.
(He's alright, I did not kill him...and I'm just as much at fault for handing him the keys to go to a football game.)
He's borne the pain...his lessons, long. I hope and pray he'll find out who he is beyond that day...
Auction folks came out yesterday and took the majority of "stuff" away.
(Antique collector through the years, don't need to haul what is no longer useful, though to a big old farmhouse- the furniture and such was quaint, shabby, sheik and comforting.) To a two bedroom cabin- a rocking chair, crocks, a massive amount of pictures, paintings and books- will be much more apt. Ahhh, the simple life of simple abundance...and yes snow, lots of snow!!!! Bring it on.
Went to the bank and said, "Lookee here....an insurance check, a new truck and thank you so much for being the best bank a gal could ever have hoped for."
Athens State Bank is tops in my book, Mr. John Leinberger has been a trusted banker and friend. And, they hand write out all your receipts and call you by name...
I am dealing with Mayflower to haul my stuff to Maine
...with the promise of uncertainty in finding new truck with towing capabilities, scrapped those plans and called on the good folks at Mayflower.
From the car dealership to Mayflower to Athens Bank to my insurance carrier (Country Companies), may I just say one word about all these folks I've been dealing with as of late.
On a professional scale:
Stellar!!!
So you see, I have much to be thankful for. Beyond all that pain, I am still a student of gratefulness. Kind of wish the universe would change my teacher to Lottery Goddess though, then my lessons might become what to do with millions of dollars! I'm ready universe, I'm ready!!!!
Although I do tend to cuss alot these days, millions of dollars would just add to my language dysfunction right now...but I'm willing to risk it.
By 7:00 AM, I have to take the Labs to the vet for a bit of nipping and tucking, so I'll leave you with this quote:
Fear accomplishes nothing.
And a laugh....



"I'd smother me grandmother for a meellion dollars!"

Take care!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

the other side





Does your chest ache? Are you hopeful? Will you still be farming? What, of you, remains at the farm no matter how far you travel from it?

My my, I am honored by the deepness of those questions, from questioners who know a bit of something of life I reckon.

Every inch of me aches...physically and otherwise. I'm no spring chicken ya know! And I've got this gene affliction, passed on by my pop who is by far thee most stubborn, infuriating soul I know- that causes me to be determined beyond the outer limits of the more timid (sane) souls. In my formidable years (all of 'em), I fell in love with the poetry of Walt Whitman. It was though a light went on and every word he wrote, every great and wonderful verse that flowed filled an emptiness in me.


"...Long enough have you timidly waded, holding a plank by the shore,Now I will you to be a bold swimmer..."
-from "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman



Impressionable as I've always known myself to be- I obeyed. That will Mr. Whitman spoke of was bonafide and iron clad in me. I am a strong swimmer, always will I be. And hope has been my life preserver, keeping me afloat when the current seemed against me.



"And that is where you found me-

At the water's edge.

I could see across the river then...

and I showed you the other side.

But you, in your boat of reason-

Sailed smoothly across,

leaving me to swim..."

Waves-T.L. Starks copyright 2003




I began farming to take a stand against the tide of disconnections in the ever growing ocean of corporate human hands-off bullshit. I for one need connections, need to know where it came from, how lovingly it was prepared. Food is the flavor of life, we all need it, share it, come together in rituals through the ages to partake in the bounty of it. Food is grace. The care of the earth and it's inhabitants have played a central part in my vocation, there is a sense of an ever present common good amongst the rows and I wanted to be a farmer because of that vision. Yes, I will farm- will grow good food and common good as long as I am able. Four season farming will be my goal, in green houses and in spring and summer- greener surroundings. "Growing in a big way" is my motto, my creed- fitting my soul like a liquid shell.


And finally- I had to step outside this morning, in the dark- to see what might remain of me here on this farm. I gazed upwards to see the crop of stars and realized-I'll gladly leave behind for all to wish upon or curse (if need be), a place to plant the seed of dreams. A blanket of stars, there in that night sky- covers each and everyone I know or will never know- with an assurance that even in the darkest dark- the light of the one who created it all penetrates eternally. Some look up at the sky and feel so small while some gaze upon the diamond studded floor of the heavens and sense an enormity beyond their loneliness, their littleness, their solitary souls. (And you know, somewhere deep inside you, that there is no such thing as a solitary soul or you would not have stumbled in here and stayed so long- though please know, I'm so glad you did.) No being ever could sell or trade what is freely given there above you, no one can take it from you- there is no more a fertile place in the universe that I know of, than a starry night sky for wonder upon wonders.




Be well, take care-


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

left hooks


"...it's a true wonder I breathe at all."


Damn. Ouch. And breathing is a miracle once again, deep breathing- though most needed right now, is out of the question. Shallow, shallow breaths and shallow thoughts and too much damage here as of late. And the list gets longer and longer and my reserves get shorter and shallower, only 17 days now to acquire a new vehicle, a trailer because all the plans made have gone to Hell in a handbasket. Although dear readers, do know- I will not be stifled, saddened maybe- beyond all reason... but stifled, nope.


I've waded through worse, walked a million miles- yes I have. Just thought, innocently-naively- that my quota on bad things happening to good people had been filled. It seems that I have to take everything on the chin...Okay, if that's the way it's got to be, Lord I pray-


No more left hooks.



(No need to go into detail, serves no purpose- those close to me know the deja vu stuff going on....anyway, in a few days I will be back with the lovely questions posed to me- answered. In the mean time,

Take care-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spark!





Good morning.

Started my final list- it is 57 lines long.

Caught my girls being happy- carving pumpkins on the front porch. Beautiful sisters.

Gathered with friends last evening for a meal and more.

Catching sight of the colors soon to leave, my oh my how triumphant the blaze these days!

Bright skies greet me, the stars glare with beams of coolness- the night sky of colder days always sharpens the view.




R.D says harvest is in full motion for him...finally!




The farm is sold. All is gold. And I am it's keeper no more...




(Beginning to realize though, I never truly was. Participating these last eighteen years has been an absolute pleasure...)



Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.



~ Dr. Seuss




(and my posts will get better, working on the pics and essaying it up that way...perhaps somebody somewhere will give me a writing/pictorial challenge-C'mon you brave and wondrous wanderers on the net- I want to tell the story of leaving without leaving anything out that matters in pics or words or poetry, but I need a prompt or a thump...something to hold this old blog over for awhile till I get settled in. Something worth reading and raving about...look at it like this, if you could interview someone as a reporter- what might your questions be? Spark the creativity of this here true wonder...)

and as always, do take care-

Thursday, October 15, 2009

listen


“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.”


- Anne Morrow Lindbergh







Good morning. Today is the day I give it all away. Certainly I will be compensated, but the money- the reward will not come from an amount of dollars and cents, but in a value that cannot be measured. I wept last night before retiring, feeling oh so beside myself with doubts and fears of what ifs and what will be...I cannot know and yet I find this morning- the courage from a prayer- a request for simply peace of mind.


The birds greeted me this morning, robins in the road and a nuthatch hopping down the side of the great Maple in the front yard.

"Ah!" I said, "A nuthatch."

That is enough, a sign for me that all is well, all will be well...


May this home find the good stewards that I have tried to be, may the new owners find in time- the peace that I have come to know. May the sunrises and sunsets speak to them as they have called to me daily- coloring my soul, filling me with wonder. May all who enter here find the joy I have found, may they come and go with a happiness that encompasses every one they meet, may the silent poetry of this place ring in the ears that might learn to listen for such things.

.

May love and only love- continue to grow here.


Amen.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

white woman jello-shot flashback





Good morning. Mathew, my big man/boy youngest son and I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Ohio. It was a Semper Fi kind of thing. Stoke just got himself hitched and we got to share in all the festivities and let me just warn you, there were jello shots involved. Completely harmless looking little things, really. It's like a rainbow of gooey jellied yum-yum treats, especially when they are all stacked up on one another. And then the floor, the surface of trust and solidness, just comes right up and smacks you when you least expect it and the little cuckoo birds turn a bright black and blue as they swirl around your head. Sounds like an acid trip somehow, not that I have ever taken one of those, that's just seventies talk I have heard from my older brother. Not where I really wanted to go at all this morning, on a jello-shot flashback...

We had a beautiful time, we drove for six hours, got lost in Indianapolis because that's a limbo like area, probably closer to hell than heaven- I even got called a white woman. Never been called that before, but I was not offended, oh no! The man who said that used it in a sentence like this:

"White women, look at me! Forget thees map and listen what I tell you, get out of here, you are not safe. Take right at stop light, take right again and keep on going unteel you get out...you understand me?!" "Do not look at thee effing map unteel you do what I say, just get out of here soon now!"

"Uh, thanks..."

I had left the protective big 6' 2" man boy out in the engine-running-locked-truck while I approached this man, I found myself sprinting back, banging on the windows (now I'm sure I looked like a crazy white woman, drawing all kinds of attention to myself by banging and yelling- "wake up, let me in!") The young man does not wake easily or perhaps took this opportunity to make a joke, either way he wasn't much of a security guard. We did get out of there, I won't even go into how we got so turned around and ended up in a place where perhaps, because of our extreme Irish/Swedish glaring whiteness, we might not have been welcomed without an Uzi...

But as usual, that is not my story, this is-

Big Stoke- Marine made man from Ohio, St. Marys to be exact. Met my Marine(Beau) there in North Caroline-y several years back, fell in love like men sometimes do with a buddy- a brother from another mother. They were inseparable, went to war together, made plans to travel the wide world, or at least the extreme southern states after their tour- picking and grinning and driving the Stang, that's Mustang to you and me. Turbo charged and fortified with blow-out-the-windows-and-your-ear-drums stereo. (I'm behind the times there, most folks don't call it stereo anymore, but you get the gist...)

Well you know in this turbulent world, some things happen that no one for sees and lives and plans get rearranged, hearts get broken and journeys never get taken. Sometimes, even big old Marines lose their heart and drop their pack- for too long. And then one wondrous day, after going back, over and over the reasons of why and the question that never gets a good answer, a lovely lady enters in with a bigger heart than a big old Marine. And she looked inside of Stoke, went deeper than most I suspect, lifted that man's pack up higher than it had ever been before and he decided it was time to take a new trip. (Although incidentally, they still went south on their honeymoon...redneck!)





Ahhh...now I'm getting to the good part. Stoke is one tough hombre, but kind of soft in the middle, you know- like a good chocolate chip cookie. We met him at a time when no joy could be found, when packs dragged the ground and it really didn't matter after all- anything. Still, he was a Marine and was made to escort "Dirt's" family around the base before and after the memorial service. In a later telling, he said though it was heart wrenching, he was honored to aid us. He was so tender with my children,truly the first soul who treated them like they were not little pillars of strength, not made of stone- and so kind to them that we all kind of clung to him. We trusted his guidance and strength, really relied on this young man to see us through. The service was somber, ever been in a room full of Marines filling the pews, trying to act all Marine-like, trying to not cry, trying to brave it out? Silent whispering tears, that's what it was. But those are the kind that are heard and felt most of all, those are the kind that ache even after they've been wiped away. So there we sat, trying to live up to the examples being set all around us- honoring not my son, but a brother who served- a Marine.

As the service came to a slow salute conclusion, Stoke stood at the end of our pew and offered his arm as an escort. I was easily led, as were my children. Unbeknownst to us, we were not made to wade through the river of Marines- we were to exit via the parson's door, in full view of the congregation of military men and women. As these doors were opened, all eyes behind us were upon us. A large hall was presented, again open to all eyes and Stoke led us through, beyond the alter, through the doors and straight into... the parson's bathroom. I remember looking down to see a toilet just at my right knee, holy as that little place was, we had taken a wrong turn. Stoke was facing a wall, still extending his arm for me to be led. The kids and Beau's "K." followed right into the little room, actually burrowing right in there like a pack of gophers. Stoke simply turned an about face, shrugged his shoulders, took my arm and out we filed- to the actual exit.

Stoke, in the midst of all the sadness, on a day when no joy could be found- made us laugh and giggle and snort. Oh we cried, doubling over outside where the parson was waiting, wondering- just where had we gone?! To this day, we give Stoke all kinds of grief over that incident. Matter of fact- I was handed the mic at the reception there in Ohio, and told just that story. Jello shots make you do the darndest things...


(And am I the only one to notice how bathrooms and privies and um, well...toilets, have kind of brought about epiphanys as of late??!)


Take care-

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

by the means of Mrs. Jones


I live a charmed life. Maybe not a perfect one, but charmed comes closest to mind when discussing the ever evolving wondrous happenings that seem to find me day by day. Let me explain-

Several years back, my Marine and I took a trip, an important trip- to save Mrs. Jones. She was standing out in an open field, weedy and wasting away and longing, I felt -when I first laid eyes on her, to be a central part of life again. God knows in her day, she had many visitors. When I came upon her 9 years ago- the only visitors she had had as of late were sparrows and the occasional burrowing mammal, oh and possibly some reptilian company but ooooohhhh, I didn't want to think about that! (Since I knew the Marine would have to crawl inside and ummm, shake Mrs. Jones loose from her flimsy foundation.) (The Marine of course, wasn't having any of this, but the mother in me manipulated and guiled the poor boy, so naturally he obeyed just to shut me up. Or out of respect- yeah, that's how I remember it now...)

I'll cut to the chase or the long haul, whichever keeps you on the edge of your seat- we bound Mrs. Jones to a borrowed old wreck of a trailer, secured her securely and proceeded to drive the 90 miles home. We gave Mrs. Jones a place of honor on the farm next to the clothesline, surrounding her with hollyhocks and horseradish. Through the years, she was again- a central part of life. We loved her. Many pictures were snapped under her red tin eaves, many a smile spread across the face of many a visitor who proceeded to recollect their own outhouse stories from "back in the day." The years passed and the owner of the farm became weary in the upkeep and the low downs of running said farm alone. Even Mrs. Jones' nostalgic charm could not bring about the peace once found so abundantly fresh every day to the weary farmer. (That'd be me...) So- the farmer decided to sell the home place and with the farm would go Mrs. Jones. But- most of the interested parties considering the purchase of the parcel did not seem to take notice of the ancient beauty standing proud midst the horseradish. Some did not even know what she was- a privvy, an outhouse, Mrs. Jones for gosh sakes! I'd proclaim the historical value of her architectural structure while touting her bygone days of total necessity for relief and reading and stinky solitude. I began to realize with the farm sale, Mrs. Jones might become firewood or worse- an eyesore to be excavated. But then- a wondrous thing happened. Yes, now finally- I'm getting to the good part!

Last Wednesday-I found myself in the good company of a lady who works and creates beauty at the Farm near Salisbury, Illinois. I laid all my purchases down on the counter- a candle, dried grasses, cinnamon sticks and most certainly some Bittersweet Vine. The lady turned out to be Cheryl Pippin. And I liked her right away. A kindred spirit naturally...wondrously. Out of the blue a lightening bolt struck in the form of an idea- perhaps Cheryl would adopt Mrs. Jones! She did. Of course.

Mike, Cheryl and Mrs. Jones

The lady's got an eye for the poetry of life, for the day making details, for delightful things. And now I know why we meshed- we are the proud mothers of USMC men, Andrew and Beau. We will always be proud and grateful for our boys, even though we no longer get to lay our hands upon their shoulders, or touch their cheeks ever so lightly, to take in their presence with our eyes, to hear their voices with our ears- we still feel the absolute joy and endless love, we still remember and tell the stories of their lives.

We only just discovered last evening- the similarities of our lives, now intertwined- that went beyond mutual glee of old and useful things. We found each other through a chance meeting, over an outhouse. Mr.and Mrs. Pippen and I do not question that collaboration- but the Marines, being ever true and all...might just have two mighty fine soldiers "over there" who sure have a wicked sense of humor- bringing us together by the means of Mrs. Jones.

...I learned from stones I stepped upon,

death does not a life erase.

Some memories never multiply,

but new ones leave their trace...



Semper Fi






Take care-

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Between Awe and Wonder

A GARDEN is a lovesome thing, God wot!

Rose plot, Fringed Pool,Ferned grot-


The veriest school


Of peace; and yet the fool


Contends that God is not-

Not God?! in gardens! when the eve is cool?


Nay?


But I have a sign;

Tis very sure...

God walks in mine.




Poem By Thomas Edward Brown (1830-1897)"My Garden"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

at their gentle best


Good morning. I've noticed the change in the seasons coming of late, a bit quirky in my observations I suppose, I see things that are poetic in nature and not all together structured to the vision of one's eyes but of one's heart. September has always been a favorite time of year for me, a melancholy month to be sure- Fall hangs like a cloak on the trees and dampens all the webs with dew. It's a time that all good things must end, or rather prepare for deep sleep, spiders have all my sympathy. They are the hardest little workers these days and I marvel at their work ethic, often running into their masterpieces while mowing or walking and then later finding that once again, even with their sure demise just around the corner- they rebuild again and again.

Before the leaves begin their free fall from the old Silver Maples in the yard, it's as though the branches and twigs that hold the stem to the leaves give a final heave and then slowly, deliberately bow- humbled with the weight of so many leaves now left to fall where they may, the trees seem exhausted and droops accordingly. Preying Mantises are everywhere- on the Golden Rod, the flag on the old summer kitchen, on the screens to the sun porch. Green and brown and sometimes a rust red, depending on what they're perched upon. And now too, the birds seem impatient- fighting amongst themselves or perhaps it's time that the little birds found their own way and in their reluctance to leave the nest- they squabble with their parents. The night noises are at their gentle best, coyotes howling in the distance, crickets and tree frogs harmonizing- the melody of September is one I know by heart and love so well. The Big Fish says in Maine- it's much quieter. This worries me so much so that I've decided to tape record my evenings here, just in case the silence breaks my heart. So much to do before the big move, but I cannot forget what sustains me. I must frame each event and give it subtle reference- like "September sunrise" or "late fall reflection" in case I need visuals too, on what has all been blessed assurances to my soul here on this farm.

Ahhh, my days are numbered now- not much longer, the wait. The house will be closed on by mid November, things being mostly settled by mid October, hope I will be too.

Take care-

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

There'll be laughter



There'll be laughter, even after-
You're gone.
I'll find reason, to face
That empty dawn
For I've memorized each line in your face
And not even death could ever replace-
The stories they tell to me.
I'll miss you...Oh how I'll miss you...
And I'll cry a million tears
But the sorrow will pass
And the one thing that will last-
Is the love..you've given...to me.
There'll be laughter...


written by
Iris Dement



A good friend recently lost her dear-sweet husband too soon. I had written in the past of having friends (I'm very blessed with incredible friends who share their lives with me and teach me oh-so-much about love.)
who are truly living lessons in devotion to their mates. This couple were my number two teachers. Yep- I've got another set of soul mates who had been my model for what it must be like to live for an other's happiness. These two couples could not be separated, even in names. They were always the two names said in one breath, in one instance. Death was the only thing that could ever part any of them physically. And death has entered in and left a striking void...and all I can attest too at this time, for this I know and know too well; love never really dies. For them, for their families- mountains may seem like their twin. And for some time, there they will stand in the shadow of the mountain and they'll wonder, waking and in their dreams- how they'll ever get over it.
These things I write here are not meant to sadden but to make aware - the people who share your life are gifts of love. A blessing that must be kissed frequently, reprimanded gently in an argument and loved completely at all times. That's how one moves mountains, by knowing in time- that all was said and all was done, that there will be laughter again because you knew it oh so sweetly before, gratefully acknowledging that no one else could have made you smile so. No one else could have filled you up and made you know more everything than might ever have been discovered or even wished for on your own.
The song up above says so much more than I could ever conjure up. I sang it this morning, thinking of E-and-Jim. I sang it once more- just to see if I could get through it without the waterworks.
How death humbles us, weakens us, batters us- but never, when love is involved- diminishes us.
There'll be laughter...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

this place of peace


Good morning to you. I have missed out on all the amazing stories on the net lately, no blog reading, very little writing- I'm behind and so far ahead I caught my tail last week! (I'm pretty sure that's Mainer talk...or I just made it up, either way- it paints a pretty vivid picture of the joy of selling a house/farm.)

NO- I haven't sold it yet. I did push aside a pretty lucrative offer because it smelled too fishy. Ever get that feeling that something just ain't right- and if it just ain't right and you have to live with that stinky smell the rest of your life, well- would you do it?! Are you following me?

I have never prayed for a specific amount for this place, I've always just prayed for a fair offer. And- a "gentleman" offered me that fair offer just last week- with a bit of cajoling, then pressure, then harassment, then down right rudeness then the mother of all no no's with me- Manipulation. I had asked for the weekend to make a decision, what I got were sleepless nights, too many phone calls and just downright wonder at why the hell someone would act this way...

But when this person started tearing down the place after months and months of filling my ears with the beauty of it all and how it was move in ready and just what they wanted....

Tact and diplomacy were left back at the office I suppose when this "gentleman" put on rags of manipulation and dishonesty and declared them his latest fashion statement. Sorry buddy, I really appreciated your old attire and would have handed over the keys. Why do folks act so damned shady when it comes to money? I've seen it far too often and it is one of the saddest testaments to human nature- greed.

I spent a sleepless night on this one, tossing and turning- What to do, what to do? About 3 in the A.M Sunday morning- I went out on the porch, sat on the swing, the night was lovely and moon glow bright....And I decided I was going to trust myself. My goods were honest, my home, this land- bright and true. I had nothing to fear, my concern was that if I sold the place in this way, under shady circumstances- the sun might never shine on my memories of the place again. The goodbye would be an apologetic one..."I'm sorry, I hope I did right...goodbye!" I want to leave this place of peace in peace A good Goodbye- so I said thanks but no thanks.

At first I thought I would feel overcome, distraught- how could I say no? I didn't say no- to me. I said yes to me. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, it feels some good.

I won't know the outcome until the outcome...comes. But I do believe I will feel a whole lot better about whatever decisions I make- they'll be right and bright, dappled sunlight is OK, but shady deals? Nope.


Take care-

Monday, August 31, 2009

Broad Strokes

Bath Illinois Bathing Beauties
Redneck Fishing Tournament

Shelbyville Lake Camping Trip
This gorgeous fellow is a frequent visitor here...
And a farmer and a hardheaded stand up guy.

Old Glory


Vibrant sunflower mocking a sunrise.



Sangamon River Adventure
Shadowy characters

Just some of my summer adventures...more to come. Illinois has encompassed me in warmth, sunshine and good times this summer of 2009. These are just a few of the broad strokes in recent memory..
Take care-



Thursday, August 20, 2009

the word on the street

Tornado touches down in Williamsville...the latest breaking news:
People are grateful.


How's that for a headline- think many folks would read it? Nah, me either..but it's true.

Here's the story from one roving reporter-(me)

Jill: Do you think it's a tornado?

Me: Ahhh, I'd have to look, but it sure sounds like some thing's brewing.

Jill: (opening the back door to the cafe)Ha...that's scary looking, let's take cover...

About that time, the power went off, the dark got darker and we were heading for shelter on an inside wall along with Hannah and Justin. The noise was such that we could not hear one another...but only for a matter of seconds. And then, complete calm and silence - the kind where everyone just looks at each other without saying a word...intuitively understanding that the scene outside has changed.

As we stepped timidly at first, out the front door (we were battered all to heck the last time we stuck our head out..) Jill exclaimed how fresh the air seemed. Like we could smell pine and clean air all of sudden.

Jill: Smell that? It's so fresh... (as she gazed out to the grain elevator that was still standing, the sun just coming out and that pine smell- it really was something to acknowledge, like the storm had pushed away all the foul smells that had built up in the summer heat.

Hannah: Mom, you're crazy! Look, the signs are down!

Justin: I'll go pick them up...

And only then did we realize, with our gaze turned eastward- trees were down,electric lines down, people began moving out into the street, the post-mistress who usually has the low down on the upside a good 15 minute before everyone else does, looked bewildered.

Branches, entire trees, trampolines, horse trailers, corn stalks, wooden signs, metal signs, lamp posts, upturned pickups, roofs, bricks scattered everywhere...in just seconds lives were rearranged and the spontaneity of mother nature made everyone present in a moment of absolute clarity. Gratefulness was the word on the street.

Jill and I wandered up the boulevard, towards the gas station- moving limbs and debris out of the roadway, we had to do something. Customers from Caseys, who had barely made it into the shelter of a walk in cooler- were standing, shaken to the core and thankful to be alive. Three young men from the local coal mine, who had just been hired on were very vocal. Judging from their stories and the two ladies who were aided by these young men- it's very likely that these guys saved some lives, not taking no for an answer when they forcibly encouraged everyone inside- NOW! One lady was physically dragged in. She was beyond thankful, if it had not been for their concern- she would have been under the rubble that her car lay mangled beneath.

Jill decided, with all the emergency workers and displaced residents and everyone without electricity- that she could provide food and drinks if a generator could be obtained. It was finally realized that no one could get into Williamsville- so a generator was out of the question, all food was taken to the community center, tables were set up and our kids began to make sandwiches and soups and salads, setting everything up for the locals and the workers to have easy access to.

Five kids, ages seven to nineteen worked a mess kitchen up in moments. Amazing really, why they felt the need to help at all...but there they were doing their darnedest to make things right. A certain volunteer group showed up and things started getting messy- as in they had chicken salad all over their faces, and demanded that the kids make more sandwiches. Turkey was sliced, more bread was obtained, ham and Swiss and everything they could muster to keep up with the stream of people coming in. And the "volunteers" got pretty ugly with the kids when, apparently- they weren't working up to speed or providing enough sandwiches in a timely fashion for this "volunteer" group that had showed up to help out in disaster situations. "They" were to bring comfort, Lily supposed- but what they were doing was seeking comfort for themselves...sitting in the chairs meant for the residents who had lost everything, eating up the sandwiches that the BluCat had provided for those in need, and basically being a hindrance to the hands that were working on behalf of those misplaced by a sudden storm.

Makes you wonder about protocol and maybe people ought to just do the right thing for the right reason, without strapping on a vest with an emblem and just showing up to say "we're here to help!" Actions speak louder than words, and those folks with the vests- their actions were seen by young eyes who no longer believe in their symbol. Thank goodness, after much conversation-the kids do believe in themselves and the calling they felt within to just simply help out in any way they could...and did.

I suspect the day to come will be one of many hands working on behalf of their neighbors, I've already been called to show up with a chainsaw. I'll be heading to the cafe first, cleaning and getting ready to serve whoever whatever the need calls for.

And I have no photos, didn't seem right. All I did was listen, seems like that was what most folks needed...just to be heard and hugged. Hope there's alot of that going around today...

Take care-