Saturday, May 29, 2010

Personal abuse

What a week! I have accomplished more this week then I have in a very long time. Most of it is thanks to my grandson, Edgar. Yes, Edgar left his red wagon at Grandma's house. Sometimes the simplest things make great achievements possible. Okay I didn't achieve anything great. What I did do was plant two hundred trees and shrubs. I moved close to twenty buckets of clay. About ten buckets of gravel. I also planted six or so clumps of iris and some other various flowers.

In short, I have abused myself! I have many body parts that are telling me so. The palms of my hands still feel normal, but everything else seems to have a complaint to voice.

The sad part of this is that, as I look out over the yard and all the places I have worked this week, I don't see one bit of difference!! Considering the time, considering the aches and pains, when I look over the court yard at the very least things should shine. The clouds should part and an angelic chorus should be heard.... "Aaaaa-men".

I'm trying to think just what should I do next that will make things LOOK better! I really need for something to look as if it has improved! For those who don't know... reality bites! For some people it has bigger teeth. I wouldn't mind the aches if I could just get my reality to start looking more like my fantasy. Never mind. I will get it there. I have to, because it just isn't in me to slow down and be the typical middle age woman with my collection of teacups and angel figurines. That would be the ultimate form of personal abuse.

No, no no! I know who I am. I am the warrior woman and pain means nothing to me.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Hobbit playhouse day 1.... again

I suppose the attitude should be that anything worth doing is worth doing twice. That shall be my motto for today anyway. We have had almost a week of no rain, which is almost unheard of these days. The trenches have been pumped several times and it looks like today is the day.

There are certain projects on this wee farm that will represent a milestone, a turning of the corner... finally! The hobbit playhouse is one of these projects. I have worked for so long and so hard on that area! I've tried to do the prep for the garage for three years now. I just don't have sufficient time, equipment and resources to keep it dry and get it poured. It has become a very expensive hole. So now it is time to say I fought the good battle and to move on. Which really, really isn't easy for me.

The strange thing is that It has lightened my heart considerably to give up on this. But I totally cannot give up without a flip of my finger. So something must go there. Something must be a happy reminder of the work and sweat and cussing that went into that place. Besides we need a retaining wall. Concrete block, I've got, but retaining wall blocks are off in the future. Floating around me. Taunting me with their cost. Damn retaining wall block!

The other thing that the hobbit playhouse will do, is stand as a little monument that I can see a project through. I can envision a wonderful little thing and make it happen. Proof!! proof that I'm not a total idiot. I'm so excited about that!

The house, I am building for Mac. It is his. But the stuff out there... the elements that actually make up the dream, those are mine. I'm just so jazzed about starting on the "mine" part of this journey. And I really, really will take pictures!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

subconscious loathing

I just woke up. I woke up a half hour early because of a bad dream. Why would my mind do that to me?! My own mind took a person that I basically loath and placed them firmly in my home. I invite strangers in my house. I like having people come to my home, but not people that I loathe.... screws up the karma. My mind knew better then to do this!!

Then my books were scattered about and thrown into piles. I mean really... MY BOOKS!

Then there was a change of location, because that's what dreams do, and it wasn't a place I recognized. The evil one wasn't with us but apparently was near by. Then in my dream, I looked out the door and there he was going down the road on Pip .... I mean ON PIP!! I tore down the sidewalk. I called her name. In her fear she turned to try to come to me. She tried to find comfort and he was sawing on her mouth with the bit. She finally fought her way to me. I was screaming at him and when he got even with me, I grabbed his leg and started to haul his sorry ass out of the saddle. I was trying to scream at him some more when I woke up.

Well, there is good and bad represented in my dream. The bad is of course, the wretched person and his ability to create havoc. The good is that this is the first time that I have ever been able to act against forces in one of my dreams. It's like my control and effectiveness are getting better. Just wish it hadn't caused me to wake up with chest pains.

Must make a note to self to always carry my sword when dreaming. It simplifies things.



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the big picture

Yesterday, I got one hundred hazelnut shrubs planted. I was a bit disappointed in my performance. I was hoping to get fifty maples in as well. Just not the woman I once was. (sigh)

I could slit plant only very few of the shrubs because they had enormous root systems on them, so most needed holes. A few needed gigantor holes. I kind of hit a wall around shrub no.25. But I kept looking over to the hill where the riding arena will someday go. Looking so much like the great hall of Rohan. No piece of shit oversized tin shed for me! thank you very much! Then there will be new fencing, much of it covered by the hedgerows. My horses will be grazing deep grass. There will be a small barn with a sod roof. There will be the hired man, Sven, with his rippling muscles and flowing golden hair.

I just kept dangling the big picture out there, like a carrot in front of a horse.

When I look across the land to the southeast, there is the downward slope that has been cleared for the maples. Someday it will be the sugar grove and we will , hopefully, try our hand at making maple syrup. What I see in my mind is a blaze of reds against an autumn sky. A team of horses pulling up the hill. Off the cart steps the hired man, his flowing brown hair pulled back in to a pony tail, his red plaid shirt complementing the foliage around him. His biceps bulge as he lifts the sap buckets from the trees.

It's just really, really good to plan for the future.

Then a little farther and you take the path down into the clearing in the woods. The ground has been leveled and drained and the foundations have been set for the big out door stone fireplace. The stone mason is there, sorting the rocks and levering the larger stones into place. He works and his flowing black hair falls across his shoulders. He glistens in sweat and flashes a brilliant white smile as he squares off the last corner.

You know, I am so glad that in my fantasy life I am able to hire good help. You just can't have too much of a good work ethic.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

time and tide

Today started with a bit of a panic attack. In a few days it will be June. CRAP!! How did that happen? The garden still isn't completely in, thanks to varmints and weather that swings from unseasonably hot to unseasonably cold. I have also been dealing with time wasters. Yesterday the belt broke on the mower. How is it that time becomes so much more precious the week before bill day, during serious illness and during panic attacks?

My to-do list (aka THE MASTER) has about five tasks on it today... all of which would be the big job on any other day's to-do list. What am I thinking?!! Why am I working myself into a froth? Well, it's like this.... I DON'T WANT TO BE A FAILURE!! I don't want to have the snow falling and have Mac say, "I knew you were trying to do too much"... "I knew you couldn't get every thing finished that you wanted"... "I don't know what you were thinking".. "You're a silly woman"

When Mac and I first met and were married, he thought I was so smart, so capable, so fun to be with. Then a person in his family started chipping away at us. First the marriage and then the kids. I have often thought that if I had a dollar for every time that she said, with a roll of the eyes, "You KNOW what she's like" or ,"You KNOW what your mother is like", then I could have easily paid cash for this place. There was twenty plus years of incessant demoralization. So now I have, I admit, a chip on my shoulder the size of New York city and a desire to prove myself that is totally unhealthy. I finally have a summer with no hospital stays looming and I have three years worth of work to fit into one.

Once I finish my little panic attack, it is time to let loose the warrior woman. It is time to fight the battle. I will slice down whoever stands in my way. This time I am not fighting for someone else. I'm not fighting a disease. I am fighting for myself. I am fighting to finally be me again with out someone else's shackles of a crippling persona. I have been made so strong and I will drop on the field rather then yield. My battle is righteous.

Now, you will have to excuse me.... I have a list to attend to.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Neither here nor there

My friend with cancer, the one I believed was just going through a tough time, is actually now in hospice. When you have cancer in your own family it is very easy to have this news be overwhelming. It is another opportunity to picture yourself in the same situation ... this could be me and Mac in six months, a year, maybe two. Hopefully not this way. I don't want to be defeated by this disease that we have battled for so long. I don't want to see my friend defeated either.

My time with my grandson, Edgar is saving me from going there. He will soon be two. He has a LOT of energy. His little life force forces me to keep focused on a better future, other possibilities. He makes me think about birthdays and christmases to come. He reminds me of the rule that we all have to live by while we are here.... you must choose life. Life is a river that sweeps up everything in it's path. It goes on and on and has no concern if we want to step off a bit. Children continue to grow, bills still need paid and the mold continues to bloom in the refrigerator.

I'm certainly on a roller coaster. One minute I am thinking of everything that I want to do with the "farm" and sharing my efforts with my grand kids and the next, I'm stopped dead in my tracks thinking of my friend.

The subtitle of my blog is "chasing the dream, through disease, mayhem and madness" Well, the disease is Mac's. The mayhem pretty much belongs to all of us in this family. Right now I feel like the madness is very much mine. But in time it will be alright. You see, that's when I'll choose life. It's really no choice at all.... you have to.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Set backs

(I want to dedicate today's post to my dear friend Pat. Right now she is feeling pretty punky with her cancer. Everyone please send her healing thoughts today)

This morning I woke up early and my brain started off and couldn't be stopped. I got to thinking about all the set backs that we have had. The big ones are obvious, of course, like Mac getting leukemia, the old house not selling, the high cost of not being able to keep building on schedule, Iowa's new found monsoon season..... the list goes on.

Financially, set backs pretty much have defined our lives. It has been one thing after another. We are living proof that "trickle down" economics should have been called "trickle on" economics. Most of our married years have been taken up by two massive recessions. The first was with the farm crisis and Savings and Loans establishments. But the young pups didn't remember all that stuff so they went out and did it again, but this time they did it with home mortgages, and since we didn't want the banks to go the same route as the S&Ls, they bailed them out.

Living in a small town was tough during the '80's recession. One by one the stores closed up. There was almost no where to go except a few restaurants and the grocery store. Getting a job was about the same. After a farmer in a neighboring county hung himself in his barn, farmers coming off the farm got preferential hiring and most of the "women's jobs" that had been in the stores downtown, were simply gone. When Mac became a teacher, he stepped into a $6,000. per year pay cut.

Emotionally, the set backs were even harder. Three kids and not having the where withal to care for them. They certainly didn't get all their wants. They didn't even get all of their needs. That is a regret that I will take to my grave. But the thing with going through set backs with the ones we love is that we can't stop. You have to build a life. You have to find fun. You have to make memories. You just have to keep moving... some way or another. It's like plopping a big rock down in a flow of water. You might stop the water for a bit. But the water will find a way around it's own set back. It will over flow or flow around or build up enough pressure that it finds a flow farther back, but it will find it's way. Just like that trickle of water, I'm going to redefine my flow. I won't be stopped. I'll just be a different me.

(Pat, love you gobbers and bunches)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Yesterday I went and picked up Edgar and brought him home. It took no time for me to enter a state of "forgetting".

We have a smaller pick up truck so Edgar's monstrously huge car seat went in the front seat, strapped in several different ways. Edgar was immediately engaged by the number of buttons, knobs and dials there were. Something he hadn't realized from the back seat. He kept pointing out the window and hollering... ah, the joys of riding shotgun! Then we got to the school and retrieved Mac. We had to fit Grampa in the teenny-tiny, itsy -bitsy fold down seat in the extended area of the cab. Thats' okay though because when Grampa would reach around and pat Edgar's face and make him giggle, he forgot all about the tiny seat.

As soon as we got home we set off to do chores. We got the feed and squirted in the vitamin E and went and put their "dinner" on their "plates". Actually, they eat off old dry wall mud bucket lids but I have every intention of getting proper feeding pans someday. Edgar helped me dump the feed and then we slid the plate under the fence. He gasped in awe watching the big creatures eat. Then that was so much fun that we had to pull grass and feed it to Pip and Chloe. Pip was soon trotting the fence line following Edgar. She knew a good thing when she saw it. He ran so hard his shorts slid down and he'd pause and grab them then wave his arm for me to follow. " 'Mon!", he'd yell. Being two, that is his version of "Come on". I totally forgot I was mad at Mac for forgetting his meds that day.

Up and down the hill we ran. Then we would see the horses and go back to them. Finally I picked him up and we had to go check on Grampa. Then we went inside and started supper, which he was too excited to eat. Edgar explored everywhere! Every button, was noted and whether or not he was told "no" when he hit it. The magnetic alphabet on the fridge had to located much, much lower. He squatted down and was amazed that the freezer was on the bottom. He was thrilled when I opened the fridge and he found the milk. And all evening I totally forgot that Mac had ever been sick.

Then Edgar wanted his shoes on, despite the fact that everyone was washed up and in their pajamas. So I put his shoes on him , thinking,"what could it hurt?" Then he brought my shoes to me. I put them on. He pulled on me until I got up, then he pushed me out the door and then he closed it. We walked around a little then headed back in. This happened several more times. The last time Grampa had to go too. After we got bustled out of the house, Edgar started down the tiny stone steps then turned around and went back in the house, leaving me and Grampa standing outside. We were waiting outside for him and I said to Mac, "Do you feel like Fred Flintstone being thrown out by the saber toothed house cat?" This apparently triggered a memory..... Mac rushed in the door, "Shit! I forgot he could reach the locks! We're going to get locked out!" We had forgotten!

As we came through the door there stood Edgar, totally pleased with himself, and giggling.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gardening Basics

There are certain gardening basics that you have to deal with. Of course, it has to be the right temperature for the plant you are trying to grow. You have to consider length of growing season. What depth you plant the seed and throw in a little crop rotation. I have to admit that I was never told to make sure that you don't have a mouse in the garden.

I had assumed that my smaller seeds had gotten flooded out. Torrential downpours seem to be the norm right now. But when not one of my big ol' heavy bean seeds germinated then I started to really thing I had screwed up in a big way. I think that is a hint of a personal problem when my first thought was to doubt my ability to push a seed into the ground. Then yesterday while weeding, I heard some serious munching going on. About the third time I heard the noise, I saw the grass rustle and it was a mouse. Makes you wonder just how much the little buggers can eat, apparently a lot.

So, now amidst my gardening basics I will have to add mammalian pest control. Maybe if I got better at weeding then the neighborhood owl would get in there and eat the little nipper. I heard somewhere that ducks would even eat smaller mice. This makes me really like the idea of ducks, even though they are incredible poop machines. I suppose if I get sick of the duck I could eat it then. Because the mouse would be gone, my beans would come up and I could have my duck with green beans on the side.

So now the question is how do I plant seed while the varmint is still at large?

I think the answer might be to just go play with the horses instead. And then mow. And then find some lunch. Then I think I'll plant some more flowers. I might set out my red bud trees. I need to set out the jug for some sun tea today.

Yup! That's the plan! I'll just have a full day of avoidance.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An Old Broad's Fancy

Ahhh, it's spring and an old broad's fancy turns to yard work and horses. I did a little planting the other day but there is soooo much to get done!! The footing trench is once again pumped out and hopefully today it will get dried up some. I got a new sale flyer from DR power equipment. I am lusting after a walk behind field and brush mower and a chipper shredder. It's quite exciting! It can chip AND shred up to a three inch branch! I want wood chip mulched paths throughout my woods and the idea of buying that much wood mulch frightens me and leaves me trembling. I keep thinking that somewhere out there is a man who has chipped and shredded a couple of his fingers and out of anger and spite he donates his chipper /shredder to me! It's probably not the kindest form of wishful thinking but I can't help it. Kind of like when I was little and I would wish that my parents would see me get hit by a car because THEN they would be sorry! I'd better get rid of the sale flyer before my truly dark side comes out.

Back to the task at hand.... planting! I think I will start in front of the house where it is drier and work my way to the grassy areas as things dry out this afternoon. Some of the flowers will go in the little hobbit garden in front of the hobbit playhouse so I really need to get that project back on schedule. Well, just have to hope that we don't get inundated with rain again. I want to do some mowing as the ticks are getting a bit active now, but the ground is so wet. It gurgles and makes all varieties of wet slurpy noises as you walk across the yard. As the sun pops up there is a wet haze that hangs over the landscape. It's pretty now but later in the day the humidity will make you want to breathe through a strainer.

It was finally dry enough to play with the ponies yesterday. For now it is ...GAMES WITH THE HALTER! How exciting! Chloe used to be halter trained but after spending a prolonged period of time away from me, she no longer thinks this is an acceptable idea. Chloe is the ultimate skeptic. I have no doubt that she will choose the halter just as soon as she sees Pip accepting it. Especially when she sees that by taking the halter she gets to go for walk-about and get to graze the tall grass outside of the fence. So the pressure is on to get the halter on Pip, who basically is a feral horse that has just turned four. So far they both accept the halter on their faces. They both like the halter on their faces, because it comes with a lovely massage that makes them fall asleep, but neither will accept the strap going over the ears.

Working through this has convinced me that the most important thing we ever teach our horses is to accept the halter It's the first thing we do. We are starting from zero. This one task is what everything else we ever do is built upon. We are asking them to willingly accept an implement that can be used to force them into any dangerous situation that we can conceive of. I can see where a smart horse would want to think twice about such an agreement. So, we go slow. We play. As a horse lover the real goal is to be with a horse. I don't suppose it matters exactly how I choose to be with them.

Somehow my day will be broken up with planting, mowing, building prep and horses. I am so spread thin! But the days are numbered and there is just so much to accomplish. So many components in building the dream! All of them are important. There just isn't a way to not do it all. The dream is exposing itself, like Gypsy Rose Lee pulling away one ethereal layer after another. My life is full.


P.S. Keep checking the slideshow for the new photos. Daughter no. 1 posts them for me as I get them to her. Sorry I am just too busy to learn more computer stuff right now!

Monday, May 17, 2010


This last weekend I finally got to see the movie "Julie and Julia". It got my brain started on a new tangent. Whose mouth do you put food into? Typically it's not an enemy unless, of course, you are trying to poison them. We put food into the mouths of the ones we are trying to nurture or that we love. You will say "Aha!, what about restaurants?!" Restaurants don't count.... they are food prostitution services. You get as good as you can afford and most of the time it's a cheap quicky.

Anyway, back to the movie. It got me to thinking how many times I have seen someone take a dollop of food on their finger and put it into someone else's mouth. Especially used in romantic comedies. Food in the mouth with fingers is the signal. It is either your child or your intimate companion. Food is the medium and the fingers are the brushstrokes. Anything on a cracker or celery stick is an introduction or playfulness. By the time you get to cream cheese and chocolate, it is seduction.

You want to up the anti, then after depositing the food in the beloved's mouth, you lick off your own finger. It is a food induced external french kiss! The french won't admit it, but I will. (Unless, of course you are dealing with a small child, then it's just gross, but necessary)

In personal context, food still doesn't taste good to Mac. He still can't savor. I never see him put a bite of something on his tongue and close his mouth , chew, wait, WAIT and there it is ... the ummmm. We rely on packages that go from the freezer to the oven to the table, stored under a coat of the protective ice, peel back the top, whore food. What makes it successful right now is that it has no smell. No smell, no texture, no ummmmm. I really don't touch it, let alone put it in someone's mouth, with my fingers. That's one of my realities for now, but hoping it will soon pass. My dark chocolate side is needing an outing.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where to go from here?

I must admit that I have a pipe dream personality. I see myself as having big dreams about a small life. God knows I have been given my share of hurdles in my life, actually I should say "we", but somehow, planning a new dream has always been what saves me/us. So when I started this blog, I started reading the links provided on how to do well and be successful. I signed up for adsense.

Before ever learning about blogs, I was told by a friend that, "You should write a blog and make a million dollars!" But I checked into it and sure enough someone has. I don't want a million dollars, However I do want to somehow make enough money that if Mac needs to do early retirement then he can. I want to not have a mortgage or credit cards. I want to have enough hay for winter. Okay, I admit the covered arena is pretty frivolous but that's on the back burner anyway. The point of this is that I lost my adsense account. The first message I found said that it was due to invalid clicking. Then the e-mail I received said that "blogs of my type" tend to have invalid clicking. So apparently I did nothing wrong and my readers did nothing wrong.... I am just a "type".

So now I ask myself how should I proceed? First, I need to know that this is worth going on with. I would like some feedback if my readers could take the time to do so. Does anybody enjoy my blog or is it just more internet self aggrandizement? If this has been worthwhile to you, and I have to admit that it has been worthwhile to me.... then I will continue writing. One friend in the past suggested making it a subscribed blog but I have to say, I don't think there are enough free things in the world. I'll stay free but in the next couple of weeks I will tie in my paypal account and seek out sponsorships. I will tie in my Etsy store as well.

For those of you who don't know, I did write a children's story as a result of all this writing practice. It is read by a dear friend from Tasmania and set to pictures of her home farm. Her place is called Beauty Farm and that is no lie. So if you would like to hear it, go to youtube and search for "Adriana's Twinkle" Not the best in the world but I'll get better.

While losing adsense was a shock and did make me angry, I have to say the lose of $53.00 earned over a 62 day period is nothing to lose sleep over. Just another wallflower moment. So, if you are all willing to continue, then that is what we will do. Please leave your input in the comment box or the many of you who have my e-mail, feel free to contact me there.


P.S. I have a tune going through my head today... you know how that goes. It is a John Hartford ditty..... "Because of you I close my eyes each time I yodel........" You should find it, It;s awesome.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Here comes the sun!!

The sun is back and there is hope in the land!! I'm so excited! Today will be a farm development day. Most of the to-do list is about planting. Hazelnuts, sugar maples and elderberries make up the dnr order. I'll probably start with the blue spruces that I got at Lowe's yesterday. The last couple of years they have been getting in gallon size blue spruces at $4.98 each, so I have slowly been building my western wind break with them. It is slow going, but someday it will be wonderful! The hazelnuts will be an extension of a windbreak and the beginning of a hedgerow. Then there are so many bedding plants!

The hay that I got from my brother seems to be doing a really nice job of starting grass. So, in places where grass seed has defied me, hay will be beaten into the ground. The place where the electrical line was buried is especially naked. The excavation that took place going to the wetlands is also pretty sad looking. We'll see how far I get with that.

The horses have to be moved today. They are going through grass much faster now. All this rain makes the grass much more fragile and hooves slice through it so easily when it is totally soaked. We have a plan in place for where to put in new fencing for the horses. Finding the resources is a problem. I am hoping to find a tender hearted person with a carbide tipped chain on their chain saw. This is probably hoping for too much but I will keep looking.

I see the place in my mind and it is so beautiful! I wish I could convey what the dream, the goal, is like. I wish you could see the hedgerows crawling up the hills and defining the pastures. I wish you could hear the pheasants. They're missing right now but someday you will hear their chuckle type call coming from new plum thickets. The swallows dipping and diving across the pastures. Bashful cardinals and bluebirds hiding in the crabapples. A beautiful woods with paths and bridges. Barns and fences that look like they were born in another time and place. A peaceful place for the weary hearted.

My vision of the place drives me. Like I have to create a home that I knew in another life. I can see it and feel it and smell it. I just can't touch it yet. It's here though. I just have to peel back the layers and uncover it. You'll like it... I promise.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


Apparently the server succumbed to the constant downpours. Most of yesterday and again today the internet was not accessible, so spent the day running around and collecting loose ends. Tomorrow will be a better day. Hopefully the warrior woman will get all of her lilies and tomatoes planted.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I don't think it was intended as such, but I got a little reminder from a friend yesterday that I am not the kind of person to be overcome by weather. I am a problem solver. I am inquisitive. If I have to figure out a way to clean out trenches and mix cement and pour forms while it is raining, then that's what I'll do! I just have to draw on the inner warrior woman. Some people might think I'm visualizing. I'm not. It's more like I let her out on a tear in my mind so she doesn't come out for real. Let's face it, sometimes when things get tough, you just want to hit somebody with the butt end of your sword. That's where the control comes in. Harness the power of the warrior woman without totally releasing her. This is done by tempering with the everyday ... the mundane ... the grocery list. Like this.....

The warrior woman stands as tall as she can make herself, stretching every muscle until taut and then releasing. She shifts from one foot to another, then unsheaths her sword. She can see her enemy in the woods. She remains unseen by them. She swings her sword in an arc and pushes her timber strong thighs into a fighting stance. The sun glints off her metal breastplate and she is noticed. The enemy runs to her. Let them run. They will arrive tired. (milk) She controls her breathing. She continues to gently move and warm her muscles without tiring them. Her enemy continues to run across the meadow clearing and she continues to wait. (potatoes) The three men are spacing out over the distance. The sprinter is spent and falling behind. The other two continue to come together. She waits. She notices clouds beginning to gather. Another man begins to lag. They are getting closer and she can see the details of their clothing. (onions) She can hear their labored breathing. Their arms flailing with the effort of the run. She squats down in the tall grass, though still visible, she is obscured. She becomes a coiled spring.

The first of the men draws closer and she propels herself forward with a roar that is born in the very bottom of her gut. (tomatoes) Her sword travels in a graceful backhand arc and the edge slides across his chest. He falls, holding the incision. Her sword comes to both hands again and she stands, knees bent, balancing on the balls of her feet. The second man comes, in full , but exhausted, run. His sword over his head. He is exposed and she could kill him. She waits. She blocks the downward blow and glides her sword sideways, slicing the man's arm open. (pork chops) The sprinter stops. He is winded, but he gasps out," We mean you no harm. We want only your land. Relinquish and you will be spared."

"My land is my own!"

"There are others who will come after us"

Then there are others who will die after you" (toilet paper)

"You are but a woman!" He screams in defiance to her will.

I am a woman who lets loose blood! Take your kinsmen while they can yet heal or die now!"

They heard a soft moan. The sprinter dropped his weapon, then pulled one of the wounded men to his feet. The other, unconscious now, was grabbed under the arms and pulled from the field of battle. The clouds that had continued to gather now opened into a downpour.

"You see", screamed the woman,"even God washes your stink, your blood, from my land. Do not come here again!" (dish soap)

Mac doesn't really allow me any sharp implements in the house other then kitchen cutlery. Despite that, I choose to cling to the warrior woman, and the warrior woman isn't afraid of rain!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Right now, at this moment, I hate rain. I am at the turning point on so many projects that require at least a week of dry weather. Of course the weather man has to give me rain!! Bastard!

I've had too many years of leaking roofs and leaking basements and more recently flooding trenches. When I hear rain it just heightens my senses and pretty soon I am fighting back panic. I know it isn't a matter of "if" something will go wrong but "when". I can't even stand the sound of an aquarium in the house. A fish pond outside is fine but water noises in the house will send my skin crawling.

So I made it through yesterday. One day of rain down. Now I have to make it through the rest of the week. I don't know that I can. It's Chinese water torture on an apocalyptic scale.

I need two weeks of no rain to accomplish most of my outdoor tasks. That is all. You wouldn't think that would be such a big thing. But we haven't gone two weeks without rain since starting this project. I have planned everything here with mega-drainage, but I just need two weeks to get the last of it in place. I need some dry time to pump out trenches.....again!!!! I need some dry time to get a tractor out in the pasture with a post hole digger for more fencing. I need some dry time to get dirt and clay moved. I need some dry time to set posts for the outdoor kitchen. I need some dry time for peace of mind.

I hate rain.


Monday, May 10, 2010


The weather looks like crap today .... it looks like crap all week. It's turning cold again with a forty to fifity percent chance of rain everyday. The cloud cover is complete, grey and dismal. I'm pissed off!

While a truly genteel lady would not be pissed off, I am not one of that rarified breed. Pissed off is okay. When you're pissed off you're not depressed. That's a good thing. When you're pissed off you have some emotion that you can harness some activity to. Depression doesn't do that .... it just sucks the life right out of you.

So while I am pissed off and competent to make decisions and changes to my plan, that is what I will do. Here is decision no. 1. I'm moving the horse stuff to the back of the property. It's even more hilly there and difficult to bale hay so not usable that way. There is enough space to rotate grazing and have more area to run. I just have to figure out finding sufficient fencing materials. I will walk it one more time and then do some measuring to plan final layout of a small storage barn, run-ins and arena. Then I will pick the ticks off.

Second decision is to go ahead and plant shrubs and trees. I'll just stay out there until I can't stand the wet and cold anymore then come in and work on business related stuff indoors ..... after I pick the ticks off.

I still don't know how to proceed with the hobbit playhouse. Trench work when it is this wet is just plain dangerous. I don't mind being daring but I don't want to be stupid, so I might limit my activity on this one to bailing water and trying to stay ahead of the rainfall. At least, there's no ticks in the mud.

I have quite a few other decisions to make. So while the piss-o-meter is in full operation it is time to evaluate the to-do list. the more agitated a project makes me then the closer to the top of the list it goes. Hopefully everything that upsets me or keeps me from being productive will get taken care of soonest. Tasks that require a second set of hands will go on a list of their own. Then I will know what to concentrate on when a victim, I mean a friend shows up.

Maybe NEXT week the weather will be my friend. I can only hope so. I'll be ready for a good mood by then. Damn weather, anyway!


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Just the other day I felt like I was in control. This is always a mistake. Learn from the beginning that you are never in control! Control is an illusion. The best you can hope for is momentarily caught up. As I said, the other day I felt like I was in control. But all it took was two days with a flat tire on the lawn mower, a couple of days of rain and a low, low, low sunburn and I am buried.

The rain that we had came up with enough wind that keeping tarps tied down was impossible. What hay I had got wet and molded. I moved the ponies to the bigger lot to graze but with no hay to supplement, they are grazing it down pretty quickly. So what is the solution? build a shed? put up more fence? I need both but I have little time and few materials.

Then there is the planting that needs to be done. I have two hundred trees and shrubs that need to go in.... quickly. So being a brilliant person, I went on a lark with the neighbor lady, and we went and harvested ditch iris. I probably have about fifty or so iris to get into the ground now. I also found some great places to get some cat tails, lilacs and tiger lilies. Stupid me!!! All of a sudden, it has gotten to the place where even prioritizing looks like it is overwhelming. I'm not exactly sure how I did this to myself. I think it just happened, though I'm not sure. It was that or I assumed that things would go right the first time. I REALLY need to get over that mind set.

There was a glimmer in the darkness though. The neighbor's husband's knees are going bad. Well, it's a glimmer for me more then it is for him. But we have agreed to a labor exchange. He has the tractor, post hole digger and scoop. I have the ability to do the ground work, wade deep grass and pull off ticks. We just have to get ourselves organized. We will begin on May 20th. Of course, it is only penciled in but I have great hopes!! No hope of getting in control, just the plain everyday kind of hope.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Hobbit playhouse day 1

I had a good day yesterday. I felt completely and totally driven to get something done. So I told myself that I would go and bail out water and see what we had to deal with. That's what I did. It didn't take long. There was more muddy sludge then water in that corner because that is where the cave ins are the worse. So after briefly bailing water, I had to make a decision on whether or not it seemed good to continue. It did. Even with just standing on the dam the mud was slurping at my crocks. I made the decision it would just be wiser to go in barefoot. I kept telling myself that if this were a facial, I'd be paying money for it.

The mud was of a consistency that it was too runny to use a shovel and too thick to be able to toss with a bucket. I scooped it up with my hands and tossed it over the dam. I actually made pretty good time. Then it was time to climb out. The old crappy pants were getting pulled down by the mud and I probably had a good foot of pants leg going past my foot. this made climbing efforts pretty slippery. I also couldn't choose my footing as well. While the tops of the dam hadn't been bad to stand on the sides were total moosh. When I put my leg up to climb, all I accomplished was pulling more mud back in the hole. So, I tried another side of the hole. Still no luck. I checked my pockets to make sure I had my cell phone.... just in case. Then I tried the tallest and most secure side. Everything stayed in place. Climbing wasn't the easiest task, especially with muddy pants wanting to slip, slide, fall and basically not be controlled. But I made it!! Then I remembered all of the people that I ever heard of that died in a trench cave in. I reminded myself to not do that.

I got some old leftover foam forms and chucked them down the hole. Then I wondered just how badly did I want to go back down there. I was tired by now. I couldn't keep my pants up. I could feel a sun burn developing on my low, lower, lower back. Every part of me was spattered in mud and I was even sporting some mud encrusted dreadlocks. Not exactly my look but I was going to have to go with it for now. I knew I didn't want to have to go through digging it out again so I was going to have to get down there and stabilize the sides with the forms. Down I slid. I ended up having to dig back the dams a little but I got the forms in and wedged tight. Climbing out was much easier now that I had the edges of the forms to stand on. Then I started to carry some gravel to help seat the forms. I didn't carry much gravel as I wanted because I was tired and slimy and ready to call it a day.

I assessed my condition. I could not go in the house like this. The next stop was the garden hose. First was a matter of de-crusting my hands and arms. Then started spraying the outside of my pant legs. As the great rolls of mud came off the pants, I could roll them up and start spraying the mud from the inside of the leg. After that, I could spray my legs. It took awhile and my lower, lower back was really starting to sting. Finally got to where I thought I could make no more improvements on my self. So trundled along to the front door. Of course, the back door isn't exactly accessible yet. The front door was my only option. Keep in mind that I am now wet as well as muddy. So I stood on the front step for a moment and listened carefully. I didn't hear any traffic on the gravel road. I quickly undid my pants and dropped them on the step, wiped my feet on them and jumped inside the door. Felt like it took forever!

So that was my first day of working on the hobbit playhouse.... and last night it just rained down buckets!! I've apparently started another project designed to teach me character. Personally, I think I have enough damned character!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Busy, busy

Today we will bury ourselves in activities and rejoice in our escape. It felt like the time we spent at the Dr. office yesterday was the last step before ETERNITY! Of course, the more time that goes by after the labs are drawn, the more apprehensive you become. You start second guessing if they found something. Were the liver numbers off again? Did the platelets drop again? The mind just becomes a mill churning out depressing thoughts, one after another. It didn't help that he had a bit of a cold and a bruise. That's all it takes to send you headlong into depression..... a cold and a bruise.

The most horrible phrase in the english language has become, "We have a room for you". But we didn't have to hear that phrase! Woohoo!! Mac's platelets hit 97! That is the highest they have been in a year. That is double good news, because not only do we want platelets for the sake of platelets but the fact that they are increasing means the graft versus host is decreasing. Woohoo again! With the GVH decreasing then our hope is that it is the classic acute variety instead of the more dangerous chronic variety. So, all in all, it was a good, though stressful day.

Today, we will both be as busy as we can possibly make ourselves, because if we don't our thoughts will go back to a darker side. Mac has already told me that he won't be home until late, and I will go out before long and start bailing water to begin the work on the the hobbit playhouse. I hope it will go quickly. My motivation is seeing Edgar's little face when he first goes through the door. He likes small spaces. He loved playing inside of the fireplace before it was finished. And I can't wait to see him walking around the inside peering into every nook and cranny and sitting on the small furniture and crawling inside of the cabinet. He'll be smiling his little leprechaun smile. I'll get pictures, and I WON'T think about bills or doctors for another twenty-four days!!!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Starting fresh

Each month bill day is so traumatic for me, that having the wretched task done gives a feeling akin to rebirth. It's a new beginning, a fresh start. Then my mind turns to how can I do something so INCREDIBLY spectacular this month that I will never have to face bill day again. This usually sets me off in a flurry of activity that is physically impossible to maintain. But this month... ahh, this month will be different.

I have pledged that this month I will work smarter not just harder. The goal this month is to video tape everything that we do here. Some of it will be used to give us a more impartial look at what we are trying to do. Some of it will go to YouTube. Some of it, I really, really hope, will be used to create a video library to teach different skills. Some of it will just be a diary of the progress that we are making.

I have so many plans!! I would , of course, like to start with the hobbit playhouse. After all, I'm a grandma, and grandmas are suppose to be good for things like that. Then I have to get on top of the horse fencing. The outdoor kitchen and the shop have to fall in line next. After that will be the wedding site. I'm especially excited about the wedding site!!! We've got a place in the woods that is fairly accessible and very pretty. The plan is to doll it up and build a rustic fireplace in and rent it for small weddings. Hopefully it will end up making a few mortgage payments.

The thing is this.... whenever I say I'm going to accomplish something here, I DO accomplish it!! It's kind of a little miracle, I think. So today I am making my declaration for turning my dreams into reality. Today is going to be a good day! Today I will make a good start.

So, yesterday was the once a month bill trauma. Today, is hopes and dreams and plans.... lots of plans! Tomorrow is Mac's visit back to Iowa City to see the Dr. It will be a gut wrencher, because it always is. If things go as usual, he will sleep on the way over. We will be sitting and waiting in one place or another for two hours. We will talk to Dr.s for about fifteen minutes, Then we will leave with another appointment for next month. On the way out Mac will ask me if I want to stop and eat. I will say no that I want to get the hell out of Dodge first. I never feel safe as long as we remain in Iowa City. I have to get some miles under me. Then we stop and eat in Des Moines on the way home. Mac will order food and then spend the next hour talking about all of the food that he misses and how much he wished stuff would start tasting good. Then we will get back in the truck and head home. Eventually we will pull onto our road. It is so small, and it's shaded. The trees reach over the road and touch and you feel like you are driving into different world. That will be the first moment when the stress starts to fall away. We will pull up the incredibly steep drive and see the lights in our wee house, and Mac will say, "We're home!" Then, only then, will we really feel safe and out of their reach.

The day after tomorrow I will make plans.


Monday, May 3, 2010

It's that time again...

Today is once again the most dreaded of times.... bill paying day. I am having my usual feelings, despair, anger, nausea. Usually before I start, I have to invest a certain amount of time in rationalization. Do my math in my head.... Mac makes this much... I need this much..... I need a way to find this much.....

Part of the despair is that I have been trying so hard to get my shop space built. And once again, just as the soil was to the point where it could be dug out, there was a culmination of events. 1) It rained down buckets!! 2) the pump stopped working 3) I got sick. So, the footing trench is flooded and caving in. I believe the word that I want here is SNAFU.

We can no longer wait on the plan. The plan has to change. So, yesterday I went out and walked off measurements and double checked site orientation. Then, I had a brilliant idea or two. I will change the layout of the garage slightly, make a pass through so I still have the access that I need. The site where the garage was going to go ... the site where we spent too much money preparing and getting dug out, will become a play yard for the grand kids. To avoid having to buy so much in the way of retaining wall blocks etc., we will take the materials that we already have, and build a hobbit play house into the berm. It will serve the same purpose and be way more fun.

What I see as one of life's cruel Ironies is that I don't have an occupation as creative problem solver. I can do a lot of stuff. I'm a creative person. But when life is busy biting you in the ass, it's kind of hard to be creative... but I can always seem to solve odd problems just because my brain needs to. When things get real tough, I draw house plans. If only I could make money as a result of the really strange way my mind seems to work. How handy would that be?!! It would be especially cool if the money earned was in direct proportion to how out of the box you were. I could be mortgage free in no time!! Hoorah for weirdos!

But until then, it's time to rejoin reality and go pay the bills, the nasty bills that eat people alive. I will go back and plan my little piece of the Shire tomorrow, when I am done with the despair, anger and nausea.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bloom where you are planted

Yesterday I did a fair amount of driving. I was alone and the radio stations didn't seem to have a handle on my genre. Some of the thoughts really aren't worth reporting. Like when I was coming off the exit ramp and a guy, who was weaving in traffic and not paying enough attention, went into the spot that I was already sliding into. Well, the upside was that he was speeding so he was out of the spot quickly and I went ahead and got moved over before we got to the end of the lane There was that unfortunate bit of time though where we were hovering only about five feet from each other and we could see each other's faces quite clearly. I've got a feeling that he could read lips, and I have to say, I am embarrassed at how easily that phrase flowed from said lips. Must be a very effective phrase.

Anyway, the thought that stuck with me... the thought that gave me an "aha" moment was, "bloom where you are planted". Whatever moron thought that one up has a lot of misery to answer for. We are creatures of free will, most of us have a couple of legs attached. Why would anyone think we're supposed to be stuck in one place just to learn our lesson or to develop a deeper spiritual life or to elicit a talent. The answer is movement! Get rid of the effluent in your life! Stop being bogged down and move until you can breathe again. Staying in one place, or overwhelming situation, usually makes a person feel trapped, claustrophobic and bitter. I think it is pretty lousy of the inspirational plaque company to expect you to have all of those feelings and then to feel some obligation to "bloom".

I should start my own inspirational plaque company. I'll base the first one on the seed parable to counteract the evil "bloom where you are planted" You know the one... some seed fell on fertile soil, some fell on a rocky patch and got eaten by a crow. Okay, okay, I know that is taking a pretty free hand with paraphrasing, but I got to fit this on a plaque. I kind of like just putting "you're gonna get eaten by a crow" but that probably wouldn't make sense on it's own, would it?

Only when I began chasing my dream, was I in a position to meet other people, learn new things, share influence, enrich and be enriched. How horrible this rough patch of ours would have been if we hadn't stayed busy chasing the dream. As bad as it was, I don't want to think how much worse it could have been. Instead, I can say, despite the disease, we have a new home, land, horses, woods and gardens and we have gotten to experience more weddings, two grandbabies, new friends and more years. Thank God we didn't try to bloom where we were planted. You know, you can't stand still when you're chasing a dream. Now THAT would work on a plaque!!