Thursday, September 30, 2010


I have a young friend who is getting married this week. She recently posted, "Next week at this time I'll be Stacy Van Horn!!" Well, she is so happy that you have to be happy with her. But it got my mind to thinking. First thing I thought was... I wonder if they will have their first "married" fight while still on their honeymoon? Second thought was... I wonder if she'll be ready to hit him with a stick in a week or two? Third thought was... I wonder if she will get up in the middle of the night, go into the other room of a crummy two room basement apartment and sob until the new groom comes and retrieves her? (Okay!! I only did that for three nights!)

Finally I got around to thinking about names. Thinking about how a woman doesn't own her own name. Thinking about how sad that seems. Thought about my own names... my birth name, then my adoptive name and then my married name. How they don't feel so much like names as tags for me to be filed under. Makes me wonder what I would choose for a name, if I could choose my own.

Maybe it should be done like some American Indian tribes and your birth name just got you by until you hit puberty. Then I could be "Runs with Otter" or "Biting Otter" or something else with an otter. I like otters. Oh well, who am I kidding.... my Indian name would probably be "Runs with Scissors" I'll just count my blessings that my name isn't Slartybartfast or Hommakabula.

I'll just make up for not having my own name by getting something else! And when I decide what that should be...Well! It'll be good, that's what it'll be!!!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Unlike a lot of people these days..... I have a sense of humor. I have been told that it isn't a normal sense of humor. Actually, I have been called, sick, weird, convoluted, bizarre and ....Cornish. It's probably all true. My humor was forged amongst the neighborhood boys while on their way to boy scout meetings. This, of course, included fart humor. I remember one particular summer the fart joke of choice was the "one it". It was necessary to start off with someone "ripping one". ( Usually my brother) Then the entourage would chime in. First boy, "one it"... second boy "two it"... third boy "three it" and so on down the line to the eighth boy "eight it". When the group response was, " Oh man! you ate it! You're sick man!"

As the summer progressed it became ever more important to be the first to chime in "one it" because you didn't want to be the eighth man. So the joke morphed and when a person yelled out "one it" the response became. "you can have it!" From this very humble beginning I learned a lot of word play... and to stay away from my brother when he's farting.

I learned that when someone asks you, "What's your problem?!" The perfect response is, "Your face!!"

Being raised around a pack of boys I have to be careful to not fall into "Your momma" humor. It just doesn't work when a woman casts those kinds of accusations about weight, sexual prowess or lack thereof, at another woman. Even if you don't know her. Though I have to say I am very fond of "Your momma is so fat, that she sat on a quarter and a booger popped out of George Washington's nose!" That one has to be used with caution.... I'm getting to the age where I could be accused of being the booger popper.

Humor is my refuge. I've been known to tell jokes at funerals "Don't you think it's in poor taste to serve cold cuts after a funeral!" I tell jokes at birthdays. "It's not the years. It's the miles.... you've been speeding again haven't you?" And, in general, I live a life of socially unacceptable humor. But there are days when I listen to other people, so-called important people and I think, "Man! Somebody really needs to rip one off right now".


Another P.S. today..... checked my stats again and I just want to say....GOOD MORNING, CHINA!....GOOD MORNING, LATVIA!....GOOD MORNING GERMANY!....GOOD MORNING UNKNOWN PERSON AT THE AC REPAIR PLACE IN PHOENIX, WHOSE READING THIS INSTEAD OF WORKING! I'm really very fond of you all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I miss Pat and Linda

The Parelli method of natural horsemanship is growing. As it goes world wide, Pat and Linda are doing more and more venues over seas...... and fewer in the states. It's understandable. But I do miss my pilgrimage to see them. It has been three years since my circumstances and their geographical location lined up sufficiently for me to go see one of their tour stops. It was at the Royal down in Kansas City.

The Royal is located down where any cowboy place would have been historically located, in the bottoms. It's squeezed in close to the river and the railroad tracks, surrounded by the industrial area. The slaughter houses were probably close by at one time. Not exactly a prime real estate location.

Now the trick with the Royal is catching the right turn off. If you miss it then there is no where to go but over the river. Over the river is the neighborhood that we ALWAYS seem to get lost in. The neighborhood that my nephew told me to never stop at a stop sign in. Moving targets are harder to hit! The neighborhood that we only saw six white people in... us, the three lost cowboys and the hooker. The hooker was the only person that seemed particularly chirpy about being there.

What struck me the most was that the neighborhood felt shrouded. It felt grey. Grey houses with grey boards nailed over window voids. Grey streets with broken glass in the gutters. Grey mood. Folks just looked solemn. Then we made a turn onto a wider street thinking we had finally found a through street, a way out. Well, it wasn't a way out. But we saw a group of kids laughing... on HORSEBACK!! There WAS some happiness in this dismal place! There they were, skinny kids on skinny horses, urging them across multiple lanes of traffic. Cars stopped to let the dull coated chestnuts walk across. As the cars started moving again the kids laughter disappeared down over a hill.

Even in this frightening place, horses and humanity meshed and made lives brighter. It's funny how, despite our circumstances, some of us just need horses to be a part of our lives... to be complete and happy. I think about those kids often. I wonder if they are alright. Worry about whether or not those skinny kids have enough food and whether the skinny horses have enough hay. Is there anyone there to help them with worming and grooming and picking out hooves? I'll never know.... but I'll always wonder.

And in the meantime.... I miss Pat and Linda. Miss their expertise in a horsemanship philosophy that is also a studies in the humanities I have a lot of dvds for home study, but miss them none the less. Don't miss the Royal.


Monday, September 27, 2010


You know how it is when you're trying to lose weight? You start off with great convictions. The weight comes off until you hit a plateau. Then you just feel stuck! Do you just give up and get fat! Lower your expectations?! What! Where do you go from here? What do you try?

Now before you suggest a colon cleanse, I want you to realize that I am using this as a metaphor on where I am at with the little farm. And where I am at is....STUCK!! I can't seem to get anything done! I go through these spells at regular intervals. Each more frustrating then the last. I beat myself up with to-do lists, the calendar and weather reports and yet I have just remained stuck. Self flagellation has not been a positive method of motivation.

I was going to try a new direction and only work on tasks that have a serious "cringe" factor. Then I realized that the jobs that were left were the jobs that made me cringe to think about doing them. Bugger! So no cajoling my way through the icky stuff and rewarding myself with the happy tasks. We're pretty much down to just "icky".

I guess the best I can hope for is to try and get one thing done per day and call that good. So for today? Well, we have had a week of cold, miserable rain. So, I will start by pumping water out of the outdoor fireplace footing and then finish digging it out and start filling it up with rock and getting it tamped in good. It will take all day to get the rock hauled a bucket at a time. The outdoor kitchen is something that I have looked forward to more then the house building, so I am probably just tripping over all the emotion that I have invested. Tripping over all of those visions of sitting out by the fire on a chilly night with friends and a bottle of wine. The fire snapping and jumping and turning cheeks rosy...... then I look out the window at a cold, wet mud hole.

Oh well, (sigh) I'll get off this plateau. Getting the fireplace footing done will be like losing five pounds! Finishing the arbor top, that'll be another five pounds! Setting the posts for the roof over the outdoor kitchen... another five pounds! Getting the footing done under the hobbit house? That puppy will be worth about fifty freakin' pounds!!!

By the time this place is done, I'm going to be one of those skinny mean broads.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Life Lesson #4

Life lesson number 4 is.... you can't make someone love you, so don't even go there! Inevitably, there will come a time when you lose your heart to someone who doesn't even know that you breath. It happens. It happens to everybody. Keep walking.

I know, I sound harsh. For whatever reason, people just seem to be hardwired to desire certain traits. If you try to become what that other person wants, you will lose yourself. Then you try even harder and you become a doormat. Then you become despised. I've never seen it work any other way. Sometimes it takes weeks. Sometimes it takes years, a marriage, a car payment and two children before it becomes painfully obvious. But that's the way it plays out.

So, what do you do? You go and be the best you that you can be!!! Develop your talents and strengths. BE HAPPY!! Enjoy the life you were given and keep your eyes peeled because you will attract the person that was hardwired for what you have to offer.

When I was young and met the person who didn't realize I had a beating heart, I was smart. I kept my mouth shut. I paid attention. I realized that he was attracted to girls that were wee slips of femininity. That was a strong clue that it was a bad direction to go. Me! Destined to be a Warrior Woman! I'm tellin' ya'. I've got some guns on me! I've been told that body builders would be jealous of the weight I can press with my inside thigh! I CAN'T do a wee slip of femininity! Shortly, after my realization, I met Mac. Who needed a strong woman. Who wouldn't have known what to do with a girly-girl.

This rule also extends to friendship. You just can't make someone love or even like you. Few will heed this particular life lesson, but it is true none the less. I know, it sucks.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

seeking advice

As I have been blogging away all summer, yesterday I read some articles to see if I was doing it correctly. I don't think I am, but what the hell! I suppose I just over think this stuff. For instance, I was reading an article called "forty tips to better blogging content". It only went to nine. Nine tips!! Yes! I had clicked the link for reading the entire article! yes! the little spinn-y thing had stopped spinning so it all should have been loaded! Nine Tips!! What! They didn't think we wouldn't notice that thirty-one were missing?! Oh well... free advice , you get what you pay for.

Oh! more free advice was that I should shoot photographs like a professional. That's it, right there!! That's the advice! Alrighty then... HOW do I shoot photographs like a professional!? Now I had taken a photography class in high school. You took photos on either a 35 mm or a press camera. You learned how to load your film in a dark room. How to develop the film, print it, film speeds, light conditions, backlighting... all that kind of stuff. So why am I having so much trouble with digital photography? I'll tell you why! It's suppose to be easy, that and the cameras on the whole are crap!! They are slow and they are crap! I have trouble with easy.. Give me detail... mind-numbing, irritating, drive you up the wall detail and I'm your girl! Easy isn't easy... IT'S HARD!! You know why it's hard?, because everybody thinks it's so easy that there aren't any instructions.... not even the instructions that are just in foreign languages that you have to figure out just by looking at the pictures. Stupid free advice.

But wait... there's more.

Don't appeal to everybody... just appeal to your market. Okay, this is the part where you guys have to participate. Everybody stand up! Alrighty! Those of you who have a spouse who has survived cancer... who feel you might have gone 'round the bend a bit.... who are trying to create a farm/small business... whose sanity is hinged to the back of a haflinger (any horse will do)... well, you guys can stay. The rest of you will just have to leave. Apparently, you're suppose to run your blog through It's easy, they say.

I don't DO easy!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feeding time

I try to maintain a fairly tight schedule when it comes to feeding time. Amounts are dictated by weather and season. More heat producing foods in the winter. Extra hay put out when I see a storm blowing in. But that's just the chore of feeding time. It's not the watching the coming or the closing of the day. Stopping to watch the geese going from pasture to pond. It's not the low call of the horses. The call they give only to someone they really like.... or their food. the low, who, who , who, who.

This morning was far darker then it has been of late. It had rained a great deal yesterday and the heat has moved back in as well. The effect was as if by stepping outside I had been covered by a warm, damp blanket. The sky was offering me nothing this morning. No glow of the sun from the east. No stars sparkling. Dark enough I had to mind my step. Proceeding with caution as the wires of the electric fence were not visible. Just aimed for Pip's nose with the feed.

Then dipped out Chloe's ration and headed around to her lot. As I watched the ground, I noticed there were bits of glowing light. Mostly white, some with the tiniest hint of green, little stars tucked in among the grass. I have never seen foxfire before so cannot say that is what it was, but definitely some glowing fungi. It's luminescence peppered the ground around me. It left a person feeling as if fairies had been abroad during the night, forgetting their tiny lanterns after their nocturnal festivities. It wouldn't surprise me. It is part of the magic of my little farm, part of the peacefulness of feeding time. The darkness, the rumble of the ponies, the contented munching. Moments like this when all of your problems fall from your shoulders like drifting snow flakes.

There are a lot of people who just don't 'get' my battle to have this place, this life. Must be because they don't have feeding time.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yesterday was hope...

... and oddly enough so is today. Yesterday I had an idea and tried something new for a home based business. I have so many ideas! but one worked it's way out of the jumble and that is how I spent yesterday. Working on one idea that might make me some money. I know we aren't suppose to love money but I must confess there are days when I certainly love the language it speaks. Anyway, I worked on my artsy craftsy project and the day flew by. Things clicked. The best part was my brains stopped running a hundred miles an hour! I could just be in the moment. That timeless feeling usually only happens with the horses so it was a respite I was needing. It was good omen #1

Then it was time to go and pick Mac up from school. While I was waiting for him, I took my paper out of my purse, and I wrote half of my first fairy tale book. It was good omen #2.

Back about four and a half years ago, when Mac first was diagnosed with leukemia, a couple of things happened. One was that I KNEW that he wasn't going to die of leukemia. At least, not this go round. I had a certainty about it. The other thing that happened was a part of me turned to steel. I couldn't wear down. I had to be the one that made it happen. My effort was going to be what made it an absolute thing that Mac would survive. I worked hard at it. I worked hard when the leukemia recurred. I worked hard during the stem cell transplant and the Graft vs. Host (rejection) and also during the venal occlusion of the liver.

Now I try to turn my steel to making the little farm "happen". Despite all of the uncertainty of life, I KNOW I am suppose to be here. I KNOW that something is going to happen that will take care of us. I KNOW that in some way I will have the little farm paid off in a one to five year span. I just don't know how I know it. I don't know how it will happen. So I try lots of things and I wait to feel a click... to know that something dropped into place. The horses have been written upon my heart since I was two. They are a part of this. They need to be here. The house is very close to what we imagined building together before Mac and I were ever even married. It's a part of correcting our course. That's what living your dream is about.... it's about doing what you're suppose to be doing instead of trying to excel at normalcy .... excelling at mediocrity.

So, now I hope that I found a way to make it happen. I'm hoping it isn't just another blind alley. I'm hoping for another good omen.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Hope Floats

I like that thought. Whatever your circumstances, it seems that hope wants to wriggle out from underneath all of the crap and rise to the surface. It is my life raft.

The personal time that I had been spending with "hope" has been minimal lately. Then two things happened.... I cleaned house and I read some articles out of Martha Go ahead and scoff!! Oh nay sayer!! but she had a video of a gal from Minnesota showing her how to do a craft project. The gal was running a business out of her garage and out letting on the internet. The best part was that she was SUCCESSFUL!! So, hmmmm, successful and featured by Martha and she hadn't even been operating a year!!!

I have hope again.

I can do this. I can still get my ducks in a row. I can do enough odds and ends money makers to get my little book written and printed. Then I just have to sell that 14,583 copies and my life can change immeasurably. It's a plan. It's where my hope lies. Keep your eyes peeled. Changes are coming. I hope this is the year that the renaissance woman can really blossom.


things to watch for... If we maintain schedule we should have the farm web page running in the next couple of weeks. Also watch for an article written for Rado at Traditional Ovens. We are just waiting for the photos to go with the article. Soon "hope" will become "excitement"!

Friday, September 17, 2010


It seems that every time you hear about some amazing invention, you also hear about an accident that happened that turned out to be a great catalyst. I remember watching an old black and white movie with Edward G. Robinson. In the movie his character worked for years to develop a vaccination. (sorry I forget the disease.) His lab was an extension of his home and his wife had strict instructions to not start a fire in the stove in the lab. He felt he needed a constant cool temperature. So after years of frustration, one night working late in his lab, he fell asleep at his desk. His wife comes in. Feeling sorry for him, she starts a fire. He sleeps the night away. In the morning when he wakes he begins to unhinge on his wife. He picks up a petrie dish to say that she had ruined everything! Then he looked again. The heat was the catalyst he needed. Because of his lab accident lives were saved.

I work hard toward my goals. Sometimes I fall apart and can't seem to make things happen. Sometimes I lose my way in a morass of Drs. and personal responsibilities. I feel like that is happening to me now. Then I remind myself to try to keep at it. I'm only an accident away from finding my answers. A little change... a little application of heat and I'll be on my way. Just keep at it. The reward is waiting. That's what you have to keep telling yourself.


P.S. Checked my stats again, which leads me to say.... GOOD MORNING LUXEMBOURG!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I don't know..... I've been thinking too hard again. I'm going to make myself crazy doing that. It has become an issue for me to find a way to relax. If I could just think about what I had to do and keep it objective. Instead I make it into a source of pressure. I'm sure there are people around making big money teaching that skill... but I don't think they live around here.

It's a good thing I have Pip. She may not be a life saver, but she certainly does something for my sanity.

When I go out to the pasture to play, I start by setting up my "props". I have a couple of barrels, a stump, sometimes I take a five gallon bucket with me. And while I am arranging my stuff, Pip is right with me. Sometimes her nose rests on my shoulder or arm. Then we go to our starting place. We begin with what Pat calls the "friendly" game. This consists of lots of rubbing and tossing a rope over her back and pulling it off like a long stroke of a massage. By the third rope toss, my mind has taken up residence in a different place. It is about calm, and consistency.

Yesterday, it was exactly what I needed. It was a respite for my mind.

Pip has been an interesting puzzle. She is now four years old. When I got her, I was told that as a foal she was halter broke and trained to lead. That was the entirety of her skill set. We have played at liberty mostly and there are some things that she seems quite game about. I commented to a friend just yesterday that the two things I was told she could do, are the two things I'm having trouble with. I can get the halter on now, so that's improving... but she still casts a vote to the contrary. That's okay. She has a vote. I have a veto, and the two of us have no deadlines. We're both there for the long haul. Which is a good thing, since she seems to be the official holder of my sanity at this time.

People ask me what I want to do with horses. I have no desire to rope, barrel race, do dressage, eventing .... but I think someday, I'll get on Pip's back, and we'll head west. We'll see how far we go before we decide to stop.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Justice, kind of

We have been watching a series of shows on PBS recently about Jews in America. To be honest, it wouldn't have been my choice for television viewing, but television has been markedly thin in quality broadcasting. I did learn some new things though. One was that the KKK hadn't been around as long as I thought and that they started out as the "Knights of Mary Phagin". Also learned that "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" was written by a jewish guy, which surprised me. I had always heard that it was written by Gene Autry. Also found out that Henry Ford was an extreme anti-Semite, to the point that he went to Germany and received a citation and medal from Adolf Hitler himself. Then I learned something that kind of blew my socks off. There was a survey after the war and it asked if people felt that in any way did the jews do something to partly deserve what happened during the war. My memory is sketchy on this bit, but seems that the survey response was that 48% of the people responding felt there was partial justification. Wait there's more!! Then the survey asked if the jews had done anything to totally deserve what happened in the war and the affirmative response was 11%!!

I was shocked. How can anybody deserve genocide?... partially or totally deserve genocide?!! This got my mind to reeling about just what "deserves" means. There are times when I think I deserve a peanut buster parfait. My over all appearance would contradict that, so how does anybody "deserve" their lot in life? How exactly do you earn what you get? How do corporate CEOs get multimillion dollar bonus packages for running their business into bankruptcy? Do they DESERVE ten, twenty, forty million? Not in my book. Do thousands of people standing outside a hospital in New Orleans waiting for an evacuation from a hurricane DESERVE to just be told, "Sorry the buses aren't coming"? How does somebody deserve this?! Why?

There is a person in Mac's family who has told me that I deserve everything that has happened to me... that I brought it upon myself.... like my actions gave my husband cancer.

We had always lived a very small life, within our budget... very careful. Then Mac got leukemia. I decided to shoot the moon. If he was to die then by God, he was going to go feeling like he HAD something, that he DID something! If he were to die I would be willing to just lose everything afterwards. I would just pick up what pieces I could and go on. It was my gamble. It was OUR need to chase a dream. It was life or death and we were choosing life!

Mac is still healing and getting stronger, so it is the two of us dealing with the financial difficulties, the medical difficulties, but I am still angry about someone hovering on the fringe declaring whether or not we have the right, whether we DESERVE the right to chase our hopes and dreams. What kind of justice is that?! What kind of reward is that for trying to live a good, cautious life?

Well, that person from Mac's family doesn't play a part in our lives anymore, and whether we deserve it or not, we're going to continue doing our damndest to chase that dream down. We're going to live a long and fruitful and happy life here on the little farm. I may not deserve a peanut buster parfait, but I think I deserve this.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mother Earth News

I miss the old mother Earth News. I liked the way it was back in the seventies. Back when returning vets and hippies and Jesus freaks were fueling the back to the land movement. It was a hundred and one uses for baling twine and a guy in Hawaii building his home out of an old redwood water tank. All he had to do was take it down and move it up the side of a small mountain, sand down the wood and reconstruct it into a beautiful round house. It was fifty different ways to build a goat proof fence. It was a driving force behind bartering for services and a brand new version of the personal ad... (mountain man looking for like minded mountain man to share homesteading dreams and buffalo plaid shirts)

Now Mother is frighteningly mainstream. There might be an article on building a pole building that looks like any other pole building. Or how some guy in his McMansion put in a forty thousand dollar solar unit to be responsible for the environment. It isn't about scarcity or survival anymore. It's no longer "Popular Mechanics Meets Walden Pond" There is no grit, sweat or can-do anymore. It's really quite depressing, like watching another passing of yet another golden age.

So, here I sit trying to figure out how to build fence with nothing... trying to figure out how to build a small barn with nothing, and the best Mother can do is point me to some great deals. (10% off for subscribers if you order now, remember to say you read it in Mother's!) And I know that if the real spirit of Mother was alive and well, there would be an article about what new industrial byproduct was available and how it could be used to improve my homestead as not just a roofing material, but also in aiding water storage! Amazing! Not only that but they'll pay you to cart it away!

It leaves me feeling like the one thing this country needs is more underground newspapers.... and possibly more tie dyed tee shirts...and a methane powered willys jeep adapted to do numerous homestead chores. THAT'S the good life!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Of Our Town and Evelyn

Last Sunday morning there was a review on television of the play "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. It is a bit of a morality play. A reminder that our lives are made up of the smallest details, far more then it is the great events, and that we all face the same end. As I listened to the reporter extoll the virtues of this little play, with few distractions, and simple speech, I thought that this is very much what it is like to be a grandparent. This is what it was like the previous day when I had little Evelyn with me.

We had no timelines to follow, no where we had to be. We had the luxury of existing for the details.

Evelyn and I went for a walk Saturday morning. Typically our walks are slow, which seems to be the case when your legs are only about a foot long. We meander a lot. We bend over and look at gray toads and black crickets. Sometimes we pick up sticks and on the whole we don't worry too much about getting wet or dirty.

On this walk, Evelyn found a green 'ball' underneath the walnut trees. She was quite pleased with herself. So then I showed her that the tree was a 'ball' tree. She processed that for awhile. Then she pointed into the tree and gave a bit of a jump (as much as you can with legs that are only a foot long), then she declared "Apple!!". We grabbed a bag from the house and went apple picking. When possible I would hold her up and let her pull the walnuts out of the tree herself. Sometimes we found them on the ground. Most of them were high in the tree and Evelyn saw no reason why we shouldn't try for those as well. So I would pick her up and hold her high as I could. Then I told her to reach and stretch for the "apple". Finally she would admit that she couldn't reach it and we would go on.

Those are the moments that my grandchildren and I give to one another. We take the time. We have the luxury of existing for the details, whether it is picking walnuts, or feeding ponies or standing in a mown hayfield and being allowed to run as far as they want.... these are our moments of few distractions and simple speech, lovely, golden details.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Winding down

Judging by the changes in the air, the coats of the animals and the beginning of the change in leaf color, it must be the waning of the year. It feels wonderful to have the cool air on my skin but it does strike a bit of terror as well. So much is left undone! I'd like to at least get the trim on the house painted so the neighbors don't think we are total slackers. Then again, it might be too late for that. With the leaves falling, our lack of progress is evident from quite a distance. Oh well. (sigh)

I just get pulled in so many directions that it is difficult to give any one thing the attention it deserves or needs. But as the year winds down, my focus will be more mandated. The garden will be on hold until next year. The hope for a chicken house is gone for now as well. Oh well. (sigh)

I found an old list of things needing done buried under some stuff on my desk. It is titled, "Projects That Irritate Me the Most". There are eleven things listed. Two things I can cross off. Three more things are close to completion. The other six things are still really, really bothering me. If I could somehow, in some way, manufacture a flash of brilliance, then I am sure I could get them done in no time. Oh well. (sigh)

But on this misty, moisty morning, it is so very hard to think of anything other then winding down. Time to calculate how much hot cocoa a person needs to keep on hand for the winter. Time to think of cooking up pumpkin and getting it in the freezer so you have it for that Thanksgiving pie ... and pumpkin bread ... and pumpkin muffins. I'm also thinking that there should be a way to make pumpkin pancakes. Yes, pumpkin pancakes with melting butter dripping over those delicate edges.... a hint of cinnamon... lovely maple syrup. Yes, that would be nice when facing a hard morning of winding down. Oh well. (sigh)


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life Lesson #3

Life lesson number 3 is a big one.... a hard one. Know yourself.

We all have that facade that we want to perpetuate. Everybody does that. In your own self , you need to know what's hype and what's real. When it gets down to it, you'd better be able to define what you are capable of. This is information that you will need when the defecation hits the rotary oscillator. I know.

Recently some friends told me about a tough time that they went through. Well, I said, why didn't you do .....? The response was that I didn't know what it was like! I would have been caught off guard! That I wouldn't have been able to respond to the situation either!

But that's incorrect. I can predict my behavior under stressful circumstances because I know myself. I may not be the best person for your team when it's sunny out. I KNOW that about myself. On the other hand I also know that I escaped from someone that was trying to commit bodily harm when I was sixteen. I know that, once when angry, I tried to pick up a three hundred pound man and throw him. I was unsuccessful... but I tried. I have held the hand of a friend, when they died, urging them to , "BREATHE!!". As the caregiver I have stopped my husband from receiving medication that he was allergic to. I have yelled at doctors to fight for care protocols. I have stood in the middle of a country road and talked to a mountain lion until it decided to leave. I know myself. I know what I am. I know what I am capable of. I know it isn't all good.

The up side is, because I know myself, no one else gets to define me.


another P.S. today. Mac's Dr. visit went well yesterday. They will keep his next visit out to six weeks again. If his improvement continues next visit out will be eight weeks.

Something else... I've contacted a very nice fellow in Australia. He is going to walk me through building my outdoor oven. Watch for a link on the sidebar in the next couple of days to his site. He has lots of pictures and info. I just have to figure out how to do this linking stuff! I'm so much better with a drill then I am with computers!! Anyway watch for the topic traditional ovens and the name Rado.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long Weekends

Once again I come out of a long weekend and I'm just flat out angry about the way everything ended up. The first day of the weekend was a family "do" so got to see the grand babies and some of the kids. Pretty much spent the day chasing kids around a playground.

The next two days were the hard part. We did .... nothing. Not one iota. Nothing!! I hate days like that. They make me restless. They make me feel sick. I don't mind a "resting" day if it follows a "doing something" day. But since we hadn't done anything, I don't think these were even valid "resting" days. They were just piss your life away days. I hate that. I've only got so many good days in my given time and I can't waste them.

Today I have a lot of catching up to do. Today I have to feel some sun. I have to feel some strength in my arms. I have to be ABLE! Today is a day that has to be taken advantage of. Tomorrow Mac goes back to Iowa City to see the oncologists. I am never happy on Dr. days, that is, until we are driving away from that town. I'm sure tomorrow will be no different.

And when I'm home, when I pull into the drive, I want to know that I did what I could. That, at least, TODAY was a good day.


Friday, September 3, 2010

It messes with your mind

I absolutely couldn't sleep last night. Tried everything I could think of.... short of a sleep aide. Sleep aides make people act weird. I have enough weird on my plate as it is.

So, I'm laying there and trying to will myself to go to sleep and ideas and odd thoughts are popping in and out in my head. It's like ping pong balls raining down on Captain Kangaroo! (For those of you with youth... that's a LOT of ping pong balls!!) So stuff bouncing ALL over! It's getting messy in my head! It just keeps picking up speed! Whirling in my thoughts are my friends and projects and my kids and grand kids. Pip and Chloe are spinning around me like the wicked witch of the west peddling her old bike! "I'm gonna get you and your little dog too" which reminded me that I need to trim Fiona's toenails again.

Then somewhere in the back, I hear this voice. It's singing.... "don't ya' feel my leg, don't ya' feel my leg, cause if ya' feel my leg, you're gonna feel my thigh"

It's Maria Muldaur come back from the seventies!!!!

"And if you feel my thigh then you're gonna go up high, so don't ya' feel my leg"

It was like some sort of strange and other worldly life raft. A safe haven for my brain, a line of continuity. Then the dog toenails fell away. The projects began to fade. Chloe galloped off. Slowly the issues subsided as Maria's voice grew stronger. And there I sat on my raft, listening with the grandkids, Edgar and Evelyn and Pip, the haflinger. Bobbing around in the darkness, listening to a story of alcohol induced seduction. I know that it's terribly wrong and I promised myself that I won't play this song for them once they actually understand english. Pip didn't care one way or another. We sat and we listened.

"You say you'll take me dancin', buy me gin and wine.
I know you. You've got something else on your mind.
You say we'll go and have a lovely time, but what I've got is mine all mine!

Don't ya' feel my leg, don't ya' feel my leg, cause if ya' feel my leg, you're gonna feel my thigh.
And if you feel my thigh, you're gonna go up high, so don't ya' feel my leg."


I've got a bit of a post script this morning. I checked my stats on the blog readers. I wanted to say Thank you!! Eva in N. Ireland. Dave in England. Mabsy in Scotland. Chris and four others in Canada. Thirty seven various and sundry in the states and especially you five mystery readers in SOUTH KOREA!!!!! Thank you one and all! Because of you guys I have been talked into going ahead and writing my stories for real. Because of you, if I bomb, I have someone to blame. Thank you! Thank you!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A New Frontier

Yesterday I worked on the 'brainier' side of the farm work. I finished up on the farm logo. Cleaned it up and got it inked, and I think it is ready to send off to the embroiderer. Yes, pathetic person that I am, I feel the need to have my own farm logo hoodie. After my success with the logo, I was urged by friends to scope out other farm web sites and see what was available as farm products. There is an ENORMOUS amount of tee shirts and sweatshirts out there, so I will keep my logo wear to myself and my grand children. Artisan cheeses are big, as are goat milk soaps. Too bad I'm not allowed creatures that need milked. In reality, Mac doesn't want creatures that eat or poop either. He says he is putting his foot down. I say I'll kick his foot out from under him. ( In marriage this is called a compromise.)

I believe that I'm capable of producing rude bumper stickers. I think I could produce rude refrigerator magnets as well as, rude note cards. No siree!! None of that touching, foo-foo Hallmark bullshit on my farm! Speaking of shit.... it was suggested that I sell road apples. Hmmm, it does seem that I have a supply of those. That idea is on the back burner.

It has also been suggested that I sell stories. This is something I seem to be able to do in my sleep. So I started checking out printing prices.... ouch! I'll keep checking but I think it is time to go into that new frontier.... it is time to become tech savvy. I will be getting a farm website. I will be learning to edit and post video.... there's other stuff too, but I don't know what it is yet. I was told I could do some of my own printing, myself, with my computer. This scares the crap out of me.... which is apparently okay.... I can sell it.

All of this farm product talk made me start doing farm math. This is how it looks.... If each book sells at $12.00 per copy plus postage, then by the time I sell 14,583 copies, the little farm would be paid for. That is with us carrying the price of production and having all money go toward the little farm's mortgage. So, could I sell 14, 583 books? How long would it take? Would it be possible to do it in a year?

Mac is doing well so far this school year. He has a good bunch of kids in his class room. There are still times when the fatigue hits him. He worries that he won't be able to teach until retirement age. It makes me do a lot of farm math. Sometimes I think too much.

In this huge world, 14,583 isn't so very much, is it?


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Turning the page

The little farm has been in CRP which I believe stands for Cropland Reserve Program. As of August first, I could mow the ground. That has been done. As of October first, I will again have all of my rights and privileges as a landowner. We'll be turning a page... going round the corner.... starting anew!!

So, now we have a month or two of prep work. The land will rest this winter and then next spring it will be time to start earning. I have a neighbor/farmer lined up to hay on shares with me next year. He wants me to seed this fall. That needs to be done in about two weeks. I fear the cost of seed!!, but it will be my first crop, so I am kind of jazzed too.

Working on fences is no longer an option but a necessity. It's a change that I will be excited about, especially since in the last few days I have gotten zapped by the bastard electric fence three times. The one that went across my kidneys is still a little tender. I should mention.... learn from my mistakes! don't think you can just quickly G.I. Joe your way under an electric fence. You're not as close to the ground as you think!!! Need to put that on the list.... more gates!

As soon as the government is fully gone from my land, then I will be free to test my mettle. I'll find out if I am as tough as I think I am. If I'm as imaginative as I think I am, as smart as I think I am. And will all of this toughness and imagination and smartness get me farm fresh eggs?

We'll see.