Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alternatives To The Toxic

I'm far from 'uber-green' in lifestyle
Yet I strive towards better choices

No matter where you reside
city, suburb or farm
there's equal opportunity to ponder
the effects of endless layers of chemical(s)
upon the land, the sea and all living beings.

(click skull for image credit)

  Without fail each day upon the farm
amid bird and bee, drinking water that flows
directly from the land well & watching the crops rise
from the earth I am yearly more aware.
More aware of the close and abiding consequence
of each and every decision, choice, action taken
(or ignored).

That shared and said, I thought I'd pass on this link
While I can not vouch for the truth or safety of each suggestion
(and I was not asked to nor compensated in any way for sharing the link)
it strikes me as a 
good reference of alternative non-tox cleaning uses for
baking soda. A wide array of versatile enviro-friendly applications and
as an added bonus baking soda is much more cost effective
than commercial cleaners.

No doubt I won't immediately (if ever) employ all 51 suggestions :-)
Yet I am equally certain any I do employ will be for the better.
Better for the water in the well, the bees, the veggies, the birds
 for me and each of my neighbors.....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'd Meant to tell you #2

The other day
(I beg you not to query which or what
day it was for I'm I'm 'oft found unable to pin
the proper 'day-name to a given moment in time)
It's my favorite way for time to be - full yet unconfined....

So, the other day while pulling and preening images of the farm
which comprise the pages to the book of my life here I found this shot.
Tucked amid the curious & heartwarming & harsh & comforting &
the immediate of my now within
the ever-long-reaching timeline of the farm herself
I found this image.

It's an oddly angled shot of the farms' coffin door and her main door
A picture I took in the very early days after my arrival.
Odd. Not the finest composition nor quality.
 This image has filtered past my vision more times that I could recall
It's a simple unassuming shot
The other day, for reasons I have learned not to question
it had something to say.
Something to tell me
as it appeared yet again
as it hovered dutifully before me

It struck me as somehow different.
What I knew instinctively is that the image was no different than ever it has been.
What I've come to understand (because farm taught and I listened ~ eventually)
is that I have changed & with that I am able to see, to connect, to understand,
to grasp the message within this image...

What I'd meant to tell you is
that this picture so long ago captured
reminded me there are almost always
two doors to choose from

One door you may desire ~ the other not a bit
One may call to you, yet you find it locked
It may be you enter one door
only to exit from the door opposite
You could go in one door and exit from neither....

And there's even the possibility of
hovering between
the two doors
lost in evaluation
or frozen in fear
considering options
and outcomes
looking for some guarantee

Options require choices
Choices are 'oft neither simple nor clear
Evaluation and Fear should  not
Be confused, one for the other
This pictures's been patiently waiting
to tell me or perhaps remind me
of all of these things
And I'd meant to tell, to share, with you...

Text and Image by FIDF Copyright 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012


Ponder not the right
Nor the wrong
Of conflict
Ponder not
Wars Long Gone
Or wars still ravaging
Good Souls
And those who love them

Think, rather, of the belief
The dedication
The sacrifice
Made for years their lives
Or made for eternity
By those who fought
By those who fight
By those who in each generation
Attempt to protect us all
From those who would
Harm us all

Ponder not the politics
The "agree" or "disagree"
Think rather and gently
Of what one must muster
From the core of the soul
To place the service to others
Over self, over family, over friends

Ponder the day those in service will have today
A day unlike ours filled with family, frivolity
Food, friends, comfort, contentment.

Think of those who wait in danger
Wait to again have such happy days
Think of those who never will.

I don't believe you must agree with war
In order to honor the courage, dedication and sacrifice
Given by those who step forward
On the behalf of others

So on this Memorial day
Lift a glass, or a corner of your heart
And speak a toast or whisper a hope for safety
To those who have served and survived
Tho ever changed by the service
And for those who served
And sacrificed everything....

Text by FIDF copyright 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Have You Guessed Yet?

Well even if you haven't I'll tell you lol
Thanks to clever insanity
I have a three-seater outhouse
to restore and then use as my
garden building!

I'm thrilled that this genuine
intact little building that is
so part of farm history
from times long gone
is now safe & finding repurpose.....

Never a dull moment, lol that's for certain!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guess what I'm getting?

What has three holes and is WAY bigger than a breadbox?
Stay tuned! lol

A bit 'o news!

Hello hello my cyber friends!
A quick bit of fun news...
I've created a new page on the blog.
I wanted to offer any of you interested
in peeking at my 'finds', my 'treasures for sale'
a first chance to see & perhaps adopt
some of my favorite finds
before they go to Etsy.

Truth be told I'd love having any of my little rescue items
or my supplies or the few of the items I create to be first offered to
and seen by you, my cyber friends!

So with no further delay
click HERE 
to head to the the first
Peek N Pick Page sale!

And anytime you're of a mind to look, the page has a tab
of its own on the page directory.

Feedback, suggestions, preferences, ideas,
requests for items you're seeking
 are all warmly welcomed!
To share your thoughts/suggestions
about the new page
(or anything else lol)
email me

Friday, May 25, 2012

This weekend is long ~  overflowing with opportunities to enjoy the simple contentments
of life...

Perhaps a stroll down a quiet lane?

It may be you prefer a concert in the open?

Or a visit with family or friends in their home or yours?

Endless possibilities to create memories....

~ ~ ~

Whatever you do, wherever you go
setting the politics of war aside
take a moment to respect and honor
the service and sacrifice 
of those past and present in the military who serve
combat, medic, ancillary support, news core
Each and every serving in great danger
all serving away from family, friends, home
all serving while we enjoy this long weekend

Take a moment to honor
those who will return home heart heavy
from what they have seen
those who have and will return injured, bodies broken
Most of all spend a moment to honor those who
will never
return at all

Much there is to celebrate, enjoy, honor, ponder

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Be Nice Or...

I was out in the barn today looking at this sign I hung on his old weathered walls the year the farm became part of me and I became part of the farm. Difficult days those were. Lots of 'feeling overwhelmed' by life. Disappointment. Waves of fear.

Many hours of wondering if I had actually lost my mind and just didn't grasp the fact yet. I found it difficult to be patient, almost impossible to feel kindly about anything.

I bought the sign. And in the crumbling leaning towering old barn up high on one of his walls I hung it on bent nail (I admit to wielding a hammer badly). You'll see the sign in the image below ~
I hung it for myself, as a navigation point for my newly forming world. I wanted to revive the part of my heart that believed in niceness, that believed in kindness. I wanted to step back, step away, separate myself from the past few years in which most of what I'd believed about work/career/humanity/life in general had been challenged at best and broken at worst. I wanted to again live my life just as the sign said:
"be nice"
("or go away")

In that moment, standing amid falling outbuildings, teetering barn, bedraggled farmhouse (with broken windows and bales of hay in the basement ~ yes, the basement) I realized something clearly. I realized that in buying this place, against all sense and caution I'd made a stand to replant my life. I'd decided to regain my soul, to begin life on a radically different path.

Exhausted  and fearful yet oddly calm in that moment. Taking one last glance at the sign I honestly understood that contrary to all logic, I was where I belonged. I sensed that perhaps I wouldn't have to "go away" because I somehow knew that within these tired old structures and amid these many rolling acres "nice" and my life were just waiting to be re-found....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Can you hear them?!
My croaking minstrels of the pond & stream
have begun their twilight concert

Look at the picture above,
look down one of the roads of my beloved farm
close your eyes and imagine you are here with me
on the long porch, rocking gently in a tired
but lovingly repainted chair

Feel the cool glass, ice quietly melting, in your hand
Breathe deeply as the gentle nearly-night-breeze moves by us
Smile, as one by one the water minstrels
Sing their magical melodies
To you
To me
To each other
To anyone who pauses to listen

the world is calm
Sometimes life


Old friends

  Old friends
One best for sitting under, One made to rest upon
Both are ancient maple
Who've sung such different songs

Now in the twilight
of their lives, so different
yet so bound

They share a kinship
side by side
in days beneath the clouds

The old tree welcomes company
Upon his friend the chair
The chair is thrilled he's useful still
Now out in open air

At first it seemed to many "odd"
to see these two together
they fretted chair would wear away
due to inclement weather

I held my ground, for chair, for tree
for unconventionality
and oft I sit
on chair
'neath tree

(I'm third to share
their reverie)
*Image and text copyright FIDF*

Monday, May 21, 2012

Farm oh-so-not-diva accessories

If you live upon a farm
there are certain items you
must equip yourself with...
The list is long (and odd at times lol)

Here are two of the basics on the list
of  non-optional necessities
for newbie farm dwellers
(or farm visitors)!
Not lovely, never to be viewed
in Glamor or Vogue.
But deny the need for these items on the farm
at your own peril lol
1). Muck/Mud/Wet Grass/Animal Poo/Field Grass/Burdock/Resistant Boots
To the knee sort of boots
Rubber or stout flexible plastic that will endure scrubbing
(because you will wash them ~ often! lol)
Handles are a nice 'extra'

2). Corn husk brooms
(each of these you own will be worn to a frazzle ever so quickly)
Used to:
Chase/Shoo/Heard/High Dust
(to name just a handful of the numerous uses for said brooms)

*chickens and geese DO avoid the broom*

Farm gear, much like farm life, is wonderful
it just isn't appealing to fashion divas  ;-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stop Look Notice

One of the (many) lessons that arrived (for me) with life experience
was the awareness & understanding that each day arrives and departs
"never to be lived again"

Initially that awareness distressed me. Profoundly.
Tho it wasn't news to the universe
or a concept I'd never considered
it arrived at mid-life as a point of reference
that I was foolhardy to ignore.

I felt immediately obligated even perhaps stressed
to layer even more
into my already frenetic days on the farm.

Exhausted, stressed and vexed it (eventually) occurred to me
that greater happiness was awaiting me 
not in greater quantity but deeper quality.
I came to understand that life was unfolding hour by hour
and the choice lay not in how much I could accomplish in each day
but rather how much I could - or would - choose to enjoy
within each moment of each day.

In other words, Live smaller

A phrase found often in financial advice and ecologic terms.
But I believe it applies to time also.
At least it does for me.....

My efforts to alter my perception and habits
 began as most do,  rather stintedly lol
Tho it was sometimes impossible, any day I could I reduced
my 'must do' list (which incidentally drove me insane initially)
That provided the window of time to
stop, look notice
to improve the quality of life
(akin to stop, drop and roll for fire)

When grocery shopping I forced myself to notice
the colors in the produce aisle
the artwork on the boxes.
(I admit, I was exceedingly self conscious,
& hoping no one noticed me standing & staring lol)

Hanging up laundry I made a point
of putting the basket down
and turning in a full circle
to absorb the view
of each season.
Slowly. Purposefully.
(less self consciously as only the birds were observing)

Each attempt I felt less absurd
Each time I gained a grain of renewal
Tho I accomplished less each day
my world did not unravel.
 While fewer items were crossed off
my mental or actual 'to do' list my
previously frenetic world did not end.

Over time I increased my number
stop, look, notice
and as the week and months passed
two astounding truths emerged:

*I was still accomplishing a tremendous amount*
*I was happier than I had ever been*
when I strived only for efficiency

Astounding yet again

Eventually I began to think of each day
as a scavenger hunt 
What could I see or hear that I'd previously
passed by in my 'oh-so-efficient' days?

So simple these efforts to notice detail
surrounding the flow of moments in my days
 yet so rewarding.
And an amazing easing of the pressures
of life of doom/gloom/stress
 of sadness/worry/angst
accompanied this change in focus
I was applying to most of my days.

Moving forward to the farm years
and the future as it continues to unfold:
Always, always my camera is in one pocket
my notepad and pen/pencil in the other
I delve deeper still via image and words
into the scavenger hunt....
Seeking he viewed but not observed sights
catching the heard but not listened to sounds
for myself, for sharing here with you

Magic for the taking
Held within
each and every
around me.....

And I grow more contented still

Of course there are days, weeks that demand my
undivided attention and times that cause stress.
Those times are part and parcel of being a
responsible connected bill paying human.

But here is my hope....
  perhaps one person finds these words
locates a thread of truth within them
and learns sooner than I did
to stop, look and notice
their world

To that person
I say:
Here's to finding yourself
standing somewhere
self consciously
looking & seeing
& seeking...
Photo and text copyright FIDF 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Logger, A Beloved Tree, A Story

Have you learned of the curious and touching saga
of Frank Knight (a professional logger by trade)
and his heart~legacy elm?
Have you read of the decades he devoted
to protecting New England's tallest elm tree?
( a tree ancient and venerable at 217 years)

Have you heard their saga?

It is a study of
seemingly opposing sides
of a coin caring
for each other.

It is a lesson in dedication,
a lesson in defending
something dear to your heart.

It is a saga
written by the deeds of one man
and a single tree
that (it seems to me)
enriched the world by

And now that the final chapter
has been penned for them both
 the saga continues
 teaches still...

Mr Knight, in his way,
touched those who observed
his dedication
touched those who now honor him
and honor that which he 
so deeply cared for.

It's a simple, inspiring, lovely saga
a reminder to each of us
that we all hold seeds of inspiration.
Plant your seeds

Travel gently,
travel together
logger and elm....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Message From A Crow


I, with basket and pins
headed for the sun bleached lines
suspended betwixt the T-posts of steel.

He, with glinting wings and piercing eyes
headed for the uppermost tip of the
highest branch of his chosen tree.

I gazed towards him
he studied me
he called three times
I smiled

I shook the towels
in the brilliant Saturday sun
and asked him if
he carried a message for me

I queried if he'd brought
a sign, an omen ?
He spread his handsome wings
gliding towards me, calling

Tho I was at first unsure if he carried
a sign, omen or message for me
I had no doubt why humans
have always acknowledged crows to be
mystical messengers

This day as I held a question
and formed a wish within my heart
 he flew just past my shoulder
so close his wing tip
stirred the air, within reach of my cheek

As he passed his eye met mine
 he continued calling
he spoke to me
the crow had delivered my answer...
copyright IDF 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'd Meant To Tell You (the backstory)

It's a peculiar habit of mine
to think of
the one thing more 
I'd meant to tell you
after the fact

Invariably it occurs to me
at the exact moment I've just:
1) sent the email
2) hung up the phone*,
3) posted the blog entry
4) et al...

Peculiar, possibly endearing,
possibly annoying
but either way
something that's hard-wired into my being.
Hence it's seemingly appropriate there'd
eventually be a a blog tag and blog titles
that reflect and delineate
my quirk-related 'Oh! I meant to' bits
that wander into the station of my mind
 after the train has already pulled out

So, when you notice the title or tag
I'd meant to tell you # ___
 you now know the back story, lol
* I do actually remember when one
hung up the (corded) phone
as opposed to turning it off,
pushing the end call button
or placing the
handset back
in the charging stand
(with such admissions I admit
that I may indeed be inching my way
closer towards being classified as

older than the dinosaurs, lol)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A fiddle, voices & words that transcend time

Tis a love song I share with you today
A love song I can well imagine
having resonated  within the walls
of my old girl in her one hundred & forty plus years

Times change, society wanders
but the depth of the heart
ah the the depth of love
alters never
Click Here for a direct link to the song in case the embedded image link below
doesn't work for you (a couple of people have had a bit of trouble with it - not sure why...)
Blackest Crow By The Showponies Band
(CD to be released Spring 2012)
Without doubt I will learn the tune and words to memory
and it will be heard within her walls in coming days...
(not as lovely in the singing, lol, but it will be sung)


Monday, May 7, 2012

On A Cool & Rainy Monday

On this cool and rainy Monday I treated myself
to catching up on blog reading (so enjoyed)
and editing some quasi-recent images to share.
Some hither and thither views from around
the 'old girl' that I hope you'll enjoy!

Spring = PROJECTS so there'll be much more
to share in the coming weeks (amid my advil
groans :-)

PS there are images of more clapboard scraping
pre-painting too ~ but they're far from lovely to
view lol so I spared you those!

Happy rain-filled-Monday from me to you....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's a great life if you don't weaken

I bid thee farewell
sad news and bad news
offered up on platters
of airwave, digital text
(and the few remaining printed pages)

For past days many, weeks winding
and months marching
you have been a steady companion
while the old girl and I weathered
another winter more ~ together

Just yesterday, as May made her way
back to the farm again
I heard a knock upon the door
and found Spring waiting, full of hope
full of promise in spite of a winters' worth
of nay-saying-ramblers

Mother natures' May mentioned (in a warm wind whisper)
"it has always and ever will be so"
Sad news and bad news run rampant
yet one can (one must) set it aside
Set the hoplessness aside
when once again May comes calling
choose to dance
with Spring
and hope
come May

When on your porch-step
when at your door-step
May comes knocking
choose her....

Verse/text/images by IDF 2012