Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Muse-Day #2

Last week was such fun!
Shall we go again?!??
If so, here's #2
Three random pictures
from the farm I chose today
Do they whisper something to you?
Will you share here what they say?!

Just a bit of wool gathering, a bit of fun really :-)
If you'd like to join in, share a single word
(the first that comes to mind or otherwise)
that you think of when you see this picture....
Just One word.
A single word from a book or poem title?
One word snipped from a memory, or an impression?
Easy Peasy - Just One Single Word.
I hope you'll join in and leave your "word" in thr comments
on this, the next Monday Muse-day at the farm!
(PS Subscribe to comments to see everyones word, including mine)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Muse-day

Three random pictures
 from the farm I chose today
Do they whisper something to you?
Will you share here what they say?!
Just a bit of wool gathering, a bit of fun really :-)
If you'd like to join in, share a single word
(the first that comes to mind or otherwise)
 that you think of when you see this picture....
 Just One word.
A single word from a book or poem title?
 One word snipped from a memory, or an impression?
Easy Peasy - Just One Single Word.
I hope you'll join in and leave your "word" in thr comments
on this, the first Monday Muse-day at the farm!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Oft Forgotten Skill

Recently I found an email in my in box ~ I love hearing from readers by the way! ~ with a question. Within her lovely note she wondered how it was I am so happy ~ every single day cheerful and upbeat?

There are questions that come via email that give me reason to ponder to think - excellent!  Many I answer privately, leading to periodic wonderful e-versations (email conversations) Some queries I reply to but do not (for various reasons) answer the specific question(s) within. What I've not done before is to share any of the queries and my responses here.  Would that be of interest? (let me know and if so, email me questions.  I make no promise that I'll answer every question for my own and various reasons in either email or here. But no doubt I oft WILL email reply to you or share it here - again if of interest??!!  I'll leave that to you - let me know, yea or nay  :-)

Now back to her question.....

One of the farms woodlands

To be honest, there have been, are still and ever will be days I would not (by a long stretch, lol) be described as cheerful. Oh no, not in the least, lol.  Let me admit, declare, decree and confess there have been/are dark days.  There are worrying days. There are run of the mill annoying days. Silly-stuff-that-happens-days.  Days that I thought had no escape, no hope. Days that are made right by a beer  or two (or four, lol) on my porch safely off the road in the company of singing frogs.  Days that are set right by a good nites sleep. Days that are fixed because they end and become tomorrow and I try again, I try harder or smarter or from a different direction.  Some days are repaired by finally admitting I am being an ass and deciding to stop being an ass. Or stop being stubborn. Or realize I don't have all the answers roflmao.

So the farm, and life, and events and I are not as perfectly happy as it perhaps seems.
Life is messy.
Life is hard.
Life is uncontrollable in both large and small ways at times.

And for the record I think it both important & good that we share problems, issues & worries with others in person & online


Betwixt and between all of the scrapes and bruises, falls and failures, there is a lot of 'happy'.  An abundance of good. Days of 'it worked!' Stretches of contentment. The difference, in my small and humble slice of life experience and even more humble opinion is that you have to learn, and then value and then struggle to CHOOSE to see the positive.

I'm not sure when I (or the world at large) first forsook the ability to decide to see the up side of things. I don't know when it became more common to wail and complain than to share stories of success or progress. I can't tell you when it became common to omit discussion of good happenings, warm happy events, share a joke, a smile, say thank you. 

At one point after my life turned itself upside down and I'd wailed until even I was tired of hearing my own whining I leaned or re-learned that I possessed the ability and the skill and the choice to focus. I didn't have to ignore my problems to also see the positive. Problems, mine and yours were/are real.  I will always feel fear, dread the unknown, be annoyed when things break, et al  But I came to see and understand that I decide every day, each hour, each event, how much of my mind, heart soul and time I give to every single thing that crosses my path in a day, any day, every day. Good or bad I decide what I'll give it of myself.

I decide what I send out into the world - inside my farmhouse, in my car, on my blog, in my emails, at the coffee shop, grocery store. Let me tell you my discovery - always or often being angry and negative is exhausting and changes very little. Being cheerful is uplifting (to me) even when it's not mirrored. Best news? Often it is returned in kind. There are days (oh there are days) when the best I can muster is to simply be quiet, keep the mouth zipped, lol.  But even that is a step above negativity.

All you have to do to have a happier life is to choose, then WORK (hourly) at setting your focus on the good, the funny, the warm. Decide who you want to be, for yourself, for those you love, for strangers, for the community you are a part of. And that is true for real life and online life.

I understand self discipline is hard and not greatly in vouge these days. I know there's SO much sadness for so many. In fact tho more for some and less for others, I finally understand EVERYONE has problems, heartbreak. What I don't understand is when we lost sight of the fact each of us chooses and takes responsibility for what we focus on, what we talk about, what we say, how we say it, how we live.  It's an oft forgotten skill, deciding to 'be happy'.  It's a choice much like what we eat, what we wear. Think of it as an every day decision. It's out there - some small thing that is good in your life ~ most every day even as other things go spinning wildly wrong.

See? That question really made me ponder, make me  think, made me sort 'the threads of why' out a  bit!

PS remember, let me know if you'd like to see more 'questions answered' posts of this kind...
PSS I daresay  not all the replies will be this lengthy, lol

Friday, July 20, 2012

Farm Elementals

                                                           FARM  ELEMENTS
                                                        Fire, Water, Earth and Sky

Every now and then nature reminds us 'who's in charge'.  She re~schools us in the concept of  'balance'. All things in proportion are best.  She nudges us (or if you know NCIS? she gives us a Gibbs/DiNozzo head slap, lol)  Lest we forget, that no matter how clever we are, no matter what science or tech at our disposal, SHE controls the deciding vote, the 51% ownership. SHE is the one who calls the shots. SHE gives life SHE denies life. SHE is the one who must be obeyed.  Killing snow in April, Killing frost in May, Killing drought in June and July.  She's reduced me to turning the water off while brushing my teeth ~ a farm water well survival skill.  She's prodded me into using dish pans (one to wash, one to rinse) which in turn allows for more water for laundry (a task carefully thought out and planned in drought, lol).  Happily this farm has a small creek that flows all year, even in harsh drought. Not helpful for drinking and cooking, but sustaining for plants, animals. Hand carrying/distributing water for any need is (I suspect) how Advil came to be invented, roflmao.  Rain barrels also are a marvel of 'found' extra water (tho only if it rains!)

* If ever you seek a farm strive for good source(s) of all manner of water ~ for people plant & animal*

It seems that today, for whatever reason, SHE decided we'd been sufficiently reminded and gave us rain - it began in the night and has lasted thus far all day - rain, glorious & wet, ever disappearing into the land as fast as it falls.  I may throw caution to the wind and run the water the entire time I brush my teeth and wash my hair tonite  :-)  Even as I considered such behaviors I do believe I heard HER say, "remember who's got the power here"!  and then she laughed and added 'just sayin'...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Matters Most Is The Attempt ~ Success Is A Bonus

Along The Edge Of The Original Cattle Pasture 

"It is not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how a strong man stumbled, or the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Inherent Happiness

There is an inherent happiness, a soothing flow to life, amid the days on this farm. Not to infer such contentment can not or does not fill other hearts in different  settings with the same heartfelt ease. Indeed over the course of my life I've found happiness in other settings, other locations. Still my heart knows the full range of ease, the inherent reliable sustained happiness, is tethered to this unique amalgam, this place, this farm. These fields, woods, pastures, house, objects, barns, ghosts, animals, past, present and future are magic for me, to me, surrounding me.

The sun behaves differently in this valley.  The old cow pastures remain green from their generations here. Those pastures are intense with a depth of green that can not be delivered by  a contract with chem-lawn.

There are whispers of the past. Whispers from generations of lives that unfolded her and accumulated and layered their stories. Weathered wood. Hand worn  wood. Stair treads that are ever so gently cupped in the center from hundreds of thousands of trips up and down them by footfalls large and small.

Forgotten objects uncovered in corners and attics and in turned earth. Glass that should exists only in shards and fragments that flash from the soil as a glint in the sun and emerge unfathomably intact. *the image below is of such a piece*  Time machines, these pieces. My mind, or my heart, can not resist the mystery. The wondering game of who brought this here? Who touches it last? How did it come, sans obvious breakage, to be discarded here amid this field? How, oh how, did it survive unscathed in the many ensuing years?!

So many mysteries. Such a sense of time, ongoing,  An owl feather found. Crows that follow me. Pieces of glass, of metal, of horse harness, of life and times I can only image as I wend my way back to chosen aspects of their way of life. I plant my (few) crops. Pin the laundry to the cotton lines. Speak to the swallows. Listen to the woods.  Find the ferns.  Listen. Learn. Understand what matters.  Work intensely, sleep well. The food on the table is real. The bread from my hand, my oven  is real. The water drawn up from the ground is cold. I'm the current chapter in the story of the life of these fields, house, barn, birds, breeze....

Perhaps one day someone will wonder about me, about my life here on this land, in this old house.

This farm, nestled in this valley is magic. I suspect it always was. And now, its magic is for me.
Inherent happiness.


  1. Existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Calling all who sew, knit, create with yarn thread

The title is based on my impression (admittedly unfounded lol) that this curious storage box is somehow related to storing thread, yarn or some-such! Certainly not old yet I've no idea of use or age. If anyone peeks at this and has an idea what they actually are I'd SO appreciate your insight ! 
I'm stumped.  *top pic is the two halves separated, top and bottom. lower pic (not the best image) is
the two halves put together.*

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Exact Moment

The one positive remnant, found swept upon the beach following any fearsome storm in life or nature is the unmitigated joy that evolves in the simple absence of the hardship.

 Opposing  realities changing position.
Power shifting.
Dominance exchanging place. 

Frozen shaking hands warmed near the fire.
Out of control free fall replaced with choreographed rhythmic steps.
Logic returning, declaring victory over anxiety.
Happiness, years absent behind a door both bolted and nailed climbing thru old house windows.

The exact moment - and there always is one -  you realize the intense pain has stopped. Attempting to recall when you last walked the floors, unable to sleep, so deep was the angst. Realizing with surprise there is no such recent night. 

You understand, dimly, that you've actually survived the storm, the tumult, the pounding reef. The fractured bones of your heart are perhaps knitting together, scars ever to remain, yet healing.

I thought intensely of this one day, observing a building storm. Threatening and promising simultaneously the rain was forming amid a crushing drought on the farm.

I thought of my struggle that day, a day that rested randomly amid the years of the pain of departure and the hoped for yet not arrived contentment. Gazing out that ancient window where I 'oft lingered seeking solace  when I could scarcely breathe for the intensity of emotion that engulfed and threatened my soul.
I watched this storm unfold and continued pondering it all....
Watching that day, I cautiously wondered if perhaps within this old house
I'd found my storm-shore haven. My safety. Where I was meant to be...
(excerpt from the ever growing pages/chapters of my
  humble attempt at a first book. The sum of which chronicles
the entire story: the why, how & adventure of how I came to the farm,
to life in farm country. Of what forced, what sent me seeking, finding, repairing
and hesitantly loving this once decrepit old farm. The journey that began at a time
when most are 'sizing down'. The tiny little massive huge sad wonderful scary brave
story of how I lost my mind and my heart and set off on my lunatic, ill-advised escape)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

“He stood breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled up with all the details of the land. He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill him.
There would always be more than enough.” 
Ray Bradbury 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hop Hop!

Look Look!
I have a new
Prim Bunny
I knew he had to be mine
the moment I saw his mis-matched eyes, lol

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sometimes You Beat The Bird, Sometimes The Bird Beats You

Notice the cute small bird on my planter?
Cute as a button and stubborn as a mule, lol!
This wee creature began a nest on the top of one of my
porch columns. Late in the season for nest creation.
Hers was well built, a lot of hard work. Mud, hay, moss. Impressive.
Still I had to dissuade her. An excellent location for her, not so much for me
or for the porch. Or screen door, or the windows, or the furniture or cushions.

I moved with decisive stealth and vigor!
I removed her nest before egging occurred.
I did so once.
Three times.
FOUR times.
FIVE times
(while reminding her who was in charge here) lol

Then I remembered an old plastic owl that I'd had in the gardens, now in the barn. Out it came, to see if it could deter little bird, set up a sense of predator drama in her mind. I captured this picture of little bird confronted with big bad scary owl during their first beak to beak meeting...
(and yes there IS a PAINT can in the image, always a paint can!
I will perish with a paint can in-hand lol)
Little bird studies the turn of events.
She ponders.
She considers.
What I did not catch was an image of the sight of little bird
not only sitting near to but snuggled up to owl
Oh little bird, you vex me, yet I admire your moxie!

Sometimes you beat the (little) bird
Sometimes the (little) bird beats you lol
(excerpt from the ever growing pages/chapters of
my humble attempt at a first book. The sum of which chronicles
the entire story: the why, how & adventure of how I came to the farm,
to life in farm country. Of what forced, what sent me seeking, finding, repairing
and hesitantly loving this once decrepit old farm. The journey that began at a time
when most are 'sizing down'. The tiny little massive huge sad wonderful scary brave
story of how I lost my mind and my heart and set off on my lunatic, ill-advised escape!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'd Meant To Tell You #3

Remember my pot(ty)ing shed adventure!?

Update! It now has a new tin roof....
Cute as a bug and one step closer to
becoming my curious little farm-history-preserved
potting/garden tool shed, lol
Quirky isn't the exception
it's the RULE in my kingdom, lol

As Tho They Were Long Lost Friends

The old trunk whispered 'save me' as I approached.
Surrounded by a lifetime accumulation of both the grand and the grim
she waited on the grass near the old barn.
She watched from behind the house for sale sign and hoped.
Longing to be useful, to be needed, to be wanted
(As do we all....)

You know of course that she came home with me lol

The moment the trunk entered the front room of the farm
I knew in the same way I had known I belonged with the farm that the trunk
had also arrived precisely where it belonged.
Under this lace filled window was found a perfect fit, each for the other.
They seemed to have belonged to each other, old house, window & trunk, forever.
(The same way it occurs with people and run down old farms sometimes).

Trunk was empty of contents when I bought her, but I sensed filled with stories.
Stuffed with adventures. Sadly I am not fully fluent in 'trunk-speak' but old house is...
I had the contented feeling that the old girl (my farm) and trunk immediately
began to share stories - of times past, of their people, of feeling lost & of being loved again.
I tried to eavesdrop, but alas could capture of their banter none.
(tho I could well imagine their tales of loss, of love, of life, were much like ours)

 It makes me smile each time I see them, now together
As tho they were long lost friends
found at last again.
(excerpt from the ever growing pages/chapters of
my humble attempt at a first book. The sum of which chronicles
the entire story:  the why, how & adventure of how I came to the farm,
 to life in farm country. Of what forced, what sent me seeking, finding, repairing
and hesitantly loving this once decrepit old farm. The journey that began at a time
when most are 'sizing down'.   The tiny little massive huge sad wonderful scary brave
story of how I lost my mind and my heart and set off  on my lunatic, ill-advised escape!)

PS Trunk holds all the  coming and going shoes, boots, sandals and the like wonderfully!
I chose to only gently clean her, leaving all the age and adventures
of her long life which she wears gracefully.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Speaks

January brings the promise of a clean slate
February asks for patience and strength
March mocks
April sends hope
May sings
June lights the fields with fireflies


July speaks with the full authority of Summer
July is the steady rumble of the tractor in the fields and pastures.
July hums with clanking of equipment following behind the old gray Ford
whirring  behind the power take-off, gathering the first of the season.

July is strength, power. Sun which dries the laundry even as I pin it to the line.
July is the author of  beloved cicada song.
July is the undeniable force which sends me to the porch (often)
for a moment of respite from the sun, the heat.
July sees all life great and small, pausing for a bit of rest amid her stunning power.

July, almost haughty in her intensity, speaks boldly and will not stand down for anyone.
She is the Summer month one must obey....
I both respect and admire her power.

Image and text copyright FIDF 2012