Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Fades And 2014 Emerges

I'm not fond of New Years Resolutions

Instead I set my course towards

a) New Year Of Rest
b) New Year Of Revolution

Some years I yearn for rest, for simplification, streamlining complexity

Other years I long to shake things up, seek change, growth, revolution

I'm not quite certain yet which 2014 (if I have any say) will be, lol
What I know for sure is that this new year, like every year
Will have emotions and events
Hot and Cold
Sweet and Sour

It will have challenge and happiness
Alongside success and failure

It will have a mind of its' own
(fate and nature have more pull than I do, roflmao)

 It will also have the best thing every new year brings:
365 possibilities

Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Starfish File #2

If you're unfamiliar but curious about my 
starfish files click here for the background story
In the 1940's weddings weren't always filled 
with bouquets, cakes and frills. 
Photo Credit: April Cole/Kathy Woodhouse with Digital Expressions
Times were hard,with much of the world
in turmoil. Weddings were often
simple, receptions a slice of cake and punch (no grand party).
A honeymoon trip was a nite away perhaps.
Photo Credit: April Cole/Kathy Woodhouse with Digital Expressions
But every woman thinks of her wedding day
both before ~ and after
 thanks to the wonderful kindness of

**Sullivan's reception cake was donated by Red Head Custom Cakes.
The floral arrangements/bouquets were donated by Milam House florist.

Photo Credit: April Cole/Kathy Woodhouse with Digital Expressions

Thursday, December 12, 2013

STARFISH File Entry # 1

 For most of my life I've used the legend of  'saving starfish' to be a point of navigation. A way to live, to think, to behave. A standard of choice.

The story tells of a person walking a vast stretch of  beach following an intense sea storm. Discovering the shore to be covered with hundreds and hundreds of starfish the walker begins gathering handful upon handful  and returning them to the sea.
A fellow beachcomber passing by called out "nice idea but most of them have been on the beach too long to survive. Besides you won't be able to save them all. So all things considered it's a wasted effort.

With hands overflowing with starfish the reply back was heard to be:
"You're right, I can't help every starfish even doing all I can. I also don't know which will struggle and survive and which will struggle and die. It isn't about that. What it's about is doing what I can. And whatever hope or change may come from my effort will be good for some starfish. 
And doing what I can is good for me".

There is (as we all know) no lack of terror, horror, sadness, and most frighteningly to me, selfishness to be found in the world. It fills the news, the net, the apps. I've been thinking for some time of dedicating a corner of these pages to the good, the kind, the giving, the happy, the hopeful acts of humanity. To give praise to acts of caring, of kindness..

Hence the starfish file

I'll create a folder in the near future dedicated to these posts ~ easy to locate if you need something(s) to read showing humanity and cheer. You can also find them by the tag starfish file.
And I'd be so thankful if you'd send me stories you find or stories that tell efforts of your own! to post here (with your permission). No act of kindness found online (or of yours) is too small! There's no such thing as an insignificant act of kindness or caring. I'd be so pleased and appreciative to hear from you. Join me in showing the naysayers that good is still out there (and give the rest of us 'happy reading") :-)
The Starfish Files
Entry #1
A story of two men who had nothing in common 
but both chose to improve this world.
Leo Grand And Patrick McConlogue
You can read about The plan Patrick acted upon The choice Leo made and The outcome by clicking on each highlighted text, linked to each part of the story.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mud Puddles And Jung

Jung put forward the concept that we don’t so much 
solve our challenges but rather, we outgrow them. 

Or perhaps we grow past them. Throughout our life we add capacity. We survive experiences that eventually make us stronger or at least less intimidated by the situations we encounter. We gain the ability to choose what we battle.

In my case I'd add we find we've outgrown the need to 'splash around' in certain muddy puddles. Not because we find answers but because we finally figure out that we never will find answers or change some things. A muddy puddle will never provide good drinking water.  I sense even as I type this that someone reading is thinking "but you could strain, boil, chemically treat that puddle and then you could drink it"!

True. But when all is said and done you'll still be drinking water that was a muddy puddle. After a lot of work. After struggling to alter the muddy puddle into something it was not.

I slowly have grown to understand I'm more content investing my time and effort changing direction. I'm spending more of my days searching for clear running streams.  Or a hidden pond of sparkling water. Or at least locating a clean puddle.

Choices. Every day. Every hour. At every interaction intersection. I finally fully grasp that the quality (and sanity) of my life is (at least mildly) configured by the choices I make. What do I attempt to alter and what to I choose to bypass? To release? To ignore (while muttering to myself  a bit I admit, lol -  but, hey it takes time to do it perfectly).

There is fulfillment (different from happiness - but that's another post) found by some in altering muddy puddles (and beating dead horses with sticks, metaphorically speaking).

I suppose that's the heart of Jungs' observation. Progress and happiness vary based on need, choices and growth. We can change. The likelihood of facts, situations and other people changing? not so much...

 A mud puddle 'fixer' ~ (or not)
At this point in life, which are you?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I Found

In a tiny little town
That is "out of the way"
I found again what matters
On Thanksgiving 
(and each day)

It's a town that still grows clover
And corn and squash and beans
And most everyone is honest
And it's frowned on to be mean

There's no Walmart, there's no Kmart
But there is a hardware store
Where at Fall they put out apples
"TAKE ONE" says the sign right by the door
People listen when you speak to them
And expect the same from you
And we all learn from each other
As we ponder what to do
No one dresses 'fancy'
No one much cares what what you drive
Most talk is of tractors
Who needs help, who's sick, who's died

You'll still see 'leave a message' boards
On porches worn and faded
Sometimes is left some soup, a coat
That's well appreciated

Most of all I found again
The best of what was me
And I'm learning how to share it
And what 'giving' gives to me....

In a tiny little sleepy town
That history forgot
I found again what matters
 And remembered what does not
By Issy 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you
and I hope you know joy today
(and a little every other day too)
Thank you for sharing my odd little world  :-)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Triumph, The Tragedy Of Laurent Schwebel

Photograph By Nature Photographer Laurent Schwebel
Photography, both the viewing and capturing, is something that one loves or one cares little for - it is seldom I've found any reaction inbetween. I am of the former category, drawn to light, to subject, to final image and the emotion (even at times the profound message) captured by a single photograph.

I've taken thousands of photographs in the years since I first held a camera and the process draws me endlessly to itself. I never tire of seeing, seeking, random discovery, set up or chance gift of a remarkable photograph at the hand of nature or circumstance.

French photographer Laurent Schwebel, a masterful photographer who captured some of the most evocative, remarkable, emotional images I've ever seen (in particular nature shots) inspired me. You can view a brief yet impressive selection of his work HERE (wait just a moment for the first image to appear).  Or via his flicker compendium of some of his work  HERE.

          I was heartbroken to hear recently of 
his senseless loss in February of 2012. 

"A French photographer was stabbed to death this morning 
in a city neighborhood of Buenos Aires
  after thieves tried to steal his camera 
while he was walking in the area"

His work remains. 
How I will miss seeing (and feeling) what more there could have been.....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It Takes A Village

Photo by Issy 2013
I snapped this picture on a Fall Day in October
These little guys caught my eye  as I sat, having coffee outside
It struck me that I am always rushing, pushing, 'accomplishing'
(and by doing so, 'missing' a lot of the point of life)
They (the bird village) seemed to be trying to remind me to stop
To look, to listen
To just be for a few moments...

I accepted their invitation
I sat with them awhile, taking in the sun 
(a good way to begin the day)

Monday, November 11, 2013

With Thanks, With Respect Vetrans Day

I knew many who served in Vietnam. I knew many who served in WWII and Korea. I know some who have and continue to serve in the current wars. I have know some who have given the unimaginable ~ their very life & with that sacrifice, part of the hearts of those who loved them was also lost.  I have and do know of some who lived/live on with physical wounds from the wars. Some who lived/live with 'invisible' wounds from the visions and sounds they can never escape, etched on their minds forever.

We each have our own view of the worth, the value of war. The politics, the outcome aside there are two things I believe:

* These men and women and their families and friends set their own safety and happiness aside for a greater good. Agree or not with the action or war, location or outcome the decision to give your all for the betterment of something beside yourself is IMO impressive. I couldn't do it. I respect, greatly, such self sacrifice.

*I am certain that in the course of all the wars/actions/intercessions pursued by our military there have been and are circumstances (perhaps some we will never know of) that the freedoms we have in this country were protected from those who would have taken them without those who stood, fought, suffered, died, were forever changed to prevent, to protect these freedoms. Choices. Liberty.

We can agree or disagree on any given war, any aspect of military or the cost. But what I hope every veterans day is that each of us will if not honor, at the very least we will respect the courage, conviction, and sacrifice of the past and current military who give more than most of us will, would or could.

Speaking for myself, I thank each and every one of you who serve for choosing, giving, living thru and perhaps even dying for the belief in the country, the greater good. Thank you indeed.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween At The Farm (Slideshow Experiment)

An experiment - a slideshow I created to 
(I hope!) share with you here. Images are
intended to scroll left to right at 3 second intervals...

I'd love to hear if :
*it works for you in terms of loading/viewing/quality
*you enjoy the slideshow format for seeing multiple images
*and any other suggestions (+ or -) you have to offer
I learn from both cheers and jeers lol

Enjoy this first effort of combined
Images of Halloween Decor
Amid Fall walkabout images
Here at the farm

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


There is little that cannot be cured 
With salt water....
Be it the sea, sweat
Or tears
 Isak Dinesen

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Contrast Of Realities

The Opposing Realities Of Fall

It never fails. Ever.
Each and every October I find myself both conflicted and challenged by the parallel and opposing realities of this month. October. The change of season of light and dark of harvest and season are obvious to one degree or another in much of the country.  It is especially striking in these hills and farmlands beneath my feet, my own and all the acres around me.

The harvest in true agricultural areas is massive - corn, potato, squash, clover, apples, silage, pumpkins, the last lingering tomatoes, firewood...
If it has a purpose for human or livestock it is accounted for, considered and brought in from the hills and fields. Winter survival for man and beast, for hearth and home, for sale or sharing. The bounty, is remarkable. Always. Hard won by hard work.

Canning and freezing are a happy frenzied obsession. Barns are repaired. Storm windows brought out and cleaned. Soon they will be in place.
A time of celebration. Of preparation.  The land gives so we will eat and stay warm during the months of winter.

Amazing and heartwarming.

And yet there is (for me) a lingering sadness alongside this month of harvest and beauty. The quiet footfall of winter treading ever nearer. The wooded paths that calm and teach me filled with leaves now dry crunching beneath my barn boots.
"Goodbye" they whisper as I walk... goodbye.

The sun grows weak, the wind gains strength.
The season slips towards sleep and for all the beauty and vibrancy there is a melancholy I can't deny in the withering of the sun, the green, life.

Nature sings the same song in her endless cycle ~ birth, growth, life, withering, and ultimately ~ sleep.  Each holds beauty, each holds truth. None can be bypassed nor changed.

October. A mystical, joyous, heartbreaking, confusing conflicted yet favored month in every year of my life....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Honor The Possibilities

There is an undeniable thread of sadness to life. Some is expected (tho none the easier for that fact). Some is random. Some is unthinkable. Time moves forward, unfailingly. Unchallengeable. Unchangeable.

The truth of this leaves each of us, every morning, with a choice.

We can worry, fret and sink deeply into the mire of angst and depression that is woven by worries and fears and expectations. By schedules, 'should-do's' and demands.

Or we can decide to honor the possibility in our days, months, years.

If granted a full life (year count varies) or if we have years stolen (year count varies) we have the same choices.  To dream. To reach. To scheme. To fail (but dance thru the attempt). To reach for both monumental and stolen small moments of fulfillment and worth.

There are no blueprints aside from work hard, be honest, give (always) when you can, have the sense to accept help (when you need it). Learn without ceasing. Dream, desire, stretch. I don't honestly believe it matters what you dream or what you reach for (as long as it harms no other) and lifts your soul....

So many people in every generation perceive honoring the possibility of their life, honoring their dream as an all or nothing proposition. I've come to believe that it's more of a layering, beginning with the idea of what vibrates deep in your soul or mind and carving out any size piece you are able to capture.

If you want to draw or paint - do it. If you don't feel at ease to do it on your own take a lesson or learn from a video. Maybe you'll be horrid at it. At first. Or always. Maybe the first step you take will open some other door. Layers and pieces. Honor the possibility of your dream, your journey by trying.

If you have a week or day or hour or moment to share a coffee with yourself or someone else, do so. Or stare up into the clouds, or take a nap, or call someone you need (or someone who needs you). Perhaps it's stealing only a moment for reflection or indulgence or sharing. A few minutes shared in which you lean or are leaned upon.

The possibility to honor may be simple, sweet, straight forward. Quick and easy. Something you're inclined to postpone, consider delaying because it's small and can be done anytime...


Don't delay, don't forget, don't dismiss the possibility of "the small longing" of your heart. Don't avoid the slight detour towards contentment.

Or it may be the only possibility that rattles within your soul is significant, closely held, dynamic and dramatic in what it requires. Timing is everything (as the saying goes) but if the time isn't right for the full immersion I'd bet there's a corner of the dream you could slice for yourself.

If I'd kept count of how many times I've been told (by some very intelligent people) that my plan wouldn't work, my goal was beyond my reach, my idea was flawed I would tell you that number. But I stopped counting a long time ago. In my youth in fact.

Were they right, did I fail? Sometimes. Was I right, did I succeed? Sometimes. But every time, always I learned, grew, gained ~ every layer I dug thru and every piece I tore off honored the possibilities of my life.  Some opened doors. Some closed doors. It's only in looking back the pattern emerges now.

Can I count the times I was advised I was wasting time with a daydream, a phone call, a walk, gathering a basket of apples, baking (you can buy it for less don't-cha-know). Could I have been accomplishing something productive in those half hours, or mornings, or moments? Sure. If I defined 'productive' the same way those observing me define productive. 

Fear is harnessed by resolve.  Stubborn refusal to give up, give way, give in is key. When you follow your heart, your bliss, your muse, your dream it will test you. You will feel at times it'll break you.

Sleepless nights? You betcha.  Mac n cheese for a months at a time to balance the budget sometimes?  Oh for sure. Behind on my housework? (wait till I stop laughing and I'll answer that one)! due to the detours I chose to short contentments that renewed me, that made memories? Absolutely.

But here's the thing....
Whatever whispers to you in the depth of your soul is the possibility (be it based within the structure of: corporate/artist/county/city/designer/dog groomer - it matters not - your dream is YOUR dream). The possibility for happiness, purpose, is being comfortable and content with yourself.

Large or small, dramatic or momentary. Any layer or piece of joy or a dream is valuable. Don't wait for all the stars to align. Don't think it only worth trying if you can have it all. Or for it to be perfect. Or for anyone to understand why you want to "waste time".  Or to feel sure it's emotionally safe. Or wait for everyone (or anyone) to tell YOU it's the right thing to do. It just doesn't (for most) happen that way. 

Small simple moments of happiness and renewal are highly under-valued.

Small dreams are wonderful. Large complex dreams are wonderful. Stolen moments/hours/days are wonderful. If I were to write a list of truths, of where happiness hides the first on the list would be honoring the possibilities of your days....

Friday, October 4, 2013

Welcome and a quote

                                                            Finish each day and be done with it.

                                                                You have done what you could.

                                                               Some blunders and absurdities 

                                                                         no doubt crept in

                                                               forget them as soon as you can.


                                                                      Tomorrow is a new day

                                                               you shall begin it well and serenely


                                                                           RW Emerson


                                           Welcome to each of you here via As Time Goes By

                                   You're warmly welcomed and I look forward to reading your blogs!


I love quotes and while life currently has me overwhelmed 

leaving little time for proper posting of a new page I thought 

I'd stop by to share this one above.....

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Farm Views #1

Not much to say
So instead thought I'd share
Some images of the farm
House, Barn

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Archers's Paradox ~ Life Lessons

The Archer's Paradox -
You Can't Hit A Target By Aiming At It


 I couldn't sleep. There was less than nothing on television aside from the violent or sophomoric. Scanning the channels I stumbled upon a documentary discussing Medieval life. 


If you've read here often, you know I've always believed the universe delivers lessons, insights, strength, direction. That's what the universe (fate) is responsible for. Our contribution is to be aware. To notice, to find the message(s) arrival within the not-necessarily-obvious envelope. Often via a curious or unlikely courier. 


One of the topics within the documentary was the archer's paradox. Basically it refers to the fact  when leaving the bow the arrow initially flies bending left and right in a snakelike fashion. This continually decreases until ultimately the arrow flies straight and true. 


The skilled challenge for the ancient archer was calculating  distance or their aim toward the target. It wasn't as simple as draw the arrow, aim directly and hit the target.  
(Aka sometimes, the way to strike your target is by
not pointing directly towards it).


So there I found myself sitting on the couch. In the wee hours of the night. The time of night when all things seem the worst. When wolves howl and when panic propagates. 


In that moment it seemed one of the lessons life had delivered (via a documentary) was the Archer's Paradox


Learn how to offset. Consider adjusting your calculation(s).
Understand that the target is not necessarily struck by the obvious
logical approach of aiming directly towards its center. The path isn't necessarily obvious nor direct.


Paradox noted. 


And whilst I ponder both the content
(and the curious delivery) of this message 
from life,
about life
I thought I'd share it with you.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hugging You Back

Thank you so much for cyber-ly
'being there' for me....

I couldn't possibly find a way to tell each of you how much your
comments, emails, cyber-hugs and support have encouraged and

I am overwhelmed, I am touched. 

I wish you could somehow know
the difference made (and continues to make)
having your thoughts, your kindness, your concern
 at my side.

I will, no matter how long it takes, be in touch via email 
with each of you, my old friends, who've commented/emailed.
Those of you who I've grown to know, to trust since my
very first post here......

To anyone newly visiting, please know your thoughtful
kindness means very (very) much as well....

Thank you thank you thank you all

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Difficult Times In the Kingdom

There are times that are challenging
There a points when you simply need to push harder
Sometimes things simply refuse to go the way you'd prefer
Such is the way of life
No big deal
Then there are those times, those sorts of situations
Those things that life sets upon your doorstep
That you know could bend you to breaking

The sort of assault upon the kingdom
Of your heart, strength, soul and being
That test and tear and terrorize 
As you defend, wearily
Against the uncontrollable

Outcome pending, to be determined

No, these are not happy times in the kingdom

Still, I'm not alone
I am one of many (many many) of you
Step by step and heartbeat
One breath, one hope
One moment to the next

Sooner or later
All storms pass
All things change
Some for better, some for worse
Some for both

The world IS flat to the view of our eyes
But is, in reality, round
"There Be Dragons" remains as true today
As it was in ancient times.
But there also be sunny fields, calm woods
Better times


The only course (as Hannibal once said)
Aut viam invenium, aut faciam
(Is to find a way, a path or to create one)
A path, a way
Around the corners of the earth
Past the dragons

March up the center
Of the uncontrollable times of life

There you have it

So, if I seem more absent than normal
Wing a good hope my way, an email if you like
And I'll be in touch as I'm able


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Burden Or Benefit?


Burden or benefit
With every step of this
What do I hope to achieve?

Burden or benefit
Sifting the layers back
What should stay, what must leave?

Decades of life I have lived out
Filling spaces
Physical, mental and soul
Each  clinging close to me
How to know which empowers me?
Which harm, limit, damage, extract toll?

I need to be clever, to grow
I'll discard some grievances
I'll release some belongings
While some items and memories I'll keep

Burden or benefit
As I sort and I ponder it
More possessions, guilt, grudges ~ released

Burden or benefit
As I choose and decide thru it
Perhaps it's 'life-sorting' I seek...

Copyright - Issy - June 18 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Whichever One You Feed

Thru my office window

There's little that's simple or easy or fair about life.
There's much that's wonderful, amazing, enjoyable about life.

Which is true?

I won't pretend that things (in general) are/have been easy
in these parts recently. Challenge is a constant companion.
So is hard work and optimism.
As the saying goes, things are seldom as bad as I fear nor as good as I hope.
Life is far worse for many others, better for many others.
Little point in even going down that comparative road.

There is joy here. Progress here. Warmth and laughter here.


Sometimes in the wee hours of the nite when fevers and worries flourish
I have to decide. Other times when things (or people) place unexpected
issues at my feet I have to decide. There are points in time when I'm tired, discouraged, generally pissed off frustrated and again I have to decide.

That is when I remember the legend of whichever you feed....
Attributed to ancient native american lore tho I've never been able to source if for certain. It's been a standard of sanity for me for most of my adult life.
Thought I'd share it - 

The legends tells of a young adult sitting in a field talking with his aged grandfather. The discussion wanders pleasantly and ultimately touches upon dealing with human emotions. Joy and sadness. Anger and kindness. Envy and contentment.  The elder likens these emotions to animals they both know well.  The wolf, the bear, the eagle, the hawk, the coyote. He points out that each of these animals, much like each human emotion, is profoundly clever and powerful. His grandson asks "if each is clever and each is powerful, which is the strongest grandfather"?
To which his grandfather replies "whichever one you feed".

In the darkness of nite, in the moments of frustration, in the times of contentment and satisfaction I remind myself it is always my decision what I will 'feed'. What I will give more strength and power. It's harder for any emotion you do not feed to sustain. Harder for it to overtake you. Difficult for it to control you. Conversely true is the fact that what you 'feed' will direct you, control you, own you and the direction of your life, step by step. Inch by inch.

You often do not choose nor invite the pieces that are the puzzle of your life into the frame of your days and nights. The successes and problems, joys and agonies, delights and difficulties are largely random.

Your initial reaction is human, unscripted.
But which you feed is your decision, your choice.

It's such a simple yet complex lesson. A lesson that never fails to help me. I seldom have control over situations. I neither have (nor want) control over other people's point of view. But I can control what I focus on (feed) and how I react and interact. Step by step and situation by situation I can choose.

Every day I strive to pay close attention to which I feed...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What does it take to save an old farm?

  In a lovely blog email someone asked me:
"Does it require more
*Time, *Patience, or  *Money 
to rehab/save/repair an old farm"?

Easy question, because there is a one word answer:
(lol - the truth is it takes all of those in ever-changing  percentages) 
*and a bit of inherent or acquired insanity 
is a mighty helpful fourth to the 'what it takes'
list of requirements :-)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Comments (which I love!) but a small change

Hello everyone! Lots happening - it's that time of year, lol  Strawberries and peas and onions and radishes and flowers that need planting and thinning. Crazed weather. Continual alternating of  90s blazing sun (requiring water ing to avoid wilt then days later freeze (yes freeze) warnings. So it's run about wildly spreading cover and drape as much as possible to protect from freeze. Then the cycles repeat. Odd, annoying and it wears one out a bit lol. Set amid the standard day to day routine and it's left little time here, sadly. Hopefully it'll soon change....both this weather and my missing in blog-action.

One bit of news related to comments is that I have finally,  reluctantly stopped allowing anonymous comments. I've resisted with vigor. Yet the time has arrived for that to change for various reasons. I'll spare you (lol) my normal pontification regarding the whys and wherefores (maybe some other time). Suffice it to be said too much time is being consumed by spam based no-name-no-contact comments requiring  evaluation and ultimate clear or delete. And there are some anony commentors I'd really like to reply to as they are legit - I just have no way of even attempting to locate them.

I hope each of you who takes a moment (or many!) to comment know how VERY much your comments/thoughts mean to me. This change should impact most very little and I hope anyone who has commented sans any ID in the past will continue to comment even tho it will now require some declaration of a blog or contact. If you're one who's commented previously (logged in) and encounter any problems please let me know and I'll look into it right away. I know how frustrating it is attempt to comment and have the system or settings be uncooperative and I do not want to create a headache you when you comment.Thanks for understanding - or at least working with me - regarding this change. 

I hope to be back to posting a bit more along with some stories and lots and lots of pictures I've been taking to share here with you!

I also can't wait to catch up on all of your posts  :-)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Someone Asked: Egg And Dart Moulding

A comment I posted led to a 'can I see' request so here's the (old) pics. Very bad quality for which I offer apology - but I was insane* (from prime-painting all that detail and knowing what I was in for with still the finish coat to go lol). It was late, poor light and it was yet to be fully seated in with caulk. 

*Trust me on this: paint any/all moulding on sawhorse or floor or lawn BEFORE you install  :-)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Age, Social Security And AP

So lengthy the list, so many concerns that the world
holds to worry over...
The massive (and unexplained) right whale die off.
Perhaps only 500 remain.
(perhaps if we'd not allowed them to be whaled into near non-existence
as a society of humans they'd not now be imperiled)

An article published eight hours ago by AP exclaiming Social Security
and Medicare are quote: 'shifiting money from younger generations to older ones'
Perhaps it should be mentioned in the article just how many thousands of
dollars each working adult was obliged to pay into these programs
And now, much like a deposit bank account seek only to access those funds.
Not to live as royalty.
But to live modestly.
To avoid eating cat food
(did you know elders are one of the higher poverty groups)?
I wish the article would have mentioned that a large (and larger) portion
of each elders' Social Security payments are
dedicated to paying numerous taxes.

*school taxes (benefiting the young not the old)
*taxes for WIC and CHP (benefiting the young, not the old)
Monies that were deducted (from every single lifelong paycheck)
returned via Soc Sec payments pay county taxes and state taxes
for roadways, snow clearing, improvements
libraries, fire and police
Services that benefit young and older adults.
Some that benefit younger adults more.
Road use for example as non-retirees are on the roads more than retired adults.
Much of what Soc Sec payees continue to support with their small checks
assist young adults, building their lives, heading to work
shaping and living their lives as those, now older, did.
I deeply wish AP would have mentioned that those
who have reached the milestone of Soc Sec and Medicare
are simply (as promised) accessing  those funds
  demanded of them from a lifetime of paychecks.
The fact this current retiring generation is large means that
there is more need. It also means there was (for decade upon decade)
more taken in, gathered, collected, stockpiled than any other generation.
The math should work. We, the graying, had no control over how
the funds were managed, handled, invested, borrowed or otherwise controlled.

Getting older, being older, should not be a cause for blame.
We, inching our way closer to retirement who have done as demanded
paid and paid and paid. With the agreement it would be there for us at a
predetermined age. It shocks and wearies me to find AP (or any group)
pointing to the aging as the villains, harming the younger, by now being old.
Easy tho we are to 'blame'
These are the mornings, the days when I gather my camera and my thoughts
and walk among the trees and fields. The sprouting crops, the nesting birds.
The blooms.
No accusations are called out. The young animals move more quickly than the old.
Young mother cows, goats and birds feed their young. The older graze, looking on
now in a different phase of life.
Neither thinks itself better or worse, more or less of value.
They contentedly co-exist.

I love these acres, this farm, these truths.
The cycles of life are understood here.
No anger. 
Just each life taking its turn.
Every living thing grows older
Grows old
Grows weaker
Needs a bit of help
In animal nature, the younger of the herd, doesn't begrudge
the elders their share of green spring grass
or their spot in the shade of the trees in July.
Nor their place in the barn in the winter.
The elders don't blame the young that they will die
or become freezer food for winter. Or food bartered for firewood or
a tractor repair or seed or manure
for next spring.
How tragic it will be if that can not be said of humans. If the young and old do not each support the place in life that we both currently occupy without resentment.
In Patagonia they suspect that one of the reasons the right wales are dying
is because recently the gulls have taken to pecking (and consuming) the backs
of the right whales (adults and calves) when they rise for air.
There is no known reason the gulls do so. It's a new behavior.
There is enough food, enough space for the whales and the gulls according to
the marine biologists who study this cruel new gull behavior.

There is a proposition to kill the gulls
to save the right whale mothers and calves.
I worry. I hope.
For the right whales.
For the gulls.
For all ages of humans.
Right whales rise to breath air.
Gulls scavenge.
 Humans live a full life and grow older every day.
With luck we all do what nature intends and live a full life.
We're all part of the intertwined cycle.
Part of the circle.
None escape age.
I wish AP, journalists, communities, humans in general
would talk of and write about the entire journey of life.
Of compassion. Of seeking solutions rather than pitting
gulls against whales, young against old(er).

If only there were discussions regarding the full and entire truth.
Elder social support is essential because everyone is (eventually)
going to be older and move slower. Sleep more. See and hear less clearly.
Hope (and need) to step away from work
 (opening up a job for someone younger). 

There is a quote that says we are only as good, as worthwhile
as we treat animals, those in need, those weak, those young and helpless,
sick and infirm. To that I would add also, those of age.
Advanced age is a doorway each of you reading has walked thru
or is heading towards...
There is no sidestepping it.

Points to  ponder as we have the opportunity to influence
our government, our representatives.
Points to ponder as choices and votes on Soc Security and Medicare
are put forward. Decisions made now that will touch each of us.
Now I'm heading out with my camera to take some pictures
and find some peace.
Thanks for reading....

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Trouble With Clever Gadgets

I wish I had a stone (I'd build a wall) a penny (I'd be rich), a pint (I'd be happily drunk - no actually I'd be A DRUNK lol so skip this one!) a board (I'd build a fence) etc for every boldly guaranteed time saving, clever device or product I've tried that, well hasn't (been clever or saved time).  Dang.  Been there done that.   Truly annoying. How 'oft I said aloud 'and who was the idiot who thought THIS would be a good idea' ??!!!
(oh yes, it was me....)

My last venture into clever-land was an extendable handled three prong weeding device. Loved it LOVED it as it could work short for close garden or bed tasks THEN  with a simple turn of the center dial it could extend several feet. Twist the dial again locking it in the extended position  and work the soil/sod/weeds in more out of the way areas which saved mucking up wellies and leaving footprint/crushing plantings! Marvelous! 

Marvelous right up to the moment that (as I was leaning on it for a bit of a breather) the clever center-dial-lock in the device went katy-wompkas and dropped me, my cuppa , my sun hat three feet with the speed of light right on my shocked expression face.  Further maddening was the the discovery it was impossible to repair.  Great gadget joy ~ short lived, lol

The final inventory showed:
rip in my sunhat
coffee in my wellies
bruises hither and thither
broken 'clever and costly' timesaving device

(yet I'm willing to bet it won't be the last  'clever gadget' I bring back to the farm, lol)

How about you? Any favorite gadets (inside or outside)?
Any favorite 'clever gone wayyyyy wrong' stories?!! Hmmmmmm?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happiness vs Contentment Peacock vs Wren

There is an endless search in the human heart (and on every bookshelf and late nite cable channel) to learn how to be, 'happy' - preferably (or laughably) all the time. What an odd thought. What a pointless quest.  Happy comes. Happy goes. It's transitory, elusive, uncommandable, uncontrollable.  Happiness is the rain, the birdsong, the unpredictable gift that arrives of it's own accord. Not scheduled, ordered, planned. Read all the self-help books you care to, you won't (IMHO) discover  the place happiness lives, allowing you to visit it any time you want.

Sad? Depressing? Angering? Hopeless?  Oh no, not at all.

Because tho I grant you it's only my opinion drawn from my thus-far life experience, it's easy to confuse happiness with contentment. Contentment, unlike happiness is something you can plant and grow in your mind, your heart, your outlook.

On any average day you won't necessarily find something to be 'happy about' but what you can (tragedy aside) always find in any average day are a lot of things to feel content about.

Waking up (for starters) because you have a new day ahead of you.

The smell of coffee brewing. The way the warm cup feels in your hands.
A moment, gazing out the window while you sip it.

A person in your life you love - any person - the details don't matter, do they?
A person in your life who loves you - any person, relationship, details unimportant
And if you are very truly lucky you love each other (not as common as one would think). Lots of people love someone who doesn't love them back the same way. Or at all. Or with the same depth. Again it doesn't really matter what relationship is - you and your mother/father/brother/sister/friend/husband/wife/child/boy/girlfriend.

It's the love not the relationship.

You'd be surprised (we'd all be surprised) at how very many people go thru life never loving or feeling loved or never feeling loved the same way they love someone.

If you have any or all of those sorts of love you have one of the best foundations of contentment.

Decide to do one thing in the day - just one thing - you feel good about.  Something at home, at work, in your community. For a neighbor, friend, family member, stranger. Doesn't have to be large or dynamic. Doesn't have to be noticed. The point is that it made you feel good. That it made you smile to yourself.  Contentment.

See how easy contentment is to find? Not like that primadonna happiness, lol

Of course you have to choose to find contentment too. Nothing (but nothing) (except maybe for bills lol) will just appear - and contentment is no different. But it abounds every day all day unlike happiness. Think wren vs peacock ratio.  How many wrens do you see in a day? How many peacocks?

There were days (oh there were more than days) I used to wonder why I didn't feel 'happy'. And it made me feel inadequate, sad, cheated, angry, empty, frustrated, pissed, misunderstood. When I decided to take my heart in hand and go a-seeking contentment my days became so full of things to count I was surprised. Surprised at all I found. Surprised how much better I felt (and yes of course I have crap days, lol)  Nobody has only good days. But nobody has only awful days either. It's just a bad, bad (really bad) habit that we as a society have developed to think we should/could/will ever be 'happy' all the time. I was on the top of the list of happiness seeking addicts, so I know...

But year after year on the farm I watched crops, seasons, life, death, priorities dancing and dueling . A lot of years,j a great deal of thinking. Years taking my own internal inventory. Years of being honest and realistic with my own self  taught me the difference between happiness and contentment. Taught me the value and reliability - and availability - of both of them.

I'll take my glass (any part full) of simple contentment over an empty glass waiting to be filled with  'happiness' any day - seven days a week, twenty four hours a day.

So there you have it, my heart, my thoughts. My words for what they're worth. Hold close what may help you ~ sweep aside what does not ~ either way, thank you for reading....
Rough draft excerpt from the upcoming book
Copyright 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

An April Day In Boston 4/15/13

There are no words
No voice is heard
Explaining still more sadness
More broken hearts
Lives wrent apart
Amid the random bleeding
Runners, friends
No thought of 'end'
Except the finish line
 No words are found
As pain abounds
And no one knows
The reason...
Strength and hope to all those in Boston
To those harmed, and to all those doing their best to help them

fidf 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

She Wondered

When she was eight, she'd wander down to the barn
And under the Summer sky she wondered
Of which is there more.....
Happy or Sad?
When she was twelve, she wondered
Of which is there more
Challenge or Ease?
When she was sixteen she wondered
Of which is there more
Pleasure or pain?
When she was twenty she wondered
Which was stronger....
Cruelty or kindness?
At thirty, she wondered (often)
Which was rewarded....
Honor or deceit?
At forty, she pondered
The meaning of life
The paths she'd chosen
(and the ones she hadn't)
By fifty she wondered
How she's arrived
Where she found herself
By sixty, seventy and eighty
Her hair grey, her stature shortened
Her heart weary ~ but full ~
She now spent her days knowing
There were no right nor wrong answers
No correct paths
No love unworthy of the pain of loss
No challenge unworthy of effort
She smiled to herself as she realized
She'd had all the answers at eight
There are happy days
There are sad days
There is it turned out
(all wondering aside)
Just the living of your life...
(Text by Issy Copyright 2013)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


April is one of those months people love or hate lol
I fall in the 'love it' category
For me it's the friday afternoon of a week - or the nite before
an anticipated event or visit....
The fun hasn't yet started but it close!
Oh - so - close
Sad to say April first brought more snow here
but it's promised to be in the 50's by weeks end
so with luck I may see a hint of these little friends
Can't wait
Not much of worth to share otherwise
Working on Etsy shop
Collecting and starting seeds
(I snapped up some packets of peas
that only vine about 18-20 inches so they'll be fun to try)
Planning the Spring/Summer
"Want to do" and 'Must be done" lists
you know that sort of keep busy while waiting sort of thing
How about you?!?
Whatcha up to these early days of
loved (or not lol) APRIL....

Thursday, March 28, 2013

And So It Goes

Ancient Direction Stone North South East West
No matter how you chart your course
Navigate your life
Live your days
At some point
At some time
You'll hurt someone
Disappoint someone
Leave someone feeling let down or betrayed....
The best choice for you
May feel like the worst choice to them
Are so very individual
To anyone but the person feeling them, living them
Seeking to fulfill them
And so it goes....
To choose for the needs of others?
Or for your heart?
No right, no wrong
Lots of guilt
Sometimes anger
Still the dance goes on...
Sometimes a waltz in 4/4 time
Sometimes to a syncopated (and fractured) beat
It's best to strive to see the other shore
No matter which side you currently stand upon
And at the end of each day if you can say
You caused no intentional harm
Even while doing what you knew you had to do
For your own self
Then, I suspect
Fate and Karma
Will understand
It's getting other humans to do the same
To agree to disagree
To set aside their indignation
At your refusal of their version of 'right'
That presents the
And so it goes.....

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cart Riding Cart Hanging Spouses?!

I've been madly sorting, ledgering, editing pictures and doing last sweep
organizing as I near bringing the Old Girls' BARN Etsy Shop
into a state of actual 'being'
(vs my ongoing threatening gestures toward its grand opening, lol)
Amid the organizing I discovered some inexpensive yet useful
rolling cart canvas drawers.
Perfect aside from my needing to assemble them
with the included tool!(as the boxes cheerfully proclaimed.....)
Truth be told, they were easier than some
I've put together over the years.
But these gave me an honest to goodness out loud laugh
when I glanced at the instructions
(you know after I had the first one together and had a piece left - oops) .
If you haven't read the directions in the pic abovedo so now...
Yep, I just HAD to take a pic and share it all with you :-)
**And of course warn you about those troublesome spouses!**
(who knew they exhibit such zany behavior)?
(who knew it happened so often
 - apparently -
as to warrant an actual printed  warning ?!!??
Just too funny
There's lost in the translation
There's confused translation
Then there's the
in a translation, lol

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Equinox Tomorrow!

I know, I know, you are dying to discover where I found
the yellow blow-up chick! (not! lol)
But really, how could I resist him?

No leaves on the trees yet but the other day I caught
sight of ground with no snow and a shadow (sun!) before the
gray and snow returned.
Soon everything will look as cheerful as yellow chick!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Closet Sorting
Window Washing
Spring Cleaning
(even if outside it doesn't seem to know it's Spring, lol)
Happy Monday

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ain't it the truth?

  Again and again I am reminded
of one of the simple complexities
that is the key to living life well:

"Some luck lies
 in not getting
what you thought you wanted
but getting what you have,
which once you have got it
you may be smart enough to see
 is what you would have wanted
had you known". 
Garrison Keillor


As the Rolling Stones lyrics wisely mention  :-)

'You can't always get what you want,
no, you can't always get what you want
but if you try sometimes
 you just might find,
you get what you need'

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

IT'S A GREAT LIFE (if you don't read forwards lol)

 There are days when I wonder why I am (not if I am lol) so neurotic...

The news did its part till I simply stopped watching it. No weather alert app either!

I'm decluttering (well, sort of - for me anyway). Love love LOVE my things, but
I'm far more discerning in regard to what stays and what's allowed in (well, mostly) :-)

Then the other day I discovered another culprit of anxiety - the 'warning' emails.
I know in my heart, mind and soul they are sent with the best of intentions - but
as I was weeding thru my emails I was amazed to see all the beware in my in-box! (I think I could hear Robbi the robot chanting 'danger Will Robinson, DANGER')***

Here are a few of my favorites as I was deleting my way thru them:
1) No lemon slices in my water/tea - worry over bacteria on the lemons
2) No sitting on any hotel bedspreads - when were they (ever) washed????
3) No handshaking with drivers - seems some pick nose when driving.
4) No touching the bottom of any purse! Could've sat on a public toilet floor.
5) No licking envelopes, and wipe all food cans! Rat poo in the glue & on cans.
6) No deodorants? (not going without, but now I worry, lol) possible carcinogen.
7) No longer do I chug a cold Coca Cola without thinking it removes toilet stains.
8) No more cling wrap in the microwave-causes seven kinds of cancer.
9) No using a public toilet - a big snake could be under the seat and bite my butt.
10) My favorite? If I don't tell at least 500,000 people all these things (via email forward) in 46.2 minutes a pigeon with diarrhea will hover over me at noon tomorrow afternoon and not only poo on me but also deposit the fleas from 120 alpachas on my body giving me Lyme disease.


Keep your toothbrush in the kitchen because email says
that toilet water splashes six feet from the toilet.
To be honest, some of what comes via email
in fact some of these above :-) are worth considering.
But for sure too much 'careful' can kill ya (from worry)
just as surely as not being careful will, lol
So tell me, what's you're favorite 'email-forwarded-be-careful' alert?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Muse-Day

It's been ages since the last Monday Muse-Day!
So it's time :-)
Those who've joined in before, jump in!
Those who haven't? Read on below the image for the story...
PS I know I cheated a bit by adding a caption to the images
but I just couldn't resist, lol...

    Six random pictures
from the homestead, picked today
Do they whisper something to you?
Will you share here what they say?!
Monday Muse-Day is really just
a bit of wool gathering, a bit of fun :-)
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 montage....
Just One word.
(or more if you prefer)!!!
Perhaps a single word from a book or poem title?
Or one word snipped from a memory, or an impression, or emotion.
Easy Peasy - Just One Single Word.
I hope you'll join in and leave your "word" in the comments
on this, the next Monday Muse-day !
(PS Subscribe to comments to see everyones word, including mine
which I leave later in the week so as not to influence anyones first impression)