Sunday, June 8, 2014

Do Not Chase People

Do not chase after people.
Be who you are.
Do what you do.
Work hard.
The right people, the ones who belong in your life 
will come to you.
And stay......

(author unknown)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Life I Mean...

It's all held safe in little squares, isn't it? 
Life I mean...

Square sturdy cribs and playpens to start
Then picket-y fenced in oh-so-safe-green-grass play yards
Sandboxes, red rider wagons
Those were the first squares, my foundation

Our first house. Our second, third and forth
Square rooms filled with ups and downs and happiness
We moved often as I grew 
I don't recall I ever minded
I was a (contented) solitary soul

Pink bedrooms, crust-less sandwiches, graham cracker snacks
With the memory of these
I wander back
To childhood

Letters, postcards from camp, to camp
Letters postcards from college, to college
We wrote to each other and back 
When I was out on my own
Lunches together were shared, as adults
Another square set atop those prior

Taller life grew
Wider, ever more amazing 
In so many ways

Cities seen, countries explored
Careers built, tentatively and tenuously
Several discarded in favor of other pursuits 
You never questioned, always encouraged my path
Another square set atop those prior

Pictures by the pound were taken all thru those decades
(how little I understood their true value as I focused each one in the viewfinder)
Tiny time machines

Rooms still surround me, square, here were I call home now
The warm familiar walls
The endless fields
Outside every window settles my soul
While I sit and peer at these square boxes of photos
And letters

We are in this world together still
Tho we won't be forever
Neither you
Nor I
 Another square set atop those prior

Such a dervish of emotions that reality stirs....
So thankful for what we've shared all thru my life
So heartbroken it can't go on forever

It's always been.
It was before us and will be for everyone after us
 Another square set atop those prior

It's time to gather up the squares
These pictures, these letters 
While my eyes glide across the walls of these rooms I've grown to love
I think of all the homes you've made, and moved and made again
The fields outside remind me of our square green yards, 
For some reason the scent of graham crackers comes to mind
(which makes me smile, to this day)

I'll see you tomorrow
And again for some uncounted, unknown number of days/months/years after 
We'll talk and laugh and care about each other
Agreeing or disagreeing - makes  no difference
Therein lies the best, the gift
Of all the years we've shared
 It's never depended on anything but our friendship and love

It's all held safe in little squares isn't it? 
Life I mean...
Homes and letters, days and lunches out shared
(but with crusts on the sandwiches lol)
Most of all it's all held in the corners
Of my heart and my mind
Each time we share a day together
Each time I ever will think of you

Copyright ~ Issy May 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Something to consider

A year or so ago I began to be concerned (and annoyed) when I frequently had headaches
 or commonly just felt 'off' 
Then I began to correlate it to the times I used various cleaning products.
I started to research 'old fashioned ways' of cleaning on the Internet and found a treasure trove!
As I migrated to nearly exclusive use of natural/non-toxic products the symptoms dissipated.
Then they disappeared all together.
(and I saved significantly on my shopping costs as a secondary bonus)

I didn't think a great deal more about the value (and far reaching impact) of these seemingly small changes in my cleaning routine and products common around the house until I noticed these articles:


I'm not (at all!) inclined to the 'chicken little/sky is falling' approach to life
but rather the 'do what is reasonable and live your life' approach to life.

Still, two facts stand tall - no doubt about it. Facts I share with you here, from my life:
1) I see a profound decrease in bees - they are in trouble (and science points to pesticides as an issue)
2) I have seen, currently see and fear for more cases of cancer than I even want to talk about say.
I know this isn't a happy, chirpy post, but I'd rather risk the down side of sharing such info *hopefully*
  you'll take a few moments to read these two articles and consider the possibility of using less (or no) chemicals in your home/garden/yard. 
Consider it for the bees, for the water, for your pets, for everything and everyone you love
Consider it for yourself....

Saturday, May 3, 2014

House needs a home!

You know how I am with any/all/every old house, lol.
Moth to flame I have to look, poke, share...
(even if only at a distance via the net)!
 If you want to have a look around her and read the TOH details the link is below
I admit I'm a confirmed farm 'n field, farmhouse n barns kinda gal
but every old house hums a song my heart hears   :-)
Happy weekend all!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Whatever Works

I began my day just before 8am with a tense incoming phone call....
Once responded to and behind me I knew the best possible thing I could do was
head to the woods
Because honestly, I swear I can feel the damp soft timeless soil 
beneath my feet and the trees (tho still leafless) who tower above me 
drain the stress, anxiety and sadness away. 

Every time my foot connects with the earth, I can almost feel it draw
the worries and pressures away from me ~ 
were they go or how they dissipate from the soil to the universe I have no clue.

But however those trees, hills and earth manage it for me
it always, always works.

Magic indeed

Early this morning it was cool, windy and sunny. Clear and crisp.
The red wing blackbirds were full of themselves (as always, lol)
I spotted a tiny handful of early blooming bushes and mosses declaring themselves alive.
But for the most part it was the vistas and views seen only 'pre-leafing' that kept me company.

 The daffodils were waiting to say hello amid the leafless thatch that,
in summer will be a grand wild berry patch.....

No sounds aside from the birds, the breeze in the hundreds of trees and my thoughts.
When stress comes calling some meditate, some hit the snooze button, some rush to immerse themselves in work or family or any one of hundreds of things that people find best relieves stress
for themselves.

Me? I  'walk the woods' lol

Hope your day is a good one......

Friday, April 4, 2014

Listen To Your Heart

Listen To Your Heart...

"It's impossible" said pride.

"Its risky" said experience.

"Its pointless" said reason.

"Give it a try" said the heart.

( author unknown)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friends, Soon To Arrive...

I've missed each and every one.
Color and shape.
Warm and gentle.
Windows filled with happiness...

Thanks to everyone who's written to check on me
There's a lot happening right now - some for sharing here
(and some not)
But it means so much to be 'checked on'

So don't give up on me - images and stories and thoughts to share
when time allows a bit more wiggle room to write...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It Was A Dark & Stormy Nite (Really)

 This was one of the largest storms I can recall.
It left behind 16 ~ 17 inches of snow and a lot of sleepless hours.
Trees bowing, wind roaring, heart pounding intensity.

Storms are stressful in any setting, but I'd wager that there's
A ferocity to such storms in the total black darkness of farmlands
Different from the city or suburbs. No hints of light, no hum of traffic. 
It is (I imagine) much like it would be to ride out a storm at sea in the nite
(sans the water)
Not for the weak-of-heart....

Living in the country, on farmland, amid endless fields, trees, in a creaking old house
Is a choice I made and not one I regret. But there are times it tests you - body and soul...
The nite magnifies every fear, every worry. It brings to mind every single thing you 
didn't do yet, meant to do, should have done, is on  your list

Buckets of water stand at hand
Alternate heat is going (or ready to go) 

The hands on the clock stall as the wind builds.  The snow enters every
Ancient crack and corner it can find
Tho I know it's not possible I swear the darkness grows darker

The old girl rides it out, as she has for over 150 years
She's not worried ~ she's seen it all (and more) before
The old barn creaks, the trees moan
Morning comes

A damage assessment walkabout shows little needing attention
Time to clean up, restock, and make ready for the next thrashing.
All the while, daydreaming of Spring....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Reason Is, Simply, "Because"

Last nite I was watching (gosh, don't judge, roflmao) Dance Moms 
because I remain fascinated with the fluidity, the movement, the emotion 
dancers are able to convey with movement and facial expression alone.

As a child and young adult I studied ballet - I was abysmal (perhaps even horrid lol)
but loved the look, the feel the magic and mystery of dance. 
Dance is ancient, one of the core paths of creative human expression.

I don't know why but I started to think about the 'why' of what drives each of us.

Those of science seek knowledge, answers.
Those of engineering seek efficiency, strength, stability. 
Those of medicine seek cures, comfort.
Archaeologists seek understanding of cultures, history.

I pondered what it is that those who seek the artistic search for?
The artists: of words, of fiber, of cloth, of glass, of clay, of music
Of dance, of song, of instruments, of story, of paint, 
Those of such passions, such callings. 
Those who capture the undeniable well inside them
That demands to be set free to the outer world
(even if no one is watching or cares).

Why do they seek? Why do they do what they do?
And it occurred to me I have never known (no do I myself) 
Create for any reason I can perceive other than 


They simply want to, need to, have (or will learn) to resist is sadness and despair.
Creativity (in endless form) springs up, wells up, fills to overflowing and demands (only) release... 

Shared it multiplies, nurtured it flourished, honored it strengthens. 
Even held secret, it restores the one who cares for it within themselves.

Still as to 'why'?
I believe the reason isn't for outcome or goal
I think, rather the reason is



*dance, sing, sew, bead, write, paint, garden, ______ (fill in your calling)*
Honor your gift, alone or shared, honor your gift


Friday, March 7, 2014

Time To Leave, Dear (not!) 2013/2014 Winter!

Table courtesy of accuweather website

Oh, yes, it's time for you, your (endless) snow, minus temps and blowing winds to GO.....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Keys?

As the morning sky filled with sun for the first time in a very long time
I wondered if one of the simple keys to happiness 
Is not allowing the worry and weariness of living
To completely overwhelm the wonder of life...

Issy ~ February 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014


Stepping back, resisting the (human) inclination to 
draw "conclusions" or 'pass judgement' 
about someones'
or choices
is a
a monumental act of human kindness

It's not about them deserving it (or not)
It's not about you being right (or wrong)
 What it is, actually. is a gift you give 
to that person (family, friend, coworker, stranger)
It's a gift you give to the world at large
(one less negative bit of karma slinking around)

Maybe the bewildering/annoying/obnoxious people
 have a reason for
(fill in the blank with whatever they are doing that's annoying)
(or maybe they ARE just  total ass*oles) lol

Either way
May as well keep your eyes on your own paper 

Cause I'm pretty sure you're not gonna change the A*holes
 And if someone IS in the midst of a soul crushing crisis
Odds are there's little you can do
to alter how they're coping with whatever they may be facing

It's for sure not easy
I'll admit right here, right now that some days I do better than others lol
But I keep reminding myself of something I really do think is true:
 Any time you choose to take the higher road...
  it's a little bit of a gift you give yourself too

'just sayin......

Saturday, January 25, 2014

It WILL Come Again, Won't It?!?

Cold and Snow 
Snow and Cold
I cannot feel my toes!

Layered clothes
Water's froze
I'm counting down the days

I'm watching close
For sun that's strong
For any hint of green

I long each day
For bloom and bee
And Springs'
Return to see.....
Issy 1/25/14

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

If You Love Old House Rehab

 Things I keep meaning to tell you.....

I cut my teeth (and deepened my old house love and knowledge base) on the original episodes of This Old House. The years of the show when the old house owner was on a real/honest/not insane budget and did lots and LOTS of the work alongside the expert advice of Norm and Tom and the gang.  New England. Old but wonderful houses. People with (few) dollar(s) ~ just a hammer and a dream. A-maz-ing what I learned.

HGTV (still a wonderful and favorite channel) evolved. House flipping and massive alterations to old homes predominated the renovation shows. Even TOH evolved - still interesting and full of information but not as "grassroots".  Much less 'hey, this is my life!'  TOH and I didn't break up but we took time apart from each other, lol.  I am massively committed to accurate historic reno so I grew less addicted to renovation shows. To each his/her own but it saddened me to see so many old homes 'modernized'. 'Updated' to the point of no longer looking or feeling or preserving any 'age'. I skipped past many of them each week.

That all changed when I watched my first episode of  Rehab Addict with Nicole Curtis. All the reality of TOH with a woman calling the shots, rolling up her sleeves and dedicated to saving and renewing original detail whenever at all possible. (She even keeps a pile of original scraps and bits from each house on site for her contractors/herself to search first to use original wood, moldings AND to save money). She runs machinery, throws mortar, paints, rallies neighbors, saves original windows (by re-glazing) moves concrete - uber hands on without doubt and she loves each house. This is my kind of rehab!

So if you are/will/dream of (or have the periodic nightmare about, lol) renovating an old house to original charm or if you want to see some actually affordable tips to old house reno you would probably enjoy tuning in....

photo found at diy online
 Rehab Addict on diy (not a channel I have, so no details - sorry)

Rehab Addict on HGTV Ch 229 on Thursdays at 9pm 
And this Thurs 1/23/14 they are running old episodes at 7pm & 8 pm
before the new weekly episode at 9pm.
photo found at pintrest C.Steiner
One last thing I love about the show?
The show/houses/Curtis are located in MI - SNOW! COLD!
You need heat to PAINT!
(But it's 90 in the summer! lol)
Oh yeah, my rehab life roflmao....

PS no, I don't get a dime or a nod or a holler for this post
just honestly enjoy and knowing many of you have/love/hate/are interested
in old homes and rehab thought you may want to check out  :-)


I love this picture
It reminds me that no matter how hopeless it seems
No matter how little control I may have
No matter how discouraged I feel 
No matter how much others may not see
(or agree) with my choices, my actions, my directions
This picture reminds me Aristotle was right.....

Criticism is something we can avoid easily
by saying nothing, doing nothing,
and being nothing.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Upside Of -37 Degree Windchill And Feet Of Snow?

The fact this is required daily
to keep the kitchen pipes
from freezing....
*and of course the need
to consume it quickly 
lest the next day of baking find any left*

Yes, always a good point to be found
(somewhere) lol

I'm happy to share that at the moment the temps and snow
are giving the area  a rest. Thankfully. However long it lasts it's wonderful.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Winter Storm Unease

There is euphoric joy that sings out loud amid the old farmhouse, barn, pump house and chicken coup in the 'living seasons' ~ Spring Summer and Fall.  The days feel like gold and unfold with a depth that can not be easily put into words.

But in the midst of huge winter storms there is an unease....
Minus 15 degrees. Acres of snow blow and drift.
Water freezes. Animals suffer.
EVERYTHING that must be done is harder
and carries the reality of frostbite, perhaps even danger.

Roofs must be unladen of snow when it reaches the 12+ inch mark
(pulled down by a snow roof rake). You have to be sure (and quick) to get out of the way as it slides to the ground!

Water has to be drawn up ahead for creatures, for humans (in case of power outage because there is no water from the well pump sans electric).

Dark is dark in the hours of any nite, but the howling winds and driving snow add an intensity and foreboding to such frigid winter darkness. Even the huge three story thresher barn seems to strain against the elements.

Unease, tension, emotional breath-holding...

As I look out the windows I can barely believe these are the very same fields, the same stream, the same place I walk easily in the living months.

And April seems a very very long way off tonite

Wherever you are be safe and warm (if in snow/cold)
and dream of Spring with me...