Wednesday, June 28, 2006


1. I had a nice dinner and wonderful visit with Beth Nash and Sherm Koons last evening out at their place. Their gardens are such an inspiration. Now I've got the bug to put in a new bed down by the barn and rework the garden plot below the barn. Sherm has always been my best teacher in terms of mulching and more mulching.

2. The rug I cleaned is still hanging on the back porch. Is there a thing as rug rot? Maybe this afternoon's sun will be strong enough to dry it out so I can get it in the house.

3. Movie recommendation: "Everything is Illuminated"...Starring Elijah Wood. Funny, poignant, artistically done. The grandfather in the movie who insists he's blind has a dog named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. and drives an old beat up blue car. Well worth the watch!

4. Eliza's in Hawaii with her dad, and I'm a little envious....Not that I want to be in Hawaii with her dad, but I would like to be there with her. She'll get to see Lori and hang out a bit.

5. Dahlias, sunflowers, lilies, roses, nasturiums are in full bloom. The zinnias are about to open.

6. I have to go mow again....Peace.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tanya at the farm wants to play...

and besides she has the two rugs she washed on Saturday hanging out and waiting to dry on the deck rails. It would be nice if the sun would return soon! Really bad timing on my part! Obviously, I didn't catch the weather report.

So, on this "curl up and read a good book" day, I've played a game of internet Scrabble (and won!), taken a bath (much to the delight of the critters here at the farm), and contemplated what to do with the rest of the afternoon. As I was reading Mary Ann's blog, I saw where she had tagged me with a "wiki meme" (whatever that is), and I took the bait.

Soooo, here is the result of my investigation concerning events that occurred on my birthday, September 12th:

Three events that happened on the same day (not necessarily the same year) I incarnated on the planet:

1. 1846 - Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning. (¡Qué escándalo!)

2. 1940 - Cave paintings discovered in Lascaux, France. (I hope to see them someday if they're still open to the public.)

3. 1953 - John F. Kennedy marries Jackie Bouvier. (The beginning of Camelot...on my birthday, no less.)

Two important birthdays on September 12:

1. 1913 - Jesse Owens, American athlete (d. 1980) (He's always been one of my heroes.)

2. 1944 - Leonard Peltier, Native American activist (I relate to a good activist!)

One notable soul who left the planet on September 12:

2003 - Johnny Cash, American singer and guitarist (b. 1932) (May he rest in peace.)

Holiday on September 12:

RC Saints - Holy Name of Mary (My goodness, my birthday is Holy Mary, Mother of God day! I didn't know that, but I did purchase a very primitive Virgin of Guadalupe santo in San Antonio; unfortunately, she lost a piece of her right side in the shipping process.)

So now I tag Tom and anyone else who has a few minutes to spare to join in the fun! Here are the instructions:

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. One holiday or observance (if any)

OK, enough time spent here. Thanks, Mary Ann, for sending me something that added to my storehouse of trivia. Like you, I enjoy learning even if it comes in small bites. :0)

Off to fill the hummingbird feeders, take a look at my closet so I can begin to contemplate cleaning it (later, of course), and alphabetize my CD's.....Might even start some paper pulp, but that's WET as well.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Bobbi...didn't come through my body but definitely came through my heart. I remember sitting alone in the top of the old apple tree at my first childhood home looking out across the connecting yards and fantasizing about what my life would be like when I was older. Part of those imaginary moments included naming my future kids....I can remember knowing that I'd have a son and two daughters....I think somewhere in my childhood diary I have the names I invented for them written down, but specifically I remember that I was going to have a Robert Joseph...Robert Joseph turned out to be Roberta Josephine, aka, Bobbi...She's been a part of my life since I came to Marietta from New Orleans....There's no one in the world like her for me...If one subscribes to soul mates from past lives who connect again during this incarnation, then you've got Bobbi and me...mother / friends...each other's greatest teacher in so many ways....I learn so much from her! We've journeyed together as closely as I have with anyone for the past 26 years, and we laugh and love stronger and better every day. Bobbi exudes beauty, grace, power, love, and happiness. She is a living example of one who walks her talk, and I so admire her for that.

Isabella Rose Tighe....
Six years old now! I listened to her birth over the phone, and I remember that Samuel was so excited that he cried with joy at her arrival...She has eyes that see the future....a smile that radiates imagination that takes her to amazing places...She's a Indigo child....She's funny....artistic....musical....precocious...funny....energetic...loving, so loving....delicate....feminine....spunky....strong-willed..... so much like her amazing mother!

I delight in the joy and love these two girls bring into my life!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


After an extended trip home from San Antonio, I'm finally back at the farm...Arrived yesterday and found the farm in wonderful shape, thanks to Tom J. and his love for this place...Had a nice evening visit with Tom J. and Tom S...Along with Cathy, another friend, we made sweet bundles for Solstice, walked to the back field and into the spiral in honor of the Goddess, and then as darkness approached, lit the Solstice fire. It was huge and beautiful, a reminder of the light and the fertility of the many blessings that fill my life.

Let's see...Since the last official farm update, several folks have stopped in. Dana and James came by for a brief visit while they were in town for Dana's mom's graduation. Both D. and J. are in really good spaces, having completed the course work for their doctoral degrees. It was sooo good to have them here, catch up on their lives, and hear about their adventures. They'll be back in July, and I'll post some photos of that visit. ~Meera has been home a couple of times. The last time she was here, she and Eliza spent some time twirling flags in the driveway. Her parents have moved from Marietta, so the Farm will be here for her Marietta home now. In the fall, she'll start at Berkeley in grad school. Uganda and her village there continues to vibrate in her heart, and in her last e-mail, she mentioned being in contact with a Ugandan woman who was doing some potentially exciting work in Uganda that was of interest to Meera. Can't wait to hear more! ~Brett's last visit was brief. It might be August before he's back. His move to California is just around the corner, but as I write this, he's hiking in Corsica before returning home for other exciting adventures for the rest of the summer. He and Betsy will be attending a conference together on the East Coast as well, I think. My heart just bubbles over with happiness when I think of those two! ~Eliza's headed to Hawaii for a couple of weeks with her father. My hope is that she'll be able to connect with Lori while there. Since she's at her dad's for this month, I talk with her daily on the phone. She's doing daily practices with the Warren High School color guard and becoming more and more graceful and adept at doing the flag routines and dancing.~ Samuel's in the last three weeks of his internship at the winery. I don't think the work there has been as exotic as he had expected, but he's learned a heck of a lot about winemaking,bottling and corking, the marketing process, wine tasting, and mountain biking (his new passion). More than ever, I've had the "empty nest syndrome" with Samuel gone for the summer. Can't wait to get to Boone to see him! ~Bobbi and Isabella were home for Memorial Day. Bobbi's more beautiful than ever in every way, and little Isabella is a child whose eyes reflect wisdom and keen insight. Eliza and I will see them in a few weeks when we go to Philadelphia for a visit. ~ Joe came to the Farm while Bobbi was here. We got an extended visit because he got really sick while he was here. I was glad I could make his tea and fix him some soup because the lack of sleep, work, and stress of the last quarter at OU had really exhausted him. The good news is that he's back in good shape, enjoying the summer wtih Elissa (who just sent photos of her amazing art work), and coming to Marietta from time to time to go out on the boat with his dad. ~Lori's still on Maui, nannying and living the aloha life. No more needs to be said there since I flush green with envy (totally positive envy) when I close my eyes and see her having her morning fresh fruit out on the beach.~ Tom J. and I got the tiller from the shop yesterday, and we're finally ready to get to the garden. It will definitely be a late garden, but the fresh broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, onions, and kale we're enjoying at the moment is more than enough inspiration to get it together. I'll try to chronicle some of our "Will and Grace" episodes as we begin the garden adventure.

Other than acclimating back to life in the Mid-Ohio Valley and still thinking completely in Spanish, I'm getting ready to settle into a very relaxed and mellow summer space. There are many farm chores that await, but I actually look forward to getting more things done around here. Think of me as I continue to battle the weeds, work in my flowers, and get ready to make some paper. I'm at total peace when I'm here at the farm just putzing around.

My love to all is HUGE...May the energy of the Solstice embrace you each with good health, happiness, love, and an abundance of all things good in your lives.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

(taken in El Mercadito)
I love the colors, the images, the faces, the folklore, the smells, the sounds, and the beauty of the market.
~Painting by a
Mexican artist whose name I cannot remember and family of skeletons in honor of Day of the Dead...

~Strings of reed beads...
Below, an alebrije by a renowned Oaxacan folk artist who uses natural materials to make his paints.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


After spending the entire day with voices jabbering in my ears, I'm a little burned out on conversation and chatter, so while my colleagues are off attending a lecture that has little interest for me, I find myself enjoying the silence of the computer room again.

Last night was really neat! I had the opportunity to meet Liliana Valenzuela, a woman who translates novels into Spanish for authors like Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros, and Denise Chávez. I was mesmerized by her love of language and culture, and I learned a heck of a lot from her as she talked about how she works. She definitely whetted my appetite in terms of doing some serious translations. Now I can't wait to purchase Caramelo in both languages and compare the two. Once I get home, I hope to spend a couple hours a day translating Manuel Vázquez Portal's memoirs from prison!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that once I get it finished, a publisher will pick it up! (I think it has great potential!--much more so that Eduardo's novel that I spent hours on a couple of years ago.)

I've also been contemplating what I want to put out to the Universe for Solstice, and I think I've got it together. I'm not going to divulge what I want to manifest to anyone but the solstice fire, however. Again, I'm spending some serious time in thought because I have learned ( a couple of times in the hard way) to be careful what I conjure. I do think, however, I've got this idea bound pretty tight in terms of what I want the Universe to assist me with.

Another revelation I've had here is that not all my Cuban friends are very informed about the reality of life in Cuba. In fact, I'm somewhat surprised that even though these highly intelligent exiles all express a great desire to return to the island, very few of them have any real sense of what life is like there. Oh, they read things, and they all have their opinions, but few have contact with people who have just arrived from Cuba or ones who suffer daily under Castro's regime. I realize that I'm not an expert, but when I listen to their great ideas about what life will be like post-Castro, I know these Cuban-Americans are WAY off base. I don't say too much as I listen, but let's just say that they're in for a HUGE reality check once Fidel kicks the bucket...I just want to go help those I know there in any way I can...And if I can hang out on the beautiful Cuban beaches from time to time, then I'll be very, very happy.

Off to the dorm to hit the sack. Love to all who read this......

Friday, June 16, 2006

I've had a busy week here with 850 other folks who are working their culitos off grading Advanced Placements exams in Spanish...Other than 8 - 9 hours of work a day, I've managed to go downtown to the market, find my favorite little store that sells santos, venture through some interesting places with my camera, eat some really good food, have a few margaritas and cold glasses of Shiner Bock, hang out with some amazing people, and walk around the campus a lot in search of empty computers. I'm hoping to get downtown one more time to stroll along the Riverwalk and find the favorite local hangout, Rosarios, where the music is authentic, the food is fantastic, and the prices are reasonable.

In four more days, I'll head back to the Mid-Ohio Valley and begin to enjoy summer vacation. For now, San Antonio is a great place to be.

Chao! T.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I've spent the day alone here at the farm, raking the grass that I've mowed for the past few days into big piles, loading it into the tractor cart, and mulching it in on the vegetable beds to stave off the inevitable weeds that will appear while I'm away in San Antonio. The drone of the tractor and the silence of the afternoon have given me ample time to make my mental list of a few more things I want to get done before I take off. Actually, with the exception of one or two minor things, I'm pretty well prepared.

This past week was one which brought up some pain and anger associated with my divorce, and I think my disgust with myself is that I still get caught up in those emotions five years after my ex-husband moved away. In the most acute moments, I must confess that I don't readily access forgiveness or compassion for the man I knew and was married to for over 25 years, but when I am able to define what the anger and pains masks, I know it is simply sadness that the two of us just couldn't find common ground upon which to rebuild a relationship that in its best days was very, very good (at least, I think so)... sadness that we have no connection or communication whatsoever (again, the pain for me is huge)... sadness for two amazing children whose memories of our days as a foursome are fading... ....most of all, sadness that a love that was once strong and beautiful got totally lost along the way. I own my part in the saga of our inability to work things out; I also know there were many things beyond my control that contributed to its ending. I console myself with my steadfast belief that there are no accidents in the Universe, and that the Universe always looks after me; consequently, I know life has unfolded and continues to do so in my highest best interest. As I constantly remind myself of that notion, I feel less vulnerable and fragile, stronger and accepting. Who knows what goodness / adventures the future holds?? :0)

On a happier and more spirited note, Tom J. and Tom S. came out for dinner tonight, and we created a gourmet delight --broiled portabella mushrooms covered with veggies and then topped with a salmon / rice / garlic / cucumber paté-type thing with melted cheese on the top. And, for the third time this week, we had fresh steamed broccoli straight from the garden. I do believe it was the best meal in town this evening.

Also, I leave for San Antonio tomorrow and will be gone over a week. It'll be good to "get out of Dodge" and hang out with my latino friends while we grade tens of thousands of AP exams. ... no English spoken for a week, really good food, trips to the mercado, a stroll down the Riverwalk, and some good authentic margaritas.

Summer solstice is 11 days away....I'm percolating what it is that I will want to conjure up that day!

Chao and Namasté

PS: Mary Ann, I've been thinking about your getaway a LOT! Hope it was GRREEATTT !!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

and that means the quarter is over, graduation is at hand, no more classes until August / September, more time at home, papermaking, flowers, gardening, visiting friends, road trips, no one's schedule by my own. Although educators are miserably underpaid (even though 98% of the nation thinks we get an extended vacation with pay...quite a misconception, I'd like to clarify here), having time in the summer to regroup and get away from the office is definitely a perk.

The first week of this sacred solstice month has been quite a busy one. Beautiful Eliza, (see photo w/Myra, my sister)valedictorian of the 8th grade class at Warren Elementary, was officially promoted to high school in a sweet ceremony on Thursday evening, June 1st. In an insightful address to her classmates, delivered with poise and grace, she challenged them to put aside petty differences and live their lives in gratitude and adventure. Despite what she considered to be a bad hair evening (Plan A, her plan, failed, so she had to go to Plan B, aka, mom with the curlers and comb in hand), I believe she and her friend, Katie, who also chose a simply elegant look, were the two most stunning young women of the evening. (Somehow, 8th grade girls with piles of "hairsprayed to death fake curls" on the tops of their heads look quite artificially groomed through the eyes of this mom who greatly prefers natural beauty.) Tom Jackson, my sister, Myra, Sharon Johnson, and I represented her farm family, and as Grandma Ruth would say, "We were proud as punch of that girl!" Following the promotion ceremony, all the 8th grade class got together for one last dance at their school. I understand tears flowed.

Over the weekend, Eliza, Myra, and I hung out---the Shook Girls had a great weekend of play and shopping. Friends came over Saturday and Sunday evenings, and we all celebrated the end of the school year in good fashion. Eliza and her best friend, Desiree, hung out Sunday afternoon, as well..It's a great sisterhood connection those two have--friends since they were one year old.

In gardening news, Applachian Will and Grace, aka, Tom and Tanya, took the tiller to the shop to get it fixed after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to get it started. If we get the plot below the barn tilled and planted by July, we'll be doing quite well. BUT the kale, lettuce, and onions in the upper garden have been providing us with good salads and onion breath. The squash and tomatoes are thriving as well, and the volunteer dill will be great for pickles if we ever get some cukes planted. Tonight, I'm fixing fresh, organic broccoli from the garden, and I can't wait.

My Witches' Calendar reminds me that June is "make a wand" month and time to focus on creating the magic I want to manifest in my life. Summer Solstice is fast approaching! I'll get started on the wand, and I'll start thinking about the magic part. Life experience has taught me time and time again to be quite specific in the requests I send out to the Universe, but I'm up for some good magic in my life---just got to decide what kind of good magic! I love making wands as well. Maybe I'll make several and get them out over the farm to bring in someone to cut the fields or bequeath me a huge tractor so I can cut them. Better still, maybe I'll whip up some magic for winning the lottery. If I do hit the big one, I promise to share with my friends...

(Art: Jennifer Hewitson from Llewellyn's Witches' Calendar - June)