Friday, September 29, 2006


Question: What do you do when you're a farm Corgi named Molly, and for some reason, you decide to stick your head through two posts on the back deck and get stuck?

Answer: You wait patiently until Tanya comes home and finds you in this predicament when she comes out on the deck to feed the cats. (Note how pleased Molly is to have her "adventure" captured on camera.)

Question: What does Tanya do when she realizes Molly's stuck and can't get unstuck?

Answer: She takes off Molly's collar and tries to help Molly turn her head to the side so she can get unstuck. When that doesn't work, she tries to nudge Molly's head through the posts at a different angle. When that doesn't work, she decides to drench Molly's head and the two posts between which Molly is stuck with olive oil so that Molly can just slide her head back through. When that doesn't work, she thinks that will saw one of the posts off but decides to call Tom Jackson first.

Question: What happens when Tom arrives?

Answer: He tries to position Molly's head so that he can help her back out and get free. When that doesn't work, he suggests that we knock one of the posts out, freeing Molly.

Question: What happens when Tom is banging away at the banister with his HUGE hammer?

Answer: Molly panics and pulls her head out.

End of story.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Autumn Equinox / 12:03 AM / 9/23/06

Fall is here, along with changing leaves, a couple of chilly mornings, brisk breezes, and for all you allergy sufferers, air laden with ragweed pollen...AACCHHOOO!

As I look out the window at this moment, I see lots of goldenrod across the way, tinges of yellow and red on the leaves on the maple tree, and zinnias that fell in last night's rain. There's a smell of fall in the air, and I sense that consistently cooler weather is on the way. The drizzle, grey skies, and quietness of the morning almost convinced me to roll over and take another hour or so of morning snoozies.

All the farm family has settled into post-summer routine now. Samuel is four weeks into his junior year at Appalachian State. After a summer in Boone and Thistle Mountain Winery. it's back to communication, economics, and philosophy classes that translate into lots of reading and papers. He's picked up a part-time job at The Gap and works up to 20 hours a week in his "spare" time. He and his mountain bike take off on some pretty adventuresome rides around the hills, and it's my thought that it's then that he relaxes and takes some time for himself to re-group. I can hardly believe Samuel will turn 21 in December...What an amazing man he's become!!....Eliza's progress reports indicate that she's in good standing academic-wise despite a social life that would appear to be her first priority. She devotes every weekend (and afternoons) to band activities and a portion of every evening to her "telephone time." I'll just be blatant in my bragging--she is so incredibly beautiful and graceful on the field with her flag that I overflow with pride and joy. High school has been quite a transition, and there have been a couple of awkward moments, but this girl is evolving into a very solid and wise young woman....Bobbi and Isabella report that things are good in Philly. Isabella started 1st grade! Her sweet voice on the phone melts my heart! Bobbi's life is full with her teaching and massage clients. Rumor has it that she might be looking into buying a house....Joe and Elissa have begun their 3rd and final year in graduate school at OU. Suffice to say that they're busy to the max. Elissa worked in a successful show in Columbus this summer... I think the two of them took time to travel a bit and camp..With 3rd year work and shows coming in the not too distant future, they're pretty much in the studio 24/7.... Brett made the move to California after hiking in Corsica for part of the summer. He's there with Betsy, and he's a happy camper. Starting a new job at a new school with all new classes and material means that it's like being a first year teacher again, so he's swamped with work and extra responsibilities, but he loves where he is and what he's doing. Hopefully the two of them will be at The Farm for New Year's Eve....Meera began grad school in August at Berkeley. She jotted off a three-liner to me the other day, basically saying that being back in school has her body and mind hopping. Knowing Meera, she's at the top of her class, challenging her profs and peers with her insight and intellect. I think of her every day as I contemplate the many conversations we've had over the years. Just yesterday, I had a vision of being in Cuba, teaching at a school she and I had put together. (Part of the vision entailed sitting on the beach with a good cold beer in hand while planning our next strategy!).... Lori, more beautiful than ever, was home for a couple of weeks in August. Life on Maui has to be like life in heaven! Although she found out while here that her current nannying job had come to an end, she had another potentially quite nice gig set up before she left! She's writing, getting ready to publish her first book, and loving her life. When she and Eliza were outside spinning flags together, I realized again that the two of them really are twin sisters...I am so grateful for Lori in all of our lives. She brings laughter and love in every moment to all who know her. Tom J. and I are working together on the arts and humanities series at work. In a week or so, he'll be able to let go of his night job, get back to a regular schedule, and have weekends to himself. His relationship with Renato is growing and becoming more solid with each day. Last night he and I drew some cards here at the house--the word for him equals change...good change...greater wisdom...growth. It was powerful and so befitting for him at the moment...I've seen Norm, Diane, and Andrew a couple of times recently. Andrew's back at Wooster for his sophomore year, living in a house with several friends who have a Big Brother/Big Sister service learning project going for the year....Dana and James returned to Nebraska after a visit at The Farm in July. Like Meera, Joe, and Elissa, they're back in school. This year the two of them will finish the course work for their doctoral work and begin the next stage of the Ph.D process. James's blog keeps me abreast of their goings-on. We all know how busy they must be!

I've about adjusted to being back at work. My students seem good and interested in learning, and that's always a tremendous blessing. They provide a very welcome balance to all the outside-of-class things I'm responsible for. I've stuck to my commitment to get to the Y as much as possible, and I'm feeling stronger and more alive in my body than in the last year or so. Having Tom and Mary Ann in my office is a great joy. We laugh, we work, we get things done...It's such a blessing to be around those two! I'm using this year to take a look at those things that occupy my time and delay my work on things that I really, really, want to do (i.e., more work on Cuba, making some paper, reading, etc.). This time next year, I'll be 55, and I see that as a banner year to move into more Tanya-oriented things with less work-related stuff. (Wishful thinking? Depends upon the choices I make, I guess.) Regardless, my life is good and full of many blessings. What more could one ask for??

My Llewellyn's Witches' Calendar for September speaks of the Autumnal Equinox as a time to make a scarecrow and "enchant" it for protection and abundance during this season. I'm a little late on getting one down by the garden, but I think I'll put together something today to place in the yard. (Actually a photo of my "bed-head" this morning would serve appropriately!) In doing so, I'll have all of you in mind as I place my intentions for abundance in every aspect of our lives, for protection for us all, and as I contemplate gratitude for all we share.

Off to go see Eliza in a band competition and come home to do some farm cleaning!

Love, infinite love, to all....



(Art credit: Jennifer Hewiston, October--Llewellyn's Witches Calendar, 2006)

Friday, September 15, 2006


I'm sitting here at the computer, waiting for a phone call from the farm 14-yr. old to let me know it's time to drive out to the high school and pick her up after the band gets back from tonight's football game.

I left work at noon today to have lunch with a couple of friends, headed to the Y from there to exercise on a full tummy, and then came straight home for a wonderful afternoon here at the farm...Man, did it ever feel good to get outside, breathe in the afternoon, and just chill out with the cats and dogs. Quietness, beginning-of-fall warm sun, flowers lushly blooming after a several days of soaking rain....a walk around the farm. What peace!

Tuesday, of course, was my birthday. Several folks at work brought some really sweet gifts by the office, and lots of people wished me happy birthday. Mary Ann gave me the gift of the day.... a bona fide vintage towel from "Mabel's Whorehouse --where they give double green stamps on Tuesday!" (I'll post a picture of it later) I love it! It's a nice addition to our office along with the switch plate of David that another colleague gifted Mary Ann...and until the dean returns from vacation next week, it will hang right at the entrance to our office. While the cat's away, the mice in A&S 237 play!! Over the course of the my birthday day, I taught 5 classes, had each class sing "Happy Birthday to me (in Spanish, of self-celebrating is that??), shared wonderful conversation with Eliza over dinner, ate a half of a piece of six-layer chocolate cake, and got a birthday call from Samuel and my childhood friend (more like brother), Richard Randall. ... And like a kid, I got really excited when I went to the mail box and found a card from my parents, sister, and dear Japanese friend, Yuki Sento, in the mailbox. Yuki always makes her cards and NEVER misses any of our birthdays....

I send out a big thanks to everyone for making my 54th birthday a very special one. My wish for the world would be that everyone could know the level of love in their lives that I feel in mine. My gratitude and awe can't be captured in words.....I am greatly humbled by my many, many blessings.

In other news this week, students returned to class on Monday-- quite a relief for me since I greatly prefer to be in the classroom over being parked all day in meetings. My initial feeling is that I've got a good group this quarter...only a couple students seem a little intimidated by the openess of Spanish class, but I think I even got them to laugh with me today. My yoga class seems really good...Wednesday, we bounced on the exercise balls and got real silly as their bodies began to open up (unbeknownst to them)...My arts & humanities committee folks seem a bit overwhelmed and shocked to be back at work, so I have a little bit of nurturing to do to get their energy back....Meanwhile, Mary Ann and I looked forward all week to having our pictures taken together at what we thought was going to be one of those photo booths like we used to cram 10 people in and make silly faces. Turns out, a guy had a digital camera and took only one photo that he printed out and made into magnets for us. It was fun anyway, and we now have matching photos of ourselves over our desks.....

At some point soon I'll get to the Fall Farm update....there's lots to share...

Until then, love to all....


Saturday, September 09, 2006


Purple Datura....I had to post another shot of the most recent bloom.

Sedum..These flowers have turned from a very light green to a salmon pink this week.

Reyna's Dahlia: This is one of my favorite dahlias.

Stay tuned this weekend for my next post: The Fall Farm Update, bringing you news and updates about the many of those who call "The Farm" home.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Today, my beloved, amazing, creative, kind, passionate, highly inspiring, funny, loving, wonderful fellow mom, teacher, office mate, Virgo and dear friend turns 29! No doubt about it....this girl'll make history!

Sooooooooooo, will all who read my blog join me in a joyful round of .....

Happy birthday to you....Happy birthday to you.....Happy birthday, Mary Ann.....Happy birthday to you...

And many more.........