Monday, March 26, 2007


Yesterday, when out of the corner of my eye I sensed some slithering-type movement on the rock border of my vegetable garden, I quickly jumped back in anticipation of seeing my first snake of the season. But instead of the anticipated garter or little ring-neck snake, it was just an earthworm-a huge, long, slimy, juicy earthworm-the kind fishermen love to snag as bait. As I dug in the soil, I encountered hundreds (really, literally) of them in all my beds, and I was one happy soil-digger! Lots of earthworms = good, fertile soil!

I turned the soil with a special awareness of their presence because I did NOT want to slice one into pieces. As I studied them, I marvelled at their complex simplicity. My fascination with them must have begun early on when my father and I would go hunting for nightcrawlers on the college practice field right below our old house in Boone. And, I remember dissecting earthworms in high school biology class and thinking they were pretty neat creatures.

One can't discern where their eyes are, nor do they respond to sound (to my knowledge), but they are extremely sensitive to temperature changes and touch. The one I picked up squirmed quite energetically in my fingers and quickly disappeared into the loosened dirt when I put him back on the ground.

Apparently, the robins, grackles, and other fowl think earthworms are tasty fare, and fish go for them as well. My friend, Betsy, ate a couple on a dare in 8th grade science class, but I don't remember her commenting on their succulence. I do recall that she looked rather "green" once the excitement of her accomplishment was over and she began to think about what she had consumed.

This afternoon, I'm going to work again in the deep bed. Now that I've seen so many there, I have a little guilt about tilling the soil with my mantis tiller. Oh my!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


After almost a week of being away, I'm home, surveying The Farm and making my lists of things I see that 1) must get done, 2) need to get done, and 3) I want to get done. Each is a fairly lengthy compilation, and no doubt some of the chores will reappear on my lists of lists for some time!

I've just returned from 4 days in North Carolina with Papa and Petie where I did little more than hang out with them, knit, and read. Samuel and I connected daily, and it inspires and excites me to see him now, readying for his senior year in college, preparing to move into his first house, and looking forward to a summer in Boone. Petie and I took an afternoon ride to see Grandma Shook, and as the photo clearly shows, Miss Ruth can still conjure up that impish smile that lets me know she's much more on top of things than most people think. As I hold her hand and feel her strength, I ask her to share her wisdom with me. Consistently when I send her that specific thought, she looks up and me and gives me the smile. It doesn't take words for us to communicate.

Inside the house here at The Farm, three orchids are still in bloom, and the last amaryllis blossom is fading quickly. Outside, however, I find patches of purple crocuses, a few daffodils beginning to open up, and some little starburst-like flowers in bloom in the bed by the driveway.

Yesterday, in my spring eagerness, Tom and I went to the feed store to get our onion and 'tater sets only to find we were ahead of the game. Soooo, I have to wait another week. At first I was bummed, but if the sun comes out, it'll give me time to get the beds ready to plant! In fact, in just a few moments, I'm off to turn the compost. Yippee! Seriously, YIPPEE!!! I'm stoked. I get high when I toss the rich composted earth on my flower and veggie beds!

Classes begin in two days, but for now, my mind is totally focused on the outside world. The redwing blackbirds have returned, the grackles have made their presence known, tiny little bunnies peak at me from under the brush out the driveway, and the dogs are already scratching at their spring fleas. I feel so grateful fto be home today.

(I'll think about school later! Or not!!)


Saturday, March 17, 2007


Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

May you feel as jolly and light-footed as these wee folk, and may the green beer warm your cheeks and brighten your smiles today!

Oh, and yes, I believe !!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Imagine you're reading the "Local News" section from a weekly small town newspaper. A silver-haired little lady who knows all the local "buzz" is in charge of reporting the town's breaking news.Translate that to yours truly sitting at the computer, and you've got THIS WEEK'S FARM NEWS.

After two absolutely glorious, warm, sunny days at the farm, the temperatures have again plummeted to sweater/scarf/socks and glove levels. Bummer! I wore my Teva sandals to the office yesterday, and yes, I got some weird looks from the campus fashion police. Do I care?

The peepers have been chirping their little hearts out the past two nights. Tonight, however, they're silent, looking for a place to keep warm, I suppose. I hope they haven't frozen!

Samuel and his friend, Faith, left for NC today after spending the past week at The Farm. We had a great time, mostly just hanging out. Faith's sweet, intelligent, witty, and nice. I like her, and I like her new camera. I want one.

Faith, Samuel, and I watched Babel the other night. Done in a seemingly disconnected episodic style similar to Crash, the movie is a heavy watch with a somewhat redemptive ending. Last night I watched Half Nelson. The actor who has the lead role (and whose name escapes me now) received a nomination for Best Actor this year. I thought he did a good job, but the movie, like Babel, was not one that left me feeling light-hearted. I'm ready for something funny and mindless...Any suggestions? Perhaps it's time to pull out Inspecteur Clousseau.

My friend, Laida Carro, just returned from Costa Rica where she and several other people who work closely with human rights issues in Cuba were invited to speak to the Costa Rican Congress in support of the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White). Their presentation was interrupted by pro-Castro thugs who entered the session and began shouting pro-Castro slogans at the panel. One woman, the mother of a prisoner of conscience jailed in Cuba, was physically assaulted. Now I know the Iraq debaucle (or Civil War, as we can now officially call it) occupies top priority on our government's foreign policy (or lack thereof) concerns, but folks, matters in Cuba are not getting any better these days either. In fact, the situation is quite serious. Laida did get home safely, and for that, I'm very thankful.

Tomorrow evening while Eliza celebrates Matt's birthday with him and his family, I'm heading over to Nelsonville, OH, to see Bruce Cockburn. My friend, Diane, may be Bruce's most adoring fan, and she and Norm will surely get a visit backstage after the concert. I doubt I'll get that close, but I'm excited to see him in concert.

Several folks are off traveling these days...Dana's been in Albuquerque; James went to Atlanta; Joe's off to interview at a conference in Louisville, and Daniel's in Abuja, Nigeria. I hit the road on Sunday to go to NC to visit with my parents and Sammy...Yeah!

That's about all for now...Off to bed and Sleepytown...Love to all!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Sightings on my afternoon walk:

~Two or possibly three pairs of bluebirds in the bushes in the afternoon sun. Obviously feeling frisky. The male flew right behind the female everywhere she went.
~More crocuses in bloom.

~A truly flawless blue sky.
These photos are random things that caught my eye this afternoon on my walk. There's no rhyme or reason to them. I was captivated by the light of the afternoon more than anything else.

Monday, March 05, 2007


In conversations with Samuel for the last couple of weeks, the main topic has been the incredible amount of work he has to get done, numerous tests that require hours of study, novels to read, and busy work to take care of. All the while, he's working a good 20 - 30 hours a week at The Gap. I sense fatigue and frustration in his voice and understand that sleepless nights spent trying to keep up, much less stay ahead, factor strongly into the overall exhaustion.

But with today's phone call came the AWESOME news that he received a 100% on a paper he wrote for one of his journalism classes. How great is that! He began working on the thesis of the paper, which involved a comparison of magazine covers, back in February.

I credit Samuel with being a steady worker, one that is not too prone to procrastination. He organizes his time and prioritizes his work efficiently, two things that I regretfully do not see in many of my students. I'll also brag on him a bit for being a fine writer with an insightful, keen mind and a sensitive heart.

Bottom line: I'm really, really proud of him, and I can't wait for him to get home next week for spring break so I can give him give him a huge farm hug. WAY TO GO, SAMMY! I hope you're in front of the television watching hockey and kicking back a bit tonight!

I LOVE YA !!! See you soon!!!!!

Friday, March 02, 2007


Attention all Namasté readers who know Tom Jackson, as well as those of you who've never met him...

Marietta Romantic ( is back on the blogging scene with an entirely new format, a sharp looking blog, and news of recent events in his life. Hint: Luv's in the air!

You can get to his blog by clicking on the link above or going to my blog roll on the left and clicking from there.

Enjoy...And congrats to Tom on his newfound friend.....