Sunday, April 29, 2007


What an incredible weekend it's been...Friday nite the WSCC Student Art Exhibit opened at the Parkersburg Art Center much to the satisfaction of students seeing their works in a gallery space as well as to the delight of art lovers who attended the opening.

Then last evening, with the music of Hat Trick permeating the gallery, Joe Davis's MFA thesis exhibition opened at Adleta Gallery just outside of Athens, OH. His work speaks for itself, and the reception it received speaks to the spirit of this incredible man who devotes his life to clay. From the moment Joe pulled his first cup in a studio at OSU, he knew clay was to be his life's work, and after many years as a studio potter, he took the gigantic leap into the MFA program at Ohio University three years ago. Last night's gathering was a very fitting tribute to a guy who obviously has captured the heart of his students, the admiration and respect of the graduate faculty, and the eyes of some of the nation's top artists. Go Joe!!!! I'm so, so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


this is how we plant the seeds
in our garden, in our garden.
Planting, planting,
this is how we plant the seeds,
early in the morning...

The Raffi song that Samuel, Eliza, and I would sing every spring when they were little when planting time came resonated in my head yesterday afternoon while I planted spinach, kale, lettuce, collards, and onions in the upper beds down by the barn. (Always the over-eager beaver, I've already checked to see if anything is poking its way through the ground in the less than 24 hours that the seeds have been there!)

Earlier in the afternoon, Tom had the tiller in the lower garden and got about half of it tilled. Our ambitions may exceed our work capacity this summer, but if we keep up with the weeds, if the deer and other critters leave us alone, and if the weather's just right, we could potentially have a helluva huge garden. I can already taste the fresh tomatoes, onions, cukes, and beans. Not only will the garden provide tasty fare, but I have a hunch we'll work off several pounds by the time we hoe the last row!

I realize that for some, garden news must be a bit mundane, but for those of us who are earth signs (in my case, a DOUBLE Virgo), getting our hands in the dirt is about as good as it gets!

No doubt, future blog posts will have a multitude of photos of all that's growing around the farm as the time to start harvesting the "fruits of our labors" arrives. It's all about growing food, healthy organic food; it's all about collaborative working; it's all about being a part of a process where things grow and thrive. Stay tuned, and when the produce starts rolling in, stop by the Farm for some beans, taters, collards, and cornbread!

Yee haw!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I'M FEELING POWERFUL..(at least for the moment)

WOW! Another beautiful spring day here in the MOValley! Eliza and I have worked outside all afternoon, soaking in some gentle sun and working up a good sweat. Yes, we did apply a good slather of sunscreen, and I even wore my Dean's Tracking Team baseball hat to cover my face. Ten years ago, I would have been out all day w/o lotion or a hat, but the global warming / ozone layer messages have sunk in, along with the fact that I do have a tendency toward basal cell breakouts.

Feeling my power today is connected to clearing brush and clearing a fence line that was smothered in everything from honeysuckle to possum grapevines to poison ivy. Actually I didn't realize that poison ivy had invaded the thick brush I was tackling until it was too late, so I'm banking on my history of not reacting to it rather than panicking that I'll be covered in oozing and itchy breakouts later this week. Stay tuned.

Anyway, armed only with my clippers and rather dull saw, I took out probably 30' of jumbled up vines and briars. My only brush wounds consist of a long, ugly scratch on both legs My arms and back might remind me of today's work tomorrow, but for now, I feel strong!

There's nothing better than breaking a good sweat while working outdoors. I am tired, but the exhaustion feels good, much better than fatigue from things like work related issues. Needless to say, I'm ready for summer break...There's light at the end of the tunnel, thank goodness!!

(Photo note: My new Buddha of Compassion came from Lowe's for less than $20. I love the way Doug Sweet's orb fits in the cradle of her hands.)

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I watched this movie last night, and I really enjoyed it....Nice cinematography, engaging plot, good ending. If you're looking for a worthwhile rental, I recommend it.


What an incredibly beautiful day here in the Mid-Ohio Valley! I spent most of it outside, mowing, raking up the clippings to put on the compost heap, and trimming some dead branches off a couple of trees. Eliza and I did go into town for a salad at lunch; little did she know that once we got in town, I had plans to take a look at weed whackers again. To her credit, she went along with little complaint.

I also took a look at chain saws. My initial thoughts have been to purchase a heavy duty weed whacker with a mammoth blade so I could attack random farm brush spots and fence line growth. Then I stopped to contemplate if my ambitions were bigger than I could physically handle. Additionally, a couple of my women friends have some horror stories about their attempts at big-time weed whacking with blades, so now, I'm thinking that I'll get a smaller model for trimming and a small chain saw for the other things I want to cut down. Anyway, talking to salespeople about power tools and other equipment makes me feel downright good, and I'm learning that I really do know quite a bit, at least until something breaks down! If WB-40 doesn't solve the problem, I'm sunk!

There's been a little farm drama this weekend as well....Eliza and her first real boyfriend have amicably split up. They want to remain friends, but at the moment there's alot of OUCH in it for E. I assured her that teenage love frequently leads to teen-age break-up with loads of drama all around. She did pull it together to go with me to hear the Columbus Symphonoy tonight, and I think she enjoyed it quite a bit; however, she did note that except for one or two young children, she was probably the youngest person there. ("Mom, everyone in this place has grey hair!")

OK, I'm off to watch Saturday Night Live...Hopefully, I'll make it to Weekend Update before zzzzzz-ing off....


Monday, April 16, 2007


I have two friends who teach at Virginia Tech--a guy I was in grad school with at U-Kentucky back in the 70's, and my roomate from the two years I taught in Winston-Salem, NC. She's now the chair of the Foreign Language Department at Virginia Tech. I've seen both of them recently, and they both remarked about how much they enjoyed teaching there.

As a mom with a son in college (only two hours away from Blacksburg), I cannot imagine being in the situation in which students and parents there find themselves now. As a college teacher who has actually contemplated how vulnerable my students and I are to such an unthinkable situation, I will confess to feeling some level of fear for what could happen on many other campuses.

For now, I want to snuggle in with Eliza, the corgis, and Loonis the Cat. I wish Samuel, Bobbi, and Isabella were here too. I want them in the bed with me, close to me, and safe in my arms.



Friday, April 13, 2007

ANOTHER THING I LIKE... a site I found from the Orchidelirium blog which is linked on my blogroll to the left. I hadn't discovered YouTube until I checked in on Fishouston . Now, I go there regularly for latest post of "Flower Minute," for it always lightens my day. Something tells me I'd like Tim, the Fishouston guy a lot, and his orchid collection and greenhouse are pretty neat! When you tune in, always watch each segment until the end for his cheerful words of wisdom and farewell.

It's Friday afternoon! YEAH!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Lately, things at work have been rather frustrating. Two nights ago, I sat down to write a post for my blog, and when I realized I was composing a whale of a diatribe about the things I really didn't like about my job, I knew it was time to reassess and go for higher thoughts.

Don't get me wrong..I LOVE teaching, and for the most part, I adore my students. I have the world's best office mates, and my colleagues are some of the most dedicated educators I've ever worked with over the span of my 30-yr. career. There's no need to mention those things that inspired my harangue the other night; it's really a waste of time.

As I shifted my thoughts away from the "vent" I was on, I began to think about what it is that I enjoy. Really, my interests are numerous and quite varied.

Among the many things I undertake, I really, really like to knit--not necessarily huge, intricate projects but rather simple, practical ones. As you see from the photo, I'm on a roll making dishcloths at the moment. My plan is to sell them and donate the proceeds to the Relay for Life fundraising efforts at school. I can knit one an evening if I have time, and I can find yarn in a variety of cool colors. My goal is to make $100 worth, however, I think a part of that will have to come out of pocket since I give away as many of my completions as I keep for the project. Anyway, I like to knit a lot, and I am very, very thankful my mom taught me when I was young. She is one of the world's best knitters ever, and her legacy lives on as I continue to pump out my scarves, dishcloths, and toboggans. (I'm going to attempt some socks soon now that I've remember how to pick up stitches I drop!)

Another high thought for me (which I'm sure qualifies me for Nerd of the Year award) is that I really like to play Scrabble online. Not only have I learned a heck of a lot of new words, but I've steadily improved my score and strategy skills. On days when I feel isolated here in southeastern Ohio, I can almost always find someone to play who's far away, and who, like me, likes to chat while we play. I've played against people in England, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, France, Greece, and Canada, as well as folks all over the country. My most recent Scrabble friend, Hiro, is originally from Bombay and currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. His daughter, like Samuel, lives in Boone! On a few occasions, my cyber-opponents get really serious about the game, but 99% of the time, it's all about getting to know people and having fun. I'm here to tell you that those people I've met on Scrabble have a lot more going for them than the goobers I met on or the Yahoo personals when I signed up for the 7-day free trial offers!! Give me a Scrabble board over a ride on a Harley any day!

Wow..I've just had a profound revelation-- it occurs to me that I could knit and play Scrabble simultaneously. I can knit while I wait for my opponent to play and while I'm figuring out my next best move....I'll have to see if it works!

Peace and love to all....

Saturday, April 07, 2007


It's 20 degrees outside, and there's an inch and a half of snow on the ground.

No need to say more; the photos tell it all.

Friday, April 06, 2007


..hopping down the bunny trail.
Hippity-hoppity, Easter's on it's way!
Bringin' lots of girls and boys
baskets full of Easter toys.
He's here to make their
Easter bright and gay!
(I can't remember the rest of the words....Can anyone keep going?)

As I sit at the computer this Good Friday evening, it's snowing! All signs of spring seem to be on hold for the moment, and I understand we won't be seeing any fascimile of the season until after the weekend.

There's no dismay, however. I'm looking forward to cooking Easter lunch for Dr. Tom, Tom J., Chintu, and anyone else who wants to join us. The menu will probably consist of free-range lamb, organic wild rice, my special champagne collards, a salad, homemade organic bread, and Tom's pickled eggs and tiramisu--not to be served together, of course. I hope Chintu adds an Indian dish to round it out.

And, I'm going to dye eggs and make a couple of Easter baskets to put around the house... And, I'm going to probably have a little chocolate along the way. YEAH !!!

In celebration of the times and in anticipation of a huge garden this summer, Tom and I bought our seeds this afternoon at Seaman's Store in Barlow, OH. The store's been around for 150 years, and it's the classic country store with any gadget, farm necessity, or animal food one would ever need. I love to go there, and oh, I'm excited to have the seeds for the garden already!!! Soooo, the next task is to get the garden plowed and all the seeds planted. (I think we bought enough seeds to plant 10 acres. Oops! Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach, so to speak, when it comes to getting ahead of myself with garden enthusiasm.)

In other Easter-related Farm news, this year's bunny crop does not rate as the sharpest tack in the sack, so to speak. In fact, I would describe this year's lot as the "dumb bunny clan." Either they're short-sighted or really vacant between the ears because they don't seem to catch on to the fact that moving vehicles pose a bit of danger if they don't hop out of the way, nor do they move when one sounds the car horn. Just this morning, one ran TOWARD the car rather than away as I drove out the lane to go to work. HMMMM... Wonder what he was thinking?

Anyway, ¡Felices Pascuas! Happy Easter! Celebrate Spring! Bring on the warm weather (again)!

Indulge in Easter basket goodies and look in every nook and cranny for those brightly colored eggs!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


RE: Yesterday's post...

When I went to work this morning, it was 60 degrees. When I left work this afternoon, it was 42 degrees with a brisk, cold wind blowing. At present, it's 10:00 PM, and the temperature has fallen another 10 degrees. Yes, we're at freezing temps now. Bummer!

I cut all the daffodils that were in bloom, minus a few that were on their way out anyway,to bring in, and I snipped several small branches off the crabapple tree in the hopes that I can force them to bloom inside. They're so, so delicate and pretty. I do so hope they'll open up. I also brought in a lot of forsythia, some grape hyacinths, and some miniature daffodils. I'm afraid it's "adiós" to anything that remains outside, including the tulips whose buds were not up far enough for me to clip off and rescue. EERGH!

My mom always reminds me that "we can't control the elements" when I begin to whine about the cold weather. She's totally right, but damn, I hate to see my spring flowers freeze.

Oh well...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


The old pear tree down from the barn is in full bloom (see photo), as are most of the fruit trees in the area; the crabapple is loaded with hundreds of about-to-burst open blossoms, and the tulip buds need about two more days of warm weather to open up. But get ready! According to the local weather report, temperatures that soared to 80+ degrees today are going to plummet over the next two days to the mid-20's during the night. Today's beautiful sun and flawless skies will be replaced with chilling rain, and yes, possible snow showers toward the weekend YIKES! Kiss the rest of spring goodbye. If the prognosticators hit the mark this time, everything from dogwoods to lilacs will get nipped in the bud, literally! (The high thought is that the weather guys will be wrong once again. They don't have such a great record around here.)

As I mowed for two hours and then hiked around the back field today in my sports bra and shorts, I found it hard to believe that tomorrow's walk might require a jacket, scarf, and hat. YUK! I'm not into that idea at all, so I'll check out before I really start whining...¡Hasta luego!


Sunday, April 01, 2007


Today, as I sat at the computer translating a couple of documents for a local business, I heard the familiar screeching call of the red-tailed hawk outside. Since there is a pair who lives around the farm, I didn't think too much about it until I realized that I was hearing three distinct hawk voices. When I peered out the window, I saw all three of the birds soaring high above the field by the driveway.

I continued with the translation, and some 20 minutes later, it occurred to me that the hawks were still there, so I stopped, got out my binoculars, and quietly crept outside to sit on the sandstone blocks of the flowerbed by my bedroom to watch these amazing raptors. I almost felt like they had called me out to witness their interaction. This was an experience Miss Jane Hathaway would have died for!

For over an hour and a half, I communed with these three birds. I'm not sure what they were doing; my best bet is that two males were in competition over a female OR a pair of hawk parents were out teaching their fledgling how to fly in graceful hawk style. The smaller one, although quite graceful, did have some awkward moments.

The larger two would climb so high in the sky that they'd almost be out of view and then fold their wings close to their bodies and dive bomb, literally dive directly downward, to about two feet from the earth before lifting up again. More than one time I anticipated a major hawk crash landing. Then they would fly to the huge oak tree by the driveway, take a rest, and take off again, crossing the field, lowering their talons, and screeching back and forth along the way. The third one, the smaller one, coasted back and forth across the field or perched in the tree while the other two participated in their aerial feats.

At one point, I got my camera and attempted to take a picture of one that kept circling above me, but I got a little nauseated following him in the air through the lens while I waited for the perfect shot. I felt at lot nerdy at that point. (NOTE: I did not take the photos you see here.)

Hawk medicine is strong stuff. It speaks to me of expansion, of seeing the bigger picture, of observing in all directions before jumping to conclusions, of allowing my heart and mind to soar, of graceful movement, of power. I got a huge dose of that medicine today, and I've felt rather awed and humbled as a result.

Man, am I grateful to these magnificent birds for calling me outside. The time I spent with them will be a lifelong memory for me. I coasted and soared along with them.
It's always been my desire to be able to fly, to spread my wings and catch in the wind. I would have been a real cheerleader for Icarus as he made his attempt at flight; however, I would have passed on dive bombing lessons until I got the hang of things! :0)