Monday, December 29, 2008

HERE SHE IS....

Meet Wendelynne Bridget Kinzy Engelhardt...


James Engelhardt and Dana Kinzy are delighted to announce the birth of their daughter, Wendelynne Bridget Kinzy Engelhardt. Baby Wendy was born on the 22nd day of December 2008 at 9:05 p.m. She weighed 5 lbs 15 oz and was 21.5 inches long.
(Tanya's note: Isn't she beautiful? I can't wait to hold her in my arms and welcome her to The Farm. Until then, Brown Wolf, Red Wolf's brother and best friend, will watch over her and tell her all sorts of stories about The Farm. All of The Farm family celebrates Little Wendy's arrival in a big way. We'll put a photo of her on the Christmas tree for everyone to see, and we'll toast in gratitude for her safe arrival and for her wonderful Mom and Dad.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

THERE'S A NEW ARRIVAL IN THE FARM FAMILY

Wendelynne Bridget Kinzy Engelhardt was born Monday evening, December 22nd, in Lincoln, NE, to Farm family members, Dana and James. As of my last conversation with James about two hours after she was born, Wendy was nursing and doing well. She weighed in at just under 6 lbs. and is 21" long. James described her hair as "wavy blond."

As soon as I get a photo of sweet little Wendy, it'll be on the blog!

Giving huge thanks to the Universe for this little one, for her safe arrival, and for her wonderful parents!

PS: Merry Christmas from Boone.....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

WINTER SOLSTICE - 2008

Think about what you want to bring to fruition in the coming year, carefully designing how you express your desires....attention always to what you conjure...

Write them down....

Bless them with your purest energy and highest intent, giving thanks to the Universe for all that's good...

Toss the wishes into the fire and jump right over the flames, taking all precaution not to burn your butt....:0) :0)

Laugh...be merry....celebrate.

Happy Solstice from Namasté......

Saturday, December 20, 2008

WE ARE RINKS MATERIAL....

A couple of posts back, readers of Namasté and A Very Mary Design took their first trip to Rink's with us. Remember the hat photos??

Today we met for another Saturday morning of looking for treasures and hanging out... Click here for Very Mary's account...."A Virtual Field Trip"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BACK FROM MIAMI

Whew...it's been a traveling holiday vacation so far. I'm so grateful my job situation is such that I have a month of holiday break at this time of year, particularly given that the exceptional nature of this break has required time on the road in celebration of my mom and in support of my friends, Laida and Pepín and their family.

I wish I could report wonderful news about Pepín...December 15th marked the 3rd month he's been in ICU following heart surgery...I'll never forget the smile on his face when he saw me donning the yellow surgical gown required for entering his room last Sunday morning...I looked like an oversized banana, and he got a chuckle out of that.

I've never felt so disinfected in my life...antibacterial soaps...latex gloves...surgical masks.....Machines whirled all around him...machines for constant dialysis, feeding, breathing, antibiotics, elimination...Monitors for air regulation, vital signs, kidney output....Enough tubes and lines to circle the farm....

Unfortunately, yesterday he suffered a set-back in terms of his digestive process and had to have an endoscopy (sp.??)....Any procedure brings about other complications and possible infections....Antidepressants control his level of sadness and fear....

Yet, despite all the above, one sees his sweet face and senses the amazing spirit housed within his sick, frail body...I got him to smile big smiles....And he sent me millions of messages as he held my hand firmly, constantly, so, so lovingly....Pepín is one of the most decent, noble, loving people I've ever met. He always puts others ahead of himself.

I massaged his feet and channelled the strongest reiki I've ever sensed through his body, so much that at one point I was dizzied from the force of the energy....I implored his heart to strengthen and nourish the rest of his body with the blood supply it so desperately needs. I talked to his kidneys...liver...stomach...spleen....blood, asking them to come together and begin the level of healing his body must have....

I believe in miracles....I pray earnestly for his complete healing and total wellness.

May it be so....

Namasté.....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

PETIE TURNS 90 !

Ninety years ago yesterday (December 10, 1918), my mom was born to Robert Louis and Bertha Eliza (Sloop) Stevenson. In honor of the day, my sister and I came to Boone to be with her. Over the course of the day, Petie received over 25 phone calls, scads of birthday cards, 6 or 7 floral bouquets, and several visits from friends and family.

It's been a bittersweet year for Mom. When Daddy passed away in March, she was by his side and since then has adjusted to life without her beloved Zeb. Her devotion to family now leads her to spend every Sunday caring for Grandma Ruth (age 106, 11 months), and she keeps all sorts of goodies in the pantry for Samuel (who stops in to visit her regularly).

To this day, people all over town call her to get her opinion on their illnesses or seek her advice. Mom's an angel on earth, a woman whose faith sustains her every day and whose love touches the lives of all who know her.

Friday, December 05, 2008

VERY WORTH THE READ....

Economists Appraise Bhutan's Happiness Model
Thursday 04 December 2008
by: Don Duncan, The San Francisco Chronicle


Thimphu, Bhutan - In the thick of a global financial crisis, many economists have come to this Himalayan kingdom to study a unique economic policy called Gross National Happiness, based on Buddhist principles.

When considering economic development, policymakers here take into account respect for all living things, nature, community participation and the need for balance between work, sleep and reflection or meditation.

"Happiness is very serious business," Bhutan Prime Minister Jigme Thinley said. "The dogma of limitless productivity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable and unfair for future generations."

From his ornate pedestal at the 4th annual Gross National Happiness conference last week, Thinley said it is common knowledge in Buddhism that every creation requires destruction.

"New thoughts and ideas emerge from chaos and devastation," he said. "If Gross National Happiness (is to) be the new order, the old (order) certainly seems to be giving way."

Gross National Happiness, or GNH, evolved over centuries in Bhutan but was launched formally in 1972 as an economic alternative by then-King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

At the time, he was criticized for overseeing the stagnation of one of the world's smallest economies based mainly on agriculture and forestry.

As a result, the former king shifted focus of development from productivity to human well-being in four areas: (1) sustainable economic development, (2) preservation and promotion of cultural values, (3) conservation of the environment, and (4) good governance.

Since then, government policy in Bhutan has been guided by GNH principles in a succession of five-year plans, according to Thinley.

The term "happiness," some observers say, often causes Western economists and development experts to not take Bhutan's economic approach seriously. And when they do, they tend to use such terms as "human development" or "pluralistic growth."

"People are shy to use the word happiness," said Dasho Karma Ura, president of the Center for Bhutan Studies in the capital Thimphu, which launched the informational Web site GrossNationalHappiness.com last week. "Defining happiness is not what is important. What is important is providing the conditions through which people can achieve happiness as they understand it."

Application Limited

Some critics point out that GNH developed under an autocracy and is unworkable in a country with a large population - Bhutan has only 642,000 inhabitants.

"There is much of Gross National Happiness that is just not implementable outside of Bhutan right now," said Nick Marks of the New Economics Foundation, a London-based think tank.

As an example, Marks says GNH refuses to take advantage of its potential lumber industry. Sixty-five percent of its territory is forested. "Bhutan doesn't want to lose what it has," he said.
To be sure, the Bhutanese government has not always considered everyone's happiness.

The preservation-of-culture tenet has been used by the majority Drukpa peoples to stop illegal immigration from neighboring Nepalese, who have a different language, dress and religion. In the early 1990s, more than 100,000 Nepalese were forced or coerced out of Bhutan. Those who stayed saw their rights heavily curtailed.

Thinley says such inequalities are ending thanks to the country's new-found democracy. In March, democratic elections for seats to the country's first parliament were held and the nation's first Constitution was ratified in July.

By the end of the current five-year plan, "there will be absolute parity in terms of distribution and the provision of all kinds of services," Thinley said.

Idea Is Spreading

Still, Bhutan's way of doing business is gaining international traction.

Late last month, the narrow, hilly streets of Thimphu filled with foreign economists, educators and public policy consultants, who attended the Gross National Happiness Conference.

"We can no longer approach the 21st century with the instruments of the 20th century," said Nicholas Rosellini, head of the U.N. mission in Bhutan.

Indeed, GNH guidelines are being adopted in Brazil, India and Haiti.

But the most extensive programs are occurring in Canada, Australia, the United States and France. The Canadian Index on Well-being, Measuring Australia's Well-being project and State of the USA are all trying to measure the well-being of its inhabitants.

Sabina Alkire, professor of economics at Oxford University, says such surveys are geared to measuring the quality of life irrespective of gross domestic product. "Happiness is a mysterious and profound thing, and any means of measuring it is imperfect," she said. "But it is much less imperfect than GDP."

The most significant GNH project, however, appears to be in France. The Quality of Life Commission, initiated by President Nicolas Sarkozy in August, with help from such notable economists as Nobel prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Armatya Sen, is expected to launch its findings next year.

"I think that on all sides of the political spectrum there is recognition of these deficiencies, and a recognition that it is important that we develop better metrics, no matter whether you are on the left or the right," Stiglitz said at a conference on development in Cleveland earlier this year.

Meanwhile, some Bhutanese have noted a U.S. swing toward GNH in the campaign speeches of President-elect Barack Obama.

"Obama is using the same vocabularies," said Dasho Karma Ura. "He wants to bring health care back, wants to improve education, environmental responsibility.... We are basically talking about the same things."

National Happiness


Gross National Happiness is an approach to development unique to Bhutan. While conventional development stresses economic growth as the ultimate objective, GNH is based on the premise that true development takes place only when material and spiritual development occur side by side. For GNH to grow, government must concentrate on four key areas:

• Promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development.
• Preservation and promotion of cultural values.
• Conservation of the environment.
• Good government.

In a bid to popularize the concept internationally, the Bhutanese government is devising a GNH index that is expected to be ready as early as the end of the year. Unlike the gross domestic product index, however, a GNH index measures the quality of life based on 72 standards.

"We've been chasing gross domestic product for decades, and now societies are starting to say we need to look beyond GDP and start measuring well-being," said Jon Hall, a project leader at the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

PHOTOS FROM THANKSGIVING 2009

The old apple tree and the chimney of the homeplace where my great
grandparents, Greene & Etta Michael, lived.


Grandpa Michael built this chimney himself. It's all that remains of the homestead.

Grandpa's barn--the view one would see if standing on the porch of the
old house. The chimney faces the barn.


Grandma asleep in her chair
Dulcie Ruth Michael Shook
106 years 10 months old


Thursday, November 27, 2008

OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS....

....to Grandmother's house we go.
The Subaru knows the way
to carry the trays
through the white and drifting snow...

On the way to Pigeon Roost today, I'll drive up and around Grandfather Mountain. I've always thought his profile looked like Abraham Lincoln.

I'm headed toward a meal of turkey, pork ribs, gravy, dressing, collards, green beans, shelly beans, 'taters, cranberry sauce, and about 15 desserts. And at the top of the Thanksgiving Day list is the hug I'll get from Grandma Ruth, who'll turn 107 years old in January. Can't wait!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

THE GIRLS STEP OUT!

Office mates...Virgos...often taken as a somewhat whacky mother / daughter duo..an eccentric mid-50's type biddy and an eccentric 30 -something biddy.... out for a morning of shopping. No, not at the mall...(they would NEVER go there)....Yes, to the local flea market...Yes, in search of haute couture!




Friday, November 21, 2008

YUMMY HEART

I stole this from Brett and Betsy's blog to include in my collection of hearts. I have ceramic and wooden hearts all over the house, and for years, I've collected hearts of stone. I like to keep files of ones I find in magazines, the internet, cards, etc. The great thing about this beautiful one is that it's edible!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

INTENTIONS

(Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love)

I suppose years of being surrounded by people who create high thoughts rather than injurious ones have distanced me from the sad reality that many people waste a lot of time in useless, judgmental, paranoic speculation about others. These sorrowful folks tend to believe the most outrageous tidbits that come their way, and very sadly, they exacerbate and add to ridiculous, unfair, hurtful misinformation and suppositions about others. It's a useless proposition to ponder if these folks will evolve into greater spiritual awareness; however, I often wonder just how much any given collective could produce in a healthy, thriving way if those involved in rampant, useless, and petty "poop" would transmute their negativity into an energy based in respect and productivity. Hmmmmmmmm.......

I have a wonderful book titled The Book of Intentions I refer to frequently when trivial, non-productive crap is thrown my way. I reference it now, as I write my intentions for today, November 19, 2008. (The sweet writing of Thich Nhat Hahn and the wisdom of Marianne Williamson are woven into these thoughts.)

I intend to remove my mind from the tendency to jump to conclusions about others.

I intend to remove my mind from the tendency to react to the misconceptions and erroneous conclusions of others.

I intend to remove my mind from the tendency to blame.

I intend to stand in my power, through love rather than fear and peace rather than reaction.

I intend to speak only in the voice of love.

I intend to do no harm through my words or actions.

I intend to cleanse my thoughts of negativity.

I intend to direct my thoughts toward compassion and forgiveness.

I intend to associate with only those people whose words and actions reflect goodness toward others.

So may it be. Namasté

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NEWS FLASH !!

Today, yours truly filled up the Subaru for a grand total of $4.20. Yes friends, $4.20!

I thought I had really pulled one off on the big gas companies until I realized I had to buy about $200 worth of groceries to get that much off my gas cost with my Giant Eagle card.

Oh well, for just a moment, it felt really good!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SCORPIO GIRL #2 CELEBRATES HER BIRTHDAY

Today it's Bobbi's birthday...41 years old...an amazing part of my life for the past 28 years...daughter....friend....mother of sweet, sweet Isabella...healer....yogi....powerful...loving...fun, oh, so fun...There's no one on the planet I laugh with as much as by Bob.....

Photo to follow whenever I can get one scanned or find one on line....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NIVIA GONZALEZ




Just surfing the web and checking out some art....Came across some prints by Nivia González, one of my favorite latina artists...She was severely injured in a wreck back in the 90's, but it looks like she's painting again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

VETERAN'S DAY - IN HONOR OF PAPA

PFC Zebulon Vance Shook - 1st Armored Division - Sniper in advance of the troops at the Invasion of Anzio
Emblem of the 1st Armored Division


My dad was very proud of his military service. Veteran's Day means more to me today than ever. I miss my dad.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

RADIO PARADISE AND . . .

It's been a while since I put in a plug for something here on Namasté, so today I'm into "review mode" and inviting all the readers of Namasté blog (the few of you there are !) to check Farm favorites of the moment....

I'll start with Radio Paradise - internet radio at its finest, commerical-free listening with an eclectic playlist (oldies, newbies, domestic, international interspersed). It comes highly recommended. A supporter of good causes, RP's definitely a site to bookmark on your computer. I have it on every day all day. The last four cuts I've heard while putzing around the computer have ranged from Beck to The Replacements to John Lennon to Trespassers William. As Borat would say, "I like...!"

And, as we move into early dark evenings when a quiet evening with a good movie (or series) and a cup of hot tea hit the spot, I'd recommend "Monarch of the Glen," the most recent arrival from my Netflix queue. It's a BBC series about the 14th generation of the McDonald family's effort to rescue Glenbogle (a ficticious castle in Scotland) from financial collapse. The scenery of the Scottish highland is breathtaking, and the antics of the old "laird" of the land, Hector McDonald make me laugh out loud like I do when Inspecteur Clousseau bumbles around. I'm into the second year of the series and liking it more with each episode. It's light viewing and definitely illustrates the superiority of British TV over American. Check it out....

And, if you've ever clicked from Namasté to The Daily Coyote (link on my blog roll list), you'll recogize Shreve and Charlie the Coyote in the lastest issue of People Magazine, the one with Barack Obama on the front. Shreve's book about a year living with a coyote is slated to come out in early December, and it's my #1 choice for Christmas giving. I'm blatantly promoting it as the gift of the season. Several people on my list will be receiving their own personal copy. I've gotten to know Shreve somewhat via a series of emails we've exchanged, and her story with Charlie, along with the amazing photos she's taken to document their live together, will touch your heart. Eli, the cat, and Chloe, a rambunctious border collie/hound puppy, complete the list of characters you'll meet in Shreve's book.


Finally, here's an aside unrelated to Farm reviews... I just talked with The Farm's beloved Lori Beth. She called to let me know she'd be sending good vibes to The Farm this afternoon as she accompanies Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood's family, and the Kreugers (of Nickelback fame) on a yacht ride around Maui and other nearby islands. Only our Lori could manifest such a glamourous afternoon sail! Yes, I'm envious.....

Love to all from The Farm on this chilly, overcast, gray November day....(If I could teleport, I'd be right there with you, Lori!)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

SHE'S 17 YEARS OLD TODAY, AND I COULDN'T BE PROUDER!

Kind, caring, sincere, fun, funny, fun-loving, highly intelligent, beautiful (physically and spiritually), wise, life-loving, amazing........ my Scorpio girl....

Happy Birthday, Eliza!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

TANYA'S CALLING THE VOTE FOR OBAMA!

I haven't missed a vote for president since I turned 18 in 1970, and today surpassed my first vote as the most exciting vote I've cast. As I listen to the election news tonight, I am hopeful our country is headed toward renewal, and yes, hope for better times to come. Right now, Barack Obama is one of my heroes, and I'm not at all timid about announcing it to the world. Yes, I have hope....I'm eager to see some change in the US....I'm eager to have a president who is already embraced by people across the planet...I'm delighted we'll have a person with intelligence leading this country. Yes, I believe in Barack Obama we have a winner....!!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

JOYOUS, JOYOUS NEWS

(Pepín & Laida Carro - August, 2007)
A few weeks back, I wrote about my friends, Laida and Pepín Carro. Pepín was in seriously critical condition after a series of heart surgeries. When I see him again, I'm going to give him the award for "Most Times Knockin' on Death's Door Without Getting an Answer Award." After the second surgery, Pepín developed an intense infection, pneumonia, and edemas all over his body. It's been touch and go every day, and Laida has been pulled between being with him at the hospital and visiting her mother, who's bedridden and receiving care in a private home. I really can't remember life being so intense for anyone as it has been for Pepín, as he has struggled to live, and Laida, who's been caretaking double time.

OK, here's the bestest, bestest news...Pepín is out of the coma, breathed four hours on his own yesterday without the respirator, and smiled and joked a bit with the MD's. It's really the first sign of "life" that we've seen from him since his first surgery on September 15th, and we are all esctatic! There's not doubt in my mind that he's been sustained by prayer and a determined will unlike I've witnessed before, and although he's not out of the woods yet, there's certainly a light at the end of the tunnel.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I'm jumpin' for joy, and my heart's bubblin' over with gratitude!

Friday, October 24, 2008

THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER

Yes, I fear the last rose of summer has bloomed and faded away as the temperatures have dropped down to the low 30's and plants have gotten the message that we're much closer to cold weather than warm. As the nights grow longer and the days shorter, I sense the onset of winter energy all around--in my body, in the faces of others, in the Earth. As much as I welcome the time to move deep within, I know the challenges we all face in terms of keeping the energy around us light and carefree. I think those critters who hibernate figured it out a long time ago...best just take a long nap and wake up with there's some warmth and fresh spring days about!

It's Friday...There are no pressing commitments this weekend....Eliza and I are going to go see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." Other than cleaning the house and watching a couple of videos, I can't forsee much more happening around The Farm....And, for the moment, that's a totally OK notion.

Namasté...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

RECENT PHOTOS

I haven't had my camera out much lately, but this weekend, I took some time to take a few photos. Here's a sample. More to come......




Sunday, October 05, 2008

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Little had I realized that the MySpace and Facebook networks were as amazingly outreaching as they are! As a result of the Facebook page of the Marietta Class of 1998, my last class I taught at Marietta High School, I am now in touch with members of that class as well as former students that I taught prior to and after the 1998 group. It's amazing!! I can honestly say that if I hadn't had this totally unexpected connection, I wouldn't have known what's happening in the life of Calvino Perrine or Josué Macatol!!

What is just a daily part of their lives has become for me the hightlight of my day! I can write on the "Walls" of my former students; I can see photos of their families; I can experience what is happening with them on a daily basis. WOW! I am amazed and in disbelief that we are still connected and live in the lives of our interconnected past like we are.

If anyone's interested, my Facebook account is www.facebook.com/tswilder and my MySpace is simply http://www.myspace.com/ (search for Senora Wilder). As more and more connections are made, I'm grateful to the world of computers/cyberspace for keeping us all connected. It's really, really amazing! And, it's a touch of "human-ness" that I had yet to connect with the world of computers.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

IT MUST BE RUNNING IN THE FAMILY

When I mentioned to Samuel that I was contemplating a new "do," he sent me his latest photo, the one he's using on his graduate school applications. Thought I'd share it with all. He's always envied men who could sport a good mullet, and finally, he's convinced himself he's a good candidate. What a handsome dude!



(October Fools!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE

The long, graying, straight hair has to go. It's time for a new "do"-- a new look if you will ... a makeover.

I've narrowed my choices to the "looks" below...What's your preference??????? Please let me know. I'd appreciate your ideas....Thanks, in advance..


A.


B. C.
D.

I'm leaning toward "C".

Monday, September 22, 2008

FALL EQUINOX - TODAY

Actually, the fall equinox officially arrived just over 30 minutes ago. It's officially autumn, so we can celebrate the balance of dark and light today.

Balance seems to be a great word for the day.

Happy Mabban!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

PEPIN and LAIDA

My friends in Miami, Pepí and Laida, are going through it right now. Pepín has had not one, but two MAJOR heart operations in the last week to repair a congential heart defect that went unnoticed throughout his life until recently. To make a long story short, his weakened heart along with the trauma of the surgery has taxed his body tremendously, and after the first surgery last week (9/15), the heart did not respond as the MD's had hoped, and Friday (9/19), he was back in the operating room for another 7 hour surgery. He's stable now, but still in ICU and still assisted with a ventilator and other sustaining mechanisms.

At the same time, Laida's mom is in a frail state with many things happening in her body and mind. She's bedridden, unable to care for herself. Normally Laida goes to visit her every day, but Pepíns urgent situation has prevented Laida from being able to see Liana, her mom, as much recently.

I wrote this letter to Laida and Pepí yesterday. In my heart of hearts, I'd love to be there with them to assist however I could. Once again, for me, the opportunity presents itself to support from a distance, and I invite Namasté readers to hold two of my very best friends in their thoughts and meditations.

Thanks.......T.

_____________________________
September 20, 2008

Dear and beloved Laida and Pepín,

If I could wave my magic wand, I would transport the two of you to The Farm to be here with me right now on this beautiful early fall day. The sun’s bright in the sky, and huge, soft, puffy clouds slowly drift by. It’s the sort of day that began with a gentle fall chill in the air and has matured over the afternoon into a classic Indian summer day. In just a little while, I’ll go out to water my plants since there’s no rain in the forecast and they’re looking a bit thirsty.

At this very moment, a juvenile red-tail hawk is soaring over the front pasture directly in front of the house. It’s obvious he hasn’t had much experience in the upper wind currents since he lets out a squeal every time he gets caught in an updraft. The blue jays and crows are competing in a calling contest off in the distance. I’d give the crows the award for being a bit more melodious than the blue jays since their squawk carries no musicality at all. The last of the summer’s hummingbirds is checking out the feeders to see if I’ve filled them lately with sugar water they drink by the quarts. Pepín, you’d be fascinated by the yellow warblers as they flit about with their last clutch, the mom and dad teaching the young ones who’re just learning to fly the ins and outs of being airborne before leaving soon for warmer climates as fall approaches here. The yellow warblers always remind me of your canaries.

The cats sleep soundly on the deck at my feet, moving from time to time to stretch and yawn before drifting off to sleep again. They live a life of luxury here…sleeping all day, mousing all night, and occasionally chasing each other in bursts of play. The two white cats rally to swat at each other’s tails and pester lazy, lazy Hendrix as he snores on the rail. Loonis, the farm grump, keeps her distance and hisses quite nastily if anyone dares invade her special place on the deck.
Annie and Molly are beseeching me to take a walk so they can head down to the stream at the back of the field to wallow in the mud and cool off. The goldenrod’s in full bloom now, and the ironweed, a deep, pure purple flower, mixes in beautifully with the brightness of the goldenrod’s yellow. There are a lot of butterflies about now, and the dragonflies are really numerous as well. It’s so dry the grass really crunches under my feet, and in the distance, the trees show signs of reds and oranges in the tips of their leaves.

When the dogs and I go on a walk, we’re always accompanied by at least three of four cats. I talk to all of them as I would to Samuel or Eliza if they were along, and I’m always amazed by what we experience when we’re out in the fields and woods together. So many times only the animals and I have experienced really amazing things on our walks. I can’t wait for you two to spend some time with me here. It’s always quiet and peaceful at The Farm, even during the day. This afternoon, only the songs of the birds and an occasional car passing along the road in the distance interrupt the stillness of the afternoon.

At times when I’m so surrounded by certain creatures in nature, I look up the Native American lore on what they signify on the level of spirit…Today I chose to read about butterflies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds. I like what I’ve found: butterflies remind us that we are always in the process of transformation; dragonflies remind us that change in our bodies and spirits are necessary for our transformation, and hummingbirds bring us lightness of spirit to assist us as we renew the magic in our lives. As I read this today, I thought about the two of you and your process at this time. It might take a while and a good bit of patience, but on the other side of this ordeal, there will be amazing transformations, all of which will redefine your lives in the best of ways.

My prayers and those of many, many people all over the world encircle and embrace you all. I’ve called out everyone I know who has strong prayer and healing connections. I so wish I could be there in Miami with you to do whatever I could to ease the intenseness of the moment. For now, I stay connected with you in prayers and in the space of peace that The Farm offers. I send the energy of the Earth, the sunshine, the flowers, and the fields to you to deepen your breath and assist you both with strength, peace, patience, and courage.

I love you both.
Tanya

Friday, September 19, 2008

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

I'm glad it's Friday.
I'm grateful I've had the afternoon, evening, and night here alone at The Farm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

ONE DAY DOWN & 180+ TO GO

One would think that after 32 years of teaching, I'd be able to sleep the night before school starts. But, oh no! The same excitement and fear of oversleeping that have woken me up anywhere between 3 - 5 AM the night before classes start struck again last evening, and I didn't sleep any after 4:35 AM. As a result, I've been in front of classes one day, and I'm already exhausted! How much longer can I do this?

My classes, thank goodness, are small, and my initial gut feeling is that my students are relatively conscientious and bright. Those who had to be in class at 8AM today had a pretty sonambulous look on their faces, but once their caffeine kicked in, they seemed to rally a bit. I, of course, was working on automatic pilot. "Hola...My name is Señora Wilder...Bienvenidos a la clase de español...It's going to be a GGRREEAT quarter, etc."

Once I get back into the routine of my schedule, I'll be fine, but for now, my heart tells me to get outside, and my body says 6:30 AM is way to early to get up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

56

September 12, 1952

About 8:00AM this morning, a rather large bird, identifed by the orinthology department of Appalachian State Teachers College as a Western North Carolina Hatching Stork, dropped a bundle of joy into the lives of Steve and Zeb Shook. Named Tanya, after a character in a book her father is reading at the moment, the new arrival weighed in at 8 lbs., give or take a few ounces. During the first hours of observation and acquaintance with their daughter, Steve and Zeb speculate she'll be a rather independent, unique sort who'll dance to the the beat of her own drum, loving life all the while.

Her birth chart reveals that little Tanya is a double Virgo. Earthy, analytical, artsy, friendly to animals, and somewhat of a perfectionist, this Virgo will test and challenge her way through life, but family and friends will be hard pressed to find anyone as faithful. One can expect a zany ride as he/she travels life's journey with this one!

CUBA: PHOTOS AFTER HURRICANE IKE

After yesterday's post and diatribe, I'll just let these photos speak for themselves.






Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PHOTOS FROM CUBA & A DIATRIBE

On this island less than 100 miles from our country, where the inhabitants survive on a daily basis with next to nothing...where they stand in line with ration booklets for food and water...where the government now boasts the availability of cell phone and computer access for Cubans(even though the people cannot afford the commodities and the services are hugely antiquated and/or non-functional)...where human rights activists are arbitrarily arrested and summarily tried...where the average citizen has NO access to medical or dental treatment from one of the touted "best health care systems in the world" because there is no medicine, novacaine, equipment in hospitals that works, etc...

the Cuban people now must come to grips with the results of two intense natural disasters within a week: Hurricane Gustav AND Hurricane Ike. The following photos were taken last week after Gustav passed over the island. Imagine what it's like now that Ike nailed the entire island just yesterday.

A woman examines what remains of the interior of her house. Note that she only has an old TV and a destroyed chair to examine. That's all she had inside her house.


Total destruction. This woman's house is basically two rooms in a larger house. Nothing remains.


Destruction in the local barber shop.


In Cuba, rather than get excited when there are power outages, the people celebrate when there is an "alumbrón," a time when there IS electrical power. The hurricane has eliminated the possibility of occasional electrical service completely.

I understand horrific natural disasters have occurred recently in many places across the planet...the cyclone in Myanmaar, the tsunami of a couple years back, the recent earthquake in Japan, Hurricane Katrina to name a few. It amazes me, however, that Cuba is so totally overlooked by the American press and people when it comes to the suffering that takes place on a daily basis there. Less than an hour's trip from Key West, Cubans endure life under a totalitarian regime that equals or surpasses the opression suffered by any other group of people on the planet. I am amazed at the lack of dialog / concern in our country about the plight of a nation so close to our own shore.

OK, I've vented...I'm now hopping off my soapbox to go mow.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

CHECK THIS OUT...

Just another example of the creativity of one of my former students, Sara Deutsch...

www.burgesscustom.com

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

BENT OBJECTS VIDEO

With quick glance to my favorite blogs link on the right of Namasté, you'll find the link to Bent Objects. When I first began blogging a couple years back, I found Bent Objects on the Blogs of Note page, and I've followed the evolution of Terry Border's art and humor ever since.

Today while visiting the blog, I discovered this video and decided to post it for Namasté viewers. Off-the-wall humor is what it's all about at Bent Objects. Look for a Bent Objects book coming out in the fall of 2009!

Enjoy !!

video

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

CLASS OF 1998

The last class I taught at Marietta High School before I made the jump to post-secondary teaching at Washington State Community College celebrated their 10th year reunion this past weekend, and the majority of those who returned were former students. This group was a great one for me to "graduate" with...probably, with the exception of the class of 1986, the most fun, lively, motivated, highly intelligent group of students I've had all at one time. I taught these "kids" for 4 or 5 years, depending on whether they completed the five-year sequence we had in Spanish at that time.


(Starting from L to R, there's Sara (clothing designer, creates her own line of snowboarding clothing, lives in Jackson Hole, WY), Stephanie (works in corporate management for Victoria's Secret), Curtis (a lawyer in NYC), Christine (upper management with Honda), Michelle (management with a business in Columbus), Meera (just completed her MBA at Berkeley and will soon be employed with BAIN), Michael (Ph.D in chemistry from the University of Chicago), Señora Wilder (still teaching but NOT at the high school), Adam (behind me, an MD at Riverside Hospital in Columbus), Laura (beside Adam, a Ph.D / MD from Johns Hopkins), and Drew (a law student in Cincinnati). Missing from the group are Chuck (who's working on a Ph.D from MIT) and Mike Sieburg (who's starting graduate school at Columbia in NYC). An amazing bunch, to say the least!! I'm so proud of them.)

Being together 10 years later was as easy as if we still saw each other every day in Spanish class at Marietta High. I had forgotten that their class motto, "la luz es la verdad," came out of a cheesy play we read their senior year. I had not forgotten, however, that I was selected to hand these students their honor cords at graduation. At the time they graduated, I thought I would be returning to MHS in the fall, but along came an offer to move on, and so I left for brighter pastures. It would have been difficult to return without them around.

One of the valedictorians of the class has remained one of my best friends. Meera and I had the chance to hang out Saturday afternoon at the farm. It's been about two 1/2 years since we've been able to sit down and catch up with each other. After undergraduate school, Meera did a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in Uganda and still talks of "her village" there. She's just returned from an amazing trip to Asia and Africa, so I got to see her photos and hear of her latest adventures.

On a day to day basis, teaching can be an exhausting profession. The educational system and beaucracy never cease to mystify and puzzle me in terms of what I perceive to be a very uncreative institution with too many demands of teaching professionals. However, the reward of witnessing students grow as their lives unfolds is one of my life's great joys. I am heartened and delighted to have had the privilege and honor of knowing this group of students. They and those like them provide great hope for the future of our country and planet!! They are, indeed, some of my best friends.

Friday, August 29, 2008

EDITORIAL NOTE

I don't have the "new look" totally finished / polished yet, but I'm on the way. Can't decide if it's pretty or gaudy. Comments welcome (and they won't hurt my feelings!).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

2,000 HITS

No, that's not the number of encounters I've had with intelligent, nice-looking, courteous, wealthy, artistic, honest, down-to earth available men my age....

No, that's not the number of #1 singles by my favorite group of all times.....

No, that's not the number of meteors that have banged into the earth lately....

Not, that's not the number of punches I can throw at a sparring partner in 5 minutes....

Yes, it could be (but it's not) the number of times I have to aim at a nail before I "nail it"...

Yes, it could be (but it's not) the number of times I've backed into the trash cans....

Yes, it could be (but it's not) the number of times I've swatted at a fly and missed....

2,000 hits.....

A celebration of 2,000 stop-bys on Namasté....

Thanks to all !

PS: Look for changes in the "look" of Namasté as soon as I can figure out a couple of things....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

LAZY, LAZY DAY

Just the animals and I are at home today, taking it easy. A steady rain falls outside, the perfect rain that allows the earth to soak up each drop. A gentle breeze adds a slight chill to the air, and I'm watching leaves fall one by one from the maple tree outside my window, a graceful reminder that fall's just around the corner.

It's the classic "stay in bed under the covers and read" day, and that's just what I've done this morning. I saw Eliza off to school, hopped back in bed, watched "Enchanted," a cheesy but sweet Disney movie, snoozing along the way and dreaming my own version of living "happily ever after." It's a quiet day here at The Farm, the last uninterrupted day I have at home before school starts. I'm soaking in the mellowness / laziness / solitude of it all.

Don 't know that I'll accomplish much today. If it weren't raining, I'd work on making grape juice from the "fruit of the vines." I'll probably cook a bit. I might start my next knitting project, read, or do a little yoga. I'll listen to music, for sure, and maybe work on my refinishing project.

This morning shot of Cato in La-La-Land pretty much sums up the day.

I'm in love with this moment and so grateful for this day and my many blessings.

Off to do something.....or nothing.....!

Monday, August 25, 2008

REALITY SETS IN

A brief whine, similar to the one I posted about this time a year ago and the year before that....

Back to work part-time tomorrow...one class at Marietta College
Back to work full-time next Tuesday.

'Nuf said.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

IDYLLIC

A close to dark evening walk to the back of the field with the dogs....The farm juvenile hawk squealing above as he floated and soared along with us....Budding goldenrod interspersed with purple ironweed and delicate Queen Ann's Lace...Two deer awaiting us at the back of the field, taking a chance on our harmlessness until instinct reminded them to dart away...Buddha's sweet smile.

Clouds rollin' in...Hoping big time for some rain.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

THE DAY AFTER

After sleeping the last 24 hours as a result of anesthesia, I'm still sleepy and will probably sleep most of the day today. The extraction was no big deal, and the pain has been quite manageable with Advil. I did get a prescription for Hydrocodone, which I promptly flushed down the toilet. I'd be out for weeks if I took one of those.

I'm going to try to accomplish something today, but I've yet to decide what that might be. Perhaps I'll go thrifting....perhaps I'll work on a couple of chairs I got that need some sanding and tung oil....perhaps I'll take a stab at cleaning the inside of the house a bit.

More than likely I'll sleep.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, August 21, 2008

THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

1. a visit from my grad school roomate, Nancy Reuter. Two days of reminiscing, reliving, laughing, catching up. A four-mile walk that turned into a "rescue" of four little kittens (who now live at the humane shelter). A really good, good time.

2. success, finally, at finding the leak in my water line. By chance, on our walk, Reuter and I ran into a guy from the water service who does fix-it jobs after hours, and he found the leak andtook care of things immediately. No more huge water bills, thank goodness! Huge gratitude to the Universe for answering my plea for assistance.

3. an unexpected call today from Juvenile Court in need of a translator. Worked two hours and will receive $130. Helped a young guy who's here illegally and could get screwed without some assistance. Makes me think I should investigate teaching a Spanish for Legal / Law Personnel course.

4. good feedback over the course of the week for a grant I'm writing for the arts and lecture series I chair at the community college. Hopefully, the Ohio Arts Council will be so kind as to send some big bucks our way.

5. teeth extraction tomorrow morning. Only two teeth have to come out. I'll be completely under sedation, come home with drugs, and sleep most of the day. Got some good movies to watch. Should be up and about tomorrow afternoon or Saturday morning.

6. 1st day of school for Eliza, who's beginning her junior year. Already swamped with homework. Has a full schedule with her dad for chemistry. Band, in and of itself, occupies all her time.

7. grapes on the vines ready to make juice. A weekend activity I think. Can't wait to squeeze the juice out of the grapes.

8. basil for pesto ready to go. House smells like garlic and basil combination.

It's been a good one! Highly recommend everyone check out Brett & Betsy's blog. Great photos, amazing adventures! And take a look at Meera's as well. She's back in Uganda.

Ciao....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

REUNION IN THE MOUNTAINS

I've spent a good part of the day getting a new blog together for the for my father's family reunion.

Check out the link on my blog roll or go to www.matneygathering2009.blogspot.com

The blog's in its first hours of existence, so there's not a lot there, but I hope there'll be much more to follow.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

From many years of rebirthing....

Love brings up everything unlike itself for healing...

And, thank you, Dean, for providing the pool and breathing time night before last. It was a tremendous gift of love.