Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Here are a couple more photos I've taken recently of the majestic amaryllis that graces our dining room table. On these dreary days, it's beauty is a great source of peace and tranquility for my soul.

I "doctored up" the second one a bit on Picasa, a free, downloaded program I've recently learned a bit about. One of these days, I'm going to get serious about printing out a couple of images and getting them in frames. Until then, Namasté will have to serve as the "exhibition hall" for my work.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Here's a true confession that many already know about me....I really don't like this time of year. Day after day of gray skies, cold temps, and icy roads get old for me fast. I crave carbohydrates and silence, want to crawl in bed, sleep like Ichabod Crane, and hide out of sight of anyone who needs something of me. I have no desire to attend meetings or work on school related matters. I tire of "extroverting" quickly, and after a day of teaching, my greatest desire is to see no one, talk to no one, and hear no one.

It's during these winter months that I dream of having a small hut in Cuba. I can see a very happy me sitting on the beach day after day, taking my walks, swimming in the crystal blue-green water, and soaking in the sun. I'm holding out for that to become a reality. Hopefully Raúl won't last too long.

It's now that I start thinking about seeds and planting, about the blossoms I'll have around me in just a few months, about getting my hands in the dirt. I even get really excited when I think of getting to turn the compost! (I've already peeked on the south side of the house for any sign of an eager crocus...none so far..)

This summer, I think my garden will be small but packed with tomato, squash, cukes, and lots of datura and dahlias. I'll have a variety of sunflowers around the house, some zinnias, and basil for pesto. My gladiolas will produce delicate pink and white blossoms, and hopefully, the annuals I planted in the side shade garden will return in full glory.

With some good luck and a little pampering, my faithful tractor won't fail me as I zip around the farm, cutting the grass and attacking weeds. I'll rake the cuttings and toss them on the compost pile.

And ultimately, the really high thought in all of this is that I won't have to teach! Graduation takes place in June, and then it's playtime for a couple of months! YEAH! I can't wait!

Peace to all....Think spring!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I took this photo of the lunar eclipse last Thursday evening...It's quite amateur, but it shows the eclipse at its fullest.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Finally, something's blooming here at the farm. Enjoy these photos of the first amaryllis to bloom, a dainty, elegant pink and white that shimmers in the sunlight as if it had fairy dust coating its petals. There are two bloom shoots up out of the bulb, each with five huge flowers.

WOW, they make me happy when skies are gray!

(Click on the top photo, and you'll get an enlarged viewof this magnificent flower.)


Although it's snowing to beat the band at the moment, I understand the skies should clear later in the afternoon to make way for a spectacular full lunar eclipse tonight. Imagine the power of the event--- full moon lighting up the snow-covered earth darkened by the passage of the earth, only to emerge again a couple of hours later to bring back the light. I'm sure it will be an energetically-packed time. I can't wait!!

For more info, see:

I believe the next full eclipse is not until winter solstice in 2010. Here's hoping tonight's celestial spectacle removes the funk and illness that seem to prevail at the moment.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Today has been a classic winter day here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. I awoke this morning to about 3" of snow, and it didn't take much self-convincing to talk myself into staying at home today rather than venture out in the mess. I've had a bit of a cold, some achy body moments, and a lame, but persistent, cough, so it has been a tea, nap, and do nothing day here at the farm.

In preparation for my trip to NC this weekend, I took advantage of the day to think out what I need to have ready to talk to my father when I see him. I am embarrassed to confess that he's been rude, mean, and hurtful to my mom, the woman who has cared for him 24/7 since the diagnosis of his illness 30+ years ago. He's crossed the line for passive tolerance of his antics, and although I can still access huge compassion for his situation, I am about done with his nastiness. The dilemma of not knowing for sure how much he understands has vanished for me since it's obvious he thoroughly understands what he's doing. I seek patience and the right words to let him know that his words and actions are inappropriate and unacceptable. Feathers might fly when the two of us meet....It won't be the first time, that's for sure.

I remind myself that this time of the year is when all humankind in our hemishpere should be in our caves, hibernating and resting until the light of spring beckons us to emerge. Today, here at the farm alone, has been just a taste of how much I would love to stay in a couple more days, weeks, or a month.....

Friday, February 08, 2008


I just got an email this morning from Beth Nash letting me know that she's taken the plunge into the blogging world. Click on her name here, and you should be able to go right to her new venture. (Her blog is also linked to Namasté on the right side bar under "Tanya Recommends These Blogs.") It'swell worth the time to take a look at what Beth has started here. She's one amazing woman and an equally amazing artist!!!

Of further interest, check out her website as well:

Purchase one of her paintings!

Commission her to do a portrait!

Visit her studio!

Tell everyone you know about her blog, her website, her work....!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Like other parts of the nation in the last 24 hours, wind gusts in our area have been pretty intense, and the barn here at The Farm is taking a valiant "stand" at staying standing. The back side has lost a lot of side boards, and my makeshift "flying buttresses" (= stakes in the ground supporting the doors that blow out from the sides of the front of the barn) have held so far. We're beginning the second night of high winds and really stout gusts....In short, this sort of weather is NOT what the barn (or my nerves) needs.

Crazy energy abounds from a lot of directions.....My high thoughts (in attempts to balance my fear of a huge collapsed structure on my hands) are that perhaps the winds are this strong to tranquilize the winter funk and illness around us and blow them away!! I'm not sure the barn would concur at this point, however!

Monday, February 04, 2008


Since I'm surrounded by creative people who always come up with really neat treasures for very little money at places like Salvation Army and Goodwill, the urge to jump in and try my luck has overtaken me. Once the first really good deal came my way, I was hooked, and now I wait for office hours to pass by so I can make my daily trip to the thrift shops.

Here are a few things I've picked up in the last week:

Swanky Swig Juice Glasses - 1950's

I understand these little glasses are now referred as "swanky swig" juice glasses. Mary Ann collects these, and after my find today, I think I'm now an official collector as well. I got 7 of them in different designs for $7.50 at a local antiques store. I remember drinking orange juice from similar glasses when I was small at my Aunt Lora and Uncle Link's home when my family would go to visit for the weekend.

A Pressed Glass Plate - 1930's

This sweet little plate cost 50 cents and is clear glass. (It looks a little like amber glass because of the wood table underneath in the photo.) When I hold this up to the light, the designs in the glass refract the light in a beautiful way. It reminds me of glass plates I used to admire in my Great Aunt Kat's house in Statesville, NC.

Franciscan Trio Pattern Plate - 1950's

I stumbled upon two of these in Goodwill and got them for 10 cents a piece. I've found them on the internet for prices ranging from $14 - $18 each. The neat thing about this pattern (which isn't visible in this photo) is that the woman who designed the pattern hid her name in one of the clustered flowers on each pattern piece. Her name was Esta James, and inside the little flower coming out of the green leaves at the top of the plate, I found her signature. Apparently, she pulled one over on the company since designers for the Franciscan Pottery company forfeited their right to sign their work and claim it as theirs. I'm inclined to look for more of this pattern...I really like it a lot.

And finally...

Homer Laughlin Buttercup Pattern - 1950/1960

I got 6 of these little buttercup dessert plates for 10 cents each. They're really pretty and dainty. Only one has a chip! I found the pattern on line, and the prices quoted for one of these was $4 - $6.

I'm hooked.....I want to collect and collect and collect....Then I'll open up an Etsy or E-bay shop and see if I can let go of my finds...My only problem is I get attached, and I'm sure sending them to another home will be a challenge!


Zeb Shook, my dad, is the living definition of stubborn. In fact, if one were to look up the word in the dictionary, I believe his name would appear. Papa's not a happy camper at his new residency, his caretaker's home, and although he can't even lift his arms high enough to put on his glasses much get himself out of a chair and to the restroom, he insists he's going to walk home (a distance of a good 25 miles or more) and take care of himself.

He's so homesick he can't think of anything positive in his life, despite the fact he's been able to stay at home many more years than many, many other people in his situation get to, despite the fact he's cared for by Pansy, the most wonderful caretaker on earth, in her home where he gets total individual attention, homemade food, an immaculately clean living space, total attention to his needs, his own television, company during the day and visits from family and friends. He simply can't count his blessings.

He's so homesick he's nasty, hurtful, and outright mean when my mom or I try to reason with him and assure him we understand how difficult this transition is for him. He's especially not nice when I remind him his only other option is to go to a nursing home since my mom can't care for him any more. Again, he insists he can and will care for himself.

Unfortunately, these behavior patterns are little more than a continuation of the ways we've all known from him all his life. Zeb's never been an easy person to get along with. And unfortunately for him, he's met his match in my sister and me when it comes to holding firm, very lovingly so, with him.

My heart overflows with love and compassion for my dad. And, I'm very, very conscientious of all the factors figuring into the dynamics of trying to help him. I so hope he can come around and begin to appreciate the depth of our love for him, as well as the love and respect Pansy's home offers him. He really is loved and all of us who are involved in his life are doing the best we can for him.

Keep your fingers crossed for all of us and stay tuned.....