Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Over the course of 8 hours last night, ice coated the entire area, making it such that for Christmas dinner here at the Shook house on Russell Drive we dined on PB&J sandwiches and Petie's frozen packages of homemade soup which we literally heated on the hearth. Couldn't have been better!
The temps rose during the daylight hours, creating a lot of slush and yuk. One could hear branches breaking and falling all day, and when we ventured out to see an afternoon matinee, the debris covering the highways was pretty intense. Thankfully nothing fell on my new car (new to me at least), and Mom's house escaped getting bashed by lots of limbs. Tomorrow we'll have a better sense of what there is to clean up.
Actually, it's been a great day...If we couldn't get out to go to Grandma's house, the next best thing was to stay here all day, and that's exactly what we did. Lots of nice gifts, too much stuff to nibble on, and a really, really toasty fire in the fireplace created a good space to relax, knit, and read. For me, having the day with Samuel and Eliza and seeing them enjoy each other after five long months was my greatest gift.
It's barely 9:00 PM, and I'm off to bed...Hope everyone had a great day...May 2010 bring us all peace, lots of joy (and money) and fewer losses and problems.....
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I posted a shot of the irises in bloom outside a while back, but when the cold weather blew through last week, I went out and clipped the remaining buds from the plants out by the garage. Sure enough, one of them opened up. Irises in the house in December doesn't make the spring seem so far away.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
As she sets the trend in Farm Chic, the Farm Mom always follows Grandma Ruth's advice and wisdom - "Keep your head covered, your hands, neck and feet dry, and you won't get sick." Worthwhile advice to consider since in her 107 years on Earth, Grandma never had a cold.
Farm Wannabes should take note of Farm Mom's ensemble - seasoned clothes she slept in, accentuated with old farm jacket from days gone by, the double scarf look, woolen gloves, thick socks (white is always preferable), and handy garden shoes. Her accessories include The Farm's retro WalMart canvas beach bag and spunky hat (see close-up below), a loaner from José's MFA thesis show, "Cossett Canoodle."
Close-up: Cossett Canoodle hat with knotted scarves. (On colder winter days, Farm Mom would probably wrap her head in a wool scarf and top it off with one of her hand-knitted Farm Toboggans.)
1. Joy at the thought Samuel will be home for Christmas...the first time in a year....I can't wait!
2. Joy at the thought Eliza will return to The Farm in a few days to spend Christmas. When she's at her dad's, I miss her immensely.
3. Joy at the thought Joe is a permanent fixture at The Farm.
4. Joy at the thought Samuel, Eliza, Mom, Myra, and I will be in Boone together for Christmas Day.
5. Joy at the thought of sitting by the fire with the Christmas tree lights aglow.
6. Joy at the thought of New Year's Eve again here at The Farm.
7. Joy, great joy, in feeling the love all around.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Farm family's been on a whirlwind of a trip this fall - great, great joys contrasted by huge sorrows... I really don't know where to begin, so I'll just make one of my lists....
1. Eliza's senior year has been memory-packed...Band activities, trips, fundraisers, and responsibilities define her days, and months of hard work culminated last week in a trip to Grand Nationals, where she shone radiantly and beautifully across the big screen in the Lucas Oil Stadium with the Warren High School Marching Warriors. Petie (91), Tita, and I were there to watch her perform, and as the band walked on the field, I was so consummed with pride that my smile covered my entire face. Petie and Tita cried with joy...I finally had to tell stop or they were going to miss the show! Later, we were able to catch up with E. and her friends at a mall in downtown Indy, and Mom got to meet some of the kids she hears me talk about all the time.
2. The weekend before Grand Nationals, Tom and I drove down to Boone to pick up Petie. I brought her home on Eliza's 18th birthday, so fitting since she and Papa were here 18 years ago for three weeks after Eliza's birth...Mom visited for three days before we road-tripped to Indianapolis. It's the first time she's been here since Samuel graduated from high school, and I am still in awe of my mom's get-up-and-go at her age. She visited my classes and met many of my colleagues, as well as had some time at The Farm with Joe and me. My heart hasn't been that happy in a long time...My mom came to visit me (!!!), and we spent some wonderful time together talking. I learned a great deal about her childhood that I'd never heard before; much of what I learned allows me to understand the dynamics of her family better than I've ever known until now. I love her so....
3. Samuel's had a heck of a semester at American University...His profs have referred to his work and insights as amazing and to him as the "relentlessly hip underbelly of the 2009 MFA inductees." I'll hand it to him - he's worked full time in retail in downtown DC while carrying 12 hours of graduate work, three courses of which have been in literature. Additionally, he's had two rounds of flu, two other infections, and has been held up at gunpoint. Quite an initiation into the city....Can't wait to get him home over the holidays and let him relax.
4. It's been a difficult time at work. Just too crazy to even begin to describe.
5. It's been a fall of passages, as we've said goodbye to our beloved Molly, who taught us all a great deal in her last days, and to sweet, loveable Rufus, the bassett hound puppy Joe loved like his own child. We could experience and accompany Molly toward her passage, but Rufus's unexpected death has been a huge emotional challenge. There's an immense sense of their absence here that's still raw and sad, but we're moving along. As always, the farm mantra applies: slow and steady will win the race as we patiently move from being overwhelmed with saddness to greater moments of joy. It's incredibly lonely at moments without Rufus's constant energy and Molly's sweet smile. The two of them were great friends...A great consolation for me, however, is to imagine them together with my dad in the spirit world...Papa feeding them both under the table...Rufus brought my dad back to me more than anything since Papa died, and as I played with Rufus, Daddy was right there with me, chuckling all the while.
Other farm happenings:
a. Eliza and I checked out the University of Cincinnati. It's a toss-up for her, I believe, between Cincinnati and Miami of Ohio for study next year.
b. I'm in the market for a new car since Eliza had a bump-up in the Subaru (on the morning we were all to leave for Grand Nationals).
c. Joe and I have a good pile of wood ready to burn in our newly chimney-swept stove.
d. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, I'm looking forward to time in NC at my grandmom's house in the mountains with my dad's family and my friend, Laida, who's coming up from Miami.
There's probably more I'll add to this post as I do some more thinking, but for now, that's all folks....I'm grateful for this beautiful day and my many, many blessings.....
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I've read this poem by Walt Whitman many times over in the past couple of weeks....I include it here in honor of Molly...
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Cato demonstrates one of his favorite uses of recyling bin lids. Cato's a fan of direct afternoon sun.
Oscar prefers a comfy snooze on his back with porch railing shade.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
For some odd reason, the plant decided to open up again - this time in October after temps have already plummeted to near freezing levels. I was really shocked to see two buds last weekend, and over the course of the week, they've opened, bloomed and faded away.
The lifespan of the glorious flower is only 24 hours....so short but so breathtaking while it lasts!