Thursday, January 29, 2009


Branches covered with ice covered with snow creak and snap. Blue jays and cardinals stare at me through the window, reminding me food's hard to find and the feeders are empty. Those brave enough to venture out creep along the road, slowing down to a stop before inching down the hill at the end of the driveway.

Gratitude abounds for the return of electricity, especially since we've burned all the firewood and we're the only house on our road who got power restored, and even more importantly, since Eliza's cellphone was getting really low on juice.

Eveyone I know will be the recipient of the dishcloths I'm cranking out. I can knit for hours on these sort of days.

Here's a sample of farm dialogue on winter days:

(Yesterday's conversation between Farm Mom and Farm Daughter:
Eliza: "Mom, what WILL I do if I my phone goes dead? Can I sit out in my car and charge it?"
Mom: " Eliza, have you ever heard of carbon monoxide poisoning from sitting in a running car? What happens when one wants to go somewhere and the car battery is dead from charging a cellphone?"
Eliza: "Oh......")

Cancellation of classes yesterday and this morning means The Farm family (Eliza & Tanya, at this point) haven't taken a shower in three days.

Cabin fever for Eliza....No cabin fever for Tanya - just an element of disgust that she has to go into town to teach at Marietta College this afternoon.

(Today's conversation between Farm Mom and Farm Daughter:
Eliza: "Mom, can I go over to Chris's house?"
Mom: "No, not today, but you CAN take my car while I go into to teach to go get your nails done if you want to get out a bit today."
Eliza: "Well, if I can go to get my nails done, why can't I go to Chris's house?"
Mom: "Because the nail salon is in town where the roads are clear and Chris's house is 20 miles away from home where the roads are NOT clear. There's more snow predicted, you know."
Eliza: " You don't make sense. I can drive to get my nails done, but I can't go to Chris's."
Mom: "Yes, that's right. You have another option, you know. You can stay at home and not go anywhere if you keep pushing the point."
Dramatic exit by Farm Daughter follows....)

Plans for later on: A big pot of soup...cornbread....a good movie....and a fire, if I can scrounge up some wood from the barn.

Monday, January 19, 2009


A classic winter snowfall has left the farm blanketed in white. When I set out for a morning walk, the corgis, Loonis, and Cato decided to come along. Loonis made it as far as the entrance to the back field when she decided she would be inconvenienced by the little balls of snow clinging to her lustrous coat. At that point, she gave up on the idea of a walk and returned to the house.

Annie and Molly, however, couldn't wait to get out in the field, and they got silly like they used to when they were puppies. Molly took a snow bath and rolled around in a big drift for about five minutes while chubby, sweet Annie chugged along behind me, not venturing too far from the path. Cato, farm clown, flitted all over the place, chasing the snow he kicked up as he ran. He overflowed with "ornery-ness" as he ambushed Annie and Molly when they failed to notice him camoflauged in the snow and broom sage. He'd pounce on them from behind, jump in the air, spin around and run like the dickens when they turned around to see what had grabbed them in the butt.

The bird feeders are a whirl of activity this morning. Cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, titmice, chickadees, juncos, and all sorts of finches are devouring our bird seed at a rate of about 25 lbs. every three days. The male cardinals and blue jays stay in constant competition for "¿Quién es más macho?" while the rest of the birds pig out. Their testosterone-inspired feeder wars are really quite humorous, especially since the rest of the birds could give a flip about who wins. They're too busy cracking the sunflower seeds and flying to and from the feeders.

Deer and raccoon tracks dot the back field, and I think I might have spotted a coyote's trail into the back woods. The creek in the back woods is frozen over enough for me to "skate" on, and as I stood in the silence by my "thinking tree" back there, my thoughts were accompanied by the falling shavings from the drilling of a red-bellied woodpecker just above my head.

Cato taking a rest in his snow blanket
The only side of the barn that hasn't lost boards

The quiet of a snowy winter day is one of the most peaceful "sounds" I know. My dad used to tell me to listen to it closely and not let my presence disturb the silence. So today, with Papa's words in mind and with the crows hovering around, I sank into the quiet, and I'm smiling big time!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Every weather forecaster on every channel has made it clear...We're headed for cold, cold weather....cold weather like in the single digits with windchill temps below zero !!

In a nutshell: *&^#@ !!!!!.


Saturday, January 10, 2009


I took the plunge...And, I'll pat myself on the back for some savvy price comparison / sale shopping, finding no interest for 18 months on the purchase, and keeping the total just under what I had in mind! Eliza and I are celebrating the installation of a new 37" Samsung HDTV (see photo). Craig and Buddy, two young guys from the installation company who obviously had a little hangover going (but were very nice and competent), just completed placing the TV on the wall beside the fireplace in the big room. The folks from the cable company will be here next Saturday, and then, we'll be totally set to go. For now, Eliza and I will watch movies.

One of the requirements for the TV was that it fit underneath the quilt that has hung on the wall there for years because I'm having somewhat of a challenge with the idea that a TV has invaded my big room AND I really love my quilt in that spot. It works (!), and when the TV's not in use, it'll be out of sight. YEAH !!

Only one glitch...The DVD player I purchased along with the TV is officially "dead out of the box," so I'm off to Circuit City for a replacement. Normally, I wouldn't be so immediate in making the exchange, BUT I want to watch The Dude ( from The Big Lebowski) this afternoon to christen our new "toy."

Visualize The Farm Mom sitting on the couch in the big room, sipping her tea and knitting while the Antiques Road Show, The Daily Show, Jay Leno, or a movie plays in high definition on the wall ... There's a fire in the fireplace...kitties and dogs asleep all around... snow's blowing and the winter winds howl outside.

Norman Rockwell painting??? Christmas card photo??? Farm comfort at its best...!

Addendum 6 hours later: The "dead out of the box" DVD has been replaced with an upgraded "live out of the box" DVD player for the same cost as the first since I was adamant about NOT bringing home a replacement in a box that had been opened and obviously very shabbily taped back together.

As I write this, five of Eliza's friends are watching The Dude and munching on Farm Mom's famous popcorn. YEAH !!! I think we're good to go!

Friday, January 09, 2009


Drum roll, s'il vous plait.....L'Inspecteur Clouseau returns to the big screen on February 6th, and as one of the world's greatest Clouseau fans, I'm pretty stoked! It's been a LONG wait since Clouseau and his new sidekick, Gendarme Gilbert Ponton, solved the mystery of the disappearance of the Pink Panther diamond, much to the dismay of Chief Inspecteur Dreyfus.

For a sneak preview of the new movie, click
here. And, for the official Pink Panther 2 website, do the clicky thing here.

I'm sure I'll see the movie multiple times, and perhaps one of those times will be with YOU, beloved readers of Namasté! Be prepared to laugh!! En garde, mes amis!!

THE CAST: (Actor followed by role)

Steve Martin : Inspector Jacques Clouseau

John Cleese : Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus

Jean Reno: Gendarme Gilbert Ponton

Emily Mortimer : Nicole Nuveau

Andy García: Inspector Vicenzo Brancaleone

Alfred Molina : Chief Inspector Randall Pepperidge

Aishwarya Rai : Sonia

Yuki Matsuzaki : Kenji Mazuto

Jeremy Irons: Alonso Avellaneda

Johnny Halliday : Laurence Millikin

Lily Tomlin : Yvette Berenger

Molly Sims : Marguerite

Monday, January 05, 2009


" T, so you mind if I close the door? I'm about this close to crying...I mean really, the tears are right about here," said Mary Ann to Tanya as she pointed to her eyeballs.

"Why can't I ever find a pen that works? All these pens are useless. You'd think we'd have some pens in this office..I have no pens! ...Oh wait, there's one!! I found one, one pen that'll write," said Tanya, who was about five minutes late to meet her first class of the quarter.

"So much for light, love, and laughter, baby. That's what I WAS all about this year!" Mary Ann announced as she denounced her less-than-week-old 2009 words of the year.

"Can you believe it? Five students walked into class 30 minutes late because they were waiting in the wrong the wrong building! Sheesh...Looks like it's gonna be a winning quarter," Tanya observed.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


BY: Wendell Berry

(Sent to me on FaceBook by Sally Johnson...Considerations on the New Year from her.)

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear close,
and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman
satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.


I just watched Samuel hop in Papa's old 1991 black Toyota truck and head out the driveway on his way back to North Carolina. It's been a year since he was last home, and the days he's been here seem so few...certainly not enough to satisfy his mom, who loves to have her children at home, at The Farm, with her....

We're all off in our own directions again....

LoriBeth flew back to Maui yesterday morning...

Brett and Betsy should have arrived in Bulgaria by now....

Holiday decorations still adorn the house; however, the drooping boughs on the Christmas tree signal it's time to get it down soon and pack away the angels and Santas who take their places around the house once a year....

Eliza and I are at home alone, wrestling with the thought that tomorrow we start our routine again...and Samuel goes back to work....and Brett and Betsy return to their classes.....and Lori'll be flitting all around Maui....and another year begins anew.

Blessings to all.....

Saturday, January 03, 2009


As with all families, we have our differences, and not every moment together is perfect, but I do think these guys share a solid love and respect that will allow them to remain closely connected at the heart and celebrate each other forever - wherever they are, whatever they're doing, whenever they need the other. Such is my hope and prayer for them.

This is my favorite 2008 holiday photo.