Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Please pardon my "French," but from the moment I got to the office today, things started downhill at a pretty rapid pace...

Major serious caca:

1) A colleague who suffered a fall down the steps at his house this past weekend has taken a turn for the worse. Brain damage seems to be pretty severe, and a long, long-term recovery, without prediction of a return to "normalcy," seems to be the prognosis.

2) A former student of mine who became a Spanish teacher...a really, really wonderful man - has a newborn son who was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor last week. The two-month old was not responding to stimuli as of this morning. My heart is broken for this family.

3) Two other former students have had brain malfunctions in the past three weeks. One, a young woman who's the daughter of Eliza's first babysitter and who chose Eliza as the flower girl for her wedding, was pregnant, suffered a seizure, and later was subsequently diagnosed with a massive tumor in the brain. The baby was taken by C-section last week, and the mom's condition at this point in time is in limbo. The other had a stroke two Sundays ago...We're talking about two young women under 30 who've had their lives altered tremendously!! Yes, #3 above seems more and more insignificant.

4) My college roomate's father is in serious condition with bone cancer. She and I had a long talk last evening.

No so major, but not fun caca....

5) A very, very important member of my arts and humanities series committee resigned today, just out of the blue. I have no one who can do what she's done for us in the past three years, and I certainly can't take over her job.

6) All adjunct positions in Spanish where I teach part-time have been eliminated next year due to budget cuts. That means my extra income, the income I use after bills are paid, will cease to be. I think I could be waiting tables on the side next year.

Irritating and appropriate for the day caca:

7) Loonis threw up three times this morning --fortunately on the hardwood floors and not the carpet.

8) And finally, as I was working in the yard this afternoon making piles of branches and sticks to move down to the fire pit, I stepped in a HUGE pile of really smelly poop! How fitting, no?

I think I'd best go count my blessings!!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Inspired by these lovely women who had just spent $5.00 for their new "do" at the Rinky Dink's Flea Market & Hair Salon, I decided to follow suit and head to Terry's Hair Creations to join in a new look for spring.

Here's the before the scissors look. I really hadn't realized just how long my hair had gotten. I've been growing it with the intention of donating it to Locks of Love. Then one of Mary Ann's students told her there were some sketchy happenings in the Locks of Love world., and at that point, I opted to donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths in support of women who need wigs following chemotherapy for breast and other cancers.

Here's the after look. Whew! My head feels lighter, my hair feels fluffier, and heart feels happy to know I could donate 10" of thick, healthy, graying hair (an 8" length is required) to the cause.

Here's the catch....I now read that if the hair is over 5% gray, it's really not accepted since graying hair is much harder to match with other hair when dyed to make a wig. (It takes 5 ponytails to make one wig. )
Bah humbug! I've decided I don't care. I'm sending in the ponytail anyway in the hopes that someone will request a natural salt and pepper colored wig. If so, there'll be a thick hank waiting.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


On this quiet Sunday morning, the Farm Mom and all the Farm Critters have once again awakened a to snow-covered Earth. When the rather heavy squalls subside, the sun pokes through the passing clouds, and the snow sparkles like a layer of glittery tiny stars all over the land. When the blustery winds return moments later, visibility is such that the road at the end of the driveway isn't discernible, the birds retreat to the thick underbrush, and every animal unfortunate enough to be outside comes to meow and scratch incessantly on the glass door, beseeching me to let them in. I'm a sucker, so one by one, in they come, and once again, they rule the roost in their demands for food, milk, comfort and affection (which I lavish upon them excessively until someone starts scratching on the sofa or tries to make a game out of my knitting!) Just a moment ago, Mr. BlueJay perched on the limb just outside the window as if to implore me to let his avian friends in as well, but he decided better when Loonis jumped up on the window sill. He's a smart cookie!

Kwan Yin's into her icicle bindhi, snow stole, and winter top knot. Her patience with the elements serves as a good reminder that complaints are useless. As Grandma Ruth would say, "You can't control the elements, so you might as well just hush up." This winter has tested the
lady's resolve, and her mellowness always wins out. Her mantra, (one she reminds me of multiple times a day) - - When in doubt, mellow out! (She learned it from our friend, Sherm.) holds great wisdom, and in my humaness, I try my best to listen.

The Farm prayer flags have also taken a beating lately, but I feel sure the winter weather's no worse here than in their native Nepal from where Brett brought them back a year ago or so. In their presence, I'm reminded of Papa, Grandma Sara, Granddaddy Marv, Gunner, Marvelous Cat, Dover, Ghost, Helen, Granddaddy Shook, Uncle Robert, Tornado, Ita, and countless others who bless The Farm from the spirit world. It's so true - those who are no longer incarnate on the planet do not cease to live...they just take another form, and here on The Farm, they fly in the wind, bathe in the rain, soak in the sun, grow in the Earth, and rest in the silence.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So, how does the Farm Mom pass time these days? Why, with knitting needles in hand, of course. It's been a season of pumping out scarves, hats, and dish clothes. Most of my projects have gone to the persons for whom they were designed, but here's a quick view of a couple of hats that remain at The Farm.


In this photo, Minnie's modeling a hat I made backwards out of soft, organic wool. It serves to keep the head warm, nonetheless, and Minnie's totally happy to wear it when the big chill hits The Farm. (Note: Minnie's one of my first dolls and definitely my favorite; she was given to me the Christmas I was in 1st grade by my "adopted" sister, Minnie. Minnie (the doll) is in pretty good shape to be 51 years old, I think. She hangs out in the big room a lot.)

This beret is an experiment in combining handspun wool yarns. The teal band is from yarn I picked up on a trip to New Mexico several years back, and the purple tam section is from wool spun fromVermont sheep. This hat is a bit itchy, but it's really, really warm and provides a fashionably nerdy look to anyone who doesn't have a large head.


My first sock, made from Frog Belly Green handspun wool from eastern Tennessee. Knitted on size 2 needles, these socks have no EFT (estimated finish time). I find the knitting fun but tedious and have a hard time seeing much progress on small needles with really small thread. I enjoy knitting on this project, but I'm obviously a ways away from the heel and toe, so stay tuned....

The photo doesn't do the color of this alpaca and silk scarf justice. It's really a pretty baby boy's blue with yarn overs every 6th row to give it a lacy look. I think the finished product will be delicately soft and fun to wear. I pick it up and knit on it when my frustration with the seeming lack of progress on the sock starts to surface. (I like projects that move along fairly quickly - hence, my preference for knitting scarves.)

I'm not sure what this is going to be OR if it will continue in its present shape and form. This yarn is the same handspun wool from Vermont sheep I used in the tam Minnie's modeling above. It smells of sheep, clean sheep, that is, and will be an incredibly warm scarf (should I continue with it) if anyone can stand the itch around his / her neck. It would definitely have to be worn with a turtleneck or on the outside of a garment.

I thank my mom for teaching me to knit and for her guidance as I've made several things in the past year. While I was in Boone, I picked up some BEAUTIFUL dark purple yarn to knit myself a sweater. I'm eager to start, and I figure if I get going soon, perhaps I'll have it finished for my 60th birthday in 4 years!

Monday, February 16, 2009


I took these photos this morning when the light through Mom's picture window was perfect. I love the way the light outlines the ondulations in the third photo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


February 15, 2009


1. Happy Birthday, Chintu !! You missed a Valentine birthday by less than 24 hours, but that's OK because it gives us all another day to contemplate love, especially our love for you.

2. I'm in awe of the beautiful mountains here in NC. I notice my breath is long and deep.

3. I'm going to have lunch at Black Bear Books with Samuel. He's working, and I'm going to grade a stack of papers at the bookstore so I can be with him for the afternoon.

4. Post grading, I'll ride over to Pigeon Roost to see my beloved Grandma Ruth and walk around the land for a while. I'll visit with Papa down at his resting place and fill him in on life in the physical world and hope he'll fill me in on the world of spirit. Maybe I'll "red up" the cemetary a bit.

5. I'm going to start my first attempt at knitting socks. I've found a pattern labelled "easy, easy sock pattern, " and I'm hoping to find following it and pumping out some socks a relaxing, fast, rewarding knit. If not, I'll stick to scarves.

6. I'm going to cook some good ole' collard greens for supper. Mom and I will indulge, and we'll save a huge plate for Sammy.

7. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a superior rating for Miss Eliza, as her Winter Color Guard group has an important competition in Dayton, OH.

8. I hope to talk to my dear friends, Potter Joe, Laida, Tania, and Brian. They're a good physical distance away, but as close as one can be in my heart.

9. I'll wear the same clothes I have for the last two days and love the fact that they're stretched out and comfy.

10. I'm consumed with gratitude for this day and my many blessings.

Friday, February 13, 2009


~Viktor Frankel

Saturday, February 07, 2009


This beautiful goddess arrived via my email. The message referred to her as a Money Angel and had one of those pass it on to 6 friends and you'll be rich in 4 days messages. So, I decided to pass it on via Namasté with the hopes that everyone who reads the blog will receive a windfall that will allow him/her freedom from financial concerns for forever and bestow more than enough to share with those who, for what ever reason, get passed over on the windfall scene. (That way we're all covered!)


As evidenced by his unruly moustache and dental challenges, Utah's been hard on the Farm Potter, so when he recently got wind of a job possibility back in the Mid-Ohio Valley, he jumped at the chance, and by crackies, the stars aligned such that Potter Joe's headed back to The Farm. The Marietta College Art Department made an offer, and it took not a second's passing for Joe to say "Yep, I'm headed back east, east to Ohio that is."

Check out Potter Joe's beautiful work below....If you google him, you'll see even more. (Search Joe Davis Pottery) And it won't be all that much longer until you'll be able to see it up close and personal, right here at The Farm and in galleries all over the state, nation, globe.

Welcome home, Joe!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Beware!! By all accounts and behaviours observed by yours truly over the past 24 hours, evidence points to a powerful arrival of the Winter Funk! Everything from our circadian rhythms to our melatonin and seratonin levels to our hormonal imbalances are bouncing all over the chart, and that spells DISASTER on a lot of levels, particularly in the arena of interpersonal relationships.

Over 25 years of journal entries confirm that it's that blah time of year when we all run a fairly strong current of malaise, depression, and/or irritability! According to my records and alas, I must confess, personal experience, it's "out of kilter" time, and this year, the blahs, depressions, sadnesses, disconnects, sensitivities and general yuks could have the potential to be really potent and butt-kicking.

Advice from The Farm, for what it's worth....

Be like the bear.....Gather up a good stock of carbs, 25 lbs. of chocolate, some chessy books, an I-Pod, and knitting projects, and retreat to your cave. Take a long winter's nap. Avoid contact with all other haywired humans and keep closely in touch with the animals and birds. (They seem to have this winter stuff under control.) Resurface only when wait there's more light than darkness in the day, the temps are warm enough to be tolerated in just a sweater, and the daffodils are well on their way to bloom. As a last resort, take drugs.

Happy zzzzzzz's ! See ya in April or May!

(Post disclaimer: This post is not written with any single person / group in mind. Everybody's funky now! )


This type of thing circulates around Facebook and other sites a lot. I rarely participate since it reminds me of "chain" mail . (Anybody remember that fad from the past?) But, several people posted insightful "tags," and when I was home last week hunkered in from the snow, I decided to jump in and participate......

(NOTE: If I made one of these lists every day, it would be probably different each time.)

25 Random Things About Me

1. My children mean the world to me, and I hope they will always consider me a fun, fair, loving mom.
2. I am an INFP on the Myers Briggs scale, and that particular personality combo only pops up in 1% of the population. Explains why I feel very different from most people I meet, why I'm guided by my intuition, why I do things my own way, and why I'm pretty solitary.
3. In addition to the above, I am a double Virgo. Those who know me know I'm truly earthy and consider turning the compost one of the most exciting chores around The Farm. I love to have my hands in the dirt and work on the land.
4. I love living with lots of animals, except when they pee in the house.
5. I love growing things, like orchids, amaryllises, and all sorts of flowers in the summer.
6. I love birdwatching more than Miss Jane Hathaway, and I love to knit as much as my mom.
7. I don't like hairs in my bath water.
8. I don't understand why people use strong, smelly, tacky perfumes and fruity-smelling hair products. YUK !!
9. I love art. I dabble around with making handmade paper on occasion, and I like to take photographs, particularly of people and flowers. Hanging out with artsy, talented people inspires me.
10. I feel very safe with a lot of books around me. Sometimes I don't read them all, but I always keep them close by.
11. I listen to a LOT of music...all sorts of music. Recently, I've been obsessively listening to a mixture of classical, reggae, and alternative.
12. I love being around people from other countries and cultures, and I love languages.
13. Although I consider myself a very spiritual person with a deep faith in a higher power, I am not given to a high level of tolerance of fundamentalism and dogmatic inflexibility.
14. I avoid arrogant people and greatlly, greatly prefer to hang out with "salt of the earth" folks.
15. I have an insatiable sweet tooth. I wish chocolate and ice cream had the nutritional value and caloric level of artichokes, celery, and carrots.
16. I would love to be really, really much so that I could have a house in New Mexico, Hawaii, the mountains of NC, at the beach (preferably in a peaceful, transitioned Cuba), Spain, and Bali.
17. Although I do not condone substance abuse on any level, I would support the legalization of cannibus sativa for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that is makes beautiful paper. The Declaration of Independence is written on cannibus paper.
18. Although I would probably be much better off financially if I had chosen another career, I can't imagine doing anything else but teaching. I find adults abysmally boring and uptight: I really love the vitality and energy of my students. I am refreshed by working in an environment where I facilitate learning and communication in another language.
19. I bowled a high score of 11 one time.
20. If I could change one thing about me, I'd want to have a beautiful singing voice.
21. I would love to know Michelle and Barack Obama well.
22. I want to swim with the dolphins and hang glide off a high, high mountain.
23. Inspecteur Jacques Clousseau and Ed Grimley are my heroes.
24. I think Peace Studies and Human Rights Studies should be a required component of every student's curriculum in all grades. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights should hang on the wall in everyone's home.
25. I love to laugh, I love to give and receive love, and I really love my life!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


That would be Hendrix, the cat. Inclement weather forces him to rely on his feline prowess, instincts, and warmth in the barn. Hendrix greatly prefers to be stretched out in the sun on a lazy summer day with a huge pile of cat food within short reach. This past week, this handsome gray tabby, who now ranks as the 2nd oldest cat at the farm, protested so pitifully, yet eloquently, that he gained entrance to the house on the night temps fell to zero degrees. He'd probably gain access more frequently if he wouldn't spray and scratch on the couch and rocker - two unacceptable behaviours that signify your're out the door at The Farm!