Saturday, June 27, 2009


1. The fields are mowed and baled, and the yard's looking pretty good.

2. The hummingbirds are emptying the feeders faster than the Farm Mom can keep up with them.

3. SUPER GOOD NEWS! Samuel and Harrison now have a place to live in DC. Today, they found an apartment owned by a British guy named Peter and his wife, who's from Iran and works at the Iranian Embassy. Estimated moving date for Samuel and Harrison: August 1

4. Joe arrives at The Farm on July 17th.

5. The Matney Gathering (Shook/Michael reunion) is a week from today!

6. Zucchinis have started to come in, and the broccoli keeps on producing. The collards, kale, and other greens are getting munched by the cabbage butterflies and their wormy babies.

7. There're lots of flowers in bloom. This year's stars are the lilies....

8. All's well with the world here.....

Monday, June 22, 2009


There's something about funeral energy that takes the wind right out of my sails, and today, I've been about as worthless as tits on a boar hog. I haven't slept well since I got the call about Grandma's passing, and I also notice I don't recuperate from travel nearly as fast as I used to. So, today, I would give myself a zero (0) in terms of accomplishing much more than moving from the computer to the couch, staring into space, and making phone calls to family members to see they got home OK.

The physical exhaustion may even be surpassed by my mental fatigue. Molly and Annie may not have noted I fed them cat food, but the cats certainly let me know they weren't into the tasteless dog food that landed in their dishes. The hummingbirds looked a bit puzzled when they realized their food was colored water with no sugar added, and I'll see what effect the lemonade I poured (thinking it was a glass of water I had ready) has on the begonia outside my door.

It's not quite 6:00 PM, and I think I'm headed to bed.....Hopefully, I will have returned to life and some level of sense tomorrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I am late getting this post up on my blog, but arrangements for Grandma were made faster than I had anticipated, and I had to get everything together in Ohio to get down to Boone by last night...

Grandma's viewing was last evening (Friday)...She was beautiful in a pretty lavender suit and her pretty earrings. She certainly didn't look 107 years old!

The funeral is today (Saturday) at 2:00 PM at White Rock Baptist...Viewing will be from 1 - 2 at the church...Donald Smith will be part of the service as one of the preachers.

Those of us who had to travel had hoped the service would be Sunday, but we've all made it home and will be in Pigeon Roost today in her honor. For those who can't be there, know that you're with us in our hearts and our love of family has never been stronger.

From everyone who came to the viewing last night, it sounds like the family reunion is going to be huge....Please come if you can.....

Love to all....Tanya

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Her body finally gave way this morning, and as she has told all of us for many a year now, Grandma died, "right here in my chair." She'd had a restless night, and when my aunts got her up for the morning, it was evident she was struggling to breathe. Peacefully, she let go... right there in her chair....

Ten children, eight of whom still live...Around 30 grandchildren...Numerous great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren...a woman of great faith....the best biscuit and gravy maker in the strong as the mountains that surrounded her all her life...had the prettiest dahlia gardens in all the mountains...loved her hummingbird feeders...possessed a dry humor and a cute little chuckle til the last day of her life...loved all her family through thick and thin....raised everything from a garden to baby groundhogs...when a neighbor was sick or died, folks called on Grandma for strength...spent days upon days on the ground in the mountains picking galax to sell for money to buy herself a few things...could squirt milk from the cow's udders straight into your mouth...never touched a drop of alcohol...

Other than my own mom, the most influential and loving woman in my life.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I've been away from The Farm for a week at the annual Reading of the AP Spanish Exam, held this year in Cincinnati. I return home after a week of intense work. Sitting with headsets for 8 hours a day while listening to hundreds of high school students respond to the same prompt has left me looking like Mom Conehead.

All in all, I think there were about 1,100 of us gathered in downtown Cincinnati. The Havana Nights Bar, appropriately located just a block away from our meeting area, enjoyed a tremendous surge in cash flow with the onslaught of latinos from all over the globe. The city hosted a salsa dancing night in the downtown plaza last Thursday, and the place was crawling with giddy, tipsy hispanohablantes (and others) who couldn't sit down for ten minutes as long the music played. Then on Monday, a huge group of us ordered a roasted suckling pig at an eccentric sort of place called Bootsy's and savored the really well-prepared little Ohio porcine in fine Cuban style.

Despite the work, it was really a fine week. All of us who've been a part of this reading for so long love the chance to be together once a year, especially on the ETS budget. The friendship and love run deep.... My roomate this year, Filippa Viola, was a really wonderful person and an inspiration for me in many ways...I couldn't have been luckier!

OHHHH, how could I forget? Tto top off the week, Richard Danford, my colleague at Marietta College, and I went to a Reds game last night (where we sat through one heck of a rainstorm, knowing all the while that the game would go on), and while he was gone for beer and peanuts, I caught a foul ball....How cool is that! I can't remember who hit it, but I know he was the second batter of the inning and he was latino....I'll post a photo of my "catch" in a later post...

Well, when I got home this afternoon, I immediately took to the tractor and began chopping away at the week's worth of overgrowth around here. I was zooming around the yard when I noticed we had a visitor....a smelly, ugly visitor....and I might add a grumpy visitor who didn't take kindly to the canine or feline welcoming committees. Yep, it's been perfect weather for one of our resident snapping turtles to venture up from the field to savor the moisture, mud, and puddles at the edge of the yard. I haven't seen a snapper up around the house in many a year, and I had forgotten just how ugly and prehistoric looking they are...I'll confess to annoying him a bit with a long stick. As if I had forgotten, it's true...they do snap, and they do hold on....

Here's a look at the smelly (but fascinating) guy. He was larger than he looks in these photos.