When Jack Buelow (4) says, "Tanya, I love you," my heart melts.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
When Jack Buelow (4) says, "Tanya, I love you," my heart melts.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Joe's spent the week working steadily on his new pottery adventures. The back porch has become his studio, and thank goodness (I'm knocking on wood as I type this), we haven't had any new piece sent flying from cats jumping on the rail yet. I LOVE (!!!!) watching his creative processes in action. His total delight in making pots inspires me to get the paper studio up and running again. It's been almost 4 years since I last worked up some pulp, so I plan on cleaning out the basement this afternoon for that purpose. With two weeks until classes start, I can probably make up a couple of vats. I can't wait to get my hands in the slurry soon....that'll get me going for the fall, when I hope to make up a bunch of things.....
Our garden's flourishing...The " 2010 Prolific Veggie of the Summer Award" goes to our cucumbers vines for their almost zucchini-like yield. Similiarly the basil plants have provided for several rounds of pesto; the tomatos make up into great juice for winter enjoyment; and the tomatillos give us great salsa verde. (Joe has the process and recipe down pat.) I'm also working on some butternut squash recipes to can for cold winter nights.
In recent Farm News:
1. We've had wonderful visits this summer...Lori; Brett & Betsy; Dana & Wendy; Clark, Charlie, Jack and Lucy; Joe's sister, Denah, and her daughters, Maddie and Morgan; Peg and Alexa; and other farm regulars have made our days better than wonderful and filled The Farm with love.
2. Petie and I made a road trip to MD to see my dad's youngest sister, Joyce, and his brother, Rhonda. Along the way, we checked in with Samuel, and Mom got to see his new apartment (actually room with a somewhat kitchen and bath).
3. Eliza's getting ready for college -heading to the University of Cincinnati on September 17th. We still have to go buy some things for her room, so I'm looking forward to that shopping spree with her.
4. Eliza and my sister, Myra, aka: Tita, spent three days in NYCity at the end of July and had a blast.
5. I've spent a good deal of time working on the Evergreen Arts & Humanities Series for next year - my last as chair of the committee. I have a couple of other projects I'd like to work on, and I'm certainly looking forward to having NO strings attached to the office in the summers.
6. We enjoy lots of love and laughter every day with Paco's, Bud's, and the other critters' antics. I'm toying with the idea of getting a dog, but the right one just hasn't come my way yet. I'm thinking about adopting an older corgi so I can avoid puppyhood and all its obligations.
7. Blessings abound.....What more could we ask for??
Sumnmer Farm Buddies - Bud & Paco
Friday, July 23, 2010
Paco's a pretty mellow fellow, but with each day, Joe and I witness his growing sense of confidence and exploration as he ventures around the yard and field. He's made the field walk twice now, without whimpering or asking to be carried. That's a lot for a little guy whose legs are probably only 4" long, whose butt catches up with his head when he runs, and who trips on his ears and wipes out at any given moment.
Content to play with an old sock, a leafy branch, or his Boodha Banana toy, Paco loves life. Just as a child, each day brings new milestones - climbing the steps to the porch, rolling down the hill in the side yard, barking for the first time. And boy, oh boy, does he have sharp little teeth and a baby's bladder - Paco, the puddler!
He's fun...he's funny....he's a connection with an innocence and joy about which we humans frequently need a reminder. I'm grateful for him every day for that reminder!
Welcome, to The Farm, Paco!
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
The gosh awful heat, however, can't put a halt to good vibration at The Farm. Oh no! We don't let the heat get us down here. The discomfort of our sticky, sweaty bodies cannot hold a candle to the joy that radiates in our heart when The Farm family comes home for a visit.
Here's the scoop:
1. Lori's home for a couple of weeks from Maui and brings The Farm the gift of her beauty and laughter. She and her sister, Whitney, along with Ann and Juliette (age 2) visited for a good while yesterday morning. Juliette's excitement about going to Grandma Huck's to see the "moo cows" made my heart happy.
2. Unfortunately, Dana had to come home for her maternal grandmother's funeral. Fortunately, that means that The Farm family got to spend some time with Wendy (age 1 1/2/). Grandma T. loves Wendy, and when given the chance to play, many of Eliza's old toys come out of the box and back to life with Wendy.
3. Clark and Charlie Buelow, Jack (age 4) and Lucy (age 2) spent a night with us on the 4th. Jack and Grandma T. rode the tractor for hours while Lucy babbled incessantly, pontificating on life in her own language.
4. Caroline and Joe stayed overnight on their way to a craft show the evening after the Buelows left. Six other friends came over for dinner to see them.....Caroline and I took a walk around The Farm while the Joes hung out, and we cooked up some really good food. Seeing Caroline always refreshes me and reminds me of the blessings of decades of friendship.
5. Eliza's home after a month's stay with her dad !!! Graduation, senior trip, work, preparation for college, hanging out with friends, etc. have filled her summer days with fun and anticipation of new beginnings in Cincinnati. And her Farm Mom's delighted Eliza's back at home for a while....Days with her around are quickly passing...University of Cincinnati, here she comes!!
6. Joe has officially begun his trek to Utah to pick up Paco, Rufus's brother from this year's litter. He and I have cleaned out the basement of the barn and made Paco and any other doggie on the way here a Hilton-esque dog lot. Fresh grass, cool and clean concrete floors, a state of the art doghouse (no WiFi, alas), and chain link fencing await our new Farm resident. Oh how happy we are!
7. From a distance we sense Samuel, Bobbi, and Bella's presence. Farm Mom is applying blatant pressure on the three to get their "tushes" home for a few days. Don't know if that's going to happen or not, but if it does, we'll be really, really happy.
8. Despite the heat and certainly encouraged by Joe's consistent watering, the gardens thrive. Cukes, zukes, and good lettuce are on the table....Yummy
Three hummingbirds hovering outside the window remind me that it's feeding time, so I'll venture out in the 8:00 PM humidity and get a move on. Feeling really at peace and grateful for all that's good in our world here at The Farm.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
with honeysuckle until this year. I chopped for the honeysuckle vine for hours to uncovere
this beautiful bush.
Angel wing begonia blooms from a plant that's over 75 years old.
1. Eliza graduated in the top twenty of her class late in May. Petie, Myra, and Samuel all came home, and we got to spend almost a week together in celebration of Eliza's exit from Warren High School. A good time all around....senior awards night, the actual graduation celebration, and then Eliza's graduation party here at The Farm....perfect weather, a perfect ceremony, a perfect fiesta in her honor. I think Eliza was most pleased.....and so was I !!
2. A week and a half later, I hurried through exams and headed off to Cincinnati for my annual summer work with the ETS AP Reading. Surrounded by over 1,000 Spanish professors, I worked full days, spent time with close friends, networked with many, many folks for whom I have high regard as colleagues, and play a bit in Cincinnati.....another rainy Reds game, nice walks along the river, and our annual dinner at Bootsy's with a cochinillo prepared Cuban-style.
3. Since I've been home, I've spent a good deal of time working on the Evergreen Arts & Humanities Series......gratis work for Washington State Community College....It takes me away from the farm on some days, but I've managed to balance my time at home with my time away.
4. The garden and our flowers are THRIVING! Potter Joe and Farm Mom have been farming away, and the results of our labors are reflected in huge tomatillo plants, scads of onions, lettuce, squash, cukes, and tomaters. The garden's just beginning to come in. Give it another two weeks, and canning and freezing will be a daily event here. Lilies, coneflowers, nasturiums, butterfly bushes, zinnias, sunflowers add splashes of color all over the farm.....And the Farm Mom couldn't be happier.
5. A new bassett hound, Paco, will be arriving at the farm in a little over 10 days. Joe will drive to Utah to pick up one of Rufus's brothers.....(new litter / same parents)...and we can hardly wait.
6. I'm beginning to move into relaxation after a very stressful year at work.....Every day my gratitude for The Farm grows to a deeper level, as I can feel peace and tranquility embracing me on every side. I feel like I'm on v-cation (as Eliza used to say) at my home.....I don't have to leave to find peace, and I love that feeling.
7. Farm family updates:
a. Lori's coming home tomorrow, I believe !!!!
b. Brett and Betsy should be home soon.
c. Joe leaves for Utah next week for a whirlwind trip to pick up Paco.
d. Eliza returns to The Farm from her dad's on Saturday.
e. Samuel's signed a lease for a new apartment and will be moving in July to a safer neighborhood in DC.
f. Andrew leaves July 31st for Susaki City in Japan for a year's teaching with the JET program.
g. We're keeping our fingers crossed that Bobbi and Isabella will come home in August for a few days.
h. I'm looking forward to a possible trip to Miami for a few days in August OR I'm going to try to see if Laida will come this way.
(NOTE: My dinosaur computer is being really grouchy about posting photos, so until I get a new computer, Namasté, might be lacking in visuals.)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
It's early morning here at The Farm, and I'm alone at the moment. Eliza's gone to work, and Joe's asleep, exhausted after a visit to see friends in Columbus for a few days.
It's Mother's Day....I reflect upon the gift of still having my beloved Petie (91) and the love I feel for her every moment of the day. I remember her mother, Bertha Stevenson, and can still see her at the stove in her kitchen in Taylorsville, NC - worn-to-threads apron tied around her waist with a hankerchief in her pocket to wipe her mouth after she spit her tobacco juice in her snuff jar. (I loved sitting in her rocking chair by the window in her room and watching the yellow parakeet she kept on the table beside the rocker).
And then, there's Grandma Shook - less than a year in her grave and more alive in my heart than ever. As I look into my irises and as I prepare to get my dahlias in the ground, her hands join my hands as the soils crumbles between our fingers and the earthworms wiggle in our palms. From the spirit world, she guides me - in every way she guides me.
Being a mom hasn't always been the easiest thing for me. I suppose the job description and the pressures one feels trying to live up to society's and personal expectations make it amost impossible for any woman to feel totally adequate at the task at any given moment...But, I feel safe and secure for Eliza as a mother. Whenever she decides to have children, she has a good role models to invoke and a mom who'll be right there along the way with her.
I've always been embraced by strong women - in my family, in my sisterhood of friendships, as my colleagues, and in the animal world. Cheers and huge gratitude to them all, wherever they are, wherever they rest. .
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
She's grumpy! The best way to get real love from Loonis is to leave her alone - let her lie on your legs for hours without touching her. Even the most gentle stroke of love down her spine could quite possibly produce a hiss, spit, and smack with her left front paw. Yes, she's a southpaw.
She's beautiful! The fur on the bottom of her feet is the softest thing I've ever touched. She's so gray that she looks blue, and when she's combed (a difficult chore given her "friendly" moods), she's as regal as any cat alive.
Loonis is intelligent! One can see a very bright mind in her facial expressions and eyes.
And she's incredibly playful - on her own terms, of course. I've learned to watch out for my head as I walk downstairs, for Loonis hides and waits for me. When I least expect it, she jumps out from her hiding place and pounds me on the noggin, jumps up and scoots away. She's been known to run back and forth through the house chasing her imaginary mice friends, and Loonis likes to play fetch, especially when I'm at the computer.
Many mornings I wake up with the face in this picture about 1/4 " from my nose. If I ignore her, Loonis scoots up even closer and paws at me to rub her. If I do, I could likely get whammed. If I don't, I could likely get whammed.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Snow Heart: From last weekend's walk...It's been warm enough to melt off almost all the snow in the back field this week.