“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” ~Carl Jung

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Catching Up With The Easter Bunny

And....I'm back.

    Easter week-end was here, at the farm, this year and all attended.  We got some major work done on the garden project, thanks to all hands on deck (even all the little hands helped in one way or another). Saturday was lots of work, lots of fun working together and yummy food. Here we are planting one of the two new trees for Maggie's Wood.
      We went to Mass at Bison that evening, where the kiddos got to participate in the famous Bison Creation Reenactment.  I enjoyed seeing the folks there and getting visit some.  There for a few years they were a little short on kids for the creation story but now there are plenty of all ages, the next wave is upon us.
    I'm not sure why the Easter Vigil mass has to go on and on for two solid hours with seven very long readings, an explanation and renewal of everyone's baptism vows (yes, I do renounce him), and then communion, but that is the way it is.  That was obviously the idea of priests who have never had children and so knew nothing of their evening and nighttime schedules.  We started at 8:00 pm which is bedtime and went forward from there.  Why? That is the question I keep asking myself about the weird times for various masses in the Catholic church tradition.  I continue to blame it on the celibate priesthood.  After mass we had an egg hunt in the dark (?) and then..(yes it goes on) a friendly gathering with food in the hall.  Some of our group lasted through the egg hunt but all of us left before the food.

     In the past we had Easter mass at sunrise on Easter morning which made perfect sense in keeping with the resurrection story.  Everyone was fresh and rested, we had a few readings, an egg hunt in the morning light and breakfast with our church family.  That made sense. They don't do that anymore. Maybe it's because now Bison is a mission church and back then they were a parish with their own priest. Anyway.....oh well, NMP-NMF, as the old saying goes. This picture of Maggie and Zane was taken at the Myriad Gardens Egg Hunt in OKC, the day before.
     Easter morning dawned bright and early and Mr. Bunny had hopped by during the night sometime.  This day brought lots of outdoor fun along with a grand adventure under the bridge for Grandma, Maggie and Zane, after which they all had to lay down for naps. During nap time Brent, Abbey and Brendan, Able and Kari all joined forces and did a massive cleanup of the fire pit area east the garage, including clearing all the old wood and debris out from under and around the lilacs. Wow. What a lot of work and a tremendous blessing to me.  It is so much easier when there are many hands helping around here than just my own two.

        Unfortunately Sunday also brought the beginnings of the not so pretty happenings as well, namely the notorious stomach bug. Ro had been sick Thursday of the week before  (that is him pictured at right) and by Saturday evening his dad, Zach, was beginning to go down. Poor Zach was sick all day Sunday and their whole family had to leave early Sunday evening because Zane was looking pretty green around the gills and felt yucky. I hear he threw up on the drive home, always horrible.  Sunday night and Monday Audra was sick as a dog and I went down there to help with the boys so she could rest.  Apparently that little bug crawled into my car while I was there so Monday night and Tuesday I did nothing but throw up and lie in bed     doing nothing at all.  All the little guys were sporting this cute yellow bow tie at Mass. Way beyond cute.
       Today I am fine and ready to join the living again. Happy Easter! Brendan was here too but somehow didn't manage to get into any of the pictures. Who knows, maybe that was his plan. I'll bet his mother caught him on film somewhere along the line.  She will probably share with me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poem: Full Moon Rendezvous

Full Moon Rendezvous

Rosy with joy,
the moon gazes in full
upon the face of her beloved,
together for one evening
and one morning only.

Can you hear them singing,
shouting across the world;
she in a simple, silver melody
and he answering with
every string ascending
and a blast of trumpets?

The Earth shrugs its shoulder
and again they are parted,
for twenty eight long days
seeking, in vain, a glimpse
of that other dear countenance.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


       I hear people talk about 'going back to' something. Going back to a more polite, honest and civilized society. Going back to the truths of the founding fathers. Going back to an earlier morality. Going back to 'the way it used to be'. If I have learned anything, it is that nothing ever goes back, things only go on, go forward.  Everything is changing all the time, usually in small increments but often these days in leaps and bounds due to the advances in technology. So where does that leave us?
      It leaves us with personal choices at least.  We, ourselves, can choose to behave in a more moral, civilized and honest way if that is important to us. We must certainly choose to behave in these ways if we want our children to learn those things which we hold valuable.  But we can not expect anyone else to live that way just because we think it is a better way to live.
      I do not see our society 'going back' to anything but we could go forward to rediscovering some of the gems of civilization which we have tossed out with the bathwater.  There is a great movement lately toward rediscovering the joys and importance of community.  Our technology can tend to keep us stuck in rooms alone, or with others, all of us staring at the screen of some electronic device or other. We are being 'alone together' more than being together in any sense of the word.
       But we really do need each other, we need to take the time to look into the eyes of other people. We need to give them time to speak their thoughts and be fully present to them as we listen.  We all have wisdom to share, insights and ideas to share.  Each of us has our own unique gifts to bring to the table, gifts that the community needs, that our group of friends and/or acquaintances will be better for sharing.  Community requires patience and tolerance and communication skills and maybe we aren't willing to do the work that is required. I don't know. I'm just musing here, out loud, on the net.
    I do not know if this movement toward community will be successful or not. I do not know if anything will get any better. Perhaps things will continue to become worse, more chaotic, more violent, less respectful, more intolerant of differences, more isolating.  I do not know how to keep the human race from sprinting over the edge of the cliff into self-destruction.
     My plan is to love the people with whom I come into contact.  To shine a light into this corner of the universe one day and one person at a time.  That is all I know how to do. If they choose to pay it forward and do likewise, wonderful. If they do not, it makes no difference. This is my choice. This is what I can do with all my heart and mind and soul and strength.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

More Farm Help

    Audra and the boys made a mid-week run up to the farm today to help with garden planting, chicken chasing, digging in the dirt and flower smelling, among other things. I loved having them here. The gardens are so beautiful all Spring and it's sad that so few people are here to see them.
    Zane helped me plant some more potatoes and onions, along with carrots, dill and a few yellow squash. The onions and potatoes that Brendan, Maggie and Everett planted a few weeks ago are up and looking great. See them in this top picture? We gave them a good drink while we were watering in today's seeds.
     You can see in this bottom picture that we really, really need a good soaking rain around here. There is rain in the forecast for this week-end so we're keeping our fingers crossed.  Z had shoveled up some dirt into the bucket below and we were dusting in the carrot seeds. The peas I planted below that chicken wire there haven't come up but I have a few up in other locations here and there.  Oh well. You never know what's going to work and what isn't.  It may have been a little too cold when I planted them. I have more seed; maybe I'll try again.

After we ran out of seeds we started on the next project which was digging up the 'stickery plants' (purple thistles) out of Maggie's Wood and beyond.  Zane and I had done quite a bit of this last Fall but it is never ending work and better to catch them young than to let them get carried away with themselves.

We dug up two buckets full of plants and tossed one over the bank of the creek and the other, later, into the fire pit where they will be burned once they dry out.  Zane gave them all a good scolding while they were being cut out of the ground.  It ran something like this, " You going to jail, stickery plant! You be bad. You no bite me, I a good guy. You going to jail."
    After lunch and naps all around we headed to the creek for some serious fun. We had already been to the creek once, earlier, but didn't stay long because Ro was very tired.
The second time down there we all did a little wading and discovered the water was still "berry cold", perfect for wading but not so warm enough for swimming yet.

 Ro didn't like the sand much and certainly didn't like the water. By that time he was tired, hot and, in his defense, he is cutting five teeth at the same time, four of them are molars, so he isn't the happiest little guy right now. He may be an overachiever however.

Audra and Ro stayed back to play in the sand a little while Z and I walked to the bridge and back, during which time we saw several tiny brown frogs, lots of little blue dragonflies and lots of full sized dragonflies as well. Z noticed that all the dragonflies seemed to be "riding on they backs" for some reason. Yeah, they do that a lot this time of year.

Ro got too hot down by the water and he and his mama headed back to the house while Z and I did some rock throwing, and "accidentally' fell in a time or two to test the coldness of the creek. Check: too cold for swimming, just like mama said.

    We stopped by his 'stick house' (a.Ka. his fort) in the woods for awhile, doing a few repairs and pretending to make fires, be aliens and such.  We always have to go up to a separate place there and 'get married' like they do in Beauty and the Beast. We dance and sing and then we go back to making fires. I love it. I always forget about the getting married part but it is part of the ritual of the forest for Z and I.
    We had once again forgotten to wear our camelbacks so we had to go to the house eventually, to get a drink of water.  Playing fort is very thirsty business. Next time I'll remember. Maybe.
     We did some swinging, some more digging of the stickery plants, fed the chickens and got two more eggs.  One of the hens is laying double yolkers now and he thought that was soooooo funny.  It is pretty cool.  Soon it was time for them to load up and head home so they could be there when Daddy got home from work.  Next time I'll have some plants and a tree or two purchased so we can plant some more things together. I thought it was especially nice when Z said, while we were wading in the creek, "We do this some more at Farm Camp when 'Brentton' and Maggie are here. They like this creek."  He so loves being near his cousins now and looks forward to sharing play time with them.  I'm glad they all get to share so many things together.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Wells Fargo Wagon is a'comin'....

      Every morning when I wake up, a song is playing in my head. It might be something I heard the day before or it might be, and usually is, something from years and years ago. Sometimes it is merely a melodic riff that loops.  I can turn it off, if I want to, or I can change the tune but that first one will keep seeping through any new song I attempt to insert into its spot. 
     This morning's song was The Wells Fargo Wagon, from the musical, The Music Man. I know for a fact it has been years and years since I heard that song, but since my sister and I memorized the entire soundtrack for The Music Man when we were in high school, it's in there pretty darn solidly.  In the movie/story, the Wells Fargo Wagon would come through their town, bringing them things they had ordered from the Montgomery Ward catalogue and it was a big day if it stopped at your door. (My friend Brenda also has the album memorized and I would love to sing through it with her. "Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, cheep, cheep, cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more..." ...I call that one the gossip song.) Okay, so put a pin in that thought and we'll come back to it. There.
     I returned home to the farm after dark last night to find a light colored cat on the front porch. My first thought was that someone had dumped him out here in the country, which was probably the case.  It happens. When I got up to the porch and the light came on I saw that he was actually a beautiful yellow tabby and looked very healthy.  He was a little bit nervous and jumpy, which was to be expected. My two cats were having nothing to do with him (her?) but I brought some food out for all of them and tried to get them to make friends. We can all be friends, right? I don't know if that really applies to cats.
     I went to bed and left them to it.
     When I woke up this morning I went out to see if the new cat was still around. So far I have seen no sign of him, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Yet.   BUT, while I was on the porch leaning on the railing, scanning the tree row for yellow cats, with that tune about the Wells Fargo Wagon playing through my head, a truck came rumbling down the road and turned into my driveway. Lo and Behold, it was the Wells Fargo Wagon coming right to my door! Unbelievable!  It was actually the FedEx truck but that is the equivalent of the WFW today. What are the chances? 
      He was bringing me not "some grapefruit from Fresno" as the song says, but a pineapple from Hawaii which is extremely close to being the same thing, don't you think? How fun!  I continue to love this Christmas present Able and Kari gave me, a fruit of the month from Harry and David.  It's the gift that keeps on giving all year round. If you are at a loss for what to gift someone for a birthday or Christmas next year, you might consider that option as something unique and wonderful.   
    I'll let you know what develops with the new cat.  I hope my cats didn't chase her off the place and into the claws of the coyotes but I wouldn't put it past them.     

Saturday, April 5, 2014


     I have been pushing too hard lately, apparently, so today I rested, all day long.  I read books, washed a few loads of clothes and nipped the winter-frozen tips off the roses but that is all.  Even that seemed to drain me of energy so I lay down on the grass (well, lets be honest, weeds) in the sunshine, soaking up warmth and peace from the blessed earth. It felt like napping in the arms of God.
    I am much better now.
I may have been resting but everything in the garden was busy, busy, busy. I heard bees flying past as I dozed, and flies buzzing around and around each other.  I noticed a jewel of a teeny-tiny beetle, startlingly green, scurrying for cover in the debris beneath the rose bushes while a sleek brown skink slipped across a path at my feet.
    The exquisitely veined white and purple violets in this picture came from the gardens at my grandma's house. Aren't they fancy! The Quince is in full 'pinkalicious' bloom, the Pear tree is decked out in its white lace and all of the Red Buds are a riot of purples. I even noticed that the Apricot up in the cemetery is thinking about blooming. (Not yet, soon. Be wise, little tree.)

     While passing by one of the herb beds I spied these little guys just beginning to edge upward in tandem.  One day soon they will be giant orbs of purple Alliums standing regally on stout stems above all their neighbors. How can all that organized color and symmetry be packed into this little pointed bud?  It boggles the mind.
Right beside these guys are two of my gorgeous Parrot Tulips, red and feathered, ready to swirl open in the morning. Yea!!

But this was the 'find' of the afternoon. I was walking past the heaps and mounds of winter-dead Vinca ground cover and noticed one rusty, tasseled head of a Peony poking out from under all the layers of leaves and stems. When I gently began to pull things back I discovered all these many stems and leaves trying valiantly to reach the sunlight. They are a little pale but with some sunshine they'll be fine.  After their blooming I will have to lift them to a better home for next year...and spread them out a bit. Oh happy day!