Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Saturday, October 15, 2011

à bientôt

Hard frost is coming.
Last blooms of the season. See you later lovelies, your long rest is near.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Feeds the Soul

It rained today. It's been two months almost to the day since rain has touched my little bit of parched earth. It's not enough, but it will do. The sound of rain to ears which have sought it is like a big warm hug from someone you love. It made my day.

So that being the case, I got busy with food. A day like this sparks the instinct to cook and bake, for me anyway. I couldn't find a happier task on a rainy day. I strew flour over several surfaces, peeled, cored and mixed. Kneaded, simmered and tasted my way through this day. It was wonderful, this day of the simple pleasure of food preparation. There was not a ladder, paint brush or manure fork to be seen!

Is there anything more satisfying to the senses than a freshly baked apple pie just out of the oven? The aroma alone is worth the effort involved, but fortunately I get to eat it and not just smell the goodness.
Fresh bread awaiting dinner, how good is that.
Chicken noodle soup. About as fine a way to end the day as I can think of. I do enjoy a good soup.
I am nearly done with the strenuous task of house painting. This, along with my horse and barn duties has kept me busy and tired. I'm glad I tackled it, but I will be very happy to see the end of this for the season. I'm not what I used to be, but I'm still in the game and thankful for it.

I hope you all are well and life is being kind. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The 99 Percent

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. ~Mohandas Gandhi

#OccupyWallStreet First Official Statement — unclear this is not | Coffee Party

Friday, September 30, 2011

Give Me Comfort

My day of food freedom and peach cobbler.
I have one day per week in which there are no restrictions on food. Refined flour is one of the taboo items, so today I made a cobbler with unbleached all-purpose flour, instead of whole wheat flour. I had a lot of peaches and have been baking with whole wheat flour, but it is not the same, so today, the real deal!

I am also excited to have asparagus & gruyere ravioli for dinner, with a little flank steak on the side. The ravioli is the star of the meal! I know, it's pathetic, but what can I say? How 'bout drizzled in sage and garlic butter with a little grated pecorino on top. I've been dreaming of cheese.

That's it, that's all. Back to work.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

'Nuff Said

I will accept corporations as human beings after Texas executes one.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Place of Respite

Since I have lived here, my little piece of earth has been a resting place for these migrating birds. They come by the thousands, arriving in a swirl of calling and whooshing, they descend upon the trees to rest and refuel. Last evenings menu was a new hatching of gnats.

It gives me a sense of importance to be the place they come to year after year for their rest. I know it is silly, I have nothing to do with it, but I do enjoy having the place they seek. The noise is unbelievable. They call en masse and when they swoop it sounds like large waves breaking.

The birds spent about three hours among my trees and then, in an instant, they set to the sky in a flurry of wings and noise, heading south and someplace else to rest and refuel as they undertake their long journey to milder climate. Good journey, noisy ones. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


There is beauty before we become the frozen land. The final hurrah before the white, smothering blanket lay itself over our countryside, creating a different and not entirely appreciated beauty of its own.

The leaves are changing hue and the roses are still in full glory. Everything else has gone to seed, knowing the days are short and the frost is near. Most of my life has been lived in this cycle, but I never grow tired of it, of the blazing colors of autumn, the smell of wood smoke in the air, the crunching of leaves underfoot. Every year I lay my face against the soft, wooly neck of my beautiful horses, starting to resemble wooly mammoths, smelling their wonderful horse smell and know it is just around the corner. The long, big freeze. 

Every single time, I feel a sense of anticipation and an almost childish glee with the coming of the first snowfall. It covers the ugly brown earth that is November in this place, it is the signal that we will now slow down and wait. We will eat chili and soup. There will be bread in the oven and cookies on the platter. There will also be that dreadful winter weight, but as I age, I care about that less and less. I will have my bread and cookies, I will light the fire and I will wait for spring.

But now, we have our beautiful autumn, the best time of the year in this land. It is a fleeting moment, one we grab and hold onto, pretending it will last longer than it ever does. This is how we survive.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What It Has Come To

Can you hear me sigh? I am. And I am also having a very fine whine. The only kind of wine I will be having for a while. It seems I am polluted. Polluted and in need of detoxification. Can you imagine?
I have had muscle soreness for years, soreness which I have attributed to the work I do. Over the past couple of years I have added in stiffness. Big time. The past six months it all got together and had a party and I guess I was the guest of honor. Yippee.

Traditional medicine has not been too interested in my plight. Strange how doctors aren't terribly interested in an aging woman's maladies. The only thing offered is pharmaceuticals. I am not interested in creating more problems than I already have, so that has been a big 'no thanks'.

I will come clean, pun intended, to the fact that I have been unwell for some time. I have had days where I can barely walk, which is not a good thing when you have twenty-four horses to care for. On the better days I have tried to sneak in some work, like painting a house. Talk about high-hopes liberally sprinkled with denial. I am slow in coming to conclusions, but I eventually figured out this is not normal. And it is getting worse.

Which leads me to my day yesterday. A friend referred me to a Naturopathic Doctor her daughter used. The daughter had a terrible car accident which left her living with constant pain and headaches. Traditional medicine was not able to help, so in a last ditch effort, after years of failed treatment, she tried this doctor. She got her life back, which is what I am hoping will be my result, as well.

He used an electromagnetic machine on acupuncture pressure points to determine where my body was compromised. My connective tissues showed through the roof, which I am sadly aware of, but this is a symptom and not the cause. My liver and lymph nodes, the cleaners, are not doing their housekeeping duties as well as they should, so I am polluted. He said I probably have 40 year-old pollution. He asked if I ever worked in an industry with toxins. No, I just grew up in a period in America where we discovered the marvels of chemicals. Have a little DDT with your meatloaf?

I have to take all of that stuff to clear out the junk. The diet won't make any difference for me, as I eat whole foods anyway, but I cannot have cheese, sour cream or alcohol. Taking away my wine is pushing it, but I will behave and do what I am told. I am tired of feeling ancient.

Anyway......I may actually be back to normal. I may have the energy to intermingle on the internets. Perhaps you will hear me say, I'm back, baby! Well, at least hi.

I think I have to go swallow some stuff now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


There are currently, according to the 2010 US census, one in seven people living in poverty in the United States of America. When one considers how low the bar is set for determining poverty, $21, 954 for a family of four, I believe it is fair to say there are more than that living a subsistent life.

One half of one percent control forty-six percent of all wealth, while millions of people slip into poverty. The images are different, but the result is the same.

We cannot claim to be a great nation whilst we drive so many of our population to the brink of hopelessness. We have become insulated and inoculated to the needs and suffering of others as we march headlong into this unthinkable society of freedom and individuality. It never existed. It is a myth that has been repeated so many times it has become part of our cultural lore. The chasm separating myth from reality seems so great at this time in our tumultuous history, I wonder if we will be able to breach it.

This has been on my mind. I don't understand people without conscience.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beautiful Photos (Not Mine!)

My friend, Shelley, is a professional photographer and she also attended the preview of Cavalia yesterday. She has the skills to capture what I do not. I thought anyone looking here should have the opportunity to see Shelley's photos. They will give you a better feel for what the show is like.

Shelley's Blog


You know, it really is good to have friends in high places.

I had the great luck of attending a media preview of Cavalia yesterday. My friend, Jeni, is one of the team marketing Cavalia in Minnesota and she invited me because I have a blog, a boatload of horses and I sometime actually write about them. I always knew those beasties would come in handy.....

This is a visually stunning performance and one my paltry attempts at photographing cannot come anywhere close to capturing. We got a forty-five minute preview of the two hour show and the only word which comes to mind is "wow". The people and horses involved in the production are superior in  training and abilities. The creator of this production is Normand Latourelle, the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, which gives you an idea of the quality and scope of this show. Magnificent horses meet beauty in acrobatic motion wrapped in a surreal setting.

You will forgive me for the repeated photos of the greys, but I am a sucker for a beautiful face and therefore focused in on one that has a certain something I am familiar with!

Either these are very good actors, or everyone, horses and humans, like their job. There was a  jubilance that was contagious throughout the performance. It almost made me want to join the circus! But then, I realize I already have a life which often resembles a three-ring circus, so I guess I'll stay here.

Chevaux, Mesdames et Messieurs, vous etes magnifiques!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Parsley, Caterpillars & Paint

Parsley Caterpillar 
We had a frost overnight. It's early, even for Minnesota, to have the tender plants killed off. I was busy picking my herbs yesterday and bringing in the last of the tomatoes, while covering the eggplant which is still so robust. I think this caterpillar only consumes parsley, at least this is the only place I see it. It is an amazing looking creature and very slow moving. Life must hard on those which are specific to one food plant.

I have got myself into a mess, as I have decided to paint not only the garage, but what we call the 'round end' of the house. I sprayed it to remove the dirt that only country life can cause, which took lots of paint off. Now I am in the soup, so to speak. My window of opportunity is narrow, so I must be diligent and not allow for distraction. Like this.

Winter is coming and I will have plenty of time to spend on the computer. For now I am starting my new career as a house painter. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

And the Sun Revolves Around the Earth

I have never, in my memory, watched a Republican debate. I did tonight. Oh my eyes, my burning eyes.

I came away with a firm understanding, based on the studies I have read, which say we are wired, at birth, in how we view society and our role in it. Now I understand, I comprehend, at a visceral level, that there are people born to swallow bullshit.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Morning Light

It is 45 degrees F this morning. The sun is bright and there is fog in the air. How swiftly our fortunes change. This change is most welcome, at least in my opinion.

This is the project of the moment. I started in the spring of '10, but after a good start, the weather turned wet, hot and humid. The fall brought nice weather, but it also brought my flea infestation, followed by illness (which I attribute to the chemicals used to kill the fleas).

We had a terrible spring and summer this year, so nothing has been accomplished this season, until now. You can see how wet and humid it has been by the weeds that have overtaken the gravel and the cement apron. What a mess.

If the weather we experienced this past year is a preview of the things to come due to climate change, I do not know how I will handle it. I am unable to adapt to tropical humidity, I really am. As much as I tire of winter and as expensive heating the house is during that season, I know how to handle that type of weather and can function, even in the -30 F temperatures. I don't like it, but I can deal with it. I cannot deal with 100+ and dew points in the 80's. I wilt.

I know I am MIA these days. I have spent more time and effort in my flesh & blood life lately, finding it leaves me without much time for anything else. I also do not have much to say. I guess I have said all there is in my head and now I am empty. I feel the same way when I visit you all. I am without words. Perhaps it will change, but I don't know.

Work is calling my name and I must answer. Be well, enjoy the Labor Day and perhaps give a thought as to why it exists.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


......for the prior photo.
"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows follow behind you." ~ Maori Proverb

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The Roots of Violence
Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Commerce without morality,
Science without humanity,
Worship without sacrifice,
Politics without principles.

~Mohandas Gandhi

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

~ William Gibson

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Storms & Spilt Water

We have had quite the summer. As you know, I live in a state with weather extremes and extreme weather. This is the kind of place where climate change is more easily evidenced. I am, like so many of my fellow Minnesotans, a weather geek. I am also in many ways still old school, meaning I use a paper calendar. That calendar is my record for the year, what appointments I had, who visited, when I vaccinated & wormed the horses and what the weather was doing.

Because of this, I have a long record of our Minnesota weather and I can tell you it is changing. The winters are not as cold, but the snow has been falling earlier, we have more frequent snow storms and we have multiple melt/freeze cycles. Ice has become a serious problem on my farm. Our summers are very hot and humid, with big storms carrying lots of rain. Yes, all of this has happened in our weather over the decades, but this is becoming standard. With that said, we had a storm yesterday that roared through and dumped a lot of rain, at one point it was raining horizontally. We are all tired of the humidity, the heat and the storms. I am thinking it may be how it will be and then some.

That afternoon I spilled water onto my keyboard, making it behave like a crazy thing. I was unable to write anything until this afternoon, after I replaced it. I was in a serious state of withdrawal! As you can see, I have a desktop Mac, which I bought four years ago. My how fast technology changes, as now a Mac is almost an anachronism as it is replaced by all of the mobil technology. This is my original keyboard, the one that behaved badly simply because I spilled water on it.
This is the new, slim version. And yes, I am still connected by wire. I read the reviews on the wireless keyboard and they were more so-so, to unflattering, than good. I am connected to the desk anyway, so I don't see why I should care about a wireless keyboard. Obviously, I am not a techno.
Technology moves too fast for me and I found it easiest to let most of it go over my head. I don't know what I will do when the time comes where I will be forced to own a smart phone. Just the very name of it gives me the willies. I don't want a phone that is smart and will only succeed in making me feel dumb.

There is my story, a weather geek who uses a paper calendar and a wired computer. Please don't think any less of me, it is beyond my control.