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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Living Frozen

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you,
I could walk forever in my garden.
~Attributed to Claudia Ghandi
I am dreaming of roses. Allegra's comment that making soup in akin to tending the garden resonated in my winter addled brain in a way that has me dreaming of roses.

I never have the time or energy to follow through on the grand schemes I plot during the long winter. I design gardens. I scour websites and page through catalogues. Then the reality of a less-than-cooperative man and my own inability to do the job myself interferes with my grand plans. Never mind I always find I do not have the time to maintain what I have.

So perhaps this will be an answer. Roses in pots. Sometimes the simplest is the hardest to realize when wrapped up in dreams. My dreaming may now take another turn. Perhaps a more achievable direction. Maybe once and for all I can put away the notion that I can have acres of perfectly manicured gardens and settle for my small plots accented with pots of roses as opposed to pots of annuals. And all it took is an ad for roses. Don't tell me I'm a slow study.

It's cold and snowing, I think a perfect day to walk through the garden in my mind and tend the soup in the pot. One I dream of, the other I can actually realize for lunch.

I am dreaming of roses. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Roses, Deer & Soup As A Metaphor

It's been a long winter and it's not over yet. I can tell it's been long as I find myself waxing poetic about soup. Soup and my acupuncturist have become the beacons of my life. I think we should keep this between us though, as I don't want anyone else to know I am so very boring.

It is hard to believe these beautiful things can actually bloom here when looking out the window and seeing the frozen land. Nature is a mystery.
Of course, I have a small problem known as baby deer. He is quite content living here with my horses as his companions. They have developed a tolerance for one another and I think it gives the deer a sense of a herd. I hope he finds his proper place in the spring, for his sake as well as mine. Cute as he is, he is not welcome to my plants for his dinner.

It is cold and getting colder as the week progresses. I slip between normalcy and melancholy, following the vagaries of the sky. Sunshine or gray. I make soup and feel its warmth fill the kitchen and life is good. So here I am, back to the soup. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Dinner, a simple cannelloni  and escarole soup with big fat croutons. Who wouldn't like that.
I have made a lot of soup this winter, much more than usual. I think the basic and simple quality of it is appealing to me in an organic way. So few ingredients can produce a complexity that cannot be lost on the palette. It reminds me of some of the more interesting people I have known who appear to be simple and ordinary, until you explore a bit deeper and find the amazing, which has been there all along, but you don't realize because one expects so much more. Like soup.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh Deer

He is still here. I have not seen him for awhile and hoped he found a herd to join. I looked out my office window to see him pawing at the ground. I thought he was digging to get at the grass, but he was making a little nest for a nap. After about an hour snooze, he got up and snacked along the tree line for a couple of hours. He looks like he is doing well. He sure is cute. And he scares my dogs.

It will be a moderate day in this frozen land. I wish I could look forward to spring, but to those of us with livestock it just means mud. Boot sucking, tendon popping mud. I hope this little guy finds his way by the time the flowers sprout. I really do not want to share my gardens with him for his dinner.

I need to get about my day. It should be so much easier, now that I know the state of our union is strong.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wouldn't It Be Wonderful

This poster hangs on the wall of the food shelf I have started volunteering some time at. It is visible as one walks in the door, as it hangs on the far wall. I find it poignant as well as ironic. My immediate thought was, wouldn't that be nice.

Think about what that would mean, if we truly lived in a just society. Food banks would not exist, for one thing.

I'll leave you with this quote from the CEO of a Minneapolis based medical device manufacturer, Howard Root.

"To task our corporations with the goal of fulfilling society's needs is a beautiful thought. But it would create a burden that could never be met while further damaging our competitiveness during the most challenging economic time of my life."

It is our task to determine how much longer we want to live with this as our societal model.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thinking

I've had quite of a bit of time to ponder since we have been in a deep freeze and the spirit has not moved me in the direction of productivity. Remind me of this the next time I k'vetch about not having time to get my life in order.

There has been so much to think about.

~United Health Care, that stellar Minnesota company, has reported a surge in profits because so many Americans cannot afford to go to the doctor. This is a good thing, I guess. A good thing for the insurer.

~On the same page of the newspaper, Minnesota has a lower than the national average unemployment rate in the last quarter, even though we lost jobs. I don't know about you, but that seems like tricky math to me. I guess if enough people fall off the unemployment roles you can claim victory.

~Barack Obama wants to open more markets to American business, so we can sell these markets more American goods. Made in China.

~It seems unnecessary regulation is at fault for the lack of employment opportunities for the American population. It is a good thing that our astute President and his Republican friends are on that now. Who needs those pesky safeguards anyway.

~Social Security does not rely on the general fund, so it cannot add to a deficit. That is why cuts need to be made to it. To reduce the deficit.

~President Obama is open to revising the corporate tax rate. Because those multinationals need more money given back to them. We need to reduce the deficit, so, well, you know.

~Comcast had nothing to do with Keith Olberman getting the unceremonious boot. Nope.

~Barack Obama is doing what the people want. Showing his centrist tendencies. You know, Wall Street before Main Street. I thought that was what he was doing all along whilst he was busy being a Socialist Nazi Communist president with Wall Street bankers sprinkled liberally (no pun intended) throughout his Cabinet. I must have been living on Sesame Street.

~And of course, one can never overlook the fact that guns do not kill people. People kill people. With guns. They kill people with hammers as well, but that is pretty much a single killing at a time. They may as well be efficient if they are going to do it. 'Cause we have a right. If everyone packs heat, then we will be safe.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Farm & Fawn

I have been busy with another endeavor. Face Book finally reeled me in. I know, I said I was breaking up with Face Book, but they went and added a farm page to my profile and I could not bear to leave it empty. So I have been busy uploading photos. I could probably spend half a year just doing that. If you want to look at my handiwork, here is the link. It's a 'Fan' page so anyone can see it. So much to do, so little time!
Worlds End Farm

We have a guest. He looks to be a weanling white tail without his dam or the herd.

He has been living in the spruce tree line to the west of the house. I took these photos through the window as he was munching berries from the vines. He does not seem inclined to leave, so I broke down and put hay out for him last evening. I don't want to encourage him, but he is young and alone and this is a very tough winter. So now I have something else to worry about.

It's a cold day, well below zero with the wind. I have a lot of catching up to do inside, so I need to stay off the computer and get to it. Really, I do.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jeff, Dorothy & Me

I watched the profile of Jeff Bridges on American Masters a couple of evenings ago. He said something which caught my attention; "Cynics are sort of crushed romantics."
I think I came out of the womb casting a cynical eye. Now I know this is probably not true, but that would mean I was a crushed romantic at a young age.

Although no Dorothy Parker, I'm not mean, I am the one in the crowd that throws the cold water. I'm the person who does not get invited to the party of happy talk. Somewhere in there I will insert a "You really think so", or "It will not surprise me if.....", or "But....". I realize that conversation with me often becomes a boxing match, or perhaps a chess game. Or, as is often the case, the other party, while their eyes are spinning in their head, says something about the weather. 

There have been times when I have tried to be like most people I know. Minnesota people. People who keep their opinions to themselves, at least to your face. I have tried to smile, keep quiet and quit bursting bubbles. I come across, at least in my own cartoon bubble, as a Stepford Wife on uppers.

Perhaps I am a frustrated diva who wanted, or perhaps needed, her own Round Table, surrounded by urbane and witty wags who hung on my every word, as I opined with smooth alacrity. In truth, I can't even keep my audience of dogs interested for more then a minute. Everyone needs a dream.

My original point, before I went off in another direction, is; I am off for another acupuncture treatment today. My cynicism toward this was dropped a few years ago when I saw how it helped a couple of my performance horses. Somehow in this upside down world of mine, it's animals first, two-legger sometime later. If I am going to be able to care for the animals into the future, this two-legger needs to turn that equation around for now.

I had no idea what I was going to do with that quote. I knew I wanted to use it, so I did. Sometimes a person simply needs to go with the flow. Even when the result is convoluted.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

That Sound You Hear

 Is My Head Exploding.

I'll make this brief.

Sarah Palin's self-serving whine about how she is unfairly picked on should cement in any rational persons' mind that she is a narcissistic opportunist who either has no idea what 'blood libel' is, or she is so warped as to believe herself as persecuted as the Jews upon whom the blood libel was perpetrated.

Either way, she is one miserable individual.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Orchids & Other Matters

My mother sent me an orchid for my birthday. I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. I somehow need to keep it alive.

I had pins in me yesterday. It did not hurt, I'm so pleased to say. As a matter of fact, acupuncture releases a sense of wellbeing while laying there stuck with needles.

There is a phenomenon that I recognize, when those who dwell in the world of people and life in a community experience and express through facial reaction, upon coming into contact with those of us who live in a completely different, um, reality. Watching the face has become a pass time of mine, sort of an out-of-body experience. I believe the acupuncturists were actually considering triage.

The very gentle, kind woman looked me in the face and tried to stay even in her tone as she told me: "Your body is freaking out". The young man sat so solemnly next to me and told me chronic problems are hard enough to help, but that I was acute. He looked so unhappy. I wanted to sooth them, tell them that it's OK, I know.

I am a stoic person, someone who somehow can keep going. I don't say this with pride, it's nothing to crow about. It brings a person to the place I am at. That is not a place to be. But it is very much a trait of people who are professionally in the business I have hung my hat on. A horse sends you flying and you get up with several cracked ribs and no one around....well you get up, clutching your side and you continue to bring them in, you throw hay down the chute, feed and water and then go in and wrap your torso. It really becomes the normal thing, something that is not given much thought. Something hurts, tape it, wrap it, medicate it, whatever. It is a matter of time before the body freaks out.

There is a price for everything and my bill has been presented. It seems my body is demanding payment in full. All of those things which seemed normal and rational at the time come around later for a visit. A long visit.

Bette Davis was so right when she said something about getting old not being for sissies. Once upon a time, I was Wonder Woman. Now, I'm simply a woman wondering "What the hell."

The good news, they think they can help me. I think so too. So I will behave and let them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Needles & Pins

When my son was a toddler he had a medical problem which put him in the hospital. I came into the room to find a child sobbing, large tears rolling down his face.  "Mama, they put pins in me. PINS, mama, PINS!" 
I have broke down my natural recalcitrance and have made an appointment with an acupuncturist. This is a big step for me to take. Odd, because I have used acupuncture on my horses for several years and have seen the positive results. But for myself? Well, not so much.

Chronic, unrelenting pain has changed my mind. I am tired of it. I want it to go away, even if just a little. So today they will put pins in me. If I don't faint first. Did I mention I become weak at the knees over needles and myself?  Lordy.

This had better work.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Calendar Turns

So today is my birthday.
I'm listening to the father of the little girl who died in the terrible tragedy in Arizona. As I think of my life becoming one year older, I can't help but feel so sad about this little girl who will forever remain nine. It is incredibly sad and meaningless.

We will never be able to have a thoughtful conversation about guns in America. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ramblings On A Cold Morning

So, it is over and life can resume its normal flow. I normally don't put too much effort into the season, but did this year for my mother's benefit. I have to say, I'm very happy to be done with it.

It's below zero this morning. A bright, crisp day ahead. I enjoy the sunshine, but clear skies always bring in the cold. I guess there is a tradeoff in life. For sure in this frozen place.

I had the pleasure of company for lunch yesterday: a friend who had the day off. This is such a rare happening for me and was a very welcome diversion. Living in the country and not working away from home leaves me in a position of being in my own company too much. I feel like the guest who won't leave, too much of just me! It was great to see my friend and spend a couple of hours in someone else's company.

Well, as is obvious, there is not much going on in life. I have limited my intake of politics, as I was becoming despondent. My state, in the infinite wisdom of the voters, gave us a good Democratic governor and a Republican legislature. Our Republican governor of the past eight years has left us with a 6.2 billion dollar deficit and a decimated infrastructure. He had a real liking for cutting and his favorite target was the poor. Of course, he is a good Christian Man, as he was Born Again. At times I would like to believe there is a god, because if there is, these awful frauds would get their due. I could write a very long piece on my attitude toward the Christian Right, but I think I will not. Let me just say, Minnesota is broke, financially and morally. Our new governor will not have much luck in turning it around. So the beat goes on. And I try not to dwell on what I cannot control.

Enough unorganized ramblings for now. I need to go out into the cold and turn the beasties out for the day. They don't mind the cold and don't care that I do. Bad beasties.

Good day to you all.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Resolve

Yes, indeed. This is rain. On December 31. In Minnesota.
I have not made it a habit to make New Year resolutions, but the end of 2010 was spent thinking about my life, leading me to think about what I would like to change. The change of location to the south of France isn't going to happen, so I decided to spend my efforts on slightly more realistic goals.

* Less time spent on social media. Sorry Facebook, we are breaking up. I know, you did not know we were a couple, but I was there, lurking.

* I am going to be predictable and say I need to lose weight. It would seem I have found thirty pounds and they decided to attach themselves to my waist. It has been a very close relationship, but we do need to stop seeing one another.

* I decided to take French lessons. I was conversant in French once upon a time, but it would seem not conversing causes one to forget. Kristina told me it will increase my IQ. As long as it does not increase my waistline.

I think this is enough for one year. Another resolution is to not get carried away with myself. This one I think I can manage. If I continue to make fruit cobbler and heavily dollop it with whipped cream, I will have a real difficult time breaking up with my waist. Breaking up is hard to do.