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

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.