The horse's pasture to the East...

Monday, June 26, 2017

SOME WORDS BARE REPEATING (and some awesome Willow pictures!)

Truth. Art. Revolution. Gardens. Love. Anger. Laughter. Pain. Life. Family. Hope. Trust. Try. Dance. Sing. Paint. Dogs. Kittens. Age. Fear. Time. Read. Study. Search. Weed. Focus. Horses. Prioritize. Lonely. Cry. Overwhelmed. Truth. Chocolate. Politics. Donkeys. Religion. Deceit. Tree. Earth. Skin. Finite. Time. Love. Hope. Try.

Some words bare repeating. 

I am exhausted. It isn't pain or fear or aging or even the process of feeling the world move on without me that makes me tired. It's deceit, lies, innuendo, greed and the never ending search for power at the expense of others that wears me out. 

We have this opportunity that no other generation before us has had. We can all keep a journal here, on the internet, of our own history. Even people who have no computer or smart phone, pad or even personal connection to Wifi can start a Blog. We can go to the library and use a computer there or, for the price of a cup of coffee and a dollar, buy time at an internet cafe. 

If one of us is illiterate, there are Vlog's and Soundclouds, live streaming to Facebook, Youtube, and so on and so on and scooby dooby do on. And it was available to us a good twenty years ago too. We can use chat rooms, upload photos to the ICloud and Dropbox. 

So WHY aren't we learning from our past? WHY do we repeat the same patterns over and over again? 

John told me that I should start a website titled : "THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ME and you'de be smart to listen!" I am opinionated. We all are but some of us are more out spoken about it than others. My pattern is that I have a tendency to observe from the middle for a long time before I say anything. I watch, listen, think, collate ideas, change my mind, and think some more. I do some research, make some truly silly mistakes, do my best to make changes and make more mistakes. But in the process of riding that line, I learn. And I do change. 

I'd like to think I go forward. 

If it's on the Internet, it must be so ... right? Nope. Anyone can write anything and, if they have just a wee bit tech savvy, make it look official. The world has become a chess board and most of us are pawns. So why do we play the same old games? Is it change we're afraid of? 

Here's the deal. All of us have to pay the piper sooner or later. There's a ticket that comes due. It's the price of admission. If you're alive, you are finite. You will die. So why do any of us keep repeating the same patterns over and over? Why WAR? Why lies? Why spend time, precious finite time, on the fruitless pursuit of power and wealth? You can't take it with you. It's true! YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. 

Don't get me wrong. It's nice to have pretty things. But things can't talk to you, or hug you. Things won't rub your feet when you have an ache and they won't hold you when you're afraid. And things could care less whether you're there looking at them or using them or displaying them or hoarding them. 

I just don't get it. Why blow up cities? Why is one religion better than another and WHY do we think we need to kill to prove it? Why are there bombs? Why lie to cover up the mistakes we make? All you have to do is change. And be honest. Honest would be nice. So would polite. Polite would be very nice. And diplomacy, an open mind, kindness and caring enough to do what you can to help. 

I drove in to town to run some errands, stopped at a store. While I was there I saw a young, exhausted parent start to loose it with her two kids. She slapped the toddler out of frustration. I didn't think about it. I stepped in and offered to help. She wanted to slap me too. I was interfering.

It wasn't overt abuse. It was a pattern she had learned from an exhausted parent some time in her past. Ever 'hear' your Mom (or Dad's) voice come out of your mouth and say the same thing to your child you remember her saying to you? Patterns. We carry our patterns with us ; chaos, patience, anger, compassion, love, fear, pain, hope, confidence, and here we go again. It's another list. So WHY can't we learn from our past? 

I'm going to make a wild guess here. Patterns are a kind of framework. They give us structure in an unpredictable world. Even when those patterns are negative, we seek them out, fall back in to them because better the devil you know than the devil you don't. I know. Basic Psychology 101. But when do we learn from the self destructive patterns and make a change? Heck, when do we begin to recognize the positive patterns and use them to reshape our expectations? 

This post has taken on a pattern too, hasn't it? I'm going in a circle, coming back to the same questions. And if I say I wish the negatives would stop, someone else will say you need the dark to define the light. It's a Zen thing. 

I think maybe I'll just go beat my head on a fence post for a while because I just don't get it. Or maybe I'll go plant some more flowers, some more seeds. If they don't come up this year, they'll germinate next year and bring some unexpected beauty. 

And laugh... Laughter is good when it isn't at someone else's expense. Yup. Laugh...make a change. 




Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I'm on a gardening roll here. Thought I'd talk to you about Lasagna Gardening. I found information about it eight years ago thanks to the 'Google Gods' and Youtube, awesome resources. It makes organic gardening from scratch so easy! We have two versions of it and both have worked very nicely, eliminating a lot of time and energy I used to spend on loosening and improving soil, turning it over and dealing with weeds. 

I do my own cobbled together version of this. I usually start my beds in the Autumn and let them over Winter, but I've also put them in during the early Spring months too. We've chosen a spot on the east side of our barn where it doesn't get hayed and has become a spot for weeds if I don't mow it every week. It looks like a good place for Sunflowers and Echinacea (purple prairie cone flowers) . The Echinacea is a biannual that takes two years to get started. I'm putting the  Sunflowers in to stabilize the hillside (we have no flat areas at all where we live) and to provide shade for the Echinacea while it establishes itself. The first year for the Echinacea will be low growing greens only. It will flower the next year and continue to grow, reseeding itself every year there after. Both are very good for the wild life as well as the horses, and they're pretty flowers that are native to this area to boot. It's a win-win for us.

We waited until the horses were taken off that field (they get to use it six hours a day for about six months of the year after it's been hayed) and then I scooped the multitude of poop they gift the Earth with and layered it directly on the well grazed, short grass back behind the barn. See my cat sitting on the blue barrel? Walk around that corner and the triangle area the tractor can't easily get back to is where we're putting in our new wild flower area. It will go back to the fence with enough space for me to easily mow around it. Lots less mowing for me to do!

On top of the nice, deep layer of poop we put layers of boxes we've saved. The poop underneath breaks down very nicely with the cardboard acting as the shade to help keep the weeds from coming back. On top of the cardboard we put hay left behind by the horses or moldy hay that wasn't good enough to feed them. 

The next layer is the broken down compost that is at least a year old. We call it 'Black Gold'. On top of that we'll put soil and mix it with the 'Black Gold', making a very nice place to start wildflowers without weeds. The finished area is about ten to twelve inches high and will break down to being only about two to three inches high by the end of the Summer. While that's happening the sunflowers will push roots down through the cardboard, which breaks down rapidly, establishing a nice system to hold it all in place. The Echinacea will establish itself around the Sunflowers and will take over next year. 

I had to add this video. The music and fast forward were a hoot to watch. I love the way they used hay bales to make the edging for the raised beds too. It, eventually, becomes part of the garden. We built beds using wood. They've been there for eight years now. The wood has warped some but it still is holding the shape. The soil, since we amend it every Autumn building another layered Lasagna style garden on top, has become a rich, loomy home for a multitude of worms. It smells good enough to eat! (I know. Some of you are making 'YUCK!' faces here. But really good dirt does smell delicious to someone who spends a lot of their time experimenting with ways to improve the soil. ) Even in years of drought, when most of the neighbors around here have given up on their gardens, ours is still producing. And the weeds are very easy to control. 

In the raised container beds we use coffee grounds from some of the local coffee shops (they give it away free!), produce that is either too bruised or old to sell from the grocery stores, scraps from our kitchen as well as peed on bedding from the stalls and our own composted horse poop. If you check in your area you can usually find horse ranches as well as people who have chickens that are more than happy to share the bounty with you. It's very rich and breaks down quickly, giving you beds to grow in that will be the envy of your neighbors. And it's all organic! You know how much it costs to buy fresh organic produce in the grocery store. Whew! Takes your breath away. 

I can't say enough good things about this style of gardening. It gives back to the Earth, eliminates or helps to cut down on the carbon 'footprint', and provides so much fresh produce you'll end up teaching yourself how to can and freeze to save the bounty for the rest of the year.

This is a no brainer style of gardening that saves time and money as well as the back breaking job of tilling the soil every Autumn. Throw some seeds in, tuck a few plants in and enjoy. I promise your gardens will DANCE with butterflies, bees and more tomatoes and peppers than you know what to do with!

I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling because Spring is around the corner ! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


The landscape is slowly waking up. Forsythia is blooming and the fields have a delicate pale green cast to them. Time to garden! 

Definition of garden

1a :  a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivatedb :  a rich well-cultivated regionc :  a container (as a window box) planted with usually a variety of small plants

If you look at the definition of the word garden, from the Merriam Webster Dictionary, you can see that a garden is all inclusive of whatever you are growing in the ground or a container, inside or outside. So anyone can grow something anywhere and call themselves gardeners. 

There's a movement afoot to make gardening available to everyone without the interference of corporate entities. I'm going to be attaching some of the videos about these groups to this article because I truly think that growing your own food and herbs is the best form of revolution there is. It's peaceful, beautiful, enlightening and satisfying. If you don't have a place to put your hands in to the soil, then create a place to grow within the environment you live in. When you grow your own food, you take back your independence. YOU control the food that goes in to your body and you give back to the Earth, even when growing hydroponically in recycled bottles in a tiny apartment. There are now communities online with thousands of members who are crowd sourcing, sharing their ideas about how to lessen the carbon footprint while recycling containers and growing their own organic food. 

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress. Lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy ( from an article by Bonnie L. Grant )

I've been a gardener for sixty years. Yikes! Big number, isn't it? My Grandpa started me off on the quest for mud between my toes and dirt under my fingernails when I was "knee high to a grasshopper". That was his phrase. He would laugh at how earnest I was about making straight rows and doing exactly what he was doing with the soil. He didn't have a voice so he would point at his knee, catch a grasshopper, point at it's joints and at me. We had our own language, my Grandpa and I. I'd smile and back we would go to our planting, weeding, loosening of the soil, and watering with my own little watering can he'd found for me in the back of the barn. 

There was no internet when I was a young woman. But there were seeds, hand tools and spades, soil and pots. I grew something every place that we lived, including the tiny studio apartment in Berlin, Germany. There was a window with a ledge and flower pots were cheap and plentiful. I grew lettuce and spinach, cherry tomatoes and flowers in that window. In the process I made friends with my German neighbors who I would wave at everyday while watering my tiny, urban garden. It wasn't long before the barriers of language were broken when we shared our bounty back and forth ; flowers for herbs, herbs for lettuce, tomatoes for seeds. I can't remember their names but I can still see their faces, the smiles, when we compared our window gardens. 

I hope you're taking the time to watch these short videos as you go through this article. Each of them has a theme that CONNECTS together. This one is about the CONNECTION we have with the Earth and the fact that most of us have lost that CONNECTION. We need to find our way back to the garden, to the Earth and all of the lovely, natural gifts she offers. 
I've added the videos to inspire you. Now all you have to do is decide how you're going to use the ideas here. To help you get started I'm going to add some information about my favorite places to order seeds. Tools you can find at any big box type store. Better yet, go to garage sales and estate sales. Some of the tools being sold there for pennies on the dollar have history and are made better than the new tools. One of our favorite family jokes is about the "Cheap Hoe" I've used in my gardens for more than thirty years. I bought it at a garage sale for fifty cents and it's still going strong. But that's another story...

EdenBrothers.Com - Eden Brothers Seed Co‎ 633-6336

I've been shopping with Eden Brothers for more than twenty years. I especially 
love their wild flower mixes. You can buy them in bulk for excellent prices. Their
website is very easy to shop from, service is excellent and the germination rate
for everything I've bought has been way above average. They sell vegetables, herbs,
almost anything you're looking for. I would give them a five out of five stars.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: Rare Heirloom Seeds
Buy Heirloom Garden Seeds online. Over 1800 varieties of Vegetables, Rare Flowers & Herbs. 100% Non-GMO open pollinated seeds. 

If you're like me, you love seed catalogs. There's nothing like having the actual, printed on paper catalog in front of you for dreaming and planning out your garden. Baker Creek is an excellent source of heirloom seeds from all over the world, all of them carefully sourced and organic. The catalog is a work of art loaded with information and ideas about how to get started with your own garden. Better yet, this catalog is FREE. If you love to make vision boards or to sit up at night with catalogs next to you while you plan out your garden, order your catalog from Baker Creek. (I save mine from year to year!) This company is another five out of five stars for me.

Organic Non-GMO Vegetable Seed - -For growers and gardeners‎
Excellent Quality. Over 700 Organic Varieties. Free Shipping. Free Catalog.
(802) 472-6174

I found High Mowing at a Mother Earth Fair a few years back. I bought some of
their seed packs, listened to a presentation, looked at some of the tools they 
offered and I was hooked! The seeds we planted that year had an excellent 
germination rates and very high yields. This is another five stars out of five stars
for me. And did I forget to mention the FREE catalog?! Another one to add to 
your stock pile.

Dutch Gardens Catalog - Search & Find Quick Results.‎ delivers the best results from across the web.
Learn More · Quick & Easy Answers · Find Relevant Information · Search & Find Now

I've ordered my bulbs from Dutch Gardens for years. They have excellent bulk prices and a wide variety of bulbs and seeds. I would give them four out of five stars but only because I'm not as sure of their sourcing for organic products. If you love flowers grown from bulbs I would highly suggest them as your go to source. 

Start your own revolution. Use this as a way to RESIST. Find your way back to the gardens, fresh food you've grown and the magic of watching the first tiny sprouts come up. Share with your neighbors, CONNECT to the Earth and find your way home. There's nothing like plunging your hands in to the dirt or, even better, rebuilding the soil for centering yourself and regaining control of your life.
Do the best that you can with what you have wherever you are. Be a "soldier" of the Garden and bring green in to your life. 
This was written for the memory of my Grandad and his love of the Earth. Thank you for the gift of a lifetime Grandpa. I love you!
I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling with green stuff between my teeth and mud between my toes. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


I'm going to write about violence today. I choose, most of the time, not to identify myself with my abusive and chaotic childhood. I've worked hard for my entire adult life to understand and forgive my parents; my Father for his uncontrollable temper and inability to "control his hands" (as Mr. Stewart talks about in this and other videos on youtube) and my Mother for not being strong enough to take us away from a home where we all were endangered. 

Where does domestic violence come from? How can we, as a species, hurt our own children or spouse, brothers or sisters? It's self destructive and it leaves scars that never go away. It's a pattern that repeats itself down through the generations, creating and recreating the atmosphere for more violence.

My Father, like most of the young men of his generation, was a veteran of WW2. He and his brothers served during the war. Statistically the vast majority of men in prison for domestic violence or for assault are veterans of war. We lived in one of those households where uncontrollable anger, pain, frustration and physical violence took root and bloomed. 

I don't know what went on in my Uncle's houses but I can tell you that in my parent's home I always kept a window open, hoping that I would have a way to escape. I watched my Father break a board over my brother's back because he was lost in a snow storm. He would strike me so hard that I flew across the room, hitting the wall and being knocked senseless. He would fight with my Mother, throwing things at her and hitting her. And one of my brothers was on the street by the age of fourteen, becoming a drug addict and convicted felon later in his life. I am certain he left because his home life was worse than his life on the street.

 I was an expert on violence, on being able to predict the atmosphere and temperature in the room and knowing when it was coming by the age of five. And I always knew the best way to exit the room too; either through a door or, if I couldn't get to the door, through a window. I knew a lot about how to hide and if I wasn't able to get away, to hide inside my head. 

Violence begets violence. One of the definitions of the word patterns is : Consistent and recurring characteristic or trait that helps in the identification of a phenomenon or problem, and serves as an indicator or model for predicting its future behavior. 

It's a repeating pattern that recycles itself because of the imprint it leaves on the children who grow up in a house with domestic abuse in it. I've watched the lasting effects of our childhood roll down through the generations, putting a niece and a nephew of mine in prison as convicted felons. They've been incapable of long term relationships and have lost custody of their children. My nieces were pregnant by the age of fifteen and none of those children finished high school. 

Do I think war had something to do with it? I think that's a high probability. I never saw my father's parents show any signs of aggression towards any of us or each other. We sometimes spent weeks with them in the Summers. There was plenty of opportunity for uncontrolled anger and violence. It never showed it's face to any of us. My father had scars on his head, perhaps causing closed head injuries (something that was not part of the conversation in the fifties and sixties or even seventies). Shell shock was the term for PTSD during that generation. I have no way to confirm it with my father or mother. They died many years ago. But I do believe his behaviors may have been affected by his experiences during the war.

I've spent my life as an adult breaking the pattern of violence imprinted on my childhood. Violence is a choice. I decided NOT to be like either of my parents. I took classes, went to counseling, took a minor in psychology in college. I learned the art of self defense, choosing not to be vulnerable. And my mantra now, to my sons and others, is ALWAYS QUESTION AUTHORITY. And I am one of the lucky ones. I married my best friend who has always been there for me, reaching out and helping to put me back on my feet when I was struggling. In my family my husband and I, together, have broken the pattern of pain, anger, frustration and "not being able to control one's hands". 

I will never understand the violent side of our nature as humans. I will not condone it. And I will not participate in it either. Violence is a choice and mine is to walk away or, better yet, run away from it. 

I still stop to look at any room I'm in, making sure there is a way to escape. I never walk in to any situation without looking at all of the people present and being prepared to run, hide or if there is no other choice, to defend myself. My scars will never allow me to fully relax in any social situation. Trust is a powerful word for me. It is rarely given and once broken it can take years to recover or, sometimes, never at all. 

The videos I've linked here will give you a basic set of steps to take if you or someone you know is being abused. Please, please reach out for help. And if it is refused, ask again and again. 

The National Abuse Hotline number is :1- 800- 799- SAFE (7233) or
                                                         1- 800- 787- 3224 (TDD)

Both numbers will put you in contact with trained counselors and are completely confidential. Please, ASK FOR HELP either for yourself or for the person you know is being hurt.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, no longer silent and smiling because I can!

Friday, February 24, 2017


I don't know what it was about this video, but it made me cry. The choir uses their bodies as instruments to bring rain to a song and makes it a celebration. That is exactly what rain is like for me, especially in the Spring. It's an all out DANCE of clouds, wind, water, lightening and thunder. I love the wildness of it, the energy and uncontrollable excitement that comes with the gift of water.

I used to scare the ever loving bejesus out of my Mom when I was a girl. I would sneak out of the house to walk in a thunderstorm. I knew it was dangerous, even saw lightening strike trees close to me, blowing branches off and smoking. And I loved it! I still go outside when the weather calls me. A few years ago, when we still had a landline and I had a cell phone, my husband and son called me, one on each line, and tried to talk me in to not going outside in a storm because there was a tornado on the horizon. I'm not very good at listening. I talked to them while the wind whipped around me, rain and hail hit me and the deck and I watched black tails fall out of the clouds. It was awesome!

I know walking in thunderstorms is a fool's errand. I do it anyway. Rain and wind always blow away the dust, the humidity and fear of drought. Sometimes trees do come down. I call that Mother Nature cleaning house. The trees that fall become homes for small animals and insects, hiding places for dens and a huge composting culture for years of wild flowers and grasses, herbs and wild berry patches. 

And I love the adrenalin rush that comes with walking away from safety and leaning in to a wind, feeling rain soak through my clothes and hearing thunder that makes my bones rattle inside my skin. I am so alive when an absolutely black sky flashes to white so bright it blinds me. And when the storm is over and the water drips from every twig and blade of grass, birds sing and the wind dies down it's like the perfect end to a symphony. 

Don't get me wrong. I have great respect for the power of water. It changes the landscape in moments when it breaks through the barriers of the river banks, flashes as a flood. I never drive or walk through water across a road. It's always deeper than you think and incredibly powerful. 

But the unadulterated and uncontrollable power of a thunderstorm in Kansas is part of who I am. I grew up with lightning, wind, rain and hail. I thrill to the electricity that runs cross my skin and makes my hair stand up as it comes rolling in from the horizon. Living in a more temperate climate would be nice for a while but I would probably seek out the enormous changes in temperature, humidity and wind in the middle of the continent pretty quickly. I need the noise, the cascades of water and power of a storm more than the placid, green country side of quiet England or the ever sunny shores of California. 

I worry more than I used to when a storm rolls in. My Lucky takes his herd to the top of the hill and they all stand there, butts to the wind, lightening and thunder rolling across the sky and rain on their backs. But I also get that urge too. I can't begin to understand what prompts him to take them out in to the middle of the highest hill but I know that I have the same impulse. I want to twirl and twirl, holding my hands up and yelling, " BRING IT ON! " 

I have a feeling that, with the extremes in weather we've had this Winter, Spring is going to rock! As a Mom I'd tell you to be safe. But as an artist in Kansas, I'd say, "DANCE with the wind!" 

It's coming. And I plan to run between the rain drops and be completely foolish. 

The flowers this year should be spectacular! Look for me on the top of the hill, in the rain...

I am, ever yours, Nancy, waiting and smiling

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

MUSINGS ON TIME or How to complete my circle...

So I've spent the past few weeks having a minor freak-out here. Somehow my perception of time and how it passes has changed. It was gradual, a sneak up on Nancy thing. One day I'm living my life as an artist, horse-woman, storyteller , wife and Mom and the next my skin has melted and slid down my front (and back side too, mores the pity). I'm hitting scary big numbers on my whirling past birthdays, and my friends are making graceful or not so graceful exits from this world. The Grandma part I like except for the fact I never get to see my Grandchildren, but that's another story.

I saw this article in The Atlantic today about living a life so long you would, basically, become immortal. It's pretty obvious this would be available to the 'Haves' (as opposed to the 'Have Nots) only. There's no doubt in my mind that us ordinary, everyday people would just have to lump it and die somewhere between 60 and 100. But let's set that aside for the moment and think about how we would structure our days if we did have, just to round it off, five thousand years to live. How would I look at my present relationships, daily goals as well as five or fifty or five hundred years later goals. 

Let's take money out of the equation. What you need is there when it's time to use it. You have a nice, safe place to live that suits your present needs and likes. (For me right here will do providing I can use some of that unlimited $$ to replace a few things and own the land.) If you want to go back to school to learn something new, acquire a skill technical or otherwise, the doors are open and in you can walk. How would I spend my time?

I spent some sleepless nights worrying about things I can only philosophize about. I made lists, tossed and turned, worked myself up until I had a headache and I never get headaches! What was so different when I compared today to ten or twenty or thirty years ago? Time. That was the only factor I could find that made things feel odd to me. 

I do have more than the usual set of worries. There's nothing there for me to retire on. I don't own land or a house. No one will hire someone in my age category, at least around here. We live in a youth saturated area full of well educated, eager college students and graduates. And I am so very mid twentieth century. My skill sets are not in the usual or average. I'm an artist, parent and grandparent who willingly set aside career goals for family, a tree hugging, animal person who rescues wayward souls. I have a college education that, again, is so mid twentieth century it's laughable. I can paint and draw, write a good story and design the ever loving heck out of a home or garden in an economy and state of do-it-yourselfers. Throw in just enough computer skills to barely keep up and there you have me in a nut shell.

But back to our existential musings on 5000 years. What would I do? Paint more, sculpt more, write and dance. I would buy the equipment I need to ride and find my instructors to take me to a higher level. I would travel all over the world, staying for years in new locations. In between I would take on the care and love of yet more dogs and cats, horses and donkeys, and teach while I stayed in one place. And then when those circles were completed I would travel more and climb mountains, sail the seas, be more vigilant in the pursuit of caring for the environment. 

I would be there for the lives of my grandchildren and their grandchildren, going to school plays and swimming lessons, piano recitals and picnics. I would fly to the moon and back, circling so I could see the Earth from the point of view of space. And I would find new friends in every country and learn from them about their lives, cultures and languages. I would do my best to be a better writer and storyteller, focusing on language and how to paint eloquently with beautifully shaped sentences and paragraphs. 

For a while I might be an MD, would acquire PHD's in architecture, philosophy, archeology and field biology. And I would always come back here because the passing seasons would, I think, continue to fascinate me all the way through to the end of my five thousand years. Would the same wild flowers emerge in the Spring and birds come back to nest? What old paths would disappear and new ones show up? And maybe I would compare those changes to someplace in the Himalayas or the shore line along the Thames. So many dreams and so much luscious time to achieve them and all of it fiction. And there's the rub. Ah me.

Back to reality. It's pretty obvious when you read this post that dreaming big isn't hard for me, it's having the drive and confidence to reach ... and time ... that will keep me from those five hundred year goals. I can't imagine getting bored. There are so many things to 'taste', from my point of view, that I could see five thousand years as too short. Still there are limits and I have to find some way to work with them. 

My first step to restructuring my time was to take social media platforms out of my life except as a way to publish this and, when I think I've changed my habits to suit the list of things I've written down in my journal, spend only a few minutes to say 'Howdy!' and move on. I am, after all, a creature of the past century who needs more hands on and less screen time. And definitely no more politics. It's nasty. Politics brings out the dirty underbelly of the world and I want very little to do with it . It wears me out and makes me cry. I've had plenty of other reasons in my life for that without faceless voices in the ether taking me places I'd rather not be.

I'll check in here more often and leave the gossip and bickering to others more suited for it. I'm off to play with horses, set up the gardens and to make the changes I can without crying about the things I don't have time to deal with.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, musing on the river of time rushing by, wading in the shallows, smiling

Thursday, January 26, 2017


This is it. This is my world. I live on a carefully protected bit of land. These hills and the forrest hiding on them are the furthest western edge of the eastern forrest. Right here is where the prairies met the trees. The only reason it still exists is because of generations of people who've stepped up to protect it. 

Except for the two barns and small houses, there is no development. There are circles of trees that were tiny suckers that came up when the old growth was cut, to build a railroad that stretched from coast to coast. And, somehow, some of the old growth trees were saved. When I go out on to the land to hike, I still find rusting tools that were left behind. I always pack them back in too. 

It isn't glitzy. There are no gold curlicues or gold curtains. It's rough, as pristine as we can keep it. Some of the wildlife living here is rare, especially some of the frogs and toads. Every year is an unknown bonanza because it's Nature that decides what will bloom. There are species of forrest edge wild flowers living here that are only found in cultivated gardens now. And they are the smaller varieties too, hiding behind and under leaves and downed trees. The ground is a deep cushion of silt, soil and decaying leaves that smells so good I'm tempted to eat it. It's full of tiny organisms. It teams with life.

There isn't a day, when I walk out my front door, where I'm not in awe of the delicate, perfect beauty I find here. I've seen butterflies and moths I've never seen anywhere else. The fields are half in flight because of the vast numbers of insects and birds that live connected to the grasses and wildflowers. I've lost track of the artists I've invited out to wallow in the luxury of the landscape. 

And it's quiet. Except early in the morning, when folks are driving up the road to get to work or out to their fields, there are no other sounds except the wind in the trees, birds singing, insects humming. My soul rests here. It's the place I wanted to be when John and I took all of those vacations with our sons at the National Parks. Only it's right here, just outside my doors and windows. We live in a hidden glen. Not many people get to say that.

Every detail is perfect because there is balance. And every moment is fleeting because it is constantly growing, blooming, seeding, decaying and growing in to a new cycle again, exactly the way it is meant to. It's a never ending symphony of color and music, rain and sun, winter and summer. 

"All you have to do is listen!"

I promised myself I was going to stay away from politics. This past election cycle was horrible. It kept me up at night. And it seems the nightmares are coming true. This was what I found on my Facebook Feed this morning.

From an EPA staffer: SPREAD The Word PLEASE!!!!
"So I work at the EPA and yeah it's as bad as you are hearing:
The entire agency is under lockdown, the website, facebook, twitter, you name it is static and can't be updated.
All reports, findings, permits and studies are frozen and not to be released. No presentations or meetings with outside groups are to be scheduled.
Any Press contacting us are to be directed to the Press Office which is also silenced and will give no response.
All grants and contracts are frozen from the contractors working on Superfund sites to grad school students working on their thesis.
We are still doing our work, writing reports, doing cancer modeling for pesticides hoping that this is temporary and we will be able to serve the public soon.
But many of us are worried about an ideologically-fueled purging and if you use any federal data I advise you gather what you can now.
We have been told the website is being reworked to reflect the new administration's policy.
Feel free to copy and paste, you all pay for the government and you should know what's going on. I am posting this as a fellow citizen and not in any sort of official capacity."
If you share, please do so with copy and paste."

I did not edit the content of this message. I picked it up as a 'copy and paste'. I have decided there are some things worth breaking my own rules for. I am not going to be quiet.

In 1970, in response to the welter of confusing, often ineffective environmental protection laws enacted by states and communities, President Richard Nixon created the EPA to fix national guidelines and to monitor and enforce them. Functions of three federal departments—of the Interior, of Agriculture, and of Health, Education, and Welfare—and of other federal bodies were transferred to the new agency. The EPA was initially charged with the administration of the Clean Air Act (1970), enacted to abate air pollution primarily from industries and motor vehicles; the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (1972); and the Clean Water Act (1972), regulating municipal and industrial wastewater discharges and offering grants for building sewage-treatment facilities. By the mid-1990s the EPA was enforcing 12 major statutes, including laws designed to control uranium mill tailings; ocean dumping; safe drinking water; insecticidesfungicides, and rodenticides; and asbestos hazards in schools.  ( From the Encyclopedia Britannica )

When I was a girl, I remember going to the beach in Maine in the Summer. My Mom made it very clear that only certain sections of the beach were safe to play on. And I couldn't swim either, not because the water was cold or the tides were dangerous, but because it was polluted. My Mom was an Analytical Chemist by profession. She walked me down to the area of the beach she wanted me to stay away from and showed me a stream of smelly, orange colored filth flowing in to the ocean from a pipe . It was the effluent from factories in the area, piped there through underground aqueducts. 

She stood there and told me, based on color and smell, what was probably in the four foot wide stream. All of it was dangerous and noxious. We didn't go back to the beach after that day. She took my brother's hand and mine, marched us back to the car and then went back to get the umbrellas, chairs and picnic basket. We went home to have a picnic in Nana's back yard instead. That's what the USA was like before there were controls on industry. And that is where we are going to go back to if Mr. Orange has his way.

We've spent a lot of time discussing politics this past year. We don't watch TV or even listen to the radio except for music. Both of us love our quiet and, after 47 years, we treasure our time together, our debates and conversations. The art of storytelling, research and debate, discussion and discourse still lives in our home. 

I told John that I loath war and violence. I would rather listen and learn from people and other cultures. I love diversity. But I also told him that I wasn't a fool. If the unidentified "they" come up my drive, I will fight. It never occurred to me that it might be my own country that brought the fight to me. 

I am one small voice, living in a hidden glen. If that's all I have then I plan to use it. I apologize to the folks who come here to read my stories but I'm a 'do the best that I can with what I have' kind of person. I will have my say. I am choosing to openly and actively question authority.

Above is the address on line for finding the contact information for any representative or senator presently working for Congress in Washington DC. I hope you'll use it to find the people you want to express your opinions to. USE YOUR VOICE. Make a noise. QUESTION AUTHORITY. RESIST.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, standing here with my dukes up, feet set and fangs bared, smiling...