The horse's pasture to the East...

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

FORK YOU 2020!

 Two days left of 2020, today and tomorrow. Most everyone I know is glad to see it come to an end. It’s been a trying year, and you can define that two ways. It’s been difficult for everyone, one that’s made all of us cry and loose sleep over. can say you stood on your own two feet, discovered yourself and kept trying to walk your own path. I think I did both. 

Social pressure has been used to force us in to someone else’s idea of who they think we should be. That’s a terrible weapon. It used to be called gossip, innuendo, bullying and forcing the outliers in to conforming. But I am not part of the “us”, the “herd” of people who follow mandated rules that break our Constitutional rights. I never have been one to walk the common path. I usually stand to the side, observe, and occasionally walk with others. More usually I walk by my own set of rules. Mind you I did not say laws. I have never broken a law; no speeding tickets or parking tickets, bills are paid on time, and I am there for friends and neighbors that need me. I do not steal, lie or cheat. I do no harm (something the medical profession seems to have forgotten this year). 

I am, in short, an American. Our greatest strength has been our guaranteed rights, supported by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It has made us the country most sought after by immigrants . We are creative, innovative, and powerful when we unite in a common cause. We can become almost anyone we want to be if we are willing to work for our goals. We have access to some of the best Universities in the world. And it used to be that our public school system encouraged independence and self reliance. We are also a people who share our wealth and are willing to help through charities and working for others selflessly and that was all VOLUNTARILY given. 

I could beat this entry to death with more of my opinions, but I’ve already said what I needed to in previous posts. It’s time to choose my word for 2021, something I’ve been doing every year in this 21st Century. It’s too easy to forget resolutions. But one word is a challenge, a meditation, and hard to forget. That suits me. I love the power of words when they are used for positive reasons. And I am careful of the words that are destructive and cruel. 

My list for this coming year has, obviously, been altered and enhanced by the events of 2020. I’ve learned about the not so subtle cruelty and pain of refusing to conform to rules and mandates that raised the hair on the back of my neck. My inner voice, something I have always listened to, has made it clear that something is rotten in the state of the world. I chose not to follow the bizarre restrictions put forth based on some of the worst science I have ever witnessed. And I paid for it dearly with the loss of people I had thought were friends. I’m fine with that. But it did hurt. Change is always difficult so I wasn’t surprised. Fear is a powerful motivator. Doesn’t mean I’m not afraid too. It does mean that I use those feelings as a battery to keep myself focused and balanced. 

And I found my word. BOUNDARIES for 2021. Good fences make good neighbors. How rural Midwest of me! 

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” 

― May Sarton

My words for 2020 were weirdly prescient. 

FORGIVE has been used nearly everyday this year. I had to remind myself that people were reacting out of fear. It’s hard to be kind or to see from another’s point of view when a person is blindsided by fear. I react differently to fear after having a childhood ruled by extreme fear. I’m a veteran, of sorts, with PTSD. My reaction to fear is to embrace it, use it as a method to find my way to a clear set of answers . I ask questions, research, collate information, step back and breath and then determine a reaction. Most of the people I know react blindly to fear. They can’t think. I used the word, fear, six times in that paragraph to let you see how often people have been coerced by the media, using that word. 

BELIEVE took discipline. But after a while I saw that the world is still there; trees are sprouting, growing, dying and falling the way they always have. Horses are in the fields, dogs at my side and cats in the barn. The Great Blue Heron and his mate lived at the sides of our three ponds and coyote sing every night. The sun comes up, my gardens grew and the frogs sang again this Spring. The real world cares very little for human politics. BELIEVE reestablished itself . I didn’t work for it. It simply is...

CONNECT was redetermined in it’s old form. I left all social media platforms, left tiny glass screens behind except as a means to communicate with my family and a few friends who had not labeled me as a heretic. And I used YouTube as a means to self educate myself in the history of fine art and farming/gardening. I re-CONNECTED to the real world and left the non reality of cyber space behind. 

I feel like I’ve been successful following my three words from this waning year. How interesting that, before any of the shit hit the fan, I felt like it was a year for three words! Somehow I knew it was going to be challenging, that it merited three powerful words.

My family, my animals, friends, the land and a firmly set moral compass are going to be my guides this year. 2020 taught me to expect the unexpected. My BOUNDARIES will expand, change and evolve as the days roll along but they will always be based on love, compassion, honesty, kindness, hard work and devotion to my inner voice and the land. 

I wish all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR full of love, time spent with the people you care for and hope, always hope. 

1. Be impeccable with your word.

2. Don’t take anything personally. 

3. Don’t make assumptions.

4. Always do your best. 

From THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz

I am, always yours, Miss Nancy, smiling at the way things go....

Thursday, December 17, 2020


One of my favorite places to think is in my barn and paddocks. While I’m scooping poop, cleaning and filling water buckets, putting out fresh hay in the slow bags and sweeping floors, my mind settles. It clears out all of the musty cobwebs and ill feelings and the doors begin to open. I hear my inner voice and it sings. This year we’ve added in ducks and chickens to our equation so I have my own chorus of our rooster calling and ducks laughing. The sun comes up while the gates are opened. How magic is that! No wonder inspiration comes to me while I get dirty and sweaty

I leave the barn doors and stall doors open while I am outside. Having that kind of freedom with my horses is as much a treat for them as it is for me. They all come to visit during the morning. And one or the other and sometimes all of them ask to play. I drop everything I am doing to follow that invitation. How many horsemen and women have that opportunity to build an open and honest relationship with their herd. It’s a gift I say thank you for every day.

Our place is far enough off the grid that we have a lot of autonomy. It’s quiet except for the early morning traffic of people going to work, farmers going to the fields. Although this year those sounds are muted with loss of jobs and business, a terrible sadness. And behind those sounds are the marching band practicing at the local high school and the carrolon at the local college. Sometimes we practice our walk/trot/canter transitions to the rhythms of the marching band, or the ground work (always a dance for me) to the music of the carrolon. But this year, no music. That caught my attention. No music at all.

I asked one of my young neighbors, a high school senior, about it. (Again, no gender or name here ever. People talk to me in confidence. ) That person said there is no music program at the High School. There is no band, orchestra, choir, theater nor is there any arts program. All Arts based programs have been removed from the curriculum. 

Somehow a virus that does not impact children or healthy adults, has a survival rate of 99.98%, has been used as an excuse to shut down all arts programs. I want you to pause for a moment and think about that. NO ARTS AT ALL AT ANY LEVEL IN ANY SCHOOLS. How interesting. What does participation in the arts promote?

 1. Observation. Children live in a visual world. They see every detail ; ants following a trail through the grass, patterns that birds fly, the light falling through the leaves of trees on a sunny day, the color of dandelion flowers and their aftermath of little puff balls and the way the wind catches the seeds and floats them away. And now they are being told to wear masks, look straight ahead, do not touch anyone, no recess, walk in a line and do not spend time talking or touching . Again, how interesting. 

2. Creative thought. Every time you pick up a pencil or paintbrush, a different part of the brain is activated. When you sing another part of the brain is, again, activated. In fact singing is part of a program to help people in speech therapy because you speak from one part of your brain, sing from another. Playing the piano uses almost all sectors of the brain. It’s very complicated, builds confidence and an awareness of rhythm and melody. A violin sounds like the voice of a human. A drum is so basic to who we are that all of us, at one time or another, has beat out a rhythm to something we are listening to, with our hands. And now children are encouraged to stare at a little glass screen and do nothing with their hands or voice or body. There is no social interaction at all. How interesting.

3. Critical thought and analysis. While a child is learning how to create, they will naturally stop and think about what they are doing. They look at a color, a brush mark. They listen to the way two notes sound together or sing in harmony. They move in a group when learning how to dance or march in a band, how to synchronize with each other and laugh together. They learn HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS. But now all arts programs are gone. They are being taught to sit inside little plastic cubicles, to never touch each other, to be afraid of everything and to never take a chance or try something new on their own. How interesting.

4. Independence. All of the arts encourage children to be self starters, to create, make mistakes, learn from what does not work for them, to try again, to practice and delight in the happy accidents that comes from play. They play games, make up games. Children need to move, get fresh air, interact and learn social skills. They learn to experiment with color, light, music, dance, language and they do it sometimes with friends or in groups, sometimes alone. They learn how to become independent problem solvers and grow in confidence while making happy, joyous messes. They make muddy colors, off key music and trip while trying to dance. And now they are being told to never touch each other, to follow all rules, to wear a mask and never to interact and all of that while staring at little glass screens. Adhering to rules is more important than asking questions or discovering something new on their own. How interesting. 

Somehow a cold virus combined with social media and a deeply corrupted news media with the monetary encouragement of big pharma and the AMA  have tried to make inroads into destroying the process of creative problem solving, asking questions, and independent thinking. The destruction of the arts programs in the schools is part of that process and all in the name of social correctness and being a good little cog in the machine. Our children are going to school in hell.

The so called Great ReSet is, weirdly, in progress. But only if you allow it to be. Children look to their adults to guide them, to encourage them, love and support them. If you want to be BORG, fine. But leave the children out of it. I don’t know what your solution is, but mine is to invite children here to run, play, dance, sing, paint and draw. I introduce them to horses, dogs, cats, chickens and ducks. We take them out in to the fields, explore ponds and hike through the woods. 

You can do that too. Turn up the music and dance, sing, laugh, blow bubbles. Paint on the walls. Do your own mural. Buy an old piano for fifty bucks and pay another fifty to have it tuned. Then learn how to play with them. Break some rules. Do your own play. Make up your costumes with what you have in the back of the closet. Find your way back to being the child you were all those years ago and take your children and grandchildren with you. 

Resistance in NOT futile. Oh, and take the masks off. NO MASKS. Hug each other, dance, tell stories, and follow an ant trail together through the grass. And make up your own marching band too. 

Go ahead. Be spontaneous. I DARE YOU! You ARE NOT BORG. Put the little glass screen away. Yes, you read that right. GO AWAY. Do something on your own that is utterly silly and over the top ridiculous and laugh while you do it. 

“ Everything you can imagine is real. “ Pablo Picasso

I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling, dancing, painting and laughing at the way things go...

Monday, December 7, 2020


It’s past Thanksgiving and we’re on our way to Christmas. In our area we were supposed to stay home, travel no where, see no one, do nothing. Of course we did exactly the opposite. I invited family and friends and asked all of them to bring food, wear no masks, and to bring their dogs. It was utter chaos. There were dogs everywhere with one very excited puppy in the middle of everything, a Blue Healer no less. Shoes were sacrificed to the “Puppy Gods”, holes were dug (because I propped doors open so everyone could come and go as they wished), unidentifiable things were dragged inside, people laughed and told stories, ate too much and WE ALL HUGGED EACH OTHER, KISSED EACH OTHER, SAT SHOULDER TO SHOULDER. It was the perfect Thanksgiving! 

We drank wine that had been made locally, ate turkey that had been grown locally and the majority of vegetables were either produce we had grown or traded for. There were pies with whipped cream and the winner of the best story got seconds. Dogs ate things we gave to them right from the table with no one washing their hands. We even tasted food off of each other’s plates. In other words, we broke every single stupid mandate and edict out there. 

And not one of us is sick at all. Nothing, no colds, sneezes, flu symptoms or stomach problems. NO ONE IS SICK. How interesting. All of us went on hikes and walks, sat around on my ancient, sagging sofas, made an effort to hold hands and touch. We acted like human beings without politics involved in any of our decisions or stories.  

At the end of the day everyone hugged again, probably because we were all hungry for human contact. We did a classic midwestern goodbye, stood outside in the yard and talked for another hour, and everyone went home. 

Do I regret setting that up? Nope. This is, as far as we are concerned, a mask free, politics free zone. I don’t care who anyone votes for. The phrases “social distancing” and “lock down”, “ PCR Test “, “social pressure”, “ co-morbidity” , “case infection rate”, “ IFR (infection fatality rate)”, and all of the other clever phrases created to repeat and frighten people DO NOT COUNT here.

 I am off all social media platforms so there is a good chance no one will read these posts . I had built up an audience using the platforms to attract people here. I never tried to monetize this BLOG so loss of readers is meaningless. Now I write for me. This is where I voice my opinions. 

I’ve been yelled at, threatened, had property damaged by rabid people who think I am a heretic. It’s an interesting position to be in. I went from being the person artists, designers and organizations call for advice to the person they call names . Why? I asked questions. And I did research, found experts and posted their videos and papers, research on viruses and their nature, how they behave, what they are. I posted links to MD’s and PHD’s who talked about the damage being done by wearing masks, closing churches and schools, destroying small businesses as well as the actual statistics on who is in real danger from what is basically a cold virus. And the threats continued, name calling and so on and so on and scooby dooby do on. 

I am ranting here just a bit. Self, I am sorry. I want this to be an accurate account of what has happened here at the end of 2020. I’ve never labeled any year terrible, not even the year my Mom died. I still get up and say, “ What a beautiful morning! “ as my day begins. And I end everyday with , “ What a lovely day it’s been! “. It’s my personal mantra. I have decided that every day is a good day in some important way. And during the day, when I think of it or even when I don’t, I say “ I am strong. I am smart. I am capable. I am independent. I am funny. I am healthy. I am loved. I count. I am important right here, right now. I am talented. I am kind, loving, and full of hope.” The more I work on my inner dialog, the more focused I am. My boundaries are strong and my inner voice is powerful. And the further away all of the yelling, frightened, angry people seem. Everything they complain about or get angry about is their issue, not mine. I refuse to participate in the parts of our world that are rancid and destructive. 

And here we are, in December and on the way to Christmas. Neither of us has worn a mask through this entire year. We have no plans to either. We are quite capable of taking care of ourselves, making our own decisions about how to care for ourselves. We do curb side pick up and shop on line. That means local businesses suffer. I have always shopped locally. I prefer local small retail businesses. But the truth is most of them have been rude to us. I’ve shopped at some of these stores since they opened twenty, thirty and even fifty years ago. They know me. Age changes a person but not that much and they chose to run me out even when I was touching no one or thing. Essentially I have become a Typhoid Mary, in their eyes. Not my issue. The manager at Natural Grocers yelled at me when I called to make sure their check out person was OK after she, obviously, had a break down because we shopped without masks on. I was genuinely concerned. She was a kid who’s been terrified by a social media engine that has purposefully frightened people in to submission. They lost our business. And the list goes on. Things may change later but not for the people who’ve gone so far that they mistreat old customers who’ve supported their stores.

Today we’re cutting a cedar down on the land we live on, for our Christmas tree. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll find one with a bird’s nest in it. We’re a bird sanctuary here too so I find feathers and nests blown out of trees all the time. I never take them from a tree but if there is a smaller cedar with a nest we will cut that down. And we’re putting up some lights that only we will see . I don’t mind that. Christmas is in your heart. I have no need to show anyone evidence of how we feel. We’ll wrap with the paper bits we have and give gifts we’ve made. It’s going to be a wonderful Christmas! 

I’ll post here as a journal so perhaps more often. And there will be images of the things we build and repair, the animals we care for and the beautiful land. This year will end well and next year will be spectacular!

I am, ever yours, Nancy smiling at the way things go

1. Be impeccable with your word.

2.Don’t take anything personally.

3.Don’t make assumptions.

4.Always do your best.