Tag Archives: work

Nook & Cranny day + cats.

this past Sunday was a Nook & Cranny day


All the winter’s snow has melted into the earth 

And a slight blush of buds can be seen on the hillside treetops


No more ice at the pond

Peepers were chirping throughout the day 


Seeding day for me



The seed rack has been labeled!


Happy dance while Bob picks the various varieties du jour.

There was a full days worth of things to do


Here’s Bob in the Cathedral watering carrots



I went to my usual domain in the greenhouse & got to filling trays after saying hello to the babies


This is what 25 trays looks like

Then I got to seeding them


Here is the hoop house next to the greenhouse

Where young plants transition from a heated place to an unheated place, and then to the Big Outside to “harden off” before being transplanted into earthville.


Brassicas, such as cabbage, broccoli, & kale are under remay to protect them from a killing munch-down by flea beetles.


Spinach, chard, beets, & lettuces are on the other side


Other was my nearby shadow for most of the time I was seeding 


He & Sebastian have been busy

I found a few 1/2 mice near the barn

Good kitties


Slowly the land begins to transform


Lettuce initiates the outside beds


Followed by spinach, which I got to transplant with gratitude.

Nice to be a part of this step in the process. Very satisfying.

(I forgot to take photos of the transplanted beds…)

Kale was also transplanted, and fava beans, & cilantro were direct seeded.

There was more to do but I had to get home to tend to the kitties there


Bakira pie



& the lovely Rosie

Every now & again, the Sun shines in Ithaca.

It’s been quite a string of grey days.

(Feel free to peruse the Good morning feed & scroll through the various hues & shades…)

I love easy-eye days
And clouds are one of a handsfull of reasons I moved back to Upstate New York in 2006
But holy-wowie it has been quite grey.


The Sun did make a glorious appearance yesterday


And while I was at work and REALLY wanted to go for a walk in it
It felt quite pleasant to feel the warming on my back as I chopped…

Next time, though, I will go for a walk.
Even if only around the block.

heading out on retreat – good morning photo pause

this morning walking from the compost pile

to the good morning photo taking spot

i saw this


and i got a little excited

just to see the green

the grass

the reminder that it’s still soft & life-full & squishy under this crystalline world

i love winter


i do i love it

certain things are revealed in Winter that cannot be witnessed in other seasons.

no i don’t like driving in it, in Winter


this was from two days ago

the entire 5 mile hilly, swooping stretch of road was coated in a sheet of ice

and that would be a snow plow getting itself out from being stuck in the snow bank

beyond & before the sides of the road in the banks were cars

“littered with cars”

at least 6 before i took this photo – (i stopped counting when i saw the plow) – and i was stopped behind another car when this was taken.

2 pick-up trucks, an oil truck, AND the plow

all wedged in the banks of snow.

how i made it to work is something, i suppose, of a miracle

(driving really really slow after seeing the first car stuck at the flat part of the road)

i love the plows & the people of the plows…

and i managed to get myself stuck after work in a low bank in the driveway at work

(lots of shoveling & kitty litter & swearing and the car freed itself from the clutchy grip of wet heavy snow)



(little spider from a walk another day… i moved it to a leafy spot where it could stay)


this is a long winded telling of a morning – i’m getting ready to head out on silent retreat till the beginning of March

so there’ll be a pause in the Good morning photos.

i almost didn’t go, the usual grip of what-ifs & fears holding tight…

thank you housemates for all of your support & listening & space

thank you Aro for your love & kindness & listening & courage in your own life

till then

enjoy the swing – and remember that it’s good for maple syrup…
we are in maple syrup season!


(sugar shack from last year)

keep the back of your necks covered, folks

keep the wind from getting in

these winter aconite are from last year… but perhaps they are stirring…




Pickled peppers, anchors, & Blue Hubbard squash.


Don’t wait.

if you wait, the pickled peppers might go bad.

if someone gives you a gift, open it


use it

use it up

delight in each pepper

savor the spicy zing on the tongue.

before eating – offer thanks, gather blessings

imagine their garden


the tending, the soil


imagine the rain, the sun, and all the Elementals involved in the creation of a plant-being

a pepper


imagine the hands that tended to this pepper plant


these hands that you know

the one that you love

the one that gave you this jar of pickled peppers

because they know you love them

don’t wait to eat them

savor them




every Wednesday, i support the tending of a house & the people, the home of some Elders.

this job, these people

have been my anchors.

since 2009, every Wednesday

(barring retreats, visits to family, & the month i was out when i injured my back in 2012)

every Wednesday this place, these people have been my destination, my North Pole.


from a string of boyfriends, through various places of living, & a number of farming situations

since 2009 they have been my one constant.

Anchor:  any device used in the manner of an anchor to hold a boat in place…. a reliable support…. a source of confidence that serves to hold an object firmly


i need this

i am drifty


finding love here & there – a place, a person, a job

so easy to fall in love

but these Elders, this place, on Wednesdays has held me tight

with gratidute

even when i want to leave, to run…


but i stay.

i love them.

they love Blue Hubbard squash.


the first year i farmed on my own it was a bumper crop for Winter squash.

hundreds of pounds

but no place to put them.


so they let me put all of them in their upstairs bedroom

the great Blue Hubbard – easily over 25 pounds – sat like an emperor on a low table


this year i planted no Winter squash


but found a Blue Hubbard and with the remembering of the pickled peppers

decided to not wait any longer to cook it up


(well, part of it)


big beauty.


into soup

made to share


don’t wait.

who are your anchors?

what would you want to say to the ones you appreciate?

who are the people that have made a difference in your life?


what would you share with them if you allowed your heart to speak?

what would you want to let them know

if you let your heart speak it’s appreciations?


don’t wait

do you have a dream in your heart?


a longing that has been there forever?

a way of life you want to live?


would you dare speak your heart to the one that causes it to beat a little faster?

even though you might feel like a prize fool after?

gather up your courage

and speak from your heart.

don’t wait.

open the jar of pickled peppers

make the soup from the Hubbard you’ve been saving

let The Ones know how your heart feels about them

and the ways they have shaped the life of your life.

don’t wait.


thinking about meanness, narcissism, aggression, & “selfies”


since i tend towards Aggression

(in the big three of Aggression, Ignorance, & Greed
and yes, i have habits of all three,
but Aggression seems to be my go-to habit…
come ride with me in the car and witness
how fast it arises with people who tailgate…)

with this tendency toward Aggression

i seem to have a sharp radar for Aggression in the world.

(that is, the outer world, and more & more getting better at catching the inner world – with practice. 
thank you, my dear therapist.)

becoming well practiced in Meanness gazing, if you will…



(visual exploration during a migraine the other day…)


one of the Meannesses that seems to be up these days

in the outer world

is around “selfies” and Narcissism.

saw a meme the other day that was about the amount of selfies per hour meant the greater the Narcissism.

this may well be true.


it may be a bit specific…


i mean, what if anything projected into the world,

be it a photo of oneself

or another

somebody’s child or children

the food being eaten for dinner

a view


beloved animal companions


what is done at work…



what if it’s all in the name of sharing

or with the longing for connection

or with the hope that it will bring levity or even laughter

some communication of sorts.

something of humor

or beauty

or sadness


(or beauty & sadness & wonder… like this bat, who died, and its incredible wing…)

or even something mundane.


(wool socks in silhouette drying on the clothesline inside…)

what if

the images of ones children is no different from the images people post of themselves…

…not everyone has a child…

…or an animal…

…or a view…

but perhaps there is simply a longing to connect & share & communicate & respond & be responded to…


and what if we enjoy getting to know about each other

and other’s lives, at least a glimpse, a sliver…


we are SO quick to label and judge

what if there is simply the saying, through action of image or word:

this is where i’m at

this is what i think

this is what i see

this is what happened

this is what was done


even trying to convey an emotion, or something ephemeral, a moment…

it’s so EASY to say a name, a negativity, a criticism of another

(or oneself)


(reminds me of a Shel Silverstein drawing…)

yes, yes there are certainly Narcissistic people in the world.

Wikipedia said people need some semblance of it to function.

(i can hear a mocking voice in my own mind “that’s what Wikipedia SAAAAAID”)

perhaps intention seems to have a big part in sharing…?

it all gets me wondering and wondering…


about the world of advertisement… branding… promoters… lobbyists…

there are whole industries having something to do with this sharing of something


in seeing images that people have shared
people near and far, known & unknown
of themselves, their animals, or children, their dinner
even images of devastation…
something in me is stirred, something in my heart


(or maybe i’m just a raving, flaming Narcissist…)

my head is spinning a bit and i don’t have clear conclusions through the rambling & wonderings…

except to say

can we please all be a little more kind?


(Artemis in the field)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone
thanks for sharing y/our world
through words and images
wishing you all good things



thinking about shame & life & blogging


i love this quote

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray.

Jalaluddin Rumi wrote that.

(translated by Coleman Barks.)

it seems perfect that it arrived in my inbox this morning

as yesterday, reflecting on the last blog post had me thinking about my parents

and how it might have been for them when i told them in early 2006 about my choice to move back to New York to live and work on an organic farm.


not being a parent, i do try to put myself in their shoes as best i can.

at the time i had been working four years at a high-end spa practicing massage full-time.

i was making a “good living” for the first time in my life.

but something

which had began to sprout when i was 21 years old

would not wait any longer

and when i was 34 i realized that if i didn’t do something i would regret it for the rest of my life.

so i left my first well-paying job

to move into an unheated, uninsulated “shackette” of about 10 x 13 feet with my cat to live and work and learn and grow (no pun intended) on a small, horse-powered organic farm.

i can’t blame my parents for questioning this decision.

“you’re going to work on a farm without getting paid?!?

well, i’ll get vegetables and a place to live and i’ll get a part-time job i told them

(not yet mentioning the shackette…)

made it back to Ithaca just after the start of May

and after a few months, they could hear it in my voice – happiness.


so, reflecting yesterday about the last blog post

and the clear pull of farming, and returning to Ithaca

and how right now there is no clear pull

but something seems to be unfolding

(starting the blog felt like a clear pull)

even though it felt strange, the hermit-private-sort-of-critter in me was surprised by this pull

after the last wordy blog post

which felt like some sort of coming-out-of-the-closet


(this song running through my mind while at work)

i spoke about it with the Rabbits

how knowing people i know (including them) who were following my blog it felt strange to write… there was this sort of hesitation to write.

there’s a sort of safety in anonymity which wasn’t there


it required a certain bravery.

the two blogs i follow consistently are very honest about their lives.

honest and unapologetic.

it’s what i most respect about their blogs.




i could feel a familiar wanting to hide, to curl away from what i had shared.


or the feeling which came up as a result of what i had just shared…

(that would be a shy okra pod)

i found the internal reaction/reverberation from posting is dreamer a euphemism for procrastinator brought out a familiar wave of shame.


shame is like rust

it has a silent, yet persistent corrosive action.

going public about this life

even if it’s a pretty low-key, relatively boring life

has a coming out quality to it.

a rawness, a nakedness, an exposure.


lucky me the Rabbits often will comment without my solicitation regarding blog posts.

their enthusiasm and encouragement feeds whatever brave thing within that got me starting to blog in the first place.


so a bow of thanks and a red shiso bouquet to the folks i know and to the folks i don’t know who follow the salted banana.

another quote kept returning to mind yesterday at work (post blog thinking/obsessing)

the best revenge is to live well

i’m not sure how that quote came into mind…

was it hung up somewhere in the house growing up?

couldn’t remember

but was struck by the word ‘revenge’ and how it lives in relative state – that is, if i live well, it’s somehow revengeful to someone or something

which didn’t and doesn’t sit well with me

and yet it’s a sort of pervasive thing…  this living well thing and the shame i have felt for living my life the way i do.

it goes counter to the culture which is projected on magazines, & various media

that i’ve obviously (and unfortunately) absorbed into my psyche


my life, measured by certain standards would not be considered a life lived well, or successful.

but i like my life, for the most part…

and to me, i live a good life

even if i don’t have certain things to show for it

…marriage, kids, a home of my own, new car, sizable bank account, blahblahblah etc…

the feeling of shame or having-done-something-wrong feeling was pervasive, like an internal net of prickly woven shards of rusty metal

and the blog post turned up the awareness of this shame/net-suit.

tight & uncomfortable.

but today

that shard-y, rusty feeling has decreased.

not that it’s fully gone, necessarily

but perhaps loosened?


at the farm in 2010 & 2011 when i worked my very own 1/4 acre of land with the help of Sara & her horses

(and all matter of element and spirits which aided in this venture)

we’d write haiku

on a large piece of slate

that was in the barn nearby where vegetables were washed

we’d write haiku

sometimes for ourselves

sometimes to each other

sometimes creating them together

this was one she had written to me

(the only one i caught a photo of)

the rest were written down in a small book



At the Rabbits


local carrots have longer roots.

and are more sticky.

Metta Kitty Farm – 2011 growing season – murderer, homewrecker, & kidnapper


the simple act of cleaning

or even harvesting a potato

can wreak havoc on beings.

a solo spider

whose web i have no idea how long it takes to construct

to create to spin its web its home its food gatherer

& i have no idea

of how time even occurs to any one spider

of all the spiders i see

and i see them

a simple swish of a damp towel

a movement of this arm

and a home, an elegant, complex tool

is gone


and sometimes, too, the spider.

it’s hard to know

(when given the task

accepting the task

of cleaning)

which webs to leave?

which webs to destroy?

i am unaware of any logic to the choice-making.

and then there are the potatoes.


among entire communities.

entire worlds, a network, a nursery…

completely disturbed

and exposed with one turn of a digging fork.

the sudden activity

the gathering up of babies

the spilling out of ant bodies

rapid movements

on the what-is-now surface


innumerable creatures

with purpose

and direction

working together

some gathering

some attacking

i stomp my feet & shake my hands

knocking the potato gently

shaking off the ants

so they are left behind

with their people

& not kidnapped

(however unintentionally)

the ones in the bucket



soon their fate will be drowning

unless, of course, they can crawl out of the bucket

which is unlikely.

so much destruction



however unintentionally.

this world seems not set up for very very slow…

i long to move with all the time in the world

as a great giant tortoise would

through a day

perhaps, then,

lives could be saved

communities preserved

and still, the work could get done.