Saturday, April 18, 2015


This is the best time of the is chilly enough to wrap up in a quilt, warm enough to have the windows open a crack so that I can hear the birds and a forecast for a beautiful, sunshiney day!  My dog is sleeping behind me, I have a hot cup of coffee and I just know that it is going to be a great weekend.  And then.....Casper my boxer comes scampering into the living room and the 3 little dogs wake up in a frenzy of yipping and barking, howling and whining, and the mood is broken.
So I am waiting for the bank to open so that I can take out some cash so that I can go to the Amish fabric store to pick up the last of the fabric I need to make my daughter's quilt.  I thought I had enough but as I was rethinking my color choices, I realized that since I had a few extra dollars - instead of buying paint for my kitchen, which really needs painted because Casper my boxer caused a fire that seared the walls about 4 years ago - instead of buying that, I would buy fabric.  Because logic in my mind works that way. Any quilter would agree.

I'm also hoping to work on a new chicken coop.  I have the wood - but I misplaced my cute pink electric screwdriver.  Well, I didn't misplace it - I hid it from my son and my husband and now I can't remember where I hid it.  I have a feeling that my husband saw it and hid it in retaliation for me misplacing his broken, cordless drill.  A truly healthy, adult relationship....... The chicken coop is an ongoing project for me.  I have some of my old hens and a rooster cooped.  But then I have this posse of rogue chickens with a couple of roosters who live in the milkhouse.  They need a coop because whenever I get used to collecting eggs in one place, they switch it up on me.  Right now, they are hiding them.  I can tell it is a game to them - there are 3 brooding hens who never have eggs under them.  They make a racket when I check underneath them every day for eggs but nothing.....  However there are always one or two or three eggs over in the far corner of the milkhouse.  A week ago, I could count on getting six or seven eggs.  I guess I need to follow them - I'll add that to my list of things to do today.

So now it is time - by the time I get dressed and cleaned up, I'll be able to make it to the bank and then to the quilt shop shortly after it opens.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Off the wagon.

Or so to speak. For a couple of years, I was the champion of electronic books.  I loved the fact that I could download books at any time, could have thousands of books at my disposal, could adjust the font to compensate for my aging eyes, and would never need to search around for a bookmark every again.  All good things for someone who is a little bit more disciplined and more motivated than I.
However, I found that I didn't read as many books without the three week deadline to complete before having to pay a fine.  I found myself missing the feel of worn pages, of having something to hold, and even having my favorite bookmark to fiddle with and do a little toothpicking (yuk, I know).  I missed everything about reading books.  I missed going to the library and never realized how much I missed it until our local library closed for a week last year due to funding cuts.  What a shame.  Sure it is easy to browse electronic books - just click on a link to read a little blurb about it - or read reviews online - or to have a newly released book magically download to your reading device overnight.  But I've decided that I am fine with sacrificing the speed and ease in accessing reading material.  I worry a lot about the loss of our library system.  In this age of instantaneous satisfaction, I'm not so sure that our youngest generation has any idea of the pleasure of waiting in anticipation for an event or for the climax of a good book. On my strolls around town, I've noticed more and more of these little libraries popping up.  And seeing these makes me very happy.  There is no doubt that electronic communication and information is important to me - I love being able to catch up with friends through social media and I love the ease of being able to write without worrying too much about mistakes.  But being able to hold, smell, and read an actual book is like comfort food. Without the calories.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One Old Goat Farm

So I am at home today with what I thought was a migraine but apparently is a headache aggravated by allergies.  Fun stuff.

I've always suspected that things happened here while I was at work. The goats, chickens, dogs, cats.....all seem to be a little tired when I get home.  Well I haven't quite figured out what makes the dogs so tired other than sleeping overdose but it seems as if the party begins shortly after I leave in the morning.

I was dozing on the sofa when I heard a gobbling.  On the deck.  Which honestly isn't the strangest thing I've ever encountered here.  So I decided to go outside and see what was going on.  Well, there wasn't a turkey on my deck but there definitely was a turkey strutting around just below the deck.  Feathers fanned, gobbler (or whatever that thing is) dangling......he obviously was just so proud of his stuff.  Now the neighbor's chickens weren't so impressed.  They were all congregated on the wooden bench under the lilac bush watching the turkey with great disdain.  It was obviously they were tired of having to dealing with Mr. Turkey's illusions of grandeur.

Down below the turkey and out of sight of the neighbor chickens, were Donald and Daisy, the ducks who appeared from nowhere a few weeks ago and who have set up residence in the milk house.  My 9chickens, a motley crew of mixed breed fowl, have accepted the ducks as members of their family but strangely enough, egg production has gone down since the ducks moved in.

And as all of this was going down, the goats were watching with great interest hoping that somehow, food would be involved.  Clover, the pony who is older than me, ignored the whole thing because obviously she has seen it all.

It was kind of nice to see this menagerie in my backyard this morning.  I snapped a few photos and then went back to sleep away my headache.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The difference a smile makes.

This morning I felt as if I were cheating.  I had a free coffee waiting at our local Sheetz – and with two kids heading off to college in a few months, I need to save wherever possible. So I grabbed my morning caffeine at Sheetz. McDonald’s in my area has free coffee every Monday and I always stop and grab a large cup.  On Mondays that I really feel flush, I’ll buy a breakfast burrito – I’m not a total mooch. Just poor.  But I have to say, I’m tempted to stop at McDonald’s every morning during the week.  Not because I love their coffee (which I do), but because of the fantastic service I receive in the drive-through.  I’m always treated kindly. Always.  And it makes my day.  It seems so little that the ordertaker – or the person who hands me my order – takes a second to smile at me and that it makes such a big difference in my day.  But it does.  Which isn’t to say that the folks at Sheetz aren’t nice because they are.  But they are busy and there are always people in line.  At McDonald’s however, for a split second, it is just the ordertaker and me.  Eye contact. Personal connection. Whatever. We smile at each other and say ‘have a good day’.  And it’s the best.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A little bit of crazy.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the snowflakes blowing from the trees look like glitter.  I enjoyed being outside of my cage for a wee bit at noon. It is 12 degrees which, in comparison, seems warm. 

I love walking across campus especially at lunch time. There are so many interesting sights and so many interesting conversations on which to eavesdrop. Unintentionally of course.  Everyone has a story. And if you listen, you can often hear a snippet of that story.  So many times when walking, I am privy to some very personal phone calls: a girl sharing her weekend escapades with a girlfriend, trying to convince a parent that it is ok that she dropped a course that she really didn't need, about party plans for the evening.  I've listened to conversations that students have had for interviews, with professors, with the financial aid office, with the bank, with girlfriends, boyfriends, friends-in-general.

I also hear crap that I don't want to hear - mainly the folks such as the sidewalk preachers and others promoting agendas which the more unpopular the agenda, the louder the message is shared.  I hear profanity way more than I would like and way more than is necessary. Profanity - by a stretch - has its place. Such as an expletive for frustration, shock or pain. But as a general part of a conversation? I don't think so.  I think a speaker who is attending a University has the creative capacity to think up more words than the same old f@#k time after time.

 So...I don't know why I labeled this post A little bit of crazy. Perhaps because it is crazy that birds are singing yet it is 12 degrees out. Or crazy because I'm a person who is more comfortable outside away from people yet has chosen a career that requires me to work inside and talk to people on a regular basis. Yes, that is crazy.

Monday, February 16, 2015


It is cold outside. And yesterday it was pretty damn cold inside. Ahhhhh.....the fun of a wood stove.  I've told everyone to give me a good swift kick in the butt this summer when I start complaining about the temperature.  Because I know I will.

But seriously, it may have been cold yesterday but it was a perfect day.  I did nothing but sit on the sofa with my little dog covered up with quilts.  I watched movies, I read, I did a little was great.  Did manage to get the heat up to 70 inside.  Early in the morning I started a big pot of ham and bean soup, made a pan of brownies (which were devoured in no time).  As I was thinking about how cold I was with my socks, long underwear, flannel nightgown and sweatshirt, I also said a silent thanks that it was 2014 and not 1814.  I don't think I would have fared well in 1814.  Or maybe I would have been a little tougher. 

It was so stinkin' cold out that I seriously thought about bringing Clover and the goats into the basement.  But with the straw and with their cuddling with each other, they are plenty warm.  As are the cats who do hang out in the basement - you know, the cats who refuse to eat the mice.  You know, the mice who nest in my sweaters and jump out when I have the nerve to put the sweater on because I am cold and want to go to work.  And the chickens are warm - both the ones in the coop and the ones in the milkhouse.  And the young ones are still laying.  Faithfully.  Two eggs a day.  I don't know what it is between Thanksgiving and Christmas when I am doing my baking and am using a ton of eggs. I don't know why they don't lay during that time.  They never have.  It must be a chicken thing.

But another few days of cold although tonight will feel like a heatwave - it is supposed to be 10 degrees.  I'll probably have to get out my summer jammies and leave a window open.

Still not perfect.

So maybe this perfection crap is really getting to me.  I guess it is.  Aside from making perfect quilts, making perfect grades, the perfect cup of coffee, the perfect time, the perfect place.........I happen to think it is perfectly acceptable to be mediocre.  And I am damn good at being mediocre.  I do well enough to be proud of myself. I push myself enough that I am exerting some effort while still enjoying what I am doing. For me, perfection is kind of like thinking about infinity.  It makes my head want to explode.  If we are all perfect, well then what? I'm safe. I'll never be perfect and I am happy for it. Besides, I'm not sure who determines perfection. On campus, it seems as if perfection - or is it conformity - manifests itself in a black Northface jacket, partially untied Bean boots and a vague, automaton-like facial expression.  It seems that if you are that doofus wearing his high school varsity jacket or something other than of the moment outwear, you just don't meet the standard of perfection and you never will. 

I feel like I spend a great deal of my time trying to become something I am not, looking for things that aren't there, believing in stuff that doesn't exist and the whole time that I am seeking these things, I'm missing my life. I think perhaps, that I need to focus on what I like, quit worrying about what I don't like and quit complaining.  And be perfectly fine with my mediocre self.