Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Under the Building!

As I went to hang my laundry this morning, Moose, of course, came to help. He rolled. He kicked his back legs. He talked a little. He yawned. He tooted. Up came the belly for a good rub, which, of course, he received in spades.

Then, I went back to hanging laundry.

The clothesline is behind the Mister's motorcycle building (note: you are in trouble if there are enough motorcycles to warrant their own building), and it is about ten inches off the ground in the back. Remember, this is the mountains and very little of our land is level, so this is quite normal. Most folks underpin their buildings like this, but this particular one hasn't gotten the deluxe treatment yet. So, it is not unusual to spy a rogue hen or a mouse or even a skunk every once in a while underneath it.

As I was humming "Morning Has Broken" and pinning up my clothes, I heard a low rumble. I looked up. Nopers. Not thunder. I continued humming and hanging the laundry. There was another rumble, a little deeper and more sustained.

I looked around the yard for a stray dog. Nothing.

"Well," I thought. "It must just be Moosie." And I kept on hanging up clothes.


That got my attention! With all the bees, we have had the occassional bear scare. I glanced from behind the building at the hives. Nothing. I heard it again, long and low. It was under the building!

Carefully, gingerly, cautiously, I got on my knees and peeked, ready to dash in a moment's noice.

Anabelle II was snoring.

She was very annoyed when my laughter woke her. Now I wonder, should I tell her she snores??

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Musta Been Hard

So the Mister gets in at nearly dark last night. We had tremendous storms (I love 'em!) and he was on the bike, so he had to dodge raindrops to get home.

After he ate dinner, I asked if he were going to close up the chickens or if he wanted me to do it. He "offered" to take care of it.

When he got back in, I was in the bathtub soaking my old body.

"You mowed the yard," he commented.


"With the walk behind mower??"


"Musta been hard."

"Not really," I flippantly replied. "I mowed thirty minutes, cried for ten, had a glass of water and started back again."

"Well, it worked."


Monday, June 28, 2010

Husband Survey

No. I don't want another one. The one I have is quite enough, thank you. I am just wondering a little bit about other people's husband and their engagement with home chores. Would you mind answering just a few questions? It is just between us girls!

1) Does your husband realize that the yard requires mowing, weed-eating, and picking up trash and is not just a take-off pad for the car or bike?

2) How often does your husband realize that the trash should go to the big can? The road side? Or the dump? Or is it a war of attrition waiting to see who puts the last piece on that causes the trash-o-lanch?

3) Is your husband on a first name basis with the kitchen or does he just date when you arrange it?

4) How often does your husband's clothes crawl to the laundry? Or does he take pity on them and carry them or even put them in the same room as the washer?

And, last ...

5) Is there a chair in your house that you would like to set fire to with him either in or out of it??

Yeppers. You can tell, can't you? It is 10-thousand degrees and I have been mowing ... with the walk behind... Pass the tea, won't you??

Added later: (Not that I want pity or anything)
We have a two acre yard (I need to rethink this). Yes, he has a riding mower, not me. Since he wasn't taught to share, he doesn't like me to use it. Besides, if anything happens, he blames me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Day Musings -- Work or Fun??

This recent bout of health concerns with my Daddy has caused me to consider the choices we make between work or fun.

As Daddy lay there with a million IVs, he said to me: "I wish I could just have a conversation that didn't involve what I wanted to do next. I wish I had more time to just have fun."

This has struck a chord with me.

As a Puritan based society, we value work. Goodness, our forefathers didn't even celebrate Christmas because they felt they should be working and not having fun. Hasn't that kind of thinking continued until today?

"Get your chores done and then you can play!" we tell our children.

"I can't time off from work. I have too much to do!" we tell our co-workers.

"I'd love to (fill-in-the-blank), but I have to get (fill-in-the-blank) done," we say to our friends.

Years ago, Erma Bombeck wrote a dear column about what she would do if she had a chance to live again. Remember, she was dying of cancer, and there is something about that diagnosis that makes our frame of life much clearer:

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband. I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I don't want to whine.


It is so hot today that I have resorted to using a powder with eucalyptus in it. Advice: Be judicious in where you apply it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dear Person In Charge

Dear Person In Charge,

Will you please turn off the heat? You left it on from winter and it is no longer needed.

The bees are swarming the trough-lip spaces.The goats are head-butting over the prime shrub shade and won't eat. The chickens refuse to lay anymore fried eggs. My knitting sticks to me. The cross stitch has sweat stains. The cats won't catch mice. The dogs languish underneath the trucks and even Moose is too hot to chase cars.

My thighs are sticking together.

Any consideration you might make in the matter will be deeply and sincerely appreciated.

Thank you,


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Road Trip Interrupted

While I was supposed to be working for the past two days in Staunton, VA, I have actually enjoyed a short road trip interrupted by work. It has been an interesting time, especially when you consider that we had 51 English professors staying in the same hotel working on a common project. We held a poll and, if our results are reliable, it is true that all English professors....

1) have a cat. It is federal law.

2) alternate between coffee and hot tea during the day.

3) prefer to use an ink colour other than red for grading.

4) wish they taught something that could be quizzed True or False by mid-term.


5) love to eat... and eat... and eat....

We had a grand time, even though we were working most of the time, and enjoyed visiting and meeting new colleagues and renewing old friendships.

We finished early yesterday afternoon, so I scooted to visit Carole at Orchardside Yarn Shop where I spent too much money and had too much inspiration. Ultimately, I ended up with yarn for a shawl (I love 'em!), a book, and one pattern along with some fiber made from recycled blue jeans. Frankly, I could have brought more home, but I plan to visit Jackie at Wild and Wooly in Lexington, MA, in two weeks, so I couldn't bring myself to buy more.

I took the country road route back to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel where I drove past the most wonderful antebellum houses. Tucked neatly off the road by at least a half mile, the houses were surrounded by lovely, swaying oaks and maples. It is haying time, one of my favorite times of year, and the pastures were as neat as golf courses. I could picture horse drawn wagons and carriages conveying lovely ladies in neat and colourful dresses to the house doors. It felt as though I had stepped back in time. Dinner was a caprese salad, which is simply sliced, blood-red tomatoes topped with thin slices of handmade mozzarella and fresh herbs and smothered in olive oil, at a dear little Italian restaurant where we were nearly tossed out for giggling too loud and too much. Dear me, I hate to think how giggly I would get if I drank! We told stories about students, our worse papers, and our favorite authors. I was nearly disgusting when we talked about Emerson, Alcott, and Thoreau.

Last night, we went en masse to see "Taming of the Shrew" at Blackfriar's Theater and it was a wonderful frolic. Yours truly and a friend volunteered to sit in the "Lords and Ladies" section in the upper balcony above the stage. We were surrounded by cushions and had the vantage point of watching our colleagues below as well as being included in the play. Frankly, I am half in love with the Chris Johnston who portrayed Biondello, a jester and servant in the play. He was adorable! Then, it was back to the hotel where I taught the bartender to make my favorite drink, a raspberry lime rickey (1/2 jigger of grenadine, 1 jigger sweetened lime juice, over ice, fill glass with soda and stir -- refreshing) and he kissed my noggin in appreciation. Off to bed, after a long chat with my gal pal from Eastern Shore Community College and up early to work all day today.

It was a fun trip, not nearly as dreadful as I feared. Maybe all work sessions should have a play / yarn/ ricky break. I think I will bring it up at the next English peer group meeting!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Joy is where you find it

Joyful things are these:

Relishing the smell of fresh hoed dirt;
Watching a wisp of clouds on a breezy day;
Lazily gazing upon bees sipping from buttercups dotting the yard;
Giggling as cats snore;
Snuggling in fresh sheets while birds sing into the night;
Smiling to one's self when hearing a contented hen's song;
Pleasuring in the taste of iced coffee in the afternoon; and,
Hearing your sweet son's voice after days of silence.

What brings you joy?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Maybe it is a Southern thing. I don't know. No matter how old we become, our fathers are still "Daddy." I think it is rather endearing to hear an adult child call their father that, but then, I am prejudiced because I can only think of my own father that way.

We are double gifted this year to have Daddy with us. In the last two weeks we have come to face the reality that we only have those we love for a finite period. While Daddy got home on Thursday, he is far from himself. However, he is happy. Eating. Laughing. Fussing. Snoozing. Planning. All the things that make my Daddy special.

As we left his ICU room on one particularly tough day, my Sissie and I talked about how we would miss him when he goes. He is the person we call when we need to know how large a room is because he can remember how to calculate square footage. Need paint? Call Daddy, tell him the room dimensions, and he can tell you how much you need within one-half pint. Car sounds weird? Make the noise and he will diagnose it instantly. Want to hear a naughty joke? He has a lifetime of them to share a giggle.

We started this journey of heart and lung issues more than 25 years ago. At that time, his doctor told him to go home and make his plans. Daddy has outlived him by 15 years. Since that time, we have every birthday, holiday, and special or not-so-special moments with him. Sometimes we visit and work. Or we will sit and drink coffee and eat one of Mother's always present cakes. Regardless the situation, we eat. And eat. And eat.

As a child of the depression, my Daddy learned the value of hard work, saving, and sharing with others. Coming home from his military duty, he owned two dress uniforms, two BTUs, and himself. He had $42 and a fiance'. He and Mother worked hard and we never knew a moment of hunger or want.

His greatest delight is that he is now comfortable enough financially that he can give to those he believes needs it and will be a good steward. The list is long of the folks he has helped in some way and I doubt we will ever know the full measure. Long ago, he worked for Mr. Stuart who taught him that the best gifts are those we give anonymously and so he practices that.

He has taught me to stand for what I believe in, to be patriotic, to work hard, to dream and to love feriously. We have fought hard, worked hard, and, most of all, loved hard. I am proud to call him "Daddy."

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Last night I had a very long, pleasant instant message conversation with He Who Didn't Know Me. He did remember me, just not by my name now. So funny.

As we talked, I thought about all the choices we make in our life. One seemingly small thing adds up to a very big thing over time. It is like saving money. Buy the latte or not? Spend $8 a day on something for two years and you have spent nearly $6000. Or, save it for two years and in a few years you have some serious money.

I sat up late after we talked, reading my devotional for the night (Luke 8 -- Jesus resurrecting Jairus' daughter). In the story, you recall, Jesus is asked by Jairus to come help his sick daughter. When they are still traveling, word is received that the daughter was dead. Jesus continues and restores her life, instructing the family to feed her and not tell what happened.

This speaks to me deeply.

First, Jairus' faith that Jesus could help. How many times have we had it in our power to help another? And, how many times have we needed help and wouldn't ask? One of the greatest joys we should have in life is supporting others and watching them grow and change. It isn't weak to seek support and encouragement. It is brave to be able to say, "I can't do this alone."

Second, when all seems lost and the child is dead, Jesus and Jairus continued on. How many times have we given up when maybe we shouldn't have? I know here on Lazy Bee Farm, I had given up ever doing more than feeding the deer. However, two years ago, I got a fire in me and decided to give it a go. Every day, progress is made. And, sometimes, there is a failure. However, I can't wait to see what next year brings regardless of the loss!

Third, when the daughter was resurrected, Jesus instructed Jairus to feed the girl. Nourishment of all kinds is restorative. While our bodies need a variety of foods, so do our brains. Chip Ingram has said a life lived in front of the TV watching reality programs is not a life. And, by the way, the reality program isn't reality. We need to feed ourselves nourishing foods that make us better, not make us sick, physically or mentally.

And last, Jairus was told to keep the news to himself. There is power and energy in not telling all we know. Practice discernment when telling information. Make sure it isn't gossip. We should ask, "Is this going to help or hurt that person?"

I started by mentioning how my devotion connected with my interesting conversation. While our relationship was torrid, many good things came from it. Without it, I would not have become who I am and would not know this life's happiness. I am grateful for the experience and grateful that 30-plus years later, I can truthfully say, I am glad we knew each other.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Be Careful What You Read!

With great relish and pleasure I am working with an author on novel revisions. The character of the novel is a very creative and bright young woman. I am half in love with her.

In the book, she learns who she is and learns to make home. Yesterday, after editing a few chapters, I took a very honest look at the Lazy Bee Farm homestead. It is a wreck. The least of it, frankly, is the Roanoke / Evelyn loom was still in the middle of the living room floor while I weave off five more towels. I couldn't move the loom without undressing it and that wasn't happening until I was finished with this warping. So, here it sat.

Books are stacked everywhere. Unfinished projects overflow the knitting / cross stitch basket (I AM still stitching when I can, Tina!). Papers, papers, papers, are everywhere. Dust formed a protective covering on most of the furniture. To be honest, about all I have done lately is keep the things that will kill you if they aren't done caught up -- dishes, trash, and laundry.

With new eyes, I thought about how I could rearrange, ditch, and reuse what I had (thanks, my author buddy, Clarice) and began to move things around.

Three hours later and a whole lot of shoving, pushing, pulling, and tugging, the living room is fairly done. I still have to dress the mantel, but the loom is out of the middle of the floor and one can actually walk through the room!

Where did it all go?? Let's not discuss the foray, dining room, bedroom. Oh, and Don has hidden the novel....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Life Resumes, Sort Of

Gee. I haven't written in so long, I feel I must reintroduce myself.

Hi. My name is Matty. I am your tour guide for the Lazy Bee Farm or, as it is lovingly called, Pandamonium Palace.

Daddy responded well from his surgery, but has challenges with adjusting to the "device" and new meds. So, he is still a visitor with our friends in Winston-Salem. They are a fine staff, these folks, and are not loved and appreciated nearly enough. Each level of care has the most professional folks and we are grateful beyond words. Hopefully, Daddy will be home in another 72-hours. Cross your fingers.

Now. For other news. Pictures to follow. Promise!

We have a new little gal on the place. Lacie kid on June 4, presenting us with a darling DOE (thank goodness!), who delights us with her skipping and neighing to her momma. As it was my nephew's birthday he had the honor of naming her. He choose Lanie, a combination of Lacie and Louie (her dad), he explained. Lucy is still waddling, so we hope she will kid this week. I don't know how much longer she can drag that bag! If you have ever spent a summer carrying a passenger, you know how hot June can be! Pictures to come!

Potatoes are blooming! So lovely! We have been blessed by not having bugs, as yet, but my lime is ready to dust should they show up. Let's hope they don't! Shelly came and we hoed one night. Let me add here that hoeing is not for the faint of heart. I thought I would throw up. Never eat dinner and then hoe in this heat!

Soap making is full force. Shelly and I have been so fortunate to have great soap sales this summer. I hope we are getting quite a little following at the farmer's markets. We have split our markets to catch two; she is at the Marion market and I am at Wytheville. Should you come through our area on a Saturday morning, stop and say "Hi!" Both markets are young, but there are fine local products available every week. Plus, you'd get to see us. What more could you want? If you'd like to see our markets, look here. Scroll down to see the Marion market.

Weaving was slow starting, but is now full speed in the evenings when I haven't a brain to read or think. The first towel is nearly done and is such a lovely piece. I am thinking of taking some to the market or reviving the etsy shop. What do you think?

There are lots of happening on the farm, but I'll save some for tomorrow. Gee, I missed you guys!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quick Update

Daddy had a cath yesterday, but crashed on the table. He was revived and will have surgery tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning. The doctor is waiting for his blood levels to settle down.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


So, have you missed me?

It is a hectic time here at the Lazy Bee. I have pictures for later, but for right now, I am just posting a quick note.

Daddy is in ICU with a very low heart rate. I will be with him or helping my Mother, if she will allow it. He has a procedure tomorrow to try to regulate his rhythm.

Thanks for your thoughts. Back when I can.