Monday, November 30, 2015


  One baby blankie... 

 Two baby blankie... 

Three baby blankie... 

Nothing brings me more joy than knitting something warm and snuggely for a new life coming into this sometimes cold and unkind world. I knit love and good wishes into each stitch, thinking of the new life and the potential that is there. And, it seems, these days, I am surrounded by a lot of new life, great potential, coming into this world. I hope they are able to make of this world what my generation seems to have failed at --- kinder, more loving, and gentler... 

And stars to dream by... 

What is beautiful in your world? 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Best Medicine....

Six hundred pounds of pork...
If laughter is the best medicine, I should be the healthiest person you know...

Today, we delivered our pork. We had 600 pounds to deliver and 2 friends were picking up theirs from the processor at the same time we were. A short time later, my phone rang:

C: I have a head.
Me: A head? What kind?
C: A pig head.
Me: They were picked up by G and T to make souse meat. How do you have a head?
C: I don't know. But I have it. BTW, I wish had a picture of me when I opened the bag. I was okay until I turned it around and saw the snout.

By this time I was a puddle.....

A bit later, the phone rang again. 

C: Are you coming to get this, um, this, um thing in  my car?
Me: The pig's head? Yup. I'll be there in a bit.
C: It's in a cooler; will it be okay?
Me: I don't think it will go anywhere. If it's cool, it'll be fine.
C: I can put it in the dumpster....
Me: I'll be there in a bit. G and T want it...

Again, I was a puddle... It wasn't that she was so funny, but the background music in my car was killing me.... Mister kept whistling the theme from "The Godfather..."

And, so, it goes... 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Here, piggie....

Joyfully, the pigs are headed to the processor tomorrow and will return in lovely vacuum sealed bags for the freezer. Frankly, I am tired of carrying food to the, er, pigs... It is true that they do... Eat. A. Lot. All. The. Time. We are up to nearly 75 pounds of food per day... It's exhausting!

These porkers came to us in April and weighed all of 35 pounds. Now, we estimate they are close to 300-350 pounds. They are so large that we could barely get the trailer ball on the truck without both of us pumping the lift.. Now that is Some Pig. 

Three are sold, on hoof, to friends who will pay for the pig once it is dressed, but not finished, by weight. Then, they will pay for the processing and pick it up. One is ours that we will split with my parents. And, the last will be shared between a number of relatives, and, I hope, some left over for us. 

Pork is one of those things that if you haven't ever had pasture raised, you have been cheated from savoring a flavor without description. The stuff that comes from the grocery pales in comparison. Our porkers play in the mud, stretch in the sun, dig holes and wallow in the water, root and eat grubs, and have non-GMO feed for their entire life. We tell them from the beginning of our relationship what their fate is and that we want them to enjoy a fine, wonderful life. We scratch them, hose them, and chase them (or they chase us) in a game of tag. I gather apples for them and find them scraps, such as corn cobs when I can corn, so they have treats. They really have a marvelous life. 

Once they are loaded on the trailer, which we do gently and not with a prod or anything that will hurt them, we feed them corn one more time and tell them how we honor them for providing us with good meat for the coming year. We thank them for being sweet piggies and for the pleasure we have had with them. 

This past fall, when it had rained for eleven straight days and Mister was out of commission with a neck injury, I was out feeding them. Their lot was slick as goose grease and I was having trouble walking with their feed bags (they weigh 50 pounds). One pig got on my right and another mirrored that one on the left... and they started scratching their backs on me... until I slipped in the mud and fell flat on my face... and they continued scratching until I got up... I was mudlicious from left to right, top to bottom... and had to hose off in the yard... If I could have stopped laughing, I would have been annoyed... but somehow, the visualization of a 60 year old woman being scrubbed by pigs cracked me up... 

And, you ask, after loving on them, playing with them, and enjoying them, how, how can we eat them? Easy. We name them Pork Chop, Tenderloin, Sausage, Ham, and Roast.... 


Saturday, November 14, 2015


November Twilight. The world's most perfect light...

 "Make you the world a bit better or more
beautiful because you have lived in it."
Edward Bok 

Bok Tower, Lake Wales, Florida      

Perhaps... just perhaps... we should focus on this?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Unsettled and Changing

People wish to be settled.
It is only as far as they are unsettled that there is any hope for them. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life
which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Tell me, 
what is it you plan to do
with your one wild, precious life? 
Mary Oliver

We are born to fulfill a role in this world and then, hopefully, leave the world better than it was before we took our few precious breaths and then departed. Sometimes, we are thrust into these roles; sometimes, we fail to listen to our heart; and, sometimes, we flow with the river around us because it demands so little. 

But the day comes when, as Mary Oliver writes in "The Journey": 

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 As for me, I am looking for the stars...  What about you?