Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ralph ate the camera

Time to upgrade

from a flickr photostream of found photos

My dog ate the camera. I found it wrapped up in his blanket. Thank goodness for the big brown eyes and shaggy golden beard. He needed all the help he could get.

I like to post with pictures. Either the topic sends me on a hunt, or an image sparks an idea....either way I'm missing my camera. As much as I enjoyed having my trusty little Canon in tow, it wasn't that great a camera. I've been needing to upgrade for a while (am I supposed to thank Ralph for the push?) and I ask you reader: what is the best digital SLR I can get for the money? I emphasize for the money.

It needs to:

  • take pictures of work for submissions and for my Etsy and website
  • take great family photos indoors and out
  • not be so precious that I'll feel uncomfortable taking it camping, or hanging out with dogs and goats.

I'm hoping some of you can point me in the right direction.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A pause at the end of March

We didn't expect to go back to breaking ice and spits of flurry.
We were ready to let the protection fall. We were ready for sleeping with the window open.

Clouds fell in the forest today. Cold killed the smell of the earth pushed up by sprouts and
the smell the skunk left trailing through the tree line.

Stillness holds the sound to my ear.
We're closed in together - the animals are aware. I can hear the leaves roll and crunch as feet move
self consciously, purposefully.

I pause here.
Knees locked like the horse in the mud.

Breath in -
chill air behind my eyes
Breath out -
warm vapor
resting on my lip and cooling

I'm the blanket on the mountain. I'm the crow in the tree.

"Clump of Trees in Winter" by Joichi Hoshi (1913-1979)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a boy and his ducks

The girls have been busy working on handling their hens for poultry showmanship competition. The boy must set himself apart...

I'm happy to say he has fallen in love with his waddling troupe and we're all learning about waterfowl as we go along.

One of my first posts (many months ago) was about children's connections with animals and the importance my early years on the farm played in my development. I am thankful that we now find ourselves in a place where my children can experience these gifts.

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.

Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The First Greens of Spring (chores, studio & poetry passing)

Full on spring fever has swept the house and I've found it hard to stay indoors. I'm going to sit here with my coffee for a minute before I clean out the second chicken coop and hang a hay rack - after that it's studio time. I have a portrait in progress and a series of small landscapes. I'm working on four 6 inch square canvases; the goal is to have them going at the same time and finish in three days. I've always resisted working on more than one or two paintings at a time. I'm trying to shake-off that tunnel vision a little, so I'm attempting this exercise before I move on to some of the larger pieces I have planned.

I'm looking forward to kale and poached eggs for lunch. I know, not that exciting, but I'm craving greens like I don't know what. Our chard, arugula, and kale are started - can't wait for the first harvest!

Big A brought home a book of poetry as a gift with this piece by David Budbill:

The First Green of Spring

Our walking in the swamp picking cowslip, marsh marigold,
this sweet first green of spring. Now sautéed in a pan melting
to a deeper green than ever they were alive, this green, this life,

harbinger of things to come. Now we sit at the table munching
on this message from the dawn which says we and the world
are alive again today, and this is the world's birthday. And

even though we know we are growing old, we are dying, we
will never be young again, we also know we're still right here
now, today, and, my oh my! don't these greens taste good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

a walk in the rain

It's not that cold; just a low grey sky and steady rain. Eighteen hours of swinging between a chilly misting and window slapping sprays. If I can keep my head dry, I'm out the door.

snowdrops in the pine needles

raindrops on the maple

holes the dog dug

green hellebore being beautiful

tea for cold fingers and cold nose

Saturday, March 5, 2011

making goat cheese

We are now officially cheese makers, albeit very inexperienced ones. The results were delicious and I encourage you to give it a try.

Curious about making some of your own? Want some advice for getting started? Check out my guest post at Grown in the City.

slumming with the billboards

Alkonost, the Bird of Paradise, late 18th century

Like birds calling in the canopy, filtered by leaves and fractured sunlight, words bounce around click, tap, tap - release. Interesting. Some are let go like blood at slaughter, others sent out thundering like the hooves of the pony express, and then there are those that seem so precious - too precious to be slumming up against the billboards, but there they are and it's best to know the rules are different and be thankful they called back.

I know a few people who release the words - they're ornithologists creating aviaries, discovering new species, educating...releasing into the cacophony of the canopy.

Here's a catch and release:

The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens -- but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it's love and love alone that really matters.

~ Tom Robbins, May 25, 2007

So, thank you to those who ensure our time online offers plenty of word watching. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

this beautiful evidence

As I pull information together for the next Meet the Farmers post I'm finding some very interesting people and some amazing stories. Their tales unravel like fables and now the posts, although hopefully helpful and informative, feel like they are just scratching the surface of a bigger story. When I started the blog I was acknowledging something that I would never be able to turn my back on. The title, Mistaken for a Rebel, came from my belief that there are many definitions of success and that we need to venture out to find our own. Our choices might appear to be rebellious, but to us it will be the most natural thing in the world. We will be home.

I had a "Whoa, I had no idea!" moment today. My sudden realization made me think of string theory - isn't it fascinating? The imagination can just run away with the idea that there are other dimensions to the universe that we can't see. Maybe we can get a taste of what that would be like by dipping into the realities within reach that we ignore. It's sometimes only a tweak of perspective that shines light on a place, a story, or a teacher.

Every person I've contacted to talk to me about their goats has been willing to give me all the time I need. They want to talk about the complexities of their milk, the land that their herds graze on, and the water they drink. Sometimes just a simple question will lead to an open invitation being extended to our family. We now have invitations in three states. You know what all of these people exuded? Passion and purpose. As imperfect as we all are, there's nothing like being in the company of someone who has found their way home.


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