Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nature Deficit Disorder

There are many studies that can be found showing the importance of nature to overall health and doctors are actually beginning to "prescribe" this to their patients. Thankfully I'm finding many movements around that strive to get kids outside, be it in a park or just in their own backyard. Check out more information & news stories on Richard Louv's website:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

"What do you mean I can't come in? It's just mud ... I've been embracing nature."


Ok, I'll get it, is this better?

Hope you get the opportunity to get out and embrace nature today. National Wildlife has a drive on to get kids and families outside and I encourage you to check it out and consider signing their pledge. You can discover more at where they have activities, articles, and more. I just noticed they have a study up detailing how much time kids spend "plugged in", I guess my terminology was correct in that previous post.

I know I'm not writing much/any and I do have a few things I'd like to share with my cyber friends. I cherish your input and motivation to keep striving and growing. I've been reading your post but been in a writing lull, maybe I should say I've been busy living. Hope to get more things up soon, but you know I couldn't let Earth Day pass by without a little something.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Imagination Playground

We finally went to see Alice in Wonderland this past weekend and what a playground for the imagination it was. It really got me thinking about my dreams for our little place unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding talking flowers. What I can find are bushes, trees, and vines that bear berries and fruit so I can have my own little garden of Eden. There are also many other plants I'm learning about that offer other multifunctions in a landscape. I want to use all of these to create meandering pathways that open onto random courtyards and conceal little niches and hideaways. Little rooms created with living walls to sit and read or just stare up at the sky above while enjoying all the fresh nutrition nature is providing. What I see in my mind is really quite fun, now I just have to acquire the motivation to actually put it on the ground. I still haven't posted for you my "walk about" where I photographed our place as it actually exist today. Hmmm, am I hiding that reality from you or me. I am taking workshops and reading books .... but need to do more to take it from a dream in my head to reality on the ground. The last workshop I took was on designing and constructing rain gardens. These are simply bio retention systems designed to retain stormwater while blending in with the yards landscaping and preferably using native plants. At this workshop I hit the jackpot by meeting Sarah Vroom from Bountiful Backyards. As quoted from an article at, they are "an “edible landscaping collective” based in Durham that designs gardens, provides ongoing training, and organizes workshops on everything from vermiculture (worm composting) to mushroom cultivation". Being true permaculturist they work within the area they live, which is still a little ways from me, but I hope to be able to use their consulting service to help springboard some designs, learn more about the plants, and gain inspiration to move me beyond my comfort zone which I seem to be well rooted in these days.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Contracted Time

I've been away for a bit seeing family and attending workshops which I'll hopefully write about soon. I'm continuing on my quest to absorb as much environmental knowledge as I can and motivate myself to get out there and live it. This week though I want to explore something else that's been on my mind, purge my thoughts as I often do here at KAP. A few days ago, quite suddenly and unexpected, I lost my beloved sweet boy C C. He went into intestinal distress and after trying for hours to save him we had to make that most dreaded decision to put him down. Last Sunday morning started off promising to be a beautiful day with the boys happily eating their breakfast, after which I turned them out to pasture. By mid afternoon the nightmare began and ended just as the sun was about to rise on Monday with my husband and I pulling out of the parking lot of the NC State animal hospital with an empty trailer and heavy hearts. This began my pondering of if I'd known would I have done anything different? It was a long miserable winter but would I have braved the elements and spent more time with my guys if I'd known he wouldn't be with me come spring? We all think from time to time how would we act if we knew how much time we had here and have been momentarily moved by the many songs on the subject such as Tim McGraw's "Live like you were dying". My question though is how would you act toward another if you knew you had a set contracted time to be together. If the day you met you filled out and signed a contract stating a start and end date for the relationship. Would we speak kinder, look one another in the eyes more, have more patience and let those pet peeves fall by the wayside. Would we snap less and bite our tongue from correcting them over trivial things they may say or do. Would we be more attentive and less distracted when we were with them. The list goes on and on and as I mull it all over the next question I have is are we even capable of maintaining that sort of intensity in all our relationships even if we knew it was not to last forever?
Unfortunately I had not done a post for C C yet on either blog so I've put one up for him now over at Sweet T Farm if you would like to see more pictures and learn a little about him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pimping Myself

Meadow Linn of Savor the Day posted a competition to name a drink. My husband and I had so much fun with this and I really want to share it with ya'll. I have it at my new blog Sweet T Farm and since I have more people visit here I just had to come and pimp myself. I hope it makes you laugh.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gardening for Wildlife Habitats

“More than just plants grow out of helping a child tend a garden,” says Judy Sedbrook, a Denver-based master gardener with the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. “Gardening gives children a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, and it enables them to learn about the environment.”

I found this quote on the National Wildlife Website. I was excited to see they have a section giving tips on gardening with children. I went to the site to get information on having my yard designated as an official Wildlife Habitat. I found not only the above mentioned information but that currently there is a drive in progress to create 150,000 Wildlife Habitats. I thought some of you might be interested and you may find your yard already meets the requirements.

As to my previous post, I've been working on the flip side to the dream - the reality check. I've walked the property, taken photo's of where it is now and look forward to one day looking back and seeing how far it's all come. At first I was seeing how far I've yet to go, but now I can see that a little progress toward the dream has been achieved. I'll get some pictures up soon to share as documentation and to lay out a path to lead to the next step.

The picture shown above is our group of ladies along with some children planting our first vegetable garden last year. I have to give all the credit to the ladies for that happening, I tend to say someday or next year too much. They have been wonderful motivators to just go for it and I thank them and many of you for that as well.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


"It is so true! that jungle that we create for ourselves can be very tricky to get out of sometimes. We need to teach this stuff to our children when they are YOUNG so that their jungles don't grow so thick and dense."

This comment was recently left on one of my post by Dawn of Today and Everyday. It is one of the things that got me thinking about what I started this blog for. What are my dreams for our little farm and what am I doing to accomplish that. Well to put it simply I want it to be a place to get unplugged. I want to create an environment where kids can come, connect with nature, and just BE. There is so much stimulation in the world today and things that desensitize kids to the point they feel little empathy, compassion, or connection with life. I want a place where they can come and get their hands in the dirt, plant seeds, and watch life grow from the care they give it. I want them to know where there food comes from and what the body was designed to eat. A place where they can feed chickens and gather eggs, taste honey straight from the hive, learn the importance of all life and how it is interconnected and dependent on one another. Learn to respect nature not fear and destroy it. I would like them to have the opportunity to groom and care for the horses to see what they need as well as enjoying riding them. I want them to play around the pond, float in the canoe watching the clouds drift by overhead, and interact with the frogs and other life that reside there. I want them to swing beneath the Live Oaks and dance freely under the sun. I want to give them a place to sit quietly, listen to their thoughts, and learn to understand their emotions. I want a place for kids to learn to self regulate in any situation, to observe and respond rather than judge and react. Hopefully our little farm will become a place that in some small way helps kids journey through life without creating jungles.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow at the Beach

We don't often get snow here on the coast especially more than a dusting. This weekend we received 7" -8" which is melting pretty fast and leaving me with a lot (more) mud and slush to tromp through. On top of that I awoke to down tree limbs and pasture fence and we were supposed to be travelling this weekend. Needless to say I was not seeing a winter wonderland. I half heartedly took pictures anyway thinking the moment needed to at least be documented and I'm glad I did. The fence is fixed, the boys are safe, family came here, and life is somewhat in order again. Now I can look back at these photos and see the beauty that was right before me the whole time. I need to practice what I preach, I always tell my girls when they are in a delimna "things always work out".

Over at my blog Sweet T Farm I am beginning to introduce all the animals. I started with my littly guy Gapi and I'm putting a link to each in my sidebar. I had introduced Rebel here so I used that link for him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Exploring Sweet T Farm

In the beginning KAP was solely a place for me to sort my thoughts concerning a need I felt for children to learn mindfulness. Somewhere along the way it became more of a therapeutic place for me to find my own way and share some of my life with others. I have had many reminders lately concerning the root of this blog and I would like it to stay a place to explore those thoughts. I want it to be a place to ask questions and share thoughts with you as I continue to grow and learn from your wonderful comments. I also want an outlet in which to just play and free write. For this reason I have started another blog and I hope that you will join me there as well. This blog is named for our little place, Sweet T Farm, and through it I would like to share a bit of life along the southern coast of NC. So come on over for a visit, Rebel is waiting to welcome you in.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nature's Painting

As the days grow longer it reminds me of a post I wrote last winter. I hope you don't mind me recycling but it is still true even with all the rain we've had this winter and this is a nice reminder.

The days are gradually inching their way longer. I always dread when the time changes and the days shorten. In these winter months the sun has started setting by the time I leave work and it is dark shortly after arriving home. This leaves me doing many barnyard chores by the glow of a few solitary lights. I so yearn for the long days of summer when I can come home and there is still time to stay out and play. A time when more can be done on weekday evenings to lighten the weekend load and I am not relegated to shut myself away so early. But there is a bright spot in the winter darkness as there is beauty to be found in any season. During these shortened days the light around the coast is somehow more serene, the air crisp and fresh. It seems to cradle the soul and create a dreamlike state of mind. My drive to and from work involves crossing four bridges over three different bodies of water. As the sun is setting on my way home, I can forget for that time about the darkness that awaits me, for it is as if I am driving through a painting.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blank Page

One night earlier this week as I was dreaming I saw before me a notebook. I watched as it opened to reveal a crisp, clean, fresh blank page. It radiated warmth, beauty and a sense of importance, yet it was only a blank piece of paper. My initial feeling was puzzlement which then turned to slight disappointment. Why was there no story, life directions, or words of inspiration to motivate and guide me? I continued to stare at the page and then a smile began to spread across my face. The realization that this was for me to write on was making it's way into my thoughts. This was my page and I could write ANYTHING I wanted. This was my place to write my story with no limitations. It was no longer a blank page but a page full of promise and possibilities.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in front of the other."
M.C. Richards

There are two thoughts along these lines that battle for supremacy in my head:

"Look before you leap"

"Leap and build your wings on the way down"

Whenever I am planning a project or setting a life goal I tend to want to know absolutely everything before I begin. I want to read the books, shadow someone, ask every one's opinion, weigh the options and the pros and cons, think of all the ways it could fail and have a back up plan ..... Yet with all this I can still feel unprepared to achieve the goal and that usually leads to never beginning. At the same time I also believe most skills and knowledge are acquired best by doing, getting your hands dirty, making mistakes and picking yourself up and starting again. I am constantly in a debate against myself between the one side shouting acquire the knowledge and skills first and the other pushing and saying just get in there and do it. I know there is a balance that lies somewhere in between and that each situation is unique as to how it should be approached but the battle rages on as to which side gives and when.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1st Person 3rd Person

When I began playing with fictional writing recently I started by writing in third person. As the story began to turn semi autobiographical I found myself at times slipping into first person. I had to decide one way or the other from which viewpoint the story would be told. I thought about which each meant: 3rd person - an observer, 1st person - living the moment. As this went through my mind it brought up the question, from which viewpoint was my real life story being told?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Look Within

"The greatest wisdom is in simplicity.Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness. It's not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. It's encoded in your DNA. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way."

Carlos Barrios Mayan Ajq'ij

Friday, January 1, 2010


"None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm" Henry David Thoreau

As I sat today watching the rain fall yet again, I found my enthusiasm running low on this the first day of the new year. As the drops sent ripples across the pond I thought of one of my own post, Exchanging Energy. Rereading it and Dawn's post about Joy reminded me that finding my enthusiasm is not something I should do just for myself but for all those I encounter along my journey. Now this isn't to say that I should always be Ms. Perky but I do hope to maintain an awareness of how I'm effecting those around me. The path to peace and happiness in the world is created by each individual finding it in themselves.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blue Moon

As the day's activities draw to an end, my husband and I can usually be found on the porch breathing in the refreshing night air, collecting our thoughts, and forging new plans. To me the night sky seems to provide cleansing and nourishment for the soul, raining down energy on the weary thirsty traveler. As I gaze upon the stars, I also feel a connection to a greater whole as if the night sky is a unifying force connecting all life, now and throughout time. For New Year's Eve the night sky will be brightly illuminated by the moon in all her full glory, the second full moon in December. What a unique blessing with both the night and the moon symbolizing a time of reflection and new beginnings. During this time of saying my farewells to the past and looking forward with great expectation to the coming year, a word that comes to mind is gratitude. I am grateful for all that has transpired, the good and the bad, for it has brought me to where I am today, and I look forward with gratitude for the many blessings yet to come.

I've noticed on your blogs that some of you are participating in a one word challenge for the new year. I had not planned to do this until I noticed the one word that presented itself as I finished this post. I will go into 2010 with the intent of using gratitude as my rudder to steer me on my travels.

Happy New Year and I wish you all many blessings throughout the coming year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, 1927

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Discovering Self

"I write not to be understood, but to understand." C. Day Lewis (father Daniel Day Lewis)

I have found writing to be quite therapeutic, a way to peel back the layers and see what is underneath. I began writing to organize some of the thoughts rambling around in my head, but I never consciously envisioned that I would discover my core self in what came out in my written word. I even recently began playing with some fictional characters just for fun and before I knew it the story began to turn semi-autobiographical. Although the story is totally fictional, I have found I was writing in characteristics of my past, present and even future self. The future characteristics have become motivation to propel me toward some of my goals, which is still, and always will be, a work in progress. I am sure many of you bloggers have found this to be true as well, but I highly recommend to anyone that writing can be used as a way to explore themselves and life in general.

BTW I don't know if anyone is still out there, I've been away for a while. I wasn't actually away as I've been keeping up with your blogs and have even written a few post but never seemed to feel like hitting that publish button. I've been on quite a knowledge quest the last few months, getting my green building certification, studying permaculture and sustainable living, wetlands workshops, planting rain gardens for which I plan to get certified for in January, just took a fascinating beekeeping course and am presently studying soil microbiology. Hmm what have I forgotten, oh I got semi-hooked on Facebook which I swore I'd never do. Hope everyone is having a great weekend, the weather is a bit damp here in the South (by that I mean I'm living in the middle of a swamp that used to be my yard).

Monday, September 7, 2009

No Worries

Try letting go ....

and see what happens.

Skyward view through my magical Live Oak as I float along on my homemade swing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ch Ch Ch Changing

The above is a photograph I took recently of a barn on my uncle's property. Things have changed a bit there since my childhood. No longer is this barn surrounded by cows and horses grazing contentedly on green pastures. No longer are the lofts stuffed with hay or the tack room lined with saddles. But as some things in our lives change some part of them always stays the same. For me I will always love the aroma of hay and leather and they still have the power to transport me to another world full of adventures.

Some of my friends think I've been doing some changing myself although I don't really see it. I think the difference is I have always been this person on "the inside" and now have begun to live it "externally". I think you call that being more authentic. All those thoughts, ideas, "voices" I'm now letting out to make their way in the world and the I cant's are diminishing. One of the sources of letting those "voices" out has been through blogging. I am not writing much on this blog these days but this marks that blogosphere milestone of being my 100th post. The whole writing thing came after suggestions from a few friends and then my husband telling me to write it down so I did. I wrote my first post on August 26, 2008, which I guess means I have also just had an anniversary of sorts although at first it was a private journal only. This did help sort some thoughts, but then a few months later I read my first blog, yes I had never even read a blog before. Shortly after that I went public and began to read and write more. I have found this form of opening up and sharing with others therapeutic and probably the anonymity of it all made it easier. I now don't have so many voices in my head bouncing around and running into each other, arguing and debating life. I have gotten out this year and done many of the things I only thought of before and have so much yet to do. So to all of you out there in blogland I say thank you for inspiring and motivating me, for sharing your time and listening to my voice.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Life's a Beach

It can be quite odd when your office is at the beach, on an island actually. I have a schedule and wear clothes, many times feeling a bit overdressed, while everyone around me is on "island time" and walking about in basically their underwear. I'm sure these people wouldn't be caught dead walking onto their porch at home in their actual underwear yet here they walk or bike around town in even less. Since we are becoming more populated by year rounders I do see more people in the stores actually dressed now but there are still those walking around in nothing more than butt skimming sheer cover ups and I have in the past walked by girls in bikini's in the grocery aisle. The oddest thing is that no one finds this odd and most don't give it a second thought. What would it be like where you live to pass someone walking around in their underwear pushing a shopping cart while going about their daily chores? On the plus side our business attire is shorts and sandals or loafers. It is strange here to see someone in a tie and do they still make hose, not sure if they even sell those torture devises around here. If you are spotted wearing anything like that you are immediately outed as a salesperson in town for the day. On occassion we feel a need or desire to dress up so we may break out the khaki's.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alien in the Garden

In my studies of permaculture this summer I have learned a lot of interesting things and a few I wish I could wipe from my memory. I am mostly speaking of the interplay between the many little creatures that crawl, hop, and buzz all around us. It is like something out of a horror movie, in fact one is believed to have inspired the movie Alien and it began a showing in my garden last night. I am speaking of the wasp vs. the caterpillar and to keep from creeping myself out with the details (hint - the 1st movie showing how the Alien is incubated and then "born") you can read more here if you are so inclined. Also I did not take a picture, in fact I do not want to go back, and definitely don't wish to record one here for eternity so here is a link to what it looks like right now. The interesting part though is the plants role in this, who knew a plant could send out an SOS. By the way, if you can't tell by his gruesome actions, the wasp is the beneficial one and for the healthiest garden you have to sometimes just walk away. I am learning that in order for nature to be in balance the best thing I can do is stay out of it's way.

I didn't take a picture of the poor little worm but wanted to show you the canteloupe the horses planted, yes that's my manure compost pile. This isn't the first garden they have attempted to grow, once they gave me back some beautiful watermelon plants, that is until the deer ate them. Who says gardening has to be so complicated, just enjoy a cool watermelon on a sunny day, give what's left to the equine, and then let nature do all the work :). This is an aged pile so if I can beat the deer it should be safe to transplant it and see what happens.

Update: Well I was too late, when I checked after work today the canteloupe was gone roots an all. They probably chowed it down last night, hope it was enjoyed.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Tattoo's have come up in conversation a bit lately so I thought I would explore the topic here. Feelings about tattoo's can be controversial so I hope no one takes offense one way or the other from this post. While some people view it as the body being used as a canvas for a work of art, others see it as defilement. That word did come up in a conversation about tattoo's recently so what exactly does it mean. The definition of defilement is to make filthy or dirty or to make unclean or unfit for ceremonial use; desecrate: defile a temple. Hmmm, I always thought tattoo's were a part of ceremony in many cultures, a way of marking landmarks in one's life. I personally do not have a tattoo (yet anyway), but many of my family members and friends do. In most cases I see their tattoo's as a visual narration of their life or either as an outward expression of an inward journey. I gain much insight into who they are from hearing the stories, meanings, and their feelings behind each one. To me they are a form of expression, kind of a pictorial freedom of speech. If you have a tattoo, or even imagine what you would get if you had one (that'd be me), I would love to hear your story.

The visual pictorial above is of my step-sister's story. The circle on her back is her birth sign representing the day she was born and the tree, a work in progress, symbolizes the tree of life. The art work is of an actual Live Oak tree that has special meaning for her. (Getting off topic, but adding to the uniqueness of Live Oak trees, you can see my feelings about them from what I have written before here.) Getting back to the image, you can also see my favorite, her sons baby handprint. She has now added her second sons handprint as he was just about to be born when this photograph was taken.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beltline - Battle or Ballet

I recently attended some workshops in Raleigh, NC. The classes I found to be enjoyable but driving on the beltline not so much. Although I used to live in this area, before the population and road system became what it is today, I now am very much a small town girl. The beltline is three and four lanes of steady in a hurry commuters. The most intimidating part for me though are it's continuous on and off ramps, and heaven forbid you are not in the correct lane when you get to your exit. It feels like you are being charged on in battle, not only being trapped from both sides, in front, and barrelling down on you from behind, but they are constantly charging down on you from off ramps, one after the other, like a battalion of warriors coming down from the cliffs above. As I was in the middle of what seemed to be chaos, feeling assaulted and attacked, I began to wonder if from a birds eye view that this may look like a well choreographed dance. My problem was that I had wondered on stage and didn't know the steps.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This billboard was ironically outside the hotel I was staying at while attending a workshop. I was down in South Carolina this past week working on a green building certification and seeing this billboard gave me much pause for thought. What is potential and is it a fixed element or are the possibilities endless? One definition of potential is the inherit ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being. "Coming into being", I really like the sound of that and inherit is to gain as one's right or portion. Another definition is existing in possibility, capable of development into actuality. This signifies to me that an action is required. Just imagine that whatever we can dream our life to be is just right there waiting to be claimed if we just step up and go for it. We are only limited by our vision and our determination to bring it into being.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Many Paths

"To become a complete person, we must travel many paths, and to truly own anything we must first of all give it away. This is not a riddle. Only those who share their multiple and varied skills, true friendships, and a sense of community and knowledge of the earth know they are safe wherever they go."

Bill Mollison

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Playing Tag

I was tagged a few weeks ago. I always want to play these games but never get around to it. You can see by the date when I started this post and am now just answering the questions, a little slack if I do say so myself. I always feel honored to be thought of so here goes a little about me, maybe more than you want to know :) .

What is your current obsession?

Permaculture, Passive Solar, Sustainable Living, and Green Construction Methods.

What is your weirdest obsession?

Maybe my fascination with how all things are interconnected and dependent on one another down to the smallest microorganism. I imagine touching the ground and being able to feel the heartbeat of the planet resonate through my entire being.
Or some may say it's my donkey :) .

What are you wearing today?

White jeans, sage green and white top and sandals.

What's for dinner?

Spinach salad with lots of veggies from the garden

What would you eat for your last meal?

Since it's summer it would have to include fresh melons and berries of all kinds. My favorite meal, however, is not about a certain food but having a hodgepodge of things like a lot of appetizers and sharing it with a group. Oh, and finger foods, I think everything taste better eaten with your fingers. Doesn't the image of me sticking my fingers in everything and passing to you sound so appetizing :)

What's the last thing you bought?

Fresh blueberries and roasted peanuts at the roadside produce stand, my favorite place to shop.

What are you listening to right now?

I have a classic rock station on from the internet and right now 38 Special is playing.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Hands down Breyers Rocky Road.

What do you think of the person that tagged you?

Amazing incredible soul. Her talent with words is beyond what I can hope to describe, she moves me, she pulls me in. Her talent for being in the moment and describing it is magical. Her photographic style is so unique and so Sheila. It's like she is truly touching life with her soul and then expressing it back to you in way so you can feel it also.

If you could have a house today totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

Well, I live on a small farm on which I have horses, in a small coastal town in NC .... that's hard to beat. If I did move it would be to a warmer climate, no lows lower than high 40's in the winter and have lots of acreage with a comfortable cottage overlooking the ocean (for hubby) and contain a large lake or river running through it for me.

Which language do you want to learn?


Who do you want to meet right now?

Goldie Hawn, I love how she is always smiling and so comfortable in her skin. She is also the founder of a great educational mindfulness program that I would love to learn more about.

What is your favorite color?

That changes as I do but I always seem to come back to blue. My favorite shade of blue would be somewhere between teal and turquoise.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?

Light weight jogging pants and a tank top (really they are undershirts, shhhh)

What is your favorite quote?

It's not the destination, it's the journey

What is your dream job?

Having an educational site for permaculture, passive solar and sustainable living and teaching workshops and seminars. On that site having a market where I could sell my own organic compost, fertilizers etc. along with handmade nature oriented crafts such as bird houses from scrap material (repurposing).

What is your favorite magazine?
The only magazines I get now are Home Builder magazines, like it when they have a good green article. I used to like Better Home and Garden.

If you had $100 dollars now what would you spend it on?

Right now, fruit or pecan trees once I decide exactly where I want to put them.

Who is your favorite designer?

Anyone who can make me a pair a jeans that really fit me, currently that is Levi 550 Relaxed Boot Cut (does that count as a designer)

Describe your personal style?

Comfortable! I would love to be bohemian chic, but mostly I'm just plane jane blue jeans (and barefoot, my signature would be dirty bare feet)
(Dawn I want to count the picture for this post as self portrait #1 & it may be the only one)

What are you going to do after this?

Give the horses hay then catch up on your blogs

What are your favorite movies?

Pirates of the Caribbean

What's your favorite fruit?

All of them, loooove fruit. I guess if I have to pick it's blueberries or watermelon.

What inspires you?

Stories of everyday people doing great things (even if they seem like small accomplishments)

Nature and its amazing ability to take care of itself and us if we only let it

My family

Your blogs, many have warmed my heart, made me smile or laugh, motivated me to do more

What music do you like this week?

Almost always classic rock, my favorite is Credence

What is something you know with every fiber of your being?

The love of family, me for them, them for me

The rules:

1. Respond & rework; answer the question on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.

(OK, I only changed the currency on one, it was 100 pounds)

2. Tag five other people, I'm tagging the following people:
Again I want to break the rule because I honestly want all who come here to do this (this includes you guys especially). I follow all your blogs and would love to learn more about you.

That being said, it is kind of fun to see yourself actually mentioned on someone else's blog so I will pick five, but again others please play.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What's On Your Mind?

"What you think upon grows. Whatever you allow to occupy your mind you magnify in your life. Whether the subject of your thought be good or bad, the law works and the condition grows. Any subject that you keep out of your mind tends to diminish in your life, because what you do not use atrophies. ---"

Emmet Fox from Make Your Life Worthwhile, 1942

Monday, June 8, 2009

Simple Joy

Who says you have to spend a lot of money.

A scrap piece of wood

A hay tie down strap

And a faithful ole Oak tree

Still enjoying the swing my husband & nephew made, I've even seen hubby swinging a time or two. How many of you still love to swing? Besides being meditative, it also cools you down in the heat of the day, great for little work breaks in the shade.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Revenge of the Birds

We love all the different birds that visit or live on our property, but I have to say we are just as (if not more) partial to the squirrels. Other people complain about the squirrels getting into their bird feeders and we put up squirrel feeders. While others are swapping tips on how to keep them away we are enjoying watching them scurry around and play. I mean really, look at that face and they are all such characters as well.
Last year my husband had some scrap wood so he built this little house that we would occasionally put some nuts or corn in through the winter. Well this spring the birds seemed to say thank you very much and proceeded to move right in. Now, instead of being a squirrel hang out, it has become a bird duplex.
Not only have they commandeered the squirrel house, I think they eat more cat food than the cats. Of course the Blue Jays have always been brazen and seem to feed only on cat food at times, but now other birds are following suit. The other morning a Blue Jay was at the bowl getting his standard breakfast and a Brown Thrasher was standing in line behind him waiting his turn. I guess I will just stand back and applaud them for going after what they want.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Family Fun

Hmmm, I've been at a loss for words. OK, all those who know me can get up from rolling on the floor with laughter now. I have lots going on but just no words to put on paper, plus you just wonder sometimes how it could possibly interest anyone else. I will say we had a great time with the family visit last weekend, enjoying loads of fun, love, laughter and of course food. I think I did alright for someone who's claim to fame doesn't include any hostessing skills. We visited and the ladies rode the horses while my nephew hung out with my husband. Everyone thanked him for entertaining Sammy, but I wondered who was really entertaining who? I am still reaping one of the benefits from their male bonding, they made us a tree swing which I have enjoyed all week, yeah.

The top picture was taken by my step-sister Lynne. What a special moment she captured with my sweetheart C C and my niece Hannah. The last picture was taken by my daughter Kristin, she got a lot of great photos for me that day so I could visit and play a little.

Before I leave I do want to pass on the recipe for pies I made, they were a big hit. I give thanks to Willow over at Willow Manor and if you don't read her blog here is the link for the pies. Yummy and so easy, that part is important for me :).

Also I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend and more importantly thank all those who serve or have served in our military forces.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Enthusiasm: a feeling of lively interest, positive expectancy. We have all heard and believe the saying by Mr. Cousins that “laughter is the best medicine”. I propose that enthusiasm is very good medicine. What do men, women, children, parents, employers, co-workers, friends want? They want what we are all naturally drawn to - the apparent joy and happiness expressed by enthusiasm in “ourselves and others”. Without it, the destructive stress of too much “don’t want to” and “have to” and “shoulds” is significant. Depression, anxiety, negativity, procrastination, passive-aggressive behavior, lethargy and many other symptoms can result. Complaining becomes too central to the conversation. Most of us have responsibilities that are not always “fun” but if we lose our “want to” we can become increasingly negative in our interactions with ourselves and the world around us. There is no need to settle into helplessness or long for dreams far out of our reach. Look within your current context and practice looking for, and focusing on, specific “want tos” and build your mood there. Even specific positive details, no matter how seemingly minor, can improve your health.

Wayne Townsend (recent post from his website under the title Best Medicine)

I especially love the last few sentences and am presently working on filling my life with "want tos" and enthusiasm. Some of the things I'm enthusiastic about today are:
that our community garden is growing beautifully and all the plants are flourishing
that I got into an intriguing looking wetlands workshop next week
that my daughters lives are going so well and they are happy and healthy
that my family is coming down to the beach and spending the day with me tomorrow
What are you enthusiastic about today?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


"Energy follows thought;

we move toward, but not beyond,

what we can imagine.

What we assume, expect, or believe

creates and colors our experience.

By expanding our deepest beliefs

about what is possible,

we change our experience of life."

Dan Millman

I have found in my life that I live up to expectations whether they're from someone else or expectations I set for myself. The problem with this has been that too many times the bar has been set pretty low, sometimes even kicking up dust. They say the first step is acknowledging the problem and now it is time to start raising that bar.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Mother's Day Story

In the past year my step sister and her family moved to a farm. They immediately jumped into the farm life, purchasing cows, chickens, horses, goats, and probably more I don't know about. This story is about their most recent additions. A cow on a neighbor's farm had twins and was only feeding one. Milly was a tiny calf and mom didn't feel she had enough for two; you know how that story goes in the wild. Lucky for Milly she wasn't born in the wild but next door to my step sister.

They took her in and for the last few weeks have been bottle feeding her. This week one of Lynne's cows named Sarah gave birth to a big boy they named Little John. Immediately Sarah took Milly in and began nursing her as well.

Little John is Sarah's first calf and even though she is a Jersey dairy cow with plenty of milk it is still beautiful how she has taken Milly in equally to her own calf. I love when a mom's love and instinct are so great she just cares for all who need her. Instead of having no mom, Milly ended up with several, a few human and one bovine. Not only is Milly now able to nurse from a momma cow, giving Lynne and the boys a break, Little John and Milly have bonded as well. Can I get an Ahhh for this one?

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who nurture and care for others, whomever or whatever they may be.

All the pictures are taken by Lynne. The top picture is Little John and the next is my nephew Sammy feeding Milly. Even though Milly is a few weeks older, she is the smaller one in the last two photo's.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Size Is Relevant

Five acres seems hardly enough when you are trying to provide grazing and exercise/play area for 2 1/2 horses*. Five acres is too much when you are trying to find a bull headed bull dog who has run into the woods hot on the trail of his favorite delight, deer poop. "Ain't I beautiful and I smell so good too, it's doggy cologne".

* 1/2 may be an exaggeration, donkeys don't need much .... maybe 1/4 is closer.

This is a recent picture, those are Live Oak leaves on the ground. As I said in my post The Majestic Live Oak, they shed in the spring.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have To Move

I am sitting here listening to some great classic rock and doing a little chair dancing. It is the best chair dancing you've ever not seen. I know this because there is no one here to tell me otherwise :). I only dance alone, when I can be free to do whatever I want. My girls once walked in on me dancing around the house and said earnestly, "mom please never do that in public". You may, however, catch me chair dancing if you pull up next to me at a stoplight. Also, if you happen to pass by my office, you may occasionally catch me contorting around the room. Just think of me and realize it is not someone having a seizure. Any other fabulous chair or closet dancers out there?

I try to reference pictures that are not taken by me. This is obviously not mine and can only assume is a snippet from the show. I would like to think I am a better dancer than Elaine at least.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I have a quote a day on my sidebar because I love to read new quotes each day. A recent quote was "The cat is the mirror of his human's mind .... the dog mirrors his human's physical appearance". I kept reading this quote and couldn't decide whether to like it or be scared by it :). Of course I think all my dogs have been gorgeous, and even though I think all my cats have been brilliant, each in his/her own way has been a bit off. Hmmm, that does kind of fit me, the bit off part that is. I wonder if this means that the horse mirrors his humans soul.

I have always had cats, but the current two resident cats pictured above are technically my daughter's cats. You know, those daughters that don't live here anymore. :).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gardening Party

Here are some pictures from our afternoon of gardening. It was an absolutely wonderful afternoon. Everyone jumped right in and naturally found a place within our little garden cage. It seemed as if I just turned around and it was done. The kids were wonderful to be around and fabulous gardeners. I'm thinking of starting a business and hiring them out. Hmmm, what are those child labor laws again. All the ladies in our group are such wonderful women, each so unique yet we mesh so well together. It's as if we have a script and all come prepared each time we meet, knowing our lines and on our marks. I have found them all to be a blessing in my life.

In the picture above Pam is getting us started.

Kelly, our resident school teacher, is so great with the kids and leading lessons. Oh, and see the jersey's, it was soccer tournament weekend. Everyone that had a game that weekend won their championship, how cool was that.

Here we are down to the last row and still smiling. The children gave off nothing but happy, joyful and refreshing energy all afternoon. They left our property more blessed for their presence there.

After the plants were in their place, we moved on to my boys. They got pampered and loved on and were totally soaking it all up. Gappi even gave some donkey hugs.

One last stop before they left, catching tadpoles in the pond. It was catch and release so no tadpoles were harmed in the taking of this photo :). The day was perfect and a good time was had by all. Now we'll see how they like the weeding part. I'm told Beth's sons are great at that part, my back says yeah! I look forward to the day we are enjoying fresh tomato sandwiches together followed by sticky watermelon juice dripping off our chin.