Archive | May, 2012

Planting Weekend at CoyoteCrow Farm.

29 May

What my wife said! Dang, it felt good to shovel and have my hands in the dirt. I’m thinking our bathtub may not recover for a while… with all the dirt my shower left behind. And my mouth waters thinking about the yumminess our efforts of this weekend will produce in a few months between eggs from the chickens and vegetables from the garden!

I’m finally back in Lexington and heading off to sleep. Tomorrow promises to be a looong day at work. Hope you all had as great a weekend as we did. G-night and dream well.

Reaching for Nonsense

I was going to write a nice descriptive post about the process of making dandelion wine, and maybe I will.  But this weekend was so chock-full of busy-ness and activity that I can’t pull my mind together.  I think I can manage a list, though.  🙂  Thank you for your indulgence.

  • Weez was home all weekend, which was lovely.  Three whole days together, working on the homestead.
  • Got over myself and bought started veggie plants from the organic guy at the farmer’s market–tomatoes, basil, dill, lavender, cucumbers, sage.
  • We planted potatoes and tomatoes in the driveway, which involved lots of shoveling dirt.
  • We put together all the ingredients for this year’s dandelion wine.  Hoping the magic will transform the smelly sludge into a potent elixir like it did last year!
  • Bottled the Scottish 80 shilling ale from Northern Brewer.  Can’t wait to try it out!
  • Made huge…

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Keeping up with life

24 May

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with life! It was a very long day with a very long commute. I still felt like I made a difference today or I guess I mean yesterday. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the days apart for us true night folks. At least my dog Frankie knows the difference.

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I do believe, I do believe…

22 May

One night last week I was taking Frankie for his last walk of the night down by the middle school. Now most nights this a pretty uneventful affair.

It’s kind of dark and I wear a dorky headlamp so when I cross the crosswalk cars can see me and I can pick up after Frankie if you know what I mean.

On this particular evening as we were heading back a car drove up to the school, turned around and stopped with it’s headlights behind us.

I turned around once but couldn’t really see anything so I urged Frankie to step up the pace back to the house. I was a bit unnerved… and you just never know.

I looked up at the fence that separates the school grounds and some construction work on the other side and noticed another person and their dog walking the same way we were… in dark silhouette.

It gave me a bit of a start since I hadn’t known there was anyone else there. But there was something in the confident way they moved that made me feel better.

It took a couple of seconds but then I realized it was our shadow against the fence. I took a big breath of relief and my heart stopped racing so fast.

And then a thought occurred to me and I stopped for a moment to let it percolate. Had I just glimpsed our Guardians? I’ve always known there was someone or something watching out for me and mine.

But there’s always been a hint of doubt. I mean how can you believe in something you’ve never seen? God, I have no trouble believing in. How can you not when you look around at the mystery and beauty that surrounds us? But personal Guardians…Angels?

In that moment of looking, really noticing the shadow, something in me shifted. And I wondered if it wasn’t just a matter of perspective–the place between light and dark–all the places where opposites meet and merge.

That may be where all of the beings of legend, myth and religion–where the impossible ones exist. I don’t know for sure. But I do know, I’m no longer afraid of shadows… and I do believe in angels!

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Between fire and fuel

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Between seeing and hiding

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Between wild and caged

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Between sun and rain

12 Miles from Boston

18 May

All day long I’m surrounded by people. Even during my commute, only they’re in separate vehicles, moving in death defying patterns and at break neck speeds. It leads to brain cramping, hectic days… all on hard concrete floors.

Most nights I’m fortunate in taking Frankie for his last evening walk towards a nearby school. It means a lovely end to these long days.

My feet step on grass and earth, my ears fill with the sound of peepers. My lungs pull in outdoor air and my face lifts up to see the sky. All 12 miles from Boston. And yes, sometimes I can still hear the traffic noise of Rte 128 and lately my shoulders hunch against the damp and the rain.

But it doesn’t matter… I’m able to touch and feel something not man made. Alone with nature and my dog. How amazing is that! And for a country mouse like me it makes not being in my element easier.

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A Year in pictures.

18 May

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Always keep looking… beauty can be found in the oddest places.

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We ate the last of the potatoes from that crop in February.

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There’s sauce upstairs in the freezer made from what we canned of the tomatoes from last summer’s harvest.

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Flowers in our yard in a vase from my trip to Honduras.

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Find the camo dog out camping.

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This became amazing soup and pie.

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The first and last real snow of winter.

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Nuf said. Obscure reference… think 100 years of Fenway park and 1912.

An Artist’s Fear

16 May

For 3 months now I’ve been trying to write something most every day… except for the week of my birthday when I was so ill all I could think about was maybe getting out of bed to visit the bathroom.

I think for most of us who write, whether for an audience or not, our biggest fear is… what if the words dry up. What if the muses or whatever or whoever inspires us decides to leave us hanging.

For a long time it seemed I could only write if my personal world was in shambles and I was deeply depressed. Something many artists in various arts have discovered. Just ask Vincent Van Gogh or Silvia Plath among the more famous ones.

I know better now since words have come bursting through or tiptoed in at different times and moods in my life. And sometimes you just have to make yourself focus and do it.

I started writing songs and poetry when I was 14 (many, many moons ago) so it’s something I’ve thought a lot about over the years. Below is something I wrote in the mid 80’s when I was still figuring out the craft of writing… not that I’m done figuring it out yet!

AN ARTIST’S FEAR WEEZ 1986

down, down I sink
deep depression ~ surrounded ~
I can feel her
darkly warm, nurturing healing earth

and then I write, I can
of this or that or maybe both
moment to movement
imaginary conversations
turned to song
angers, rejections, frustration
bring the words

but soon, too soon – I’m afraid
I am lifting
borne aloft on shaky wings
gathering courage, high I fly
communing with the faces, friends and the world

while struggling ideas all blocked
inside create an un EQUAL pressure
and a balloon flown too high
–bursts

so I plunge yet again
in an ocean of letters and notes
being all there is to keep
me afloat

an unfailing pattern –
never changing
afraid I am
without these swings,
these altered states
would I, could I
WRITE

Chicken Obsessions…temporarily, I hope!

15 May

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Except for a few necessary walks Frankie has spent most of the past 24 hours sleeping. That’s because he indulged in his newest obsession over our 2 days home. The Chickens!

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Not for nothing was the term “tenacious as a terrier” coined. I had to remind him of my “Big Dog” status when he couldn’t tear himself away from the chicken coop to come when called… I literally had to chase him around the coop to catch him for the lesson.

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Now he wasn’t the only one fascinated by half grown chicks. The other 2 dogs, Nisha one of the cats, as well as my wife and I all spent time checking them out.

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I have to admit it took a while for me to come around to the idea of having chickens living in our backyard. But dang they are pretty cool to watch and quite beautiful too. Check out those gorgeous feet feathers on Captain Katherine Janeway!

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Dust bath, mealy worms and all. In fact, Frankie and I spent time Sunday night hanging out with them (and in Frankie’s case sniffing them although he did appear leery of their beaks and spread wings that up close and personal) in their rapidly too small brooder downstairs bathtub.

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OK, maybe Frankie isn’t the only one with a chicken obsession right now… but hey I’ve never been up this close to them before. Here’s looking at you!

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Before and After

14 May

Some before and after pictures from more than just this weekend.

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After

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After

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After

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That was fun. Notice our Tanner boy hanging out on the freshly mown lawn not giving two hoots about the chickens behind him. However Frankie was a totally different story.

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Tomorrow… Frankie’s newest obsession!

Happy Sigh!

13 May

Long week, long drive home. But I’m back home with my peeps…my wife and friends, my dog, cat and chicken peeps. I can feel my psyche, nerves, and body softening and relaxing already.

All 5 dogs and cats are in the same room hanging out resting through the night with us. Makes me happy. No chickens however… even I draw the line somewhere. Besides, I’m canine natured not avian like my wife.

I will visit and respond more tomorrow. Hei, hei and kiitos for dropping by to all my Finnish family and friends.

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Thank You

10 May

This a post to say thank you so much for those of you who wander by to read, to like and to follow my blog. I do indeed stop by to read and check out most of my fellow bloggers.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult at this time to actually make comments on your individual blogs. You all don’t know how much I wish I could find a way to balance better right now.

The 2 hour plus of commuting certainly shortens my day as does the incredible demands of healthcare paperwork. What I don’t regret in anyway is the time I get to spend with my patients.

To know I can make such a difference in individual lives with my knowledge and experience, my tough love approach to physical therapy and my heartfelt compassion means the sacrifices I make right now are worth it.

It’s worth it because of comments like these from patients from my 3 weeks at a facility on the North Shore… ” if I was 40 years younger, I’d fight your wife to marry you”.

She’s over 90, can barely see or hear, sharp as a tack and sometimes called me he and sometimes she… mmm makes me wonder… as a husband or wife! It’s the short hair.

We in the Rehab department almost killed ourselves laughing over that one. Although we all admitted how sweet the comment was. I hope she made it home!

Another patient asked to dress herself in clothes not a johnny and walked almost twice what she had done before. She told me in the elevator back to her room it had been hard but she’d wanted to do it for me on my last day. I hope she made it home too.

And because of patients where I am now on the South Shore who ask if I can be their therapist tomorrow… even though they acknowledge I’m the weirdest and toughest therapist they’ve ever had.

That’s why it is worth less time for sleep and comments at this time. Not forever this traveling PTA gig but I can do it for the next 11 weeks for my family and the patients who depend on me for right now.

Thanks to my family, friends and readers for hanging with me on this part of my journey. I have had many blessings in my life… may it ripple outward to all!