Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bufalo Trace Christmas



Twas the night before Christmas and all through my house

Penny and Belle-Belle were sleeping

Mac,Beau,Iris,Moochie and Quarrie were napping

Skye,Red,Akila and Endeavor were munching grass out in their field,

Bob was in his recliner and Mom was in mine, and I decided to type, I guess I just like the sound

When out on the roof their arose such a clatter

I ran to the window to see what was the matter

when what to my wondering eyes did appear?

A tiny little sleigh and it was pulled by miniature horses!

The little fat man in the drivers seat

was covered with crap, sure as could be

I called out the door, Hey are you ok up there?

He answered with a mutter, and a few chosen words--

"Dasher and dancer got the craps over Mexico

(that explained his suit)

I got that flu thats been around and nothing is staying down

(again,the suit explained)

The only high ball I've had all night is when I slipped getting out of my sleigh..

Rudolphs red nose is red for a reason

he can't seem to stand up straight, kind of wobbles and he's hiccupped past two countries!

the last chimney was too tight and I got my butt burned

and I'm so sick of milk and cookies I could puke.

Merry Christmas, my a--!!!!!

I shut the door, and went back to my typing

I heard scuffling and banging, and now theres some barking

If Penny and Belle dont get a piece of that suit I will eat a fruit cake!

Thats if the cats don't tear him a new one first...

Theres a lot of white fluufy stuff all over the floor..

no wait..that could be chewed up stuffed animals..

or is it?


I'm off to find the buffalo..

Merry Christnas, er ah ChristMas!!!!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice,Yule and Mom


"Yule is the midwinter festival. It takes place at the winter solstice when the sun enters Capricorn. The generally accepted date is 21 December but purists may adjust the date according to the sun's position. The name 'Yule' is derived from the Old Norse word iul, which means a wheel, and refers to the notion of the year as a wheel turning through the seasons, the spokes being the equinoxes, the solstices and the great feasts of the quarter days."

"The feast is basically in celebration of the rebirth of the sun, the day when the sun, at its weakest, begins again to strengthen."

You may want to say this:

"This night once more the wheel begins
the turning year of the whole

that is of Earth, Air, Water, Fire
that is of Body and of Soul,

that is of all that lives above,
below, within, and near and far,

that is of Sun and of the Day,
that is of Night and Moon and Star

and all the Names and all the Words
and all the breath of all that breathes

and that has breathed all life, all life,
and is the Wheel that turns again.

We bless the turn
that turns again.

We praise the turn that turns again.
We bless the turn in her Name

and through ours in her
we bless.

I went to the creek this morning,took the dogs for a swim. I laid back with the engine off and looked to the sky and said my solstice prayer for renewed strength and tolerance.

My Mom is here, she made it in to Raleigh-Durham yesterday afternoon despite the Northeaster that is still hitting the states where my family lives, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. The snow is piling up in New England and we are snug in Virginia. Mom is settled in my chair with Quarrie napping above her head, chatting on the phone with her sons who were all calling to make sure she had made it and was well.

I hear her snoring again now, poor thing, she really was exhausted after the long flight and the many hours spent getting to and from the airports.

Today will be a quiet celebration of the Yule, the Solstice and celebrating my Mom.

Blessings to all my friends and family!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Losing it


This will be a quick blog, I think.
I must be losing it. My mind. I sent a Christmas card to my brother with a note saying that a bond was in it for his grandson, my g-nephew. It wasn't, and I don't send him a bond, I send him a check, which also wasn't there!
I have at least 4 things going on at once, Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, doing laundry and making a shopping list for Moms impending visit. Must have prune juice,etc,etc,etc.I have finished nothing. I flit from thing to thing like a butterfly. I found I had bills due while going through the cards.Stopped to write them, and went to the check book, and found I need to balance it. Went to the computer to check the bank balance, and went to e-mails instead and have been there for the last hour. Went to go to the bank web-site and came here to the blog site instead.
Its 2 pm and I feel like Curly in the three stooges show, where he has his toe nailed to the floor as he hurries in circles.
So I decided, hell, I'm here, I'll blog. Wish it was 5 pm, I'd have a glass of wine.
Hey, its 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
Scroll to the next blog down to see what I will look like ,


Monday, December 15, 2008

Family and friends

This is one of the last pictures I took of my Mom when she last visited me in the Keys.
She was headed out for a walk...
My Mom is a pip, still....

Mom is coming to stay with me for a few months. She will be here for Christmas. Another tree to share with her. I'm lucky. She has some health issues now, but mainly she has trouble with her mind. Dementia is a word applied to her condition.She says shes 'flaky'.
Why is Christmas the time when you hear bad news?
I just got an e-mail from a friend back north. Her husband, an old friend, has been diagnosed with lung cancer, and the Doctors have given him a year to year and a half to live.
I can't say I was surprised, as he was and is a heavy smoker.
But it still is sad to know another friend is leaving.

I ran into an old friend, a girl I haven't seen in forty years.She lives in Hardy. I can't beleive I recognized her, but to me she looked the same. Just older. We will connect soon, as she said her number is in the book, and I checked. It is.

A somewhat new friend, Becky ( Ms. Peevish Pen) took me to Salem to the 'Curio Cottage', a great little shop filled with treasures from the past, and the present, and books and authors and flute makers/ players and wonderful cooks, and potters. Peggy Schifflett owns this little gem, and she is an author. She and I were discussing her book 'Mom's Family Pie', and we talked about aprons, and I love aprons, and I have several. They have a place in my heart as well as hers and they are filled with memories of family.
Becky and another author, Ibby Greer, who I also felt I have known for years but just met, chatted about Ibby's husbands book, and Ibby read a few poems from her book"Paper Faces" which I immediately loved. I knew several places mentioned in her poems.
Seems I have met more people through Becky that I feel a kindred spirit with, and for that, Becky, Thank you.
I wonder what I would do with my life if I were told exactly how much time I had left.
I have so many books in front of me I want to read. I have so many craft projects I want to do. I have so many places I want to visit, and I guess I have so many people yet to meet.
I am going to see my Grandson tomorrow. Chubby little hugs will feel so good.

I e-mailed back the only thing I knew to say to my friends..
That I love him, and if I can be there to listen if they need it, I am.
Otherwise, all I have to offer is love and friendship.
Its enough for me, maybe it will be for him and his wife.
Life is short..
Love deeply and tell family and friends what they mean to you...
I hope my friends and family know they are my life.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eclectic Christmas tree

This is the 2008 version of the Condiff Christmas tree.

The topper is still a lighted angel although a new ornament gets added yearly. This new glass snowman was a gift from Amy Tate( Thanks Amy! Its high up where dogs and cats can't reach!)

Penny, our Aussie puppy, has now stolen and destroyed a cloth Christmas duck and 1 bow. If thats all she gets, I'll consider it a good year!

A snowman gourd..found at a Christmas sale, somewhere..

A whelk with a Santa face..A Breyer's spotted pony..

A buffalo ( my totem animal)..

Another horse for good measure..actually there are several..

A crab nativity scene( Bob's from the eastern shore)..

A sand dollar with a painted Santa Barracuda(remnants of the Keys)..

A hand painted fishy ball..( mittens for Caine beside it)

Several cats, this one is scuba diving( again, the Florida Key influence)

A painted coconut Santa..with a waterford ornament next to it..

and since we are now in Virginia, a must have 'John Deere' ornament..

What I have realized since going through my assorted treasured ornaments is that I don't have one single dog ornament!
That will have to be remedied at the next store I come to!
My tree is a memory tree. Everytime I look at it I am reminded of my past.It is alot of work for Bob and I, but I do love to smell that piney fragrance of a fresh cut tree.
Besides, going and cutting it, is half the fun!
My Mom will be with us for Christmas and I know she will enjoy gazing at the lights and reminescing of Christmas's past.
Merry Christmas everyone, and happy memories!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Partridge in a pear tree?

Thoughts of sugar plums....

Dancing in Belles head???( OH NO! Not that time of year again!! I hate it when my Mom puts that crap on me and then she laughs!!)

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas onslaught begins.
This picture is last years tree, and Belle sporting her "Christmas Antlers".
I just had to put it in. I can't wait to get Penny spruced up for this year!

My neighbors all went to Walmart at 4 am. Really. At 4 am I was into a good sleep. Fact is, I didn't get up at my usual 6 am. I went back to sleep. My hubby knew I was tired after the prep and actual Thanksgiving meal, so he fed the cats and then fed the dogs in the tv room, and shut them off with the slider. I didn't get up until 8 am. We decided to go get our Christmas tree since Bobs Mom has never in her 73 years even seen a Christmas tree farm ! We went to the same place just off the Parkway in Floyd, got our tree picked, cut and wrapped in record time, then headed north up to the Peaks. Enroute, I saw my first partridge here in Virginia! They are my favorite game bird, and if we had them here like we did up north, I'd have to take up hunting again!( I think you know them as ruffed grouse.) We took a left down 43 to Gross's Orchards for apples and peach cider and some peach butter (Moms favorite) and then made it home to feed the horses and ourselves with leftover turkey and all the trimmings! So I too went shopping on Black Friday. No lines anywhere.....

Thanksgiving was so nice with Michele and John and baby Caine, and our neighbors and friends, John and Becky. We really enjoyed the company. Thats what any holiday is about. Family and friends. I am Thankful for both...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Out houses Sears catalogs and sunbeams

These are pictures of the wall paper border in my laundry room.
I really like outhouses.

This website has pictures of outhouses taken from real outhouses, not drawings...

I have been thinking about outhouses lately. I had a conversation with my friend Becky about a relative of hers and the use of the old time Sears Roebuck catalog for toilet paper. She said the child loved to rip pages from the Sears Catalog, so the mother would set the child down with the catalog in the house, while she tended to farm chores, and when she returned the child would have nicely torn pages from the catalog, which the mother would then put in the outhouse to use as toilet 'paper'.
I was thinking about the outhouses back where I am from in Northern New England. We actually built one on our property in New Hampshire, and I got to design it. Well, almost. I wanted a '2 holer', but my then husband wouldn't go for it. His reasoning was, "Nobody wants to sit beside you during that process."( That wasn't my idea, but then...he's my X.)
My idea was to put a smaller and a larger hole side by each, one for smaller butts (ie; children) and one for bigger butts, (ie; my husband.) My friends Grandpa's farm had a series of run in 'sheds' that attached to the main house, stringing a long set of buildings ending in the barn. Most New England farms were set up this way, because the amount of snowfall sometimes made it impossible to get through the heavy snows to the cows. Near the barn in one shed was the 'winter' outhouse. Grandpa Proctors was a three holer. Small, medium and large size holes cut side by each across the seat area. This was important because there were always children of varying ages in the family. This outhouse was used during the winter months, and there was a regular one outdoors, which I never got to experience, because it had been torn down long before I came to know the family. The 'indoor' outhouse remained, because the sheds all stayed intact.
I fondly remember using that outhouse, cobwebs and all, although I didn't have to. The indoor plumbing had been installed for years, but the outhouse appealed to me for some unknown reason.
I never used a Sears Roebuck catalog, and I was thinking that it must have been so rough ! Then my thoughts rambled on to old catalogs, and I realized that the paper used back then, was much thinner. I beleive it was close to the Scott Tissue type still on the market for septic concious users. It seems to break down easier than the soft cloth-like brand I prefer.
Some people would by now be saying, "EWWWWWW", to the use of catalogs and outhouses, but it really wasn't so bad. Lime was kept in a pretty container in my outhouse, and after the spring cleanout of nests built by squirrels and chipmunks and webs by the spiders, it stayed clean and odor free all summertime. I kept reading material there, and flowers in a vase. It had a diamond shaped window set just so the occupant could see out across the hills, and another user couldn't see in. The seat was an oak modern one attached to the board area where the hole was cut ...( the big one, remember?)... and in colder weather I had a styrofoam ring cut from that solid pink insulation board, and it was toasty! I liked going out to that outhouse, except in really cold weather. Nights were saved by the use of a 'chamber pot', but thats another whole story.
I wonder how many outhouses are still in use around these parts of the country, and I have decided that I will devote some time to seeking them out and photographing them before they are all gone.
This photo has nothing to do with outhouses.
It is the sun beaming down in streamers on my road. I took this on the way back from Beckys house where the whole thoughts of outhouses began while running the dogs at her place 'over yonder'. Sometimes when I see a sky like this, I am led to believe that the sun 'highways' lead up to heaven, where the great spirit is waiting for us all...
Probably with a really nice outhouse to use...


Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunrise, serenity, camera and gun shots

" Red sky at night, sailors delight,
Red sky at morning, sailor take warning."

I alway think of this saying when I see a sunrise or sunset. Sunday morning sported a beautiful pinkish sky, which looked so much like a sunset I got my camera and snapped a few shots.

This morning the sky was alight again, but seemed more gold and orange. Again I started shooting. The weather man says there will be snow showers today. My lawn is frosted over this morning, and my cats go out their cat door, turn around, and come back in to find a comfy place in bed.

The sun is coming higher now at 8:30 while I sip my morning coffee, and check my back yard for critters.
Then the loud shots ring out, and my heart squeezes. A succession of three loud bangs, and I know a deer has fallen, and I can only hope the hunter is a good shot, and the deer will die quickly. Thoughts come of a mother being hit, and then her babies. I hope not. I have a hard time swallowing my coffee now, and my serene morning spell is broken.
Back to reality.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My trees..bottled,faced,flowered

When visiting me in my little hollow, if you are observant, you will notice that some of my trees have faces. You will also notice that I have bottles hung in my trees. And if you wander the paths through the woods, you may notice that there are little objects placed inside niches in trees...

This face has eyes that light up when its dark...

A closer look will find a blue jays feather has gotten wedged above his mouth..Does my big oak have a fondness for feathered creatures? I know he likes small children...

Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets........
INTO MY OWN by Robert Frost
One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as 'twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.
I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.
I do not see why I should e'er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.
They would not find me changed from him they knew
Only more sure of all I thought was true.

If you look closely at the trunk of this huge yellow poplar you will see a face...
Seek out the hidden treasures all around us.........

Now in November when most leaves are turning brown the Camellia at the left corner of my house is in full bloom. I relate to this plant. Although I am starting into the latter part of my years, I am also just beginning to bloom...

My little horses don't care if I bloom, if the trees have personality or if it rains..
They only want their hay.

They are stinky little mud balls...
and I love them along with all my furry critters!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Raising Caine

This is my grandson,Caine.
Any wonder why he is the love of my life???
I try to get up to Bedford and see him once a week, and as he's getting older, I will take him here to my farm for an overnighter once in awhile.

I love to get him out whenever possible. This was Tuesday, and it was cold, but we bundled up and drove to Liberty Park in Bedford to have a walk. I didn't know there would be ducks and geese. The ducks are looking for a handout, so they come right close. Caine was actually laughing out loud when they quacked! We didn't feed them, but they stayed close for a long while, and he was absolutly fascinated with them!

There is a walk through the forest there, that has a paved path and a handrail. It is an exercise trail, but we were happy to swish through the leaves. I like Caine to experience nature, I like him to feel grass on his feet, and this was a good time for him to check out leaves. I filled his tray on his stroller with leaves, and gave him a pretty yellow supple leaf, that he did what all 9 month olds do. Put it in his mouth.....

Didn't taste so good....

He's learned the 'raspberry'....

His bibb says.."A little dirt never hurt!" Makes sense to me!
I let him experience the leaf tasting and touching and I intend to make sure he loves being outdoors as much as I do. Well, maybe he'll decide he doesn't like it, but he will be able to make a choice with some first hand knowledge!
And speaking of hands, check out the size of his mitt's!!! He sure takes after his Grandpa!Gosh, I'm such a Grandma!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh deer


I have a tree camera.I love to see what shows up when I take it in and check it.
Sometimes I see the same deer in the back yard during the day and I can recognize them.
I feel like I know them.

These are the babies with their Mom that I have seen through the summer grazing at dusk with my miniature horses.
It is always such a thrill for me to watch them.

I heard my neighbor shot a spike horn. I think it is one of these babies.
I hate hunting season. I don't feel safe running my land with the dogs.
I hate seeing a deer hung. I am past all that. Yup. I used to hunt with my family up North.I can't kill animals anymore. I have become familiar with them. Watched them play.
I raised a deer from 3 days old until it got the call of the wild, when living in Texas. Shiloh was the name I gave him, a buck.
He would run through the sprinkler like a child. When he was scared, he would bleat like a sheep, and he would fold up on my lap and suck on my ear lobe. I bottle fed him. He had a personality, and a joy for life.
I can't hunt anymore, not since I have looked in their eyes. I have seen fear, and joy and recognition.
Watch the movie POWDER, about the albino boy.
I won't hunt anymore.


Sunday, November 2, 2008



I am being bugged.
Lady bugs have taken over.
This is one corner of one room.

Bob has declared war on the critters.
He falls asleep in his easy chair and gets whacked awake by the bugs bouncing off the ceiling fan onto his face!

To the shed he went.
Back he came with his work vacumn, and he rigged up a hose to reach the high ceiling easily.

Open war on the bugs.
He has done this two times already, and it needed it again today!

Is anyone else being bugged by the ladies?
I know they are good bugs to have, but come on!
Enough is enough!!!!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

barns,buffalo, bounty and babes


This is a shot of our wood barn...

The roof has had its repairs, and now we have to concentrate on getting the sides repaired. It is amazingly straight for such neglect through the years. It is not used for much but storage for our renters, but I would like to use the top for hay storage at some point.

When in New Hampshire I stayed a few nights at The Moore' farm. Kim is an old friend, and her family has a 200+ acre farm adjoining her home, and they have taken up raising beefalo. The three darkest critters in the center are baby buffalo. Very cute, but quite wild still, although they are getting along well with their pasture mates, I couldn't get too close to them. They are apt to run when scared. I would love a buffalo, as that is my totem animal, but they get really big and need very strong fences. Besides, I make pets of everything, and couldn't bear to eat an animal I raised.

While up north we went apple picking...

I love picking apples, but I knew that with as many orchards as there are here in Virginia, it would be foolish to pick up there and then ship them here.

My plan is to go this weekend to an orchard up near the Peaks of Otter near the Parkway, and get some apples. After all, it is time to start baking my apple breakfast breads that I give for Christmas! Ummmmm, I can smell the aroma now!!!!

This next picture is one taken of my dear friend Sandy and my Mom up at the Moore Farm. Sandy, who is exactly my age, was stricken with M.S. when she was just 40. She's a stubborn Italian, and is not giving in easily to her disease. My Mom is 85 now, and her health is pretty good, but her mind is failing. She is going to come stay with me for a while, within the next few weeks, I would imagine. At least here I can get her out more easily than the frigid North.

We need to count our blessing every day. We need to be grateful for what we have.
"To dream of the person you could be, is wasting the person you are now."
Enjoy every day of your life, and love with all your heart...

About Me

My photo
union hall, S.W.Virginia, United States
Newly retired from Franklin County Public Schools.Prior to that I was a cosmetologist for several years.