Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pieces of the puzzle falling into place and a cold walk with the dogs.

Ever have a small dream over the years not a big dream just a small dream and then it comes true? Its a nice feeling probably about 15-20 years ago I went through a phase where I was mad about needlepointing but couldn't find any designs that I really liked or ones that I had in my minds eye so I decided to design my own. I was going through a medieval phase (well I guess its not a phase still going through it) and I designed a few pillows based on medieval tiles things with fleur de lis etc.. Another thing about me is a rarely finish anything I start and I finished each pillow probably about half way. Now good thing my mother saved all these things and recently finished them. Some of them I had even forgotten designing.

Last March we took a little road trip first stop was Battenkill Books in Cambridge NY because I knew my mom would love it (my mom is a crazy reader multiple books a day) and then we drove on to Dorset VT to bring the completed needlepoints to Maria who owns In Stitches Fine Needlepoint where they are made into pillows and to also purchase some new canvases to work on. My mom brought a couple of the ones I had designed and Maria thought they were neat but didn't really go on about them too much so I didn't think she really liked them. Fast forward to last week my Mom was speaking to Maria on the phone about something else and Maria mentioned how unique my designs were and that she would maybe be interested in carrying them in her shop. Maybe but it was good enough for me. That has been a secret dream of mine for years. Pinching myself now. I cant wait to get designing already have all my old reference material out and have medieval knights jousting and fleur de lis floating around my head. Yay to small dreams becoming realized now it might not materialize but right now this is enough for me.

See its all part of my master working in corporate america has its perks.....guaranteed salary, paid vacation, sick time, 401K the big stuff then there is the small stuff like people bake for you sometimes and feed you buy you pizza all for doing your job. Now those are the perks and I think we all know the downside.....working for the man being a soulless cog in the machine.....having to have a schedule to pick up your free holiday turkey and of course spending 8 1/2 hours a day in a little gray cube while the sun shines on without you. So back to my plan I figure if I can pay off my debt by working for the man and then find these small side businesses like designing needle points, growing vegetables for sale at the farmers market, my husbands graphics business and whatever else we can think of paired with working part time somewhere local then I can quit corporate america and the affordable care act will help too a definite must have for the self employed. So there is my plan for the future. Small pieces seem to be falling into place. And I am patient I know this wont be anytime soon but at least a plan is in place to find a more meaningful life. A life of creativity and meaning that's what I am looking for.

So this might seem like a small piece of good news, a small piece of a larger puzzle falling into place, but to me it is the affirmation of creativity. And that's huge for me right now. Photography has really become important to me too I love the way it makes you look at things its definitely a different perspective to be sure. Here is my favorite shot I took today while I was walking the dogs down the road. And yes I finally found the b&w setting....

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thoughts on being thankful when it comes easy and not so much.

Seems like everyone is saying that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday because its time spent with family and friends enjoying good food and drinks coming together to celebrate being thankful. Part of that I think is I see a lot of posts and blogs written by farmers and for farmers I think thanksgiving is special any holiday that celebrates the harvest well that is just in our wheelhouse. Now I know we all say thanksgiving is our favorite but I suspect deep down the little kid in all of us likes Christmas best. I like thanksgiving because I like to cook and I love to obsess about the menu. There have been years where I have started the planning months ahead and there are years where its weeks ahead and some years it catches up with me and its only a week or so ahead. I had this years menu set a few weeks back but then my Dad decided to get tested for food allergies and out the window went this years menu. I didn't mind just made it something I had to think about some more I don't like when things are too easy. So the menu is re-arranged and the lists have been written and re-written. I like to arrange my list by aisle in the supermarket if I make a mistake or write something down out of order I need to start all over again. You would think in reading this that these kind of habits would mean that I was an organized tidy person but I am not just in some things like supermarket lists. We humans are a strange breed.

So tonight after work was round one at the supermarket. Why is it when shopping for a big day it never seems that you can find or remember everything you need in one trip. Do they do it on purpose? Do we?. Well the market was clean out of fresh herbs so I knew I had to go back anyway but then when I sat down and thought about it I forgot quite a few things oh well back I go again. Good thing I love going to the supermarket yup I just love it always have. Wish me luck with round two. My cart only got hit once and people were still pretty happy tonight but we will see what tomorrow brings!

Not a big crowd this year but a good one some old and dear family friends and my Uncle Tim who just lost his partner a few months back.. We were concerned he wouldn't come this year because it might be too painful since for the past few years he and Terry have made the pilgrimage to my parents house but hes coming and I am glad. Not sure how to spin the being thankful part with all he has been through but maybe words aren't necessary (hopefully because I cant think of any that don't sound like all the usual bullshit you hear). Grieving is a tough business but that side of the family usually turns to laughter its like the Bergan clan has a genetic disposition leaning towards irreverence.

I planned on getting some of the prep work done tonight but so far I have managed to do is read play a game of candy crush, write this and have a glass of wine. Well thanksgiving wont cook itself nor will dinner. Updates to follow. If I dont talk to you have a great thanksgiving. Love eb.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Funny the things dogs do.

So we brought home two rawhide bones today as a treat. Lulu promptly ate hers like she always does. But the puppy Booker I noticed was running back and forth with it in his mouth with some anxiety. At first I thought he was just looking for a safe place to eat his bone but then I started following him and he ran into the mudroom when I arrived to see what on earth he was doing he was near the dryer I said to myself oh that must be where he felt safe to eat his bone but he came out running like he didn't want me to know where he was and I asked him where is your bone wheres your toy and he wouldn't tell me. So I said hhhmmm dryer. At first i saw nothing as it was full of clothes but when I removed all the clothes low and behold there was his bone. So Booker wasn't trying to find a safe place to eat his bone he was just trying to find a p;ace to save it for later. One dog is immediate gratification and the other one likes to wait for later. But to be honest I think he likes to save his for later until the moment that Lulu finishes hers and then he savors his like ha ha I still have mine. Now i hate to try and imagine what they are thinking but i see it time again and its what i come up with. I love my dogs crazy nuts that they are!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Once a month stand up yelling at the tv.

Husbands are a funny thing Tommy just looked over at me and said I love when you are in this mood but what is wrong you have been yelling and carrying on all night. It stopped me dead in my tracks and I said oh sorry PMS. I get super snarky sometimes you cant watch TV with me I yelled at everyone all through Wheel of Fortune...dude why are you buying another vowel don't you want to try a r first....why are you solving the puzzle dork you have fifty bucks.....why is every commercial acting like there is the remotest chance I might go out and buy someone a luxury car for xmas. It ain't happening...and so on... At least he doesn't get annoyed but instead thinks its funny. Once I get going on a roll I might as well be doing stand up.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Finding a muse in nature it all around us everyday everywhere.

So I was thinking about creativity and finding a muse. I love creativity but it doesn't always love me. I am one of those people who has more technical skill than the creativity that makes it something special. But in photography I feel more completed artistically then anything else. Doesn't hurt that in my humble opinion I live in the MOST beautiful spot in the world and finding good shots aren't hard to come by. So I have looked through the past 3 years of photos that I have taken since I got this camera and these are the ones that I really love. I love taking pictures because it changes the way you look at everything I cant drive down the road without swearing why on earth don't I have my camera with me. When you start to always see light through the lens of a camera whether you are looking through one or not light becomes your friend. The things I see just on my way to work blow my mind. I vow seriously I vow one day soon I am going to wake up a few minutes early so I can stop every time I see a shot on my way to work in the morning. Especially right now with the frost on the ground it could be insane. So here are a couple of my favorite shots so far.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

No one is more different than myself than me the "d" personality and who are we all really?

Funny thing about life when you think of the personas you adapt for different situations. I guess we all do it become different versions of ourselves for different situations. True story at work (xyx paper mill) a few years back they had us take a personality test and one woman who i adore who is a total kick ass take no prisoners get it done don't waste my time kind of lady but in a nice way took the test and did not come out with the "d" personality traits which she totally embodies. (If memory serves me correct a D personality likes to get the job done fast doesn't have a lot of time for small talk isn't going to ask too many personal question etc isn't rude but not warm and fuzzy).

We were all frankly stunned so I asked her were you thinking about work when you took that test or home? It occurred to be that maybe she displayed these traits at work because it was the only way to survive to get the work done but at home it wasn't necessary for her. I still tease her about it to this day. I mean seriously Roxanne is d is every sense of the word I mean people don't mess with her they are pretty much scared of her but she gets a massive amount of respect because frankly she rocks.  A customer even told Roxanne once that the day she was talking to her was the anniversary of her getting abducted my aliens and Roxanne didn't raise to the bait and probably said something well what can I do for you today. Now that is a woman after my own heart. I love that story. 

Now at work I am a D too i don't like a lot of rules I like to take the least amount of steps to get a job done. I don't like to ask questions I just like to find answers quickly and move on to the next thing and no I am not averse to making it up if I have too. Like Roxanne I don't think I am like this in my personal life I think its a persona i have adopted to get my job done. If you know me you might disagree but i think of myself of kind of shy a total rule follower I wear my seat belt and drive the speed limit (except on 87 you just cant if you want to survive) I don't like to step on toes and will go out of my way to not hurt any one's feelings. That's a huge thing with me to not hurt peoples feelings or make them feel awkward I hate that and I hate to bother anyone. Funny how we turn on different parts of ourselves for different situations but there are probably some elements of ourselves that we have no matter what. Maybe the ones we have no matter what are the core things that make us who we are. The things people love about us. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tom the turkey and can you say micro-managing?

Tuesday....So my work (for security reason I will call it XYZ Paper Mills) has been nice enough to give the entire company a turkey for thanksgiving. Some years its a ham for xmas and sometimes its a turkey for thanksgiving. So a truck pulls into the parking lot near the mill and 5 or 6 department heads stand around awkwardly handing out turkeys and shaking hands. Now there is a large window of opportunity to  pick up said turkey but because my department is mental we were actually sent a schedule to make sure not more of two of us go at the same time. Yes seriously folks a schedule. Here is a copy so you know I am not making this up.

Here is the schedule to pick up our Turkey’s.
Dee 7:30 AM
Rebecca and Mary 3:00 PM
Becky and Chris  3:15 PM
Stacey and Rich 3:30 PM
Barbara and Sean 3:45 PM
Michelle and Marina 4:00 PM
Elizabeth and Beth 4:15 PM
All this to avoid us getting up en masse and walking out the door to get our turkeys. Now wouldn't it be common sense for everyone NOT to get up at once and leave the department un-manned. Doesn't this pretty much go without saying? Are you kidding me. But yes folks that's life at XYZ Paper Mills. I couldn't make this stuff of if I tried.  If you have ever seen the movie Office Space there are many many many parallels between that fictional company and the company I work for. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Experiments in writing its Monday.

The culprits booker on the left Lulu on the right.
This week I am going to try something new. I usually write my blog probably about 4 times a month maybe a bit more maybe a bit less but the thought occurred to me yesterday to see what it would be like to write one everyday for a week. Would I have a lot to say? Would I run out of ideas would I get bored? So here it goes.

Today is Monday a grouchy day of the week for me. Not many people like going to work on Monday and I confess I am not one of them that do. Not only do you have to face your own bad mood but you have to deal with all your co-workers bad moods too.  I try to be zen about it and not wish my life away by wishing it was any day but Monday but I confess again I fail most times. I do try to see the beauty which is prevalent on my long commute down 87. As I left my crazy office building (it is basically perched on top of a paper mill) the sky was amazing and I thought to myself for the zillion time why don't
 carry my camera with me always. I miss some great shots I really do. For example on my way to work today about a few miles from home got to the top of the hill that winds up from the river valley below and the moon was still up and it was surrounded by a perfect circle of clouds. I tried to capture it with my cellphone to no avail. A missed shot that's for damn sure.

Boring day at work talking about paper came home and to be nice i let the dogs out while I brought the remainder of the groceries in. I trust Lulu the older one but the puppy Booker is still a total wild card. I should have known better. It was like letting them out into a black bottomless chasm. I came back out shaking the cookie bag and nothing.......I walked I called I shook the cookie bag nothing.... Trying not to panic watching cars go by I figure if anything they are out back exploring the 196 acres or so behind my house but still couldn't help but worry and call myself an idiot. Finally Lulu came back. I asked her where her dolt of a pack mate was but she wasn't giving anything up. So I put her back in the house and got in the car and drove up the farm road about 1/4 mile up the road (yes I realize I could have walked but it was dark and I was tired) i see some eye shine and there he was. I hauled his ass into the car hoping my husband would notice how long I was gone. Luckily he didn't and I confessed anyway.

See didn't think I had anything to say and I told you all a story.

happy Monday everyone remember to look for the beauty in everyday life even if it is Monday. I'm still trying.

P.S. don't try and write and make dinner at the same time. I put some butter and the garlic on the stove to get nice for a little spinach and by the time i got back burnt to a cinder!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dirty Hands for the last time this season and bonus days of grace and beauty.

View from kitchen window of new garlic bed too rainy to go back outside!
Just finished planting the garlic something as usual for me I was procrastinating about. But I saw another farmers post on facebook about getting it finally planted in the rain and it made me feel guilty then a quick check of the weather made me get up in a hurry and get the damn thing done. Looks like its going to be a cold week ahead after some maybe heavy rain tonight so I was officially out of time. Thankfully Tommy was up to helping me and he ran the new BCS (fancy italian tiller from heaven) through the new bed a few more times while I spread some manure and fertilizer down. Then I dove into the dirt like only I can and got that garlic in the ground. I hate when I have put something off then finally get it done and then realize it only took us about 45 minutes to do. Oh well lessons I never seem to learn. 

You can see the new bed in the picture above I was too wet and chilled to face going outside again so I took the picture from the inside. Don't laugh but after 3 years of owning my camera I just got around reading the instruction booklet and figured out how to take B&W pics. I love shooting in black and white always have. One thing I love about farming is how peaceful it is when you are out there and its quiet and the rain is falling but not too hard to make it terrible just enough to set a nice scene. The chickens even came over to check out what the crazy humans were doing but thankfully garlic wasn't for them and they moved on. I like my chickens they always come over to investigate what I am doing. Sometimes I wont even notice them and then I will turn around and Clive the rooster is hanging out behind me checking me out. I like to think hes got my back but I have no idea what he is really doing.

I feel better I got some work done pretty much the last chore of the season. The main bed has been mowed and we just need to get the high tunnel prepped for winter and cleaned up and we should be good to go. We spent most of yesterday driving around trying to find supplies to make soap. I have been dying to make soap lately so I finally bit the bullet and ordered some lye from the lye guy and it arrived yesterday. After errands yesterday spent the most glorious afternoon sitting in the yard basking in the sun like a cat. What a bonus day to have this late in the season. What beats sitting in the sun reading a great book you have been looking forward to reading (Second Chance Dog: A Love Story by Jon Katz) while your dogs bask in the sun in the middle of November. Not much I say not much. Funny at one of the more poignant parts of the book I started to tear up and of course at that moment the fedex driver showed up with the Lye. He must have thought I was really happy to get that Lye. What a nice day it was. 

Booker taking a sun bath!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Acts of charity thank goodness for friends and a butt size depression in the couch.

View from the kitchen window.

Its been a tough couple of months around the old homestead and one thing that is really taking the brunt of it is the homestead itself. I have never been much of a housekeeper and with things the way they have been I have been even worse than usual. Between working full time and then trying to farm in my free time the house just started falling farther and farther down on the list of things to be done. And honestly I am one of those people that once something becomes overwhelming well I really start ignoring it. So needless to say my beautiful house built in 1775 was starting to look like something a bunch of meth addicts live in and I think it was making my borderline depression even worse.

But folks do not despair because a little angel came to rescue me or maybe rescue my husband (who between you and me is under employed but has been sick and depressed and not up to doing much of anything besides watching tv on the couch been sitting on it so long there is actually a permanent depression where his butt has been).  Our friend Missy came over yesterday armed with supplies and started cleaning the kitchen and as embarrassing as this was for me I decided to go with it and be happy someone was willing to help. Now Missy to be honest is one of the most warmhearted and generous souls I have met in a long time and coming over to start getting my pigsty of a house in order is just one example. It was odd though to see another woman's touch in my own house but it was neat in a way too to see how she arranges things and how she likes to hang her dish towel. It was almost intimate if that doesn't sound too creepy. Most appreciated was the way she cleaned and dusted my cherished cook books you could tell that she knew how important they were to me it showed.

Seeing some progress though really helped with my head I instantly felt more grounded something which I haven't felt in a long long time. I have felt totally disconnected from almost every aspect of my own life. And I have HATED feeling like that. But just seeing the progress she made felt like a switch had been thrown in my brain and I starting waking up and seeing things as they really are. For the first time in a long time I am actually looking forward to going home and cleaning and getting the house in order. For the first time in a long time I feel like I own my life and my house again. Its amazing isn't it how things work one act of generosity makes a huge dent in another persons depression. How cool is that? Thank goodness for friends.