Showing posts from February, 2010


Winter seems a time for thinking deep thoughts. Stumbled across this today and wanted to post it:


And a man said, Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.
And he answered saying:
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking…

trying to deserve my friends

I was all prepared to go to bed when something compelled me to read through old blogs. I stumbled upon this old posting by TSO.Yes, TSO is my roommate, and yes, I see him everyday and talk to him all the time, but I miss reading his interesting and insightful looks at life, and found this posting struck a chord in me tonight. I am not sure what struck this clunky, marbly sounding chord that is now lolling around in my brain at this late hour; maybe it was TSO taking into stock all the things he'd accomplished in his travels abroad; or if it was how he demanded a revelation of himself; or maybe it was just the comment that I left, my reply to his post--advice I'd forgotten I'd given...? Who knows?

Whatever it was, reading TSO's blog made me want to take stock of the good things in my life; made me particularily aware of the best thing in my life. I am so blessed to have such great people in my life. I have been thinking of this very fact a lot lately as our friend CJ re…

what my pen has glean'd

Watching Bright Star, a movie about a love affair involving John Keats; only half way through it and these are my thought so far:

1. Cool! I found out my friend Kirsti's sis and nephew are extras in it with ACTUAL on screen time!
2. Still not sure what I think about the movie yet, but the scenes are stunningly lovely. There are scenes where Fanny and John are walking through fields of flowers--scenes which speak as much poetry as Keats' words.
3. I love hearing Keats' poetry spoken in the movie.

Here is a link to a trailer.

And here is a link to a poem:

"When I have fears that I may cease to be"

When I have fears that I may cease to be

my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,

Before high piled books, in charact’ry

Hold like rich garners , the full-repen’d grain;

When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!



Some have called this wildly innappropriate, some have called it culturally insensitive, some have said that it's, "just plain wrong." I call it ridiculously hysterical. This picture made me laugh and laugh and then laugh some more.

I don't know who to thank for this...err...stunning image, but I found it here. All I'm saying is I wouldn't be using this for your annual Christmas card guys!

parcel study in Detroit Rock City

Came across an interesting article about a recent Parcel Survey which took place in Detroit. The whole article is here, but also wanted to share these statistics from the article:

By the numbers:
26% of the city's residential parcels are vacant lots95% of Detroit homes are deemed suitable for occupancy9% of homes are generally in need of minor repair86% of Detroit's single-family homes are in good condition~ Detroit Residential Parcel Survey

The study would suggest that there is still hope for Detroit.

Also props to the Wayne State staff who worked on this. WSU is my grad school alma mater.

Also, and SUPER unrelated, thought this was a fun read. I LOVE NPR!

aphrodisiacs and Moonstruck

Tonight TSO, JBean, S and I went to the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington for a lecture on aphrodisiacs, given by food historian, Francine Segan, which was followed by a showing of the movie Moonstruck starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.

Ten interesting things which I learned about aphrodisiacs are: In ancient times it was thought that foods which resembled a body part would help stimulate that part of the body; i.e. bananas, asparagus and cucumbers were considered aphrodisiacs.Strawberries and Raspberries were referred to as "nipple fruits."Certain "hot" spices were considered to stimulate the body in the same way in which they stimulated the mouth, so spices like pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and later things like chili pepper were considered aphrodisiacs.The scent which most women react to the strongest is vanilla.In ancient Egypt the slaves working on things like the pyramids were given rations of garlic because it was considered a stimulant that lengthened life.Some …

in honor of national singles awareness day

A poem:

I do but ask that you be always fair
That I forever may continue kind;
Knowing me what I am, you should not dare
To lapse from beauty ever, nor seek to bind
My alterable mood with lesser cords;
Weeping and such soft matters must invite
To further vagrancy; and bitter words
Chafe soon to irremediable flight,
Wherefore I pray you if you love me dearly,
Less dear to hold me than your own bright charms,
Whence it may fall that until death, or nearly,
I shall not move to struggle from your arms:
Fade if you must,--I would but bid you be
Like the sweet year, doing all things graciously.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

winter reads

Stumbled across this article on Facebook, "Wintery Literature for a Snowy Day," which got me to thinking of some books/poems which have good/intense/interesting winter scenes. I came up with:
Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
This was on the NPR list, but I had to put it on mine too because it was one of my ABSOLUTE favorites as a kid. I remember reading this (once I'd learned to read) over and over again. I loved the pictures. Thanks EJK!Bear snores on, Karma WilsonWhen I used to do weekly storytime with the Pre-K kids, they all LOVED this book.The Mitten, Jan BrettMy niece, Monster S loved Jan Brett books when she was a little younger. The pics are gorgeous, and each page helps set up the action that will take place on the next page.The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
I still get a thrill each time I reread this and Lucy Pevensie walks into snowy Narnia.My side of the mountain, Jean Craighead George
I loved this book when I was a kid; that Sam could learn how to c…

one thought leads to another

As I hear about the snow that is being dumped all over parts of the East and the Midwest and well, everywhere it seems, I look at our blank canvas wondering if we really will get the forecasted snow. I like winter, but I am ready for spring at this point. Reading this article by Friend of the Farmer made me long for summer, when the Farm's gardens are in full bloom and the Kitchen is reaping the enormous bountiful benefits by way of vegetables and fruits up the wazoo. Winter at the Farm is a time when I am reminded of how much I miss fresh Farm grown produce; forced to remember as I lean into the freezer and paw with cold fingers, pulling out bags of processed and frozen Farm veggies.

Thinking of supporting local got me to thinking about our cows, (this is beginning to sound like If you give a mouse a cookie), actually one in particular, Sasha--who was one of the cows I learned to milk on about 6 years ago!--who was just taken to the slaughterhouse. It seemed strange, while milki…

library articles #329

Library cuts in NY

Look out Google and Apple

Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Alice Walker, Robert Penn Warren and John Updike, and more banned in Texas prisons.

Warren, MI library branches may close  This one hits very close to home. This is the city that my best friend L lives in; her kids love the Warren libraries!

swirls of paint and poetry

I got the stomach bug and woke up with it yesterday at 3:30am. This is not how I imagined I would be spending my weekend. Being sick here at the Farm reminds me of how great living in community can be. As I lay in bed yesterday feeling like the Devil was trying to get out of my body, not only did roomies TSO and RugbyGirl check in on me, so did S and CJ, and Mummy Dearest via the phone, and then Amos came and kept both me and TSO company today as we recouped. Community is swell sometimes.

Being sick this weekend made me think about the positive sides--is there a positive side, you say?--Umm...the Mary Poppins in me says yes, well, let's see: getting sick means being snatched by surprise and forced to lay low; catching up on a good book; watching a few movies; napping; finishing the first season of Mad Men.

Being sick also means reading poetry. Falling into some Pablo Neruda poetry today made me make this weird connection with Marc Chagall. This poem, "In my sky at twilight,&…

the bucket list for 30

I will be 30 years old this October. Holy cats! That sounds so old *insert grumbling of people over 30 here.* I know, I know, I just, well, I guess we all imagine we will be doing certain things by certain ages...Anyway, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about sending my twenties out with a bang, or at least an effort of some sort, and have come up with 30 things that I would like to do by the end of the year. Nothing too thrilling; I am not really the sky diving, bungee jumping sort, well, maybe I will be as I come up on 40...?

Anyway, call them goals, ambitions, dreams, hopes, wishes, aspirations, whatever; I have a mission. I suppose I will periodically write to tell of my (mis)adventures as I pursue my "30 for 30." Wish me luck!
Clean our basement  Farm houses are old and while ours is very cool, our basement looks a little Sandford & Son-ish, with remnants left behind by the last few families that have come and gone. This seems a little easier said than do…

still a Librarian, maybe?

I have glimmers of my old life as a Librarian; moments which make my small, Grinch-like heart begin to grow. These moments happen in the simple: being asked for book suggestions, reading stories to the Farm kids or Monster Niece and Nephew S&A (when I am in MI), or even being asked to loan books (my personal library has become the source of "check-outs," for about 4 other farmers.)

One of the teams on the Farm begins each day by reading; they just returned Travels with Charley--one of my personal favorites--and swapped it for The Great Gatsby. I have been asked to come up with a list of other books which might keep the attention of our guests and am currently working on that. *sigh* Good to still feel like a Librarian.

**Unrelated, but more important is the fact that I have two new blog followers: Pauline, a coworker at the Farm and Gabrielle of Hauteintheheartland. Apparently Gabrielle is also a former Michigander! Welcome Ladies. I always appreciate having new readers!…