Thursday, January 30, 2014


A re-occuring thought I have had, through at least the last many years of life, has been "Living in the Life Between".

For the 33 years I lived by the coast, it was a feeling as I walked the beaches, of what happens between the great Atlantic to my east and the firm ground immediately to my west.  When the tide is out, you are literally in the space between land and sea.  I once wanted to write a series of essays or was it a book on this subject (remember Jane?).  Not so much from the physical aspect as from the mental and emotional.

As Cher was fading from this life, I spent 2 weeks in the land between life and death, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  It is perhaps a good place to visit, on occasion, but I certainly wouldn't want to live there.  I imagine many people do live there, though.

I think it is important to make a choice where you are going to "reside" and where you are going to visit (for a different perspective).

I am reading a "weird" book right now.  Only 92 pages into it so maybe it becomes less weird.  Anyway, the main character in the book is a hydrologist so there are many references to the changing states of water.  He talks about how the body is completely made up of cells filled with water and how when you die the water goes back to the earth and then evaporates and begins another cycle.

I went to a "teaching" on meditation last night.  The teacher talked about the impermanence of everything; how all thoughts, feelings, and emotions come and go in waves.  What I took from what he said is, that to be at peace you have to understand this in some form, and live in the space between the peaks of fear or anger or ........   I guess you don't really "live" there you just "be" there to regain your positive existence.

I love traveling by train.  You can transition between where you have been and where you are going.  I always feel like I am in Neverland, when I travel by train and my thoughts go everywhere.

Cycles, peaks and valleys, waves, tidal flats, Neverland,  IMPERMANENCE.

I never thought about it before but,  Cabin Spring Farm is situated between.  We live high and look down to the cattle pastures below and out to the mountains and up to the clear blue or star filled sky.
We live between town and the "middle of nowhere".   But I don't "live" BETWEEN, I just visit.  I live HERE.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Pictures- January 29th

It snowed last night; that beautiful fluffy powder, that when followed by a brisk sunny morning, brings peace and joy to the heart no matter what.

Memories from my favorite summer spot, where it is never too warm, flooded in.

The hydrant below is suppose to be frost proof but no need to test it at 11 degrees.

The sheep were just hanging out around the barn so I invited them to come get some exercise.

We went higher in the pasture and what a site; my new favorite picture of Cabin Spring Farm.

And then they all came running!

And they passed me and ran down and around......

And back again.

Gretta had just finished one of her high ballerina jumps and I ask her to do it again and she just looked at me like, WHAT?

The big girls came over for scratches but then got so close that all the pictures were taken without focusing and the only one that came out was of Mira's fleece.  She likes to put her nose on the camera, too bad that one didn't come out.

It is now up to a balmy 23 degrees F at 3:30 but it is headed to single digits again tonight so maybe the snow will last another day.  The brightness is so welcome after a gloomy, overcast day yesterday.

Friday, January 24, 2014


I think the reason it is so hard to write about Cher is that this is not the only sadness I am holding at this time.  A very good friend, for many years, is living with significant health issues now.  

My word for this year, as I mentioned earlier, is hopeful.  I began this year very hopeful that this was going to be an extraordinary year and now, only 23 days into the year,  I find myself wondering why this word has been given to me, and yet I remain HOPEFUL.

When my father was dying, I went to be with him and he asked me to stay until he died.  He said if I couldn't he would have to go to the hospital and he wanted to remain home.  I told him of course I would stay and I think that was the greatest gift I have ever given anyone.  It was only about a week later, he left his body on this earth.  It was an exhausting time but peaceful too.  He wanted to be in his home, without medication, and with family.  He didn't want the medications, I think, because the side effects made it so he couldn't be present.  Dying is not a moment, but rather a process.

I think many would think that letting an animal fade slowly over a period of two weeks is inhumane.  Why not end it for them, stop them from suffering.  What is suffering?  Death is a process that knows how much time to take in each situation.  Charlie's dog, Smokette, died the same day as Cher and she seemed fine the day before.

Fourteen mornings when I went out to the barn I thought I would find that Cher had died in the night, but each morning I would find her still with us and I would ask, "Why?" Sometime, I would think I knew why.  Some of the information I received was about patience, other about timing.  Each morning I would greet her and ask her how she was doing and chat briefly.  She would look at me,  move a little, and just be.  (the second day and a couple of other days she seemed better).  I would tell her I loved her and tell her I would check on her later.

Cher was never a pet.  She didn't like people to touch her so I always gave her her space.  Mary, a yearling sheep that died a couple of years ago wanted me to sing to her and she liked attention.  She would come each morning to see what concoction I had made up for her, until she no longer could walk.

I am recently reminded of the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.   In one part of the book, Ishmael was recounting how the inventors of the earliest airplanes, thought they were flying when they jumped off the cliffs.  They thought they were flying all the way until they eventually crashed.  We are all dying, it just takes some of us longer than others to get to the final moment in our current body.  But we must remember we are living too, and greet each day enthusiastically until we no longer can.

 I am hopeful that when I no longer can,  I can be at home with my family and friends and be present.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Time Came

Cher, the llama died on Tuesday after a 2 week illness.  We laid her to rest yesterday in a beautiful spot up on Green Hill.  As I write to let everyone know, I don't know what to write.  I think it will have to come out over time.

Cher taught me some important things when she was living and many more still as she was dying.   It has been an exhausting two weeks fluctuating between anxious times, sad times, very peaceful times, and many searching questions.

It is hard to know what the sheep and chickens think but I know   we will all miss Cher.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Life Is About Sickness and Dying Too

I am writing a book.  Actually, it is being written through me.  I was asked several years ago by "someone" coming to me in my thoughts.  I said no a few times but then finally agreed.  When I write, I go to a place in my inner self and listen and then just start writing. Each session is never about what I think it will be, and if I think too much, I am not connected. 

 I don't go there as often as I would like.  It is an amazingly special place with wonderful people who have taught me so much.  

This past week has been very difficult; Cher the llama suddenly became ill and is most likely dying.  The vet did not think she would make it through that first night but she has made it through many.  We have done what we know to do for her and now we just check in and wait.  I haven't told many people because I don't want questions and contact at this time.  I am blessed to have the loving support I need.  I didn't want to write until this episode in the life at Cabin Spring Farm had passed but, I feel this morning, it is time to share the sad news with friends and family.  Please though, don't call,  I can't answer the questions yet and I know we will feel your love.  

This morning as I thought about how to write this, a passage in the book came to mind.  It is just into the book, at Peter's burial, when Rosie, the little girl tell the story, is remembering her uncle Peter and the things he used to tell her.
       And when I went to bed he would come in and say,

“Rosie, life is about good trout dinners and lookin at the stars or long hikes in the mountains or tricking Sarah or  climbing trees or good friends”... or whatever had happened that day and then he would always end by saying “Life is what it is suppose to be.”  Even if something sad had happened he would add that too cause life is about happy and sad.   So I just thought Peter dying was a part of the sad part.    from  The Sweater  through me

I will post again when I can, and write about what I have been thinking and what I have learned.  Much of it is about patience and timing and strengthening self.

The sheep were initially very spooked with all going on but they have calmed to their usual  guarded behavior now.  

"Life is what it is suppose to be."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Fun Day Today and Waiting for the Cold

I hate it when you have to decide whether or not to cancel due to weather.  This morning, church was canceled due to icy roads.  That was easy with the roads around here and the timing of the ice.  Our spinning for St. Distaff Day, however, was scheduled for 1:00 P.M. and it was suppose to get to 40 degrees today (I don't think it ever did) so we decided to go for it.  It did get above freezing but some roads in the county still presented problems.  Unfortunately, 3 spinners were not able to join in the spinning but if we postponed it a day or two it could have been worse.

We did have 8 spinning and we had a great time but only 4 people came out to watch.

 It is always fun to see who has a new wheel and who is doing what kind of technique.  I wish we all got together more often.

The next couple of days are suppose to be really cold, good to sit by the fire and spin but it will be just me.  

Meanwhile, in the animals world, we have a new supply of hay, minerals, grain, and other nutrients, so we are ready for the cold.  When the wind comes I will close the doors of the barn part way.  The other night, when it was windy, I went down to the barn, just before bed, to close the doors but the sheep and Cher weren't even in the barn. 

I think the thing I hate most about the cold is the hard uneven ground by the gate.  The sheep generally meet me at the gate when I have hay.  When it is super muddy, there are hoof imprints everywhere, and then when the ground freezes, it is so hard to walk in that area.  I wish I had one of those big roller things to even out the ruts when it gets above freezing.

I worry about the chickens when it gets cold but I guess they know how to keep warm enough.  They usually roost up in the rafters of the barn but I think I will put some clean hay on top of the closet where Black sometimes likes to sleep.  I should also plug in a bucket of water for the chickens.  Cold is extra work but not like the first couple of winters when I was hauling buckets of hot water down from the house.  I wish we would get snow instead of bitter cold but I guess I should be careful what I wish for.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1st 2014, no resolutions

I am not a person who makes New Years resolutions, at least not in the last few years.  I do ponder over the events of the past year and contemplate what the next year might hold, but, no resolutions.

I like to try new things as a new year comes about and I have already started by trying Nuttello for breakfast this morning- it was pretty good.  I have plans of course, and goals, but no resolutions.

I was telling some friends, I think the new year started for me in October.  Sometimes shifts in thinking don't follow the calendar.  Shifts in philosophy, but no resolutions.

Back in September, my sister Gail, gave me a book called One Word that will change your life   by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon.  The book tells you to ask for one word that you live with for a year starting Jan. 1st.  Since I was reading it in September, I thought I would ask for a word for the rest of 2013.  The word that came to me was "clarification".  The word that came to me for 2014 is "hopeful".  I was emailing some friends today and wanting to wish them a Happy New Year, but what came out was "wishing you a Hopeful New Year".   That's even better, I think.

So, I am hopeful that I will continue to fit into my favorite jeans, that just started fitting me again.  I am hopeful that this year will bring continued new opportunities.  I am hopeful that I will be kind to more people more of the time.  I am hopeful that I will find new ways to handle animals that are less stressful to all of us.  I am hopeful that I will remember to tell the stories that are so important, and I am hopeful that all will listen and tell their own stories. And after reading this,

I am hopeful that many will edit their life stories.  But,  no resolutions.