Thursday, October 8, 2015

reading aloud

You’ve Lived

All through the play, Hamlet’s
Looking for some hold in the world.
All through it, he’s searching for something in life
To bear the weight of his being.

And neither his father’s murder,
The adultery of his mother
Nor Ophelia’s love --
Things shattering enough
One would have thought --
Is sufficient to root him
In the rank, unweeded garden
Which was what he called life.
He was here without an anchor
In a fruitless sea of being.
And he never evolved an interest
(As we say) ‘to keep him going’ --
He, with his wayward life; he, the lost one.

So take comfort --
Even if you only grow onions,
Breed rabbits or put ships in bottles,
If that grips you, you are one of the saved,
The light shines on you, you can fear death,
Go in dread of the end.
That is to say, you’ve lived.

Gwyn Thomas


A suggestion:
If poetry does not "speak" to you, try reading it aloud.
Simple. Magic.


Monday, October 5, 2015

road trip!

This past weekend was the 27th annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival in Tunbridge, Vermont. Friends were competing, and I was invited to ride along for the 2.5-hour trip up and back on Sunday. Being a passenger has always been a treat for me; a driving commuter for decades. And although rain had been predicted for the weekend, it was blue skies and sunshine all the way. Lovely! Sitting back, watching the scenery, and nattering away to the driver who, like me, doesn't ordinarily spend a lot of time socializing because there is always some task or chore that needs doing. Chatting for hours without the nagging feeling that something else should be happening instead is quite a luxury.

I even added a few rows to my latest KAL sock:

As unbelievable as it may sound, this journey was my biggest trip to date of 2015: five hours in a vehicle and 4.5 hours at an event. I won't describe the collection of cushions and props I brought along, but it's a fact that I've spent weeks traveling in other countries with a single backpack containing less than I now apparently need to cross the road.

Oh well. At least I do occasionally cross the road! :)

New England Asters in Vermont!
Much more exotic than in Massachusetts!
Okay, not really. But always a favorite :)

Remember last year, when I went to the same fair - it's also the Cashmere Goat Association show - and brought my camera but no memory chip? And I apologized because I could post no pictures from the fair?

Well, that was not about to happen THIS year! No no no!

This year, I brought the new camera (for it's final Field Test), two fully-charged batteries, and two chips. HA!

We arrived at the fair at noon, and I headed straight for the Integrated Parasite Control & FAMACHA© Training Workshop, which began only moments later. For four years I've been looking for a FAMACHA training class close to home; this was like a gift landing at my feet. The class was taught by Dr Katherine Petersson from the University of Rhode Island and lasted for four hours. Yes, that's right. Four hours of thinking hard about gastrointestinal worms. It was excellent.

The organizers provided snacks on a table at the back of the classroom, and invited participants to help themselves at any time during the presentation. I was grateful for a "polite" excuse to stand up and move around at frequent intervals. I hope the other participants didn't think I was snarfing up snacks every time I got to my feet, but it was a chance I was willing to take.  ;)

Now, if you noticed the timeframe, you will not be surprised to hear that when the workshop ended and I headed out of the cold classroom and into the gorgeous Autumn sunshine, all the fair vendors were packing up their tents.

Yes, I went to a fiber fair and a cashmere goat show, and spent the entire time in a cold, dark classroom. When I headed for the cashmere goat area, exhibitors were sweeping out the now-empty rented stalls. Most goats were already loaded to leave.

So I hastily took the first - and last - goat picture of the day: 

One of my friends' bucks, looking out the truck window. Photographed through the reflection of trees and blue sky.

You can't say I never take you anywhere on this blog.

Can you?


Shall we try again next year?


Saturday, September 26, 2015


I'm testing a new camera.
So far, the results are inconsistent.

In a batch of snaps taken between house and barn yesterday,
fewer than half turned out as planned.

Azalea explains,
"Surprises are all very well in their way, but we require consistency in some areas. In photography, for example, we have very clear ideas about the images we seek to record."

 "Or, for a more pertinent example where consistency is critical,
let's talk about the supply of carrot pennies.
Yes, let's talk about that."

Ahem. Yes. Thank you for that insight, Azalea.
(Stops typing to scribble "carrots" on grocery list.)

I must set aside time for a careful test, under various conditions.
It's on the Weekend List.

I hope it will be a long weekend,
because it certainly is a long list.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of Fern (left) and Tansy (right),
choosing the Perfect Spot to lie down atop one of the old wells.

These girls turned 5 months old last week!
To refresh your memory,
here they are on the same well cover, in May:

Time flies.

As do baby goats, remember?


I hope your Saturday becomes a day to remember -
in a good way.