Notes and photo by Wanda Callagy There is something to be said about cooking a meal. Learning to cook from scratch was an effort my mother shared, but at the time her skills were lost with me. However, there may be hope yet.
I heard and read about this cookbook and picked up a copy while in Memphis while attending the International Blues Challenge there. The proceeds of this project benefit the HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust ) which in essence assists blues musicians and their families with health concerns. Established by the Blues Foundation, this project has helped many through donations and this collection of recipes were imagined and produced by Blues411. Many sponsors helped to fund the printing costs so that 100% of monies raised goes to the HART Fund, and recipes were donated by blues fans, musicians, radio hosts, and other folks from around the world.
I need an assist with building a website that will contain my blogs and other articles I submit along with other projects. In return, I will give you words in an article or we can discuss photos if you are a musician or other person of interest. I am bringing this up now but the project needs to start in the fall. We could meet at a public library. Two to four hours time. Serious conversations only requested.
You know, really the title may be silly and very misleading. I don’t own many animals. Three cats chose to live here with me and I suffer from canine loss. I am determined not to go there as far as taking in more animals for awhile, anyway. I need time. Maybe add two hens for eggs after some work is done on the barn by fall, later. Nothing like fresh eggs and spirited, active hens clucking and dancing out the window.
This spot here offers a desk and a small kitchen and a deck to see the stars. I call it my gentlewoman’s farm. After recently reading the book I started up some “Compost Stew”and am cleaning out the storage part of the barn (why do I need all this stuff?) The ferns came in beautifully and there is a nice balance of sun and shade all around me. This I take in over coffee in the early morn these days.
See some pictures of my little garden and my watering duck, a gift from T-man and his mom and Lyla and Herbie.
Lettuce is growing here with tomato, squash of all types and bell peppers. I buy fresh locally at stands. The blueberry farm has opened in Grand Gorge and on my list. The strawberries near Middleburg were wonderful this year. I had none left to freeze after picking. That is the fun of it.
Having a herb box I use many in medicinal teas. Wild violet, lavender, sage (I burn) and others can be found in the woods and I do have a great book and identify first, and know this to be a good idea. I also splurged on a couple of varieties new to me while purchasing more creeping perennials
to add to the rock garden. It is a weakness! I spend hours on the deck. Sometimes I blast the music in the evenings. Most times listening to the night sounds coming in I crave. I transplant many things and I putter close by and am awaiting tree people to assist me with some limbs.
To pursue my earlier goals of adding many chickens, some miniature goats, and a lamb is a bit unsettling. Besides company they would be for eggs, and to mow the property, moving around pens. I get my magazines out..remember last winter. I became a wimp. I did not want to go out. For days. Pipes scared me and froze. I barely made it to the barn a couple of times, imagining myself frozen in time and I have pajamas on under my heavy coat, hat, and mittens. Should have used the snowshoes. Anyway, much tending. I weigh this with my urge to travel. Family, friends, music, projects, thrift shops, more music…so many books..lots of paths to take. Options can bring hope.
Last winter I got away to Memphis and other warmer places and had a good friend watch the place. Another took the pup while I was off to the blues world there. No worries.
Admittedly being able to have the freedom to travel if I want to is very new. I make time for other interests, but at my own pace. This home is a comfort spot, a haven. Cats are good company and they chase critters. Yet, if I want to visit and stay over for the fireworks, I can. Felines can be haughty, distant and independent, but welcome me back after enjoying their alone time. Traveling includes foreign lands or a different perspective around the block for me.
A home that nurtures. This is what this spot in the woods is. Some place to be shared but also a hidey-hole. I guess I CAN call it my gentlewoman’s farm after all. I am seeking and growing and always learning (yes, over and over) and healing and as nature also reminds us to stay in the moment, I do.
Join me this next Wednesday! I will be at the Stamford Village Library @10:30am for a new program for youth ages 6-12. Do you enjoy writing down a funny story? Do you have new camping adventures from the summer? Perhaps you want to send a letter to grampa, or you want to make your own joke book. Supplies are provided as pencil and paper are the tools we need..bring your ideas and I will be there with a listening ear and a dictionary. This week we may talk about your summer so far. Do you swim? Do you have animals for the fair? Do you explore your neighbor’s woods with permission?
Do you know the library has all kinds of new programs? Book clubs to study groups to a chess club to knitting. Something for all ages and interests. Find something there for you!
I invite you all ages 6-12 to join me for a book club. It is easy and fun. Stop by for an hour. Parents are welcome. We are getting this new program off the ground and I want you to stop by. Since it is dairy month in June and gardening all summer,
I want to keep with the dairy and farming theme for younger participants, and I will find something else for the older readers. Our next meeting is on Wednesday, July 15th at 4PM. I will remind you with posters and more information. If you want to share ideas, just e-mail me at the library. Find a book to read and talk about. Tell me if you like it. Tell me why.
It is good to have a book at your side for a rainy day. I know many of you will be attending camps and playing sports. I would enjoy hearing about your summer adventures.
Check out all the other groups and ideas the library has to offer! Books, board games, knitting, more books, videos, CDs, big print books, children’s activities and computer time. And, so much more.
I have been with family the last couple of weeks and honing my ‘travelin’ writing skills. At times life challenges us to stay balanced and on days that I can’t stay that way I fear I may go mad. Faith, laughter, friends and music help me to breathe through it. And of course, nature around me. These are from Pittsburgh, PA.