“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
~Henri Cartier-Bresson



Friday, February 5, 2010

Goatlocution

"Hey Brownie, I sure hope you're happy today. It just beautiful and the sun is shinning."
"Farmlady, do you have any of that good grass with the little white flowers on that side of the fence?"
" I do Brownie!! But the first thing I want you to do is acknowledge the fact that it's a beautiful day. You've been walking around here like it was the end of the world."
" What's acknowledge? What's that? Is that the name of the grass I like."


"No, Brownie, acknowledge means that you listen to what someone says and tell them you understand. Then you have to respond, somehow, and let them know that you heard what they said. In order to do this you have to stop thinking about yourself and pay attention."

'scuse me? I paid attention! You said that the sun was shining and I should be happy about it."
"That's right. BROWNIE! You WERE listening. So..., are you happy about the weather?"
"Yes, I am Farmlady. Now, can I have some of that knowledge grass, or respond weed or whatever it is. please?"

"Pretty please?"
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Prayer Flags from Davis


I keep finding things that were laid aside last year. I found these prayer flags in the closet underneath the towels, folded into a neat little pile and remembered that I had ordered them, last summer, from an artist and friend in Davis. I had taken these photos so I could do a post on them and then, in the few months that followed, I folded them away in the linen closet and forgot to show you what a joyful idea these were.
Terry Busse, who lives in Davis, Ca. makes a variety of these "Blessing Flags" and the wonderful idea for them is to put a prayer or blessing in the little pocket for someone that you are thinking about. Then hang the flags somewhere that sends these good wishes to each person in hopes that they bring that person some relief from their cares and concerns. So, with five pockets waiting for a request, I will fill them as follows:
Blessings for my family; my boys, my lovely daughter in law and the mother of my grandchildren, my sister and her family and my mother-in-law. May they all find some happiness and a sense of peace about their lives and the inevitable trials that come with being in this world at this time.
Good thoughts for my friend "C' in Sacramento, who is facing an operation this week.
One for Laura in Georgia; for strength.
One for the people in Haiti.
And one for our Government; hoping that they can stop the arguing and posturing. That they can pull together for the good of this country.

I need more flag pockets. I have more good thoughts to send. I may have to do this, as a blog post, on a regular basis.


Terry Busse is an amazing fabric artist and she is the one who immortalized Murphy when she made a fabric quilt of our farm with Murph' dancing and showed it at the Davis Art Center two years ago. I was so proud. She read my post on Murph' dancing under the full moon and asked if she could do a quilt picture of this and write a poem about it. Then, after the show, she sent the quilted picture to me. I was stunned and overwhelmed. I treasured this beautiful piece of art.

Please check out her Etsy store called Garden Songs. She sells Blessing flags, dream pillows and wonderful cards.
Terry...,I know you're busy with your family, artwork and everything, but I miss your Blog posts. Hope all is well...
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Monday, February 1, 2010

545 Days

This is an anniversary of sorts. Two years ago today I started this Blog. My first post was entitled Small Offerings and consisted of 3 photos. That was it. I think I did one the day before but didn't like it and decided to start fresh on the 1st of February.
I don't even remember why I decided to do it. I had looked at some other blogs that I thought were interesting. The first one was Posey Gets Cozy by Alicia Paulson. I loved the photos and what she wrote about; mainly her little dog, her husband and her amazing sewing skills. She even had photo tutorials.
I was not sure where I should go to start a blog but I found Blogger and they gave me very easy instructions on how to get started. At first I wasn't sure what I would write about and couldn't imagine writing a post every day. I knew that I wanted to use my photos. I wanted to write stories, poems, talk about where I came from and leave some record of this for my boys. The rest was a big question mark.
I wasn't sure if this would be a photo blog, a writing blog or a poetry blog. I didn't yet know how to put words around and in between the photos so I started doing each separately. Sometimes two posts a day: One with photos, one with writing. When I think back at how little I knew it's amazing that I even attempted it at all.
I found that I loved writing these posts everyday. I never kept a journal for more than a few months and then I would stop. The fact that someone might read what I wrote gave me more reason to do it well and consistently. I thought that if someone would bother to read my blog it would have to be "entertaining" but have some intelligent purpose. I felt that it should be "classy" and perfectly written. I knew that my spelling would have to improve.
All of this high-minded rhetoric went down the tubes when I got my first comment on February 9, 2008. I had written a story about finding our German Shorthair Pointer, Moke, in a campground, tied to a tree and starving. A poet from Oakland, Ca. calling herself Castlewon wrote:
"Just thought I'd tell you I like your chickens, your gourds, your poems, your dog, and your blog."
Thank you Merita. It was then that I knew what I wanted to write about. My life here on the mountain, the animals that we live with and the blessings of my life. I could still write poems and make up stories. I could still entertain , showcase my photos and " have some "intelligent purpose". But I didn't have to be perfect and charming and have 100 comments everyday. I just had to write about the things I loved. It was all right here. It was my life and someone had just said it all.."I like your chickens, your gourds, your poems, your dog, and your blog." How wonderful is that??
So two years later and 545 posts later I'm still telling folks about the farm on the mountain. Moke is gone and some of the chickens. I won't have to write about the sadness of losing my Mother anymore, but I was able to mourn her with my writing. This was an unexpected gift.
Now, we have four silly Nubian goats, a new puppy and two wonderful grand kids to tell you about. It never ends and I wouldn't give away this opportunity to write almost everyday for anything in the world. I love it. I love reading other blogs and commenting. I have made some good friends; cried with them and laughed with them and, always, wake up in the morning thinking "What can I write about today?" Yep! It's an anniversary, of sorts, and a good one because everyone should have something that they love to do. I'm proud of this blog called Over Good Ground. Someday, my grand kids will read it and the Bean will say... "Wow, remember when we planted the baby gourd plants. Remember the first year that we lived in the old house of her mothers? The first Halloween there? The first Christmas? Look at me when I was 1 year old, 2yrs, 3yrs and I remember that puppy. His name was Carl and we ran around the garden together."
It's a journal for the 21st century. It's a chronicle of our lives, a story I want to remember.
When someone asked me why I have a Blog.., I told them that I'm protecting memories. I'm also doing it for myself, so that in my old age I can sit and read about a time when I was living a wonderful life , sharing it with others and writing the Great American Novel in real time.
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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Embedded Pumpkins and Sweet Snail Mail

First of all, it's Sunday.
Just a reminder to stop and smell the oak leaves.



Then.., and I know you are wondering why the Halloween Pumpkin is sitting IN the dirt on the lawn. A little rodent, probably a gopher, came to visit. Carl, the pupster, decided that he would catch this invader and proceeded to dig a hole to China in search of the gopher. He would not leave this gopher hole alone.
So we took the pumpkin and set it on top of the hole. Well, now I can't remove the pumpkin. I think it is growing into the ground. It's attached firmly to the dirt. Odd? I think so.
Maybe it will appear in some Chinese garden on the other side of the world and grow into a beautiful pumpkin plant..., and the farmer will wonder where it came from.







And last, but not at all the least.., After the Bean and his Daddy came to visit us a few weeks ago, we got this wonderful thank you note. Isn't it just the cutest letter ever? Please allow me this quick moment of "Noni bragging" and then you can have a peaceful remains of the day.



p.s. The gourd is still not saying anything.
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