Location: Northwestern Pennsylvania, United States

Welcome to my world, a modest little mix of art, writing, animals, and whatever else happens to catch my fancy at the moment...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Free Pittsburgh Steeler's Tickets!

I wanna go see this game! Who wants to join me? Gotta love Troy and the Pittsburgh Steelers!

(umm, I should mention, I'm just TRYING to win these tickets; I don't actually have them (yet!) nor am I offering to actually take anyone in particular. just sayin'...)

Of course you can try to win them yourself - and take me with YOU! just copy and paste this URL (sorry, I'm too much of a technilliterate to figure out how to link this properly. Hope it still counts!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Herd and I had visitors today... friends Audrey and Chuck!

Good to see you guys (and my apologies for Pumpkin's pushiness.) I'm quite sure she didn't see you, but you know, she surely must have felt your presense! (Literally!!)

And thanks for the heads up on my blog's apparent disallowing of comments. (No wonder it feels so lonely here!) I think I've got it figured out, but keep me posted on the posts (if you can!) Maybe a little feedback will motivate me to write more here :)

Looking forward to doing some boating with you two, soon I hope!

And Thanks for the coffee!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Allen Ginsberg Obsession (with List)

I've been OD'ing on Allen Ginsberg lately. A totally fascinating person (more because of his lifestyle and social network possibly than his writing) - but still he is currently one of my favorite writers. I've discovered we actually have a lot in common, so I decided to compile a little list.

Merely for my own amusement (since you won't find "we both have a large audience" on this list) here it is:

...We both have mothers named Naomi.

... We both have a case of cacoethes where writing is concerned (his just happened to get him published. Oh, and um, he could write really good too. :)

...We're both into Buddhism, meditation, and Yoga. (He did a lot to promote it in this country. I bumble around with it. But I still say it counts!)

... We're both into guys.

...We're both bibliophiles.

...We both seek enlightenment, and have visions of sunflowers
(I wonder if any of those things might be related?)

...We both like to travel (ok he did a LOT of it; I've done some, less as I get older, & these days I'm mostly only traveling via surfing. But we still both LIKE it!)

....We both appreciate art (I think I draw better than he did, though! Sorry Allen! Trying
to be open and honest here, per your example! I still love your drawings tho- and they're still worth way more than mine!)

... His literary fame was (arguably) born in the 50's. I was born in the 50's (not arguably.)

... He had his pic taken naked with Gregory Corso, which was later published on a postcard. I have a postcard of him and Gregory Corso naked together. (It's super cute, too!)

...We both like lists (I didn't actually list that yet, so I say it counts!)

So that's my list so far (I'm only a little ways into my study of Ginsberg, and there's SO much material!) But one thing we don't have in common is, I'm still alive, for now anyhow, so I am going to get away from this computer and go for a run! I think Allen would appreciate that, too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Things

Last night I was fortunate to have been able to witness a very professional shearing of camelids at my friends Audrey and Chuck's place. They have a llama, a couple alpacas and a mix of the two, and hired a most excellent shearer/engineer (what a combination!) to do the job. I won't be lucky enough to be able to bribe him to do my llama, as he is quite busy enough (as you might imagine!) But I got to see it done, which should be quite helpful in my own amateur attempts with Dallai. (Thanks guys!!!)

And I did gain enough confidence to try the electric shearers on him (I usually use scissors.) I have to do this with him standing, no stanchion, no one to hold him, so I'm trying to make it as unscarey as possible for him (and hence, ME!) I kept the session short, and only did some of the thin belly hairs, but I'm thrilled to say he hardly spit at all and only laid down on the job twice! I get the sense it will go a wee bit easier this year!

The other success I had recently was passing the praxis test for secondary English. (I mention it now, only because I brought it up in a recent post. I'm kind of anal like that.) Now if I can just motivate to send the info (and requisite hundred dollar) to the Dept of Ed, I would qualify to teach high school English! (Just in time for Gov. Corbett to ditch half the education budget!) I just have the best timing sensibilities! (Actually its probably good I never got a real teaching job; I might have been tempted to buy a house, and since I wouldn't have had 10 years experience, Id have probably lost the job anyway - and the house!) There's reasons, I think! Though I have to wonder what the reason is for having this compulsion to collect things I never use (or hardly ever.) High School Eng cert, elementary cert, life guard cert, small herd of large animals, obscure blog ... etc.

Speaking of obscure things I start and don't utilize, I'm about to launch a website; "" I'm linking it to this, at least til I obliterate this one! (That link wont work right now, tho - haven't gone public yet.) I'll try to remember to put a valid link in a future post when I do, though!

Happy Easter and Festival of the Fertility Rites of Spring, everyone! (Ok, well, you explain all those bunnies and eggs then!) Ttfn!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Manatees for Peace

Back from Florida and swimming with the manatees; what a great trip we had! If you have never experienced this, I highly recommend you give it a try if you have the opportunity to do so. What marvelous creatures they are (tho not so marvelous that they coughed up the secret to world peace!)

I must say though, if they were in charge of the world, peace would indubitably reign! These are just about the most peaceful, easy-going creatures I have ever had the honor to be near. They are monstrously huge (at least the adults are) - getting to be up to 13 feet long, and I think I read somewhere they can weigh up to 3000 pounds! Interestingly though, they aren't fat - they're mostly intestines and lungs. The lack of blubber - such as what whales have - is one of the reasons they migrate to the warm spring waters in the winter - they just can't deal with the cold. Me neithor, come to think of it (here in NW PA it was 9 degrees out earlier this evening) - but it's certainly not for a lack of blubber in my case!!!

Since neithor I nor my friend Erin had ever done this before - and since there are definite rules you need to follow to not get yourself in trouble with the fine folks at the wildlife protection agencies, we decided to go on a guided tour our first trip out. BirdsUnderwater were highly rated by some people I knew who'd actually been there, done that, so we went with them. And they really were wonderful, so I'm passing along the recommendation. The owners and staff were professional and even rather humorous at times, and it was evident (I thought) that they really cared about the welfare of these animals. For such a priceless experience, it was pretty inexpensive. $35.00 included a boat trip out and back and full snorkel gear. For another $15.00 you could have a full wet suit (definitely dont cheap out there- you WILL regret it!)

Of course, we ended up buying a DVD of us swimming with the manatees, a camera, several tee shirts and sweatshirts, a hat, some jewelry, a kids, maybe it wasn't totally inexpensive, but what the heck, how often do you do something like that?! Besides, I needed some new clothes...

As for the actual swimming with the manatees - what a treat! I have heard that manatees are - if not the only, one of a very few wild animals that not only allows people to approach them, but actually chooses to interact with us. (The fact that they have no natural enemies - after all, how tasty can lungs and intestines be? - probably is a bit of a motivating factor there.) The babies approached us most frequently, snuggling right up to us, brushing their faces against ours, nibbling on our wetsuits, doing barrel rolls and asking for belly rubs.

Erin and I were the last ones back on the boat. But of course, we still didn't get enough. Next day, we returned, this time renting a kayak from Birds Underwater. We paddled back out onto King's Bay where we hung out with more manatees in the warm, clear waters of Three Sisters' Springs. I just don't see Life getting a whole lot better than that - unless, of course, the manatee succeeds in bringing us world peace!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hay There

Or, I should say, hay here, in the barn, since I've been playing Ellie Mae today and went on a hay run. Just 50 bales, but that is quite enough since it's just me unloading and hauling them upstairs into the loft once I leave the hay farm! Gosh, my arms are a bit sore, I must admit! But I'm glad I got it, because now I feel a wee bit better about leaving the herd behind for a while (in good care) while I go, with my dear friend Erin, SWIMMING with the MANATEES in FLORIDA!!!

I am SO excited about this! Never done it, always wanted to! I feel lucky and honored and privileged to do it (altho of course, pretty much anyone with $35 in their hand and a way to get there can do the same thing!) Still, I'm counting my blessings and, well, yeehah!

Sadly I have not been able to run due to this persistent achielle's tendon issue. Very frustrating as I am truly hoping to break all previous records at looking like an old fool during the much anticipated first ever for me triathlon coming up next summer. Never thought I'd do it (because of the running) now I don't know if I ever will (because of the running!) Dammit!

So what does a late bloomer do while sidelined from all these athletic activities? Why, she studies for her praxis exam to try to get a job teaching secondary English, of course! This is a last minute, geeze I only have a year before my cert runs out and I havent even taught in a real school, what'll I do now kind of thing. And since I only minored in English in undergrad school, and did about half a master's in it in grad school- and that was many moons ago - this will NOT be a walk in the park! Oh, and did I mention the test - which I only decided to do -and signed up for - a few days ago, is only a little over 3 weeks away?!

Needless to say, what with that and Christmas soon upon us, and my upcoming vacation with my Erin and the manatees almost here, I regret to say I probably won't have much time to be blogging in the upcoming month. Oh wait, I usually don't blog that much anyhow, I forgot about that!

Well, Happy Holidays-whatever you celebrate-to all of you out there! Peace on Earth...
And I promise to do my best to try to find out from the manatees how we might be able to accomplish that!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Still Running After All These Months

It's true! I've surprised even myself! I did sustain a bit of an injury - undiagnosed but I'm sure I just farther strained my tendonitis-prone foot. I'm just now getting back into a regular running schedule after a month of tentative attempts.

The good news is, I upped my distance to SIX miles, without a break! SIX!!! ME! After that, it was (relatively!) easy to do 4, and 3 was pretty common - one or two was for the "easy" days! Who'd a thunk it? Not me!

The other good news is that - although I would be really pressing my luck to go for even 4 miles at the moment, I felt pretty good going 2 miles yesterday - albeit with a mile or so walk in between those two running miles!

Anyhow, I'm back on the horse, so to speak! Yeehaw!