Thursday, January 23, 2020

Baby Steps


A few weeks ago, after asking for recommendations from Facebook friends, I ordered a bar shampoo and refillable deodorant. It's all in pursuit of reducing the amount of single-use plastic in my life.  

I was totally impressed with the tidy, waste-free, recycled paper packaging--a sturdy little cardboard bag, just the right size for what it contained. What a concept! Amazon, who often uses huge boxes for very small objects, could learn something from these folks.

So, there was a bar of shampoo plus a soap dish for it and a refillable holder for the deodorant stick. I chose a citrus lavender scent for both and it smells heavenly!

I've been using both for several weeks now and am happy to report I really like them. The deodorant works and the shampoo bar quickly makes a great lather that leaves my hair squeaky clean. (I am using a little conditioner and will, when the big (plastic) bottle I have is gone, look into the bar conditioner.)

Using the bar shampoo has made me aware of how much traditional shampoo I've wasted -- squeezing out more than was needed. I suspect this bar will last a good bit longer than a bottle of shampoo. Which is good, as the bar stuff is a little pricey.

Just a baby step. Now I'm looking into bamboo toothbrushes and an alternative to plastic tubes of toothpaste. . .

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Backwards Sunset


No sunsets for us --the mountain we back up to blocks any display. But sometimes we do get the reflected glory. . .


Clouds alight with the last beams of the sun behind the mountain . . .


And we can watch the slow creep of darkness over the peaks and valleys to the east, to the last fond glimmer atop the Blue Ridge.

Not a spectacular sunset. . .but not bad either. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Snow Birds--Mostly Cardinals


Our bird feeders did a brisk business yesterday -- at one time I counted six male cardinals but could only get three in frame.
 All of these were taken through not-very-clean double pane windows. But it was way too cold to stay outside.  


The suet feeders were popular with the woodpeckers -- Downy or Hairy, I'm not sure which this was. There was a handsome Red Bellied one too but he was quite shy.



There were juncos and goldfinches, wrens, sparrows, and blue jays, along with this distant crow.


 But it was the cardinals that hogged the camera.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Getting 'er Done


With deepest thanks to Justin who spent the weekend dragging out the debris and sorting it into piles for recycling or disposal.





Sunday, January 19, 2020

Our Little Town


Marshall has changed so much since we moved here back in '75. It's become a veritable happening place. This month's Our State magazine put the Star Diner on the cover and devoted multiple pages to Marshall's on-going renaissance.

Much energy and creativity and money has gone into rescuing what was a moribund town and re-purposing some of the iconic buildings. 



In '75 Marshall had, in addition to its courthouse and sheriff's office and jail, two banks, a funeral home, two florists, a grocery, a library, a department store, a dime store, two hardware stores, a school, an appliance store, a drug store, two car dealerships, and a post office. The courthouse and post office remain but most of the others have gone out of business or have moved to the bypass or nearby, and the empty spaces have become apartments and boutique businesses -- antiques, galleries, studios, a coffee house, several up scale eateries.

It's good for the town--all these energetic folks bringing their dreams to life. I applaud their zeal -- while remembering fondly when the empty streets were swept every evening by one guy with a push broom.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Barn Fire Update--Moving Ahead



After a very long wait, we have finally received a check from our insurance company for the loss of the barn. We have held off clearing away any of the debris, fearful the insurance people might want to challenge our claim. But they didn't and now we can move forward.


We want to get all the rubble removed and start by restoring the basement on which the new barn/workshop will be built.  It will involve pouring a concrete floor and probably building a new concrete block wall within the old one. 


And we are going ahead with Easter Party plans -- even though the new building can't possibly be ready by then, we'll work something out. Forty-some years of community tradition is at stake!

This was brought home to me only yesterday when we received a card with a generous check from neighbors who have always come to the party and want to see it continue. 

Our first impulse was to return the check with thanks -- but their wish that we accept the gift 'in the spirit which it was given' made us reconsider.

And accept it as a pledge toward the Easter Party and our very special community. 



Thursday, January 16, 2020

Library Day Again!


It is raining but we are going to the library.


There is lots of pretend food but I have some real cheese crackers in my cup. That is another nice thing about this play group.


Markers are always fun.


I am into abstract expressionism.


Also I have a hair bow.


I can sit quietly with my friends.


But I'd rather express myself through dance.
And kick up my heels.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Proverbial Blast from the Past


This is me (believe it or don't) with my first born, standing outside the geodesic dome of the private school (Independent Day School, aka the hippie school) in Florida where John and I taught.  It's probably sometime in early '73.

I have the picture because I got in touch with yet another person from my past via Facebook. And he sent me this picture from his files.  Evan was a student at Berkeley Prep in Tampa where I taught in the late Sixties and he was in Iowa City when John was there in grad school. We stayed in touch for quite a while, then time went by. 

Did it ever. But thanks to FB, we're beginning to catch up again. He's into photography and seems still to be a very nice, very interesting person. 

As do all the old students/friends that have come back into my life through the magic of the interwebs. And most of them, I've had the pleasure of seeing in person eventually, right here on the farm. It's always a bit of a shock, I think, for every one to see what differences almost fifty years can make on the exterior.

But hearts and minds can stay the same.