Showing posts from 2015

Christmas Eve

All the classics at the Christmas Eve service tonight.  I'm Lutheran again.  I find a lot of comfort in the liturgy now that I have no guilt disregarding what others say about the eternal.  The playlist was nice and as it should be in a rock church by the creek:

Hark the Herald Angels Sing Angels We Have Heard On High Little Town of Bethlehem O Come All Ye Faithful Silent Night Joy to the World

We sang Silent Night with candles lit.  By the time we got to Joy to the World, I had dripped wax in the hymnal.
Christmas was a muddy mess here this year.  The river is as high as I have ever seen, springs have erupted under the main road and have made their way across our drive to our yard.  I diverted them before they got to a rabbit den we have with babies in it.  
(time passes and today becomes yesterday)
Well, I crashed before I could finish.  I was going to wax nostaligic and invoke some reflection for auld lang syne, but alas, I fell asleep and now its Christmas Day.  Perhaps New Y…

Fireside cleanup

A day to remember.  Though all days are even when they are not.
Today I tackled a few jobs that I put off for a year and a half because I … well, I don’t exactly know except I thought they would be big projects and so I didn’t want to face them.  One was the burn pile… the burn pile that contained trees from the first burn pile a couple of years ago when we bulldozed the buildings here … trees that didn’t burn the first time.  The other project was cutting up the I-beams from the mobile home we demolished.  That metal has been an eyesore for so long and now its all done.  We made a huge inroad away from “junkyard” and toward “pasture”.  It took all day and I am pretty exhausted, but the splinter in my brain has been removed and the relief is pretty sweet.
As an added bonus, I sat in the dark with two of my kids at two different times and we just talked.  Esme and I got to talk about 6 year old stuff and I got to be present and hold her in the soft evening with the cool air mixed with…

Samhain, Billy?

Ah, Halloween has come and gone again.  We went to our little community center for the first time for the Halloween party.  Adia and Zoe both won 1st prize in their age groups... granted, Zoe was all alone and Adia only had 2 competitors:)  We met new folks in the area and that was really encouraging.  Overall, very nice.  Halloween night we went down to Glade and the town square was hoppin'.  Maw Maw took them around town square while Ash and I went to the brewery and had a beer with the usual crowd.  Tim's nephew fired up the smoker and put some amazing meat out on the bar.  It was pretty sweet to be sipping on local beer and nibbling on amazing BBQ in Glade while tons of folks trick-or-treated outside.  Once we got back, I took the two young ones out again in the dark to go down our old road. We talked to the neighbors and bounced from house to house.  At the end of the road we went up and over the sledding hill and down the pasture to the cemetery.  No light.  At the cemet…

Midnight thoughts at breakfast

An Alzheimer's brain makes one wonder About what and who we really are What I mean is that I consider myself still me If I lose a finger  Or a leg Or a my sight But if I could I would not consider myself me If my brain dissolved to the point where  I forgot me or forgot you. So am I just adaptive? Am I just something my mind has made up? Is the me I know just a figment of my imagination? A deadly weapon for a naked primate?
Would tragedies exist  If no one remembered how to wail and mourn?
That being said, it makes me wonder  What am I? Do I really exist?
Am I just emotions masquerading as basic need? Can a human act on something other than emotion? Is any decision besides when to piss Or shit Or what to pull out of the fridge At 2am Is any decision besides these  Anything but emotion? A frontal lobe concoction?
Do I exist? Do you exist? Do we exist?
This morning when I slammed my fists into the breakfast table And stormed out cursing God... Even then I couldn't help but wonder
Is my broken heart really just th…

Consider the night

What stirs me from the dark tonight? Some phantom, perhaps Or a hunger gnawing on my spine
My eyes long for rest As I stare into the hearth-fire of my ancestors My mind registers only the rythmic flickering
But it's my ears that listen... For It It that will be there when the flame dies It that will be there when eyes close
It that no longer leaves claw marks on this sterile ground Yet still hunts at night Demanding my ears to listen to the unnatural silence
Waiting, waiting yet no longer caring  for that one  twig  to  snap


don't you dare think I've forgotten things I've said and done promises I have broken and the distance all have run from a shining little star to a glimmer in a pond fishtails shimmer in my eyes the come undone is done
moon she glides across the night  my sole grips heavens dirt she smiles upon the thieves in pain and rips my favorite shirt her calm chaotic steady stare her presence ever there she shines below the treeline when the worlds weight she bears
so my life is not my own but I live inside it too I am the sun I've always sought when the moon's in view I am the light on full moon night (although I thought that that was you)
But I am you. 
I'm still the one.
and we are still the few.
but it's not night, there is no sun. it seems our evening's day is dawn
your fishtails shimmer in my eyes The come undone is done.

At The Beach

We made it to Duke Marine Lab.  The drive was typical... long, hot, and sweaty.  But no one threw up, so that is a plus.  Once we left AHS parking lot, my eyes suddenly got really heavy and I wondered if it was because for the first time in many months I was somewhat done.  I couldn't work on the house, I couldn't worry about the trip, I couldn't even work on school stuff.

We took two buses and a van.  63 persons.  We made it here in time for dinner (10 hr ride) and then headed out to the coast for a night beach walk.  The ghost crabs were out and we had a great time walking through the surf and chasing those crabs like chickens.  This group is rather amazing.  Just filled to the brim with wonderful people.  People that I am grateful to have known, even if only for a week.  People that I will miss.

The next day we went to Beaufort and did the historical stuff - then to Carrot Island in the afternoon.  The water was wonderful and we all swam and wandered around the tidal f…

High life

This took a shocking amount of mental ability from me. For some reason I just had a block and had to think through this over and over and over and over.  It was so much easier than I thought it would be. I know this lesson - the hardest part is starting... The hardest cut is the first.  But we now (drumroll) have ended the camping phase.  We have a sink that no longer has bucket under it. We have a washing machine. Sure, we still shower in the apple tree, but that is by choice and by the grace of God.  It probably should have some sort of wall, however... But that is a project for a later date.
I am really tired. Once again I worked kind of furiously on the weekend only to do a stream sampling field trip today. Tomorrow I must have sub plans ready for the coast trip... Which was awfully stressful in its own right - but seems to be ok now ...36 hours before departure.  Perhaps I can unplug a bit on the trip... While I manage 63 people:). Gawd.
I did walk through the pasture and then thro…

Really? Busy.

I just need to write this to remember.  I am pretty exhausted.  So we moved in to our new place and even worse, we moved out of our old place and had to get it ready for renters.  Our deadline was August 1 - we made it but really just barely.  Juuust in time for school to start.  So right from working like mad to "finish" the house and move out to work days at school (lot of fun analyzing faulty data.. but it was back at my old school - room 507 - a tad difficult)  while trying to throw together the coast trip to getting ready for the first day of school.  That got me to Friday.  When I left Friday, I had a flat front tire.  It was raining.  Hard.  I pumped up a bit and took off to the grocery store and bank. After, I noticed that I still had some air, so I pumped it up at the gas station and took off.  I stopped at Straight Branch to check and pump up again.  It still had some.  So off I went.  I kept looking down at it to see.  Then around Beartree, it felt very flat.  It …

Fears and Steps

It's 3am and while this is my usual time to be up for a bit - but tonight there was a moment that shook me - just a moment, but it was no surface vibration.  I was dreaming about the fittings for the hot water line (it will make sense soon) and the dream turned into an endless loop and so I got up to test thinking I was low. I was 119 or something so I nibbled some chocolate chips and peanut butter just for fun when Ash came in and got Adia's test kit and went back to test her. (Pause, then everything goes to slow motion) she calls my name in ... That way... And comes running in saying "it just says low blood glucose". I know this to mean she is below 20 and I assume she is unconscious and unable to wake up.  In now ultra slow motion, I jump up, grab the glucagon shot, and stifle true fear... Because I am wondering how long she has been out... Minutes? Hours?!? As I sprint out of the kitchen, I meet Adia in the hall and I can immediately tell that she is fine - we s…

Its all about the house now

Wow.  Time is flying by.  We have to be out of our house in a few weeks and into Konnarock.  Sure, we probably won't have some of the finishing details done... like water... but its all good.  The kids have a chalkboard for a ceiling, the walls are mostly up - kitchen counter maybe tomorrow and then its time to dig a water line.  I slept in the house for the first time the other night because I had to paint ceiling panels and let them dry during the night.  It was pretty nice... except that I got a little food poisoning and ended up puking a few times in the middle of the night (outside of course)... not particularly the good omen I was hoping for, but as I said before... its all good.  The river came up and the kids have been walking up the road and tubing back to the house.  Quite sweet.  I am ready to get up there.  We went to India Towers wedding on the 4th and we danced like there was really no tomorrow.  Me, Ash, and the kids just tore it up.  It was classic white folk danci…

The wiring of my mind

A type of tragedy befell us - our calf, Mac, died very unexpectedly.  This was quite a blow.  I milked the day before and he was energetic and fine - when I went up the next morning, he was unable to get up and died by noon.  It was particularly difficult to dig a grave... in the poison ivy... the day after I played a 5v5 soccer tournament in Boone after being a sloth for a year... I could hardly walk (let alone dig) and the turf fields took huge patches of my skin.... however it was an absolute blast... we got killed but it was fun.... I was invited by an old student (Chandler H) and some Emory players.

We still don't know what it was that killed Mac, but it left us in a milk situation.  We were delaying the final decision about what to do here when we move.  We were going to leave her here with her calf and by August, Mac should be taking all the milk - and we would just raise him for meat.  But once he died, we were forced to make a decision - which was probably what we needed …

Insomnia playlist

(To the) Elderly woman behind the counter in a small town:
Hey, Soul Sister -
Do you remember? Sunday morning (being) All alone At the beach(?)
November rain. Buckets of rain Welcome me (to this) Shelter from the storm (or) Wake me up when September ends.
Just give me a reason (to) Feel the silence.

Somewhere over the rainbow I'll take my chances With or without you.
Universally speaking (its a) Beautiful life
Don't ask me why (but) I've loved these days.
Goodnight, my angel.

Fabled Angels

I'm not the hero I never was nor a songbird cloaked in black
Fabled angels in our snowy woods have never left a track
Now I'm free to feel the presence... or absence of myself
I'm free to taste the highway salt off the long road back to health
Now in your so-called "freedom" where I am who I am the me that we've forgotten 
subsides into the din
And so, in wordless melody My snowstep presses in... I fold my wings against my spine and wink a knowing grin

to the hero that I never was nor will ever be again.

Adia turns infinity on its head

School is winding down spring has come. Peg gave birth to a new bull calf - who the kids named "Mac".  I am milking again and it's a nice return to what I am comfortable with.  The windows in the house are finished and tomorrow I plan on putting in the front door.  Even though I made the door, we spent $200 on hardware... Amazing.  I can't wait to put that sucker in and open it for the first time.  The door weighs more than I do.

Adia turned 8 the other day.  5-10.  She was so excited about her birthday... Her birthday breakfast was bacon, cheesy eggs, and Belgian waffles.  I finished just in time for lunch.  We went roller skating with our great friends, Jason and Emily... whose daughter Claire was also celebrating  a birthday on the same day (same age too!)  That evening we had a great dinner, opened gifts, ate a homemade cake, and did the worlds slowest rendition of the happy birthday song:)

And as a final update, the 165 lb door I made was put in this weekend as …

Mumbling in my awake

I think in words.  I try not to, but I do. But words can make me feel sometimes. I suppose that is why I like lyrics.  Words set to music are always poetry.  Poems aren't always lyrics I think.  But either way, poem or lyric, the musical nature of it makes the words ... disappear... And I am able to think without words.  Wow, that is irony stepping on the edge of the staircase down to crazy.  But that is the relief of a song... Or a poem.  Below is neither.
"Insomnia, of course"

My thoughts run wild tonight. My brain is tired but sleep is a good friend I haven't seen in awhile and one that I have no expectations of running into anytime soon.  I wonder where you went and what you do in the absence of the day, my friend.  But you are just another loss softly raining down upon me.  All the classics... Youth, innocence, naivety, childhood, friends, strength, my shoulder, now you.  I used to fall so easily into your embrace, without a care or a though…

Out of the frying pan and into the freezer

My kind of dinner.  Last night I got a 20 lb turkey ready and today Ash baked it up perfectly.  So dinner time rolls around and I cut up the turkey and put the good cuts in storage and we all picked the carcass for dinner.  Wow, that sounds odd, but maaaan, was it tasty.  It was a stand-up affair.  I didn't make mashed potatoes or anything else that gravy would have been good on... if I had made gravy.  Instead, I brought home Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia and we washed down all that meat with ice cream - ate the whole thing.  My GOD, it was amazing.  Somehow those two liberal hippies got that flavor so right, it almost hurt.  I couldn't savor it, I had to devour it.   So right before bed I cleaned up the drippings and turned off the stock pot... and I couldn't help myself, but I opened the freezer and took a bite of the kids ice cream (Breyers chocolate chunk, btw) and I thought to myself, why the heck do I feel compelled to have that one last bite?  What does that sa…

Ride through milk and honey

What a nice afternoon... I finished the bike. I bought the frame from Jason for 2 six packs and then I pieced the rest together from parts I had... Some of it was kind of creative (listened to Bob Dylan the whole time) I will build 29" wheels eventually, but I went with what I had for now.  It's a super cool 1x9 cross ride with mountain slick wheels and road levers on mountain discs. Mmmmmmmm.  To make it even more satisfying, I had to peen the scythe after .... New old reborn followed by old classic.  Then me and the kids made a pretty good salmon Alfredo and finished with a chess tournament.... Yep, pretty much uber nerd all the way, but that is who I am.  Jessa gave birth to a couple of beautiful kids the other day and Ash and I watched the birth.  She was milked today and Ash pulled 5 cups off just to let off pressure. And it was good tasting... First time.  Peg is due soon. The bees are strong. I suppose we are in the land of milk and honey... I'm older than I used t…

DUML and the Barn

So the Duke Marine Lab trip went really well.  Once again it was the best thing I do as a teacher... it is as close to education as I ever get.  The bonus this year is that students from 3 schools went and the teachers involved (Kim L, Marywood S, Eric H, and Lawrence C) are all pretty vested and willing to lead parts of the trip themselves.  I think we are going to try to expand - perhaps 2 busses and then the parts of the trip will be kind of a la carte.  And once again, its time for me to back away and give up the reins somewhat.  Thank you universe.  Every gift has a bit of work to do with it :)

There is also a video collection from the trip - its 20 min long, so caveat emptor.

Other than that, I am sick again - another invader landed in my chest and once I got my voice back, I just couldn't and can't stop coughing... again.  This has been the consumption winter.  I would like to breathe again without the rattle... oh well.

The barn is coming along great.  A milestone was …
Really?? Snow today?  Tonight its supposed to get down to the teens.  In two days I take 40 students to the beach for a week.  Well, I am as ready as I can be - the trip appears ready to roll.  It will be interesting to not be totally in charge with 3 schools going.  I love this trip, but it do take a toll.  Like this spring snow, I am excited to rage against the cold and plunge into a wave and let it carry me to shore.  Like the grass beneath the snow, I am not dead yet:)  Here's a few thoughts penned down this odd morning:

Snowflakes float down like memory upon this spring on top o' me drifting swirling upon green grass frost streams streak across the glass all but trees declared our May the false warmth of our yesterday faintly radiates through your ice cold mask its here our souls are put to task I purse my lips exhale my breath spring snow is just a little death

The hardest part is through

Well, the joists were so easy.... After all that digging and preparing, the floor is going to be such a gentle breeze.  Yesterday was probably the most fun day since putting the trusses up.  I truly enjoy this process. In other news, we leave for the coast trip in a a few days.  Its year 10.  Wow. Time flies.  
Good stuff to remember when I read back years from now....Tonight, Ash is at class and the kids and I jumped and just hung out in the trampoline for awhile - then we came back in and watched "Gnomeo & Juliet" all in one bed.  It was like the world was at peace except for the fact that I overestimated our dinner and Adia and I crashed low.  When it was over, Zoe and I washed dishes to music (hence the Lumineer lyric title) while the young ones got ready for bed.  They hopped in, turned off the light and all I had to do was kiss them.  
 Good. Night.

The walls are closin' in

A quick irony.  This weekend I (with the help of Jon) finally closed in the barn.  It was such a feeling of accomplishment.  The digging is done... finally... and the floor band is in place - I just need to lay down plastic and put in the floor joists and start throwing subfloor down.  But it occurred to me that I was so proud of building walls... sure this represents a sort of protection for my family - structurally, emotionally, and financially... but its still walls.  I consciously build walls.  I used to unconsciously build walls.  The walls I build now separate me from nature... and on 0 degree days, I will be quite grateful for the separation... but the walls I used to build separated me from human nature.  Hopefully my move from metaphysical to physical wall building is some sort of step.  I guess my greatest hope is that by the end of my days on this planet, I will graduate from building walls to building bridges.

I was going to leave with a quick lyric, but heck, this whole …


After a great field trip to ESTU's anatomy lab - I came home and decided to run again.  Adia hopped on her bike and we went on the 3 mile run.  It felt good to sweat again.  I have a whole winter... and fall... and perhaps last summer... and the winter before.... of toxin to work out.  My shoulder is a mess but I think I will try to get back into a mild form of shape again.  Adia found 3 deer skeletons on the way... we stopped to do some forensics.

Storm Shelter

I try so hard to touch you but my fingers won't reach out the cold that winds around me contributes to your doubt my footsteps fade into the snow I'm hanging from your limb and you whisper that you don't really know what or who I am
The dusty hay lays on my lungs my fingers grasp your mane no bit no bridle no control we walk out in the rain uncertainty begins to grow your passion turns to whim you whisper you don't really know just what or who I am
So forgive the stranded sailor as he tries to quench his thirst thinks that he is all alone but really he's just first I grasp your oar I pull to row I dream of a sail to trim and you whisper you don't really know what or who I am
now I walk upon these gilded streets but I'm dying in my shoes heels inside the gutter as I read the daily news Dull eyes are all I have to show  to that wall in Bethelehem and you whisper that you'll never know what or who I am
Its so odd to be a victim to have this choice to choo…
OK, I was working on school work but then they called it off again tomorrow, so I got bored and made a little compilation of this weeks snow fun.  Please excuse the royalty-free music and my goober laughs from time to time.

Winter finally arrived

To be on the beach lounging in a hammock or just in the warm sand ... that feels so far away that it causes some anxiety and presses on my chest.  Perhaps that's just because my field trip to the coast is just 6 weeks away and we are in the coldest weather of the year.  Oh well, I guess its appropriate that winter finally decided to stop by - I needed a real excuse to not do anything.  However, I recently got over a mental roadblock at the barn and now I am chomping at the bit to get some stuff done.  My lungs are better, but the weather is worse.  Oh well.

 It was snowing pretty good yesterday when we decided to go to Boone to go skiing.  The whole way there the roads were snow covered... in Boone, Zoe pointed out a car that was spinning down the road in the lane across from us:)  The kids really killed it yesterday.  I was super proud.  Adia and Zoe are riding lifts by themselves and Esme has super control.  They all skied a black diamond run (Esme and I did one last run on a na…


I could use a snow day or two. This isn't the winter I expected.  And now I think I am getting sick again. I usually like winter, but if there is going to be no sledding, then I just kind of want February to leave and to take its emptiness with it.

Oppa Birthday Style

Hey Esme!  Happy birthday, kid!

I can't believe that the years keep drifting by.  I swear you were just born... but you are quickly becoming "not a kid".  And I am quickly becoming your "old man".  I love you and I love that you are my daughter.

We had a good birthday season - the kids have started roller skating and that means that I have started roller skating too :)  But its just like the old days... same music.  I swear, a disco ball and roller skates? does it get any better?  Should I have admitted to that??

I have turned 42... I think.  I played soccer this morning and nutmegged someone... so I am not quite dead yet.  My kids printed the cave map I made and mounted it for me - and we had a korean birthday dinner... bulgogi and tempura... it was amazing ... all the while "gangnam style" blasting... no sitting, just standing and eating as the food comes off.  It was nice.

We were all sick for the last, oh, 4 or 5 weeks... whatever that respiratory …