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18 February 2018

Red Truck On Route 22. A Sign of Life.

Real Farms

If you are ever out driving in the country, and you want to tell a real farm from a hobby farm, look for junk. The mark of the true farm is the junk and the detritus that litter the landscape. No real farmer every throws anything away for buys anything new.

I know one farm that has six or seven old farm trucks lying around, over time each one is cannibalized for parts to keep its successors going. There is nothing new in any truck on any farm i know, except for the big corporate ones. it used to look desolate to me to see these old trucks rusting by the road, but now I see it is a sign of life.

It means somebody got or bartered for a newer truck, and the farm life goes on.

The life of the farmer is very hard, and gets harder all the time They just dropped milk prices again, and farm suicide hot lines are reporting record numbers of calls. The small family farm, the backbone of the country for many years, is hurting.

When I can, I try to capture the feel of these farms, and they are rarely pretty, no one can afford to be pretty or has the time.

The mark of the real farm are the shells and hulks and tires and old parts that lie around everywhere. Read farms are ugly, not pastoral, real farms are smelly, not sweet-smelling. The red farm truck in the photo has been lying around for a couple of years. This year the door is open, I'm not sure what that means. Some old tires are tossed nearby to keep it company, it looks like it belongs there, as if it grew out of the winter pasture. Perhaps it did.

Posted in General
14 February 2018

Valentine’s Day: Summer And Red On The Women’s Fainting Couch

Valentine's Day

It seems that Red, the soul of patience and acceptance, and Summer, the stray cat we helped rescue and spay this summer, have bonded. This couch in the Mansion great room has a rich history. They used to call it the Victorian Fainting Couch, and it was made so that women could have a place to swoon and faint when they were upset or had what people then called the "vapors."

During the Valentine's Day celebration today, Red looked for a place to lie down, Summer was there first, but she was happy to share the space with him.

The history of women is quite remarkable.Summer, the Mansion cat, has made the fainting couch her day time headquarters, she is fat and happy and easy-going. She was wary of Red for a week or two, and then saw right through him and the two of them often  hang out together during parties or celebrations.

I loved this scene of the two of them, several of the residents asked me if I could print out some copies for them. They thought it was just adorable that their two favorite animals had come to bond with one another. Red never causes trouble of any kind, he has an almost psychic sense of what he is supposed to be doing.

Posted in General
5 February 2018

At The Mansion: What Diane Needed Was Red

Red On The Couch With Diane

A staffer came up to me at the Mansion today and asked if I would spend some time with Diane, she was restless today, pacing the halls and distracted. I approached her with a book we could read together and she did read for awhile, but then I saw she kept looking at Red, she loves animals Red was zeroing in on her, as she does.

I thought he might be what she needed, and I decided he needed to get up on the couch with her, so I pointed and said "up" and he jumped up and the two of them communed for awhile, and Diane calmed down before my eyes.

She kept saying to Red, "no one will hurt you, I won't let anyone hurt you," over and over again until she was at ease and totally focused on him, and he on her. Red is an analyst in his own right.

He has the power to soothe and perhaps heal. Animals have enormous healing powers.

You can write to Diane and the other residents of the Mansion c/o The Mansion, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.  Here is a list of the Mansion residents who wish to receive  your cards or messages or photos. A box of stuffed animals arrived at the Mansion today for Valentine's day, and thanks.

The names are Winnie, Jean, Ellen, Mary, Gerry, Sylvie, Jane, Diane, John, Alice, Jean, Madeline, Joan, Alan, Bill, John K, Helen, Bob, Alanna, Barbara, Peggie, Dorothy, Tim, Debbie, Art, Guerda, Brenda, Wayne, Ken, Ruth.

Thanks, your letters mean so much to them. On Valentine's Day we will open your many gifts and packages and letters, and the Round House Cafe is offering a special lasagna lunch with cookies and cakes.I'm thinking about Easter now.

Posted in General
25 January 2018

Having A Good Laugh Together. Wayne And Red.

Having A Good Laugh

Wayne, a new resident at the Mansion, has an impish sense of humor, he is always telling jokes and looking for some fun. He tells me he is coming to visit our farm and will let all the donkeys and sheep into the house, and he laughs and laughs at the idea.

He keeps inviting Red to a sleepover, and  I think Red might enjoy it, if he wasn't looking for me. Sometimes I think  Wayne and Red are sharing a joke together, they both seem to be smiling.

If you wish, you can write Wayne, c/o The Mansion, 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. Also, those of you writing Sylvie: many of her letters to you are being returned because she gets the return addresses or zip codes wrong. I hate to impose any additional work, but one suggestion has been for people who write her to include a stamped,  self-addressed envelope. I have also offered to help her address the letters.

They are precious to her. You can write Sylvia at 11 S. Union Avenue, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816.

Posted in General
24 January 2018

Fashion Stud: Scottish Beanie And Red Cowl

Scottish Beanie

I'm getting used to my new role as a winter fashion icon, my slouch beanies and scarves are drawing notice and compliments.. Two women ave even suggested I look handsome in then, and Maria says they look great, even adorable.

I'm having a bit of a struggle along with this, but how many times in my life will i be called handsome? So I'm going with it. I ordered this green and purple Scottish  wool beanie some time ago, and it just arrived. An artist on Etsy who supplies some of my gifts to Maria sent me this red cowl, which I love and which also keeps me quite warm.

This fashion icon thing is a completely different role for me, but hey, grow and change, right? I love doing things I could not imagine doing for most, if not all, if my life. I sure don't feel like a fashion icon, and I sure don't think I look like  one, but you have to make the most of what you are given, I think.

Posted in General