Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Things I Have Been Doing Other Than Blogging
Farming (see the picture) The lamb count is up to twenty-four with more expected daily. The weather service is making noise about snow and sub-zero wind chills coming up, so I'm sure the remaining pregnant ewes are already making plans.
Family Like almost every parent in modern America Susan and I seem to spend half our life in a car with a child going or coming from somewhere. Whatever happened to letting kids run wild through the neighborhood until dinnertime? Well, our neighbors are mostly four footed, so I can't blame the guys for wanting to engage in off the farm activities with other humans of equivalent ages.
Reading New in the mail: Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church by Metropolitan John Zizioulas and Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews by Marshall McLuhan.
I have also been enjoying a novel in manuscript (or the pdf equivalent thereof) by Steve "Methodius" Hayes, a blogger, writer, teacher, activist and Orthodox deacon in South Africa. He bravely offered his work to all would-be critics for evaluation and I have been dipping into it as I have spare time in front of the computer. The book is a sort of Charles Williams style supernatural thriller set in apartheid era South Africa and is worth your time if that sort of thing appeals to you. I will be forwarding comments after I finish, but will refrain from posting any here if any one else is interested in becoming a reader-critic.
Dancing Susan and I were back on the floor Monday night for the next lesson. I seem to be improving, but that has more to do with my partner and the instruction than any innate talent. Nonetheless, they may make a Rhumba man out of me yet.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
I will be getting the pens ready tomorrow.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
In farm news, the lamb count was up to twelve at evening feeding.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Turning to farm news, three new lambs have arrived in the past two days. If the rain holds off I will try for pictures tomorrow.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I feel pretty,
Oh so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright,
And I pity
Any girl who isn't me tonight.
I feel charming,
Oh so charming--
Its alarming how charming I feel,
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real.
I will not describe the looks I got, except to say with the late Rodney Dangerfield that "Sometimes it ain't easy bein' me."
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I never intended to disappear.
In the early to mid-nineties of the last century, I had a decent writing career, with five novels and one collection of short fiction published. A small but discerning group of people enjoyed my work. After my last novel, Deepdrive, I published a few more stories, and then…nothing.
I was not dead. I was not confined in a secure location for my own safety. I had not decided that text was obsolete as a means of communication or entertainment.
I hadn’t even stopped writing. I was writing less, because I now had a family, which required a demanding day job, but I wasn’t happy with anything I was producing. I even dropped out of my writing workshop for a few years.
But here I am again. I’ve written a number of stories in recent years, just sold one, am close to finishing a novel, have rejoined my workshop, and will be visible here and there in the world of science fiction. Wish me luck!
I look forward to reading the new work, and, as a family man with little enough time even for blogging, I sympathise and, as requested, wish him luck.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
I chaired my first meeting as President of the Browntown Community Center Association tonight. The building in the picture was a country school until it was closed in 1970. My wife taught an aerobics class there a few years back, following in the footsteps of her grandmother and mother, who were both teachers when it was still the Browntown school house. Today it hosts a monthly Bluegrass jam, flea markets, Halloween parties, Christmas caroling, and best little Fourth of July celebration you will find anywhere. The parade through town may only take a few hundred yards, but a good time is had by all. Go to the link over on the right for pictures of past events. The schedule for 2007 will be up in a couple of weeks.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Last Saturday I was down at the barnyard drilling a hole with too small a drill with too small a bit into too large a post, making a hole for a pin to anchor the hinge on a farm gate. We replaced the old rusted out gate this summer but tried to fit the new gate on the old hardware. Like new wine in old skins, the pieces never meshed properly, but I didn't have the time, patience or tools to fix it. The result was that, by December, we did not have a gate so much as an unwieldy piece of metal waiting to be knocked down by persistent sheep whenever they wished to go walkabout in the upper field. I discovered Saturday that even with inadequate tools, the job could be done when approached with a little grace and a little patience. That, oddly enough is the lesson learned throughout much of the rest of the year. After more than a half century of working at this business of living I have begun to realize that if I wait for the perfect tool, the perfect circumstances, or for myself to finally become that perfect person, I will wait past most of the best opportunities for living. As G. K. Chesterton once put it, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." Chesterton of all people was not interested in encouraging bad work. He knew though that the worst work is that which is not done at all and any work, done with heart, soul and prayer has the potential to be good work. This coming year I intend to hang a few more gates.