Archive for November, 2007

At a loss for words…

I’ve been really humbled by some of the responses to my last post, and honestly, I’m having trouble deciding what to post next.  I have a post on an unrelated topic half-written, but I just keep coming back and thinking about the responses from yesterday.

Hang in there.  I’ll sort it out soon.

Read Full Post »

I saw where you visited my blog today. 

I saw where you searched on the terms “infertile women no children christmas“, and my heart broke for you. 

I know where your heart is right now – the Christmas holidays are coming up, and you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to live through them without breaking into a million jagged pieces.  How will you face your extended family and your cousin with the new baby?  So you started searching the internet for advice, for help, for the reassurance to know you’re not alone.

You’re not alone.  I’ve been there.  Every woman who has ever struggled with infertility has been there.

We’re all here together, but the shame and pain of infertility even keep us from reaching out to those who might actually understand how we can be afraid of Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or family reunions, and maybe even tomorrow.

If you visit here again,  please leave me a comment or send me an email.  I wanted to reach out to you, to see if I could help in some way, but you went away leaving only that faint trace of your visit. 

In empathy,


Read Full Post »

The Tilling Fields

Thanks to my friend and personal photojournalist, Evan,  I have some pictures to post from Saturday’s frenzied pre-rainy-Sunday tillingfest

Trish in the greens 1Here’s a picture of me in the [decimated] collard greens.  Notice the lovely fall colors of the oak trees.  Also, notice the row directly to the right of the frame.  See how lovely and weed-free it is, all that fresh, red Georgia soil?  By the time I was finished that day, all the rows looked like that.  During active picking in the greens field, we don’t till between the rows because it just makes for muddy feet and angry greens customers, so the weeds and grass tend to fill the spaces between the rows.  During the break between Thanksgiving and Christmas picking, we till, water, fertilize, and generally nuture the greens back to health for the next round of holiday dinners.  Don’t worry about the collards, they come back strong and there will be plenty for everyone!  It seems I’m wearing (gasp!) another plaid flannel shirt!  This is an official “Grandpa Shirt” that will eventually form part of the super-comfy-Grandpa-Shirt-quilt (just as soon as I learn how to quilt, Emilie…)

Me and Gramps in the greensHere’s a picture of me and Grandpa in the collard greens.  Notice the pretty rows to the left?   Hm, Grandpa is wearing the customary plaid flannel shirt, also.  Does that make him a lesbian as well?  I doubt it. [I promise to get over this flannel=lesbian thing soon…it’s just so funny to me!]  Please don’t notice my wide fanny….Really, it’s not that wide….I’m just hunched over the tiller, working hard….yeah, that’s it.  It’s the camera angle.  I’m actually svelt and ….oh, who am I kidding? Thanks, Evan, for taking a picture of my fanny….  

Read Full Post »

Spam mystery du jour

I get a -lot- of spam, and I mean a lot, since my email is on the university website in about, oh, a kajillion places.  Fortunately, we have spam filters on our university accounts, but I still feel like it is important to scan the filter once in awhile and be sure that something important didn’t get caught in the net.

 Most of the spam is pretty straightforward, promising me enhancements of anatomy I don’t have or offering to sell me software at dirt-cheap prices or inside stock tips that are guaranteed to pay off big.  But today I’m stumped. 

What can it mean, this mystery spam?  What promises of instant fortune, happiness, and fulfillment can be gleaned from the title,  “Shower Dress Car-race Television Chocolates School Book“?

Is it like a fortune cookie, vague but pointed in its daily application of wisdom?

Is it a capsulated view of my life?  First, I shower, then I dress, then I race to work on my morning commute.  Once at work, I accomplish all the video and media tasks of the faculty, by mid-afternoon, I crave chocolate.  But it’s off to class for me, and then home where I hit the books before starting all over again.

That’s it!  I thought my life was revealed by the clutter of my bedside table, but apparently, it’s really not much more than spam.

Oh, dear…..

Read Full Post »

My bedside table, my life

If a picture paints a thousand words, then a picture of my bedside table just about says it all about me.  As I was sitting in bed yesterday, passing the rainy day by studying under the warmth of my electric blanket, I looked over to my left and took a glance at my side table.  There it was, my life revealed in one precarilously piled heap of interests.  Let me give you the tour of Trish, via the nightstand.


1.  Bible study materials.  There are always so many more wonderful materials than I have time to work through, but I try to read something each night. 

2.  My cellphone.   What time is it? What important phone call might be coming soon?  I can’t let that be all the way across the room, or I might have to leave my cocoon of warm.

3.  Gardening books, seed catalogs, and an issue of the Georgia Market Bulletin.  It’s never too early to dream of spring planting or too late to look up parasitic insects and their remedy.

4.  Professional books.  The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People (which I’ll finish reading if I can make it through the chapter on procrastination…), The Little Black Book of Connections, The Fifth Discipline, and the ever-popular Dick & Carey book, The Systematic Design of Instruction.

5.  Craft supplies.  Doesn’t everyone do crafts in bed?

6.  Gigantic Spanish dictionary, now being used to hold my lamp up higher.  A remnant of my undergraduate and MA studies.  You never know when you might need to look up a Spanish word.  Or reach your lampswitch easier.

7.  Emergency pen and highlighter.  In case I read something really  interesting, but didn’t have the foresight to bring a highlighter to bed.

8. Aaaaah.  My 36″, 8-harness Harrisville loom, neatly folded and put away while I concentrate on my doctoral studies.  I miss you, loom.  We’ll play again when I finish my dissertation….

9.  Small stuffed bunny.  My personal totem animal.  My house is filled with (inanimate) rabbits of all kinds. 

So there you have it.  A view of my life from my bed.  No wonder my brain is so cluttered!   What’s missing? My husband and my pets, of course.  But then, I don’t keep them on my bedside table.  I let them in the bed, with me!

 What does your bedside table say about you?

Read Full Post »

four a.m.

How many blog posts are written at four in the morning?  After a full day of studying and writing, advancing one step closer to finals for this semester, I had trouble falling asleep.  Every possible thought jangled around in my head, from television to imminent tasks, thoughts on evaluation matrices for my class, unfinished knitting projects, work responsibilities, gardening, television, pets, fashion…..just one giant plate of mental spaghetti. I even managed to work up a little ire with my sweet, and completely unsuspecting, husband.  Poor Tony, he’s so often the victim of my sleepless nights!

I did manage to sleep for a couple of hours, but here I am again, drinking soy milk and eating fig newtons while staring at my computer screen.

I could work on my project for school, but I’ve forgotton all the “brilliant” and pressing ideas I had at one a.m.  I could knit, but I’d have to turn on a light to do it.  

I’ve already read my favorite blogs, including Pioneer Woman who posted a beautiful picture of father and son.

Oh, and I threw Lia, the cat, out in the rain.  Well, I’m not heartless! She insisted on going out.  I told her it was raining….

Rain! I forgot to mention that we’ve had twenty-four hours of perfect rain: slow, steady, soaking rain.  And it’s forecasted to continue through today.  So in a brief update, the leaves have now officially fallen from the trees here, and winter has arrived in the Flint River region of Georgia. 

Yesterday I went out to the farm and worked like a fiend in anticipation of the rain.  I tilled between all the rows of greens, working for about six hours, so that the rain would be able to soak down deep in the soil.  If I’d had more time, I would have side-dressed all the rows with fertilizer, but it’s dark now at 5:30, so that will have to wait.  We’re reconditioning all the greens after the Thanksgiving rush, and have closed the fields for the next three weeks before opening again right before Christmas.

The night before Thanksgiving, I made pepper sauce.  I had meant to make more pepper jelly, and maybe even some chow-chow over the break, but things kept getting in the way.

And, after reading back over this, I can’t help but notice that my brain is still going ninety miles per hour in every direction.  It will be a long day.

Read Full Post »

My friend, Evan, has commented that I may be obsessed with tractors, and I’m not saying he’s entirely wrong…he knows me too well.  He’s seen me go through some crazy things in the past ten years or so, and he knows I can get a bit fixated sometimes. 

Which made me consider whether or not I actually am obsessed with tractors, and I can honestly say I’m not.  I like them, sure. I like being able to drive one and work the soil, but it’s not the tractors that fascinate me, it’s what they can do. It’s what I can do with them, how they have influenced my family, and what they represent for me.

A few years ago, I became fascinated with sailing ships of the past, galleons and brigs and frigates, Jack Aubrey, Horatio Hornblower, and pirates of the oceans blue.  I even took a few sailing classes before I realized that I was a bit too clumsy for sailing.  But although I learned as much as I could about ships and rigging, sailing and fighting, I don’t think it would be fair to say that I was obsessed with ships. 

I was obsessed with escape.  Escape from my problems, escape from my hopelessness, escape from my pain.  And for that period in time, ships and sailing represented freedom for me, the ability to leave my life behind and never leave a trail.  I wanted to visit brave new lands, live carelessly and free, anonymously, unattached, unfettered, and unafraid.

I’ve changed, and my “vehicle of choice” has  apparently changed, as well.  Instead of looking for mental escape on the ocean roads, I seek to plant seeds of stability and put down roots in the Earth.  I’ve stopped trying to run away, and have invested myself in cultivating relationships and planting seeds for my future.   The hours I spend on the tractor and in the garden have yeilded a harvest, not only of food, but of memories, traditions, wisdom and closeness with my family that I’ve never allowed myself before.  The tractor, the ability to drive it, to work it, to till the land, and raise harvest with my own hands, ties me to my family, my heritage, my grandfather.  It is a bond between where I come from, and who I am.

I’ve come to realize that, if my dreams for the foundation and for the land come to fruition, I will, in essence, be “grounded”, rooted to that place and to that work, and strangely, I welcome it.  I long to leave a legacy for future generations, to leave a mark of my passing through in the same way that the tiller leaves a path in the soil from which a plentiful harvest can grow.  I want to stay in one place, for the first time in my life, and cultivate a life of growth. 

My running with the wind days are over, it seems.  My setting down roots has begun.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »