Thursday, August 18, 2016

Operation: YARD SALE (What WAS I Thinking?)

     I interrupt my otherwise peaceful blog about life in the country, to bring you these crass commercial messages~

     After reaching out to my FB friends and family (tremendously helpful advice...thank you very much), I then commenced to pulling, dusting, pricing, tagging, boxing, grouping and attempting in some way to (ha) organize said yard sale materials, and ...may I just say, at T-minus 36 and counting, "So much for orderly~"

     But in addition to stating the obvious (i.e. WHEN is this sale, and WHERE is this sale)

(This) Saturday, August 20th from 7am - 7 pm  
     AND (because we're crazy this way)

     Sunday, August 21st from noon - 5 ~

Why? You ask, would you dare do a second day? Couple reasons actually...
 1) Since some of you will be heading Lebanon way to attend the Wilson County Fair, you might not want to tote some big ol piece of furniture with you (so you can come back)
 2) By Sunday, what didn't get sold on Saturday will be drastically reduce not to have to move it again and
 3) There are 5 families involved in this thing...My own contributions alone are taking up an acre of this sweet man's yard and then some...Having sold a condo to embrace this country life over here, having had tenants who ran restaurants in a property out of town (can we say "Restaurant Starter Kit"?), having run a dress shop in my past, a radio show for 20 years, I had more stuff than Carter's got little liver pills...(Believe it or not, in addition to radio station equipment, such as sound boards and mics, I actually have the original Round Table for you uber Nashville nostalgic...)

     Second most critical piece of information I'm told is:
                                     "ITEMIZE" ...(i.e. "Tell Us What You Got") 
-- a task easier said than done, given the list would be much better if pictures came with....To that end, we have pictures of some, but not all stuff, as I was stuffing into boxes before I realized "Oh a picture of that would've been nice")

     So with these apologies made in advance, I'm culling together a list of items...and between now and Saturday pre-dawn, will add pics as I go (in other words, check back if you care to...Otherwise, just come see us!)

     Location for said wonderful sale is:

                                           3145 Cairo Bend Road, Lebanon, TN 37087

(and no, this is not my house, so be mindful of my friends graciously offering up their spacious yard for this) ...We won't be open for business till 7 and we won't be sticking things in the yard the night before, so again, I just ask you be considerate...(cause my friends and neighbors are my number one asset in life and I'd like to keep it that way!)

    NOW, with that said, here's a partial list of things even I didn't know I had backing up in my closets and storage spaces after all these years...(Again, I'm going to update this blog along the way...Not as organized as I'd have liked to have done it, but given the time crunch, it is what it is...I will work to add more pictures along the way, especially of some of the larger items; again, check back~~ I'll update with more specific detail, those things I am still uncovering as I go...)

     But for now (cause you eventually just gotta dive in somewhere) here's the gist of it...Here are a few of the high points...(Having moved 2 truckloads over already, I missed photographing those things...Oh well.. Maybe we'll make this a running commentary...A FB play-by-play of items we failed to note first time out!

     Clothes, clothes and more clothes! (And by clothes, I mean designer clothes, evening gowns, leather jackets, one silver fox fur coat (yes, somebody actually got me that for a gift one year...:) To that end, I also have 1 "never-been-used" Oleg Casini wedding gown with pearl bodice and fairytale princess look :) It's stunning if I do say so myself....Purchased for a photo shoot, not my wedding folks, (so no, it's not jinxed :) I know. Girls are funny about this stuff. This one's all good. And stunning)

    I have cowboy boots, snow boots, fancy flops, high heels, we got purses galore, shawls, scarves, tanks, T's, bathers, shorts, office wear (we're not wearing anymore)...You name it...Mostly in smaller sizes but my compadres have clothing items as well...(And they have kids, so I'm betting there'll be some of that too!)

     Of all the things I have the most of, it's JEWELRY!!  ~ costume jewelry,  vintage pieces, necklaces, earrings, pins, bracelets, chokers, hair fobs, etc..etc......(Keep in mind I once owned a women's clothing store, so many things date back...Other things have just accumulated over the years. Sadly I had tagged and individually (clear) wrapped the bulk of these items before realizing "A display would've been nice Evins" ... Suffice it to say, we've marked things WAY down, and I've got WAY lots of it~ (Over 400 individual pieces...I know. I filled 4 train cases full to the brim for safe keeping!)

     Rivaling jewelry for the most items in a category, BOOKS are second (actually, may be first now that I think of it) ...Twenty years of the metaphysical radio show Beyond Reason, and I've got crates of books that'll be going for about 75cents each, so come ready to pour over them~ (Buy a bunch and we'll discount like you wouldn't believe). I likewise have audio books, series, DVDs, CDs, But more than anything else, we got BOOKS galore! (Come start your own store...Books live to be read and these need a home!)

     We got kitchenware galore! Commercial kitchen? We've got you covered...From heavy duty milkshake glasses and one of those silver malt-making device we all loved at the local drug store...Got griddles, microwaves, pots, pans, utensils...(On this I'm sticking a per price for the items in the bin, but would prefer to sell the whole lot at once ...if you're thinking of opening your own shop...please check us out!)

     Likewise, I have non-commercial kitchen items galore as well...(Nothing like writing cookbooks to have you investing in every cute cozy and bakeware set known to man...TV shoots and trade shows call for colorful and cute presentation pieces... May my showcasing days be your next fun picnic, housewarming party, bridal shower, kitchen-perker-upper days~ We got your Pottery Barn dish ware, your Hearthstone bakeware and everything in between...You got a kid setting up house, let me help! We've got you covered...(I'm good at this sort of thing1)

     Knick-Knacks ~ I am the QUEEN of knick-knacks! At some point they become cumbersome to dust, but we got novelties galore from vintage teapots to (lots and LOTS) of cup and saucer sets...(My dad was big on anything Franklin Mint series, so get ready to see everything from Williamsburg pewter figurines to porcelain dolls to replica patterns from the world's top 5-star restaurants, etc ...(Sorry Dad. We're trading china for goat gotta eat! ;)

     Did I mention VINYL? OMGosh! Fair warning, my music repertoire is rather eclectic; Got everything from Wilburn Brothers and Grandpa Jones picking banjos (not together; 2 separate albums...several actually) to Madona, to Reba's first... We got hits of the 50s to Dean Martin's Christmas album...Conway to Jim and Tammy Faye (talk about a collector's item :)

     As for larger home furnishings, we've got leather couches w/ matching chair and ottoman, framed artwork, full length mirrors (over mantel or upright wardrobe style) ...We've got sculptured figurines, end tables, dressers and night stands...One (full size) brass bed head and foot rails, bar stools, patio furniture...tablecloths, serving pieces, wall art, sconces, etc...etc..

     We got yer exercise equipment (where else would I be hanging my clothes?) such as a ski machine, a rowing mating...a mini name it. Got leg weights, dumbbells, all sorts of things I used to use before hoeing, chasing dogs and farming became my new aerobic regime.

     My compadres in this yard sale insanity have yard equipment for you guys...mowers, trimmers, tools...We got One Massey Ferguson tractor (More on that in a separate entry...) We got tarps and wagons and all sorts of yard/farm helping tools...We got tool kits, outdoor lights, Christmas lights (I also have freshly cut lavender and irises in pots should you be up for the transplanting season~)

    All in all, too much to list, but we had to start somewhere...I'll be adding pictures as I go HERE on the blog (so as to not overload my FB page with endless pics, though I will post reminders when I add more, so you, my insider/blog-reading people, will have first stab at it :)

     So come one/come all! From Nashville, you'll take the Gallatin/Hwy109 exit (exit 232B) back toward Lebanon; turn right on Lebanon Road, and in a mile or so, you'll take a left between a big ol Wilson County Fair sign and a green sign pointing you to my alma mater, Friendship Christian School! (This is Cairo Bend Road~) Turn left on Cairo Bend, and go 3 miles (exactly) ...And you can't miss us! Just turn right by the big, red tractor and fluffy, white dog !

     Bring Cash! Bring a wagon for your haul! Bring your family...Bring your friends! While yes, yard sales serve to benefit the one clearing space (and catching up on bills)  I'm equally hopeful that 3 decades worth of personal belongings (complete with their stories and fun energy) can now add a little joy and pleasure to your world as well...Nothing would make me happier!

     Stick around...
     More pics to follow...

     Thanks for your patience as I try to find my floor again :)


Friday, July 8, 2016

You Have Not Lived (the full country experience) Until ...

     One of your dogs ...
     Gets sprayed by a skunk.

     While this is definitely not my first rodeo, it is (by far) my WORST ...
     (That it takes place at 2AM only exacerbates the wound.)

     For the record, Pyrenees, world renown for protecting goats, sheep and wounded creatures everywhere a la St. Francis, would normally think nothing of having a cat in their mix. And at least 4 of my 5 do consider our cats family.

     But isn't it so life?

     There's always that one ...

     Rosebud (my wild child Pryenees) hates cats.

     What this means for us around here is that Boo, never knowing for sure which big white dog might make the occasional indoor visit, keeps an eye out. No biggie.
     The outside (so called feral) cats, are on super high alert now that wiley coyote here has found (more likely "created") a hole in the fence ...a hole I thought I had found/fixed/resolved; clearly I was mistaken.
     To her credit, Rosebud's very smart, and has (all by herself) figured out:
                           "Inside=AC -- Outside=Barn floor...Is this a trick question?"
While placating me come meal time, she has for the past two nights, shown up at my door when she's had enough...(leaving Hix and TJ at the gate ...blank stares and some version of "Dang. How'd she do that?" popping like a cartoon bubble over their big ol doggie heads)

     Until fence dude makes it this weekend,  it was easier just let her thinking being -- if a dog is this smart, she deserves a little A/C for a day or a night...
     That was my thinking ...
                                                until last night.

     Hunkered down for the night, we were bolted from our sleep when Rosebud, out of nowhere, commences to barking (inside the house--just to be clear). With outside dogs prompting (or following ... hard to say) this leads me to conclude: "Must be a coyote, otherwise, why would she risk her cushy comforts after all this effort?"
     I stumble downstairs to let her do what we have Pyrs here to do in the first place, which is to say "Go Rosebud go. Protect your charge. Run that critter off."

     Five minutes later, after hearing an ever so slight skirmish (nothing huge) ~ I conclude: mission accomplished...  I open the door to let her back in...

     Only to find .......

                           OH DEAR LORD ROSEBUD ....WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??


     Looking up at me with eyes swollen (rims, totally pink) and a stench that could knock down Manhattan,  she left me no choice: I quickly shut the door. Heading downstairs water bucket in tow, I open the garage door to a dog of mixed emotional facial expressions~ (Good news: Hey Mom~ Ran it off! Bad news~ Didn't win.)

     Rosebud sashays into the garage and with head hung low, she circles twice and plops~thoroughly understanding why she won't be in the big house tonight.

     I wash up/wrap up and make my way back to bed (now 3 am) when, thump! I feel a pounce. I flip on the light to find Roz (Rosebud's 80 pounds herself, thankyouverymuch)...with her nose squarely positioned under my pillow as if to say, "First floor --too close to basement! You mind?"

     While not our habit to let dogs sleep on beds, I was too tired (and quite frankly too tickled) to care. I flip off the light, pet my therapeutically-inclined canine and say, "We'll deal with it tomorrow Roz...But she is still your mama."

     For the record, today's no better. Not enough tomato juice on the planet...Gonna have to ride this one out~

     Here's praying your weekend brings a lovelier bouquet ~

Rosebud wakes to greet the day... Hope springs eternal...
(for her at least...for the rest of us, jury's still out~)

Thank you Mr. Fence Dude for showing up early.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Got 4 More Just Like Her Back Home!

     To say the least, Roz is a show stopper...
     Take a big white dog sporting a bright pink vest down any hallway and in no time she's holding court, working to both protect total strangers (who don't know they're being herded) while learning to allow them to mussy-up her face in her "Pet Me I'm A Therapy Dog" career move...

     But the funniest (and most consistent) response is when we pull out the phone to start bragging on the others...

     Number 1 question asked:
     "What kind of dog IS she?"
    (Answer: Great Pyrenees)
     Second question: "How much does she weigh?" (Answer: 75 pounds as of her last vet visit; she's gained at least 5 since we've been here...)

     But the eyes really pop open when I say "But she's just a puppy...Just 8 months old...she's FAR from full grown~"

     And in our never-ending efforts to educate the world on matters of Pyrenees dogs with goat-herding talents while introducing one that leapt off the farm to start her own career as a therapy dog, we can't help but laugh
                                            Hix's big head!

(Seen here the day I left...Don't you KNOW these Shepherd people are grateful I didn't tote him in for training!)

     Nope. Some things are best left alone...
     Like Hix...back on the farm with the kids ...
     (After all, somebody's gotta watch out for those wiley coyotes!)

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Quieter Goals of My Life

involve lavender...

                    Here's thanking God for making lavender the new steel magnolia . . .

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Different Kind of Summer

      So the garden's not going to be what it was last year...But I'm happy to report I did make it back in time to enjoy my first fried green tomato of the season. On top of this my lavender (started last year) is triple what it was and the babies back home welcomed Roz and me with slurps and wags for our brief visit home. (They were a bit jealous of Roz at first, but she has now acclimated quite nicely and is enjoying just being a puppy for a few days. Everybody needs a breather...)
     My brother's progress is steady...No doubt, a long road ahead... But with each passing day we count our blessings and marvel at the new places, people and experiences that life's little curveballs have brought into our world ...
     Speaking of which, amidst walking the halls of Shepherd and meeting new people as she sports her classy pink therapy vest, Roz has become my focus, not only as we learn the ropes of therapy training, but as we talk with others likewise interested in knowing more about the benefits of therapy dogs (such as soldiers returning with PTSD, our new area of intense interest).

     In addition to the amazing folks at Shepherd Center, we have also met trainers and researchers alike in areas of both service and therapy training and are scarfing up every informational/educational morsel we can to continue not only training Roz in this field, but other dogs as well.

     As an aside, I just finished reading (and highly recommend) How Dogs Love Us by neuroscientist Gregory Berns (at Emory, no less...what are the odds?) His research of the canine brain is a must read for anyone who loves dogs...That he did it using a functioning MRI, (which is to say, he trained his dog to lie perfectly still in that tube of a machine long enough to photograph her brain) was as impressive as the research itself. (Roz hopes to meet Callie someday...She's our hero.)  

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Just When I Thought I Couldn't Cry Anymore...

     So I came home for a couple of days...And oddly enough, I've been in bed most of it...Makes me wonder if it might not be best just staying where you are...Not stepping out of it, but marching on... Something about coming home...out of the gestalt of what you were just getting used to ....
     Much as I love this farm and my babies...much as I  longed to dust and wash and iron (for my therapy more than cleaning anything...after all, no one where I am cares about ironed clothes, least of all me...)
     But in looking for something to iron by (which is my favorite kinda therapy) I flip to the guide to see what might be iron-worthy, if not what I might've recorded while away for days such as these when all I need is to watch something while doing something mindless...

     Oh look... Gaithers are on...(may be Trinity Network; may be an infomercial...If it says Gaithers, I am prone to check it out either way as I'm seldom disappointed)

     Tonight it was Joey and Rory...

     God love this couple...

     Love the Gaither's music...Love these folks' music...

     But so caught up in our own story, I wasn't fully up to speed on theirs behind the scenes...While I keep up with their blog...and knew Rory had taken on her angel wings, but clearly this production was done a year or so ago...Funny how you feel some folks are family...I was curious to know the story leading them through their journey....

     I watched and I cried...

     I cried as I watched...

     My God...what an angel voice...

     Something about that sweet couple facing all they faced... and hearing her angelic voice singing "I need thee every hour" ... and "It is well with my soul" started the floodgates all over again...

     It just really spoke to me this Saturday night...

     To all you other families out there facing your own ...
                  I pray you know you are not alone.

     No one's got a monopoly on these earthly painful experiences...

     Best we can do is be there for each other in spirit and in prayer....

     God knows we are grateful for those loving us through ours right now.

     Heartfelt thanks this holy-day weekend...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Putting Life On Hold

     Last night I slept in my own bed for the first time in weeks. You know the feeling?  Comes after a long trip...Even coming off the best of vacations, there is no place like home comfort compares to that of your head hitting your own pillow (and in my case, with cat a close second plop after that).
     That said, I wouldn't call it the world's funnest vacation. For a girl who's not been off her farm for nearly 5 years now...(Gardens and goats'll do that to you) yes, it felt odd that my first trip away would be a 4-hour road trip to Atlanta to be with my brother as he works his spinal cord rehab program...
     As for Ed, he's doing well, (thanks for asking; thanks for prayers) though for sure it is not easy in anyone's book. The day to day work is exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally, and while wired optimistically, neither of us are foolish enough to think we won't have our moments. (We have been warned...And they have teams of support for when these happen, thank God.)
     Not a day goes by that Ed doesn't thank me for (his words, not mine) "putting my life on hold for his..." The thanks I gladly take.  I thank him too. I am grateful to have a brother who's alive right now, so he and I will do our parts to keep the gratitude beach ball thing volleying...
     But as it pertains to Ed's statement, I want to be perfectly clear: My life is NOT on hold. One doesn't put life on hold; life is not "on hold-able" that way...Time marches on. Life is a fluid and rapid river of boundless energy, activity and options, full of twists and turns and he just hit one.  But for sure, there is no "hold" button anywhere on this ride.
     What's more, "putting life on hold" (which for argument's sake, we'll define as stopping what you were going to do, to be there for someone else) is a breeding pool for resentment, and resentment is an emotion we're happy to leave out.  But more important, this whole notion of giving up mine to help you live yours is a bogus proposition, and fortunately, since perception creates our reality, the good news is the slightest tweak in perception can change your world entirely... So framing this notion properly-- and from the get-go --is critical to me.
     Would I have CHOSEN Atlanta as my dream destination first vacation off the farm? Probably not. When it comes to vacations, I prefer England, but I don't think of my life in terms of "work days vs. vacation" anymore, so a road trip is a road trip...(It was actually fun packing my dog on this one, as dogs serve to remind, do they not, just how exciting the smallest thing can be? Roz has kept me going, plus I had also asked for that (i.e. how to properly train therapy dogs for folks who need them, and look at us! Up close and personal that little exercise has been!)
     But when viewed as one continuous journey (as opposed to stopping and starting to get to one destination) a reroute through Atlanta is another stop for directions if you ask me.
     When (past the trauma phase) the doctors looked at us and said, "The best care in the world is 4 hours down the road" it was a no brainer for me. (Ed was a little less spontaneous only because Ed likes seeing people and wanted to make it easy for his family and friends to visit him.) And while that whole social element IS something to factor...(morale being everything on a journey like this)  hey, guess what? In addition to our family back home, we now have new family here...We make new friends everyday...people whose lives, like ours, wound up detouring through Atlanta...people who didn't set out to meet us anymore than we set out to meet them, but people who today touch our lives in ways we could never have imagined.
     Would I be doing something else had this not happened? Sure. Plan was to do what I did last year about this time: grow a garden...hug some goats...add a few more rows of lavender to create my own English garden someday. That will still happen. Or it won't. But whatever happens, life today is anything but "on hold"...It's different...Unfamiliar even. But my life right now is unfolding in ways I, myself, would not have been creative enough to have scripted, and when I stop to think "Just what did I ask that gave me THIS as my answer?" it started to dawn on me that I did, in fact place this order.
     Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't have wished a neck injury on my worst enemy, and certainly not my one and only brother, but I AM living what I asked for. (Sometimes you have to stop long enough to try to remember.)  Flipping through my journal pages of weeks ago, I had requested (and still request) to experience life more deeply...savor its moments more reflectively. (Talk about a slam dunk. You want to really get reflective try looking around at others who, like you, know their lives will never be the same again...Talk about a wake up call...If you don't think THAT will streamline your priorities...)
     More than ever my life, today is unfolding...expanding... widening...deepening. I am suddenly off my farm and out of my comfort zone, tossed wide eyed and and looking in all directions in a world I had paid precious little attention to before...Sure there are different kinds of beds, an odd assortment of chairs... there are also dog parks to explore and helpful strangers showing up in just the right instant to lend a hand... This place we've been living (and I'll be writing more on it in days to come) has the oddest assortment of energies, in this vast array of packaging....Sure, there are some physically challenged bodies, but I don't know when I have walked down hallways or sidewalks and observed (much less felt) so much love...This place houses some of the most sensitive and precious people ever to walk (and roll) the planet, and to think, Ed and I have the honor of meeting them.
     So to be clear Ed...Thanks for the gratitude....That, I will never reject...But for the record, my life is anything but "on hold" for you.. To the is about as wide awake and brimming with new experiences as I'd have ever dreamt of living it...What's more each day I'm handed new go along with it...
     For what it's worth,  I don't call that "on hold" ~
     I call that fully living... Living life with meaning...
     To live each day deliberately, with intention, and compassion and hope and appreciation for the smallest of gestures....What could possibly be greater than that?