New Site

I won't be updating this blog anymore; I have finally separated my blogs/websites.

White Stone Studio:
Please visit, have a look around and leave some (constructive) comments!

Also -- my painting party website will be up soon. Stop in and say hello!

Migraine Tales

Yesterday, I woke up in the Marriott in Baltimore, MD., and coffee smelled great and tasted better.

Today, I wake up at home and coffee has (once again) become unbearable; both the smell and taste are abominable. I can't describe the smell; something of a cross between a burning, chemical odor and something rather more indefinable, and I can't say what it is, but the overall effect is horribly nauseating.  I love coffee and rely on it to banish morning brain fog, so to not be able to tolerate it is a bit of a concern; not just because I will miss drinking a nice, hot cup in the mornings while watching the farm come to life, but because I don't know if this malady, called parosmia, will linger and make itself a permanent part of my existence.

The same thing happened roughly six years ago, and it happened in exactly the same way. I woke up one morning, and for the next several months I couldn't be in the same room with coffee. At all. My ENT doc did a work-up and never really reached any definite conclusions; nothing seemed amiss physically. He did suggest I take Alpha Lipoic acid because apparently there have been studies that indicate it is efficacious for smell disorders.

Whether it was the ALA or the disorder (as I experienced it), was self-limiting, the outcome was that coffee eventually began to smell as it should, and we were restored to our previous happy relationship.

This is not to say that my sense of smell was entirely normal over the intervening years; although I experienced no further episodes of parosmia (before today), I did experience phantosmia from time to time; I would smell cigarette smoke, typically during the evening hours, and of course, no one in this house smokes. It wasn't overpowering; more like what you would expect to smell if you were outdoors, approximately ten feet downwind of an individual with a cigarette (clearly I have given this some thought). It was a bit disconcerting, but not alarming. The episode would last about a half-hour or so and then it was over.

Published medical literature on the subject suggests that smell disorder episodes are a part of a cluster of symptoms related to migraine. I am a migraineur, and have been for years. The word is typically defined as "someone who suffers from migraine headaches," but I disagree. Migraine is not a headache. The majority of people who suffer from headaches are, in spite of feeling uncomfortable, able to continue to function; to participate in activities, work, endure noise and light, eat, drink and sleep. I know. I have had headaches. Headaches, however, are not migraine, nor are they in any way comparable. I know this because I also have migraine; or more to the point, migraine syndrome.

Migraine is supposed to fall into categories:

A. some people get auras and no other symptoms;
B. others experience auras and the accompanying head pain, nausea, etc.
C. still others do not experience auras but are treated to the rest of the migraine menu
D. some people experience all of the above

Correct Answer?
For me: D. All of the above

Case in point: Yesterday I woke up with an aura. Thankfully it never progressed beyond that point. It could have, but it didn't. Why it didn't, I have no idea, just as I have no idea why it sometimes does.

Migraine is also not only excruciating head & neck pain, nausea, photosensitivity, etc. It can also apparently manifest itself in other ways, and one of those ways is by distorting or disrupting one's sense of smell, although just why this should be the case is unclear. Olfactory disruption can also be an indicator of seizure activity, but that was ruled out (in my case) years ago.

I suppose I'll order another bottle or two of ALA and see if it helps, even while I wonder, somewhat uneasily, exactly what is going on inside my head.

Of Neighbors, Dogs & Chickens

I think I have to vent - a little. This is the THIRD time - the third, mind you, that our neighbors' dachshund has escaped their backyard and assaulted our chickens. Last week, he killed three of them and injured a fourth in a most gruesome manner (nature being what it is), and now, after finding yet another mini-explosion of feathers at the entrance to the barn (and witnessing said neighbor in our barn, trying to wrangle the dog), one of my new guinea fowl is missing. I don't know yet about the hens; they scattered into the woods and several were attempting to make themselves inconspicuous in the long grass on the hillside; I will have to wait to see who comes back to the barn later - and who doesn't.

Not being a redneck myself (but a true urbanite cast adrift on the hinterlands in an experiment in sustainable living that has been rather less about sustainability and more about renovating a dwelling that had myriad undisclosed issues), I am not inclined to seek the redneck remedy to a nuisance animal; however, my chickens and guineas are defenseless, so this can't go on, right? Our animals live here at our invitation, so to speak, so we owe them our protection.  I suppose something will have to be done. Maybe a call to animal control? Or maybe we should give our neighbors one last chance to keep the dog at home?

I don't know. I don't want, and have tried to avoid, feuding with the locals over anything, much less animals (in short, I have been patient), but really? You know your dog has predatory aggression, and yet, you are ever so casual about keeping him contained?

Update as I write: Guinea MIA has been found. She had flown up to the top of our front porch. As for the others, I won't know until they come in this evening. Yes, our chickens free-range, or rather, pasture range, in the truest sense. They live their lives in the sunshine and fresh air, running about here and there on our property, doing what they do best: Being chickens.

That's not about to change.

We have photos of the hens lost to last week's attack; we will document any further losses.

Back to my giant floor mosaics.

Crazy Life

I haven't posted on here in almost forever. I'm surprised I can even remember the password. Still thinking of moving all my art posts - as well as new work, which is considerable, given that I am creating a giant mosaic on the first floor of my house - to Wordpress. It's all good. I never wanted a cookie-cutter place to hang my hat anyway, and that's exactly what I got - a house that really, and I do mean really, isn't like anything you have seen on HGTV. This place, character. Plus, it's OLD. And it has a bit of vintage cachet (I guess you'd say) in that it was originally a carriage house. Yes, my house really isn't a house in the strict sense of the word. It's a re-invention.

The only thing is - I'm used to this format and dealing with/learning all the schtuff over at will, I predict, turn out to be a drain on my time and probably not worth it anyway. Of course I tend to overthink pretty much everything. And I'm not really a fan of putting a bunch of effort into something only to watch it fizzle (does that mean I'm afraid of failure)? Maybe I'm a self-defeatist.

Or something.

(Update: New blog/website, or the bare bones of it, anyway, is up on It wasn't as difficult as I had talked myself into believing it would be; still, much work remains to be done. No images yet, just placeholder stuff.)

One thing I have done in order to give myself the gift of more time is leave Facebook.  It came to me like an epiphany one night as I was scrolling through all the little bits and bytes posted by me - and my friends -  that are supposed to constitute some variant of "connection." And all of a sudden, I wondered - WHAT am I doing? This is so superficial; in fact, this is exactly the sort of small talkish chit-chat silliness that would induce in me a glassy stare IRL. I detest shallow gabble and Facebook is enthroned upon the short attention span, the quest for novelty, the worship of self & the relationship that is a mile wide and an inch deep.

It may be something, but it isn't friendship.

Exceptions do exist; I have made a few friends whom I consider to be actual friends - as in, when we meet, we have actual conversations that don't skip along the surface like stones across water.

And these folks know who they are.

Anyway - just a brief herro (Charspeak for hello) to anyone out there.

Peace & grace.

The Mists of Time...


    Snow plus rapidly rising temps = beauty.



And the horses love it. Ben and Sally rolled around, kicked up their heels and played in it before settling down to the business of disposing of a great pile of hay.

I snapped this pic of Ben as he stopped for a moment before turning to trot across the paddock again.

In Brief...


...I haven't posted since, well, October, right? Which probably means, of course, that either absolutely nothing is going on (or nothing is going on worth writing about) or so much is going on that I can't find two consecutive minutes to patch together a coherent thought. It's a bit of the former but much more of the latter, and the holiday season has contributed a dash or two of crazy as well. But things are chugging along.

Actually, I am in the process of separating the two blogs - finally. Carriage House Farm will redirect to a new location soon, and White Stone Studio will become a blog. Yay! I have been in the studio more and yeah, enjoying it enormously. And great good fortune has come my way, in the form of blueberry plants (both high-  and low bush varieties), purchased at the end of the season at a whopping 50% off. Since it was too late in the year to put them in the ground, they are currently nestled under a snug blanket of straw by the compost pile, waiting out the winter until they can be transplanted in the spring. My original purchase numbered twenty-nine plants, but I sold a few to a friend, so I now have twenty-two; they are varied so pollination (and, subsequently fruit) shouldn't be a problem.

And who doesn't love blueberries? They're basically the BEST fruit you can eat. This year I plan to bring down a few wild raspberry cultivars (the best ones I can find) from the woods. They taste okay but with a little TLC they should yield a tastier fruit. My grape vines had been cut back last year so they probably won't bear much this year.

I have also ordered ten new trees; several each of peach, cherry and apple and two flowering Dogwoods. Having planted two varieties of plum and one variety of apple last year, the additional trees will give us a very good start on our orchard. My garden is nearly planned and I have received my seed catalogues in the mail; all that remains now is to send in my order.

The chickens have been molting at intervals. One of our Delawares was really rather alarming looking for about a month; she looked like something you'd see under plastic wrap in a supermarket (with a few poofs of down clinging to her), except she was scratching around the barnyard diligently searching for bugs. Her new set of feathers have been restored to her and she looks beautiful now, but for a few weeks...yeah. Iffy. But then any molting bird looks a bit pitiful.

The chicks born over the summer have now become a laying pullet (at nineteen weeks of age), and a huge white rooster, with an apricot colored barred pattern over his wings. He's Buddy's offspring, probably by a Buff Orpington, and he's enormous, very long legs, quite beautiful. The ladies are still laying ten - fourteen eggs per day, even though I am not lighting the coop and they have my express permission to take a vacation. They are as busy as ever.

I have at least one Silkie roo (and prayerfully not two), and three of the Guinea fowl (one female and two males) have been relocated to my neighbor's farm. I still have one female and two males, and will probably acquire one more female this spring for a more balanced ratio. They seem happier than they were with four males and only two females in their group, except for the odd male out, and I'll remedy his romantic melancholy soon.

I'll update with photos as soon as I am able. It's Christmas Day and I am in my pajamas, reading, watching old movies, relaxing after a wonderful day yesterday of family, friends, food (yummy food!) and so much more, all done in honor of the birth of our King.

So Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! More to come...

Time Out For...


...some really yummy stuff.

As in...freshly picked, and I mean right off the vine, tomatoes, of all varieties (red, orange, purple and yellow), beautiful Heirlooms, roasted with smoked French Sea Salt with red wine and juniper, basil and/or oregano, garlic and a drizzle of real olive oil.

I must have roasted, bagged and frozen 10 - 15 large pans of these beauties. They will form the basis for some delicious sauces and soups over the winter months. The bounty of fresh food this autumn has been amazing, and humbling; the ritual of the harvest, of gathering food and preserving it for later use connects one to the earth in such a way that one tends to reflect; in my case, upon the Creator as the One who sustains all that is needful for food to grow. (Yes, I know there is famine; I know there is and has been drought, but there is also abundance, abundance that ought to spill over to fill the baskets of those whose harvests have been slim. It's shameful that what arises in people's hearts to do so often does not, cannot take shape because of policy or the political jockeying of men and women who lay claim to authority. I mean...just TRY to give away surplus crops if you're a farmer in this country. See what happens. Likewise, so much food sent to those who need it so often becomes a weapon in the hands of those whose aim is Power and the subjugation of their fellow human beings.)

Friends of mine who are expert in the craft of canning generously filled some jars with sauce, salsa and soup; they are in a place of honor in my pantry. I also have sauerkraut fermenting naturally on my counter top;  I estimate it will be ready right around New Year's Eve (and it will probably be spectacular). And if all goes well, I should see some northern high bush blueberry plants arriving by mail to be planted in the ground before the end of the month.

I am truly grateful to God for this incredible bounty and for the neighbors and friends who have shared so freely and generously with us.Would that we should all love our neighbors so.


Need I say more? And my neighbor gave me two! Sooo cute. I mean, really. I am sorely tempted to buy a couple of chicken diapers, plunk them on the little sweeties and bring them in the house. But I have a feeling DH would be severely annoyed by such a move on my part, so they're staying in the coop, but man. Such cuddly little things!

I Should Just Call This...


...The chicken blog. Man. I am BORING.

Yes. Other events are transpiring in my life; it's just that, being a private person, there's only so much I am willing to blab about on the Interwebz. So, chickens it is.

Lookit my baby roo - all of 20 weeks old and such a pretty, laid-back boy! He only recently began crowing (seriously - maybe Sunday) and it's hilarious. Sort of a "whoooo who who who whoooooo" sound, all hoarse, like a teenage boy whose voice is changing.

He's a cross between Stonewall and...? I have Red Stars, Buff Orpingtons, Delawares, Black Australorps, Silver-Laced Wyandottes and Barred Rocks. Anyone want to venture a guess?

On a much sadder note, one of my Red Stars has been missing since Friday. I have no idea what took her (airborne raptor or ground-dwelling predator), but I miss her. I have been very vigilant - and very much a presence around the flock (much to Stonewall's annoyance) since then, but I can't babysit them all the time. They are now free-ranging part of the day and going into the run earlier; hopefully that will mitigate any further losses. :(

Here is Hazelnut, one of the other mixes from the April hatch. I had thought she was the result of a Stonewall X Barred Rock hen, but now I'm not so sure. She is barred, and Barred Plymouth Rock Roosters always pass along barring to offspring (dominant trait). However - the plot thickens: I'm not 100% sure Buddy is a Barred Rock Rooster. I was looking at him the other day and he looks a bit like a Cuckoo Marans to me. Would a Barred Rock hen pass along the barring trait to offspring? I dunno.

Color me confused, but this girl is stocky, round and wide for her age (20 weeks); she's every bit as big as the full-grown hens, and I like her, even if I really have no idea how she came to be (genetically speaking). Oh, and she's laying little brown pullet eggs.


The latest batch of baby chicks are now three weeks old and furiously feathering out; the one on the right bears a resemblance to a couple of the chicks born in April who are now closing in on 19 weeks old. It will be interesting to see if she will be jet black like the others (except for the Barred Rock mix, who is a nice big girl with an ambiguous barring pattern, and the young roo, who is resplendent in his emerging suit of blue-green iridescence with bronze hackle and saddle feathers). These babies are also growing up in the coop and doing very well. I think next year I may buy hatching eggs from people who raise the breeds I want and let a broody raise them. It makes life so much easier.

Update 9/18/2012: The yellow chick is now five weeks old - and is bigger than any five-week-old chick I have seen thus far. He or she (not sure at this point - but leaning toward this one being a roo) has feathered out quickly and has a very different feathering pattern than the other chick. I'm very interested to see how this one continues to develop.


Sally streaming past the fence line at dusk. She looks like a ghost horse. For some reason, I like this photo.

By Any Other Name

A project I have assigned to myself that I absolutely must accomplish is the propagation of my roses. They may be about to pass out of my hands forever, and I have worked long and hard over the course of many years to cultivate them, that they may bloom robustly every year, scattering the grass with pale pink petals when the blossoms drop after a period of weeks. They are beautiful, and I want them to flourish here - who knows but that they may be uprooted where they are and thrown out on the trash heap? They do have thorns, and thorns are an inconvenience. Not everyone can appreciate the prickly beauty of a rose.

It is therefore imperative that I don't allow the tyranny of the banal to so overwhelm my days that I don't give the time to this endeavor that it deserves. Although I don't feel an urge to list them, there are reasons why this is something I just need to do.

Some photos from a couple of years ago:

Broody, Take 3

DH, who has become the unwitting (and loving) co-caretaker of an increasingly odd* assortment of animals (because A. he has a wife who loves critters and B. he is extremely good natured about it all), was, a few months ago, somewhat taken aback when our first set of broodies presented us with four baby chicks. "I thought chickens were simple, and here I find out that they have MOODS," he complained. Well, yes. They have moods. They go broody, because this is what they were designed for - to put it clinically, to propagate their species, or, to put it a bit more warmly, to brood over, hatch and rear babies. Life is insistent, life will have its way, and unless one has been completely eaten up by cynicism, one can't help but find it a marvelous thing.

Those four baby chicks, by the way, have matured into three robust and hardy pullets and one beautiful cockerel, all of them having benefited from hybrid vigor, the result of cross-breeding. At fifteen weeks of age, the pullets are nearly as large as the full grown hens.

So, once again, life won out. A third hen (an Australorp, but a different one) went broody several weeks ago, and despite my efforts to persuade her to take up other projects (like laying eggs), she stuck to her guns, and consequently this was the scene in the coop this weekend:

* By way of example, we have a Red Star chicken named Little Char who has decided she no longer wants to be a chicken. She has moved in with the guineas. The guineas, for their part, seem happy to have her on board. Little Char steadfastly refuses the chicken coop in the evening and lingers by the door to the guinea coop until I let her in, where she contentedly roosts with her adopted family until morning.

So there it is.

UPDATE: I tried the feather sexing technique on the chicks at the day-old mark and according to this site: Feather Sexing Pullets & Cockerels - I should have two females. Here's hoping.

More Progress

Although it seems as though the to-do list is never-ending, my schedule has been balancing out of late and allowing me more time in my loft studio. Did I ever mention that there is a huge room on the second floor of the barn that will one day, Lord willing, be completely made over into studio space? It's enormous, and already framed out; it will need insulation, drywall, flooring and a heating/cooling system, but the "bones" are there. Lots of natural light, quiet, away from the house. One of these days, perhaps once more pressing matters have been addressed.

Anyway - much has been happening in the last few days (the gas and oil companies are in the area) - but more on that in a day or two.

This is coming along nicely and although it's drawn on rough watercolor paper (not really ideal), I like the way it's starting to come together. This piece, and a few others (providing my schedule stays uneventful) should be finished soon and I'll post more photos.

And of course, I forgot to include the boy's hands, which are holding the cat. *Sigh* If you look closely, you can see them in the second photo. Looks like I'll have to try this again.

Rumblings & Rain

I saw the sky darken and the motion lights on the barn come on, so I grabbed the camera and went for a walk (yes, I like to be outdoors during a thunderstorm). The wind was blowing, the trees were dancing, and the clouds were diving down from heaven.

Looking uphill from the back of the barn. 

The top of the barn, framed by swirling storm clouds.

The wind begun to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low,
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.

The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.

The wagons quickened on the streets,
The thunder hurried slow;
The lightning showed a yellow beak,
And then a livid claw.

The birds put up the bars to nests,
The cattle fled to barns;
There came one drop of giant rain,
And then, as if the hands

That held the dams had parted hold,
The waters wrecked the sky,
But overlooked my father's house,
Just quartering a tree.

                                            ~ Emily Dickinson

It's Spa Day!

And the horses couldn't have been more thrilled! In fact, had they suddenly been blessed with the ability to communicate verbally, they could not have articulated more clearly how perfectly delighted martyred they felt at having been led away from their pile of hay to stand for the farrier. The entire enterprise was accompanied by deep sighs, face-making, half-hearted attempts (when they decided they were just soooo tired, too tired, in fact, to stand up) to lay on the farrier, and other minor bits of nonsense. Of course, my horses are simply too well-mannered and polite to engage in any real misbehavior (they pick up their feet when asked and never offer to kick, strike or bite), but because the day was warm and humid, all they asked of life was to be allowed to eat, drink and laze the afternoon away. Standing for the farrier represented work, and, as anyone who is owned by horses knows, equines avoid work most assiduously when possible, particularly on hot summer days.
Mr. "B" (our farrier said I could use pics of him as long as I didn't use his name. He simply doesn't need any more clients) works on Ben's right front hoof. Mr. "B" is an excellent farrier; he takes his time, lets me know if anything might be amiss, gives me suggestions on hoof care and never, ever loses his cool with the horses. Farriery is seriously hard work, and he does a fantastic job.

Ben having his back left hoof done and...

 ...making faces at me (I'm holding him) while Mr. "B" re-sets his back shoes. Ben is a really tall horse (17.1h), which tends to intimidate people; however, he is also one of the sweetest horses I have ever met. He just turned 24 years old this past April.

 Nicely trimmed feet.

Then it was Sally's turn...

Getting her in place. The Guineas seem concerned.

And the trimming commences. Mr. "B" uses a rasp to file down parts of the hoof.

Sally bears her fate with patient resignation. Actually, she's very nearly asleep.
Sally had thoughtfully rolled in some mud just prior to her appointment with the farrier and I didn't have time to brush it off, so she looks a little, well, muddy. At 25+ years old (at least), Sally is our Old Lady, but she still likes to go riding, provided she doesn't have to go very far, or move very fast. She has a very smooth, sweet little trot and is an all-around nice horse.

Here we are in the homestretch - last hoof that needed a trim and re-set, and then Sally was free to return to her stall where, along with Ben, she received several apple & carrot treats by way of compensation for the indignities visited upon her person, along with a couple of flakes of hay and a re-fill of her water bucket.

Ah. Life is good.

Can You Say...

0 comments rooster?

I can!!! His hackle feathers are growing in and you can just see the pointy saddle feathers starting to fall over his back. He looks like he might mature into a good-looking boy, but time will tell. He's eleven weeks old today, but so far I haven't heard him crow, or even make an attempt at it.

The other chicks look to be pullets - this is the only one with such prominent and brightly colored comb and wattles. Sexing them by appearance is hardly the most reliable way to go about it; nonetheless, this one is a boy.

Remember those cute little Guinea keets? They're growing up into some seriously funny looking birds, and believe me, they are as entertaining as they appear. The scourge of ticks everywhere, they have been in a run adjacent to their coop for a couple of weeks, learning their "territory," preparing for the big moment when they will be allowed out to free-range and snap up every wretched biting bug and garden pest that they can get their beaks on. We finally arrived at suitable names for the six of them:


We may have to revise their names if we find we have more than two females - which is a possibility - but for now, these are the names that our Guineas definitely do not answer to and in fact, elaborately ignore.


Made Fried Irish Cabbage (a jazzed up recipe) for dinner tonight, served with buttered noodles and a thick slab of homemade bread slathered with European-style butter (yes, there is a difference). 'Twas very, very good, and all of it real food, raised locally and obtained from clean sources.

This is how I make it:

1 12 - 14 oz. package bacon, no nitrates or nitrites, very little sugar
1/4 cup bacon drippings
2 cloves garlic
1 med. onion
1 large green pepper, chopped fine
1 large red pepper, chopped fine
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 small head cabbage, cored and finely chopped or shredded
1/4 c. chicken broth
Ground black pepper/salt to taste

(Olive oil as needed)

Cook bacon in a deep skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 1/4 cup drippings in skillet.
Saute finely chopped garlic, onion and green and red peppers in bacon fat until soft
Add chopped tomatoes
Add cabbage and cook over medium heat until cabbage wilts, 5 to 7 minutes. Add a dash of olive oil if necessary.
Add 1/4 c. chicken broth, combine all ingredients in skillet well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add bacon back, crumbling over cabbage. Stir and simmer until bacon is warmed, 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt/black pepper. Serve over buttered noodles.


I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the subject of natural healing. My paternal grandmother, who passed away in the 1980's, had an extensive knowledge of the medicinal use of food and herbs/spices, which, for some inexplicable reason, no one in her immediate family bothered to ever learn, preserve or pass down. My father and his siblings grew up wearing medicine bags - a practice they tired of and cast aside once they were grown and out in the world - but (oddly enough), they were rarely sick as children. Although Grandma was a Christian and this practice may have represented a bit of lingering syncretism (likely a legacy from previous generations), my understanding is that she chose to focus on the actual properties of the herbs, flowers, etc., she used in her healing work as opposed to seeing them in an esoteric light.

All that to say that, having fought a few recent battles with inflammation, and upon finding that I'm the object of affection of biting insects this summer (and no, DH isn't affected. Go figure. I'm covered in itchy welts and he is completely unscathed), I am rather more attentive than I typically am to the  possibilities conferred by the medicinal use of herbs and spices. None of this is actually new to me, but it may be time both to make a habit (in terms of practice) of what I do know and seek out new sources of information. I wish I knew what my grandmother knew.

Turmeric, for example, is a potent anti-inflammatory that also possesses antioxidant properties. It has evidently been the subject of a number of clinical studies attempting to ascertain its effect on various disorders. Early results seem promising. Ginger is another powerful anti-inflammatory/antioxidant. And of course, my seasonal favorite - blueberries! I picked enough to fill two buckets just the other day and plan to return before the month is out for another round - one simply can't eat too many blueberries. My opinion, of course. No one has to agree with me.

Disclaimer: I'm not a healthcare professional. I'm an artisan/educator, and I'm not making any recommendations, so let's get that on the record. OK? OK, good.

However, Hippocrates said "let your food be your medicine" (he was the same guy who also said "first, do no harm" - not in the Oath, but in the Corpus). Westerners have, for too long perhaps, allowed others to do their thinking for them where these matters are concerned. While there is a great deal of quackery out there, insisting on its cacophonous claims,  I believe there is much to be said for an informed review of the evidence for the use of God-given herbs, spices and other foodstuffs in the cause of wellness and good health.

And that's where it all stands at the moment - this moment - in time. More later.


DH and I made a quick get-away a week or so ago (leaving the animals in the hands of a kindly and experienced temporary care-giver) and headed to Fallingwater for a couple of days. For those of you who may not know, Fallingwater is American architect Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece of organic architectural design. Surrounded by a woodland and situated over Bear Run Creek, the house features floors made from sandstone quarried on-site (ideas!) and is primarily fabricated from concrete and steel. Built by the Kaufmann family as a "cabin in the woods" in the late 1930's for $155, 000 (including the $8, 000 Wright was paid for his designs), the house was given, with artwork and furnishings intact, to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in the early 1960's.

I haven't been to Fallingwater in a very long time. It is still an amazing conceptual work of art. And the place smells great! - moss, trees, water, earth - the elements of nature, along with the arresting visual impact of the house, inside and out, combine to give the viewer a nearly complete sensory experience.
Plus - we were able to get away from the endless work and challenges (i.e. problems) here and actually relax. It was fun. And having fun is important.
older post