You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘mountains’ tag.

Today I gathered the three of you around

to apologize

Not a new path, but a re-commitment

To your youth

the path we now walk together

until your womanhood

forging your own

A re-commitment to your soft skin

your innocence

the sweet knowing that peers out from behind your eyes

An acknowledgment of the importance of

now

that Spirit entrusted me with your well-being

The original intent

going back to the ground from which I was formed

you were formed

To learn there

in the warmth of a sun cut by the limbs of trees

A re-commitment to out foremothers

their well trodden path

not a new path

 

Today, Confluence Herbals and Spiritual Coaching is born, and I feel the relief and exhaustion that comes after the labor that is listening to Spirit.

Trail to Bad Branch Falls

Trail to Bad Branch Falls

Winter in the mountains is not for the faint of heart.  As much as I tend to dread the heat of the summer, it is most always an allowing sort of weather.  Winter brings further isolation for a mother of small children.  While a romp in the snow is fun, it only lasts about 10 -20 minutes for my girls before they holler – COLD.

This winter though has been more than mild.  I feel like more days than not we’ve been able to get outside.  This is our fifth day in a row without leaving the Confluence and I was so grateful to get to take a walk and see some sun.  The last snow is melted off and only leaves some heavy icicles hanging from the cliff sides.

I did really well with isolation when we first moved back to the mountains.  But, now, I remember how easy it was as a teenager for me to get sad about not being able to be with friends.  I’m a loner at heart, but even for someone like me, there can be too much alone.  I remain the only woman on the place.  John and I are the only family.  The other full time resident on the holler is a bachelor, and for our landlord this is a warm weather home where his family comes to visit.  So, when I see someone, it is usually a man.  A very helpful, kind, and fun to talk to man, so I’m not complaining.  No way.  But, sometimes girl talk would be nice.  I find myself missing the little community of mothers that the city gave me.  Folks to trade babysitting duties with for date nights.  I haven’t had one of those in a long, long time.  Hanging out with my sister and best friend on weekends.  I think that is what I miss most about the city.  That and access to decent food (organics and such) on a regular basis.  I don’t know how to describe it really because I do know people here, and in our homeschool groups.  I see the homeschool families monthly.  Yet, time and opportunity for those deeper connections is short.  We are all spread out so.

I dream of an intentional community where I can still live privately, yet, work as a part of a functioning group that is there for one another.  I’m feeling kind of down this winter.  No, winter in the mountains is not for the faint of heart.

Last week, we were away from home for most of the week.  It was Science Week for Confluence Academy.  We had to take one of the family to see a doctor in Lexington and we had two field trips while there and then two more when we got back to the mountains.

Here is a captioned pictorial review of our adventures!  I must say that at The Living Arts and Science Center there was an awesome forest exhibit that was so engrossing I forgot to take pictures.  There was a worksheet to take you through each station and a probing question.  It was perfect and the girls had crazy fun.  Not to mention it was FREE!

We really had a great trip and it was much needed.

Getting cozy in a fluffy hotel bed.

Getting cozy in a fluffy hotel bed.

IMG_2288

Exploring the impact of paper on our forest friends with an endangered species and recycling exhibit at The Living Arts and Science Center.

IMG_2292

Making an endangered Noonday Snail figure for play.

IMG_2293

I found my friend’s habitat!

IMG_2297

Enjoying some kinetic energy at Monkey Joe’s!

IMG_2298

Big sissy jumps too fast to catch her airtime.

IMG_2304

I take what my big sissies call Move Your Body classes at Confluence Academy. Today I am exploring the function of my hands.

IMG_2276

Tired in a sea of green downy softness.

IMG_2308

Some bearded dragon action at The East Kentucky Science Center in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. We also saw a planetarium show, and experienced hurricane winds in a simulator. We bought some fancy polished rocks and astronaut ice cream for an inexpensive treat.

IMG_2320

My 5 Senses! Ivy having fun at the preschool work table during Science Day at Kentucky Mountain Homeschool Association’s monthly meeting.

IMG_2322

Discovering just how well Dawn dish soap repels grease (fat). Also, during Science Day for KMHSA.

I finally got hold of the camera, took some pictures, and then let Deladis take some on her own.  I’m going to share our last few weeks with you mostly in pictures.

Easter, Redbuds, and Dogwoods – The Tale not Found in the Bible

Today is Good Friday for Christian believers and others who are inspired by the life of Jesus the Christ.

“Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said.  “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Jesus answered. “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.  Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” – John 19:10-11

Jesus accepted what was for what it was.  He lived the Now and He realized the essence of His being protected by Father God.  My maternal grandmother taught me that the redbud and dogwood trees represent some significant things in this story.  They grow wild in these hills.  Many plant them in their yard.

The redbud was once a large tree with large white blossoms.  Judas Iscariot, after betraying Jesus, hung himself on one of these large trees.  It shriveled up and the blossoms turned pink with their shame.

The dogwood represents the events of The Holy Week.  You can read more about how by clicking these statements.Spring has gotten into my being more this year than ever in my life.  I have never been fond of rainy up and down weather, but this year the beauty of creation has been recognized as a gift in the core of who I am.  The most beautiful part of the redbud and dogwood story is that they bloom around the same time, the redbud a bit ahead of the dogwood.

Deladis Won a Blue Ribbon at the Homeschool Science Fair for her Tree Project!

She worked so so hard!  I can’t believe this is a kindergartener’s work!

It’s Electric – Boogie-Woogie-Woogie

The Chickens – Photos by Deladis Rose – Titles by Mommy

Where's the Beef

The Peach

The Ladies

Cockfight

Family Man

We're Havin' a Party

I'd Eat One if I Could Fit it in My Mouth

And Finally – The Mole Killer – Not for the Squeamish – Photo by Deladis Rose



This is a pen and ink drawing John did of me picking through the carrot harvest in October.  It was close to my birthday I think.  I’m ready to take this stance any day now for planting season.  It was spitting some snow today though, after a glorious weekend.  Deladis can’t seem to get over our “family time”, and honestly her mother can’t either.

It seems like our “family time” is too here and there.  This weekend I think we were all ready just to be there for each other, and it felt perfect.  Saturday we went to the Mexican restaurant to eat, then to play with some ferrets at the pet store.  After that, we went to the Isom Vendor’s Mall where I found a book that I had checked out from the library, hadn’t finished, and was hoping to buy at some point, for two dollars.  It was one of those things where the Creator is putting things and people in my path to show me that this new path I have come across is ok and worth exploring.  I now own a copy of the book.  Then, we went to an ice cream shop in Vicco where Deladis got chocolate chip cookie dough, and Ivy birthday cake ice cream.  Deladis said, “This ice cream sure tastes fresh.”  Next, we went to a music store for John some strings.

Sunday, we went to church, came home, had supper, then walked up on the cemetary hill for a sweet snack.  Lars and Lucky followed us as always.  We sat, talked, and enjoyed the moss and the view.  Deladis said, “I just love our family time.”

While it seems so simple, it isn’t.  It feels new.  It feels good.  John and I both got a little more regular paying/scheduled jobs after Christmas this year, and this has allowed days like this weekend.  This change has put us both to thinking, as change can often do, about what is possible, and what our priorities are.

Family and faith should receive most of my time.  One day I’ll be eye to eye with two grown women, and I don’t want to wonder where those days in between went.  I can scramble and fight, and try to do my thing, but if the thing isn’t the right fit at the right time, no amount of scrambling or fighting will get me anywhere.  The time I gave to that goal, will be for naught because I was too set in my ways to think of an alternative route.  Or a more favorable goal.

I’m excited about the days ahead.  The possibilities and even getting out of this tight coat I’ve been wearing for far too long.  Spring has sprung.  The bushes outside have buds.  There are more activities to be found.  And we are renewing ourselves – as a family.

One new thing I’m doing is offering online Lamaze Childbirth Preparation classes and Early Pregnancy classes for any woman anywhere with any schedule. 🙂  Thinking outside the box.  For more information http://birthtrue.wordpress.com/online-classes-e-courses

The weather has given us a break, and the girls and I took a hike this past Saturday.  It was lovely.  We got home and both the girls fell asleep by 6:30 and didn’t wake up again until the next morning!

Start with a nice blue sky.

Add a warm hilltop breeze

Two lovely little girls

 

A release of penned up energy waiting all winter long

And a few soft smiles

One portly little cat who follows along behind like a dog

Neglected hunting cabin

 

That had to have once been loved

A few open old deep mines

 

An old logging road

Big old maple leaves

A couple of rolled over rocks

Blow one last kiss to the sun

Explore Kentucky… Explore the World…  Those words were the mantra of my time spent in early new motherhood when we lived in Louisville.  We have never bought cable or satelitte since we’ve been married, but we were excited when we got almost 7 channels on our TV with a regular antennae.  I love KET, all the versions.  I grew up watching KET (Kentucky Educational Television) and the PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) programming they aired.  Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow, The Write Channel, were staples of my education, and I have to say it is a huge part of what gave me the courage to call myself a writer.  A huge part of who I am as a person.

Deladis was about 2 years old when she was watching evening programming with me as I rocked her to sleep.  Explore Kentucky… Explore the World… flowed out of the television and Deladis repeated the words with the same cadence and tone as it was spoken by the narrator.  My eyes welled with tears.  It was one of the first times I realized that she heard words like I do.  Hearing those words spoken in that way for that KET advertisement made me proud to be a Kentuckian.  I loved hearing them, and in them Deladis heard the same value.  KET and PBS produce such a quality programming, which is so hard to find now days.

Now, that we live back in the hills, we don’t get any channels.  We watch television and movies through Netflix.  I watch KET/PBS anytime I get the chance – renting their shows through Netflix and watching for free online through their websites.  Public broadcasting is still such a part of our lives through radio as well.  NPR and PRI programming through WEKU and are my chosen sources for news, education, and entertainment in the car and at home.  Not only that, but WMMT (Mountain Community Radio) is our community’s (Appalachia’s) leading source for programming that is at the heart of our culture and community.  I host a show on there once a month called Mountain Talk. 

It was only a week or so ago, when no radio was playing, or TV going, Deladis broke out in her play as perfect as a radio announcer and said – “P…R…I… Public Radio International.”  I felt the tears well again.  Her gorgeous child’s voice, hearing words so beautifully.  It’s an awesome thing for me as her mother to hear.

So, right now my heart hurts over the funding cuts proposed by our Congress to all public broadcasting – radio and television.  It would mean the end of so many of the shows I value so much.  Not only have they proposed this but also complete cuts of funding for preventing teen and unplanned young adult pregnancy programs, and cutbacks for initiatives geared toward maternal and child health.  I have no clue what is going on here.  I understand we need to budget, but there are so many programs wasting government money, not to mention the government itself, that I can’t see justification in cuts such as these.  I don’t like to get political here, but in this case I have to write on it.  Funding cuts for the arts, public broadcasting, family health, education, etc… really???

Read KET’s urgent plea here.  Make your voice heard.  Mr. Fred Rogers isn’t around to do it for us this time as he did in 1969.  Can someone… can we fill his shoes?

Yesterday, we went on a trip spearheaded by illustrious Nathan Hall to tour the Abingdon, Virginia Farmer’s Market and the organic farm of Anthony Flaccavento.  He is the director of Appalachian Sustainable Development, an organization that supports local economy, especially in the form of sustainable agriculture and local eating.  Flaccavento along with others in the area brought about a change in the local economy of a region of Appalachia that is an inspiration to folks living in the coalfields of eastern Kentucky.  Opposed to common thought, not all of Appalachia is filled with coal nor is dealing with the results of surface mining (strip mining or mountaintop removal – all other words for it).  The questions for us in the coalfields being whether a coal economy is serving us now, or whether it will provide an economy for us in the future.  However, many Appalachian towns are looking to rebuild or redevelop their local economies in order to provide opportunities for their citizens and to keep their towns alive and thriving.  Some see the answer as being the urbanization of Appalachia, or the move to a more universal American pop culture for all.  Others see Appalachia surviving on a more modern version of going back to its roots, and that is where the Haywood’s fall.

Hello, this is me, and I will be your tour guide for this adventure showing some of the possibilities for a future for the residents of eastern Kentucky.

Not feeling well. Sorry I'm not the picture of health on such a healthy outing.

This is Nathan Hall, the brains and organizer of the adventure without which folks like me would not be able to focus enough to pull this sort of thing off. 🙂

He’s fixing to be a world traveller soon, to learn more about sustainable economies throughout the world.  He’ll be leaving the holler on July 22nd and will be blogging about his adventures at There and Back.  My greatest wish for the year without him is that John and I can continue to move forward with all the biggness that has come about at The Confluence this year.

Our first stop in Abingdon was the Farmer’s Market.  It was lovely to see such a bustling place in a small town.  There were about 60-80 vendors.  It warmed my heart to see that many of them were family operations with the children fully involved and content to be there.

All of these were area farmer’s, merchants, food businesses, and crafts people.  One farmer recently said he makes $30,000 a year off of a little more than an acre of veggies.  That would be a nice living for our family.  The ownership of your own livlihood is a great thing.

There was a wide variety of things represented there both organic and conventional.

Aren't these huge!

 

Purty, purty

 

Meeting the needs of yourself and others through special skills.

The market is completely ran by the growers/vendors, but is supported by the city.  The market is its own entity with its own board.

Next, we took a lunch at Harvest’s Table, a restaurant running on the influence of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  In the foyer, local artists, writers, musicians, and crafts people are supported through the selling of their wares.  The food is all local and seasonal.  I had the corn and tomato salad with a garnish of fruit and goat cheese.  It was so yummy!  I didn’t expect it to be when I saw it, but it was.  Another interesting thing was all of the soups were chilled for summer – cantaloupe, cucumber, and gazpacho. 

After eating, we went out to Anthony’s farm.

hoop house tunnel

 

grass fed livestock

 

garlic drying in the barn

The farm was not tremendously large, but it was much bigger than what we are attempting at this time.  Flaccavento has employees and interns on the farm.  He is certified organic, and uses methods that I have never seen before to achieve store quality results.  I’m used to traditional, personal gardening techniques, and it was all a little overwhelming and intimidating.  We are definitely not ready for large scale production, but we can work up to producing for more than just our family, learning as we go and following the market.

Flaccavento and other farmers sell to area grocery stores, restaurants, and at the Farmer’s Market.  They have developed a distribution center called Appalachian Harvest that works with grocery stores and some restaurants.

It was most definitely an motivating trip.  John says we’ll be old before we see any kind of business result from our work.  He insists we must build slowly, and on that point I agree.  But, I think with focused work, we can begin to broaden our views sooner rather than later.  I have dreams, and a lot of the time they leave me pining for the grass is greener rigormoroar.  I see us working side by side on something that brings us even more together.  Making our living through our own two hands, enjoying the land, and using our talents in a more relaxed way.  Creating something to pass on to our girls.  I try to live in the present.  I try.

This is a video that made me so happy to see.  Leave it to Sesame Street to help us all have a positive, pure respresentation in the media of this world.  This clip is of a mailman who delivered mail in our area (not too far from where we live, in the same county) in the 60s/70s.  Roads like we have today are relatively new here.  Most of our parents and grandparents grew up kind of like our girls are growing up on our holler.  No “true” road, or a creekbed for a road.  Because of this, horse was still the most convenient means of gettting from here to there.  In the county where we live, many women were still having their babes at home, doing the doctoring for their families, organizing church meetings, and teaching the children the 3Rs at this time.  It has not been that long ago that many of us lived in intentional communities where most of our needs could be met within a few miles from home.  This was out of necessity, but something that, if you were to talk to the elders in our hills, was a thing of pride.  I think our future will look similar.  Our economy will eventually return to our own two hands, and be ours to create.  The truth is that Appalachia is not urban, and cannot be made urban, and any effort to do so will only continue to bring ruin to our people.  OK, off my soapbox.  I hope you enjoy the video.

Things are so busy here!  I’m going this weekend to beautiful Asheville, NC to get some prenatal yoga training for pregnancy and labor.  I was on the radio last night.  I’m working on another radio piece to air in May.  Preparing for some upcoming classes.  Then, Deladis starts real kindergarten in August, so I am ordering the curriculum because we will be staying home for school for sure.  I am so darn excited!  Our school is The Confluence Homeschool, and we are eclectic homeschoolers with a seasonally inspired curriculum that fits in with our lifestyle really well.  And to beat it all – the curriculum I have found is only $50 for the whole year!

Our garden is going well, though I haven’t gotten to work it much myself. 😦  Spinach is ready for eating and the broccoli has sprung up real nice in the last week.  I hope to plant some zucchini and squash when I get home and maybe some corn and beans.  Ivy has been sick and where we moved the garden away from the cabin, it has been hard for me to get down there to work.

We had our first collective meeting for The Confluence, which is what we are calling our project here.  We are looking to organize our educational efforts into a real opportunity for us and anyone interested.  We’ll have art, traditional music, history, sustainable living, childbirth education, food ways, and so much more. hehe

I hope to be able to write more as we get into May.  Things are really clumped up after the hard winter, but I think it will slow down again soon.  Hopefully, I’ll have more pictures. 🙂

Dots of color through greener grass…

Fairy houses turn glorious with decoration…

The individual asks to be heard amongst all the bloom…

The redbud tree dots pink and purple…

The legend as told by my grandmother (Barbara (Johnson) Mullins Fletcher) is that Judas Iscariot hung himself on a redbud.  Redbuds used to be a large tree with bountiful white blossoms.  Judas chose this tree to take his life after betraying Jesus.  When he did so, the tree withered down and turned pink with embarrassment and thus we have the redbud.

Everyone is curious…

The trees aren’t the only thing budding.  Deladis spends her days creating.  An artist she might make…

God bless her. 😉

I probably won’t be posting or be able to answer comments for the next week or so.  The Haywoods have some work to do.  Hope to see some old friends as well. 🙂  I’ll be back soon.

Categories

About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Please Ask

I ask that you please ask for permission before copying any pictures from this site. I don't mind using quotations in part from the text (please link to this site), but if you would like to use a whole text, please contact me. I want to be generous, but I would also like to know who is using this content. Thank you!