How I Named My Blog

Being a poet and an occasional pun-ster, the "Not on the Road" title is multi-layered. First, it was a response to old Jack K's "On the Road," since I'm definitely not he. Also, I've moved around a bit throughout my life (like in the last two and a half years!), and I'm sick of being ON the road. And of course, being an animal lover and very active in dog rescue work, I don't like seeing animals, wild or domestic ON the road, dead or alive.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

I've been remiss . . .

What's the point of a blog if you don't post to it, right? I wish I had the discipline of Jon Katz (see www.bedlamfarm.com and go to Farm Journal)

As of tomorrow, I will have been here at the goat farm for 3 weeks. I'm gradually settling in. There is never a dull moment, and there's absolutely no time to get bored. I drop into bed every night.

Heath, an English Setter I've been fostering since January, 2008, leaves for his new home tomorrow. It's an awesome home, so I feel good about him leaving.

Meanwhile, Hyacinth has now had two close encounters of the chicken kind. In both instances, the hen was merely subjected to a very bad plucking job, but was otherwise unscathed. I keep telling her that birddogs are supposed to POINT the live birds, and then when someone yells, "Dead bird!" she's to retrieve a DEAD bird, but she still thinks she's supposed to chase down the live bird and pull its feathers out. I'm thinking of getting her a subscription to Gun Dog Magazine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The mid-move state of the house

Paintings disappear from the walls, and shelves gape. I tell the dogs, "95 hours until goat farm." I've barely made a dent in the upstairs or the utility/laundry room. Emz arrives on Thursday. Her job is to help me achieve and maintain some momentum. More boxes are needed. Some guy wants to buy the Hoosier cabinet in the dining room. I wonder what else I can sell him. No eggs in the refrigerator, but I don't want to buy any now. 95 hours until I'll have all the fresh eggs I can stand to eat. The heck with cholesterol levels.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm into The Count Down.

One week from now, I'll be living in Ohio after 26 years in Kentucky. Fortunately, where I'm going in Ohio is slightly rolling -- like Shelby County, KY. But I'm sure there will be moments of culture shock.

Rarely are we ever given the opportunity to start life over again. I feel like that's what's happening, and it's a welcome gift. Is this how cats feel when they move on to the next of their nine lives? Is this what it feels like to be in a witness protection program? My whole identity of who I thought I was is changing. On one hand, there's apprehension, on the other hand -- all of my life I've longed to live on a farm. This qualifies as a prayer answered, a wish come true, a dream becoming real.

I need to remember to pack a stash of grits.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things we find when we are packing to move

I love old cookbooks, even though I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian and am constantly trying to watch my weight. (Seems like I'm always watching my weight . . . go up!) I've been known to cook meat for the omnivores in my life. As I was packing up cookbooks today, I found the 1969 cookbook put out (mimeographed) by the Women's Association of John Knox Presbyterian Church. This pre-dates the fancy-schmancy "published" club cookbooks of the computer age. Glancing through it, I saw names of women who were my late mother's friends. I also saw some recipes that easily could have been in my cherished edition of White Trash Cooking, a book dedicated to the thrifty and creative cooks of the American South. Yet John Knox Presbyterian Church is in a small township west of Cleveland in northern Ohio. The recipe that called for the cook to slice Spam, but keep the main piece intact by not cutting the whole way through, inserting slices of pineapple between the pieces of Spam and covering the whole shebang with brown sugar left me crosseyed, as did my own mother's entry of cooking a disgusting brown sugar goo and pouring it over saltine crackers in a baking dish, and then baking the mass for 15 minutes. These are not recipes; they are culinary suicide attempts. The only thing worse is the "thing" that shows up at church dinners in Kentucky under the questionable name of "Pretzel Salad."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Been too busy to write about how busy I've been

Ten days until The Big Move to the farm in southern Ohio. Daughter, Emilia, and her hubby, Aaron, came from Lexington to get the piano and some other larger pieces of furniture. There's still more they need to get from me, and I have a ton of stuff packed up for the storage unit. Emz and Aaron have made the move from an apt. to a house, and it's got tons of space, so they need furniture. I'm trying to simplify my life, so I need less than what I've got. Makes sense to pass the riches on to the next generation. I've even given her my Royal Douton china and Lenox crystal. Heck, I won't need it. I'm going to be milking goats, herding sheep, and trying to find where the hens have stashed their eggs. Ducks are coming so I can start Aubrey, the smooth Border Collie, on herding. The Shetland sheep won't arrive until the end of June, and I need to work with the sheep before I try to work them with a sheep dog. We'll get there. One step at a time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Weather Report Demands a Shift in Plans

It's supposed to start raining tomorrow around noon, with some significant storms tomorrow night. Rain is expected to stop around noon on Friday. Annie and I have decided to only do the yard sale on Saturday, but we may do next Friday and Saturday (April 10 & 11).

I'm running out of boxes and steam. How does one deal with nearly 15 years accrual of stuff? Benjamin Franklin said something along the lines of, "Four moves are worth a fire." Well, I could have used a couple of fires in those nearly 15 years!

My kids should be very thankful that I didn't die and leave them with all of this to sort out!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Progress toward The Big Yard Sale!

I had to take a break, but WOW! Have I made progress. This is no easy feat -- deciding what can be sold and what to keep and what just plain goes into the trash!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm doing that thing where you walk into a room and go blank. "Cleared RAM" as I call it.

But I know why I'm lost in this whole packing and sorting ordeal.

It's like someone has given me a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and I have to have it completed by a certain date. Naturally, I'm first looking for all the pieces with a straight edge or two so I can put the border together. I need that boundary that says, "Everything else goes in here somewhere." But finding those boundary pieces is one tough task at this point, because 5,000 puzzle pieces is one heck of a lot!

I have got some boxes set up and labeled: Seth, Emz, Jennifer, Operation Care, Immediate (stuff I'll need right away when I get to the farm), S&L (store & lock unit), and a corner of the living room is becoming Yard Sale Central. This at least is progress.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pieces are falling into place.

I'm starting to get excited about the move, but the last few weeks have been extremely busy.

We canned the yurt idea, because they've gotten so trendy, they are too expensive. I won't be in a tent either, because I bought a 24' camper trailer that I can use for storage after the cottage is built.

The cottage will be a 12 X 24 single room with a loft, and a 6 X 12 front porch. I'll turn the front porch into a solarium to collect passive solar heat during the winter, and I'm building two solar heat collectors for the 2 windows that will be on the south side of the cottage.

Yard Sale with Annie Jones here at my place is this coming Friday and Saturday. I've got to get my act together and get things sorted out and priced. I sure do hope I make a lot of money.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Beginning of the Journey

Life became too expensive. Rent + Utilities > Income, and forget about FOOD! I'd been looking for some years for a better (cheaper! more rural!) living arrangement, and really wanted to stay in Kentucky, but nothing turned up.
I came to Kentucky via a promotion with Mead Data Central back in 1982, and I've loved it here. Leaving here is going to be one of the most difficult things I've done in my life. It will be worse than a divorce. By the time I left Jack, I'd fallen beyond out of love with him. The man had successfully driven all affection and sentiment for him from my psyche. So leaving him just was not that difficult. But I'm still very much in love with Kentucky. I cannot help but hold out hope that someday, I'll be able to return to live out the remainder of my days south of The River.
For now though, the living arrangement I've worked out holds great promise. I am going to a small town in southern Ohio to live on the goat farm owned by friends of mine who I first met in 1975. We used to show dogs together, Belgian Tervuren. They are great folks, can use my help, and I'll be in the more rural setting I've longed for (moved "to town" in 1988, and have wanted to be back in the boonies), and they've made me an offer I don't want to refuse.
I'll live in a very large 3-season tent for the summer, and by October, my insulated yurt should be ready for me to take up residence. I'll be journaling my progress and perils on this blog.
If you're wondering about the name for my blog, I came up with that as a response to Jack K's "On the Road," and named the blog prior to making the decision to move to Ohio. Ironically, my first entries will be about being on this journey, so I've ended up on the road! Once settled though, I'll be back off the road, or to put it another way, NOT ON THE ROAD!
All the critters are going with me, my own, as well as all my foster dogs for Above & Beyond English Setter Rescue. It's going to be like Ms. Noah and Her Ark.