Wednesday, August 5, 2015

NEW Chiron's Grove?

I did it. I have raised my boys past the time they need to live in active cities with good schools. This is rather surprising, as my youngest is only 15. But he won a place at Simon's Rock, a college for those who are ready to start college young, after his (to hear him tell it) punishingly tedious freshman year in high school. And my eldest, well, he outshone himself with perfect scores on the math SATs and also won a place at an excellent school, Gettysburg College. This means that, hallelujah! I can move south.

I'm moving to a small home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here it is:
This little cottage is on a lot of acreage and is a great place to keep horses. I still have Rocket, and I picked up another horse who will meet us there in about 3 weeks. 

I never blogged about this, but I broke my neck last year on November 20th, a scary number of fractures to C1 and C2. I also suffered a concussion and a fracture to my sternum. It's a long story, worth telling, but my posts will have to be short while I recover from the concussion. I have a hard time processing the written word. While I was recovering from the neck fractures (and I have recovered), my mother died. Soon afterwards, while I was still weak and vulnerable, I broke four ribs and ended up spending a few confusing days in the hospital with a high fever from pneumonia. Almost exactly two months later, while I was still laid up and trying to get rid of an unavoidable addiction to morphine, my first husband and dear friend through the years, died very suddenly of untreated (in fact undiagnosed) diabetes. 

My family, in particular my sons, helped me through it all. You have no idea what kids are capable of until they are thrown right into the middle of it and manage to come out wiser and even unscathed.

This is a new beginning for me, a chance to live in a more authentic way, to slow down and live as I need to post-traumata. I will write about it here when I can. The real journey begins August 15th, when we leave Vermont, stopping off at Mikey's college to drop him off, then continuing south to Virginia with the cats, the dog, and all the stuff we need for the first couple of months. On August 18th we will again travel north for my elder son to begin his adventure in Gettysburg. The horses will arrive in VA 2 weeks later, and the furnishings will arrive several months later, when I can afford to move them. I rather like the idea of beginning with nothing. We'll see how it feels in practice. And every, every, everything must be built. I have no fences, no barn, only a house with a few beds and a ratty old sofa. 

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Almost a year

(The title links to a song.)

It's been almost a year since I posted. Finally the grief at losing the farm has begun to ease. I can't write about that day in June 2009 when it all fell apart, the accumulated injuries, illnesses, court happenings, and mistakes crushing the beautiful dream while I stood in the driveway and watched it go away, piece by piece and beloved animal by beloved animal.

Here I sit now on a mountaintop in a light, pleasant townhouse. Lucy is here at my feet, now fifteen years old. Shadow is here, too, sleeping downstairs where it is cooler. Rocket is still with us. He lives in Fayston and I ride him 3 or 4 times per week when all goes well. We raced 50 miles in the "Moonlight in Vermont" ride and placed with the top ten. Elizabeth's horse Teddy (a.k.a. "Ed") died last week; I was there at the Dykema's with him when he left. Memphis lives there too. She belongs to Ne-Ne, Rachelle's niece. Coco is now "Taz" and belongs to Alex. The others I can't talk about--hurts too much.

Life feels like somebody just pulled the knife from a deep wound.

The boys and I went on a picnic yesterday very near here, along a stream near a shallow pool. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water melon and the boys played with water and stones and sticks while I read to them from The Fellowship of the Ring. Danny waded right out into the stream and played tug-the-stick with Shadow. Then he waved the stick around in warrior-like movements, which Shadow understood to be the same game in a different form, much to Danny's amusement. Shadow tried to find rocks as they disappeared under water when Danny tossed them. Lucy walked in the water and drank deeply, then struggled back to shore trying to stay upright on her weak rear-end muscles with the extra weight of the water pulling her down. Danny helped her. Mikey tried to help her, but she was too heavy for him. Mikey balanced a stick on each shoulder and walked back and forth from a little natural dais near the stream to a huge rock a bit downstream from it. He counted how many times he could go back and forth without either of them falling off. Then he decided which stick had fallen least often. He rejoiced when he caught one on the way down. "Mommy, look!"

Then we came home. I slung my sweatshirt under Lucy to help her up the path again to the car. I lifted her right over the bigger rocks and stones on our way. We all decided that we needed to go back there and picnic again.

This new phase requires a new blog. You can find it at It is something like a blog and something like a workshop for things I'm working on. Enjoy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

So far so good

Yesterday I left around noon. Stopped in Richmond for a yogurt and a coffee. That was a challenge, trying to find something nutritious at a gas station stop. Everything is either white flour or sugar, it seems, in your average gas station. I found some lonely little yogurt cups tucked behind the pillar of a refrigerator, looking almost like they were ashamed to be in such company.

I drove down to Waitsfield after that, where a nice man had been waiting for me for a long time to show me the car. Brent looks like a younger version of Cordell. He was there with two small children. He told me the car in question was called "Ellie." He said that his daughter specifically requested that I know that. So we sat down in the car, a Volvo 240 from 1989, and he started telling me all about it, and then he said, "The only things that don't work are the air conditioning and the cruise control." I sagged. Either of those was a deal-breaker. Note to self: Always ask what's wrong with a car before going to see it.

So that put my day off rather a lot. I had been thinking of trying to get to Boston to see Elaine Bulman, but she didn't return my call that I left at her work. My guess is that she wasn't even in yesterday; she's usually pretty good about returning phone calls. So I decided to head for Manchester, VT to do a little shopping at the outlets there.

On the way down, I started recording a quasi-book on my cell phone. This became tedious, so I stopped at Radio Shack in Rutland and bought a portable recording device, headphones with microphone, and some batteries. Then I decided it was too late in the afternoon to go to the outlets in Manchester and headed west on Route 4 towards the New York throughway (Route 87).

As I drove along I recorded whatever came into my head. I'm thinking that a sort of mini-book about traveling--traveling away from all the hurt of the past few months while traveling further and further into my own past--would while away the boring moments of the trip. I talked a lot about my very recent ex-boyfriend's life and my own experience of him, and tried to examine how I got into the situation with him I was in until yesterday morning. It was a good exercise. Clearly people are complex. Everybody, and every relationship, has light and dark sides. But my main error was--as always--that I didn't believe in myself. Maybe this trip will help.

I stopped at a Japanese restaurant and ate spring rolls and won-ton soup and drank some tea. The bill was less that $5.00. So far so good in the saving money department.

I got to Lake George and discovered, lo and behold, outlets! So I stopped at Orvis and Brooks and was directed around the building to the next shopping center over. There I found the boots I was looking for and a sort of black cat-suit that I planned to wear under a summer dress to convert it into a hip winter outfit.

I got on the highway, then, and went south, chatting all the way to my recording device. It was very, very windy--leaves blowing all over the place so loud I coul hear the impact recording on the sound track as I talked. It got dark and a bit spooky.

I got off the highway at New Baltimore and found a tiny room (feels about the size of a large Christmas present) in a Best Western. I watched tv, ate out of the snack machines, and talked to Oliver and Dad on the phone. I like this hotel. the people are friendly and they look like North Country people (the women wear neither bras nor makeup).

And now I'm ready to set off again going south. I'll call some of the friends I'm going to visit today after nine or so.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Chiron's Grove has had to shut down for economic reasons.

I have been grieving about that & about various family court things for the past several months. But now that the dust has settled, I'm looking for a way to rebuild my life.

Chapter One: Breaking up with a wonderful man who nevertheless drags me down. Check.

Chapter Two: Peruse Facebook and make a list of friends to visit with the next five days that I have off from all parenting and dating obligations (due to the breakup listed above and to the fact that the boys are with their father this weekend).

Soon after I woke up this morning, I decided to capitalize on my new-found freedom by visiting friends who are far enough away to require more driving than your average bored 13- and 10-year-old would want to sit through to see. I made a phone call to the Mennonite-Your-Way people and am awaiting an email with a list of hosts in the towns I'm targeting: Boston, Philadelphia, the Lancaster area, and Harrisonburg, VA. Boston has grad school friends, Philadelphia and its environs has relatives, Lancaster has high school and college friends, and Harrisonburg has an old and much loved roommate. I hope that by getting in touch with people from way back I can get better in touch with myself and thus answer the question that burns after the kind of upheaval I've been through: How shall I then live?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Now that Mother's Day is Over--Brothers' Day

This is dedicated to my brothers, who don't consider that sisters count as women, but hey, it's a MANtage.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting Close to April 15th

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The hose was too short. The pump was broken so it was running all the time. What to do?

Monday, March 16, 2009


Meg and Magic on a long trail ride. Meg is a good horse to put new riders on in the ring and intermediate riders on for the trail. She LOOOOOVES the trail!

Meg ahead of us on the left.

Meg's beautiful eye.

When we first got her, I couldn't ride her because I'd just had shoulder surgery. She's so beautiful!
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Math Magic Trick

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I posted this before but couldn't get the videos to load. Now they should work.

Math Magic Trick, Part II

I cheated and kept the camera on a bit because they were so CUTE!
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Math Magic Trick, Part III

Mikey will solve this difficult math problem in SECONDS. It's magic!
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Too Hilarious!

This one's for you, guys.

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