Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ani lyrics of the day:

I'm okay
if you get me at a good angle
and you're okay
in that sort of light
and we don't look
like pages from a magazine
but that's all right
that's all right

I crashed your pickup truck
and then I had to drive it back home
I was crying
I was so scared
of what you would do
of what you would say
but you just started laughing
so I started laughing along
saying, it looks a little rough
but it runs okay
it looks a little rough
but it runs good anyway

we get a little further from perfection
each year on the road
I guess that's what they call character
I guess that's just the way it goes
better to be dusty than polished
like some store window mannequin
why don't you touch me where I'm rusty
let me stain your hands

when you're pretty as a picture
they pound down your door
but I've been offered love
in two dimensions before
and I know that it's not all
it's made out to be
let's show them how it's done
let's do it all imperfectly

Friday, February 22, 2008


when i need to go to town, i go out of my way to drive past your farm..... even though it is not 'on the way'. as i crest the hill, i look down into the valley, and see the yellow farmhouse sitting there with smoke coming out of the chimney, and i imagine you as a boy, running through the yard, playing in the creek.

since you died when i was young, this is my living diary of your life... being able to walk the hills where you walked..... this is how i am coming to know you.... this is how i cling to you.

i have pictures of you asleep on our couch, with me curled up on your chest. my parents always told me how proud you were of me and my sisters.... how much you adored us. i remember you taking me to Druthers when i would visit, for your morning coffee with all the other retirees. we both would order biscuits and gravy, our shared favorite.... and you would brag of all my accomplishments to your friends. i remember proudly sitting by your side, driving around town, in your blue pick-up truck.

sometimes i get out the cards i made for you while you were in the hospital, dying from a disease you should never have had. i don't remember making them, but my mom saved them. i hope my scribbly handwriting and rainbows cheered you a little... or was it a bittersweet offering, reminding you what you had to leave behind? i didn't get to go to your funeral.... my parents thought i was too young, and your neighbor babysat me. she tried to comfort me by giving me kool-aid, and candy.... and she answered all my 7 year old questions about where you were going as best she could.

now that i am in your homeland, i see your eyes everywhere i go.... they are my eyes, too.... the most distinct physical feature that i inherited from you. and i tell my memories of you to my son, as we drive past your homeplace.... and when we frolic in the creek by your brother's house. i tell him, "this is where your great-grandfather played.... this is the house he helped build with his own hands..... he would have adored you". and i watch the grin come over my son's face as he hears those words.... and i know you are still here with me because of it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In anticipation of the lunar eclipse....

sometimes, at night... alone in my bed....thoughts arise and get too big for my head...

the moon shines in and beckons me, saying, 'come, and keep me company'...

so i rise and go out alone in the dark...there's enough room out there for the longings in my heart..... the endless thoughts and possibilities.... yes, there's room for them all, out in the night breeze....

just the moon for my company... lingering thoughts surrounding me.... dreams and visions beckoning me.... when it's just the moon and me.

(the lunar eclipse starts tonight around 9 p.m... there won't be another one like this until 2010.....)

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm Waiting .......

Checking the mail......

in anticipation of this....

I love the people I have met in this blogging community of mine. There are so many wonderful, creative souls. One being L.L. Barkat.... and I couldn't be happier for her as her new book is arriving within the next couple of weeks. I am anxiously awaiting its arrival and my heart is eager for the revelations in it.

Great reviews are already coming in, such as these:

"Stone Crossings walks the reader through the foggy landscapes of life, arriving at subtle moments of true grace. Barkat's courageous, unblinking honesty is a gift, a gift offered in gentle, delicate, literary prose." (Don Everts, author of Jesus with Dirty Feet and God in the Flesh)

"With a storyteller's charm and a Bible teacher's grit, L. L. Barkat weaves memoir, humor and spiritual insight together into a satisfying read. She challenges us to open our eyes anew to the amazing graces God lavishes upon us every day, in ordinary and surprising ways." (Edward Gilbreath, author of Reconciliation Blues)

And there is a party going on here, at her bookclub site, as we all await the arrival. This post is part of the celebration. If you'd like to participate in the "Waiting for Stone Crossings" challenge, go to the Bookclub Wiki and you can post your own 'waiting' picture. It's a great opportunity for us to give a boost to a fellow blogger's creative endeavors. You can also contact L.L. through her blog here, or contact me for more info on how to participate.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

love is...... a father who gets up in the middle of the night when his little girl is puking her guts out, and sits with her in his easy chair, holding the bowl, rocking, and whispering words of comfort in her little ears.... who lends a nonjudgmental and consoling ear when she comes to him devastated and heartbroken because of mistakes she has made and poor choices that have left her in desperation.

love is.... a mother who sews little dresses for her daughter's dolls, who snuggles and reads to her even though she has lots of other things to be doing, who praises every accomplishment, no matter how small..... who's there in the room when her daughter is giving birth for the first time to lend encouragement and support.

love is..... a son that wakes up every morning and greets his parents with a big smile and so much excitement for the day, that he can hardly contain it.... who can change his mom's frown to a fit of laughter in a millisecond with something he says..... who tells his mom he loves her and is sorry for upsetting her, even though it was she who unduly lost her temper with him....who loves to serve his mom breakfast in bed on saturday mornings.

love is ...... a friend who shares coffee, laughter, and tears with you.... who 'gets' you like no one else....who tells you 'leave your son here and go home and rest for the day' when you walk to her house sobbing when life circumstances feel like they are too much to bear... someone you know your deepest secrets will always be safe with.

love is.... a God that stoops down to my weaknesses and draws me up to Him and invites me to dance with Him.... who never turns His back on me, even when I turn my back on Him..... who loves me so much that at times, I feel my heart will burst for the knowledge of it.... who rescued me from myself... and who never fails to paint a glorious sunrise or sunset over my mountains just for me.

" And now these three remain: Faith, Hope , and Love... but the greatest of these is Love."

-1 Corinthians 13:13

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...
'Waiting for Spring'

(Sorry, this will be a repeat for some of my long-time readers. For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

For Christianne....

Cloths of Heaven...

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

-W.B. Yeats

Friday, February 08, 2008

when i was young, i believed in fairy tales... innocence was my guide.
but now fairy tales don't fit into my grown-up world....
and my innocence got left behind.

so now anger and hurt are my guide.... and i don't want you inside.
i can make it on my own.... so just leave me alone.

and you wonder why i can't accept your love?
well, i know what love is.
it's broken promises..... bruises.... and fear.....

so now anger and hurt are my guide.... and i don't want you inside.
i'm ten years old..... i can make it on my own.

but before i go to sleep tonight.....
before you turn off my light...
will you sit here beside my bed,
and read me one more fairy tale?

( a song i wrote about denise)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

( This is my post in support of Blogging for Appalachia week.... a challenge issued by Outdoor Bloggers Summit , encouraging people to post about Mountaintop Removal Mining this week. Even though I post regularly about this issue, I wanted to participate as a show of support. The following is a Letter to the Editor I submitted in September to local papers.)

Dear Editor,

In the midst of our beautiful West Virginia mountains, there is a wolf in sheep's clothing. This wolf touts what a great thing he is for our state, how we wouldn't be able to survive without him. And he is on the prowl......

This wolf is King Coal. For over a century, Coal Companies have been making billions of dollars by extracting coal from our mountains, while West Virginia's people remain the second poorest in the nation. And now Coal Companies have found an even MORE profitable way to mine coal, that basically takes the coal miner out of the picture. This process is called Mountaintop Removal Mining.

Everyday in our state, three million pounds of explosives are used to literally blow the tops off of mountains to get to the coal seams below. So far, over 470 of our ancient mountains have been destroyed. All of the debris is then dumped into the valleys and streams below, so far burying over 1200 miles of streams. And now, with Governor Manchin's announcement that he wants to expand coal operations to make WV a coal-based economy and build 10 coal-to-liquid plants, Mountaintop Removal practices will continue to expand despite the fact that mountaintop removal accounted for less than 5% of US coal production as of 2001. According to a report from the US Geologic Survey in 2000, the Appalachian coal basin will not continue providing coal for much longer.

This is a very short-sighted energy goal, leaving WV's landscape devastated for short-term energy needs for the rest of the country. What does this mean for the residents of Appalachia's coalfields? So far, it has meant catastrophic flooding from the burying and re-routing of streams, the destruction of the mountains that their ancestors have lived in for generations, and contaminated drinking water from leaking toxic sludge dams. Impoundments are notoriously leaky, contaminating drinking water supplies in many communities, and are also known to fail completely. A sludge dam breach in Martin County, KY, in 2000, sent more than 300 million gallons of toxic coal sludge into tributaries of the Big Sandy, causing what the EPA called, “The biggest environmental disaster ever east of the Mississippi."

So far, Governor Manchin and Senator Byrd have turned a deaf ear to the residents of the coalfields, who have been crying out, "Our children are sick, our water is poisoned, and our mountains are no longer there!" Our politicians are only hearing the voice of Coal and its money. Mountaintop Mining is devastating Appalachia and no one knows or cares. It's time to speak up and help our fellow West Virginians. Call your representative and urge him/her to support the Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 2169). This Act is necessary to protect clean drinking water for many of our nation’s cities and to protect the quality of life for Appalachian coalfield residents. You can go to and to find out more.

"I look to the hills from whence cometh my strength......"
But what if there are no more hills to look up to?

(Sidenote: You can scroll down to Monday's post, to access the ever-growing list of who else is participating)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...

"The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around... It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, Like noises in a swound!"

- Samuel Coleridge

(more wordless wednesdays here...)

Monday, February 04, 2008

A couple of Monday tidbits....

It's a drop in the bucket...... but it's a start! Too bad our state's EPA didn't take charge and do something about the 4500 violations, so that the money would have benefited our state.... where the damage was done.


Remember, this week is Blogging for Appalachia week.... a challenge started by Denny and the Outdoor Bloggers Summit, to encourage people to post about Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. Posts are starting to come in, even internationally. I am going to start a link list here, so remember to let me know if you participate. If you'd like to know more about MTR coal mining, you can click on that label on this post, or go to "Stop Mountaintop Removal" under my links list. Thanks all!

Who's participating:
7. Colin-Life....a UK blog

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful..........

The big picture...

And just for sh**s and giggles... (pun intended)

This is what greeted us yesterday morning as we awoke. I ventured outside just long enough to take some pics, but as you can see, I had to watch my step. :) We'll be staying inside and cozying up next to the woodstove this weekend.....

Two things I wanted to pass along, though: First, a friend of mine just started a new blog. She has her first post up, so if you get a chance, click over and welcome her to the blogging world.

Second, The Outdoor Bloggers Summit is declaring next week, 'Blogging for Appalachia' week, and is encouraging people to blog about Mountaintop Removal. I will be participating and encourage any of you who may be up to the task, to also post about it. If you do, let me know and I will link to it. It has the potential to reach thousands if we all do it.
Stay warm, everyone......