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Retractions and a call for poetry

Here are Mark’s chairs. Nice, aren’t they? I threw in a picture of us too, even though I look like a serious porker in this shot. I swear, I’m cute-er than this in reality. (Can’t have my friends thinking I moved to the mountains and turned into a Buddha look-a-like. Eesh) 


I think, in the interest of accuracy, I need to make a few retractions.


I never saw two pheasants on our land. They were, in fact, two wild turkeys. We keep seeing them, always crossing the road at the same place between Mark’s workshop and the pasture where we will be putting a barn.

I said, “Look! There are those pheasants again!”

Mark explained that they were wild turkeys.

I said, “How do you know?”

He said, “Haven’t you ever seen a bottle of wild turkey? They are classic examples, just like the picture.”

Of course, he is right. After all those years as a bartender (when I was a young dancer struggling in NY), I should have recognized the birds that graced that famous whiskey bottle. I must have lifted and poured from it a million times. Yep. Them there birds is wild turkeys.

I said, “Why do you think we keep seeing them here?”

He said, “Are you asking me why the turkey crossed the road? Cause you know what I’m going to answer.”

Smart aleck.

Anyway, I do not have pheasants. I have turkeys. I am of a mind to trust that any area that supports turkeys will also keep pheasants alive, so I am still planning to raise some pheasants. In the meantime, I will pray our two turkeys stick around until Thanksgiving. NOT because I want to cook them, but for the ambiance. In fact, I am wondering if I will stumble upon a turkey nest one day with turkey eggs. Would be a cool discovery.


Next confession/retraction:

I am not going to run the local hill run 5K. This is not because I am a wimp, (even if I am one).  It is because when I actually checked I discovered I won’t be in town on October 7th when it takes place. I will be in Tennessee at the national storytelling festival. Check it out at This festival began with 60 people in 1973 and now hosts thousands. I’ve wanted to go to this unique event for some time – ever since I dabbled in the art of storytelling at a course at the Campbell school. The three-day festival features hundreds of the nation’s best storytellers, stand-up comics and folklore specialists. Seven tents are set up and stories are going on all day. You can chose authentic Cherokee stories, Appalachian folklore, a Midnight Cabaret, international storytellers and even some urban characters.  There is music and poetry which “encompasses a wealth of cultures, geography and styles”, or so the brochure says.

At night, they feature ghost stories. I’m told by the story telling crowd that it is fun – different. I love experiencing something totally new – so I bought us tickets some time ago (and made a reservation in a hotel nearby, because I’m told lodging is impossible to find if you wait too long.) Anyway, the only running I’ll be doing that weekend is running from tent to tent. Can’t wait. We are still wrestling on whether or not to bring the kids. I think it sounds like a nice family event, but Mark is pushing for it to be a couple get-a-way, because then we can burn the midnight storytelling oil. He usually gets his way. We will see.


Yesterday, I picked the last of my blueberries for this season. Got, maybe, a half a bowl.  They are scattered randomly around the bush now, and the leftovers lack the plump, juicy, sweet quality that makes the berries special. What I gathered yesterday will be good for our morning smoothies, but that’s about it. The edges of the leaves are turning red, and soon the bush will be a vibrant flaming color to decorate the entrance to our land for fall. I’m almost relieved to see them go. I’m berried out.


On my run last night, I also picked the last of those purple thing-a-ma-bobber flowers that don’t die in twenty minutes. I think my flower-picking season is over too. Nothing much left to drag home. I did see some cool pink, dried, puff do-dads that look like hard dandelion puffs. I picked a few to see how they would do, but they had these minuet barbs that jabbed into my palm when I jogged. Ouch. I didn’t let them go, however, because I had to test at least one. I figure, if they hold up, I can run with one gardening glove. Not as if I am any kind of fashion plate when I run anyway. 


I got my materials list for Monday’s spinning class. I need to bring baby oil and a plant sprayer, dawn dishwashing liquid, thrums (odds and ends of yarn) rubber gloves, Onion skins, yellow or red (I’m guessing this is for natural dying) and a song recollection or story or poem about spinning sheep weaving etc. Obviously, this is so we can share some folklore. Fun! (If any of you have a poem to share other than Mary had a little lamb, send it on, please. I live where there is no library, at least not one with ample information on any subject.)


I am also told to bring a crochet hook for making samples (got that one covered) and an extra spinning wheel if I have one. Um…. checking my back pocket. No, don’t seem to have one of those lying around.  I’d borrow one from a friend, but can’t say as I’ve ever noticed a spinning wheel in any of my friend’s living rooms. Thinking of this, I was reminded of the story of Snow white. Humm… perhaps I have never been around a spinning wheel because they were banished from the land. Perhaps, when I sit and begin, I will pluck my finger and go to sleep for a hundred years. Just in case, if this blog suddenly cuts off, please notify Prince Charming and tell him to plant a big wet one on me.  Ya never know what kind of unexpected revelations a new adventure will lead you to.


Today, I must write an essay/annotation on the three books that have influenced me most in my life. Much as I’d love to stay and talk, I have to get to it.
Wish me Godspeed to my fingers. I’m feeling distracted today.







About Ginny East Shaddock

Ginny is the owner of Heartwood Yoga Institute. She is an ERYT-500 Yoga teacher, C-IAYT Yoga therapist, RCYT & Ayurveda Counselor who loves nature, gardening, and creative arts. She has an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University, and a BA in Business Administration from Eckerd College. She teaches writing and is the creator of the memoir writing program, "Yoga on the Page" combining the teaching of yoga to writing personal stories with integrity, intention, and heart.

5 responses »

  1. Jaime Saunders

    I can only think of “Huswifery” by Edward Taylor. It’s definitely religious, though. My Am. Lit students read it during our Puritan unit. The focus of the poem is on the speaker’s relationship with God and how it changes, which is analogous to his changing relationship with the spinning wheel. See what you think. Make me, O Lord, thy Spinning Wheele compleat; Thy Holy Worde my Distaff make for mee. Make mine Affections thy Swift Flyers neate, And make my Soule thy holy Spoole to bee. My Conversation make to be thy Reele, And reele the yarn thereon spun of thy Wheele. Make me thy Loome then, knit therein this Twine: And make thy Holy Spirit, Lord, winde quills: Then weave the Web thyselfe. The yarn is fine. Thine Ordinances make my Fulling Mills. Then dy the same in Heavenly Colours Choice, All pinkt with Varnish’t Flowers of Paradise. Then cloath therewith mine Understanding, Will, Affections, Judgment, Conscience, Memory; My Words and Actions, that their shine may fill My wayes with glory and thee glorify. Then mine apparell shall display before yee That I am Cloathd in Holy robes for glory.


  2. THE RAMBLING COMBERYou combers all, both great and small, Come listen to my ditty, For I am he, and only he, Regardless of thy pity; For I can read, write, drinke and fight, And that is all my honour; My failing here, I love strong beer, I am a rambling comber. A dozen of wool through the comb I pull, All in decent order; So sleek and fine like shall shine, And by my master’s order; And when ’tis done, downstairs I run, And carry it to the owner; I make no doubt he will soon find out I am a rambling comber. My breeches they are ragged and torn, My stockings got no feet to; My shoes they both have lost their soles, My hat has got no brim to; But yet she is always in my mind, Let me be drunk or sober: A pretty girl is my delight And a glass of good October. {A spinner who produced worsted thread had to use wool that had been combed so that all the fibres in the fleece run parallel to one another. Worsted is a strong compact yarn and was traditionally used for warp threads, as they are put under tension on the loom. Wool prepared by carding produces ‘woolen’ yarn, when spun the fibres twist loosely around one another and the yarn has a ‘fluffy’ appearance. Woolen yarn weaves into a warmer cloth and the two types were often mixed to for a strong warm fabric. Wool combs were a pair a heavy wooden frames with three or four rows of sharp iron tines. These were heated on a stove and drawn through the wool to straighten the fibres and remove tangles. The resulting mass was drawn off the comb through a horn ring to create a long length of parallel fibres called a roving. Wool combing was a male dominated industry, although isolated spinners would comb their own wool. Combers were itinerant, travelling from village to village in search of work. The comber in this ballard has obviously travelled far with his soleless stocking and shoes. This song was recorded in 1893 in Horsham, Sussex. Source 14.}


  3. When I think about how I encouraged you to become a dancer, I am mortified. What a waste it would have been of such a facinating mind. Bet ya there isn’t a dancer alive that has a verse like that at their fingertips (or could even “get it” if it were posted in their beloved playbill. Thank-you, Teach.  I’ll use it. I will be the most academicly enlightened spinner at the wheel – and I bet my sheep will like it too. It’s definately shows up my “Mary had a little lamb” second choice!


  4. If one can assess their worth by the jewels that are friends, I am rich indeed. (the poem brought out the Ol’ english flavor in me speaking ways, as you can see.)A heartfelt Thank-you. There is something so luscious in an “Anyonomos” message. Makes the mind go crazy in a thither to wonder about who cares enough to help, yet needs no credit for it. It is a sign of silent devotion I’m thinking – or I am just a romantic fool with a vivid imagination. Ha. A Kiss to you, whoever you are, anyway. And a toast to your mind.Wool combing was a male dominated industry? Bet ya there ain’t a fellow within a yarn’s throw of my class next week. Pity, that.


  5. It’s okay to isolate, as long as you don’t do it alone.



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