Sunday, August 26, 2007

machines, hand tools, and future plans (?)

Hello Everyone,
I hope that everyone is doing well and soaking up the last days of summer. I guess that summer doesn't really end until September 22 but it always feels like it is over once people start going back to school [not me though :)]. I have pretty much been working hard on the farm. My boss, Richard has Lyme disease and has been not working as much the past few weeks as he might normally. I guess I don't know what he normally does, but it seems like he has been taking more naps than most farmers would if they weren't sick. So, the result is that I feel a little bit like I have been assuming/having thrust upon me more and more responsibility on the farm. It is kind of cool because I am learning more that you really have to think about a lot of things and keep everything on a farm in balance to be successful. However, it is also a lot more stressful because I kind of get blamed when things go wrong more often. So I have been working a lot. The good news is that the family is going out of town for a few days starting tomorrow, so I get to completely run the farm. I also plan on taking some afternoon naps and taking it fairly easy to try to regain some of my energy.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to NYC to visit my step siblings. I mainly hung out with my stepbrother Michael, who is my age and about to start an Americorps position in Puerto Rico. He and I shared a room for a few years after our parents married, so we have been pretty close over the years and it was really fun to hang out with him and catch up. I also got to see my stepbrother John and my stepsister Bowie. Bowie just got engaged and she is pretty excited about that. New York was pretty overwhelming for a country boy like myself, especially since I am used to seeing four or five people on any given day and all of the sudden I was surrounded with people. It was a nice change of scenery from the farm though.

I just finished reading Pigs in Heaven. It was a pretty good book. It is basically about what it means to be american indian in contemporary america, but it is also just about what it means to be family. I am kind of a sucker for nice family stories so I really enjoyed that book. Other than that I have been reading books on farming and harvesting grains and hay with hand tools. So, look for me to be scything a field of hay any day now. I am definitely realizing how crappy I am with machines and engines, so I think I need to have a farm that is mostly powered by my sweat and some horses. Tractors are not my friend.

Finally, just a little update on what I am doing in the short term future. I am working here at Cowberry Crossing until the beginning of November and then kind of working, kind of travelling during november and december. I definitely hope to visit some of y'all during that time, but there are so many of you to visit and we all are scattered to the four winds. I am farmsitting here from december 27 to january 10 while they are on vacation. After that I am officially done here and am thinking of going to the Gulf Coast to do relief work for a month or two and then maybe WOOFing or getting a job on another farm that would last for a few months. We'll see what happens. I miss you all a lot a lot. Take care.

Friday, August 24, 2007

who's procrastinating? fiones is!

sleepy days, and sunny dresses

my sweet summer, can you really be done?
soon i'll be back to "work", and doin' what i think is right.
back i'll be to my beloveds, back to long, tired nights.
time, it sure does seem to fly...
thinking about my lovely life, sometimes it makes me cry.
it started with checking off the list with my bridgie
then off to adventureland with h, each day was new,
bright as the sun, like two little kids.
early mornings with b.m., work days were few and far between,
but isn't that what youth should be, at least what i dream.
making it my personal duty to change the minds of those older than i,
more than just chopping, talking about life, baseball, childhood, and the quick passing of time.
fanny packs, hundreds of stickered posts [ny], and shared grins with toddlers,
sometimes it's the people you call strangers that make the days worth going through it seems.
constant talk of the council, neverending phone calls, and possible loss of job.
days filled with tears, and fears, where one speech can make all the difference.
daily trips to uncommon, walks down the sticky alley
to the place where i borrowed so many texts and films that i hoped to fill my nights with,
instead i chose letters, postcards, the interweb, through which i expressed my love, and my stories, music and trailers.
trips down the northway, seemed to drift by without a sound,
quickly running down the contacts list, made it seem like you were all riding alongside me.
off to the capital, wsl, and that tall kid on the farm.
so many cooks, so many laughs, so much was "false", yet true at the same time.
evenings in the heat-filled church, lemonade from the mix, the mate for conversations in broken english,
desperately trying to connect with those whose lives i can only hope to understand.
now i'm off to big blue, where i embark on a new Quest.
excited about new adventures, with the old and the new.
more coffs, more talks, more sharing, more =).

i hope everyone is happy and well.
talk soon.
all my love.
<3 fiones

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It has come to my attention that I do, in fact, have eyebrows

Last night, I made a grave mistake.
Being one of 2 colorblind members of my household (once, my dad inadvertantly bought a hot pink power cord for the firehouse he is chief of, and was promptly and continuously berated by the other firefighters for his introduction of such girlishness into their manly space. My dad's comment: I thought it was orange), I typically have little to no input on the color of my hair at any given time. I may make bold statements such as "I want to go red" or "I think I want a little darker brown", but in the end, it is up to my sister and mother to decide what will look best on my head and/or when my hair "looks like crap" and needs to be "fixed" immediately. Last night was one of these nights.
Deciding on a chocolatey brown (how can you ever go wrong with chocolate, I thought. BOY WAS I WRONG), we set about our business. When all was said and done, not only did I end up looking like morticia/a middle school goth, but my sister had decided to also dye my naturally blonde eyebrows and I looked pretty much like groucho marx. The ensuing plucking (I am not a girl, and have never, until this point, had my eyebrows plucked) was enough to cause tremendous strings of obscenities flow from my mouth, and make me feel as if my eyes were bleeding.

All in all, it's been a trying week.

So all of you who didn't know, I'm moving to connecticut tomorrow (yes, tomorrow!) to get my apartment set up and start graduate school at the university of connecticut for speech language pathology. Sounds very exciting and all, but right now I'm just looking around at the cyclone that is my room and wondering "do I really need to bring this floppy hat, this pillow with cats on it, this lump of green silly putty?" and the glamour of picking up and moving to a new state/new life is pretty much lost.

I've had an amazzzzing summer though. For one, I went to europe and backpacked around a bit, which was overall a really awesome experience. If you're bored and feel like reading some blog entries about it, my friends and I kept up a travel blog at Since then I've been visiting people every weekend, working with special ed. kids (an eternally crazy experience where I'm alternately bitten, asked where babies come from, forced to chase kids trying to run into rivers to "be with the beavers", and informed that my butt "moves back and forth" when I walk by young developmentally disabled children every day), and having a ton of sweet adventures with those capital region kids, Fiona Murray, Harrison Watkins and Matt Lapennas! I was also lucky enough to catch Taryn, Em, and Sara on their visit to camp murray, and to meet Bill the 8 lb bunny not once but TWICE. Let me tell you, that rabbit is impressive.

Despite my horror at beginning the whole grad school thing, I'm kind of excited to go on to the next step. Everyone keep blogging and I'll try and keep up with this thing as well now that I've started! Love you and peace out, cub scouts


Tuesday, August 14, 2007



so far, it has been awesome and not anything at all like the Drew Carey show. stay tuned for a real update sometime in the next few days.


and this is how net neutrality works.

p.s. did you know that wikipedia has 83 articles written in klingon? chyeah!

random act of kindness!

today at work [price chopper] whilst checking out a customer, i realized that i needed to acquire an ironing board. i asked my supervisor if price chopper sold any and she went to check for me. she came back carrying one covered in pretty flowers that was bigger than her and said it cost $16.99. seeing as i am broke i thanked her and said i would get it on thursday when i got paid. she told me she'd keep it in the office for me.
ten minutes later i saw her in one of the nearby lines getting a receipt for the board! she had bought it for me! "an early graduation present!", she said.
i thought it was super nice. things like that don't happen every day. =)

all my love.
<3 fiones

Friday, August 10, 2007

bill murray loves the mets!


it's august 10th! i can't believe it.
i have had such a lovely summer, it's sad to see it go, but good because i know this new year will bring exciting and wonderful things to everyone! =)

yesterday, my dad took my sisters and me to see the mets. they played the braves. the braves won- but for anyone who watched/read about the game, it was not without its share of excitement! carlos delgado almost hit a home run in the ninth inning, but the braves' willie harris made a SICK save, and thus stole away the would-be tie, sealing the series win for the braves. bill murray was bummed. we were all sweaty. it was great.

this past tuesday i had the chance to speak at the city council in my hometown. i, along with two other women, spoke about the latino advocacy program that i volunteer for. the woman who started the program two years ago has since handed over the reins to her daughter, who spoke about the program's plans for the future, and hopes for funding/grants. i basically just gave an overview of my experience and a call for action. it went really well, and it felt good to let others, others who can help make a big difference, know. helping out with this program has been so wonderful, and i hope more people become aware about the great things the program wants to accomplish- and want to help! i've recently been thinking a lot about teaching as a career. every time i leave the esl class, i am filled with so much frustration, but also joy at the same time. frustrated that there's not more i can do and how can i get others involved, but also happy that i have been able to spend some time with people whom i would otherwise have very little interaction with. it's not so much the feeling of helping others, because i really don't know how much of that i'm doing, but actually being able to catch a glimpse of people's day-to-day lives, because that's what i enjoy most in life, as you all know. i feel like being a good teacher isn't necessarily about imparting all your knowledge onto your students, but maybe more of the ability to engage and connect. i don't know... i've just never really had this feeling that i've been trying to convey before, and i think that's a sign- at least that this is something i should continue to think about. we'll see!

in other news, i've been trying to keep up on what's been going on locally/politically in geneseo, and will mostly likely be sending out emails soon. i'm too scared to write names on the blog, since i've had trouble with that in the past... just know that this upcoming fall will definitely be interesting!

i think i might see "the sound of music" tomorrow night! yay! they're performing it in ballston spa.

i saw "the simpsons movie" the other night with my sister. i thought it was super funny! laughed it up!

i'm down to my last few weeks at the chopper. my family and i are going out to long island/fire island next week to visit family.

sara and greg are in iowa! and harrison's leaving for cleveland on monday!

i hope you all are enjoying your augusts. i miss you so.
all my love, and more. <3

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

ireland =)

i came home a week ago from a ten day whirlwind trip to ireland with my brothers and my cousin patrick. thought i would share a couple pictures and some brief and completely snark-free commentary!

the strapping young lads i travelled with! left-right, pat, tim, ed.

this is me at the cliffs of moher, on the first day, strikingly irish looking, if i do say so myself!

this is my great aunt kathleen, my grandmother's youngest sister, standing in front of the field she and my grandmother and their eight other siblings would cross to get to school everyday, in a small country town in co. galway. this lady looks and talks exactly like my grandmother and meeting her felt familiar in the nicest way.

this is in galway city-- my cousin margaret in front and her husband ollie behind her. note ollie's teeth. this is a man who, the following night, lost hist two false front teeth in the pub, found them on the ground a floor below us, threw them into a cup of cider, and popped those bad boys right back in.

these are my cousins from dublin... really nice bunch.

this is in kilmainham gaol in dublin, which aside from being where In the Name of the Father was shot, was where many Irish nationalists were held and executed during the revolution and civil war. The inscription, written by once prisoners, reads "BEWARE OF THE RISEN PEOPLE --THAT HAVE HARRIED AND HELD, YE THAT HAVE BULLIED AND BRIBED."

This one's for the DDL fanclub.

Bedtime! Work in the morn.



Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sweating Bullets and Failing Tests

Hello Everybody,

It has been hot hot hot here and I have been feeling muy caliente (and not in a good way). Some highlights of my life overt he past few weeks have definitely been hanging out with Emily, Harrison, Kristine, Sara, Taryn, and Fiona one weekend and then being with Harrison, Fiona, and Kristine a couple more times. Yay for being in the capital district vicinity. I also feel compelled to expand on fiona's comment that a bird pooped on her at lake george. After the aforementioned avian bombardment, Fiona was convinced that it was me dropping sunscreen on here out in the lake (??), so she started rubbing the excrement onto her arm like a goof. I think that I thought this was way funnier than anyone else did, but maybe someone reading this will share five year old, bathroom sense of humor.

I also read the new Harry Potter book and that shit was poppin'!! I guess that I mainly have been working a lot. I usually feel pretty burned out at the end of the day, so I don't do anything besides make myself dinner and watch a movie, read, or make a phone call or two. On the weekends I have been playing soccer every sunday afternoon with a bunch of people at the local Waldorf school. There is an 85 year old poet and ex-Congressional candidate during the Vietnam War. Apparently, in this district at that time both the Dems and Republicans were pro-Vietnam, so he ran as a third party member and just gave them both a lot of shit for being pro-war. Then there are also little kids who play with us, so there is quite an age range. It is always really fun and the last couple weeks we have gone swimming afterwards and then we eat some ice cream. Good, wholesome, all-american summer fun.

I also failed my road test on Thursday. It was a pretty spectacular failure. I messed up the parallel parking by hitting the curb and it was all downhill from there. Once I hit the curb my heart jsut starting racing I turned into an idiot. I guess that I should have been more prepared because I only have driven about 5 times this whole summer. After I messed up the parallel parking, the examiner asked me how many times I had practiced parking and I honestly repeild that I had practiced twice. I don't think that she was impressed.... Later in the test I couldn't really see at an intersection because there was a car parked on the corner, so I just kind of pulled out a little too far and a car had to brakea little. That was the end of the test, so I didn't even finish it. The examiner jsut told me "That was bad" when I had my second mistake. Oh well, I have made it to the age of 22 without a liscense, so one more month will not hurt me. SO Colleen we still have non-driver solidarity for a little while. I have to go water some plants because we need some rain pretty badly. ttfn.

love, Matt

Friday, August 3, 2007


this is somewhat behind the times, but me and two buddies of mine (Craig and Rocco) elected to undergo a two day adventure in that urban, french-canadian oaisis known as montreal. rocco, king of travel research, found an insane rate on a downtown hotel avec a hottub and pool.

we started off the adventure by making signs out of our mapquest directions which said, "YOU LOSE" & "call us @ 1-800-HOT-BUTT ;-)". these were flashed at many, many motorists, all of whom we understood to love hot butts if they paid any attention to us in the slightest.

we burst through the country barrier blasting avril lavigne's "girlfriend", a theme throughout the trip (sample lyric: " HEY HEY YOU YOU, I DON'T LIKE YOU GIRLFRIEND/ NO WAY NO WAY, THINK YOU NEED A NEW ONE") and made it to our hotel where we promptly watched some quebecian t.v. (canada is the best country, ever). we then talked to the concierge, got directions to old montreal, walked there and ate at 'chez eric's' and wandered through montreal's chinatown .

that night, post an early evening lark in the pool/hottub, we made our way to a bar call "brutopia" where an awful parody of tenecious d was playing. we quickly decided the only option we had was to go to the casino de montreal. our cab ride there was short and painless and we stepped foot in the door where i was immediately blinded by all the glittering, glittering lights.

not sharing rocco's affection for such places craig and i decided we each had 10 loonies (loony=dollar) to sink before we had to leave. and then, the highlight of the trip: I BEAT THE HOUSE BY 50 CENTS, TAKE THAT CANADA! we returned triumphantly to the hotel.

the next day we went to the biodome, saw some monkeys and were lectured on the arts of seduction in the animal kingdom. we returned home to the soundtrack of the lil jon, fat joe hit "i make it rain." it was a good trip.

in other news, i depart for cleveland on the 13th. i'm having a going away thang that sunday, so, if anyone can come, i fully encourage it.

also, fiones and i went to see matt this past sunday and we went swimming and ate ice cream. it was glorious. KEEP THE UPDATES COMING

the next day we went out for break

Thursday, August 2, 2007

we had a show last night in oswego, and played in a small garage with about 30 kids standing around us.
we were all sweating tons but its probably the most fun ive had at a show. i
finally feel like we are all a part of this band equally. i just wish summer wasn't so close to ending so we could play more in places like this, where everyone just wants to be exactly where they are.

my iowa cousins are coming up and we might all go to new york city together.
so in other words, i might just have to quit my job at the K.

my mother made banana bread this morning, so i should go see how that's coming along.

dancing at the bugjar tonight (wish you all were here)