Matfield Green - Our first years

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Plenty cold around here

Ice and snow have been falling all day. I'm cozy warm in my office, contentedly working away. I called home at lunchtime just to say I was on my way. When I reminded Bill that I was on foot, not in the car, ever helpful, he rephrased his warning from, "Drive carefully," to "Don't fall on your ass."

Thanks, honey.

Friday, November 24, 2006


We're having some extra warm days this week, making it great fun to cook our turkey on the grill yesterday afternoon. I traveled to the Co-op in Lawrence last Saturday, 250 miles round trip, to buy the turkey and organic vegetables. Far from the self-sufficient farm life I'm aiming for but given the local grocery store alternatives, well worth the journey. The free-range turkey from a farm near Lawrence was exceptionaly juicy and rich.

Ted and Peggy Wolff, friends from Chicago joined us for dinner and are staying the weekend at the Grand Central Hotel in Cottonwood Falls. Ted is a railfan, so"trackside" at the bunkhouse is heaven for him. Susi Lulaki drove in from Kansas City, making it five for dinner. Afterward we hooked up with Tom and Barb and visiting family members for pie and coffee.

This morning Bill, Ted and I walked west from the bunkhouse, giving Ted the opportunity to admire from above the "S" of the freight trains as they ply the track toward Matfield Green. The fog this morning was extraordinary, layered in the valleys and draws with bright sun sparkling on the bluestem hills above.

We had our first official board meeting of the Pioneer Bluffs Foundation by telephone this morning. We've got the paperwork done to incorporate and will take ownership of the property on December 1.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Home again

So good to be back. The only good part of being away is stretching out on the bed at night. Here at home Pepper takes every opportunity to get a little closer to her humans. Breathe in and the dog is nearer still. My kingdom for a door!

Bill and I have made a habit of a Sunday morning walk together. Yesterday's started with the sight of a bald eagle soring overhead as we drove out to Jane and Marva's place. Their dog Alice, found out by the telephone tower just a few weeks ago and still very much a puppy herself at less than a year old, has just given birth to four pups. The tiniest one died in the first 48 hours, but the other three, all boys, are doing great, squeeling and suckling and having a great time in the box with mama. They'll be ready for new homes by December 22, so if you need a Christmas present... Alice weighs about 25 pounds, barely barks and is as sweet as can be.

We walked along the dry bed of Thurman creek and then up into the prairie. I'd never seen clouds exactly like the ones that gently echoed the swell of the hills below. We traversed at three distinctly different speeds. Bill the arrowhead hunter. Me making a loop in the sunlight, eager to feel my body moving, getting some exercise as he sifted through rocks down in the creekbed. And Pepper being called urgently hither and yon by smells we can only imagine.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A word before I hit the road again

I've been away from home most of this month. Having fun but longing, underneath it all, for the steady rhythms of home. Bill and I just returned from 4 days in San Francisco visiting Willie. We walked miles between hotel and museum and restaurant and our aching legs revealed the difference between a San Francisco hill and our gentler Flint Hills version. It was a perfectly balanced trip of time just hanging with Willie, time with old friends (one of mine and one of Bill's), great meals (chinese, japanese, middle eastern, all the stuff we don't get around here), and art at the deYoung and SF MOMA. A highlight was the Quilts of Gee's Bend. Go out of your way to see these quilts made by a community of black women in Alabama between the 1930s and today.

Pepper was thrilled to have us home. She did her happy dance and licked my face and begged Bill for potato chips.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A short call that made me smile

I just picked up the telephone, the line I only use for coaching. Clients use the number for scheduled coaching calls. No one was scheduled for today at 1:45 and as I reached for the reciever I quickly ran through the possibilities in my mind. To my surprise it was Bill Clinton. The former president. Here in my office. On my phone.

Calling to be coached? No way! Couldn't be. We've never met. We didn't have an appointment.

Took about just a few words, "This is Bill Clinton. I'm calling to urge you to vote on Tuesd..." to realize it was a recording.

To hang up.


Thursday, November 02, 2006


It was another sparkly morning, frost on the car and on the grass. Many of the trees are bare of leaves. The big elm in the field north and east of us is hanging on in full color. We worried about her in the spring when she was later than most to get her leaves. She's making up for it now.

The big pear tree in Phil & Kathy's yard is a massive pyramid of red.

I am off to Chicago for a couple of days and then next week Bill and I will spend five days with Willie in San Francisco. I'm happy about the visits and the people we'll see, but I'll miss being apart of the changes here.