Monthly Archives: November 2015

Thanks to those Supporting our Sandy Mush Community

Big Sandy Mush Community Center

Big Sandy Mush Community Center

Many in our community and the surrounding areas enjoyed a great family friendly evening last night at our Sandy Mush Community Center.  This historic school building has been a central gathering place for our community throughout the years, and we are working hard to get that community spirit reenergized.  Last night was a great start!  We had a wonderful band and caller for our contra and square dance, and it was a fun and welcoming group of people.

I want to send out a personal thanks of appreciation:

We would like to send out a thanks to all our wonderful sponsors of our Sandy Mush Thanksgiving Dance.   We had well over 150 people join us for this fun community dance.  We appreciate everyone who joined us, volunteered, baked cakes and goodies, and sponsored our efforts, as well as the community families who are making an annual commitment to support our community center.   A Big Sandy Mush Thanks to these sponsors:

 Southern States

Red Oak Recovery

Leicester Supply

NC Senator Terry Van Duyn

NC Rep. Brian Turner

Peggy Baldwin & John Loyd

I didn’t get a chance to get photos, but I am hoping to share some when someone who did get photos sends me some.  Hope you can join us next time.

Gratitude as a Daily Practice

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” — Maya Angelou

She was a very wise woman, and she is missed.  I do believe a daily practice of gratitude would increase our overall well being on both an individual and societal level.  May we all strive to fill our hearts with gratefulness.

With appreciation and joy from Bee Branch Farm,


Monarchs and Milkweeds

This fall, Glenn and I were pleased to observe Monarchs, and we plan to increase the native milkweeds in our landscape.  Here is a good resource:  Also, it looks like Hop’n Blueberry Farm in Black Mtn. sells milkweed and provides informational tours.  If you know of any other local sources for native milkweed that haven’t been treated with insecticides or pesticides, please share.    It is such a joy to be still and observe.

Eastern United States Milkweeds and Monarch Butterflies

A time for “much good work” to be done.

Today as a way of thanks, a friend shared this wisdom from Wendell Berry with me, and I am grateful.

“No settled family or community has ever called its home place an “environment.”  None has ever called its feeling for its home place “biocentric” or “anthropocentric.” None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as “ecological,” deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of “ecology” and “ecosystems.” But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind.

The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people.  And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is “work.”  We are connected by work even to the places where we don’t work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another.

The name of our proper connection to the earth is “good work,” for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places, and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth.

The name of our present society’s connection to the earth is “bad work” – work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.”
― Wendell Berry

Garrett Cove Hike with Vance Garrett

Beyond the beauty, vigor and friendship, I learn something new each time we join together on our Sandy Mush hikes.  This time I learned that our family’s land on Garrett Cove is actually called and spelled the Isom pasture after Isom Evans.  I always thought it was Isen  (a slurred icing in my childhood mind); it shows how easy it would be for geographic or other names to get changed over the years.  I also learned that the cabin that our friends, Dave and Kim, restored on their Sandy Mush Farm (aka Everett Farm aka McCracken Place), our September hike, was originally on this land and was moved in the 1940’s before finally relocating on Dave and Kim’s.

But most importantly, I learned that Vance is a heck of tree climber and apple picker!  Sorry you missed the hike and the apples, but enjoy the photos.

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