Saturday, March 31, 2018

Banned By The Wild Birds

Nuthatch was here daily and would not give up his spot for anything!

Today I am excited about many things. Things I cannot really talk about yet, at least not here. Soon though. One thing I can talk about is I saw my first robin today! Every year, those birds make my day, the first time I see them. I heard them singing in the forest across the wood in the evening last night. Music to my ears! I tried to get a picture of one today, but still not close enough to my deck. I can't walk out in the yard or on the paths yet, still too muddy. The return of the robins and the other birds who leave for the winter is a sign to me, that winter weather is over or almost. It means soon we will have our windows and doors open. The grass will be green and I will be foraging for wild foods. New life will be all around. It is the time of the year I love.

Chickadees constantly here!

For some unknown (to me) reason, the wild birds that have came here every winter since we moved in, 1999, stopped coming here. It was like they had a meeting and we have a bird ban on our house and yard. None of the chickadees. I can't believe it those little traitors! They have always came right to me. I would be feeding them and they were so close I could have touched one. I didn't though. I became attached to the birds that I fed. Not only chickadees, but I had three different woodpeckers and I really loved those guys. One of them even started coming to my living room window and door to get my attention that they needed more food on the deck. He knew I was in here on my computer.

I love the 3 woodpeckers!

The blue jays, there are three, would come down to the rail of deck and take as much of the food as they could in one mouthful. It was funny to watch. They especially liked if I put out pieces of my homemade pumpkin bread. The woodpeckers' favorite was a cat food can of grease from meat, like pork, bacon , beef, etc. They would just sit there eating it. Always looking around, above them like afraid something would attack them. They were every day feeders, like the chickadees and the nuthatch.

Three Blue Jays also visited me daily!

I am not sure what has happened here at Peaceful Forest, unless it was that my husband took down most of the big trees around our homestead. He was afraid of them coming down in a storm and hitting our house, barn, shed, truck or horses. So he took them down in these last few years. Not sure if that was what would make the birds leave and never return. They are out in the forest, around here, just are not coming to the deck anymore. The robins though are back and have been in the yard. Normally we did not have any of them eating on our deck but last year, this one particular robin, started coming right up onto our deck.

This robin is the only one that comes to the deck like this.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Daddy, Me and the Minnows

Daddy and me in1979

He always said I was the apple of his eye,
I ran home crying, as fast as my legs would carry me.
My friends ganged up on me,
because I was the littlest, the youngest,
picking on me, causing my tears to flow,
"Oh Daddy, Daddy," I cried,
"They were so mean to me!"
He dried my tears with his handkerchief, 
and said, "Come with me."
In the middle of a big project, 
building a gas station, which would 
become our family business. 

Building our gas station

Took me across the road, 
gave me a candy bar and a bottle of pop, 
then a big spoon to dig in the dirt, 
while he set to work on the building. 
Pretty soon he took a break,
took me by the hand, carrying a minnow bucket, 
that fishermen use. We crossed the road again,
followed the path beyond our house,
to the creek that ran along the back,
climbed down to the edge of the water,
he said, "Look at the fish!"

"Oh Daddy, there are so many!"
"Let's catch you a few."
"Will I cook them to eat?" I questioned.
"No, we will set up a home for them,
in your bedroom, so you can watch them,
take care of them and spend time 
getting to know them." I was excited,
to say the least. I loved fish and couldn't believe
I could have them in my bedroom!


Then we picked out some gravel from the bottom
of the creek, some rocks and some seaweed and plants.
Back at our house, we put the minnows in a big glass jar
with the gravel, the rocks and the plants.
"Let's put the minnows in now," said Daddy.
We watched them swim, then scattered some crumbs to eat.
I remember for years and years, always having a minnow
tank in my bedroom. Something my Daddy and I did together,
every time the last minnow died.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Take A Chance

A woman hopes to fall in love,
with someone who loves her too.
He would be so good to her,
and treat her like a queen.
He would show that she matters,
by paying attention to her every word.
Focusing on her, instead of always
being distracted, not listening to her.
He would touch her the most,
by talking to her, teasing her,
not even a physical moment,
just saying what they felt.
Oh life would be so good,
romantic and fun, not just about
sex at all, but love and caring.

Then one day she comes to her senses,
that is not how it is in the real world.
At first love is new, all about us,
soon it starts to take a backseat to
a lot of other things, and the glow is
glimmering, but not as brightly.
it still feels it may be there somewhere,
but the sweet romantic notes and calls,
stop being so much and so many.
He stops remembering the cute little name,
he called you in the beginning.
Now, chooses a television show,
over a night of making love with you.

What happened and where did that time go?
It was special and now it is gone,
to be consumed by the relationship status again.
A new relationship that seemed so special, exciting
in the beginning, goes through the romantic period,
and now is gone. Gone forever and never to be found again.
The reason why so many women leave and look for new,
to get back that glow in the newness stage,
because it never lasts forever does it?
Or can it? Maybe the right man, the right thoughts,
if only it could last, just think how wonderful
your life could be, being with someone who would value you.
Just for you, who would whisper those sweet words
 you long to hear, while showing you his love is true.

Left alone with my hopes and dreams once again,
of a better time or a better man.
Of someone to whisper those terms of endearments,
that make my heart flutter and my mind stand still.
Of spending time with love, fun and joy.
Does that really exist? Or is it just in romantic novels”
Do real people all grown up, not a puppy love teen,
experience this love in their life?
It never gets old or boring or leads to
sadness, heartbreak or unfaithfulness?
The pain of hurt is what makes me afraid,
afraid to totally trust once again.
Afraid to share my secret thoughts,
my whole self with another.
Such an invasion it is when you
discover it is not true.
It is a hurt so deep that it takes forever
to recover from those bloodless wounds.
But recover you do and swear to yourself,
“Never again.” Then you do.
Take that more time!

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Living Secluded Can Be Scary

State forest around my homestead

Living secluded in the forest was scary to me in the beginning when I first moved here in 1999. I didn’t know what to expect and had those visions of wild animals such as bear and mountain lions coming right up to my house. My mother-in-law didn’t help much when her first look at our new house was cautioning me about strangers attacking me when I would be home alone. At that time my husband worked a night shift job so the hours I was alone was at night. And let me tell you, night time out here is certainly dark! The forest came almost right up to the back of the house at that time. I won’t lie and say I was not scared. I was. Very much so. Back then there was very little traffic on the dirt road which was basically a path through the woods. So when a car came by during the night when I was alone I would be frightened for a bit. I do not know what I would have done if anyone had pulled into my driveway. Not having an outdoor light limits what you can see out there.


Now I was not totally alone. I had our dog, Nikita, and my two cats, Nutmeg and Cinders. Nikita was a good watchdog, but at that time she was still a puppy and not that sure of herself. She would go upstairs to her bed to go to sleep and I was afraid to sleep up there alone, so I slept on the couch. I would finally fall asleep and down she would come, with her gruff bark. Like she heard something outside. She was not a barker and only barked one low bark to let me know she was concerned. I would let her outside if she wanted to go out and check. I was afraid something would get her when she went out but most of the time she sat on the porch guarding the front door. If my husband was home, she would defer to him to protect us. Then she would not go out the door unless he went too. Over the years she became braver and did an excellent job at keeping us safe.

Finger Lakes Trail
Since my homestead is surrounded by state forest and other hunting camps, there is a lot of activity around here, especially during hunting season. There is a one lane bridge leading to our road and the Finger Lakes Trail is along the creek and crosses the bridge and alongside our property. So we also have hikers, horseback riders, snowmobilers (since both roads around us are designated snowmobile trails) and four wheelers. Technically the four wheelers and snowmobilers are not supposed to use the Finger Lakes Trail since they would cause damage to it. But out here? Who is to know? Most of them come out here at night anyway. No cops here.

The Finger Lakes Trail lean-to

The Finger Lakes Trail built a really nice little lean-to for their hikers to sit a bit or stay overnight in a beautiful spot along the trail. Over the years, that has become a secluded party spot for local kids. They used to driver their vehicles down to the lean-to and party all night with their radios blasting. I know they did a lot of damage and left a lot of garbage along the trail and at the lean-to. So the Finger Lakes Trail association put huge boulders along the road to block the trail so you can’t drive down to it. It has worked pretty good. They have tried to move those boulders several times, but had to give up. Once they even brought someone’s tractor down to do it but for some reason was not able to do it.

Boulders blocking the trail

Before they barricaded the trail from vehicles, one dark night, when my husband was home (thank goodness!) three young teenagers appeared at my door. Nikita stood between me and the door and would not let them enter. I called to my husband and he came to see what they wanted. They were stuck when trying to drive out of the trail and their cellphone was on the charger in the car. The funny thing was they had all their windows rolled up and the doors locked, driving out from the lean-to, so when they got stuck, they must have jumped out of the car and slammed the doors shut. The car was running, the doors were locked but they could not get back in. They didn’t know what to do. So my husband said he’d see what he could do, and as he walks out of the house, Nikita squeezes between him and the kids. One of the boys said, “You are not bringing that dog are you?” My husband said, “she goes where she wants.” He said the whole time the boys were very scared of her, and she was difficult to see being so black and big. Well they ended up spending the night there because the only way to get into the car was to break a window and they did not want to do that. I think the next morning, one of the parents came looking for them.

Hobo on the very top of the barn!

I don’t know if they were kids or adults, but there has been many times of them shooting off guns in the middle of their drunken parties. If you wake up at 2:00 AM to gunfire, it is a scary feeling! Especially out here in the dark secluded forest. One time they were closer, near the bridge instead of the lean-to. I worried about a bullet hitting one of our horses. Or us in the house. I felt like we were sitting ducks. So much gunfire, I thought I was in a war! I took my gun, a 22 and my husband his black powder pistol and we went outside. Our barn at that time was not finished but had the upstairs floor finished and the framework done. So Nikita and I went up there. My husband went scouting around. I can’t remember what finally happened that time. Maybe he fired off the pistol which was a lot louder than whatever guns they were shooting. At least I am still here to tell you about it, so nothing happened to us.

July 2017

Everyone on my Facebook page always tells me to call the police. I learned after a number of times of calling them, they will not come here for a long time, if at all. Many times they never showed up. If they do, it is usually too late. One time a sheriff actually did come, but just drove around the roads and did not walk down to the lean-to where they were partying and shooting. Probably scared, so he left. No, out here you have to take care of yourself. Even though we are not that far from several towns, it is a dark state forest at night and assistance is not available. I am thankful to have survived and hopefully will keep doing so.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

For So Long

My heart was sad for so long,
I got used to it that way.
Nothing changed, no matter what,
I did my best, but lost my hope.
Searched for help constantly,
a futile effort it was for me.
Never giving me results,
needing not much to get by,
just a place to lay my head.
A safe home for my stuff,
a happy place to call my own,
for me and my lil’ bunny boy.
Freedom to do as we please.
lights, water running into sinks,
taking showers day and night.
People to meet and talk to,
making friends here and there,
a normal life like everyone else.

Not looking at it from afar,
or wishing I was like everyone else. 
I, not always lived this way,
I am sure I could fit in after a bit,
getting used to modern conveniences,
like always before, no longer secluded,
no one making choices for me anymore.
Doing what and how I please
excites me so much, you wouldn’t believe.
I have been planning this for so long,
never thought it would actually happen.
Someone to talk to, helped make my decision,
pushed me along till it is finally time.

Time to say good-bye to this life,
to live like normal people,
who take things for granted,
they use every day.
Places they go and cars they drive,
not spending months at a time,
without going away from their home.
Soon I will be one of them too.
Never would have gotten this far,
was held back by not having a car.
So kept thinking and writing why,
I needed to do this and hopefully now,
is the time, won’t be too late.
I am determined now to not let anything,
get in my way or stop me,
from walking out that door.

This means the end of my life,
as I have known it, for many years.
It is time to make this change,
for my well being and mental self.
It scares me to death.........
but I know it is something, I must do!
It is the hardest thing I have ever done,
though have been dreaming of it,
forever, and wanting it so bad.
What is wrong with me?
Am I so scared of the fury of the dark man?
Who presides over my life, that the fear
becomes unbearable at times.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, March 26, 2018

Taking a Big Step

For many years now, I have been involved with the modern homesteading movement or as some people refer to it as self-sufficiency, self-reliance or "preppering." If you are young and in very good physical health it seems to be a good alternative to life outside of the normal life. It is a way to live without having much money or even a job. You can live off your land and sell things you grow or raise. Add in the "off-the-grid" homestead (I am talking about the electric grid, not anything more than that. Some readers will tell me off-the-grid means no computer, no propane, no car, no phone...........well if that is what you want, you are welcome to it. Not me, no thank you!"), and you are talking about a hard physical road before you. Believe me, I know this after having lived this life for more than 20 years. It definitely is not for sissies. I have always said that what a woman needs to live this way is a good hardworking man!

I never foresaw my legs, my knees in particular, would become so bad that I could not walk very well. I actually enjoyed doing a lot of the physical work on my homestead. During that time period too, I worked a couple of hard physical jobs such as taking care of horses at a local thoroughbred horse farm and also worked at a nursing home and then later as a home health aide. Those jobs were a bit physically demanding and I did them with no real problems. In my past I was really into exercise, race walking many miles, belonging to a local health club and having my own really nice home gym in my house. But somewhere along the way, I ended up having too much calcium in my body and had to have one of my parathyroid glands removed. I do not know if that is what caused my bones in my knees and legs to go bad.

After the operation, and I mean right immediately after it, my husband changed jobs and lost our medical insurance. I was never able to go back to the doctor for a follow up. That was back in 2002 and all the years, I just got worse and worse. Now I plan on going to a doctor as soon as the snow is melted and I can get out of here to find out. I am excited about it. It is not easy to suffer not knowing the reason or if it could possibly have been fixed. The parathyroid thing must run in my family because my Daddy had the same problem, except I think he had to have two removed. I think you have four. Soon I was walking with a cane and still am. I can't go up and down the stairs in my house any longer. It has made it difficult for me. I am not one to ask for help if I can do for myself. I feel like a burden.

Before that I helped with the firewood, carried water in the house, cleaned the horses's stall, fed the horses every day, worked in my garden, did the laundry outside for both of us and gardening, which involved transporting compost to the raised beds. I even built a raised bed from rocks I hauled from our horses' paddock. Regardless of what reason or why you may suddenly, or not so suddenly, become disenchanted with this lifestyle, you shouldn't have to continue it if you choose not to. I choose not to. I am looking forward to embracing many changes in the months ahead and it will not include a homesteading life any longer. This blog will evolve to follow me in whatever I do. Much of it will have to do with my health and how I plan to improve it. At almost 66 years of age, I am ready to live my life the way I want to. It is about time and I am so ready for this change.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Escape Reality

I woke up to the stars twinkling
in the black sky, soon drinking my coffee, planning my day.
What to do? Where to start? Endless tasks on my mind,
suddenly thoughts of someone, flit through
my thoughts, settled in and stayed.
No thoughts of chores, problems or what have you,
thinking thoughts of someone, much deeper than those.
My day starts being better with positive thoughts,
happy thoughts and full of love. Till the dark force
shows its face once again through the face of the bad man.
The bad man who lives with anger, temper, meanest ,
never shows compassion or caring without a selfish motive.
Tears my innards apart with upset, nervousness and fear.
Builds up over time until I can stand it no longer.

Plans made to escape my reality, road blocks appear,
must restart again, stick to my plan no matter what.
need to follow through before my life disappears,
and I am, but a shadow of my true self.
Need to do this as fast as I can
but things keep getting in the way.
Please Lord, do not let me sway
for someone else, for their problems.
Why should my life take the backseat once more?
I feel invisible once again, but trying hard to use it
to my advantage, to escape this nightmare,
this nightmare called my life.

Every day, I begin again, hoping for what?
An easier road to travel, joyful times in my future,
or are they just a vision for something that never
materializes or becomes my reality, I cry in pain
at that thought. Please let my escape become real.
Please let me live again. I once did. I gave it up for what?
For a man, for more than a few men. Who overcame me,
took my freedom, my thoughts, my control and yes,
then my life too. My life too.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Losing Control of Your Life

Many times in life we stumble and fall. It is not that easy to get up again and start over. In my own life, I have started over too many times to count. Each time was difficult and a task I swore I would never endure again. One time in particular the pain was excruciating. I remember thinking I was flawed. I was someone nobody wanted or loved, except my immediate family. Why did I let another person make me feel this way? I thought and thought about why and how I came to this point in my life. I felt so bad and depressed and the person in question kept trying to give me Valium. I took it, but it did not take the pain away. My thought is that he was thinking I would just sleep my way through this period and forget what he did. Instead I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. Now maybe back in those days, the psychiatrists didn't freely prescribe drugs to ease your pain. They helped you by talking to you and listening to you. He did indeed, help me. I only went a few times. Then the person causing my pain made an appointment with MY psychiatrist, because he did not like what the doctor was telling me to do.

The truth is that I was completely controlled by a man I trusted and was married to. He not only controlled me, but many other people too. Even his clients, since he was an accountant and handled their finances. The night he told me he wanted a divorce, his lawyer came to our home and they coerced me into signing a separation agreement. The next day he moved out and he made me go to a movie with our son while he did so. Yes, he did make me do this! I still was doing what he told me to do. Yes, he still had control of me. Through out our marriage I was a stay at home wife and mother. The only time I worked was during his busy tax season when I worked as the receptionist in his office, so his secretary could assist him in doing the tax returns. It was always a very busy season for him as he was very successful. He paid me for it and that was the only time I worked during our marriage.

One important thing he stressed to me, as did his lawyer too, that if I went to my own lawyer about this, I would lose the generous alimony he had stipulated in the separation agreement. There was no provisions at all for our son who was eighteen and had just graduated from high school that year. He was developmentally disabled and not really eighteen mentally. No support at all in his interest. I think if I had gone to my own lawyer, he may have alerted me to this fact. I found out later that no matter what, the separation agreement after we signed it, would never have been void just because I went to a lawyer. Oh how naive I was back then! Never let anyone, husband, wife, child, siblings or anyone at all take control of your life! It is just too hard to gain it back and figure out what to do next. So our divorce was handled by the same lawyer, who was in my husband's pocket of course. Stupid Kathy!

When he left, I did not even know what bills we paid or how much. I had no claim on his business which made a lot of money. Our bank accounts were separate and I just wrote checks and would tell him how much to deposit in my account. Every now and then he'd take all my credit card bills and pay them off in full. Hey, we lived the good life. Vacations, several a year. Nice cars. I had it all or so I thought. A beautiful house in an area of really nice homes. All cut off almost immediately. Though yes, I did get a very generous amount of alimony. He would eventually keep paying it for the two years of the agreement, even after I remarried. He pushed me into my second marriage to get me out of his hair and not feel so guilty about his leaving me for a topless dancer. He had no regrets apparently as the week-end he left me, him and his new girlfriend (who I might add was a pretty good friend of mine as well as his) went on a vacation to Mexico. I was heartbroken.

What I learned in this episode of my life is to never give up your life to someone else. Though in my second brief marriage to a bad alcoholic, I did not do so. He was good to me even though drunk through out the whole two years of marriage. I just could not tolerate that lifestyle. I did eventually give up my control again.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Listening for a Sound

I am listening for a sound or a signal from someone,
or something to touch me down deep;
that will remind me, why I am here.
Or where I came from and where I will go.
Timeless visions embedded in my mind,
that remind me of sights I have seen.
Of looks that have become stuck in an endless reel,
over and over again, backwards and forwards,
with no end. A loop that just keeps going,
my mind sees it over and over and needs relief,
but it never stops, this parody called my life.

Early morn I arise at first light,
see the glint of sun in the sky.
Hope abides in my thoughts for the day,
it will be better, I will be sane today.
I will feel the air against my skin,
and sunshine will bathe me in its rays.
Hope and dreams for a better day
for today, and every day as it begins.
Though somewhere in my morning,
those thoughts are erased from my mind,
now dark thoughts, discouraging words
are all that remain.

I searched and searched for someone or something,
to lift my sadness even for a day, for an hour or so.
There is no remedy for that coming from any being.
The only one that has that power is me.
Not sure it would comply with what I need or seek,
having spent a lifetime in search of it needlessly.
Now my days are spent in endless boring tasks,
chores that run my house, but have no affect on me.
Nothing that makes me think, hope or dream,
nothing that makes me happy, alive or full of joy.
It is all sad, unhappy moments in a woman’s lifetime,
that consumes her every thought through out her day.
Will it ever end? Will she ever be free? When?

She feels like she is wrong. She is living in her fantasy world,
but feels like a whore. Feels like she is doing wrong for wanting,
for wanting a life that is hers, a life that is fun and happy.
What is life if not meant to be enjoyed? Is it just for work,
boredom and doing for others, what they can do for themselves?
How do you escape this dull gray life for life beyond?
How? Can someone tell me? Tell me it is possible,
not a futile dream from novels and movies,
that make up her fantasy world.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole