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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Letter. Yes, it's old-fashioned.

Dear Family and Friends:

Although to the world at large this is the Christmas season, for us and the gang at Bells Bend Farms this is the end of our third CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) season. We had 85 happy families as members this year, and also sold produce at a local farmer’s market. Our absolutely splendid crew of workers, friends, neighbors, and volunteers have made boredom an impossibility, especially on Tuesdays, our potluck dinner night.

We harvested our first hops, and Yazoo Brewery made a limited edition of Bells Bend Preservation Ale, celebrated at our First Annual Hops and Square Dance Festival. Yazoo’s winter charity run is also scheduled for our neighborhood next week.

Tom’s retirement continues to be punctuated by the acquisition of machinery, most recently a much-needed pickup truck. I’m still fulltime at Vanderbilt, and have had a couple of art shows and poetry readings on the side, with work at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, North Carolina.

We had a spectacular trip to Turkey with a little side trip to Paris this fall. Tom had a memorable massage in a bathhouse that opened for business in 1539 , and came home with a bag of lovely Black Sea rocks (if you have to ask, you’ll never understand), in addition to the memories of hundreds of eagles and falcons circling overhead during fall migration. And so much more.

Liz has started grad school at the University of Chicago, studying literature, which will, of course, improve her barista credentials.

Rachel is in the middle of the med school applications process, and continues to work at Beaman Park, supervising volunteers (Vandy frat boys!) and assisting with environmental education.

India, after a term in Ecuador and a summer doing geology in Wyoming, is a senior at Beloit College—geology and the school paper seem to be her main interests these days. Or so we hope.

We’re going to have fresh carrots, beets, radishes, and greens throughout the winter—come on down and have dinner with us!

From Brenda, speaking for Tom, Liz, Rachel, India, and all the beings, sentient or otherwise, who have roamed through, eaten, dropped by, slept, danced, harvested, hoed, picked guitar/banjo/mandolin, barked, tunneled, washed dishes, laughed hysterically, swum, purred, and cackled over/on/through Sulphur Creek Farm this year…and Merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

the week that was. another one. "gotta get my baby heads"

So let's see: Sunday the beach/Thanksgiving crowd (well, really Tom and Rachel) return. Monday a spontaneous shrimp-fest. Weird pics of Tom's Black Sea Rocks brought home from Turkey, along with the Black Sea plastic doll arm, which triggered the appearance of the Sulphur Creek Very Strange Doll Head and Related Stories. (Tom's immortal line: "gotta get my baby heads"...)

Tuesday: Potluck at EricTheFarmer's. Wednesday: Gathering of the HopHeads--Tom, Keith, Eric, Joe, and Peter--to plan where to put new cables to expand the hop crop. Thursday: Farm dinner.

Friday: My most challenging monthly day-long clinic, lunch talk, inpatient rounds, signout. Raced over to Scarritt-Bennett for the opening of "23 Years", a very interesting show about war which features a large group of my drawings. Eventually home for the end of Rachel's birthday dinner.

Saturday: big batch of greens and slaw cooked up with Sidney for the Nashville Occupiers.

Quite a week. Maybe you had to be here.

Actually not all that different from most weeks.

(And thanks to Shea Sulkin for the photo and a good bit of the hysterical laughter around Monday night's dinner table.)