Special Skills Needed

On town meeting day, the school gymnasium was rife with rumors about the imminent Wife Swap. I don’t know how many little old ladies I had to convince that I really wasn’t going to make the swap. Really!

This weekend the maple sap ran and so did I, from one outdoor project to another. I stoked fires, hauled buckets of sap, climbed ladders, and clipped branches. And I must say, it all made me think about how likely it would be that NBC could find a replacement wife that would be willing to finish off the strange pruning that Maurice the moose began or clean up after a moose that had chewed his way through an orchard of fiber.


As my grandfather would have said, “Not Bloody Likely.”

Got Reality TV?

Winter in northern New Hampshire lasts many moons many long moons an eternity. For me, this means a lot of crappy reality TV.

Because there are just so many evenings when I want to huddle around a roaring fire reading the classics. Yes, I do read every night and yes, 90% 75% 50% 2% of the books I read are great works of art, but this winter has gone on for so long and been so persistently cold that Jim tells me we are going to run out of firewood for the stove that heats our home BEFORE the end of this particularly tiresome winter. And I am sorry. No fire, no Charles Dickens.

And anyways, a girl’s gotta live! It can’t all be Jane Austen.

So while many some the occasional evening is spent with Mr. Darcy, some evenings I spend with the “The Bachelor”, or at the Brooklyn “Real World” house dump, or with my friend, Whitney, in “The City”.

My excuse? I still have a teenager in the house. I still am a teenager. I always was more low brow than high. The moose made me do it. With all our label problems, I have been sniffing too much varnish and glue to think clearly and make good choices.

So yes, I was there Monday night when the bachelor Jason proposed to Melissa on a New Zealand hilltop, then I was there five minutes later in an ABC studio far, far away when Jason broke up with Melissa so he could pick up where he left off with another bachelorette, one of the twenty four ladies he had previously discarded.

I was also there the next night at the “After the Rose Ceremony, part II” when the bachelor was aglow with love for his replacement squeeze.

Ah romance!

Things haven’t been much better on “The City” where snarky Olivia, over at Diane Von Furstenberg, has taken credit for pulling the clothes for a magazine cover shoot with Jessica Alba when in fact….. our plucky heroine Whitney pulled the winning outfit. Plus Whitney’s boyfriend is staying out ’til five am with his ex, while simultaneously living at Whit’s place.

Ah young romance!

And everyone in my family is tired of me pontificating about the action on “Real World” and how it reflects the problems of our times.

In a household of great religious, social, and gender identity diversity, this group is fighting about the dishes. As four very spoiled girls refuse to wash a single cup or plate, take out their trash, or lift a finger around their luxury “Real World” digs because, “they are adults and don’t need to be told what to do.” the four boys in the house are on the warpath, trying to get them to be responsible about their messes.

Besides the boys warming the cockles of mothers’ hearts everywhere, this unexpected dynamic fits into my thesis about the crisis of personal responsibility plaguing our culture. And frankly, my own children are tired of me reminding them about this.

So anyways, until now, I have been only a spectator in all this TV reality drama, a noisy opinionated spectator, but nothing more than that. Then two days ago I received an inquiry from ABC to see if I was interested in being on their reality TV show “Wife Swap”.

I kid you not.

Apparently, I would go live for a week or two in another family as the temporary wife and mother of a new brood, while this family’s wife and mother would come and be the temporary factotum here.

The letter from the casting director tells me that they are looking for an animal communicator and somehow decided that was sort of what I did. Hmmmmm. I can only guess how much of the website they read………. VERY LITTLE, because I would say that talking to animals was the least of my oddities.

In any case, no one needs a film crew to imagine how this one would play itself out. Can’t you just write this script already?

I will be sent off to some household where my new family thinks someone who talks to animals is crazy and works for Satan. This will cause sparks to fly. Lots of sparks. Because not only do I talk to animals, but I work for Fairies and Angels. I also see colored lights around people. Around my new husband’s head I will probably see red. He and our viewing audience will think I am certifiable and maybe my new husband will certify me right then and there. On reality TV! My moment on “Wife Swap” will be more exciting than “the Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony ever” and that’s saying something!

Meanwhile, what about Jim and Will? Apparently the new wife and mother is supposed to right the ship in a household woefully out of balance. Would Will and Jim provide enough fodder for the new wife? Would they get their fair share of air time when at my new household someone has been called in to do an exorcism on me?????????

Yup, there are some serious problems with Jim and Will. I may be just the wacky handful that all good reality TV shows are looking for, but the Sheehan men are vanilla to my rocky road. Will has no piercings, tattoos, drug or attitude problems. We could work up some issues fast, but maybe nothing more exciting than a serious milkshake addiction. He does like two milkshakes a day and who can blame him? He is growing faster than bamboo. We also could try to drum up some disciplinary problems. I mean the kid does experience an occasional lapse about feeding the dogs at five sharp.

And Jim? I am sorry but there is nothing incendiary about a guy who does the laundry AND takes care of all car problems. If his new wife wants a dramatic challenge, she is going to be bored bored bored. And I am afraid that if ABC needs dual drama at both my new household and my old one, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

I guess I will just have to pass on this chance of a lifetime,

But if any of you animal communicators out there are ready for a rumble, I’d be happy to forward on the name and email address of the casting director to you. He wants you and if you sign up, I promise to watch. We’ll be out of firewood by then and will be huddling around the TV looking for the kind of warmth only reality TV can bring.

Dreaming of Peanut Flower

Of late, when I was not gluing or varnishing our new labels, I was trying to reach “our account executive” at the label company. This involved me emailing on an hourly basis and calling in between emails, always to hear a voice message that Mr. X was away from his desk. Yes, I had noticed that.

As days went by, I joked he was more likely under his desk hiding from my calls, than away from it.

Yesterday, just as I decided I needed to get Jim to up the ante with his manyly man voice leaving manly man messages for Mr. X, I got a one line email agreeing to the label rerun.

This was a good moment, but I had to wonder if this situation of me bludgeoning Mr. X into doing the right thing and replacing labels that didn’t have enough glue wasn’t a bit like our current economic situation. Somehow in both instances, much seems to hinge on people’s different ideas about personal responsibility.

To turn my attention to Flowers and Flower Essences for an instant, I am extremely interested in the convergence of the peanut butter crisis at the same time as this national crisis. So interested that I am going to grow Peanuts for their Flowers this summer and make an Essence from them.

Why do I think the two situations are related? Universal laws of attraction bring things together. Additionally, the universe is always trying to teach us what we need to learn using an imaginative and multi- layered curriculum. Right now this involves Peanuts.

Do you remember when Anita Bryant as spokesperson for Orange growers in Florida went up in flames after making some very ugly homophobic remarks? Orange Flower Essence is about calming and resolving fiery debates about highly charged issues especially those of sexual orientation. Anita and Orange Flowers had an appointment with destiny and the rest of us got one big inservice on tolerance.

So when the largest food recall in American history happened at this particular juncture, I naturally began to think about Peanuts and the potential gifts in Peanut Flower Essence, gifts that are just what we need right now.

Peanuts have Flowers that turn and bury themselves in the soil before forming peanuts. This is very unusual behavior in a Flower. In fact, I can think of no other Flower that does this. Is this Flower and its Essence going to help us dig deep into our hidden reserves as the Flower does? Is this Essence about harvesting what is below the surface of this situation? Or in an entirely different way, is the Flower showing us what happens when we put our head in the sands hoping that all our problems will go away if we don’t look at them?

I look forward to finding out what exactly is going on with Peanut Flower. I look forward to meeting the Flower and its vibration and beginning to find answers to my questions about its timely gifts. One thing I do know is that no matter what issues Peanut Flower Essence addresses, it will be offering us an enlightened vibrational wisdom that will help us with the situation we are in right now. That is what Flowers do, bring themselves to our attention just when we need them most..

As I consider whether this Essence will be about giving up wishful thinking about who is responsible for what or even what needs to be done, I am not counting myself out from having struggles about these issues. I can avoid looking at the obvious as well as the next guy. After all, I am the person that only last May looked down at her noticeably shattered arm and wrist and thought, “I wonder if I lie here for a few minutes and pray everything will be all better?” Sometimes we actually have to go through a lot of pain and hard work before everything is better. Sometimes things are never quite the same but there is a necessary harvest from the journey of suffering. All this I learned again with my wrist and arm. No doubt you too have had these individual learning experiences along these lines. But now it seems we are all called to pitch in together on a common journey. I am glad Peanut will be with us.

Things that Stick and Things that Don’t

Thank goodness for the diversion of Maurice. He has taken to sleeping under the eaves of our small barn and there is perhaps nothing cuter than a sleeping moose curled up in the snow.

At dawn, we watch him wake up, swiveling his mammoth ears back and forth to listen to every noise in our household. When he gets to his feet, it is at once so graceful and so impossible to imagine how he has gotten those gangly legs under himself so fast and so artfully.

At night, we listen to him munch his way through every twig on the property. I have decided that for this year at least, the trade off of less fruit is worth it. Darling Maurice can eat those buds with impunity.

William is taking care of the neighbor’s chickens this week and as he heads off after dusk to shut the chickens in their coop, he scans with a big flashlight. He really doesn’t want to accidently run into Maurice. His flashlight has caught Maurice in its beam a couple of times. Fortunately, Maurice has just kept on with his meal and William has navigated around him.

This is all lovely diversion from tiresome February snowstorms and snowballing issues with our new labels. We now find ourselves hand gluing as well as varnishing each label because the glue on the label is not holding and the labels are peeling at each end.

The label company and I have come to terms and they are going to rerun the labels, but they want me to test other materials before they rerun the labels. This means a bit more time using these half baked labels while we try to figure out what constitutes testing different label materials.

Besides asking them to guide me in this test process, I keep asking for the label material we got last time that worked perfectly fine. So far no one has told me if that is available, or told me how to test the different materials either.

All this to say, thank you for your patience if you were one of the lucky folks who got either unvarnished unsticky labels on your Essences or varnished but not sticky labels- I am so sorry! Until this experience I had no knowledge or opinions about “paper memory issues” and frankly, I preferred it that way.

So Maurice is my favorite visitor right now.


And the varnish bottle and the glue stick are the visitors that are overstaying their welcome.
On another, happier front, the new guide is at the printers. I met with all sorts of people involved in the print process this morning, ever so grateful to have Jess at my side translating the printspeak. We don’t have an exact print date yet, but I don’t think we are more than a month or two out. In the meantime, we have a few extra boxes of the 2005 guides. If you would like some to share, we are happy to send you whatever you want. Please email [email protected] or call us at 603-469-3662 if you want copies to share in any way. Thank you! And now, I have to get back to my craft activities……..

Our Gentleman Caller Gets a Name

Morning, noon and night our new gentleman caller visits our fruit trees. We hear the crunch of his feet as he passes right in front of the kitchen window on his way from one orchard to another. Our neighbors named him Maurice.

He truly is Maurice, the gangster of love. He has completely stolen our hearts!


And there he goes on his appointed rounds.

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!