Monday, August 27, 2012

September and I am still down

I'm at the library again. I wanted to post this update. It might be awhile before I get on blogger again -- much to my chagrin. Some other issues have emerged in my quest to get back on blogger -- problems that I am working on resolving. Thanks to RunE, Nature Weaver, Hattie, Birdman, Carole Ann Carr, Barbara Rodgers, turquoisemoon, and June Calendar for the supportive comments. I miss everyone and everything about blogger -- barbara

Monday, August 13, 2012


I am sitting at my nearest public library writing out my tale of woe. 

My computer has crashed. My mother-board died. 

I have ordered a new Dell. 

In the meantime, until I get it up and running, I will not have access to anyone on blogger.

I expect to be off about three weeks.

-- barbara

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Appalachian Backwater Area

The house above is an example of the vernacular architecture found in the backwater areas of central and eastern Kentucky. Backwater having two meanings; one, that the area is peaceful and isolated and two, that the area's culture can be moving to a different drumbeat than other parts of the nation. 

Most of these small cracker box types of homes were built in the early 1900s when many backwater areas did not have electricity nor plumbing and schooling was not emphasized as important. Today these types of homes on the Kentucky landscape  are swiftly disappearing along with the culture they symbolize.

Like any culture we can always learn something from it. When these homes can no longer be spotted on the land we will have lost a friendly handshake along with values such as making do, hard work, and simple ways.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Xyara playing one of her flutes

Street musicians are a rare commodity in the small town of Berea, Kentucky. Xyara, a flutist, is one of those rarities that fills Berea's main street with lilting rhythms for a short period of time each year. A former native of Appalachia she now lives in southern Oregon. Her family still resides in Appalachia where she visits once a year while also bringing her music to her native streets. 

Xyara's headdress

Her clothes and headdress exude a mother earth quality. When I asked her how she feels about Appalachia now that she lives in Oregon she said that the natural beauty of the land such as the sassafras and tupelo trees speak to her when she visits. She feels that she will always have part of her being  in the natural richness of the stories and traditions of Kentucky. 

Her lovely lilting notes attract the smiles of passing folks. She is animated as she plays in her bare feet -- moving in rhythm to her music. 

Xyara  travels with a collection of flutes that she plays at different times. There is a softness to listening to flute music that soothes one's soul.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Down Blue Lick Road one can see the remains of an old agricultural base -- now dotted with ranch homes on acreage. One wonders what this area looked like before the building splurge of the past thirty years. Who owned and worked the land? Who sold the land? I have a tendency to be theoretical as I ride down many roads similar to Blue Lick -- once farms now mostly  ranch type homes. The historical markers on the land appear as outbuildings and barns. Not many. Just a few to remind you that there are old memories that travel with the land.  

The small old barn above is slowly deteriorating. When it falls what will take its place? The fabric of farms is steadily being torn to shreds with only an outhouse there, a barn down the road, and perhaps a storage shed mingled in with the new garage.  -- not even farm houses seem to survive. 

Why are we in such a rush to let our farming past with all its beautiful structures fall into ruins -- almost right before our eyes?