Friday, December 28, 2012

Students Caught Eating Curriculum

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math curriculum must be delicious,
students at my workshops thought so!

   The workshop and demonstration S.T.E.A.M. Ice Cream  is rocking the schools with excitement and creating buzz at expos and fair type outings.  S.T.E.A.M. Ice Cream uses alternative energy to make 5 gallons of delicious ice cream. Students don't think twice about the math and science because the workshop naturally engages their imagination and willingness to experiment and improvise.

The art of storytelling releases the student inquisitive nature through stories of inventors and innovators, many of whom were very young when they began their work. With these stories shared we get the group consensus that it is cool to invent and  there are no wrong answers when brainstorming. Students inhibitions about sharing off beat thoughts diminish as they work in a atmosphere of acceptance. The goal of producing 5 gallons of ice cream is a worthy reward too!

With the stories and math done the brainstorming comes in. How can we use what we have to power the ice cream maker. Bike power or solar power, are available, wind and water are coming in 2013, and a novel way invented by one of the workshop students!  We may even get kid power harnessed!!
                                A recycled bike make a great power unit even a cow can run!

The S.T.E.A.M. Ice Cream  Workshop can be a 3 hour workshop, a 2 hour workshop, it can be done with large groups that rotate through stations and  it is a great 45 demonstration with tasting after a batch is made!

When we do shorter workshops we send the math and science worksheets along in advance and have some things as follow up. Students see the process of making the ice cream using alternative energy and hear the storytelling/literacy component. I always include info on open space, farm to school, farmland preservation and buy local to the conversation during my visits.

At a fair, expo, event, corporate visit or museum S.T.E.A.M. Ice Cream can be an ongoing demo  with  ice cream being sampled. 

If you are looking for the newest way to engage students or the public at an event S.T.E.A.M. Ice Cream is sure to please a crowd!

visit my website for more details:

from the website you can call or email to query a date, find links to grants that could cover this program for your non profit or school and contact me with questions.

S.T.E.A.M. Ice Cream is on Facebook come "Like" the page please

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Weather Vanes Fox Story Resource

Weather vanes story resources is an occasionally recurring series in my blog. Each weather vane highlights particular subjects with links and anecdotal information to help create a living story from material on the web.

Elusive and wily the fox in story and in the wild represents a character of resource and cunning.

Brer Fox is a character of the Uncle Remus folk tales that were collected by Joel Chandler Harris. These folk tales were made popular once again and brought to the new era by Walt Disney. The first use of Brer Fox in his 1946 movie Song of the South and later with the construction of Splash Mountain at Disney World Orlando, Fla.  To read more about the history of Brer Fox in media here is the link to the Wikipedia page:'er_Fox_and_Br'er_Bear

Here is an online link to a classic Brer Fox tale;

Eatonton, GA. is home to the Uncle Remus Museum. Housed in former slave quarters the small museum an American folklore treasure. Trip Advisor has news and reviews of the Uncle Remus Museum with photos included.

The direct link to the museum is here:

     Francis Marion  of South Carolina was among the legends and heroes  created during the American Revolution. Smithsonian sifts through the resources, legends, lore  and fact to get a closer look at our wily patriot.

more on the legend:

Walt Disney again had a part in the later career of this Fox. Disney created a TV series in 8 parts depicting the life of the notorious patriot. Actor Leslie Nielsen was the star. After the original airing
dates the show returned in syndicated programming and three episodes on DVD. More here:  

Here is a quote from the theme song:
      "Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, tail on his hat... nobody knows where the Swamp Fox at; Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, hiding in the glen, He'll ride away to fight again. Got no money, got no beds, got no roof above our heads; got no shelter when it rains, All we've got is Yankee brains!"

South Carolina Storyteller Tim Lowry portrays the Legendary General Francis Marion. His website: 

 Other posts from the Weather vane series:


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

100 Day Journey to Mustang Makeover

100 days ago he was nothing, no... he was a bit of wind and plains trapped temporarily in horsehide. The BLM ( Bureau of Land Management) round up, brought him in and he was put with a shipment headed east to TN. There he ran through chutes and into the waiting  trailer of trainer Geoff Goodson and a second journey, this time to Connecticut.

Now his 100 days are up and he is off again. This trip is to Clemson, SC. and the Extreme Mustang Makeover. The competition of  horse trainers and Mustang horses is a unique look at the incredible intelligence, compatibility, and flexibility of the Mustang.

They leave today for the long ride south. A team effort to put Lil Joe Wrangler into the competition with other Mustangs and trainers. With Geoff Goodson are a ring crew and more importantly to us back home, updates from Clemson! Lil Joe will compete in compulsories, and freestyle. Check it all out here at their site:

Compulsories are the useful and safety oriented skills of a good equine citizen. Expectations are high and all the Mustangs need to  exhibit a strong foundation before moving on to the freestyle.

Freestyle, an event to measure how much trust and training can be developed in a 100 day program of foundation building. Lil Joe Wrangler was a star pupil. His work sessions were kept short to accommodate his young age and physical development. He became a go everywhere, do everything horse. Lil Joe developed a fan club, he has a big heart and a personality the size of the open plains. Before leaving for Clemson and the big weekend long competition Geoff Goodson and Lil Joe Wrangler put on a public demonstration here at Round Stone Farm in East Hampton CT.

Here is a video compilation  from the Mustang Demonstration with CT. Horse trainer Geoff Goodson.

Here is a link to Geoff Goodson's site:

Best of Luck to Geoff Goodson and Lil Joe Wrangler in the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Previous Blogs in the Lil Joe series:


Monday, October 8, 2012

Won't Be Caught Speeding

My husband had a tire blowout the other day, ripped a gaping smile shape into the thick black rubber tire. My son, a mechanical minded young man set to the task of changing out the tire for a new one.

It quickly became apparent that the axles were a different diameter. My husband said it was ok with him if the new axle was a little smaller. Proud to say my son thought the wiggle and play in the tire with an ill fitting part were a bad combo.

My husband quickly replied he never takes it over 30 mph, it would do.

On the road again with the newly installed tire and a safety device my son added. Just because we're farming doesn't mean we can't have a little fun, even under 30 mph.

another farm oriented blog of mine:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wed. Word Wisdom - Hand

Wednesday Word Wisdom with Carolyn Stearns Storyteller

Hand; it's not what you think it is really so much more. As an equine reference point it is a fun word to define.

 a unit of length measurement equalling four inches, used for measuring the height of horses, usually from the front hoof to the withers

and I know you were thinking of the appendage at the end of your arm and it's close because before standard measuring tools the hand was the standard term used to measure a horse.

Come back next week for a new Wednesday Word Wisdom. Bringing you the lesser known meanings of words or their origins in agriculture and history.

Previous Wednesday Word Wisdom entries:


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wed. Word Wisdom - Sheepishly

Wednesday Word Wisdom highlights a different word each week. Many will have agricultural backgrounds. Can you use my word of the week during your week?

I think kids would have fun finding ways to make a movie of a definition, I sure am!

Sheepishly; This flock at The University of Connecticut, College of Agriculture is sure acting sheepishly! They tuck their head down low and behind another hoping not to be noticed.

Have a word with an agricultural root you would like me to  post?  Just leave a comment at the bottom. If it isn't on my list already I will add it.

Last week's word: Ruminate;

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wed. Word Wisdom - Ruminate

                       Wednesday Word Wisdom   from  Carolyn Stearns Storyteller

Ruminate to meditate and  ponder.... We all do it a little, but I thought the time to get back to our roots was now. The roots of our language are based in agriculture at times, especially this word!


             Don't you feel better knowing we have a staff on hand to do all the heavy thinking!

                              Come back next Wednesday for a new word of wisdom.

other blogs agricultural setting:


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rape of the Sea - Book Review "Cod"


by Mark Kurlansky

A Cod fish, seems innocent enough, yet has created international fighting, gunshots,  territorial wars and innovations that have indeed raped the sea.

 This book is a incredible cross curriculum look at what on the surface is simple, in reality
is a complex issue stemming from centuries old fishing practices to politics of today. The pre 20th century fisherman of the Grand Banks and Georges Banks,could never have imagined the calamity
 that over fishing would create. Their system of hooks and lines,fisherman in a dory boat, was a slow and tedious task I first learned of from "Captains Courageous" by Rudyard Kipling. The new system, so efficient it stripped the sea and population of a simple fish that fed the world.

Bottom draggers became the economical way for fisherman to take a great haul of fish. So great a haul that few remain of a species. Disbelief that the Cod and a way of life was disappearing the fisherman continued to fight over the fishing grounds that lay off shore their native lands. The fish are so depleted, I feel a sense of guilt when seeing Cod listed on a menu, or offered in the market fish case.

Mark Kurlansky has  researched and gathered the history of Cod fishing into a very readable book. It's pages filled with the everyday lives of fisherman and  a timeline of world history as it relates to Cod. Kings and Queens, revolutionaries and enterprising men of the sea, all took part in the story of the Cod's demise.

A favorite quote ( there are many from history in the book) from the book Cod by Mark Kurlansky:

"Salt fish were stacked on the wharves, looking like corded wood, Maple and Yellow Birch with the bark left on. I mistook them for this at first, in one sense they were, - fuel to maintain our vital fires - an Eastern wood which grew on the Grand Banks."
                                                     Henry David Thoreau  Cape Cod 1851

Yes, Cape Cod, all of a sudden the name makes such sense, for her shores were lined with the fisheries, and her cities built on the sales of Cod. So innate to life on the Cape was Cod  that the sea chantey singers  had a tune about it!

Let me add these few words Mark Kurlansky quoted in the book to entice you to buy and read:

"The Codfish lays a thousand eggs
The homely hen lays one.
The Codfish never cackles
To tell you that she's done.
And so we scorn the Codfish
While the humble hen we prize
Which only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise.
                                        anonymous American rhyme

Mark Kurlansky has written a great book. I was so impressed with it I just had to share everyone.

Looking to buy or download Cod? Go here:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

History 300 & Coventry Farmers Market

     Adventuring in local history I find a web of connections to the state, nation and world. No historical event is singular, each is a domino, or a thread, like I found today in Coventry, CT. This web between historic headstones is an example of how the story and history of one connects to the next. I found so many pieces of Coventry history today, with so many threads to other pieces of history, and took so many photos I decided to do a blog series in honor of the town's 300th Celebration.!/coventry.connecticut

I began my day at Coventry Farmers Market - it is one of the best in New England. It is held on the grounds of  the Nathan Hale Homestead. Wouldn't the Hale family be pleased that families still look to their farm as a place to get vegetables and farm product. People came out in droves today to sample, and visit, eat and learn about food.!/CoventryFarmersMarket
I found delicious Heritage apples - a Rusted Pippin variety, not the Newton Pippin I had hoped for ( the blooms froze in spring) but a delicious variety none the less, an apple the Hale family might have enjoyed. Heritage varieties give us an idea what they favored  long ago, I also had wonderful heritage variety tomatoes. At Coventry Farmers Market you can eat history!
  My adventure led me on, stopping on the  way out to watch Cedar Knoll give wagon train rides in the Holy Grove.

Sept. 29, 2012 there will be a huge parade in Coventry to honor the 300th. Then at 1 p.m. I will perform a timeline of historical stories at the Booth and Dimock Library on Main St. That is why I am in research mode, I'm looking to find some unique voices, fitting descriptions, and unusual angles, I am hoping my stories will be the historical stories they thought they knew, delivered in a new light.
Next stop; the Green where the militia practiced, now a memorial. Come back soon or follow/subscribe to my blog to see future postings on the Coventry, CT 300th and all the stories in between.

Other blogs with a historical theme:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Act!vated Story Visiting CT.

National Touring Theatre Company to Appear at Shubert Library
The national touring theatrical troupe Act!vated Story Theatre will arrive to “Act!vate” multicultural folktales at the Bryam Shubert Library, 21 Mead Avenue in Greenwich, on Monday, Sept. 10 at 3:00 p.m . The 45-minute program is free and suitable for all ages. The troupe will perform the African tale “Hatseller and Monkey” (popularized by the book Caps for Sale ) and a legend about how the ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. For more information, please call the library at 203.531-0426 or visit

Kids are invited to learn parts to perform on stage as “guest stars”. To get a part in the show, kids age 6 and up must attend the free pre-show theatre workshop which begins half an hour before showtime. Participation is limited to 12 children, no experience necessary. The performance itself is open to everyone.

Act!vated Story Theatre productions are high-energy dramatizations of folktales. They don’t just tell stories, they “Act!vate” them. Each show incorporates physical comedy, zany props and costumes, audience participation, music, American Sign Language and a unique set, an oversize "book" with pages that turn to reveal scenery. The Reno Gazette-Journal says, “They have reinvented the art of theatrical storytelling."

Act!vated Story Theatre was founded in San Francisco in 1988 by Dennis and Kimberly Goza. The professional touring troupe has performed in 45 states plus Washington, DC and Japan.

The Act!vated Story Theatre performers are available for media interviews. Contact at (800) 429-6576

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Simple Pleasures - Christmas Spirits

        A few years ago this story fell in my lap. I was hunting for something to share over the holidays and piece by piece this came to me. It was as if the story had been waiting to be found and  left a trail of clues for me to follow. "Christmas Spirits" is historical fiction. The two main characters are fictional, the places and people are old New York City history.

     I've shared this story in many locations from my church here in Mansfield Center CT. to the elegant Ocean House at Watch Hill RI. Each time I tell it, someone comments about loving the simple pleasures of Christmas. "Christmas Spirits" is a new classic. You can fall in love with New York City magic and a budding love story.

   This week I illustrated the story with posts on my "Christmas Spirits" Pinterest page. If you have heard the story you will love the pictures I found to relate. If you have not heard Christmas Spirits the Pinterest page will put you in the Christmas mood. Here is the link:

Who is in the story?
  • a President
  • Clement Clarke Moore
  • a blind woman
  • a baseball player
  • an organist
  • a Burgermeister
  • who else? Come listen and see

November and December are the perfect time to book a "Christmas Spirits" performance for your family event, corporate entertainment, civic group party, church, or build a party around it as house concert.  My website is: 



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Never the Twain Shall Meet

We will never meet Mark Twain ( the pen name of Samuel Clemens), but standing in his home, surrounded by possessions that were his, a glimpse. Reading his works penned in the third story "man cave", I know more. Reading what a few of our American Presidents had to say about Mark Twain, yet another piece. Mark Twain was a storyteller!  Our guide related about his stories at dinner parties, I felt at home.
This recent visit was a warm late summer day and I could imagine Twain at his desk writing and growing drowsy. The guide told us a hammock once hung on the third floor porch so he could nap out there. It is in among the tree tops and so resembled a tree house. From there the views were of the carriage house, the Park River (now underground), Harriet Beecher Stowe's house, and the greenhouse that supplied table flowers year round.
As I stood on the porch I tried to imagine the family here. One could easily imagine children playing
here even on a rainy day. Their voices drifting up to their father far above them in the hammock or at his desk. I could almost hear the crunch of the gravel as a carriage bearing guests could have come up the drive way and paused under the portico for them to disembark.

The Clemens family kept some ducks who had this view of the house from down near the river and marsh. Today cars park where they once swam, but it is not hard to imagine on a warm summer afternoon.

A unique example of Victorian architecture from top to bottom, the Twain/Clemens home was state of the art when built and yet designed for the family to enjoy. A favorite feature of mine is the curved butlers pantry that connects the service wing to the main house. Only the butler had access, it was his little kingdom. China and silver services were kept here and  he served the meals from this space.

Here are a few more pictures from my most recent visit:

                                                        details details everywhere!
a slate roof

                              Glass conservatory off the family library complete with fountain!
 In Connecticut or coming to Connecticut here is the link to the Twain Visitor Center:

         His boyhood home in Missouri is a museum as well:

Mark Twain, many of his quotes you will recognize even if you did not know they were from him.

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
Mark Twain


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weather Vanes Story Resources Part 7

This is a really fantastic weather vane that adorns the top of the carousel building in Pullen Park Raleigh North Carolina.

This park not only has a carousel, but a mini train, boat rides, and amusements as well as impeccably maintained playgrounds. The Raleigh Community Arts Center, boast performance and class space for the arts and this park had two wonderful outdoor performance areas!
The east wind rabbit reminds me of these storytelling resources:
Thornton W. Burgess nature stories here a downloadable one of wind:
Rabbit wasn't just atop the building he was the ride of dreams inside
Here is a resource for Brer Rabbit
and for Peter Rabbit Lovers:
This just makes me think of a chocolate rabbit!
Connecticut makes some mighty fine chocolate versions nearby at:
Billy Goat on the Weather vane  is different!  The  westerly wind goat was inside as well
Here it is stories right from goat owners to get you started in creating a character
From storyteller Diane ed Las Casas a goat story

Monday, August 20, 2012

Vermont of Yesteryear is Waiting For You

It was a time to enjoy a slower pace, my annual trip to Vermont. The many iconic images of Vermont were revival for the senses, Granite,  the Sugar Maple, the Morgan horse, Green Mountains and country stores. It is here on roads that wander between mountain and valley that I recharged my battery over a work weekend that felt just a bit like vacation.

     How could I not feel recharged when announcing at the Lippitt Country Show an exhibition of Morgan Horses all carrying the bloodlines of Vermont's own Justin Morgan.


    These classic Morgan horses showed off their versatility and style on the Tunbridge Fairgrounds to an appreciative audience. It was a little like watching history, the horses, carriages, drivers and riders hearkening back to a day when Vermont's roads were clogged by such images.The Morgan Horse is known as the "Pride and Product of America" this was a breed developed right here, to suit the needs of a fledgling America.

   A whinny echoed back from the mountains and could have been the voice of the ancestors approval. Children were laughing and playing, some galloped by mounted on broomstick horses, others showed a skill beyond their years as they entered the ring on their beloved Lippitt Morgan horses. The older generations reminisced about long gone but not forgotten stallions, mares and breed aficionados. Families rallied to  act as pit crew and keep competitors in the ring with  all the correct accoutrement's of the discipline.  It was as it should be, Morgan horses with families and friends in spirited competition and appreciation.
This is a place where old friends meet once more and new friends are made. Visitors to the show came from all over the Northeast, but hats off to those who travelled in for the show from California, Virginia and Washington state!   Here Storybook Salute Vermont keeps an eye on the judge as she undergoes inspection in a mare class. I watched with rapt attention as this mare is one I delivered into the world from her mother's womb.

This is a place of timeless images and future dreams. Randallane Exclamation with driver Dave Godding of Woodbine Farm in Winchester, CT.  trots along, is this 2012 or 1812,  only the light poles and aluminum gate in the background can give away the era.  Dreaming of  creating this image for oneself and shopping the bloodlines for future foals Morgan horse lovers peruse the stallion class to find a match for a mare, invest in the dream and slip into a time warp as welcome as Vermont can make it.

   The Lippitt Club is reaching out to new and old friends of the Lippitt Morgan on their facebook page come over and visit and ":!/LippittClubMorganHorse

Here is a previous blog with background of my love of Lippitt Morgans.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lil Joe, A Mustang HorseAdventure

              A100 Day Extreme Mustang Makeover is underway and Lil Joe a Utah Wild Mustang is the star.Trainer Geoff Goodson has been working with Joe to help him become a trusted equestrian partner.

Want to learn more about the trainers and the competition with these Mustang Horses check their home:
      It all began when Geoff picked up Lil Joe in Tenn. and brought him home to CT. to begin his serious training for the competition in Clemson, SC on Oct 19-21. What did Lil Joe know at the start of 100 days? Essentially nothing, he is a 3 year old Wild Mustang from the Utah wild Mustang herd. His youth was spent in the wind and weather now with steady groceries and work he is beginning to shine like star!

      Lil Joe has been out and about.He has travelled to remote trail ride locations, gone swimming on a  hot day, and does ring work with trail obstacles in the workout.

      Lil Joe needs your help too. He has to have some experience with other horses, a show atmosphere and, travelling to an event and home again. You can meet Lil Joe in New York. Rose Wal Farm is hosting a Ground School Clinic at their facility  Sept. 20,30, 2012
RoseWal Farm ~
414 Bull Hill Road
Gilboa, NY 12076

       (607) 588-6340       Fax: (607) 588-6341

       This clinic will be led by Geoff Goodson trainer and help you move ahead with your training project.  If you need help with  the key components of Ground Work this is a clinic for you with the bonus of meeting Lil Joe before his big day at Clemson, SC.

A second opportunity to see Lil Joe before his Clemson debut is at:
Rouned Stone Farm: Don't forget to mark the date of October 6th when Carla Cataldi, Round Stone Farm will graciously host Little Joe and Geoff as they perform their compulsory work and Freestyle in preparation for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in SC. 

+1 (860) 267-094
Here is the facebook address for up to date info:!/

Follow Geoff Goodson Horsemanship 
 @GeoffGoodson on Twitter

Geoff on Facebook:!/doublegfarrier

previous blogs about Extreme Mustang Makeover:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

5 Items to Pack for Storytelling with Children

I'm off to a storytelling gig with children.Time to pack my big canvas tote bag. I always prepare a program and some bonus or extra materials. You never know, extra kids, need to shift focus due to unforeseen event, I'm ready. My favorite reason to be flexible, "kids say the darnedest things" thanks Art Linkletter for the focus on kids comments. I sometimes follow that lead for a very personal performance.

This is a little like the game of Grandmother's Trunk!

5 Items:

1.)  Felt in shapes for a felt board recap of the story, my felt board is a science fair cardboard tri-fold, I used spray adhesive to stick a sheet of felt over cardboard for a base.

2.) Magazines: I'll pack old magazine and kids scissors to cut and paste a story timeline  mural

3.) My Harmonica: It doesn't matter what small instrument I bring, music and magic are one in the same when inserted in  a story program.

4.) A puppet: Sometimes they just want to hear it from another source;when a child says " it's just a puppet" I say; " sshh! he/she doesn't know that!" I love to seem them nod with understanding!

5.) origami paper: those little squares are like imagination, they can be anything! You-Tube is a great place to learn to fold.

These are just 5 items for a storytellers bag. Teachers, camp counselors, children's medical staff, people in the ministry all can use these simple items to  catch children's imagination and turn it on.There could be so many other items in the bag, just leave your suggestions in the comments box for everyone to use when they work with children.

other blogs similar topic:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Participatory Storytelling

Re-posting a blog on Participatory  Storytelling, crossing platforms and geographic area to engage people in a  blogs, Facebook, tweets and other social media to tell a final story when all the components are gathered. I loved the Three Little Pigs segment to access via QR code. Check it out looks like fun! By: Robert Pratten

Link:  Participatory Storytelling

Who wants to try this?

What a great lead  in to a major storytelling event!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

American Mustang Horse From the Bottom Up

Connecticut has many horses living here but one who is here temporarily is developing quite a story. Lil' Joe Wrangler is 3. A small bay with a brave heart. He was culled from the Utah Wild Horses and sent on a journey to be part of the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Lil Joe was picked up at Blain TN. by CT. horse trainer Geoff Goodson. He has 100 days to take Lil Joe from wild Mustang to fearless equine competitor.
Geoff knows horses from the bottom up. He began like so many horse lovers with a pony, then an Arabian and off track Thoroughbreds. He devoured everything in print on horsemanship and continued. While in college he apprenticed with Farrier Ted Trask and began learning the art and science of shoeing a horse. 1992 he attended the Eastern School of Farriery. He continued his education in farrier work through further apprenticeships and opportunities began to unfold.

      It was after a second adventure training Brumbie horses in Australia  and a lot of time training with Dennis Reiss and accumulating 12 endorsements from Reiss Ranch that Geoff knew he was ready. His broad background and understanding of form and function of the horse make his style
horse centered. Lil Joe and Geoff are a little over 30 days into the training period and Oct. 19-21,2012  Clemson, SC and the big competition comes closer day by day.
                                               Some 30 days ago the goal was touch!
 Not letting a CT. heat wave slow progress Geoff found a cool way to work with Lil Joe!
A long trail ride with Lil Joe who doesn't appear to be all that impressed with the scenic view.  Conquer the mountain and the lake in 30 days is a good beginning.  By October  Lil Joe will be ready to shine at the  Extreme Mustang Makeover in Clemson SC.

You can follow regular posts about the work with  Lil Joe on Geoff's Facebook page at :!/doublegfarrier

Other Mustang blogs:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Story Stones- Story Resources

The rain ceased,the clouds disappeared, the dry summer commenced. Just below a course mountain of volcanic rock where hill meets level plain, that is where the last bit of water  glistened on river rocks. They waited....

Not for a drink but for more stories about rocks and stones. For time to explore and time to ponder the meaning. Do you have stone stories, carved in stone stories,  stones throw stories? Add them in the comments box at the bottom of this post.

Story of a Strong woman in stone ( and I meant the pun)  she sent six of her sons to the cause of the American Revolution and son Nathan Hale became the first American spy to die in service ( his statue in CIA headquarters) "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country". This stone at her home on South St. in Coventry, CT next to the Nathan Hale Homestead Museum.
  This quoted section from the Sons of the American Revolution website will entice you to read more about Nathan Hale:
Hale asked for a Bible, but his request was refused. He was marched out by a guard and hanged upon an apple-tree in Rutgers’s orchard. The place was near the present intersection of East Broadway and Market Streets. Cunningham asked him to make his dying “speech and confession.” “I only regret,” he said, “that I have but one life to lose for my country.”

More on Nathan Hale :  

Safety is being high up to see an impending attack, with time to prepare. Being closer to your God may mean climbing a stone face to a summit. Together they are the historical  view of colonial Norwich CT., Meetinghouse Rocks.

 Incredible view on a summer day and not such a bad climb, a carriage road was added at some point and I walked down that way. You might need an entire week to walk all the historic spots of Norwich. The list is compiled at:  So many stories in that old town.

A stone sink or water trough converted to a fountain decorates a garden. At some point in its life I can envision the horses stopping by for water.
This would be a fun  image to base a story around, There were three streams channeled  to the drinking trough and all flowed every day, except..... go ahead finish it! ( you can put a answer in the comment box if you choose)
    The Fountain of Peace is a Canadian Project to gather stones and stories of the world, read more at:

Could a stone and story post be finished if it didn't include Stone Soup?
These pots of soup were cooked from the collective donations of after school students who heard a personalized version of stone soup.  Not only that but the soup itself was cooked on a camp stove outside on a frosty winter day and served up after the kids played in the snow. That is a story memory all wrapped up in one! Shel Silverstein, Captain Kangaroo ( dating myself) and Jim Henson all used stone soup stories. I have my own version that is specific to where I tell it, farmers market, after-school, camp,senior housing. Need more ideas: , take it a step further with these printable resources from Scholastic :

Stone Games? Again it is the after school kids whose favorite game Mancala goes on the road with us to a picnic in a state park. Children have played with stones for all of time I believe.
This is the most popular game in the  age 5-13 after school program I work with. You can read more of the intriguing history of Mancala  from Wiki at:

 Earlier Historical posts:

and just for fun...

Friday, July 13, 2012

What is the Same but Different CA. & CT.?

About as far removed as you can get from the dairy farming world of Eastern Connecticut is the wine industry of Napa Valley California. By comparison they are the same and vastly different and I enjoyed looking at this very successful agricultural enterprise from the  agriculturalists point of view.
 They may be different but a beautiful view is valuable wherever you are. Here from the hilltop at Chanticleer Wine at Morningside Vineyards  the view of grape vineyards and mountains is just about perfect!

The rolling eastern Connecticut landscape as viewed from Mountain Dairy in Mansfield CT  after a fall harvest and before the color show of autumn begins, the hills roll away, wind sweeps in over those  50 miles of  hills and valleys to buffet the farm , welcome in summer, ghastly in winter.
   Either vantage point can be breathtaking and both can be windy and weather swept, although CT. suffers the onslaught of snows and winter wind chill factors.
                                                               definite disadvantage!

                                          If this was a scoring event then score one for Napa!

The product of both are liquid but the milk being perishable makes a need for a close market. Wine definitely takes the advantage in its increased value by age.  Packaging systems are similar and the bottling mechanism similar to that of milk.
 Empty bottles are lined up for a ring toss game at the recent Grgich Vineyard picnic.
Bottles are loaded into refrigerated trucks for delivery of milk, with a short shelf life getting milk off the farm and to consumers quickly is essential.

              There are systems in place in both agricultural areas to  value  quality and reward it.

            There are similarities in  the holding tanks where I found a common brand employed.

Some of the tanks at St. Supery Winery   Here our guide, Joseph took us through the process from picking to tasting, step by step. There is science and chemistry, farming and the whim of Mother Nature in each crop and bottle produced

Mother Nature impacts the dairy equally with good years and bad, sunshine and rain in abundance or  the dry panic of drought.
Each  has the value of long standing family tradition behind their product and property. Here in historic photo the vineyards of V.Sattui  Winery are maintained.
     Historically the tradition of establishment and passing on to the next generation continues as each  producer becomes a bookmark in the  family story of agricultural production. Stewards of their land hold the promise for future generations.

Every generation knows the importance of the soil whether your product is Wine or Milk!
Soil Types of the St. Supery Winery

Dairy has the advantage in no long term storage need
                                                              Vines at Fleury Winery

                               Nothing speaks to the longevity as watching the next generation.
Here a young member of the Grgich Winery crew welcomes my Granddaughter who is  a member of the 11th generation Stearns from Mansfield CT.  She does not live on the  dairy, but she can tell you about Grandpa's Cows! ( others of her generation are on farm)

Another blog from my Napa visit: