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:

Friday, July 6, 2012