Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Copyright 2017 by Lori-Ann Willey

Living a public life off the grid via Facebook and other social media outlets is fun and educational, too.  Hubby and I love our lifestyle.  It is unique with unique circumstances.  We are a privately owned camp, as in we do not have rental units, but on social media avenues like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. we are quite public.  I am to blame for that, as hubby posts very little. People say we are an inspiration to all walks of life.  I don't know that to be true, but who am I to argue.  Tee Hee

However, being so public about our lifestyle and our doings, etc. we've had a few issues.  Some openly show their envy, while all others are quite respectful and appreciative of us and our ways.  However, every once in a while, we'll have a bit of an issue with a stalker.  I use the term quite loosely because I do know that we, er, I, somewhat set ourselves up for such a thing by being so public on Facebook, especially.  

With that being said, some people display creepiness.  To follow everything that is posted and show appreciation of the postings is one thing.  I mean, I do put stuff "out there" to be seen by anyone who wishes to see/read such things.  I get that.  What I do not get ...and this is where the creepies come into play is when someone creates a Facebook account and copies a lot of what I post. Sometimes it is almost word for word.  It is especially creepy when that person doesn't live off the grid as they claim.  So, now, we are getting into a red flag zone as far as character goes.

When the person copies my writing style, types of photos, and posts the same immediately after I post, those red flags are easily noticed.  If they weren't sitting somewhere ON THE GRID while pretending to the world they live off the grid and/or actually doing, seeing what they portray, I could be a bit more tolerant and my patience a lot more.  However, when not living off the grid, but posting as they are and copying my posts, that is when I wonder if they have serious issues, are stalkers, are living out a fantasy life online, or are doing nothing more than mocking my lifestyle. Honestly, sometimes, I think it is all of those and quite obviously so.  Last I knew, I wasn't a paranoid person, so I don't think I'm being hyper-sensitive.

So, this morning, I decided to have fun with it all.  That's all I can do at this point because social media is just that.  People can pretend to be anyone they want. Who's to know?  To me, it is quite obvious others as well. But, whatever makes those people happy ...I guess.  Who's to say anything about that?  People can live their OWN lives and this is my exact point.  Character "theft" is not illegal, but it is immoral me anyway.  People have their little games that they play.  To each is his/her own, but I wished they felt more comfortable in their own skin to be themselves instead of trying to be someone else.  Would be nice if they were honest about who they really are without pretending to be someone else, too.  Some people are dramatics.  I think honesty is the best approach to everything in life, but that could just be me and how I was raised.

As a result of the above, I took the lyrics from "It's Hard to be Humble" song and twisted it in a fun egotistical way of a mockery of my own.  For, if one cannot laugh at themselves, they cannot laugh at anyone.  Right?  Might be easier to listen to the actual song to get the rhythm of the stanzas below, 'cause my poetry is not very desirable.  In this case, it's the fun that counts!  Have fun and laugh with/at me!

Original song with lyrics -  HERE

My Version (below)

Oh Man, it’s hard to stay humble
When you have as many Followers as me.
Each morning I can’t wait to get on Facebook
To see how many people love me.

To follow me is to love me
I must be a hell of a saint.
Oh Man, it’s hard to stay humble
But I get along the best that I can!

I used to have a boyfriend,
But, I guess he just couldn’t keep up.
With all of the  love-starved men
That no longer love their sheep.
I guess I could find another,
But I think they are all afraid of me.
Who cares? I never get lonesome
‘Cause I have all these critters at my feet.

Oh Man, it’s hard to stay humble
When I have dirts upon my feet.
I can’t wait to look at Facebook
‘Cause I get more Followers off the streets.

To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of gal.
Oh Man!  It’s hard to stay humble
While sitting upon this (coffee) Pot seat.

I guess you could say I'm a hermit
A woman, big, tough, and the best.
I have lots of people who love me
Because I put life and critters through a test.

Some folks say that I'm egotist
But first I’d have to know what that means
I guess it must have something to do
With my skimpy tops that bulge at the seams (I gleam).

My boobs they are big ones
But aren’t they all in all the same?
When I bend to tend the garden
I must first play their gravitational game.
Oh Man!  It’s hard to stay humble
When women want my fame.
They like how I get my hands dirty
Just don’t ask them to do the same.

Some think I’m a disgrace to my gender
While they sit all tidy and clean.
From their sofa of plush comfort
They want to be just like me.
So, they create a Facebook profile
And pretend they are another Me.
They want all of my Followers
Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Oh Man!  It’s hard to stay humble
When one wants to be just like me.
Daily, she can’t wait to see my postings
So she can sneak in and be a faux me.
My stalker wants contact from a TV show
So the world will be in awe of her.
But first you must live the life you claim.
To be faux means you are just like them.

You  need to get off your butt
And realize what’s the real deal
My advice to such people…
Get off Facebook and become something that’s real!

Monday, June 5, 2017


Seed – The “Time Traveler” – A Pondering

Copyright 2017 by Lori-Ann Willey

As a child, I used to dig for fishing worms for what seemed like hours on end.  A pointed “spade” was always nearby.  My sisters and I were not shy in grabbing it and start digging away.  Were we going fishing?  Maybe, at some point, yes, but one can never have enough worms ready and waiting.  Most fishermen know that.

The other day, I chatted with a friend about worms.  I know. Probably not the most interesting topic for some, but he and I both agreed that “worm hunting” was something that we could do for hours on end. If it was a rainy night, as kids, we’d often be outside with flashlights and a pail.  We called it, “Jackin’ for crawlers”. 

What does the title have to do with worms?  Not much yet, but it is where it all starts for me.  I always loved digging in the dirt. It fascinated me.  I didn’t mind finding the creepy crawlies. Hell, they went into the pail, too!  Fish just don’t eat worms, you know.  If the fish aren’t biting, then they don’t want the bait you offer.  Plain and simple.  You've gottah change it up. 

I learned at an early age that once the soil is disturbed, you can expect surprises to grow in amongst the grasses.   There was a spot where we always dug worms, as they seemed more plentiful there than other spots in the yard.  My father would do most of the labor work.  He’d stick the shovel to the ground, stomp on it and pull it back to lift the soil.  Then, he’d flop it over, grass side down.  Most of the worms hid in the root system of the grass.  The job of plucking worms fell onto my sisters and me.  I don’t think either of us minded the task. 

After the soil was turned over, often, my father would leave us girls to pick through the soil, shake the sod pieces and see how many worms we could find.   Often, too, he’d leave the shovel so we could shovel through the loose soil. After we plucked all the worms we could find, creepy-crawlies, too, our job was to backfill the area with the loose soil, laying the sod on top. 

My twin, Lora-Jean, and two friends, Little Ronnie and Billi-Jo
Sometimes, one of us girls would try to dig the untouched ground. Sometimes we succeeded.  Sometimes, we didn’t.  I remember once I tried to dig as my father had.  I was just a little thing, but I stomped on the shovel to no avail.  I did more of a balancing act than digging by far. Then, I decided that I needed to jump on it with two feet instead of just the one.  Well, I wasn’t tall enough to do that either!  My mouth came down upon the shovel handle something wicked!  I busted my lip.  I cried. I bled.  I probably ran to my parents, but I don’t remember.  What I do remember is after that, next time, I was more careful.  Those who know me know that I probably didn’t ever get my lip again, but where there is Lori-Ann, there is a way to get hurt.  Avoiding the repeat hit in the lip, I’ve jumped on the shovel many times and my foot or feet would slip.  I’d end up with some nice cuts and scrapes on my legs.  Such things didn’t’ stop me much as a child …or even today at 50, for that matter.

When I was nine, we moved from our 13-room house in Pittsfield, to a 4-room house at the end of a dead-end road that the Town of Palmyra wouldn’t even maintain.  There, we had no running water, and our lifestyle was quite different.  I loved playing in the fields, climbing the trees and taking my pony for a run through the woods.  Woo wee, do I have some stories to tell about doing that!  I must’ve watched too many cowboys and Indian shows!  Looking back, I’m shocked I’m still alive!

Like when we lived in Pittsfield, in Palmyra, we had a favorite spot where we dug for worms, too. Then, I was old enough to use a pointy shovel (what I called a spade, then and now).  If the mood struck, and it always did when I saw the spade, I’d dig for worms.  This was especially so in the springtime.  I knew that summer meant doing a lot of brook fishing for trout, so that meant we’d need a lot of worms. I was always up for the task.  Again, then, and now.

It was in Palmyra that I’d dig through the soil just to see the colorful layers below the surface. I knew I dug too deep to find worms, but as I dug, I no longer looked for them, but instead, I dug to see the different layers and how they changed, their colors and what lived “there”.   I’m like a toddler that goes through the “why” staged.  That stage never left me.  I always wonder why. Lots of times, I’d dig until the hole was too deep to dig any further. Doing this, I learned that worms don’t like the gray areas (clay), the brownish red layers, or much deeper than 18”. Most worms found were within the first foot.  I knew what clay looked like, but the reddish layers confused me a bit.  When I asked my father, he said it was iron.  That confused me even more because all I knew of iron was used in industries. Clearly, that soil was not the same.

Those layers were the start of my love and fascination for “dirt”. Toward the end of the summer, and well after we stopped digging for worms, my father noticed some wild ground cherries growing in the same area we dug for worms.  They were native, but we had never seen them before. Not there. Not anywhere within walking distance either.  We were told to leave them alone to see what would become of them. Every day, I checked the plants, studied their leaves, the blossoms, and how the flowers turned into fruit. Fascinated, I was!

My father said that the seeds must’ve been brought to the surface from digging for worms, and then, back-filling the holes kept them closer to the surface.  Hearing that sent my mind thinking.  I was 10 years old by then, but after that, I remember always being on the lookout for plants growing individually from others.  I knew that birds ate seeds, berries, etc. then pooped them out as they flew.  So, that accounted for some of the “pop ups”.  Animals are “guilty” of such things, too. 

However, it taught me to be very vigilant about nature.   Having my parents’ curiosities by nature and of nature, I always studied things in the wild.  I still do.  “Why is that here?”  I always scratched the soil and looked at its color.  The trees and plant life around them.  In the sun or shade?  Near water?  Dry? Wet?  Always questions I had to answer and I answered each by observing or digging the soil. 

People say that I’m a Naturalist and that I missed my “calling”.  I should laugh.  I call it curious observances with the patience, the want, and the ability to connect the dots to formulate theories.  Nature is a love. I don’t doubt that. I embrace it, even.

Last fall, my sister posted a picture of a plant that she called wild sauerkraut.  I had seen it before, but I didn’t have a name for it.  She is quite knowledgeable when it comes to plants.  We share our knowledge with each other, teach each other, hypothesize and ponder together.  Learning.  We’re always learning.  If we don’t know, we research, learn, and then, share with the other.  Maybe, it was the way we were raised. Maybe it is just how we learn best …hands on, trial and error, problem-solving.  Not so ironically, we both live off the grid.

About three summers ago, I had a bunch of loam dumped in the camp yard.  With it, I shoveled and wheelbarrowed it many countless hours on end to fill depressions, make garden beds, etc. I am still moving that loam with my 3rd “spade”.

It was late summer when I saw a new plant spring from the edge of the pile.  It was a plant that I had not seen for many years and never up this way. So, when my sister posted a photo of her wild sauerkraut, I had to go examine my plant a bit closer. I hadn’t taken the time to do so until then, but every day, I paid it a visit.  As suspected, it is what she called sauerkraut.  It grew in the same type of soil as her plant …the same proximity of the water, too.  I tasted it.  It was tart …lemon-like.  I researched further.  It is sheep sorrel. I’ve eaten “sour clover” (wood sorrel) all my life, but never sheep sorrel.  I liked it, but I much more prefer the “sour clover”.  I even let the sour clover grow in my garden for snacks and use some in cooking, too.

So, like the wild ground cherry in my childhood, it is hard telling how long that sheep sorrel seed laid dormant in the ground, just to be exposed to the right conditions for germination.  When the guy dumped it, he said, “It’s from the bottom.”   Some seeds can lay dormant for many decades.  In some cases, many centuries …even up to 2,000 years!  So, when I hear of a plant “gone extinct”.  I smile.  I know there is hope for their return still. The current conditions just may no longer be adequate for them in our changing world.  In the now, if you will.  I’m all for hope.

Even at 50, I still turn up the soil and let it be.  I still watch for what will grow, if anything different.  I still dig to see those layers of soil.  I think.  I ponder.  The deeper you dig, the further back in history you “go”. How is that thought alone not fun?  The seed – a “time traveler” of the natural world kind.