Sunday, January 25, 2009

Beyond the Barbed Wire

Written on Saturday, January 24, 2009


Have you ever felt an urge to worm your way under the barbed wire, leaving your cell phone behind and anything or anyone that wants or needs your attention? For an afternoon or a day? I have.

My addiction to the blog is two years old and I don’t foresee kicking the habit. Fourteen days ago I kicked cigarettes and now I’m planning to kick nicotine gum out the window way ahead of schedule. Whew! Now, is it time to nurture a new addiction? I’ve never even been a tad interested in anything like it.

Facebook has been the rage, I know. It’s brand new to me, and with a scowl on my face I edited my Facebook profile this morning. A few weeks ago I joined by accident, and now my inbox is filled with great friends who are laughing about my less than enthusiastic reaction. A dear friend posted my profile photo for me and lo and behold, IM’d me! Whaaaat? I thought instant messaging was a pastime for rascally teens and young adults. I loved the diversion!

Facebook. Oh, it’s fun! I was giddy and giggling early in the morning, wondering if Wall to Wall had anything to do with carpet, joined a nature blogging group, and sent a few messages, all within an hour. I can share photos of myself or anything I want with an endless list of hand-picked friends to whom I can send flowers and gifts. Oh, and I was so curious to give someone a Poke. Poking is very cool, especially if you get poked back. “Was it good for you?” “Hell, yeah!” "Gotta cigarette?"

On a more serious note, Facebook is an easy, fun network. Blogging isn’t so easy. Making time to write blog posts and read others’ blogs is quite a challenge for me. How many hours a day can one sit in front of a computer monitor and avoid red eyes and a wide backside? I’m just sayin’.



where there was a pond,


it was quiet.


Let me into that simple,

uncomplicated life, if only for

an hour.


Cows didn’t seem to care if I looked on

outside the wire

standing in a ditch

alongside the road



as they went about their cow business


feeling the warmth of the sun and cool breezes,


doing nothing much.

Against their fence post I leaned

remembering a promise I made

to myself


to keep it simple.


NCmountainwoman said...

What a relaxing trip. There are few things as soothing as a contented cow.

I haven't thought about Facebook. Perhaps it's worth looking into.

Great post.

Julie Zickefoose said...

A chuckle and a tear, that's what you gave me today. Your post sums up my feelings about Facebook and blogging exactly. Life is as complicated as you LET it GET. Let me be the second of the 70 or so who will undoubtedly thank you for this lovely post. The creamy cattle, the brown field, and the red cedar take me right back to my childhood in Virginia.Sigh.

Yer FB friend, IMing like a preteen,


Carol Michel said...

I joined Facebook awhile back. It is sometimes like a high school reunion, and then it is sort of like checking in on my nieces and nephews (all good kids) and then it is a meet up of blogging buds, some of whom I've met in person. Always curious and still trying to figure it its place in my online/offline life!

Love the cows.
Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Beth in NYC said...

Great food for thought in this one. I love the cows, too. And Facebook has been crazy fun for me for the past couple of weeks. Connecting with people I knew as 9 year old kids, haven't spoken with them in over 30 years. I'm loving it!

Appalachian Lady said...

I figure with 2 blogs I don't have time for Facebook. I would rather spend time with the cows too.

I have trouble loading your photos--takes several minutes even though I supposedly have broadband (but it's the satellite version).

Your post reminds me I should get out and walk! Thanks.

Tina said...

Interesting..Facebook, huh? My kids have been at me to join..but I have never even looked at it..maybe, just maybe. Looks like it was a nice quiet time with the cows..I find those scenes and really enjoy the peace and stillness of it all. Great get away for the brain!

Vickie said...

Oh, so much of what you have written reflects what I feel. Cows are the perfect image for keeping things simple and peaceful in the midst of so much that pulls your attention.

TR Ryan said...

Oh guilty as charged!!! But you "get" what FB is all about - the ability to multitask instantly with whomever you want at once and in a dozen different ways instantly.

I have a barbed-wire post today - but sadly the outcome is not nearly as beautiful as your post here.

jane augenstein said...

Mary, beautiful pictures!!! Ahhh, the contented cows! Sometimes I miss our cows, I am sure Gilly does too. He loved having buddies but now he as Pokey. Still went we ride and go past a field with cows, he will stop hold his head up high and softly whinny to them.
I too am on Facebook, what fun!!!

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary......Cows are great aren't they....just love their expressions....they are such quiet beasts......

My son keeps trying to get me to use facebook....tks but no tks....I hate technology in any way shape or form. I am seriously old fashioned....and happy to be that way.....

I only keep blogging because I have such a wonderful network of friends now and I do not want to lose them.....

I hope facebook brings you lots of fun.......but please keep blogging, would missyou loads.....

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, I have a ton of friends from Colorado that are on FB. I've resisted getting too heavily involved. My wife is a big twitter fan and socializes with the wine blogging community. My face book “what are you doing now” entries are mostly “editing photos for ShootingMyUniverse.”

Love the cows.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Mary, I love blogging--and so far, have not run out of something to say. That being said, I have no idea who really cares what I say--but it's fun for me. I have a couple of friends who are on Facebook--but so far, I've resisted. I just cannot add another thing to my already busy life. I think I enjoy blogging better anyhow... BUT--keep me posted as to how it goes.

Love those cows. Don't they just have 'the life'????? ha
I'm proud of you --by the way!!! Keep on keeping on!

A New England Life said...

Those cows are livin' large. lol! The only time I remember living the simple life was when our power went out for a few days in December. It really did bring me a sense of peace the technological world could never bring. You take care of you Mary : )

So nice to hear you are doing well. Your cows rock.

Facebook, I'm a member too, though I seldom use it. Maybe I'll friend ya'!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yes, I am on Facebook too. I got an account to keep up with my niece and nephew. Then I found out there were other people i know on it and so it goes...

Love the scenes with the cattle. They look so happy.

Kim said...

Love the photos of the cows. I have never been of Facebook despite my sister urging me to do so. I like the blogging better.

Sometimes I get writers block or don't have time to comment at other peoples blogs and I just accept that and know that I can jump right in again when I have the time.

I hope you can find a way to do both. You are one of the reasons why I have gotten so into photography. Your photos are so wonderful that I come here for inspiration and wise words.

Anonymous said...

My dear Facebook friend . . . . I hear you and know exactly how you feel . . . where are the hours of the day now to take any pictures for blogging? See you on FB!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I have not done an acount yet on fb...I visit my nephew and that is it for now...I had 160 emails to take care of on Friday..that's enough contact for now.
Enjoy the simple life. I would not have it any other way!

NatureWoman said...

Wow, nice relaxing photos, Mary. Thank you so much. And facebook I'm glad to see you there, but I'm still not really into it except for work.

Kathleen said...

Beautiful cows, Mary. You can’t get much simpler than cows chewing cud.

I too have trouble finding the time to blog. I've decided to blog when I can and not worry about it or make apologies. It is supposed to be fun - right?

I’m so very proud of you - 14 days and no cigs. Well done, you!

Wendy said...

Nice and relaxing. I like this post. I enjoy seeing grass, as always in your neck of the woods.

I joined facebook only to check in with my grandkids once in a while. Don't take the time to really get into it. I like blogging better. But only if it remains fun. If I feel pressured I back off. Nice that we're all different.

Really, really, really GLAD you've kicked the cigarette habit. You go girl!!

Dog_geek said...

I'm still resisting the Facebook thing, but I don't know how much longer I can hold out. So many friends have joined and keep sending me invitations, I'm starting to feel rude for not joining.

Heidi said...

My Facebook experience of late has been totally high school reunion... ugh! Didn't like it then, don't care for it now.

I do like poking my friends and mostly the Blue Cove and Green Patch thingy :)

Love the cows... how nice you live so close to them!

Debbie said...

Mary, love all the bovine photos...they do look so relaxed and content.

Great news about your continued success on breaking that nasty habit.

I love FB. It is so easy to post pictures, catch up on friends in just a few minutes, play some silly games (if you feel like it) and yes...even IM someone. Enjoy!

KGMom said...

Love those cow faces--nothing like a cow for looking placid (unless you are Julie and you are facing down a bull, not a cow!).
Watch out--Facebook can hook you. My niece, who was a consistent blogger, has practically gone missing from the blogosphere. She is now a Facebook junkie.

Annie in Austin said...

Disorderly attempts at blog-keeping & obsessive checks of Twitter are already too much for me, Mary! Your mention of poking people on Facebook reminded me of this poignant yet funny NY Times article about what can happen when a Facebook member dies.

"....smiling as they went about their cow business..." was my favorite part.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Ruth said...

I do love Facebook. In a few minutes a day I can update on dozens of people. I like their email application too. It can be very time consuming if you add a lot of applications or chat within the application. I don't do that. Our workplace blocked Facebook...too distracting!

Rose said...

These photos remind me of simpler times, Mary, when I was a kid and had to bring the cows home from the pasture for milking time. No Facebook or blogging or even e-mail then:)
My daughter and daughter-in-law are into Facebook, but I have enough trouble keeping up with reading blogs! I hope you don't give up blogging, Mary; where would I get my fix of great pictures and humor?

Anonymous said...

I loved the cows, Mary and wanted to also stop by and congratulate you on 14 days! That is wonderful. Some of my friends have tried to talk me in to doing a FB page, but I haven't done it yet. I know my daughters are both into it and love it. It was great for Kaleigh before she got to college. She made alot of friends before she ever got there so I think it made the transition much easier.

dguzman said...

Cow business is serious business, Mary. They're dead serious about standing and lying about, contemplating life and grass and cud. Serious business.

Cindie Ulreich said...

I work at a college, so facebook is a must for keeping up with the students.

I have a high schooler and it's also a good way to keep up with her. All her friends think I'm a "cool mom" for being on facebook.

It really is alot of fun, once you get the hang of it.


PS. I friended you.

jason said...

Just delightful, Mary. Relaxing. Uncomplicated. Mesmerizing.

Yes. Facebook and MySpace and all the other social networking sites turned out to be less wonky and childish than I'd imagined, and through them I've discovered what it's like to be a silly child again--but one reaching out and connecting with others. Strange. And invigorating.

You're quite right about the whole online/offline conflict. Please, please, PLEASE let me know if you figure it all out. I still haven't and would appreciate some guidance!

Dawn Fine said...

Great peaceful pasture scenes.
I know what you mean about blogging..I love it but it certainly can take up time...I want to read everyones blog on my blogroll..but I I catch up when I can.
I have been enjoying facebook as well.

Naturegirl said...

Mary great photos of the cows!I too have resisted FB.Where ever and how ever you say it..I'm a fan of yours! hugs NG


What a surprise to see the beautiful cows Mary. You really know how to get them to pose. :o)

Sherri said...

Tried Facebook. Don't have time for both and love spending time in Blogger so I inactivated it.

Loved the calm, relaxing pics on this post.

RuthieJ said...

Those are some nice looking bovines Mary! I'm surprised they didn't get all curious and walk over to the fence to investigate you standing there.

Larry said...

it reminds me of a poem I remember reading when I was a kid-I think it was like this-


Half the time they munched the grass, and half the
time they lay

Down in the water-meadows, the lazy month of May,
To pass the hours away*

'Nice weather/ said the brown cow.

'Ah/ said the white.
'Grass is very tasty/

'Grass is all right.'

Half the time they munched the grass, and half the
time they lay

Down in the water-meadows, the lazy month of May,
To pass the hours away

'Rain coming/ said the brown cow,

'Ah/ said the white.
'Flies is very tiresome/

'Flies bite/

Half the time they munched the grass, and half the
time they lay

Down in the water-meadows, the lazy month of May,
To pass the hours away.

'Time to go/ said the brown cow*

'Ah', said the white.
'Nice chat'. 'Very pleasant/

'Night/ 'Night/

Half the time they munched the grass, and half the
time they lay

Down in the water-meadows, the lazy month of May,
To pass the hours away.

Being a cow seems like a low stress job.

Diane AZ said...

My daughter got me started with Facebook when she married and moved far away. I think it's a great way to keep in touch, and it's a lot of fun! I found your blog through FB's blog network. And, I must say, what a beautiful blog you have! I love these cows, and they sure do look like they enjoy the simple life.