the new day


Red sky at morning, sailor take warning. Time softened the red to pink and in a few short minutes, milky gray. It was warmer and a light sprinkle hit the thick carpet of oak leaves with a sweet sound. There wasn't any of the strong humming vibration from the super slab miles away or the honking impatience of the main artery of the city just a few short blocks away. No leaf blowers. No dog walkers. Rare to find myself in such a quiet space in the ATL. I closed my eyes. I could hear a jet, a mockingbird, a bus, the light rain, wind and...that was all. This is the best it will get today. People will wake up; TV's will again blare and there will be talking. I wouldnt mind going into a monastery right now where a vow of silence is strictly enforced. Instead I meditate on the chicks dining on a plate of strawberries, bananas and chopped kale.

Whatever happens the night before, the chickens await release from the coop at sunrise and that is my job. It really is winter now despite this warming trend. A cool austerity has blanketed everything and soon sparkling ornaments and tinsel will be trashed and there will be no more distractions. You know I'm glad? Its too much and too long. It feels as if life has been suspended. Last night the Dick Clark New Years Eve broadcast moved colorfully in the background. They showed the celebrations from around the world...from New Zealand and Australia and Japan and Moscow..the most beautiful I thought with the fireworks going over St. Basils in a heavy snowfall. And then the cut back to the US with a melange of neon bright flashing corporate logos and K$sha on stage. How perfect is this, thought I, a pop star with a dollar sign in her name, in a scene where everything that can be, was, branded with some kind of advertisement? Nivea was the sponsor of the NYE midnight kiss. Is there anything left in the USA that cannot be bought or sold or co-opted?

I wish everyone a very blessed New Year. Maybe some of you are awake and formulating your resolutions. I am thinking about my garden and the seeds I will try this year and if i should order some spring chicks. Easter in particular, wants to be a mother. I am considering getting some fertilized eggs for her to brood over. But a rooster remains out of the question as long as the chickens spend part of their time in the city. Im thinking about the movies i am working on for the county and how much I want them to be sheer visual poetry. Im thinking about integrating my website, shop and blog into a unified page and expanding the Chickory farm truck shop all the way to the Chattanooga market. Will the truck even go that far? I dont know.

Sincere and grateful thanks to everyone who made a garland as a part of our charitable NYE celebration. A good chunk of money was earned for respective charities. In my case, the money will be given to Heather, a young single woman, who foster parents 4 children on her modest salary. Thanks to ring-leader Boxer and all the other bloggers in the NYE ring for sponsoring fun games and activities and for making your own charitable contributions. Youre the best of people, and I want you to know how honored I am to call you friends.


  1. lovely post for this new day in a new year, chickory. i too am sitting here in the quiet drinking coffee and eating moravian sugar cookies. (nope, no bloody mary - i don't have the ingredients .. grrr).

    i hope all your ambitions and wishes come true. it's been a full holiday for me with family, extended family coming and going since christmas. this evening we are visiting friends for what is lovingly called a hairofthedoggettogether. not sure as i'm ready for the normal, but it will come come monday .. :) i think i need another break.

    ps: i enjoyed making the garland ..

  2. Beautiful thoughtful post. Maybe you could find a market closer than Chattanooga in flatter terrain?

  3. & right back at ya !!
    much honoured friend of mine.

    wow ... a beautiful photo

    we will have our first vegetable garden here at Black St. and I can't wait to begin looking at seed catalogs. Even though the past year was fantastic in many ways I too am very happy to say Hey New Year ! Bon Jour !

    Here's to Rockin' our Empires
    xoxo Susan, Missy Darn D and the rest of les Gang

  4. Happy New Year and New Day!

    Thank YOU for using all your Chickory Energy to rally the Internet and create such a fun event.

    I see only good things for all us in 2011.


  5. lovely post and a magical image. i watch it emerge slowly and recall similar bated breath waiting for photographs to develop. glad for that.
    be well in your job, chickory. hope to see you soon. if not, i am grateful you are are.

  6. I think I spotted a UFO in the reflection. Also what appears to be a human ear. Maybe that's the mark of a quality photgraph: we all see different images. Still, I'd better call it in.

  7. Well done and well said!

    Today is a perfect example of corporate corruption. Not that long ago the three broadcast networks presented a jam-packed day of college football bowl games on New Years Day. Today, there is only one on broadcast TV. There are a few others on cable. In the next few days there will be the series of BCS "championship" games. All of the bowl names are now infused with the corporate sponsor's name. [sigh]

  8. Blessings on your morning!

    Wow, your chickens are starting with a New Year's Day Brunch of strawberries, bananas and kale?
    Wonderful! It is thru giving goodness that goodness is returned.

    Have you been to Eggy's brunch?
    Utterly fabulous .

    I had a grand time in your virtual garland classroom :-) Bravo for selecting Heather as your charity. Again ... goodness will follow.

  9. Beautifully written post.

    S.B. and one of the dinner guests were talking last night about how they hate even to watch college football anymore, because you're no longer cheering for a city, a school, or a tradition; you're cheering for a company that makes antacid.

    At any rate, I have grown into liking the long stretch of nothing much that defines January, February, and March. It's a good time to think.

    Happy, happy New Year to you and V., Trout the Great, Koby the Naughty, and the chickens. May your year be filled with nothing but good things.

  10. I came back to re-read your post. It's almost a sermon, if that makes sens. As soon as it's light I'm going into the woods with Coco. I need golden silence today.

    I watch very little TV anymore because it's noise.

    Easter a momma!! What a gift to her. xoxox

  11. I does have a copy of Into The Silence, shall I mail it to ya?

    Sigh...above Florence in a small village thar' wuz a convent that overlooked the Duomo below. A body could stand thar' in her cell an gaze beyond the window, through silvery olive tree foliage, past ancient walls whar' the urns were billowy wif' bouganvilla....respite in a madness crazed world.

    Prayers for a blessed New Year, Pup.

  12. Happy New Year!

    My jazz hands are worn out.

  13. Best wishes for quiet, peace, dreams, and hope in the new year. And brava to you for your fine efforts on behalf of Heather!

  14. Jeez Louise, girl, how can one be so "happy" last night and write with such clarity this morning?! I'm impressed, I could barely do Aunty's "fill in the blanks" this morning without struggling!

    I was the snow coming down heavily in Russia too! And I too commented on the Nivea hats. The crowd is full of gullible kids, happy to get something for "free" to advertise for them. But, I best not be too cynical, it's only 12 hours into the New Year!

    Thanks for hosting and sending funds to Heather, a kind person you are. Had so much fun last night, wish I had time to go and get the garland supplies. I was impressed with Buzzy's weren't you? Have a great new day today darlin'! xoxox

  15. Wow, you're pretty deep...for an artist. Bwahahaha

    I thought the same things while watching the NYE shows. And then they wheeled out poor Dick Clark. I wish let the guy have some dignity. Thanks for doing the garland fund raiser. I haven't done a craft since popsicle stick boxes with the Pudge oh so long ago.

    Happy New Year.

  16. A beautiful post indeed. And I feel guilty that I never got a garland made. If I get downtime lately, I have to use it as downtime! Wishing you a glorious and *expanded* 2011 ... expand as you wish, i am sure you will be resourceful and thoughtful in all you take on. Merry New Year!

  17. Beautifully-written post Ande! I didn't know about the garland making thing . . . hope you have a wonderful 2011. I would love to make an effort to reconnect this year! My coworker, Odette loves your work!


  18. That is a lovely photograph dear chickory, it sets the tone for this post, which was a pleasure to read on my second new years day.

    You write with such eloquence and a quiet, descriptive beauty of all that you take to your heart.

    We all have to preserve our own quiet places, our own sanctuaries in this noisy, materialistic world.
    I'm sure, like yourself, the chickens will be happy to return to the freedom and peace of chickory.

    How thoughftul you are... that is a really lovely idea to get Easter some fertilised eggs to brood over.

    I have no great plans for this year other than improving my garden and attempting to paint more...maybe some more poems if I am inspired again.

    I hope that all of your plans and dreams for this year come true,you certainly work hard and deserve the very best. I always look forward to visiting here dear chickory, for your beautiful art, your amazing posts and photographs of the things that you nurture and love and your wise words ... I am very honoured to have you as a friend.
    Have a wonderful year sweet girl!

    xoxoxoxo ♡

  19. Hello my dear.

    I love, love, love your photographs and your pictures. You've inspired me, both with your words and your images. It's been too long since I've been creative.

    You is good people. I see why Boxer loves you so.

  20. foam: you need a vacation from Christmas vacation. In some ways going back to class will be easier. SO glad you joined us for boxers party.

    troll: the chattanooga market i would mostly just do art. I will still do food and flowers at the locals on saturday. Theres a chattanooga market on Thursdays. Sundays too, but Ive always resisted commerce on that day. I need to go scout this thing out.

    susan: i really like:

    botanical interests
    renees garden
    and seeds of change

    all are non-monsanto non GMO and lots of old world varieties. I was amazed by the flowers i got in the packet called "grandmothers cutting garden". flowers i never even heard of. Go CE's!!

    boxer: from your lips to Gods ears

    alicia: why dont you come up and spend a few days with me? we can tramp around in the woods and you could write poetry.

    puerileuwaite: ha! no, i think you got it mr lynch!

    xl: the worst is qualcom stadium. are you kidding me? That NYE spectacle was a crash course in coarse.

    fishy: thank you. Those hens have been laying their little hearts out even through the snow and cold. I give them the very green organic food....they really like the commercial pellets better..but after a while they had no choice but to eat what i give them. Of course they get lots of treats. On christmas they had salmon. Thanks about heather - Ive been thinking about how to handle it. In stead of calling the money "charity" i am calling it a reward for bravery and selflessness.

  21. moi: it takes a lot to put men off of college football -but theyre doing it! I too like the long stretch of nothing...except my best friend has a big dress up valentines ball every year. Its fun - I make the decorations for it (NO!) and hopefully will have lost the 40 tons of chocofat i gained by then. I wish you and your pack the very best 2011 too. you know i do.

    boxer: reflection and quiet. we need it like we need food and water. Easter has been very broody. It can be dangerous as they will sit eggs and not eat or drink. I have to break her of it ...take the eggs away and she screeches in anger over it. Shes old and doesnt lay much and needs something. This is about the 8th time shes gone broody - so i am looking for fertilized bantam eggs come march.

    aunty: i packed my bags and headed to the olive forest! once i get back to Chickory, thangs will even out.

  22. "are you kidding me?"


  23. MJ: whoa! Prayers can be answered! Grrherhaha Happy New Year! May it be blessed with adventure and joy.

    Eggy: thanks, and good for you too with your gorgeous charity brunch. a very fine meal. and i didnt have to unbutton my jeans!

    la diva: yeah, i was thinking "dont sink into doom just yet, chickory". but darn. Really? the nivea hats? I have to say i do love the nivea lip balm. super slick. but i hate seeing a sea of human billboards. and the entertainment! WHen seacrest asked K$sha what her new years resolution was she said "to not become a douche" Diva. i just dont know.

    Buzz: I know!! the struggle of it and it feels like seacrest is just humoring DC, rubbing his hands together waiting for the old man to die. and how about those lame crowd interviews? horrific.

    faery: and i wish you strength and the power of discernment, happiness and adventure. xo

    pam: oh dont feel guilty!! I was glad to party with you. DOnt worry, Heather is coming out fine because La DIva donated her winnings at Moi's to heather...

    which reminds me


  24. darryl: we always say it and never do. we have to do some arty project. I remember Odette! Tell her i still do illustration for hire. and if i may, darryl, take that comment moderation off your kills the flow, bro. loved your trees this year and looking forward to the spring ones.

    dianne: painting gardening and poetry. That is a life worth living! a fine set of goals i have to say i concur. Thank you for your kind words, you are a sweetheart and i treasure your friendship. Lets have a rocking 2011!

    roses: get back to creative projects. It is a very life affirming path! happy 2011 and glad to see you here!

  25. Chickory hon, that's why it's best we don't watch too much commercial TV. It only took me 47 years to figure out the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was really a marketing tool for not just the store but to push the Christmas shows on Broadway and new TV, young "talent!" This was the year a light bulb went on and I said "ohhhhhhhhhhh." Doh.

    Please add another $20 from me personally to Heather's fund. Please email me your address so I can send it to you! Would you be so kind as to give your final total to Boxer? Thanks so much, what fun and I loved looking at all the garlands, esp. the one from Princess with the Aussie native animals crossing!

    Hubby is taking me to the Japanese Gardens today for our own get away and day of serenity! Can't wait! xoxoxo

  26. I think planning ahead beats resolutions. Anticipating the spring, the growing season--it seems almost to be the point of everything, sometimes. I mean, what are winters for but to make us still cherish spring, no matter how old we get?

  27. What a beautiful post, Chickory. I'm sorry I missed out on the charitable NYE excitement. I plan on being around more this year and hopefully won't miss out on anything this cool again.

    Happy New Year to you, Mr. Chickory, Trout, Koby and the chickens! x.

  28. I couldn't watch DC New Years Rockin Eve.
    A. Watching DC now makes me wanna cry
    B. Seacrest is a talentless little scavenger.
    C. All the adverts and crap make me wanna hurl. (Things at the TV and the dill dip! lol)

    I wish you & yours all the best in 2011.

  29. Happy New Year Chickory,

    My apologies for being so late getting by. You have a beautiful way of putting words together, much like your brush to your work.

  30. I am totally in love with your new header/banner/thingie.

  31. me too--the new banner is smashin'.

  32. I dig your new look a lot!

  33. La Diva: its just so banal - so heavy handed. endless pitching and selling. all we are anymore is "consumers" and yet, we are constantly ripped as a people for....consuming! what a schizophrenic culture we have to endure. gah!

    Thank you so much for the extra money for Heather. I am really excited about surprising her with this. And wow! a serene japanese garden for the new year? its perfect. take pictures!

    xdell: resolutions set up failures. instead of being so absolute i think of ways to improve or aspects of myself i need to pay attention to and correct. In addition the new year is to state and think about goals once again. i am recently seeing the value of writing these things down! Its a treat to look through seed catalogs in the cold winter.

    kym: well i imagine your world is a whirlwind. so much to prepare for. no apologies needed - i am always happy to see you anytime you pop in.

    scarlett: yes. yes and yes. Seacrest is like a weasel only not as good. happy new year to you - wish you the best of everything in 2011

    karl: bloggin means never having to apologize! I understand. there is life to attend to after all. i was very moved by your haikus this week, btw. and will take your advice to heart.

    pam: thank you! i am working on total redesigns across the board. I hope this page isnt too pretty for the "boys". I dont want to lose them! Maybe i should put some dead deer carcasses or muscle cars on my sidebar.

    aunty: thank says fresh new year to me. it says "open light and airy". at least thats what it says to me.

    moi: i hope so cause youre a hip chick. if i get too sweet come over and hit me.

  34. Sendin' ya some beet seeds--they come in red an pink an yellow--big sellers at C'nooga Mkt.


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