June 30, 2012

Homeowner Happy

I just finished reading an excerpt from a piece called Happiness Revisited by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I thought I would include some of it here-but I changed my mind. I loved the piece and plan to dig a little deeper in to the writing of M.C. Happy as I will now refer to him as. What I am going to do is give you my spin on his spin. Life and happiness are up to you. You can sit on your donkey and tell everyone who won't listen how bad life is these days or you can stand up and fight. Stand up and fight for every minute you have left on this beautiful planet. Yes, manure happens. It should make you pay attention not curl up like a poked fuzzy caterpillar. Somewhere around the fifty mile marker I made the decision to fight. My back was killing me. I had cataracts. I got so many AARP mailings I asked County Waste for an extra recycling bin. I asked myself if this was the way I wanted to go out- bent and broken or did I want to fill the tank one last time and take a Thelma and Louise run for the border. As life will do, spike-strips will be thrown. Storms will approach from out of nowhere casting hail and hell upon you. Don't be scared. Tomorrow the watered grass will grow a bit taller and greener. Hail melts. Police cruisers only have one set of strips (I guess?). The key to happiness in my copy of This Old Horse is to enjoy the little things just as much as the big things. Savor that day working around the house. Today I installed two replacement windows and only spewed one or two words that began with family member prefaces, like Son and Mother. It was rewarding to do it myself. It gave me satisfaction. It made me (?). See, I knew you were paying attention. How happy the little things make you is up to you and may depend on how many cold beverages you celebrate with. That's okay too. Just keep your donkey in the backyard and off the road.

Have a "Happy" Fourth of July week everyone.

June 29, 2012

I Don't Remember Writing This?

"Milk nourishes the soul; at any age"
I few years ago I came upon a road

A road paved with numbers 
A road lined with dreams
Some dreams I never lived
Some dreams remained unturned
As the AARP mail-pile widened
As the mirror became more grey
Peace tapped me on the shoulder
Peace woke me from a nap
Promises of something more
Promises of life
All I needed was a pen
All I wanted was a pad
The pad became an Apple
The desk a parking spot
The journal by my bedside 
A story parking lot 

June 28, 2012

Downtown Thursday Night

 Downtown Thursday Night 
by John R. Greenwood

 slice of Americana
patiently awaiting
teen filled Fridays
mom's night off Saturdays
sauce red
and laminate smooth
always knowing smiles and laughter
are coming for
eight cuts
one night soon

Writers' Project Meeting #3

Tonight we begin working on our story outlines. I thought I would begin right here with a picture and a pint of refreshment. Thank you to my childhood friend Randy Davis for allowing me access to a pair of old milk trucks he rescued from the woods. I asked if I could take some photographs of them. I will share more story and photos as the project progresses.  I am forever grateful for Randy's generosity  and his lifelong friendship. 


There is a story in here. It's waiting to be delivered. I have an established route and on this route are many homes. Homes filled with families waiting anxiously for some nourishment. That nourishment will come in the form of words. Words placed quietly at your door, barely a clink will be heard. To enjoy the soothing refreshment, you will have to shake the bottle. Grasp it tightly at the middle, homogenize it, pull out the top.
Sip it.
 Chug it.
 Let it run down your neck.
There, now don't you feel better?
Your mind will return to happier times when children played in front yards and dogs ran free.
Clothes hung on lines and bird houses from trees. 
Farms were healthy.
Parents were proud.
Whispers were quiet, sirens loud. 

Stayed tuned for more

June 24, 2012

Bedlam Farm: One Fine Day

Bedlam Farm: One Fine Day
By John R. Greenwood 

Music -Eirigh Suas a Storin (Rise up my love) - Al Petteway 
Album - Caledon Wood

This video is dedicated to the friendship of Jon Katz and George Forss.  It was compiled with photographs I took on June 24, 2012.

Jon Katz posted a tribute to Photographer George Forss and Artist Donna Wynbrandt on Bedlam Farm.com

Saturday Mornings

    Saturday Mornings
By John R. Greenwood

There's something about home ownership that amplifies that pioneerish craving to clear the land and open it up. In my little corner of the world I am fortunate to have some 100 ring maples within my domain. I am also blessed with a busy county road, a short-cut town road and the tire-screeching intersection that brings them together. 100mph motorcycles find their way by every Saturday about midnight. But, it's the guy towing the loosely constructed metal lawn-care trailer who inevitably runs just off the edge of the pavement every night around midnight that pops me out of bed like a toaster pastry. Ahh, Urban America speaks at all hours. Now back to that land clearing part. I am once again the proud owner of a pickup truck, so I hold a better chance of keeping up with my yard work. With all those maples, tree branches sprout like dandelions and leaves never do what they say. This creates what some call work. I call it dirt-under-the-nails-heaven. The smell of fermenting grass piles mixed with rotting tree excrement is as sweet as a drive past TGIF's on steak night. The joy of having a garage of your own and filling it with yard tools of all shapes, sizes and price tags is why we close our eyes and sign 30 year mortgages we know we will have trouble paying by month #2. I  love heaping up the back of a truck with forest remnants. I work my compost pile with little commitment, sometimes pretending it's growing from the bottom up, slowly, like the Rockies. Time is the biggest enemy of the homeowner. When I was younger and had the stamina of Rocky Balboa I could begin my yard marathons at 7am and be knocking off my boots to come in at 8pm. These days I shoot for 7am to 8am. There's a shortfall of ability not want. 
     This post began as a tribute to working in the far corners of a 1/4 acre slice of the American Dream. Although I got a little off track I think most reading this will agree that no matter how many things we think we need in the house to make us happy, it's the desire to own the dirt under it, and trees around it that really drives us to sign our name in the first place. I will probably be 103 before my slice is paid off but I gladly, Mrs. G promptly writes the check out every month and I'm glad she does.  I love her for that by the way...

June 21, 2012

A Story Is Born

Writers' Project @ Hubbard Hall 
Evening with friends #2
A lesson learned

When your creative thirst needs quenching what do you think of? 


To be continued...

Writers' Project Meeting #2

"On the way to work collection"

Tonight is Writers' Project Meeting #2 @ Hubbard Hall. A lot has happened in one week and I am still trying to absorb it all. Connection and inspiration for something I couldn't identify has shown up like a Trailways Bus at a Thruway Truck Stop. You put your business on a busy road-at some point you're going to get customers. You better have enough food to feed them and plenty of help to keep the line moving. You shouldn't be surprised if you get a few complaints, and you know for certain most are just happy to fill a growling stomach and stretch their legs. I will do my best here. I do not take this lightly. But for now I have to pay the bills and get ready for work. If you find yourself here via Bedlam Farms or any other site I thank you for stopping. I feel like a kid whose father just handed him the keys and says, "Don't hit anything!" Boy, am I excited, can you tell? 

June 20, 2012


by John R. Greenwood

still alive
wide alive
soaking up
 every dripping drop of energy
I can squeeze 
from the personalities
floating by my window
sometimes a little tilted
mostly upside down

June 18, 2012

Life Begins...

Life Begins...

This piece was written on April 25, 2008 and edited June 18, 2012. I dug it out of my collection of  partially filled notebooks. I thought it would be fun to share with the members of our writing project. It describes the birth of a blog and the rebirth of a man with a creative passion searching for a venue. 
I have the receipt from the day Raining Iguanas became a reality. I will always remember my $7.15 purchase. It was the best seven bucks I ever spent. The most memorable part of the experience was my son was standing over my right shoulder like a hovering parent. He encouraged and nudged. He understood. He made no judgement of why his grey haired father was shaking like a quivering chihuahua. My sons care about people. They help friends. They have beautiful hearts. Their mother did nice work. She gave me two adults with common sense and a sense of humor. You need to laugh to survive. Life can be tough. On this day one son and his father shared a mouse click. 
My vision of a blog is to be the voice of the average man. To speak to them and for them. Most importantly to build trust. To save them time by finding the best songs. The ones that make you smile, cry, or tap your feet uncontrollably. I want to link people to books they will truly enjoy. I’m so average, if I like it, my average friends will like it too. There is so little time. We need all the help we can get. If you find something you really enjoy you take pleasure in sharing it. Whether it’s a new brand of toothpaste or a favorite pizza place we all want to share. It’s human nature for the average man. It’s good to be average.
I recently passed on a favorite book to a coworker. When he returned it he said it was one of the best books he had ever read. It was a rewarding feeling. Had I not made the gesture, one less person would have enjoyed that book. 
I vowed I would never again hesitate to share. Share joy in any form you can. Do it daily. Do it at every opportunity. Share laughter. Share silence. Share a memory with a stranger. Don’t hesitate. Time passes all too quickly.  
I am back in the present and in two days our writing group will meet for the second time. I am excited about the future. I am looking forward to spending time with Katz and dogs. 

June 17, 2012

Path to Happiness

"Path to Happiness"
Path to Happiness
By John R. Greenwood

The path though winds a twisted trail
The sun does shine but once
so bright she was that summer day 
the fifteenth one in June 
a ring now shared
I thank you dear
for the day 
you said, "I Do"

June 15, 2012

Mr. Katz What Have You Done!

I had 17 views on my blog page Thursday
After Jon's kind words and link to my blog it skyrocketed to 653 on Friday.

The door to my dream was cracked open last night.
Today the door swung wide and light flooded in.
A man I've met only three times changed it forever.
His words of encouragement transformed my dream into a mission.
There are words to pen and roads to ride.
Another story is about to unfold and life again is fresh and ripe.
People have been kind to me over my many years.
But no man has placed such well honed words beneath my name.
I am honored and a bit overwhelmed.
The wonder of this world is large.
Take a look around
You may find.
What I have found.

Encouragement grows deep on Bedlam Farm

Happy Anniversary To Us

"The Greenwoods"
What a day! 

"Happy Anniversary"

Hubbard Hall Writer's Project

"Twilight ending and a bright new beginning"
The Cambridge Hotel in the background
Tonight a a man became a boy. A few hours ago I was a young Ralphie tearing open the wrapping on his Red Ryder BB gun. I entered historic Hubbard Hall in Cambridge in search of something and I found it. I climbed the wide, well traveled steps to the top of the landing and land I did. I discovered a place that felt like it had been waiting patiently for me to arrive. Tonight was the first meeting of the Hubbard Hall Writer's Project being choreographed by author Jon Katz. A small intimate group of hungry creators gathered to share ideas and stories. Like a bubbling spring, stories and personalities emerged and swirled about. I felt at home. I felt welcome. Although at ease, my pulse was racing. It is racing still. I am among friends here. I will log my journey over the weeks ahead. I will do it here. There is much to tell. For now it is late and I am tired. Tomorrow will come too quickly but not quickly enough. I have been recharged and rejuvenated. Thank you to my beautiful wife for her support. Today will be 38 years of it. Happy Anniversary! This post is dedicated to you. 

June 12, 2012

A Moment of Silence

Brill Cemetery 
By John R. Greenwood

Oasis of age buried deep within a town 
Loyal cedars standing 
Patient sentinels have nothing but time
A caring Sun sneaks through 
Pumping a spritz of love
Warming a sacred soil moist of teared thoughts over years missed
Silence - like a friend who surrounds you with calm  
Soft shell of moss comforting sleeping souls nestled below
This solitude filled space 
Cornered with scattered ornamentation 
Believing in it's rusted beauty   

Submitted to Poets United: Poetry Pantry #102

June 03, 2012

"Bulldog Mack"

Bulldog Mack
By John R. Greenwood

A lifetime measured in miles
spinning wheels and a heavy load have taken their toll
tenacious spirit lingers 
refusing to relinquish 
one tenth

banished to the back of the pile
perched tall with bulldog stance
his worn body blistered 
swarmed with dings 
peppered with dents
pride shining 
out through late night high beams 

 if one last wish granted

five gallons
left in the tank

Submitted to Poet's United: Poetry Pantry #101