Come Celebrate Andi’s New Book, Steele Secrets

Steele Secrets by Andi Cumbo-FloydOn Tuesday, my new young adult novel, Steele Secrets, is coming into the world.  It tells the story of Mary, a 16-year-old girl, who mysteriously finds herself in an abandoned cemetery.  While she’s there, she meets the ghost of a man named Moses, who was a slave in their small mountain town.  Soon, both Moses and Mary discover a story that entwines them both with their community in ways they couldn’t imagine.

I’m very excited about this book, and so we’re throwing a little belated Mardi Gras party to celebrate. We hope you’ll drop by, enjoy some snacks, visit the animals, and celebrate with us.  All are welcome.

Steele Secrets Book Launch Party

Saturday, February 13th – 4pm-9pm

God’s Whisper Farm

Radiant, VA  22732

Email godswhisperfarm@gmail.com for directions.

Learn more about the book at Andi’s website, andilit.com/steele-secrets.

Hope to see you Saturday.  

 

Mosey Prepares for a Snowy Take-Off

While it’s hard to measure given the size of the drifts here on the farm, we think Winter Storm Jonas dropped about 20″ on us.  But even that pile of snow didn’t slow down Mosey – height, 26″.  He bounced like a low-slung Tigger all over the farm.

If you liked this video, do us a favor and share it with your friends using the buttons below?  We’re eager to grow our community, and that small thing can really help.  Many thanks. 

Writer’s Retreat at the Farm

Writer's Retreat at God's Whisper Farm
© 2010 Drew Coffman, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

On July 22-24, we will hold our annual writer’s retreat here on the farm.  It’s going to be better and cooler than ever because Shawn Smucker and Kelly Chripczuk will be co-leading it with me.

We’re going to have lots of activities and lots of downtime. Good food.  Good words. Good community.

To get more information and reserve your space – only 30 available – visit this link – http://andilit.com/writers-retreat-at-gods-whisper-farm-2/.

And stay tuned for more details about the schedule – including our special event that will be open to the public on Saturday night.

 

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from God's Whisper Farm
Santa Mo would wish you Happy Holidays, too, if he could just stay awake.

We just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you all the happiest of holidays seasons.  We are taking it slow this Christmas on the farm – a few chores to catch up on, some day trips to experience, and time with our families.

We’re gearing up for next year though – with lots of concerts, a bird count, and our annual writing retreat. Plus, soon, our bunk room will be available for rent (on a sliding scale) for folks who want to come relax and get away for a bit.  To stay up-to-date on all the farm happenings, please sign-up for our weekly email. You’ll get exclusive discounts, lots of photos, and first-hand knowledge of all our events.  Plus, when you sign-up, you’ll get a free copy of my book God’s Whisper Manifesto, which sets our the principles that guide our life here on the farm.  

We wish you all the best for your holiday. May it be filled with laughter, love, and as little poop as possible.

Happy Holidays,

Andi, Philip, and the Crew

 

 

Upcoming Events At God’s Whisper Farm

Last night, we sat in the reading room by the woodstove and listened to Phyllis Lawson tell us stories about her grandmother and her grandmother’s friends, stories that made us laugh and get quiet with sorrow.  We laughed so loud the floors of this 200-year-old farmhouse shook, and I imagine that the spirits of the people who lived here before, both slave and free, took some joy in Phyllis words.

If you haven’t already, be sure to get her book, Quilt of Souls

Events for 2016

We have a stellar line-up of events coming together for next year, and we hope you’ll mark your calendars and join us for all of them.
JoyIke.Portrait_03.21.2014-0067.jpgOn January 23, Joy Ike will be joining us for a night of great music. Joy’s voice is melodic, and her piano skills are beautiful.  But it’s Joy’s lyrics that touch me most.  Check out more of her music here and stay tuned for details about her concert.

On February 13th, we’ll be throwing a BOOK LAUNCH party for Andi’s new young adult novel Steele Secrets (working title.)  So plan to come enjoy food and friendship and celebrate with Andi as her “book baby” goes into the world.  The party will begin at 4pm, and everyone is invited.Pierce Pettis in Concert in Madison County, Virginia

Then, on March 19th, singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis will be gracing the farm with his presence to sing his folks tunes.  I’ve been a fan of Pierce’s music for over 20 years, so this is a huge honor for me. Pierce is world-renowned, and we are blessed to have gotten a date on his tour schedule, so you won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear him.  The suggested donation for this show is $20, and you can get your seat here.

 

In April, we are planning a songbird count, so get out your walking shoes and plan to come spend a few hours exploring the farm and counting our beautiful chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, and bluebirds.  Details coming soon.

John Tracy In Concert in MadisonThen, in May, John Tracy, a Charlottesville singer-songwriter, will be giving a concert in the barn on May 7th.  You’ll appreciate John’s amazing voice and guitar licks, I have no doubt. The suggested donation for this show is $10, and you can reserve your seat here.  

 

 

Mosey Rests Up for Events at God's Whisper Farm

 

As you can see, our events calendar is filling up, so mark your own and plan to join us for relaxing evenings with new and old friends .  . and we always have snacks, so you won’t go hungry. Plus, Mosey and Meander will be here to entertain.  As you can see, Mosey is resting up already. :)

 

Phyllis Lawson Reading and Book Signing

Phyllis Lawson Reading - Dec 5 - God's Whisper FarmOn the evening of December 5th, we are honored to have author Phy]llis Lawson joining us at the farm for a reading from her new memoir, Quilt of Souls.  

In Quilt of Souls, Lawson documents her childhood growing up with the incredible woman who raised her and the powerful family heirloom that served as the cloth that would forever stitch their lives together.

With its tales of family, despair, freedom and hope, the true story behind this deeply personal memoir serves as the inspiration for Quiltofsouls.com, where individuals share relics and stories from their own family histories.

We hope you’ll join us for a potluck dinner with the Phyllis at 5pm, and then stay for the reading at 7pm.  This event is FREE and open to anyone of any age. 

 

Phyllis Lawson Reading and Book Signing

Saturday, December 5th

5pm – Potluck Dinner- Open to Everyone

7pm – Reading and Book Signing

Sign up for our mailing list to get weekly stories about the farm, photos of the critters, and future event announcements -http://eepurl.com/bagtuT.

We’re BACK!!

Morning Everyone,

It’s a beautiful, rainy day here on the farm, and for many reasons – including our desire to stay more connected with our farm fans – we’re back here on our farm blog.

We're Back
Mosey can sure sleep with the best of them.

We won’t be posting as much, but here, you will get updates on farm events, new offerings for weddings or retreats, and an occasional picture of one of the critters here.

If you’d like to stay more connected with our happenings on this little piece of hard-working paradise, please sign-up for our Farm Newsletter. Each week, we send out an essay about farm life, some pictures of life here, an update on what’s available in our farm stand, and event announcements.  Plus, subscribers get special offers and first chance at tickets for exclusive events.

To sign up, just follow this link – http://eepurl.com/bagtuT. 

We’re VERY EXCITED about what’s coming here on the farm, and we’re so grateful you’re journeying with us on this adventure.

Much love,

Andi and Philip

Moving the Farm – – – – The Farm Website That Is

Folks, in an effort to simplify my writing life and open up more farm time, we’re moving this show over to my regular blog – www.andilit.com. 

I’ll still be blogging about the farm specifically on Sundays, and I may write more about it since I won’t be balancing two sites. . . so if you’d like, please come over and visit there.  You can subscribe here – http://eepurl.com/bdmYif – and get all my posts in your inbox.  You’ll stay up to date on all the events here on the farm as well as the other things going on in our life.

I’m so grateful for your interest in our little Virginia homestead.  I hope you’ll follow us across the web.

Much Love!

Choosing A Life

Once, I stood on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville, NC – the town where I spent the years of my childhood  – and listened.  Snow and ice had shut down the Parkway itself, but we had driven up to the gate and gotten out, following my desire to be in the air that had so given me joy as a child. Solitude, Silence, Wintry day

On Sunday afternoons, my family often drove up to that parkway and had a picnic – sometimes with friends, sometimes just the four of us.  We’d walk the trails near the picnic areas, or my brother and I would tumble over the giant rocks there, never aware that we were doing something for which there was a term – “bouldering.”  Those afternoons still hold a glowing place in my memory – they were the days on which I had no responsibility, which was a gift for someone whose sense of responsibility came with her first breath of oxygen.

So here I was, a woman in her 20s, back on this road, trying to regain that joy . . . . I stood as still as possible and listened.  The crackle of trees swaying. The hum of crisp air against the inside of my lungs.  I could have stood there all day in the silence of nature.  But he was ready to go . . . as my first husband would always be, it turns out . . .

I was the one who could live longer with silence.

***

This morning, I woke at 4am, a puppy chewing on the hair at the nape of my neck, my hips achy from 8 already hours in bed.  I climbed up and carried Mosey to the front door and then penguinned my way across the porch to the steps so he could do his business.

The farmyard, the neighborhood, the whole space was silent with the snow and ice that claimed yesterday.  I filled myself up with it and stared at the streetlamp fuzzed in the distance . . . Narnia?

Now, 2 hours later, I am still awake, while Meander and Mosey have tucked themselves into the fleece blanket and the sleep beside me.  I could have returned to bed, too, pushed myself back to sleep again.  But something said that wakefulness in this silence was what I needed.  The something was right.  I feel rested, restored, filled. . .

It is easy to fill days with doing; it is not as easy to fill oneself that way.

Maybe it’s that I’m 40 now. Maybe it’s that I’ve finally found THE man who can abide this silence with me. Maybe it’s that I have heeded the tug at my soul that says I need open space and physical work and fewer people that makes my muscles take precedence of my mind.  Maybe it’s that I am now able to claim what I need first – the oxygen mask on my own face before I give it away.

But now, more than anytime in my life, I am willing to live into what I need, to grasp it, to seize it – even if it means taking the silence at 4am on an icy, late winter’s morning.

***

On Memorial Day a couple of years back, Philip, his parents, and I packed a lunch and climbed the Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic.  It was cold – raining with the threat of sleet on that May day – and we shivered as we ate sandwiches and chips at a rustic picnic table at the edge of the woods. I was becoming part of their long-time family tradition of picnics on the Parkway now.

Later that afternoon, Philip drove us to the Pepsi parking lot in Charlottesville, where we climbed aboard a hot air balloon. I had always wanted to go up in one – ever since I had been too scared as a child to take the opportunity to go aloft in a tethered balloon with the local weatherman when I was about 6.  So here we were, floating above the reservoir, friends’ texting me from the Target parking lot below, when I got a new text – “Will you Marty” it read. . . and I looked up to see the beautiful sapphire ring I wear now.

“Don’t drop it,” I said before my yes.

And I meant the ring. But I also meant this life – our aloft life where I have the space to breath deep the silence with the most loving man I know beside me. I also meant this moment.  I also meant me.

***

It is easy to fill life up – to take just the next thing that comes, to go into day and then into night without really breathing.  I know – I did it for years.

But not anymore.  Now, I choose each day.  I choose this man who took me flying and proposed over a farm.  I choose our life here – full of ice and poop and the purple light of dawn. I choose dogs who wake me at 4am only to go right back to sleep.

I choose me.  And the silence I need.

We have lots of new things happening here on the farm in the coming months – including a NEW loom-knitting workshop in May.  Check out our Events page to get the details and plan to join us here soon. 

Help Us Build A Barn

On Friday, Josh Fox from Superior Buildings came by to look at our barn site, help us sketch the final plans, and give us a sense of the time frame for when our new barn will be done – looks like it’ll be up and functional by April – maybe even in time for Shawn Smucker’s reading here.  I cannot tell you how excited I am.

Our Barn Site Prep
The Barn Site Before And After Did the Prep

Which, to be honest, is just a little surprising because, well, this barn will not be what I had long imagined – a huge, wooden, bank barn with a stone foundation.  We simply don’t have the finances for that kind of structure.

So instead, we’re getting a 40 x 60 x 12′ metal pole barn.  Inside, we’ll have a wide open space for our agricultural needs – goat milk processing, farm workshops, etc. – as well as more creative activities like readings and concerts.  We’re also building Philip a workshop to work on farm equipment, create beautiful wooden crafts pieces, and do a little car maintenance.  – oil changes at a reasonable will be a service available when you visit.

Plus, we’re going to have a bunk room, so that writers and musicians who come to retreat here have a place to stay, and a bathroom.  The animals will have a warm shelter, and we’ll have space to keep kids (the goat kind) and mamas safe when we breed.  And we’ll have hay storage out our ears.  Yahoo!

Several folks have been asking how they can help, so here are a few ideas:

1. Subscribe to this blog and like our Facebook page.  At a point in the near future, we hope to offer relevant, carefully chosen ads here, and the more subscribers and followers we have, the more likely we are to get really good advertisers.  (By the way, that’s true of any blogs you love – when you subscribe, you help as well as get good information.)

2. Create unique, hand-made items for us to sell in our farm store or Etsy shopIn the next few weeks, I will be prepping the old Voting House to be a farm store, where people can come in to buy eggs and veggie. There, we will also e selling hand-made items like my crochet, Dad’s walking sticks, my cousin Jackie’s blankets, and Philip’s woodworking.  We will also be listing those items in our Etsy shop.  The creator receives 90% of the profits, and we simply take 10% to cover our costs and support the work here.  Email me at andilit_at_gmail.com if you’d like more details.

Mosey's Photo Contest
Vote for Me to Win the Modern Dog Photo Contest -http://moderndogmagazine.com/photocontest/entry/mosey

3. Share these posts, our Facebook page, and our Etsy shop with your friends.  The more people who are joining this group of Whisperers, the more success we will have, and the more we will be able to offer to people who need respite and rest.

4. Attend our events (and suggest events for our space.) We want to have regular workshops, readings, and concerts here – and we’d like to offer those at minimal or no cost as much as possible.  So check out our crochet class next weekend, consider attending one of our writing retreats, or suggest a workshop that you’d like to attend or TEACH.  We’re open to lots of new ideas.

5. Share your ideas.  We would love to hear from you about what you’d like to see here in terms of programs, space, even animals.  (I think a miniature donkey is definitely in our future.)  Feel free to post links on our Facebook page, email us, or comment below with your suggestions.

We’ll be posting regular updates on the barn raising, and on Facebook, we’ll have pictures galore.  So stay tuned for this part of our journey together.

Thank you for all the ways you love on us.