Arrival at Pearlstone

Arrival at Pearlstone

Main Building at Pearlstone Retreat CenterPearlstone Retreat CenterKayam Farm — I imagine the name was chosen to parallel the word “sustainable.”  Rabbi Balfour Brickner Rabbinic Seminar.  5 days in a gorgeous rural setting, with colleagues — when was the last time I spent 5 days with colleagues? — on the topic of Tikkun Olam, world-repair: Activism, being an inspiration, making it happen.

Kayam Farm is just outside my window and to the left.  baby orchardMostly I can see what must be garden in the summer and baby, baby orchard, but far to the left is a huge (50′ long, 20′ high?) hoop house inside which I can see chickens.  The goats are further around the corner — I can’t quite see them from here.  But I’ve already been out to visit them.  I happened to arrive as a young man (high school age?) was collecting eggs.  He let me in, and I watched properly, from outside the fence … but as he was talking, I had the opportunity to offer to hold a sick chicken while he gave it 2 drops of medicine.  Not an easy one-handed job, even if you can hold the chicken securely tucked under the other arm; and how are you going to open its mouth?  So I got to come in and help by holding the chicken, and scratch the neck of one of the goats.  3 Nigerian Dwarf and one larger breed — the large one is all white, but I don’t know my breeds too well, having only Nubians and MiniNubians myself.

hoop house

Lovely sushi lunch near the airport with my cousin; one of the young women waiting tables was also making crepe paper roses, and I came over and — perhaps inspired by the Sofer’s visit on Wednesday, when we discussed minute variations in letter formation and other fascinating things for about 4 hours as he looked over our 5 Torah scrolls — immediately started asking her about the details of how they’re made.  So she invited me to make one.  Here’s my attempt:

Crepe paper and pipe cleaner flower