While we were talking

As I spoke for Press Publish in  Portland, Oregon.  homeless food trucksIn the most beautiful hotel. Telling  them our stories  – about you and me and our animals.

This man slept.  Outside my window. homeless


And what a triumph we were.  I told them the story of you and me. And these people understood.

abchomelessBut still this man slept.  Unmoved.

Then in the night, like all animals of prey he awoke and stood guard about himself for the night. Visited. A-companied.  Waving his flag. Announcing his presence. Gathering his herd. Standing Watch until the sun came around again.


I don’t know what this means. This man and I.  But I do know that sheep and cows sleep in the daytime and are up grazing and watching in the night.  Aware. And I also know that he is a popular fellow this homeless man of the street and he got a good breakfast.  But I do not know much more. Cities are difficult.

And the other thing I know is that I loved this opportunity to talk with people like us. This conference was grand and rich and very personal. We have some new friends coming.. and I know their names.

The other thing I know for sure was that having  you listening to me talk through the magic of the interwebs kept my back straight and my smile firmly attached.  Once again you carried me. I know many of you could not tune in and Andrea said she would let me know when the tapes of the talks are released. Maybe late April.  I will let you know.

Good morning. I am away again  -Breakfast and bubbles with our Fellowship friend Chris, then off home later today.  More cars, more planes, then blessed home.

Time to get back to the farm.

See you tomorrow

Love your friend




69 Comments on “While we were talking

  1. It sounds like it was a great success 🙂
    I’m glad that homeless man was able to sleep undisturbed – some of them don’t fare so well.

  2. I am so glad it was a great success and you enjoyed yourself. I wasn’t able to tune in for some reason. I had FD troubleshooting and even Sissy Jo. But I hope sometime later it will be available in some format that we can all watch. I’m so proud of you, my friend! You totally rocked Portland!

    I felt these same feelings when observing the homeless in NYC last summer. We are all connected – some way some how. 🙂

    • There was some trouble with the live feed, sorry you missed it but thank you for trying.. it was taped so I will let you know when those are loaded.. not until after the next conference though.. c

  3. So glad you had a successful adventure. I had such fun watching you on my computer and Bill listened in while he played his computer game. Your blog is like your farmy, changing and growing every year to include new farm animals and new members of the Fellowship. Bringing people together from around the world. I’m even doing a quilt block exchange with a group that Kate in Chiconia started. How cool is that? Enjoy your brunch and safe travels home. Boo will have much to tell about the wee goaties.

    • We have created something unique that is for sure.. many people commented on the Fellowship as being a very special group. But God help me, I am terribly tired.

  4. I’m looking forward to the tapes of your talk. So happy it went well and you met more lovely folks. I will be very glad when you are home – the scene outside your hotel window has been disturbing to me. Musn’t wear blinders all the time, though…

    • No, we must stand watch. Even the disturbing stuff. Everyone has a story, I wished I had a minder last night so i could have gone down to speak with him.

  5. I caught the last half of your presentation having been delayed in reaching my computer screen by unexpected visitors. It was wonderful to catch the last few photos and hear your words. I will be very happy to have the opportunity to watch the parts I missed when they are available.
    Random thoughts– Cities, and the people who populate them can be both glorious and enriching, but also rather lonely and mysterious depending on circumstances. A presence on the street, reversing day and night in what seems to be an act of self-preservation…do we ask ourselves if these moments with friends and fellowship for this man are just as enriching to him as our conversations here among the fellowship, and while WE may not be sleeping on a city street, I think we all also have our own mysterious ways of watching, and protecting and preserving just as he, and the farm animals do. Perhaps your ‘encounter’ with this person speaks to the ability of the human spirit to reach out in companionship…street corner fellowship or farmy fellowship… the same goal was achieved.

  6. i watched you,,,from the comfort of my bed..you were brilliant, confident and entertaining. It was great to actually hear you, I have seen the face and I know the farm but to actually put a voice to the face …was…fantastic…….but I gather that you did not like the coffee!
    Shame about the man who slept , he missed a great opportunity but I expect he is happy in his own way..otherwise he would change it!
    Would not like it myself..I love my warm comfortable bed….
    You did well and we are all so proud of you…..now home again and back to the Farmy

    love u Miss C you did real great

  7. This is a wonderful post!! I work Saturdays so missed the broadcast. Have a good journey home!

  8. Funny I was looking at the pictures you posted the night you arrived, and I thought the Homeless Guy was pretty savvy, sleeping close to atm and food vans, wondering if he had other recreational supplies? The feed was mostly ok here in SA and I did enjoy hearing you talk. Safe trip back to the Farmy. Rest up in the plane if you can. Laura

  9. Deb, what a touching comment and Miss C, I’m sorry I missed your voice , do you still have an Australian accent ?

      • A common mistake, yes, but our accents are very different……..your accent is still strong. My daughter who has lived in the States for over 20 years sounds very American, except when she’s around Aussies, and she drops back into the drawl, no-one can understand her then.

    • Thank you very much 🙂 I think this group often inspires me to look at things differently than my typical perspective. I can vouch for the accent with Miss C–she sounds properly New Zealand (er) (ish)

  10. You did great, Miss C! I caught much of it, and I was impressed!

  11. I loved seeing you and hearing you during the podcast, and could have done so for an hour or longer! Unfortunately I started having trouble with the live feed about 12 minutes in and by the time I restarted my computer and could get you on again, you were mid-way through answering the last question and then it was over. 😦 I’m looking forward to the tapes. The homeless man seems to have quite a good spot and how interesting that he is matched to and become part of the cycle of life and activity there, and fits right in.

  12. Your talk was wonderful Celi!!! And so was the panel discussion that you participated in!!! I loved that too!!! I was there at 1:45 and stayed on until the conference ended! What a treat to have enjoyed all the speakers, and YOU!!! Can’t wait to hear more about your thoughts and learnings when you are home and rested! xoxoxo

  13. Oh yes, you did the Fellowship proud. I glowed with the warm feeling that we are all part of the Farmy, thanks to you. You will long remember the Portland experience! Safely home, please, and then I hope you have the chance of a bit of rest!

    Yes, “Cities are difficult.” Aren’t we lucky with our rural homes.

  14. I promised I’d find you and so I have. I browsed your book last night but was quite weary from the long day of learning and listening that I read very little. As I catch up with life, I shall explore here more. It was so grand to meet you and hear your stories. The homeless are hard to for all to see. They often choose the outdoors as their minds cannot handle the confinement. There are so many in every city and still no solution. We just try to keep them fed, warm and safe until they are ready or willing to come indoors.

    • there you are.. How wonderful and truly lovely to have met you and that you have found the Fellowship. I shall pop over to visit your site asap.. Lovely lovely lovely to meet you and thank you for finding me.. c

      • She’s right about the homeless ones, Ci. We have many here in the big city (thousands). Many outreach programs and those concerned. It often is a choice. Some cannot abide the rules (no drunks, drugs, pets, and mandatory “services”/counseling, employment preparations, or 12 step programs/religious services of one sort or another.) There needs to be some provision for the ones with pets – those animals are dear to them and important and could be help in getting them back into society…if animals aren’t ripped away from them as is necessary for those who want the city halfway apts. and rooms. No choice but to stay on the street with their best friends.
        They often stay awake at night because that’s the dangerous times: others steal stuff while an individual sleeps, there are fights as so many are drunk or looking/using drugs. Mentally ill one have trouble sleeping at night and get even more disoriented and dangerous to those not watching. Sleeping is dangerous at night.
        Some of the homeless actually do barter their services/work for food or shelter in a safe nook: guarding property like food trucks, sweeping church steps and grounds, picking up litter and cans/bottles around a specific neighborhood. Cleaning up “their” neighborhoods. Convincing them to come off the streets is very difficult – and the longer they are out there, the chances of reentering society is more slim. This crisis is a terrible situation – some do not see it – but it’s there. They are free to choose lifestyle, but it’s dangerous.
        It bothers me this country emotionally sends food and support other places when there are so many in desperate need here. You do what you can. And you did, Ci, by noticing and telling.
        (Oh, side tracked, the video streaming wasn’t perfect, but I kept tweaking and punching this and that to get it going again so while your image “froze” some I did hear almost everything you said. Couldn’t miss Ci, the Farmy, and the Fellowship gathering. I think you were probably the unique blog of all the presentations. (And you’ve still got that sparkle, animation, and style that probably made you a standout in former careers of a whole different setting)
        Welcome home!

    • Hello Marlene, welcome to the Fellowship…… I “know” you from Pauline’s blog, funny how we all get around. Lucky you, getting to see Celie in person.

      • Any friend of Pauline’s is a friend of mine. I so adore her and Celie seems very much the same way. Warm hearted and kind. Now I’ll have to pop over to your blog. It is a very small world indeed.

    • G’Day Marlene, welcome to the Fellowship, you are now one of us! (I saw your name in Nanette’s comment). Going over to visit your site when I get through the comments here.

        • I’m from Scotland originally Marlene, but have lived in Australia for many many years. Slightly different accent to Miss C!
          I don’t know Pauline, what’s the name of her site?

  15. I knew you’d be fabulous. Can’t wait for the video! And isn’t Portland a lovely, sympathetic place? I’ve never seen such a big city that acted like a small town. Safe travels.

  16. Cities are indeed difficult – I hope he is there because that’s what works for him, although I doubt it. Makes me count my blessings. I couldn’t tune in but I just know your were great and I look forward to seeing and hearing you in due course. Oh how tired you are….sweet dreams on the plane!

  17. Ditto to all who watched you. You looked so pretty and “together”. I could understand every word. (have trouble hearing). A wonderful presentation. I’m sorry I didn’t know about the panel discussion. I’ll bet that was interesting too.
    Taking photos of people can sometimes be risky. My husband used to do this while we drove through some very rough Chicago neighborhoods. It scared me. Not everyone wants to be photographed.

  18. I tuned in 15:45 (my time) a few minutes before kick-off and let the Buzz and laughter of those gathering in the Queen Marie Suite, soak through to my bones. I was back in the days when I attended my first Bloggy/Podcasting events in 2007/08. in Ireland. Friends I made then are still my friends today, I hope this will prove true for you and those fortunate to be in Portland yesterday! I dipped in and out of the talks all day. While you were having lunch I prepared homemade beer batter pizza with a glass of wine for dinner. This was eaten on my knee as I watched your talk. You were just as I expected, talking from your heart and wonderful. I was tucked into bed for the discussion ‘from blog to book’ and enjoyed the whole thing. My final glimpse of you was walking out of the room at the end… I love your boots! Being a good Cinderella, I switched off on the dot of midnight, before our clocks sprang forward an hour later!

    Safe journey home. I am looking forward to hearing all your news.

  19. So glad it was a successful trip, C!! I look forward to hearing it in April as I was unable to hear you yesterday. I wish I could have seen you in person!!

  20. I stopped everything and tuned in to listen. You were a celebrity in our house as the girls ran to see Cecilia on the computer screen. I watched, I listened, I smiled, I laughed and even felt a little teary thinking about the animals now gone from the farmy. You did a wonderful job and I’m glad you enjoyed your experience.

    We will see you next weekend at the farmy!!!!

  21. When I moved back to the city just over a decade ago, I moved to the inner city and its homeless/marginalized people which was new for me. It took some getting used to but the G.O. has a knack for people and in time some have become familiar, and to me are just part of the varied population. It’s good the man you saw had what seems to be a safe place.
    Your talk was fabulous. I’m looking forward to re-watching it and also seeing the other via video clip. It’s great to see so many of The Fellowship commenting to PressPublish’s Best Moment’s post.
    I imagine you’re home now. Me too. I hope in between you get to have a rest. Travel and doing stuff is wonderful but tiring. Even if life is busy there, there’s no place like home.

  22. I hurried the poor dog on her morning walk so I’d be back in time…..7.45 am Sunday here, she wasn’t impressed, even when I told her it was to hear about Boo and the kitty’s and Sheila and everyone. A great talk Celi, which you already know from previous commenters. Like Debweeks, I was a little teary at times. And sadly, homeless people aren’t confined to the big cities, I live in quite a small country town, and we have a lot of homeless, for a whole variety of reasons. They sleep under the bridge where I regularly walk my dog, and she looks forward to seeing them, and they, her. They all have stories of the dog they used to have. They’re used to me now, nudging them to check they’re ok, especially on cold winter mornings when they’re just a huddle of blankets. I always carry a few hand knitted beanies or scarves or mittens to hand out as we go by, for that extra warmth.

  23. I’m still gnashing my teeth that I wasn’t able to watch… But it seems clear that you shone! And what is even clearer is that despite the distraction of what you were there to do, your heart still reached out to engage with the homeless man. Bravo, Miss C, more Friends for the Farmy, a better understanding of what you have achieved and are striving for, and a new knowledge that you can Do this. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to do it again, and again…

  24. Celi ~ I was so upset to miss you on the great stage ~ I had my computer all set up ready to go ~ half before you came on my fone rang and I had to leave ~ so I’m so happy to see that we will have to chance to see you again!!I’m sure you were the hit of the day~ and now everybody knows Boo, Sheila, Tima & Tune and the Kids and the accident chicks ~ the cowsies, kitties, Godot and the whole pack!! Now they’re world famous!! safe trip home and hope ya get rested up!!

  25. Looking forward to listening to the recordings. So glad it was an enriching experience for you, after all you have given us. xx

  26. I know the farmy, all the animals,your lovely face and you, but now that I have heard your voice, you are complete.
    My hub is familiar with you, the farmy, and the Fellowship, because I’m always telling him things that have happened there, so he watched you too. He was impressed by the whole thing – and loved your voice and Sheila’s Tshirt! You still have your lovely strong NZ accent. You were brilliant, you had the audience in your lap, they loved you.
    The Livestream was very good although the audio jumped about in a few places, but the vision was excellent.
    You are probably back home now and looking forward to sleeping in your own bed!

  27. Camera House. The trusted link that is so key to you and us. Sitting faithfully, obediently in the crook of your arm just waiting to be called to action. I have a new appreciation for Camera House.

  28. Thrilled to have caught 80% of the later panel discussion at least! Great to hear your voice and somewhat see your body language . . . even if only 20 minutes: an experience . . . and I’ll be lining up for the tapes! Clearly remember a summer seminar discussion here of what ‘home’ means by a very dear friend of mine, a Uni prof of sociology from the US: as he quietly put it: for some of us it is a ten million dollar home, for others a cardboard box into which to put one’s head on the side of the pavement late at night . . . . you pointed out how lucky each and every one of us in the Lounge is . . . .

  29. I was able to watch the whole thing, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. It was indeed great to put a voice to your face. I am glad to be a part of the Fellowship. Thank you for doing that presentation.

  30. I will have to await the tapes. Everything was ready. One of the neighbors had been busy with a chain saw most of the day, didn’t think anything of it until …. Yep, the tree fell and took down the wires, no power, no internet. No one was hurt and there wasn’t really much damage – other than the downed wires which I’m sure the electric company and the cable companies were not pleased about. They got it all fixed fairly quickly but it was too late for the conference.

  31. Well I’ve been absent for a while, having a bit of a blog holiday while I get my new online course off the ground and am busy-busy-busy with hardly a moment to pick a tomato. No sooner do I look away, and the next thing I know, you’re in the city and you are famous! I don’t know, all this growth that happens so fast. To say nothing of the animals. Next step is to catch up with them. But seriously, congratulations. This sounds fantastic.

  32. You are an absolutely extraordinary person and I feel so honoured to know you! Bravo for this post and for your blog and for your incredible kindness.

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