About Me

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Born in Santa Monica, California, I was raised in the small bedroom community of Sunkist Park that borders Culver City, Playa del Rey, Mar Vista and Venice. I attended Venice High School, West LA Community College and California Institute of the Arts. My studies included English, English Literature, Poetry, Creative Writing, Choir, Classical Voice, Shakespeare, Musical Theater, Television and Film Acting and Art History. In 1980, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest and in 1982 I married Kurt Wolf in Corvallis, Oregon. During the course of our long journey together, I have remained devoted to not only my husband, but to my friends and family, and the arts. What defines me most is my passion for expression through art. I’m an avid reader, writer and poet.I also enjoy painting and photography. Additionally, some folks consider me a pretty good cook.

Email Susie Rosso Wolf

If you have any questions about "New Prairie Woman", "Saving Susie", my "Phoetry", Montana, or writing in general, please email me directly at: GrumpySusie@msn.com — Looking forward to hearing from you. I hope you enjoy "New Prairie Woman". ~ Susie

Friday, June 15, 2012

Prairie Post # 8, June 15, 2012

While walking in the pasture just after a rainstorm I was on my way back home when I looked up to see this elegant sky just before dusk. At first I only noticed the color of the clouds but suddenly I noticed the high moon emerging smack dab in the middle of the cloud cluster. It was breath taking, viewing it at the moment, and I wanted to share this with you. I named this shot "Margo's Moon."  You can read my reason for the name, below.

Prairie Post #8
New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf

We've been experiencing a long hard wave of rainstorms here in Three Forks. Although the rain temporarily  put the kibosh on my garden planting goals, I must say that the hills and the valleys and our country roads are bright green in color and filled with lovely swaying grasses and many plants, trees and blooming wild flowers indigenous to Montana. The color is medicine to my eyes, eyes that were commonly spoiled by lavish color year round in Southern California. But as I mentioned in my last post, at last, I have trained my eyes to appreciate the new colors of brown and wheat and sage that sing to me in ways I never thought possible. However, the yellow and green and purple and blue of plants and flowers popping up here and there from the rainfall and sunshine that has finally broken through the clouds has drenched my eyes with rejuvenating joy. 

Last week the rain quit after several days on non-stop pounding. I waited a few hours and hoped that the sun that emerged earlier in the day had done its job and dried the soggy soil enough for the dogs and I to take a walk. We set out in the evening and made our way up to the prayer post. Although still a bit squishy in some spots I was surprised that our walking trail was hard and clear of mud for the most part. My Muck boots aren't the most comfortable walking shoes ever made but serve a great purpose in Southwestern Montana. As I made my way up in the cold hard souls I mostly focused on the ground, not wanting to slip and fall and break my neck. Believe me when I tell you...I've come close to killing myself as I slipped in the mucky mud around here, ever grateful for my trail being so close to the fence line making it easy for me to grab hold of.

Beany & Cecil and I stood at the prayer post for a long while that night, watching the clouds merge their colors then separate into bursts of white and back to pink, purple, gray, blue and shimmering silver. Although I was completely captivated by the show taking place on the heavenly stage above, I prayed my daily prayers and meditated for a while. In my prayers that night, I focused on my dear and darling little buddy, Miss Margo, whom I miss so very much and who had not been feeling too well that day after having some minor surgery. I thought about Margo so much and prayed that her surgical site healed well and without complications. 

Through the years that we've been living here we have both made major adjustments to the lifestyle, harsh extremes and the difficulties that we have had to face on many levels. After six years of adjusting to our move we've done fairly well to melt into the pot here but the one aspect that can't be cured by time and change is missing my deep friendships, bonded ties of a lifetime that tug on my heart each and every day. My Linda, Diane, Stella, Julie, Lois, Jo (who has since passed away, God rest her soul) and my little Margo continue to own my heart and soul and that ownership makes it all the more difficult for my soul's friendship to reach out to even the thought of inviting someone new to enter the heart that beats for my friends back home...and yet..we have been so fortunate to meet many fine people here that the loyalty I feel for my California home-girls and my Oregon cohorts weeps with sorrow as we both take the long walk toward new friendships with the special folks of Three Forks that are now woven into the life and times of Kurt and the New Prairie Woman.

Noticing this emerging moon while thinking of and missing Margo, I realized how blessed I have been throughout my life to have made not one but so many deep and meaningful friendships over the course of fifty some odd years. And now once again, I'm blessed (we both are blessed) to have the opportunity to forge new deep and lasting friendships on the prairie. Margo's moon is a reminder that no matter how far away one might be from home and the people who love and care about you, the heart is a constant vessel of love that beats on and on over the course of many years and thousands of miles...

...My heart beats...

...because you are in it.............

Susie Rosso Wolf
New Prairie Woman  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Prairie Post #7, June 9, 2012

About 900 square feet, this is my new garden just to the right of the front porch, situated in a bright, sunny location. Ninety-nine percent of my garden is planted by seed. Still a work in progress, I pray for improved weather and for the deer to be intimated by the eight foot tall fence that Kurt lovingly built for me!

Prairie Post # 7
New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf

Although it seems as though I’ve been missing in action I haven’t been missing at all. Just a wee bit busy these days during the one and only planting season of the year. Knee deep in mud from the heavy rains that have drenched my new garden, I have worked tirelessly day in and day out to complete the planting of seed that hopefully, if the sun ever appears for more than half a day at a time, will germinate and emerge as tiny little sprouts that will eventually become food that will sustain us through the winter.

This isn’t my first Montana garden so I haven’t been shocked by any of the strange and wonderfully weird items one can discover underground in this wonderland of western oddities. Yesterday, for instance, I had to work ever so hard at breaking up the block of planting bed soil, that had already been vigorously tilled by the old man on the tractor, because the rains came so heavy that the water compressed the soil, turning it into clay, essentially. So, with spade in hand I did the back breaking work of breaking it up again in order to plant the corn, which I was in a hurry to do as it’s already so late in the season but as I said, weather simply has not cooperated with my gardening plans. Anyway, I’m digging away and digging away and finally I’m ready to build the corn rows-planting beds, and furrows. Once the beds were built I applied some fertilizer to the beds and worked it into the soil by hand. It was then that I felt something strange against the skin of my garden glove. Deeply buried under the planting bed I pulled up as I held onto the end of the treasure and was so surprised to find an old ink pen. Last week I found a tooth belonging to some kind of K-9, perhaps a coyote or wolf. It’s always a mystery when you begin to dig around out here on the prairie…

After many hours of grueling labor at last I finished planting the corn which provided me the freedom to sit down at my desk this morning to post a new update on what’s been happening out here in this amazing place that we live in. All of the bedding planting is complete now so my load is much lighter. Although I have many plants and seeds that must be planted into containers, such as my herbs and flowers and a few veggies too, it’s time I take a short break and get out of the mud and dirt. Oh, speaking of mud, yesterday, as I was frantically digging away and trying to build the corn rows, I was constantly watching the sky that was filled with black and grey rain clouds. Looking up in-between smacks to the earth with my spade, I pleaded with God to spare me the downpour that was surely ready to bust out at any minute. As I kept on working and working and working, I would feel a rain drop or two as the wind howled and roared through the garden. I worried about my newly planted Marigolds that were bent sideways as well as my pepper plants and tomato plants that I had just planted the day before. But you know, and this is the honest to God’s truth, the sky didn’t open up as I had expected it too. After the task of planting the corn was complete I should have watered the entire garden, but I just knew that the rain was coming so I waited. And I waited. But the rain clouds blew away to the south from a northern wind so at six in the evening I realized in a panic that my garden hadn’t had a drop of moisture all day, well, a couple of drops but certainly not enough for new seed beds that require even moisture until germination is complete and seedlings appear and break ground. So, I ran out with my rain hat on my head and gloves on my hands and dragged the hose to the garden and let the water rip through the wind at full force in order to reach every square inch of the garden, corner to corner.

I soaked my little garden down and then I dragged the hose back to the area behind the back door where I have my rose lady water fountain and my little daughter bird feeder bowl. I power washed the fountain so the wild birds would have a clean bowl to bathe in and then I filled up the bird feeder bowl with fresh seeds. It was as if God was speaking to me in a loud and clear voice when I head the rumbling of thunder from the garage while putting my garden tools away on my garden bench. I peeked out of the garage to see drops on the ground and the wheel barrow. Hmmmm, is this possible? I ask for dry weather to complete my work and now that I’m ready to call it a day the rain breaks loose from new clouds that just rolled in? “Is this a joke, Lord? Are You toying with me, Lord?” Seriously, the rain broke free from a huge black system that must have come in while I was watering and didn’t notice at all. Lost in thought, most likely, I never saw the sky turn black again. So the drops surprised me and I laughed as I said out loud…” Thanks for the lesson, God, I know, I blew it, I should have listened to you the first time and trusted you, listened to the warning that indeed, it was going to rain.” I shook my head in humility as the drops quickly became a heavy rain that sent our two yellow labs up to the back porch deck, under cover.

It rained most of the night, giving my garden a soaking, on top of a soaking, and so now you know why I have time to sit here and type away this silly little story. I do believe it will rain again today which means I will have to find something other than gardening to amuse myself with. Perhaps I could drag out the vacuum cleaner, and mop the kitchen floor. Naaah, that doesn’t sound like much fun now does it? No, I think I’ll put my rain gear on and stand at my growing table and plant those pots of herbs and flowers and veggies I mentioned. They need to get into their containers. Neighbor Jeff generously gifted me with several heirloom tomatoes that I will put into five gallon buckets and then place them around the garden up against the fence. I believe I will have about fifteen tomato plants all together when all is said and done. Enough tomatoes to get us through the year, if we’re lucky. I will can them all for spaghetti sauce and soups. But we never know what is to come from season to season.

Two years ago when I had my little garden right next to the back door so my oxygen tubing could reach out there, allowing me the opportunity to plant and enjoy the sunshine, you know, mostly to get out of the house, I had a very successful planting and was close to harvesting all of my squash and broccoli and cabbage when out of the blue sky a sudden change in temperature brought in by a sixty-five mile an hour wind swept through the prairie bringing with it a hail storm unlike anything I’d ever seen in my life. In fact, you may have actually heard about this storm as it was all over the news that year, the summer of 2010. Bozeman suffered a great deal of damage from the baseball size hail that broke out many of the windows at MSU and car windshields galore. I remember running into the house for cover and was so frightened that I hid in the pantry for cover, knowing for certain that our windows would be smashed by the huge rocks falling from heaven with a mighty powerful force. But our strong storm windows were spared and after twenty minutes of hiding I peeked out from the pantry to see blue skies again outside but when I inspected my darling little garden, well…it was sad, no longer a garden, but a lake of icy water, burying everything, everything. Within two days all of my crops had turned black and began to die.

God, if you’re listening…and I know that You are, please let us all have successful gardens this year. Gardens that will feed our families and friends and neighbors. Gardens that will sustain us with fresh wholesome nutrition for the year to come. We need Your cooperation, dear Lord. I know You hear me when I say to myself, “Why do I continue to bother to attempt to grow food in this place of mystery and tormenting, extreme, weather?”  The answer is that I continue to face this challenge because when I’m out there, I feel closer to You. Keep the rain coming, God, it’s okay with me…we need it to feed our rivers and lakes and streams and to water our gardens and farms and livestock. Thank You for the many blessings of Montana and for the many lessons I've come to learn as well…

"Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps, perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvest reaps."

~ Amos Bronson Alcott - 1868 ~ 

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