Thursday, December 31, 2009

Old and new...

Standing on the bring of a new year, most of us spend some time thinking of the days past, and wondering about the time to come.

Today it snowed; slow, lazy flakes that fell from a leaden sky. I went for a walk. The icy flakes frosted my hair and muffled the sounds of the world around me. I was taken by the look of this leaf... last seasons life, now dead and frosted with winter ice. Still beautiful. In mere weeks new growth will spring to life here, a different beauty, and wonderous just the same.

I am looking towards the new growth potential that 2010 holds. Of all the things I hope for, I especially hope for growth. I dread remaining stagnant... there is so much left to learn, experience, taste and delight in.

Happy New Year! I wish for you... growth.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


My friend raises cows. This year she harvested two steers. We are buying one half... in fact, we currently have two freezers packed tight with what we call, "grass fed, free range, dolphin safe, beef." We cooked the first of it recently, N.Y. sirloin strip steaks. Delishious! And tonight I cut the heart up and let the dogs dine upon it. The advertisements are right, beef, it's whats for dinner. For a long, LONG time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pony in the snow...

                              Chanel, with her deep, plush winter coat, looks delicious against the snow. 

Sounds of winter...

Last night a cold front blew in, and I do mean BLEW.  The wind whipped and raged so loudly it woke me from a sound sleep.  I could hear the flag on the deck snapping and cracking, and the "whoosh" of the trees at they bent  and swayed.  I dozed off and the next sound I heard was the scrape of the town plows as they rumbled by.  Snug in the dark I knew that this meant that the cold wind had brought snow with it. 

I went for a walk in the morning light, up the hill, over the rushing creek.  The creek cuts a dark swath through the newly whitened woods as it sings.  I try to capture the beauty on film, but pictures don't do it justice.  Chickadees punctuate the air between the branches, the only life in sight.  Back home they stay close to the deck, feasting on seeds and nuts, calling to each other through the frosty air. These are some of the sounds of winter.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Springtime in December...

Today dawned unseasonably warm, and it got warmer. It rained, and rained and rained some more. High winds blew the rain sideways, it hit the windows in a billion audible "pings." The old snow was mostly washed away, leaving behind bare ground dotted with icy patches. Walking to the chicken coop was treacherous! The streams and brooks that lace the Maine woods were swollen with the rain and snow melt, rushing loudly over granite boulders. It felt for all the world like spring. Tomorrows forecast? Snow. And that, dear reader, is why they say, "If you don't like the weather in New England, wait a minute."

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa visits the dogs...

"Look! And SMELL! Santa filled our stockings! He must not check to see if dogs are naughty, or those socks would be full of air instead of treats, toys and goodies." (Tiger Lilly the bad, bad boxer and Smooch the rather naughty pug kept watch over the stockings while we whipped up breakfast. They were very happy when it was time to see what delights were stuffed inside.)

Poppy pug got a cushy new bed, too. Because she has been very, VERY good, (the elf hat is hiding her halo. She is an angel dog for sure!) She prefers the sofa of course, but a soft bed by the fire is also perfectly acceptable to a comfort loving Pug.
The dogs have had a very nice Christmas day. I hope all of you have, too!

Not even a ...

Not a creature was stirring... not even a mouse!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sweet things...

Tonight, with Christmas music playing and the fire snapping warmly in the stove, my daughter and I made cookies. Sugar cookies and peanut butter, too. We do this every year, and it is one of my most treasured holiday traditions. It is sweet on so many delicious levels.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Put a bow on it...

My dear friend Terese is an artist... especially when it comes to wrapping gifts. When we lived near each other, every gift giving holiday was heralded by Terese bringing lovely, thoughtful gifts, wrapped to absolute perfection. The kinds of gifts I always want to present, but always fall short of. Terese would spend hours upon hours creating the beautiful packages. As for me, my intentions are good... I choose a theme, pick nice paper and ribbon, and go to town. But when it comes to measuring, cutting, folding, taping, I am unable to create the packages I see in my mind. My wrapping is always lumpy, uneven, childish and overly taped.

My husband, when he was new, was even worse at wrapping than I am. He would take a sheet of wrapping paper and swaddle gifts in multiple layers of it. Wad up the ends, smear with tape and add a tacky stick-on bow. I used to tease him about his wrapping. Then, one year he worked at a place that sold high end retail, and offered gift wrap. He was taught how to professionally wrap gifts. That Christmas every gift he gave me was wrapped to perfection. I hated it. I wanted the lumpy, wadded, over taped gifts of the past. I suddenly missed the very things I used to taunt. (Thankfully, he regressed. I am delighted!)

This year, as I wrap and tape and be-ribbon the gifts I have chosen for those I care about, I recognize that I am not so skilled at making lovely packages. But I forgive myself... I have learned that I love imperfectly packaged gifts. I trust that those I care about can love my messy attempts as well.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Work crew...

Did you ever stop to think that you spend more time with the random people you work with day in and day out than you do your own family? This is the crew of folks I work with. An eclectic and talented bunch-- mostly delightful people to spend my hours with. The pets are a bonus, for sure!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blue cold...

Today dawned so cold that the wooden planks of the front deck groaned beneath my feet, the snow was frozen to a crust so hard it bore my weight as I walked across it, and the thermometer read in the very low single digits. I was delighted to find that the chicken coop, equipped with a heat bulb, was a cozy 32 degrees. The flock, cloaked in their thick feathers, seemed quite content.
The jays and other wild birds took turns eating sunflowers and suet from the feeders, and my local flock of 7 crows swooped down eagerly when I tossed food for them and called, in the still morning air, "HERE CROWS!" I always feel silly when I do this, but then I am awash with glee when they call back to me each day, "Caw, caw...." Next they call to each other, a wide range of sounds from croaks to chortles. Today's feast included pastries left over from a holiday party, a handful of dog food, and some chicken skins. They dove for the latter items, but seemed quite terrified of the pastry. I guess they'd never seen a cream horn or eclair in the wild.
We have a new "pet." A stray cat has taken up residence in our garage. He is wild and shy, we've only caught the rare glimpse of him. I've built him a cozy nook out of a Styrofoam cooler stuffed with straw, and we have begun to offer him food and water, worried about him in this brutally cold weather. I have been calling him "garage cat." He needs a better name. Ideas welcome.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fine friends...

Six and a half years ago we moved to Maine and left good friends, good jobs, familiar places and a home we loved. It was wrenching and difficult and stressful and challenging. If only I could have known that I would land here, in a meadow hugged home with a fun job, bolstered by people who like me, challenge me, bolster me, tease me, support me and fill my life in general with prism bright shards of color... embarking on that venture would have been so much easier.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter porch...

In the summer, this porch sofa is one of my favorite places to be. From this vantage point I see a variety of wildlife, mostly birds that feast at the feeders nestled in the pines you see outside the window. My glorious chickens run about outside on nice days, and they are such fun to watch. The porch is not insulated, so is really a glorified freezer all winter. Still, some days when I go out and see the cold sun glinting through the wavy glass, I feel a strong desire to curl up in this spot with a good book to read and day dream and watch the quiet world outside the window. Alas, were I to do that, my digits would freeze off and I'd be unable to take pictures and type this blog! No porch sitting till it gets warm. June, perhaps?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

As luck would have it...


Some days I just am struck by how lucky I am. This past week I had a veritable shower of those feelings. The most tangible was when a car plowed into a parked car I was sitting in. That might not seem so lucky at first glance, but it was. Because if that same car had hit where it did 30 seconds earlier I would have been outside the car and most likely squished. And I am not a fan of being squished! Add to this a favorable report on a medical woe that had me worried, and the fact that I was able to save my dog when she choked on a bone and all in all it was a very lucky week. I can't wait to see what next week has in store!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Choir of angels...

My mother owned two copper angel candle sticks. She kept them, polished till they glowed, on the kitchen table. I loved them. When she died they were passed down to my sister. She saw me eyeing them one day and sweetly sent them home with me. I treasure them. My friend Liz saw them and a few days later handed me a bag with 5 similar angels, in a variety of sizes. They had belonged to her mother, and didn't have a place in her home. Suddenly I had a whole flock of angels! Tonight I polished them all up and put fresh candles in them. I decided they would be pretty on the old drop leaf table. (I will add some seasonal greens to Christmas things up.) When I had them all placed and took a photo, I realized that the portrait of Rachel at age 4 was overlooking the tableau. Truly, a choir of angels!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

White on white...

Today was the first big storm of the season. There are 8 inches of wet snow coating the world around me. The view from my porch is shades of white on white... roses, paint, snow and sky.
A peaceful palette.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The tree is up, and lit, and festooned with decorations collected over a quarter of a century. I well remember our first small tree in Lynchburg, Va. There were only about 10 ornaments, all wedding gifts from my sister, Deb. We strung miles of popcorn and cranberries to decorate the bare branches. I can still remember the scent of the corn and the sting of the needle as I repeatedly stabbed myself during the stringing process. Imagine our dismay when Drummer, our naughty Cocker Spaniel, ate every bit of popcorn he could reach. The tree looked mighty sad with saliva soaked thread and squished cranberries draping the branches. This years tree is big, bright and shiney. Each year I say, "It's the prettiest ever!"... and the multitudes of decorations are a culmination of all the years of Christmases past. The collection of brilliant ornaments cannot outshine the collection of memories that surround me when I gaze on this tree and see, in my mind, all the ones that came before it. Trees from my childhood, our newlywed years, the years when a baby cooed with glee at all the pretty lights. There is such joy in this symbol of Christmas, and such remembering.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas decorations by God!

Out for a walk in the meadow today, thinking about the upcoming holiday and the shopping-wrapping-decorating-busy-ness of it all, I was arrested by this image. All the good stuff... the evergreen tree, the pine cones promising new life, the clean sparkle of snow and ice. Decorating at it's finest. It seemed a shame that I was the only one there to see and appreciate it. So I share with you!

Sunroom for the birds...

With the addition of our new coop this summer, we felt the need to create a new "Florida room" for the chickens. Last years addition consisted of strips of wood and sheets of clear plastic. It was pretty trashy looking, but the birds enjoyed it. This years more upscale efforts consist of straw bales lining the left side, and corrugated fiberglass panels bolted to the metal roof. I filled the inside of the area with a bale of straw and one of shavings. I lined the front with some old bricks to keep the bedding in and blowing snow out. The chickens dislike snow, and we had a few inches come down Saturday night. This little space gives them a place to get out of the coop for a change of scenery, get some fresh air and sunshine, and scratch around for the seeds I sprinkle for them. They can also get under the coop for a nice dust bath. It's good to be a chicken at my house!

Friday, December 4, 2009


From the time my daughter was a baby, I have pampered her. I kick that pampering into overdrive any time she is sick. Yesterday when I came home a bit under the weather, she:
  • ran me a bath with my favorite bath oil
  • made me get in it!
  • brought me a cold glass of water
  • brought me clean, cozy pajamas
  • tidied up the kitchen and arranged for dinner while I soaked
  • tucked me in on the sofa with a hot pack, a pillow and a blanket
  • waited on me hand and foot

I gratefully wondered to myself, "How did she learn to be so caring and thoughtful?" And then I grinned really big when I answered my own question. We done good!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Celebratory moments...

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." -Thornton Wilder

Like many people, I begin each year with a list of goals I wish to accomplish in the next 365 days. One of goals I set on New Years eve '09 was to have an article published in a non-dog related magazine. As the last days of this year go flipping by me, I was feeling disappointed in myself that I had not pursued this goal. And then, magically, I was offered the opportunity to write not one but nine articles for a magazine that is definitely NOT a dog related publication.
I mentioned this delightful turn of events to my sweet husband as I was whipping up an easy work night supper of tuna patties, pasta and green beans. He did not hesitate to delight me. In 30 seconds flat he popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and dragged our rarely used flutes from the back of the cupboard. We sipped bubbles happily over dinner.
The cake of my new opportunity was sweet... but it was sweeter with the frosting of celebration.
What have you taken time to celebrate lately? Are you concsious of your treasures?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Things that make me go "awww..."

My daughter, 20, thanked me for our recent Thanksgiving celebration. She invited a few of her friends to join us and they did. She was grateful for the opportunity to have guests welcomed in our home. She said to me, "We have the best house. It's the love that you and daddy have that makes our place feel so good. That is why people want to be here."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Seasonal Harmony....

Poppy pug loves her bed in front of the fire. In the interest of seasonal harmony, she shared her bed yesterday with Clara bunny and a stuffed white toy. It was cute overload, for sure.

Building fun...

My sister Deb has a good sense for fun, and shares it. She started a great new tradition in our family. The day after Thanksgiving everyone gathers to eat leftovers and make ginger bread houses. She buys the kits on sale after Christmas, and stores them. She also buys STUFF to decorate them with, from fake snow to little sticks to make picket fences and all sorts of interesting candy, too. I LOVE this tradition. (Note: So does Lilly, my bad, bad Boxer. She waits patiently for a chance to GET the pretty houses and eat them up. She has not missed a house in 11 years, and is amazingly talented at getting the houses down from the highest spots so she can gnaw on the walls, nibble on the candies and just in general create mayhem. Hey, a girl needs a hobby, and this is hers!)

Here are a few of this years creations. I love to hear the laughter and conversation around the table as the building, frosting and decorating happen. New traditions are sweet!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Three girls, one in pearls...

Zoe, Aimee and Elyse at Thanksgiving. So much beauty in one shot!

What I loved about Thanksgiving...

I loved:
  • Cleaning the house and all the planning and preparation for visitors.
  • Spending the day before cooking at my leisure.
  • Welcoming 19 friends and family to our home.
  • The smell of all our favorite, traditional dishes perfuming the air.
  • The sound of happily chatting voices through every corner of the house.
  • Candles and flowers.
  • Eating!
  • Cooperative guests helping by bringing food, cleaning up, washing dishes...
  • Time with my dear family.
  • Leftovers!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yardsale decorating...

My guest room used to house my home office desk, a bookshelf, a file cabinet, two beds, a chair and a small chest all within its small space. It was a bit claustrophobic! My sister Deb is one of my most frequent overnight visitors, and I felt bad tucking her into this crowded room, though she claimed it was fine. Yesterday was her birthday, and today she is coming to help celebrate Thanksgiving. Part of her birthday surprise is this newly redone room... spacious, airy, bright and restful. Every single piece of furniture in the room is from yard sales.(The wonderful chintz chair and pillows belonged to my friend Liz' mom. She gifted me with them as they didn't have a spot in her home. They slipped happily into my house and make me smile.) In creating this space I had the joy of the hunt, the fun of repainting/refurbishing and then the joy of putting it all together. Next I get to gift my sister with "her" new space. I hope she loves it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time Gobbler...

Thanksgiving preparation has been gobbling up my blogging time! I tend to save big projects around the house for this time of year. I just redecorated our guest room, moving my office to a different space. I started and finished some painting projects, and have mulched in all my gardens for winter. In between that I have been cleaning/polishing/shining... washing china, rearranging things to make the cooking and serving of the feast easier.
My house is glowing with all the good things of this time of year... I am pleasantly tired and quite content. When I look around me I can't help but smile... especially when I lay eyes on this bobble head bird!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Art by Jack...

Jack Frost was at it again. My morning walk found shimmering ice crystals on every surface.
Pretty enough to make me go back inside and get my camera so I could share.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yesterday my older sister called me, and told me that at 4:00 AM she planned to be lying on a blanket in a nearby park to watch the Leonid meteor shower. As always, I was impressed by her gumption to do wonderful things.
At 4:00 AM my eyes flew open, unbidden. I thought of my sister, threw on some clothes and went outside. The dogs joined me, but after about 2 minutes on the frosted grass they were banging on the door and all trooped back to bed.
I stood in the yard, head back, pinwheeling slowly. The air was cold enough to make my eyes water, the night perfectly clear. There we were, my sister and me. In different states, we were under the same dome of sky and stars.
For me, the only sound was the rushing of water from the little creek that boarders the meadow. I didn't see any meteors. I thought to myself, "Oh, I missed it." But I took in the silhouette of the huge maple, the stars behind her looking like a flock of fireflies landed on her branches. I listened to the silence and the water. I felt the frost under my feet, smelled the evergreen scented air of Maine. And all around me, from the treeline to the unfathomable heavens above, were stars. Glimpsing at the house I could see the dim light from a forgotten lamp peeking through lace curtains. A warm haven plunked in the middle of a light show.
Once inside I climbed back into bed. My husband, sleeping soundly, gathered me to him, chasing the chill air off my skin. I didn't miss a thing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Worth the wait...

Years and years ago I was looking for a "new" bedside table. I went where I always go when I need new furniture- out junking! I checked out all my favorite second hand shops, hit a few yard sales, and even poked into an antique store or two. I found a table just like this one, in a shade of Pepto pink, which was covering layer upon layer of old paint. I loved the shape and size, but the price tag of $60 was way out of my range. After finding that first little oval table, I found many more just like it on other junking situations. They were always covered in multiple layers of paint, and they always carried price tags of $60-75. I kept looking, I loved this table, and wanted one for my own. I just didn't want to pay that much money for something that needed hours of work.

A year or so ago we were helping a friend move. In her garage was that same oval table, covered with the prerequisite layers of paint. I said, "Oh! I love that table! I've been looking for it for years." She promptly gave it to me. I put it in my garage, and kept thinking how nice it would be when I had time to strip off the old paint, sand it smooth and give it a fresh coat of white. Two weeks ago I bought stripper and the necessary tools, and went to town. Donning very attractive yellow rubber gloves, I painted the stripper on. To my surprise I was immediately transported to the garage in the back driveway where I grew up, in the summer of 1984. My mother and I were busy that summer. I was newly married, waiting for my husband to finish up his career in the navy. Mom and I searched yard sales and junk stores, and came home with tables, chairs, even a sweet little hand made jewelry box. All of them in poor shape. All of them bought on the ultra cheap.

Mom taught me how to apply stripper, how to be patient while it worked, bubbling up rainbows of old paint. Then we'd scrape the gooey stripper and paint mix into an old coffee can. After that we scrubbed the entire piece with steel wool, then we sanded and sanded some more. After that I'd paint or stain the piece. They all turned out beautifully. I furnished our first little apartment on a shoestring, with some totally wonderful pieces of furniture. And I learned important skills while I was at it. Both of these were wonderful accomplishments, but best of all were the uninterrupted hours I spent with my mom. We laughed and talked like we never had before. It was a magical time.

After stripping the table seen above, I sanded it and dressed it up in white. When the paint was good and dry I waxed it to give it a nice finish. Then, with great happiness, I carried it to my room, and tucked it next to my bed. Just where I have been imagining it for the past 12 or so years. It was worth the stripping, sanding, painting and waxing. And it was so worth the wait. The memories it brought were an added bonus.

Happy dog, thoughtful friend...

My friend Marion knows how to delight me. When she and her husband come over to join us for supper, they never fail to bring a contribution to the meal. Sometimes it is a salad, or dessert, or a bottle of wine. Other times they bring things that some folks might find odd, but OH! I appreciate them!
At Thanksgiving two years ago they brought a trailer load of cord wood. A few weeks ago they came with a huge bucket of horse and cow manure for my garden. What could be better than that? And this past Saturday they had a bag bulging full of fresh venison bones for us. My dogs and I found this to be a delightful contribution. Dazzle demonstrates her approval above.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November sky...

In Maine the November sky is often a study in gray. But sometimes God throws in a little variety to see if we are paying attention. My daughter and I were, and we paused from cooking our Alfredo sauce to go outside and capture this shot.

Playing with food...

A couple of years ago while shopping at discount store TJMaxx with my friend, we both fell for this whimsical chicken shaped tureen. Now both of us have this sassy bird decorating our kitchens. I have meant, this entire time, to fill the thing with chicken soup and serve it up, but I never have. Until last night. When we had dinner guests I served a comforting batch of chicken in dumplings in a chicken. And it made me smile.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Equal eternity, remembering Veterans...

This Veterans Cemetery in Memphis, TN. was the first of its kind that I remember seeing.
What struck me was the breathtaking uniformity of the stones. Unlike the cemetery's of my youth, where the rich lay beneath hand carved splendor, and the poor were marked in death with the most simple of slabs, here there are acres of equality. From decorated generals to cannon fodder privates, they all spend eternity shoulder to shoulder in sameness. Men and women who were made of sterner stuff than me, who thought more of their country than of themselves.

My husbands father was buried here. I know some of his life story. I would love to know the stories of all the souls marked here under sun-bleached granite, but I have to content myself with remembering in gratitude. Today and tomorrow and forever. Thank you Veterans.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Basking in the moment...

This is Tilly. She belongs to my friends. This weekend she joined me going to Rhode Island for the New England Pet Grooming Professionals trade show and seminar. She enjoyed being the center of attention when she was a "demo dog" at the German Red Clipper booth. She did not enjoy the fact that she had to spend time in a crate when in the hotel room alone, (it was the rule!) She pouted mightily when crated... but the moment I returned and released her she would shrug off her displeasure and immediately bask in the glory of the moment. She would launch herself onto the king sized bed, roll and tumble, then find the comfiest spot and just be happy.
I need to work on this, as do most of the humans I know. I need to learn to shrug off things that make me unhappy and move on to the moments that are filled with sunshine and comfort. Just like Tilly does.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Frosted Chrysanthemums...

I got out of bed before dawn, and my first glimpse out a dusky window startled me. The world looked totally different. In an instant I recognized the reason... snow!

An inch of heavy, wet white frosted the ridge, the lawn, the meadow. Even the glowing yellow chrysanthemums wore a shawl of snow. And so it begins...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Soup weather....

Today was the kind that dawns gray and cold and wet and keeps that attitude up all day long.

So I did what I must do, and came right home and made a pot of soup. I love to make soup, because it is such a delicious way to clean out the refrigerator. This batch has beef, onions, garlic, celery, corn, peas, carrots tomatoes and orzo, all swimming around in a flavorful broth. The fridge is much tidier, just in time for grocery day. I baked some corn bread, too, and I can hardly wait for supper time. Soup is the perfect chaser to dreary days.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lipizzaner Stallions...

I have a warm memory of going with my parents to see the Lipizzaner stallions perform when I was about 8 years old. It is one of the few outings I ever remember having with them, and I think they took me just because it would be right up my ally. The experience made my heart soar.

This week I was invited to go see the famous horses while they were here in Maine. I was gifted a ticket to a front row seat... and could see every nuance of the fabulous equines as they danced and leapt and flowed around the arena.

Two 20-something year old guys ushered a handful of adult mentally and physically handicapped men into the row of seats behind me. While it was obvious that the young guys were employed to squire their charges about, the level of sweetness and caring they exhibited made my heart soar in a way even more meaningful than watching the horses did.

There was so much beauty that night.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome November...

Today I welcome November by polishing. I have polished the antique copper candlestick's that belonged to my mom, and her beautiful copper bowl. I filled the bowl with dried hydrangea blossoms from the breathtaking bush at work.

Today is sunny and clear, and the light streaming in through the windows twinkles off the mellow metal. Still left to polish are the tall brass beehive candlesticks and a squatty little lamp. All of this is early preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving feast. As I polish the lovely things that decorated my childhood home and now decorate mine, I am helped to remember how very much I have to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Too much...

We didn't have many trick or treater's last night. I gave generous handfuls of candy to the few we had. As it was growing late I had begun to think that no more would come. To my delight a little boy about 8 years old came up the steps, dressed in a very nice native American costume, complete with hand made head dress and construction paper feathers. He never said a word.
I said, "I have a little problem. I have a LOT of candy left. May I give you a LOT of candy?" He just stared at me. I put a huge double handful of treats in his bag, he began to turn away. I said, "Wait, let me give you more." Dubious, he held his bag up again, and I added another double fistful, then a third. I was reaching for number four when he uttered his first words of the evening. "That. Is too MUCH."

I was amused to see that this little guy had a pretty good concept of "too much." I wish more adults had that kind of sense.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why do people own dogs..?

I have 4 dogs. They are really a lot of trouble. Smooch, seen above, has been messing about with some all purpose flour. My dogs are prone to toilet drinking, trash dumping, counter surfing and unbridled shedding.. There is even the occasional potty-on-the-floor indiscretion. Any sane person would want to know; why do people have dogs? Because really, life would be so much simpler without them.

The reason is this: when we come home after a day at work or running errands, there is a wild, exuberant greeting at the door. No human is EVER that glad to see us. And when I am home and puttering, a dog will follow me from room to room, as if I am the reason for it all. Then, on the sofa in front of the fire, there are dogs tucked in behind my knees, and over my legs, all warm and snoring softly. And when someone comes up our driveway, there is a cacophony of sound, warning, warning us of something afoot. Then there are the special, just for pet owners, glimpses of unbridled joy that we are privy to. Every. Single. Day. Joy in the waking, the running, the eating, the loving. Pure, simple, amazing joy. The kind of joy we as humans knew once, long ago, when we were small.

Owning pets is like a memory. A reminder of simpler times, when we noticed the joy in the sunrise and the sleeping and the happiness and the greeting of those we love.

That. THAT is why I own dogs. It's the constant reminding.

The snuggles are a bonus.

Monday, October 26, 2009

To do lists...

Today dawned crisp and clear, and the morning warmed up swiftly to gift us with a slice of perfect October day. I had a cup of hot apple cider and wrote out an ambitious "to do" list. On the list were normal day-off cleaning chores, plus putting the gardens to bed for the winter, planting spring bulbs, working on refinishing the two tables I am stripping, polishing candlesticks for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, re-potting some plants and oh! so much more.

Then the phone rang:
"Hi! It's Jane. Want to go riding?"
I looked up from my tidy list, and out the window where the trees and ground alike were painted in tones of burnished copper, sun drenched. I replied:
"Oh, I really can't. What time?"

We had a wonderful ride. There is something magical about how the world looks when viewed between a horses ears.

I still manged to cross a several things off my list, and stored away a memory of a few magical hours. All told it was a day well spent.

Crow Haiku

He is sky lofted
Winged whisperer on blue
Master of autumn

Saturday, October 24, 2009

signs of the times...

I saw these two signs in the past few weeks. The first at a "pick your own" apple orchard. The second at a paddock that once housed Scottish Highland cows with impressive horns.
Both seemed to impart not just specific information, but rather general life information, as well. Now I find I am looking at signs wherever I go... to see if there is some deeper meaning. Meanwhile? I am picking gently, not climbing, having fun and being aware of horns.