Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Breast Cancer awareness...

One of our customers is battling breast cancer. She asked me if I would color Flirt pink for the month of October, which is breast cancer awareness month. How could I resist such a fine suggestion? Today the woman with the clever idea came by to see the results. I took Flirt out to her car to see her. They had a very fine snuggle, and there were some misty smiles all around.

Monday, September 27, 2010

On things that break...

This very cute oil company is in Belfast, Maine.
Oil has been on my mind... as the boiler that heats this old house was (ah hem) CONDEMNED at its last servicing a few weeks back. As fall takes over the New England landscape and the evenings grow chilly, I am reminded what a lovely convenience it is to have a boiler to heat the home. The few cold nights we have had so far have been amply warmed by our trusty wood stove, but when winter comes we would be in sad shape without a rumbling heat machine in the basement. So now we are waiting for quotes from contractors to come in so we can choose the best route to take for home heat.

Meanwhile, the washing machine died a noisy death on Friday, just as company was arriving... and the same night the downstairs potty decided to leak. A lot.

Luckily my handy husband has already repaired the leaky commode and has narrowed down what part we need to replace on the washer. If only the boiler problem could be fixed so easily and inexpensively....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

View from my window...

I am gearing up for fall. Am trying to root some coleus, rosemary and geranium from the summer garden. Something about the combination of lace curtains and old bottles makes me smile.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A day of fullness...

I knew it was going to be a very good day. I knew it because when I woke up and was puttering about, I glanced out my living room window and saw this. My most special niece sleeping on my porch. She is one of my favorite humans and I got to spend the entire day with her today.

I taught her how to knead bread. It came out perfectly.

We went to the Common Ground fair in Unity, Maine. A perfect, sunny and warm day. We walked a LOT... and saw (and touched!) many wonders. And we did a little shopping and a little eating. I had lamb kabobs. Delish!

There was livestock... chickens, rabbits, mules and even working horse teams. I so love looking at livestock.

It was a spicy, flavorful day. Full of promise from dawn till dusk. A salute to the end of summer. A welcoming of autumn and the warmth of this colorful season.

Monday, September 20, 2010


The simplest things can bring wonder. Chris picked this empty crab shell up on a beach this weekend... the mottled green color is so pretty. But that design... the little scalloped dots that outline the center of the shell--- why are they there? What part of divinity paid attention to the shell of a crab and decorated it so sweetly? These are the questions that make me smile with gratitude.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day unfolding...

I was raised by parents who were, perhaps, a bit tense and up-tight. They plotted and planned and micro managed. When I met and married Chris, I learned the joy of being with a person who is skilled at going with the flow of things. His idea of a very good day is one in which the events just unfold, with little planning. This took some getting used to, but I have learned to love his method of enjoying time. Like a flower opening to the morning sun, our days together unfurl and move gently with the light.
We discover wonders... such as faces carved into pilings along the harbor in Belfast.

And we visit friends... in this case my beloved Liz, who was riding Peach in a local horse show. They are stunning together; poetry in motion. Peach was dappled, warm and fragrant, Liz funny and elegant in her own special way.

Barefoot on a chilly, rocky beach I made a wondrous discovery... the sharp rocks and shells were owie to walk on... but if I held Chris' hand the discomfort was far less noticeable. The mere touch of his hand in mine made the walking fine. So, I guess that is why when his big arms are around me life and its unfolding days are oh-so-good.

An owl of our own...

If we are trying to welcome bluebirds...
We are doin' it wrong!
This beautiful Barred Owl has staked out our property as part of its territory. In the evenings she comes out and sits on the electrical wires that run along the street. More silent than a whisper she dives to the dry grass to snatch an unsuspecting mouse. Then, ghost-like she ascends back to her wire perch. Still as a porcelain statue she waits. We watch, transfixed, until dusk shrouds her from our human eyes.

Yesterday morning, when the dew was heavy on the goldenrod and asters, I spied our owl, sprouting like an extension of the bluebird house. Why she was still out hunting when the sun had already climbed over the treeline I do not know. But I was so glad to see her there, and so pleased that she stayed long enough to pose for some photos.

Want to hear the wonderful voice of the barred owl? Click here:

Friday, September 17, 2010

How to tackle a problem...

Watching my animals teaches me life lessons. Today I noted that my lambs know how to tackle a problem. When they want to dine upon leaves that are too high for them to reach, they position the stalk in question between their front legs. Then they walk, bending the stalk with their weight until the delicate leaves are located just in reach of their hungry lips. Next, they eat.

And really... that is the best way to approach a problem. Head on- just walk forward and throw your weight into it. And then nibble happily on the reward.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Doing the difficult...

Today I did something I would have bet you money I could not do.
I shot one of my chickens.
I have wanted to own chickens since I was 8 years old. I have had a small flock for 3 years now, and I love my them. They have names, a custom built coop, the best food I can buy, fresh water and a huge yard to range in. I love to watch them, pet them, care for them and I so enjoy collecting their eggs. It is like a treasure hunt every day.
One of the hens was mysteriously injured several weeks ago. She had a huge, ugly wound on her chest. I treated her, got her special pain medication from the Veterinarian and fretted. The wound slowly healed but the chicken refused to walk. I suspected internal injuries.
A while back another of our hens was injured and needed to be put out of her misery. I asked my stalwart husband to do the deed, and he did. But it bothered him a lot, for a long time. This time I decided that since the chickens were mine, I should take the responsibility for both the good and the bad. I waited till the other chickens were roosting, and then I carefully lifted my injured hen out of the coop. I thanked her for the beauty she had added to my life, and for the eggs she had given us. I stroked her lovely feathers. Then I put he barrel of my gun close to her head and pulled the trigger. The sound of the shot echoed through my very soul.
And she was gone. The spark of life and intellect no longer gleamed from her dark eye. The beauty that was her was no longer a part of this planet. I offered her the very best life that I could, and then I took that life away when she was suffering. The important choices? They are difficult.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Formerly shy...

There I am. A formerly shy girl standing on a stage in front of a very large room full of people giving an hour-long educational lecture. With a hot pink poodle named Flirt strapped to my chest. Go figure.
There was a time when I dreaded going into restaurants because I was afraid to talk to waitresses, and now this. If someone had told me, when I was in my early 20's, what twists and turns my vibrant life would hold, I would have laughed and told them firmly they had the wrong person. Sometimes I wish that my daughter could have just a peek in a crystal ball so she can see that her life will offer up wonders she does not yet even dare imagine.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The trouble with overindulging...

After several months of pretty strict dieting, I INDULGED on Saturday. At my friends wedding I ate several contraband items, including not one but TWO slices of (oh so delicious!) wedding cake. I had planned the dietary indiscretion for some time and enjoyed every moment of it. But afterwards I felt kind of icky, to be honest.
Today in the garage my husband discovered a seed stealing chipmunk that had gotten in over his head. He was at the very bottom of a very large trash can full of sunflower seeds, with no way out. Food galore- a veritable rodent feast, but he was trapped, trapped. I saw a lesson in it and got right back on the diet bandwagon.
PS, we put a long stick in the can and he was out of there in two shakes! Free, free!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A wedding, a wedding...

Today my dear friend Megan was married to her beloved, Mathew. What a gift to be there, in the soft sunshine at the edge of the lake as the breeze that was supposed to be a hurricane wafted by. I wept a little to see her, so lovely and so happy and so young. They have a life time ahead, and my hope is that they will know more joy than they do sorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

As high as an elephants eye...

Every year I plant two rows of sunflowers in my garden. Mostly I do it because I love to see them. Partly I do it because one of my neighbors adores them, too. This neighbor has two wonderful kids, and takes a photo of them every year under my towering plants. This year the "giant" sunflowers are probably 10 feet high-magnificent! The bees love them. When they mature the wild birds will find them and feast upon their broad faces. I'll feed some to the chickens... they go insane over them. I love to see the huge flower heads against the sky, high above me.
Sunflowers are a lot of bang for the buck... one small package of seeds creates plants of impressive proportions. They feed the birds and my soul, too.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I have a friend that is getting married this weekend. This has me thinking about marriage and teamwork in general.
What I didn't quite realize when I got married was that I would be yoked to another person for almost every decision for the REST OF MY LIFE. From the brand of toothpaste I used to where I lived to how many (if any) children I would have... my thinking would forever more have to weigh in the needs of another. That is what I vowed.
Sometimes that is a real pain in the... neck.
Other times it is sheer bliss. Tonight I came home from running an errand and my husband hopped in my truck and took it off to fill it with gas, because he knew the tank was low. Bliss.
Recently he encouraged our kid to buy a motorcycle. Pain in the neck.
I tend to cry at weddings. I know I will cry this weekend when my friend marries. Partly I cry with happiness that love and tradition are alive in the world. Partly I cry to think about how these two will struggle in the yoke of marriage, learning the rules of teamwork. Team work can be... work. But if it is done right two pulling together can accomplish great things and carry a heavy load, smoothly.
Given the options, I'll take the yoke and the work and share the load of life.