Saturday, January 29, 2011

Company's Coming

When last I wrote I spoke of the warm weather and the wonderful signs of the coming spring.  Many of you spoke of the long cold visits from old man winter which you have experienced thus far.  A few of you even told me to be careful what I say as winter is not over yet and he could still come knocking on my doorstep eager to come and stay a while.

Well I think that may be the case.  Although we are still enjoying the 70 degree weather today, tomorrow we start to fall.  By the beginning of the week we should be well in the deep freeze and if it continues as it looks it will, a  nice coating of ice and/or sleet will be what we have. 

I am of course preparing for the weather they say we may get and hope that all my preparation is in vain.  Where I would love to have a gentle snow fall with a nice cup of rich hot chocolate at hand, the idea of an ice storm does not interest me in any way.  We have managed ourselves through some the last few years and it always does such damage to the willows and other trees as well. 

I will admit though that I marvel at the strength that the willow has shown me.  She bends so deep with the weight of such a burden that the ice gives.  Yet as the ice melts she once again lifts herself towards the sky.  She knows that in order to survive one has to learn to be flexible and not rigid.  A good lesson for all of us I think.

My birds have been overly active as well; another sign that we are more than likely in store for a good cold spell.  I trust their predictions of what is to come far more than I do the weather man's assumptions.  I know that they watch the sky in all their scientific manner.  Yet nothing can compare with the keen sense that a small creature has.  They are so more attentive and aware of the subtle changes long before they even occur.  A wonderful mystery of mother earth that I truly love to witness.

So it looks like I may be having more company next week as old man winter comes to sit a spell with me.  I already have a small bunch of bananas sitting on my cabinet ripening.  A nice loaf of fresh banana bread sounds good with a hot cup of English breakfast tea.  My son gave me a William Sonoma gift card for Christmas and I finally decided what I would purchase with it. 

A wonderful little cast iron crock just the right size for Vincent and I and a Tunisian Tagine.  I am eager to try both of them out.  A nice pot of stew for the crock and some braised short ribs for the other.  Cold weather always makes me want to bake bread too.  Maybe I will finally try that recipe for rosemary bread I have...

So although they say it is going to possibly be nasty I am looking forward to it.  My only wish is that I could have the lot of you over for a cup of tea and some of that fresh banana bread.  Needless to say Vincent does not care for it much and I do not need to eat it all alone.  I guess my son will once again get some of his momma's leftovers...

Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend with blessings and joy. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Subtle Signs

Last year at this time I was whining about the massive amounts of snow and/or ice we had been blessed with throughout the winter season.  It seemed like I was never ceasing to yearn for the warmth and signs of spring.  This year has thus far been the exact opposite.  While so many others are getting themselves covered with a white winter blanket and at times a little more, we have not had any moisture for the entire season. 

I do not miss the snow that much, as last year I did get my fill of it.  Yet a nice quiet snow fall would be nice as long as it happened on a weekend and I did not have to be anywhere else.  A nice pot of warm stew simmering in the stove with fresh bread in the oven.  A rich cup of dark Irish tea with honey.  Sounds sort of nice actually.

We have had some cold temperatures yet even there they have been few.  Today was 64 and tomorrow it is to be in the 70s.  With the dryness and the high winds, wildfires have been our biggest worry as of late. 

Even my birds seem to not need me as much as they usually do during this winter.  I have not bought near as much seed as I normally do.  I have even seen signs that make me think they may be thinking about pairing up for mating. 

While messing around in the yard today I stumbled across something I found quite different for the middle of winter.  A couple of small stands of mushroom.  Granted they were nestled in a nice bed of dry leaves as if to shelter them from the coldness if it did drop below a comfortable temperature. 

One group almost looked as if the fairies had been out enjoying them leaving odd almost rune like symbols carved into them.  A sign of an early spring perhaps?  I do not know.  It is only a little under 8 weeks away from officially starting.  The days are beginning to lengthen once again as well. 

Have you seen any signs that spring may be close at hand?  Or has old man winter decided to lengthen his visit with you just a bit longer. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pay It Forward

While browsing around and attempting to catch up with some of my favorite blog people I ran across Serindipity home to dear Faerwillow.  I am sure many of you know who I am talking about.  She never ceases to surprise me in some manner whether it be her wonderful swaps or a review on something wonderful she has recieved. It is hard for me to believe yet this girl has somewhat inspired me at times to become creative in manners I never thought possible.  Well, she has done it yet again.  

A simple little exchange of sorts.  The rules are as follows:

*  Create something hand crafted for the first five people who leave a comment on this post who say they wish to participate. 

*  To play along one must be willing to likewise repost these instructions and also create something handmade for the first five people who comment on their post.

*  All gifts are to be created and handed out during 2011.  I myself can promise that it will be sooner than this as if I wait for the entire year I will forget about it... I have already started on all my goodies for whoever may wish to join

That is it... that is all there is to it.  Sounded like a fun idea to me and a wonderful way to get to know new people.  As well as also spreading a little bit of joy.  If you do decide to participate be sure and leave me your email or a manner to reach you so that I can get your shipping info. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

My New Houseguest

About the time we first hear the Robin's ringing welcome to spring
 we may listen for the Bluebird's more gentle greeting.
No bird's song is more associated with the return of Spring
 than the Bluebird's:
 - Frank M. Chapman, Birdlife, 1897

Last week on return from a visit to the moms we pulled into our driveway.  We entered the house and removed Winston from his crate and allowed him to go outdoors and relieve himself as he had spent some time inside.  Since the sun had already gone down the next task at hand was to gather our kitties,  Sweetie and Sunny to let them go into the garage for the evening.

Usually when we have been gone and return in the evening they are more than ready to go in for the night.  Living in the country there are many not so friendly noises and animals to go along with such noises to warrent a quick run to the safety of their evening bunk.  Yet on this night they were not anywhere to be found.  Even after calling, the slight tinkle of their bells could not be heard. 

I went inside to prepare supper, when I heard a strange noise on the front porch. When I opened the door there sat Sweetie.  When I looked further  to see why she was there as opposed to the back porch, I spotted Sunny as well.  This was odd as they do not usually frequent the front porch, especially after dark.  I quickly told Vincent where they were and commenced with dinner.
Finally shortly after, Vincent came in and informed me that the two had cornered a bird underneath the front porch and this was the reason they were relunctant to come when called.  He then said that in order to get them to come he had to get the bird and put it in the trash so they would follow. 

Now many of you know the many exploits I have had with my kitties in regards to their adventure with birds.  Many a time I have saved a little feathered friend only to bury it the next day when it finally passed.  So when Vincent told me of this misfortune I had to ask him what kind of bird they had caught.  He looked at me in a sorrowful manner and I knew that they had caught one of my precious bluebirds that frequent my yard. 
The next morning when I went to let the kitties out and take Winston for his morning duty, I went to the trash can to see the bird.  I had full intentions of preparing a proper buriel for him with the other "misfortunes" Sunny and Sweetie had given me.  To my surprise as I opened the lid I looked for him yet at first glance did not see him.  As I looked further, I spotted him sitting snuggled up at the botton between a couple of small bags of trash.  I carefully took him out and proceeded to examine him for the extent of his injuries.

Now mind you the many times I have "attempted" to save a fine feathered friend I have looked at them and expected them to be ok only to soon after come back to find them gone.  I did not see any visible signs of major distress except that a wing looked to be slightly banged up.  Yet as he jumped from my hands and attempted to fly I could see that it was damaged in a manner that meant if I did not tend him he would surely be breakfast. 
I put him into a bird cage I had purchased last summer to aid in my many attempts of rescue and put him in the silence of the garage while I went in to have my morning coffee.

Needless to say I was surprised when he seemed bright and alert when I later went out in the day to check on him.  I brought him into the house for warmth and also to examine him more closely.  He definately had a bad wing and bled slightly from underneath.  I did not think he would make it through the evening yet once again the next morning I was pleasently surprised when I awakened to his song.

He has been with us now for 4 days.  I researched online to see what I could do to help him out and we bandaged his wing up as best one can for a small bluebird.  He still likes to crawl out of it on occasion yet I bind him up again to keep his wing as immobile as I can.  He has proved to be quite calm and allows me to hold him in my hand without attempting to fly.  He likes to be soft spoken to and a soft stroke on the side of his face seems to make him quite content.  Each evening he nustles his head down and dozes off to sleep and his song fills our house during the daylight hours. 
I am grateful for each day that he remains with us and pray that he makes it to the point where one day soon I can allow him to return to his world.  There is a sweet solace in a birds pressence.  The blue bird in its colorful beauty is a wonderful example of this.  He seems to talk to me with his eyes and even seems to enjoy when I cradle him in the soft piece of red fleece I use as a blanket for him. 

So my absence the last few days have been spent tending to my new friend.  And hopefully in the days to come my time will equally be asked for as he slowly recooperates back to his old self.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spring Fever - A Bit Early

Before I say anything else I have to say thank you to all of you who left such wonderful words and thoughts in regards to my last post.  I appreciate so much the condolences for Blackie and know that he would too.  He was a loner to say the least yet he possessed a kindness to him that was hard to describe.  It truly was my honor to have been someone that he felt somewhat at ease with to the point of allowing me to tend him while he was here.

Time still seems to be going at a slow pace but that is the way during the waning of the year.  The cold weather comes and goes and at times I see tiny glimpses of the distance reentry of spring.  Last fall I planted some new lily bulbs under my faerie tree and they have started to peek out of the earth.  The flickers and downy woodpeckers have returned and even seemed to have paired.  Odd at such an early date  yet each day I see them it is always in twos.

I find myself watching the trees for that distinct look that shows them wishing to start to bud.  I know that it is only the end of January and March 21 is still a good two months away yet still spring always seems to start calling me early.  We have been blessed with no massive snow storms yet this also has brings it cons.  The lack of snow also means the lack of moisture so many things would love to have that extra drink of water.  I usually do not find myself watering in the winter time yet this year I think there may be several occasions where I may need to, especially if my bulbs continue to peek out a bit early.

The time indoors has gotten me in a mood of reorganization and cleansing of my living quarters.  If this mood continues I plan on painting and revamping our bedroom as well as the master bath.  It is a bit of a daunting task yet one that I have had good intentions of doing for some time.  The new look will be a nice change for the coming year. 

There are also other projects that call me.. My writing as usual (nothing new there)... sketching (I need to give it more serious time).... My sewing machine and all the projects that I want to start (and finish)... my garden (which is a never ending project)... and my craft.  Not sure how to explain the last one except to say that is sort makes up the whole of me. 

What kind of changes and/or projects do you have in mind for the coming year.  Are they daring and different than anything you have done before or are they similar to the same old thing?  I always try to do something that is a little off the chart for me as a means to sort of challenge as well as spark up my life.  Sometimes it turns out good other times I realize exactly why it is that I do not do such things.  In any case it is a evolution. 

Today think about what it is that you might enjoy exploring in your life.  Something different... something you have dreamed about dabbling in... just something new....

Friday, January 14, 2011

RIP Blackie

If you read my posts on a normal basis you know that I have a dear love for feline.  Sweetie and Sunny are my own kitties that are now a little over two years old.  Still I am one of those who if a stray comes around I am sure to put out food for them and see that they have shelter and water. 

Although two of the other cats that frequent my yard are not what you would call strays (one is the next door neighbors and the other live a bit further away) they still come on a daily basis to eat breakfast or a late snack. 

Then there is Blackie.  The last of the black cats that roamed the area since we first moved here over 6 years ago.  At one time there were 6 of them and yes I tended all of them.  I even took them into a vet and had them all fixed as well as shots.  Over the years they have slowly disappeared.  I never found any signs of them and thus I kept the positive view that they found new homes elsewhere.

Blackie was the last of them.  A big black tom that came on occasion to the back porch and spoke to me.  His call was distinctive and I always knew when he was at the back door.  When the weather was warm he did not come around too often.  He was content to roam the area and find birds and mice to fill his tummy.  Yet as winter set in and the temperatures became colder he would frequent my back porch so much more. 

Yet last week when we received the coldest temperatures of the year thus far, I was surprised when I did not see him.  I would call in the evenings expecting to hear his cry and see him come from out of the brush at the bottom of the yard.  Yet he did not come.  He had been away before so I did not worry much.

The other day, Vincent and I ventured out to town for the first time in a few days and as we drove the road out of our area I heard Vincent gasp and stop the truck.  I asked what was wrong and he started to back the truck up and told me to wait and I would see.  As he backed up and stopped the truck he told me to look upward.  Hanging in the tree was Blackie.  His stomach was open and exposed and it was obvious that he was no longer with us.

Today we went and brought him down from the tree and gave him a proper burial.  It was apparent that he had not climbed into the tree but was thrown up into the tree, landing between two branches.  His front paws and head hung through the front and his hind legs dangled freely.  His stomach was completely exposed and he was stiff from the cold and the time he was evidently there. 

I wondered what had happened to him.  Was it accidental?  Was he struck by a car and someone tossed him out of the road? Or was it not accidental?  I will never know I am sure yet still I found the manner in which we found him so sad.  He was a loner of a kitty.  He was not held and cuddled much if at all as he was quite skiddish.  I had petted him a few times yet it was not often enough.  As I lowered the box into the hole that Vincent had dug, I felt sadness that he did not experience such kindness.

I will miss his occasional visits and most of all his unique cry.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday - It Only Takes A Spark

I heard the other day that by the 17th of January most people have already fallen from keeping any new year resolutions they may have made.  I found that somewhat of a dismal outlook even though I do not tend to make resolutions anymore.  I do agree that they always seem to be something that one is destined to fail at and well who needs that, especially at the beginning of the year when we all sort of want to just start over. 

These past couple weeks though it seems that I have been a bit of a slowed pace, not wanting to do much of anything.  I am not really sure for the reason.  It could be the cold that crept over me just after Christmas and will not seem to completely go away.  Maybe it is the cold weather that for the last few days has made it not very enjoyable to go outdoors.  Or maybe it is just a case of the winter blues that is spoken of so often at this time of year.

Being stuck inside I have watched television a bit more than usual and will admit that I am not finding much that is worth watching.  I watched the second Twilight movie (New Moon) the other night on HBO and as I was with the first one, was again disappointed.  I guess that I am just one of the weird ones.  I was told by a friend that Twilight is the greatest love story ever told.  I have to say I beg to differ.. No really I think I do more than beg to differ.  Where I can see the appeal to a teenage girl who has stars in her eyes in regards to romance and love for that dark stranger that doesn't seem to fit in any piece of normal;  I can not see why so many middle aged women are so taken by this .Yes it does involve vampires and where I find them also to be strangely romantic and alluring it is hard for me to call the Twilight series an epic classic of romanticism. 

In my idle time I also ventured to the movies to see "Season of the Witch".  The previews looked interesting and it had Nicolas Cage in so of course my curiosity was there.  Again I was disappointed.  Where I will admit that there were a few instances where Cage's blue eyes were quite captivating, the story and acting was lacking to say the least.  I felt that they could have elaborated so much more on the story line and made it a bit more interesting.

I keep looking for something to jump start me into some sort of energetic frenzy yet as of yet nothing has sparked.  Maybe a bit of a conjure to help spruce up the spirits is needed.  Something to awaken that hibernating muse inside and possibly help to inspire me to do something invigorating.  I welcome any ideas any of you may have.  Suggestions are greatly welcomed and strongly encouraged. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Remember Queensland

I am sure many of you have heard about about the terrible flooding in Queensland Australia.  Because blogland has no boundaries many of us have friends and some even family that is affected by this disaster. 

While visiting Wendy at Butterflies and Breezes I picked up this link for donating to the cause and thought I would share it with others. Queensland Flood Relief

The rains are still coming and this ordeal is very active.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quiet Whispers

It is hard to believe that I have been away from here for so long.  Yet as I am sure so many of you know and fully understand life has a way of diverting us to a new direction when we least expect it.

Another year has come and gone and here we are at the dawn of a new one.  I have always been one who does not favor New Year resolutions.  I have found them to be nothing more than a means to see oneself get disappointed with themselves.  I try my best to steer clear of participating in such things.  However I do like to set a few goals or brass rings as I like to think of them, in front of myself to challenge me to evolve and not consistently stay in one place.

I mentioned earlier that I have come to like November 1st as my official new years and I still stand by this.  Yet with all that has transpired as of late any time that I may have had extra to sit and possibly ponder what I would like to evolve in this next year has been few and far between. 

We have had an extremely warm winter thus far and so much of my time has been spent outdoors and much more active than at this time last year.   I have not had the cold to keep me inside with hours to sit and reflect or think forward.  This weekend is the first bitter cold snap to hit us and linger.  I am looking forward to the time spent inside with a warm cup of tea and Winston down at my feet.

I have intentions of writing and doing some cleaning if time permits.  Yet we do all know what happens with most intentions.... As time continues though I can not help but feel it even more urgent to act upon callings that seem to be heard.  It is easy to brush them aside and to give our time and attention to the "usual" happenings of the day.  Yet we all have those moments when we feel that slight tug.  That whisper that calls us to something that is not in our usual repertoire of occurrences.  Too often we ignore that call. 

My wish this January is that you hear that whisper with clarity and also that you have the courage and the inspiration to follow it.  A new adventure is always a joy with a lesson to be learned. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Surprises, Blessings, and So Much More

It has been a while since I last was here. Yule has come and gone as well as Christmas and the New Year. It seems all like a whirlwind of events to be honest. Yet maternal duties called and of course I answered. I was lucky enough to visit my daughter and grandkids the week before Christmas and spend time with them. We arrived on Yule and I enjoyed celebrating with them. We opened a couple gifts and left the rest for Christmas morning.

We arrived home Christmas Eve. Christmas day both my sons were able to be with us. My oldest came and shared lunch with Vincent and I. Since it was just the three of us, I prepared us each a Cornish hen with dressing and green beans; a simple meal for a quiet simple gathering.

Later in the afternoon my middle son and his fiancé came. They were able to spend the night and join us celebrate a belated Christmas with Vincent’s daughter and her husband.

Here I was going on and on about how my Christmas was going to be quiet with nothing special happening. When all was said and done I was able to be with all my children for the holidays. It was truly a blessing that I had not expected.

Our New Year was spent quietly at home with just Vincent and I. Although that is how we have spent our time the last few years. I will admit that I have grown to enjoy celebrating November 1st as the coming of the New Year. It just seems to feel more natural to me.

I wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all of you who have sent me emails and comments in regards to my oldest son and his situation. I appreciate so much the kind words, thoughts, and prayers that many of you have shared with me. Continue to remember him. He is my oldest yet to me he will always be my little boy. Yes, I know he is 27 but it is hard to watch your child go through pain no matter how old they may become. He is doing well and is adjusting well despite all that has happened.

Also thank you for your concerns in regards to my absence. I am in the process of getting a new computer system as my other decided to take a break. My middle son was able to take my hard drive home with him and download all my info off so that I did not lose any of my pictures, music, and/or writings. It is so nice to have a computer nerd in the family.

I have been answering much of my emails via my iphone and occasionally I hook my laptop up to the internet. I have enjoyed the break yet will be honest and say that I am ready to get back to writing. I also have missed keeping up with everyone else’s blogs as well. So although I am sure it will take me a while I will slowly catch up with everyone’s events and posts as well as get back to my own. Wishing all of you a very blessed New Year.