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Archive for July, 2012

While walking our woods, I photographed the path that leads to our cabin.  The gray hose is the water line.  There’s also an electricity line that lays beside the water line, but it isn’t visible in this photo.  Now, months after taking this photo, I started thinking about it.

We don’t go this way very often.  I rake the path once a year, usually in the Spring.  So,…why is this path so well worn?

I wonder how many deer use this path.  I know they create paths in our goat field.  I’ve walked those paths on the same day that I took this photo.  If the deer use this path, why are there no droppings?  Are they polite enough to step off the path first?  *Chuckles as my imagination creates the image of a deer walking this path only to step off to find a pathside toilet…maybe they look for a sign.  I’m hoping they find one that is cleaned regularly.  There’s nothing like needing a toilet so badly that you are willing to use almost anything.  Makes a face, yuck!*  I wonder if the deer that uses this path is the momma who has twins every two years.

Maybe bear comes this way.  I’ve seen his scat near the path.  Once again, polite bear does not leave it on the path.  Maybe they get off the path so they don’t have to walk in it either.  Which means bear is also considerate.  Hmmm?

I’ve seen a fox skeleton near the cabin before.  I wonder if a sly fox or two come this way.  The slinking form of a fox with a bushy tail comes to mind.  Maybe it would use this path to get to the creek.  I know I do on hot days when I want to get my feet wet in the cold water.  The creek starts as a spring on the neighbor’s property.  It is always a bit chilly.

Many squirrels live in these woods.  They spend most of their time in the trees, so I doubt they use the path.  *Tries to imagine a squirrel running up this path.*  No, it just doesn’t fit the personality of the squirrel.  It would scamper up into a tree and jump from branch to branch, tree to tree.

Possums maybe?  Of course, they are nocturnal.  To find out whether or not they use this path I would have to come down here at night.  Even so, there’s no guarantee that I’d see anything.  After all, people are noisy.  We announce ourselves long before we arrive.

I’ve smelled the country perfume that is eau de skunk many times since moving here.  Once, it was so strong that I woke up gagging.  It was an old, old skunk that had wondered past my open, bedroom windows.  I don’t mind if they use this path, but I don’t think I’ll try to verify that they do.  *shudders at the thought*

I know my dogs, Freya and Thor, use this path.  Thor especially loves the creek.  He does, after all, show the Lab part of his genetic makeup more than either the Chow or the Pit Bull.  He’s very playful and loves water.  On the other hand, Freya walks into the creek gets a drink and comes back out again.  Once she does her old lady shake, she’s back on the path or searching in amongst the trees for something interesting.

My sons use this path whenever they patrol the land.  Not long ago, someone was stealing our chicken eggs.  We figured they might be coming from the cabin’s direction.  We never proved anything, but the chicken-egg-thief did stop his plundering…before we proved and called the law.  After all, if the person is willing to steal eggs, what else might she or he be willing to do.  A simple knock on the door with a desire to work for food would have taken care of both our needs, after all.  Stealing, however, is not appropriate, but I digress.

This path was here before I moved here.  It was here before the cabin in the woods.  It was here before Freya, and long before Thor.  I have to wonder how it came to be.  I wonder who and what may have walked this way before I did.  I’m certain the path knows, but it will never tell.

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My dear friend, Renae, is moving from the area today.  Last evening, Renae invited many friends over for a good bye dinner.  She stated many times that she did not want to leave us behind, but that she needed to be in a more handicap friendly environment.  She also wants to pursue her dreams in singing and arts.  She is very talented in both of these areas.  She is looking to move to Portland, Oregon which has much to offer in all areas of her wants and needs.

She became friends with Elias, me, and my family back around 1998 while attending Radford University the first time.  She made even more friends in this area the second time around.  She also deepened relationships that already existed.  She is saddened and worries because she thinks she is leaving her friends behind.

I have news for her.  You can never leave friends behind.  They are in your heart, your mind, and touch your soul.  They give priceless gifts like love, friendship, trust, communication, and more.  These gifts cannot be left behind either.  These gifts make us better people.  Even if she looses touch with some of us, we will always be a part of her just as she will always be a part of us.

So, Dear Friend and Lovely Lady Renae, go to Portland.  Seek your dreams!  Make new friends!  Brightest of Blessings!

(I do, however, plan to haunt your dreams occasionally…hope you don’t mind.  *HUG*)

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While my coffee pot was brewing, I headed out to my greenhouse to do some watering.  Just before I got there, I noticed movement in the goat field.  We don’t have goats anymore, but the fence is still in place.  I was not expecting movement.  I waited patiently.  I knew it was probably a deer or two.  I was surprised to see that it was a buck who already has a few spikes to his rack.  He was gray instead of brown like the younger deer that share my home.  He was magnificent!  He was eating grass and totally unaware of my presence.

He shook his head and went back to looking for choice morsels in amongst the grasses in the field.  I watched him move around, graceful and at peace.  He moved out of sight behind the goat barn as I watched.  My dogs were nearby, but they weren’t interested in him.  Maybe they didn’t see him.  He was so quiet.

He came back into view as I moved to open the greenhouse door.  He looked at me.  He waited to see my reaction.  I stayed still.  He snorted.  My dog, Thor, heard him and took off.  The buck easily escaped.  Thor was very happy with himself.  “Good dog,” I petted him.

Beauty in nature and a good dog are truly excellent gifts on any day.

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I have two dogs, Thor and Freya.  They are both afraid of thunderstorms.  Who can blame them?  The lightning and thunder up here on our mountain are scary.  We’ve had trees struck, as well as lightening arcing between our metal buildings.  It’s quite amazing at times the way the ground shakes with the thunder, not to mention the sudden *CRACK* of the lightning.

One time, when lightning struck a tree behind the house, it traveled down the tree and one of its roots.  It hit the side of the house with enough force to throw dirt and sod against the siding.  It entered the house’s electrical wiring, traveling through until it grounded.  On it’s way, it killed the television, stereo, VCR, solar panel inverter and other related equipment, washing machine controls, and took out two computers.  It also sent sparks about two feet out of the top of our propane  stove.  To say it was impressive would be a huge understatement.

So, as I sit here writing this entry, Thor is under my desk, and Freya is lying beside my chair.  Both are panting and are agitated.  I have music playing to help mask the sound of further away thunder.  The storm is minor, but that doesn’t matter to either of them.  All they know is that they want momma to keep them safe, after all I am their momma, too.

I’ve heard that wrapping a dog’s chest snuggly with a towel will help to calm the dog.  I’ve not yet tried it.  They seem to do just fine with being close to their people.  After all, love conquers fear.

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The greenhouse is looking great, so I thought I would share some photos.  The most striking difference is the size of the various plants.  The top of the raised bed comes about to my knee.  The Cherokee Purple tomato is taller than I am now.

The Cherokee Purple seen from outside the greenhouse.  Yes, that is a tomato.  Its more than one section wide.  It has about twenty or so tomatoes ripening.  It also has about fifty or so flowers.   One of its best friends is a small praying mantis.

 

The image above gives you some idea of its size.  I trim it away from the fan.  Beside it an asparagus bean grows up a string.  The bean’s flowers are a lovely, light purple.

The asparagus beans from the outside.  They are taller than the center beam of the greenhouse.  The planters contain a variety of small plants including marigolds and catnip.

The bean’s flowers didn’t show up too well.  I’ll try to get another photo later.

The cauliflower is huge.  Look at the size of those leaves.  The head is about a foot across and is not yet ready to harvest.

These young tomatoes were started by good friend, Renae.  They were started late season, but I think they’ll do well once they’re in the garden.

Blessed Thistle is an excellent herbal plant, but it can also be invasive.  This one will remain in the greenhouse for the first few years.

This marigold is an example of nature’s imperfect beauty.  Of course, the fuzzy photo doesn’t show it at its best.

Anyway, that’s the latest from my greenhouse.  Happy Gardening!

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I add water to the toad pool just about every day. I don’t when it rains, and after bee stings, I might forget to add water.  I try to remember every day, after all they would not be in our pool if we had taken it up in the fall.

Yesterday, I went out to add water and was surprised.  I only saw about five tadpoles!  There were about a thousand at first, now most have finished their transformation into toadlings!  Yay!

We will leave the pool in place until this weekend.  On Saturday, we will put water into a bucket, capture the remaining tadpoles, and release them down in the neighbor’s swampy area.  I think they’ll like that more than they will our creek.

Once they are relocated, we will take up the old pool and put up our new pool!  Yay!  Swimming in the front yard!  Life is good.

It’s been interesting to go out there and watch the tadpoles change.  I wonder how many toads we will have on the porch under the light next year.

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My desk is cluttered.  It’s busy.  As I look around, there’s a book with my journal, DVDs, papers, notebooks, and a magazine on top of it.  Reaching the book would be easy, but everything on top of it might fall on the floor.

On top of my printer, there are two different types of yarn, a large index card, a map of Virginia Wineries, a wine magazine, and writing magazines.  The yarns are very different from each other.   One is wound on a spool.  It’s white, size 30 thread.  This type of yarn is used to crochet doilies.  It is cotton.  The other yarn is dark blue.  It’s rolled into a ball, and it is the most common size yarn found in stores.  It is polyester.

Between the printer and the speakers, there’s a multitude of papers, cards, CDs, and old mail.  Whenever I want to find something in that mess, I have to look carefully.

In front of the monitor, there’s seeds, pens/pencils, stapler and staple remover, hand-held pencil sharpener, flash drives, papers, and more.  Oh, let’s not forget the paper clips and tweezers.

Off to the other side of the monitor, in front of the other speaker, there’s all kinds of herbs.  Most are for general health, but some are specific.  There’s also a tall glass for water or tea that sitting behind a coffee cup.  There’s also a phone on my desk.

My desk is very busy.  It’s very cluttered, but I know where everything is.  Well, I at least know where to find it.   Most of the time.  My desk is a prime example of the little clear acrylic paper weight that my mom gave me years ago.  The saying on this paper weight is, “Creative minds are rarely tidy.”  I guess that goes for desks of creative minds, too.

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