Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CHALLENGE!! 2008 is going .. going ..


What's your New Year's Resolution?

Mine's simple, I Vow to expand my vegetable gardens and donate my excess to (fill in the blanks) mine's my local Senior Center rather than be lazy and pretend I can gather and can every tomato, zucchini, lettuce, cucumber or squash I can grow.

What's yours?

I don't know how to do that thingie where people tell you they've read your blog, or replied elsewhere, or *chuckle* those cool things, but would LOVE to have your InPut! SO! Until someone tells me how to post these kinds of "poll" thingie, add a "Response" to this post? And I will copy/paste a List! Let's help each other accomplish one resolution! :~D

OK< OK< And I'd really like to lose 20 pounds for 2009. *laughs*

Happy New Year, Earth! /touches a ripple in my One Mile Radius



May all of my New Cyber Friends in the Blogosphere, may all my old friends online, may all my Family, and may all my Dear Ones, may all us have a truly magnificent year full of Hope and Love. May we all be little heroes.

Here are a few of my favorites memories.

Happy Gardening!

Wolfdancer Creek

Been here since the early seventies.

Goodnight, you princes of California. You kings of Ocean Beach.

Murals in Ocean Beach 2008

2001 My Girlz flying across the beach. Ocean Beach, Rhi, Corey & Spirit, in the Year of Living Dangerously.

My Grammy with Spirit, talking.

Rhi at the beach.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Travels With Teeghkii

And yet another. I wrote this one when we moved. I hate moving, have always abhorred the upheaval, the mess, the overwhelming sorrow of Good Byes inherent in moving. And yet, and yet.... There is a Dawn-ness about it. An expectation of new beginnings. This was my Big Adventure. (well, one of them, anyway.. There was that trip to Cancun....But that is for another post) Anyway.....

Travels With Teeghkii

It’s time. The dawn is fading from the sky, and we are all packed. We have been living in a motor home, squatting in my husband’s mother’s driveway, awaiting the time when we could journey to our new home. We are all in crates, all of us, living between worlds After 46 years of living in San Diego, after 37 years of living in the same house, we are leaving for a new state, and we are taking our animals, our furry family, with us. It is time to begin our new life, and time to say good-bye, finally, to the old one.

Both of us must drive a vehicle, caravanning from San Diego, California, to the upper Western Cascades of Oregon. My husband drives our crate, the motor home, and I drive the truck, the back loaded with six cats in four extra large Pet Porters, and two wolfdogs, Spirit & Teeghkii. We have an old couch mattress and an armload of extra towels laid out for him, for comfort. The cat crates have a plywood roof braced over the top, and all of the accoutrement necessary for a 1,200 mile interstate journey with animals is stacked in neat piles atop it..

We have water bowls, bottles of water, a five-gallon “workman’s” water container, handi-wipes, ACE, (a canine tranquilizer) Dramamine, extra leashes, cable tethers, an extra large metal crate that breaks down, blankets, extra collars, cat litter, pooper scoops, sealed bins of food for both species, four ice chests full of frozen foods, chew toys, stuffie toys, squeakie toys, bones, laundry soap, paper towels, camp chairs, ropes, two emergency medical kits, trash bags, flashlights and lanterns. We are ready. It is time.

We have placed my other four wolfdogs, two bonded pairs, with a sanctuary for fosterage until we can get settled and build inescapable containments at our new home. We didn’t have a vehicle large enough to keep each pair completely separated from one another, and with the addition of the cats, we decided only to travel with the two who were cat friendly. Additionally, these other four have specific containment requirements, which will take us some time and money to properly build once we arrive at our new home. I know they will be safe and well-cared for, and I cannot take the chance that some ill-fortune will befall us on such a journey. It will be too long, until we are all re-united, and I will miss them. But their safety is more important.

Spirit is an old hand at this. She loves to travel, and will gleefully ensconce herself on the front seat of any vehicle, with a smile on her face. Teeghkii is not so sure that all this newness is desirable. What was so bad about the old house? He seems to say as we drive away. I watch the house dwindle in the rear view mirror, and he watches it from the rear window. I wonder if he feels the same sort of wistful longing as I do. He doesn’t know of the new housing development, of the new attitudes regarding dogs. He has no idea that people would move to rural areas, and then complain about how rural it is. He will never know the reason Tica is no longer with us, poisoned by those city neighbors. He will never understand how we were given the legal choice of get rid of the dogs, or move. To us, there was no choice. Spirit looks ahead, into the future. I hope Teeghkii will listen to her canine wisdom.

We drive up the coast and camp out at the beach with friends. A send-off party, and a place of particularly joyful memories. Teeghkii & Spirit love the beach, with its’ rich, fecund smells of surf and seaweed, of tides and all the little creatures who live by them. That night, we set the tone of the week to come. We tether up the dogs on nice long cables, and set out food and water for them. We unload the truck and I crawl into the back and shut the hatch in order to feed & water the cats, & clean litter boxes. This way, there can be no bolting accidents. We fire up the bar-b-q and cook our dinner, saving some delectables as treats for the dogs. We set up the metal crate, and line it with blankets. After a nice long walk along the beach, I give Teeghkii a nice meaty bone to chew and we put him in his crate for the evening, right outside our door, right beneath our window, so he can hear my voice, and I can hear his. The motor home is crammed with the rest of the accoutrement for the humans, briefcases full of insurance papers, escrow papers, Grammy’s will. Down pillows and hand-made quilts. Suitcases full of what clothes we thought we might need for as long as it takes for the rest of our belongings to make it up. All my photo albums. Since Teeghkii firmly believes that God made down pillows & paper for his enjoyment, and that beds were made to bounce upon, I can’t take the chance that he won’t decide that something else might be fun to chew up while the humans are unconscious. Escrow papers might be considered a delicacy in his wolfdog mind. So he gets his own crate. We padlock the crate, because I am so afraid that someone might sneak through my barricades of cautiousness and steal my furchild.

The next morning, I crawl into the back of the truck again, and clean all the cat boxes, and refresh their food and water. We take the dogs for a nice long walk, pooper scooper and plastic bag in hand. We pack everything up, fasten the traveling water dish, pull out another nice bone, and load the dogs up in the back.

We drive from morning until dusk. We have paid for a Kampsites of America (KOA) membership, so we can easily find a dog-friendly campsite off the freeway, and not have to search. We decide to stop at dusk, so we’ll have plenty of light to see the area, and know where we need to set up our camp, for the maximum protection and comfort for the dogs. Several of the campsites are lovely, and offer walking trails. We select the sites with the most isolation.

We take potty breaks periodically, and there are days when Teeghkii does not wish to get back into the truck. He makes it known that he’s none too pleased with the confines of the back of the truck. There are times when it takes up to an hour to convince him otherwise. We are patient, since we have already scheduled in “walk-times”. On one such “unscheduled pit-stop”, we had to bodily lift him up onto the tailgate before he’d settle in. An action guaranteed to torment any human back, since Teeghkii is weighing in at 125 lbs now. He is a good boy, but this is a long trip for him, and he is not as enamored with vehicles as Spirit is. Spirit decides she wants to ride in the passenger seat with Vin in the motorhome, so Teeghkii gets a bit more elbow room. We have opened the top vent and the side vents, because they are way up in the front of the camper, and due to the cat crates, are inaccessible. This was an important issue, as I know that wolfdogs are prone to creative escaping, and I do not want to deal with a stuck dog wriggling through the window of the camper shell as I am trundling down the hiway going 65 mph.

I am glad that I took the time to get Teeghkii crate-trained, to get him tether-trained, and leash-trained. I am glad I went to such great lengths to socialize him to people and other animals. I am glad he is who he is. All of these things have come in so handy on our journey, making it so that we could keep him with us on our exodus, and not have to be fostered out like the other kidz.

That transport will be more stressful, less leisurely. We will not take walks on that transportation, nor will we camp out. We will be making that run in one straight shot. We will be loading up the rest of my dogs in their crates on a trailer, with plywood sides, and plywood partitions separated the pairs, so as to decrease stress, and a plywood roof. We cannot use a covered U-Haul because of the lack of ventilation. The crates will be stuffed with straw to absorb any spills or accidents. We’ll be wiring small metal buckets to the side of the crates for ice cubes and water, as any of the commercial water dishes will not last. The morning we leave, we will be administering ACE one hour before we leash them up to get loaded in order to give enough time for the medication to kick in with no stress. They will have been fasted the day before. We’ll be bringing the same list of accoutrement, but we do not expect to be using it, as these kidz have fear issues, and I cannot chance an escape.

But that time is not here. It is dawn of the last day of travel, and we begin our routine for the day. The mists creep along the ground, everything is damp and sparkling with dew, and you can hear the tinkling sound of the streamlet we have camped beside, laughing. I unlock Teeghkii’s crate, leash him up, and take both kidz for a walk while Vin makes breakfast. There’s cattle on the other side of the streamlet we discover, as the sun parts the mists, and Teeghkii is enthralled. He sniffs one brave heifer’s nose, and they both snort back amazed at each other’s differences. We amble back from a leisurely walk for chores and breakfast. We save some scrambled eggs for the kidz’ breakfast, which is light in preparation for another couple hundred miles of travel.

We are almost there, almost to the new country where we will make our new Forever Home, Wolfdancer Creek, all of us, castaways who have discovered a paradise to share. There is much work ahead of us, new containments to build, an orchard to reclaim, work to be done to clean up the house and property. But this is our time, and we are embracing it, all of us. And thanks to careful planning, careful consideration of the dangers on the road, and careful preparation, it has been a good time. A bonding has occurred, another layer in the quilt of trust that we have woven with Teeghkii and Spirit. On this journey, Teeghkii has grown up some. And I have to say, so have I.

Kat Wolfdancer Feb. 2004

Life With America

I've been looking for a couple of stories I started, and I want to continue writing... Writing with passion, writing like my life depended on it... And I came across this. This is from 2004. America is four years old now, he'll be five in April of 2009. Yesterday, we got a landmark life occurrence: America did his first RLU (raised leg urination) a mark of adulthood. I must admit to a certain sadness.

Life With America

I am sleep deprived. I am able to nap a couple of hours before one of several things happens: a whine indicates 1) I need to pee; 2) I need to poop; 3) I am hungry; 4) I am thirsty; or 5) I want to play with you, my favorite chew toy. It has been this way for three and a half weeks now, I am working on my first month. I have at least 5 months of sleep deprivation to go, and hopefully, another 15 years of challenge and pleasure ahead of me.

The whine comes from America. You can hear it clearly, it reverberates through my mother ears. Sometimes, he howls, a high pitched echoing lonesomeness that I am sure will be as awe inspiring as that of his ancestors in the high arctic so long ago. America is a wolfdog. He is not a wild wolf, nor is he exactly a domestic dog. He is very high content. His family tree has been bred as companion animals for over 13 generations. He is my four-legged son. He, and the other wolfdogs I share my life with, are the only children I will have in this lifetime, the only ones granted to me this time around. I do not feel cheated, I feel Blessed.

I have had to work hard to be worthy of his ownership. I have had to educate myself far beyond what is called for in “casual” ownership of canines. This has changed me in many ways. I find that many of my assumptions regarding ownership of ANY animal have been redefined. I have always believed that ownership was a responsibility, not a privilege, and that belief has only sharpened as I become more aware of the fate of those who do not receive responsible care. I had to educate myself in basic canine behavior and psychology, and in wolf behavior and psychology. I found the more I learned about wolves, the more I learned about dogs, and a greater appreciation I discovered for both.

I had to search out those who had more experience than I, and to learn to discern between fact and myth. I had to do research about so many things I had taken for granted as a “regular dog” owner!!! I learned to read kibble labels, I learned about dietary needs and supplements, I learned about containment needs. I discovered how out-of-date I was in training techniques, and have had to re-educate myself in the newest positive training methods. I discovered the politics of pet ownership, and was truly amazed to discover how many organizations actively work to deny responsible owners the pleasures of private ownership. I learned to be pro-active about my ownership.

And there were lessons along the way that no human could teach me, lessons the other members of my furry Family had to teach. Lessons about respect, lessons about power, and the abuse of power. Lessons about rescue and abandonment. Lessons about communication and individuality. Some of those lessons were harsh, and sorrowful… But they gave me resolve and strength. None of the animals I would take responsibility for will ever wind up in rescue. I will take them as they are, warts and all. I will expect the best, and prepare for the worst. I will not be part of the problem, but part of the solution. It has taken a dedication that sometimes still surprises me.

But it has also brought me America.

I have had him since he was three weeks old, and bottle-fed him for about a week and a half, until he began to refuse the bottle. I wasn’t ready for him to be weaned, but he was, and he’s the boss! (At least at this age.) I had to prepare an exact formula, with specific ingredients such as gelatin, to prevent eye problems; canned goat’s milk, as a high-fat highly digestible lactose supplement; canned chicken baby food, as a protein enhancer; Nutra-Cal as a calorie/vitamin supplement; and Oasis’ Fortifier Plus, as a carnivore-specific infant milk supplement. Since he was pulled from his mother at one week of age, in order to facilitate the socialization process, his formula had to compensate for the nutrients he would have gotten from his mother. I am his mother now, and I have to provide him with a proper nutritionally complete diet, so he will thrive.

I had to learn how to hold him for the bottle. Unlike a human infant, a wolfdog (and most other carnivore babies) cannot be nursed on their backs, they must be nursed on their tummies, or else they will aspirate what you are feeding them and end up with fluid in their lungs. I learned that wolf pups have a built-in “follow me” instinct that kicks in at three weeks of age, and if you use that knowledge, you set up a good “heel”, and a good “recall” for later training. But you have to start early, or you lose that training window. I learned about mouthing, and how to teach bite inhibition. I have to feed him any goodies by hand now, in order to teach good manners. I am, after all, his favorite chew toy. He’s got to learn how fragile my human skin is in comparison to his furry coat!!!

At the age I got him, he couldn’t control his body heat, so I eschewed my comfy California King Ortho, and slept on a couple of stacked twin mattresses on the floor. Every two hours, initially, he woke me up to take care of his various needs. A few times I wound up having to stuff towels over the wet spots, as his bladder control was non-existent. I buy Nature’s Miracle by the gallon. And occasionally, for an hour or two, he’d crawl up into the crook of my arm, and settle down and sleep, to my delight.

He is never all alone, someone is always with him. My husband & my room-mate help care for him. Now that he’s almost 7 weeks old, he must learn to ask to go outside, which means we have to keep to a tight schedule of outside walks, and keep treats in our pockets for rewards when he voids. I am grateful for their help, as this gives America a wider range of humans to socialize. He needs to meet many different kinds of people, and many different kinds of dogs before he’s four months old, so he will have good social skills. When he is inoculated, we will go to a basic obedience class together. We already have our pre-paid, pre-registered PetCo Puppy Class reserved! Until then, we have to be careful of diseases, yet we cannot be isolated. Raising a well socialized wolfdog puppy takes a village!

So much to learn, so much to teach, in such a short amount of time!!

And when it is said and done, after all that worry and all this learning, America climbs up in my lap and snuggles his head against my chest, and breathes that sweet puppy breath at me with a canine smile on his face. And with that look, he tells me, “Thanks, Mom, and pass the chew toy.”


Seeds of Change!

Not these ones, but they are a mighty wonderful Organic Gardening company, but today and this weekend I get to order the Territorial Seeds for the upcoming year at the Garden Center.

This is terrific news on many fronts!
1) This indicates that the Garden Center WILL be opening this coming year! HUZZAH!
2) I'll have the opportunity to get some special seeds ordered for my OWN garden! WEEEEEEEE!

now all I have to do is get out of my driveway *lolol* Where's the animated emoticons when you need them.

I have to go through my saved seeds packages in the fridge, make sure I don't duplicate stuff, be frugal...

I'm dreaming of a Spring Garden! Just like the ones I used to know! Where the turnips glisten, and birdies listen for seedheads popping in the snow... I'm dreaming of a Spring Garden! With every weed I pull, I pray; May your soil be rich and OK! And may all your Gardening be fey.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

It is snowing here at Wolfdancer Creek, adding to the 3 week pack, and snowed-in feeling of both isolation, and insulation. I find myself alone for the second Christmas in a row. Last year, it was because I simply could not face anyone, I knew I'd shatter if anyone gave me a sideways glance of sympathy. This year, well, it's alot like that, only different. I know I won't shatter. This year, I am taking this aloneness and embracing it.

Yes, I am lonely. Yes, if I think about it, I could cry. But no, I won't be spending much time thinking about loneliness. I am thinking about Lessons, I am thinking about Christmas, I am thinking about what it means, this season of giving.. I am hibernating, I am replenishing my spirit. I am embracing Bear Medicine.

I gave all the Song Dogs elk bones for Christmas, and the kitties all got a can of cat food. The ducks are fed, the goats got apple snax, and some Christmas hugs.

So from Wolfdancer Creek, I wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas and a most Blessed New Year. May he Peace of the Season follow us all, every one, throughout all the days of this coming New Year. Filled with Hope, I send my Love. Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Wonderland Dreams

As I meander about Wolfdancer Creek, land of magic, soil of the sacred, sleeping deeply in the embrace of her Lover, Winter, there are things I notice... I rarely ask myself the "why" of them. Why is that?

I make my way down to the pond, camera in hand, fresh batteries, new roll of film.. The sun is out, and it hovers above the 2' of standing snow which blankets our Sanctuary. I find myself carefully placing my returning steps in the footprint of any other preceding footstep.. It maximizes the pristine areas of untouched snow.. It magnifies the wee scratchings of bird tracks, of cat feet hopping daintily through the drifts. Of the paths of the snow ducks, as they trek to the frozen pond, there to lay yet more tracings of life, of survival. When I miss, or when I simply must forge into untouched snow, my feet sink into the first layer of snow, cotton snowfall, then check as they hit the 1" plus thickness of ice overlaying yet another, deeper foot of soft powder snow with a ...

(I'm not ADHD, it's just that.. OOOH! Look a bunny rabbit!)

AH Sunday I wish my camera'd had batteries! There was a sheen of ice languishing across the body of snow, possessive, enveloping. Like a cellophane dress on a Supermodel, upon every tree's twig, every individual needle of the big Grandfather fir, every strand of wire, every upright surface clung a sheath of ice. The trees moved in a slow, sensuous Dance of the Veils, amidst the castanet music of ice melting, and diving back to Earth's arms. The sun danced across the surfaces of the crystalline veils of ice and sparkled amidst the branches of the trees like festoons of diamonds. I grieve for the loss of these pictures, now I must attempt to draw upon each line and detail from the photobanks of my memory.

I still maintain a child's delight in the snow. I recognize the extra work involved, the loss of income, the nagging worry about how the bills will be paid, the terrible inconvenience, and in some cases, the dangerous beauty. I am pragmatic in my acceptance of all those things, and yet...

and yet...

I still feel the breath stop in my chest when I see these things, when I see snow falling, fat, luscious, sensuous in its' descent, in its' primal maleness of possession. I still feel that sudden gasp upon seeing free-ranging water frozen in its' free-falling state... The liquid sexuality of water captured by Medusa's Gaze.. I still see Fairy Goddesses and Great Elven Lords standing shoulder to shoulder in the Christmas tree fields, I still see Ice Queens perched dramatically upon their Elysium Thrones, I still see a Snowman Farm. There is something cellular in my appreciation of the sights and sounds of snow and deep winter storms, of Ocean storms, of water in whatever form She chooses to take.

What does it mean, these ponderings? Am I an Eternal Petra Pan? Am I the Grasshopper to others' too busy to see's Ant? Am I too ethereal to take seriously? Am I too serious to take ethereally?

I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Solstice Dreaming

It is the Winter Solstice, and it is just beautiful out here. Inconvenient, certainly. Frustrating, oh yes. The top 2"+ inches are crispy frozen crusty traps hiding the soft, silky slippery snow beneath. We have upwards of 8-9 inches, more in the drifts of the perennials. It drags the hay wagon down to a slow drag through the drifts. We are stuck up on the hill. I brought the point-n-shoot camera out with me along with an extra roll of film, only to have the battery die. *sigh* and I daren't bring Dianne's digital out for fear I will take a tumble.

It is pretty good exercise breaking trail through this kind of snow! It's up to my knees in places, most up about 8", but there is also another 2" layer of hard, smooth ice encasing the blankets of snow. Everything is embraced by a silvery sheen of crystal. The sun peeped out briefly, just long enough to light a glow from behind all these ice sculptures. The trees are clicking and tsking as they sway stiffly, barely moving in their crystal tresses. I have never had to move through this kind of snow. I can understand why folks would get grumpy over it, but I think it's beautiful. Fascinating. Eerie.

I've been working on my website, checking links, rewriting, finishing some pages, and Lo! & Behold! & drat the luck, my server seems to have a communication malfunction, and doesn't want to talk to me. And then I began hearing REALLY obnoxious sounds from that workhorse computer, so I saved everything, and I shut the poor dear off. NOW it'll take me another half hour of futzing with the ratbastadge to make 'er boot up & open up her data banks. *sigh* I worked mostly on updating the photo galleries, where I have pictures and some background of the animals in my life. Can't upload them tho, not until I find out what the major malfunction in the Cyber World happens to be.

I have some candles burning in Honor of this, the shortest day of the year. My version of Yule Logs :~) only not as big, and safer.

It's time to fetch out the seed packets that we didn't plant last year and make plans for where they will be planted THIS year! I'm aiming for more companion planting this coming year.

Well, off to feed the Song Dogs. Then I believe I shall work on my latest quilt. I found my button box! & I have an IDEA! *giggles maniacally*

May the night be warm, may you have the time to just breathe the Season in. Indulge yourself in dreaming. Tomorrow will be a longer day! The first day towards the Spring! Bright Blessings!!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Charity Begins at Home

I just don't think this is what I had in mind when I envisioned "Sanctuary", but there you have it. It seems sending Light out through my One Mile Radius is not species specific. We are, indeed, a Sanctuary of sorts, for the small, the abandoned, the overlooked, the sick. Give Us Your Poor, Your Sick, Your Tired, Your Huddled Masses Longing to be Loved...

We have a Colony of Feral cats who have adopted us, and as I have mentioned previously, I rescued a Mama cat (Mimi) & her three surviving kittens. Here are a couple of recent photos of the kittens. As you can tell, they are thriving! I REALLY NEED to find them good homes, but, well, so far I have been thwarted in that endeavor. The little heathens run rampant over my sensibilities, and OH they are so darling.

In my garden, I, like many others, do not cut back my "straggley" seedheads. I leave them for the birds. We have a feeding station (several of them, in fact) for the ducks, who are very active foragers, and free-ranging here on Wolfdancer Creek --within limits. Coyotes & Bob Cat do NOT get a free lunch!-- but the Winter is hard on critturs. The pond is frozen solid, so we have to provide liquid water --as opposed to solid-- for the Aqua Fowl.

The indigenous birds have discovered this rich source of nutrition. They grow bold when I stand in front of "their" supper dish! Is this a thrush? Maybe a Swainson's Thrush? Or a Hermit Thrush? Anyone know? I think maybe it's a Hermit Thrush. He was SO bold!

And then there is Johnny Cash. Johnny is a feral. He really likes to be petted, loves to have his head rubbed, and his back massaged. I haven't tried to pick him up. I just sit quietly and pet him as much as he will allow me. Johnny reminds me of the Story of Ugly Make sure you've got a kleenex handy if you plan to read this story, because you'll need it.

I don't know how long Johnny Cash Cat will be with us. He can't seem to eat solid foods like kibbles, they seem to hurt his mouth. He has been eating raw chicken legs, and has picked up a goodly bit of weight since he showed up. When he first showed up, I figured I'd find his body on the front porch every morning, but he keeps hangin' tough, Johnny does. I haven't tried canned cat food, I plan to try that, and if he'll eat it, I'll dose it with Ivermectin to see if we can control the mange. That must be a terrible trial for him. He might even allow me to drop some Advantage on him come this Summer, if we can keep him going through the Winter. It disturbs me.. No, it doesn't "disturb" me, it HURTS, seeing him have to gather up his energy to pick up his chicken and eat... He hovers over his bowl, and drools.. And I KNOW he is hungry, and trying to eat through the pain.. AH, it tugs at the soft parts of my heart. So we have put out cushions on the chair and made for him a warm place at his desire. I know he sleeps underneath the house, so I will be leaving a space open (even though that's not energy efficient) when I get me out in the snow to replace the crawl-space board cover.

After all, a Grrrrrl's got to do what a Grrrrl's got to do. And I can't turn my back on him.

It's snowing here, again, it matches my mood. I think I'll go work on another quilt afore the pellet stove, all tucked in and warm.. And I will think warm and loving thoughts to Johnny Cat. May all your days be Merry, and filled with Bright Blessings.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Six Random Memes

OOOO goody a Gift! a Literary Challenge! no wait, a MNEUMONIC Challenge! I remember...

what? Who's that??? No, he's on first, Idon'tknow's on second.

Thank you Veg Plotting (OOO I can hear the plotting from here!) for the great idear....

1. First memory - My Step-Father throwing me up in the air. The room was dark, and he was tall. I remember being very afraid.

2. First book - The Wizard of Oz. My Grammy read it to me, in the room with all the crickets on the wallpaper. I would later carefully peel all the crickets off and put them in the book.

3. First kiss (not family) - My next door neighbor, a VERY handsome Hispanic boy, a twin. He would walk on his hands up on our concrete wall. I won't even GO there with the lecture I got for that kiss!

4. First gardening memory - Making the swimming pool into a strawberry patch with Grammy. Grammy had decided that having a swimming pool was too dangerous for precocious kidlets. Strawberries were not as dangerous.

5. First home grown vegetable - TOMATOES! YUMMY! OH wait, that's a fruit. So those came AFTER the strawberries. Must be ... lettuce see.... yesh, must be LETTUCE! (how corny of me)

6. First home grown fruit - strawberries, out of the swimming pool patch :~)


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quilts and the Patching of Life

In the process of unpacking, of cleaning, of sorting through a past life and beginning a new one, I have discover old fabric which I had wanted to "someday" make quilts out of.. a piece here, a piece there.. all neatly packed away for that "rainy Day".

Well, it's snowing, we are pretty much soaked in, and I find myself, being laid off & newly widowed, with a bit of "extra" time on my hands... So.. Lo! & Behold! I made one. I think it turned out nice.


Monday, December 15, 2008

GBBD! December in the PNW

Yes, that's right, it's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day! Hosted by the indomitable, Unsinkable Carol at May Dreams where she is Dreaming of May Gardens.

I had to defrost, somewhat, before I could brave the environs of snow and frozen snow, and yet more frozen water molecules in order to get my poor wee fingers to cooperate. There actually ARE some hardy hold-outs from Summer's tender embrace!

Zygo Cactus. Not a real cacti at all, a succulent. And succulent it is! Juicy with color when we all need color in our lives, during these cold and freezy days.

Christmas Cactus. My house is so cold, I don't have to work at getting 'em to bloom.

The little violas that could! and does.

Another "annual" who doesn't believe it. This one is three years old. Gartenmeister Fuchsia.

Hardy Fuchsia just does not tell the tale.

The last wee crabapple off the tree I grafted. The fruits are yellow, and I really love my first grafted tree..

Dragon Wing Begonia is still going strong! Indoors, of course. OOOOPS! This be the Angel Wing Begonia. The Dragon Wing isn't bloomng, and doesn't have speckles! Silly me ! (Thanks Sue! You cottoned me to it!)

the annual Allysum who doesn't know it's an annual

Well, late, but on the right date, now I'm off to feed the Song Dogs and the Goats of War. Happy Gardening!!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hunkerin' down

I must brave the wilds of civilization, the crowded environs of population 2600 and not all of them out there, shopping. I NEVER go to Black Friday, those kinds of crowds simply overwhelm me, they pummel me in a panic fugue state, like an emotional sledgehammer berating my hermitage. Can't do it, wouldn't be prudent, no sirree bobbitt. Besides, a shopping day named after the Great Depression is, well, depressing. I mean WHAT were the PR folks SMOKING????

I must hei me to town to pick up more chicken for the Song Dogs. We have extra cat food, extra duck food, extra goat food, extra dog food.. BUT I just want to make sure we have EXTRA extra dog food, because they may need a bit of extra lovins when we get snowed in. Weather Advisory Estacada Weather Prognosis calls for a spot of freezing weather, what? SNOW DAYS! And yes, I am a Snow Goombah, I love it. So I must also fetch a roll of film. Have 1/2 ton of wood pellets!! I am in shock! delight! EXTRA wood pellets, I can SPLURGE and actually turn on the heat! I got it all the way to 60*!! from 50* which is what I usually keep it at. The lowest possible thermostat setting. It's the frugal Scots in me.

I have been putting off working in my friend Doc's garden, I'm been giving myself permission to clean, to heal, to re-organize, to re-assemble the broken parts in me. I'll be better after the snowfall. I'll be better after getting snowed in, embraced by white frozen water crystals, Song Dogs singing with white blankets saddling their shoulders, apple trees providing nesting places for coveys of snow. I'll be better soon.

There's a sick black cat who has adopted us, maybe it's one of the young boys from Puddles' early litters before I caught her and got her spayed. He leaks fluids from his nose and eyes, weeping at what? He has mange in the summer, and he can't seem to be able to eat hard foods. We feed him chicken like the Song Dogs get, he has gained weight, gained condition. He has a pillow to sleep on, in a chair on the porch. He begs for attention, and I give it to him. He loves to have his ears rubbed, and the side of his face rubbed. I am ashamed to say I tried to chase him off this past Summer, but this Autumn, he changed tactics, and stopped, looked at me and did the "Silent Meaow" I do not think he is long for this world, but for the time he has, he will be loved, and tendered, and given a warm bed and good food. It is the least I can do for a Fellow Being who's suffering.

Hark! The Song Dogs sing.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Blessings & Lessons, Lessons & Blessings

Which came first?

HOME I am HOME. HOME after a week grieving for my sweet, lost Husband, who left me a year ago to be with his Mom. Left me because he "could not see any way we could move forward together." Left me because I was no longer within driving distance to his Family. Left me because he was still looking for the next party, and I had stopped looking years ago, and just didn't know it. Left me because he was Peter Pan, and I was not his Wendy. I yam what I yam. A Wild Warrior Wolf Woman Who Dances With Wolves. And who gardens with passion. Earthy dreams, rooting dreams, fragrant with fecund fantasies of flowerings.

These were not dreams he shared with me, and this was not the place he could follow me. And now, he has left me for the rest of this lifetime. I am grieving, and I am sure there will be abject loneliness from the loss I feel. I've lost HIS Family, as well. No more Holiday phone calls, no more hugs, no more "I love you, Sweeties", no more Christmas pictures of the kids. At the service, after I made a picture board of the pictures we had accumulated over the 36 years we'd been friends, the Family kind of ... well, kidnapped my pictures... "Well, we figured that these ones of the Family, you won't need these back, right?" I paused, was silent, and said "Y'all WERE my Family for a long long time." I guess that just hadn't occurred to them. It surprised them. Jeff was so kind to me, tho, I think he realized --then-- how much I had lost, as well. A world without my best friend in it is a sadder place.

At the service, I tried to speak my Truth, but it all came out as gibberish, I could not form English words, I could not see the pages I wrote, and what I could see just didn't make sense, it was written in an alien tongue, by me. I want to write to those who were there what I TRIED to say. I ended by just weeping and saying " I can't finish this. I wrote such clever things, such warm stories, but I can't finish this."


DON'T take one another for Granted
DON'T assume you know what the other needs
DO COMMUNICATE even if it's difficult or uncomfortable
DO take time to give hugs & listen actively
DO take time to actively remember the Positive and actively forget the Negative.
Hold on to one another.
Be True to Yourself
Be True to Your Love
DON'T take Love for Granted