Friday, February 14, 2020

A Cold Day in February...





What a difference a couple of days of sunshine can make, even when it's cold outside like it is today.  It is always a good thing this time of year to feel warmth from the sun on one's face.  It's good medicine I think, even though some of those near and dear to me keep admonishing me to, "Stay inside and take care of yourself."

Well, I do dress warmly, in lots of layers just as the beloved Hannah Hauxwell did.  Not that where we live comes even close to being as cold and desolate as was the bleak Yorkshire Dales where Hannah lived alone for most of her life without electricity.  But, I have been inspired by her story and have even found myself quite drawn to her way of dressing.  I actually see nothing wrong with wearing raggedy clothing with lots of patches and coarse stitches.  Of course, for me, there's always, as a last resort, my extra warm L.L. Bean coat, but it's much too warm on days when the wind chill is above 40 degrees.. 





Millie seemed to be on top of her game today, as she ran of her own free will across the meadows and through the woods,  She's in her prime now, at four years of age, and a perfect specimen of agility and endurance.  How lucky we were to have wandered, four years ago, into the animal shelter that cold February day.  Why, she needed us almost as much as we needed her.

When Millie and I are out walking, it's easy to lose sight of her for just a bit, for she is so well camouflaged in the colors of the winter woods.  But, it's never long before I catch a glimpse of her, sometimes standing on a rock or log looking quite majestic, almost primal, as though she's still a little wild, which sometimes I think she is, and always will be. 





   
As I have written here before, most winter evenings we watch some old movie that one of us has recorded some time ago.  It has been a lot of fun this winter because so many old Western movies have recently been made available for television.  But, once we go back to Daylight Savings Time, movie time will, pretty much, be over for this year.  We are now trying to clean up our recordings, deleting what we have already watched or what we aren't going to watch.  However, there are a few of the movies that have become favorites that we know we will want to watch again next winter.  Here's the list, along with a favorite quote from each one.


Quigley Down Under, starring Tom Selleck ("This ain't Dodge City. And you ain't Bill Hickok.")
  
Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks  ("Wilson!  I'm sorry, Wilson!  Wilson, I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!  Wilson! I can't!  Wilson!  Wilson!")  This is from the scene in which Wilson, the blood-faced volleyball with tufts of dried grass for hair, is bobbling away into the ocean...Well, it always makes me cry!

The Count of Monte Cristo, starring Richard Harris and Jim Caviezel  (Abbe'Faria:  Here is your final lesson:  Do not commit the crime for which you now serve the sentence.  God said;  "Vengeance is mine."  

Edmond Dantes:  I don't believe in God.

Abbe'Faria:  It doesn't matter.  He believes in you."  

Dances With Wolves, starring Kevin Costner  (…"But, in the end he only smiled and talked of simple pleasures.  He reminded me that at his age a good fire was better than anything.  Ten Bears was an extraordinary man.")

There are three or four others that we will be keeping, and some musical programs, as well.  Music, there's always music!   

"Music is a moral law.  It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

~ Plato



Happy Adoption Day,  Millie!  And Happy Valentine's Day, My Sweetheart!

Take care, all of you!
And, Happy Valentine's Day!

Mary



Thursday, February 6, 2020

While we slept...





While we slept, a little winter snow storm passed over the hill.  We weren't expecting it, 
so it was a pleasant surprise, for sure!  I wish it could have stayed just a bit longer...
well, not too much longer, but it would have been such a delightful thing to see snow falling.







It was a cold walk today, though, so my warmest coat felt mighty good.  I have
had a bit of a sniffle and cough, so I have been trying to take care of myself, but at the same time,
I want so badly to make it to that Thousandth Day Walk.  For the past two days, we
have walked the woodland trails, avoiding the open fields where the wind always
seems to be blowing.  Today was walk #942.





Now, we are all set to watch an old Hopalong Cassidy movie.  At the same time, I
will be doing some hand sewing on the last pair of legs for the five dolls.  They all have
their names now, which has been great fun.  Looking back at the picture in the previous
post, from left to right, they are as follows:  #1: Jubilee Ione Cliff, #2:  Jillie
Anice Cooper, #3:  Briony Rose Gunderson, #4:  Linnie Estelle Butts, and #5:
 Riata Laverne Millwright.



Take care, and thanks for stopping by!
Mary



Monday, January 27, 2020

"And, the merry firelight flickered..."







"The ruddy brick floor smiled up at the smoky ceiling; the oaken settles, shiny with long wear, exchanged cheerful glances with each other; plates on the dresser grinned at pots on the shelf, and the merry firelight flickered and played over everything without distinction..

In the embracing light and warmth, warm and dry at last, with weary legs propped up in front of them, and a suggestive clink of plates being arranged on the table behind, it seemed to the storm-driven animals, now in safe anchorage, that the cold and trackless Wild Wood just left outside was miles and miles away, and all that they had suffered in it a half-forgotten dream."

  ~Kenneth Graham
Mr. Badger Chapter,
The Wind in the Willows

***********************************


And, that's kind of the way it was here just a few days ago.  There was snow, sleet, freezing rain, and a cold wind blowing, certainly enough to drive both man and beast inside to the comforts of a warm fire.

But, all of that could well have been forgotten today, for it was an almost spring-like day here in our Wild Wood.   Millie and I walked the longer trail as we often do on warm sunny days.  We didn't see any signs of spring, even though we looked, but we couldn't help noticing touches of red here and there.








Reflections were at their best on the pond.  It almost seemed that Thoreau might step down to pond's edge just to see what he could see, or to catch a nice bass for his supper.  Or, perhaps to take his morning bath!  (Millie made the ripples when she waded out for a little bath.)

"Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with nature herself.  I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.  I got up early and bathe in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things I did.  They say that Characters were engraved on the bathing tub of King Tching-Thang to this effect:  "Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again."  ~Thoreau




My daily sewing continues.  Just for the fun of it, I gave "The Five" crude little faces with pencil and tied a rag around their heads.  All of that will soon be covered with clay.  I was amazed at how different each one already looks.  I am thinking that it might be fun to give each one a name now, before going on.  Completing this many dolls will not be done quickly.  I am not fast!  I am working on the legs now, which will be sewn on when the doll is finished.  I love them already!






Thanks for stopping by!

Mary

Friday, January 17, 2020

Sometimes....






Sometimes, the hill seems steeper and my legs feel heavier, but when I look ahead, there is Millie waiting...  We don't miss our walks over Hill Top.  At least we haven't for 922 days!  Our Thousand Days is not so far out there anymore.  But, we still have the worst of winter to get through...  And,  sometimes I wish I could just hibernate.



Sometimes we walk farther where there is no trail.


Sometimes Millie finds things along the trail, such as this deer jerky.  



Not only am I walking every day, I am sewing something every day as well.  I just finished five pairs of hands/arms.  If I should reach 1,000 days of walking, surely I could do the same for sewing, but I definitely wouldn't want to sew hands for 1,000 days!   This is sewing day #17.





 Sometimes, I stuffed arms while we watched television, usually some old movie or a football game.  One movie we watched recently was North to Alaska.  It was one of the first movies I saw on the big screen at the theater when I was a young girl. How wonderful it was when  Johnny Horton's song, "North to Alaska" filled every corner of that theater (even the balcony where I was sitting).  It definitely made a lasting impression on a young me, and Johnny Horton will forever be one of my favorite singers.

Where the river is windin' big nuggets they're findin'
North to Alaska go north the rush is on
North to Alaska go north the rush is on.

Since I have been spending more time in my sewing room, I may have to consider posting a few rules, such as these that showed up on Facebook.  I especially like the one about the seam ripper.  






                                                                                       
                                                                                      Mary




Tuesday, January 7, 2020

While my mother sewed...







"Sewing took up quite a bit of my mother's time, but she considered that a pleasure.  Most of our clothes she designed and made herself, especially when we were fairly young.  Smocked dresses took ages to make, but I had a good many.  Summer afternoons in the lawn chairs and winter evenings by the fireside were put to good use.  While my mother sewed, one of us would read out loud to her or just play quietly - at times."

                        ~Drawn From New England (Tasha Tudor) by Bethany Tudor

The excerpt above, written by Tasha Tudor's daughter, Bethany, could well be describing our family, for we, too, were brought up at our mother's side as she sat long hours sewing, both by hand and on her treadle sewing machine.




I remember well the day Momma's ruffler attachment for her treadle sewing machine went missing.  While Momma sewed, my little brother and I often played together.  To keep us occupied, she even allowed us, sometimes, to play with the little metal box of sewing machine attachments.  I seemed to be most fascinated with the beautiful velvet lined-box, while my little brother was most assuredly captivated with the ruffler.

On this particular day, when my mother opened the little box for the ruffler, it was not there.  Now, she used that ruffler a lot for gathering and pleating skirts and ruffles of all kinds.  Of course, she must have searched the house high and low looking for that oh-so-important and necessary sewing attachment, but to no avail.  And, just like that, our household was in total chaos, with everyone, even my dad and older brothers, getting involved.

I think it was I who suggested it might be outside in "the dirt place" where we liked to play.  I don't remember who found it buried in the dirt, but whoever did surely saved the day.  Peace was restored to our family and home, and the once doomed little ruffler now happily bobbed up and down as my mother sat sewing, and all was well...

                                                                           ~Mary