Wednesday, October 30, 2019

In Search of Fall...

Oh dear, everyone seems to be having such a beautiful fall.... 
except us folks here on Hill Top. I have just loved seeing 
all the gorgeous fall pictures on so many of the blogs I follow. 

 So, this morning, after the rain stopped for awhile, 
Millie and I headed out to see what we could find. 
 We were in search of fall!  I jammed the little folded-up umbrella
 into one of the big pockets in my coat, hung my camera 
on my shoulder, and we were off.  

And, we had just the loveliest  time out exploring every nook 
and cranny in those woods.  It really was a perfect time to go out looking,
 even if we hadn't found a single pretty leaf.    

Millie did a lot of looking, and listening, and smelling.  
She's perfect for being out in the woods with, for she doesn't bark
 and frighten off the wild critters. I like quietness in the woods.
 I usually don't talk when we are out and about. 
 I also like that Millie is always out ahead of me,
 still in my sight, but not underfoot.

Can you see what Millie saw here?  She didn't run them away
 like she does sometimes.  She did give a big buck a quick chase. 
 He was a beauty, but I didn't get a picture of him.

I thought the pond was lovely following last night's rain. 
 The Great Blue Heron that we often see here, 
was no where to be fouind today.

How about this for a beautiful fall arrangement?  
Mother Nature did it.  She really is the best!

So, that's it ~ our picture show for Fall 2019. 
 The colors may get better over the next several days, or they may not.
  But, Millie and I found what we had come for.  
My picture files are full of lots better from previous years,
 but  this is the way it is today, and we are thankful
 for another beautiful fall.   


"Around me the trees
stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's 
simple," they say,
"and you too have come into the world to do this, 
to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

~Mary Oliver

Friday, October 25, 2019

Welcome Home....

Illustration by Tasha Tudor from Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.

 When we were out walking today, Millie got her first mole of the season.  She can accomplish the feat in just a second or two, and comes away holding the poor, innocent little critter ever so gingerly in her mouth.  She knows what I am going to say. "Oh, Millie, give it to Momma," which she so gladly does.  I praise her, and she is happy.  And, the mole is happy to be free and able to go back to tunneling his way back home.

 I decided at the last minute that I should get a shot of Millie's trophy, the silky, soft little critter that I had saved, but when, in just a minute or two, I went back, he was already gone.  So, this illustration from The Wind in the Willows, which was done by Tasha Tudor, will have to suffice. Don't you just love it?

Look at the intensity in those eyes.  When Millie hears a mole underground, she freezes for a moment, crouches somewhat like a cat, then jumps, and quick as a flash she digs, pushing her nose deep into the hole and pulls Poor Mole out with her mouth. She rarely misses!

I didn't mind so much when she rid the yard of this menace, but along the trail, through the woods and meadows, those little critters are doing no harm that I can think of.  And, besides, I always think of Mole, who was such a congenial character in the book I mentioned above.  Or, maybe, my heart is just too soft.

Our blogging friend Henny Penny wrote in a post yesterday about her soft spot for mice.  And, they really are awfully cute.... as long as they stay out of the house.  Lil' Red Hen composed an excellent piece on "A Mouse in the House."  (Click on both links to read  their tales.)

Awhile back, we had a Momma Mouse in our house.  Why, she even raised a family, right under our noses, under a cushion in my fancy sofa in the living room before we finally got her.  She had chewed a couple of fair-sized holes under the cushion (which I patched), and had made a soft bed there with things she stole from my sewing room.  She was such a thief that she had taken a couple of brand new skeins of embroidery floss there for the little ones to snuggle in!  But it really got serious when...

She tried to take my prized needle book that I called the Embroideress - the one I oh-so-meticulously  appliqued and embroidered by hand. I found the little cloth book crumpled one morning on the floor in the sewing room.  The Embroideress's hair was a total wreck, with lots of threads that seemed to have been cut, as you can see in the second picture below.  

My daughter said that mouse surely did have excellent tastes!  It took us three days to finally trap her and all of her young 'uns.  And, I am afraid they didn't fare so well as the Lil' Red Hen's "Mouse in the House."  

When we went out walking today, I pulled on my old wool coat.  It felt mighty good, too, for it was a coldish, rainy day.  When I read of Mole's "great joy and contentment" at being home, I was reminded of how good it  is to get back home to a warm fire after one of those cold, wintery day walks.

"The weary Mole soon had his head on his pillow, in great joy and contentment.  But ere he closed his eyes he let them wander round his old room, mellow in the glow of the firelight that played or rested on familiar and friendly things which had long been unconsciously a part of him...  It was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome."

~Kenneth Graham
from the chapter Dulce Domum
The Wind in the Willows

Monday, October 14, 2019

Come on in...

and help me sew.

I have cleaned up the sewing room just for you.
 You can choose which machine you would like to use.
 The old White makes a beautiful stitch and has been
 electrified, so you won't have to wear yourself out
working the treadle.

Or, if you'd rather, the Bernina is cleaned and oiled and ready to go.
 She's a dandy and hardly ever misses a stitch.

We are sewing doll parts today, so we'll set the machines for a tiny stitch.
  If you are a quilter, you won't mind those little hands.

This old machine belonged to my grandmother.
 I am ashamed to tell you that it is my fault
 that she's no longer in working order.
 I'll never part with  her, though.

Sarah is one of the granddaughters' favorites.
When they come visiting, I can always tell that
they have played with her, for after they go home,
I usually find her slightly rearranged on her shelf
 in the old cabinet where she lives.*
 I think they like her best because she is dressed so fine.
 A good friend, coincidentally also named Sarah,
sent me vintage cloth for all her clothing.
 I especially liked the plaid trim.

*For some reason, since I made each of the girls
 a doll of their own and gave it to them last Christmas,
 they don't seem so keen on playing with the sewing room dolls. 
 I can't help wondering why...

I have vacuumed and dusted and rearranged,
sometimes tackling only one shelf or one drawer per day.
 Even the dolls needed a good dusting.
 However, now that the room is all organized and cleaned,
I am almost hesitant to mess it up again.

And, before you go, if you'd like, we can go walk the trail with Millie.
 We'll trek down to the pond where it's beginning to look more like fall.
 Now, that the weather has turned cooler,
 the leaves should start to change more quickly.
 Like Anne of Green Gables,
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Her Ladyship and Rosa...

Considering the popularity of this amazing woman, I can't help but wonder how it happened that I had never heard of Hannah Hauxwell.  But, I hadn't!  Not until, a blogger friend mentioned one of her books, "Seasons of My Life."  Now, here was a book that sounded right up my alley! Of course, I headed right over to Wikipedia and read, " Hannah Hauxwell (1 August 1926 - 30 January 2018) was an English farmer who was the subject of several television documentaries."

That very evening I watched "Too Long a Winter (1972," "A Winter Too Many (1980s) and "Hannah Hauxwell - Past & Present."  Oh, how I loved that dear woman just as millions of others around the world did after having watched these documentaries.  Her life had not been easy, and she had endured much over the years, yet she always seemed to keep a great spirit and to make the best of what she had. We all would do well with a good dose of Hannah Hauxwell from time to time.

I  think Hannah would be proud that I named these little cattle ladies (above) after some of her own cattle that came to mean so much to her through the years.  From left to right, there's Her Ladyship, Bunty, in the center, and sweet Rosa on the right.

 It is Rosa, Her Ladyship's daughter, I believe, that is pictured with Hannah on the book cover above.  It was also Rosa who furnished her with warm milk in the bitter cold winter of 1978 when everything in the house froze solid. (Even though, she says she's not that keen on milk.)

"It's my favorite place, here...down the new road through the iron gate.  I stand here and watch the seasons come and go.  At night the moonlight plays on Hunder Beck...and the waters sing a song to me...

I know this place will always be loyal to me.  If I have nothing in my pocket I will always have this.  They cannot take it away from me.  It's mine, mine for the taking, and always will be...even when I'm no longer here.  Of course, I suppose I shall have to leave here...sooner than later, I imagine.  It will not be an easy thing to do.  

But in years to come, if you see a ghost walking here you can be sure it will be me. "

                                                                                  ~Hannah Hauxwll

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

"Wild With Leaves"...

October 2018

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
~Anne of Green Gables 

October 2017


October 2018

Notes from last year's calendar page...

Looking back at last year's calendar page, I see that the first day of October didn't start out so well.  I had written, "We began the day in the vet clinic with our sick Millie.  Diagnosis:  Tick fever.  An anti-inflammatory injection had her up and about by the time we got home."

One week after Millie got sick, things seemed to be improving greatly.  "There were at least a half-dozen hummers here throughout the day.  We worked a bit in the new Shanty Garden before going for a Sunday drive to the mountain.  We took our lunch.  Millie is eating a lot now, so surely she is getting better.  She is barking at the coyotes as I write ~ sweet music!"

On the 13th, "We built our first fire of the season in the stove."  Then, I had added,  "This year may be remembered as the Year the Hummingbirds Stayed."  By the 15th, our high temperature for the day was only 48 degrees.  "It was a cold, damp walk over the hill, so I brought out the old green wool coat."

Our first frost was on the 21st.  "Two little hummers are still here!  They are going to freeze their tales off."  Then I seemed to be chastising myself for not getting more done.  " I blogged this morning - such a waste of time I guess, but it forces me to write, which is good.  I must get organized, clean up and get the Christmas dolls finished."  But, it seems I didn't take myself too seriously for I ended by writing, "We went walking, looking for ginseng on the hill.  Millie loved it."

It was not until the 23rd that the last two little hummers finally headed south,  "Another oh-so-lovely fall day. There were two little hummers here this morning and again just before dark.  One clinging to each of the two feeders, drinking long and hard as though their lives depended on it."

The next day, I concluded ~ "I hope the last two little hummers are faring well on their flight south. I saw no little hummers today.  Farewell and safe travels."


What is there not to love about October?  A friend of mine once said, "It's like every leaf is celebrating."  How sweet that is...   I think we shall be celebrating this glorious month right along with all those wonderful leaves.

Listen the wind is rising
And the air is wild with leaves
We have had our summer evenings
Now for October Eves!

~Humbert Wolfe

October 2017