Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day...

 It was a no-coat and  a no-hat kind of day.   There was just blissful sunshine and beautiful blue skies the whole day through.
I took advantage of it and caught up on some gardening chores that were needing to be done.  Then Millie and I took a nice long walk.  It was just the most perfect Leap Day ever!

It had been our intention forever so long to put up a new nesting box, our fifth one, which was a Christmas gift from one of our sons, so before day's end, we finally got it done.   There were several bluebirds around the place today, so hopefully there's a young pair near by that is looking for a fancy new apartment.

I put a lot of thought into choosing the best location for the box.   I knew  it would be best if the entrance hole faced east or northeast to prevent sunlight from shining directly into the hole and overheating the box interior.  Finally, the spot was chosen at the foot of an east facing hill that would be protected from the late afternoon sun.

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "An abode without birds is like meat without seasoning.  Such was not my abode, for I found myself suddenly neighbor to the birds; not by having imprisoned one, but having caged myself near them."  

An old box...always a favorite

While on the subject of birds, I will mention my frustration at not being able to get satisfactory photographs of the wild birds that habitat the ponds found here on the place.  They seem to pay no attention, whatsoever, to the cattle when they come to the ponds for water, and just go about their merry business as though all is well with their world.  But, with almost the first glimpse they have of me....whoosh!  Up and away they go.  Most of my pictures of the wild ducks and herons are certainly on the fly.

I mentioned this a few days ago to Dan, wondering why they are so afraid of me, but not of the cattle.  It's not like they have never seen me before, because I walk these trails every day.  He said, "Well, cattle don't shoot guns."  I quickly replied.  "Neither do I."

Is it possible that there really is something to genetic memory?  Can animals and people inherit memories from ancestors without having  had firsthand experience?  I Googled.

"Some psychologists, most famously Carl Jung, have theorized that we're born with the memories and experiences of our ancestors imprinted on our DNA.  We're not necessarily unlocking them, but it's possible that our most basic survival instincts might stem from some long ago trauma experienced by a dead relative."

"There's evidence in rodents that you can breed learning how to run a maze into the next generation.  If rodents find themselves in a certain maze, and their parents had learned some things about the maze, then the little rodents don't have to start from scratch when they learn to navigate it.  This at least shows that it is possible that you can have some memory in your genetic material and this material is carried on."

They don't fear Millie as much as they do me....guess her ancestors didn't carry a gun either.

News from the sewing room...

One of my previous sculpts

 Making five dolls at one time is proving to be a bit challenging.  I knew it would, especially with spring coming on.  I will just keep daubing along, and eventually maybe I can say...

"There's a little person in there.
That's what I am trying to do...
I am trying to bring that little person out.
It's just dying to be born...dying to be born...."

              ~Ralph and Mary Gonzales
              "Sculpting the Original Doll"

Thanks for stopping by,


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!


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!