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[Photo from US Geological Survey website]

There were turkey vultures roosting in our TREES !  Apparently these birds do bird things – shake their feathers, move their feet………you know, just bird things. 

At night.

In the trees overhead.

That my dogs sat and listened to…….and didn’t agree with.  So, they barked.  And barked.  And HOWLED……………..all night long…………..

So, you see, I have an Anatolian shepherd.  I got her so she could be our herd protector.  Dairy goats.  Only problem with that was that she is terrified of goats.  Completely terrified,pee on the floor, turn into a flat whimpering mass of 150 pound dog.  Not a really pretty sight as you may imagine.  So, she lives the life of our yard dog, along with Molly our Collie mix dog.  They are worth their weight in gold.  They have alerted me to strangers on the property.  In cars across the street.  When people walk past or ride their bikes down the street.  They let me know when raccoons or skunks or stray cats are marauding.  They tell me when there is a loose horse or goat.  They even went through a period of time that they would not tolerate my son riding his bicycle…..took a page from the dog whisperer on that, and they don’t care now 🙂

Anyway, back to the vultures.  When I went outside early there they were….just sitting there, fluffing their feathers.  Not that they look menacing or anything, they are after all just big birds that have a vital role in the world…..  They next flew carefully to the fenceline behind our place.  There they sat until the sun was higher in the sky.  Then they began the process of standing up tall, spreading their wings out and warming up.  It is my understanding of these birds that since so much of their time is spent gently floating on the air currents, they spend the time warming their feathers so they can just be soft pliable feathery clouds………since they find their food by smell, it gives them somewhere to search from I suppose – vs sitting in a tree somewhere 🙂

Birds birds everywhere, much to the dogs dismay. Now it is morning. And now it is quiet – of course.

On last Thursday morning, I looked out the window to see the first white crowned sparrow of the year.  A bit larger than the normal house sparrow, with a distinctive white marking on its head.   The image above is from www.whatbird.com  .  Lovely.  The lilac trees host a variety of birds each year, and this is getting to be the busy time of year for them.  I have hanging feeders in the trees that I keep full all winter.  Two bird baths that I fill each morning with quite warm water, depending on the weather.  Birds are a gift, and I am always happy to see them. 

Have paperwork issues to get ironed out, and hungry critters to feed. Enjoy your day and stay safe please !

Sunrise hunter

Sunrise hunter

This has been a long week.  Through a lot of stuff, but what is important is this.  My sister will be ok, off to acute neuro rehab on Monday……..they will send her close to home to be rehabbed.  We spoke to her on the phone tonight, and her voice is strong now.  She is doing better each day, but it will take work to get back to normal activities I am told.  Time frame is unknown, but the important thing is that she is getting the care she needs to get back to her life. 

Hot today, weather is supposed to change mid week.  Soon there will be freezing temps and I will roll up the hoses and store them until I use them, then drain them and store them until the next time.  THAT I won’t miss once we do move……..only once do you use a hose in the freezing temps we have – and forget to take it off the hose bib……..or forget to drain it………does not happen twice I tell you.  Why would that matter you say (the Southern California folks no doubt – we came from there originally, and that would be MY thoughts you see), well it is like this.  While we have “frost free” hose bibs, what that does mean is that with no hose attached, the hose bib drains all the water in it after it is turned off.  BUT if a hose is attached, well, it does not drain away.  It freezes in the pipe in the wall, and once it UN freezes, wallah !  Broken pipe under the sink !  Like I said, it only happens ONCE.  

There are two types of weather here, it is either freezing, and all the windows are closed for six months, or they are wide open with cool or hot weather  for six months.  It is beautiful and interesting here, but I long for the ocean.  Being on our vacation was absolute heaven.  The photo ops were to die for……never have I had such good film, er, files.  ** Sighs**  When it happens, it will be sweet.  The big bird above was one of seventeen I counted that morning 🙂  Just beautiful.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend !

Morning beauty

Morning beauty

It is amazing to me that some people can still get through each day.  They would truly die in the wild – a friend of mine once said that “human beings are the only species that the unfit, brainless and just plain useless can not only survive, but breed more of themselves”.  How very true. 

Am I having an anti-people day ?  Oh yes indeedy I am.  Suffice it to say, thanks to a good friend of my sisters,  we are on track once again.  OMG.  I can’t even contemplate this any longer.  On to more pleasant things, ok ?  Like the photo above.    Ahhhhh.  Nothing like early morning on the Puget Sound.  Breathe in, out and r – e – l – a – x  …………………….sigh.  All this stress and no caffeine.  What was I thinking 🙂   Best get to the things at hand, hope you all are having a nice day, wherever you are !

 
Some things are very orderly.....
Some things are very orderly…..

Life is no so much orderly as it is a rhythm of things.  Seasons, cycles, whatever you think of it as.  I was looking through some excellent Native American quotes – it makes my head spin to think of what was done to them as a whole, much less individually. 

These are the words of White Elk…..

 “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.

Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”

 Very well said.

My sister is on the improve – still waiting to hear what timeframe she may be facing as to discharge to a rehab facility.  Will get more info once a doctor finds the time to call me back………very frustrating being so far from where she is now.  500 miles, might as well be a million.  We will all get through this, and we will help her as much as we can. 

After our near miss last week, a close friend having a collision soon after, then my sister over the weekend, EVERYONE be careful out there ! 

 

Lovely flower baskets by the marina in Port Orchard

Lovely flower baskets by the marina in Port Orchard

Be it flowers, like the ones above, planted  for Cedar Cove days………or a new four legged friend………

Max, such a great little dog !

Max, such a great little dog !

Or the beauty of the love of family.  Tonight, I am asking that you will send positive thoughts, prayers, jingles, whatever you believe in – to my sister Lisa, who crashed her motorcycle while racing Sunday.  She is in the hospital and we are still waiting for some answers and test results.  Looking better tonight, so hang tough kiddo !  Love to you !

Thanks everyone, more blogging soon !

Looking to the skies from deck

Looking to the skies from deck

No, I never took that class. 

Money has never been a need for me aside from having the essentials taken care of.   I went from working odd jobs, working at the racetrack with the horses, to managing a successful company.  In my infinite wisdom of youth, I didn’t save money.  If I came across someone who needed it more than I did, easy decision, I gave them what they needed.  Not difficult.  Just the right thing to do.  In school, I never was a clothing label oriented person.  (In fact I was a social outcast, known as the girl with frizzy hair, glasses and braces.  I absolutely hated school.  Got out as soon as I could, and never looked back)  Anyway, I have been thinking about how we are surviving in this economy now.  I am working on my writing career.  I know I can do it, doors are opening and I am spending each spare minute writing.  I have known a wide variety of people, from all walks of life.  Single, big families, older folks.  Money does not do it, that is, it can buy things, but as we have always heard (and rightly so), money does not buy happiness.  You can buy things for people that can make them happy, and for me the happiness lies in the buying FOR someone.  I love to give.  I am crummy at being on the receiving end – if I really need something, I will buy it, but I have a much better time shopping or searching for online and obtaining something for someone.    That is just how I am wired.

Our close call day before yesterday gives me once again the flush of being grateful – for being on this side of the dirt per se.    I look forward to moving one day – we will enjoy being closer to shopping, the arts, friends.  For me though, it all comes down to being happy that I had one more day here.  Looking forward, enjoying tomorrow no matter what it holds.

Time to get busy with dinner, have a nice evening !

We are all fine.  Yesterday was a close call though……….Accidents are called that because they ARE just that.  Unintended events, sometimes producing property damage or personal injury.  In the last few years, my truck has suffered several accidents…….a deer hit us one evening coming home from town……That was wasn’t funny, the truck got damaged, and mom and I were not happy  (not to mention the poor yearling buck)……I don’t recommend that. 

Then, the low hanging limb on the tree in front, that hung over the driveway for six years fell at 4:30 one  morning ……and almost crushed the cab.  It fell partially, I heard it, ran outside just KNOWING that was the noise, grabbed my keys, jumped in the passenger side door, started the truck and gunned it out from under the branch – which promptly fell the rest of the way.  Dumb on my part ? Of course.  It did however save my truck.  Geez, I NEED that truck !  So, when I had the distinct feeling that I should not drive my truck into the city yesterday with mom for her doctor check up……I left it at home.  On a normal day, given the option of driving the truck or the van, the truck would win every time.  I even told it that it had to stay home because (and I did tell it this, out loud :)) that I didn’t want it to get in a wreck.  So, in driving yesterday, we had a very VERY close call…….and the minivan proved it was worth it’s keep – it quite literally danced out of harm’s way, with my help.  There was this guy who had made a dive into the lane next to us up ahead,  but to his bad luck, that lane stopped cold. I could see that we were going to collide….. He realized it too, then at the last second, and began to swerve back, and he saw us…..and I jerked out of the way, having just looked and seen that the car to our left had moved into the next lane….the minivan did a jig, we heard the tires chirp, and with one swerve to the left, avoided the car we were suddenly on track to hit, and one strong move to the right to straighten us out……we sailed on past and went on about our business, albeit a bit shakily.  We are both sore, mom from jerking one way, then the other:  me from trying to lift the van with the steering wheel out of the way….That was definitely the closest call I have ever had at freeway speed.  

Yesterday morning, when I appeared at mom’s without the truck, she asked why.  I told her I just knew  I needed to leave it at home and drive the van.  If I had been in the truck, the length and stiffness would have never gotten us out of harm’s way in time.  God bless the minivan !  After that, I don’t think the truck minded being left at home !!!  I know I was much relieved………..that was way too close !

In the blink of an eye our lives can change – I am just so happy that van can dance !

Such vastness......like our lives

Such vastness......like our lives

And even more, how do we package it for the future generation ???  In thinking about what my son knows, or does not know in the realm of family history – it occurred to me that I will really have to do a good job of it to write it all down for him.  In the last 20 or so years, we have lost the vast majority of our family members to the great beyond.  There are a few of us left – my mom, sister, my son.  A cousin and a great aunt, her husband and daughters – none of whom we really have any relationship with at all.  There just isn’t anyone left to tell the stories my Pop told about his life in Pennsylvania, his  Army days, his life as a offset print business owner – his stories were virtually limitless.  How to get it all down for my son……..thankfully he knew Pop and they were great together.  I hope I can put together enough of a compilation for him to carry him forward into his own life, knowing his family history and stories.  My Pop passed in 2000, and my son’s father in 2004.  There is so much that I would like for my son to hear about……..I can see hours on the computer tucked into the corner of the living room with the wood stove going…….snow falling…..snowplows and sand trucks going past……all while I go back in time and put it down for him. 

 I only hope I can do a good job of it – as I know it won’t be an easy task.

I branched out on one of my books today – completing backstory and fleshing things out that needed, well fleshing out.  Carol and I are going to the Surrey Writers Conference in BC in October – and I have to bring some good stuff with me !!!!!

I find it interesting the things that people remember about their lives – the things that are most important to them, are not the obvious things to the casual observer  – perhaps sometimes, but the emotion, the memories lie in what  the heart remembers.  It is the little details  in our lives that can be the most important down the line – for me, when Pop was failing, at the last of it, when shopping for food, that week in April, I happened to see a quarter of a watermelon.    Now that stuff, Pop could eat tons of.  We hadn’t seen it since summer, and there it was, cut, priced and ready.  It was too early for locally grown stuff,  it was sheer chance I even looked that day.  I picked it up and brought it home.  The last morning we had together I remembered the watermelon in there , and went and got it out of the fridge.  I said to him “you will never guess what I have here for you !”  and brought it out to him at the table.  He was delighted !  He must have eaten half of that piece – it was perfect.  He had his bit of cereal, his watermelon, did the crossword puzzle, and that was the last conversation we had.  While tears still stream down my face while recalling this, I am smiling – so much joy from that watermelon, and almost as importantly, I REMEMBERED it was there for him !!!!!!   It is a good thing because I would not have had the happy recollection I do today otherwise.  He was the best Pop anyone could have, and we were so lucky to have him in our family.  It is what the memories leave as an imprint- the love that is left in our heart from what can be the simplest of things. 

Enjoy each day, and remember, the little details can be the sweetest !

First photo at dawn

First photo at dawn

I have carried a camera a lot in my life.  To special family gatherings, to the racetrack, in the car (just in case you know).   I have always enjoyed taking photos.  Never took any classes, just enjoyed doing what I do.  The photo above was the first of a series of shots I took at dawn a day into our stay in Port Orchard, WA.  The amazing quality of light, the difference in the water’s texture minute to minute all culminated into  a joyous time for me out there clicking away happily.

Dawn from the beach house

Now this photo was something.  Note the light pink of the rays of sunlight in the upper right side………just so delicate and really breathtaking to me.  I continue to be amazed at the camera I am using – it is a Kodak DX6490 and it is really doing a great job for me.  It is funny, sometimes I see a shot coming, and it is all I can do not to screw up the actual taking of that frame.  That was the case with this photo, I was just crossing my fingers I didn’t botch it.  I didn’t and I am so glad !

 
Here is something you don't see too often....

Here is something you don't see too often....

 The oddities of the past and the present in one shot.  The ferry to Seattle from Bremerton sailing on it’s way……..and the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain were in the beginning stages of their mock battle off Bainbridge Island.

We are settling in at home once again, but our memories of our wonderful vacation are to be treasured forever.  We stayed in a lovely house, we visited with wonderful friends, we met new friends and overall just enjoyed the heck out of our time there in Washington. Thank you all !