Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Yesterday, I happened to look out of the window to see my ninety-four year old Mom, working in her shop. I thought she was working on her latest project, a bamboo flute, but she was sorting out sheet music from a storage box. Her drill press is in the background and her radial arm saw is outside, a whitish canvas covered shape in the lower left corner.
She hasn't made much furniture since she turned ninety, but she made rocking chairs and swings among other things, for all of us when she was in her eighties. I'll post pix of some of her projects one of these days.
My Mom recently gave up driving and losing that part of her independence has been hard on her.
Her secret for longevity? Good genes for one, but she's always taken good care of herself. She's taken vitamins for as long as I can remember and she's always exercised. Much of that exercise has stemmed from just plain hard work, but she still walks every day. Her motto is, if it can be done, she can do it. She has an insatiable gusto for life and always has a project going.
At night, I look down from my window to see her light shining bright in the otherwise unbroken darkness as she sits reading with her little dog Sadie at her feet. When the light goes out, I know she's tucked herself away in the same little bed she slept in as a girl.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
For the sixteen years E. and I lived in Chino Valley, a rural community about fifteen miles north of Prescott, we grew vegetables in a huge garden plot. Each autumn found us busy canning and freezing just about every vegetable you can think of.
We pickeled cucumbers and beets, tried our hand at sauerkraut, and one time...one time only.......made some horseradish. It was an overpowering experience. Tears streamed from our eyes. Near to unconsciousness from the overpowering fumes, we gasped, "Never! Absolutely, never, ever again!"
One of the reasons we chose the One Acre Wood as our home when we moved to the big city of Prescott was the old garden plot, a flat sunny area in about the center of the acre. For ten years or so, we gardened here and continued to preserve much of our own food.
Fresh summer tomatoes mean a lot to me, so now that our well no longer produces enough water for indulging full scale vegetable gardening, I grow two tomato plants in half-whiskey barrels each year. Although these plants aren't as productive as tomato plants grown in rich garden soil, I'm always rewarded with some home grown tomatoes. Early Girl is not the biggest tomato, but as the name implies, an early tomato for our short growing season. And here's the first ripe tomeato of the year!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
A cool breeze stirs the pines, and slides slyly past to conjure in me some primitive excitement..an almost overwhelming need to....to.......to be off .. following in it's wake....yes...to fly away.
Although I love geese and sometimes I'm as silly as one, I'm not equipped to migrate. From where does this vague sense of unease, arive to plague me each autumn? And why? Will they someday define some gene as the one passed on to me from my nomadic ancestors? Like Mole and Mr. Toad from Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows, I'm ripe for change and adventure.
A head count confirmed that the Cooper's Hawk was unlucky with it's chicken hunting. It hung around for a couple of hours before departing on other business. Chickens are not as dumb as people think they are.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
For anyone who wants to see the best Hawk Moth shot yet, go over to Arizona Babylon,
Friday, August 17, 2007
Taking a break from black and white......
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I have to get all these skunk stories out of my system!
Long, oh, so long ago, Eeyore was maried to someone else. I'll call her R. She was a pixie-like charmer who considered herself a great authority on animals and was, indeed, an animal lover.
This created a problem for them as they lived in Chino Valley, about sixteen miles to the north, and they were in route to Bagdad about fifty miles to the west.
As the skunk bumbled about in the back of their truck, they debated their course of action.
Just around the corner, on Iron Springs Road, Prescott Animal Hospital existed in approxomately the same spot that it does today. They decided to leave the skunk there since, at that time, that's where the dog pound was located. Surely, anyone seeking a lost pet would check with the pound first. If it was not claimed, they would take it as a pet for themselves.
At the Animal Hospital, R., carrying the skunk by the tail, plunked it on the counter. The Veterinarian on duty that day, a kind man and excellent Vet., now retired, was dubious about taking the skunk, but they persuaded him, saying that they would stop back to pick it up. He found a box and R. picked up the skunk and placed it in the box.
Saying their goodbyes, they headed out the door as the good Dr. carried the box back to the impound area. When he entered the impound area all the dogs started barking. Immediately, that horrible, pervasive odor of spraying skunk poured forth. Looking at one another in shocked surprise, E. and R. made an instant decision.
"Sorry, Doc," they called as they beat their cowardly retreat.
It is to that Veterinarian's credit that he seemed never to hold a grudge, and continued caring for all of E.'s animals until his retirement.
People used to have the scent gland removed from baby skunks and raise them as pets, but I believe that's now, against the law.
That's my favorite funny skunk story. Stay tuned for a grim look at the part skunks played in the settlement of Prescott.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I have quite a bit more to say about skunks including E's method of skunk disposal, but it can wait until next post.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I moved from town to town and school to school too much to form lasting friendships until I was in the eighth grade and settled down to finish school here in Prescott. Maybe that's the reason I've enjoyed watching the friendship between my Granddaughters, cousins Piglet and Mu, as it continues to grow and mature over the years.
When they were four or five years old I ran across this little poster. It could be P. and M. walking hand in hand on the beach, and when I see it ......it is.
They took to the water together..........
learned to ride horseback together............
made beautiful music together...................
and today, they spend as much time as possible together,
always including Mu's little sister Roo in their activities, but Roo is ten
while they are TEENAGERS......
I love the idea that each of these girls will always have a special friend,
one who understands and cares about her, who will listen to her,
and with whom she can share her triumphs, tribulations, and just plain everyday life.