Come sit on the porch awhile. Enjoy a glass of sweet iced tea as you peruse my thoughts, memories, dreams and images of family and friends - things trivial and not so trivial - past, present and future. I write and post for the simple pleasure of doing so. If you reap some small amount of pleasure from what you find here please come back again soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My heart is a chameleon

My heart is a it is blue...soaring with the hawk...up high, way above the tree tops, near the clear blue sky....calling to the wind, calling "Come wind, come lift me higher!" Lift me to where the dark emptiness is...and there I will spirit with you among the stars...for a short while.

My heart is a it is silver tipped brown grey white furry...eyes yellow shining in the dark...feet nimble running through the forests, muscles fleet leaping across green mossy logs...stopping now for cool clear gurgling moisture, lapping, lapping, silent soft air breathing hearing scenting...sustenance is near.

My heart is a chameleon...tonight with my own kind it is aggressive blood red lust ripping tearing...merciful death lighting quick neck gushing exposed silent...we eat we live we love we birth we are family...souls free of sin natural surviving...ebbing flowing through winters white and summers green...leave us to our world...we are we are we are wolf.

My heart is a it is light wispy white...a wish simply a be free of burdens dark grey naked worry more no soul struggles and will be free...and I will run through the dark forests gladly and drink the clear waters with great thirst and eat raw and live free...and be at last who I truly am.

A Few Very Short Stories By Me

~ Momma? I'm busy! What do you want? Nothing. Ever.

~ Mommy? Yes honey? Laptime story. Bread burns. Oh well.

~ Rocky waits at the door. I come home soon.

~ Rocky waits at the door. I come home sooner...or later. Tail wags always.

~ Rocky stretches, yawns, wags. We go walking now.

~ Crawls under bed. Warm water waits. Where's Rocky?

~ We're busy ma'am, what do you want? Nothing.

~ We're busy ma'am, what do you want? I'll come back. Not!

~ Google search: "Bible Women". Gyrating hips. Ignore ads. Can't do that. Goes outside to garden.

~ Dot, dot, dot. Why do you always say that? I don't know, they're just fun...

~ "Oakes grow tall. Muscadines vine around branches. Bees hide honey in hollows." Big hand holds little hand. Grandpa loves me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A moment shared between friends

Don't know who they are nor where they are, I just know they are the best of friends. And while walking on a beach somewhere, in a time past, they are sharing memories, telling funny stories and just being there for each other.
This is why I love collecting old photos. They tell wonderful stories without using words.
I paid all of two bucks for the original 8X10 framed print. What a bargain! And it is one of my very favorties!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy 98th Walter!

My father-in-law turned 98 today.
He was totally blinded in both eyes by two different coal mining cave-ins some 56 years ago. Despite this "handicap" he was able to support his family by farming, and raising first chickens, then cattle. With that and the miner's pension he eventually got, he made a decent living.
He was a hard working and thrifty man and lived on his own after loosing his lovely wife (my wonderful 'Jewel' of a mother-in-law) up until just a few short years ago.
He remains strong in some ways but is now unable to walk and spends all of his days in a chair at the nursing home. He can’t watch television or read books so he dreams of days gone by and, not surprisingly, talks about working mules, killing hogs, and clearing land.
People who actually take the time to spend time with him can learn a lot from him. For instance, I now know step-by-step how to butcher a hog and that might come in handy one of these days.
He doesn't have a lot of visitors. My husband goes at least every other day, more often if needed, and I usually go with him on Saturday or Sunday. Trips to visit him are not always is a nursing home after all and life there is, well, not good to say the least. Most of the patients are sad and lonely, including him, and the sense of helplessness and hopelessness is overwhelming. But still, I and others like me, should visit him more often.
He is a remarkable man who has lived a remarkable life. He has certainly earned his keep. But now he only waits on death in a lonely place filled with strange noises, smells and people - a very big deal for a independent blind man who is used to ‘feeling’ his way around in his own home.

Walter, you don’t know it but you are on my mind this evening. And I’m wishing for you busy dreams to get you through the long days ahead and sweet dreams to get you through the nights. Push those nightmares you were telling me about aside and know that your home in heaven awaits. We are selfish and want to keep you around forever but we also know that better things are coming for you. How else can we live with how you’re living now but to know it will get better for you someday?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cookies, Cookies...More Cookies, Please

Recently, while prowling through a local thrift store, I found this great little vintage 'Cooky Book' and decided it will be well worth my time to try out some, if not all, of the recipes. Following the well written and illustrated recipes is easy and all of the batches that I've turned out thus far have been gobbled up without complaint or prejudice.
Next week's plan was to finish work on my studio - moving some things to storage, installing the last bit of insulation, putting in some sort of ceiling panels...flooring...underpinning...sounds like a lot of work but it's not a very big studio so one beautiful week should get me there. But the one hitch in my plan is the weather. If the forecasters are correct we will have cold rain every day except Saturday, which is of course my day to work at my "real job". So maybe tomorrow I'll pick another recipe or two and make more cookies. Besides, I have a friend with MS who really needs cookies from time to time and now just might be one of those times.

The "Peanut Butter Cookies" recipe (shown above) also calls for honey and brown sugar and they are deliciously different. 
Quartered gumdrops (below) are needed for the "Jeweled Cookies". These little treats are very chewy but also very tasty!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Looking out the back door...

New Neighbors Moving In?

If all the beast were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man...Chief Seattle

This Red Wolf at the Chattanooga Nature Center is part of a national reintroduction program.

Looking out the back door a couple weeks back, I saw a large coyote emerging from the woods and crossing our property.
Having just let Rocky, our new Schnauzer pup, out for a potty break and knowing that 'yotes are known to snack on small house pets I shot out the back door, called Rocky to me and loudly hollered "Get out of here!" at the trespassing canid.
Unfazed and unafraid, he stopped and casually looked in my direction then went on his way. Easily hopping across the pasture fence, he ambled down to the pond, sniffed around the banks then slowly left the property, giving me one last casual glance as he went.
Typically the 'yotes around here are out hunting from dusk until dawn but this was my second sighting of one crossing our property in the daylight hours. I've also seen a large one on a nearby farm - one Sunday morning being chased out of the pasture by an angry Holstein cow.
I have since found coyote tracks around our house in the snow. Some were a mere 2 to 3-feet from the front porch, the backyard gate and even on the carport. They may have been looking for the stray cat that's been hanging around or possibly planning a meal of the wild rabbits and field mice that also frequent our yard. But my greatest fear was that they were anticipating a 'snatch and grab' on a certain vulnerable little wiry haired pup that, when he was tiny, had to go pee pee several times a night.

Picture worth a thousand words: An urban coyote, in desperate need of a meal, makes off with someone's little pet.

Watching and learning...
I love watching wildlife and you might say I make a habit of studying their habits.
Coyotes are among the critters that fascinate me. Throughout the ages other species have fallen victim to man's dominance over the environment and simply ceased to exists, failing to adapt and survive. Coyotes, on the other hand, have not only survived they have thrived. By moving into our neighborhoods and observing and learning from our habits they have adapted their own habits and developed amazing survival skills.

Example of the coyote's creative survival skills. Riding does beat walking, right?

A coyote and red wolf hybrid in the wild.

Recently I watched an interesting show on Nat Geo about the first killing in recorded history of an adult human by coyotes. It happened in late 2009 in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada, when a 19 year old folk singer was attacked by two unusually large coyotes while she hiked along a well populated trail. The aggressive coyotes were later hunted down and destroyed by wildlife officers who knew they had the right animals because one had been shot at the scene while it stood guard over the seriously injured woman. Only after being shot and wounded did it flee the area allowing rescuers to start medical treatment. In spite of their best efforts the victim died a few hours later, having sustained massive injuries and substantial blood loss. During necropsy of the animals human remains were found in the stomach of the second coyote.
During the subsequent investigation of the incident, DNA testing showed the coyotes to be wolf hybrids thus partially explaining their large size, aggression and lack of fear as they attacked the young woman in broad daylight in a place frequented by hundreds of humans each year.
"It's very unusual and is not likely to be repeated," said Bob Bancroft, a retired wildlife biologist with Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources. "We shouldn't assume that coyotes are suddenly going to become the big bad wolf."

Coywolf: Smart and wily as "regular" coyote...wise and proficient as a wolf.

I have since learned the coyote/wolf crossover is not a new phenomenon. It's likely that the interbreeding of the two canid species occurred decades ago as coyote populations expanded their western range into areas of northeastern America and southeastern Canada and the endangered Red Wolf populations dwindled. The mix has been somewhat advantageous to what is now known as the "Eastern Coyote" that heavily populates that part of the country. They are bigger, stronger and wiser than their western cousins...although I must say it was not very wise of the two rogues to kill a human.
Coywolves, as they are unofficially called, now reportedly inhabit most if not all northeastern states and their ranges are ever expanding. I'm wondering how long it will be before testing shows we have them here? If they're really smart, they'll keep it on the down low, stay out of the light and stick to eating wild game like rabbit and venison. Having taken on the wolf pack characteristic of cooperative hunting, the bigger guys have no problem pulling down grown deer and there are reports of them taking grown cattle as well. They have been touted for helping to keep deer populations under control and chastised for taking man's domestic animals.
I've often heard people say, "We've got to get rid of them (coyotes)!" Well guess what folks, that ain't likely to happen. The battle against this "pest" will go on and on. Drop him off a cliff, blow up his den with dynamite, slam him with a truck and he'll simply pop right back up and do what he has to do to survive. The only thing missing is the "Beep, Beep!" as he heads off down the road, blowing dust in our face as he goes. Whether you like him or not, you've got to respect that kind of tenacity. And we best watch and and learn.

Interesting Sidebar (but gruesome image):

JEFFERSON CITY Mo – DNA tests show that the 104-pound canine above, shot by a hunter in Carroll County on Nov. 13, 2010, was an unusually large coyote, according to authorities there. But experienced hunters who have encountered and killed hundreds of coyote argue that this is no pure blood coyote and some even go so far as to accuse authorities of lying about the DNA test results. They think it is actually either a coyote/wolf (coywolf) or coyote/dog (coydog) hybrid.
Research has shown that the "Eastern Coyote" which now populates eastern Canada and much of northeastern United States all carry wolf DNA and are indeed "Coywolves". They are said to be much larger than Western Coyotes and more aggressive and, while being wary, are generally unafraid of humans. Their territory is ever expanding and they inhabit all areas without discretion - large cities, towns, farms, and subdivisions - that offer prey and/or scavenged food sources in abundance.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Promises, Promises

Today, as has been the case in the many days passed, I promised myself to start blogging again.
No matter who or what is hollering, "Me Next!" the loudest. And so here I am, in our home office with the door closed while my husband entertains - by himself this time - his son and two year old granddaughter that just dropped by unexpectedly.
They'll be okay without me. They've found themselves something to eat and drink. And I hear a little small voice saying Papaw this and Papaw that. She probably prefers that I am not hovering over her making sure everything is okay.
I can also hear through the door that she is giving her dad the run around. He's saying "Lena no, Lena come here, Lena don't do that," and "Lena if you really don't have to poop this time you're in trouble!"
 And then she wimpers the little wimper that says but daddy you love me cause I'm so cute. And he picks her up and says, "Ohhhh, Lena" then laughs when she answers, "Zip it." Some day that little quip won't be as cute as it was today.
Well it's a start - this little bit of nonsense. What can I say at least I am blogging again, just like I promised myself.
And I'll be back soon...I promise you. There's good old porch stuff to share and some stuff that isn't on the porch but might make you wish you were, he, he, ha,
For now I must go. My daughter is having a get together afterwhile- tacos at her house - and I get to see the other two year old, plus the pre-teen, plus the 21 year old and maybe even the boyfriend. Well...I do love tacos!