Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Witching hour(s)

There is a moment at dusk when an ethereal veil hangs over the earth, just as the sun is slipping below the horizon. The sky glows and it is difficult to tell what causes the glow - is it leftover light of the sun or the new moon rising? The woodland creatures whisper and the darkness quells them to "hush."

I try to keep my eyes on Chelsea, to make certain that she is performing the task which is the reason for our presence outdoors at this hour, but I cannot help but glimpse about - searching for the glow of the [yellow] eyes that I know are upon me.

The same moment repeats again at dawn. It is not quite light, the woods are alive with twitters, now. There is an excitement in the air as the woods come to life, awakening to a new day. The cracking and popping sounds are more deliberate now as the creatures awaken to greet one another.

These are the wonderful moments that I had forgotten. I camp and hike and canoe and backpack. I am familiar with woodland creatures, listening and watching. What is easy to forget is that it is there - just outside of our door. A few feet beyond the edge of the carport - near to the edge of the woods. Just behind the woodpile, they lurk. And the hour at the end of the day and the beginning of the day are magical ones.

Last night, I stood holding Chelsea's leash and I thought of one of my favorite excerpts from Marilynn Robinson's Housekeeping. I wanted to include the quote, but I seem to have loaned out my copy. The sisters have stayed out too late and decide to build a make shift hut to sleep in. One of the sisters slips out in the middle of the night while the moon is high and she hears the whispers and twitters and the eyes upon her. As I read the passage I thought I, too have experienced this. Usually, during some outdoor adventure. Now, because of my new furry child, I can experience it every day. And it is wonderful.

Remind me that I said that when it is pouring down rain, snowing or icy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What a good baby!

Friday night, we met Sylvia and hubby in Bedford. Sylvia loves her dogs so much, she stood there holding Chelsea as if she didn't want to let her go. Finally, she handed her to me. I held her in my lap on the way home and this is what she did, promptly. Basically, she died. She is such a baby, she just falls over and sleeps very soundly. Doug & I sat in the kitchen and I said "well, this is boring, I think I want a different puppy." Then she came to life and we had some fun in the driveway with her, playing chase.
This is as far as she would go on the steps. Which is fine, because we tried to keep her contained in the kitchen for awhile.
On Saturday morning, we took her to farmer's market. Actually, we took her to the edge of farmer's market and took turns going in. Dogs aren't allowed. You see people with dogs at farmer's market, but they aren't supposed to be there.
There was a steady stream of children and adults, all wanting to pet and coo over her. That is why I wanted to take her along. So that she will become socialized enough that she won't nip anyone later on. One woman came up to Doug and said "now, be sure you take this dog home and give her a cool bath!"
We did give her water in the van in a frisbee and she got in the water, so I think she was o.k. We went to a festival at Barry's church, and one man went and got Chelsea a cup of ice water and even tore the cup down several inches so she could drink from it.
We had the most wonderful weekend. On Friday night, the Swingrays were playing on Kirkwood, a street concert and Doug wanted to go. But, once we picked Chelsea up, he thought we should just stay home with her and so he made frozen pizza and he watched the Olympics. When we put her in her kennel she whined for a short time. She was up at 4:20 to potty. Then yesterday, she was up at 5:40. Laura called from Greece and woke me at 8:50. She said "it is 8:50, time to get up!" I said "I pulled puppy duty at 5:40, don't I get any credit for that?"
Yesterday we picked up four large bags of Miracle-Gro flower and vegetable soil and two large bags of mulch. I wanted to get it spread in the full sun garden. I first put Chelsea's lead out near the drive. She promptly got herself tangled behind a bush. That was fun getting her out of there. Then, I staked her out in the grass and she whined and cried until she fell asleep in the grass while I worked. Then, I wanted to clean up some of the car port and I fastened her lead to the basketball goal. She promptly got herself stuck behind the wood pile, another fun time for me, getting her out of there. Then, I attached her lead to one of the posts on the carport and she finally fell asleep. Last night, she slept through the night! What a good baby.
I am so sore from working in the garden that I can barely sit today. I'm very sore down the back of my legs. I bought another Echinacea, a beautiful yellow, orange hue from the hot flower man at farmer's market. We also bought two more hostas and another ground cover plant which I need to get set out tonight. True to my word, I've continued to buy and plant. The gym is closed this week, but I continue to get a work out.
It was a wonderful weekend. Very restful. This little dog is a joy. She makes us laugh. She has three toys that are small enough for her to play with (the others are bigger than she is) she pounces on her bunny and shakes her head side to side. Awfully fierce for a three pound puppy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Like sands through the hour glass"

For years, I was a "Days of our Lives" fan. My life revolved around that show. Which is hard to imagine now, because I rarely watch t.v. This was in my "ladies who lunch" days, when I was at home. I watched Days of our Lives so much that when Laura was born and the music would come on, she would look up and around. She recognized the music that she had heard when I carried her in my womb!
I have been feeling like these are the days of our lives. My dear friend, Cynthia Cora Owens passed away on August 5. I didn't find out in time to go to the service. Her death hit me really hard. I hate death. Hate the finality of it. Like flipping a light switch, one minute, the light is on, the next it has gone out. Cindy and I became friends in the Smokies, years ago. I didn't have much experience, we were out on a very long hike and on a river crossing, my feet got wet. I was muddling through, downcast, when Cindy asked if there were anything she could do for me. My feet were wet and I was miserable. I was truly worried that hypothermia might set in. I told her how bad I felt and she her face brightened. She told me that she had a pair of dry socks in her pack. They were dirty, but dry. I happily pulled them on and completed the hike. We became friends because she loaned her dirty socks to me. Through the years, we mostly kept touch via email. Last May, when I graduated from Ball State, she made a donation to Gleaner's Food Bank in my honor. And she also sent a Willow statue of an angel with her face turned up, her arms outstretched and blue birds sitting on her arms. I remember I wept as I opened the package. Cindy had very lovingly wrapped it for me. She had dealt with Cancer for many years, but her death was still sudden and unexpected. She was 61. It wasn't so long ago that she forwarded a funny email to me. I miss her.
Originally, we were going to be gone over Labor Day weekend, and now Laura is coming home and so we are going to bring Chelsea home sooner than we thought. I'm very excited but keep thinking "am I ready?" If anyone has any last minute puppy mom advice for me, I would love to hear from you.
I am also ready to buy a new camera. I think I am leaning towards a Nikon D40. I need to get to the camera shop to see what they have to say. Again, I appreciate any and all advice that you have to share with me.
I'm busy cleaning the house, getting ready to bring Chelsea home. Also, want the house shining for Laura. I can't wait for both!
"Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of our lives."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chelsea the Pembroke Corgi at Six Weeks

Here we are at the farm, last night. It is located between Bedford and Mitchell, off of 50 West. It is a beautiful drive.

Chelsea with sibs. She is the one in the middle and objectively, I believe she is the most handsome.

Aw, don't you love that little face?
(Hers, not mine!)

WOOK at the wittle puppy!
Oh my goodness.
So, yeah, I'm in love already and we haven't even brought her home yet. We were there for quite awhile. Sylvia (the breeder/farm wife woman) didn't seem to mind. She seemed to enjoy the time we were there almost as much as we did. I have to say that Sylvia seems to genuinely love the animals that she cares for.
One of Chelsea's sisters was a crazy girl last night. She is being adopted by a woman who is going to show her and run her in obstacle courses. Seems she might be the right dog for that. Sylvia kept saying "She is going to be a star!" Chelsea is quiet and docile. For now, anyway. That is fine with me. We still won't bring her home for a few weeks. I can't wait!

Monday, August 11, 2008

"We'll sleep when we are dead"

Past weekend: Friday after work, going away party for Angela C. at Upland's with my law peeps. I didn't stay too late because Doug's brother Paul and family were coming to visit on Saturday. I rushed home to mop my white kitchen floor, finish tidying up and tried to get to bed at a decent hour. We met them at Farmer's Market on Saturday morning.
Doug and Paul took Dylan and Skye canoeing and out to Patton Cave. Michele and I started at Relish and hit shops all the way up to Urban Outfitter's near the Sample Gates. It was a long walk back to the car. We love Paul & Michele and truly enjoy the boys. Dylan is starting first grade this week. He is sensitive and intelligent, loves Food Network and cooking. Skye is two and says absolutely everything. His favorite item seems to be a flashlight. We always enjoy being with them. Doug and Paul are very much alike as are Michele and I. She and I had lots of good talks. She helps me to understand the Steury Fam. She also has lots of great ideas for expanding my creative side.
We all returned late to the house, Doug built a fire in the fireplace out back and we made foil dinners, which we ate about ten p.m. Then, he and I sat in the living room with Paul and Michele until they fell asleep. Then, Doug and I were up talking until one thirty.
Yesterday was Casey's graduation party which was held at Amy and Dave's house. That was interesting. Once again, we fell into bed around eleven.
After work, today, another trip to the farm to see puppy, Chelsea and I have more plants to get into the ground. Will I get to the Y? I definitely need a noon time nap!
This morning, when I was complaining to Doug about how tired we always are, his response was "we'll sleep when we are dead."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Glorious Day

Aaaaaahhhh, The great Indiana State Fair. I was privileged to be part of I.U.'s team yesterday for I.U. Day. The weather was absolutely beautiful. It seems they are continually working on 37, as was the case yesterday. It was one lane for quite awhile, but I didn't give two hoots. I had picked up a diet Pepsi when I got gas ($3.63 in Martinsville!) and I had the windows down, the sunroof open, my shades on and I be jammin to Vampire Weekend. It was a perfect day. Sunny, slight breeze, not too hot.
I worked the resource booth (charging dead walkies and distributing charges walkies) from 12-2.
Then 3:30-6:30 escorted Tom. Mary was along for the ride and she is a delight. I always enjoy visiting with her. A good time was had by all. Coach Crean spoke. He is quite the motivational speaker. That man preaches it. No notes, he spews positive and received a standing ovation. He literally said "let them get their digs in now, because it will not be happening in the future." If you have been following IU basketball at all, you know what he is referring to.
I got to see my dear friend Chris McCloud. We've been friends since I was 16 or 17. Chris was a counselor at our school fresh out of college. He was only about nine years older than we were and we all loved him, loved hanging at his apartment. He and I dated for a time after my divorce and he always has been, always will be someone who I hold near and dear to my heart. Chris started making his wooden signs in '78 and I remember Don was living in Columbus, OH. I didn't have a car, but wanted to go visit. Chris gave me his car, a station wagon, loaded with wood and said "Fill it up with gas when you return it and don't call me if you have a flat." Fortunately, I didn't have a flat. Through the years, visiting with Chris at his trailer at the state fair has always been a sure thing. I was also able to visit with his brother, Greg, yesterday.
Fair food: I didn't do too awful- had my beloved pineapple whip, a mediocre ear of corn - not hot enough, one slice of fried green tomato that one of the gals shared with me...a bag of pretzels and a couple of waters from I.U.'s hospitality tent. I think that was it.
This a.m., I was sitting in line at Starbucks, awaiting my Venti Mocha and pumpkin loaf. Next door, at McDonalds, I observed a man cleaning the top of the trash can. You know, the part where you shove your trash in, where the swinging door is on the front of it. This man was cleaning the top of this trash can as if his life depended upon it. As I sat and watched him I had several thoughts: perhaps it is inspection time at McDonalds. Perhaps his boss said "Make it shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!" (Boys and girls, what is that line from?) I wondered if he had been cleaning trash cans all of his life. Clearly this man is a professional trash can cleaner. Then, I wondered if he were fresh out of prison and joyful to be scrubbing trash cans for McDonalds. Or, perhaps he is just thankful to have a job or doing it with all of his might. It seemed to me, as I observed, that this gentleman who was ever so fastidious in his work was having a glorious day of his own. Even if he were scrubbing a trash can.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm gonna need an ocean of Calamine lotion

"Leaves of three, let it be."
Yeah right. Yada, yada, yada.
Doug's family is coming in next weekend, so this past Sunday, I worked in the yard in my pajamas until 2p. It was so freakin' hot. I had on little t-shirt material shorts and an Old Navy top. Doug said "I don't know that I'm so crazy about you being out her in your underwear."

Not my underwear, Doug, my pajamas. Plus, no one can see me. I was a teensy bit concerned about the pop-in. But, never happens.
So, I was tearing away at the fence row and when one tears away at the fence row, one is bound to encounter poison ivy. I started breaking out last night and now there is this poison ivy fest going on - on my left arm. I like to think that I am the queen of self-control, but this summer - when it comes to mosquito bites and poison ivy, I have absolutely zero self control. I'm scratchin' like a dog with fleas!
It was extremely hot and when I came in at 2, I was filthy! But the yard looks nice. (Thanks, Doug, for mowing last night.)
On a different note...
What does it say about me, my life that I am addicted to reading blogs? Reading about other people and what is going on in his or her life?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Second visit with my little girl, Chelsea Kabob

Here she is at four weeks, five days. We were so surprised to see how she had grown! I went into the little shed to get her and when I came out, Doug just melted and made this little "oh" sound. When we saw Chelsea and the litter at three weeks, they were just little puppy lumps. One of them fell asleep, on her back, in the palm of Sylvia's hand.

This time, she had more than doubled in size. You can see what a handsome dog she is going to be! Look at that tongue! She just can't wait to get a taste of the world.

For many reasons, we've decided to wait until she is nine weeks old to bring her home. For one, we are going to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois with the Indianapolis Hiking Club for Labor Day weekend and we would have to find a sitter. I wouldn't be able to board her, because she won't have all her shots. Also, I am reading and studying everything I can about how to be a good puppy mom and a lot of people advise to bring puprs home at eight weeks rather than six weeks. They say that in those two extra weeks it makes for a more emotionally secure pup and, the pup learns a lot of social skills such as biting/not biting. I know she is better off with Sylvia at the farm so we'll leave her there and I'll just have to continue to visit.

A kiss for luck and we're on our way. Until the next time, little lump of love.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Fish(wife)

• fishwife •
Pronunciation: fish-wayf
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: No, even if you married a cold fish, you are not a fishwife. You are, however, if you are 1. a woman who sells fish or 2. a woman who uses coarse, vulgar language.
In Play: Back in the days of Billingsgate, women who sold fish acquired the reputation of using abusive language. I suppose smelling fish all day could have that effect on a woman. In fact, women who sell fish are not called fishwives anymore but the reputation of their name carries forward: "When I told her that her son would be working for mine someday, she turned and left, swearing like a fishwife."
Word History: The historical question raised by this Good Word is, why did female fish-peddlars have to be married? In fact, they didn't. In Old English, wif meant simply "woman". Woman, in fact, derives from Old English wifman "a woman person" (as opposed to a wæpen-man "weapon person" = a man). So, the original meaning of fishwife was simply "fish woman".
Look up "fishwife" in the dictionary and it will tell you it's a monger of fish or a shrill, shrewish woman. But there is so much more.
In London, fish mongers were also known as "The wives of Billingsgate", it is thought that they were descendants of devotees of the God, Belin who was worshipped there at one time. "They dressed in strong 'stuff'gowns and quilted petticoats; their hair, caps and bonnets were flattened into one in distinguishable mass upon their heads." They were also called 'fish fags'. "They smoked small pipes of tobacco, took snuff, drank gin and were known for their colourful language... A dictionary from 1736 defined a 'Billingsgate' as a scolding, impudent slut." You can almost imagine how they must have smelled.
Doug can be quite the nag sometimes, especially when it comes to him wanting me to do something - like, coming home for work early so we can get on the road to Goshen. Last Thursday, such was the case.
Thursday night:
Doug: "What time can you get off to leave for Goshen?"
Me: "I could work through lunch and leave at 4."
Doug: "So, you could be ready to leave at 5?"
Me: "yes."
Friday a.m. (before work)
Doug: "So, you are taking off early today."
Me: "Yes, Doug. I told you that last night."
Doug: "So, you'll be ready to leave at five."
Me: (exasperated voice) "Yes, Doug."
Just as I'm leaving...
Doug: "So, you're leaving early?"
Me: "YES, for the fifteenth time - yes, I'm leaving early- just like we talked about last night and first thing this morning."
He nags like a fishwife.
He thought I'd made up the term. Other people did, too. In yesterday's post, Stephanie said that she was "cursing like a fishwife in heat."
So I googled both an image and definition. A fishwife looks like an old time backpacker! My kind of woman! Impudent slut, indeed.

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