Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wicked - or that's what my socks say

I am a person that does not have a "one favorite" thing at all in any category. I have many songs I like, many movies, many colors, etc...
So now that I said that I will say that Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year.
Fall brings us to this day and it seems to be the beginning of a season that flows for me clear to Valentines Day. Or at the very least, New Year's day. Of course every retailer in the country is already pushing for Christ mas before I have fully enjoyed this day or even begun to think about Thanksgiving.
I was never very good at thinking up a costume so I quit going out to "trick or treat" when I was somewhere between 10-12, but before then I would go out as long as I could with the goal in mind of gathering enough candy to last me to Easter. Unfortunately, Easter didn't give enough candy to last me until the next Halloween. What's up with the Easter Bunny????

I love the fall as you may have garnered from my other posts, and Halloween is for some reason a special day. The kids are all excited and they believe they are whoever they dressed up to be like and they are so dang cute you just want to keep all of them....uhhh, wait a minute...maybe just until the sugar kicks in, then send them home. No matter what, they are beyond adorable and irresistible.
I once had a boy at my door tell me I was too nice to be the witch I was dressed up to be.
Unfortunately, I am trick or treat er deprived here because the street I live on doesn't have that many houses and the driveway is just a tad longer that usual. The only good thing about that is I don't have to buy any candy that will be leftover and consumed by the cookie monster or myself.

I won't let missing the kids in all their finery deter me from enjoying this day.  My older sister tells me the horses like pumpkins, so I may need to have some ready to share with all of them as we watch for the witches ride by the light of the silvery moon.

My black cat self is ready!!

Friday, October 22, 2010


The word Diva can conjure up all sorts of things from a lead opera singer to a vain, arrogant, and demanding person or a goddess.
 In this case it is all about Diva the horse who left this earthly plane 1 year ago today.

When Bob and I moved up here to Washington, we knew living on the farm would be peaceful and wonderful most everyday because of all the horses. Every morning from the first day we moved in until Diva left us, Diva and her very best sister friend would be in the paddock right alongside the house. I could watch these two old friends from the kitchen window or from the living room.
Diva's good friend Fire, was Suzanne's first horse. Fire is a beautiful  Arabian that was originally my sister Jayne's horse. She is delicate and has a beautiful prancing step about her. She is very old now and I love the cinnamon color that is around her nostrils and the gray that I see sneaking into her dark coat.
As delicate as Fire is, Diva was big and bold.
Diva was very earthy and when I would watch her walk from behind she had a very sensual sway much like a hot Italian mama (Sophia Loren comes to mind). You just knew the boys would be looking.
Suzanne tells me that the first moment she saw Diva, all she really remembers was seeing part of Diva's face and a certain spark or knowing in her eye. Suzanne knew in that moment she and Diva would be together.
They had their good riding times and lived through some harrowing medical problems. In between, Diva mothered 2 babies, Aria and Bronte.
During Diva's last summer with us, there would be evenings when Diva would want to go out grazing again and I would tell her I needed to check with her mom (Suzanne). She would look up at the camera Suzanne had in her barn like she was telling Suzanne to go ahead and give me permission. Suzanne had that camera there so she could monitor Diva in her stall since she had some previous medical problems that could require Diva needing help. Even though Suzanne was living several miles away at the time, she could still check in on Diva via the Internet and the camera. It was uncanny how Diva knew this in her wise and earthly way, but she did.
On the night Diva left us, I feel as though she intentionally waited to pass until the time of night that she knew Suzanne would have gone to bed and would have no immediate knowledge of her passing via the camera in order to spare her.
What she couldn't know was that Fire would be so upset and calling to her to get up that it roused an owner in the other barn who was visiting her own 2 horses.
I don't know whose grief grabs at my heart more....Fire's or Suzanne's.

Diva, I will love and watch over your old sister friend Fire. I will love and watch over your friend owner Suzanne. I will love and watch over Aria and Bronte (and Chatelaine too).
I will watch for you in your two daughters every afternoon when they come to the same place where I knew you every morning.
Farewell my goddess friend. I will know you in the moonlight.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The secret life of a mushroom

under the corner of the barn

along a dirt road

hiding out along the barn wall
Mushrooms are kind of interesting at the same time they are kind of creepy. They seem to grow wherever they want and don't appear to have roots since I can pick them out of the ground with the dog poop rake. Trust me, I don't know if they have roots or not. I am not inclined to touch them and I garden with the same amount of knowledge as I have when I use the computer.....just enough to be dangerous.
The dictionary says the mushroom is a fungus. So okay. What makes it decide to grow in any particular spot and when I pick it out with the rake, why doesn't it just grow back again. Did the fungus move or grow itself out??
I had to laugh when I found the one little mushroom growing underneath the edge of the barn corner. It almost seemed desperate to have a life. Sometimes I am amazed at how big they can grow. The grouping along the barn wall was hiding out behind a plant and was about 20 inches long all together.  The one I found along the dirt road was near a bunch of other ones, but was about 8-10 inches across by itself. It was rather huge looking and could have easily been a home for a creature. Does that make it a toad stool?? There were several more just as big but some of them had already collapsed. Had something been sitting on them?
A frog or an gnome maybe? The mushroom will never tell.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Step into my web said the spider to the fly.

If you know me at all, you have probably heard me say over the years that there are a few things I want to talk with God about after I die. Three of the top things on my list are spiders, snakes, and ants.
I do not know exactly where my fear of snakes came from, but as a child when it came time to turn out the lights and go to bed, I would hit the switch, and start running towards the bed, take a flying leap so my feet were off the ground before I came to the edge of the bed. I did this because I believed there were snakes under my bed that would be able to get me if they were able to wrap themselves around my feet. So don't ask where they were during the day because I have no idea and certainly no logical thoughts or explanations.

I am not really afraid of spiders. I  don't trust them. They  bite indiscriminately and who knows what might happen after that especially if you didn't see the spider. The thought of all the weird and crazy things that could happen are just too much. They have some good qualities and I am grateful when they tuck flies and mosquitoes into their little rolled up beds. I want to know why they don't have a knowledge of humans and just leave us alone like I would leave them alone if I knew for certain that they wouldn't bite.
Unless you have been to Salt Lake during the summer and gone out to the lake itself, you will never believe how many spider webs could exist in one location. Of course, there are a zillion and a half mosquitoes who are busy looking for some innocent human. Now that I mention them, I think I need to expand my list to include flies and mosquitoes.

Then there are ants. I am talking about the ordinary ones that invade your home and life at times. We won't get into the other varieties. Carpenter ants are a whole discussion by themselves. If you see just ONE ant you better run because you will be seeing a billion in short order making a line of annoyance somewhere in your house. I really hate using pesticides, but I am sooooooooooooo tempted........

Long before the Discovery channel existed I did understand the food chain as well as every bug/creature having a job or function in the world. I just want to know, does there have to be some many of them????

And what I want to ask God is why?????? I mean WHY?????? And if they must exist, can't you fix those itty bitty problems? They aren't even cute. The bunny rabbits ate our pea plants, but they're cute. Who could be annoyed by them? The birds in the barn drop poop everywhere but they are cute. The rats are not cute and they are sneaky. Oh my gosh, the list could be endless. I guess I will have a lot of discussions.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What happened to good manners??

Just recently I was doing my weekly stroll through the 100.00 dollar club (Costco) when I almost got run over by some man.  This type of thing has happened before in many different types of stores or hallways. As I stood there in amazement at what almost happened with disbelief that he didn't even stop or bother to excuse himself or ...oh my gosh....apologize, a woman standing across the walkway discussed with me that common manners seemed to have disappeared. I have had that same thought many times over the past several years especially when people push past you or through you like you need to always move for them. The word entitlement seems to rear it's ugly head again. This woman mentioned that people are "just" so busy these days, but frankly, I cannot see that as an excuse for rudeness and lack of manners. My grandmother would be appalled and rolling in her grave (ashes) if I behaved that way.

Since I am lamenting about a serious lack of manners, I also have to tell about the good things that make my day.
I was in Trader Joe's picking up one thing and did what usually happens when I think I am only going to get one thing; don't bother to get a basket and now I have four things and my arms are full. They only had one checker and the woman in front of me had a very full shopping cart. I was thinking YIKES!!! I'll be here forever,  when she turns and asks me to go ahead of her. I asked her if she was certain, she replied in the positive while adding that life is short, she's a hospice nurse, and a few extra minutes with her cart won't kill her. After thanking her profusely a discussion ensued between her, the checker, and myself about good manners, the shortness of life, and now paying a good deed forward. Being a hospice nurse I am more than certain she knows exactly how short life can be.
This was for me, the beginning of that season where people do kind things for each other and sent me on a day long love fest with the world in general. Just one kind deed did that.

Now I only have one question.....where is Miss Manners when you need her????

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Big leaf maples

If you have ever lived where it snows or has vacationed somewhere during a snow fall, you may have walked outside and appreciated the same thing I am about to describe.
Not every snow fall starts during the night even if we wished it would only snow while we are sleeping, but I delight in the times I have walked outside into the dark of night unaware of just where the clouds were (high or low) and like this little amazing miracle, flakes gently fall out of the dark sky.

In the fall, I love walking and watching the leaves fall from some tree branch, float and swirl, and then land upon the ground somewhere. I also love walking through piled up leaves and hearing the sound of my feet  crunching along and of course kicking through them. I also love to be behind a car that has just driven past some leaves on the road which kicks the leaves up sending them skipping, jumping, and swirling again before coming to rest in a new spot for the next car.
When I was in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, we lived in Salt Lake City. We had a house with a big yard and a half acre of land out back that housed my sister's horse. This house came with plenty of fruit trees that dropped tons of leaves. You know who got to rake them up...the kids. One year I remember in particular having to rake them up into piles hoping to get them out to the garbage man, but I think we had a snowstorm before that could happen and they were with us all winter under a blanket of snow. The rotten part, besides having old leaves was we had to rake again in the spring and try again to get them out to the garbage or into a bonfire. The good news was we got to play in them two times. I can't even remember all the things we imagined our piles of leaves to be except for being a fort.

Seven years ago I went to Chicago in late October to be with my daughter and await the birth of her child. She was allowed to walk a little, but not as often as her dog Hannah needed to be walked so there were times I took Hannah out on my own.
Dogs and people are often at cross purposes when it comes to walk time. In order to get in a true walk, you need to keep the dog going and not have a sniff fest. In order for the dog to be totally happy, you need to allow them to sniff to their hearts content. I tried to have a happy outcome for us both by doing concentrated walking on the way out and sniffing on the way in. On one of the sniffing occasions, we were stopped underneath a medium sized tree. Hannah was as happy as she could be on a walk. I have no recollection about what was rattling around in my brain, but all of a sudden the tree dumped it's remaining leaves  surrounding me with all it's beautiful splendor. It was actually a cool thing and a neat memory.

Here in Woodinville where I live now there are zillions of trees and many big leaf maples. If there are big leaf maples out there that turn beautiful colors, they aren't nearby. These maples leaves may turn yellow and then go brown or some seem to skip yellow and go straight to brown. Many of them have spots of some sort.
The part that I love the most is how big the leaves can be. HUGE! 12 to 15 inches sometimes. There is just something about them that appeals to me and I can't resist picking them up.
This is probably where I should confess that I pick up a lot of different kinds of leaves. To me, they are free paper in a way. I rubber stamp on them, press them, and make what I call leaf frames.

Isn't nature glorious???