Wintertide

It is about now that I start wanting my house guest to leave.

“Winter,” I say, “Old Chap, is there anywhere else you need to be soon?”

He shakes his head through gales of frost.

I put on another cup of coffee.  Put another log on the fire.

The cold crops go in the ground in six or seven short weeks.  We will have bustling to do to get the new garden fenced and the soil ready.  We will devour the warm days as they come.  Spring will surely rise from the frozen ground.  I appreciate the rest, the rest for the plants and trees, the water, the blah, blah, blah.

‘Tis about the mid of January that I am ever ready for blessed warmth and activity.  Yet Jack Frost rarely hauls out slow so I must welcome the guest awhile longer.

The snow lightly covers the landscape as the golden sun arises and sends glitter across the lawn.  My winter puppy is in love with the season and leads his walk outdoors by mouthing up big gulps of icy snow.  I found a small, fallen branch.  Abandoned after falling out of yonder tree.  The sap still slightly sticky.  I brought it home.  It is the flower of winter, the conifer bough, and it sits proudly in its vase upon the stove.  (The only place the kitties can’t get it.)  It hearkens the beauty of winter-all of its reds and greens and glittered snow and great open blue sky-and reminds me to walk upon its icy tread, to breathe fresh air and not yet make the spring to-do list, but to visit geese and winter ducks and welcome the winter time.

For a few more months anyway….

 

The Saving Daily Walk (and Hugo and George at it again)

Two loads of wet laundry hit the winter ground with a thud and instantly were covered in dirt.  The entire clothes line had fallen.  I had asked my husband to tighten it for me months before but the real culprit was probably the innocent looking puppy who had pulled half the clothes off the clothesline the week prior and shredded them.  I looked over and two new articles sat on his bed.  I glared.

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Instead of cleaning up the freshly washed clothes I walked indoors.  It would wait a moment for me to compose myself.  Moments later Gandalf had one of my shirts from an open drawer and was running madly around the house.

Instead of crying, losing it, or pouring a shot of whisky, I grabbed the leash.  We both needed it.  We walked three and a half miles.  We made it home just in time for my appointment with a client.  I have found that there is always time for a walk.

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Really, I wish I could get a proper picture of these two blurs, but they are constantly playing and moving.  We missed an opportunity (perhaps it is not too late) to name the four month old, gigantic abominable snow puppy, Hugo and his little black sidekick, the five month old Merlin, should have been George from the Bugs Bunny cartoon (my own little bunny rabbit…”

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The whir was happening right behind me yesterday as I typed but these kids are fast!  The kitten jumped on the chair, the puppy trying to catch him.  The puppy pulled the tablecloth to get to Merlin and down went all of the oil lamps.  Shattered chimneys carpeted the floor.  Gandalf scared himself so much he backed up into the hall.  They upset the big, black, older cat so much that Booboo chased Gandalf in circles until he begged to be let out.

“How’s the zoo?” my husband emailed from work.

“Hugo and George at it again!” I replied.

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The leash came off the wall and we walked.  We passed hundreds of chirping and bleating red winged blackbirds.  They have returned.  The villages of geese congregated for a meeting on the wide expanse of lake as the sea gulls danced above.  The mountains in the distance were a violet hue against great blue sky and the golden fields and reeds stretched out around the glimmering, icy waters in technicolor.  Calming breath entered my lungs as the puppy skated slight on the ice as he licked the frozen water.  We were exhausted and happy as we skipped home.

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A simple walk daily can improve your outlook, bring you back to present, connect you with what’s real, and with the natural world, and will help your heart in more ways than one!  Being a new parent to a puppy and kitten not required.

Walking at Dawn

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The hummingbirds flit around my hair on their way to sweetened nectar

their ringing sounds of bells in the early morning air.

The dawn shines clear and hopeful

brushing pink in its palette spread across the landscape fair.

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I walk across heavy laden needles and cacti, up steep inclines of bindweed and pine cones, through underbrush that crunches beneath a canopy of sweet Ponderosas I stop to smell.  Their caramel bark dissipating in the midsummer morn.  Sweet clover brushes against me and the birds sing to the heavens in great song as a mother deer brings her new fawn along.

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I sit atop a large stone above the sleepy town, crossed legged and facing the sun.  The world is quiet above the trees as Tiger Swallows catch the light breeze.  “I have all you need,” Nature whispers to me, food and medicine and shelter and more, there is no fear and nothing to fret for.

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And he dusted off the old resume restored, looking in closet for nice clothes long past, away to the office he will tread and to the city which was our dread.  But, the new house will be found and in it memories and laughter sounds.  Gardens to plant in the front yard for fun, and bike rides to local eateries and movie runs.  A new life ahead, still quite unseen, unknown, but one that will be filled with joy and journeys yet unsewn.

Horse and Carriage Needed (and the article about us)

This may be God’s way of telling us to stop driving all over the state.  To get back home and get our chores done and eat dinner at the dining room table.  Kindly stop gallivanting all over the place!  When the truck in the driveway with 300,000 miles is our most reliable vehicle (the old one and the new one we got off Craigslist with our income tax refund are in the shop), there is a definite possibility that we need to learn to stay put!

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This is where it would be nice to live in the city.  Did I just say that?  A nice homesteading friendly city.  Hop on a bike, walk, take a bus, only drive to farmer’s markets.  We would save so much money, only need one car, and be in better shape.

A friend of the kids used to say when driving out here to get them mimicking the highway sign, “End of the Earth 8 miles, Kiowa 7 more miles”.  There will be no bike riding or walking up the extremely hilly highway to town seven miles.  I would guess it would be mighty dangerous taking a horse and carriage up that route as well.

This is just fueling (this part scares Doug) my anti-electronics and anti-automotive feelings.  Get me a bike and a few extra oil lamps Papa, we’re goin’ Amish.

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These are the times that I need to remind myself why we do what we do.  We work from home so that we can get things done around the homestead while working, and be conveniently located to the swing under the tree for breaks.  We work together so we can spend more time together and enjoy visitors and friends to our house at any time.  We can walk to the library, bank, post office, and can get ice cream at the gas station if in dire need.  We can walk to the bar if  in even direr need.  We can lounge in our back yard with our chickens and goats reading a farming book at two in the afternoon and enjoy the warmest part of the day before taking the clothes off the line, and getting ready to make supper.  We are living the good life.  The good life for us means we cannot afford a reliable vehicle but why do I need to drive that much if I have all this?

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The Huffington Post did an article on us yesterday. I have it posted here.  We are thrilled that we may be able to inspire other folks to abandon their cubicle and head out bravely into this beautiful world and do what they want!  It just means I won’t be driving a new, luxurious truck anytime soon, but that’s okay.  My old one works just fine.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/09/katie-sanders-letting-go_n_5106816.html