Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DNA and Thanksgiving

For my birthday Jerry got me a DNA test kit (Bio Pet)to determine Felicia's canine heritage. The results came back yesterday. I can't remember if I've posted a photo of our new pound puppy so here's one to ponder. I'm sorry, but this whole thing is probably more fascinating to me than anyone else. Anyway, here she is -

Now....what would you guess makes up this mutt? We were sure that it would be some type of hound - beagle or harrier - and not sure what else. She's slender and fast and it's true that she could care less about picking up a scent like a hound would.

As it turns out she is part Bernese Mountain Dog, part Weimaraner, and part poodle. So here's the Bernese Mountain Dog -

The coloring is there for sure. The slenderness and her insistence about chasing the cat is most likely the Weimaraner, right? I gotta add that the test also identified a large amount of chihuahua which seems ridiculous unless you know that our other dog is a chihuahua, otherwise known as BoBo. Their DNA got mixed up in the water bowl I suppose. How fun is that??
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, all you Americanos.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Shine of the Moon and Sewing for Grandchildren

On my lunch hour today I went into CaƱon and shopped for fabric at the little quilt store on Main Street. I intend to make my granddaughter, Delilah, one of these little animal homes.

I actually had this in mind for another granddaughter a couple of years ago but didn't get around to it - and now she's probably too old. And, truth be told, I actually bought the pattern in the early 80's to make for Delilah's mother. I think she's definitely outgrown it by now. The pattern makes me happy whether I ever finish it for anyone. I know - that's kinda weird.

Jerry's away to northeastern Colorado minding the private prison mental health system. So every couple of weeks I get the house to myself for a night or two, can make bruschetta yet again with no flack, and feed the sheep a little extra grain just to be a kind shepherdess. They do love me for it and when Jerry returns to the chores I'll bet he wonders why they follow him so eagerly. The moon was wonderfully bright tonight out in the corrals and it was calm. I had to take a few minutes just looking at the stars while everyone munched their grain and hay. Life is good.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Short Days of Winter

I'm a bit sad that the long days are gone for the year. Everything is dark when I leave work for the day. The cold is fine - it's just the short days that are difficult. I am looking forward to doing more sewing, however. There are all these dreams of being productive and making things again. Just as long as I stay away from my after work wine libation. What a lush I can be....jeesch.

Well, anyway. Ater several years of looking around I found my dream sewing machine and bought it for my birthday. She's about 40 years old already and as sleek as an Italian sports car. The Necchi Silvia Maximatic. Whooo-whee!
She's beautiful, right? Her straight stitch sister, the Mirella, is the only sewing machine that has a place in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Last night I tried her out for the first time. The tension was off and the mechination is just that much different from my other machines that it took some time to adjust. But now the stitches are beautiful and she hums in a very well made manner.

I'm going to finish this wall hanging with my new Necchi. Tilly from England gifted me with these charm squares of Arcadia by Moda last year. I started a wall hanging and, of course, didn't complete it. Now that the days are short I just might get it done.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pinecone Wonders

This morning on a little hike, I discovered hundreds of pine cones on the trail. It is the time of year for them to fall I suppose (you know, the Fall?) but, believe it or not, I hadn't given them enough consideration over the years. I was struck by how beautiful a pine cone is - they are just perfect pieces of nature - and wanted so much to bring some home with me. The thought of making firestarters came to mind - and, in fact, I was rather obsessed with the usefulness of the idea. We have quite a few of the ponderosa pines on our place - up on the ridges and down in the arroyos - and when I got home I picked up some gathering bags and spent an hour or so collecting them. It was a lovely time - such purpose and beauty all around me.

The scrub oak has lost its leaves and they join the long pine needles on the floor of the forests. The sun was shining, the sky was blue - and I had two bags of great looking pine cones. I tried to teach Felicia to fetch them, too, but she only brought them back if I threw them first. Back at the house I found an old candle making kit that one of the girls didn't take with them when they moved out. It contained several pounds of paraffin beads and a couple of yards of woven wick. I melted the wax in a double boiler, tied a 4 inch piece of wick around each cone, and dipped the whole cone into the wax. The wick didn't go as far as I had hoped (after all, I did gather over two hundred cones) but Jerry told me cloth strips would work well, too. And so they did. I had to try them out after I'd made several firestarter cones.

Those little buggers burned for about 7 minutes. Who would have thought? I am making some for all our friends who use woodburners.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Well, it's my birthday today and being 57 is really just fine. My coworkers and I have just about completed "intensive" dialectical behavior training and will be able to go home tomorrow. It's been a fantastic training experience, we've put a lot into this in the last six months, and are ready to move forward with our program when we get back into action.

Went Cajun for the birthday feast and am sitting here absolutely grinning with delight. Just right. Have you ever just walked into a book store without an outward inkling of what you might need to read -- and leave with the perfect tome of wisdom in your hands? Last night it happened to me again and I wonder if it isn't just divine power that makes it so. You know, being almost 60 is very weird in a sense. It's not like we go around our little lives planning on Time to catch up with us. So when I picked up Sue Monk Kidd's "Traveling with Pomegranates" it was intially with some curiousity and admiration for some earlier stuff by her (particularly, "The Dance of the Dissident Daughter"). I bought it, read a few chapters last night and, by golly, it spoke to me. Growing older, my daughters taking the place where I used to reign, finding another place, looking inward at the older, wiser woman I have become. "Old Woman I meet you deep inside myself. There in the rootbed of fertility. World without end, as the legend tells it. Under the words you are my silence." May Sarton as quoted by Sue Monk Kidd.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Still in Denver. Our team finished one presentation today and have the next tomorrow. It is going well. We're expecting Mandy to give birth at any moment but she is here and so is Avery whose flight was delayed by Hurricane Tomas. Whoo-whee. My performance anxiety is subsiding.

I went for a walk outside the hotel this morning through a small neighborhood of apartment buildings. It was better than walking on the treadmill in the exercise room. There are so many lights and cars - one forgets that a city is a mass of humanity and technology. We went to the "Super Target" to see if someone in the pharmacy could get Mandy's blood pressure (she's having some problems with hypertension in this last week of pregnancy) and when it was found to be acceptable we wandered around gaga-eyed about the sheer magnitude of merchandise to be purchased. When you live rural this is a treat, let me tell you.

I'm going to take a bath and read Eudora Welty short stories which I am very much enjoying.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Here I am in Denver for one entire week of training. Woke up this morning at 5:13 to a terrific ping ping pinging on the one outside wall. It's raining and sleeting. I had been dreaming that I was in Southeast Asia - well, somewhere East at any rate - and that I was looking down - from a bridge, perhaps - into a blue, green shallow pool. Three or four happy fish were splashing about and I wondered if they were edible. The dream came with a sense of peace and calm which is fantastic because I have been worrying quite a bit about whether I and my small team of coworkers can pull off this presentation with dignity. There are a number of reasons for my anxiety which are unnecessary to go into here and suffice it to say that if I bit my nails they'd be bitten to the quick. Last night I finally came to an agreement with myself - once again - that what I bring to a moment is sufficient.

So I got up and went down to the exercise room. And walked at an incline of 7% for a half hour. I have no idea what that means but it had the same intensity as my morning walk up the road does except there was nothing to look at. Just walking in a room. I am sufficient to the moment. My mantra.