Ponder this:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Husband's talent or: One of a kind

Ever since I met him, Husband wanted to work with wood. 
Five years ago, give or take, he began to equip his wood shop 
and now he's turning out tables.
Here's the latest one, made for a friend. 

I think it's wonderful that he's finally doing 
what he's wanted to do for all these years.

Since it's work done from his heart, 
the result is beautiful.

When he started, making dovetails was so frustrating. 
Now he's got 'em down pretty well, I'd say.

The pattern in the wood that he used for these drawer fronts 
started out as a mistake.
He didn't know that this pretty grain was 
inside a piece of wood he'd been working with. 
He sawed it in half, et voila! there it was. 
To me, it looks like sand dunes . . . or cloud layers.
Something to catch the eye instead of just a plain drawer front.

If you were here, he'd show you every place where there's a mistake.
I keep telling him not to do that.
But . . . maybe in years to come, the "mistakes" in his work will be 
the hallmarks by which the pieces are identified.

These tables will outlast all of us.
I'm so proud.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peep and Molly Moments

When Molly came here, she was perfectly happy to lie on the floor and not on couches or beds, etc.
She was . . . and IS . . . a very good dog.
A Very Good Dog.
It never leaves my mind that we could RUIN this great dog because we love her so much. 

We were just watching a dvd and Husband invited her up onto the bed in which he was lying. He often does that and she stays for a while, he says, and then gets down and sleeps on the floor or in her crate. So she lay there while we watched the movie and when the movie was over, Husband told me I would have to make her get down. I told him no, he would have to be the one to tell her to get off, since he owns the bed. He was not able to accomplish that, so I told Molly OFF. She moved . . . not one hair. I pulled on her collar and said OFF, and she did not move.
So I wrapped my arms around her circumference and slowly but firmly slid her off the bed. She landed on the floor pretty much in the same position as she had been in on the bed. There, I said, that's it, and left the room. Husband turned off the light, saying, Geez, June, that's a little rough. Molly followed me in here and I got her a Milk Bone and she ran for her crate because that's where she eats her last-treat-at-night-Milk-Bone. Now she's settled happily in there, with the door open.

I feel pretty good about all this. This leadership stuff does not come naturally to me, but I'm learning.

Husband says that Molly had three(!) deer chases while they were on their walk tonight. Molly is one happy puppy.
Peep stayed in (with some management from mom) last night. Tonight she's outside again, probably for the night. She shimmies underneath the garage door and curls up on the riding lawnmower seat. I caught her there the other day when I was looking for one of Husband's tools.
Molly likes to stay out until it's truly dark. To get her to come in all we have to do is go out and play "Iiiiiiiii'mmmmm gonnnnnnnna GETchoo!!!!!" and she gets a big rammy case of the zoomies and zooms right into the house. Precious girl. 
Husband got home today before I did, and found the focaccia bread that had been on the counter . . . on the floor, on a rug that Molly likes to lie on. She had pulled the plastic wrapping up and open, like the Jiffy Pop popcorn packages from the 1960s (remember them?) and had eaten all the cheese and black olives and whatever else off it. Husband left everything on the floor just the way he found it so I could see how she'd enjoyed it. Most of the bread was still there, but BOY! she did love that parmesan cheese! Molly is, apparently, following the dietary advice to eat only the part that you REALLY LOVE and leave the part that you don't LOVE. 
Lesson learned. She is big enough that she can get things off the counter, and especially things that SMELL REEEEEEELLLLLY GOOD! 
Actually, of course, I think the whole crime was kind of cute. 

I think that Molly has a problem with at least her left hip and maybe her right one as well. She walks in a particular way that lets me know she's avoiding flexing her hip joint very much, and when I was brushing her yesterday, I pressed on her hip and she yelped in a way that let me know for sure IT HURT! Poor girl. She isn't crippled by any means, but there's trouble down the line. Whatever's wrong (dysplasia?) doesn't slow her down when she's trotting or doing zoomies. Not one bit. I notice it when she's been resting and gets up . . . she swivels her hind foot a little bit instead of flexing her leg. Maybe it isn't even her hip, now that I think about it . . . maybe it's her knee. Whatever it is, it is NOT a problem we have to worry about right away. Husband's quite calm about it all..."So she'll get a hip replacement. that's all." I figure the more muscle she has, the better, no matter what the underlying problem is, so it's good that her legs are becoming more defined. 
She's so pretty...  
When she goes to the doctor next time . . . not until next spring, God willing! . . . I'll have them check her legs/hips. Maybe it's arthritis. Maybe she got nicked by a car in her former life... No telling. 
But she's happy and beautiful and enjoying life about as much as any living critter can, so we don't worry about it for now.
She's been keeping a close eye on the woodchuck who lives in the hedge row of the house field. She lies on the yard to the side of the barn and gazes out in that direction, waiting for him to show himself.  
Peep caught a grasshopper yesterday, and Molly went over to say, "Whatcha got?" and ate it. Peep just turned around and went off to get another one.....

Took Molly on a long, long walk this morning and Husband took her out again in the late afternoon, bringing her back covered in grass burrs. Could be worse. At least it isn't burdock burrs! She and I had long brushing sessions. I ended up with rabbit-sized (and -textured) bundles of hair. We could keep at it for days and not run out of hair. Molly likes being brushed, but gets tired of it after a while, as anybody would. 

Molly is outdoors right now, making the rounds of the immediate house/barn area. Peep was out all night and when she came in, Molly twitterfooted right over with her ears up and her tail wagging to check and make sure her little sis was okay. This dog is a caretaker. And a love bug. A big love sponge. A great companion. 

She's been carrying her stuffy toy baby from place to place in the last few days. Not constantly, but from time to time we find the baby moved. From the crate to the couch, from the couch to the bedroom, this afternoon on the floor next to the couch, with both his little cloth ears chewed off. I picked up Baby and Molly left her supper dish and came over with her big round eyes out on stalks. I squeaked Baby and she oh-so-gently took Baby's head and carried him back to her crate. What a doll. Husband and I have both said we almost wish she weren't spayed because it would be such a joy watching her mother her puppies.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My inner child is weeping

My father had sent my sister and me away for the summer. My mother was in the hospital for the second or third time and (I was told, long after the event) Mrs. Furness, mother of one of my sister's friends, had started a murmuring that maybe something was going on with that man and those girls. To protect his good name, my father sent us to his brother's house. 
My cousin D was a year younger than I. Her father was a college dean. The house was big and white with many well-decorated, well-kept rooms. Everything was clean all the time, but I don't recall ever seeing anyone cleaning.
From time to time, the three of us girls would visit two kids who lived down the road . . . a sister and brother. I think the brother was younger than the sister, and possibly, younger than I. Nevertheless, he outranked me because he was on his home turf. I remember him as being volatile. One day, I think, we had a dust-up of the kind that kids have when they are all on the young side of twelve. Somebody said, "Let's pretend that..." and somebody disagreed with the vision . . . tempers rose and the group broke up into segments. 
On this day that I remember, I think my sister and D went to ride D's horse. I wasn't interested in horses, so I was walking back to D's house, feeling lonely for my own house, my own road, my own pets. From his yard, the little boy yelled to me: Why don't you go home! I hadn't known he was there, and if I had known, I wouldn't have expected him to holler at me. I was such a minor player in the group, having no standing as a real resident . . . I just went along with everything.

My heart broke. Not because it was he who'd said it, but because he asked out loud the question that rattled and rang in my head all day.
I wanted to go home, but there was no home to go to.
My mother wasn't there and my father didn't want me there.
The only place for me to be was right where I was: walking in the sun all alone on a road to a house where no one would know or worry if I was there or not.

I think it was one of the first moments in my life when I realized that there was no point in crying if no one would know, if no one would care to make it better.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Molly's field walk for today

Husband is usually the Mollywalker. 
Today he has gone to do some business. 
It's a perfect walking day: cool, sunny with passing clouds, breezy. 
I fleeced up, filled my kangaroo pouch with training treats, and set out down the fields. Nice slow pace. Molly can run hither, thither and yon at will. I follow, or lead (depending on how many loops back around me Molly's done), at my own pace. 
These are recently cut hayfields, hard on the ankles. Wobble, wobble.
The yellow line is the trip out. All downhill. Notice how there are no stops?
The trip back is the pretty hot(!) pink one, all uphill, with yellow stars where I stopped . . . strictly to admire the view. 

From Molly's point of view, the highlights were, in chronological order:
  1. crossing the path of some animal only seconds after it had passed that way (I saw a tail tip but no body)
  2. rolling in a nice fragrant grassy mouse nest left open to the elements by the passing haying operations
  3. coming back and sitting for a treat when I clapped my hands (I tried not speaking to her throughout the walk to see how that would go . . . it went well) or when she felt like checking in with me
  4. finding a place that smelled strongly of Someone Else . . . to which she enacted "Poop On You!" It's her field, after all. 
  5. catching sight of a rodent near one of the edge-of-field lilacs and hopping on it, killing it.
If those highlights were in order of excitement value, number five would head the list. She carried the corpse back to the front lawn and threw it over her shoulders for ten minutes before she ate its head. I don't know what it was. It was white, so not a regular ol' field mouse. Longish legs. Maybe a small rat?

For me, the highlights were, in order of value:
  1. seeing Molly being A Dog Living A Dog's Life
  2. sitting on that stump
  3. leaning on the hay bale
  4. and sitting in the sun at the picnic table when we got back.