Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Photos, Phones & A Bee

I saw the morning light playing quietly with the rose bushes. I like to try to capture the feeling of the light. It's a difficult thing to do.

This busy bee was buzzing about in All the Rage.

I like the way the light is filtered through the delphiniums onto to the coreopsis.

I am a sucker for lilies.

I have a mind that does not like too much detail. I think I am what is called a 'big picture' type.  Give me what I need to know and don't bog me down with minutia. Or at least what I consider minutia. I want to know how to work it, not how it works.

This is true with photography as well. I will never be a photographer because I don't want to become engrossed in the how. I simply like the doing. I never take hundreds of photos, I am not able to concentrate on anything long enough to do that. Snap, snap...done. This is why I am a taker of pictures and not a photographer.

I don't alter, other than cropping. I am not creating art. I am snapping pictures of a moment in time. Sometimes I get something that astounds me, but I know not to let it go to my head. I point and shoot, I just do it with an SLR.

I don't read manuals. I know there are so many things about my computer and my camera that await me if I would open a manual. But I hate technical reading. My eyes are scanning the page but my mind is going la, la, la, la. It's not that I lack curiosity, it's that I lack curiosity about stuff like that. I am an annoying asker of why about things most people would like me to shut up about. But techno stuff. Gives me a headache.

I hate cell phones and almost never use mine. I have no idea how to retrieve messages. Smart phones, why would I want a phone that knows more than I do? Apps? This is short for Appaloosa to me. I'm hopeless. And I'm OK with it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two Julies

We had a big day at the farm on Sunday. In a cloud of dust, coming from the east up the gravel road came the Danes and the Northern Minnesotans. A flurry of activity and children, and there they all were! Strangers and yet, strangely, friends. 

I was a little flustered, as I am prone to be, but tried to keep my composure as I invited my company in. After a short period of feeling awkward, I found that these people felt like long time friends to me. Before long conversation was flowing and a good time was had.

I also met the best behaved children I have encountered in some little while. And a father who acts as a jungle jim for his delightful daughter! He is very well trained. 

So we had a little picnic lunch, a bit of lemonade and sangria and friendly conversation. I learned that the trees aren't as tall in Denmark. This is due to how the glaciers came through and the type of soil they deposited is not as fertile. That the Danish child did not know what an eagle is. Yes, one of the immature eagles made a fly-by just for them. I learned that Bemidji has a thriving arts community. I learned that strangers can become friends in about fifteen minutes.

I also learned that a grill can become a makeshift buffet table. I think this might be considered a redneck version of a serving table.

We had perfect weather, perfect children and a dog that was beside himself. Howard has never seen children. Really. He wore himself out with his joy over the mini version of two-leggers! He wiggled off about two pounds I think. Grace took one look at that crowd and promptly took herself off to my bed and stayed there. Not one for company, that one.

The horses were admired, although mostly from a distance. Zing showed everyone he knows his name. Bounce showed off his regrown hair and Topper pushed his way to the gate for a nice scratch. All the geldings admired the small ones, as they also are not over familiar with wee people.

This is a memory I am more than glad I got to make. Due to my self-imposed restrictions my life can be limited to my farm and the narrow scope of community surrounding it. For one day it was a wonderful thing to open the window a bit and let in a new experience; one filled with laughter and children.

Anyone else thinking they want to make a trip to Minnesota? I can open that window a little wider.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Company's Coming!

I am having guests from blogland this weekend. Very exciting!

My blogitty friend from Denmark julochka and my blogitty friend Jules from Bemidji, MN are coming for the day with their families. The trip from Denmark is not just to see me, but they are flying into the Twin Cities and are taking advantage of our proximity. Jules is hours away, but she couldn't miss this opportunity so the husband and kids are to be packed up and hauled down for the weekend.

I have been distracted for a reason. I will be back soon, I'm sure with photos and stories. Four adults and five kidlets are coming. Oh my!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Dog's Best Friend

This lucky dog found one in gsc.

One of my blogging buddies has worked for several months bringing this abandoned/lost dog around. He was living a feral life in the desert and he made his way into her sight. She has done a tremendous, labor intensive job of bringing him back to his domestic roots.

She would love to keep him but her circumstances won't allow it to be, so she is trying to find him a suitable home that is able to handle his remaining quirks. I am a hopeless rescuer of dogs myself, so I know how this is for her. One would think my farm would be a good home for him, but some of his issues make that not possible. I have found anxious dogs and horses don't work well together. My deeply troubled Atlas taught me that.

I volunteered to help her spread the word about this lovely, loving dog in hopes that someone looking in here may have the desire to give him a home. Or know someone who may.

Below is gsc's description of Alfy. I had links to his story, but they didn't work. You can find the blog and look at his story here.

The Berner (now known as "http://giantspeckledchihuahua.blogspot.com/2010/05/berner-report-aka-alphonso-bernard.html">Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert. If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed, in chronological order, below. Updates are posted on Saturday.
If you are interested in adopting this handsome boy please check out  "http://www.petfinder.com/after-pet-adoption/pledge-dog-adopters.html">Petfinder's "New Dog Adopter's" Pledge. This is the home Alfy deserves. He will come to you house trained, crate trained, vet checked, neutered, up to date on his vaccinations and micro-chipped. Alfy will bring his crate, his bed, favorite toys and some food with him. Vet references will be required. A home-check is a possibility. Because of his wander lust a fenced yard is probably necessary. Distance may not be a problem. I'll be traveling east in the not too distant future. I have also had offers for transport help, when the time comes.
It's important to remember that Alf was surviving on his own, in the desert, for an unknown period of time.  These circumstances result in issues that some people may not wish to deal with. A home experienced in handling rescued dogs, will probably be best.  Some of his known issues include seperation anxiety, claustrophbia, chasing small animals and riding in the car.  We are working with these issues and seeing improvement. We have no idea how he relates with children.

Friday, June 18, 2010

After The Storm

We had storms in Minnesota last evening. Tornadoes rampaged through the state and three people are dead. The town of Wadena has nearly been destroyed. These are photos after the storm had moved to the east. This is an eastern view of the sky. We had rain and very strong winds, but all is well. 

On another note, I have been absent not only from my own blog but from visiting my blog friends. Because of the weather we have been having I have had to get busy where I can, when I can. So I stay off the computer. Fifteen minutes can turn into an hour and a half. I will see you all soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To Make An Omelette, You Have to Crack Some Eggs

Yesterday was wet and chilly. I decided instead of slapping a sandwich together for lunch that I would make biscuits and an omelette.
The weather is on its way to improving, rain-wise. It will become hot and humid. Ah, well.

I've also cracked a few figurative eggs lately. Since my father died I have called my mother daily. I felt she needed to have something she could count on in her day. I have never had a relationship with my mother, even as a child. As I got older we got along, but she did not know me. And I did not know her. Both of us have been surprised, I think. I found that she is not always as uptight as I thought and that I am more so than I could have imagined. Oh my.

I have known all along that my mouth engages before my brain, but the filter that I once did have in place has slowly been wearing out. When talking to one's elderly mother, this is not always a good thing. Just when she begins to decide I'm not so bad, I open my mouth and speak. She made a comment about a relative being too thin and I blurted out, "You're kidding. She has a butt the size of Europe." My poor mother nearly choked. I do need to clean that filter.

It is never too late. In my case this statement is more then a cliche, as I have gotten to know the woman who birthed me better and have been able to let go of any residual anger I may have had. We will never become the best of friends, but we are forming a relationship. At this stage of our lives, this is not a bad deal.

The other omelette, the one we ate for lunch; it was good. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Woe Is Me

At least some things are enjoying the weather.

A week ago I wrote about the joy the sound of rain brought after going through a dry spell. We have been wet all week. Thursday night we got four inches. It has rained all week. The mosquitoes are as bad as I can ever remember. I have two flats of annuals to pot and combined with the rain and the blood-sucking monsters I have let them sit. At least there is not a worry about them drying out before they are planted.

I know I will be doing the rain dance in July when there is not a cloud visible, but where weather is concerned, it is always purely the moment. And for the moment it is not good. The mosquitoes will guarantee I will stay out of the gardens. I tell you, if it's not one thing it surely is another.

Let me get one more whining complaint in; this relentless dampness really kicks my arthritis into full bloom. Now I sound like the old lady I am feeling to be! It's difficult to reconcile the person with the swollen joints and creaky bones to the one who climbs ladders and paints buildings, who cares for lots of horses and who usually can work all day. That be not me today. Today I am old. Tomorrow perhaps I will be middlin' again.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just A Drop

I think this is a hummingbird cup.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bumper Crop, Willing To Share

I have an abundance of these, so I thought I would share.

If you would like a few hundred, or even a few thousand, let me know. I will send them your way, free of charge. I'll even throw in the shipping. You will need to provide your own food, but that should not be a problem. They only need a little blood.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Hot Tin Roof

What happens when we begin to realize we are walking the final miles. When we see ourselves as a matron; someone's wife, mother, grandmother. No longer the lithesome desire of some young man's fantasy but rather the odd older woman patronized, not eyed.

Along the way, the stuff of life gets in the way, the routine takes over and we forget what we saw when we first looked. We forget the tingle, the rush of air, the impulse to hold our breath. We complain about the lack of attention. The insensitivity. The way he holds his fork.

Sometimes something clicks. The long abandoned need to be seen as a vibrant being allows her to become enthralled by someone younger who catches a fantasy. The tingle once more, can't breath and don't care who is in the way. Sometimes, realizing it is themselves, they try to remove that obstacle as well.

I watched a woman implode over the last few years, her desire for the young man so intense she hummed with it. She did not care that he was a man almost a child, a child man, she knew he would love her. She did not care that she repulsed him. She did not care, nor would she believe he was attracted to men, not women. Not even an old woman. She pursued him with fire eyes and passion. She lost her dignity; she lost her mind. She did not care.

Today. Today I hear from two people the same story. Lives shattered, desires burning, needs driving an impulse to commit self-hurt. Ashes are stirred and the flame becomes a pyre. Nothing survives, the heat sucks the oxygen out of the lives involved. Pick through the ashes, only the ghosts are awakened.

This has made me restless, made my skin itch. I am sad, I am amazed and I am almost able to see it. The crazy that happens when you can't help but look. I remember when I was young, I remember I did not care. I sang alleluia and gave myself to my impulses.

I grew up, I became a woman. I accepted life as it is, full of promise and just as full of pain. The reality is, I am glad of it. But I wonder what drives people to toss away all. To cry out alleluia and jump into the abyss. Are eyes wide open? No, I think the heart is crying and the eyes are blinded, but the need is so strong. The devastation is so final.

So I am in a mood. And I think of this. Almost perfect, this. It captures the feeling, you can feel it. You can.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rain & Such

Mother Nature is bestowing us with her blessings. We are having a beautiful light rain. The kind the ground can breathe in and savor. A day that allows me to slow down, sit down and cogitate.

I like rainy days, when they are not monsoons. I do the basic care of the horses, leaving the barn work for another day. It's like a small vacation day for me.  We take our gratitudes where we find them. I find them in days where the horses are tucked into their stalls, happily munching the abundance of hay I treat them with while they count their blessings. They are warm and dry and well-fed. I am the one who gets wet.

Today I will do the mundane. The day-to-day tasks of a life that are harder for me to get to than they should be. The trip to the grocery store and bank. A stop at the wine store. Perhaps the little nursery in Mound. Nothing special. Not exciting, but on a day such as this it is easier and therefore appreciated for what it is worth.

Tomorrow will be dry, sunny and warm. The mosquitoes will be out in force and life will resume its' buzz, but today I will enjoy the peace, the quiet that the soft rain brings. I'll do my shopping, my everyday living without the nagging in the back of my mind that I need to be doing something else. Of course I do, but today I don't think I care.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Conflict Of My Nature

I need to take the time to smell the roses. 

I lead a very busy life, much of it self-imposed. Rarely do I sit down and enjoy the moment, it's always something needing doing. Does it matter, does it really need to be done. Or can it wait. I missed a graduation party yesterday because I had my husbands attention for some work. Now in my defense, I don't often get him to pitch in and help. He is very resistant to my charms. And I did get some much needed things done. Then I look on facebook this morning and see the photos of all of the fun and I realize once again I missed a moment.

How many of these moments have I missed? A lot. I can't go, I have to take care of the horses. I need to get the barn cleaned. I am swamped with work because it's spring. You know fall is a really busy time for me. These are my common phrases. Slide right out of my mouth. 

I know how it started. There was a time when I had so many horses to care for I really could not alter my routine. I had to stay on track if I were to keep order. After awhile it became habit. It became more work than pleasure to take the time to do something besides work. What got put off today has to be made up tomorrow. Mark was gone a lot and so the whole of the place was on my shoulders. I was younger, but it was a lot. I was so absorbed in my obsession that it didn't seem abnormal to me. Well, mostly. Once in awhile I would realize the insanity, but I did not look too long or too closely at it.

My life is easier now, but the habit is still there. Along with a tendency toward reclusiveness. So the next time someone asks me to do something, I will stifle the urge to say "I'd like to, but I can't. I'm too busy." At least I hope I will. Time is flying by me and I realize my stay here is not infinite. I don't think I want my life remembered only for the fact that I am a hard worker. I would like people remembering me to also reminisce about my sense of humor and my generous spirit. Who can know this about me if I stay home? No one.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fleeting, Lovely

Water Iris

Beautiful delicate flower which has a life cycle that completes in one day. Bud to bloom to curl all in a day. This flower demands I take the time to look, for it will be gone in a blink of an eye. I think there is a metaphor in there somewhere.