Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jewel sounds good

Thank goodness for our patient pet patients. Georgia rediscovered my stethoscope in my closet and listened to Jewel's breathing and heartbeat and then gave her a bath.

I hadn't even told her about my job where I am teaching the nursing students how to do the same, but to plastic mannequins not rats.

Home from work at 1am

Met by some sweet, but heartbreaking, post-its from Lily on the door so I couldn't miss them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Greenfield Garden

Rob was gone for the weekend so we girls had an adventure on Friday night. We went to see Dolphin Tale, the movie. We all loved it. When it finished Georgia took off her 3-D glasses she said, "I can't see. For some reason my eyes are wet." It was a tearjerker, but nice to see a movie we could all enjoy with no bad guys and no romance. Great time.

damp walk

It's been so wet even the fungus is growing fungus!

A red eft. They live 12-15 years in the wild. I had no idea.

I looked up this adorable mushroom and discovered on Wikopedia that it is "Amanita muscaria commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita is a poisonous and psychoactive basdiomvcete fungus"! Who knew? If you eat 15 they can kill you! Historically they have been used as a fly insecticide when soaked in milk.

And here is a spider web illuminated by the droplets of rain.

Lily stayed home sick from school with a stomach ache, but she was fine by 10am. We went for a walk and then watched Kit Kitteredge the movie. Nice day even though I got nothing practical done.

Gamble everything for love,

Gamble everything for love,
if you’re a true human be
If not, leave this gathering.

Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at meanspirited roadhouses.

Don’t wait any longer. Dive in the ocean, leave and let the sea be you. Silent, absent, walking an empty road, all praise.

-- Rumi

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Autumnal Equinox

Welcome fall! It was a difficult late summer for me and I'm ready to begin a new season. I have alot of catching up I'd like to do on here. Hope all have been well!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


4th grade band begins!

The clarinet is gorgeous.
Matte black and heavy with the word:
on every piece.

Lily joyfully squawked and squeaked.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hike/bike in Gill woods

Cookie raced around the cyclocross track to keep up with Rob while he did a few practice loops. I don't think she's ever run so much, look at her tongue!

Cooling off in the river

it really felt like fall.
It begins tomorrow. I can't believe it.
What a beautiful waterfall on the way out.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Everything always passes, and everything is already okay. Stay in the place where you can see that, and nothing will resist you.—Martha Beck, Steering by Starlight

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cookie's horizontal ears

as she focuses intently on the almost empty peanut butter jar.
The heart on her head has become more clear. So sweet.

Elderberry Syrup

I have big plans to avoid illness this winter.
After my ear infection that almost killed me last winter I am feeling a bit more protective of myself.
One of my strategies is going to be taking elderberry syrup which prevents and shortens cold and flu. It is also from the magical elder tree where the fairy queen is said to preside and which has a long ancient history of great healing power.

We have been watching the flowers bloom and then the berries ripen on the patch down the street. They are very common in moist places and easiest to find when the flowers are in full bloom, bright and white they

reveal many elderberry bushes. I wrote down their locations this year so I could find them to harvest the berries later. You have to harvest at just the right time when the berries are dark purple and heavy but the birds haven't found them all and gobbled them up.

Georgia and I strolled down to the nearby trees and a cat bird scolded us from the opposite side of Bird brook where she was eating some of the ripe berries. We picked a bowl full.

and then made a syrup. I found a few recipes on the internet and this one sounded good.

I boiled the sweet smelling berries in water for hours, strained out the liquid once it had boiled away half then added ginger root, cinnamon and cloves. Once it was cooled I added the raw honey. It is very sweet. Too sweet for Rob and Lily, but Georgia loves it and I don't mind it. Everyone is enjoying it on oatmeal, though.

My Great Grandmother Hulda used to make elderberry jam every year. My mother told me that one year she was too sick to go out and harvest the berries so her brother, Axel, harvested them and put them in the freezer for her to make her jam when she was better. When she finally opened the freezer there were the berries still on their branches. He had cut the branches off and stuffed them all in the freezer.

After Georgia and I picked these it rained for a week or so and when we looked again (I was going to make a few more batches, maybe one with brandy that wouldn't be so sweet) the berries were totally gone, each one picked from their stalks.

If I run out I'll have to order some dried berries on-line from Mountain Rose Herbs

Walking Cooks

It is very difficult to get a photo of her because she is always moving when we are outside.

The Beech tree was slick in the rain

And here's a shiny purple mushroom!

The dog is mighty taxing, but it is good she insists on a walk most days.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Darling mushrooms

The forests are filled with mushrooms, must be all the rain.

These were so tiny and delicate I had to crouch down and capture them in photos.

It feels like the fairies have just flitted out of sight!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


over Labor Day weekend. Great fun. Smores,

fishing at sunset,


and campfires

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hiking Mt Grace

Marker at the top.

Georgia and Olive, whom Georgia absoluty adores. We all made it to the top of the mountain. The experience made me realize I do need to do more cardio.....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sparkle survives!

Georgia came in the house looking horrified.
"Mama, there's a pile of feathers and I'm scared." She started to cry.
I went outside to look and there was a substantial pile of feathers just outside the garage, but nothing anywhere else. Nothing. I looked for some trail or sign of which way she had been taken. Did a hawk swoop down? Georgia looked around nervously and whimpered, "I can't go camping. I'm so scared." (We were packing for a camping trip this weekend.) I felt so sad and guilty. How could I have not heard anything? Now we had one chicken. One chicken in not a happy situation. She can't snuggle to stay warm and they get very lonely.

I told Georgia we'd go drive around and see if we could find any clues.
I went into the garage and thought I heard something. A soft cluck? I went to the way back, among the piles of tires and lawn equipment and I saw a feather and heard a very soft muffled clucking. I saw a mess of feathers and realized she was there! She was somehow stuffed under a tire and she didn't look good. There was blood, but at least we'd get to hold her and say goodbye. I ran inside and got gloves on. It looked like it would be gruesome.

I talked quietly to her and took the pile of stuff off of her and squatted down to pull her out.

She seemed OK!
She was all in one piece.
Her butt was bleeding where something had pulled out feathers but she seemed Ok.
Georgia and I were so elated! She was alive!
I set her down and our other chicken came close, then I noticed Sparkle had a limp. A chicken with a limp is a sad sight. She went to lie under the cedars with Henny and lay her head on Henny's back. I wondered if she might just perish from internal injuries at any moment, but she perked up and was alert the next morning. Hooray!