“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
~ John Wesley
Since moving into my little house I’ve called it The Lodge because it looks and feels like a tiny urban lodge. But with the enormous crow’s nest now situated high atop the backyard fir tree, I feel like calling it The Crow’s Nest. The outside always looks best in spring. These shots were from two weeks ago before the dianthus along the drive bloomed and the redbuds were still flowered out. I feel so fortunate to live in such a sweet little neighborhood.
“Perhaps a butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of
darkness yet becomes something beautiful.” ~ Toby Mac
I got a special delivery from my old friend Jill LeMaster. She started raising hens a few months ago up in Morgan County, and today sent down a dozen eggs by mom and dad. I never figured eggs to be beautiful, but these eggs are beautiful to me. Jill and I had a long talk last night about chickens and eggs (the question still remains which came first). For instance, the greenish eggs are laid by her Bantam hens. The big brown eggs by her Golden Comets. Jill said she doesn’t wash them because they’re laid with a protective coating on them called a ‘bloom’. The bloom prevents bacterial growth as long as it’s attached. Washing off the dirt also washes off the bloom which can then introduce bacteria once you crack it open. She shared lots of other interesting chicken facts, but “Don’t get me started on chicken shit!” she exclaimed. Thank you, Jill. Thank you for the eggs, and thank you for making your way in this world in truly remarkable ways. You’re my inspiration.
“I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much, and I’m using it to light the torches of others.”
~ Gloria Steinem
What a gloriously beautiful day this was in Kentucky. I came home from work, put the fur babies on their leashes, and outside we went. Leo and Lily sunbathed in the backyard while Wally and I went to the front to expand my flower bed. The sun felt so good, the wind and temperature just right. The fur babies were content and happy. I was content and happy. I called mom and even she was able to go outside and take in the beauty. It was a glorious day to be alive.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
~ Muhammad Ali
The snow was nearly nine inches deep when I last snapped the shutter. I understand the final tally for the storm of 2015 is just over ten inches here in Lexington. Parts of Kentucky have several more inches. Up north they have a little less. Roads are horrible. The temperature is plummeting to single digits, even below zero later in the week. UK called off classes for today and tomorrow. UK called off work, too, except for the poor Plan B “essential” employees.
Stacy offered to make her delicious scrambled eggs and pancakes for our adult snow day brunch. Wally and I headed down the street, and there was close to six inches on the ground by then, just enough to make him miserable. He walked three houses then refused to walk any further. Seriously. I had to carry him, shivering like a baby, bless his little puppy dog heart. He sure isn’t like Sadie. That dog adored snow. Wally does not, well, not this particular snow anyway. At ten inches it’s almost over his head. The poor thing must have a bladder the size of Texas by now. The cats, who normally adore going outside, also thought better of it when Leo sank in over his head. I’m certain I heard him say in his most butch cat voice, “That’s rude!” At which point they both made an about face and came back inside. I am so thankful to have a warm home for them, and for myself. After the ice storm of 2003, I never take for granted how fortunate I am to have a safe, warm place to lay my head. Here’s hoping everyone is safe and warm and loved tonight.
“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
Let me just say for the record that taking two cats and a dog to the vet at the same time is stressful. Not for them, but for me. I don’t know what I would have done without Stacy Yelton’s help schlepping them all in to meet Aunt Millie (Dr. Millicent Hardigree at Southland Veterinary Hospital). Leo, of course, did great. Lily, of course, threw up (that means she also did great), and Wally was adored on sight! As if he couldn’t be adored. Dr. Hardigree reckons he’s a terrier/schnauzer/dachshund about two years old, maybe two and half like LHS said. She laughed when I asked what I could do to help the dog and cats get along better. “Let them work it out,” she giggled. “They will” raising an eyebrow. I felt a lot better after having her confirm he is a totally awesome dude, although she did caution that he may indeed be an escape artist like originally feared. Apparently, these little dogs are wily that way. But for now, he’s sleeping by my side having puppy dreams and I couldn’t be happier. However, the cats expressing their disapproval of him by pooping in the laundry hamper – on the clothes – did quell the happiness quotient a tad.
“All religions are like different cars all moving in the same direction.
People who don’t see it have no light in their hearts.”
~ Ajahn Chah
This is pretty much what things looked like around my house today. One spoiled lap dog, and two very displeased cats who spent most of their day on top of the kitchen cabinets. They were fine yesterday. Leo and Wally even slept on the bed with me last night – both of them! Did they decide they’d lay on the cabinets in protest? Did he chase them when I wasn’t looking? Not likely since the only time I didn’t see him was when I showered, and the cats were already up high. Therefore, I think it’s kitteh protest. Cats can be so stubborn sometimes. I actually love that about them. They’re gutsy.
GANDHI’S 7 ROOTS OF VIOLENCE
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Commerce without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principles
This neighbor should have gotten the “I’m glad you picked this neighborhood” note. One or both occupants must surely be in landscaping. Few people have the pallet to put together something as delicious as this fence bed. I marvel at it daily, and it’s always changing. Something is always in bloom, and everything is spaced perfectly. I’m taking notes.
“We regret to inform you that there’s no better time than the present.” ~ Nein
I had an excellent annual checkup with my favorite doctor of all time, Dr. Barbara Fleming-Phillips. In her care, I feel like someone actually knows my history well enough to really look after me. As a treat to myself for such a good checkup, and to the cats for being totally awesome, we headed to the yard to enjoy the evening sun and breeze. This spring has been so nice (read: few bugs) that I’ve been taking them outside more often. They walk in and out of the house on leashes, and they have fifteen foot tie-outs from whence to perambulate: house kitty heaven. They do remarkably well on the leashes, and when they don’t? Entertainment for me! The weather has been especially perfect for my fruit trees. We park ourselves in the middle of them. This day, as with many others, there is much to be thankful for.
“One has to find a balance between what people need from you
and what you need for yourself.” ~ Jessye Norman
Saturday I bought a new tea kettle. Yesterday, in a crouched position, Lily moved one foot in front of the other cautiously across the stove, tail puffed to twice its size. I mentioned this hilarious stalking moment on facebook, to which Bob Gregory replied, “This being posted by you (of all people) with no accompanying photograph is unacceptable.” He was right. I had failed. I was laughing when I should have been snapping. I wasn’t to be outdone, however. This morning, though she’s not as intent as yesterday, Lily still wonders why that new cat doesn’t do more than hiss. Snap.