"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why I Walk


Yesterday I took a walk. They tell us that a storm will move in from the north and we will get cold rain all weekend. So I wanted to go for a walk before the rain.
We only have two flat places on our property: One is where the house and surrounding areas are and the other is a knoll up the road where we have a small orchard, the septic mound and where Maggie is buried.
The rest is lots of up and down, steep ravines and old mining roads that follow the easiest routes to the places that use to be occupied by tents and folks looking for gold. You can find a few old shacks. mine shafts, rusty pieces of equipment and stone foundations, if you look hard enough, hiding beneath old dead oak trees and grass but mostly there's the beauty of untouched land that gives me courage to walk by myself on our property and our neighbor's land above us. I never run into anyone on my hikes. It is a place empty of people.
I love these walks. Time to think and look for the true inhabitants of these foothills who usually disappear into what Mary Oliver calls the "impossible trees" when I'm there. I know they watch me from a safe distance.... The crazy, noisy human who smells dangerous and carries a black contraption around her neck that makes a click. How would they know it's not a rifle or a gun. It's best that they hide. Others are not shooting with a camera. Others, as I hear a shot in the distance, would aim and fire death.
So I travel over to the other flat area on our property....
past the burn barrels and the Minnesota mound ( our very expensive septic system that was required before we could build a house here.).....
and the Fox den.....

and down into the grove of Manzanita that feeds my soul. The twisted trunks of red. The sinuous serpent branches of this beautiful tree always gives me a feeling that I'm not alone at all, just a different DNA, a structure of a different sort that has more mobility. I feel like Dorothy in the apple orchard waiting for the trees to come to life and being surprised when they start talking to me..... reprimand me for taking some of their bark and capturing their souls in my little black box that clicks.
"Excuse me, but you dropped these on the ground and I only want a few. Please don't be angry. I will leave you a gift in exchange......"
"It's a strange expression that , in human language, represents greeting and well-wishing. A word that says... hello you lovely trees, bushes and leaf covered ground. I have been here today. I will come back soon. Take care of the others who come here. Let them see my sign and not be afraid. I will not speak loudly or take what isn't mine. I only want to be a part of this. I only need to know that this is here."
As I walked back up onto the road near the orchard I heard a rustle in the trees. Could it be that after I left, all the little animals came out of their hiding places to see what the human wrote in the leaves. Do you suppose they all gathered in a circle around my word and talked about it?..... Do you think the Manzanita told them that I was all right.... that I would come again? That the word was an offering of love? I hope so....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Poverty Flats Rd. near Roosville, MT. near the Canadian Border








( I just have to say something here. The Canadian border is out in that field. Do you see a fence or the border patrol? Did any one stop us and ask my friend and I why we were taking pictures? No.
Our government seems to have horse blinders on when it comes to keeping our borders safe. Maybe the Canadians don't want to come into the United States but there is sure nothing stopping anyone else from riding in on a horse or hiking into the United States up there. I was aghast at the lack of any visible safeguards. Maybe there was an electrified fence that we couldn't see. Maybe someone had us on surveillance cameras. I kind of hope so.... but maybe we were on the wrong side, so it didn't matter. Still, it does give you pause for thought.
This horse could care less about the whole thing. He is a horse without borders..... friendly and welcoming, as you can see. But I did wonder if he was Canadian or a citizen of the U.S. I didn't ask for his papers.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I had a remarkable dream last night.



"  Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?"  ~ e.a. Poe~ 
 

Within each one of us there is another whom we do not know. He (she) speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from how we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a difficult situation, to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude, the very attitude that led us into the difficult situation."
Carl Jung (1875-1961) 

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Fun never ends.

I have some new decorating ideas . What do you think?
In the spirit of Simple Living and doing with less, I have condensed the living room and the kitchen into one room. This way we can watch television and eat without getting up or walking . It's a little tight but I think after the initial "getting use to it" period, we will find that we can all live with less sq. footage and our efforts to do this will give us a sense of helping the environment.
Yea! I know. You don't believe this.....but....
I ask you to Google "Tiny Houses" and see what others are doing to live smaller. At least I'm trying.
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The truth is that we are having the rugs cleaned today at 1:00 p.m. and everything had to be off this rug so a guy can come out and beat the old rug to death with soap and water, in hopes that he can restore it for another year.
Poor rug is getting old. Each time it gets cleaned I think that this will be the cleaning that will finally destroy the last standing fibers and the whole rug will say "I give." and fall into long shreds of defeat. We never move the piano or the glass front bookcase so the rug under those two pieces is really good but the rest, after 13 years of dogs that "live in", is pretty well depleted.
I keep saying that this will be the last effort. That I won't clean it one more time. I WANT NEW CARPET. Then I think about the incident that precipitated this cleaning event.
Cutter ate something he thought was wonderful outside and promptly came in and decided it wasn't so great. He left it all over the middle of the carpet. Then when it rained last week, he decided that he just couldn't go outside to do his duty. It was just too scary for him out there. And then Carl, my wonder dog, ate the same irresistible "whatever" that Cutter ate and lost it on the rug too.
I have been through this before. Cutter is our 5th dog here. So I shouldn't get so upset. Cleaning up throw-up and other body functions is our middle name around here. Puppies and old dogs don't seem to appreciate my efforts to maintain a lovely house while living on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness Brownie hasn't won the "Why can't I sleep in the house?" argument or I'd be cleaning up little round balls of Goat scat to. That's were I draw the line.
I'm thinking that maybe new carpet is not the answer. Maybe I should look into these new laminate  or engineered wood floors. They would be easier to clean and the living room wouldn't look like a map of our odd, obsessive-compulsive desire to live with dogs.
Anyway, the house will be a mess for a few days. I'm not going to have the carpet in the guestroom cleaned. ...
It's the dog's domain this week and where would we put all this stuff. Please don't call and say your in town and need a place to stay. I might be a bit lacking in hospitality....
Somehow, I don't think I'm ever going to achieve a state of "simple living" in this lifetime.