Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, May 10, 2012


A River Far Away and Long Ago

The river
of my childhood,
that tumbled 
down a passage of rocks

and cut-work ferns,
came here and there
to the swirl
and slowdown

of a pool 
and I saw myself...
oh, clearly...
as I knelt at one... 

then I saw myself
as if carried away,
as the river moved on
Where have I gone?

Since then
I have looked and looked
 for myself,
not sure

who I am, or where,
or, more importantly, why.
It's okay...
I have had a wonderful life.

Still, I ponder
where that other is...
where I landed,
what I thought, what I did,

what small or even maybe meaningful deeds
I might have accomplished
among strangers,

coming to them
as only a river can...
touching every life it meets...
that endlessly kind, that enduring.

~Mary Oliver~

Monday, May 7, 2012

A quick trip to Marysville, some Baby Goats and a Full Moon

I drove up to Marysville, a small town north of Sacramento, to visit my friend "C" on Saturday. She was house sitting her brother's home for a week and invited me to come up overnight. So I packed up and left the mountain, drove down to the valley, then up highway 5 to highway 99 and found her brother's place with only one unintended side trip that would have taken me east to Reno, NV.  I took a wrong turn off the downtown Sacramento freeway. I realized that I wasn't going north anymore and turned around, losing only about 15 minutes or so. I, obviously, don't do this very much and I had never been to Marysville before... ever.
I finally arrived at my destination and "C' greeted me with open arms and lunch.
This is Max and Milly. Milly has the long ears.
Max is 'C"s dog and the father of Milly. Milly belongs to her brother. They are Havanese breeds and the liveliest little dogs ever. I didn't have time to miss Carl and Cutter because I was entertained by these two little pups during my whole visit.
We went into Marysville for dinner. This town is suffering from the economic downturn. Its main street has many empty buildings and it just looks kind of down and out. It's sad to see a small town looking like this.
After dinner we took a drive out over the railroad tracks to the east.  We passed lots of orchards. This is still a very rural community. It was getting late so we turned around and came back into town.
We drove back to the house, played with the dogs and walked out to the beautiful rose garden behind this lovely home.
That evening we talked, laughed and even cried a little , sharing the things that old friends share with each other... the things that you know you can express with a person and they will understand. It comes of knowing someone for a very long time. It's a good feeling. I can be myself with "C". I don't have to make excuses or be afraid to tell her things that I don't always tell others. She accepts me for who I am.  What a gift that is.

The house is on at least an acre and backed up to an orchard so it feels like it's out in the country. It's a lovely big home.
The home is elegant and decorated beautifully, so the last thing I expected to see was an indoor chicken coop... but there it was, in the corner of the screened porch.
This one stays really clean because the chickens are...
CERAMIC CHICKENS... No cleaning the coop... no rooster crowing, but you have to buy your eggs at the store. Bummer!
 It was cute though. I wonder what would happen if I put one of these ceramic chickens in with mine. Napoleon, our rooster, would probably have a fit trying to figure that one out.
I had charming accommodations and slept well Saturday night. Sunday morning we said our goodbyes and I headed back to Sacramento.
I drove west into Yuba City hoping to find a closer road around the Sutter Buttes, which is considered  the smallest mountain range in the world. This is a fascinating range that rises up out of the flat central valley in Sutter County like a strange, misplaced mountain.
The Buttes are so interesting.  I had never been this close to them before and wanted to take some pictures. I wasn't in familiar territory and didn't have a good map so I decided to pass on finding a road around the mountain range... so, I headed west. I got gas in Yuba City and then drove over the Feather River, finally turning south on highway 99, and headed for Sacramento.
By the time I reached Sacramento I was starving. It was lunchtime, so I decided to go into Elk Grove, grab some lunch and stop by another friend's house to see her new goat babies.
Oh GOAT BABIES. This will give you a dose of cuteness that you may not recover from.
I was greeted by my friend and at least thirteen babies with their moms and the old white pig that didn't seem too concerned about all the little ones running around.
He was laying in the shade and sleeping.
The little goats were not...
Some were learning how to use the hay feeder. This one was sure that jumping in with all four feet was the answer.
Some were a little more practiced at it.
And one even posed for me.
Maybe she just didn't want me watching her. Oh the cuteness!
These are Alpine goats. They are milk goats. You can learn more about them here.
Look at this little one lying in the grass. I mean... don't you just want to lie down and play with her.
Are they not the most lovely little creatures? Look at those eyelashes.
They like to be held.
But they still want to be with their Mom. This Mom had quadruplets. The little black one on the right is hers too.
That's a lot of babies to deliver. Oooff! Nice job Mom!

I love this photo. Jane's hand show the love that she has for these animals. These are the hands of a true farmgirl.
  I love these hands. There is a special beauty in hands that are work worn because they take care of others.  It's my favorite photo of the day.

This doe wasn't happy about my presence.
I got the impression that she was telling me I needed to leave and to take the camera with me.
Jane said that she is one of the "cranky" ones. I think she is just opinionated.  Look at her. She is just about ready to say something. I expected something to come out of her mouth at any minute.

And then there was this little guy who would not leave me alone. He tried to eat my shirt sleeve, nibbled on my jean pocket, pulled my shirt at the edges and then this...
The little kid just hunkered in between my legs and stood there. I rubbed its back and sides and he/she (I can't remember which now.) just stayed there. How cute! I wanted to take him/her home with me.
What enchanting little animals.
Jane has named a couple of them. She wants to keep those two, but the rest are either spoken for or going to be sold. When they're this cute you want to take them all home with you. It would be really easy to confuse "want" with "need".
I thanked Jane and drove home. I was really tired on the way home, but after dinner I felt revived. I stayed up late so I could take one more picture.
I set up my tripod, waited patiently in a lawn chair for the beautiful, full moon to rise. It did... and it was worth waiting for.
 It was so beautiful and I sat watching in wonder at this moon that circles our Earth. I sat there for a long time taking pictures and just watching it rise into the night sky.
It was so much easier to be outside, by myself, knowing that the Prospector was inside and close by.
He was snoring... but he was there.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON! I know you don't want me making a big deal out of this on my blogpost but we love you and we want you to know that we wish you a very happy day.
Come up soon.
Love, Mom and Dad