Archive for December, 2009

Ice obsession

I went back to that ice fall in the afternoon day before yesterday, hoping to get some pictures with the sun shining through the ice fall.   No luck, the sun was behind the shoulder of the ridge this magical spring hides behind.   I was only enticed up there in the first place because the “mouth” of the hollow had living water flowing in it.   It made me wonder what was up there that I couldn’t see behind the ridge.

But there were some new images I liked.  Hope you are not bored by my obsession just yet.

We are likely to get more ice pictures than anything else for a while.   The weather guessers have prognosticated a week long period of arctic cold here.

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A few views from around the house taken yesterday, followed by images I captured while walking with Ruby up at Bennett Spring State Park today.  She thought I was certifiably insane taking all those pictures when I should have been throwing a stick for her.   I did throw one for her, up at a pool we got to which was not frozen due to the fact that it was spring water and comes out of the earth about 54 degrees.   This was after she had already been swimming in the pool, with great zest.   Who’s crazy?

Now go warm up with a nice hot toddy.

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White Christmas

Yesterday I ran around taking pictures in the rain.  This morning we arose to this:

There are actually birds all over in that picture, but the snow flurries make it difficult to capture anything.


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. . .all through garden. . .

and House. . .

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care,

I see that St. Nicholas has already been there.   (Saving time I guess, starting early)

Out in the garden there rose such a chatter,

I jumped to the window to see what was the matter.

What did my wondering eyes behold?

An Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca), decked all in gold.

I grabbed up my camera and ran to the garden,

I snapped and I snapped until caught by the warden.

After lunch I sat down all excited to share, the wonderful beauty I’d stumbled on there.

Juniper and holly were dressed up so jolly,

I almost thought other decor was just folly.

Good thing I changed my mind.  I’m really enjoying decorating this year!

Also, we finally heard from Jesse and he sounds good, is busy all day (and all night too sometimes)  He reports has recently caught the Terry Pratchett bug and I don’t believe that he will ever recover from it.

Hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas, full of joy and meaning, and no excess.   Well maybe a little excess.   In moderation.

(Thanks for the inspiration from Debra, Nan and all the other folks at Gardening Gone Wild.  And apologies to C. C. Moore {the original author of the poem})

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I looked at my blog the other day and realized that I have been neglecting it utterly.   Over on my Desktop there are a couple of dozen photos just waiting to be uploaded so I can share how blessed we are here at the Havens.

I started saying affirmations for my business back in August or September (I can’t really remember which) in an attempt to allow the Universal Energy to work for me before I committed dollars for advertising.   I have advertised before, but it doesn’t seem to be very effective.   I think it is because in essence, when I advertise, I am saying, “By golly, I’m  the greatest massage therapist around and if you come and bare yourself to me you will feel so dandy!  Call for an appointment.”   The reader reaction is, “Well, of COURSE she has to say she’s great.   How do I believe this self-serving mass of blather?”   But when a happy satisfied client who has experienced pain relief first hand tells their friends and acquaintances, “I have this amazing massage therapist and she fixed my hip!  You need to take that (insert pain-ful body part here) to her and if she doesn’t fix it no one can!” the reaction is, “Gee, this gal must have some talent.   I’d better see what she can do for me.”

Well the Universal Energy has responded in trumps and I have been very busy giving massages, plus there is a nice full appointment book to admire and a week off between Christmas and New Year’s to prepare for it, plus a whole bunch of people have purchased gift certificates and so I will be meeting a lot of new clients in the new year.   As Jesse would say, “Hooah!”

Speaking of Jesse, he is now over in Iraq again, this time near Kirkuk.  So any good thoughts you have to spare to send his way would be greatly appreciated here.  We haven’t heard from him for a while, but the Army would inform us if anything bad had happened to him, so I figure he is just really busy and bored a (I sincerely hope bored!).   Soon he will be busy eating cookies and sharing with his battle buddies since I sent him a box just loaded with the cookies I baked last week.

That was a major occupying force in this house for about ten days.   I figured out how many cookies I have baked so far, and came up with 79 dozen, then I ran out of a couple of kinds and we were getting ready to have a party so I baked another ten dozen or so.

We hosted the Solstice Holidays Bonfire and Gift Exchange potluck party this year.   Once I announced my candidacy for hostess and it was unanimously accepted and ratified, I started humble petitions to the UniEn for nice bonfire weather.   As soon as we had all set a mutually agreeable date, the weather turned very nasty around here.   We had a week where it never went above 35 and a lot of mornings the thermometer seemed to be broken and stuck between 8 and 11 degrees.    It finally really was the end of the line for the swiss chard.

But the cold frames are still going strong, and last night we had a salad along with our fish.

Anyway, back to the party.   We decided to hold it on the actual day of the Solstice, and so Sunday was party day at the Havens.   We took time out of our preparations for guests to light the bonfire at the exact moment the sun crossed the solstice point (that was 12:47 p.m. here, by the way).   We had a very small fire this year, because it was too bitterly cold and wet to gather the brush from the back line in the days before the party.   Plus we were awfully busy tending the stove and keeping the house warm, and baking stuff.

So this is a portrait of the fire about 30 seconds after we put our matches to it.

Then I turned 90 degrees and caught the Driftwood Galaxy sculpture I installed on the sauna dressing room in the Solstice sun light.

After the fire was going well, we retired to the house to await our first guests.   The place was decorated just enough.

As you can see from the above series, the sun came out and started to warm things up plus a little warm front moved through and it turned into the perfect afternoon and evening for a bonfire party.    Thanks go out to the universal energy for that answer to our petitions.

Pretty soon the first people started to trickle in.   Ruby was SURE that everyone was coming by just to visit her and throw her ball and pet her ears, and no one popped her little bubble in any way.   Ruby is a very social animal, but very polite.  Suffice it to say that the dog was well exercised, fully sated with petting and attention, and no one gave her indigestible tidbits to eat.  Smokey, on the other hand, was extremely miffed that we had the unmitigated gall to have a party without asking or telling him.  And the Fools were sitting in His Chair and didn’t even discern how disgusting and disconcerting that was.  People.

Oh my, did we have food!   There were two types of wonderful gumbo, plus innumerable side dishes and cookies and pies and I don’t know what all.   Plus there were libations!  After dinner had been consumed Jim put the sticky buns in the oven and baked them.

They were served warm, and he made two pans of them.   We were able to find homes for most of the left-overs with departing guests, so that was good.  Because they were just a little too good, if you know what I mean.

We played the gift exchange game, and I stole the long handled duster thingy from someone who then got to open the hand turned oak bowl. . .  We ate, drank, made merry, took saunas, sat around the bonfire and generally confabulated fabulously.   This is me and my dad making merry.

After a while, people started to trickle home, and eventually the house was empty again.  Then I did a little tidying up, and got a picture of the festive board following the festivities:

Out in the living room, the cat was finally able to enjoy His Chair unimpeded.

During the gift exchange game, one of our number kept having whatever gift he had opened taken from him.   At his first choice, he reached in onto the table and said “I want the black ball,” to which I replied, “It is not wrapped, Dear, it is not in the gift exchange.”  When he was reaching onto the table for the fourth time and said “I still want the black ball,” I finally said “Okay, you can have it if I can come down to your place and take anything I want.”  You have to understand something about the sort of person he is, and have a concept of how many crystals he has dug, and don’t forget he has travelled extensively and he worked in a sapphire mine in Montana for a while,  plus he’s attended the Tuscon gem and mineral show every year for a decade or so.   He told me that was a deal only I couldn’t have anything that was already cemented into the house.   Fair enough.   He may just get a black silver sheen obsidian ball one of these days.

Meanwhile, I noticed what a fine job it was a capturing a reflection of my Solsticemas tree after the party was over and I was back from walking the labyrinth at midnight.

The sun is beginning its journey back to the North and a new circle of the year begins.   May you all be blessed with health, happiness and prosperity in the coming seasons.

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