November 30, 2010

the strongest conjuration

I'm back at Moss Hill after a week away visiting family on my old turf. It had been a long while since I was last there, and I had more than a few flashback moments, not the least of which was seeing my niece's 14 yr old daughter, so like her mother was at that age that I openly gawked.

I spent a good lot of time crashing into memories, all good, but still - so much.

It has me thinking again of just how broad our definition of "home" is:  Besides where we live now (which may or may not be "home"), and where we wish home could be, home may be where our parents are, or were; our childhood home; the streets and skyscapes of our past; where the people are who knew us "when". To that, add the small town where my parents were born, raised, married, and started their family, my sister and brother born there, the place of grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles. How many Thanksgivings did we spend there, when there were more of us, when "we" meant "all of us"? Too few, maybe, but enough to mark my heart forever.

Besides all that, what do we think of these chairs?

They're 6 for $75 on craigslist. They come with a table, which I don't want. I do, however, need chairs. I would paint and reupholster them,  natch. I have the promise of a sister coming to help with projects in the spring. 

Lots of choices for fabrics. I like these:

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Do you have a favorite, or an alternative option to suggest? 

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; 
stronger than magician ever spoke,
or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.
~Charles Dickens
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November 22, 2010

the highest appreciation

Yesterday we had Thanksgiving dinner at Moss Hill. Yes, Thanksgiving is officially Thursday, but I'll be in Arkansas then, visiting my sisters, mother,  niece, her daughters, and her new wifey. My kids will be with their other familes, and my mother-in-law will be back home in California, so we did ours early.

This was the first big holiday we've had here at Moss Hill. It was lovely, and delicious, and fun, with lots of good food and laughing. As usual, it was a turkey-free Thanksgiving, a tradition we started several years before going vegetarian, after learning about the horrendous abuses routinely inflicted upon factory-farmed turkeys. I urge everyone reading this - all 3 of you - to seriously consider having a turkey-free Thanksgiving this year. With all the other delicious food on the table you'll never miss the bird, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you didn't participate in animal abuse just to satisfy your craving for a drumstick (otherwise known as a dead bird's leg.) If you want to take it a step further, you can even adopt a turkey.

I love watching the little flock of Eastern Wild Turkey that sometimes struts through our yard, although we won't be putting any feeders out for them; this species can reach an adult height of 4 feet, run 25 miles an hour, and have been known to display aggressive behavior to humans if they're in a situation where they lose their natural fear of us. So, here's the deal, Tom - I won't eat you, and you don't attack me. Fair enough?

Happy Thanksgiving, turkeys!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget 
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, 
but to live by them.  
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
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November 20, 2010

what is given

Someone on craigslist has offered to give me this leather-topped desk, and I've happily accepted. I am certain it's a diamond in the rough and will be magnificent after some TLC. Wifey disagrees, but I'm paying her no mind.

Sometimes the low-hanging fruit is the sweetest.

Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with. 

Robert Frost 

UPDATE: Easy come, easy go... Mr. Friendly on craigslist ended up giving the desk to someone else. I am only slightly miffed, as it was never mine to begin with, and I pretty much live by the rule that things happen as they should.
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November 16, 2010

I would have...

So I've already mentioned sheep, and the fact that I may want a few. 

I may want chickens, too. 

I don't eat chickens. Cows or pigs, either, and no turkeys. It's not that they're not all delicious (they are!), it's that I won't participate in the industrialized torture of millions of animals. (Don't worry, there's nothing gory ahead, and I'm not about to rant.) I'm flawed in my righteousness, because I do still eat dairy, and fish. And I feel guilty about it.

But I could raise my own chickens, and have fresh, guilt-free eggs. I think I could even slaughter a chicken guilt-free. Really, though, I'd be satisfied with the eggs. Besides, chickens are kind of fun.

There would have to be a coop, complete with hen house. In addition to functional, it would have to be not ugly. Within those parameters, the possibilities are practically endless.

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Have you ever raised/kept chickens? Do you have any advice for me? 

If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens. 
~ Grandma Moses
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November 14, 2010

the smiling verdure of a velvet surface

This room is perfect, and I am in love with it. That's all I'm going to say.


Society is like a lawn where every roughness is smoothed, every bramble eradicated,
 and where the eye is delighted by the smiling verdure of a velvet surface.
 ~ Washington Irving

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November 13, 2010

if someone wants a sheep...

I've always, for as long as I can remember, liked sheep. They're cute - is there really anything cuter than lambs?! - they're a pleasure to watch, and there's something infinitely peaceful about them. I even like the way they smell.

I've also always "wanted" sheep, although I've never really known much about them, besides that they're cute, and a pleasure to watch. In other words, nothing.Trips to Scotland have only made the wanting stronger, but have done nothing to educate me on the realities. A dangerous combination, surely.

I've met a flock or two in the past, and met another flock yesterday, only these girls were different: they're not wool-producing sheep, they're hair sheep. No shearing, no tail-docking, fewer parasites. And still cute. One latte coated ewe came up and nuzzled my hand through the fence. When I scratched her furry forehead she leaned into me, and wagged her tail. Like a dog. I was smitten. I asked if she had a name, and when I discovered she didn't, I proposed "Puppy." Connor, the 8 yr old boy who lives there, agreed wholeheartedly. So that's me smitten twice in one day, once by a tail-wagging ewe named Puppy, and again by a blue-eyed boy named Connor, who told me his barn cat Hissy "has a crooked voice." 

I'm not heading out to build a sheep shed and a paddock just yet, but with 8 acres to do with as we wish, I'm not ruling it out, either.

Katahdin Hair Sheep 

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If someone wants a sheep, then that means that he exists. 
~  Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
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