The Ever Gentle Cow

The ever gentle cow.

I once had this friend who delighted in sharing a story about how, on one boring Saturday night, herself, her boyfriend, and another couple  decided to go cowtipping.

She described how they drove down  dark country roads until they came upon a pasture full of cows.

They dimmed the car lights, and turned off the engine. Slowly and stealthily, they crept through long grasses to the fence. Silently, they successfully scaled the cold, metal wires. They spotted their subject, a tall, black and white holsten cow. They moved ever so slowly until they were by it’s side. Together, they placed four pairs of shaking hands onto it’s beautiful, smooth back, and with a push and a shove, and a heave and a ho, a successfully tipped cow!

They then made a very rapid escape, fearing the wrath of the herd that had surrounded the downed cow.

I didn’t believe, then, that her story was true and am still hoping that cowtipping is a figment of an over active imagination.

According to Soul Sister folklore, when a herd of cattle are lying down it is going to rain. And why do cows lay down when it is raining? So they will have something dry to eat when the rain stops. The Truth!

Having grown up on a farm with  lots of cows, I’m thankful this tale was told to me after our farming days were over. The thought of succumbing to peer pressure and attempting to tip a cow is not something I want to visualize.

As it is, my most daring cow escapade was one of finding that perfect cowpie. A fresh cowpie, with a lightly crisp crust. A cowpie, meant for squishing into with one’s barefeet. Feeling that slimy, oozing goo move between one’s toes.

My apologies to those with sensory issues, but this is truly one of my favourite childhood memories. That and the memory of our last cow. A big, black cow with a white head, I can’t remember it’s name but it loved to join our Sunday afternoon baseball games. Tall and strong in the outfield, far enough away as not to get hit by a fly ball, but close enough to be a part of the action.

Cows; gentle, strong, and standing tall.

How to Build a Cedar Bench….

From a seedling to a tree in 25 to 30 years…

If you want to build a cedar bench,

this is what you do.

You invite a Sparks leader,

and her Sparks pack too.

They will plant a row of cedar seedlings,

they’ll plant them in the sun.

Declaring that doing so, is lots and lots

of fun.

Next you wait, and wait, and wait,

for 25 to 30 years or so.

Then trim the bottom of the tree,

clearing space for the lawn mower to go.

Boughs from the bottom of the cedar tree.

Next, take the curviest of the boughs,

strip them of their branches.

Find a hammer and some nails,

and then you take some chances.

When the boughs have been secured,

some feet really need to be procured.

The walnut tree we trimmed last year,

provided the legs,

so that we can sit right here.

Our little hideaway in the forest.

Thanksgiving Colours from God’s Paintbrush.

How beautiful leaves grow old. How full of light and colour are their last days. John Burrough.

Every leave speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn. Emily Bronte.

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. Elizabeth Lawrence.

Autumn is a second spring when every leave is a flower. Albert Camus.

Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolour, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. Stanley Harowitz.

Autumn winds begin to blow. Coloured leaves fall fast and slow.

Whirling, twirling all around,

Till at last they touch the ground.

Tresi Walker.

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.

William Callen Bryant

Exploring Georgian Bay

The traditional domain of the Anishinoobg First Nations
In the area of Beausoleil First Nation.
We met three scuba divers here, they described the Bay floor as rock for about 30 feet, then smooth, smooth sands. Moving from depths of 50 feet, to 90 feet, to 150 feet.
A wonderful spot to sit and paint.
Taken north of Penetanguishene, off of Peek-a-Boo Trail.
Where town and country meet.
The shores of Georgian Bay, on a beautiful autumn day.

Restoring Old Roosters

When I was a teenager, we had this handsome, nasty, aggressive old Banty Rooster. He was a beautiful, boastful, prideful, arrogant individual that would attack me at every opportunity. Whenever I approached the barn, I would do so slowly, searching out every beam, every corner, every cervice, for that darn bird.

Not spying him, I would confidently enter, and then BANG, out of nowhere would he would appear. Rusty, adequately named for the brilliant bronze feathers that graced his scruffy neck, the bronze illuminating the blues, greens and reds that adorned his body, would fly at me, in all his glory, not relenting till I fled the barn for safer pastures.

restored and beautiful!

This old rooster is a hen, she is made of metal and cannot fly. I have lovingly recreated her into something completely new. She will find a new home, in the spring, amongst the trees in our garden.

A good friend of mine has loaned me a book called Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen. A beautiful picture book of amazing older women. Each elegant and refined, determining their own style and flash. Just like the recreation of my old bird, above, we continuously redefine ourselves, adding colour and glam, often creating someone completely different as we journey through the chapters of our life.

Building New Gardens

Garlic cloves under a warm blanket of straw….

I remember going to the grocery store, when I was first married, and buying a head of lettuce. This, oddly enough, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

Unti then, for me, lettuce was something that you gathered from the garden and was eaten, in season, from early spring til late summer. Winter foods included kale, root vegetables and green beans from the freezer. Lots and lots of green beans.

I haven’t had a real vegetable garden in more than 20 years, and with a property with very poor soil; we live on a road with several gravel pits, we decided, this time around, to go with raised garden beds.

Our plan was to build two, 8 feet by 4 foot beds. Due to covid19, our local lumber supplier had a shortage of lumber and so, for the same price, we now have two 10 feet by 5 foot garden beds.

After constructing the bed frames we covered the ground with cardboard, then added a layer of old, decaying wood. On top of this we spread a ton of last year’s leaves. Topsoil, from different parts of our acreage then topped up the beds. A large bucket of old horse manure, from our wonderful neighbour @Hawks Landing, was blended into this top layer.

Today, our first crop of locally grown garlic cloves, carefully spaced to break my habit of planting things too close together resulting in very little produce, entered the ground. A blanket of straw from our favourite farmers market, Harris Farms, will keep these little bulbs warm and comfortable during our snowy winter months.

Our hope is that, next summer, we will be able to provide ourselves with fresh produce, with extra for our local Food Bank.

We’re planning on growing a variety of vegetables, but no green beans!

Our little pollinator….

Reading my Writings….

From my notebook……

Reading my own writings, #54 on My List of 65 Things to do After Turning 65.

Last night, at Stage Three Saturday Night, a wonderful little song circle that has evolved from the temporarily closure, due to covid19, of Good Vibes Coffeehouse, I read some of my own writing.

Some of my poetry from the mid 70’s.

Seasons

The leaf, it lays there
all shriveled and dead.

Upon it, snow
will make it's bed.

Come spring, it will be
nothing but dirt.

And a flower, will sprout
and the sun will come out.
Pink

Some people think
That I am just a dink.
On a rink, wearing pink.
With dirty dishes in the sink.

But in a blink
I could make a stink.
And call them a fink.
Because that's what I think.

As I wear my mink
Down by the rink.
Neither of them
The colour pink.
I Do Not Know 

I do not know
who you are.
I do not know
where you've been.
I do not know
what you've done.
I do not know.
what you've become
I do not know
how you are.
I do not know
how you got so far.
So far, so far, so far
away from me.
I do not know
why you came.
One Single Day

The dark crevices of my mind
were waiting, waiting
for me to step inside.
To be devoured, or to be saved.
Calling to me,
'Enter, Enter'

I stepped forth into a nothingness.
A nothingness that knew everything.
Voices began to call out
from every corner of the darkness.
Old memories sprang up
as brilliant as rainbows,
and disappeared, as quickly
as they had arrived.

A day from the past came to be
Like a movie.
It showed everything that had occurred
Then spun quickly, into reverse
and stopped, at the very beginning.
Slowly, it began to move forward.
But different than before.

Journeying into Shibui Art

Earlier this summer, my sister invited me to join her and an inspirational artist group called Shibui Found Image Art Live. I finished my first piece this week.

The concept is to find what is there, much like finding something in the clouds, it is solving a puzzle. Once you find what is there you follow the lead of the images to create Shibui’s stories; by creating what the foundation suggest. Peji Nunes

Evening light…

With a sheet of watercolor paper, and a new colour palette, I began my journey to become a Shibuist. Applying all of the colours on my palette to my paper, I watched the colours mingle and flow, blending to create their own colour combinations.

Morning light…

When the paper was dry, I began searching for and finding faces of all shapes and sizes.

Morning

The more colour I added to the paper, the more faces appeared.

It’s a happy, peaceful feeling, finding all of these little faces.
My husband likened the finished product to Alice in Wonderful.

I’m hoping a story line will develop as more pages are created.

People who create Shibui Found Image Art are called Shibuiest. Pejic Nunes.

Pickling Purple Prickly Peppers…

Sweet and Savoury

Pickling has been a passion for probably a proportionate period of my person. Pickling with personable, pleasant, people, adds plenty of pop to the process making the preparation more pleasurable and ‘pesto’ a packed pantry!

Packing cauliflower, perhaps picked at pre-dawn, into prepared pickling syrup is not only probable but profitable as a flavourful favourite feast for a fabulous friend.

Processing proper peppers, red and green, with purple onions and pointy celery, sprinkled with pure pickling salt and boiled in a pretty potful of brine, packed into pretty pints provides for a properly prepared platter for a private BBQ parade.

Cool, crisp, cauliflower.

Butterflies and Dragonflies

Just when a Caterpillar thought it’s life was over, it became a butterfly.

Symbolism in Native American Culture.

The dragonfly spiritually embodies the stripping away of negativity that holds us back, helping us to achieve our dreams and goals. Dragonflies are the keepers of dreams, the energy within that sees all of our true potential and ability. Dragonflies inspire spiritually and creatively, they help us on the path of discovery and enlightenment. They remind us that anything is possible.

I was finally able to take part in a social distancing gathering with my peers of twenty years.

The dragonfly and the butterfly symbolize the people we are and the work we have done.

All of these things, we gave to the people we worked with.

I am very thankful to have been a part of this compassionate, caring, inspiring group of women.

The Butterfly symbolism works as a representation of resurrection, change, hope, endurance, and courage to embrace the transformation to make life better.

Amen