Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ferradiddledumday,January away!


Last day of January, 2010. It's been a busy month. We recovered from the late December snow storm, only to have this one hit January 29th, late night.. I can hardly wait for February!

Bob did get this 7ft blade just in time to plow this storm. He was out on Friday to get a start and then finished today. What a great tool!

The creek was really pretty, I ran alone with Belle,as Penny didn't like running in the deep snow. Belle will get on my machine with me, and its a good thing because I wouldn't have gotten up the steeper hills without her added weight in the back!

Bob finished shoveling the back deck late day, and the sun brought it up to about 34 degrees, enough to have him work in his tee shirt !

Tonight the moon is full and the stars are bright..cold and clear.

On the 26th of January, my neighbor Melissa and her daughter Sam, who is featured with 3 other kids in a picture on the back of my friend Becky Mushko's new book, 'Ferradiddledumday', went to the debut of the book at the Library in Rocky Mount, Virginia.
Becky and Bruce Rae, the artist who did the sketches in the book, are shown below doing a skit based on the book.

The room was packed, a really good turn out, with alot of kids.
Ferradiddledumday is a fairy tale based on the Rumplestiltskin tale that I grew up with, but this one is an Appalachian version, complete with the lore and the animals that are here in the Appalachian Mountains. Becky grew up here in SW Virginia, and her accent really set the tale of Gillie, the girl who spins hay into gold. Bruce Rae played her Pa, and also the funny little man, Ferradiddledumday. Bruce is quite the ham! It was a fun night, and both Bruce and Becky did a great job. I was watching Sam's face as the skit unfolded, and she was mesmerized. It was delightful, and I was laughing out loud.

This is Becky and Bruce with Hunter Brown and Samantha Newcomb, who are 2 of the children on the back cover of the book..

This month has ended and next month is my grandson Caines 2nd birthday on the 13th, and my husbands 51st on the 6th. (Sam's birthday is also the 6th).I will make sure my grandson has a copy of Ferradidledumday to keep throughout his lifetime. I think it's important for him to know about this area where he was born, and to learn about its diverse culture, its flora and fauna, and its history.
Ferradiddledumday will teach him and entertain him..

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yards of snow

Friday the 29th of January, Ground Control came and cut back the overgrown plants in my front yard. Bob had done tile work for Donny and they bartered.

They pruned...

They dug my roses and re-planted them near the side porch...

The wisteria got cropped down to the trellis and the lilacs cut down..the hydrangia near the front porch is gone...

So is the deodar cedar that was choking out the pink dogwood, and our view....

Then, it started about 10:30 last night...and it hasn't stopped.

My minis aren't upset, but I think even they have had enough. Their little hooves are packed with snow, and they leave clumps in their barns...but will they stay in their barns??? No way.The snow lays on them like a blanket, which means they are even noticing the cold.Skye is back on antibiotics because the wound still hasn't healed completely. I had to go out and give her medecine tonight, and it's cold...I'm not in love with Virginia anymore..
So, who'll stop the snow?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Favorite books and authors

I love books. I collect books. I have too many books!
I have decided to clean my computer/reading room, and it's taking alot of time. Mainly because I rearrange and restock books that I say I don't need or want. I clean in winter instead of spring, because as soon as I can get outdoors, I'm useless in the house!

They go from discard to, uh, maybe I will want that...Come on Claudia, college algebra?
Ok, thats gone...
Poor Belle and Penny have lost their couch to boxes, pictures, papers and books!

The shelves are getting better organized, and the give away and burn boxes are getting heavy.
I have one shelf that I keep for Appalachian authors or local writers. Those books will never leave, and when I have company I encourage them to read them, but I won't let them go home with them for fear of not getting them back! I love my books...

These are some of my treasures. They are by friend, neighbor and Appalachian author, Becky Mushko.
If you google Becky Mushko you will come up with alot of information about Becky and her books, especially her newest, (well newest published one), 'Ferradiddledumday'. Thats the one on the right. I love them all. Becky is a great storyteller, and I am anxious to read Ferradiddledumday to my grandson Caine. It's a story like Rumplestiltskin , the fairy tale that I read when I was a child. Caine was born here in Bedford Virginia, so I hope to teach him about his native area as he gets older. He's 2 years old this February! 'Patches on the Same Quilt' is the first of Beckys books I read, and its a good one. The short stories in 'The Girl Who Raced Mules" are keepers, too. Beckys sense of humor comes through in one of my favorites, "The Miracle of the Concrete Jesus." That's really funny.
From 'Where There's a Will' to 'Ferradiddledumday', you will become a fan of Becky.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Promise Spring


Inside my house it still is winterish.
These mittens are a pair made by my Aunt Emma, whose been gone for years now.
I don't use them, I just hang them as a memory.

Today is dreary. I got the dogs run early and managed to find time to walk with my neighbor on our usual 2 1/2 mile walk out the main road. I just had a cup of 'Lady Grey' tea while listening to Sting...Brand New of my most favorite cd' Sting. The fireplace is cozy.

There's a promise of Spring outside. Penny is snorkeling again in the creek.

Belle and she are cooling off their paws at the half way pool.

My orchids are happy in the winter sunshine through the windows.

Can you believe that my daffodils are already this high?

There is still some snow, but these day lillies seem to want to rise to the sun.

Ahhh, the promise of Spring.
All things old look new. Spirits rise; creeks rise with the melt and young people feel the natural rhythm, while we of the 'older' persuasion feel the warmer sun on our bones and feel relief.
..."This is the quickening of the year. Tuber and seed and root quicken into the coming of the light...."
Blessings all.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunny/snowy Florida Keys

This is my friend Diane in the Florida Keys.
Diane was my water aerobics instructor, lobstering buddy ,wine drinking and all around pal.
This picture was taken in Summerland Key, when a friend of hers won a contest where they would bring in tons of 'snow' for a white Christmas in the Keys. (you may have seen this on National News)
So why am I posting a picture of my friend in her normal Keys wear, a bathing suit?
Because its cold, and dreary and I'm thinking of the Keys and warmth and my hot tub and kayaking the shallows looking for sharks and rays.
Obviously we are never happy since the Keys folk were dreaming of snow and white Christmas's!

I talked to a Keys friend last week when we were in the bitter cold, and they said it was 46 degrees there ! Some people have no heating systems. Thats cold for that far South!
I'm sure that pile of snow was fun while it lasted, but I'm ready for the snow piles that are still around here to go!
This morning the hubby and I cuddled an extra hour under the covers watching his favorite show on Sunday morning, the Salt Water fishermen, and we switched back and forth to my Sunday favorite, Gardening by the yard. All 5 cats were vieing for the best spot up near our pillows where they would be petted. They always watch for the hand (or the foot since they can't distinguish one from the other !). Bob went out in the mess to feed the horses and the birds while I got Mom up and made breakfast...strawberry/almond muffins, hog-jowl bacon and maple sausages, fried eggs and coffee. Then we played the 'required' games of Mom's favorite card game, and now Mom is snoring in the chair and Bob is watching tv, so I get to blog.
A call from a Keys friend, Donna, this morning told me the cold has been really hard on the fish and the local critters. She said the iguanas are dying from the cold temperatures and when she was fishing from her dock yesterday, she saw more parrot-fish belly up ! I guess no matter where you are there is some kind of heart break...we should count our blessings, we could be in Haiti...
Update on Skye:
My little horse is healing nicely, she finished her week of antibiotics and separation from her herd!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My 'Skye'

I'm going to caution all my readers who are a bit squeamish. There is a picture of a wound on my little miniature horse's face that is quite ugly......

This is a picture of the morning sky from my porch a few days ago, Saturday .
A beautiful sunrise...Take warning, is the saying...

This is a picture of my miniature mare, Skye. She had a really swollen face that morning, and I assumed one of her fellow mini's had kicked her, probably deserving it, as she is an agitator.. I watched her and she was eating fine, and didn't seem to have any obvious discomfort from the swelling, and I promised myself I would inspect the bump daily.

This was what it looked like (actually worse) the next morning! She had rubbed the hair off, I imagine to release the pus and swelling. I got out my horse bible and then got hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound, and then antibiotic ointment to appy, all this in the frigid weather. Bob was home (Sunday) to help me confine and hold her head. She seemed ok, was eating well, but darn it looked nasty! By Monday morning she had rubbed the ointment off on the salt block in her barn, and I figured, well, salt is good for cuts...

My friend and neighbor, Becky Mushko..
came by to go over something for her newest book to be released soon called "Ferradiddledumday", so I asked her to look at Skye, since she is a horse person too. She suggested I call the vet, which I had entertained, but was trying to avoid yet another vet bill...(the dogs go tomorrow)...but she made me think about the inner infections that could be going on, and after she left I called my vet for the horses, Preston Thornton at Southern Hills. He came out the next day, Tuesday, and said what everybody else does, 'Wow, thats a mess!'
Skye was very brave, he cleaned the wound, and palpated it, and with SEVERAL cookies, she co-operated. (He's a kind man and very gentle. Calls her sweetie, we both like him).
Doc gave her a shot, and left a tub of powdered antibiotics for me to dose her one scoop a day. I got a plastic bowl and put the scoop in, and since I don't grain my horses, he suggested I add molasses. I did. She wouldn't touch it. I added cookies. She ate them from the mess, but still didn't have most of the medicine. I added warm water, a chopped up carrot AND an apple. She messed with it, but I had shopping to do, so I left it in the grain tub, and locked her in the small barn. By the time I returned she had eaten it.
Today was the Sunshine rescue( see Becky's blog), and Becky gave me a small bag of horse pellets. I came home and mixed Skye's medecine with a little applesauce and some pellets, and she scoffed the whole thing up pronto!

Her buddies are not happy with all the attention going on for Skye, so they are each getting a cookie when she has her medecine.That helps, but I am still keeping her segregated while the antibiotic's are being given..

So to all my horsey friends, pay close attention to bumps, because they can go awry quickly!

Skye seems better each day, and Doc thinks her hair will grow back by summer and she shouldn't have much of a scar...I hope not, she's so darned cute!!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Winter Thoughts of a New Year's Gardens


It's 2010...
A new year of gardening.
Walking around the 'winter mess' in the front of the house I spotted these blooms on the backside of the Camellia bush. I planned to trim that bush way back this Fall, but I am glad I waited. Fresh flowers to start the new year. Perfect.

I start getting anxious to trim back and clean up. I want to cut those butterfly bushes down to nubs, but I know the birds depend on them to hide from the hawks, so I'll be patient. I need to dig up some butterfly bushes for Becky and Melissa and Jennifer. I can't wait for Jan and Clay to move down so I can thin my garden out and transplant to Jan's. But I will wait for her.

.. The New year brings hope, thoughts of fresh starts and clean slates.

I have my first seed catalog, and while the wind howls and 'old man winter' shows how ferocious he can be, I sit with a cup of Earl Grey Tea, and plan for Springtime color. Which tomatoes will I plant? I really need more cucumbers because those pickles went fast! I think I'd like to plant more fruit trees, and so on.
It all sounds wonderful now, but come late summer when I am up to my ears in canning, I will chide myself again, and say, "What was I thinking?"
Lovely winter thoughts of sweet blooms and fresh vegetables....

To all my loved ones and friends, blessings in this New Year filled with hopes and dreams....may they all come true.


About Me

My photo
union hall, S.W.Virginia, United States
Loving my Grandson, Caine.I work full time as a paraprofessional at Lee M Waid elementary school in Rocky Mount Virginia,in the Kindergarten class this year, following my one-on-one child, Kris.