Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bothers some people...

Meg's Boy, Ash Wednesday

"..A fellow can see ever now and then that children have more sense than him. But he dont like to admit it to them until they have beards. After they have a beard, they are too busy because they dont know if they'll ever quite make it back to where they were in sense before they was haired, so you dont mind admitting then to folks that are worrying about the same thing that aint worth the worry that you are yourself."
-William Faulkner As I Lay Dying

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm covered up in fauna, Donna!

February 17 TM and MA spotted and removed a partially engorged tick from the face of TM's dog Ruby. About a week and a half earlier I noticed a solitary preying mantis baby resting on the inside of the window closest to my bed in the Airstream. I have since spotted it periodically on that window, a little bigger each time. Meanwhile on a different window in the Airstream, a Funnelweb spider has been building and rebuilding massive webs in a corner crack for about the past six months. Periodically, if the web is getting too large for my comfort level, I vacuum it with my Dirt Devil. Within a day or two there is the beginning of a new one. Homey must be eating something.
These were the trivial insect and arachnid occurrences that I was relaying to my friend and former employer Donna yesterday, when the delighful unplanned rhyme fell off my tongue: I'm covered up in fauna Donna!
Today my throat is. Well, technically viruses are not scientifically classified as animals because there is some (really important) debate as to whether or not they are living organisms and so forth. But for the sake of today's notes, I will be calling the cold viruses that are attempting to feed upon my throat and airway little fauna. I particularly enjoy thinking of them as fauna on today, Ash Wednesday, which happens to be my all time favorite Christian holiday, as it is the day that we are bluntly reminded of our mortality. From dust we are and to dust we will return. As I have expressed before here for you handful of readers, I actually find great comfort in the undeniable fact that we are all unavoidably subject to the laws of nature. Today I eat a chicken. Tomorrow I eat some plants. Someday the worms will eat me. Eventually I will be covered up in fauna and pooped out into the willing mouth of the very earth which gave and sustained my little life.
Wow! But for now, I am happy as a clam to be part of the great kingdom of fauna that covers it up, Donna.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Warning: Contains Sappy Material

Most people are surprised (and some mortified) to learn that February is my second favorite month*. February is often a greuling month. It is cold. It has been cold. Work is sparce. Winter is getting old. People are sick. The weather is often dreary. How, might you wonder with a twinge of bafflement and disgust, could February possibly be someone's second favorite month? I will tell you; the answer is twofold. First, it is the intensity of the end of winter that I love. I love that it has been winter for long enough that I am finally surrending to the fact of it being winter. My body has adjusted; I can handle the cold better. It is as if I have completely given myself to the winter and the dark side of the year. And (reason number two), it is simply a beautiful fact that just at the time I have completely given over to winter, the light begins to come back. The days are reaching their icy fingers a little longer into the evening, and twilight seems to extend well into dinner time. The extension of daylight imparts a fresher smell in the cold air, and the birds start singing their Songs of Early Spring. It is a month of promise.
I have also discovered this weekend that I may have realized a third reason to choose February as a second favorite month. What with Valentines Day and all, it is the perfect time of year to nuture and love the people in my life, including myself. It warms the heart and prepares it for spring, which, with all its sexiness and popularity, can be a rather brutal time for many of us with melancholic dispositions.
Saturday night was cold. Awful cold. Something deep and visceral told me to stay home and hunker down. However, something perhaps even deeper informed me to doll it up and venture out to the party I was invited to weeks ago, at which I had committed to setting up a Libation Station with my Portable Hospitality Kit. I threw on my leopard print body suit and a flowery apron and topped it off with a rabbit fur coat for fashion and warmth. I fired up the Subaru and made it to the big city in time to catch the last half of the music and dance performance art which was graciously shared by the host and hostess. (I do love a party when people perform!!!) I made my way to the stove and set up camp- tiny china cups, lovely embroidered fabric, blah blah blah. I whipped up some hot chocolate and set out the optional "works," and people lined up to be served. I loved it! Someone made a comment about how great it is to be nutured, and I noticed how warming it is also to nuture. I, in turn, was fed by the dance and song performances of many other party goers and by lovely platters of delicious foods set out by the hosts. When the libations were gone, it was time for me to go home, heart-warmed and not exhausted and very glad I had ventured out into the cold.
Sunday, Jenna and I made Valentines ALL DAY LONG. Literally. We only stopped to eat, use the bathroom, and do a few stretches and exercises. For dinner, we nourished our own hearts with heart beets, inspired by both Susie and Rachel's blog. We fell into deep, warm sleeps after a day of co-creating expressions of love. It was the perfect activity for another cold cold day.
To sum it up, the points of these little stories is to:
a) get you to consider making February your second favorite month
b) get you consider sharing the love this month; it doesn't have to be only romantic to warm the heart,
c) share this February Libation idea with you:

February Libation:

1 quart half and half
1/2 to 1 quart good clean water
1 tub of Ghiradelli hot chocolate mix

Optional "The Works" ingredients:
cheap (or not cheap) whiskey- I use Rebel Yell
rose petal tincture (or you could try rosewater)**
tulsi basil tincture (Susie grew and made mine- mmmmm)***

Make the hot chocolate, stirring the whole time so it doesn't boil over or any other thing bad. When it is good and hot and the chocolate is all stirred in, ladle some into a special cup, only filling about half way. Add a generous splash of whiskey and a dropperful each of rose and tulsi tincture. Fill the cup the rest of the way up with more hot chocolate. Serve or drink with love.

* For information on my first favorite month, click here or here
** Rose petals nourish the yin, and are a lovely Valentines tonic.
***Tulsi basil is warming.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tales from the Whistle Pig

Got your attention? Groundhog's Day 2012 rocked my socks off. The day began as dark and drizzly, but early afternoon gave way to clearing skies and mostly comfortable temperatures. Dear friend, MM, arrived just after my mid-day meal with her two mild mannered and sure-footed horses for our Imbolc bareback ride. I mounted the short stout one Marlene, while MM jumped up onto the lovely white Appaloosa, Winter. We walked, trotted and cantered through the long, narrow ridge-top pastures that descend from my home place, stopping to converse and allow the horses their snacking indulgences, all the while enjoying the mild and carefree quality to the old pagan first day of spring. In truth, the ride was rather short, as my horse-gripping leg muscles were more than a little rusty and un-used, but the feeling of moving through the fresh air over the cool mountain terrain with a dear friend was truly the stuff dreams are made of. After dismounting and re-acclimating to the strange sensation of carrying ourselves on our own two legs, MM and I made our way on our feet up to the Sunset Spot, which generously delivers a breath-taking view of Mill Ridge and Rich Mountain and beyond that in the distance, a misty vision of Bluff. We allowed the afternoon to ramble with ease through overgrown pastures and sweet, seldom used forest paths, stopping whenever we pleased to rest, admire the slick and muscular trunk of a young ironwood, examine a fallen bird nest, bask in the sun, chit-chat, what have you.
If the occurrences of February 2 can be decoded to foretell the season to come, I'll take it! Bring it on, 2012...