A spring greeting

from rural West Tenn.

Living simply

and simply living

Brahma bull and Lineback dun

With the cabin behind them up on the hill Sonny and Bebe share a meal

This weekend is filled with joy and sunshine. Our move completed by day’s end Friday all tasks ahead seem lightweight by comparison.

Palomino paint

Jack

Oh there is a creosote post to place, some wire to tighten, contents of plastic containers to sort, writing, photography and advertisers to obtain to sustain us.

Charolais-Angus heifer

Holly at her new home

Most importantly all 18 pals are safe and becoming acquainted with their new surroundings.

Palomino paint, Lineback dun, Charolais-Angus bull

Jack and Bebe with Buff in background

Life is simple, and we are simply living.

Nikki is learning the window sill is off limits

kittens

Tiger stripes Ty, Mimi, Nikki and orange tabby Gordy inside the cabin

Thanks to you, God, for peace now.

Snow has melted

with it near 40 degrees

Today I began picking up debris left through the years by previous tenants. There were rusty tin cans, plastic containers and wrap, beer cans and bottles. Yet most ominous were the shards of glass, pieces of canning jars with jagged edges sticking up out of the dirt that could cut a hoof or worse.

garbage

Three feed bags full of garbage

In all I retrieved three feed bags full of garbage cleared from less than an acre of the back five where my large pals will be. Already I can see this is going to be a project.

Discarded items to be cleared

Only a hint of snow

or was it

In the morning there was just a hint of its arrival. Scarce, icy droplets glanced off and melted before hitting the ground.

By mid-day the drops turned to flakes floating through the air, and amateur forecasters said there would be no accumulation.

As the temperature dropped one layer carpeted, then two. Well after dusk it was still falling.

Charolais-Angus bull and Palomino paint

In for more snow

Halting propagation

in the New Year

At three weeks of age Ty was named for Tiger Stripe

After this morning all five male cats and kittens will not be propagating thanks to a low-cost spay and neuter service. During the hour drive yesterday Mel and Grayson hardly spoke. The same was not true for Ty. The youngest at seven months he registered his complaints on the way there, at the clinic and all but the last 20 minutes of the ride home when he fell asleep. All that talk can wear one out. It is Gordy’s and Tab’s turn today. The females’ appointments are scheduled for the last week of  2010, and we’ll ring in the New Year without additional feline progeny. What a blessing!

The artist builds

a construct for life  

Missouri River view at sunrise (Photo by Marya Liberman)

On my last visit to Missouri I met a man, the significant other of a new friend.

For the last 10 years he has been building a three-tiered structure.

This abode, that they share with views of pastured hills and the Missouri River, is art sculpted with wood, remnants of carpet and porcelain. There are dashes of color and nooks and crannies galore.  

One wall with sheet rock on the main floor awaits a full size map of the globe.  A lumberjack by trade who studied philosophy at San Francisco State, he lives in the midst of his ever evolving art.  

So enthralled with being in this space, getting my camera slipped by me.  It was as if I could glimpse the artist’s delight and whimsy in creating this structure.

Mel nearly full grown

at 10 months 

‘That’s no cat’

vulpes vulpes

While carrying five gallon buckets of water out to the pasture a visitor crossed from the Brahma Sonny’s space, traversed the horses’ wide open area and exited through the pine trees. (With stormy weather predicted the horses, Jack and Bebe, had been moved for the night to a place adjoining the farmhouse.)

Cat

Mel now 10 months old

At first the visitor’s color—yellow with reddish highlights—looked like it could have been Mel’s papa. (As you may recall Mel is one of three kittens rescued with Gray Momma last autumn.)

On second glance the stride was longer, more deliberate and the tail bushy. In fact that bush extended from the hindquarter in a perfect diagonal to the ground.

With all the rodents around the barn the farm is an ideal hunting ground for some critters. And we often have deer, yearlings mostly with flitting tails, grazing in the pasture beside bovines or jumping fences going to and coming from the pond.

At 6:00 a.m. this morning after sighting the stranger I said to myself: “That’s no cat. That’s a fox!”

Early morning on the farm

 

Mimi and Ty roam, discover and then rest

Ty has begun helping Momma Nikki eat breakfast

Mimi cleans her paw as Ty sleeps
Romping, roaming and tug-of-war can tire one

At 29 days newly named tiger stripe kittens Mimi and Ty are everywhere underfoot. They also squawk like baby birds when I enter their room. Not as wobbly in their gate as they once were now they climb on my feet, sniffing and pawing at my ankles. And, they are not as sedate with each other—playing tug-of-war, nipping and grabbing each other’s tails as well as their mother’s when she walks by them.

Although Mimi was the first to be curious about me, Ty was the first to find additional food as a supplement to mother’s milk. A couple of days ago Ty began helping himself to Nikki’s food.

When they are finished playing Mimi and Ty settle in for a nap.

As a rose opens

Long stemmed rose

A rose in bloom

 

 it draws,

 then reflects light

Given a long stemmed red rose Sunday I placed it in a vase on the stove. Each morning when I pour a cup of coffee my friend the rose greets me. So thirsty when first placed in water, one petal that drooped returned to hug the bud.

Throughout each day I have watched how the rose changes. Yesterday morning it was beginning to open and did so fully by evening. Glancing now at the rose which is rich and full, I am reminded of how fleeting and precious life is.

In my youth there was no time, or so I thought, to relax, open and be. Then I read Barry Stevens’ Don’t Push the River and others. Living in the present happened as flashes of light like a frog jumping from one lily pad to the next. Each landing brought a glimmer, another realization.

Only now do I savor each moment, each breath, all the joy, all the challenges and the mystery unfolding before me like the rose.