29 August 2008


While working in the yard this morning I heard the distinct call of sandhill cranes. For me their primitive sound is the midwest's equivalent to the north country's call of the loon. It is a plaintive, haunting cry.
Looking over the Amish field which recently was cut for silage, I could not see any birds. Shortly, the crane's call could again be heard but still no sight of a bird. Perhaps the neighboring fields will be a resting and feeding stop on their long migration. However, the Amish are thorough and frugal harvesters who leave little in the way of stray ears of corn in the fields. This is an area where man's imprint on the land is more gentle than other places. Perhaps the cranes will find their way to my backyard if only for a short time so I may hear their migration song, watch them awkwardly parachute from sky to earth, and feel the vibration of their voices in my heart.

28 August 2008

Give them 10 days

"Give them 10 days" the optical technician said when I removed my new glasses today and said I couldn't read a thing with the new bifocal prescription. The way eyeglasses are sold is such a crock of you-know-what. Prepay is the only way. Then when they aren't right you are given the run-around to straighten out the fuzzy mess. Seems the only way to get the old (perfect) bifocal prescription back is to see Doc again - after ten days. So I left the office with the new glasses perched on my face with their assurance I would get used to them but I fired back that it is like breaking in a new pair of shoes. If the shoes don't feel good right away you can get used to them perhaps, but they are going to cause a lot of grief. Same with glasses. I just hope I don't fall UP the steps or pour cooking oil on the burner like I did with the last pair of bifocals that were bad from day one. Ask me in ten days. Hopefully I'm just pessimistic about this. Anyway, for the next 10 days the old glasses will be with me all the time. Only good thing is the distance Rx is terrific.

25 August 2008

Back to Quilting

This morning the temperatures were in the 50's and the coolness awoke the urge to make quilt blocks. About 2 years ago a friend and I began our Dear Jane quilts as a way to keep in touch over the internet, swapping photos and extra emails. However, the idea of completing the quilt became daunting and we faltered (read stopped). But the need to sew resurrected my project and this evening I finished A-11; one more block and I'll have the first row done. See what I mean? A daunting project. I've seen Dear Janes that are so incredible! As amazing as the women who have completed them. Now I'm back on track and hope to pick up speed. Here's a photo of the first one I did. It's probably a year or nearly two since I began. But hey, slow and steady can get to the finish line. Wish me luck!

The Defender

This evening a hawk swooped across the backyard, landing on a fence post near the pussywillow bush and sunflowers. It wasn't a red tail and was larger than a sparrow hawk but I haven't had time to get out the Audubon book and identify it. It was graceful, swift, and focused. Wondering what caused his arrival, we looked but couldn't see anything of interest. However the next second he dove into the center of the pussywillow and dozens of goldfinches exploded from the thick branches and leaves of the bush. We were familar with a few goldfinches visiting the birdbath and we knew in the fall they relished the sunflower seeds. We thought we were blessed with about 4 or 5 of the vibrant chrome yellow and black birds, never imagining an entire flock resided close by. Just as suddenly as the hawk appeared, it flew up and away. Challenged by the neighbor's four pound Chihuahua who barked and charged all the way across the yards, the hawk took flight. Piggy, as we call him, is four pounds of dog with eight pounds of bark. He's utterly fearless and his purpose in life is to protect the neighborhood from intruders. For his effort he received a bite of grilled chicken. So now I'm pondering the sequence of flowers ~ thick bush for cover ~ abundance of birds = arrival of hunter. The circle of life and beauty of nature is not all quiet and pastoral. Aggression exists. And the defender need not be the biggest and the mightiest force. It may arrive in the form of a tiny creature with a big and strong heart.

22 August 2008

i'm still here

i'm still here though it's been 4+ months since my last post. spring has come and gone and summer is drifting into autumn. my daylilies were glorious and the Russian sage softly sways on the edge of the garden. the sunflowers are towering and the birds daily circle above in anticipation of the abundance that awaits.

my font is huge today, for after this long an absence there isn't much to write. though busy outdoors all summer it seems summer has passed me by. i want a summer to spend wandering. to the Outer Banks and then up to Maine. across the Dakotas to the Oregon coast. down to New Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico.

i long for the slower days of winter when i can quilt, make soup, watch movies and READ. but for now i work, thankful i am still strong and healthy enough to do so but with anticipation for the crisp days of autumn and time for myself.