Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Guideposts -- 103

Let the thankful heart
 sweep through the day and, 
as the magnet finds the iron, 
so it will find, in every hour, 
some heavenly blessings! 

~Henry Ward Beecher


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More Than a Convenient Holiday

Veterans Day seems to be one holiday that really brings out our grateful, heartfelt thanks.

Maybe because it isn't a three-day weekend? (It's always on November 11th because the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marked the armistice that ended WWI.)

Maybe because we get to thank all our veterans, both living and deceased, for everything they sacrificed during their service?

Maybe because it has more to do with parades than shopping?


Whatever the reason or reasons, I always feel a great sense of reverence on this day.

To all those sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and friends who have served or are serving, thank you for our freedom and our liberty.  You inspire us by your example and we do not take for granted our right to vote, to freely speak, or to peaceably assemble.  You remind us of the power of One to make a difference.

And although we focus on our menfolk, I haven't forgotten that there are many ladies who've also contributed to defending our freedom.  We know how much strength we women have and how determined we can be.  For all you mothers who are separated from your children while you serve, you deserve a special place in our hearts. 

We are (INSPIIRE)d,

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

My Fall Garden--Making Leaves Disappear

We all know why we call this season Fall...could it be leaves falling everywhere?

 I revel in scuffing noisily through them like the kid-at-heart I totally am. I enjoy racing swirling leaves blown by our Nevada zephyrs as I ride my bike to and from work. I rejoice in colorful leaves backlit against the intense blue of a high desert sky. 

I even like the physicality of raking leaves into piles.  At least for the first time. 

Not so much the second and third times.

Or the fourth, fifth and sixth times. 

So I started letting the chickens have all the leaves from the cherry tree by their run so they can scratch and rustle to their little hen-ly hearts content.  As a bonus, I had a nice cushionly soft carpet of leaves to tread upon when I collected eggs from autumn through winter to early spring.  Alas, springtime was also when I faced shoveling out the run--the leaves didn't decompose like I'd hoped, they just organized themselves into layered heavy pancakes for me to scrape and haul.

All the maple, peach and apple leaves were tossed into the compost bin for the winter.  That worked, sort of.  Yeah, the slimy layered mash again.

Last autumn I raked leaves into large piles.

Used the lawn mower to mulch them into small bits. 

 Wonder of wonders, they composted perfectly, both in the bin and in the chicken run.  Happy dance!
 I'm doing the same thing this autumn and trying hard not to be smug as I watch my neighbors haul out bag after bag of leaves for trash day.

The landfills are happy, my compost bin is happy, the hens are happy.  

My hayfever isn't thrilled but that's what allergy pills are for.  


Sunday, November 02, 2014

My Guideposts--102

Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. 

~Roald Dahl 
  • You won't find that perfect puppy unless you believe she's out there waiting for you.  
  • Love at first sight only happens if your eyes are open.   
  • Attitude is everything.  Every. Thing.
Let's all have a magical, positive, uplifting week.  I could use one.  You?


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Winding Up Halloween

We have three adorable little boys under the age of four living across the street and three ex-kindergarten students and two current ones living in our neighborhood, so I went family-friendly this year.

It's hard to get friendlier than Woody!
 The kids loved him. And they thought getting to pick their own candy from my bowl was awesome.

The woodland owl was my spookiest jack o'lantern.

One dad told us that the Golden Retriever jack o'lantern was the clear Best Pumpkin winner. I've gotta agree especially knowing how much time it took my son to carve it.  Plus this one doesn't shed hair all over black pants like our real-life version does.

I enjoy my witchy Dollar Store blackbirds, but this little fluffy owlet was in impulse buy that I'm glad I indulged.  She's so cute!

Now it's time to Thanksgiving-ify the front door by adding pheasant feathers to the autumn wreath.

And put the prowling arachnids away for another year.

Farewell, monsters, large and small, until next October...

Welcome, pilgrims and scarecrows, squirrels and acorns, velvet pumpkins and fall leaves of every hue!