Animal Totems are all around

Hey there,

Animal Totems are all around – and watching.  Stay tuned.

Sitting here in the Meadowview, wrapped up in a blanket and gazing out over the still, frozen meadow.  The blue roof, which is metal, lets out a “bang” as it contracts, like a living, breathing thing.  Baby, it’s cold outside – and has been for weeks.  Winter is certainly doing its thing this year, so far, as it has only officially been Winter for less than one month.

Already the complaining.  I know, I know.  Your skin is dry, your hair is dry, some have already had the cold or flu that goes hand-in-hand with this, our most least-loved season.  Elderberry and Yarrow tea, Mint honey, Ginger and Lemon – we’ve talked about these before…

Anybody out there embrace this stuff?  Good for you!  Me?  Not so much.  Yes, I am Canadian and no, I don’t do Winter well.  Apart from the aprés sports stuff…I’m pretty good at that. 🙂  Wine, anyone?

I find myself being watched by my Animal Totem, the Red-tailed Hawks, that join me every Winter, on the coldest of days, perched in the Maple tree out by the barn.  I can see them (there are two) out of the kitchen window.  Silent and still, scanning the meadow landscape for their next meal.  They will literally sit there for hours.  So very majestic and gorgeous creatures.

Just keeping a steady eye on all things me – “careful”, they say, “she’s getting close to losing it in this bitter cold.  Someone needs to get outside for a walk”.  Soon.  All is well.  Please remain indoors for now.  Make a cup of tea.  Get out your seed catalogues.  Breathe.

The ordinary arts we practice everyday at home
are of more importance to the soul
than their simplicity might suggest
-Thomas Moore

I’ve also been joined by a couple of crows, in the same tree, but not at the same time, as the Hawks. Crows are very interesting birds.  Some find them rather ominous, but those of us that wear the pointy hats know that crows are something special.  Uh huh.  I’ll let you look that one up.

Should I back up a bit?  Anyone not know what an Animal Totem is?  Ooo, buckle up, we’re about to enter the land of all things woo woo.

So Animal Totems, or Nature Totems are basically symbols of energy.  Now everything holds energy, but this is the kind of energy we manifest and align with our everyday life.  The Totem becomes a symbol of the invisible, the characteristics and activities reveal something of our own powers and abilities.  You can also look at different parts of the animal and what that represents.  For instance, a bird with a sharp beak could symbolize someone who speaks their mind or has a sharp wit.  Perhaps too sharp and that person should think about what they say before saying it.  Or maybe they constantly bicker and pick at things.  See where that’s going?

The Totem can be animal, bird, reptile, insect.  It can be something as simple as an ant.  Think about ants for a moment.  What do they represent?  Discipline comes to my mind.  Patience, industrious, also.  Most people just find them annoying – not disagreeing with you there, but have you ever taken the time to actually watch them?  They are fascinating.  They work together, they have a purpose and goal, they march along the same path and if you disturb what they are working on, they just find another way to accomplish what they set out to do.

Now, do you think that maybe that could send a message to someone?  I do.  Perhaps that someone is having a hard time focussing, or their life has been turned upside down in one form or another.  Or they need to learn to work with others and get along.  All of a sudden, they find ants in a place they have never been before.  Maybe in their house (horrors), but those guys are sending a message…”The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…”

When you start really paying attention to nature and what’s going on around you.  Looking at the little things, that’s when you tune in.  That’s when you hear your message.  Listen – it’s there for a reason.  That’s a large part of my woo woo.  Make sense?  Of course, you’re going to have to go outside – and probably put down your phone, to see it.  A walk in the woods can really make you see.  Just sayin’

What speaks to you?  Is there a particular animal that you are specifically drawn to?  Do you see a particular creature constantly when you are outside in nature.  Do you dream about a particular creature?  Does something call to you?  Listen.  The other thing to mention here, is that you may not always have the same Totem – depends on the message that needs to be heard.  But you might.

If all this fascinates you, and you’re interested in reading up a bit on it, or maybe figuring out what your Totem might be, I would recommend this book, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.  Happy reading.

Even though I’m a crazy cat lady, it always seems to be the birds that speak to me.

What else in the bird world?  Well yesterday, where we set a record here in Southern Ontario for the coldest day in 60 years, a flock of Starlings decided it was a great time to come back from wherever they had been.  Somewhere warmer, no doubt. (I don’t get it either…)  Yup.  They do appear to be early.  I don’t usually see them until end of January/early February.  They can withstand Winter, obviously, but yikes!

I couldn’t fill the feeders fast enough – including the dish of cat food left out for this guy…

I currently have a stray cat that I am trying to get into the house under the blue roof.  It has been at least six weeks that this kitty has been coming by for food, regularly, morning and night.  I can’t get close enough to see if it is male or female, but it doesn’t appear to be a scrawny barn cat, it looks healthy.  It will not let me get close to it.  I feed it on the porch.  It will let me watch it through the window, but as soon as I try to open the door to get close, off it goes.  Now, it is starting to only go far enough that I can’t reach it, so there is starting to be an element of trust.  It knows that I am going to feed it.  But this kitty is out in -30 degree C weather.  It’s driving me crazy that it won’t come in.  I don’t know where it goes when not being fed.  I’m sure it’s in a barn somewhere close by, but still…I have tried setting out the food and water inside the door, with the door open, until the house freezes.  Just last night, it came in long enough to eat the food and then out it went again.  Sigh  I usually am pretty good with cats and turning them around to help them.  This one has me puzzled, but I will persevere. Maybe this, too, is a message for me.  I am listening.

A friend and reader, gifted me with a little glass black and white cat which now sits here with me on my desk as I write.  Thank you again, very appropriate!  You’re right, fits right in with my pointy hat!

I haven’t named this stray kitty yet, which is unusual, because I usually do – I name everything.  Maybe that’s another message. Hmmm  I’ve been receiving a lot of messages lately.  The night sky is telling me there are some big things coming up.  It has been an adventurous couple of years for me – still evolving, still working through, but feeling like it’s not over yet.  Good or bad.  Maybe it’s good this time.  My birth chart reading for this year tells me that once again, this is not a year where I’m just going to coast…UGH.

In the interest of plants, because I am, although there isn’t much growing here these days, there are still the evergreens that can be harvested fresh.  Pine and Spruce needles for tea, for example.  A huge dose of Vitamin C there.  What better time of year to increase your Vitamin C levels?  And what does Mother Nature provide to harvest?  Getting that?

Please keep in mind the Moon phase that you are harvesting though.  Interesting fact:  Around the Full Moon, the sap rises in trees, just as the tides in the ocean get higher and moods change.  You don’t want to harvest around this time as you could damage the tree.  When you respect nature, nature respects you and will give you the help you seek.  Very simple and logical, isn’t it?  That’s what I love about woo woo.

Speaking of the Moon, where are we tonight?  The waning Moon is in Virgo: earthy, practical, fixing and cleaning up the universe, one item at a time.  Making lists, asking questions, making things happen (this all sounds extremely familiar to me somehow…).  I’m pretty sure ants are Virgos – understood?  The Sun is still in Capricorn, another earth sign, so it’s all business today.  January is ruled by Saturn – the planet of maturity.

Today’s colour for getting things done:  blue – how conservative!

I’ll leave you to get things done under your own roof – blue or otherwise.

Until next time,

-Debra

Game On

Hey there,

Quick!  Look up in the sky…it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…a TREE RAT.  They’re baaack.  Up there, in the tree tops, laughing, waiting.  Game on.

“Ooooo, here she comes, she’s got the bird seed…yay! – I wonder if she?  Yeeessssss, there are sunflower seeds too – Ooooo” – much excitement.

There is dancing in the upper branches.  Leaves are falling on me.  There is cursing at THEM.  But, yup, I continue to feed them.  Sure, I’m weird (and probably more than a little crazy) – we’ve covered that many times.  But you know, because I have mentioned it many times, this is one of the only things that gets me through Winter.  Not the tree rats!  For pities sake…the BIRDS!  Ugh  I have to endure the tree rats to get the birds, and so the cycle of the seasons continues.  I already told you I was “different”.  I prefer the term “special” 🙂  You can choose whether or not to read further.  It’s gonna be one of those today.  Game on.

Yes, they are back.  Not that they ever really left, but I didn’t see them much in the warmer months.  (I’m talking about the tree rats, or squirrels, for those who are nicer than me.  Stay with the programme here – you have to be quick.) Partially because I’m much too busy gardening – and unless they are messing with that, then I tend to ignore.  They do tend to like the bird baths, but I will accommodate that – yes, I can do that.

Kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers

Excuse me while I pick the leaves out of my hair.

But the birds are also back.  I so enjoy them.  The meadow is brown, the garden is brown, the leaves are brown, the trees are brown, but the birds, the birds are colourful.  Flashes of red Cardinals and blue Blue Jays. The black, white and red of the Woodpeckers.  The little Chickadees – always so cheerful, and the Juncos, to name but a few.  My saving grace.  Happy dance.

I was having a conversation with an acquaintance from California (JEALOUS) and this person couldn’t understand the fact that, yes, I am Canadian, and no, I don’t do Winter well.  “What do you mean, you don’t ski?”  Um, no – broken limbs are not my thing.  The thought of strapping slats to my feet and hurling myself off a a mountain in the freezing cold do not appeal to me.  You?

But I digress,

So I’ve got my new glasses, very spiffy, I must say, and they’re great for reading my phone – which I do far too often, but they’re CRAP for working on the computer.  Sigh.  Still winking here… This means contacting the stupid eye doctor again.

So much fun, I just can’t stand it!  Game on.

Great day for writing Debra, you’re in a real mood.  Bit of a spit fire today and all over the place.  Ah, yes, the Sun moved into Sagittarius.  Of course.  First, I’m going to do this, but wait, I need to do this, and then I’m going to do that, but back to this for a moment, and oh yah, wasn’t this thing going to happen?  Are you getting the Sagittarius thing?  Fun, but sometimes not focused.  You know who you are.  Game on.

The Moon?  She is moving from earthy, Capricorn – following the rules, dotting i’s and crossing t’s into the wind of Aquarius, an air sign, this evening.  Breaking those rules.

Dust in the Wind

Here you go:

I close my eyes, only for a moment
And the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water
In an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground
Though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Oh, ho, ho (musical interlude)
Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind [x2]
Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind [x2]
The wind
You’re welcome.

One of my favourite songs by Kansas.  Remember that one, women of a certain age?  Late 70’s.  I know you’re singing.  Oh, yes, I can see those smiles.  What were you doing back then when that song was playing?  Hmmm? Never mind, this is a family show.  Oops, not giving away any secrets here.  Moving on.

Oh boy, we’re not going back to Scorpio and Swimming with Joe – I’m exhausted! 🙂  Enough with the swimming.  FOCUS!  Sigh – Sagittarius.  Game on.

Thinking about how the Sun is in Sagittarius and Ophiuchus end of next week, Ophiuchus?  Read – towards the bottom.  I’ll wait.  Got it? Ok.  It suddenly dawns on me how the whole Christmas, making things merry and bright, rush happens DURING the Sagittarius Sun…ooohhhh, ok, now I get it…Dashing around, so many things to do – first, I’m going to do this, but wait, I need to do this, and then I’m going to do that, but back to this for a moment, and oh yah, wasn’t this thing going to happen? Then with the parties…Sagittarius is all about parties and fun.  Sagittarius is a fire sign.  Right?  Are you getting that?

So Sagittarius!

A better understanding.  That’s the build-up.  Then, the actual big day, December 25th, which happens to fall in Capricorn.  All about tradition and expectations and the order of doing things…we must have a turkey dinner, and there must be a tree with presents for EVERYBODY underneath with the stockings hung.  Then, of course there’s the dinner, where you have to invite certain people, obligations, and then the let-down, because, of course, your expectations of order were so very high.  Hello women.  Hello Capricorn.  Game on.

Yupper, it all makes perfect sense now…

Settle down Debra and pour yourself some more tea.  What’s in my cup?  Not wine. (Not this time)  Pine needles and rose hips, first.  Vitamin C.  Then a cup of Yarrow flowers and Elderberry flowers with Mint, because, of course, I have the annual November cold (and there’s the plant reference, just in case you were wondering about today’s rant).

Every. Single. Year.

It’s nice that it comes and goes before the full throttle of all things Christmas, but it’s still a pain because it’s a week of sort of down time, when I still have lots to do.  I know, I know, take a page from my own book of advice.  My body is telling me that I need some rest.  What with the crap show that has been ongoing for me.

But we’re not going back there today.  Nope.  Not doing it.

We are revelling in a day at home, getting things caught up on the computer and sharing this all-over-the-place day with you, dear readers.  Even though the stuffy nose and tickley cough are a real nuisance.  Coming to you liiivvve from my fuzzy head.  Not lookin’ too pretty here, so glad this is only in print. 🙂  I’ll leave the visual to your imagination.  Suffice it to say, it involves tissues, tea and woollen things.  Probably still leaves in my hair.  Yup.  Game on.

Today’s colour is crimson.  Like my nose.  Ew.

What’s with the “Game on”?  Well, it’s American Thanksgiving today!  Have a happy one my dear American readers – yes, there are American readers.  Remember, I keep track.  If you’re the Mom, making the meal, I hope you get to enjoy too.  Please, have some wine – you’ve earned it.  If you’re not the Mom making the meal, get off the couch and help!  Speaking as the Mom who always makes the meal here…

On that note, I’ll leave you for today.  Time for some more tea for me.  Next rant, my cold will be done and the visual should be better for you. 🙂

Until next time,

-Debra

Portia the Protector

Hey there,

Greetings from Portia.  That’s her above.  Portia sits in the Cedars amongst the Vinca and the pine needles beside the front walk.  Portia is Mrs. Beasley’s backup for tree rats.  Sometimes Mrs. Beasley gets tired – there are a lot of tree rats.  They’ve all over-wintered very well, dining on the bird seed and are plump and happy (like Portia).

I’m here!  Did you miss me? 🙂  Doing the tree planting thing – remember way back, last post?  (That sounds rather solemn, doesn’t it?)  Well, still working on it, but my “forest” has begun.  Haha The good news?  I’ve transplanted about 60 trees (very small ones) and my muscles are in “summer mode” again!  Not done yet, but it’s a start.  The bad news? You can’t really see it yet – the forest or the trees (get that one?).  The grass and the meadow greenies are all growing up fast and my “forest” has gone incognito.  But I know it’s there. 🙂  I also know that with a little patience, it really won’t take many seasons for me to start to see it.  Patience can be a toughy.

What else has grown?  Take a look!  My veggies.  For all you nay-sayers out there snickering to yourselves about my apple bin gardens – I know you’re there…

Back row is the peas, then lettuces, then radish, then spinach and finally some swiss chard.  So far, (fingers crossed) the critters are ignoring them.  I might have to move Portia to stand guard if that changes. 🙂

I know the left half has been left empty – thanks for noticing.  That’s so I can continually sow as I reap! Won’t be long now before I start to plant the summer stuff in the other two bins. More on that later.

Many of the birds are back.  Just saw the first little female hummer – they usually arrive somewhere around the long weekend in May, which is this coming weekend.  We’ve had a couple of extremely warm days (it’s been a weird Spring).  Went immediately to the barn to dig out my feeder.  (Please don’t put food colouring in your humming bird feeders.  It’s not necessary and does more harm than good!)  All set up and ready to go.  Right now she’s enjoying the bleeding hearts in the north garden.

I’m always startled the first time one zooms by in May.  Even though I’m expecting them, it’s like a giant bee whizzing by.  Right to the spot where I hang my feeder.  They remember!  The females come back first and find me to let me know – get out to the barn, I’m hungry.  Okey doke and I get right on it.

Speaking of the barn, there are nests popping up all around it.

An Eastern King Bird has built her nest on top of the light outside the barn, which is situated beside the door.  First photo above, top left of the photo (you have to squint).  Sorry for the shadow – I was out in full Sun, but it’s there.  I hate to keep disturbing her, but every time I go out there to get something or to go to my veggies, she’s not very happy.  I might need to put up a sign so everyone (and that’s the Royal everyone) remembers that she’s there.

DO NOT DISTURB MRS. KING BIRD
or the Dandelions 🙂 

Robins are nesting in the outside beams too (middle and right photos above).  Lots of flapping and squawking every time I’m there…maybe they’re just happy to see me.  Or maybe not.

I can relate some days – Ew. People.

Lots of Robins this year.

 

Very excited to report (as I’m sure you are) that I have an Indigo Bunting dropping by the nyger seed feeder.  Absolutely gorgeous!

←  Just look at this guy!

 

 

 

 

I’ve also got the Orchard Orioles back. More snickering here because I put apples on sticks for them (below).

But you can see, they like apples (and oranges).

Lots of Goldfinches as well – such vibrant colour. 🙂

So, besides the tree planting, gardening, general clean-up and “getting stuff out and cleaned up”, I’ve also been attending some seminars.  Now you know why you haven’t heard from me in a bit…

(Don’t ask me about the dust bunnies lurking under the blue roof.  Just don’t ask – I’m not going there.  It’s too nice outside and there’s too much to do out there.  The boat is about to go in the water too, and that will need some attention and set-up.  Oy, so busy at this time of year.)

The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, here in Southern Ontario is hosting their Bio Blitzes and holding seminars to educate the public on climate change and the wildlife and fauna they can find in their back yard.  This is right up my alley and I’ve been to two talks so far.  One on wild forest plants and one on mushrooms.  They were very interesting and informative and I’ve now got a new channel to go to for information and involvement in the community.  Yay!

How are your Maple Leaf Tulips doing?  Open yet?  Mine still aren’t open.  They are very late.  They’re up and ready to open, but still tightly closed.

Here’s one clump of them →

Anticipation!  All of my other tulips have been open for a while and are starting to fade with this warm weather.  These will be nice after the others have almost finished.  That’s not a bad thing.

A friend of mine (are you there?) went to the Ottawa Tulip Festival last weekend and they weren’t open there yet either.

Can’t wait to see all the gardens sporting these when they finally bloom!

 

Oh yeah, I went to my local Garden Club’s plant auction.  Remember that from last year?  Still planting stuff as a result of this year’s visit…

UGH It looks like it’s snowing in here because the wind is blowing stuff through my window screens as I write. Or maybe that’s the dust bunnies dancing.  Never mind.

Do you want me to write, or do you want me to dust? Thought so – me too.  Sigh

Where are we tonight…I know the Full Moon has come and gone…ah, we’re ending the third quarter in Aquarius.  There’s the no restricting my freedom above and the who gives a hoot about the dust bunnies (except maybe my Mother…). The Moon enters Pisces just before midnight – a state of dreaminess on it’s way.  Breathe deeply.

Thursday is ruled by Jupiter.  Have you been looking at Jupiter in our night sky?  Hard to miss, he’s very bright and out all night.  The planet of luck and good fortune.  I’m feeling very fortunate that I have months of delightful growing season ahead of me.  The air smells like fresh cut grass and all things growing.  Not to mention the farm fields – you’ll have to ask Portia about that.

Today’s colour is red.

I’ll leave you now, grooving with Portia – and the dust bunnies – here under the blue roof.

Until next time,

-Debra

Blue Jays for Breakfast

Hey there,

So I’m in the kitchen this morning, pouring coffee and getting myself some breakfast when I hear this terrible shrieking sound coming from outside the window.  My first thought – “where’s Ralph?” – because, you know…but when I look out the window, a Cooper’s Hawk has landed a Blue Jay and they are fighting under poor Mrs. Beasley.  Never a dull moment in Mrs. Beasley’s life.  Good thing she’s made of sturdy stuff. 🙂

At this point, all of the birds have cleared the area and there isn’t a tree rat to be found.

This Hawk isn’t much bigger than his (her?) intended breakfast.  Charming.  Perhaps not nature at it’s finest, but everybody has to eat.  I thought the Blue Jay was done, because it was still, and then the fight was on again.

OK, I don’t need to see this…poor thing…I go outside and clap my hands, which startled the two birds, which made the Hawk release the Blue Jay and they went their separate ways.  Sorry, Mr.  (Mrs.?) Hawk, but you’re going to have to try again – elsewhere, if you don’t mind.  You’re welcome, Mr. (Mrs.?) Blue Jay!  Go warn your friends (and maybe buy a lottery ticket).

OK, awake now.  Yowsa!

The birds are pretty active because the weather has turned mild for a few days here in Southern Ontario. The January thaw?  Of course, I’m out there feeding them constantly, no matter the weather.  They especially like the peanut butter (crunchy) I spread on the fence posts and tree trunk for them.  It’s always a race to see who can get to the peanut butter first – STUPID TREE RATS.

I just looked up from my computer, here in the Meadowview, and the Cooper’s Hawk just flew by again, making another try at the Blue Jays…birds are scattering everywhere…what a busy day!

Well, aren’t you a little ray of pitch black

…Not looking – or listening.  Kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers…

How are you spending your January?  Things are just starting to pick up again, post holiday for most. Winter carnivals are looming, snow mobile people are happy this year, I assume, as we’ve had snow this Winter so far – so it’s your fault!  Actually, snow is a good thing for the greenies – I just keep telling myself that.

I tried the snow mobile thing – of course it was decades ago, but I remember well…I didn’t get to actually drive one, no, I got to be the person on the back.

How do you spell fun?

First of all, I was always frozen, no matter how many layers I had on…I was stuffed into someone’s mother’s winter onesie – zippers and velcro.

Very attractive (not) →

Then the multiple socks (and we know how I feel about them), huge boots – yet more zippers and velcro.  Next came the hat – a balaclava (memories of those plastic Hallowe’en masks – did you ever see Jerry Seinfeld’s stand-up routine on Hallowe’en?  Here you go – worth the watch! Don’t forget to come back and finish reading.), which would eventually become covered in snot, because your nose would run and you can’t wipe it wearing one of those things.  Ew.

Then, lastly came the mitts.  You might as well be wearing oven mitts, they are so big.  You aren’t grabbing onto anything wearing those.  So you see my point about the snot-covered “hat”.

You want me to walk in this?  Seriously?  In the snow?  Ummm, I have to go to the bathroom. 🙂  Kidding! But I will…so now I’m going to get dehydrated because I’m afraid to drink anything.  And that was with a young bladder.

Are we having fun yet?

No?  Just wait…now you’re going to perch on the back of a winterized lawn tractor, with someone’s bum in your face, so you can’t see anything – not that you can see anything anyway, wearing the snot-covered balaclava – and you’re told to “hang on”.  To what, exactly?  I’m wearing oven mitts!

Oh yeah, don’t forget the helmet – this giant plastic bubble – “Greetings Earthling” (you remember Marvin the Martian, right?).

← Marvin

Now I can’t see, can’t use my hands, can’t hear, I’m frozen and…I HAVE TO GO PEE.

Oooo, this is fun…

Don’t even get me started on my hair after a “day out”.  Sigh I’m more of an aprè snow mobile kind of person. 🙂  That relationship didn’t last…

Maybe the winter onesie outfit has changed over the decades and you no longer look like a giant baked potato in the snow…maybe, but I’m pretty sure my hair would feel the same way.

So, Debra, tell us how you really feel.

That sort of ended the snow mobile thing for me…but if you like it – go nuts!  We’ll talk about skiing another time.  I’ll have to dig that one out of “The Museum of Personal History”.  Wine skin included.

Yup, I think I’ll go back to my reading chair by the fire…

Whew!  I feel much better now. 🙂  The beauty of being of a “certain age” is you don’t have to do stuff you don’t want to anymore to impress anyone…you just say no, and don’t really care if they like it or not. 🙂  Hair intact.  Are you with me sisters?  Feel free to give a Hallelujah below.

Where could the Moon possibly be tonight?  Ahhhh – she’s full and she’s moving into Leo.  Leaving the homey comfort of Cancer and heading into the bright lights of Leo.  Kind of a Little Britain to Queen Street West type of thing (for anyone local).  There you go.  Showy, theatrical, dramatic, in your face.  See sarcasm above.  Not to mention that whole bird thing this morning.  Not much aggression there…

Today’s colour?  Crimson – a warm colour on this cloudy Winter day (sans bird blood).

January is ruled by Saturn.  Saturn is all about maturity – there’s the decades ago story and the memory of “not going back there again”.

I’ll leave you with your own thoughts of maturity and what that means to you, as we navigate through January (not on a snow mobile, thank you).

Until next time,

-Debra

Greetings from the Meadowview

Hey there,

Greetings from the Meadowview!  Ooooo, does it sound like I’m staying in some swanky B&B in Europe?

“The hills are aliiiiivvve.
with the sound of muuuuzzzziiic…”

Uh, nope…still here, under the blue roof, but the “Meadowview” is what I’ve named my office/spare room/storage central/gift wrapping palooza space (formerly known as my daughter’s room).

“If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the Meadowview”…better yet, don’t look for me, I’m busy. 🙂

Has a nice ring to it:  The Meadowview – quite proud of myself (sniff)

Not rocket science:  When I sit at my computer, the view I have is of my meadow.  What a great place to be! As I sit here this afternoon, the snow is coming down like crazy and hasn’t stopped since this morning when I got up.

Guess what that means?  For anyone who read my post last week and the week before (and I know you did!), you know that there is construction going on here under the blue roof.  Yup, still going on, although we are making progress – not that I still don’t have a toilet and sink in a box in my dining room, because I do – but we’re getting there.  It will be done for Christmas.

Getting back to what that means…the snow, although very pretty, is backing up the construction people. This is not good – we are working on a tight deadline (Read:  CHRISTMAS).  I have everything lined up very carefully (says my Virgo self).  The @!#%&!! snow is messing everything up.  I HAVE TO PAINT THIS WEEKEND and I can’t paint if there is no drywall and the drywall takes two days to dry…sigh.

OK, so it goes on tomorrow (promise) and that way I can paint on Sunday.

Good thing it’s just the weekend before Christmas and I have nothing else to do [insert sarcasm].

Good thing this whole idea started back at the end of July…WHOSE STUPID IDEA WAS THIS, ANYWAY???

Oh yeah, never mind…

It will be done for Christmas. It will be done for Christmas. It. Will. Be. Done. For. Christmas.

Group projects help me understand
why Batman works alone

I know, first world problem, right?  So what if I have to string lights on the toilet?  Or…see image above.

It. Will. Be. Done. For. Christmas. (gritting teeth – STOP THAT! says teeth guy)

The little red tree rat is giggling as he sits on the squirrel proof feeder, gorging himself. Grrrrr… I know, because I was just outside to shovel the walk and bring in more firewood.  I passed him and he didn’t even flinch.  The Meadowview does not offer a view of my feeders.  Just as well, or my teeth would be stubs. Certainly didn’t take him long to crack the code. Sigh

For anyone reading who doesn’t get this kind of snow, or maybe no snow at all…this is what we’re dealing with here.

The photo to the left shows Pearl (my VW bug rag top) hunkered down in the driveway.  So not smiling.  She looked a little like an igloo before she was cleared off.

Haaaappy thoughts.

When the birds can get to the feeders, there are many!  Here’s a snap of the front feeders in the snow.  All those blobs are birds! 🙂  I’ve entered our local Christmas bird count this year on December 30th.  I’ll let you know how I do.  I usually have several species of visitors at any given time:  Chickadees, sparrows, blue jays, cardinals, gold finches, house finches, juncos, nuthatches (red and white breasted), crows, hawks, woodpeckers – three or four types. All from the Meadowview. 🙂

I’ve had a Pileated Woodpecker visit the front trees the past few mornings.  Very cool.  They are about the size of a crow (the Woody Woodpecker kind).

I bet they won’t get too many turkeys in the backyard count.

On that note…

 

Of course, it’s always interesting when the “girls” decide to drop in.

These photos are from yesterday.  There are about 15 turkeys under and around the feeder!  You can tell how big they are compared to the feeder above them.  They are eating up the Motherwort that grows there and is still green, along with, of course, all the bird seed that the little *&@#!  spills all over the ground. <Breathe >

That’s Mrs. Beasley to the right.  Certainly keeps the tree rats in check…they are up in the branches – not very happy.  (Sorry for the blue in the photos – it’s shade – taken from inside the house. Kinda looks like the girls are walking on water!).

 

This little lady was making her way up to the front door. Ding dong, Avon calling! 🙂

In the woo woo world (yes, I’m going to remind you what that is, I have some new readers!) – you know I’m going to go there…turkeys bring luck and good fortune! (Unless, of course, they’re of the Butterball type…oh dear).

Woo hoo!

 

 

 

Ralph decided perhaps it wasn’t the best time to go outside.  BIG BIRDY!  Never a dull moment for Ralph, as you well know.  He’s still not over that bear encounter

Anyhoo, the snow does look pretty! Especially at night now as we still bask in the waning Moon that was full two nights ago.  I always make a point of going around to the windows on all sides of the house to glimpse outside before going to bed.  I have to peek through the plants…but that’s OK.  Especially around the full Moon time – I can see the bunnies under the trees. 🙂

Tonight the Moon is in her third phase in Cancer – the earth mother sign.  We women know all about that at this time of year, don’t we?  How much can one person get done, in the name of serving others, in one single day??  Give, give, give…that’s the motto!

Today’s colour?  Crimson – like Santa’s suit.

Leaving you now liiiiivvvvve, from the Meadowview!  Keep going – there’s only ten days left…

Until next time,

-Debra

Rockin’ Round of Robins

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Hey there,

First, news from the bird world here at Blue Roof Living…yesterday, the weather was beautiful and warm and the birds were everywhere.  I had a Round of Robins drop by.  That’s what you call a flock of Robins, a Round (had to look it up – I didn’t know either).  There were so many – I had never seen that many at once; they usually just hang out in couples.  Even when they arrive in the Spring, as I desperately await them.

Yesterday, however, I heard them from the house and when I went outside…binoculars in hand…the Robins were all over the lawn and in the trees – both male and female. Wow – it was pretty cool.  Having a heck of a time digging for worms in the lawn, as the lawn is so dry and the earth hard from the lack of rain this previous summer.  It doesn’t help that my soil is of the clay variety.

I also had a Flicker hopping about, competing with the Robins for the worms and insects in the grass.  Of course they’ve had a little help from the racoons, who like to dig up the lawn at night…that doesn’t make someone here very happy (not me – I don’t really care – as long as they stay out of the gardens).

I’ve had a Confusion of Warblers stop by all week enjoying the Golden Rod that is going to seed in the meadow.  That’s what you call a flock of Warblers. 🙂

Our little teenage Miss Cardinal is starting to look more like her mother – she was hanging out in the nyger seed feeder with her Dad.

The Woodpeckers are making themselves visible – waiting for me to put up the suet for them again, no doubt. They’ve been around all summer, but I could only hear them.  Not yet you guys!  Not until the snow comes…lovely to see you, but go back to your bug hunting!

On that note,  who else is back?

junco

Dun dun dun dunnnnn – the Juncos – oh nnnnooooo she says, hands covering ears – lalalalalalalalaaaa – those are the cold weather birds that actually spend their summer in the arctic and winter here.  They seem to be a wee bit early this year and I’m not sure what that means about the coming season (the one after Autumn).  They are cute little guys, but Geez, I’m so not ready!

 

Ugh – reality check.  Think happy thoughts – kittens and flowers, kittens and flowers.

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We are enjoying our long Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  The rellies will be descending tomorrow for their turkey dinner…

Pick the weeds out of your own garden
before you start tending to mine

– just sayin’ 😉

I’m late with my blog this week, but I’m still squeaking in, as promised!  Still busy with my jars and drying, as you can see. 🙂  The temperature is dropping after our lovely warm week and this will definitely be the weekend where all of my plants in pots to be brought in doors will come in…the “f” word (FROST) is not far off, I’m afraid.  Sigh – my favourite season is so short.

So, October, shall we discuss?

The animal (or bird, seeing how we’re already discussing) for October is the Crow or Raven.  A flock of Crows is called a Murder.  Bwahahahahahaaaa.  Lots of Crows at this time of year, following the farmers as they bring in the harvest – they love the corn.  Such an intelligent bird.  They have a great mysticism and mythology about them.  They do seem to carry a certain magic.  Perhaps it’s their jet black colour?  We discussed the colour black here.  Crows are fascinating to watch – they like to watch you back.  They also have their own language and don’t actually sing, but caw and are great communicators.  Symbols of creation and spiritual strength, they give the message to look for opportunities and manifest the magic of life. Yup.

The flower for October is marigold – a fitting colour.  We’ve discussed Calendula, one of my favourite herbs, here.

What else do we think of when we think October?  Pumpkins!  Did you know that it was once thought that pumpkins could cure snake bites?  Weird.  October is also considered Canadian Library month.  Shhhh.  I would consider the early months of the calendar year library months – that’s when I like to sit by the fire and read (my winter sport).

The ruling planet for October is Venus, Goddess of Love, who also rules Libra, the zodiac Sun sign.  Libra is represented by the scales; restoring balance; prefers the comfort of company.  Not a loner; feminine and all about sharing life and experiences.  Social, cooperative, compromising, does not like conflict and happiest when everything is on an even keel.  Librans like elegance and beautiful surroundings.

Speaking of Venus, have you seen her in our night sky?  She is in the West early, after dark – that very bright star, not too high up off the horizon.  Dazzling.

Tonight’s Moon is in Capricorn, still in her first quarter but almost to the second (half moon) phase.  Today’s colour is black – like the Crow.

I’ll leave you there.  For my readers in Canada, do enjoy your Autumn long weekend – and don’t forget to bring in those pots!

Until next time,

-Debra

Happy Imbolc

Potted herbs

Hey there,

Happy Imbolc!  Huh? you say.  Imbolc is the Gaelic festival to celebrate the “between” of Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox – and that’s today.  Better than talking about the stupid rodent.  A reason to celebrate and think about our green friends, still asleep, but starting to stir.  Although with the mild weather we’re having, I’m hoping they aren’t stirring too much.  We don’t want their little heads frozen off when the weather turns again.

This is the time of year when I simply must visit a greenhouse of any kind, preferably herby.  You’re welcome, for the photo above.  I feel like Chez Helene, remember her?  No?  Here’s a little blast from the past for ya for anybody reading who is “of a certain age”.  Either before or after Mr. Dressup and creepy Finnegan:

http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/chez-helene-on-90-minutes-live

She would look in her magic mirror…I see Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena, I see Oregano, Tarragon and Sage – and oh look, in the back, there’s Chives! 🙂 Yay!  I’ve still got Thyme and Lavender in my garden – I can touch them and they give off scent.  Mmmmm – can you smell them?

Houseplants are waking up, time for haircuts and more water.  The birds are starting to change too – I’m lucky enough to have two pair of cardinals living in the cedars.  February is their mating season; their feather colour is at their brightest and their beaks are bright orange.  The males are gorgeous, especially against the snow, but I find the females very pretty too.  They like the sumach berries – full of Vitamin C.  Presently, one of the males is pecking at the car windows – at his reflection, thinking he has some competition with the female…”are you talkin’ ta me?”.  Seriously (eye roll). They also have a different song at this time of year.  Listen, and you’ll hear the birds starting to wake.  Won’t be long before you’re cursing them for waking up too early!  The juncos are still with me and will be for a while yet.  The juncos are Arctic birds who spend their winters here (go figure).  The juncos leave around the time the blue birds arrive.  February is also a good month to look for owls and to put out nesting boxes for them if you’re in their ‘hood.

See how I’m staying positive here?  February is my longest month, even though it’s the shortest.  This year there’s an extra day to contend with.  Time to change the wreath on the front door.  No more greenery; something to herald early Spring.  The willows are getting very yellow.  Maybe I’ll pick some of those.

Today in 1897 is also the day that Alfred L. Craille of Pittsburgh received the patent for the first ice cream scoop; now if that isn’t reason to celebrate…thanks Alfred!

So February, the ruling plant is Uranus (cue Grade 5 joke – all depends on how you say it…more eye rolls).  Uranus is the wildcard planet, bringing unpredictability and unforeseen events (the weather, Valentine’s Day?)  Keeping us on our toes.  The Moon, in her fourth quarter, entered Sagittarius this morning.  The fourth quarter phase means she has moved 90 degrees past the full phase, decreasing in light and rising at midnight.  A Sagittarius Moon is at her most optimistic; non-judgmental and positive.  A “chill out” Moon – kind of goes with the ice cream scoop thing. 🙂  We love ice cream.

I’ll leave you with thoughts of ice cream.  Anybody hear whether that stupid rodent saw his shadow this morning?  Waiting, waiting…

Until next time,

-Debra

Stupid Teeth

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Hey there,

I’m on ordered rest for a couple of days after having some dental surgery.  My second round.  Yup, I actually went back.  The first round was in the Fall, after Thanksgiving.  If I’m going to be on soft foods – which can be yummy, but 10 days is stretching it – I’m going to have my turkey dinner first.  So, a couple of weeks after Christmas (see how that works with the food thing?), back we go.  I’m really not a smoothy kind of gal – food that requires chewing is my preference.  I’ve got my herby infusions all ready, sage and thyme for a mouth rinse to combat bacteria and inflammation; nettle to provide me with some required protein, vitamins and minerals.  (Nettle is the energy of the earth – drink that and all is good.  I’m talking an infusion, not tea – we cover that in my classes – you should take one some time.)  The Periodontist was very intrigued when I told him about the sage and thyme infusion, in a condescending kind of way, but intrigued all the same.  Members of the medical profession usually get that “isn’t that interesting, we’ve got a weird one here” look on their face when they ask me “what I’m on or what I take” (like I can’t read their minds – woo woo).  That would be why I’m not there, hardly ever.  Whatever.

The surgery went well, it was extremely icky during, but I’ll live.  I have a mouth full of stitches for a week.  BTW, did you know that red wine makes your stitches purple?  Very attractive…but I digress.   The second time is worse than the first.  The first time you think, no problem; the second time you know, problem.  The good news is, it’s not a sentence for me to have to sit in a room with windows all around me and my binoculars to watch the birds.  I was all prepared the day before surgery – I went and filled my feeders and the suet cage.  Happy birdies.  Especially seeing how the day of surgery was the snow storm.  Thank you to my husband for getting me back and forth – and for doing stuff in the house while I’m resting. 🙂 So I get to watch the happy birdies and read books!  Yay.  Not so bad.  The fact that I have to go back for a third surgery – bad.  Sigh.  That will teach me for “brushing the bejeezus out of my teeth”, as Teeth Guy so eloquently told me.  So I like having clean teeth, but now I’m more careful and I’ll have great chompers for another 40 or 45 years! 🙂

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

-Marcus Tullins Cicero

Winter has finally arrived in all her glory.  The photos above show how lovely it looks untouched (from inside!) and the second one shows a Red Bellied Woodpecker enjoying the suet.  It’s going to be one of those up and down winters, temperature wise.  I meant to go have a look to see if my garlic had started making an appearance prior to Christmas when it was so mild.  Some of my Spring bulbs were definitely showing their heads.  Now they are safely covered in snow.  Go back! Go back!  Not yet!

I’m busy making dinner plans with friends – towards the end of January, when I’m able to eat again.  It’s what I do at this time of year.  The first three months, when we are more house-bound and not seeing people as much, especially here in the country.  Getting together with friends gives something to look forward to (besides Spring).  Although getting out my gardening books and dreaming by the fire is also an annual event in January/February.  Add a couple of cats and you should be getting the visual.  Ski Bunny would not be a term that comes to mind…although I do have snow shoes – and I have used them to get to my bird feeders.  Does that count? 🙂  Usually I end up in a face plant in the snow, cursing loudly, although no one can hear me (or, perhaps, they choose not to listen).  There are no pictures (that I know of), so you can just use your imagination.  The one time my bird feed container went bums up with me, the tree rats were happy for days.  So far this winter, I have been able to plod through the snow unaided.  Sorry, nothing to see here folks! (Eye rolls in the background.)

Today, the Moon is waxing in the first quarter in Pisces.  When the Moon is in this sign, dreaming and meditation are in order; escape from reality (of the harsh weather, perhaps? or maybe the January bills?).  It’s not your fault, it’s the Moon!  A little nostalgia, relaxing some boundaries and showing compassion.  Today’s colour is green.  Green represents money (hello, bills), growth (hello, resolutions) and fertility (not touching that one).

We’re almost half-way through January, folks.  Back to reality.

Until next time,

-Debra

Resolutions

 

 

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Hey there,

The photos above show my meadow with about six wild turkeys marching through it as I write this – they would be the brown blobs.  Sorry, the photo had to be quick with my phone!  One of the benefits of snow on the meadow (and I do try to find some!) is that you can see the wildlife out there.

So, resolutions for the New Year…how many have you broken so far?  I find if you don’t make ’em, you can’t break ’em.  We all know that the silent reflection thing you did, sending out the old and bringing in the new, probably included some thoughts about what you’d like to do different/better in this brand spanking new calendar year.  Or, some new stuff you’d like to try – but honestly, if you didn’t say it out loud, who’s going to know? 🙂 That’s my plan and I’m sticking with it.  Of course, you have yourself to answer to, and sometimes, at least in my case, I’m my biggest critic.  I’m slowly learning to let go of some stuff and not be as hard on myself if things didn’t go according to plan.  It’s that “being of a certain age” thing kicking in again.  Also, I’m a cusp baby, born on August 23 – a Leo/Virgo.  I know, oy!  Can you get any more different personalities?  Just call me Sybil. (By the way, 23 is a woo woo number – just to get some woo woo in.)  I always considered myself a Leo (if only just for the big hair) – that would be the larger than life Bossy Pants side of me.  But as I push through life, I get a little softer around the edges (and not just visually, thank you very much – like fine wine, you know) and the Virgo has most definitely emerged.  Although I’ve always been super organized.

On that point, I’m on an organization streak (some may say freak) – “Don’t stop me now” as Freddie would sing – and get out of my way (hello, Leo).  Stuff is getting reallocated, put away, donated, pitched.  I’ve been slowly creating my own office in the room that used to be exclusively my daughter’s room.  I have my desk and computer set up in front of a big window overlooking my meadow and green friends, where I can keep an eye on the birds (turkeys still there), and I’m moving my stuff into the bookcase.  It’s lovely to have my own space!

[A little aside] If you’re reading this, dear Daughter, and I know you are, nothing is safe – you’ve been warned. 🙂 There will always be a bed here for you, but now you share the room with my stuff!  Incidentally, I’ve found some of my stuff in your stuff. (Now I sound like George Carlin – never mind, you probably don’t know who he is, but he was funny.)

[…and we’re back] Can’t decide what colour I’m going to paint the walls – collective groans in the background; no one likes it when I paint.  Cats are hiding.  I do a good job, but I hate it.  However, I’m not loving the colour on the walls right now and I find myself spending more and more time in this room, so paint I must!  I’m also thinking about painting the kitchen…

It’s the time of year – I go within (kind of like a bear) and stay in (because I’m not a fan of the cold), looking for inside stuff to do.  There’s always something.  How appropriate, as the animal for January is the snow goose, owl or bear!  Today’s colour is scarlet.  Reds are for courage and good fortune – and the turkey (see above) is also a symbol of good fortune! (woo woo)  I’ll take all I can get. The moon is in her fourth quarter in Scorpio today, a sign of deep emotion.  That would explain the obsessive organizing for me today (better to just blame the moon). Also a good time for me to start a new mystery novel. That feels right.

I’ll leave you there, to your own emotion or obsession! For those of you who are secretly creeping my blog (also evidence of a Scorpio moon) – I know you’re out there!  Feel free to leave your own comments – I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.

Until next time,

-Debra

A little snow

 

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Hey there!  It’s me again, as promised.  I awoke to a dusting of snow this morning in a December that is anything but wintery – not that I’m complaining.  This, on the day that we are getting our Christmas tree; coincidence, I think not! (Add woo woo – just a little).

The birds are going bonkers – I think it took them by surprise.  Their feeders are full and they are taking full advantage…I see chickadees, sparrows, juncos, a nuthatch, a woodpecker, blue jays – being very noisy – and, of course, tree rats, otherwise known as squirrels.  In spite of my love of nature, tree rats rate right up there with mosquitos.  My only satisfaction is seeing them doing their best to get into my (somewhat) squirrel-proof feeders. Grrrr.  I wouldn’t mind them so much if they would share.  If you look up the synonyms for “squirrel”, the word “hoarder” comes up – enough said.

Anyhoo, on to other things – shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, decorating; you know the drill.  ’tis the season for full-out crazy.  Busy is good, but crazy…the funny thing is, you’d think they change the date every year and not send out a memo!  Every year – you just put away the pumpkins and BOOM! it’s here!  I’ll leave you to it.

Until next time,

-Debra