Monday, November 03, 2008

A bird in the hand...literally

This morning is a gray, cloudy morning. One the birds really love. There are sparrows and finches fluttering about our whole yard. They seem to be looking for worms, left over seeds from our harvest and whatever else they may find. I was heading out the front door to the trash can with an arm full of trash. I stepped off my step only to come up to a little sparrow just sitting there looking at me. I was surprised because I know how skittish birds are, especially with movement. This little one didn't seem fazed by my presence. I put down my trash and stooped down to get a better look at him. He wasn't hurt, seemed bright eyed-though maybe a little sleepy. I sat there and talked to him and decided to see if I could get closer. I was able to touch him without him reacting. I started to pick him up and he flew onto my arm instead. He sat there looking at me and I decided to take him to where the rest of the birds were. I was able to pet him, scratch his head (as most birds like) and talk to him. We walked toward the garden where he decided it was time to fly. He flew to the garage window and I could see he was quite a bit smaller then the others. I went to retrieve him again and he stepped onto my hand then gently flew to the butterfly bush with the others. This must be how the Saints felt when they were able to be at peace with even the wild animals. No fear from the animals and only peace from the human. It was a moment that made me smile and appreciate the moments that God allows us to revel in. Amongst the spiritual dry desert that I have been traversing, a little sparrow came and gave me a moment of refreshment. As I'm writing this, the verse came to me about God not even forgetting the sparrows, how He even knows when one falls from the sky. Aren't we more valuable to Him then them? There is a lesson in there for me somewhere. For right now though, I will enjoy the moment of being so close to something so pure and innocent in a world that feels like it is spiraling out of control.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"I thought you were cool"

I came home the other night from my Godmothers house. Becket was attending an overnighter followed by b-day skate party at a neighboring skate park. Upon hearing that her house was sought after for a "bowl" (large concrete pool type skating structure) I thought about the idea for my house. I quickly went to Herman and asked him, "Would you let Thomas and Carmen put a bowl in our back yard?" He didn't have to think about it. He replied with an adamant "NO". We volleyed back and forth with reasons why and those reasons being shot down. I finally knew I was beat and I ended with a, "and I thought you were cool" to which he responded with a "no, no I'm not". I will not give up the dream.....stay tuned

Chasing Butterflies

Andrew (3) has been spending a lot of time in his sandbox lately. The box is located in a grassed in area flanked with a garden of coreopsis, pumpkins and sunflowers of all sizes. As I was watching him from a distance he decided to chase something. He started running all around the yard yelling, "chasing bubberpies". Flying away as fast as he was running was a small yellow butterfly. I wasn't too worried about the butterfly. Once the butterfly decided to double back towards him, he ran the opposite way yelling. Then it was the butterfly chasing him. Back and forth this went on for several minutes. Life should always be about chasing butterflies. Don't you agree?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Monday Monday.....

Things I saw this morning, on Labor Day. At 5am I saw Papa Herman at the front door having come home early from St. Herman's. On my way to work on our school building project I saw a turkey strutting along the side of the road. It looked so funny I slowed down to gawk at it. He didn't seem to appreciate the attention he drew. I next saw a llama taking a siesta in a field, at least I think it was a siesta. I also saw many older folks walking with their dogs and a women decked out in pads, helmet and in-line skates cruising along a path. I saw my husband's smile and laugh. I saw Becket doing a silly little dance that always cracks me up. I saw Andrew bringing candy after candy thinking he was able to consume as much as he wanted to. I also saw Tansy tormenting her brothers, then being sweet to them. Now we are heading to the skate park where I may see Becket drop the 6' ramp, or so he hopes. I'm sure I'll see Andrew and Tansy chasing each other around and maybe I'll see Herman get on his long board. All in all I see that today is shaping up quite nicely and will be a beautiful Monday morning.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Everyone loves a parade

Today was our annual Frontier Days parade. My Godmother and I were asked to hold the banner for the skate park association while others joined us with their skateboards. Mary used Herman's Sector 9 long board and I sported my old school board. Anthony (who is a middle school teacher) and his son Sebastian showed up as did Carmen the stone cutter and artist. Among teens we had a young man named Josh that doesn't like to anything more then skate he says and Chris who face is planted on t-shirts everywhere encouraging support for our local skate park. Among younger skaters we had a full gamut ranging from Gus who is 7, his brother Owen 11 both who belong to Mary. Becket was there as well as several other boys of various ages. As we were waiting to start the parade the boys were all skating around, including up and down a ramp of a local business. Another parade participant came over to ask who was in charge of the skaters and complained about them skating the ramp without helmets, but when they put on helmets she decided they can't skate there at all. Another parade participant loudly voiced her disgust with our skaters standing on the sidewalk and exclaimed a "Thank Goodness" when they weren't going to be going directly behind us. Needless to say this put Mary and myself in a very defensive mood. These people don't know who they are dealing with, not only are we skaters but we are MOMS too. And you don't mess with the mama's. At 43 I felt like a juvenile delinquent having to justify my existence and right to be where I was. We armed the kids with flyer's and candy to pass out while we two moms took the banner in hand and lead the procession of skaters. We followed the boy scouts and proceeded a big group of cloggers. If you were lined up along the parade route I'm sure you heard me shouting to the skaters to watch the horse "poop" as they were several entries in front of us. It was a very fun experience. Mary and I walked/skated, smiled and did the princess wave. The kids skated and worked the crowds with their flyer's and candy. And Carmen and Anthony expertly entertained both on the sidewalk and in the street. I'm not sure if we did anything to change the image of skating but I think it was good to have us moms and a couple of dads out there. I think what I enjoyed the most was spending time with these skater kids. I got to see them outside of the skate park and without the attitude. I saw them as kids that were just having fun and talking to me like I wasn't some alien from another world. They all had to take turns trying out my board and telling me their skate stories. Even the karate kid two entries ahead had to tell me about his board and his love of skating. He did mention he's getting board with karate and wants to skate more. I somehow think his folks won't entertain that idea though. At one point during the parade I spotted my mom, Tansy and Andrew (who just had to bring his skateboard to sit on while watching). That was fun seeing my family and many friends along the route. I can't wait till we do it again next year. Despite the negative attitudes brought on by the other participants it was a very enjoyable time for all. I hope our presence there will be an encouragement to other families and parents to get out on boards and skate with their kids or at least support them. So next time you see a skater, smile at them and encourage them, remember we're not all thugs.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

That's just peachy

4-5 years ago Herman, the kids and I made a quick stop at St. Herman's and St. Xenia's while traveling home from vacation. It was the kids and my first visit. As we were leaving St. Herman one of the fathers gave us 4 peaches to eat on the way home. They have two peach trees that were full of fruit. We ate them and saved the pits. Once home I tried and planted the pits. I started with 4 pots and 4 pits. Finally about 6 months later and no growth yet, I decided to just plant them outside. I watered them with Holy Water and would pour ashes from our censor on top of the sprouts. The following Spring I had two peach tree sprouts come up and two never surfaced. Each year I watch as they grow by at least a foot. I love these St. Herman peach trees. This past spring was the first time we had blossoms on them and I was elated, knowing fruit would soon follow. Sure enough last week I went out and was able to pick the first peach that was semi ripe. I smiled the whole time while I ate it under the trees. I couldn't help but feel something special about these peaches. I even almost hate to throw away the pits now. Tonight I went out for what is probably the last harvesting of peaches. There are maybe 3 left on the tree. I gathered a whole basket and used my shirt as an apron to carry the rest. My arms are itching like crazy now from the fuzz, which isn't so fuzzy when you are rubbing your arms against them. But what a wonderful blessing this was. 5 years of waiting, nurturing, caring for and protecting from bugs to see fruit. I think there is a spiritual lesson here somewhere. I should have the same patience and attentiveness with my spiritual life as I do with the trees. Maybe I should try some bug spray and Holy water on my feet too. Herman is heading down to St. Herman's this weekend and I thought of sending some peaches with him for the fathers. Then I chuckled to myself, remembering that they were the ones that gave me the fruit in the first place. So I'll pass them along to friends from church and let them enjoy them as much as I do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Romenov Prophesy

I just finished a book entitled The Romanov Prophesy I took it as a camping book and couldn't put it down till I finished. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first purchased it. The premise described a modern day Russia voting the reinstatement of an autocracy. There was a fictional descendant of the Romanov's that was to be used as a political puppet by the so called commission setting this whole thing up. The author brings historical fact about the Royal Family, their relationship with Rasputin and their demise. He also adds some interesting fiction to make for a real thriller. There is a rumor that two of the youngest including Alexi were actually not killed but thwarted off to a hiding place and brought to America to be blend in with society. Alexi married and had a son who produced another son thus having a direct heir to the throne. The race was on then to find the heir and out smart the Mafia. Twists and turns and a couple of days later I finished it. The author ends with notes on the fact versus fiction in his novel which I appreciated. It gave me an understanding of the Royal Family that I hadn't really thought about in the past. After finishing this book I am now starting one called Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie. The history is fascinating and being orthodox I have that personal interest. Massie started this project when his own son was a hemophiliac and he sought out other families to see how they handled this affliction. He realized that the Royal Family, themselves, had the most famous hemophiliac and thus he started his book. I am enjoying being able to read some fiction that has orthodoxy touches in it. It creates a literally balanced world for me. I'm still plugging through The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment and will continue for the next 5 years as well.
I just thought I'd share my general reading pleasure of the past week.
What's on your bedstand?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Part 2 of What's bugging Papa H

Here is an addendum: As I was writing my post I was wondering to myself, 'exactly what happens to the bugs once they are vacuumed up', I just walked outside and found out their fate. Papa H is pouring lighter fluid in the fire pit. I am not really questioning as he has lit things on fire before in his pit. But the shop vac is sitting right near the pit, he looked as me and said, "oh, this is so I can kill the bugs now". So apparently his big plan is to light a fire then either reverse blow them into the fire or shake them on top of it. Mind you, both require some wind and he's dealing with flying bugs. Hmmmm I'll let you do the math and come up with your own mental picture on that one.

Just what is bugging Papa Herman

Ok, so this is NOT the bug I'm referring to, but it's the closest picture I can find. We have been fighting little bugs in our birch trees for five years now. We have done everything from systemics, topical treatments, natural treatments to no avail. Every year they come back. We call them "hair bugs" due to the issue of them getting in our hair as we walk under the trees. When they are squashed they let out a foul odor that I can only describe as bad smelling soap. Papa H even went as far as to catch a handful of these critters to take to a dinner we were invited to, the host was an entomologist. He took one look at the bugs and agreed with us, "they're bugs all right". He gave us a few suggestions that we have since implemented. But still they thrive. Several nights in a row Papa H and I would circle around the tree killing each bug we saw by hand, well, not by hand but by "bug killer" tool, till Andrew dropped my bug killer down a hole. We would make several circles of the tree finding more and more. The more we killed the faster they became. Possibly they were sending out signals right before meeting their demise. Papa H has been out there with a squirt bottle of soap and I think he's even tried bleach and vinegar-again they thrive. The latest image I have to share this evening is Papa H. standing under the long branches of our birch tree with a shop vac in one arm and literally vacuuming the leaves with the other. He says he caught quite a few. He's taken this war to a whole new level. I have no idea what plan of attack the bugs will take next or Herman for that fact. But it is certainly amusing at times. I'll know to start worrying when I see charges being made at the army surplus, oh wait! I'm not kidding, I just heard a noise outside only to look out and see him at it again. Big shop vac in one arm and the hose in the other hand reaching up to the branches trying to suck up as many bugs as he can. Now who exactly is bugging who?