Monday, February 25, 2013

Lonely duck?

No question I am anthropomorphizing, but ducky-san was all a quack this morning when Mr Lee and I came up the mosaic steps.  She does seem to anticipate our daily visits. She preens in the pond, rises up and flaps her wings, tilts her head and peers at me. I quack back. I tell her that her family will soon be home, that the chickens will be returned to their yard. I fill two of the bird feeders to encourage the chickadees, finches and doves to keep her company. And I leave. Mojo had run off to, I assume, some caucus he has discovered and missed our trek. Later the dogs and I can hike to the mailbox. All day I will query the skies, hoping for rain and not ice.

And my thoughts will return to the subject of friendship. I think good friendship thrives when each person accepts the other as he is, tries not to change him. Something that I have found by experience to be a problem in close relationships; he drinks, he will drink - you can't change that. Nor can you change the wiles of bi-polar. Not that I even stayed around to try that. But I have screwed up thinking a partner might, when confronted with a "death sentence" try to be healthy. No. We both attempted to change the other, or persuade (poorly) the other to adapt to our needs. But I'm aware of this fault, I think. I'm redoing a phone conversation and not understanding what happened so fast to turn it so sour. It wasn't a good time for me to talk. I like emailing too, she doesn't. We just miss being friends some how. Why I can't grasp - too much distance, and I'm not enjoying time with her? Intractable differences...I don't meet the expectations of the other; I don't know what they are? It all seems way too intense to me. And I'm not as lonely as the survivor duck.

Friday, February 22, 2013

oh, no - waking to painted white

Snow and ice, fairly slippery; supposed to turn to rain. The chickens and I don't like getting out into this stuff! I heard someone (with a microphone stuck into his car window in Kansas) say, "this is for Christmas, not now!" Got that right; of course, snow is not unseen here in April. grrrrr My adaption tools are getting dull. And I am fed up with the VA legislature. Looks like they are slapping an annual fee of $100 on hybrid cars, while cancelling the gasoline tax and raising the sales tax along with fees on wholesale gas and diesel. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


Finally pictures of happy duck. She had exited the pond when she saw me approach from the old goat yard. But I got out my camera and asked her to please take another swim and she obliged! voila.

A load of gravel arrived this morning. Although the mammoth truck nearly got stuck (leaving a terrible deep rut), I talked the driver into trying to unload the #357 stone again. He warned me that I would have to pay for a wrecker if needed or pay for the load if he brought it back to the quarry. I hastily kicked and shoved earth back into the rut as he worked to turn around. He was able to back down and dump rock careful to straddle the soft middle. I should have celebrated by driving up and down, but I was more inclined to walk to the river with dogs. Katrina meowed her way with us. Twelve geese honked while floating down river until they saw us. Halcyon day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One duck and the lotus pond

I can't say that I didn't anticipate the scene, surviving duck swimming in the lotus pond; but what a delight to see that she had found the water and recovered her ducky joi de vie! My next thought was, duck shit; but given the life expectancy of her sisters, I doubt she'll live long enough to turn the lotus pond green. I wish I had brought my camera.
Two days ago Mojo and Mr Lee and I tried to corral survivor duck back into her yard, but failing several times, I relented thinking that she might do better outside. So far she has made it to day three. She's nesting under the larger butterfly bush next to the chicken yard fence.


Monday, February 11, 2013

the turkeys were here before us

I followed the dogs this morning who wanted to go for a walk to the river; it being warm and not raining. Since gravel was not going to be delivered for my yet to dry out road, I had no reason to linger inside. I had to crawl under a clash of pines on the logging road, but it was the only block. The flood has washed the creek clean and etched a new bank all along the river. Pristine.
The river is coke bottle green. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Satellite Upgrade

I have a new satellite connection, much faster! Sunny day and high hopes for road to dry out enough for gravel to be deliverable on Monday. Looking forward to being able to Skype with granddaughter in Houston...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Damned if did, damned if didn't

Or just damned for being? I guess I shouldn't mention the ducks who are hunted now by day; the hawk seen soaring over the yard when I was hunting eggs. Perhaps they are safe tonight since the wind is gusty (35 mph) and I would think that might keep the owl or owls away. But then I don't presume to know the ways of owl. I don't know the ways of anyone. I certainly should not have mentioned what is happening in the hollar, like the road. And I really did want to tell someone about my neat solar lights that change colors! 
The snow was lovely this morning, maybe an inch, but with ice coating every stick or blade. I am thankful that we are not in the conjunction of two storm systems, now called storm Nemo, forecast to dump 2 feet of snow on Boston, Hartford, Providence.
I fear I am terribly misunderstood.  
Saturday, and only two ducks remaining; the cripple one was taken off - I suppose I should call it a mercy killing. It looks like a frozen gold fish in the pond, perhaps too near the top to survive . I'll know better this afternoon.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

2 and 3/4 Ducks

The winged night murderer returned for another duck and of the three remaining birds, one is hurt. I put off checking on them today as it was cloudy and I have a notion that I am witnessing the quickening demise of the duck experiment. I had lunch in town. Such a delicious hiatus from the dog life, dying duck, chicken drama of the hollow.
Rain forecast along with wintry mix; mercifully New England is due for a foot or two of snow - not us! I am weary of winter. And I miss Pearl and her people.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hollar Granola

Winter and my cravings turn to granola, here's my recipe:

warm up liquid: 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup coconut oil, and 1 teas. vanilla

mix together dry ingredients: 4 cups organic rolled oats, 1/2 cup ground flax seed, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (shelled), 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pecans, 1/4-1/2 cup coconut flakes and 1/4 cup corn meal (optional). 1/4 teas. salt!

mix dry ingredients with the liquid. grease a cookie sheet. bake in 325 degree oven for 25  minutes or more. Check every 10 minutes and stir mixture - until golden brown. (I toasted the nuts and sunflower seeds a bit before adding them) 

add dried fruit: currants or raisins or cranraisins or whatever (i had candied ginger which i chopped and added) then add chia seeds - 1/4 cup or more. I also add hemp seeds to a bowl when serving.


Monday, February 4, 2013

And then there were four...

Four ducks. Was exactly a week ago that the owl (assuming it was the same owl) stole number 6. At this rate there will only be one duck left when my son returns. I told them again to stay in the hen house at night; I know my words went on deaf duck ears...
Got out of the hollow this morning, first time in five days. Supposed to warm up into the 50's for a week. I'm ready for spring. An almost open daffodil at the blue house today - time to force a branch of pussy willow.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The chicken yard invader

It wasn't a wild dog or neighbor dog or coyote, it was MOJO who has for three days been pawing under the fence to check over the scraps in the chicken yard (several days ago I did throw out three chicken leg bones). I caught him this cold afternoon and luckily got my coat on fast enough to catch two chickens taking the opportunity to escape. For three days I have had to round up chickens and then fix the fence - Mojo and Mr. Lee looking on (and probably laughing). Mojo knows he's in the dog house. What a long sad face a hound dog can make.
Road up date: Robin cautioned that the road was too soft to use. So who comes down just minutes ago? The UPS man! He was worried that he wouldn't make it out, but he did! But now there are new ruts in the soft mud.

Road Robin

Cold Cold day for the first of February and before I could say, "rabbit rabbit," out of my mouth came, "fuck snow" as I saw the white out of my bedroom window. Happily the afternoon is sunny with diminishing wind and Robin is working on the tiny rift valley which water wrought. Robin has had to use his front end loader to get earth from the side of the mountain to fill in the crevasse and he had to weigh down his blade with a railroad tie. Yippee, I am getting my road restored - although, Robin cautions that it will need to settle and to dry some before being navigable. 
Calling my Virginia Senator and Delegate to urge them to vote against the Governor's transportation bill (HB2313 and SB1355). The bills in both houses are very similar to what the Governor has proposed: to end the gasoline tax and to gain revenue from an annual fee of $100 on electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles - along with a raise in sales tax to 4.8 cents (.8 cents going directly to transportation). When I purchased my Prius 4 years ago, I paid approximately 8 thousand dollars more for the technology - it was taxed then! We need to encourage alternative fuel vehicles NOT discourage them, let alone single these cars out for extra fees. We should TAX gasoline to discourage it's use - period. Where is the sanity in the Governor's suggestions??