Monthly Archives: April 2010

Peaceful, serene in the Face of Tumult

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I write this as we listen, with vigilance, to the weather reports for areas in our state that are under tornado warnings and severe weather assaults. We have no rain at our little farm, yet, but that will end soon. I just need to post something tonight as I have been lazy beyond belief this week. My efforts have been consumed by the edits on the first chapter of a novel I am prepping for entry in contests. For some reason I find it difficult to multitask writing projects. I hope this isn’t a sign of advancing age. I can still manage three things at one time in my day job and even at home.

I also have a wonderful announcement. We have made contact with our new kittens! Is is now a month since the mama cat appeared without a bulge in her tummy. Every day she emerges for food and shows signs of being suckled. Today the kittens emerged from their tidy space on their own. There are three of them. One is a calico stripe, one is black and the last is a grey stripe. Regretfully there are no pictures today as they became disconcerted and loud meowing ensued. At that point they were returned to their little cubby spot until tomorrow.

To appease my sense of color and serenity I submit to you this awe inspiring sunset from earlier this week. Amazing to find such colors in an Arkansas sunset. The cloud cover, a filmy, nebulous shroud hovering close to the horizon reflected the sun’s light in a precise angle to render these stunning shades.

This is the tree line on the east side of our house. The sunlight on it is stunning.

The sun just sinks lower into the west.

This really the color of the sky. My camera captured its intensity beautifully(I think). The lower the sun retreated, the more coral the shade of the sky.

Again, I love this little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Dust Bath

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Please indulge me, please, please! The other day when I was out in the garden our mama cat followed me out and then she indulged herself in a DUST BATH!

She made herself comfortable in the warm earth, my tomato garden mind you, and rubbed her fur with dirt.

It was ridiculously hilarious! She just reveled in it, unashamed and unabashed, squirming and writhing…

…until she had filled the compulsion to scratch, or itch, or rub, or clean…or whatever her intention was.

She wondered why on earth she had an audience with this look. To say nothing of the big black thing in front of my face.

That was all she needed. No water – thank you very much, a dry dust basin will suffice for this feline.

Another tiny peek into my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

The Fight for Dominance

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As any of you who follow this little blog already know, we have chickens. Our chickens roam the farm. They almost have the run of the farm, almost. The front porch is off limits and most of them recognize that reality. Some of them still need a stern reminder. Our chickens rove as a mass of hens and roosters throughout the entire farm – through the garden, inside the horses pens, sharing water out of the water buckets, mingling with the cats. They steer clear of the dog’s pen. The dog is dangerous.

Regretfully, there are more roosters in our small herd than hens. The hens, unfortunately, have been picked off surreptitiously by possums or coyotes. A sad reality to open range birds. The roosters compete against each other for the attention of the few hens. Not sure if they really need the hen’s attention, because roosters just force themselves on the poor defenseless hens. They do tell the other roosters in no uncertain words or actions, who should be the boss.

Dominance is purely for the sake of the roosters. The top dog, er…rooster gets the hens.

Can you see them posturing? These are two of our younger roosters.

Now they are getting more serious. I should let you know they are in my tomato garden. Granted the plants can hardly be seen, but still…

The dust is flying now! Notice the black hen on the left. I think she’s rooting for the guy on the left.

Now we have some serious posturing! I love this! Birds in the air!

The rooster on the right appears to be taking pointers.

We are airborne again. The guy on the right really has this thing sewn up. He is the boss.

Fascinating. After this little show everyone went about their own little chicken business as if nothing else had happened. I couldn’t get enough shots off to capture everything, but it was fun to watch the show.

Chickens. I am entertained by too many goofy things.

So much for this little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Flutter-by

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Yesterday, as I made a diligent attempt at writing on the porch, out in the open exposed to the wild distractions of spring, this beautiful thing crossed my path.

I have always wanted to take pictures of butterflies, but they have always been so elusive and flighty, never lighting in a convenient spot. This beautiful thing settled on the rocks of our porch as if to show off just for me. The colors are so incredible.

This is what spring is all about.

More spread and show…

I watch in awe…

It fluttered its wings, revealing the orange-red spots on the underside of its wings. What a stunning contrast to the vivid cerulean on the outside.

This small wonder made my already perfect day.

And of course, you already know this just made my little piece of heaven truly perfect.

May it bring you joy.

Love,
Jeannene

Escape! How fast can you go?

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I spent the day today on the front porch. I love being outside and our house is surrounded by spacious porches making outside living fully capable. It is this beautiful weather that induces my presence on the porch. Of course being outside means there are so many new distractions to capture my already vacillating attention, preventing continuous concentration on any one task which I have undertaken.

A perfect example of my straying attention is this…

A small box turtle wandered aimlessly onto my porch and then it sat at this spot. It sat here for a long time, waiting for the cat to go away, which it did finally.


Sorry about the focus, I obvious wasn’t paying any attention to the camera settings.

After thirty or so minutes it finally moved.

It poked its head out and remained stationary for another twenty minutes. I was fascinated that this creature maintained its position for such a long time.

He tucked a foot back in before deciding to move again.

Verrry slowly he starts to move.

Look! Look! We have contact with all four feet. He pushes off with a little foot.

A small step…

…much later is another small step.

Oh my! He’s starting to really take off!

A big step. He was comfortable with his surrounding at this point, the time intervals between movements increased to at least a half a minute.

Another large step!

He is really moving now.

After this last shot I returned my attention to my writing at hand and when I returned to the little turtle… it was gone.

It sure could move when it wanted to.

I know this is rather banal, but it gave me such pleasure to have a turtle visit me – along with the cats and the chickens. Obviously I’m easily entertained.

Just a little piece of heaven on the farm.

Love,
Jeannene

Beautifully Simple and Simply Beautiful

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Today it is my express pleasure to share something created by another one of my aunts. I should clarify my dad is one of eight children, five of which are sisters to him and all of them incredibly creative in their own right. Needless to say, I am exuberantly proud of the originality that emerges from family members and I am compelled to share their beautiful creations with the world.

My Aunt Mary is a painter. She has taught art in the past and may still teach some, but I know for a fact that she paints and draws – it is her love. She has always painted as long as I can remember. As a child I remember being introduced to works of hers hanging on walls of my aunts and uncles homes. She is awesome. Now a days she creates smaller pieces. I wish to feature note cards she has painted and reproduced as prints.

I love their simplicity and the colors and their content. I love they are made by Aunt Mary.

And though I haven’t seen her in years, I can see her face so clearly. I love Aunt Mary.

The colors of spring are all here.

I love flowers.

There are even a couple small animals.

I think they are stunning.

I didn’t post this as an advertisement. My only desire is to share genuine talent with the people I know. I love to show off the accomplishments of the people I love. When I asked her to share these with you, there wasn’t a moments hesitation. Thank you Aunt Mary for the go ahead. I loved every minute of photoshoping these to bring out the detail. I think they are beautiful.

Aunt Mary sells these cards and should you care to purchase them she be reached at this email address:
schmidtmaryt@aol.com

I love this little piece of heaven today.

Love,
Jeannene

It’s Growing! It’s Growing!

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I found something in my kitchen the other day.

I should preface by explaining we built our house over a crawl space and the house has been here for almost six years.

I was digging in my cupboard for pasta. My pasta rests on the bottom shelf of my very small pantry in my kitchen. As I rummaged through the bags I encountered this….

It was a living stem of something. My first thought was

Oh my god, something is growing through the floor!

I didn’t want to find out any more details about the plant invading my pristine world of wood and tile. I did not even try to discover its origin. I really wanted to just bury my head in the sand and forget I had found it in the first place. I did tell Corvette Man about the growth in my cupboard. He was even more surprised than I was.

What! That can’t be right, dear. Are you sure?

Uh huh. I’m sure. It was a stem of something.

I’ll check it out later, but I don’t think that is possible.

I left it at that.

Today I decided I should tackle this little beast and ferret out its source, face the creature head on without trepidation, steele myself against the truth of my home invasion. I fortified my sensibilities and dug into the pasta section cautiously. Sure enough, there it was again!

A small, innocuous little sprout peaking out among the packages. I decided it was high time to find out through which crack this bothersome plant had decided breech my house.

I tugged at it. The sprig was bigger than expected. I pulled a little harder, giving it a firm tug and the thing gave way. This is what I pulled out.

I uncovered a lost potato, budding and flourishing inside the dark of my food cupboard. If it had been in rich soil, I’m sure it would have several budding potatoes hanging on its root. Boy did I feel like a fool! On top of that was a huge wave of relief that my warm sanctuary, my safe, dry place from the elements was still in tact and unbreeched. Whew!

So much for my little home invasion. My little piece of heaven remains intact.

Love,
Jeannene

Communications From the Past

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In our traveling to Alabama in March we opted for the route not on the beaten trail. We took the former main road, which traced the same route as the railroad. In the past, telephone lines were erected to follow the railroad as well. As we traveled, I couldn’t help notice the old communications lines as they remained draped along their poles the entire route. The difference in the old lines from the new ones is the growth of vines gracing the old telephone poles, not to mention the broken cables . The old wooden poles with their cross beams have become unwilling trellises to predatory vines and weeds.

I realize these are unattractive and bland in color, but spring has not yet sprung as these were taken.

This is a perfect example of old versus new.

The growth just consumes the old pole. I’m sure it is totally obscured now with the green leaves present.

I know this is silly, but the old poles fascinate me. I love looking for the insulators, they have such a touch of nostalgia about them.

I have discovered there is a world of collectors of insulators. I understand. Those small glass pieces are mesmerizing. They are sturdy and solid, and the desire to feel its weight in my hand draws me to them – hence all the photos(I have tons more in my library).

The comical thing to me is that the wires and insulators, even the wooden poles were left to remain for nature to capture. It is almost sad.

A small piece of heaven from the road less traveled.

Love,
Jeannene

I just wanted to share a piece of nostalgia

I Had a Dream

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The other night I had a dream about my Dad.

Ordinarily, dreams aren’t anything I give a great deal of time and effort to, but this one was significant. They rarely are remembered in the detail with which I was able to recall this dream. Every detail and nuance returned to me the moment I awoke.

My dad has been suffering from a slowly debilitating disease for nigh on twenty years, which in itself attests to his dog-headedness. Recently he had a particularly difficult bout of treatment leaving him weak and tired. It brought home to all of us the true nature of his mortality.

This dream takes place inside a small passenger jet, the size of an American Eagle jet. My dad was a jet fighter pilot when he was younger, so this is significant. I stood behind the second row of seats, which were higher than the seats in an AE plane, and Dad stood in the space leading to the cockpit. Dad was in his thirties, the prime of his life. I faced him and we were visiting when suddenly the section of the plane I stood in started falling away. Panic filled me in an instant. Without a thought, Dad reached over the tops of the seats and grabbed my arms. He fell away from the front of the plane with me.

As the fuselage separated, the floor around my feet began to disappear revealing open space, darkness with blurry orbs of light floating in it. Abject fear coursed through me. I kept praying “Please Lord make this go away. Please put this back together.” We floated for a short time before the floor began to materialize again and the plane itself put itself back together. Then Dad let go of me and walked to the cockpit.

The End.

I’m sure this had something to do with his illness and the fear of loosing him. I want him to stay and he will always be my Dad and there is a place I will find him.

I couldn’t say this dream out loud without crying, so I wrote it down.

He is doing so much better today and we are looking forward to many more happy visits. I love you Dad.
I will always find you in my piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Spring Blooms

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We are now about four weeks into the throes of spring. Blooms of the Bradford pears are dispelled and the first blooms of the (what I call) popcorn trees are past leading to the fresh new buds of the red bud trees, wisteria and my most favorite… Dogwood.

With the blooming of the dogwoods rises the long standing disagreement between Corvette Man and myself as to which trees truly are dogwood. He is convinced the white blooming trees at the beginning of the season are dogwood. Diligently, I explain it will be another two weeks before the exquisite blooms will emerge and he stoically insists those poofy white blooms are indeed dogwood… until they actually bloom and then he realizes the error of his thoughts.

These blooms are distinct in form and beautiful in composition.

How can this be mistaken for any generic flower on a tree?

These trees also come in this dusty pink. I only wish I could have found one inside the wood, blooming against the new found spring green.

Note the red bud in the back ground.

And then there is the graceful sweep of the wisteria. Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the entire length of this arbor. We were traveling too fast for me to shoot it in its entirety and the narrow country road on which it is found was too narrow to make a U turn.

I just love the scents and the colors of spring. Before we know it, honeysuckle will be blooming and that fragrance will fill the hot summer air.

I realize this is short and sweet, but I have been swept out of the house and into the sun to watch the horse or mow the yard, dig in the dirt of my garden or tend to the annuals I have strategically planted around the yard. My computer has lost its master to the elements of this wonderful season.

So goes today’s little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene