Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

CHRISTMAS CATCH-UP

Good grief, time is flying and there is so much going on in my family life right now, that it is hard to find a moment for the blog. In the past few weeks we said good-bye to a sweet aunt, a dear friend and a family member were diagnosed with serious illnesses. My brother and family visited from the west coast (a very good thing), and of course, there's Christmas. I'm trying to stuff Christmas preparations into the cracks between these unsettling events. There is also a very big Christmas surprise in the works, but I'll save that for a bit later.
Fortunately, I have a good team to help me with the Christmas prep. Here's Nigel trying on his Christmas jammies...
He looks so solemn and dignified in these photos, but the second I say, we're done, he loses his mind and gallops to the fridge...that holy receptacle of all the best people food. Leftover rotisserie chicken was the payoff today. 
My tree is up, and most of the tabletop decorations are arranged, but my shopping remains unfinished and there is baking and wrapping to do. It will get done. It always does, but oh the stress of it all...
Hope your Holiday prep is ticking along and that you are taking time to breathe. Easier said than done. XO.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING

Goodness, the holidays are  approaching at warp speed and I haven't even wished you a Happy Thanksgiving. Our house and table were full, and I'm guessing our guests enjoyed themselves, as they ate twice, stayed late, and then opted not to take home leftovers but to come back the next day and do it all again. Good times.
Caught up with old friends, visited Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farm to see the crias, shop the farm store and buy a load of hay, and walked off some of our pie at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
Twister, the sweetest alpaca ever!
Going to make a scarf from this super-soft alpaca wool.
This week, I'm taking a bit of time to work on this, from my photo of Old White Marsh Church.
The sun, the moon, and the high stars, make all my mortal dreams come true. Mixed-media on linen.
That Christmas tree sneaked in there while I wasn't paying attention. It happens, when you're trying to work while a thousand holiday to-do's are banging around in your head.
Here's a helpful holiday hint for you...if you are sitting on the floor and your foot falls asleep, give it time to wake up before you make a dash for the phone. You could give yourself a nasty sprain, which won't make all that shopping and to-doing go away. You'll still have to do it. With a limp. You're welcome.
Now I'm getting ready for more guests to arrive next week. Can't wait, though it would be super helpful if the rain would stop and give me a break from muddy paws.
Talk soon. XO.



Friday, November 14, 2014

DOORWAYS

"There are things known and things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception." ~Aldous Huxley

From photos of Old Whitemarsh Church that I took a few weeks ago...
The view through the doorway of Old Whitemarsh Church. Fabric version.
The weather has turned, so it was a good day to stay indoors and be cozy with the dogs and a pile of needlework. It's so chilly, in fact, that I'm going out to blanket Abby for the first time this fall. Stay warm, blog friends.
XO
"Be an opener of doors."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A KITTEN STORY

You may remember that a few weeks ago I found a kitten under the engine in my truck. It took several neighbors and an hour to remove her. Unfortunately, she bolted and climbed up under a neighbor's car and eventually disappeared. I was running late and couldn't hang around and search, though for the next several days I put food out and kept an eye open. I was certain I would never see her again.
Last Wednesday, I was shocked to spot her on the patio, drinking water left out for the dogs. Over the next couple of days, I caught glimpses of her coming out from under our hay shed. I find it hard to believe that she had been hanging around for weeks without my seeing her. I'm outdoors a lot. I suppose she was sneaking into the barn at night to eat cat food. Our Scoutie has a strong prey drive and I was afraid the dogs would catch her before I did, so I called Talbot Humane for advice, and bought a trap. We decided to prop the shed door open and set the trap inside so she would have protection if we caught her in the middle of the night.

On Saturday afternoon we set the trap and waited, peeping through the windows every two minutes. Couldn't help it, I've never tried to trap a cat before. Eventually, she appeared and climbed up into the shed, where she ate an entire can of cat food without tripping the latch, and darted back under the barn. We'd left the safety on. Point, kitty. We reset the trap and again she went into the shed, eating her weight in kitty tuna without tripping the latch. She was too lightweight. Kitty scores again.
Fortunately, the raccoon/feral cat sized trap that I bought came with a bonus chipmunk/baby squirrel sized trap. We set it and went out to dinner.
She was in the trap when we returned. Poor little thing, she was scared, having no idea that she had just won the stray kitten lottery.
We didn't try to touch her that night, just shooed her into a dog crate with all the kitty comforts I could think of, covered it with a blanket and said goodnight. The next day we took her outside and let her out in a portable dog pen, she was wary but curious, eating well and using her litter box.
I took lots of pics of this sweet face and put them on Facebook. I asked friends to share. I offered to throw in cat food, litter/litter box, and even a pie. It worked. She is going to friends, who saw that little face and were smitten. I am thrilled to know she will be loved and cared for in a home where pets are treated like family.
This kitty is delightful. I thought it would take at least a few days for her to trust us. Not so. On Sunday, I stroked her with my heavily gloved finger (thought she might bite or scratch) and she leaned into my hand. By Monday, I was picking her up and playing with her, and she was trotting over every time I opened the door to the little room she was in for safekeeping. She spent most of the day lounging in a big dog bed.
I went to Petsmart and bought her some kitty things.
Yesterday I baked the promised pie, and delivered her to her new home. 
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan, and yes, all my pies have ponies on them.
Have to admit I was a little sad about it. We had bonded. I admired her survival skills, her positive attitude, and her ability to adapt so quickly to new surroundings. She admired my head scratching skills, the bottomless bowl of cat food, and cushy digs in the little library.
I did have a moment of panic yesterday when I let the dogs out and they ran straight to the shed, sniffing around the foundation. Made me wonder if there might actually be a litter under there, and this little girl was just the tip of a feline iceberg. Keeping my eyes open.

Wishing you some happy endings of your own. XO.



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

DOWNRIGGING WEEKEND

Now that all that election business is out of the way, let's cheer ourselves up with pretty pictures of sailing ships in lovely historic Chestertown. Last weekend was the Sultana Downrigging Weekend, a tall ship and wooden boat festival. It was bitterly cold and windy when we arrived, but by noon the sun appeared, making it bitterly cold and windy with sunshine. Yay!

Wilmington Delaware's Kalmar Nyckel
Kalmar Nyckel
East Hampton and Silent Maid..love her flag.

Gallery Walk
One of my fave old houses.
Gallery dog at robbiandmatthew.com
Even the ducks were hiding from the wind.
Nothing like a cold wind straight off the river to blow the cobwebs from your brain. Happy Wednesday, blog friends. XO.
P.S. You don't need to wait for Downrigging to visit Chestertown, it's worth a bit of a drive just to walk the brick sidewalks and browse the galleries and shops. Beautiful!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GOOD NEWS AND KAYAKING

A great big thank you to everyone who voted for Nigel in the Hair O' The Dog Wine and Spirits doggie costume contest. He WON!! Now his mama gets a fifty dollar gift card. Drinks all around! Here's "the Nige" in his Bark In The Park tee shirt.
I am relishing these glorious fall days. On Sunday, we went for what will probably be the last paddle of the season. It was very windy, so we picked a little river that winds through trees... lovely with leaves falling all around us.
Transquaking River
I didn't know that water beads up on lily pads this way.
The roots of some of the larger up-ended trees have a definite Sasquatch-y vibe. Or is that just me?
Can you see it?
There was a beautiful moon last night.
Don't think I'll ever be too old to not be just a little excited about Halloween. Scout and Nigel, too.
Happy last week of October, and thanks again to those who voted! XO.