Ahhh, Simple Pleasures are the Best

I just finished a week of directing Vacation Bible School for our church. This Bible Nature Camp had a bird theme this year, and I spent many hours searching stores for bird decorations and bird prizes, making bird decorations, and reworking the curriculum. I affectionately named it “Tweet Week”. Serena even took her parakeet with us each day to add to the interest and decor.

I learned a few things this week. The first one was that I’m not as young as I used to be. After being energetic and excited for the kids all morning, I had to come home and take a nap in the afternoon! The second revelation came from none other than Azeem, Serena’s parakeet. We were a little concerned that the traveling back and forth would upset him. Quite the contrary! He loved the motion of the van that made his hanging toy rock back and forth. Between that and the classical music I turned on, he chirped and tweeted happily all the way to Louisville and back every day. This bird is just so CUTE in his behavior. It made me smile to hear those chirps and tweets coming from the middle seat, knowing how much Azeem was enjoying himself. Everyone should carry around a parakeet in his car, for the joy, and to learn the meaning of the phrase, “Simple pleasures are the best.”

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Cat Confessions

Subtitle: “How spoiled cats fit into the scheme of things”

Recently, as some of you know, my family left for various parts known and unknown (see post below), and the LifeForms and I were left to our own devices for most of about 10 days. Many things happened in that time (I discovered how many LifeForms we actually have, for instance…) and generally, things clicked right along. Upon their return, the queen of the house (her daughter actually brought it up first) said:

“Did you spoil the cat?”

Midnight asleep in the arms of her owner-valet

It seems, don’t you see, that there has been some disagreement among us regarding topics such as the diet of said cat (milk or no milk), the reliability of veterinary advice we have been getting (cats can’t digest milk- then what have they been doing with it for thousands of years??) and the feline girth (“that cat is fat and lazy!”). Of course, I was non-plussed, since many important events and circumstances had arisen and been dealt with during their long journey, and many important decisions had yet to be made, and … what cat? Ahem! In any case, regarding the spoilation of the royal feline, I have discovered, decided (and am announcing here) that: Continue reading “Cat Confessions”

Copper Cometh

On Thursday evening, April 5th, Sarah arrived from Covenant…at church…in the middle of our Maundy Thursday meal and service…with a puppy…who immediately became the center of attention for the few moments before Sarah took him outside to find a place to tie him up. Said puppy was Serena’s birthday present. Serena took one look at him and named him Copper.

We’ve been used to Ginny’s Border Collie/Australian Shepherd, high-energy behavior. Copper is her perfect foil — loafy, floppy, and loving to just sit on your lap. Ginny rarely barks; Copper does. (I think there is definitely some hound in him, to judge from his bark). Ginny jumps up on you in her enthusiasm; Copper gets in front of your legs to make you stop and pet him, and almost trips you! Sarah says he is a lab mix. I say he is hound mixed with St. Bernard. Look at those paws! He’s going to be ENORMOUS!

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In spite of his size, though, Copper is a big marshmallow — so soft and floppy and huggable!

The first night, he growled at Ginny, so Serena let him spend the night in the back vestibule to recuperate from his stressful day of travel and new surroundings. At 6 the next morn, we were awakened by mournful barks and yowls (the hound-dog type). So, he spent the first day or 2 inside the dog pen, getting acquainted with Ginny through the fence. They were fine playing together through the fence, or when Copper had his back to something. When out in the yard, however, Ginny would race around with excitement, and come back to bowl Copper over like Hobbes does to Calvin in the comic strip. Pretty soon, Copper began to hold his own, though. At the end of a week, Ginny is calmer, and they play together quite well. My yard is starting to suffer from Copper’s digging, and he is quite interested in the chickens and the peacocks. Lots of training is in order! Here’s a photo of Copper and Ginny getting acquainted.

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Pet Passages

Most pets, since their life-span is much smaller than ours, are beings that pass through our lives. They come, they stay and enrich our lives for awhile, then they go — die, sold, given away, etc. We have had 2 such passages in the last few weeks.

The first, a sad passage, was our website-famous, dog-chasing cat, Murgatroyd, who so recently delighted our reader’s in Ted’s hilarious rendition of him chasing Ginny. Murgatroyd is often waiting on the drive (near a door) when someone comes home, in hopes of slipping in for another few bites of food, or just schmoozing around in the kitchen, usually in the rag barrel. He was always quick to hop out of the way of any vehicle, and go to wait by the door. This night, however, as Ted came back late from his parents’ house, for some reason, Murgle failed to move. Ted paused in his jeep, then proceeded to park, assuming Murgatroyd had gotten out of the way. He hadn’t. The small bump that Ted felt was him running over Murgatroyd and crushing him. Needless to say, Ted felt crushed, himself. I haven’t seen him that upset in awhile. Death produces stronger reactions in all of us now, I think, because we’ve experienced Andrew’s tragic death. It just resonates in a deeper way. Anyway, if I can figure out what setting to change so my pictures aren’t tiny, I’ll put in my favorite picture of Murgatroyd.Mergle

The second passage was actually a very positive one. Lydia decided she needed to sell her horse, Nino (That’s actually spelled n-i-enye-o, a spanish spelling pronounced neenyo), since she was leaving in June for SPEAC school and then college. The couple who bought him already have at least one Paso Fino horse. They are really horse people — I mean, the lady’s horse lies down and puts its head in her lap if she sits down to read outside! Nino had to pass the “kiss test” (submitting to having his head held and being kissed on the nose), and the “stand still test” (not walking off when she laid down and lounged around on top of his back). He will receive some much-needed training, get lots of attention, and best of all from his perspective, I think, have some horse buddies to stay with. (Nino ran around and whinnied plaintively for several days after Starbuck died.) Lydia spent a little time grooming Nino and having me take pictures of them before the new owners came to pick him up. They anticipated having a problem getting him to go into a horse trailer, so they brought another horse to help him feel comfortable. When he was led up to the trailer, he took one look and said to himself, “Horse? Food? All right!” Zoom, he went into the trailer!

O.K., down 2 pets, but stay tuned for another addition. On Thursday, Sarah is bringing a mixed lab puppy to Serena to be a companion for Ginny. We’ll have a report on that in an upcoming post.

Starbuck’s Passing

Yesterday a long-time occupant of Chenoweth Farm passed away. Several of us noticed that Starbuck seemed agitated that morning… by mid-afternoon, he had laid down and died. According to Mike Roberts, a long-time employee and partner, he had first been used to herd cattle here in the early 70’s, and was 36 years old when he died.

Starbuck is gone

May he rest in peace…