Sunday, January 26, 2014

Millie without Luna

Millie doesn’t wander the property with me anymore.
She used to. 

When Luna and I rambled around once or twice a day, 
Millie usually followed.

She wasn’t always happy about it.

But she was curious enough, 

or jealous enough, 

or bored or lonely enough, to follow.

Because Luna explored,

Millie explored.

No matter how much I coax her,
she won’t follow me when I’m alone.

She might come as far as the porch step,

or maybe the lumber pile at the back corner of the house.

Then recently, 
Bill and I were outside airing up the tires on a trailer.
Guess who showed up—even though it was snowing just a bit?

Yup, Millie.

She came looking for us, 
yowling with curiosity and petulance.

Pinkies, what are you doing out here? 
Is it really necessary to be out in this wet and cold nastiness?

After posing for her portrait, she jumped the gate and 
stalked down the sidewalk to the front door, 
pausing after each step to shake the water off a hind paw.

So...for Millie, no one person is worth trailing 
through the snow and across the property.

(Curiosity killed the cat, right?)

C. S. Lewis wrote, 
“In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to [one of Charles’s jokes]. Far from having more of Ronald, having him ‘to myself’ now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald.”*

He goes on to make some points about friendship and Heaven and God, 
but this quote has been on my mind the last few weeks because of Millie and Luna.

Most of what Luna brought out in Millie, I don’t miss: stinkeye glares, hisses, and swipes.

However, I do miss watching Luna run and sniff and explore the property day after day . . .

and I miss being trailed by a black and white cat

who sometimes galloped across the property, teasing Luna.

And sometimes even almost played with her.

She had fun—in spite of herself, I think.

Her world has shrunk back to what it was before Luna came to us. 

It makes me sad. 

I wonder if we got another dog, 
if that might bring her out again. 
I suppose Ill find out, when the time comes. 

* Quote is from page 234 of The Quotable Lewis, edited by Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root, copyright 1989, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bird Baths

Last Thursday, I set out for a little walk and saw something amazing in our driveway.

It was cold. 
It had been raining and snowing, 
and there were icy mud puddles in our gravel driveway.

And there were birds bathing in these mud puddles.
(I think they might be Dark-eyed Juncos. Maybe.)
(Also known as Oregon Juncos, btw.)

Like I've said before, I don't know much about birds. 
There must be important benefits to this bird bathing stuff.
My sweetie and I speculated and joked about it later. 
Was it some sort of bird gang initiation?

You wanna be in the Dark Feather Brotherhood?
Break the ice, dunk your head, and flutter, little bird!

Or maybe it's a competition?

You think you made a splash? That's nuthin'! Check this out!

Then a robin showed up, and the other birds left.
(Guess their gangs don't flock together.
Who knew a mud puddle could be contested turf?)

And the robin took up right where they'd left off.

That's a chunk of ice just to his left. 
And yes, a dusting of snow in the background.

Here he goes . . . 


Friday, January 3, 2014


I went for a little walk today and--

I just wish it--

And a couple blocks--


That's all.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Ending the year with a whimper, not a bang.

Well, our year is ending with a whimper. Our sweet Luna dog became terribly and unexpectedly ill over the weekend. Last night, given a grim prognosis and very iffy, stressful treatment options, we chose to let her go. We are heartbroken. She brought so much joy, laughter, and fun into our home. 

It will be a blue new year without you, Lunabug.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Curious Quote on Hospitality

This morning, I came across a curious quote on hospitality from George MacDonald:

“I am proud of a race whose social relations are the last upon which they will retrench, whose latest yielded pleasure is their hospitality. It is a common feeling that only the well-to-do have a right to be hospitable. The ideal flower of hospitality is almost unknown to the rich; it can hardly be grown save in the gardens of the poor; it is one of their beatitudes.”

I may be chewing on that for a while.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mid-December Thaw

At our house today, it was warm. Bright. Sunny.


Both the critters were pleased to get out into the sunshine.

Luna wasn’t sure she really wanted to walk in the snow.

Mind you, she has boots. And a sweater. And a quilted vest. 
But will she wear them? Hardly. 
If she sees me coming with any of them, she runs and hides on the couch. 
Which is really the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen her do. 
She lives on the couch. Like I wouldn’t find her there? 
I think she just panics and races to the safest spot she can think of.

Still, Luna was quite the trouper. 

She went about halfway to the back fence 
and probably would have gone farther, 
but I heard some piteous crying and turned back.

Millie had started to follow us but 
had blundered into some colder, deeper snow 
on the shaded north side of the house. 
Can you tell she’s not liking it?

Gathering herself...

Check out those front paws—she’s gonna jump!

Well, that didn’t really take her very far.

Gathering herself again...

Another try...


Where’d she go?

Ah...back in the sunshine!

Millie: Best spot in the yard. 
You wanna walk to the back fence? 
Knock yourself out. 
I'll be here when you get back.