"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Friday, July 9, 2010

Simple Things

We are coming to the end of nearly two weeks with Husband mainly out of town which has left the house quiet, to say the least.  During this time, we've had quite a few thunderstorms and fireworks for Independence Day which freak out Pearl.   The neighbors shot them off for several nights running.  Because of that, I have been fairly tied to the house since I don't dare leave Pearl alone long enough to get destructive and frantic.  Bottom line, I'm a bit stir crazy.  You'd think I would be posting more but I haven't been able to peel her out of my lap if she sees me sitting down. 
She completely makes herself at home - all 60 pounds of her - in my lap.  And she stays there. 
Oh, what a teddy bear she is:
Evelyn has been positively cranky because Pearl is taking up so much of my attention. 

On top of that, Pearl has decided that if it is over 80 degrees,  she ain't going out! 
She loves the air conditioning and runs to hide in the bathroom if I open the backdoor. 

And the bathroom, btw, is no sanctuary for me because, like a toddler, she wants to be right there.  Even when I take a shower I look down and see her sticking her tongue under the glass, drinking soapy water and waiting for me to get out,  towel off and fawn over her.

At a year and a half, she is growing up and looking for a job.   She seems to take a great deal of pleasure and pride in herding me from one room to the other.  Apparently, she doesn't think I can manage to maneuver around the furniture on my own.  She clearly takes after Husband's side of the family. 

I tried to paint the room in the barn but the girls have been getting so frantic when I leave them in the house that I am just going to wait until Husband is back home so they'll have someone to soothe them.  When he gets home, he'll be in the mood to hunker down and nest, and I will be happy to give him some peace and quiet while I go engage in some retail therapy.  The fact that I am letting these girls control my life makes me wonder if I need a different kind of therapy.  And the fact that these girls are running my life suggests that Pearl may be onto something about my lack of sufficient skill to be in the proper room at the proper time.

Yesterday morning, happily, Pearl was willing to race outside since the temperature hadn't exploded, yet.  After a few minutes, Evelyn returned and I wiped off her feet.  No Pearl.  I called her and she didn't show up for another minute or so.  The way she has been glued to me, this should have tipped me off but I didn't notice any mud on her feet so wasn't concerned.  I proceeded to wipe off her paws, her face about an inch from mine when Evelyn reached over to sniff her snout.  I glanced up and Pearl had "something" in her mouth.  I recoiled - not knowing what in the world she dragged in.  Could have been a skunk or a dead gopher.  I confess, I shrieked.  But no, happily upon closer inspection, it was just a small tortoise, about 3.5 inches in diameter.  She was giddy with pride. 
I rescued the thing and took it out front where it would be safe.  I thought about how Pearl reminded me of Jezebel when she caught a turtle the first day we arrived at the place.  I came back indoors to check on the girls but then returned to snap some photos of Pearl's friend. 

While I was out there, lo and behold, who should turn up but Jezebel's turtle!  I can still see the bite mark where she mangled the poor thing. I blogged about it in July 2008 - coincidentally, the same day I blogged about first finding the tumor. Sigh. Still breaks my heart that she is gone but there is no sweeter or loving dog than Pearl to step into Jezebel's pawprints. Here are a few shots of Mr. Yaller:
I have been working on my art quilt (can't show you but it is to the point of being embellished) and a simple 9 patch.  I am using up some Moda jelly rolls that I've had for quite some time. 
This morning, I waded out, barefoot, into the morning dew with my camera for some golden hour shots out in the pasture. 

I think dew on the grass is so pretty:

The girls played in the backyard and as long as they could see me, they didn't mind letting me wander off leash. 
Bugs, everywhere:

I love the next one:
The blackberries are ripening:
They are unbelievably good, right off the bush.
Check out those thorns:
It occurred to me while I was flat on my belly in the wet grass, still in my PJ's, delirious at getting a shot of a bug, that I am so fortunate that these simple things make me happy. 
Seriously, who wouldn't be giddy about this bug??
With the economy in our country so dismal; with so many families frightened about how they are going to pay their bills; with teenagers and young people struggling to adjust to less money in the budget at a time in their lives where they naturally crave excitement and new experiences; how blessed I am to be at a stage in my life where a soft sunset is just as thrilling, and more desired, than an expensive night on the town or an exotic vacation.  Luck of the draw, I'd say.  I could just as easily have been an ambitious twenty-five year old watching my dreams of a fast track career going up in smoke. 

I suppose the good news is that the youngsters are all pretty much in the same boat, so with the versatility of youth, most of them will find new, less expensive and hopefully, more rewarding ways to entertain themselves, build their lives and otherwise get by.  Heaven knows, the last thirty years of prosperity is not the norm for the human condition and we have always managed as a species to adjust to the reality du jour.  I worry more about the elders who have not quite reached retirement age but lost their work through no fault of their own and have fewer options.  Let us hope that they find their happiness in the simple things you notice when you are quiet and are paying close attention.  I keep them in my prayers.  I suspect many would just smile and tell me that they are are going to be fine.  I also expect to see the generations helping each other out during these tough times, forced to by the circumstances but likely to all gain by the experience.

There is nothing new under the sun. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


BilboWaggins said...

It's hard on you if Pearl is developing such separation anxiety about being left alone.

Obviously I can't understand the layout of your property but is there no way the girls can be outside with you if you are painting the barn? If I was outside at any time, regardless of what I was doing, Ollie wanted to be out there with me.

Amanda karol said...

You are doing a great job with your photos! LOVE them! And Love the turtle!!

JessicaSews said...

It looks like everyone is doing well with Summer here. Beautiful pictures!
Run little turtle run!
How sweet that the dogs take care in bringing you a gift!
I'm happy to hear that you are enjoying your property....after trying to come up with a miracle cure for poison oak though, I wanna see shoes on your feet!

Anonymous said...

Love your photography Penny. What camera do you use?

Penny said...

I have a Canon G10 Powershot and just love it. I recently bought a polaroid filter but haven't used it, yet. The camera does a great job on closeups and I've liked some of the wide angles. For just a casual snapshot (which I don't take much except of the girls) the results kind of depend on the light and how lucky I get. :)

Stephanie D. said...

How amazing that the same turtle is still hanging around! ANd how nice of Pearl to bring you another one to make up for her clinginess the past week! lol

Yes, simpler is definitely better. We've lived and driven in quite a few large cities in our time--Albuquerque, Denver, Birmingham, Portland, Atlanta, etc.--but for us to go to Asheville is a big deal. In 7 years, I may have been there 10 times--and it's only 30 miles away. I'm quite content to play in the dirt and fondle fabric and enjoy a glass of lemonade on the back porch.

I am not enamored of bugs, though.

Shogun said...

I just love these photos and the stories. The tortoise photos are much appreciated as I don't have nay of those living in my yard!

As you know, I work in two hospitals now and I see so much hardship with young mothers or retiring seniors with this economy. And yet they want to cut the social worker budget - bu that is just a fact of life. We're needed now more than ever.

Thanks again for great posts - I am on the task of catching up with all my favorite blogs.