"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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Owls, Foxes, Bouncing and the War Between the Sexes

We almost always have a "spring thaw" in the third or fourth week of February and this year is no different other than it has been such a mild winter that it isn't as obvious.
Our Bradford Pear trees are aching to bud and the birds are getting positively flirty.  It is mating/nesting season for the owls and I typically manage to flush them from the Cedars when I go out to the property while I'm clumsily attempting stealth.  I am sure they don't appreciate the intrusion and I always feel a combination of exhilaration to see them, coupled with shame like I'd accidentally stumbled into their occupied bedroom. 

Based on what I see on my trail cams, I've about decided that Owls and Foxes have some sort of special connection that the foxes, at least, aren't happy about.  I've seen Owls dive bomb the foxes and the foxes regularly are anxiously looking skyward at "something" that in the night, I can only think must be an owl.  Moreover, from time to time I see owls on the ground munching on the fox bait I set out.  Their facial expressions are harder to read - more alien - than the angst I can see on the foxes, but I get the impression that they aren't that worried about some ridiculous fox sneaking up on them and giving them trouble.  Until I thought about it, I  never really realized that Owls are such predators that own the night.  They are Bad Asses. 

As a human, I never really worry too much about wild creatures giving me trouble.  We are at the top of the food chain and other than a bison (that isn't going to eat us even if it does choose to run over us, assuming we are idiotic enough to give him the opportunity), not too many healthy wild things in this neck of the woods want to tangle with us.  I feel as though I've been born into some sort of protected royalty because I can assure you, it isn't based on merit.  If a bunny decided to give me a hard time, I'd likely be toast.  And, yes, I would run from an angry duck.  Sadly, the waddling beastie could surely catch me. 

Still, I am not complaining since it gives me the freedom to explore and, well, be free.  Being female all my life, I am used to being prey and avoiding dark alleys, advertising when I am home alone, drinking too much liquor without a sober chaperone, and associating with any hulking human male I don't know well.  No, it isn't fair but try telling that to the monster in human form who decides to take advantage.  Interestingly, the perfectly civilized male doesn't seem too offended when he is tarred with the same brush.  More likely, when confronted with a wary female, their response is to nod approvingly.

It is an odd thing, seems to me, that the only predators I reasonably need to worry about live more in the city and less in the "wilderness."  And like the owls that like to roll the foxes, it isn't about survival when they decide to be a bully.  They aren't looking for a relationship.  They aren't trying to propagate the species.  They are mean for their own amusement.  

Interestingly, to me, is that the ones most worried with the possibility that I might run afoul of an aggressive, savage human male typically aren't other females who you would think would be the most concerned and on guard.  In my experience, it is the males in my life most concerned when I wander into areas that might be risky.  In truth, it makes me feel a bit unsettled that men who I absolutely know would never harm a female are, without fail, fairly convinced that other men will.  In my youth, I would discount their concerns (as a woman, I know best, after all) but I've about decided they probably are in a better position to know things about men I don't so I take heed.  At least more than I did when I was younger. 

In the same vein, if I want to know the measure of a man, I trust the judgment of other men whose opinion has held up over time.  Women, in my experience, typically are way too complicated and make too many allowances for their men.  We might say he has been "hurt" before and that is why he treats women badly.  Men will snort and announce that their brother is just a jerk - and they are generally on the money.

Like most of us, I've been raised in a culture that discounts men's intuition and instincts.  The pendulum swung way back from the old, "It's a man's world" that our great grandmothers lived in.   While there is absolutely no substitute for female intuition (a gift from the goddess that we too often ignore), it makes no sense, to me, to disregard and dismiss the strong instincts of men.  Both sexes managed to survive to this point and they didn't do it by being clueless or riding on the coat tails of the other [superior] gender. 

The rogue cows are back.  I went out to the property a few days ago and they brazenly stared at me.  As  I drew closer, they whirled around and took off.  There isn't that much woodland on the property but they still managed to hide from me - and that is a bit unsettling.  I mean, these aren't squirrels.  They take up space and there were a lot of them.  I told the guy who farms part of the property that cows were loose on it.  He said he'd tell the owner (everyone out there knows everyone) but, apparently, no one cares about the cows but me.  The fence where they get in is still down and the cows act like they own the place:

Pearly is doing much better and goes back to the specialist in the morning.
She has decided she can no longer jump on the bed and Mr. Wonderful and I are debating why this is so.  He thinks she's just lost her confidence because she tried and failed so many times when her vision was gone.  I think that is part of it but I also think she is heavier (from the cookies she gets when she takes her medicine/eye drops) and her liver has swollen from the prednisone so she is less physically able.  She tried to jump up a couple of days ago and cried out, pitifully.  Mr. Wonderful thought she was just frustrated but I think it actually hurt.  Fortunately, she is on a reduced oral prednisone dose and the liver should start shrinking. Her state of mind, happily, is very upbeat.  Not that you can tell that from the above photo.

Mr. Wonderful's great, great nephew is due to be born a couple of weeks so I made a quick baby quilt:
The back:
It is a very simple quilting design and the above photo was taken before I washed it.  It shrunk up in the washer/dryer and I am really pleased with how it made the quilting pop.  Plus, it pulled up any loose stitching, which hides a multitude of sins.
I'd made the nine patches a few years ago and had about thirty of different colors left.   On the right side of this blog is a photo of the Amish Nine Patch that used nine patches I made at the same time.   Moreover, back in Virginia, I'd ordered the purple and blue swirled material, online, and never could figure what I wanted to do with it.  I liked how it went with the nine patches once I added some purple.  Here it is before I quilted it:
It didn't take long to make and since I birthed it (stitched it and turned it inside out), I didn't have to put on a hateful binding.  Ugh, I hate doing that.  I was really pleased with how it turned out.

I periodically move around furniture and, usually, it raises my spirits as much as a new coat of paint, box of chocolate or falling in love (not that I really like to compare furniture moving to new love although there are some similarities).  I've moved around my sewing room so many times that I've about run out of new arrangements.  Most recently, I've had a good sized kitchen table in the center where I kept my house sewing machine (vs. the one in the studio) and cutting mat.  Off to the side, I had a relatively heavy 2 x 4 foot card table that I put my ironing board pad on that was raised to waist level.

I decided the cutting table was too low so I hoisted up the kitchen table to make it waist high. I moved my sewing machine to the 2 x 4 card table and the ironing pad to the lifted kitchen table.  Okay, so it looked better but when I tried to stitch, the card table bounced.  I am not having a sewing table that bounces.  I have a hard enough time keeping my seams straight.

Mr. Wonderful was busy listening to Youtube Squidbillies (don't ask) and not particularly pleased that I interrupted to announce that the sewing table bounced.   Knowing him the way I do, I apologized for interrupting and breezily announced that I was going out to the barn to find something to make a table. 

Trust me, this lit a fire under him.  I could go into the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth that goes along with someone intruding on his workshop but suffice it to say that after an initial period of panic (you'd think I was going to go through his workshop with the safety switched off a flame thrower), he immediately found a Singer sewing machine base and agreed to trim an old piece of laminated blue countertop we had sitting around:
No bouncing!! 

Sometimes, falling in love and furniture moving are one and the same. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


Anonymous said...

I saw this and thought of you:

I'm glad to see there's a new post for me to read!


swooze said...

I hope Pearl makes a full recovery. I really enjoy reading about the girls and your adventures back in OK.

tisme said...

I have not commented for awhile, but read every time you post. I think it is spring fever that makes us want to rearrange furniture. I have 2 days off in a row, so tore the whole sewing area apart, and am rearranging furniture right now. I still have not found the perfect spots for my machines. I think going shopping tomorrow for a 6foot table is in my future. :)
I am so glad that Pearl is doing better.