A winter wonderland like I’ve never seen up here, and we are officially snowbound. Even more snow than I remember seeing when we started building our original house in 2001, and I reckon possibly not as much snow since the 1990’s. Juno’s first real snowy landscape to play in, and she is off with Jeff clearing broken trees off of the road, and I am enjoying the warmth inside, looking out. Last week I nearly broke my foot, trailblazing through a tangle of big fallen trees, and although it is getting better, its still swollen and sore, so I can’t go out walking in it. But it is really nice, having to stay home because of the snow, not something we experience that often in our part of the world, but going to enjoy it, and for now being in this much snow is just magical!
Many weeks have passed since my last post on the equinox. I guess I just wanted to let October drift through the days without attention to anything in particular. Now comes November, and the most Autumnal month in the year it seems to me, and rain came yesterday, then this morning the chill was upon us. How could I resist going out with Juno and my camera to walk through the woods and say hello to our overgrown trail? Sniffing all the lovely smells, the spicy moist bay leaves and moldy musky smell of rained-on wild hay, crunching through fallen leaves and over thousands of acorns, kissing the awakened moss and climbing over yet more fallen trees, and admiring the grey clouds hanging by themselves in an otherwise blue sky. Its as though the landscape swells and sighs, as I do, into the moist cool healing after a difficult hot summer. Now home, the grey clouds are gathering, promising perhaps another shower, as a good mood, with cozy knitting with coffee inside . . .
Juno and I are back from our morning walk and ready for the day. Earlier this morning I put away yarn messes, dusted and brought order to the room and covered the dog bed loft bed with freshly laundered bedspreads, then immediately on return from our somewhat dusty burry walk, Juno hops up and expresses a bit of jubilant gratitude for her clean napping place ( aww Juno, she’s so upbeat! ) And as the dog days of summer snail on by we are definitely feeling a reprieve from the usual heat these last couple of days, maxing out in the high 70’s to low 80’s, and no complaints. These last weeks of summer always seem to slow down to a crawl, at least with the knitting, although closing in on the end of the season at last, with only three more weeks left ! Scotty, beam us to Autumn!
♥ ♥ ♥
PS. Edited in later in the day : I was thinking about this Dog Days post and recalled there another similar that I posted many years ago. I searched in my archives and found it! It was the Lazy Hazy Dog Days of Summer from eight years ago, and oh what a journey down memory lane. Strongly familiar, but now so far out of my grasp or influence, a moment in the original house several years before the wildfire, hanging out with our dear dog Emma, and working on one of my earlier knitting designs I was making for younger niece when she was soon to turn twelve. A pause for a tear. Time truly just marches on doesn’t it?
I’ve had my eye on a Turkish spindle lately. Once I discovered that you can create a center-pull ball around the spindle “arms” without having to wind it off — just pull the full ball of yarn with the arms up and off of the shaft, carefully slide the arms out, and you are left with a ball of yarn! All that needs to be done is to merely match two ends and ply the ball back on to the spindle, I realized this was going to be a time saving change to spindling for me. The Turks are brilliant I tell you! I was frothing at the mouth to try one, so I got a hold of one, and these are my very first windings on my brand new spindle, and I have something very special in mind in my spinning future that involves an array of spindle spun little yarn dyed balls, which I won’t probably even attempt for a while, but this spindling is just the perfect thing needed for me to slow down process and get meditative.
Besides, I love the way you can just park them anywhere. When finished with a ball or two, I will post and show the process. This rather large spindle is made from maple, it is extremely beautiful in my opinion, as maple is my favorite hardwood. And then the focus shifts to the background; which appears like Juno is again, chewing on a stick! She is stick obsessed, and may the “stick’ never be my spindle. I don’t think she would though, she’s a very good girl.
I realize I haven’t posted Juno for a while. She’s almost a year and a half, and lately maturing just a little bit out of her puppy behaviors. She’s lingering at the porch waiting for me to finish this photo session so we can go for more spin walking. Its very hot out this morning, as well as a haze from distant fires is present, and so many little flies this time of year that are so annoying, but just going for a spin-stroll walking back and forth in the shaded part of the road next to the house so I can figure out how to use this thing. C’mon Juno, you’re a good girl!
In the ten months we’ve had her, Juno has become a real super-charged herder, a manic tail-chaser, and just an all around positive loving goofy dog with a great attitude (yet very stubborn and misbehaving a lot of the time.)
A few months ago, when Juno was still quite juvenile, Jeff got her DNA tested, as we were sure she had some other breed mixed in, as she is significantly smaller than Emma was, and we were very curious. But when the results came in we were actually very surprised to read “100% German Shepherd, with medium wolfiness.” And since then she has really blossomed into quite a breed specimen! Seriously though, “medium wolfiness” just cracks me up.
Lemon loaves, coffee, and longing for something new and exciting, but I stay in the tried and true. I sit and knit and ponder too much, however I do try to break with walks, genuine attempts to better myself. I’m moody a lot these days, but I suspect its the state of the world, not necessarily within myself. Not a drop of rain here since early January (maybe? I can’t remember) and for the whole month of February, its been mostly sunny clear skies, you could say even relatively warm, languishing as the winter days flirt with a sort of springtime mirage, new baby leaves about to burst out of the branches, and the fruit trees are all covered in blossoms, in spite of it being just a bit too early. Where did our winter go, it seemed to have gotten hidden away after the new year. Well, I’m still hopeful, today the temperature dropped considerably, and although the sky is clear blue, there is a chance of rain forecast. I am just bearing down and knitting my way through it all.
Last night just about when I was getting ready to cook dinner, I discovered Jeff nearly forty feet up a fir tree, in his climbing gear, a swashbuckling forest musketeer with a saw in his scabbard, cutting dead limbs away. He’s so hopeful for the trees that are still hanging on, wanting to groom them up and cut away the lifelessness left in the wake of the wildfire. But such a crazy dare-devil I live with, he gets me so freaked out!
But then just to remind me how everything really is quite okay, this afternoon I find Juno napping near a sun beam that was illuminating my spinning wheel . . .
Such a manic tail-chasing puppy, she is just a few weeks from her 1st birthday. I can’t believe it, the time just slips away as if I’ve been in a coma . . . Juno Pup is soon to be One!
♥ ♥ ♥
In closing, I want to share this totally inspiring musician who has a technique I’ve never seen nor heard, what the artist calls “bells harmonic”, isn’t it just enchanting?
Yesterday it snowed for a few hours, and at one point there were the biggest fluffiest flakes I’ve ever seen, but nothing stuck. It was magical looking out the window of the loft all the same, and I’m pretty sure there will be more snow in the coming weeks.
Rain has soaked the earth in our neck of the woods since some time in mid October, so much rain in fact, that there were run-off streams rushing down the hill that I haven’t seen in a couple of years. The return of the rain season is at last on time, calming everybody’s nerves and we’re settling into a bit of a post fire season bliss. At present we’re having a spell of warm clear days after all that rain. So clear and mild out early this morning I was able to get out with my camera while Juno & Jeff went to dog class and I had a beautiful sunrise all to my self! Mid Autumn, and the golden oaks and maple trees are glowing, turning of the season in balance and everything in its place. What is new: a thing showed up at the very end of October, and if you’re wondering what that odd photo of a small bit of machinery is, its an Ashford electric spinner folks! I write with exclamation and excitement, but to be honest, I’m not sure I’m so crazy about it. I much prefer spinning on my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel any day, but in recent months I have been unable to sit at the treadle wheel without a bit of back pain, or sitting at all for too long. So I couldn’t resist the temptation to try one, as my newly chronic back situation caused a bit of a dilemma, the optimal plan in doing so is that I am able to spin and ply while standing! I must admit in its favor, that it is quite a thrill to ply off several hundred grams of singles bobbins at lightening speed, something that perhaps in time I will find a real benefit from. Until then, its in the closet while the beautiful Ashford Traditional is out of the closet. And Juno is eight months old this week ! Although her behavior is full tilt puppy still, and lots of misbehaving and testing her humans, she’s getting an adult coat of fur and looking quite beautiful . . .
How is it even possible that Juno can change from a 15lb tiny puppy to a 40lb “teen” dog in a little over two months? Juno is growing like a weed, getting lots of outdoor activity, and I suppose is being fed super well, all her vet requirements up to date, and lots of pampering, so I guess it should be no wonder or amazement. Yet, still I am mystified!
Juno’s got herself a kiddie pool, so its fun in the sun and endless splashing and making whirlpools until she is tuckered out, fingers crossed. Today is an anniversary, two months ago we brought her home (where does the time go?) and just last weekend she turned four months old!
Juno is thirteen and a half weeks old, and we’ve had her with us now for four weeks, where in it appears she’s doubled in size! Needless to say, life hasn’t been the same since. Having to reinvent my schedule , but that’s a good thing. Juno’s favorite thing is getting up on the bed for a cuddle, which I indulge her in several times a day, wrangling me with her leash (such a shepherd!), chasing the water spray out of the hose whenever I water anything . . . but mostly just lots of misbehaving.
♣ ♣ ♣
During the year & a half we lived in the tiny house waiting for our home to be rebuilt, I was knitting a lot while watching all kinds of knitting as well as cross-stitching podcasts. I just decided one day to become a cross-stitcher, assuming the skill involved to make some nice pieces would to be straight forward and easy enough, but I found it to not be easy at all, in fact it is extremely tedious and quite difficult! Humbling because at one time in my life I had considered myself a pretty good needle worker. I suppose the cross-stitching thing stems from the desire to decorate the our new home with handmade and primitive feeling objects, but like so many things in my life, I am just out of practice. I ought to start another one slightly more perfect soon, as I do think trying new challenges is a good thing for my brain.
1 strand of cotton floss on 32 count linen.
This tiny little piece is not trying to be any kind of great work; the counts are off, and its rather rickety looking, but it is a sentimental thing as it commemorates the move back into our Home Sweet Home October 2019.
Day 1: Leaving the litter has got to be a difficult day for a dog. The puppy is disoriented and tentative, and we humans are so overly careful about not making any mistakes, ever, and wake up reeling the next day with a horrible night of little sleep (see previous post) Day 2: Reinventing the wheel and trying to remember the whole art of puppy rearing, like stumbling in the pitch dark through an unfamiliar and messy room, the whole day preoccupied with haphazard attempts to have order and a schedule, humbly aware of the sixteen year gap since Emma was a puppy. Oh! And Juno loves being in the garden! Day 3: Early morning I nursed my cup of coffee, opened my planner with pen in hand, a habit I’ve been forming since the start of the year, with lists of creative ideas and work to do — and I just went blank seeing the irony of it all (of making plans) — I guffawed, closed the planner, and shoved it aside. Day 4: Juno has transformed into her true self, puppy switched fully ON, having her territory established, her humans trained, and being the Queen of Everything. Alternately a shark wiggling all over the place following its teeth, then passed out a tired lump at my feet, and somewhere in between, undoubtedly contemplative moments, where she’s mapping it all out with the finely honed instinct of a shepherd. The first week(s) have got to be the hardest. Day 5: Morning . . . a blur, no photos since day 1, so I thought to take and post a few, as she is 10 weeks old today. This morning I am facing the reality that not much focused or complicated knitting is likely to get done for a while, and grateful I had finished several weighty hibernating works-in-progress up to this point. Also realizing that since Juno arrived I have gotten into a strange divergence of making instant coffee in the day, through measured moments of short puppy walks, lurching interrupted attempts to get things done, but blissful, grateful and satisfied knowing that unrelenting “being busy” is what I need. It is nice to feel the presence of Emma’s things as they are handed down to Juno, her squirrel toy, rolly kibble dispensing (orange) ball, water dish, some bedding & blankets, flexi leash . . . her lovingly used things. And I’m feeling the impulse to get chatty with the commenters, and writing much more than I have felt like doing for a long time.
Juno is nine weeks old, and came home with us today. She is swiftly jump-starting my life, keeping me busy every minute, and as we’ve all three had a very big day, it is naptime! I am so glad we found her, it was fate, my heart is full. In Greek mythology Juno was the wife of Jupiter and symbolizes undying loyalty. And, did you know also that Juno is a very large asteroid which orbits in our solar system between Mars and Jupiter? But mostly she’s our puppy who’s just arrived here on our mountain, a wild place which will grow with her to be a paradise anew! :puppy woof: