Monday, November 29, 2010

The Doe and cat...a mystery

One of the best things about living in the country is the splendor of watching wildlife up close and personal.  If one were to linger awhile and take in the view, they'd be surprised at just how much wildlife there is in our own backyards. 

If we can't see them, we surely can hear them!  On schedule, coyote's begin their to the other.  Are they close or are they near?  At times, one cannot tell for sure. 

Much quieter and more polite, deer are grace on four legs.  I love to watch the deer.  Blessed with the opportunity to view them frequently from our home, they are amazing (inside a fence, of course) to see jumping, ever so swiftly, gently.

On one particular morning, I got to witness the most surprising and lovely thing.  Peering out a window from my bedroom, I noticed a doe walking along the fence line, which had a distinct path from our calves travels earlier this year.  The doe seemed quite apprehensive as she wondered down the trail.  Looking here and there, I wondered what she was looking for.  Not really acting like she wanted to jump the fence, she walked along back and forth.  Hearing but not seeing...

Eventually, out from the grass-lined fence came a black cat (I hope this didn't bring bad luck to the doe).  They looked at each other, then the cat scampered away.  Now, this is the most interesting part.  The doe followed the cat.  Keeping 10 steps behind, the doe continued to follow the cat into a patch of taller grass.  Of course, the cat was hidden, and the doe just paused, kept an eye on the moving grass and then followed along. 

It was the sweetest, yet most unbelievable thing taking place.  As I went about my business, I stopped again to peer out the window.  The doe was still there...looking around nervously.  The grass was not moving.  Where did the cat go?  I stood and watched for a bit longer.  A mystery to not only me, but the doe, as well.  She continued to look from one place to the other.  She seemed at a loss...where did her little friend go?

After awhile, the doe gave up and walked away.  I wonder what made her follow the cat?  I've not seen either since.  It was a lovely sight to see.  A most enjoyable way to while away some time.  A delightful memory to bring out every now again. 

The doe and cat...a mystery.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Price Freedom...

Today is Veteran's Day.  A day that is celebrated every year on November 11th.  A few year's ago I wrote a piece titled, What Price Freedom.  I'm sharing it again today.

What price freedom?  For most of us, we don't pay a price at all~it's here for the taking!  For the mere pleasure of living a life of freedom of choice, freedom of voice, freedom to live in a peaceful society, freedom to have an education, go to the church choose, support the causes we cherish, the freedom to send our children off to school...knowing that they'll come home.  There is so much we take for granted!  More took for granted than what is appreciated.  I mean really, really appreciated!  At what cost do we have our FREEDOM?  AND, more importantly, whose paid the debt for us?

My thoughts, in the quiet moments of the day, turn to the families who've paid the price for our freedom.  Those whose sons, daughters, husbands and wives, mommies and daddies, nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers, have paid the price...their lives.  As with most things, until something happens "closer to home" one never will have a true understanding of a situation.  And, unless it directly happens to "us", one does not get the full impact of the devastation.  Of course, we can empathize with the family, we can mourn with them, but we never, ever will understand their loss.

*at the time I wrote the original, the following was pertinent at that time.  A few weeks ago, three service men from Iowa lost their lives.  They were not in combat. They were, however, doing what they do every day, every week, every make sure that we~America, are in the ready for any disaster that may occur...that may put our FREEDOM and safety in harms way.  One was a nephew of my son-in-law.  One of our own.  The fact that I was able to put a face with a name and name with a family I know, broke my heart and brought me to tears.  I saw first hand the price they paid...for my FREEDOM and YOURS!  "Brandon" had entered the armed forces post 9-11.  He most assuredly knew he'd be defending our country...and he did.  He served in Iraq for approximately 8 months.  He came home, but passed away during military training at Fort Bragg.

Whether we agree, disagree or are indifferent to the conflict that the United States is involved with today; the ones we've been involved with in the past and will surely be committed to in the future, the mere fact that we can have a view and can voice it, is reason enough for me to honor and praise our young men and women for their commitment to our country.  the defending of it, the willingness to fight for it...for you and me.  With the knowledge that ultimately it could be a cost them and the family loves them so.  Today, in America, they don't have to do it.  They choose to do this.  In many countries, it's still mandatory to give a certain amount of time to the military.

November 11th is designated Veteran's Day.  A day to honor and remember those who have given of themselves to their country and the freedom's we all enjoy.  What can we do to show our appreciation?  I leave that up to you individually to decide.  Maybe you'll do nothing, maybe a note will be sent, maybe a prayer will go out.  We all hear stories from those who served in Nam, Korea and maybe even the World Wars.  How can we honor and acknowledge each of them?  Those involved in the earlier conflicts were enlisted.  The fact that service to our country is "voluntary" today is probably due, in part, to the causes these men and women fought for.

Again I ask...what price freedom?  Well, freedom isn't really free at all, is it?  To those who have served, are serving, thank you.  It's because of you that I can drive or walk down the road and not fear a bullet.  My daughter can attend school along with my son.  I can work a job that I enjoy and make a decent living.  I can go to the church I choose, believe or not believe what I want, spend or save my money how I see fit, feed my family, help those around me and not be persecuted.  I can dress how I like.  I can walk with my head held high and my face uncovered...or covered, if that's what I choose.  I have a say in my household, elect whom I want and so much more.  Do we really have an understanding of what our FREEDOM is all about?  I leave you with that thought. 

And this folks, is the view from my front porch.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It was my kind of day

It was joyous, refreshing, relaxing, absolute delight!  That's right...yesterday was my kind of day!  The temps were comfortable and prime for baking and cooking.   I had a great nights sleep, so upon waking, I had the energy of my earlier years.  Sometimes these days, that's not the case.  Without going into detail...suffice it to say "I'm mid-lifing it!" 

So, with an abundance of energy, clear thoughts and focus, I started the morning off my making banana muffins.  The bananas...they, too, were prime for baking.  Yummo!  I've had my favorite recipe for years. It's simple, but good.  Muffins are one of my favs to bake and are always nice to have on hand for a quick snack. 

That done, I was off to the next thing.  Using the last bit of roast leftover from last week's meal(s), I chopped, sliced and opened a few cans.  Dumping all into a pot, I let it simmer all morning long.  I must say, it was delish! 

Here's my recipe:  leftover roast, cooked to perfection, chopped or shredded into bite size pieces.  One
X-large can of tomato juice.  Three tablespoons of beef broth granules.  Fresh onion chopped.  One can each:  carrots, green beans, corn...whatever you have on hand; liquid and all.  Frozen peas(or canned).  Four potatoes (red) peeled and chopped to bite size pieces.  One bag of shredded cabbage.  Simmer, simmer, simmer.  Serve with a variety of breads.  I must say...another YUMMO!  and, leftovers, too.

Good and hearty.  My meal was complete with a large glass of milk. 

As my day continued...I was on a baking craze, I pulled out the pie crusts I had in the fridge.  Now, my intention earlier this fall was to make apple pies.  Our trees were ladden with them.  But, time got away from me, I was sick for a few thing led to another and they didn't get made.  But, I was determined to get something made.  For interest, I decided to use what I had on hand...which actually, turned out to not be as much as I first thought.  However, I was determined.  Six pies later, I ended up with:  one cherry, one blackberry, two oatmeal and two pecan (with oatmeal).  Oh, and the pecan...I ran out of Karo syrup, too, so I added some honey to complete that requirement.  They turned out beautifully.  With that said, I prefer all Karo and all pecans in the pecan pie.  I'm a purist that way, I guess!

So, my day ended with a hearty bowl of homemade soup, dessert of pie and one very happy  hubby...he's a dessert kind of guy and unfortunately, I'm really not. So having dessert readily on hand is not on my radar. Now, to find freezer space for all the goodies.  I'm bound and determined to have these around for awhile and not eaten in a matter of days.  We'll see how that goes. 
It was joyous, refreshing, relaxing, absolute delight!  That's right...yesterday was my kind of day!  And this folks, is the view from my front porch.