Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Superman, it's a plane, no...

It's a bird!

I have been asked to put a bit of explanation in this post. Back story is very important, unless you are writing a mystery novel, which I am not, so I have no qualms about telling how things came to be as they were, as I might otherwise have. Now that we have that straight, I'd like to introduce you to Algernon Moncrief Nesia. Read the story, then think about it, you might get the name....

Algernon, or Algy, as he was known, happened to be a little song sparrow that managed to fly directly into the fence around our pool. No signs of damage, but the little guy had lost all of his faculties, and lay listlessly on the ground. I had Nic retrieve him for me, as I was shoe-less, and held I him for a bit. He did not seem to mind being held, and his eyes were nearly shut. After about an hour of me holding him, he regained his composure, and still seemed to like sitting on or near my hand. Once he was fully back to normal, he would fly about the house, landing on various perches, including my head, but would alway hop back on my finger when I put my hand near him.

After one night sleeping inside the house, he seemed to be better, and was trying try to fly out our windows, unsuccessfully. So, I got him back on my finger, on which he would still sit without restraint, and took him back outside. He made a short flight, sat on the ground, let me get him on my finger again, and then flew another short distance. After a couple repetitions, he finally flitted off into the trees, and I have not seen him since. Just like kids these days, you sweat and slave for their well being, and then they are just gone! They never call, they never write, just leaving us to worry.... *sigh* Take care Algy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Perhaps you've heard


California made the national news on Tuesday after enduring a state-wide record breaking storm, the first of the winter season. We were full participants in the process and yet we lived to tell the tale. Photos by Matthew, Mrs. H. and yours truly.
The rain started out light and easy, no big deal.

But the rain didn't stop, it didn't stop, then it failed to stop. After that, it didn't stop some more. All told, we collected four inches of rain.

In addition to the rain, we got wind. It huffed and it puffed and it blew our tree down. We loved that tree. Anthony heard it go over and thought that it was thunder. This isn't the first oak that we've lost in a storm, in fact, this is the third one to go down in the ten years that we've lived here.

Our pond went from bone dry to nearly full in a single day. That has never happened before.

It was the perfect day for a toasty fire. Yes, that is oak in the wood stove. Can you sense the ironic tension that exists in this equation?

Thomas cut through the last bit of red tape that separates the EMT's from the Paramedics. He will be able to practice his new craft as soon as his card arrives in the mail. This has nothing to do with the storm, but it was the brightest spot in an other wise dreary day.

The power went out at 1:00 in the afternoon. It stayed out for twenty nine long hours. Matthew saw the art in our throw-back lighting system. He has a good eye.

Meanwhile, back at the tree... it was time to convert our beloved friend into wood stove fodder. Does my hearing protection compliment or clash with the saw?

Our neighbor Bob owns a splitter which he was kind enough to bring over.

Speaking of Bob, there he is now. We will be delivering a large load of wood to his house next week.

Once again, our Lord threw me a bone by sparing the boat from the ferocity of the falling oak. One well placed limb would have destroyed the valiant craft. photo by Mrs. H.

Our resident fire engine did not fare as well.

The Suburban picked up a few memory marks as well. Some think of it as damage, I call it accumulated character.

What better time to try on winter clothes than during a storm?

No power means no heat in the barn for our chicks. They get a spot near the wood stove under these circumstances.

Sara found a butterfly while dragging limbs to the burn pile. (Next year's bonfire is shaping up to be a doozey!)

One of the great catastrophes is the loss of our beloved tree swing. Friends, please submit your tree swing memories in the comment section.

It took a while to unbury the fire engine.

All in all, it could have been worse. Imagine what would have happened if the tree had fallen in the other direction. Nic's bedroom lies closest to the tree. A dented fire engine is better than a dented Nicholas.

Ben did duty as a limb dragger. The pile was much larger by the end of the day. The sheep love oak leaves and spent a lot of the day munching away at the pile. Think of it as an all you can eat salad bar.

We don't have to buy any fire wood next year. Bob estimates that the tree will yield three cords of wood.

Nic never fails to be Nic. He went up the pine to throw down a few limbs that got stuck up there. Melodrama has always been his strong suit.

Jean and I are the first generation in our families to be born with in-door plumbing and electricity. Both Jean's parents and mine know about hauling water and fire wood and using an out-door privy. My dad used to entertain my brothers and me with stories of having to chase snakes from the out house. We had to live for a single day as our parents did and it was quite a disruption to our comfy lives. As you count your blessings, don't forget the little stuff.

be safe,
Hec @ 19

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Brother against brother

A sad, curious fact about the Civil War (the War between the States, for those of you below the Mason-Dixon) is that family members sometimes found themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. The H boys usually get along rather well, but this weekend's reenactment brought tensions to a boil as Thomas and Nick donned Confederate garb and Ben aligned himself with the Union.

Thomas and Nick are all smiles, seemingly oblivious to the carnage that is about to transpire.

What's this??? Ben in blue??? I know a certain someone that is going to have a LOT of questions!!

How can Mrs. H hold her composure at a time like this?!?! That's Mrs. H's brother behind her.

A skirmish has erupted, Thomas reaches for a powder charge!

The horror, the horror.

Sisters wait patiently at camp, eager for news about their brother's fate.

As the day wears on, Ben stands at attention, waiting to be pressed into action.

As the day wears on, Ben stands at attention some more, waiting to be pressed into action.

Ben is finally summoned to duty! He is shooting at his own kin!!

Undaunted, Thomas and Nick return fire! Family reunions will never be the same.

Fire!! The soldier on the right has been hit in the leg. Or maybe he is doing the Hokey-Pokey.

This is my favorite shot of the day.

I don't know what you call this thing, but it sure puts on a good show.

What's that?!?! Through the smoke... it looks like Nick has been hit!! Augh!!!

Oh wait, NOW I get it...
Did Ben feel so bad about killing his brothers that he decided to defect? Maybe it was because he has to keep a certain someone happy. Those Southerners wear the grooviest footwear!

Before heading home, we stopped off to watch a craftsman cast pewter buttons. He asked Matthew to lend a hand. Ben has decided to join the Army during the Viet Nam era.

When Tiffany came to visit, we were in the middle of a hot spell. She pointed out that California had been cloudless for the duration of her visit. This is what the sky looked like as we drove home, and these last two images are dedicated to her.

be safe,
Hec @ 19