Friday, November 19, 2010

Our Last Chance Pup

Our newest family member came home this past Saturday: we adopted a puppy from Alabama! A beautiful 8 month-old German Shepherd we've named Freya.  Finding her was a bit serendipitous; I sent our a fairly random email to a rescue organization up in New Hampshire (Loyal Hearts Puppy Rescue), inquiring about whether they had any young Shepherds available for adoption (it was one of several inquiries I sent out that week).  I received a response telling me that they didn't have any Shepherds within their network, but knew of one in Alabama at a kill shelter.  She was due to get euthanized in just a few days.  They sent two pictures, and I fell in love with her right away - what a cutie!!!

With the understanding that we needed a dog who wasn't going to be aggressive with young children, they pulled her from the shelter, and put her in quarantine/foster care until she could be vaccinated, spayed and transported up here. Her foster mom reported that she was super sweet and mellow, and everyone who worked with her was falling in love with her.  Researching her travel up here opened my eyes to a whole industry that revolves around rescuing dogs from the south and bringing them up to New England to foster and adoptive families.  In fact, an 8-week TV documentary was made about the transport company (PETS) the rescue agency used to bring Freya up here - it was called Last Chance Highway, and documented the owners and workers of PETS and some of the animals and families they helped bring together.

Freya left Alabama on a Thursday morning, and arrived in Connecticut on Saturday afternoon.  We were so excited to go meet her transport and see Freya for the first time!!  R. could hardly stand the wait once we arrived at the meeting point, and I completely shared his excitement and impatience (although I took a more stoic Mom role for most of it).  As soon as we met her, I think we all (including Freya) knew that this was the right fit all the way around.  She has settled into our home and our hearts with lightening speed.  How could she know, after only being with us for a few hours that she was in her forever home?  Walking her that evening I took a fall and she bolted away, getting the leash out of my hand.  I had a stab of real fear - we live on a busy road, and there was no telling where this dog, completely away from anything familiar, might go.  But all she did was run back to our door and then look back at me.  I called to her and she came running to me, huddling at my feet with her tail wagging.  Freya knew she was home.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baby Nick-Names

R. was my little pea, but A. is my little bean. Don't know why, but so it is. They are both my pumpkins (still and always) and each (were or are) my kidlits. A. is also 'A-bug' and 'A-bear'. Babies are just so darn cuddly!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Herb Harvesting and Random Nature Notes

Went to my family's house in the Catskills for a few days, and harvested coltsfoot for a cough I can't get rid of. This is my first time harvesting and using fresh herbs, so still researching... will also get in touch with an herbalist friend of mine to check in about this.

Bummed that we missed the Elder Faith's Beltane celebration on Saturday... such a beautiful day, but we really needed to get on the road. As it was, it took us over 6 hours to get out to the cabin. Totally worth it though... (always is).

Random nature notes from today's short walk at work:

  • Saw and heard my first sharp-shinned hawk of the season
  • Really strong wind makes me feel small and insignificant (am I the only person who feels this way?)
  • Heard a red-wing black bird calling the end of it's 'konk-la-ree' call (which would just be the 'ree' part, I suppose) over and over again on the course, despite all the wind and blowing trees

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blog for the 2010 NEEEA Conference in Vermont

The 2010 NEEEA Conference is being held in VT this year (the conference rotates through the 6 New England states - it's in MA next year!!), and although that's cool enough all by itself, the folks in Vermont are planning all kinds of really great stuff for this year's conference. They've got a conference blog at:; it's a great way to stay in touch with what's going on with the conference - check it out!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Snapshot of Our Lives Away From Work

Cross-posted at the Withywindle Blog

Regardless of your religious observance (or lack there of), holidays are about taking time away from the everyday to be with friends and family. This Easter we had an unexpected dinner at our house as my in-laws (who's house we normally would have had dinner at) were away at the last minute. I had a moment yesterday of perfect contentment and found some time to jot it down:

It’s afternoon, and I am standing at the counter making a spinach casserole. I am wearing our infant son in a front pack as I drain the spinach and mix the other ingredients. The baby is asleep, and I occasionally peer down at him and kiss his head. I put a ham in the oven a few hours earlier, and now it fills the kitchen with its good smell. On our table in the corner filled with windows is a blue and white flowered table cloth, and later we will set it with my grandmother’s china, and my step-mother’s crystal glasses. It is warm and sunny outside, and fresh air and sunshine pervade our farm-style kitchen.

Our older son is playing in our back yard with his cousin. My husband and his sister and her husband are outside supervising the boys, but really doing more conversing while the kids work out their own play. Later they will (with a small suggestion from me) discover the joy of climbing the big rock in our yard, and I know that it will be a large part of son's playscape for the years that we remain in this house.

I am deeply content. I love the sounds of the children in the yard, and although my back aches a bit, also love the feel of my small son resting against my body. I can hear him breathe, and am comfortably warmed by his body. I am aware of how much I love cooking for my family, caring for my children, and being a mother. I am pleased that we are able to have our extended family in our house for this Easter dinner, even though we celebrated our own holiday two weeks ago. Before we start our meal we will give thanks and recognize both the Easter holiday, and the celebration of spring.

NaBloPoMo for April

I've decided to undertake NaBloPoMo for the month of April, but will mostly be posting on the Withywindle Blog, with a few cross-posts here. Happy Spring!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weird Science - A List of Pecular Lists

Cross-posted at Withywindle Blog.

The site How Stuff Works (new to me) has a really interesting compilation of facts and articles, many of which are sorted into 'top ten (or five, in some cases)' lists. I think I could spend quite a bit of time sorting through all their info, but here's a quick list of some of their weirder lists that I discovered on my first foray:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

International Space Station Resource

I've been really interested in seeing photos of the International Space Station from the inside, and found this great, interactive resource while I was searching NASA for pics:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Backyard Tracking

Took a short break from household tasks to go out and look at tracks in our backyard and the adjacent power lines this afternoon. Found whitetail deer and red fox in our yard: the deer walked straight through, fox(es) stayed to the brush line. Next door in a clearing under the power lines were deer, fox and eastern coyote (or coywolf, as Jon Way is appropriately calling them). Two sets of older coyote tracks and one newer - possibly from last night or this morning. One of the older coyote tracks intersected with a fresher red fox trail traveling along the far tree line. The red fox carefully stepped inside the old coyote tracks for a few paces before traveling on along the tree line again (not before urinating in the intersection, however).

Can't believe (well, alright I can - we have a infant at home) this was the first time I got out tracking this season. I definitely need to break out my snowshoes and get out down at our OE center this week...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rewilding - A Conversation on Conservation

The NPR radio show On Point had a fantastic conversation with Caroline Frasier (author of "Rewilding the World; Dispaches from the Conservation Revolution") about the concept and progress of "rewilding":bringing back large areas of wilderness around the globe. An example of this is the Y2Y - Yukon to Yellowstone Initiative.

The process of rewilding (and the part of the radio program I was able to listen to today) brought up some questions for me, which are probably answered in Caroline's book. I wonder what the criteria is for rewilding. What is the state of wilderness that people want to bring back (and why)? What about human-wildlife interactions? Everything from wildlife in backyards to mitigating roadkill when major roads and highways are part of a proposed wilderness/wildlife corridor are important parts of the conversation. Not to mention that there is a large segment of the population (at least in this country) that doesn't want to see an increase in wildlife interactions (particularly with larger carnivores) in their towns/neighborhoods.

Another part of the rewilding conversation is the reintroduction of top-level predators where they've been extirpated, something that is near and dear to me as I've been studying the wolf reintroduction process for some time. I'm quite interested in find out how this topic is broached by the different conservation projects in Caroline's book.

Hope to pick up a copy of this book soon and learn more....