THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH DIARIES January 9, 2012 7:15 AM
66 F indoors 25 F outdoors
Sunny for four days in a row – still holding the title “The Florida of Ohio”
TODAY’S HAPPINESS FACTOR: 9 out of 10
If life were any better I don’t know what we would do
This morning I have a secret to tell – more of a confession really. It has been over one year since I walked in the woods here. Yesterday, on the sunniest January day I can remember I took up the walking stick and traipsed the forest of Blue Rock Station.
The morning was spent gathering llama poo to dry for the orders we’ll receive from now until late spring. A gallon bag of the poo, which we label as “llama poo tea” carries a warning – “Not for human consumption”. People laugh when we tell this on the tour, but honestly, some folks make me wonder how they get through life.
The sun was so warm, that after chores I decided I’d put the extra poo into trays for drying in the plastic bottle green house. It’s generally too cold to do this activity in January. As I worked I decided that I would take the afternoon off. Normally we’d go somewhere, but since I’m totally committed to this experiment I began to think about the forest as a destination.
Jay went with us – the three dogs, Carolyn (the cat) and me. We started at the site where we want to dam up the end of the holler and create a pond. After a little discussion about how the new little house will sit (we hope to build a “nest” of some sort in two or three years), we set off down the hill and up the other side of the bigger hill to walk the property line.
On the side we call “John’s property” there is an ugly snow-white block one-story building sitting almost on our property line. No one lives there, and when the trees are bare in winter we can see this horrible structure John called “The Bunker” from the Overlook.
At the back of this part of the property (‘pert near’ a mile) we discovered a camouflage tent right inside of the clearly marked line between us, and the neighbors. What is it about people that makes them build or plop down (beer cans, water bottles and all) something right up against someone else’s property?
It would be difficult to describe what was best about the walk. When we were up on top of one of the hills we could look down on the llama trek path to see that there are two springs holding water. We discovered a tiny waterfall we hadn’t noticed before. The giant sandstone formation we fell in love with the day we first brought Miss America (age two weeks in 1993) here brought back the exciting memories of that day.
And then there was the amazing cat, Carolyn. She walked the entire time with me. The dogs raced ahead with Jay, and when he left me to track down the other corner of the property, she stayed. When he didn’t come back, and the dogs stayed away too we waited awhile. At one point I was unsure of how to get back home, but the sun was my friend that day – in the west as the afternoon began to fade.
At one point I made myself nervous when I remembered I had left the supper warming on the woodstove. I could imagine the whole thing burning up – I’ve burned a few things on that woodstove during this first week of experimenting with cooking on the thing. As I walked the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with Carolyn I thought about the richness of the forest, and how it is a good thing to travel unfamiliar territory sometimes – it rests the mind from everyday thoughts, and offers many lessons.
When Carolyn and I finally hiked back to the curve on the big hill she was tired, and I was really thirsty. She’s far too superior (she’s a cat, after all) and independent to allow me to carry her (I tried but met with fierce resistance after a few steps). It was clear she was really tired but I was afraid to leave her until we were within sight of the house.
The sun was still behind us, and once I saw the field off in the distance I knew where I was going. Carolyn finally wore out and stayed for a little nap. I sat down with her to look across the “holler” at the Earthship on the other hillside. I know I’ve never taken time to do that before.
The house looked so big from this distance. It looked interesting and inviting. The Overlook seemed as if it was waiting for some folks to show up for a rest, or a cup of tea or maybe even a bit of a party. I felt lucky to live there in that place that looked almost foreign on the other hillside.
By chore time Carolyn had returned home. Jay was full of manly tales of how he had walked to the house, then off to find me (which he did as I was resting with Carolyn), and then back again from John’s property. Ho hum. What can I say?
As we were going to bed last night Jay remarked how he was pleased that by turning off the electronics, and the electricity by 5:15 he was forced to end his work day. I had never noticed that he had a problem with that. But he was feeling good about taking time – time to rest his mind without a computer game, or researching something of interest.
He also asked me, as I was blowing out the candles to make my way to bed, if I was enjoying the THANKS FOR NOTHING month. Without hesitating, a warm feeling came into me and I said, “Yes.”
Herbed scrambled eggs
Bagels with cream cheese
Butternut Squash Soup