Thursday, May 20, 2010

Silver Wings

"Silver wings
Shining in the sunlight
Roaring engines
Headed somewhere in flight

They're taking you away
And leaving me lonely
Silver wings
Slowly fading out of sight "
--Silver Wings, Merle Haggard
On stormy or windy days, Kansas City International airport sometimes reroutes its flights right over the Little Farm. As the crow flies, we're only about 15 miles away so we see a lot of air traffic on a normal day. But I love those rare days when the planes are coming in really low as they make their final approach.
For me, there is a real beauty in flight. It fascinates me--not just the physical mechanics of it, but the emotions surrounding the journeys of the travelers. As I hear the engines roaring overhead, I always think about the people inside. What are they feeling? Are they home, or are they just passing through? Did they leave someone behind? If so, is it just for a little while or forever? Is someone waiting here for them? 
And I think about many of my own journeys--the hellos and goodbyes, leaving old places and discovering new ones, the excitement of packing my suitcase and going. And it always makes me wish I was on a flight heading somewhere, too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Little Miracles

Little miracles happen around the Little Farm every day. The trees, the flowers, the wildlife, our domestic critter crew ... there is always something fascinating happening here at any given time. I get so focused on my daily "must-dos" that I often miss a lot of these special moments. But today, I got to witness one of them when I saw the miracle of life come full circle.

We have a sweet, little pair of purple finches who built a nest on our front porch this spring. Mrs. Finch began building "the nursery" in April. Mr. Finch would try to help, but I could tell she was running the construction project. He would add a twig or a piece of grass, and she would either tear it out and drop it on the ground or move it to some other part of the nest. It seems fitting that she should get her way because once the nest was completed, Mrs. Finch was the one who had to lay the five eggs and then incubate them for two weeks through wind, rain, heat, and cold. Mr. Finch would check in on her every once in awhile, and he would sing her the most beautiful songs. But after these short visits, he was free to go about his business in the great wide open while she nurtured the tiny, stirring miracles just beneath the five speckled egg shells.

The eggs hatched about two weeks ago, and it was a joyous occasion. For the first few days, Mrs. Finch would stand on the side of the nest, cock her little head, and look at the squirming, pink things inside with the gaping mouths. I wonder what she was thinking. Mr. Finch would perch on our lamp post and sing proudly. I bet I know what he was thinking.

The babies grew quickly, and finding and delivering food became a round-the-clock mission for the new mother and father. Mrs. Finch stayed in the nest at night for the first week to keep the babies warm. After that, she and Mr. Finch roosted in the nearby spruce tree where they could keep their eyes on anything coming or going around the porch.

Over the weekend, I watched as the babies began grooming themselves and stretching their wings. They were almost as big as their parents and had full feathers. I knew they'd be ready to leave soon. I checked on them yesterday morning, and all of them were gone expect for one. He was smaller than the rest--maybe the last to hatch--and he looked so forlorn and lonely. Mom and Dad would stop by every hour or so to feed him, but most of their attention was focused on feeding his four siblings in the spruce tree. I looked outside every few hours expecting to see an empty nest, but at nightfall, he was still there.

When I checked on him this morning, he was perched on the side of the nest flapping and stretching his wings. I could hear his parents calling to him from the trees. He would get back in the nest, then climb out, then get back in again. Mom and Dad would come and talk to him, urging him back up on the edge. Finally--about an hour ago--I just happened to look out the window as he launched himself out of the nest, into the open sky, and onto a spruce limb. He took a huge leap of faith into the great, big world, and Mom and Dad were waiting with a meal and some reassuring chatter. I'm a sentimental sap, but it brought tears to my eyes.

Such a small miracle in the grand scheme of things, but a blessing all the same ...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dietary Detox

This stuff is good! Trust me!

I have been SO bad lately when it comes to my eating habits, ya'll. Baked goods, ice cream, candy bars, Twizzlers, doughnuts, potato chips, french fries, fried anything ... name something super-duper bad for you and I bet I've been eating it. When I made the decision to introduce meat back into my diet, I went flat crazy with the food choices.

It's not good. You'd think I would've packed on some serious pounds, but that hasn't really been the case. I'm in the same size I was wearing before I began inhaling everything within grabbing distance. I know I've gained some weight ... mostly around the old mid-section ... but it could be worse I suppose. The real problem is how I feel. My brain is foggy, I feel like I have about 50 pounds of cement blocks sitting on my shoulders, it seems like sludge is running through my veins. Nasty, nasty, nasty stuff.

It all ends today. It has to. Rob and I made a quick grocery run yesterday, and I stocked up on whole grain bread, english muffins, sandwich thins, peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, bananas, apples, and oranges. I'm going to try to stay away from too much processed stuff. The older I get, the more all of those chemicals and preservatives seem to affect me.

Here's what today's meal plan looks like:
  • Breakfast--a banana and coffee
  • Mid-morning snack--a whole grain english muffin with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter (If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you must try this. It comes in a variety of flavors, and you can pick it up at Wal-Mart.)
  • Lunch--cottage cheese, peaches, and a Kashi Dark Mocha Almond bar
  • Afternoon snack--a granny smith apple
  • Dinner--roast chicken, a baked sweet potato, and green salad
It really is delicious, filling stuff. I swear I'm not just saying that to make myself feel better about giving up all the "goodies." We'll see how it goes. I'm not counting calories, or points, or anything like that. I just want to feel like an energetic human again over the next few weeks. Further reports to follow!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Word to the Mutha Fathers!

I think this is genius!

Little Things I Love Right Now

I'm a "what if" kind of person, and this is a "what if" kind of story ... beautiful, and deep, and thought provoking.

Popcorn Indiana Kettlecorn ... so delicious and insanely addictive!

Junk Gypsy tees and tanks ... cute, cute, cute!

Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. Together, separate, doesn't matter. Perfection!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For Real????

So I'm YouTube happy today. My dad sent me an e-mail about this deer earlier today. I decided to go out on the Interweb over my lunch break to see if I could find any other details. Well, I found all kinds of Web sites and photos and videos--this doe's a star!

It's fascinating and also downright insane if you wanna know my take on it. Ice cream with a splash of coffee and sweetener? Linguine in bed? A deer that uses a human toilet? For real???

Meet Dillie ...

I don't know what's more bizarre ... a deer living in a house or the creepy news reporter who locks himself in with her for "nap time." Watch out, Dillie!

The House that Built Me

About once or twice a year, I hear a song that grabs me from the very first listen ... in comparison to the many others that I need to hear several times before they hook me. Miranda Lambert--a country singer--recently released this one. Kelly Clarkson covered it. I don't care who sings it. I just think it's a really well written song and one that I can relate to on so many different levels.

What are you all listening to these days? Anything hooking you? Care to share? :-)