Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Took, She Took.

Lillie and I spent a Girl's day at the sanctuary. It was her choice to do whatever she wanted and she wanted to visit the animals. We took photos of each other hence the name of this post. I hope you enjoy our adventure as much as we did.

It can't weigh easy on your psyche to be abandoned at 3 or so days old. No matter what species you belong to. This sweet baby goatlet was found in a neighboring town and brought to the sanctuary to be raised. And oh she has endeared herself in the hearts of every person that has had the inclination to walk through the clinic. Her official name (given by Traci!) is Atrayu, to go with our previous baby goatlet, Falcor (going along with that Never Ending Story line of names...). Lillie and I took her outside for a walk in the sun--who enjoyed it more?

In the pasture we encountered a sweet Sicilian donkey. He and his buddy, a llama, came several months ago to live at the sanctuary and have settled in nicely. Though the Llama is very shy, he's not. He loves pats and scratches, and kisses.
Sicilian donkeys are miniature in size but not personality. They have a dark brown 'cross' from their neck to their shoulders and across their shoulders. Story has it that a pregnant Mary rode in to Jerusalem on the back of one of these little guys and forever left a holy mark on them.

A visit to the pastures wouldn't be complete without visiting older, established residents. The whitetail buck came to the sanctuary by people that captured him while very young. They thought it was great fun to raise a fawn and when he grew up (and in his mind was part of the family) and didn't leave they realized they had done him a great misservice. They brought him out and he lives in the pasture with other permanent residents.

And a visit wouldn't be complete without seeing Rocky. Sweet Rocky boy! All love. When I visited not long after these photos I saw that he had a snaggle tooth. I opened his mouth and the tooth pretty much fell into my hand. I was alarmed in that I didn't know if this was normal or part of his 'special' self. So I did a little research and found that lambs will lose their first baby teeth between the ages of 10-16 months old. They will then grow in the middle incisors and continue to lose and grow in subsequent incisors for the next 4 years. He's now a full fledged sheep. And, he got his first hair cut (sheared) yesterday. I cannot wait to photograph his new look.

Our day ended far too quickly. We had lunch in Blanco and headed home. We recounted our stories to the the rest of the family and promised to do it again soon.

I am so lucky to have a little girl like Lillie.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Time Passages

When I have photos for this blog, I often have long detailed stories to go along with them. I write the stories in my mind as I'm drifting off to sleep, daydreaming while driving, or feeding baby critters at work. They are really lovely stories filled with deep thoughts, irony, wisdom.... and when I finally find the time to sit and write, I come up with thin skeletons of what I had imagined.

Lillie and I were out front one afternoon discussing the expectations of a second grader in school. Of course, discussing anything with a seven year old doesn't follow a linear progression, so one has to be open to the side roads. We also talked of the different birds at the bird feeder and how one tells the difference between girls and boys; the relationship of the size of an egg to the size of a bird; and a thousand other what-ifs. I was able to catch her for just a few minutes on digital 'film'. The above photo was one of the last before she took off with her baby doll on her bike to a neighbor's house. Of course there were more thrills elsewhere compared to boring mom, her detailed and zoologically correct answers, and her camera.

As she pedaled off singing a song I'd never heard, I thought about how many different hats I wear. I mostly live my life from one day to the next always wanting to do better as the days pass--better as a person, as a parent, as a friend, as a sister.... I think I can't do any better as a daughter as I pretty much suck at that all the way around. But my family takes me as I am. I am so lucky. Let's see--mom, wife, animal caretaker, photographer, writer, artist, nurse, maid, taxi driver, social planner, activities director, chef, caterer, seamstress, interior designer, gardener, neighbor, babysitter, neighborhood activist, PTA mom, teacher, student.... I only get paid for doing one of these things.... my life is full!! I suppose I shouldn't call them hats as much as Mad Skills!!

I find making goals in life is a tough scheme for me--if every day is different, planning is a challenge. I do hold out hopes for--visiting Paris, a cross country sabbatical in an RV (apparently I will be doing this alone as Brent doesn't rank this particular adventure very high on his list of things to do), living in a beach house on a spectacular beach complete with hardwood floors and gossamer window coverings that billow with the sea breeze, collecting vintage photos of women in their everyday lives, and perhaps working at different wildlife rescue organizations to keep in touch with the animals.

I rarely think of my age in terms of being older than many or younger than a lot--it's only driven home when some young kid/school principle/stranger puts a "Mrs" in front of my name when addressing me. I tell them that Mrs Nowak is my mother-in-law and that my name is Robin. I couldn't care less about manners or formality. My name is my name. I also work with people that aren't much older than Forrest and for the most part I can fit in--for the most part. I admire their resilience in being in their early 20s and all that entails, especially their nocturnal forrays in to the land of clubs and pubs; getting back home at 4am just in time to shower and make their 6am shifts and performing their tasks with determination and a sly smile about what had only hours earlier transpired.


Soooo this isn't what I set out to write about this morning. I set out to write about something deeper, more metaphysically connected, something someone would take away as an ah-ha! moment. In my mind as I lay in bed this morning, what I intended was so that. I was awed by my own intellect.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Morning coming down...

... while waiting for the goldfinches to return to the feeder, I sat on the garden bench and drank my cup of coffee. All of the birds were singing--the finches were close, the starlings were a little further out, a male grackle was courting a female, and the white wing doves were debating on the telephone line above the yard if the finch feeder was worth the effort. Rosie played in the garden then ran to a bare spot to take a sand bath.

I could hear a red tail hawk nearby, skreeing behind the house somewhere. As I walked around the west side of the house, the dogs met me with gusto. Sandy watched as I photographed her and the plum tree.

I never saw the hawk. And that was ok.

What a wonderful way to begin a Thursday.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring is here!

(click on any image for a larger view)

Spring has finally arrived. It wasn't the martin scouts returning last week, or the first swallows of the season this week seen in the neighborhood. It wasn't the peach tree in bloom up the street or the minute blades of blue eyed grass bravely rising above the scorched grass out front.

It was the rain. Not just the high humidity that leaves a heavy dew on the vehicles and plants each morning. Not the teasing of clouds covering the sun for the afternoon only to clear by evening.

It came in slowly. With a northern chill.

There was an audible sigh as the earth relaxed. We've been without rain for almost 2 years. That's a long time not to feel falling water--on your skin and in the air.

The equinox is this week--where Spring has historically been officially welcomed. The sloughing off of old skins, of thick winter blankets, of old ways. The celebration of all things new; rebirth.

A season of hope.