Who are you? Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo?

Yes, I really want to know, too. That deaf, dumb and blind blogger, all over the map but unlike the pinball wizard, way too many distractions and far too little time. I’ve been considering giving up this blog altogether because I’m just too inconsistent about it, hell weeks go by and the other thing is that sometimes I write things in jest and people take them too seriously. It’s safe to assume that most of the time I’m either biting my tongue or it’s in my cheek.

I’m now firmly in Florida for the duration of winter but not before I had my fair share of it. Post-Christmas was spectacularly beautiful although we couldn’t get off the mountain. We have a 28 degree grade the last half mile up so if there’s any snow, ice or combination, that’s it for us and all of our neighbors living on the shoulders of Little Mount Pisgah. Rich gave up shaving somewhere about day 3 and  I fully expected him to yell out, “Heeerre’s Johnny!” and pop around a door. He had a little cabin fever thing going but it WAS beautiful and we took advantage of our mountain and the new flying saucer Santa brought us for Christmas.

We drove down here to St .Petersburg on the 30th, each in a car, each with a cat. Sophie sat on my lap and braked every single time I did. Both cats are happy to be here as they are free to go out and porch sit whenever they please. McCloud is slowing down noticeably and we are at that point where we are thinking he may not be long for this world but it’s normal old cat behavior. Occasionally we think about taking him to the vet and then ask ourselves why. Maybe that sounds negligent but I’m of the school that believes at some point intervening with vet trips and steroids and shots and fluids just adds stress on top of achy joints and overworked kidneys. We take excellent care of our animal companions but I just don’t know about starting down that path. We love him so much and he’s a wonderful cat and companion, nearly perfect except for his table manners. It’s hard to imagine life without him. For now, he doesn’t complain, sleeps more and more and somehow has given us the message that we shouldn’t be schlepping him around in our arms as we have in the past. Pet me, but don’t manhandle. I took a great photo of him and had it made into a postage stamp. Sometime in the future I’ll send Rich a nice card with a postage stamp of his cat.

Then I went back to Asheville for a fiber workshop weekend and discovered that the electric heat, the propane back up and the water pump had all failed. Three freezing days in the house and melting snow to flush toilets as repairs were made- that was a thrill and since I went on and on about how cold I was on FaceBook I’m not going to redo that drama here.

(now that I’m back to taking photos with my new camera I should probably figure out how to get one of those watermark things.)

Florida is for the birds and I’m loving it. We bike ride down to the bay. As of today, I’ve started back at Boyd Hill. I wondered about the avian pea-brain and what kind of memory they have as I walked along the enclosures saying my usual hellos. It’s been about 7 months (as I type that, I’m amazed. I guess it took most of a year to rebuild the mountain house, get settled in, grow a garden, discover the bears and find a routine.) so I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had acted as if I was a total stranger. But no. (Wheezer and the familiar evil eye she always gives me. She detests going out for education programs and although she doesn’t fight it, she’s never been thrilled with the person who takes hold of her jesses.)

The little screech owls clearly recognized me as did the two red-shouldered hawks that I handle, Shadow and Thinman. Turk and Pugsley, the turkey vultures, not so much. The other owls seemed vaguely attenuated to my voice and our new eagle, Abiaka, responded to me like the stranger that I am.

(Mystic, one of two barred owls, is sort of the program whack job. She’s very curious and always disheveled and frequently, for no apparent reason, just flings herself off the glove and hangs upside down.)

(Shadow is a favorite of mine. She really gave me a good once over when I first came into the enclosure.)

(She didn’t hesitate about hopping on the glove but she spent dinner time listening to me talk to her instead of eating.)

(Thinman, on the other hand, had no problem eating his mice and then moving on to Shadow’s)

Mostly these days I am seriously focused on getting my feltmaking to a level that feels satisfactory in all respects- teaching, marketing and most of all, creating. To that end I’ve been getting ready to launch that website, getting my winter classes and workshops going (nicely!) and trying to block out time to do my own work on projects. Today I made a stunning piece of felt that I laid out over a year ago. The layout entailed dyeing 4 different types of wool, 3 forms of silk, fussing over the design endlessly- and then I was afraid to felt it for fear of ruining the components. I finally tackled that this morning and the colors are fantastic and it has a nice dense heft to it. I just don’t know what I’m going to do with it. I’ll show it to you once it dries and take suggestions. Yesterday I made this lovely shawl of merino wool felted to hand-woven silk. I’ve got a great vintage French celluloid button that I’m going to attach and then I’ll probably turn it over to Florida Craftsmen Gallery for sale. It’s nice and airy, soft with a little warmth,perfect for Florida winter nights.

Kids are fine, Rich is fine and we have the full contingent of friends who struggle with illness, friends who are coming to visit, possible termites and mildewed porch columns. Life, mostly good.  How’s by you?

13 responses to “Who are you? Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo?

  1. How wonderful to be recognized by owls and hawks! That’s got to be one of the finest things ever! If some of my friends were owls and red-tailed hawks, I think I would say life by me is fine. But that’s not the case, Roger is in his last 5 weeks of chemo. Challenges are many, but we are managing. Maybe that’s why I’m so glad to see your feathered friends here. Their wild family keep me and the camera poised and ready. Just yesterday we found a pair of red-tailed hawks in a tall pine tree, and a pair of red-shouldered hawks that were doing fly-bys just to mark some unseen territory. Such wonderful drama. Maybe someday we’ll all be friends!

  2. Life mostly good on this end, too. I miss your blog posts (and mine) but I see enough on Facebook to keep tabs. I am typing this comment in a semi-reclining position on the couch while balancing both a cat and a laptop on my knees and also trying not to jostle the dogs who are draped across my legs. Quite the little gymnast, I am.

    Beautiful shawl. Also, has the moon in Florida been as pretty as it has been up here in Maryland these past few days?

  3. Do not, I repeat DO NOT give up your blog. Your writing is magical–you spin pictures with words as surely as you create lovely things in felt. I would miss that terribly.
    Plus, where would I find such magical pictures of birds?

  4. Please don’t give it up, Vicki. I would be satisfied with one post a month, come to that.

    I love that the birds knew you…it’s terrific to be remembered and very special, I think.

    How could you ever think of selling that shawl??? It’s gorgeous. I’d hang it on the wall and enjoy it for years!!

    (Did you ever get the postcard I mailed to FL in Dec?)

  5. Keep the blog even if your posts only come on spring tides.

    We would miss you … Damn Facebook for killing good blogs.

  6. Fair. Mom has one of those recalled hips.. it had been fine but she suddenly has had pain for four days, so its in for another check. Crossing fingers.

    About old cats. All cats here are officially old now. Mr. Rhett… old blue eyes himself, lost more weight in the last couple of years than I really expected for an old cat while eating everything he could get his mouth on. I had them test him his last vet visit and his T4 level was almost ten times normal. A simple and inexpensive medicine in his food twice a day and a new cat has arrived. His coat was ragged and now it is soft and lush and he has gained a bit of weight. He doesn’t seem so hyper hungry any more.

    The mountain snows look beautiful…. and now we again are wondering if we will get the snow, simple rain or ice and freezing rain. Perhaps all three. And again… my meteorologist is off on the other side of the country.

  7. No matter how long I’ve been gone, whether it’s a day or a month, Lucy our peregrine, practically mugs me when I go in to get her. I can’t say it’s love (at least on her end of the jess) but it is on mine. She’s all like, “Hi! Where are we going today? Did you bring quail???”
    The owls are like, “B***h, please. Like I care.”
    The vulture is like, “Barf. Barf. Barf.”
    The red-tails hate everybody.

  8. When I get back, Miranda wants me to bring her to visit the owls. On the bus headed to Miami. Keep praying. Miss you!

  9. We’re having some weird karmic synchronicity, my friend. Listen to the whole thing here, okay? (And, yes, I did suggest the background music!)

  10. Please continue to blog Vicki. Your writing is so clever and thought provoking. I do not mind at all waiting patiently for new installments.

  11. Fairly normal here – our normal anyway. Charlie is in Singapore, Robbie is in classes for Spring Semester, and I’m all up in the politics. Went to Austin 2 weeks ago as an invited blogger for a public policy think tank’s 2011 policy initiatives roll-out.
    Loving the owl photos. Our Oreo has slowed down noticeably lately, too. He has even become a lap cat for me, which he never was in his life. He’s still not happy we took in the 2 ferrel kitties. They are solely indoor cats while Oreo goes in and out.

  12. I tolerate Facebook but rely on my blog to give details. Can’t describe the thrill of becoming a new grandfather in a 30-word Facebook post. Pictures yes, words no.

    You probably heard about the hawk loose inside the Library of Congress. There’s probably a good joke in that, but I can’t think of it right now.

  13. Owl well and good, but who cooks for you; who cooks for you all?

    Everythings gonna be owlright; Owl always love you.

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