Advice from Dick and Jane

We awakened this morning to a sunny day. Well, once the sun came up, that is. Now that we're on daylight savings time, it is dark in the morning. Sunrise this morning was 7:28 a.m. I'm not complaining, however. I love having sunshine at the end of the day, and I don't mind giving up an hour of sleep to get it. Here in the northwest, it can stay light until 10:00 at night in the summer, and it's wonderful to be able to sit outside, eat dinner, and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening. It can be windy at our place, and so this year, we've decided to invest in one of those propane heaters like restaurants have. 

But to get back to the sunshine, I was thinking about when I learned to read back in the 14th Century. One of the first words I learned from my friends, Dick, Jane, and Sally was "Look". I always think about it when we travel or on a dazzling day like today.

The dog's name was Spot. And for extra points, can anyone remember the cat's name? Scroll to the bottom for the answer.

It was a swimming day today, but I found myself wanting to go for a walk instead. Most all of the pools in Oregon are indoors, and it was too lovely to be inside when a beautiful spring-like walk awaited me at the bottom of the hill. Sometimes we walk on the ridge at the top of our hill, but today, I felt like going down. My daffodils are still in tight buds, but the first thing I saw when I got out of the car were these...the first blooming daffodils I've seen this year.

Interestingly, just 100 yards down the road, I saw more, still in tight buds. I'm guessing these blooming ones must get more consistent sunshine. Or maybe they're just in a better mood.

Speaking of mooooooods...I know, sorry. I couldn't resist. There is a Hereford ranch along the way. These folks sell locker beef, and so these will be somebody's dinner someday. Still, they have a good life while it lasts. 

I'm kind of in line with the thinking of Temple Grandin, who has advocated for humane treatment of animals in the livestock industry. She says:

"I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life, and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect."

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of animals for food, it happens. At least at this particular ranch, the animals have a good life. They were a little suspicious of me and my camera. 

I love it when the leaves are off the trees and I can see all the abandoned birds' nests from the previous nesting season. This one was right at eye level, and so I spent some time examining it. It was made from mud and dried grass with a few sticks thrown in. Are birds' nests one of the most incredible feats of nature? They can weave such perfect little nests with no arms! Sheesh. I couldn't do this with all ten fingers.

The next image is of Mahonia aquifolium, Oregon Grape. Yeah, impressive, huh? Thank Google for that. It is the state flower of Oregon.

Later on this summer it will develop purple berries...not good for eating...but pretty just the same. Here is an image taken at a campground in Washington where we often spend summers. They are prolific all over the Northwest.

I have taken the image below several times and at different times of the year. Today, it looked like this:

Here's the same barn in an image from May of 2013:

And today, in the time it took me to walk 200 yards or so down the road, someone touched off a burn of their yard debris. It's a common sight around here on a sunny day. Burning is prohibited when there is heavy cloud cover.

And then, because I could, I took this panorama of the whole area. Remember that you can make the image larger by clicking on it.

As I've said many times, anything that stands still for more than five minutes in Oregon is covered in moss. This was growing on a fence post along the way.

There were lots of fat robins along the way eating lots of fat earthworms. I was wishing this one would turn around and show me his red breast, but no dice.

And I decided that today was the day to hang out my dryer lint. I've been collecting dryer lint for a year. I hang it out under the eaves in spring for the birds to use in their little birdie nests. Last year, I included bits of thread and snips of fabric, but they preferred the dryer lint. This year, they got nothing but. I'm going to be curious to see how long this lasts.

Now you know what a year's worth of dryer lint looks like...plus or minus a few fibers.

Smitty is glad for a good dust bath. It's been a long while since the driveway was dry enough for rolling. Both kitties love to get out and roll and roll and roll until they come in filthy with dust and bits of pine needles stuck to their fur.

His fur is so pretty in the sun.

So the day has kind of gotten away from me at this point, but it has been a good day. I've been doing laundry, and I still need to clean one of the bathrooms, make up a menu for the week, and a grocery shopping list for tomorrow. No sewing for me today, which is fine. I've been sewing every day for at least ten days or so, and so I don't mind missing a day. Besides, my sewing room is in the basement with no natural light. It's much too pretty to hide away in there.

And now my dryer is calling me. I hope you had a lovely day too.

Answer: The cat's name was "Puff".

22 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

Isn't it nice to get a bit of sun finally, I enjoy what I can and hate being inside if I can get out. You live in a beautiful area and perfect place to get out and walk.


carla said...

Hi!!! Wow!!! It was a beautiful day in Ky today too!!!! Thanks for all the wonderful pics!!!! I was out with the grand daughter for awhile today!!!! It is so nice to have good weather!!!! Things are turning green!!!! So nice after such a long winter!!!!

Christine M said...

Great post Barbara. I love the photos of the barn at different times.

barbara woods said...

14th your as old as i am

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I still have a Dick and Jane book. My grandfather had a herd of Herefords. We got a side of beef every year. Yum! His cows were well taken care of.

Junebug613 said...

Great post. I whole heartedly agree with Temple. So glad you enjoyed your day! I never read any of the Dick and Jane books. As an avid reader from an early age, I don't know why I didn't. Weird, huh?

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I did not remember the cat's name and I read Dick and Jane. We had a lovely day here, too and I ran a few errands and parked the car and walk the main street. Housework and paperwork again today - maybe some sewing tomorrow.

Tami C said...

Great that the birds get your dryer lint! Mine goes in the dog beds that the Green Bag Lady makes along with any sliver trimming that I do.
Thanks for the lovely pictures today!

Dasha said...

What a lovely walk Barbara. You are great with that camera of yours. I think I must have had a deprived childhood - I had never heard of Dick and Jane, despite being a prolific reader as a child until 2 years ago when my friend Jan made a quilt for Stitching Hearts out of D&J fabric, so my poor daughter missed out too. Smitty is just beautiful.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I remembered the cat's name, I loved Dick and Jane, in fact I gave my granddaughter a huge book with all the stories in it.

Dana Gaffney said...

Wonderful pictures and a beautiful day! I had no idea what the cat's name was.

Doris Rice said...

I still have a few Dick and Jane Books that I rescued from a dumpster dive when the old elementary school was closing and throwing their books away. Don't know why they didn't move them to the new school library. It made me sick! But I have some classic old books now. It was a beautiful day in Central Texas too. Would have loved to actually take a walk with you. A torn meniscus is keeping me grounded for a while. Your scenery is beautiful! Thanks for the journey.

Barb H said...

I remember Puff! You've had a beautiful day in Oregon and I'm glad you got out to enjoy it. I have heard, however, that dryer lint shouldn't be put out for bird nests because it hardens when it gets rained on. Don't know if that's true since I've not tried it. Just sayin'.

Quilting Babcia said...

We also learned to read with Dick, Jane, Spot and Puff. I thought everyone did! So gorgeous in Oregon in the spring. Makes me want to open up all the windows - until I remember the pollen count.

LynCC said...

I sure enjoyed your pretty walk pictures - thanks for sharing!

mogsinc said...

I have wished to comment before but I have not been able to figure out how! Hopefully, this works. I do enjoy participating in your life. Thank you for the wonderful photos. Where I am, Western Australia, we are finishing a really hot, dry Summer. It hasn't rained for at least a couple of months. The land is dry and parched. It is lovely to see your green. Enjoy your beautiful day!

works4me said...

What a great way to spend a day. It was sunny in Vancouver, BC also but I was stuck inside working. At least I was able to open the blinds and enjoy the sun, plus enjoy it through your post.

I appreciate you sharing your life with us.

Key Elements said...

I am going to have to start sharing my dryer lint. I love the idea. I do not think you can have too many bird feeders or hummingbird nectar jars. It is always so special to see those little creatures swooping in and out of the trees gathering seeds. I am sure they will appreciate a bit of stuffing for their nest.

Brown Family said...

What a beautiful day! We raised Herefords when I was a kid and then dad switched to Brangus - Angus and Brahma mix. I missed the lovely white faces!

Marei said...

Ah....Fun with Dick and Jane....brings back great memories for me. I felt so grown up when I learned to read with them. :) I, too, had a beautiful day spent outside. Ate lunch in the backyard, played with the dog, finished up a book AND got some quilting done inside. Yes...a good day indeed.

quiltzyx said...

I did not know the cat's name was Puff. In fact, I didn't even remember there WAS a cat!

I'm glad you had a beautiful sunshiny day & opted for a walk instead of a swim. That way I got to see those wonderful pics you took! (Sometimes I'm selfish that way...)

Michele said...

I loved seeing all the beautiful pictures and it made me wish for some signs of spring here. I never thought about saving the dryer lint for the birds but will do that now.