Saturday, July 20, 2013

Life in Our Word - In Up-Close Pictures

This was a pretty normal week for us.  Normal looks like work.  

One day Calvin had to visit a farmer 90 miles away so he took me with him and dropped me off at Melanie's so I could visit her and get my hair cut.  It's always fun to be with Melanie.

I'm taking a historical biography class and am writing Calvin's history as my project.  I downloaded a free i-Phone app with a good voice recorder and while Calvin drove I interviewed him.  He spent the time talking about his dad.  Calvin's dad was such a pleasant and happy man and had lots of side projects.  One of them was bee keeping.  Hearing Calvin tell stories of collecting honey (and the scorpions, black widows, and rattlesnakes that hid underneath the boxes) was a great way to pass the time driving.   

After the whizzbang-chicken-plucker worked so well, Calvin ordered another hundred and twenty five chicks -- one hundred for a friend and twenty-five for us.

The company shipped them through the post-office.  The post-office should use the fact that they can still deliver live birds in a timely manner in their advertisements.  At least it helped to restore my faith in them a bit.

I made 6 batches of raspberry jam and froze 20 quarts of berries for pies, cakes, and fruit leather.

I was short one box of pectin when I was making jam.  When I realized it, it was too late to do anything but improvise.  I added a bunch of applesauce (apples are a fruit higher in pectin than most) to help it set and it worked.  It's beautiful and good.

Most every morning I go out and pick a handful for breakfast.  And most every morning I tell myself that there is nothing quite like a sun-ripened warm raspberry.

A neighbor called Calvin and asked him if he could borrow the egg incubator.  While the neighbor was swathing hay he had spooked up a pheasant and was afraid she wouldn't come back to claim her nest.  The eggs were just about to hatch (one had cracked open and the bird was completely formed).  Calvin delivered the incubator, but ended up bringing the eggs home instead.  They hatched two days later.  

The little pheasants are w-i-l-d.  They flutter around and bump into each other and then as if on cue they all freeze and hold perfectly still.  Spook them and they're like pinballs bouncing off each other again.

I keep telling them they're going to die of a heart attack if they don't settle down.  So far they haven't settled down nor have they had a heart attack.  Calvin will release them back to the wild when they're a little older.

And then . . . well, and then some hunter will probably shoot them.

Which reminds me of the time that Calvin brought a hurt bird home.  Cali lived at home then and the two of them found that bird a cage, lined it with newspaper, and fixed him some food and water.  Then they waited and waited and watched him heal.  Later when he was strong (hours or days I don't remember), they opened his cage door and helped him fly away.  First place he went was down on the grass to hop around.

Quick as a wink, the dog pounced on him and ate him.

Life is grand, but it isn't fair.

Which reminds me of this quote by President Hinckley:

"Life is like that—ups and downs, a bump on the head, and a crack on the shins. It was ever thus. Hamlet went about crying, “To be or not to be,” but that didn't solve any of his problems. There is something of a tendency among us to think that everything must be lovely and rosy and beautiful without realizing that even adversity has some sweet uses. One of my favorite newspaper columnists is Jenkin Lloyd Jones. In a recent article published in the News, he commented:

'There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks, to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and ravishing wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear, the divorce courts are jammed.

'Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .

'Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.'"

And that's life in our world this week.  An old-time rail journey . . . 


Michelle said...

Thank you for this. That quote from President Hinckley was the icing on the cake for a lot of my thoughts and some studying I've done this week. Thank you.

Ande said...

"Life is grand, but it's not fair." What a wise and profound quip. I love how your posts link together.

Lucy said...

Love it all.

Janae said...

This is a great post! I love it. Your dog pouncing on the bird story reminds me of a similar one. When my oldest two children were very small and we were coming out of Babies R Us in Las Vegas. A big white pigeon came and landed in the street up ahead of us. "Oh look at the birdie!" I said to my boys. And just as they looked, a car ran it right over. LOL

Jill said...

Beautiful pictures Jane! I'm so glad the spider wasn't included in the web photo!