The Path To Spring And A Table For 5

This is the newly shoveled path to the shed.  Of course, we would need something out of the shed while it is surrounded by a couple of feet of snow and topped with ice from one of the last storms that went through.  After the shoveling was done (and not by us thank god), I thought this picture was a sign of hope for all things green.  As you can see, even under the most terrible winter conditions imaginable, there is green at the bottom of the drifts.  Green, here’s a color we haven’t seen for a while.  This reminds me that spring is right around the corner.  In fact, it has even warmed up here a little bit with today’s temperature at a balmy 54 degrees.  Now is the time that I get myself prepared for the gardening that is right around the corner.  I find myself once again buying too many vegetable seeds that I don’t need, figuring out which new plants I want to buy and plant in the flower gardens and how I will probably once again be wishing for winter about mid August when I feel totally overwhelmed by all that is growing around me.  Tell me how you are preparing for spring in your neck of the woods?

Oh, by the way, we still have a lot of melting to go here in Connecticut.  Table for 5 anyone?

They Are Back

This is a chipmunk.  They have begun their season of terror.  After a long winter’s sleep, they are awake and back in force on Glen Road.  Today, I looked out of the window and there they were.  Running, playing, clicking.  It’s the clicking I can’t stand.  I have read in some articles that they click when they sense danger and other articles point out that it is how they mate.  All I know is that when I hear clicking at 7 AM on a Saturday morning, I would like to run up to them and wring their little necks.  If only I could catch them!  The rest of the family on Glen Road comes from Brooklyn, NY.  Wildlife there consisted of horrible stories people would tell them about the 20 pound rat or attacks from killer cockroaches that could fly after you.  Anytime the Brooklyn side sees a chipmunk, there is screaming, yelling and crying.  EVERYONE, GET INTO THE HOUSE!  MOUSE!  RUN!  WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN?!  They make me anxious when I catch one running across the patio out of the corner of my eye as the last rays of sun beam down.  WHAT WAS THAT?  IS SOMEONE OUT THERE?  For the most part, our move to the country has been great….we could just do without so much wildlife, especially the chipmunks.  What wildlife terror stories do you have to share?

Meet JoJo…bark!

This is the dog that lives on Glen Road.  My name is JoJo and I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little about me.  I am a girl Yorkshire Terrier…a diva yorkie.  I was born in 2007 and am 3 years old.  I was purchased by my owner when I was very little and named after her (Josephine) and her late husband (Joseph).  They were often times referred to as the “Jo and Joe” team so it only made sense to shorten that up and call me simply JoJo.  I lived in Boynton Beach, Florida most of my life, where it was warm and I could look out over the Intercoastal waterway.  Last fall, I made the move to Connecticut and to the house on Glen Road.  When the acorns fell on the roof during that autumn, I barked almost every time I heard the cracking noise of one hitting the shingles.  My throat was sore for months from all that barking, but I’m over that now.  It is cold here now and my neighbor dogs tell me that my first winter here has the most snow that they have ever seen.  Many days this winter I didn’t even want to go outside because the yard was too cold for my little paws.  I eat and drink out of two small bowls that are red and white and have a little dog painted on the bottom.  While I am very small, I do like my food and tend to lick my food bowl clean every morning and every night.  I like to play with my toys and like my family to throw them and then watch me run after them.  I sleep in the master bedroom every night and have been known to snore loudly even though I am so little. 

So this is the beginning of what I hope is a frequent contribution to “Acorns On Glen”.  I’m calling my contributions “JoJo’s Journal“.  Don’t all blogs need a dog’s perspective?  I do have a unique perspective given I see things from less than a foot above the ground.  Please feel free to leave me some comments—what would you like to hear about from me?

In closing, our house is very supportive in the rights of all animals.  Always be kind to your pets and other animals you meet along the way.  You never know what they will do if you treat them poorly.  I am lucky to have a great family.  My friend (may he rest in peace) did not.  He hated them!  Here are his thoughts post his passing:

The Revenant by Billy Collins

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you–not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and–greatest of insults–shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all of my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner–that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

I’m just joking with you.  I don’t know this dog.  Billy Collins is a favorite poet here on Glen.  We last saw him live at a broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion” in Manhattan.  So you know, Billy Collins is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York and is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida. Collins was recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004-2006.  Billy Collins has been called “The most popular poet in America” by the New York Times.

Until the next edition of “JoJo’s Journal”……peace and bark!

Happy Valentine’s Day With History

This is Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2011.  I like the holiday only because I have someone who buys me cards and wishes me a happy day……and yes, this person loves me.  I did not like it when I was single.  I have a friend who used to go out with me on the evening of Valentine’s Day.  It seems we were always dressed in a depressing manner….you know, lots of black and other dark hues.  We would sit in a random bar/restaurant and moan, groan and laugh at all the couples who were together for this special night.  Love, who needs it.  We were jealous!  So now that I have someone special in my life, we always try to go out with our single friends on this special day so that they aren’t left by themselves to make fun of  any couple who ventures out to express their affection.  Anyway, hecklers tend not to be in fashion on this special day of love.  So this morning, I asked myself where did this idea of a special day get its beginning?  Is there such a person as St. Valentine?  A little research across the web and, low and behold, a history I obtained from Yahoo Buzz that I thought you might enjoy.

“So how was Valentine’s Day created?  Who was St. Valentine?  Was he a great lover a la Casanova?  Was he even a real person?  According to Catholic Online, St. Valentine was very real, but he probably wasn’t a smooth operator with the ladies.

“Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II.”  For his trouble, Valentine was beaten and then executed after authorities were unable to get him to renounce his faith.  His death occurred on February 14.

As with many events that occurred so long ago, other theories abound.  Indeed, there were several different Valentines, and nobody is 100 percent sure which one was which.  Some believe he was a priest, others believe he was a bishop, some believe he was a combination of the two, and still others believe he was someone else entirely.  All that said, there is little doubt among experts that Valentine did exist in one form or another.

As for how the holiday came to represent love and kisses, there are a few different theories for that as well. According to a blog specializing in saints, “some believe the Romans had a mid-February custom where boys drew the names of girls in honor of the sex and fertility goddess, Februata Juno.”  Others feel the custom of greetings “stems from the belief that birds begin to pair on that date.”

So today, if you are frantically searching for flowers, a box of candy or sitting at a bar/restaurant looking to sneer at anyone who looks romantic, remember….it’s all thanks to the one and only St. Valentine, whoever he was.

New Beginnings (aka My First Blog Post)…

This is my house.  It sits on Glen Road in Connecticut.  If you look closely, you may be able to see some oak trees that drop acorns out of the sky onto our roof every autumn.  Sometimes they fall so hard they remind me of bullets out of a gun.  Don’t get into their way!  So now you get my site name, Acorns on Glen.  The picture is what I want my blog to describe….beginnings.  If you look to the left, you will see the new construction.  I know…who builds in the winter, especially this winter?  Me!  Around 1,500 square feet to attach the garage to the main house.  New space, new decorating…..new beginnings.  Also, look at the snow.  Underneath the nearly three feet of ice-covered snow, I have planted so many plants and they are all waiting to rise up in spring…..more new beginnings.  I know that there are thousands of sites that are trying to find out what is “real” in life.  You may like them better, but maybe you’ll like mine.  If you do, I thank you, and, if you don’t, I understand.  In the next few weeks, get to know me, my family, my town and my new beginnings.  It all starts now….let’s begin!