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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Snow on Wednesday

The forecast said "Snow on Wednesday", but I did not realize this would be waiting for me when I got up this morning!

Just outside the sliding glass door to my bedroom, a winter wonderland awaited.

And the snow at the front was almost as inviting.

I drove my daughter to a friend's house for a sleepover after school yesterday, so she is getting to spend her snow day off from school over there. It's just me and Bow and the dogs and the birds. Bow asked to go outside, but he soon thought better of it.

He was all cheerful and playful on his way down the corridor to the airlock, but he drew the line at crossing the threshold into the outer pen.

Once safely back indoors, Bow cheerfully engaged me in a few leisurely games of chase, which are a good way to stay warm while both exercising and socializing.

It's quite possible that all this snow will melt by evening, but just in case we are snowed in we are covered, as I went and bought groceries last night. I almost did not hear the cashier calling me to let me know another register was opening, so absorbed was I by the new issue of TIME I picked up while waiting in line -- with all the latest news about Alexander Hamilton.

They lured me in with the promise of an exposé on his "tragic fate." I was hoping for candid pictures of Burr.Instead Burr was smeared as a "secessionist", and Hamilton's vision for America was praised.  "America has grown into the country that Hamilton envisioned." 

 Here is my opinion of Hamilton's vision for America:

Anyway, while at the grocery store, I stocked up on food as well as reading material. We will not starve due to the snow.

For dessert for lunch today, we had this cake I baked last night using my own homemade dough with cherry jam. My daughter hates anything with a cherry flavor, but somebody gave us this cherry jam a while back. And I decided to use the jam while she is at the sleepover with a friend to make a cold weather treat for Bow and me.

A lot of people conflate creative efforts and personal labor -- whether in the kitchen or in other endeavors -- with wealth creation.

I would like to think that I created "wealth" by using the flour and the butter and milk and shortening and baking powder and the jam and baking them all together to make something new. It certainly would have cost more if I had bought a cake or pie ready-made at the store.

Bow and I  did enjoy having it for dessert!

But when all is said and done, I'm afraid that baking something and then eating it ourselves is just plain consumption and not wealth creation at all.  Only if I had managed to sell the cake to somebody else would it count as wealth creation. But that in itself is a small mercy, as it also means this particular transaction between me and Bow will never get taxed! We can eat our cake and not give a single crumb of it to the government.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Almost Spring

Yesterday was so warm that it felt like spring. I went for a walk in the pasture, and a butterfly flew past me! Bow and the dogs were all feeling the warmth in the air, and we all congregated outdoors.

But while Bow just wanted to sit in a high place and enjoy the warmth, Leo wanted to play, and he jumped high in the air and barked to draw Bow's attention.

I called Leo over and asked him to stop pestering Bow, and he came by to the other side of the pen, complying with my request. It was such a nice day that I even took my own turn on the swing. Brownie, who is no longer a young dog, walked by and dropped a rock he hoped someone would throw so he could retrieve it.

In some neighbors' yards, the daffodils are already blooming. But ours got burned in the grass fire, so it may take a little longer this year. That's okay, because there is snow scheduled for Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

An Ordinary Day

Now that all the excitement of Bow's birthday is over, we are having an ordinary day. What does Bow do on ordinary days? Besides those fun times during breakfast, lunch, snack time, and dinner, when food is the focus, Bow likes to go outside and see what is going on.

Bow goes outside on a foggy morning.
Posted by Project Bow Fan Page on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

He also likes to listen to music. Today, he watched Lady Gaga's recent rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

Bow naps. Bow helps me proof books. He sometimes will listen to one of the songs from The Debt Collector.

Bow visits with his friend who brings him the bananas once a week. And he reads the issues of the Missouri Conservationist that she brings him.

It's possible to have a lot of fun even on an ordinary day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bow's Birthday Party 2016

Today,  Bow turned fourteen. But yesterday, since it was a holiday and a day off from school, we held his annual birthday party.

The birthday cake was decorated with candles shape like a one and a four. It was a cheesecake, as usual, pre-sliced and in a variety of flavors.

There was also Bluebell Dutch Chocolate ice cream. What more could anyone want?

Seeing all the preparations in progress, Bow waited impatiently for his party to start.

 Present at the celebration were Sword, her boyfriend Orion, Lawrence, his youngest daughter Lori, and of course, myself and Bow. Bow was disappointed that his friend who brings bananas was not able to come. He kept a lookout for her even after the party began.

Enjoying the birthday cake

The birthday song was sung, the candles were blown, and Bow had a slice of chocolate cheesecake followed  closely by ice cream.

Presents  were opened.

Bow got a red winter hat and matching gloves.

 Lawrence helped Bow to wear the gloves like socks on his feet.

Bow also enjoyed interacting with Lori.

The played chase and jumped together, but they also enjoyed quiet moments communing through the grid.

All in all, it was a happy birthday celebration.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bow Braves the Snow on Valentine's Day

Bow in the outer pen this afternoon
Today is Valentine's Day, and it snowed in the morning. But yesterday, the day after the fire, there was still smoke curling up from some of the stumps in the woods.

I walked though the forest and noticed a few smoldering embers.

I wondered whether any of it still might be a latent fire hazard. It smelled nice, like a campfire.

But this morning there was a blanket of snow covering the burnt portions of the land. No more fire hazard. All is safe and cold and white.

Bow waited until the afternoon to brave the cold so he could lounge about on his bench for a few moments.

He was careful not to set foot on the snow covered floor, and even wiped off the rim of the bench before lying down. Then he gave me a happy backwards glance before settling down.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Fire Close to Home

There was a fire on my land today, but we are all safe and no one was hurt.

The fire originated in the neighboring field
The grass and leaves burned behind my house and into the woods
My daughter and I went on an out of town shopping trip for the day. Lawrence stayed with Bow. Before dinner, Bow and Lawrence spotted smoke blowing outside, from the direction of the neighbor field. Lawrence went out and saw that the fire was spreading to my land and burning the grass behind the house and into the woods and almost up the to the barn.

Bow gave Lawrence permission to go outside and see what he could do to stop the fire.

Lawrence used two of Bow's towels to beat down the fire. Meanwhile, Bow ate an apple in the safety of the inner pen. Lawrence did not have time to call the fire department, but the neighbors must have called them, as they arrived on the scene and also worked to put out the fire.

Lawrence and the local volunteer fire department successfully  battled the fire. By the time I got home, this is what I saw.

Luckily, the majority of the fire was put out, and nothing but grass, leaves and some wood piles burned, while all the structures were spared and no one was hurt.

We don't know how the fire started, but it did not originate on my land.

In the clip below you can see the wind blowing the smoke from the direction of the neighbor field toward my land, while the fire fighters put out the last of the dead wood fires in the woods.

We were lucky to have such a responsive local volunteer fire department.

However, this was a close call. I hope it does not ever happen again.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

An an Unexpected Birthday Card

Today in the mail Bow received an unexpected piece of correspondence.

Inside the envelope addressed to him, but with no return address was a birthday card with a cat on it.

The cat was a ginger kitten that reminded me of Nile. When the card was opened, it played the birthday song, only with cats meowing.

Bow listened, chewed on the card a little, shook it along with the beat of the music, then closed it to silence the cats and handed it back to me.

Afterwards he pointed toward the front door frantically several times, before spelling. "הם לא באו" -- "They didn't come!"

It turns out Bow thought it must be his birthday, if he got a birthday card in the mail today, and he was a little upset that nobody had come to his birthday party. I had to reassure him that today is neither his actual birthday nor the day we set for his birthday party to take place this year. Eventually, he calmed down.

It is hard to explain to an intelligent, literate, but impatient chimpanzee that the arrival of a birthday card in the mail does not necessarily mean that today is his birthday.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

More from The Missouri Conservationist

Bow's friend came by again this past week and brought him two new issues of the Missouri Conservationist to read. Actually, they had a very nice visit, and Bow enjoyed the socializing much more than any gifts she brought. Bow is at heart a very social person, and more than any material object, he likes to interact with people. He likes getting his back scratched, even if it is only with a pipe cleaner through the grid. He likes to groom and be groomed, to make faces, to jump in unison and to interact with others.

Bow is fundamentally social. More than anything else, he likes people. Which is why in the two issues of the Missouri Conservationist that he looked at this week, his favorite image was of a large group of men all standing together as one.

"I am Conservation," the not-so-large title at the back of the magazine reads. Then, underneath the photo it says: "Members of the Frederick Douglass Wildlife and Conservation Club pose for a photo at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Louis, the site of club fishing trips at least twice. a year." Many of the men have their fishing poles with them. Bow looked at this image first before any other. He silently surveyed the group for a good long moment,  and he came back to this shot several times while leafing through the magazines.

Yes, there were other photos he looked at. But he paused only briefly to look at images of deer.

His main focus was humans.

And he especially enjoyed images of humans interacting with other humans.

The images of sportsmen buddies captivated Bow the most. He's a people person.