Posts Tagged ‘fossils’

Greetings Gentle Readers,
Father’s Day has come and gone and now Summer is finally upon us. Allow me, if you will, to give a belated salute to father’s everywhere. I have a dear friend that chose not only to open up his heart a second time but to adopt and become an instant father as well. I can only thank the wonderful men out there who decided that they wanted to be not only a teacher and protector but an example of manhood to a little girl or boy out there. So many men I know help to prove that fatherhood is in the heart and mind if not always from the blood. Thank You Gentlemen!

Summer here in Chicagoland has been amazingly gentle and rainy. Solstice was spent near the Bridgeport area collecting Ordivician fossils. While I will admit that fossils are not my most favorite there are aspects that still fascinate and beguile. The ride with the Lizzadro Museum was pleasantly uneventful and as the bus looped its way to the bottom of the quarry I once again was in awe of how one area can be so replete with stone. The day was overcast yet just sunny enough to require sun screen. The quarry piles were filled with fossils and here is the fascination: At one point in the past this area was covered by sea life and aquatic critters to such an extent that even with tides and storms there were yards deep deposited to a sea floor. Climbing to the top of a shifting pile of stones and you feel like the whole small world is yours. Every stone has some sort of fossil from a weathered calcite crystal imprint to snails and clams to the elusive receptoculites. A father was there with his two children and we both managed to find pyrite cubes with calcite and fossils. It warmed my heart to see someone openly sharing the natural world with their children. Even the young girlie girls were exploring the quarry while one young boy decided to tell me about the living creatures that were in the pond. And here I will digress Gentle Reader and admit that I have always wanted to skinny dip in a quarry pond; the thought of all the stone around me with open blue sky above and cool water lapping around my bare legs. But I warn those who are as romantic in vision as I am: Most quarry ponds have a bad ph and will do equally bad things to your skin.

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Sunday was cool and pleasant enough to have the air conditioning off and the windows open. Somewhere in the neighborhood there was a live band playing perky modern jazz and the music floated across the breeze. At the other side of the apartment a World Cup Party was in progress and one could hear the cheering and exclaiming. Even with a migraine the day was bucolic and pleasant.


The cotton wood trees are a new experience for me.  For a week the street was lined with great poofs of fluffy white while the air looked almost silky when the sunbeams cut through the tree branches.  Somehow it was like walking through a fairy tale world and did bring a special feeling to the morning dog walks.  Not as romantic but still as poetic in its own right is the great mulberry plopping that comes after the cottonwood tree seeding.  The same thunder storms that flatten down the white tree fluff now bring down plump purple-black fruits all over the porch and sidewalk.  The ninja squirrels are even more hyper as they feast on the mulberries, running from the seeds at the feeder to the mulberry tree.


And because the mulberry plopping tree is outside by the porch that leads to the laundry, I am reminded, Gentle Reader that I need to go and empty the dryer of it’s contents.  So I end this post wishing you gentle winds, glorious rains, and sunny days.

Be Well

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Hello, Dearest Readers,

Today is a soft and rainy day in Chicago. Last nights’ storm of steel grey clouds and ominous glow moved out over Lake Michigan and left us with gentle rain. Trees are leafing out and gardens are sprouting crocus, tulips, and daffodils. Down home in North Carolina and across the South they are battening down the hatches and watching for tornadoes while last week parts of the Pacific North West had snow fall. Wherever you are Gentle Reader I hope you are safe and dry.

Mother’s Day is coming and then Father’s Day soon after. While not all of us have reasons to celebrate and love, enough do that I want to celebrate Mothers with you.  For many women motherhood is a choice what with birth control, adoption, and final options.  And I have a Dear Girlfriend who made that choice.  I can’t tell you her whole story for it is hers to tell but here are the parts that count for Mother’s Day: In her thirties she was single and pregnant with no strong family to lean on and a delinquent father of the baby.  She not only gave birth and decided to love and raise the baby but got her bachelors degree then moved to North Carolina to finish her Master’s Degree in biology.  Now any nay sayers may say  “So she is smart.  Should I be impressed?”  My Dear Girlfriend’s intellect is not the purpose of this story.  She chose to be the mother to a wonderful baby girl and not just rest on her laurels.  She chose to ignore the statistics that said she should fail and went on to prove to others and one day to a young girl that mother’s and therefore girls can achieve the proverbial impossible.  I send my salute not only to Dear Girlfriend but to all mothers that try every day to prove to daughters and sons alike that the world is yours if you never give up.

In the interests of spoiling me rotten and gaining more of my undying love, my Beloved Husband has taken me to the Lake Michigan beach and helped me collect stones to my hearts content.  Oh what a delight it was ti hear the surf crashing over and over, to feel the warm sand under my feet and to gaze at a beach made of tumbled stones.  I even managed to find the elusive Lake Michigan agate and those special rocks showing compacted breccia from the glaciers that once flattened the land and dropped these very stones.  For more fantastic stones and rocks try my web site:   http://intartia303.wix.com/bonesofthe-earth

And here are some of those pictures from my beach sojourn.IMG_0300 IMG_0297 IMG_0294 IMG_0293

I never  anticipated so many fossil stones and to even find such a glorious agate, but Mother earth and Mother Ocean came through and my prayer before hand didn’t hurt either.  Yes Dear Reader there are no atheists in fox holes or when collecting rocks.

Blessings of the Sky and Earth and Sun to you, Gentle Readers,

Be Well

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Hello World and any intrepid internet explorer who manages to stumble across this blog in the wilds of the world wide web,

Blogging is far harder than I ever thought and more of a personal experience than expected. I loved sharing stories about the squirrels around the house and the owls nesting somewhere in the neighborhood and then we moved.  Although Darling Husband and I are far happier than we were at the house, ‘poof’ goes my garden and squirrels and bird feeder.  I still feel as though I have somehow betrayed the animals in the old neighborhood.  I did take as many of the yard’s plants as I could with me and most of them are currently overgrowing the library sewing room in a hodge-podge of planters and pots. What was supposed to be a book retreat has turned into a miniature arboretum with vines and leafs slowly moving over every surface.

The apartment complex has a few nesting merlins nearby and at night we can hear the ‘Kee, kee, ke, ke, ke” as they swoop across the parking lot to the sump ponds and neighborhoods behind us.  Be they weedy brown sump ponds or not there are thriving colonies of frogs that have croaked and ‘gerped’ their way through the summer.  Now they are going quiet as winter sets in early for NC.  And yet the other day i saw an egret in one of the ponds just standing there with the mud and mushrooms as though it was always coming to visit.  The mountains here have already had several feet of snow thanks to the super storm Sandy and the Piedmont has been waiting in wonder for our snow.  During Sandy I could smell the snow on the morning breeze and see the grey clouds rippling across the sky but they never became heavy enough to drop on us.

Fear not any of you Intrepid Readers who have liked my blogs for the web and shopping sites, I have plenty of thumbs-ups to give around.  There is a site that sells very nice and well priced artisan made jewelry called Trader Lou’s at traderlou.com .   He sells larimar in good blue color that is hard to find in the states and often runs sales and contests.  It is a right nifty web site and so far has seemed to be on the up-and -up.

A part of my life has now been spent on Face Book.  I will not sit here and deride it and say it is horrible when I talk to friends every day and share pictures and dreams with them.  FB is like a pen-pall service that supports pictures and music clips from U-Tube.  For a year now I have been writing with a friend from Morocco.  I count myself so lucky that we met through collecting rocks.  While all rocks are a wondrous the rocks and fossils from Morocco are particularly lush.  My friend lives in the city of Rissani.  Far from the blue and ancient ocean, Rissani sits nestled next to the ever changing desert like an old yet proud sentry to the inside of the country.  This is the land of the Berber and I can just imagine the sounds and people around me as the sun sets.  Not only is Rissani an ancient capital of the region it is an area of oasis spas and cyber cafes.  With every picture Hami sends me my bucket list grows.  Here are some pictures to help where my words may fail me.

Oasis paradise with Berber tents.

Even unwashed it is amazing!

Moroccan amethyst, this is considered normal!

Berber woman with book

My good friend Hami.

Desert tea

As I look over just a few of the pictures I have posted for you it is still amazing to be a part of a desert country while a cold winter begins to set in here in America.  The nights are getting so chill and frost is starting to nip at the windows and blades of grass.  There are still coyotes that roam around the neighborhoods, choosing between small animals and trash cans for a delectable dinner.  Tonight the moon has a golden cast in her wake and the stars are hiding and flirting with the clouds.

Be Well Dear Readers

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Welcome to the Candle Moon and the Horn Moon of February. The Romans set aside this month as a month of cleanliness and atonement; the word is februa “to cleanse.” And
Lent started yesterday with Ash Wednesday a day for contrition and reflection. We also entered the Year of The Tiger this past Sunday, the 14th, with the Chinese Calendar.

I am finally awake enough to sit and type up everything that has been going on. Shameful perhaps but while I am unemployed I get used to having my afternoon nap and now that I am working again I am a zombie once I get home. Yes, the exhibit is actually excellent, the children and parents are all enjoying it. We are all talking about trying to take trips to find fossils and the biggest challenge is picking a day we all have off.

The strange paw prints in the front of the yard are from a fox. We saw it last night as it crossed the side yard in the night time darkness lit by the street lamp on the corner. How wonderful to finally see who our night time visitors are.

Now I love my rocks and enjoy fossils and flip over cook books but one of the favorite other hobbies is needle work. Following a pattern is pretty difficult for me and not the fulfilling project my mother found it. Several years ago I made a heavily decorated Christmas stocking for my sweetie pie. Several of my friends said that my embellishment was excellent and the embroidery was prime “primitive American”. These friends are some of the most incredible needle workers I have ever met and are members of the Embroiderers Guild of America. My pride sky rocketed. Almost every time I go over for tea and girl talk, there is another beautiful sample of needle work on the coffee table: hand made lace, stump work, silk embroidery, crazy quilting, and other feats of needle work prowess. It amazes me that my Dear Friend can be hesitant or even shy about her work, yet we all can have bouts of nervous modesty with what we can do.

I am very proud to announce that this Dear Friend has finally made an instructional guide for beginning stumpwork. This guide is free and is the first installment in a series. Dear Friend is computer savvy and has given tons of ways to down-load the information and the patterns. If you want to try some fancy needle work that will impress the H*ll out of people and can be done in the evenings, got to her site http://stitchingwithashimmy.com/2010/02/12/jacobean-design-in-stumpwork/ (If you note the shimmy part of the address she also Belly Dances and as a student and peer of hers I can say that the lush hour glass figure is wonderful and lovely. Her dance troop absolutely blows people away with their whimsy and talent. It is the love of dance and physical expression that pours forth from every dancer and just adds to the visual beauty.)

I would like to sing the praises of faithful and loving spouses. My husband is frantically painting what must be hundreds of 28mm miniatures and still finds time to help maker dinner. He goes on fossil trips with me to PCS Phosphate in Aurora, NC even though he would rather watch paint peel. Many years ago he took me to dig crystals in SC for our Anniversary and cooled his heels for hours in a small town while I merrily dug. Now I have started to work again and the house is ankle deep in pet hair and this Saturday he will go to competition all day when I could use help with taming dust bunnies. I don’t care. Of all the loving times he has spent carrying my rock bucket I am more than willing to have My Warhammer General come home happy. Some events I go with him and support him quietly while he plays even though tactics games are not mu cup of tea. ( read paint pealing) Supporting the one you love is a way of showing love and strengthening a relationship: I like helping paint his miniatures and he uses some of my rocks for his displays.

The days are getting longer and soon the warmer winds will blow across our barren gardens and trees. Hold in our memories the frozen days and snowy nights so that the May heat will be tempered.

Be well

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Tonight is The Wolf Moon; the night when the moon is at its perigee, closest path, with the Earth and full as well. This is also the first full moon of the year (for the European calendar.) ( The Chinese New Year is in March this year.) The Wolf Moon takes its name from native American myth and belief of wolfs howling at the moon. Coyote certainly does.

All you shark tooth hunters out there in NC, the Museum of Natural Sciences is bringing in Megladon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived in February 13th.  Hopefully there will be a fossil festival of some sort connected to the exhibit.  There are so many rock and fossil hounds that would love to show off their collections and see more about the hobby.   Plus the chance to encourage young children is emence.

I ran across this quote while reworking my bookshelfs and want to share this as wisdom that still reverberates today:

Three people that are the hardest to talk to:

A king bent on conquest,

A Viking in his armor,

and a low-born man protecting his patronage.

As we all begin to ford up our homes and stay warm while unknown amounts of ice and snow come our way (Here In the South we have had more of a bad Spring than a real winter) don’t forget the birds and squirrels. Squirrels for a couple of years now have been stressed in their squirrel sort of way. Trees are not making as many cones nuts and berries as normal so when real winter weather comes then they can get very hungry. Stale nuts left over from Christmass, that half a pack of stale buns in the refrigerator, pop corn kernels at the bottom of the microwave bag, and even the cheap cat food that was snubbed for two days can all go out to feed the squirrels and birds.

The cows in the field at the other end of my neighborhood have been lowing like crazy since noon and now the birds are starting to hit the berry bushes and go to ground. Even my dog is pacing a lot. Last night it was storming in Texas and a cold front was dropping temperatures in Philly.   As of five O’clock there is heavy snow in Asheville and about an inch in Boone.  The positive side to this is that cold causes erosion and brings out gems, rocks, minerals, and fossils in the spring.

Stay warm and well:  If not warm then well and if not well then warm.

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