Hello February!


"We'll have tea for two sometime

if you will  be my valentine."



 from a vintage greeting card . . . 

Red Tea Cups

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Knitting With Rabbits

Do you see the tiny charms at the bottom of these knitting needles?  They are two metal rabbits, given to me by my daughter-in-law three or so years ago.  When I put them on the tip of my knitting needle, they keep the yarn from sliding off (or being pulled off by Tucker The Dog).  Even better though, they make a small wood-like click when my hands move back and forth to knit. The sound is barely audible, which is one of the things I like about it. Who would know but me, and of course the rabbits? 


I started knitting another potholder this weekend from a skein of yarn I've hoarded for several years, saving it for something special.  That "something," I finally determined, would be not just a potholder, but a potholder extraordinaire.  You can see the beginnings of it in this picture.  

I say hoarding because that's what it is when you refuse to use something just because you might want it for . . . I don't know--something else?  Does that make sense? 


Last month's effort to be better organized included a promise to not buy more of anything until I've used what I already have.  It's a common malady I think, and we all have a "stash" somewhere.  Fabric, ribbon, beads, paper, magazines.  Along the way I added cardboard, bits of string, straws, sticks stripped of their bark.  Someone once told me all I needed to be happy was a rock and a piece of string.  I can appreciate that now.  

February is ready-made for knitting, or crocheting, or quilting.  I did a search on "woman sitting by window" recently and was surprised to see how many of them were doing handwork of some kind.  It's a very feminine art in my humble opinion, and makes use of a woman's hands in the most graceful and delicate of ways.  It encourages quietness too, and teaches me to put one thought in front of another in an orderly way, which is something I don't do well when I'm scurrying.


Sticks and beads and paper aside, I don't know of very many things that can do that.     

Quilting By Hand

Yarn on Basket

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

stash -   v. to store or hide in a secret place;  n. something hidden away.


hoard - v.  to gather or accumulate by saving or hiding; to lay up, to squirrel away, to store up supplies usually well beyond one's current needs


Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, 1984

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Bluebird Security

* * *

I cleaned out the four bluebird houses today and found a spider, two wasp nests, an egg that didn't hatch, and four perfectly formed beds of moss and fine shavings for the mother and baby birds.  About two weeks ago I bought copper protectors for the front hole because last year squirrel after squirrel came to chew and claw its way into the tiny dark home.  This year I win. 

Providing homes for innocent birds isn't necessarily all fun and games, I want you to know.  In the spring of last year I found a brown and gray snake curled up inside the box nailed to the large oak tree beside the potting shed.  He wasn't small either--the wooden structure was a tight fit for him; and, in fact, that's how I knew ahead of time he was inside.  His head and body reached up to the hole.  It's a startling thing to expect a bluebird but see a snake instead!  I backed away into the house to shiver.  We removed that same tree and birdhouse later in the summer.  All for the best, I told myself.  

Yellow Finch

I didn't set out to be a "bird lady" or anything like that, or to even pay that much attention to birds.  But they just came, year after year from the brush and woods out back, full of song and prettier than ever.  I saw finches of every color, woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, owls, hawks, woodthrush.  They loved the nandina berries and blueberries and I loved their company. 


One year the most amazing thing happened.  A flock of 25 or 30 golden finches descended out of the heavens onto our up-close garden.  They hopped like clowns, their bright yellow bodies everywhere, most of them interested in a small water fountain we had recently installed near the back door.  Then they were gone as quickly as they came, like yellow roses with wings.  My husband and I happened to be standing at the back window when it happened, and we both stood still with our mouths open, hardly able to grasp what we had seen.  The show seemed just for us and took all of 30 seconds.  

"Was that real?" I asked my husband.

"I think so," he said.


Every year we hope to see them come back, but they haven't yet.  So, I clean out the birdhouses, outwit the snakes and squirrels, and wait. I'll be sure to let you know when they come. 

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

"Even snakes are afraid of snakes."

Stephen Wright, comedian

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Ironing Day

* * *

Does anyone iron anymore? 


I used to iron every week, on Tuesdays usually.  I would line up all the cotton shirts and linens I had washed the day before, then iron them slick as I could with the help of a little spray starch, and hang them up around the room to admire.  The challenge was to leave no wrinkle behind, and with the help of a hot, hot iron and spray starch, I was very good at it.   

I had (and still have) a wonderful, worn wooden board--the one you see in this picture--that made the whole job a pleasure, as did the dog by my side, the smell of fresh detergent, and music--always music.  I put the ironing board beside or near a window to get plenty of light and distance for those long gazes outside when something would come to mind that needed more concentration.  The whole concept needed no embellishments or refining--it was just right as it was.  

Our family was young then and taking care of business was the only way to survive.  There wasn't time for half-hearted efforts or "horsing around."  Every chore, no matter how humble, had the potential to create a bottleneck if it was left undone.  Decide to leave the dishes undone?  You can't make dinner that evening.  Leave the laundry in a heap overnight?  No one can find their socks the next morning, and the bus drives off without your children. 


It was a Keep-It-Moving kind of world, full of mess and worry.


But then there was ironing.  Quiet, solitary, slow.  It's a shame I've let it fall by the wayside, really. 

Linda's Clock V/Time Moving Along

Last year I bought six, crisp white cotton shirts for my husband and told myself I'd enjoy ironing them slick and smooth, as I used to.  But I was wrong.  In November I got rid of all six because I didn't want to iron them.  It's a sorry confession, isn't it?


So I no longer see those six white shirts hanging in the laundry area, limp and wrinkled.  If I start to miss my Tuesday afternoons by the window, I can always iron the pillowcases or some cotton napkins.  I can still pause to think a minute about the days when I enjoyed that most gentle of ordinary chores.  But time does change things and move us along, doesn't it?      


Have I said that before?  Time does move us along.  

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

"Do the next thing."  

  Elizabeth Eliott, writer/speaker


"Do what you know to do..."

  David Jeremiah, writer/minister

February 12, 2019

Making Lists


Here's a short list of things to keep you from being washed away, down the river of overly much.  We'll call it Rabbit's Rules for Maintaining Sanity.


#1.  Everything has to have a place, a "rabbitat," if you will. 

#2.  Everything has to be put back in that place every morning. 

#3.  People eat, so keep food in the refrigerator and cupboards. 

#4.  Keep your home clean just above Health Department standards.

#5.  Look as good as you can all the time.  

That's all.  You can expand on this list 'till the cows come home if you must, as I have done for years; but I recommend you leave it just as it is for a while until you get used to it.  Either way, make it work for you, the sooner the better.  Let's all get real here. 


I'll check back to see how you're doing.

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

"There's no normal life, Wyatt.  It's just life. 

Get on with it."

Doc Holliday to Wyatt Earp 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentines Day to us all!

May we fill our day

with candy and kindness!

Flowers for Valentines Day

February 15, 2019

Garden Gee-Gaw

I bought a new garden gee-gaw today.  That's what my son calls it; but he's across the ocean--what does he know of north Georgia gee-gaws? 


Gee-gaws, or garden art as it's usually called, is plentiful around these parts, and here's my first piece of the year.  I say first piece as if there will be more, but the truth is I do try to keep it down.  One too many and your place starts to look like a flea market.  Not that I mind flea markets--but that's another story. 

This little piece of questionable art spins in the wind--I think.  I might have to wait for one of our fierce spring storms to see it.  Either way, spinning or sitting still, I like it quite a bit, which is why I didn't say no. 


So in a few weeks, somewhere, probably in one of my clay pots, a copper gee-gaw will take its place in the Rabbit Hill garden. 


I knew you'd want to know.

Until next time,

The Head Rabbit

"Don't overdo it; don't overdo it.  Do it just on the line."  

Andrew Wyeth, painter

For more of February, go to the next page.