Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ear Candy

Although I probably had more important things to do today, I placed those must dos to the side and , instead, found a nearby bead store to make a pair of earrings. I have never made a pair of earrings before, but after my success with the necklace I made several months ago, I figured I should give it a try. Also, while at the bead store I found out that they offer free classes to make earrings on the weekends (materials are not included in the "free" part). You can check them out here.

These are more decorative than I normally don, but I wanted something with color and this is what I can up with. I like straight clean lines with most jewelry... and European clasps. I am sure the are probaly called something else, but that is what they were called back when they weren't popular here in the U.S.

I know there are special tools for making jewelry, but I believe in making do with the tools I already have. Why not, right? As you can see it doesn't require much to get started- maybe a design plan and a couple tool. Voila!

And, finally, the finished pieces. I am really happy with them, especially since I have never made earrings before.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Feathered Mafia

Winter, at least how it parades itself throughout the Midwest, is not my favorite way to experience nature's majesty. However, its exposure revealing the lives normally hidden to us all other times of the year is such a gift. The trees bearing their bony souls share their harmonious parasites, (well, not always harmonious) at least those that remain here to tough it out through the cold spells and grayness of the winter skies, believing in the future of better weather.  

I recognize, against the tempting sun, it is cold and make sure to bundle myself, steel myself against winter’s blustery winds and various forms of chilling precipitation.  The birds, on the other hand, have no such comfort. They can only rely upon the fluff of their feathery undercoat and slick rain coat like layer of beautiful plume to protect them from the same weather I disdain venturing out in. They go about their lives in balanced harmony with nature, something most of us could never and would never attempt to do.

Today, from the comfort of my drafty apartment, I sit and watch a beautiful woodpecker. It, likely unaware of my voyeurism, diligently pecks away at the dormant maple sitting idly across the street awaiting spring.  

A couple days before, while walking the neighborhood, I listened to an encoded communication between several feathered secret agents, chattering along from tree to tree, telephonically. Maybe they were diplomats in conference to determine to whom this territory belongs. From the look of things, I, the outsider, would probably assert with certainty this territory belonged to the pigeons. They seem to lay claim to the local food source guarding it with their sentries against most, although the starlings still receive some rations, be it through trickery or truce.  
The lives of our feathered brethren, their communications, habits and wars usually pass unnoticed beneath the cover of foliage, be it green, yellow, orange or fiery red. Winter, exposes us to the aviary underworld and its glorious complexities. I am looking forward to the time when the sun isn’t lying and it is again pleasant enough to roam comfortably uncovered, but while it lasts I will continue to eavesdrop upon my feathered neighbors listening for the coming of spring.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

A boy and A Little Lost Dog, on a Friday Morning

On my walk to the train this morning I came across a young boy, maybe 10 years old or so. He was looking a bit frantic and speaking very seriously on the phone to someone. As I got closer I noticed an older beagle mix pacing up and down the stairs to an empty house. The poor old dog didn’t seem to know what to do with himself and the boy equally seemed concerned about this little dog.

The boy remained at the foot of the stairs, describing the dog to the absent recipient at the other end of the line while his heavy book bag tugged his coat backward. I waited. Not wanting to intrude on this young boy’s attempt at solving the dog’s issue, I stood off to the side to see how the problem would resolve itself. Finally, the boy, determined to make sure the dog was safe, bravely walked up the stairs to the home and rang the door bell. The dog barked in unison.

After a short delay a middle aged man arrived at the door. The boy took in a breath, screwing up his courage to ask the man about the little dog. “Is this your dog, sir?” the brave boy squeaked out. Confused as to how his dog ended up on the porch, the man responded in bewildered agreement. Yes, this was his dog.

The boy let out a sigh, the dog bounded into the house and we were all back on our way to wherever it was that we were originally headed. The boy to school, I to work, the dog to its bed for a rest from the excitement and the man to whatever it was he was doing before the doorbell interruption.

As the boy bounced down the stairs, he held himself taller, the book bag still slightly slipping off his back. I felt proud of the boy. He understood what was more important- school could wait, there was a being in need and he was ready to help. Many adults miss this helping a fellow in need thing, especially when it walks on all fours. Often we can learn a lot from children- how to recognize the right thing to do, how to show compassion and how to summon the courage to do something good for another.