Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Cold Walk with Me Wednesday

I'm fortunate to be able to walk. Yesterday morning I dashed outside to chop some kindling to start a fire. The block of fir had a small branch through it but in my haste to get out of the freezing cold I didn't use caution. The ax bounded in my hands and sliced down to my ankle before I could react. A piece of red sock was partially cut away from my ankle. My ankle smarted and is a bit bruised. Stunned at the close impact I couldn't help but be very, very grateful the ax hadn't done any real damage. I think that the tough support stockings I need to wear--with great begrudgement-- helped to deflect the ax just as they helped to prevent severe bleeding when the dog attacked last summer.I love these cold sunny January days that we've been having for more than a week. The temperatures at our place drop into the low twenties at night with the days dawning clear. Though the thermometer shows the day temps warming into the fifties the air is freezing and whatever is hidden from the sun stays frozen. Yesterday I jumped on my bike for a quick, invigorating ride, my ears frozen red. Today I walked to better absorb this weather that so reminds me of the winters of my youth in N Arizona. There the temps would hover around zero, Often dipping as low as -20F for days. The kind of dry cold where moisture from your breath coats your nose with a rim of ice. Never seen it? Take a peek at this great picture posted on Lene's blog yesterday.

Walking west up the road that hugs the side of a ridge I passed this farmer's pond where only the far side gets to bask in the sun during the winter while the water and the tall grasses on the south end stay frozen.
A bit further up the road the joyful sounds of kids at play drew my attention. Down on the playing fields of the school, three girls skipped briskly out of view. They moved so quickly I barely had time to snap the picture. All three appeared to be Old Believer Russian girls with their long hair and skirts. There's a large settlement of Old Believers in this area. They still practice an old form of Russian Orthodoxy from the early nineteen hundreds when their ancestors fled the persecutions. Ed is often mistaken for one with his long beard. :-)

Further on I turned onto a side road that winds up over the ridge. Looking down into a wooded pasture this tree reminded me of the sea lions that hang out on the piers in Newport. (ha, Aurora just now glanced at this picture and said it looks like a sea lion.) They laze in the sun, lifting their heads high in the air to roar and snap when another sea lion intrudes on their space.
Next was the Hugging Tree: when one tree fell, a part of it embraced the standing one.

Do you see the mountain? That's Mt Saint Helens in the far distance.

I've been reading about the benefits of felting soap: the soap lasts longer; is better than using a washcloth; prettier than a regular soap bar, etc. So today I torn off some wool roving, wrapped it around a bar then held it under hot running water while I rubbed the wool. Once the first layer felted I put a few strips of blue wool on, put it in a zipped bag with more hot water and massaged it. Last, a thin layer of white wool was wrapped on then rubbed some more. It's not too bad for the first attempt. Next time I'll put on a thinner first layer.

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Anonymous tiennie said...

I'm glad that you weren't more hurt! Glad you can still walk.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Artis-Anne said...

Found your blog and and enjoing reading it :) I wish we had colder winters here in North Wales. We are high up in the mountains but our winters are getting milder each year. Love the photos.
Sounds like you had a narrow escape with you wood chopping

4:58 AM  
Blogger Charity said...

Oh, Wanda! I'm glad you're all right after your run in with the axe - do take care of yourself!

My kids came across this idea of felting over soap, and have been longing to try it. :0)

9:24 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Wanda, I'm with everyone else of course, so very glad you didn't hurt yourself badly, thank goodness for those tough support hose, and you can't even begin to imagine how tickled I am that you wear red socks...(I have this 'thing' about plain red socks, I love them) You need new red socks. Ya wanna tell me how big your feet are? (I'm not talking trade here either).

All the photos are beautiful, I can't pick a favourite one.

I do believe I need to try my hand at that felted soap thing...thank you for the walk, as always, a delight.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Wow...I'm so glad you weren't hurt beyond the bruising! Lovely photo's from your walk. Thanks for sharing.

12:30 PM  
Blogger gail said...

I don't know if Quakers believe in guardian angels, but you definitely have one!! I love your felted soap. And the photos of your marvelous Oregon.

12:43 PM  
Blogger The Spindling Scot said...

Close one...but it is nice to know I am not the only one chopping in the mornings :-)
Beautiful pictures!
I love the felted soap, I may give it a go, maybe add a string knitted bag so it can be used as an exfoliant in the shower / bath?


5:36 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I gasped as I was reading about the axe incident, but am so glad you weren't seriously hurt! I enjoyed taking a walk with you vicariously--what a beautiful landscape!

7:03 AM  
Blogger gail said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog. Yes, I love my mittens, they make me smile as if I have a secret every time I wear them. I find that as I get older I enjoy smaller and smaller pleasures!!

9:30 AM  
Anonymous marjorie said...

Wow, that was a close call with the axe. When we lived in B.C., my husband had a few close calls with an even sharper tool--the chain saw. I'm so glad you're okay, but sorry your lovely red sock is ruined. I too love red socks, and just finished making myself a pair. My daughter complained about their brightness, but I love them nonetheless.

6:09 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

thank heavens the only needle used will be the one to repair the sock (and not the skin on your ankle!!) ...glad you are OK!

The photos of your walk are lovely, the trees beautiful, and so is the felted soap!

8:41 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Wanda honey,

Taking off your foot with your axe might be the ultimate solution to Second Sock Syndrome, but surely it's better to just grit your teeth and finish the pair.

Glad that you got off *relatively* unscathed. Arnica would be a good remedy for the bruise, either the little homeopathic jobbies that melt under your tongue, or a cream like "Traumeel" to be applied topically.

Love and hugs from the Lone Star State.

4:51 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

That spindle that looks like a turkish spindle is really pretty. And the felted soap is beautiful, too. I'd like to try that with some of my roving tomorrow.

You had a very lucky escape from the axe. Wow. When my sister was 5 she picked up a framing hatchet and cut off the tip of her finger faster than we could get to her to take it away. She had to have her finger tip sewn back on.

I love you nature photography. It must be wonderful to live away from cities. I'm glad that you are able to. It's a sweet life. Take care!


11:10 PM  

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