Share Your World – 2014 Week 38

It’s official – I need more hours in my days. Yet I cannot tell you where my days go, so perhaps I do not deserve more hours. But we’ll discuss that later – right now it’s time to answer Cee’s Challenge.

1. If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be? Perhaps a mighty oak. Or maybe a weeping willow – not because it weeps, but because it is such a welcoming, gentle tree. A tree that provides a safe quiet place in which to ponder thoughts, take a nap, escape from the heat. Yes, I think it would be the weeping willow.

2. If you could have a servant come to your house every day for one hour, what would you have them do? Corner cleaning. You know, those jobs that I never seem to get to, or if I do they feel like such a pain, such a chore. Cleaning the refrigerator, cleaning the shelves in those cabinets that have glass doors but still allow dust in and have so many little mementos in them that they’re time-consuming to clean. Dusting the book shelves. The tedious jobs that take more time than I wish to give. Dusting my bedroom furniture – something I put off but do not know why exactly.

3. If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? That would depend upon my mood, the day, the weather. Maybe melon – cantaloupe or honeydew melons of different varieties. Or chunky hot soups for cold days. Or spicy hummus and sea salt whole grain taco chips for nibbling while watching TV.

4. What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)? Stocking shelves in a drugstore when I was around 12. That didn’t last long. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but turned out not to be. In high school I worked as both a concession stand attendant and ticket seller at the local theater. That’s where I met my first husband.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, I am grateful for the opportunity to prepare a meal for good friends when The Gracious One was down with a bad back. They do so much for me, it was satisfying to be the one giving for a change.

and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am looking forward to time on my front deck in these late afternoons of fall and to preparing for my trip back to the mid-Hudson valley of New York to visit a very dear friend. I am also looking to an evening at the local playhouse with The Artistic One listening to the songs sung by Bucky Covington.

Today I want to share with you the late bloomers in my yard, preceded by the morning light shining on an Aspen tree.
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I wish for all of you a week filled with enough.

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The Last Blooms of Summer and First Signs of Fall

A few mornings ago, I followed the path around the house to check out the last blooms of summer. Fall has been announcing its approach with a certain crispness in the morning air and I thought I should record these summer blossoms before frost arrived and they were no longer smiling up at me. First, there was the misty blue blossoms of the Caryopteris, surrounded by the orange-gold Rudbeckia blossoms (Black-eyed Susan). It is an annual tradition, this sharing of a photo of these two beauties blossoming in accord, complimenting one another.
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Now I know what the attraction of the Snowberry bush is to the hummingbirds – its tiny little pink blossoms, preceding the green berries which will turn white in the fall.
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And the Rugosa Rose – the name of this variety will come to me in the dark hours of the night, I’m sure, but it certainly is not making itself known now. I hate that – when the name of something, or the word, is on the tip of my tongue and my brain refuses to acknowledge it.
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The summer has been lovely, for the most part. It has been diminished somewhat by the days that smoke from the wildfires in Northern California or in the mountains to the northwest of us filters in, darkening our skies, coloring our sunrises and sunsets, and irritating our nostrils and lungs, causing allergies to awaken and then stay awake – making life a little less energetic and the mind a little less active and alert. But this is temporary – I keep reminding myself. The sad thing is that we are predicted to have another very dry winter, which means heightened fire hazards again next year. Is there a way to have allergies removed? The other morning I happened to look out my window at just the right moment, to catch a photo of the smoke-enhanced sun rising over the hills to our east.
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And the night before, I happened to walk outside just in time to catch the rise of the waning Harvest Moon. This lucky happenstance occurred because I have a poor memory – and I had suddenly remembered I had set a sprinkler much earlier in the day in an area that has not been getting hit by the sprinkler system. I ran back into the house to grab my camera. Only to be unable to capture decent shots hand-holding the camera, so I ran back in to get the tripod. Still not satisfied with the shots – so, man up woman, I said to myself. This camera has manual settings – work it out! Which I did – making myself feel rather stupid for being unable to figure it out on a previous attempt, but also making myself feel quite righteous at having captured this shot:
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Gep, are you proud of me? That’s the son, who always encourages me to learn about this stuff.

Then, this morning, a trek along the path around the house again, to capture those early signs of fall. The turning of the Burning Bush leaves
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the ripening of the berries on this shrub
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And the coloring of the blossoms of the Autumn Joy Sedum.
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These are just the early signs of fall, a favorite season of mine. Fall and spring, each of which I think should be at least four months long, leaving two months for summer heat and two months for winter cold. I think that’s fair. The changes in the length of the seasons will not, of course, affect the length of summer break for those of you who teach. That will remain the same. It will just occur during more comfortable weather. Now, if someone would just give me that control . . .

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 36

Week 36?! That means there’s only 16 more weeks in this year, doesn’t it? Can that possibly be? Didn’t 2014 just begin a couple of days ago?

Rhetorical questions, those. I do not like how quickly time is passing, and it is passing so quickly that if I do not sit down right now and play with Cee’s challenge it will be week 37 and I will be behind. Again. Or still, perhaps.

1. Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational? I would like to tell you that I prefer non-fiction and educational books, because that would make me seem so intellectual, so thoughtful – but that would be a lie. I read primarily for pleasure, therefore I prefer fiction and sometimes a biography. Reading and TV are much the same for me – a bit of escape, time to be mindless and lose myself in another world.

2. What is your biggest fear or phobia? (no photos please) Edges. Without a doubt, edges. I’ll not post a photo here, but wasn’t that recently covered by Ailsa?

3. What is your favorite cheese? Cheese. Almost any cheese, as long as it can get past my nose (Limburger, you need not apply). I usually buy Muenster for sandwiches, sometimes Havarti. Occasionally Provolone. Then there’s Feta or Gorgonzola for on salads and some main dishes – Mozzarella, Cheddar, Goat Cheese. . . you get the idea, right?

4. What is your favorite month of the year? It’s a toss up – either September or whatever month spring decides to arrive here, which is usually May or June. I also like October – really, it would be easier to tell you my least favorite month which is February. That’s the month cabin fever inevitably sets in.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the opportunity to have days in a row with no real obligations, to do only those things I feel a need or strong desire to do. I look forward to the fall days that will be the next week, with time to relax, to be a little bit productive – but not tooo productive, you understand.

A few photos now – more from the day trip The Artistic One and I made, what? 2 weeks ago? Something like that.

A spot of sunshine in the dark of the forest.
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The rushing river will always find its way.
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The fallen supporting new life.
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On a Sunday Morning, Thoughts Run Random

On this Sunday morning, random thoughts trickle through my brain, with no apparent order or reason. Just there, then gone. Rivulets of life.
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Driving down the road the other day seeing the cows in the fields, each of them bearing their identification tags in their ears, I wondered if those tags annoy them, hanging down as they do where they could be caught in the peripheral vision. I think they would make me crazy, much like too-long earrings that tickle my neck. I suppose those tags are preferable to the old way of identifying ownership however – branding seems much less humane. But still – must they hang down like that?

Some days stretch out long, leading to an unknown destination. Some days feel like a trek into wilderness, waiting to be explored. Some days feel like that trek is best made alone, in silence, with nothing drawing my attention other than what is right around me. Other days I wish for that trek to take me to warm places with happy faces.
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Some days – in the wee hours of the morning most often – memories creep in. Happy memories at first – trips husband and I took, what we saw and how easily we traveled together, welcoming detours to see what there was to see, in no hurry most of the time. But then those memories turn from the good years and good times to the last few years of his life, and sadness creeps in. The contrast between what he was and what he became – what our life was, and what it became. I wish not to remember those last years. I wish to isolate those years and remember the good times. Those last years are wounds that should be covered, I think. Hidden from view. I remind myself that wounds heal over, given time. Time.
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There is always light, even in the darkest of times. Light to show us the way, to guide us on the path of life. To shine brightly, to cast away the darkness. In that light, there will be enough. I know this. I do. Some days though, the random thoughts dim that light. So then I think of the cows with their annoying hanging-down tags. Silly, isn’t it, to wonder what the cows think of it? I think of the silly tiny little hummingbird who often claims the tree outside my window, gathering all of its energy to attempt intimidation of the other birds that think they should share the tree. And the light shines more brightly, the random thoughts grow more sprightly. I made a rhyme! Are you impressed? No? But I get credit for trying, yes?
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In all of this, these random thoughts with varying emotions, there is the knowledge that we adapt – when we cannot change things, when we cannot control the annoyances that intrude into our lives, our thoughts, we adapt. Because that’s how we are. Because that’s what allows us to go on, from one day to the next, always seeking enough and ultimately finding it. Ultimately rejoicing in it.
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It is that thought that makes it all okay – I have enough.

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 35

While the rest of our neighborhood heads off to a barbecue featuring a jazz group, I have opted to stay home for a quiet “me” day, where I do only what I feel like doing. One of the things I feel like doing today is to play along with Cee, sharing my world as I see it at this moment. Because, you know, my world-view changes from time to time.

1. Have your blogging goals changed? Yes, I think they have. They’ve broadened, perhaps. I started blogging only to share trips husband and I took with family and friends – so much easier than individual emails to let them all know what we were doing. I continued blogging at Kat’s coaxing, and it has become a way for me to reach out to my bloggy friends, to share what’s going on now, what I’m feeling now, what I’m seeing now. It has become an outlet.

2. If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do? Maybe, like Cee, a trapeze performer. The anti-thesis of what I am in real life – something that demonstrates gracefulness and daring. Sitting here considering this question, I realize it’s been so many years since I’ve been to a circus, I’m not even sure what acts there are in circuses now. I would not be a clown – I think clowns are intrinsically sad, and I don’t want to be that.

3. If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself? Or if you are younger than 25 what words of wisdom would you like to tell yourself at age 45? I think I would tell myself to be patient, to find my way in life before I looked for someone to share that life with. To explore myself, learn what I wanted to be when I grew up and then act to get there. I would tell myself that life goes too fast, to savor every moment.

4. What is your favorite comfort snack food? Another of those things that changes from day to day. However, any day one of my favorite comfort foods would involve chocolate. Currently, my favorite snack foods for those evenings in front of TV or with a book in my lap (on the iPad, of course) are either popcorn, popped fresh in the air popper, topped with sea salt and melted coconut oil. Or hummus with whole grain taco chips with sea salt. Apparently I’m on a sea salt kick. My favorite after lunch or dinner I-need-something-sweet-but-easy food is a couple Oreos. Or maybe three.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for a week of exploring new interests and for the night Lily cat finally decided she could spend the night inside, so I slept sandwiched between Shasta on one side and Lily on the other.
In the week coming up, I am looking forward to evenings on my deck, my safe harbor, and exploring the emotions that seem to be rolling around inside my brain.

And now, a few pictures of one of the views through my window one morning this past week.

Who dat looking at me?
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Can’t a fella just eat in peace? Where is the privacy?
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I wish you all a week filled with enough!

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On The Edge

A day or two or more ago, Ailsapm issued a challenge called On The Edge. I saved the email, thinking I would participate, thinking about what my choices would be. This evening as I sat on my front deck, my private space for letting my mind wander as I enjoy a glass of spirits – beer, wine, tea, whatever the mood might dictate – my mind started wandering and it found its way to edges.

I thought how often we are on the edge – of eternity, of discovering something new, of feeling lost, of finding our selves, of finding our joys, of adventure. How often I am on the edge of actually accomplishing some of those things on my list. Of letting my self find its way without my feeling that I need to control that way. Of feeling sadness, but yet peace. Of feeling aloneness, not in a bad way, and feeling togetherness with my friends. Of feeling my way into the future. Of feeling.

But this is a photo challenge, so I found my may to the computer and, after some discussion with my software program about exactly what I wanted and how it was what I want not what it thinks I want (damnation to software that decides to wield its power over we simple humans) that counts, I have selected some pictures that say “edge” to me.

There is the edge of the earth
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The edge of the roof
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the edge of darkness
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perching on the edge of the rock
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and peering over the edge of the cliff.
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What are your edges?

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 34

Getting back into the groove of life here – and ready to join Cee in her Share Your World Challenge.

1. What is your favorite smell? What memory does it remind you of? Outside smells – fresh-mown grass, lilacs – both remind me of carefree, happy days as a kid, but I cannot tell you why. I think those were springtime neighborhood smells. Inside – freshly baked bread – when I was in high school my girlfriend’s mother baked yeast rolls often and we would come home from school and walk into her house to that heavenly aroma. Then we would sit down and enjoy one of those hot rolls slathered with butter. Priceless!

2. Name a song or two which are included on the soundtrack to your life? “Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady” – is that the proper name of that song? I do not remember titles to songs, or books or movies. Anyway, that song was dedicated to me by a former love at one time. The idea of being considered a lady enthralled me, although I was never a lady in the terms of a southern belle-type lady.

3. Do you play video/computer game? Which one(s) or most recent? Much to my dismay, yes I do. I spend time on the iPad playing these stupid games, time that could be much better utilized in other ways. Reading, perhaps. Currently I seem to be attached to break the bubble games – a couple different versions of Bubble Witch and Bubble Mania. Hopefully this too shall pass.

4. Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best? Plus what would the 8th dwarf’s name be? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey) Hmmm – I don’t know. Sometimes Happy, sometimes Sleepy, sometimes Grumpy – occasionally Dopey. I am many dwarfs wrapped into one body – which explains why I am a tall dwarf. The 8th dwarf? Nosey? Silly?

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for a dinner out with friends. I am grateful for emails from my Kat (Gep, are you listening?). I am grateful for a day out with the Artistic One seeking, and finding, photo ops. I am looking forward to more time with friends, nights of restful sleep, the feeling of fall in the air.

That photo op day? Here are some of the rewards of that day:
The Natural Bridge
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The river goes in here
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Comes out here
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And rushes down here
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