January, Summarized

January was – January. Cold, snowy, mostly gray with occasional sunshine. January is a month made for hibernation, I think. Kat told me, and I think she was right, that we are both part bear – we need our hibernation time.

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There were, of course, enough good times in January. Dinner out with friends, brunch with friends at our local Potbelly Cafe, a trip or two to the movies followed by a late lunch/early dinner out. Quiet times at home with my furry girls. Books to read, meals to prepare using new recipes Google finds for me, grumping about January in all its wintery bluster, sharing lives with virtual friends, thinking about spring and working in the flower beds, maybe taming them a little, and hiring someone to do the drudgery of raking pine needles and pine cones so my energy could be expended on those flower beds.

There are other good things, more personal good things. Knowing my son is safe in South America, planning his future in Ecuador (however long he may stay there) and looking forward to his visit here, whenever that may happen. Knowing my daughter is looking forward to her move to Thailand after this school year ends, a fresh start and new experiences and adventures. Appreciating the love of my friends, and my love for those friends. Appreciating the warmth, safety and privacy of my home.

Having enough. It all comes down to having enough. That is not to say I wouldn’t want more, but it is acknowledging that what I have really is enough.

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Share Your World – 2016 Week 5

Cee has challenged us one more time, in this 5th week of the year 2016, to share a little more of our worlds.

1. If you had a shelf for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronic devices and things stored on them, people or animals), what would you put on it? I don’t know – you’ve eliminated my most important possessions/parts of my life. I’m not entirely certain I have three other things that matter that much. I have a few things that have been given me by people I care about, but the people are more important than those items. I guess I could get practical here but I don’t think that’s the intent of this question. I have to just say, then, that what matters the most to me are the people and animals in my life and my photos, which are stored on my electronic devices. My shelf would apparently remain empty.

2. If you had a box labelled ‘happiness’, what would you put in it? My photo albums because I don’t know how else I could put my memories of happy times and the people and animals that make me happy in a box, nor do I know how I could put the sunrises and sunsets that make me happy in a box. Or the sound and sight of ocean waves, sandy beaches, sunny skies, the birds and squirrels outside my window, flowers that bloom and scent the summer air, new green growth in the spring, and bright colors in the fall. “These are a few of my favorite (and happy) things”.

3. What do you want more of in your life? Okay, Material Girl time here. I would like more travel in my life, which would require more money. So if I could just get my money tree to bloom. . .

Daily Life List: What do you do on an average day? Make a list of your usual activities you do each day. Is this where I confess to doing very little in my days? My usual activities depend, of course, on the time of the year. So I’ll have to make a list for winter, with modifications for nice weather seasons following.
Winter:
1. Get up when Shasta says it’s time – she nuzzles me, then lays on her side so I can rub her chest and belly, after which I get her puppy kisses and we get out of bed.
2. Let the big furry girls out and fix breakfast for them and the little furry girl.
3. Make my first cup of coffee and open blinds so I can see outside.
4. Check email, blog comments, and Facebook while I have my first cup of coffee.
5. Make my second cup of coffee and answer emails.
6. Clean up last night’s dishes, if I didn’t do it last night, and decide what else I’m going to do, which includes shoveling the back porch if it has snowed.
7. Maybe throw a load of laundry into the machine, or vacuum, or dust, or work on a jigsaw puzzle or play iPad games for awhile.
8. Read my mail when it comes, take care of paperwork/finances that require attention.
9. Lunchtime – usually it’s a toasted turkey sandwich with mayo, fresh spinach and sliced tomatoes, followed by a little bit of something sweet, with water on the side.
10. Read for awhile, which leads to:
11. A nap, until Shasta says it’s time to be awake and go outside.
12. A short Bailey walk, because her old joints won’t take her too far. Shasta and I may take a little longer walk after Bailey goes in. Maybe visit a neighbor.
13. Check email/Facebook/blog comments again.
14. Have dinner after the furry girls have all had their dinners.
15. Watch TV, read, color, knit – whatever mood strikes me.

In the summer the list varies with time spent outside doing yard work, a lot less time on the iPad, quiet time with a beer or wine on the deck in the late afternoon, early evening.

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 same things I am always grateful: quiet time at home with my furry girls, time spent with friends, email conversations with my kids, control over the remote God so the TV displays only the programs I want to see. I am looking forward to more of the same – and spring starting tomorrow morning because the groundhogs said we’d have an early spring.

That’s all folks!

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Wait a Moment. . .

You know that old saying “If you don’t like the weather right now, wait a moment. . .”? Well, that’s where we seem to be this winter.

A couple of days ago, we had this morning sky:
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which was followed by rain. For two days. Rain. It’s been doing this a lot this year. Today we have snow, tomorrow we have rain. Overnight it freezes and rain over snow in my driveway equals ice. Thick ice. Slippery ice. Be very careful when you walk outside ice. Old people with brittle bones stay away ice.

This morning when I let the big furry girls out, there was a dusting of snow on the deck and snow falling from the sky. Later, when the skies went from gray to this:
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there was an inch or so of new snow on the ground and on the trees.
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Disguising the ice on the driveway. Making you think it would be safe to walk there disguising. Not advising to be cautious, and if you ignore your inner warnings and believe what you see, what you will hear as you find yourself falling very suddenly to the ground is “the devil made me do it!” accompanied by an evil cackle. That be one of the weather devils you heard. They have been very active this year. Just ask people on the east coast, they’ll verify that for me.

So after I got up and saw the snow falling on the ground, I waited a moment. Okay, so actually I waited a few moments, but nonetheless – now we have this out there:
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Just enough snow to make it mostly pretty again where you do not have to walk. Sunshine, precious, glorious sunshine. Sunshine to chase away my sunshine deprivation syndrome, the one that was threatening to take over my life and induce a lot of anxiety. The weather forecast says we are to have a few days of sunshine. I have all fingers crossed that this time, this one time, that forecast will be correct and will not change its mind first thing in the morning. I am not going to wait a moment. I am going to sit in the sunshine and soak it up. Inside the house, because it’s cold outside.

I’ll soak up the sunshine until I have – enough.

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Share Your World – 2016 Week 4

It is again time to share with Cee.

1. What one thing are you really glad you did yesterday? Can I pretend it’s Monday on this one? Because yesterday I really didn’t do anything, but Sunday I moved furniture around in my family room. It’s back to where it was before I bought a new couch a couple of years ago, and I like it so much better than the way I had it more recently. I’m very glad I did that. It feels more homey, more balanced to me.

2. Are you generally focused on today or tomorrow? Both – I must focus on today to get done what I think I should do, but if I don’t think about tomorrow, I’ll get up and have no focus for the day. I require some pre-programming, you see.

3. Would you want a guardian angel/mentor? What would they tell you right now? I think I have had a guardian angel for many years. I think she sits on my shoulder, and has made me the survivor that I am. I think she would tell me to take things one day at a time, to restrain my impulses without killing spontaneity, and to see what is around me.

4. Would you rather live in a cave house or a dome house made out of glass? (photos of the houses found on google search) Definitely a house made out of glass, dome or otherwise. I want the house that Chris showed in her post:

and I would like it on a forest on a hill overlooking the ocean, with easy access down to the beach. If one is going to dream, one might as well just go for it, right?

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 I was where I am, and not on the east coast in the path of Jona. I complain about our gray skies, our rain on snow that makes slush and ice, but that is so much better than 2′ to 3′ of snow! I am looking forward to a quiet week, and time with friends.

This week, pictures of some skies taken during the past couple of weeks, most of which are sunrises.
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Maybe I Should Learn to Love Winter

A week ago, the world outside my windows looked like this:
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The branches of the trees heavily laden with glistening snow, a bit of sun peaking through just often enough to make my heart sing – except my heart was longing for warm sandy beaches and not properly appreciating the sun’s efforts.
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The dried seed heads of summer’s flowers topped with snow looking a lot like a dessert topped with whipped cream
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and the quail digging into the snow, searching for the seed it knew was down there somewhere.
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Did I properly appreciate all of this beauty that surrounded me? No. I did not. I was blinded by my yearning for warm sandy beaches. I was battling Mother Nature – a futile battle that is, always. I was yearning for something I did not have, wishing the winter away.

This snowfall was followed by a week of warmer temperatures and rain – greeted by me with glee, except – I.did.not.think.carefully. I did not think about the fact that melting snow makes slush, and at night temperatures drop and slush becomes ice. I did not realize that those conditions I greeted joyfully would make going out for a walk well nigh impossible, unless one was willing to risk a fall that would do old, brittle bones no good whatsoever.

Yesterday, it looked like this out there
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and I thought perhaps the clouds would continue to break up and sun would follow this morning. But Mother Nature had other plans, and this morning looked like this.
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I give, I’m ready to wave the white flag. I believe there’s a lesson in this story. I believe I must give up wishing for what I do not have and cannot have. I believe I must learn to love the beauty that is offered me in whatever shape it takes. I believe I must remind myself that what is, is enough. I will appreciate what I am given. I will battle Mother Nature no more. Although – I won’t promise that I won’t complain.

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Share Your World – 2016 Week 3

I’m late this week, because it’s been busy. Keep in mind, please, that these days for me “busy” means I had something to do that took up two or three hours of the day – don’t want to overdo that productivity thing. But now, before the week has ended, I am at my computer, getting ready to play with Cee and share some more of my world.

1. What is your favorite piece of art? (it doesn’t have to be famous) A little modification is required here – my favorite pieces of art, none of them famous, are photos taken by my son and gifted to me over the years. In particular I love the ones on one of my dining room photo walls:
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2. What made you smile today? What makes me smile most days are animal antics – either videos I’ve found on Facebook of cats or dogs or some member of the animal kingdom, or antics of one of my furry girls. Right this minute, I’m seeing the squirrels frantically trying to get the last of the seed out of one of the bird feeders outside my window, and they also make me smile.

3. Which place do you recommend as a Must-See? Please state which country, state or providence. I don’t think I can answer this one. The world is full of things to be seen, and what a “must-see” would be would depend on the individual, don’t you think? For me, must-sees are ocean coasts, whether in this country or another; the skies on starry nights; a happy puppy rolling in the snow; the list could go on. However, when I take this question at face value and pay attention to the fact that Cee said “place”, for me some of the places I’ve seen that I think are must-sees are the Great Wall in China, the Rocky Mountains in both Colorado and Canada, the Badlands in the Dakotas, the Great Lakes, an old Polish village, Big Ben in London, the coastlines in Oregon, California and Maine – and there are many more places I would like to see.

Complete this sentence: When I was younger I used to…. be energetic and able to spend many more hours in the garden than I can now; I used to love to go swimming, walk in the first snow, spend evenings out having fun with friends, be more vehement about things I cared about, ride ATCs, the three-wheel kind, in sand dunes and love the thrill of it. . .

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 that the precipitation we got this past week was in the form of rain while the mountains got snow, I am grateful for evenings with my little furry girl in my lap and the big furry girls nearby, and I am grateful for communications with my daughter and my son and my friends. I look forward to more of the same in the coming week.

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Have I Told You Lately

That I am over winter? Have I told you lately that I’ve been dreaming of sun, sand, water, warmth?
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Have I told you that I have been yearning to walk along a sandy beach with people I care about?
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Have I told you that even a foggy day would be good with me, as long as there was sand, water, and people I care about?
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Have I told you I’m wishing my life away, sitting here wishing winter away? Silly, isn’t it? Yesterday, when the rain had fallen and temperatures had risen and the snow was turning to slush, making driving in it an interesting adventure, I thought I was winning. I thought I was defeating the yearning, and I hoped I would waken this morning to the green, green grass of home. Yes, it’s true – sometimes I suffer from delusions. Or you could call it having hope.
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What did I wake up to this morning? Gray skies, with a momentary glimpse of bright color as the sun rose over the hill. I checked the weather forecast, as I do each morning, and what did it say? It did not say blue skies, sandy beaches, ocean waves. It did not even say blue skies. It said – are you ready? – it said inches of snow are to fall upon us today. It said there is a winter weather advisory. It said words I did not want to hear.
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So my dreams of sun, sand, warmth, and ocean waves will remain just that. Dreams. But dreams are good and my life is good and I really should not complain. I really do have enough. I just need to remember that when the dreams of sun, sand, warmth and ocean waves wash over me.
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The sun, sand, warmth, and ocean waves will be there later in the year, when it is really spring or summer. When mountain roads are clear again, and it is time for Girls’ Week at the coast.

Have I told you lately that in the meantime – this life is enough? I will dream, but I will know I have enough. And there are those pictures of warmth, sun, sand, and ocean waves to drool over. Yep. But still, have I told you lately that I am over winter?

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