monday || week 7

"We were sent into the world alive with beauty. As soon as we choose Beauty, unseen forces conspire to guide and encourage us towards unexpected forms of compassion, healing and creativity."
- John O'Donohue

i am a bit off, wanting to pull into myself, cautious and watchful. 
every sense of my being is tuned into the ocean; the smell of
the salt, the power of the waves, the music of the tide. 

“But what would that be like
feeling the tide rise
out of the numbness inside” 
― David Whyte, Where Many Rivers Meet: Poems

he walks ahead of me and then turns back and reaches
for my hand. we walk, not talking, together and yet alone. 
this deserted coastline holds memories for me that reach deep into
depths of my childhood; crab-pots mixed with the smell of coconut suntan oil
fishing lines and chocolate milkshakes at the local drive in. 

the storm, the night before, has brought new art forms to the beach; crushed
shells, driftwood and flowing sand rivers. the treasures are few and far between, 
but every where i look i clearly see that there is nothing but beauty surrounding us. 

“What I have not seen
or failed to see
I leave as a gift.” 
― David Whyte, Where Many Rivers Meet: Poems

she runs right up to me, tail wagging and eager to be friends. 
i claim she senses i don't feel quite whole without a dog by my side. 
she poses, her unusual eyes and coat and her sweet personality, capture my attention and my heart. 

i lose track of the times we say to each other; look at the waves now. . .  
we are in bed early with our books. 

"You have come to the shore. There are no instructions."
- Denise Levertov

how was your week? 

tuesday || love

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.
~ Mother Teresa

they were all home for their dad's birthday. 
everyone brought him candy and we made tamales
for dinner, along with this vegan chocolate cake
i made them all help roll the tamales
and line up outside to take a photo.
it makes me feel good to think i still can get them
to listen to me at times and do what i ask. 

he gets nervous when the house is full of people, 
even his people, and their dogs. . .  

I say, thirteen is too many dogs for good mental health. Five is pretty much the limit. More than five dogs and you forfeit your right to call yourself entirely sane. Even if the dogs are small.
~ E. Lockhart

happy valentines day to this old man
and to all of you! 
hope your day is full of love. 


friday || snow

“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.” 
~Ernst Haas

we lose a tree in the snowstorm, it is small
and covered in ivy. . . both of us having said, for a few years now, 
that it needed to come down. nature takes care of it for us. 
it lands, doing no damage and i am able to get up close
to see its beauty from a different point of view. 

"But, like ivy, we grow where there is room for us."
~ Miranda July 

the snow is deep and heavy, quiet and beautiful. 
i take the dog out to play three times the very first day,
much like i did the boys, when they were little. 
however, he does not require dry clothes, warm mittens
or hot chocolate with marshmallows. 

"Only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself."
~ Ruth Stout

we eat soup and homemade biscuits. 
hot from the oven. with butter and Courtney's raspberry jam. 
such an indulgence. . .
i read this and this and finish this finally. 

we take care of paper work, and really start to feel
retired. . . i spend time thinking about camping
and kayaking, and mark up my seed catalog
while drinking peppermint tea. 

"There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown."
~ Alice B. Tokas 

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
~ Roald Dahl

yes, i know. . .  that face! 
i feel the very same way. 

thank you for stopping by, 
have a great weekend. 

monday || week 5

“Ant Prune was holding one of the squirrels in her hand. ‘And once a day, we have ta clean their little private parts with a Q-tip, so they'll learn ta clean themselves.'
That was a visual I didn't need” 
― Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures

as mad as i get at them for robbing the bird seed, 
i sure had fun with this guy yesterday. 
even with this view i am not sure if it is a male or female. 

I like squirrels. They're so adventurous. 
~ Gabby Douglas

We all have this deep-rooted fascination with the wild. It's as simple as feeding squirrels and pigeons on a park bench for some people.
- Nick Jans

they have their own food, 
they even have their own feeder, 
but they like the bird's food best, 
or maybe it is the challange of it all. 
and they drive Basil crazy. . . 

i am sure he was getting ready to throw a snowball at me here. 

how was your week? 

Wednesday || so long January

“Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.” 
― Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Canary

January started off all fresh and new. . . 
and then turned bitter and sour. i am not sorry to see her go. 

Feeling a little blue in January is normal. 
~ Marilu Henner

it was not just politics (although they did play a part), 
but somehow i never really got my feet planted firmly. 
retirement while grand, makes me feel a little like a newlywed
(and no i don't mean in that way). . .  togetherness day in
and day out can be a challenge. 

You can't party all the time - especially in January! 
~ Neon Hitch

when confused i hunker down and take care of what i can control; 
i clean out closets, walk the dog, get to the gym, cook soup, 
watch movies and read. i let go of trying to figure everything out.
and then on day i wake up feeling as if i am caught in sticker bushes, 
but i don't panic, i just get enraged. . . voices are raised and tears may flow
and then, just like that. . .  relief surfaces and the turmoil starts to fade away. 

January is the garbage can of movies in America, directly after all the Oscar contenders have been out. 
~ Michael Caine

flowers help. . .  

and so does the dog. 

but mostly it is him. he listens, even if he doesn't understand.
he lets me vent and takes it all in (making piecharts in his head no doubt) 
knowing me well enough to know this is how i work.  he nods in agreement
and knows to not butt in with his version of answers. and, he is there when i am done
willing to go another round. and for that i am so blessed. 

hello February, 
let's be kind to each other! 

“Groundhog found fog. New snows and blue toes. Fine and dandy for Valentine candy. Snow spittin'; if you're not mitten-smitten, you'll be frostbitten! By jing-y feels spring-y.” 
― Old Farmer's Almanac

saturday || week 4

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you. 
~  Mary Tyler Moore

the week is full of so many emotions. i find myself sitting
quietly, seeking how i truly feel about the issues
vibrating through our county right now. i step forward, 
within my frame of mind, only to have someone i respect
cause me to question my basic convictions and thoughts. 
i come to understand that i often am in nomad's land, 
able to see and respect different sides of the issues, 
without any clear stand of my own. 

The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. 
~ Molly Ivins


in the course of each day i feel: hopeless, angry, 
frustrated, powerless, skeptical, tearful, distrustful and disappointment. 
i am not on either side with both feet planted firmly, 
so i sink into the muck of agitation and befuddlement. 
and am irritated with myself for not having a clear stand,
so i turn to kindness; towards myself and others. 

I think the associations people have with kindness are often things like meekness and sweetness and maybe sickly sweetness; whereas I do think of kindness as a force, as a power. 
~ Sharon Salzberg


i use my body; i walk and go to the gym every day. 
i take a new restoration yoga class, a whole hour with my breath, listening
to the instructor's soft voice guiding me to connection. . .  
i pray, i love, i open doors and offer to take back
shopping carts, i step back from social media,
i pick up my camera and laugh with him and snuggle with
the dog. i quiet things down so i can hear myself think. 

Each of us has an inner room where we can visit to be cleansed of fear-based thoughts and feelings. This room, the holy of holies, is a sanctuary of light.
~ Marianne Williamson

i wonder if it is okay to be a bit passive in my voice? to change my mind
because my views shift and change as i grow and change. 
what was right for me in my thirties, does not always feel like it fits now. 
i worry people will not approve, or will turn their backs on me, 
or worse yet, think i am a "cause", needing to be fixed.
and yet, among all the back and forth bitterness i can't always
come face to face with a clear stance or view, i am able to see
all sides. i understand it is not the the different views,
but rather the name calling and bickering that is causing me sadness. 

i wonder when respect and manners became uncool?
when mockery and lack of respect became the norm, along with presumptions.
and when did the f-word became THE best word for everything? 
but most of all i grieve the loss of kindness. . .  

yes, we have work to do, no matter what side you are on,
but it will take time. 
let's be kind to each other in the process. . .  

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. ~John F. Kennedy