I have the time to do nature #gratitude

6 years ago when we bought this house, the attraction was the pond out the back window. It was a deal breaker for me, it had to have a view of a lake…I got a beautiful pond with wildlife. Our first spring in the house we realized we had an amazing walking trail around the pond and deeper into treed area in the subdivision.

Being required to shelter in place this spring has been a blessing. The walking trail and hanging out around the pond is a gift! I have the time to just breath and Be. Today I watched turtles playing hide and seek with me. It’s like they knew when I was looking and they would only show me their noses

….and then there are the geese. Last year we had a pair of geese and 4 goslings. We watched this family of 6 all summer as the babies grew up. It was always the group of 6 floating around together….by the end of fall, we had no idea who was the mom and dad and who were the kids but they were always out there together doing their family thing!

Now..this year, we have a couple who hangs out by our bird feeder. They have no fear…they don’t honk, they don’t arrogantly walk away, they don’t flap…I half expect them to speak to me in the mornings, “how did you sleep Mrs Brown?”

But these two have become a problem for the young family who appeared yesterday. The new family has a child.

They are very protective of Jr and actually hissed and started charging me on the trail. I got far enough away to just stop and watch “our geese” walk down to the pond to make their acquaintance….Which caused very loud dispute, flapping and all out dislike. I tell you…”our geese” were just trying to be welcoming and visit the little gosling. Mom and dad were very protective of the baby and would accept no intrusion.

I was seriously overcome with emotion watching nature in action…the instinct of the parents to protect their young.

I hope you have a place to feel nature and the beauty of just being outside. I feel blessed and grounded, I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.


We are magnets

I totally subscribe to the law of mind action. The key idea — that human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Simply put..if we think sad thoughts, we experience sadness. If we think happy thoughts we experience happiness. I think we can fill in the blanks with the emotions we often feel and the fact that we draw those things to us. I also believe the theory that the short temper and irritation we feel toward others is a mirror effect….if we examine our reactions to others, we most likely will see a reflection of the personal behaviors and traits we find offensive to match similar fears and traits in our own behaviors.

Similarly, I’ve found some mental relief by not watching, reading or hearing the news. Going from being a news junkie every waking moments and feeling panic, anger and hatefulness seemed to be drawing things to me which caused similar reactions. I was actually starting to feel gloom and doom all of the time. I was afraid! I finally figured it out. Savvy reporters know how to write a good 1st paragraph to keep us coming back with one new fear after another. It’s part of the news gathering and writing process and I chose to take back my power.

Instead I have recently been drawn to the smooth and passionate, soul soothing voice of Andrea Bocelli. I have never been drawn to this genre before but my soul knew what I needed to hear. I’m not suggesting that everyone start listening to Bocelli music…I am suggesting that turning up the music and allowing the tunes, the voices, the passion be the backdrop of your day and allow some music to replace the chatter and soothe the soul!


Would I be willing to sacrifice my hand?

We have been quite content following quarantine rules… content might not be the word I want to use…*exchange content with safe. As long as we are home or outside on the walking trail, I’ve felt safe and secure…it felt comfortable. No decisions had to be made while thriving in my bubble.

Now the Governor is opening up the state on May 4th. Mayors in several cities close to the KC Metro have given May 15th as opening day. People are still getting sick…yes…not as many perhaps…but I always find it incredible when someone rationalizes the low percentage of people that may die. I saw a Facebook post recently that asked “those” people who were comfortable with a small percentage of people dying to please write down the names of two people in their family they were willing to sacrifice in order to have the freedom to get back to what they believe normal is.

I came to the conclusion after overthinking Covid-19 that it really isn’t fear that is causing me to avoid crowds or avoid contact with other people when I have no idea who they have been in contact with. But I guess it must be a little bit of fear…I don’t want to get sick…whether its a bad head cold, influenza or Covid-19 virus. It’s kind of like deciding if I want to lose an eye, a hand or a foot. I don’t want to lose any of them.

So for now, I don’t plan on lifting my personal restriction on practicing social distancing…staying at home, washing my hands, coughing into my elbow and wearing a mask if I do venture out. It’s what I feel is right for me. I don’t begrudge the humans that want to start shopping and dining out, etc. I hope they stay healthy, I hope we can lift up this virus to a level that it will take care of itself, I hope for good medication or better yet a vaccine… but I am comfortable with my personal choice to stay home and stay healthy.


The Roomba has gone rogue

I really wish I had pictures of HIM crawling around on the floor in my craft room repeating over and over…it’s not under here. It couldn’t get under here.

This was right after I went into a panic because there was a wet spot on the floor under the master bathroom. I moved the trash can to catch any drips. And then I recalled that two hours earlier I had leaned over to plug in my space heater with my IPAD in one hand and my jumbo Bubba cup in the other. Obviously a couple drips of water……

Where is the Roomba

Not under the day bed, not in the bathroom, there’s no way it could get under the desk, not under the craft cabinet…I accused him of messing with me…in his sternest voice he assured me that he absolutely was not messing with me.

Much Later I was cleaning up supper dishes (because there is absolutely no hurry to do them anymore) I was drawn to this cupboard….

No….the Roomba wasn’t in there…

I was starting to feel totally detached from reality. I had no idea what was behind this cupboard door. I’m not sure I have even opened that door since I put the plastic containers in it obviously a long time ago. Those same plastic containers I’ve been searching for.

Rex is sleeping like this

Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my sense of reality and just need to get out of this house…or perhaps just add different music to my playlist. But my music is so comfortable, I don’t have to question what song is next. Don’t misunderstand most of the time I actually feel pretty happy and content but things just feel like they aren’t where they belong….

Oh…the Roomba….he crawled completely under the desk which is barricaded on all sides by important stuff. Somehow It was stuck in a corner. The thought crossed my mind that if that thing had come to life under there while I was working at the computer, it would have been all over!

Stay sane, my friends!

It seems like just yesterday

My daughter put random pictures on line last weekend of her cousins playing and posing for pictures over the years. Looking at those pictures, I was filled with so many memories. It seems like just yesterday.

In 2013, we had one daughter living in Ohio and one in Missouri. HE had already officially retired and was working part time waiting for me to retire the next year when we found out the Missouri daughter was going to give us a grandchild. We made the decision to leave everything we had ever known and move south . We loaded up 2 dogs and 5 cats and made the official move on the same day I was free of a job I had for 30 years. Where had those 30 years gone? It seems like just yesterday.

The first part of March we really had no idea how our life was going to change. It seems like just yesterday. Life as we had known it…family, trips back to Iowa to see family and friends, planning babysitting activities, going out to eat, shopping and our activities at Unity….they just stopped! It seemed like everything just stopped! I can’t wrap my head around how life has changed for the world…not just my little corner.

We are coping. That means whatever it means for each individual and the circumstances of their lives! I have to remind myself that we are a strong people. Most of us will survive. My prayer is we can show love and kindness to each human we cross paths with while recognizing the gratitude and thankfulness for all of those little acts of kindness. A few years from now we will remember this time as the moment everything changed. It will seem like just yesterday.


I went out today…

I didn’t really appreciate being out of the house as much as I expected I would. My first stop was the Pleasant Hill Post Office to drop off a package and do my civic duty buying stamps. It was VERY pleasant. The post office clerk seemed like an old soul. She told me about how her daughter and a friend who also lives in Pleasant Hill have taken to writing letters to each other on old stationery. She was delighted that she was able to share this gift of letter writing that was handed down from her mother and now to her daughter. The story made my heart happy!

*slather hands, debit card, key, car door handle, steeering wheel with hand sanitizer.

The less pleasant stop occurred at the local hardware store where I spotted the beginning of an outdoor plant sale which was nearly empty of customers. There were 6 of us. 3 unmasked under the age of 50 and 3 masked actors all over age 60. The masked players were considerate and polite. I was sorry I had my mask on while waiting in the checkout lane. The under 50 male ahead of me in line said with a sneer to the older man ahead of him (loud enough for all of us to hear) that it was starting to look like the Jesse James gang around here I hope you all don’t go to the bank…oh wait…the lobby is closed. I really wanted to remove my mask, step closer to him and cough my head off then apologize because I had forgotten my mask and repeat under my breath several times that I hoped he would be okay.

As I waited, I realized that scenario in my head was only hurting me. It was only making me angry. The scenario playing out in my head was rooted in anger than someone was making fun of me (us) and MY truth that I find bully behavior and disrespect as an undesirable human trait.

So I blessed his humanity. Took a deep breath of gratefulness that I can recognize others are on a different journey than I am and focused on the beauty of my flowers….and the love I have in my life and holding this hatefulness to a stranger with bad manners really had nothing to do with me.


Puzzled and Beyond

Had I written this blog on Friday, I would have shared my distrust of buying cheap puzzles at Tuesday Morning. I would have told the story of how I victim sighed, traded off with irritation sighing. Tried to explain how he eerily, silently moved around the table examining the puzzle, also feeling irritated, but much quieter. I’m never sure if his reaction is good breeding or fear!

This is more of a Dear Diary entry to get the story written down but feel free to read along.

We started this 1000 piece puzzle a couple weeks ago, tired quickly of the daunting challenge and left it on the dining room table covered with a sheet. I didn’t love the thought and wasn’t in the mood to work on it but recoiled with shocked sighing when he suggested we put it back in the box and do it later. I was pretty sure that later would not come knowing we would have to do the outside edge again…so over the next few days, we worked on it together and then I realized it was becoming an obsession because we also worked on it individually….early morning and late at night.

The turning point came Friday when we realized there had to be a lot of pieces missing

Ya. Let’s dump it.

But I decided Saturday morning to give it one more try. A few hours later when the last piece was placed, we realized 6 pieces were in fact missing. So we started lifting carpets, vacuuming, moving things. One by one, we found every piece camouflaged on the rug and on the dining room floor.

It was finished and it was beautiful. We stood around the table discussing all of the challenges….how difficult the bananas were, the blue grapes drove me crazy … oh there’s a coconut, “well you put it together” but together we created a masterpiece…

Then we tore it apart, boxed it up and pulled the next one out of the closet.

Shelter eating

I realized that while sheltering in place the possibility my weight would go the only way it knows to go…UP…Think hot air balloon…emphasis on balloon. So I decided to change the way I think about it. I was not going to deprive myself of anything… because those things you focus on are what you call to you. As I do in meditation, I decided when I got the signal that I wanted sugar or starch, I would acknowledge the thought, not assign bad to the thought or even attempt to say Stop to the thought. Of course the mouthpiece on my other shoulder took this as a challenge. I let the noise pass like I do the cat’s abusive meowing on the others side of the bedroom door as soon as he hears someone moving around in the morning.

For the last month, I have been eating only eggs, tuna, meat and vegetables. I supplement once a day with cottage cheese and canned pears or a banana and treat myself mid afternoon to a tortilla with Peanut butter. Every now and then throw in a nuked sweet potato only for the adventure of trying to pull the skin off the sweet potato with two forks without blistering my fingers from the heat.

I’m finding the shelter in place makes healthy eating easier. We have our groceries delivered by instacart which takes away the aisle surfing in the grocery store. If I don’t have sugar and starch in the house, I don’t eat it because…I”m sheltering in place and don’t go to the grocery store. So, theoretically, the only time I really need to use discipline is when I’m ordering my food on line.

Just another positive lesson I”m learning during this pandemic.

Until next time….

Day 1,000 in captivity

He is thinking about going to the front yard today, he spent time in the backyard yesterday.

I lost my dirty green sweatshirt and found it in the dirty clothes basket so I was forced to find it’s replacement…bright white

I cut my own bangs. I look twelve and this is not what I meant when I said I wanted to look younger.

We continually work on this 1,000 piece vegetable puzzle. Purple grapes had me questioning my life and my choices but made headway last night…I think we are already missing some pieces…damn cats! I think you can see the fake smiles in this picture and I notice It appears he is using his strength clutching the box to lessen his angst.

This lovely Christmas gift from the kids has become the most exciting thing in our life. When the yellow finch is dining, Rex is able to fly through the air and bump into the Window…the bird flies off and Rex gets sprayed with the water bottle which means the window is constantly wet with running drips. Of course this may be the only cleaning they get this spring. I’m way too busy.

I hope this finds you as content as we are!


Fill in the blank and cottage cheese

It hasn’t been that long ago…although definitely pre pandemic time….HE was telling a story about a dinner staple when he was growing up…his mother putting a canned peach slice on a plate topped with cottage cheese. I made the well known gesture of pointing to my throat meaning “gag me” because I was reliving the same memory. My mother often dressed the pineapple or pear slice up with a slice of banana along side the masterpiece with a maraschino cherry on top.

Many decades later, during this pandemic, I found a can of sliced pears in the pantry and just happened to have some AE brand cottage cheese in the fridge. I did it. What I tasted was my past….the comfort of my past…when I took my first spoonful I realized that if my past had a taste…this was it. I have never liked maraschino cherries…in fact, I have never understood why Restaurants find it necessary to top your huge ice cream delight with a little bitty cherry on top WITH A STEM attached.

Just one of those things I was thinking about while eating my bowl of pineapple chunks and cottage cheese on this rainy day…and because we are all sheltering in place and many of us alone today, this would be a good time to comment with what your past would taste like!