Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crystals and Feathers, Shadows and Light

I'm loving my morning time when all the animals are eating breakfast (in their own places) and I am waiting for the sheep to finish so I can let the geese out.

I looked up to the pastures and this is what I saw-- crystals!

This picture, though altered, is more what my eyes saw.  The scene reminded me of a road trip Rosemary and I took once where we hunted for crystals in Arkansas.
The geese drop feathers everywhere but I never noticed them like I did that morning I took this picture.

Some mornings, the sun is just coming up when I get down to the animals.  Look how long the shadows of these locust trees are.  And check out how the shadows go across the sheep and up the side of the garage/barn.

The sun was reflecting off the ice of the puddle pond 

 and outlining the sheep as they went off to the pasture.  This picture is fun to study from different angles where the background is darkened.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Over the Mountain

What's missing in this picture?  Oh I know, the tiny house that has been sitting under the hickory tree for a year and a half.

 The tiny house moved to Albemarle county November 19th.  For the trip, I drove lead, followed by the tiny house, then John, and then the nervous homeowner.  It was so wonderful looking in my rearview mirror and seeing the tiny house roll along with such confidence.  The sight was very emotional for me.

This is the new location for this lovely home.  Such a sweet  spot.

It really is a home now as you can see.

Gramma approves

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The First Gift - Extended Practice of My Meditation

Standing in the sun, listening  to the sheep eat their morning hay, all is quiet.

The new morning routine is: get the sheep their hay first, put some hay in the goose run, let the chickens out to go eat the grain  I have put out for them, clean the water buckets, and then stand in the morning sun and be thankful.

Yesterday, I realized that there was a better way to distribute the hay between the two hay feeders.  This morning there was less moving of the sheep back and forth and in turn a greater sense of peace.  And then there was a sharp "crack".   The sheep moved away from the hay feeder and looked to one direction.  It happened a few times more, so I said I would go investigate.  It didn't take long to realize that the sharp sound was made by hickory nuts hitting the roof of the tiny house and the tractor lean-to.  The chickens were peacefully eating their grain (they had already figured it out).  As I stood under the exquisite hickory, I watched the leaves fluttering down.  In my new meditative state, I noticed that the greener leaves flutter/fell at a swifter rate than the yellow.  Hickory trees have divided leaves so what was fluttering for the most part were leaflets.  Occasionally a whole leaf would glide to the ground.

I went back to report to the sheep and let the geese out as the sheep had finished their hay.

 Frost on the roof and on the tiny pumpkin on the front porch.  The "just right house" , as Lyndy call it, is scheduled to move this week.  We are all so very excited!

These pictures don't really capture the moment, but I think they catch some of the morning motion.

   Thanks to the geese motivating me to arrange the morning routine differently, I now have a time to more fully practice my meditation. 

I follow Paulo Coelho's blog and here is the latest.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Peace or Chaos

Yesterday morning I gave the sheep some hay for the first time this season.  What craziness.  The geese were out so they chased the sheep away from one hay feeder to the other and then went over to the other to harass the sheep again.  The motion was like a tornado.

 I finally got the geese to go through the gate, except Prince.  I thought, "oh well one goose won't attack".  Ha, he did.  Finally, I cornered him and took him to where the other geese were.

The animals all move around each other pretty well most of the time, unless food is involved.  And if it is grain in feed bowls the geese are content to have one, but yesterday was chaotic and dangerous.

This morning I hosted a womans' group from church.  After all but Chris had left, I told her about the scene of yesterday morning.  Chris has horses and had earlier been talking about her relationship with her horses.  We strategized and I said I could feed the geese in their run while the sheep had their hay but this would mean waiting for the sheep to finish to let the geese out, (maybe 20 minutes).  Chris reminded me that this was a gift from the geese to give me a time to hang out with the animals or just be in the moment and get ready for the day to come.

A little while ago, I was reading a message, forwarded from a friend, written by a spiritual worker. In the message, she said she woke up this morning to bird songs before she heard the results of the election.  Basically, she said it was the bird songs that were important.  In this time of uncertainty, she suggested staying in touch  with the world we know that supports us.

Leave the worry and anxiety to others and maybe with our inner peace we can feed others.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Animal Joy

Back from the southwest and a life of leisure.  We saw so many amazing incredible sights and couldn't get over how MUCH uninhabited land there is in this country.  If anyone is looking for a new home after next Tuesday and don't want to move out of the country, call me and I will give you some ideas of where you can go to get away from everything.

The whole week we were gone I only saw one sheep and a few cattle farms.  We saw a sign that said, "watch for deer next 37 miles" and another that said tortoise crossing", but we saw no deer and no tortoises.  We did see a few elk and a few buffalo.  We ate at a couple of restaurants that welcomed dogs on the patio.  We have a few restaurants here that allow dogs outside but these places had dog bowls and even served dog lunches and 1/2 off lunches if the dogs were in costume for Halloween (Karen's kind of place).

Now we are home where there are 9 sheep, 5 geese, and 4 chickens.  Whenever we go away and come back, I think about how good the animals have it here.  They may not realize this because only a few have lived anywhere else and they probably don't remember previous homes.

On the way down to the barn this afternoon, I saw one of those black and brown caterpillars that are suppose to indicate what kind of winter we are in for.  I forget which color is for mild and which is for harsh.  Some say you go by which color is prominent.  Some even say that winter starts out the way of the first color and then changes to correspond with the next color on the caterpillar.  I have seen these critters in various color combinations; sometimes front and back are brown with black in the middle, sometime vice versa, sometimes half and half.  Today's caterpillar was all black.  What does that mean??

Today, while I was helping with birdseed pickup, we were watching the migrating birds swirling around.   While we waited for people to come for their seed, we shared "squirrels stealing birdseed stories".    Animals bring so much joy.

The photo above was taken at Redrock Canyon Nevada where the tortoises live.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lyndy's New Couch

This is the couch I made from the Habitat chair.  Now I am making the cushions for it.  The webbing is fire hose (nice stuff) this one is not too stiff and heavy.  

Our new couch and chair were delivered so now I can take the old couch and chair apart.  I hope this works well.  The couch doesn't have arms because it is going to line up with a table (also of fire hose webbing) to make a guest bed.  Everything in a tiny house has to do at least two things.  Lyndy has done a great job designing this house; with help from John of course.  

I hope either the couch or Lyndy's danish chair, is comfortable, in the end. The only other thing to sit on is a couple of folding chairs, which are actually pretty comfortable, and my favorite spot, the steps to the loft.    I hope I can finish this by Tuesday.   

Monday, October 17, 2016

Laying in the "Hammock between Over and Next"

In an interview on NPR, Norman Lear (93 years old) was asked if he had a couple of words of wisdom and he replied, "Over and Next".  He said if you could lay in a hammock between over and next it would be about as close as you could get to living in the moment.

That's where I was this afternoon.  The sheep had there 1st day of their annual retreat leaving the barnyard and pastures to hangout at the cabin.  I sat in the chair in the barnyard looking at the clouds.

When I was a child, I loved laying in the grass looking up to a blue sky filled with puffy clouds, seeing what animals and other shapes blew by.  Today, I sat in a chair because a barnyard isn't the same as a grassy lawn.  I looked up and what did I see?, I saw a goose and a sheep.  The goose had a top thing on its head like a roadrunner, but definitely goose feet and bill.  The sheep was as round as the ones in the cabin lawn.

What a quiet carefree day, until a walnut would fall from the great walnut tree and fall on the cabin's metal roof.  The temperature was perfect accompanied by a warm gentle breeze.  I LOVE the clear sounds and freshness of fall.

Yesterday is OVER.  I hiked with a bunch of people with weather more perfect than today.  We followed the St. Mary's River in the St. Mary's National Wilderness.  The trees are finally beginning to turn and the sweet birch are orange.  When you break a small twig and chew on it, you can smell and taste spearmint.  We hiked 6 miles and the 4th mile nearly took me out.  Three of us were coming down ahead of the others and decided to take a different trail to avoid some of the creek crossings.  That we did, but we found ourselves on ledges testing roots and small stones for hand and foot holds.  The concentration needed to keep us from sliding down the bank into the shallow river, gave a new meaning to "living in the moment".  Now that is OVER and I look forward to NEXT.

A couple of  years ago, I was part of an after school program at the local middle school.  The first part of the program was homework help.  This was followed by opportunities, presented by community folk, to explore all kinds of  interests that might be meaningful to that age group.  The program was appropriately named NEXT.  We would say, "see you next time" and the kids were alway encouraged to think about what might come next for them.  This is huge for some of the kids in this county who have never allowed themselves to think they might have a different future than their parents.  What is my NEXT?

I have many possibilities, one of which is fly fishing.  I was going to take it up just before I broke my ankle a few years ago and now I have a new exciting opportunity to try it again.   But alas, that is a topic for next time.

I was talking to one of my most faithful blog followers the other day and I told her that I hadn't been blogging as much because of the difficulties of uploading pictures when I changed my operating system.  I said I didn't think anyone wanted to hear me ramble on.  She said she liked both sides of my blogging, so  ... this is for you Jen.