Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Felted card

This blog is for Gail because she is starting to felt and was talking about doing a card.  I couldn't get this picture from my photos to just email her because it came up in a completely different set of photos and could not be moved to my desk top or anywhere else that I could figure out.  Oh well.

I hate all the things I can not figure out on the computer but I am not going to spend significant time trying to figure it out because I have better things to do.  I do want Gail to see this though.

This card did take a lot of time to do but it was enjoyable time.  Needle felting is not really my thing right now but I do enjoy wet felting which is what the base of this card is.

Enjoy Gail.

Sweet Amelia

Amelia died suddenly a few weeks ago.  I still feel her presence.  She had the most beautiful locks!  And such luster.  She was a Cotswold. Amelia always let you know she was around.  Like Charlotte and sometimes Gretta, you knew Amelia was beside you or behind you without turning around or looking down.  

Amelia came to live here when she was maybe a week old with her mom, Hildegard from the Frontier Culture Museum.  Amelia had a wonderful life here as one of a flock of 9 sheep.  
She would have been 11 years old in April.  Sheep live, at average, 10-12 years.  Amelia was not an average sheep though.  She was personable and liked kids and having her picture taken.   

Amelia will be missed but never forgotten.


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Gratitude for All that Is

I am grateful for helping spirits of the East.  The air that provides each breath as we go forward and the breath that soothes discomfort or anxiety.  Eagles soaring and condors and all the winged creatures that teach us to fly.  I am grateful for new beginning and possibilities, new days, new seasons, the new leaves of Spring and the fragrant smells that uplift us and new growth for all living things. Help us to start anew with the anticipation of a child and the confidence of the newborn in the wild.

I am grateful for helping spirits of the South.  Fire that warms and feeds and dances.  Burn that which no longer serves us and turn it to ash to feed the earth.   Summer fun and summer nights that bring respite from the summer days.  I am grateful for the Sun that heats the earth and brings life to ALL.

I am grateful for the helping spirits of the West.  For water in all places and stages.  The rushing rivers and drops of rain that hold the world upside down.  For the lakes and great oceans that bathe us and wake us to abundant life.  For fish and otters and starfish and sea horses.  Our bodies are filled with fluent water which moves us to help do what is best for all creation.  For the autumn of our lives and peace knowing what we know.

I am grateful for the helping spirits of the North.  For ancestors and grandmothers and grandfathers whose wise teachings stay with us and pass through us.  Winter brings rest and open forests and amplification of all earthsounds, which bring gratefulness to our bones.  Wise owl, thank you for your teachings as well.  I am grateful for white bear and all the north creatures. 

I am grateful for the Upper world, the lights in the night from stars and planets.  For mystery and unique beauty.   Great Creator, God of all things,  help us to listen with both ears.

I am grateful for the Lower world, the darkness, the world of creepy crawlers, the place of bones decaying and decomposers working to bring sustenance.

I am grateful for the Center world and grounding and knowing.

I am grateful for all Angels and Archangels and ancestors and helping spirits in all realms.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Even on Hard Days

I am grateful.  The gosling count this year was up to 8 today and then we lost one, a birth defect.  Another is having difficulties.

  Loss is hard even when it is a 1 day old gosling, many are losing mothers or fathers or sisters or brothers sons and daughters and other family and friends.  Such a difficult time.

  I am grateful for uplifting stories that are being shared.  Yesterday, we heard an interview with a couple that were getting married.  The man is 107 and his wife to be, 100.  They sounded so happy and excited.

  We took a ride today to one of our favorite spots.  The canyon was gorgeous with all the wild dogwood and redbuds and the river rushing and out of its banks.  

Each day I still wake up excited about the possibilities for the day and grateful that I get to be a part of it.  I feel strangely removed from all the hardship, anxiety, and sadness that others are experiencing. I don't find myself worried about the future and in fact I see myself as a part of the future healing and I will be grateful for that opportunity.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Porch Serenade

Early Morning after a night rain
Wrapped in robe and blankets
Swaying on the porch swing

The Mocking Bird yaps from the closest tree
How many languages?
Another bird then, like me, knows only one

Faint gobbling of wild turkeys in a distant forrest
Other birds too and then a lull
Dueling drips from the porch roof join the chorus

Little Gray scratching the porch woodpile
Brings the memory of a cigar banjo twang
Then offers another pitch from a twig batted along the porch

I try to ignore the early flights that cross the sky
The lumber mill starting up
Really? another plane?

Ah, back to mourning dove's forlorn cry
Moos of neighbor cattle
And the dueling drops have now become a symphony

Monday, March 23, 2020

A Great Wave of Gratitude

Last night I was looking at my computer wallpaper and I was suddenly aware of a great wave of gratitude.  The picture is of one of my best friends at one of my favorite places on earth with a look of contemplation.  I was grateful for my friend for sure but also for every blade of grass, ever grain of sand, the mountains and on and on.  What an exhilarating feeling.

In mid December, during a shamanic journey, I asked "owl" one of my guides, for wisdom for comfort.  He replied,"people are not in control".  I remember thinking that was really comforting.  It was comforting because we had been talking about how humans were continually really messing up the earth.  I think the thought is still comforting as we go through a global pandemic but I am not sure why.  Maybe it is because, since we are not in control of the virus, we have to stop flying which is a great relief to our Mother Earth.  Maybe we are using up fewer resources at this time as well.  There are some plusses to these troubling times.  Much to contemplate.

I am grateful for the comfort of this place I call home.  The mountains have always been a source of peace for me I think. I am grateful for my wonderiful husband and his enduring sense of humor.  He always has such interesting comments.  I am fortunate to have much space and many interesting projects.  I just wish I could have the help I anticipated having, to complete some of these projects.  When John's projects wane he helps with some of mine.  For that, I am super grateful.  I am making progress.
   I hope my feelings are shared by many.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

My Life is Joyful

I am grateful for the signs of Spring which officially comes in one week.  I am grateful that I can still sling a shovel and operate a backhoe.  Tomorrow's challenge is to remove the rock in the back corner.

It is difficult digging in the clay but it will make a good base.  Can't wait for the next step, stay tuned.

Many things are changing in life this week but many more are the same and dependable for example this project.  I already have half of the blocks I will need and the rest I can buy; most stores are still open.  May get some rain tomorrow.  We haven't had rain in awhile.  I cleaned up our bedroom today and now that my clutter is gone, it looks great.  On to the next room.  Plenty of projects inside and out.  I am grateful that I don't have to wonder if I am going to have a job next week. 

My job is to make sure those around me have what they need and for that I am grateful as well.

Saturday, February 15, 2020


I love lichen.  They are SO interesting.  I want to find someone nearby that can identify the 5 or more
lichen that sit in this container.  We have such an abundance of lichen.  I read that lichen are like a canary in a coal mine and if they disappear the air quality is not good.  Good to know we have good air to breath and for that I am grateful!

And this is the color that comes from one of the lichen that grows on the trees here.  AMAZING

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Just Right

I am grateful for evergreens and the winter color of flowers and berries.  There are many signs that Spring is not far away but it is still winter.  We could and may get more snow.  We could have single digit nights still, but unlikely.  I am grateful for each season as it comes even though I am not alway ready to leave the one we are in.

I love the things that don't seem to fit the seasons, like the yellow flower of Winter Jasmine.  Yellow flowers seem to belong in Spring and Summer.  I love the new little tufts of green grass.  I love when there is a warm wind where there should be a cold.  I heard the rumble of distant thunder a few days ago.

I am grateful for the clear blue sky today after days of clouds and I will be grateful for the next rain when it comes even though we had at least 5 inches of rain in the past few days.   

Some of the things that seem out of season or more severe may be signs of climate change but I am grateful that Mother Earth has ways of making mankind take notice.  I am always grateful for reminders when I need to take action. 

There are many things that are not the way I would like them to be but there are many more that are just right.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Grateful That People Care About Each Other

How is a blog classified?  Where does it fall?  Closer to a letter, group letter, email, post card, or train of thought?  I think of the blogs I write, as personal letters to whoever in the universe finds them.  Kind of like a letter in a bottle.

Jane is writing a personal letter a month starting with this new year.  I wonder when I will get mine.  I do still have two friends that write letters to me though they are sometimes closer to notes.  I love letters!  We used to send them before computers.  I remember when a friend of mine told me that her daughter hated when her letters turned to emails.  I think is was something about the smell not being there... or was it that she loved holding something that her mother held close to her?

Remember when we were in elementary school and we had pen pals that lived in far off places?  Do kids do this anymore?  Do strangers still write letters to inmates they have never met? I bet people in prison treasure personal letters but maybe now they get emails.  One special thing about letters was that you could fold them up small and put them in a box that would hold them safely until the recipient wanted to reread them.  Try to find an old email that someone wrote you several years ago.

And then there are books of letters, maybe love letters, sent from and received by unknown people.  They often read like poetry.

I am grateful for each personal letter I receive, love to get post cards, and look forward to emails.  So grateful I am that someone cares enough to write.  Jane, I hope this last paragraph doesn't move me to the bottom of the list.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Gratitude for Seeds

John often asks me at the end of a day, "How was your day" and yesterday I replied that my day was good and added that the highlight of my day was separating seeds.

As soon as I said that, I thought it sounded funny or would to someone listening.  To me though, it was a special time.  I had been reading about some Native American tribes that know that it is their responsibility to take care of the plants' babies (seed) so that the seed can take care of their babies.  They even sing to the seed.

I had forgotten what zinnia seeds look like when I took the flower heads out of my cloth bag and they began to fall apart and then I remembered.  As I began to sort, I was taking pinches and dropping on this box and soon realized that I could hear when a seed dropped and then pick it out.

The whole experience was meditative (except trying to pick some of the seed up).

I would love to hear Native Americans  sing to their seed!  I shall try to remember to sing to the seed I collect and plant.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Some Days More Things Come to Mind

I am grateful for Today.  I was reminded twice how wonderful things come out if you let others help using their talents.

 This morning a new acquaintance brought his clinometer over to Boxerwood to take some elevations for an accessible  trail we want to develop.  I didn't know about clinometers before and now I want one; what a useful tool.

As the day went on, it warmed a little and I was able to sit on a sunny step with my tea, to write.
I have been reading a book about conscious living.  One of the exercises in the book is a "life review" where you review your life in 7 year segments and write about memories and influences and special events and feelings.  Today, I embarked on the first 7 years of my life.  The exercise was very interesting and enlightening.

  The animals joined me (not in writing but in being present) and I believe they were very grateful  for the change of scenery and more even ground without frost heaves.  The geese were grateful that I filled a bowl with water so they didn't have to go all the way back to the barnyard for a drink.  I happened to be sitting in the line of flight of some bluejays; back and forth.  They are noisy flyers and certainly noticed when one is writing.  I was grateful that they did not drop anything on me.

When we all returned to the barnyard, it was nice to see that some body/ies evenly distributed the straw that I threw out for the geese this morning.  When it is COLD their feet get cold and they like straw to stand on.  I forget how good the chickens and geese are at moving straw around.  Pretty sure it was the chickens today; the geese do it differently.
 Anyway, a Lovely Day!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Gratitude for Memories

This morning, I walked halfway down to the barnyard taking in a beautiful foggy misty morning with the sun trying to come through.  I contemplated going back for my camera but decided not to.  Some times one just has to take it all in and realize that by putting your intention into the whole experience; the hush, the mystery, the feeling, not just what you see through a camera, you sometimes experience    a greater experience.  I was thinking about this on our Christmas Adventure out west.  Lyndy took about 10 times more pictures than I did.  I tried to make a mental picture most of the time (especially at sunrise and 9 degrees at Bryce Canyon).  I am glad that I did take some pictures though, because I did not remember how blue the sky was when we went to Zion National Park. (see gratitude for the elements).

My sister Judy's word for this year is acceptance.  She was emailing that she was accepting that her memory wasn't as good as it used to be.  BUT, remember all those Fabulous memories of magical trips and special moments with loved ones.  For instance, I may not remember all of the wonderful trip we took at Christmas but I will remember the amazing feeling of discovering all that we did with John and Lyndy.  Who cares if you don't remember what that orange stuff is in your freezer.  What was the feeling you had a moment ago, or what did you hear or smell that was amazing?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Learn Many Things -- Do Many Things

Today, I went to a funeral/celebration of life for a guy at church who died last week on his motorcycle.  He had gone on a ride and was returning home and turning into his driveway.  Not much damage to his bike or helmet so there is a possibility that it was not a crash but maybe some health issue.  Not sure if anything was determined yet.  He was interested in SO many things and did not have known health issues so his death has been described as tragic.

When you get to my age you start to think about how you want to die; suddenly, dramatically, after an illness that lets you go out slowly, doing something you love,  suddenly in your sleep.  After reading Illusions by Richard Bach and reading the way the main character goes out, I thought I guess it does not matter.  Maybe it matters more how you live not how you die.

I am grateful for today and hearing all the stories about Jeff and seeing all his family and how much they loved him.  Two of his daughters and two of his brothers reminded us to live life to it fullest like Jeff did.

I wonder how I will be remembered.  I hope someone says, "she cared".

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Critter Gratitude

Are the critters Grateful for Snow?

The geese seem to enjoy snow if it isn't too cold.

The chickens are probably grateful that Norma Jean is sharing the barn.

A brave chicken.

I don't know if the sheep are grateful for snow but I think they are grateful for the opportunity to go out to lunch.

Snowy Gratitude

I have always loved snow!  

This morning it is snowing and I am filled with soft peace.  For me snow is a feeling of warm and cozy even though I have memories of snow at the cuff of my mittens or gloves and in my boots and a snow ball exploding and drifting down my neck and body.  This morning I am inside with a warm cup of tea.

It was fun to see snow at Bryce Canyon and Zion over Christmas Hollidays.  It is hard to think of anything quite so beautiful as snow.

  I am grateful for all the wonderful memories of snow; snow forts, snow horses, snow angels, snowball fights, sledding, skiing, glissading in the spring/summer, in Colorado.  I love walking in the snow but this morning I decided not to walk with my town friends because I would have had to drive on our narrow twisty/whindy roads to get there.

One of my favorite snow walks was with Wednesday and Lyndy on a VERY snowy night in Chatham.  The street lights made the snow glisten like diamonds.  We could see our shadows on the snow too.  We walked to the drawbridge and watched as the white snow merged with the black water.  On the way home we could not see our tracks. The snow had erased any sign that we had come from that way.  I am grateful for how snow brings newness.  Maybe that is why snow seems so peaceful; it covers the old and presents a new canvas.  I am always grateful for new beginnings.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Gratitude for Elements

I am grateful for for rivers, time, temperatures and all elements that went into creating all the spectacular stone structures we saw on our Christmas adventures.  AND I am grateful for the opportunity to visit these amazing places with John and Lyndy.

The sheep and geese have some pretty amazing scenery they can see from the top of their pastures.  I wonder if they look in wonder like I do OR are they just interested in grazing.

I am grateful for snow and blue sky as well and the emotions they bring up.

Saturday, January 4, 2020


Every year for the last several years, I pick a word to keep close to me for the year; something I want to contemplate or understand better.  My sister Gail introduced me to this practice (thanks Gail).
This past week, after considering several words, I decided on "gratitude" to be my word for this year.  I think selecting this word evolved from a sickness last summer.

  I had a strange illness that felt like a poisoning.  I wanted to eat a little but everything tasted different than I was accustomed to, and I just did not know what my body needed.  After awhile, I went outside and browsed on plants growing on this property that I knew and that seemed appropriate.  I began to feel grounded in many ways and "connected" to what was important in this world then fairly rapidly, began to get well.  Strangely, after the whole ordeal, I felt gratitude for the sickness.

It is impossible or nearly impossible, I believe, to stay "connected" all the time.  Maybe monks get close.  The best I think we can do is live our 
lives as intentionally as we can.  When I manage to do this for a short time, I find I am filled with gratitude.  Gratitude for SOOOOOOO many things; people, animals, vegetables, minerals, senses, feelings  .............

The list goes on and I will explore the things I am grateful for every day and hopefully get some of my thoughts on paper.