Yikes

Had a bit of a time getting web site problems worked out but it looks like things are OK now.  Next step is getting the email address associated with the account to work again.  It has been an issue as far as updated security checks so can’t get TOO angry,

But if I “disappear”…it is technical details 🙂

A Brand New Year

stones3You would think my resolution would be to keep up the web page.  All good intentions but sometimes life just keeps getting in the way.

Since I moved to Word Press it actually IS easier than “writing” everything in HTML, uploading a ton of photos, checking to see if things display correctly.  And to be honest, these eyes can be challenged as I (ahem) mature.  But there is always hope and in the spring, once the snow threats are gone, I will have these pesky cataracts removed and maybe be able to see clearly again!

In spite of the lack of posts, life DOES go on.  We have a new great niece who came to us just before Christmas.  Little projects await just around the corner and life is never dull or boring.  As we begin 2017, may we all find peace, may we work past the general chaos that seems to have permeated our culture and knw that even though I have not been on as much as I would have hoped…you are always present in my mind and heart!

Happy New Year!

Back from the Mountains

PLC1I got back from leading 2 retreats at Pyramid Life Center about 9 days ago.

It is always so beautiful up there, and the weather could not have been better.  Not too hot, not too cold, and NO BUGS!  No mosquitoes, black flies, deer flies…it was like Heaven.  And the people I spent the time with were awesome…some I’ve known since I started up there years ago (2015 was my 10th year presenting) and some new people come in each year.  The loons were not as noisy this year and I only saw one from my observation point but those who got out on the water saw 2-3 of them.

PLC2Pyramid Lake is not too far from the High Peaks area…up around Paradox and is one of only 2 “pure” lakes in the Adirondack Mountains.  Meaning, not affected by acid rain.  Great care is taken to make sure any incoming canoes or kayaks are sanitized before going out on the lake, to protect against invasive species.  I heard also that the fishing was excellent as well this year.  I miss being able to get out in the kayaks or out on the trails like I used to but there is still a lot to see and do.  Life abounds there, and the area (over 700 acres) is in fairly pristine conditions.

PLC3And the evenings…pure magic.  The air was soft and smelled of the mountains.  On clear nights the view of the sky, even with the guide lights along the pathways, is spectacular.  These photos are only a small glimpse of the beauty that surrounds you.  It’s tough work doing the retreats there but someone has to do it.  And I am more than happy to oblige.

There comes the day though when you have to come down off the mountain.  Back to the busy everyday life but that’s not so bad either.  A balance in life is vital, and we all need wild areas as well as the community areas to keep life interesting.

John Muir wrote:Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.

Take some time to find YOUR “mountain.”

Memorial Day 2015

vetmenWe are halfway through the Memorial Day weekend…a time set aside to remember those who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.

Originally known as Decoration Day, the first celebration took place in Waterloo on May 5, 1868. The name was changed to Memorial Day in 1967. And our own state of New York was the first to declare it a holiday.

We salute those who have fallen, and keep their loved ones in our prayers and thoughts.  Hopefully some day, we can all live in peace.

We remember.

Suddenly…Spring!

sunset5-2-15The past couple of days, it seems we finally turned the corner to Spring, or maybe even pre-summer.  The temperatures are going to be in the 70’s, some days ahead almost 80!  My forsythia finally decided it was safe to bloom, I planted some geranium bare roots in pots then had to move them indoors because the squirrels thought it was a grand location to bury God-knows-what.  And nip off the new shoots while they were at it.  The pots are now safely in the sun room while I figure out how to protect the plants once they emerge again. Perhaps I might buy a little screening that I can cut and fit to the pots.

The yard gets cleaned up a little at a time, it’s warm enough to open the windows and let the fresh air in and everywhere you look, folks are outdoors.  We have had some grand sunsets and amid the scent of things blooming, you can smell barbecued delights. The best part is that the bugs are not out in full force…yet.

After a long hard winter it is good to see the kayaks and canoes out on the local lake once again.  The photo with this post was taken down by that lake, and you can see the leaves coming out on the trees.  The geese and ducks are around, and in about 3 weeks we should see the little ones.  Just a delightful time of year, one we dream of during those dark, cold winter months.

Welcome Spring…we have been waiting for you!

 

Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day“Keep close to Nature’s heart … and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” — John Muir

John Muir is only one of the many environmentalist and naturalists that I have loved for a VERY long time.

Although these people wrote many years ago, their messages are timeless…and as we lose more in the way of natural areas they point out how important preserving our planet is.  Patterned for abundant life, Earth is a wonder, a miracle of existence.  Home to an enormous diversity of life forms it should be protected.  We have nothing as a Plan B.

Not wanting to get on a soapbox, nature contains everything we need for life (as long as we stop messing with it).  Air…water…sources of food and herbs for medicines.  Its plant life gives us wonderful natural aromatherapy.  The sound of waves crashing against the shore, a brook babbling or the wind in the trees can be a very relaxing thing.  We do have some wonderful things that technology has given us but so often, the simple things are the best.  And that same simplicity is lost in the cacophony of modern life.

A day dedicated to earth awareness is a great idea.  Started in 1970 (and I have, somewhere, a button for the first Earth Day) it is still celebrated 45 years later.  If just one person hears the message and learns more about this planet, our home, it’s worth it.  It can’t be replaced and hopefully we will listen to the lessons and accept the gifts they offer to help us better our lives and the lives of those to come.

Margaret Mead said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  So why not start today?

The change begins with us.

Yes, it’s still snowing

outwindowAs I sit and look out the window, there is more snow out in the yard than we have had in about 4 years.  The continued cold temperatures have discouraged melting so it has pretty much stayed with us also.  We are far from having it as bad as places in Massachusetts however.  We can still SEE out the windows.

Today, we have had a few bursts of flurries and overnight the arctic air is supposed to come blowing in.  Times like this I am very thankful for a warm house.  I also sit and marvel at how it can be so hot and humid in the summer.  But times like these make spring so sweet…

c in snowTo give you an idea of how much snow is out there…this photo was taken at the end of February, 2011.  And it looks just like this now except with my broken arm and ribs I am not standing outside tempting fate.  I was just a little closer to the house on this path to the bird feeders and garage when I fund that patch of ice. We are pretty hardy up here, or at least we used to be, despite all the moaning I see on Facebook posts.  And, it’s lighter just a little later in the afternoon…as I type this at 5PM EST, it’s still light out.  The seasons are what makes life interesting, they are what can be likened to real life, and you can let them make or break you.  But if you let it, this season of cold, dark and challenging days can be nurturing the seeds of growth and creativity inside.  It’s up to you…

What is your choice?

Six more weeks…

bd1Big surprise…the groundhog saw his shadow.

Although after being pulled from his comfy burrow into the snow we had the day before…I can’t blame him for deciding we need to be punished.  Here on the home front we had about a foot of snow but I am by a river and we seem to get just a tad less.  Most of the storms so far have missed us so we were due for a good one.  It IS winter, after all, and it WILL be here for 6 more weeks no matter what the little rodent says.

I have been indoors watching the festivities for the most part.  A slip on the ice resulted in a broken arm and some bruised ribs.  I can’t even say I was on some great assignment…I fell in my ownbd2 yard coming back from filling the bird feeders.  How mundane.

The snowstorm also interfered with a follow up to the orthopedic doctor on Monday but I will just keep doing what they told me to do.  I do remember a time when you didn’t have to go every week-10 days for follow ups.  I guess insurance is to blame for that.  On the road to recovery, even though slow it is not a bad time to stay put.  I am getting some reading done, and thinking ahead to Spring, whenever it gets here.  The biggest pain is not being able to take pictures as easily!

Stay safe and warm.

Halfway through January

P1130998little treeWe spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ~Ellen Goodman

Funny how, after January 1st (at least around here) we tend to think less about the potential that is waiting for us in January.  In these short cold days we not only have the potential to clear out accumulated “stuff” in our homes but in our lives as well.

Is there a project you’ve been thinking of starting, or a painting you thought of creating?  Perhaps beginning to keep a journal or learn something new?  When it is too cold and blustery to go out (or for my friends in the southern hemisphere…too HOT to go out) you can carve out a parcel of time and give it to YOURSELF…and in that way you can enrich the lives of others.  Time to plan, learn, dream…time to grow.  Like the plants that lie in wait under the winter snow.  No excuses – you are as important as anyone else that you care for.  Do you believe it?

Just do it!

Settling in – to Winter

juncoThe other day, I wrote about a storm we were waiting for.  The storm DID come in with a burst of snow starting a little after 2 PM and toward 6 PM it turned to sleet and freezing rain.  The roads were pretty messy and the leftovers wet and heavy.

Yesterday it got into the 40’s, the mess cleared up (IF you got out there and cleaned it up) and today it is much colder and the wind is blowing up a gale.  We have had squalls and Wednesday night should be our first below zero night, with a predicted 7 below. It’s been fairly mild on all accounts up until now so it feels colder.

The backyard is really busy most times but cardinalwhen the  snow comes in and covers the food sources for the birds, the feeders become a critical source of fuel.  The bird bath heater was employed a few weeks ago so they also have a source of open water as ponds, lakes and streams freeze over.  It’s worth the time, effort and $$ to have these beautiful creatures brighten up the yard (along with the antics of the ever-present squirrels)

Inside, I put the kettle on and pull out the lap blankets and some good books.  I sort through files on the computer.  I think of lots of things I can do around the house and I might even DO them.

But first…another cup of tea.