The Last Few Days

So I’ve been pretty quiet the last few days.  The last couple of weeks have been busy going back and forth to Mom’s place and checking on Dad.  Mom made a trip up to PA to visit my brother and his wife and to see my stepbrother and his family.  She had a fabulous time and was well rested when she got home.  Looked great and had stories to tell.  I love stories!

After the backing and forthing, I needed to slow things down a bit and get grounded.  Been working on a daily routine and some morning rituals to get my days off to a gentler start.  Poor Sheila was sick with a stomach virus for about three weeks and had to take a couple days off while it was running its nasty course.  Happy to say she’s feeling much better.

You know how it is when you have holidays on weekdays and the days seem to run together? You forget what day of the week it is?  That’s kinda how things felt. Just a little out of whack. I started a good routine the week before Ma left, and it felt right and was going quite well. Well this last weekend , I was like – ok, you’re gonna chill and enjoy life a bit. And this coming week you’re gonna feed your soul, meditate and get out of the house for some fun.  Well, guess what?  I did! Even better yet was that it was totally guilt free.  I was comfortable in my own skin and actually enjoyed my own company.  Rather stunning to say the least!

Oh sure, I still had some day-to-day stuff that needed doing around the house, but I put on some music or just enjoyed the calm and quiet. It was all good. Took the dog for a ride to the park, and we walked about 3/4 mile. Really tuned in to my surroundings, sights, smells, birds singing.  Listened to my breath sounds. It felt soooooo goood! So totally invigorating. There was no rush. I had a thermos of iced tea and a jar of water for Whiskee. When we got to the car, we both partook. Iced tea tastes super delicious after a long walk on a hot summer day. I took my time in everything.  On purpose.  And felt the quiet joy of each moment.  Savored it. Thought to myself – you know?  I could make a real habit of this!

When we left, I didn’t race home like I usually do when I’m out and about.  I slowed things down. On purpose. Took my time, enjoyed the A/C on full blast, ate some salted sunflower seeds (I’m addicted to them), listened to one of the meditation / mindfulness courses I just bought from Sounds True and was able to fully focus on it. Explaining how the outer world affects our inner world and vice versa. How stress and depression so deeply affect us in mind, body and spirit. And conversely, how meditation and mindfulness can dramatically reduce those and bring on wellness. It’s a matter of intention and attention. Kinda hit home.  And the teachings  still linger, but in a good way.

After we got home, Whiskee and I went for a swim to cool off. Then I toweled him off and got back in the pool. Sunshine and nothin’ but the sounds of the woodpeckers, cardinals, wrens and neighborhood dogs barking. Floating on my back and looking up at the clouds gently movin’ along.  I get lost in clouds.  Could gaze at them forever. There’s swimming and lolling in the pool.  I usually loll. But on this day, I did both. Got rid of some pent-up energy in my body. All good. Breast stroke, butterfly (or attempted butterfly), side stroke.  Waking up muscles I hadn’t used in a long time. Feeling the motions, the water, my breath. On purpose. When I got out, I did it slowly and felt my skin tingle and pop with each drop evaporating on my skin. Sat down in the rockin’ chair and rocked out! Then got right back in the pool! Hit replay a couple times and finally went inside feeling refreshed and utterly relaxed.

On another day, I soaked up in the pool and then sat outside finishing a watercolor I started a while back.  Tried mixing some colors on the pallet, which normally freaks me out, because I need practice and it doesn’t always come out.  But you know what?  I didn’t care what colors I wound up with. That’s what I love about art.  Trees don’t have to be green nor does grass.  They can be purple or red.  It’s whatever we want to make it.  No boundaries. I worked on the background, and enjoyed each brush stroke. No rush. All there in the here and now. When I went into the paints, I looked at each color and let it hit me with whatever emotion it evoked.  The sun was hot, and a droplet of sweat plopped on my canvas.  Who cares?  It’s just a drop of sweat.  What’s the big deal? It’ll blend in with everything else, I said.  And smiled, and smiled, and smiled. Why do we worry so about perfection? In the grand scheme of things, what does it matter?

And, well, yesterday I went to the Florida Native Plant Nursery to explore and investigate native edibles and plants. It was a fun adventure…but that story is for another time 🙂

The main thing is, I got tuned in to the moments and the beauty and sacredness of those moments. Looking forward to many more!

Peace out,



Stunned by Beauty

Today I’m thankful for the things I keep learning, keep doing.  I’m discovering aspects of myself I haven’t fully explored yet. I’m excited about the prospects of what I might learn about myself.  Maybe it’ll illuminate me and make me a better human being.

For the moment, I remain stunned by the raw beauty, even in simple things, like a bumble bee alighting the bud of a clover, rays of sun spearing through the shimmering leaves of a maple tree standing sentinel on a craggy mountain ledge, the sound of bubbling brooks and streams, waterfalls thundering, wind whispering in the trees.  And that joyous and profound, soulful silence that can only be found out in nature.

It is indeed a sacred thing, nature is. . . .a marvelous thing!


Morning Pages

The Morning Pages

I’m sitting on the front porch at sunrise. This has got to be one of my favorite things to do. Watching silently as Mother Nature wakes up. Hot cup of coffee next to me. Hush…hush….. Be still now. Good morning Mr. squirrel! Oh, hey, dove! I hear you coooo-coooooing. You cardinals over there – with your cherry red and brown tufts of feathering? I see you! Any tree creepers want to come out front and center? I can hear you on my left. Love the natural surround sound. Skeeters! I know you’re right here, lil’ boogers. Sucking the living daylights out of my ankles. Top of the mornin’ to yee Mr. Frackle Fly! Aren’t you all pretty sitting on the brick post by the front door?

You spiders over yonder have been busy all night spinning webs, weaving canopies over the tips of the spears of grass. I know, because I can see the sun reflecting off your silky work. All the moisture from last night’s rain is still clinging to the webs and emerald green blades of grass shooting up from the ground reaching for the Sun. The air is moist and thick, very humid.

Just heard the woodpecker make the morning announcements. Dogs barking. Waking up.

Ok, now, the Blue Jays are getting a head start on taunting Doughy. She’s crouched down in the grass, taking cover. Woops! Now she’s sharpening her claws on D’s car tires.

Two squirrels are just hightailing it across the power lines. Everything will be okay as long as they don’t kiss or touch. Then it would be Barbecued squirrel!

Oh, look! A roly-poly! And here’s Piggy! All the Foofsters usually stop by and visit with me when I journal up front. I am a happy cat magnet! In the span of a few moments, Fuzzbutt and the neighborhood cat were sitting face-to-face. They vanished-just like that!! Morphed somewhere. Shapeshifters, they are unique in their powers… minute they’re here, next minute, poof! Gone!

There’s a swarm of gnats dancing around in a sunbeam. Dragonfly just landed on the grapefruit tree to sun her wings. Nature’s solar panels. Blackbirds caw-ing.

Bubba just came by, spotted something on the ground, crouched down, did the little fanny-wag cats do just before pouncing. Tentatively reached out with his paw…..touched. Brown butterfly sprung up to escape his grasp. Bubba goes airborne in an attempt to catch the butterfly. The butterfly wins. Bubba’s acrobatic prowess is stunning! He leaps up in the air, all four paws outstretched, and like in slo-mo, haaaaangs in the air like something out of Crouching Tiger. On hyper alert, eyes wide open, walrus whiskers all prickled out. Bubba swipes to the left! Bubba swipes to the right. He misses! The agony of defeat!

…..a brief interlude ensues…..

Bubba just spotted Mr. Pig coming over from Penny Lane. They spend a lot of time over in the ditch and thickets hunting for mice and sleeping under the neighbor’s red truck. Bubba saunters over to Piggy. They do their “man cat” S-walk-butt-sniffing routine, bump heads and rub lips. After all the hugging, something fans the hairs of Bubba’s butt-hole and sends him flying. Oh my god!!! Can’t make this up! Blue Jay just dive bombed Bubba and Pig. Bubba looking none too happy about it, either! He’s got that indignant look, you know? Unmistakable. Ears pressed back, ticked off looking eyes.

Suddenly, I see shadows of birds moving across the lawn, can’t see the birds for the lush canopy…..yepp, I love my morning pages….