Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Dog's Life

I think Misty Belle missed her calling as a movie actress.  In the photo above she looks as though her whole world has fallen to pieces, but the truth is she was just zooming around underneath the Japanese maple tree and had stopped just long enough to see Mr. Tide coming outside.  

The best I can tell, the only sadness this pup knows is not having free access to her food and other treats, not being petted 24/7, and being forced to come inside when she still wants to play a little bit more!

Ahh, to live the life of a well loved dog! :)

Friday, August 23, 2013


After almost 10 full days without AC we are finally back to the land of dry, cool air!  The repair guy left around lunchtime today, and now we are playing catch up on the things we didn't do all week, like laundry, major cleaning, or even turning on our computers because they made the room so hot.

I have to admit that I will sort of miss having my windows flung wide open each night, even though everything in our house felt a bit like a soggy sock.  I loved hearing the deer moving through the tall grasses in the field next door, and realized that lots of things are on the move each night as we slumber away.  Some of them made noises that woke me and caused me to bolt to the window in hopes of seeing their silhouettes outlined by the full moon, but the creatures of the night are more stealthy, so I rarely saw whatever it was that screeched, hissed, or maybe even chortled during the wee hours of the morning.

I found I was drawn to simple things, like staying still and reading books, anything that didn't require much movement or heat generating electrical current.  And although we kept lights, computers, and tv watching to a bare minimum, outside there was plenty of electricity being generated.

Hot, humid days are often followed by strong storms in our area, and with the windows open it became a game of cat and mouse as to which way the wind would be blowing and which windows could remain open during each storm.  I love how the sky has a lavender cast to it, not sure why that is, but I haven't adjusted the color in either photo. 

And watching the storms became as interesting as any Pinterest board, and I felt myself wondering what it must have been like for those who lived long before television, computers, and smart phones.  In a way, being without AC, which allows us to close ourselves off to the outside world, became a lesson in paying attention to the beauty that resides right outside my door.

I'm still not sure I want to weather one of our typical summers without the benefit of hardworking AC, but it did leave me a little envious of those in the world who find a certain rhythm in the natural world that surrounds them and move through that world ever mindful of the glory of nature, and not an artificial schedule set up by man. 

I think I may have been gently reminded that sometimes the most powerful forces around us aren't those which we have created or invented, but those which continue on with or without us.  I have a feeling my windows will be open more often in the future.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thank You and Goodnight

Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments and emails about my last several posts.  It's good to know that I'm in fine company when it comes to things breaking down but also learning to not sweat the small stuff...because trust me, it really is the small stuff in life!

We've had the very good fortune of glorious weather the past few days, so you can't be upset about losing your AC when you can throw the windows wide open and literally smell the roses...most of which have been flowerless for weeks, until today! 

But it's late, and I'm tired.  Tomorrow is another day filled with a long list of "must be done" items, so I will bid you all goodnight!  Enjoy your weekend...I know I plan to! :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Upon Reflection

On top of everything else we've had break over the last few weeks, yesterday, our AC decided to give up the ghost!  It's at times like these that you might begin to reflect on money and whether or not you should have bought that new sofa, car, taken that vacation, or whatever else you've spent money on over the last year.

Sometimes you think, "geez, if only I hadn't done this or that, things would be easier now that everything is falling apart."  And you might even begin to second guess those earlier decisions and wish you hadn't spent the money.  But I am not one of those people.  Yes, I will be more frugal because of the hemorrhaging of money from all we've had going on lately, and no I would never suggest that someone should spend frivolously and put themselves into a a dire financial situation, but you can't always live life waiting for the other shoe to drop either.  

Tonight, as I was looking at some of my old images, I stumbled upon the picture above.  I snapped this pic in the Marais last December, I loved the reflection of the row of buildings across the street in the glass storefront in front of me.  And even though we will be pinching pennies for awhile...upon reflection, I'm so happy that I didn't save every dime for a rainy day causing me to miss strolling the streets of Paris.  I enjoyed every minute I was there, and I was blissfully unaware that appliances and cars often conspire against us months later for abandoning them for 10 days!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Sometimes life is crazy, like this weekend.  First we had the osprey incident...see the previous post...which was exciting and had a happy ending.

Then we had a wonderful candlelight dinner on Saturday evening...just the two of us...steaks on the grill, fresh veggies, and fruit for dessert.

We were just about to cuddle up and watch a late night movie or SNL when the phone rang, it was our son saying his car had broken down about 45 mins away and he needed us to come pick him and his girlfriend up.

An expensive tow truck ride and repair bill later, and he will be back up and running by tomorrow afternoon.  Though I don't love them, I never mind costly incidents, so long as everyone is safe and sound.  Our son knows us well and began the conversation with..."I'm ok, and I wasn't in an accident, but my car broke down and I'm in a safe parking lot."

Then this morning our washing machine, that has sounded a little like a jet engine lately, decided to start leaking.  Again, it could have been worse, it didn't flood the house, so that's good news, and it's given us a good 10+ years of clothes washing, so I can't complain.

And my cell phone has decided that its touch screen, well, is a little less touchy, so I think I will be needing a new one soon.

It's times like these when you just have to take stock of what's really important, not sweat the small stuff, and hope that the money tree in the backyard will get its act together and start producing a little more moolah.

Isn't it funny how we never take snapshots of the tough stuff, though we all have those rough patches?  I guess the grit of life isn't nearly as glamorous is it?  So life around here isn't always sunshine and roses, it's just real life and I'm good with that.  

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Yesterday, as we left our house to go run errands we were greeted by something unusual.  Right in the middle of the road was a young osprey, sitting on the pavement and looking a bit disoriented.  He didn't move as we slowed down, but after we stopped he hopped over to the side of the road into a ditch.

Our first thought was that he was injured, mostly because he was on the ground, and because he was holding his wings at a weird angle to his body.  We feared he might have a broken wing or wings, so we called several rescue groups who specialize in birds of prey, only to find that they were closed, so we were forced to just leave messages.

We did finally speak to one group who said that if we could get him into a box, they would take him the following morning.  We asked how we should do this without injuring ourselves or the osprey, and what to give it overnight besides water...they recommended fish, which is kind of a no brainer when it comes to osprey.

As we debated what to do, I snapped a few pictures, but I did so reluctantly and from a distance.  I felt guilty taking pictures of what could be an injured bird that may not make it, but there was a part of me (and Mr. Tide) that felt like this bird was going to be just fine.  After finding no visible signs of injury, we thought that perhaps this was just a young osprey who had been brave enough to venture from the nest, and was just getting his sea legs, or wings in this case.

As we observed him from our truck, we saw an adult osprey flying above and this made us think that perhaps he was just the first one daring enough to leave the nest.  So we formulated a plan...first we would go buy some fish, and if he was there when we returned we would gather him up in a box and tend to him overnight before taking him to the wildlife refuge.  We still weren't completely sure how we would get him in the box, or where we would keep him overnight, since even the garage would likely be too warm, but we would worry about that later.

I also told myself that if he was in fact hurt, I would erase any pictures I had taken, but in my heart I imagined his mother coming to his aide after we left and him being safely back in the nest when we returned.

A little while later we came back, with fish in hand, and we searched and searched but the little osprey was no where to be found.  Our daughter had also been by to look while we were gone and saw no signs of him.  We looked in the woods, in the ditches, and for any signs of feathers in case the unthinkable had happened while we were gone, but he was gone without a trace...just the way we had hoped he would be.

After doing more reading on the internet when we got home we found lots of pictures of young osprey looking exactly as the one we saw in the road had looked, wings at the same angle and on the ground as they attempted to master the skill of flying.  It seems we had just been in the right place at the right time to witness this little osprey's first feathered attempts at flight.

This got me thinking about bravery, and how terrifying it must be to jump from the safety of a nest some 40 feet up in the air.  And how thrilling it must be to make that jump, even if it meant having to sit on the side of a road for a little while until someone came to rescue you and help you try again.

In life we have many chances to be brave, to do something others are afraid to do, to venture out of our own nests and risk ending up in a situation that may not at first seem that wise.  But if you don't ever find that brave part of your heart and soul, you will miss the amazing things in life, like being able to tell the story of how when you took that first leap of faith you ended up in the road, with a woman and her camera staring straight at you from the window of a big metal thing.  And you will certainly never know the feeling of soaring over land and sea to find your own nest and your own supper.

Being brave doesn't mean you'll succeed in everything you try, you may have to try many times, or in different ways before you can master the things you so want in life, but a life that is safe and one where you have to wait until someone pushes you out of the nest seems so much scarier to me.

I hope you take your own brave steps towards whatever it is you fear and want to master...and just know that there will be others who will help you when you fall and need some fresh fish!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mother Nature's Paint Brush

Well, it appears that I can now read new emails, but some of the old ones from a few days ago are lost and gone to that great computer wasteland in the sky!  Oh well, in the grand scheme of things, it's really no big deal.

After much anticipation, the morning glories have decided to grace us with some blossoms.

The jungle that is their foliage is now dotted with beautiful blooms that vary in color from blue to pink to purple, a result of several years of reseeding themselves I imagine.

About 20+ feet of fence line is cloaked in beautiful tangled vines, and each morning it has been a treat to venture out and see the new blossoms, which are so striking against the greenery.

And some of the blossoms appear as if Mother Nature herself held a watercolor class the night before, swirling each petal with a multitude of beautiful brushstrokes.

And along with the vibrant hues, nothing makes me smile more than seeing a water droplet sunning itself against the petals of a flower.  For me, it is a gentle reminder that heaven and earth are ever in concert with one another...probably providing the background music while Mother Nature paints! ;-)

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last post, I truly love that rose, it changes color from blush to creamy yellow, to off white...just beautiful!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Crazy Mixed Up World

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my piano post.  The piano is on loan from our son's girlfriend until she gets a place of her own when she graduates from college.  Though my fingers don't know what they are doing half the time since it's been so many years since I've played, they are slowly but surely finding their groove again.

For now, and for the sake of our dear neighbor, the windows will remain closed whenever I play. :)

It's rainy here today, after a weekend of what can only be described as glorious weather.  The humidity was nearly non existent and the skies were blue, so we took full advantage and went kayaking.

When I did come back to my computer on Monday, I realized that my world was a bit crazy and mixed up.  Emails and comments I had read via my phone were no where to be found on my regular computer, and when I logged in to my FB account it showed all of my friends and messages, but it took me to the FB for someone else...I think they sold equestrian attire?!  

Needless to say, I was like WHAT is going on, did I get hacked?!  I've done an update to my computer, and now when I log in I am back to my old FB page, but it's all very strange and I'm not sure what to make of it.  Perhaps the crazy, beautiful weather caused Google, FB, and Gmail to go on vacation for a few days too?

I hope to be able to retrieve the emails, I would like to respond to those who have written to me, so I will keep trying to see if I can find them.  When I can't figure something out, I find it's best if I just go outside for a little while and take in the sights and sounds of mother nature.  

The rose garden is looking a little unsure as to what to do with our changeable weather, but the Charles Darwin seems unfazed and is happily blooming away.  Ahh to be a fly, and rest upon it's pretty petals!  I imagine for such a tiny creature the smell must be intoxicating!

Enjoy your week!  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's Been Too Long

We have a new resident at our house...she is musically inclined, soulful, and sleek.

She won't be living here forever, just until her rightful owner can take care of her again.

But while she is here she will spread happiness, and likely a little frustration from time to time.

But oh, how nice it is to have her here and to be able to spend time with her.

It's so nice to have a little ebony and  ivory to tickle around this house.  My fingers will need a little time to reacquaint themselves with her, especially since she is a little different from others I have known in her family.  And it's been over 10 years since I've played...but I think we will get along famously with time.

I hope your week is off to a good start and that you are spreading your own music around the world today! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Just So You Know

Recently, a group of old friends were supposed to come to my house for dinner.  As a group, we don't see each other often, maybe once or twice a year, even though we live within a 10 mile radius of one another, but we talk more frequently and know that we would be there for one another if we ever needed something.

We've been friends since elementary school, so we are all connected, and have a shared history.  Before the dinner, slowly but surely things began to fall apart.  One friend was heading out of town and had realized she was running out of time to get everything done that she needed to, and when I texted another friend to see if she still wanted to come she said, "I'm hella busy, can we do it next month?"  The other friend had a work obligation, so she was out of the mix early on, and finally my last friend and I decided that with just the two of us we would wait and reschedule for another day.

The reason I'm telling you this story is because that's how life is sometimes, and it's ok.  None of us was upset that things fell through, because we all have demands on our time and we all know that if it didn't happen that day it would happen another time.  That's the beauty of true friends, they "get" that life gets in the way of our fun sometimes, but it's never because we don't want to be with one another.

I hear from time to time in the blog world about people being upset that others never visit them, or that emails  and comments go unanswered and they feel hurt by this.  Of  course I can understand if someone is ignoring you and you feel you have a friendship with them, and that that friendship is not reciprocated.  But often times when I don't immediately return emails or never get to answering comments, it's not because I don't want to, or that I don't really care about that person on the other side of my computer screen, sometimes it's just because life reared its ugly head and priorities shifted.

I once had a friend tell me that if I didn't send her a Christmas card the following year that she would no longer be sending me one.  I was kind of taken aback, and wondered why getting a Christmas card would mean so much more to her then me calling her from time to time throughout the year as I did.  Did a card or letter outlining all the great things supersede the "real" life conversations we had over the phone?  Apparently it did, and we haven't communicated in years.  

So, just so you know, if we are to be friends, you will have to be patient with me, and I promise I will be patient with you.  If days go by and I don't respond, it's not because I don't care, or that I don't think of you, it's because life got in the way and took me from the "wants" headlong into the "needs."  And we all know that needs are so much bossier than the wants. ;-)