New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

depression



For a lot of people, probably half this country, this is a depressing week with a new president being inaugurated along with a whole new plan for government. Americans vote every four years but we don't necessarily get the choices we want. Life is a lot that way. 

Some say that it's never what happens but how we react to it. That depends on what you are experiencing as to how you see that.

We had a tragedy up our gravel road this week. We saw an ambulance and police car between our gate and the highway. Police cars don't usually come out here when it's just a death (I know about that from experience). We watched from the house for a long time to be sure there wasn't anything happening there that required our help. It was very quiet. The ambulance did not leave quickly, which didn't sound good. We knew there was a young man up the hill who had a serious illness, one that you are born with. We did not go out because it seemed invasive of another family's privacy. It turned out it was a suicide-- an ultimate result of severe depression but also of catastrophic illness.

People always say-- depression is temporary-- hold on and it will be better. That is certainly true of our political environment. However bad you think things will be, they can be overturned with another election. Catastrophic illnesses aren't like that. Some of them will never be better. I don't condemn anyone who opts to end their life prematurely-- when it's going to end anyway.

For the rest of us, when the dark days get to us, when we don't like how our family is treating us, when we see bad times ahead politically, depression is a temporary thing. There will be more light. We will find those who will give us comfort. Whatever happens in the world, times do change. 

Find a good book to read. Watch a film. Listen to uplifting music. Take a walk in the woods or along a stream. Spend some time at the beach (something in the air there is known for helping depression). Soak in your bath for 20 minutes with a handful of Epsom salts; 10 drops of lavender oil; and 1/2 C of baking soda.

I don't believe depression is always a spiritual issue, as I remember times in my life where I went to my doctor who gave me a prescription for Prozac as a solution to a chemical imbalance. I took it for a season; and when things got better and I no longer needed it, I tapered off it

With severe depression talking to someone medically about it is important and then letting go and releasing the expectations that are making us unhappy-- looking for new options. They are out there-- maybe closer than we think.  

 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

snow


This week, with snow as the starring event (if I don't count our first lamb being born), has seemed longer than most. Some of that might be due to the sense of isolation icy highways create. The political stuff out there doesn't help. I don't like writing about it here but do touch on various aspects in my rant blog. I want to keep this blog for creative ideas for life as well as photos. I want it to stay positive. I don't see much positive in our political atmosphere-- and that doesn't matter which side of the divide one is on. A lot of it is set up to depress or enrage. How can that be healthy?

In my writing, I have been thinking more than putting down words. I began this book in September and, after under 10,000 words, set it aside to write two feel-good novellas, Red Hawk Christmas and Sonoran Christmas. With the presidential campaign as it was, I wanted to be writing something that made me happier. A Price to be Paid (title of that book) touches on a very difficult topic and it wasn't making me feel good. I now think by waiting to write, i came up with an element of the hero's soul that I hadn't seen before. A LOT of writing happens before fingers touch keyboards or pen.

For now, here are more snow photos covering the way my world changed as the snow fell, melted some, and then fell again. This part of the Pacific Northwest rarely gets snow; so when we do, we take a lot of photos. So far it looks as though it will melt gradually enough to make flooding minimal... *fingers crossed*











Ranch Boss took moon and snow photos early Friday morning and froze his fingers to get enough shots. January's full moon is called the Wolf Moon. The reflection in the melted snow came out beautifully. With snow is one of the few full moons we've never gotten. At least he didn't get frostbite. For more about this moon, check out this link (always in my blog list) Beyond the Fields We Know. Always beautiful blog but reliably fantastic when of her moon shots.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

hoarfrost

It takes the right conditions to produce hoarfrost. In our region, we don't see it as often as icicles. This winter had some prime examples.









Saturday, January 07, 2017

snow falls

Snow changes a landscape into something new. Because we don't get a lot of it, in my region of the Pacific Northwest, I enjoy the snow for its beauty and the sense of isolation with which it enshrouds the farm. Watching it fall is a meditative, almost hypnotic kind of joy.








  

Next blog, I'll post some photos of hoarfrost. It's an interesting phenomena that doesn't come with every storm.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

purpose and meaning



 For the last few weeks, it's probably pretty obvious that I've been enjoying playing with Stencil using their images, which are from Creative Commons, and the quotes that they make easy to add to a photo. In looking for words that were meaningful to my life, it's played a role in helping me think what I want for myself.

I think most of us seek to find purpose and meaning to what we are doing. When we can't, it's what has us frustrated. While we aren't likely to find that everything we do seems meaningful, actually even the simplest tasks can be when they are done with thought.

Writers have goals for what they hope to produce next. I think it's a mistake to make what others will think of the work as part of the goals. We cannot influence anyone else. My writing goals are to finish the third paranormal of the Hemstreet witches. Then to move onto another of the women starting over series. I know who the next woman is, where she'll end up, but the rest I will work out as I go. I also have a ninth Arizona historical in mind. I'd also like to write a short story involving a wolf and his potential, rather unlikely, mate.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!


For some, 2016 was a tough year. We are now turning a new page. This is a great time, with all the hubbub of the holidays past, to figure out what is wanted in our life. What would it take to be happier? Have we put too much time into things we didn't enjoy? It helps sometimes to write down a few things-- big and little.

When we  know what we want, next comes-- what will make it happen? When the thought comes (and it usually does)-- it's hopeless, can't change anything-- block defeatism and see it for what it is. Think outside the box. Look for ways it is possible. 

Now, it might be at a cost higher than we are willing to pay-- then revise the goals.  The big thing is to move ahead. We can't control outcomes, but we can control our actions. Life is about always moving ahead-- sometimes with baby steps but always onward and upward. We can only do that when we know to what we want to go.

 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31

 from Tucson 2014
 It is hard to believe it is the end of another year. Yeah, I understand a calendar is an artificial device, but it does give a place to stop and think about where I have been. It's a time to evaluate what is going to soon be 'last' year.
 
When I start a year, I rarely have a firm plan on what I will find in the days ahead. I usually have a few general goals, but I like to stay flexible, open to what comes along, and to changing my mind about ideas that didn't work so well. 2016 had surprises for me, some things I hoped to do and did not. 2017 is a new opportunity.

Sometimes a person can get to feeling stuck in a rut except we actually are not repeating where we have been. Life is a cycle, not a circle. So, like a river, we might be returning to the same place with the same cliffs and similar looking rapids, but the river is not the same. The water that had been there has gone on to the ocean, maybe to return as rain or snow. The river is always new.


Humans have often come up with ways to describe what they see of life and the cycle we are living or know others have lived.


For me, this is a good time to read a special book, watch an inspiring film, and look at quotes by others for ideas that might prove inspiring in terms of what we can do to make the year ahead all we want it to be.
"For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.”
— T.S. Eliot

“This is the new year the new you. You can pass through another year, coasting on cruise control. Or you can step out of your comfort zone, trying things you have never done before, & make 2012 as the year that you elevate from where you are & soar high. Make it happen!”
-- Pablo

“What do you need in the New Year? You need a dream; your dream needs an action; and your action needs right thinking! Without right thinking, you can have only unrealised dreams!”
-- Mehmet Murat ildan

"You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”
-- Mary Oliver
Of course, Mary Oliver has the greatest quote of all for living a life.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
"Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."

-- Mary Oliver
Happy New Year! 
I hope the coming year will be a great one for you.