Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome, add a great deal to a blog, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled insults, or links (unless pre-approved).

Friday, January 27, 2017

a new year and redwing blackbirds

Tomorrow happens to be the Chinese New Year and I just read an article that said certain foods are regarded as good luck to be eaten on that day. Rather than waiting to post this tomorrow, I put it up early for readers (who didn't already know this) to go shopping if so inclined.

And then there is this. I had noticed that our window glass creates an outside illusion when we have a fire in the fireplace and the light outside is just right. When the blackbirds are visiting the feeder, they look as though they are flying through flames. It's kind of an apropos mix of nature and spiritual thinking as reflections often are.  

It wasn't easy to capture it with a photo as often there seemed more flames than the camera could record. I can watch and listen to the redwing blackbirds for hours as they come in a cloud, sing, and squabble. When they leave, it's often as a flock.  I believe when times seem darkest, watching birds is one fix that can lift one's mood. The birds carry with them many lessons; and of course, are beautiful.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Song of the Open Road

Because I am so into thinking of the positive, working toward the good, I went back to Walt Whitman's poem and chose a few of my favorite threads for here and to think on as I write and consider my life-- what's been and what's ahead. A woman in her 70s has less options than earlier-- but she still has them.

image from Stencil

From Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.

The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,
I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,
I think whoever I see must be happy.

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me.

The complete poem-- Song of the Open Road

Saturday, January 21, 2017

reincarnation or--

For me, this is a great video and says so much about what we might want in a life. The ad I have seen on TV has been much shorter. This is more of the story.

Because of my work in progress, I've been thinking about reincarnation. I've wondered about my own life. When it ends, what do I believe comes next? What kind of life would I want if I was to live it again. I liked the energy of this video with its creativity and positive thinking.

I wrote this awhile back because I wanted to share the video which made me feel good. Some might wonder why I don't comment on yesterday. There are plenty to do that and I need to stay positive-- not just for the blog but for my life. The possibility of reincarnation is one good reason to do that. Whatever one does, whether that's marching for a cause or fighting for one, the big thing is to do it with love not hate. For those who live with hate, I'd guess they better hope there is no such thing as reincarnation because taking hate with them won't make that next one better.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


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


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


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.