Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter 2013

This December in Oregon has been one for the record books.  Temperatures in the minuses have not been seen in this part of the state since the early 1970's.  Needless to say, although beautiful to look at, lots of problems ensued ... broken pipes, failed heating systems, etc.  We were quite fortunate not to have experienced either but, we sure know people who did.  My biggest inconvenience was being unable to get out and about for a week ... which put me behind for Christmas preparations but, that passed and I am caught up.

So, without further ado, let me show you some of the pictures taken around home.  Although they look pretty and innocent, consider that it was probably about 19 degrees (a warming trend from -9 degrees) when I finally ventured out to take pictures.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Perfect Moment

Have you ever had a moment of perfect peace, or joy, or grace?  I bet you have ... the thing is, did you really notice and take it in.  I happen to think there are many of them in life but, in this fast paced society, we don't always appreciate them.  I had one such moment today.  Let me tell you about it.

I was driving into town to meet a friend for coffee.  The sun was shining and the day had become warmer than predicted.  I was driving along noticing that so many trees were either in bud or blooming.  The myriad shades of green that are Oregon in the spring were just vibrant and those were accented by pink and white blossoms as well as the splashes of yellow of the daffodils in yards and along the road.

I looked up and noticed that the blue sky was dotted with puffy white clouds ... I am such a cloud person.  Love them!  A hawk was floating on an updraft and slowly circling overhead.  And then I saw him.

He was a the most gorgeous white stallion and he was prancing through the pasture along a fence line.  His head and tail were up and his mane was flowing out behind him like a creature out of a fairytale. He was stunning and it was almost as if he knew how beautiful he was.   And I knew that he also knew that the world was waking up.  The color is back and spring has sprung.   He was just so full of joy that it was contagious and I basked in that brief moment ... a perfect moment on a perfect spring day.

These moments are the gifts that we receive only as often as we are open to them.  Be open, take in those moments, look around and see the joy.  It will change your perspective ... trust me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dancing in the Moonlight

I had insomnia last night.  I just hate when that happens.  Insomnia is something I've struggled with all of my life.  But, it really doesn't bother me as badly anymore ... not like it did when I was a child and it felt like the whole world was asleep and that I was all alone ... not like when I was a student or employed and knew that I had to get up the next morning and, not like when I was a young mother and every fiber of my being was screaming for rest and yet I couldn't sleep.  These days my reaction is more like 'oh bother.'   And then, last night was, to paraphrase Oprah, a sort of 'aha' moment.

I tossed and turned for an hour and then thought to get up and take a pain reliever for the dull headache that I was rapidly developing.  I sat up and looked toward my bedroom window.  I blinked and looked again because I couldn't figure out what the bright light was that was shining through the window and leaving patterns that looked like sunshine.  At first it was startling ... I mean, how could someone be behind my house in the country shining a light in my window?  I walked over, pulled back the window covering and realized it was the moon.  A huge, very bright, very full moon was lighting up my world.

Of course, I've seen full moons and, of course, they can be bright but, there were some added effects.  The moon was reflecting the dew on the lawns and fields in a way that almost made them look bright white.  I had to blink again because it looked like it had snowed.  I walked to my front door and opened it.  No snow ... the sidewalks were perfectly clear.  Then, I noticed that the moon was also reflecting off a fine, hazy mist hanging over the valley and the foothills east of us.  It was ethereal, it was a silvery wonderland and it was all mine.

I took in that vista, the magic of that moment as I breathed in the crisp night air.  I realized that but for my insomnia I would have missed it entirely.  Maybe I was meant to see it or maybe it was just coincidence but, it was a magical moment to me and it made me grateful for the time and the place.  Just another little growth spurt in this long journey called life ... a reminder to be fully present in the moment.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Moods and Mixed Messages

Well, I guess I'm having one of 'those' days.  I'm in a funky mood.  I think I have a tendency to run on my expectations ... always have, probably always will.  And, try as I may, I can't seem to shake that basic personality trait.  Here's how it goes:

Its going to be a great day.  I'm going to get lots done.  My relationships with friends and family are going to be wonderful.  Well, you get the picture.  And, its not even one thing can derail that simple set of expectations.  No, it is when a whole series of things happen that dump on my joy that I start to get in a 'mood.'

First of all, I let myself down because, I can never, ever get everything accomplished that is on my list.  I try to make shorter lists, to prioritize but, inevitably, something happens that throws my time frame completely off.  Its called life ... and I can usually deal with it.  Just move an item to tomorrow's list, right?

But, the thing that really causes me to get into a funk, is when people let me down.  Today, for example, I got blasted on Pinterest for repinning something I thought was humorous.  A total stranger decided to lecture me and the person that I pinned it from on why it wasn't funny.  Okay, I can see her point but, seriously people, if you don't agree with something on a completely public forum, just ignore it.  Don't become the P.C. police.  You cannot assume that the person you are lecturing is just a bad character.  I try never to put something out there that would cause another person pain.  So, you say, that is a perfect stranger, why do you care?  I shouldn't, I know.  And I usually don't.  Today though, it got to me a little.

On a more personal front, it hurts when someone I consider a friend does things that seem to be deliberately hurtful.  Its that stealth hurtfulness that comes when someone's actions don't line up with their words.  Don't tell someone that you are a dear friend and then treat them like they aren't important to you.  Just don't do it.  I recently read something that really resonated with me.  It went something like this (I'm paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to go look it up.):  Respect someone who is willing to make room in their schedule for you; Love someone who forgets all about their schedule when you need them.  No truer words were ever spoken.

So, the thing I struggle with is that mixed message ... that verbal message being reiterated that someone is a friend and then the actions that speak way louder that say that something else is going on.  And just to clarify, this isn't about having time ... people do get busy ... this is a more blatant kind of treatment that is borderline rude.  Even given that I can have high expectations and/or be sensitive, there are just times that you know that the way you are being treated is wrong.  And, that's why I'm in a funk.

The best thing about my personality though is that I'm quick to bounce back.  I tend to shake it off and dive right back into my optimistic side.  Not always but, most of the time, I can move forward and find the positives in life.  So, guess I'll go do that  ... now, where is that list?