Saturday & Connecting Souls

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It rained last night and a cold front came through producing winds all day today and great clouds. The farm was quiet and peaceful. After feeding the sheep, horses and chickens I set about cleaning the water troughs. Cleaning troughs is my zen practice. I enjoy it and the gratification of producing a clean trough and watching the horses line up for a drink of water.

The elderly sheep are now down to four from seven when I started in the spring. They all came up for food this morning while the horses headed into the pasture for the day. The breeding ewes have been moved up to a pasture next to the horse pasture. I like it as I get a chance to interact with them prior to lambing in the spring. The two in the first picture are obviously the friendliest. The black and white ewe is the boss ewe but very laid back and always comes to the fence line when I stop to watch everyone. The white ewe bonded with me this past spring after she gave birth to a precocious lamb. When the herd sees the two of them come up to me it encourages the others to trust me. The black and white ewe at one point tonight looked me dead in my eyes and straight into my soul. It gave me goosebumps and also a sense of peace and belonging in the universe.

As I drove down the drive this morning in the gray drizzly day the yellow flowers were calling to me. I had to get pictures and was not disappointed. I love yellow!

Life is good and I am looking forward to vacation later this month. Maine is calling!

Fall, Coleus & Looking Ahead

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The weather has been beautiful the past few days. Temps have been cooler, little humidity, a breeze in the air-fall is here. I have been taking care of a dog who gets me up early in the morning so I’ve caught some lovely sunrises. This morning’s is captured in the second photo. I have been scanning the skies for incoming flocks of Canada geese. They are getting louder but I think most have been resident geese and not migrating ones. I love to hear their calls. Some nights they wake me up either flying over or hanging out on the pond in front of the home. The osprey have headed south for the year. The first photo was the sky as I headed to work tonight.

I love coleus plants though at times struggle to see the colors as nature intended. I used to grow them quite a bit growing up but have not had one in years. Lately I have grown cactus, aloe, geranium and kalenchoe. I am hoping to head to the local greenhouse in the spring and get a head start on herbs and maybe some new houseplants. I recently brought all my houseplants in for the year. They are outside from May to October.

The bottom photo I took while walking a dog today. As always I love my town and walking through it. It makes me happy. I have lots of books to read as we head into colder weather and winter. I’m looking forward to winter for the first time in years. I’m especially looking forward to spending time with NYC.

I’m looking forward to heading to a horse show this Sunday. Going out to dinner my best friend tonight or tomorrow. I hope you have a great weekend. Are you looking forward to fall or winter and any good books?

Harvest, A Street & A Bookcase

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The photos I’ve chosen for this post all represent life in my town and home at the moment. It is harvest time for the corn. I will miss the smell of the corn fields as I drive by. It is a great smell and one I find equally comforting and intoxicating. As I watched the planes fly in formation at this past weekend airport day in my town I turned around to watch traffic go by on Route 50. At one point there were three combines traveling westbound heading to more fields to harvest. When you purchase a home or property in my county you have to sign paperwork stating you understand you are moving to farm country with its noises and smells. I think nothing of pulling to the side of the road to let the combines pass but friends who visit question what I’m doing. I’ve always wanted to drive a combine. It’s on my bucket list.

I included one of the streets where I walk dogs and travel most every day. It’s one of my favorites. I love the architecture and there is a church that has the best sayings on its sign. Sometimes there are quotes by Rumi, Mother Teresa, Buddha, Helen Keller and sometimes the bible. I enjoy my towns open spaces, quaint streets and proximity to major cities, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia. It is a good town for walking. I currently live on the outskirts of toke but enjoy it immensely. I’m curious to see what NYC thinks about my little town.

The bookcase photo I included is actually the first thing you see when you open my front door. Books are a huge part of my life. I was excited to purchase fourteen this past weekend for $21.00. All but two were hardcovers and the last two were Agatha Christie mysteries. And just to close out with a little silliness I love the esurance candy crush commercial. I laugh every time and I really like the geico auctioneers make bad grocery store clerks commercial.

Saturday Morning, Airport Day & NYC

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It was a beautiful day today, the sun was shining, humidity was low and clouds were few. I love being able to work outdoors most of the time. I arrived at the farm and fed the chickens first then the sheep and finally the horses. The chickens will follow me from my car back to the barn. Tonight while I was there I stood off to the side of the driveway and they all gathered with me. There was traffic going up and down the drive and not everyone slows down for the chickens. After I fed the animals I set about cleaning the water troughs and feed tubs. I love getting the troughs as clean as they were when they were brand new. I'd drink out of a trough I cleaned. I took the picture of Flash the horse from the outbuilding and loved the angles the building provided. Flash is such a sweet horse. After I finished with the animals I headed out to the garden to care for the plants. I ran into my boss and checked in with him. I enjoy working for him and what a difference it makes when you like both your job and boss.

The dew was heavy and clinging to all the plants, grasses and trees today. I took the two flower photos in the garden this morning and was delighted with the results. I tried to get a picture of the dew on the lambs ears plants but they didn't photograph how I envisioned. It was magical though. The dew made the lambs ears look blue and silver. It was stunning. I did like the way the dew looked on the Black-eyed Susans and the hibiscus flower. I think it's a hibiscus I may be wrong.

The last picture was taken at my town's airport day. I stayed outside the grounds of the airport along with about fifty other cars. I love that in my town you can hang out along the airport fence and not be chased away even though the airport is one the government uses to force planes down who violate DC airspace. The airport day had tours of planes and helicopters as well as a plane pull and a car show. It was cool to watch the old planes take off and then join up and fly in formation. I love the roar of old plane engines. Along the road with me were WWII vets, Vietnam vets, families and couples. I watched the show for about fifteen minutes before heading off to a job. Earlier in the morning I bought 14 books at a book fair the next town over. The only function I was not able to attend was Fredrick Douglass Day. I really wanted to hear the talk and do the tour of the Hill. I hope they publish a book or something as I have missed every tour and talk of the Hill. I walk dogs through the Hill area every week. It wasn't until they started publishing stories in the newspaper that I found out I was walking through history. A Buffalo soldiers home, historic black neighborhoods and churches as well as older homes in the district. My little town has a lot going on and I really enjoy it.

Things are going very well with my romantic life. Something I never expected to be saying given the false starts and failed relationships in my past. I have to say I feel closer and more connected to my NYC man than I ever have with men I've dated in my town or even lived with. NYC and I talk every day, sometimes for hours. He has really taken the time to get to know me and isn't put off by my love of astrophysics, books, animals and Doctor Who. He works as crazy of work schedule as I do so it is nice to have someone who understands that. I love the picture of NYC he sends me. I have always loved that city. I shared a picture of a beautiful sunset earlier this week and asked him if he had a chance to see it. He said no as there are buildings blocking his views of the sky. I took it for granted that everyone can see the sky as where I live there are miles and miles of open land and sky. NYC makes me happy and it sure is showing by my smile lately.

I hope the weather is as beautiful where you are as it is here on Maryland's Eastern Shore. As always I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog, comments on it and shares it. It is something I never expected when I started it. You all are a source of joy for me. Namaste.

Gertrude, Cooper & Fall

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I arrived at the farm this morning to find only five elderly ewes in the pasture with the horses. There had been six. As I fed the horses, chickens and sheep I decided to walk the pasture to see if I missed her as she is an independent soul. After a few minutes I came to the conclusion that she must have died during the week. I cried for a few moments realizing I would no longer see her coming up for evening rounds in her leisurely way. She was not much for affection but she did over the last two months allow me to scratch her itches on her chin and cheeks. My fondest memory of her happened about a month and a half to two months ago. I try to get on the level of the animals. I kneel to get eye level with dogs, cats, goats and sheep. I was kneeling on one knee scratching the other ewes itchy spots. Gertrude the old ewe came up and knocked two of the other ewes out of the way and lined her face up with my face. Sheep are generally skittish so I moved slowly and brought my hand up to scratch her chin. For the first time she let me touch her and I was so honored. The moment was spiritual for me when she licked me dead center on my forehead. After that she would let me touch her sometimes for a brief second other times for a few minutes. I will miss the old gal. I posted the yellow flowers in her memory. The sheep pictured in this post is the most skittish I deal with but slowly she is coming up to me. She licked my hand today but I think it was more she was looking for food.

The next photo is of Cooper and Coach Taylor. Coach Taylor is the cat who keeps a keen eye on everything. Cooper is one of my favorite dogs to walk. We go through every socio/economic element on our walks and he quietly walks past everything and everyone. He listens to me and as we walk he keeps an eye on me and every hundred yards or so he taps my knee with his nose never breaking stride. We walk through historic sections of town, past seven churches, past old neighborhoods and a burgeoning neighborhood struggling to reinvent itself. I am mindful a black lab coming down the sidewalk can be intimidating to some people so he sits quietly when I ask him to or we cross the street to make others feel comfortable. I know it’s human nature to judge things whether consciously or unconsciously but if people would just take a moment they would see Cooper is a love bug. I walk other dogs who are smaller and look innocent but would happily sink their teeth in your ankle. Cooper is a great dog and along with Coach Taylor make a beautiful team. They hang out with each other and are a hoot.

The last photo of the World Trade Center was sent to me by a special man in my life. I love that he shares photos of his life and NYC with me. He is amazing and makes me incredibly happy. I cannot remember a time when I have been happier than I am now.

I hope everyone is doing well as we head into fall. It is my favorite season of the year. I miss the foliage of New England but enjoy the arrival of the Canada Geese here on the bay. Ospreys will be leaving soon as will the hummingbirds. I am looking forward to the lunar eclipse October 8. Have a beautiful Saturday night and Sunday.

Sunsets, Perspective and Home

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Sunsets have always drawn me in with the dazzling colors that are sometimes displayed. I look forward to the stars and planets appearing after the sun goes down. Most people are excited by sunrises but to me and what I went through in the past, sunrises meant defeat and the beginning of a struggle to get through the day. I was never a morning person. I’m a night soul.

I find myself eagerly scanning the skies the hour prior to sunset to see if it will be a grand display of color. This past weekend I pointed out a sundog to a friend. I love watching the sun dance behind clouds as it heads towards to horizon. Over the past week the sunsets have been amazing. My coworkers laugh at me running outside and trying to get photos of the sky. It is a little bit of a challenge as the company I work for does not want any photos published of their facility or equipment.

I often want to draw or paint the sunsets. But most of my drawings end up looking like Rothkos without the price attached. I may look I to exploring it more. A friend of mine has challenged me to take pictures from a different view point. I love the photos he shares with me and find myself studying them with interest.

I am so happy to be home again. Sleeping in your own bed is delightful. I’m looking forward to settling in and doing things about the house. Hope you are checking out the sunsets and stars too.

Vacation & Happy Times

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I was sincerely surprised and touched by the outpouring of love and support I received when I shared my post detailing a little bit of my struggles with depression and bipolar depression. Thank you very much.

I have missed writing and had not realized how much it meant to me. I have tended to post pictures and short blurbs on Facebook as it is quick and easy but I really missed writing and interacting with everyone on my blog. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

I was on vacation the last week of August. I ended up sleeping much of the day the first two days. I suppose I needed it. I have a tendency to think of myself as slightly lazy however I have been told I am anything but. And found myself tired when I stopped on vacation. I limited myself to one dog walking job during the week and the farm on the weekend. One day I went to DC with my mom. What a difference going during the week makes. There was no track work on the metro during the week allowing for much quicker commute times. School was back in session, congress was not and the mall was quiet. The crowds were small. It was like my mom and I had the mall to ourselves. After getting off the subway we treated ourselves to an ice cream sandwich. We sat and watched the world go by. After a while we headed to the National Gallery of Art. We were there to see an Andrew Wyeth exhibit, a Mary Cassatt/Degas exhibit and a small Van Gogh exhibit. My mom wanted to see the Wyeth exhibit. I found it a little dark and depressing. We then went to view the Cassatt/Degas exhibit. I enjoyed it very much. I found it interesting the people posing in front of the paintings. We then decided to go to lunch. We usually eat at the cascade cafe but were not sure it was open due to part of the gallery being closed for renovations (it was open.) We ended up eating at the garden cafe which was a high end very snobby place but had wonderful food. I thought it was funny how snobby it was as they are in the middle of a free museum in DC on the mall. Get over yourself people. The food was wonderful and we enjoyed ourselves very much. Mom and I wandered through the gift shop afterwards. I purchased a coloring book and a bookmark. Mom and I then hunted down the Van Gogh exhibit and wandered through other parts of the museum. I delighted in finding paintings by artists I discovered at the Phillips Collection two weeks prior. I love John Sloan’s work. I really enjoy my art trips with my Mom.

I also caught up on tv that I had recorded and cleaned my apartment. I am settling into a new groove as my landlords moved and new renters are in the main home. They have two dogs who are a hoot and a cat who is getting used to Athena the neighborhood cat. After one night of much yelling they now hang out with each other. Athena does not visit me as much now that she has a cat friend. I also found out from a neighbor she visits about four homes in the neighborhood. She now comes to see me when she wants lap time. She will jump up in my lap and sit for about an hour then wants to go back outside.

The best part of my vacation was meeting a man who has turned my world upside down. I was so unprepared to be swept off my feet that I am still amazed by it all. I’m hoping it all works out and it is far and above what I ever expected. I had pretty much given up on ever finding someone. I am not unhappy being alone and love my own company but this man has made me realize that it is never too late to find love. Fingers crossed it continues to grow.

And now for the pictures I posted the first two I took today. The first is in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. We did not get out of the car due to horseflies the size of F-18’s. We saw lots of egrets, great egrets, great blue herons and eagles. The second photo is the Choptank River Bridge from the visitors center in Dorchester County. As always I love yellow flowers and the elderly ewes just make my heart sing. They were chatty tonight and wanted lots of ear scratches last night.

I hope everyone is happy and well. Autumn is my favorite season. I hope it inspires me to write more.

Happy September!!

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Hope to get back to writing later on this week but in the meantime here are some of my favorite photos over the last few days. Hope everyone has been well!

Hope

I am sharing this in hopes it may help someone, somewhere.

I do not usually post about my personal emotional life but after Robin Williams death yesterday I felt compelled to share a little. I have had depression and bipolar depression since I was ten years old. With medication and therapy I was usually able to keep it in check. Had many dark spots along the way but managed to find my way out. Three years ago was the worst. I was in such a bad place, didn’t know where to turn, called my doctor and made an appointment.. I was the last appointment on a Friday afternoon. We talked for more than an hour, he changed my meds and gave me phone numbers if I ever needed them. It was a very dark year and three times I was at the point of suicide. My doctor told me I needed to make life changes and I did. It was a long journey out and there are only about three people who knew how precarious my situation was but three years on and lifestyle changes I am a very different person. I am very happy and at peace. I am well aware the depression may reoccur however I finally feel as if I know when it is coming and how to head it off at the pass. I never judge anyone who has tried to commit suicide or has done it as I was at that dark door myself. Currently my life is so much better and I credit my doctor with saving my life.

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Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

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Despite the rain earlier in the day and now there was a brief period in which no rain fell. There was an abbreviated balloon festival tonight. Only three balloons were set up when we got there. One packed up but these two gave tethered rides. There was a long line for the balloon in the first picture. Lots of families with shall children went up about one hundred feet, hung there and then descended. Apparently rain is not good for the balloons. There were supposed to be fifteen balloons with eight to lift off and the other seven remaining for the glow. It was good to see the three balloons and to be so close to them. You could hear the people speaking in the balloons, the flame and it was just wonderful. I’m glad my friend Jenn always wants to go with me. It was really beautiful.

Half the pictures were taken by me and half by Jenn.

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