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.

Friday Morning Thoughts

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It was once again fantastic to be back home. I really enjoyed my pet sitting jobs the last few weeks. The picture of the horse’s muzzle is from one of the jobs. She was an independent soul but a bit of a mush too. I love to care for horses. This was a nice set up with the house and barn on the same property. The lamb in the last picture was the only one brave enough to come up while I was filling the trough. I have not had much interaction with the lambs and ewes since about May. Funny how I helped some of them right after their birth and fed the ewes twice a day. I could stand at the barn door and yell come on and they run to me. Now they see me differently and not really sure what I’m about. The elderly ewes on the other hand love to see me, make the trek to see me when I arrive and call to me when I enter the field.

My nighttime job has been very busy. This week I filled in for a coworker. It has been an interesting week. I was in so much pain after Monday and felt so old. Thankfully things got better Tuesday and the rest of the week. I enjoyed interacting with workers I don’t always get a chance to talk with and learned a lot working with the many different personalities. One employee took a shine to me. I almost burst out laughing when he flirted with me. It had been so long since someone flirted with me. That and being one of the few woman at work I know I’m not what most of the men find attractive. To them I’m just one of the guys which is good and bad. Sometimes they forget I am a woman and don’t need to hear all of their smack or what scantily clad woman they encountered in their day. Anyhow it was nice to have someone notice me and flirt. I was pretty flustered.

I am looking forward to a day off tomorrow to get my car worked on, possibly do a local tour and attend a balloon festival. I can’t wait. Hopefully the storm holds off.

Many thanks for stopping by. I enjoy everyone who likes, comments and reads my blog.

Painters, Pet Sitting and Friends

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Today is the second to last day of Easton’s Plein Air Festival. I’ve enjoyed watching the painters around the town and county the past week. Watching where they set up, trying to guess what they are painting and to see if we see the same image. As I drove into a housing development where I pet sit a number of dogs I found five painters set up along the fence line which encloses a herd of Belted Galloway cows. I wanted to tell them everyone paints the cows. Mind you the cows are striking. So imagine my delight when I drove to my dog walking job and found the painter in the first picture set up by the pond painting the water lilies, dragonflies and rock formation. It is one of my favorite spots in the housing development. He waved at me across the pond. The festival encourages interaction with the artists and I’ve spoken with artists in the past, I just did not want to interrupt his painting. This is the first year I was not able to attend any function associated with the festival.

The rest of the photos are from the farm this morning. Flash the horse came over to check out the water trough I was filling. I was shocked to see the apples on the tree already. The sunflower field is almost past bloom. The bees are not buzzing about as much but now the deer and birds are starting to enjoy the seeds. And as always I love the flowers.

Pet sitting has been busy and at times challenging. I find it to be most fitting with my life. I love horse farms first and foremost but a very close second is pet sitting. I knew sitting in school for all the years I did that the nine to five life was not for me. I think it is why I enjoy the night shift at my part time job. I cannot fit into what most of the world finds normal. Nine to five. Ugh I’d go nuts.

I am looking forward the Chesapeake Balloon Festival August 1 and 2. I’m hoping to get great pictures again this year. I’d highly recommend it if you are in town.

I never thought when I started this blog that I would make so many friends. People who I have never met in person have become to me close friends and I really love that aspect. It brightens my day when I get comments on the blog or people email me. It is a world wide connection I never considered. Many thanks to everyone! Have a beautiful Sunday!

Black-eyed Susans, Sunflowers & Flash with Josephine

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I am not sure which I enjoy more walking into a field of corn or a field of sunflowers. I love doing both. I enjoy watching the corn grow and the fog that settles over the corn crops some evenings. It fascinates me. The sunflowers just make me smile every time. Just as being home makes me smile.

I am home again after two weeks away pet sitting. The best part about pet sitting this time were the very dark skies where I was. I saw so many more stars than I normally do. One of my life goals is to trek to a certified dark area to look at the night sky. Sad we have to certify areas as dark. Not sure if the human race is afraid of the dark and needs light all the time. I think the closest one to me is in Pennsylvania.

I love the photo of Flash and Josephine. I was scratching Josephine ears (she is the sheep) and Flash the horse came up to check us out. He started nuzzling her head. They stayed that way for a few moments. It made me feel part of something bigger than myself-three species communicating.

I have been photographing mostly flowers lately. I am drawn to their color. The magnolias are almost finished blooming as are the day lilies. I do love sunflowers. When I stepped into the sunflower field it was humming with all the bees buzzing around.

We did not get much rain from Hurricane Arthur but did get glorious cool winds for a day. We were far enough away from the storm so that the winds were not damaging. In contrast we have gotten whopping thunderstorms that have caused damage around the towns close to me. The lightning has been spectacular. The thunder ranges from rolling to ear splitting.

I hope you all have been well and safe from the weather affecting the many areas of the country and world. As always many thanks for stopping by.

Just curious if any of you have witnessed inter species communication. Cheers!

Sunflowers, Photography & Peace

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What a beautiful two days we have had weather wise in my area. I have enjoyed photographing bees and dragonflies as well as flowers. I think my photos reflect my joy and happiness.

I get into a zone while focusing on photography. I almost feel like I am at one with the universe much the same feeling I get while stargazing or communicating with animals. Today I was drawn to the gardens at the many places I pet sit. I love the sunflower. When I photographed it tonight I found ten tiny bees on the seeds. I photographed many dragonflies today too. I know in some cultures dragonflies represent spirits of loved one. I had about fifty dragonflies swirling around me at one point.

As you know I love the elderly sheep. Tonight three came up to me to get their ears, chins and backs scratched. I just feel love pouring out of these ladies. I still miss the old black sheep who died earlier this year. She was a talker.

I feel a peace in my life unlike any I have ever felt before. My life is not without ups and downs or struggles but I took it to heart a few years ago when the doctor told me I had to make lifestyle changes or else I would not survive. One of the biggest things I did was adjust my attitude and thinking, begin to take up meditation and find gratitude in every day as well as allow myself to be creative. I wonder if that is one of the traits that allow people to share the happiest parts of their lives with me as well as the most painful. My mother always says I have a bartender’s ear or should have been a therapist.

I hope you find joy and happiness in your life. Let your creativity shine. It is good for the soul.

Family, Friends and Love

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Over the last two weekends I have connected with friends and family. Last weekend I met my cousin Laura and her wife Christina in St. Michaels, the next town over from me. I was unable to attend their wedding due to work so it was my first time meeting Christina. She is a wonderful person and I am so happy that she makes Laura so happy and vise versa. We ate the Crab Claw and had ice cream at Justine’s. I look forward to spending more time with them in the future.

This past weekend I met up with my friends Aleq and Jake. We went to lunch to start are day and were amused that the hostess was determined to sit Aleq next to me despite Jake and Aleq being a couple. We arranged ourselves so that I was on one side of the table and they were on the other. We had a great lunch and headed to the Unicorn Bookstore in Trappe. I found two books and may have to go back get a book on Norman Rockwell. Aleq found a book on history and Jake was delighted to find two books on lighthouses of the mid-Atlantic. We spent about forty five minutes in the store and then headed to the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. It was a perfect time to go as it was cloudy, cool with showers. We saw so many Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, bald eagles, ospreys, red winged black birds and red headed woodpeckers. We were even lucky enough to see the rare Delmarva Fox Squirrel. And the best part was no mosquitoes. After the refuge we headed to Easton and Jake asked if we could stop at the Quaker Meetinghouse. I’ve enclosed a picture of the meetinghouse, the cemetery around the meetinghouse and a very tall tree on the grounds. I got into an interesting discussion about reincarnation with Aleq while walking the grounds. It is a beautiful place to think and just be.

Tonight I visited my mom and stepdad for dinner and to give my stepdad his Father’s Day gift as they were out of town on Father’s Day. We walked around their gardens after dinner and mom and I have planned on attending two art shows in DC. I was able to get two pictures of Abby my stepdads cat. I will post a picture of her later. She has aged since she stayed with me but is still spry and energetic but she is old lady cat at 17 or 18. I missed caring for her this winter.

In my personal life I am enjoying a relationship with a man younger than myself. I love his company and after one brief discussion about our age difference we agreed it was not an issue though I had thought it might be. I get tired of the labels people have when an woman dates a younger man. I enjoy his intelligence and he mine. He has never said anything about all my books and reading a problem I have had with others and we can discuss astrophysics. I love it. We are taking everything a day at a time and will see where it goes. He doesn’t mind my work schedule nor I his. And I found out he used to own horses. He walked in to my place while I was watching dressage. He sat down and watched it with while asking questions. What a blessing that was and I hope this goes somewhere but if it does not I have enjoyed the journey.

I hope you are enjoying your journey, be true to yourself and have fun.

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