My heart goes out to everyone affected by the tornados that struck Oklahoma today.
17 May 2013 4 Comments
I love iris flowers and took the top picture while at my Mom’s on Mother’s Day. I love the variety of colors iris have. Single colors, blending colors all draw me in. I have stopped so many times recently while walking dogs to snaps pictures of iris that one dog I walk seems to scope the flowers out for me. Or maybe I tip her off to where I want to go and look.
The second picture is a potted plant at another pet sitting job. I thought it looked great. The home is on one of the many rivers, creeks and tributaries found around here. I have been trying to get pictures of workboats, sailboats and other small craft on the river but my little camera can’t zoom in.
I am staying at one of my favorite places to pet sit. It is a wonderful waterfront place and the dogs are great. It is the only time of the year I see sunrises as the dogs get me up slightly before sunrise. I took the bottom picture this morning. I’m hoping to get some more pictures tomorrow with clouds at sunrise. When I get out of my car the air is filled with the scent of wisteria. The trees here are fairly old. The dogs and I take lovely walks and I catch up on reading while here.
I hope you have a great weekend and get to enjoy some color, be it in sunrises, sunsets, flowers or laughter!
11 May 2013 Leave a Comment
From the time I left work last night up until an hour ago, we have had thunderstorms rolling through at different intervals. It has been quiet rolling thunder to a few crackers that woke me out of a sound sleep at 3am and again at 6am. I enjoy listening to thunder and sometimes watching lighting. I’m not fond of lighting so close all the hair on your arms and the back of your neck stand up but something farther in the distance. It has not really gotten warm enough for the storms to become severe or become tornados. It was an interesting drive to my pet sitting jobs last night and this morning as a good bit of rain fell. Not all roads drain very well here so standing water can be a problem as well as the creeks and tidal river coming over their banks at high tide. I really wanted to travel back roads today to my jobs and was thankful the water on the rivers and creeks, though high never came on the roads.
I have been busy caring for cats this week as well as a few dogs. The top two pictures I took while out on some of the walks with dogs. I love iris flowers. All the different colors and the way they bloom draws me in. One of the pet sitting jobs left me a wonderful arrangement of lilies to take home with me. My apartment smelled heavenly with them there.
Last night work was intense with customers upset about mother’s day parcels arriving and coworkers who had let the stress eat away at them as they progressed through the day. I was using my best middle child diplomatic skills, calmed everyone down and backed the most upset away from defcon one. Two things that have helped me deal with stress is to take on each issue one at a time even if they are happening all at once. Being able to give someone my undivided attention allows me to see the issue from their side, not take the yelling or hostility personally and to develop a hopefully workable solution. The second thing is remembering the Buddhist teaching of mindfulness. Once I am finished with the issue I try to move on and be present in my life and what is happening now. Not rehashing everything. Recently on a tv show, which one I can’t remember, the person being interviewed said humans are the only mammals that punish themselves more than once for a mistake. No other living creature in the mammalian kingdom does that. That hit me and sunk right into my soul. It also freed up some of the old hurts I had been hanging on to. Most importantly it freed up a piece of me to draw again, read with great delight and participate in life to the fullest.
The both picture is of a sunset last week. It is a portion of the trees I photographed most of the winter only now they have leaves. It was a lovely walk down to the water, no snakes, no mosquitos yet and no humidity.
I hope you enjoy your weekend and embrace whatever goodness comes your way.
02 May 2013 2 Comments
On Wednesday afternoon after a lovely lunch with my Mom we headed to the Academy of the Arts in Easton, our town’s central art gallery. I was excited to finally see the exhibit I showed up for earlier in the month. I was able to park out front of the Academy and told my Mom I thought we would have the gallery to ourselves. When we got through the front doors besides the volunteer at the front desk we found a bunch of young school children enjoying the exhibit. Both Mom and I thought it was pretty cool the kids were there and getting a tour of the exhibit and a kids eye view of everything. There were three galleries showing the exhibit and the kids were divided into three groups. Me, being an orderly person was getting ready to start the exhibit tour in what is usually the first gallery of all exhibits. However, Mom and I were intercepted by a volunteer who was at the exhibit at the request of the artist James Turrell. He does art based on light and perspective. It was a bit out of my Mom’s comfort zone of art but she was game. Back to the volunteer who intercepted us, she asked us to start in another gallery first. She explained the artist’s background and ideas on art and what he creates. Based upon what she was describing as what was in the gallery we were about to enter I had no idea what to expect. It was totally black and dark as you headed into the gallery almost like you were heading into a tunnel. I had watched the kids come out of the exhibit and they all had kept their hands along the wall to guide them out so naturally my mother said you go first I’ll follow you. Onwards I went. When I got to the end of the wall you came around the corner to see a wall of purple. My Mom didn’t say what the hell but she almost did. I said come on so we walked across the long dark room and stepped right up to the purple wall which as you got closer was actually more of a trapezoid. You could stick your arms and head into the purple wall thing and it was like looking into infinity. It was wild and crazy and I loved it. My Mom started laughing when she saw me stick my arms in work, which was encouraged by the way, you just couldn’t touch the bottom of the piece. The piece itself St. Elmo’s Light. We stayed in the room with the piece for about ten minutes, laughing and carrying on. When we left the room I followed the kids lead and had my hand on the wall. We then checked out some sculptures and pictures the artist had showing his place in Arizona. The next gallery had nine holograms. Mom really got into those which surprised me. I liked them but honestly I can take or leave holograms. Mom stood at many different spots in the room looking at all of them. I did like the hologram that made a butterfly. As Mom and I headed to the last gallery we went by the kids all dressed in smocks by this point on the floor on a large piece of painting paper. They were all painting away and chattering about what they had seen. They seemed to like the exhibit as much as Mom and I did. Mom thanked me for taking her to another funky art exhibit. She really did enjoy it and I am definitely going back again to see the St. Elmo’s Light piece again. The exhibit is here until July 7. It was well worth the wait and embarrassment from showing up two weeks early.
I took the middle picture at work tonight. As I was walking by the open bay doors the bright yellow sky caught my eye so I ran outside to take pictures.
The bottom picture is of my local hospital waiting room. I took a friend who had gotten hurt during the day. I was bored and the waiting room was empty so I started taking pictures. The hospital sure has changed since I first moved here. The old waiting room had twenty chairs and was about twenty feet wide, dark and miserable to be in. This waiting room had about one hundred and twenty chairs, two tv’s, and a very tall ceiling. It wasn’t bad waiting tonight.
Coming home from the hospital I saw two baby foxes on the bridge in my housing development. They were cute. The stars were bright too with the sky so dark.
I hope you have a great Thursday, enjoy some art if you get a chance and have some fun. I’m heading out tomorrow to buy some sidewalk chalk. I’m trying to decide what to draw or maybe I’ll just see what inspires me.
30 Apr 2013 4 Comments
I have been laid low by a bad cold since last Monday. For seven days I had no voice. Today is the first day I had a little bit of a voice, I’m hoping by tomorrow to be back on full strength. I found by Friday I had forgotten what my voice sounded like! An interesting and humbling time indeed. I taught the dogs I was caring for to come when I would clap. Dogs are pretty smart as it only took them a very short time to learn that my clapping meant let’s go or come inside.
On Thursday a coworker came and got me from my office to show me a hot air balloon going over our building. It was fairly high as you can see in the top photo. My coworker pointed out to me the flame helping keep the balloon aloft I meanwhile was entranced with the rainbow of colors of the balloon. I was rather surprised that the balloon was where it was as it was kind of in the landing and take off pattern of one of the airport’s runways. Perhaps it took off from the airport I don’t know. It was lovely to see. I’m glad my coworker came and got me to see the balloon.
Yesterday I went to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival with my friend Jenn. We left around 9:30 and headed over the bridge. I sort of had a voice but not really. We chatted about horses she is looking at. We also caught up on her writing conference and our respective jobs. We got to the Festival at about 11:00. We both had specific artists we wanted to see in addition to just checking out all the artists to see what everyone had. I was looking for an artist whose paintings I had bought before. I enjoy chatting with him and his wife and he makes everyone feel special whether you buy one piece or twenty. Some artists will look by you if they think they can get a better sale from someone who will buy more. I understand everyone is trying to make a living but a little bit of common courtesy goes a long way in my book. I have four of the artist’s works and hope to purchase more next year. My friend Jenn had to get some jewelry worked on. She had a beautiful custom piece made for her at the fall show. The jeweler was a hoot and had gorgeous rings, necklaces and bracelets. It’s a tough call for me sometimes artwork or jewelry but usually artwork wins. We saw lots of different arts and crafts-jewelry, paintings, woodwork, scarves, clothes, bronzeworks, pottery and my favorite was a spinner spinning wool. I did buy one other piece of art, a cool picture of eight different pairs of wolves eyes, all lined up vertically. I love wolves. Jenn and I had lots of fun at one artist’s booth who did funny paintings with great sayings on them. We found out he and his wife run a bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania. I wonder if people think it odd if a single person visited a bed and breakfast. I may check it out next spring.
Coming home I took a bunch of pictures as we drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Jenn was driving so I was snapping away with my camera. Sadly it was so gray out in some of my pictures you can barely tell where the water ends and the sky and clouds start. I love the bridge’s eastbound left hand arc as you head up the span. Obviously it is to the right as you come westbound. It has to be that way to meet the shipping channel underneath at a ninety degree angle I believe. I got that from memory but my angle could be off. It’s a short quick climb on the eastbound side with a long downhill slope back to land. On the westbound side it seems like the climb takes forever to get to the top of the bridge but then it’s a quick downhill ride. Heaven help you if you are on the bridge on a windy day or in a storm. It can be a white knuckled ride.
I took the bottom picture at a pet sitting job. I thought it was very colorful. I love color which is kind of funny for someone who is partially color blind. I’m looking forward to finally being able to see the art show that I showed up fifteen days too early for at the beginning of April. I’m going to the show on Wednesday with my Mom. I’ve gone to some great art shows with my Mom. We have seen Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Chihuly,Matisse, Norman Rockwell and lots of local artists. I’m hoping Mom likes the show as I think it’s a little outside of her art comfort zone. I hope I like it as I’ve been looking forward to it since I showed up while the painters were painting the galleries in prep for the show.
I hope your weekend went well and that you challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone in a small way or a grand one this week! I’m going to try to step outside of mine each day and see how it goes.
24 Apr 2013 5 Comments
On Sunday while out and about my low tire pressure light came on. So Monday morning I took the car into my mechanic. Thankfully they could see me right away without an appointment. Yea! I ran over a nail but they were able to fix it and I was back on my way in no time. If there is a nail or screw in the road my car will find it. The best part was the mechanic who worked on my car was shorter than me so my the front seat of my car was not in the back seat like it usually is when the 6’4″ tall mechanic works on my car. It is a little thing but I appreciated it very much besides my tire being fixed fast. It got me on a crusade to look for little things to appreciate and be thankful for over the past thirty six hours.
One thing my coworkers were happy about is that I have no voice due to a cold. I am not sneezing, coughing and I’m feeling better, I just don’t have a voice. I did not complain or say I was not feeling well. I carried on and worked but had many unsolicited remedies offered on how to treat my cold. The other response I had to my voice was laughter. I thought it was nice as work as been tense and people are very anxious lately, so if my squeaky frog like voice made people laugh all the better. Hearing my voice made me laugh a few times tonight.
Yesterday while walking a dog through the streets and alleyways of town I stopped to look at the alleys as the trees, shrubs and flowers are blooming. It looked lovely. I love walking through the alleys as it is where people let their guard down in terms of their homes. It is not always as pristine as the front yard, some people have cool gardens, while others have neat sculptures and knick knacks. I love the variety of tulips, daffodils, dogwoods and pansies that are blooming now. I stopped and took the middle picture at one of my pet sitting jobs that has a fifty foot fence line filled with lilac bushes that are in bloom. The smell was wonderful. I love lilacs.
The bottom picture I took at another pet sitting job where I walk the dog every day while the owners work. They have great gardens on a small plot of land. The dog and I take a lovely walk every day and see and hear so many birds. The dog is gracious enough to sit and let me take lots of pictures of the flowers, trees and turtles. We have recently discovered a large box turtle living in the pond we walk around. First time ever! There has always been fish, bullfrogs and lilies in the pond but I’ve never seen a turtle at this pond. There are other ponds in the community that have lots and lots of turtles. I often see them sunning themselves.
I took the top picture on Sunday. I was outside for a good portion of Sunday afternoon. I really wanted to see the rocket launch from NASA’s facility at Wallops Island. The last launch I saw was at night and I could see the rocket’s engines light up as it lifted across the sky. This launch was during daylight hours and I only saw contrails but it was fun. The sunset was beautiful Sunday night, the spring peepers have quieted down but the bullfrogs have become loud. Purple Martins and tree swallows are building nests all around the property. And the ospreys are hunting on the ponds out front and the river out back.
While driving through town today I saw a young mother with three small children, one in a stroller and two alongside. The two boys alongside her made me laugh. One was on his bicycle with training wheels and the other had a stick horse, cowboy hat and took great delight running ahead of his mother and brother. I wonder if he had theme music, his hat was wonderful. Then at the post office I was in line behind a man with the most walking magnificent cane. It was wooden with many travel stickers on it. I really wanted to ask him about all the stickers and if he had been to all the countries listed. It was impressive.
I hope you find delight in little things and that your voice is singing loud. Don’t hide your light and like my little cowboy friend run ahead every once in a while!
21 Apr 2013 6 Comments
I was looking forward this past Monday to writing about the Boston Marathon-my memories of it growing up, living on part of the route for a few years, my friends who were running in it this year and some of the people I watched run who have inspired me over the years. I often went to the marathon with my dad and this years marathon was the day after his birthday so I thought it would make a sweet little post. However, as everyone knows, horror struck as bombs went off. I do not wish to rehash any of the events of this past week other than to say I am glad it is over. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all who were touched by it in any way. My brother-in-law got caught in the drama that unfolded on Thursday evening as he tried to drive home from work. The one thing he said to me is that he never wants to see anything like it again. I hope the healing can begin as best as it can now.
I lived in Massachusetts from the age of five until I was twenty two. I moved to Maryland to be near more horse farms and far away from New England winters. I shoveled enough snow to last me a good long time. When we had two back to back blizzards here in Maryland a few years back all I could think was I may need to move farther south. I do like having four seasons though.
Last night at work I learned that some of my coworkers are frightened of storms. We were under a tornado watch most of the afternoon and evening. The winds howled all day, the weather was warm and as the storm clouds began to build I took four steps outside the building to take pictures of the clouds. No lighting or thunder was occurring yet but two coworkers were agitated I was outside taking pictures. I took a few and then went back to work. The next thing I knew someone had closed all the bay doors as the rain came crashing down. About ten minutes later lighting flashed and thunder sounded but only for about fifteen minutes. The rain and wind carried on for two hours. And the temperature plummeted. The clouds were amazing but the pictures I took don’t do them justice.
While at work I received news from my brother in law and sister, one of the bombers had been arrested and Boston was free to be Boston again. I felt a sense of relief but also a bit of horror at some of the remarks my friends and acquaintances had made over the whole ordeal. I respect peoples opinions and honor their right to express them but I have little tolerance for ignorance, bigotry or violence that some of the opinions contained.
I still believe Anne Frank had it correct when she said “Despite everything, I still think people really are good at heart.” There was a lot of good that came to the surface this week.
Driving home I was able to think of other things. I thought of peace, harmony, love and oneness. As I drove onto my street I was delighted to see a fox for the first time in a while. He was beautiful. We looked at each and then passed onwards. I heard the calls of the bullfrogs and tonight I heard the spring peepers with the bullfrogs. I have been enjoying watching a pair of ospreys hunt and fish in the pond out front. The purple martins and swallows are back. The rhythms of life carry on..
The pictures I chose for today was a sunrise I took on Wednesday morning, a pot of some of my favorite flowers and tonight’s sunset.
Thank you for letting me write a bit on the marathon. I struggled all week on whether or not to write about it. I thank you for friendship and it means the world to me. Many thanks!
14 Apr 2013 4 Comments
In the past week our weather on Maryland’s Eastern Shore has gone from a frost advisory one night last weekend to ninety degree weather on Wednesday and high eighties on Thursday. Saturday it finally decided to be spring. For the past six nights I have been enjoying listening to the spring peepers. I do love listening to them. At my nighttime job I sometimes stand at the open bay doors to listen to the peepers and watch the sunset and stars. I have seen some incredible rainbows too from storms rolling through. Now that spring is here with the beginning of heat and humidity storms become something to be aware of and keep an eye on. However, storms are fickle here, many times they will blow a gale on the western shore and hit the Chesapeake Bay and fizzle out, or they start over here and you think it is heading your way but then it suddenly follows a river or gets blown just north or south. The water does funny things to the storms.
Today I walked a dog around a lovely neighborhood. We came across a large turtle sunning itself on a planter in the middle of a pond. I saw a bullfrog that was huge! It was three times the size of my hand. Yikes! The dog graciously and patiently waited while I took pictures of flowers and trees. She even let me take a few pictures of her. Usually she walks right up to me while I’m taking her picture so all I have is a nose picture. After walking her I headed to Oxford for some ice cream. Yum. And I took the picture of the pansies at the ice cream stand. The Scottish Highland Creamery, if you are ever in the tiny town of Oxford Maryland they make the best ice cream with unique flavors as well as traditional ones. I love sitting by the water and boats and enjoying my ice cream. Today I watched some osprey and juvenile bald eagles fly over the river. I sat there for an hour just soaking up the day before heading to my next pet sitting job caring for two cats.
I took back roads from Oxford to the next job. Passed by many fields of winter wheat, it is often the first thing to turn green after winter passes. Long before lawns green up the winter wheat is showing itself. I love looking at it. I spent an hour with the cats and then headed to get lunch. After picking up lunch I thought I’d take the long way home. I was hoping to photograph some bald eagles but just got landscape shots instead. It was a peaceful drive. Thankfully most of the roads around here are fairly quiet and people pulling over to take pictures, bird watch or check out deer are not seen as unusual. Just outside of Unionville there was a beautiful tree I stopped to photograph. It is lovely and symmetrical and has to be at least two hundred years old if not older. It stands out in a field all alone. I took some pictures of barns, one which is pictured up top. I usually see bald eagles at this farm, either on the barn or in the fields.
I came home, enjoyed reading and some interactions on twitter and Facebook. After dark I went outside to check out the moon, stars and I was hopeful to see the aurora borealis. Earlier on the week the sun let out an explosion that they thought may produce an aurora far enough south for me to see but alas I was not successful. Later I checked the website for auroras, it had updated and said it would only go south to the Canada US border. I have only seen the aurora once living in Maryland but I am always hopeful to see it again. The spring peepers calling was wonderful to hear.
Today is my Dad’s birthday. I will be listening to some of his favorite music and smiling in his memory. Well after this rather longwinded post I will wish you a happy and peaceful Sunday. I hope spring is here for you or coming soon.
07 Apr 2013 6 Comments
On Friday afternoon I went to the Academy of the Arts in my town to see a show I saw advertised in the paper. I was happy when I drove up to find a parking spot within easy walking distance. I glanced at the colorful flag on the lawn announcing the art show, marched inside and was met by a surprised volunteer. The entire downstairs was being painted in preparation for the show I wanted to see. I showed up fifteen days too early. They sure advertised it well! I just failed to pay attention to the actual dates. All the painters looked at me like I was an idiot. I had a delightful conversation with volunteer and tried to talk my way into being able to see pieces of the permanent collection. I was not successful in that one but she did tell me their was a small exhibit upstairs and I was more than welcome to view that at no charge. I almost declined but figured since I was here I might as well. I climbed the stairs and was met by two colorful paintings of flowers and shells. I knew enough about flowers to know that the one artist was trying to tell a story with just the flowers he was using and I did not have to read the little sign next to the painting to figure that one out. I have always been fascinated with hidden meanings and signs in things. I learned long ago that people communicated with flowers from color selection to the flowers themselves. The other artist did self portraits in ornaments placed next to flowers and shells. I realized as I walked through the exhibit I actually recognized the artists as local men I had seen around town. And talk about me judging a book by it’s cover. Every time over the years I had run into these men, who are brothers, they reminded of Boo Radley in To Kill A Mockingbird. I had no idea they had fine arts degrees, painted beautiful pictures and traveled all over. Amazing the snap judgements we make. I wonder what people think of me when they see me wandering about town. Do they think me the female version of Boo Radley?
I had a wonderful time by myself checking out the small exhibit. Heard the laughter of children being taught an art class down one of the halls. I wanted to join them to see what all the fun was about. So many times I go to art galleries, shows, museums and everyone is quiet, hushed, and stuck up. My Mom and I had the best time at Van Gogh’s exhibit in Philadelphia last year. We chatted, laughed, discussed and had a great time. I could imagine myself in some of the paintings. The art academy I visited used to be the school at the turn of the century (1900′s). The top two pictures are of the academy. It is a really neat building. I stood at the windows for quite a long time just looking out.
The bottom picture is of Abby sleeping. She is heading home today or tomorrow. She has been very clingy the past two weeks. But I imagine she will be happy to be in her big home again with a lovely screened porch. I wonder though will she miss watching Doctor Who with me, listening to NPR on the weekends, or crazy eclectic music throughout the week? I know she will miss sleeping on the bed as she is not allowed in the bedroom at her usual home. I will miss her chatting with me every night but December will be here again before I know it.
Have you ever had a snap judgements you made turned upside down? Is your mind open enough to have it changed? It took me a day to wrap my head around the paintings these brothers did as I had only known them in another setting. Always trying to challenge myself and my mind. I hope you do too! Enjoy your Sunday!
04 Apr 2013 4 Comments
I took a couple of days off from work this week so when a friend asked if I could go with her to check out a horse she is considering buying I was actually able to! It required getting up before the sun was up but it was well worth the drive. I threw off the regulars at 7-11 coming in six hours earlier than I usually do but I got my newspapers and some tea. Met up with my friend and over the bridge we went. I caught the sunrise in the second picture. We were still on the Eastern Shore when I took the picture. Crossing over the bridge I saw twelve ships lined up waiting for the harbor pilots to take them up the bay to Baltimore. We got held up in traffic just twenty minutes from our destination when a tractor trailer was involved in an accident and had tipped over on it’s side. After a three hour drive we finally made it to the farm. It was an adventure for me going from the flatlands of the Eastern Shore to the beginning of the hills and mountains of western Maryland. It was beautiful country over there.
Two dogs greeted us once we made it up a very long bumpy farm driveway. We were both expecting a traditional barn but the horses were being housed in a temporary barn. The horse we were checking out is the top picture with my friend. He was a handsome boy and pretty unflappable. There were goats, sheep and dogs present and making all sorts of noises and running about. There were low flying jumbo jets that unnerved me a bit. Where I live depending on the wind we are sometimes in the landing pattern of BWI, however, the planes are usually still at three to four thousand feet up. Here, where the horse was, the planes were much lower and in the landing pattern of Dulles. The horse never looked up. The woman got on and rode to show us what he could do and then my friend hopped on. She and the horse really seemed to click and make a connection. I think they will be a successful match. He moved quite nicely for her and despite being a tall large boy she did not look lost and tiny on him. Hopefully things work out and she is able to purchase him.
Watching the woman ride and my friend ride made me want to teach again in the worst way. I miss teaching riding. I love the aha moment you can show the horse and rider when they both get the concept you are trying to teach them. One of these days I will get back to it but for now I armchair teach and observe constantly. I read as much as I can on horses and riding and not just what I ride or teach but other disciplines too. I watch videos, dvd’s and anything on tv I can find on riding and teaching. I think I have watched the last Olympic equestrian events about thirty times now. Books and horses bit me hard.
I posted the bottom picture just because I love the blossoms blooming on the trees now even though it is chilly again here.
I hope you have a great day. Keep dreaming and keep learning!