Beautiful Ice



It was a winter wonderland for a day.

Winter, Reading & Not Quite Fitting In

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Here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore we have not had the snow our northern neighbors have received. We have had to cold and wind. Last weekend at the farm it was minus fifteen with the winds, hence the reason I am bundled up like I’m heading to the North Pole. The chickens wisely chose to stay in the chicken house during the cold snap. The sheep for the most part stayed in their barn-they have free access to go in and out of the barn and pasture. The horses enjoyed their hay undercover. We did get our first significant snow for our area of six inches. Now I know New Englanders, my friends in Canada and the Northern European countries will laugh but for our area it’s a lot. We do not have the extensive equipment northern cities have and they use salt and sand sparingly. The one interesting thing I’ve noticed with the snow and ice is that the dogs I walk pay much more attention to me while we walk as I pick out the best path to take.

The remaining pictures are the local Catholic Church as viewed across a snow covered corn field, two sunrises and Piper in my shadow on one of our walks.

I finished two books I was reading-Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children and Inviting Disaster Lessons From the Edge of Technology. I thoroughly enjoyed Miss Peregrine and am looking forward to the second book. Inviting Disaster is an interesting overview of catastrophes, their causes and what we’ve learned from them. I find I am not reading as much as I used to and want to get back to it. I find that I have to defend myself sometimes that I read. I’m not much into tv and cannot discuss prime time tv due to my work schedule. Sometimes I’m left out in conversation due to it but I don’t mind. Last night at work I gave a one minute astronomy lessons pointing out to my coworkers Venus Mars the crescent moon and Jupiter. I shocked my coworkers saying if I was better at math I’d be an astrophysicist. Alas I am not so animals are my chosen path.

I am happy that NYC watches as little prime time tv as I do. We talk a lot about books, current events and he patiently answers all my country mouse questions about the city. I was impressed when I first met NYC and we discussed books one of his favorite books is Dracula. We have had some discussions about Edgar Allen Poe too-one of my favorite authors.

In closing on this rambling post the best part about the snow is the great bird watching-I’ve seen cedar waxwing mobs, robin mobs, tufted tit mouse, juncos, cardinals, hawks, eagles, Canada geese and snow geese.

One of my favorite elderly ewes died this past week. She was true sweetheart in every sense of the word. She lived a good long life. I will miss her.

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Blue

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Country mouse and city mouse but we both like blue!

Assateague, Being a Spaz & Stargazing

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I was on vacation last week and visited Assateague Island on Friday. It was perfect weather-slightly overcast, no wind and in the low forties. I spent half an hour in the visitors center. It really is a nice visitors center and I love stopping by. They have chairs with spotting scopes outside, an interactive touch tank, a nice viewing tank, a movie viewing room and a small discreet gift shop. I purchased postcards to send to my friend and her family in Colorado. I also picked up a set of gift cards and a pocket guide to life on Assateague. I enjoyed chatting with the woman in the center. I headed out to my car and drove onto the island. I usually drive up to the national park and turn around prior to their parking lot. I came upon five horses-two in the road crossing and three waiting to cross. One of the horses was young-a yearling I believe. They are beautiful and I find less attracted to people in winter so you can observe them more naturally without them walking up to your car or campsite looking for food. I took a few photos and then drove to the state park and much to my surprise I had the parking lot to myself. I climbed out of my car and was excited to think I may have the beach to myself. As I climbed the pathway to the beach I found I did have the beach to myself. It was sheer unadulterated bliss and filled me with such joy and peace. I ventured a little way down the beach and searched for shells. It was a few days after a storm and a storm was brewing at sea. I found the most amazing oyster shells-some as large as my hand, I found whelks and small crab shells. I stayed on the beach about half an hour before turning back. I was disappointed to find two people joined me on the beach. Mind you now there were three of us on thirty five miles of beach. They went the opposite direction of me obviously not wanting my company anymore than I wanted theirs. I happily drove off the island and went to visit my aunt who lives nearby.

I love Assateague Island and am grateful I live fairly close.

The next day upon returning home I found I had been struck down my a chest cold which proceeded to knock the stuffing out of me for the week. I ended up missing two days of work. I rested a lot, coughed a lot and went through more Kleenex than I care to think about. In my down time I focused on nothing else other than trying to get better. I remembered the peace and bliss I felt at Assateague and hope to get back to that feeling soon.

NYC and I are still going strong. He is quite patient with me as every so often I spaz out and worry about everything and the doubts that can creep into a long distance relationship. God bless him he has never done anything to make me question, it is my own insecurities that rear it’s ugly head. NYC reassures me and is just wonderful to me. He really is a blessing in my life.

I think everyone knows I love to read. I love children’s picture books, young adult books, non fiction, history and science as well as the occasional piece of fiction. I received a children’s book today that I just love. It’s called The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. It is charming and inspires creativity. Check it out!

Have a beautiful weekend. Check out Venus so bright after sunset until about 7:15pm. Mars is a faint point of light an arms length above it. Jupiter comes out around 8:30 or so. It is beautiful viewing!!

Thoughts, Conversations & Questions

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I am off from ups this weekend and am enjoying my vacation. It took me until Wednesday to not feel so darn tired. On Sunday I attended the Maryland Horse Expo with my friend Jenn. We wandered the two buildings spoke to many people and took in two demos. The first demo was given by a local well known clinician. After watching I was appalled at the dangerous things they tried to teach in hopes you would purchase their goods. It makes me sad that so many people follow this clinician. But to each their own. The one demo I really enjoyed was Western Dressage. I have long followed and ridden classical dressage. Western Dressage fascinates me. I wasn’t able to ask a question during the demo as others had many questions but later while walking through the trade show i spotted the clinician walking through the floor and stopped to ask my question. He very graciously answered my question and encouraged us to stop by his booth to get more info on the associations for Western Dressage. Also at the expo I saw my first white shire.

I loved the light that came through the snow clouds yesterday and took the picture of the ornament in my window. Yes I know I still have Christmas up in my apartment. I step to my own timeline. The other photos with the exception of Cooper the lab I took this afternoon on a walk through my neighborhood. I think I’m the only one who uses the walking trails in the front of the housing development. I love the trails as I run across deer, rabbits, hawks and ducks.

One of these days I will get all my books and clothes put away. I feel bad about it even though I live alone that my place is a bit untidy. Every magazine, HGTV show, life coaches and others browbeat us into thinking everything must be neat and tidy, everything in its place and organized. I realized Wednesday besides not being tired anymore I was beating myself up for what I love- books, movies, plants and a general laid back way of living. My home will never be neat and tidy. It is clean but I love my books and having them near to read. I find my life more fulfilling in that I learn something new every day, challenge myself every day and try to talk to new people every day. I’m an intensely private person despite posting a blog and really don’t have people over to my apartment. If I let you in it means I value you and our friendship.

I had two interesting conversations on Facebook today. One involved society’s attempt to classify women who date younger men as cougars-a term I detest but one I’m told I should embrace. When I meet someone I don’t see age or race I just see the person. Rather like the term Namaste, the soul in me sees the soul in you or a variation of that. I have had some of the most fulfilling conversation with my best friend’s daughter who at five was an old soul. NYC is fifteen years younger than me. We have more in common and meet on a soul level. People want to classify, draw sides and dictate what they believe is correct. No one has noticed I dance my own dance. The conversation I had on Facebook was on a well known cook’s Facebook page. Im going to nerd out on you and say how excited I was that they or their people commented on my post and intelligent conversation took place. The other conversation I had also on Facebook was how many churches my town has-22. People were astonished. Religion is big below the Mason-Dixon Line. I do not partake in formal religion but do enjoy the architecture of the church’s.

So in closing tonight’s blog post what are your thoughts on relationships that have large age differences and how many churches are in your town. I’m hoping to photograph all twenty two in my town over the next few weeks. Have a beautiful night and check out the night sky-Venus and mercury just after sunset, Jupiter around 9:00PM and Saturn for those of you with insomnia.

Mindfulness. & Five Year Plans

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I had not realized how much I had embraced mindfulness and living each day as it comes until my therapist asked me where do I see myself in five years? And I had no answer. I am in a 401K plan so I am planning somewhat. The only true thing I do know is I don’t think I can do my night job for another five years. And there lies a quandary in five years I will be fifty. Not the best time to start over in the employment world. My hope is my pet and house sitting business can sustain me. I’m hoping NYC will still be in my life. I think I may have a book to write though I’m sure lots of people think they have books in them too.

So about the five year plan, what do you think? Do you make five year plans? I take photos a lot more now than I did five years ago and chase the light and shadows as evidenced by the sunsets, shades and trellis pictures I’ve included in this post. I’m more at peace than I was five years ago. What I want and need in friendships and relationships has changed too.

I am on vacation this week and looking forward to attending the Maryland Horse Expo tomorrow, I hope to go to Assateague Island, read many of the books I have about my apartment and draw. Sadly NYC is not able to visit this month. I’ve learned a lot about myself being with NYC. I find a sense of peace and happiness with him that I have not had before. Despite our age difference and distance I find it to be a relationship that is working well for me.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Changes, Adjusting and Goals

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What a change a few days brings. It went from 67 degrees on Sunday to 11 degrees tonight with howling winds and cold wind chill factors. We got a smattering of snow here where I live while towns and cities west and north got more snow. The paw print in the snow is from Max a sweet dog I watch. The last photo is a dried plant in Max’s backyard. It drew me in. I really like winter time as it forces me to look at trees and plants and how they survive winter as they have shed their leaves. I often find bee and hornets nests as well as bird nests that are not visible spring, summer and fall. There really is beauty in every season.

As always I love the sun and shadows. My apologies if I have shared the second picture before. It is a recent sunrise photo while the third photo is of sunset. I just loved how the sun was pouring through the trees. I have been enjoying watching the many bald eagles that live nearby. I had an immature bald eagle fly across a meadow right at me. I really got a great sense of how immense their wingspan is. It was amazing. The eagle wheeled up in the sky after flying at me.

I am taking some time off from work in a couple of weeks and hope to finally finish cleaning and downsizing. However, my books always call to me. Sadly NYC was not able to get off this month for a visit but didn’t a wise person once say good things come to those that wait? I’m sad that I won’t be able to see him this month but still look forward to a visit. I’m looking forward to attending the Maryland Horse Expo in about two weeks. Always an enjoyable time.

I would really like to get back in shape and back to riding horses again. That is one of my big goals for this year. Do you have any goals? Not resolutions but goals?

Sunsets and Clouds

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I thought I would share the skies I’ve observed over the past five days or so. I find the skies always pull me to look up. Today I had an immature bald eagle buzz me before wheeling up into the sky. My first thought was damn the wingspan in immense. I’ve never had one come right at me like that.

I hope everyone is well and warm. It is going to be chilly here in Maryland for a few days.

Feeling Better & Being Brave!

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Thankfully I felt the gray feeling that has plagued me for a few days has finally lifted. I am grateful it left quickly. In the past I have struggled for weeks, months and years with it. Since last March I have been free of depression. Perhaps it just needed to remind me it was still here. Depression and various forms of mental illness run in my family. I took a picture earlier today that exemplified the lifting of my gray.

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I did not really make a resolution to write on my blog more in 2015 but the last two days I’ve been compelled to write. I try to photograph something every day and hope to write more this year. The first picture is of a sunrise recently that took my breath away. As you well know I’m not a morning person so the beautiful sunrise was an added bonus as I headed out on a pet sitting job.

I was told recently I rarely post pictures of people so I’m trying to be brave and post them. The second picture is of me! Bundled up to head out on a pet sitting job

The third photo I took Christmas afternoon at Black Walnut Point on Tilghman Island. I was heading to my Mom and step dad’s for dinner when I realized the sunset may be pretty that day and it is a great view from the point. From the point there is a view of the tilting Sharps Island lighthouse. Apparently ice years ago knocked it askew. There was a ship up the bay and I love looking across the bay at the Western Shore. It was cold as I got out to take the picture the wind was howling across the bay and throwing up spray. It was pretty but I was cold so I snapped a few photos and jumped back in my car to head to Mom’s. I stopped to take a picture of the crab pot Christmas tree that was located at the base of the bridge. Sadly the pictures did not come out very well. It was a sight to see and apparently the Guinness Book of World Records are supposed to check it out to see if it is the tallest. Black Walnut Point is great for bird watching, sky watching and just a cool place to hang out.

With NYC’s permission I am posting his photo. It was taken while he was at work. He is a sweetheart and I’m looking forward to his visit. You just never know when and where you will meet someone special.

I hope 2015 has started well for everyone. Just curious if you wish to share but where is everyone reading this from-state and country, not where you read it though that may be interesting too. Ha! Have a great weekend!!

Shadows, Light with Black and White

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Today is one of the few days of the year I have almost no work obligations I had big plans to clean my apartment start some of my books but instead sat on the couch watched tv and pared down my photos as my phone reminded me I have too many photos on them. So I started deleting and found some cool ones I wanted to share. It helped me cheer up a bit as I find on a whole New Year’s Day to be kind of depressing for no particular reason.

The first photo I took in Maine this past October at one of my favorite spots on the Marginal Way. If you look closely you can see me in the shadows. I had not noticed it until today. I’m next to my favorite house and tree in the shadows. Maine’s beaches are so different to the ones here in Maryland.

The next two pictures share my chasing the sun today though in the third one I was lazy and took the picture while still in bed. The second picture was sunset tonight which was kind of pretty.

I changed the fourth picture from color to black and white and really like how it turned out. The ladies were watching fill their water troughs. Sometimes I find black and white photos to be pretentious but sometimes I really do like them. The sheep are great in black and white.

The final picture is a piece of artwork NYC sent me for Christmas. I love all the colors and the busyness of the painting. It remind me of my life and my loves. I try so hard to live simply and modestly after staying in some people homes who live like that I however have found I need lots of books, art, pictures, candles and music to surround me to feel at home. All the magazines, gurus and others have been banging the drums about living simply. I try but I find my mind needs stimulation of things to look at. The monkish way of living though I admire I find I cannot conform to.

So even though I have pared down my photos and some belongings I still have stacks of books everywhere in my apartment, artwork on almost every inch of my walls and resting on the floors and color all over my place. I had mentioned both and here and on Facebook that I was kind of depressed today but writing sure does help me out. I feel better at the end of this post than when I started it.

I hope 2015 is happy, healthy and peaceful for everyone. As always I thank everyone for reading, communicating and just checking out the blog.

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