I played with filters with the tulip blooms. I am aiming to take a photo a day and see how the filters change my perception of what I initially saw. Much as caring for my mom and stepdad has changed my perception on many things-the goodness in people, quality of life, being happy with small victories and realizing how others act may not be in line with how I think. Feel like I am emerging from a long trek filled with lessons.
01 Apr 2017 1 Comment
My life came to screeching halt Thursday when I received a phone call from a hospital in Oklahoma telling me my mom and stepdad had been taken following a serious car accident. For the next five hours I was on the phone with family members-both my sisters, niece, nephew and brother in law as well as my step dad’s one son, I talked to many nurses who shared as much info as the laws would allow and finally was able to talk to both my mom and stepdad. Given their injuries they were in separate parts of the hospital. It was difficult being so many miles away and hearing the pain and confusion in their voices. It didn’t all hit me until this morning when the phone calls and texts started again. I found myself in the position of being the go to person for info. Finally when I got off the phone around noon I called Mike and broke down crying in sadness, frustration and fear. God bless Mike as I had to repeat myself quite a few times I was crying so hard. I am at a pet sitting job and the family is overseas so it’s not like I can drop everything and go.
I found myself searching for something to ground me and found it in cleaning the stall of the horse i am caring for. I have been cleaning stalls for thirty years and to me it is meditative and satisfying. I also enjoy the company of the dogs I am watching. They are characters. I tried hard to find something to photograph but given the gray rainy day it was nothing popped out at me. I took the photos two days ago in the sunset.
On the bright side my mom and step dad hope to fly home Monday. I will be there to pick them up. I think I did ok handling the situation that arose and I learned a lot about others. I am grateful for my friends and Mike, without them I would have been a hot mess. I’m looking forward to the farm tomorrow and hoping to photograph the lambs and their moms. There are twenty nine lambs this year. I also look forward to starting to document the flower gardens at work. I suppose I look to creativity to ground me too. Namaste
28 Mar 2017 2 Comments
As a pet sitter with almost thirty years of experience caring for a wide variety of animals I know that the circle of life is ever present. I have been present for numerous lambs entering the world, I’ve seen chicks hatch from eggs and puppies be born. I have been present for the deaths of horses, cows, dogs, cats, chickens and sheep. But the one that hit me the hardest was just this weekend when a day old lamb died. I fell to pieces. The ironic thing is the sheep are raised for meat so I know many will not live to adulthood but they have the very best lives from birth until they leave for the butcher. I found the lamb had gotten himself wedged under a board in a freak accident. I pulled him free and made sure his mom knew what I was doing. She did not leave his side and still had his twin at her side. I could tell the lamb who had been stuck was dehydrated and I tried to get him to drink some milk from his mom but he was too weak to stand up. I handed the lamb to Mike while I ran up to another barn to get milk replacer. I ran back to the sheep barn and helped Mike get the lamb, his twin and their mom into the lambing stall. I gave the injured lamb some vitamins and tried to get him to drink from the bottle. I had him resting in my lap and gently put my finger in his mouth to encourage him to take the bottle. I knew he was in rough shape when his tongue felt cold to me. The lamb drank a little bit and tried hard to keep going. Mike offered to bring the horses in alone and feed them, the chickens and elderly sheep. I was nervous about letting Mike bring the horses in but he has gained a lot of confidence around them in the past year. He went quietly out of the barn and drove to the horses while I stayed with the lamb. I kept him warm holding him close and he drank about three ounces of milk. He stood up on his own after ten minutes and stopped looking dehydrated. I was warily optimistic he may just need rest to recuperate but it was not to be. After working with him for half an hour his little body could not keep fighting. He lay down at my feet and I kept petting him. His mom came over and gently pawed at him. I think we both knew he was leaving us. My boss came to the barn after talking with Mike who told him what was going on. Mike and Kevin my boss set up a heat lamp to keep the lamb warm. I knew when I left the barn the little guy would not make it but kept a small glimmer of hope he would make it by some miracle. As Mike and I drove home, I started to cry and cried the whole way home and most of the night. I am still weepy about it and as I said I’m not sure why this little guy dug his st into my heart but he is there.
I have struggled for two days to find an answer. Mike said the lamb and I made a connection. I have witnessed over two hundred lambs grow from birth onwards and as I said earlier I have cared for hundreds of horses, dozens of dogs and cats, had my own horse, cats and dogs. I know death is a part of life and perhaps I needed to feel this death differently. It will not change how I feel about caring for meat sheep but I sure will remember the little guy for a long time.
The first photo is of another lamb running through the fields as I wish the little guy could have done. The second photo I took prior to leaving the barn Saturday. I guess I did not wish to forget him.
12 Mar 2017 Leave a comment
It sometimes feel as if the days blend one into the next. I have been trying get myself to leave my office more at work and interact with people. I walk to the front of the building to take photos of the sunset or clouds and today the moon. I used filters on all of these. I finally understand what Deborah Glessner was trying to explain to me about making a photo rather than just taking a photo. I am gaining confidence in the program I use and am hoping to branch out to other ones in the future.
I realized today as Mike and I paid the caterer and tent rental company that our wedding is a little less than two months away. We have kept our costs low and well within our means. We have requested no gifts as we truly do not want for anything. That has made some uncomfortable but it is something Mike and I feel strongly about. I think I am finally getting excited about the wedding and reception.
When I divorced twelve years ago I vowed never to marry again. I did not date again for a long time. My nephew Jeremy would gently ask me whenever we talked if I was dating yet. And after four years I said I was trying again. Many trials and tribulations in dating ensued over the years-between people wanting to play match maker and navigating the many online dating sites-I finally found Mike. The first man I wanted to date more than a first date. When we made it past the fourth date I started thinking hmmm this may be a long term thing. Now two years after we first met we are living together, looking forward to a marriage in May and blending our lives together has been amazingly effortless.
I find Mike’s support and encouragement in my endeavors a big help-photography, writing and soon horseback riding.
11 Feb 2017 Leave a comment
One thing not many people know about me is that I am a Reiki practitioner. For the past ten years I have practiced Reiki on myself and animals. I found pets and animals were far easier to give Reiki to than people. Quite often I found animals giving me Reiki back. I have from an early time distanced myself from people and instead focused on myself and acquiring knowledge. I found giving Reiki to people too stressful and at times too personal.
I am a Reiki Master Teacher but until recently I was not comfortable to claim what I do and that I received training and attunements to practice Reiki. But between my writing and photography and the mentors who have encouraged me along the way pushing me to get better, take chances and express myself I finally feel confident to say yes I do practice Reiki.
Reiki has been a part of my life since my divorce. It helped me heal and gave me something that resonated with my soul. Recently I have been giving Reiki to Mike who would like to learn it himself. He says it relaxes him and helps him to sleep. I need to remind myself to Reiki myself also. Self care is something I sometimes forget.
02 Feb 2017 3 Comments
I loved the sky this afternoon as I walked around checking off trucks at work. I find my spirits lifting and feel some of my worry leaving. I have been unable to sleep due to worry over work, money and things I want to get done. Mike is great at trying to help me not worry. I tossed and turned in bed this morning until finally going to the living room to watch tv. I try so hard not to worry or be concerned about some things but then my sleep pattern gives me away. I try to be mindful and live in the present but then my
mind races ahead of me in overdrive and the outcomes of scenarios are never good. I get tired of people assuming they know what I worry about, my situation, my political preferences and most of all assuming I like football. I hate it and can’t wait for football season to be over so I can stop hearing about it. I myself love hockey but I don’t post every game on Facebook or expect people to enjoy it. Most people hate hockey. Reasons being they can’t follow the puck, they don’t understand checking, etc. I love hockey I love to play hockey but am well aware most people don’t even know a professional hockey team. My other secret passion is dressage. Which to most people is about as exciting as watching grass grow but I love it-the history, the work the connection with the horse, it all makes my soul sing.
I just hope to find my people again after wading through many months of football season. I have found I have insulated myself from others for months and wish to speak and chat about things that relate to my every day life. I find it exhausting to hear and talk of politics and history every day. I get it and I have thoughts and feelings on it too but I also need to live my life the best way I know how. By writing, taking photos, caring for the animals, loving Mike and being silly.