Casual Friday – 5/29/15

imageOn Fridays I join Amie of Amie Writes for Casual Friday, a post “with no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.” Check out her blog, and join us in observing Casual Friday if you would like.

I knew it would be an exceptionally busy couple of weeks for me. In my Casual Friday post last week I mentioned that I would have to work most of the three day weekend but I would definitely not work on Monday.  I ended up being under the weather so I slept a lot during the entire weekend but worked in between. As a result I didn’t get everything done that I needed to do and I did have to work on Memorial Day. But we will meet our deadline.Casual Friday Boots

I have not had a moment to read any blogs or respond to messages but I will take a quick moment to at least say that all is well with me and mine. I started this post Friday evening but then abandoned it as a bit of a work emergency took me away. Consequently for the first time my Friday feature is not being published until Saturday, which is still better than my Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday features which did not get published at all.

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There are exciting developments in the garden.  We have a pale purple iris in bloom and also  a single clematis blossom. The appearance of mushrooms (toadstools?) is an interesting phenomenon in our garden. We live in a very dry climate that typically would not support mushrooms but this wet spring has actually resulted in clusters of mushrooms. We continue to officially be in drought conditions as a couple of months isn’t enough to erase years of a shortage of rain, but at least now no part of New Mexico is classified as in extreme or exceptional drought. 12% of the state is still in severe drought while where I live is classified as “abnormally dry.”

I did take a little time to “stop and smell the roses”. Hopefully my life will never be too busy to prevent me from doing that.

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Here’s hoping that most of you will have a weekend that is filled with whatever your heart desires.

For me, it is another working weekend.  The positive side is that the clients we are working with are so wonderful and appreciative that it is a delight to be able to work with them.

Casual Friday – 5/15/15

Casual Friday BootsOn Fridays I join Amie of Amie Writes for Casual Friday, a post “with no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.” Check out her blog, and join us in observing Casual Friday if you would like.

I am happy to report that last weekend’s task of cleaning out and reorganizing my closet was successful. I happen to be blessed with a huge walk-in closet. The amount of stuff grows in order to fill the space that is available. I can’t say that I did a major purge. I did get rid of some things but the biggest accomplishment was reorganizing so it feels uncluttered and well organized.

My daughter is here from Nashville for about a week. We picked her up at the airport last night and had dinner out. She is sleeping in today while I am going to work. The only bad thing about her visit now is that because a major project is being rolled out at my job on June 1, I can’t take time off. I will have to be content to spend the weekend and evenings with her. She chose to visit now because she starts a new job after Memorial Day and it will be a while before she will have vacation time. While here she wants to go through the clothes that are still at the house. Her new job requires her to wear professional clothes so she has to build a wardrobe. That will also entail some shopping time. Shopping is not my favorite activity and this shopping venture is likely to be quite a marathon, but I should be able to tolerate it since it happens infrequently. I know there are some people who live to shop and who would not describe a shopping trip as something to be tolerated. I, however, am not one of those people.

imageIn my “What’s New in the Spring Garden” department, I can report that my neighbors beautiful columbines are in bloom. They are “volunteer”, something she did not plant herself. We have a beautiful view of the flowers in her side yard from our kitchen window. I would not mind if they volunteered at my place.

Last weekend while sitting at my desk that overlooks our back deck, a flock of about 25 birds visited our bird bath. A unique characteristic was that the tips of their tails had a bright yellow band. It looked like each bird’s tail had been dipped in a can of yellow paint. As they sat around the rim of the bird bath the yellow tips flashed time and time again while they bowed to sip water. They also had  crests on their heads and red on the ends of wing feathers. A look at the bird book identified them as cedar waxwings. I was unable to get a photo but we watched the whole flock cavorting around the bird birth for minutes at a time. They arrived as a flock and left as a flock several different times over a period of several hours.

I do not expect to do any blogging during the next several days while my daughter is home. I hope everyone has a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

John Muir – Words Crush Wednesday Quote

John Muir

I am reminded of the beauty that surrounds us. The serenity found in nature helps to calm a stressed and restless soul. I need to spend more time enjoying and appreciating the natural wonders of which we are benefactors.

John Muir (1838 – 1914) was a Scottish-American naturalist and author. He was an early advocate of preservation of the wilderness it the United States.

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On Wednesdays I join Words Crush Wednesday Favorite Quote Challenge sponsored by Lisa on the blog Rebirth of Lisa.

Check out her blog and other quotes.

Photo Credit: Carrie Miller. View towards Silverton, Colorado, with the mountains beyond.

Hummingbird in the Snow

On Saturday I posted pictures of our first hummingbird of the season.

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Rain was forecast for Sunday. The rain began in the morning.  It soon turned to snow.  Within minutes there was a layer of snow covering everything including the hummingbird feeder.

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The hummingbird came swooping around the feeder shortly after the picture of the feeder was taken. We removed the snow from the feeder and the hummingbird soon came back.

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I took my first ever picture of a hummingbird in the snow.  We also saw a second hummingbird who we believe was the female. She made a brief visit but we did not see her again. The snow melted by noon.

Have I said that I love hummingbirds? Just another thread of my life.

Wealth of a Nation – Words Crush Wednesday Quote on Earth Day

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The wealth of a nation is in its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity–that’s all there is.  That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.

–Gaylord Nelson

Earth Day is a memorable day for me. The first Earth Day was held April 22, 1970, which happened to be exactly one month before I graduated from high school. In the self-centered way of my adolescence, I probably would not have been particularly aware of the first Earth Day if it had not been founded by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson.

Growing up on a Wisconsin farm, our whole family was tied to the earth. Conservation practices such as strip farming, contour farming and crop rotation had long been practices of those who worked the soil. In a sense we were isolated from what was happening on the larger stage: Vietnam war protests, the hippie free-love (and free-drugs) movement and other things that marked the 60’s and 70’s. We were well aware and deeply touched by the American tragedies of a few years earlier in the deaths of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

With this backdrop, Earth Day was born. The first observance harnessed the energies of the protests of the time towards environmental concerns. That first day is sometimes thought of as the start of the modern environmental movement. The day is now celebrated around the world. However, we should not honor the environment only one day a year. It should be a lifestyle decision.

Click here for information about the Words Crush Wednesday Favorite Quote Challenge proudly sponsored by Rebirth of Lisa.

Easter Morning Musings

It is a beautiful Easter morning in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I woke up early to go Mass and celebrate the greatest of all events of Christianity: the day that Jesus was resurrected into heaven to atone for the sins of mankind.

There was a slight chill in the air but also the promise of a beautiful day.  As the congregation gathered there was a definite feeling of hope and peace and grace. The sun was just rising and it seemed to be peaking out from under clouds which soon dissipated. We were left with a beautiful sunshine filled day. image

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Santa Maria de la Paz Santa Fe, New Mexico

In his homily, the priest drew an analogy using Jesus’s tomb that was found empty by his disciples on Easter morning. We should each look at the tomb within us, and tombs within society, and strive to empty them of negative things: violence, or love of material objects, or gossip, or disrespect. These negative things within each of us should be replaced with love.

The message of seeking love and happiness is oft-repeated outside of the Christian tradition as well as within it.  Much is written about filling ourselves with happiness and going forward with a renewed sense of goodness.  Easter represents new life Christianity, and it is no mistake that Easter coincides with spring which is also a celebration of new life. Continue reading

Beautiful Blooms -A Top Ten Tuesday List

Top Ten Tuesday

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”                          –Gertrude S. Wister

After nature’s monotone of the winter months, blurbs of bright colors in the landscape are a welcome sight. It is easy to feel joyous and inspired when the first blossoms of spring appear. It seems fitting to celebrate the flowers that announce the arrival of spring, as well as some of those that make their appearance a bit later.  Today’s Top Ten Tuesday list celebrates some beautiful flowers.

  1. Daffodil
  2. Grape hyacinths
  3. Peach blossom
  4. Tulips
  5. Cherry blossom
  6. Pansy
  7. Lily
  8. Lily of the valley
  9. Iris
  10. Morning Glory

I am always amazed by the wildly varied shapes, colors and textures found in nature. I marvel how flowers have their own personalities mimicking  human traits: bright and showy, complex, stately, demure, withdrawn, fragile, powerful, to name just a few.

What are your favorite early season flowers?  What flower matches your personality?

Flowers of spring, another thread of my life.

Hide and Seek – An Unfinished Object

imageSpring is emerging in the high desert that I call home. The aspen trees are budding, green shoots are rising out of the soil and daffodils are blooming. More and different species of birds are at the bird bath and bird feeders.  The outside temperatures are warming. Fruit trees are covered in blossoms. The sky seems particularly blue.image

Inside the house, we have not yet turned off the heat because we still might get blasts of cold weather, but the thermometers are at their lowest settings. On a couple of days we opened the front door and back door allowing a breeze to flow through the house from one end to the other. The stale air from a house closed during the winter months has been replenished with distinctly fresh air.

Continue reading