Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Did I See?

While working in the pasture this past weekend, I had the sudden urge to just lie in the grass. What I noticed was how heavy 65 pounds feels when it was pouncing and crawling all over me. Our dog T-Bone thought lying on the ground meant we were playing a game, but then T-Bone thinks everything is a game.

I also noticed how ineffective it was to say stop while giggling uncontrollably.

Once he did settle quietly beside me I looked up at the sky. For the first time that day (I'm embarrassed to say) I noticed how completely cloudless the sky was. I also noticed that it was a beautiful shade of deep blue.

After we got up, T-Bone proceeded to instigate a game of Chase Me with the donkey. As I watched them dash about I noticed how exuberant, fast, and utterly happy he always is.

As I walked passed our little pond, I noticed the new buds on the Willow tree. At night I have noticed that the chorus of frogs that live there have begun to sing and call to one another.

As these new signs of spring have joined the Robins and Daffodils, the temperature once again has been dropping below freezing. With this I noticed what a tease February can be.

After I went in for the night, shut away from the chilling temperatures, I noticed how much I appreciate a good hot cup of coffee.

I would like to make this a regular challenge to myself and to anyone else who would care to play along. It will also become part of the Kids Awareness Program, kind of a twist on I Spy. Even though I say, "what do I see", this activity is meant to use all the senses to see what you may notice. I'm a visual person so whether I hear it, taste it, sense it .... I tend to say I see it. In case you are new and curious about this concepts beginning you can see it at my post What Do You See. Now tell me.... what do you see?

Friday, February 20, 2009


"We all wish to live happy, joyful and satisfying lives, but moments of deeply felt happiness are often fleeting. The path of mindfulness is one of discovery. Through the practice of mindfulness, we become more fully aware of our true potential and awaken to the precious opportunities for happiness, joy and meaning present in each moment."

This quote was taken from the website Mindfulnesscenter.org

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Communication in the Computer Age

Let's talk

E-mail has so many advantages, you can send a quick note when it is inconvenient to have a long conversation, or an inappropriate time to call; you can send pictures of your new puppy to family that is far away; and at work you can send messages to people that are hard to reach by phone, and hopefully in a short time receive a reply. I'm wondering though if we are forgetting how to have an actual conversation with one another. In one of the houses we are presently building the homeowner chose an unusual and expensive wallpaper that the hanger has not used before. The hanger promptly e-mailed the company, but is at a standstill because they have not e-mailed her back. Upon hearing this today, I went to the website and saw a toll free number written in large type above the smaller typed e-mail address. When I called the number I got an immediate answer from an actual real live person. He was very helpful and informative and the hanger is probably still sitting by the computer waiting for a return e-mail.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No Ordinary Moments

I came to the computer to write a post about my horses' farrier appointment. The question is how to make this interesting to anyone other than me. I could try to relate it to mindfulness by describing my observations of the Robin who sat on the fence post watching us; or by discussing the trust and bond there needs to be between the horse and the handlers. Having one person hold its head while another takes one leg out from under it takes away the horses ability to flee, it's primary means of survival. At any moment a horse eating monster could jump out of a tree or come around the corner of the barn.

I could attempt some humor by pointing out that my horses are getting a pedicure for Valentine's Day (and no spa day for me), or how excited Angel gets when she sees the farrier's truck. She acts much like a kid (that category includes me) when they hear the ice cream truck. Only a dog could find such joy in what is basically dirty toe nails.

That brings up a third option, the structure of the hoof. The outer layer or horn is made up of much the same material as a fingernail. It too is constantly growing, cracks, chips, and needs routine clipping and filing to keep it healthy. Good hoof care is very important, for no hoof, no horse. This leads to the question if the horse requires so much care how do they ever survive in the wild? The answer to that question could lead to an entire essay on human interference with the natural order of things.

As I pondered these different options over the weekend what came to mind was a excerpt from Dan Millman's book The Peaceful Warrior. Dan must sit in one spot until he comes up with something truly significant. If I attempted that I would never post again. I will just leave you with what he finally realized as he sat there watching and pondering life, "there are no ordinary moments".

Thursday, February 12, 2009


You may have already surmised, but these are hoof prints in the sand. I have never noticed them looking like hearts before, but it's quite interesting timing. Could they be a Valentine wish for all our hard work, sacrifice and devotion .... yeah right. Maybe they are trickling down from Hayseeds.

I would like to share these heartprints with all of you, for you have inspired me to see more, to think more, and to feel more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Look what I saw earlier this week, yeah! Daffodils are the first flower I see blooming around here and what a sunny way to say Hello Spring.

Also, I loaded new pictures to my post Fragmented. This is the magical girl that grounded me and turned my day around. I had taken these that day, but had not seen the family to get permission to post them. The first one blurred unintentionally, but I kind of like it. It works well with the theme of the post at least.

Monday, February 9, 2009


How Enlightened Are You? A Test:
Well. . .
If you can live without caffeine or nicotine;
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains;
If you can resist complaining;
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you any time;
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment;
If you can ignore friends' limited educations and never correct them;
If you can treat the rich and poor alike;
If you can face the world without lies or deceit;
If you can conquer tension without medical help;
If you can relax without liquor;
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs;
If you can have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, gender, sexual preference, or politics —
— then you have almost reached the same level of spiritual development as your dog.

I received this in an e-mail, the author is unknown. I don't remember where I got the picture so I have no reference for that either. I just loved them both so if the originators ever happen upon my little blog, my apologies for not referencing you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Color For All Seasons

Looking at sites from other areas, with their barren trees and landscapes glistening from the suns reflection off the snow, brings stark realization to how oddly green we are here. Of course I have known that our area is engulfed in evergreens, but the contrast has become weirdly evident as I see pictures from other locales. There have been mornings this winter that I walked out to a frozen pond yet everywhere else I look I see green, even down to the winter rye growing somewhat in the pastures.

We have such a variety of green as well. There are Southern Pines, Cedars, Bay Trees, Live Oaks and more. Spring, summer, fall or winter, every direction you look it's green, green, green.

Speaking of seasons, I saw a pair of Bluebirds yesterday, surely that's a sign that spring is almost here. It has been fantastic here this weekend, please don't go back to freezing.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Did I See?

I thought I would list a few things I noticed this week.

I noticed how woolly my little donkey has become, then I noticed the biting, bitter, cold wind (time to go inside).

I noticed the pretty shade of blue in my husband's eyes; as for the rest of his face, it's presently hidden behind whiskers, but I will strive to notice when he shaves it this spring.

I noticed the enthusiasm in my daughter's voice as she updated me on her life, then I noticed that I should be as passionate, well, maybe almost.

As I lay on the floor with my dog Angel, my big teddy bear, I noticed how soft and snugly she is, then I noticed how dirty the baseboards are and there's a tennis ball under the couch.
So how about you?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ice Garden

There is a house on the beach with an old Florida Heat Pump System. It releases the water through a sprinkler system and when temperatures drop .... voila, an ice garden. Even though we are freezing now, we are supposed to be in the mid to upper 60's this weekend (sounds like a repeat of a January post). I am hoping that ol' man winter has exhaled his last breath of cold bitter air.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What Do You See?

The quote I posted yesterday was one of the first things I read on mindfulness. I printed it out and put it on my bathroom mirror so that I could see it each morning. There it has been day after day, waiting to be a daily reminder and inspiration. Funny how over time things that are right in front of us can become invisible. After I posted Nature's Painting, I was ask about my commute to and from work. As I thought on what a blessing it is to have such a journey each day I realized that the challenge lies in remembering to notice it.

Mindfulness is about using all our senses to fully experience our present moment. I think the challenge is to be aware of not only the new experiences, but to notice the details and textures in the everyday routine. What can we see, hear .... in this very moment that has always been there.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Be An Island

"Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind. It means we have to be here now, in this very moment, and we have to know what is happening internally and externally. It means being alert to our motives and learning to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones. Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering. "

Ayya Khema from her book Be an Island

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gotta Laugh

Is that your ass or mine?

I wanted to post some landscape photographs, but decided to share a little humor and tell on myself. That is my husband in the background fixing a water line. He is fixing a water line because I broke it Saturday. I was driving the tractor and rode across a water hose and it happened to catch on the tire tread in just the right way to roll up, over, and around the axle. When you play tug of war between a tractor and a faucet the tractor wins. Lucky for me as I was reaching under the tractor and around the axle to unwrap the hose I unknowingly smeared dirt and grease on my face. I had smears on my forehead and what looked like whiskers above my lip. This was lucky because when I walked up to where my husband was surveying the damage (that would be added to his to do list) he could do nothing but laugh.