Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This weekend, we celebrated two birthdays. Mae turned 1 on May 26th and Natalie turned 7 on May 28th. It made Memorial Day even that much more memorable. Not only did I remember special people in my family that served in the armed forces but I celebrated the wonderful gift of life.  

It also warmed my heart to be able to see my mother, who turns 82 this year, being able to walk her great granddaughter around. It made me think of all the people in my life (past and present) that have never met my granddaughters and what they are missing. 

Something else I thought of was the prominence of the numbers 6 and 8 in my life. And here again, these numbers pop up with the birth dates 26 and 28 and also the fact that the girls are 6 years apart and their ages add up to 8. 

I am not sure of the significance of what these numbers mean but I do notice that they have appeared more than periodically in my life. 

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Ours was really busy, as you can imagine, but without a few "crazy" days, I guess the rest of them would feel pretty mundane! Family, friends...all a part of what makes Memorial Day really keep its promise.

Friday, May 25, 2012


"When the mood of the moment is solitary and quiet, it is called sabi. Sabi is loneliness in the sense of Buddhist detachment, as seeing all things as happening "by themselves" in miraculous spontaneity."

                                                                                         Alan Watts

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Here are the photos that Kimberly took of the eclipse on Sunday. She just held a pair of viewing glasses in front of the camera lens and then shot these great photos. Thanks, Kimberly, for sharing them with all of us! What an incredible thing to witness. Nature sure does some great things all on its own.


Saturday, the local park was inundated with families from the community for a fishing derby. The funds raised go to help build the community center located at the park. It is certainly a wonderful cause. And, there was lots of fun happening too!

You have to have the patience of a saint in order to fish. At least that is my perception. And I never caught a fish when I was little so the waiting always seemed excruciating to me. I'm not sure how these kids feel about it. Some of them look intent while others looked dazed and concerned. It could be the prize for the largest fish that worries and concerns them.

And just so everyone knows...girls love to fish too. Here is the evidence.

This family brought their little guy to teach him to fish at an early age! I asked if that worm was real and they replied to me "Yes, and it tastes good too"! You know what they say about kids putting everything into their mouths!
This is my neighbors son and grandson. He is such a sweetheart. And he is ready to fish.

I love all the fathers and sons, fathers and daughters at an event like this. It is what community is all about in my mind.

And here is evidence that there were actually fish caught at this fishing derby. I never did stay long enough to find out who got the largest one but it will probably be posted in the local paper. There isn't too much else to put in the local paper except things like this. It's such a small community but it is filled with big ideas and wonderful people. It's why we live here!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another eclipse photo

Here is a photo of the eclipse when it was just beginning...not very clear and shot with my "auto-focus" camera with some eclipse-viewing glasses held directly in front of the lens. I'm not sure what all the other circles are around the actual sun but it is neat thinking that I could watch the whole thing unfold before my very eyes (with sunglasses on of course!).

I was hoping that my daughter would put some of her photos up on her blog. She got some really incredible ones with her movie camera. Kimberly??? Where are they??

Next eclipse...2017?

Monday, May 21, 2012





How did you spend your weekend? Ours was filled with lots of activity from a Fishing Derby on Saturday and the eclipse of the sun on Sunday to things like birthday present shopping, mowing the fields, attending a home and garden show and meeting Ahmad Hassan of the DIY show "Yard Crashers" (I even won a $25 gift certificate because I stumped him in the Q & A session!). The weekends sure fill up quickly, don't they? It's funny because when you are doing something that is not quite so interesting or exciting, sometimes the time just creeps so slowly. But, give me only two days and lots of things to do and there just isn't enough time in a day. I guess the key is to keep each and every day filled with exciting things to do and they will pass as quickly as a weekend. I'm not trying to make my life whiz by any faster than it already is (and don't they say that the older you get the quicker times passes?) but I would love it if every day was action-packed with fun or at least something new and exciting. A new book perhaps? New art? A vacation sounds incredible but where to? This is just the beginning of the summer. There is much more to come. What do you have planned? And do you want some company??

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Circle of Life

When we first moved to our new house last year, we noticed that the previous owners had placed bird boxes on many trees around the property. Last year we saw much activity in these boxes; birds going in and out and finally pushing their fledglings out of the nest when the time came.

There is only one house that is placed on a pole that makes it virtually impossible for a predator to get inside the box. This is the way that all the boxes should be mounted we think because yesterday we noticed

one of the bluebirds sitting on the tree looking very anxious. The couple kept flying off, then back again to the branches below the place where we had last seen the box.

We walked over to another pine tree and noticed that something had opened up one of the doors to another box. These boxes are up high enough that a person has to have a ladder to tend to them so it couldn't have been a human but rather a squirrel or a cat is what we are assuming.

When we went back to the pine tree that the birds were making all the fuss about, we found the box in pieces on the ground. All the eggs had been removed from the nest. When we lifted up the nest we found one tiny bird underneath, still breathing but covered in ants.

Bill kindly placed the nest back up on a branch and a few minutes later the parents returned to assess. We took the box up into the garage where it is being repaired but we are not sure what the plight of the baby bird was. We have not been back down there today to see if it survived or not. The nest was placed so precariously on the branch and not in a secure position inside a nesting box so we have our doubts that it survived. 

One never knows from day-to-day what kind of outcome to expect. There are dangers lurking everywhere and no matter how hard we try to protect ourselves and our loved ones, there is never a guarantee from this moment to the next what our future holds.

My daughter witnessed a horrible automobile accident last week on her hour commute home from work. It happened right in front of her. She was traumatized for days because of this accident. When you are on the roadway each day for long periods of time, it is inevitable that you will see an accident of some consequence. Those are just the odds.

A friend we know lost her son-in-law the other day. A young family with three children, the youngest being just two months old.  My...that is the twelfth family or friend that we have lost since December 15th of 2011! I don't think I can ever remember so many people dying in such a short time in my entire life. Certainly not in less than six months! 

It just reinforces my thoughts on life and not having any regrets. We each need to live as though it is our last moment. We need to say I'm sorry to those we have transgressed (I'm sorry...really I am! What more can I say?) and we need to move on and be happy with the great life that we have been given. Who knows if this is the only chance we will get to do things right or not. If we are able to live "another" life, we need to learn what not to do this time so as not to repeat the process but to strive for enlightenment. 

I believe in the circle of life. We live, we die, and then we live again. I'm not sure exactly what shape or form that comes in but I am sure that there is an opportunity for greater creativity. If your box gets knocked down, pick yourself up and re-build it! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012





All these things are part of what I find wonderful each day. They are reflections to me of what love is about. It's about family. It's about the beauty that surrounds us each and every day. It's about the small gifts we find tucked away under a bush somewhere (this can be viewed literally as well as figuratively.) It's about what reflects back at me when I think about what I love and who loves me back. Reflections...in them I see a little bit of you and a little bit of me. And hopefully, you can find some great reflections in your life each and every day. So many layers of love. So many different ways to look at things. Each is an opportunity to peel away the layers.

Debbie Ford says that "our shadow thrives when we have secrets....we have a public persona we show the world and a secret life we keep hidden. We construct a secret life in order to hide the parts of ourselves that we're most ashamed to face." (Page 109...The Shadow Effect). I imagine that is true for me as well as other people. I pride myself in being truthful and yes, sometimes I have hurt others by saying what is on my mind. But, if the truth be known, it was always out of caring. Perhaps my intentions were good but the way that I went about it was not. Into the shadows I sank, I suppose.

But, as I took these pictures this morning, it was all about light, not shadows. It was all about love, not hate. It was all about beauty. Sometimes I just  have to remind myself about the core of things in my life. These are the things that really matter to me. Does anything get accomplished or resolved if you don't come out of the shadows? It's those secrets that we think we need to keep hidden that can sabotage our lives. Debbie's solution? "...to free ourselves from the unmanageable compulsions that cause us to live a secret life, we must find healthy ways to express our repressed aspects so that we can be safe from behaviors that can sabotage our life."  Gardening anyone?

Thursday, May 10, 2012


 Sometimes, it's easy to see gratefulness right in front of your very eyes. Here is a bread company at the Farner's Market that has Grateful right in their label. It's hard not to appreciate something this wonderful when before you even open up the packaging, your senses are already preparing to be "grateful for this daily bread".
And who can walk by without wanting to sniff some nice coffee beans. Each day, it is so simple to just be grateful for the fact that we have opened our eyes and get one more minute or day to savor. Top it off with a fresh brewed cup of coffee, some toasted bread, and whatever else is in your cupboard and it is an amazing thing to witness. Life, on so many levels, is miraculous and wonderful. Gifts like these from the Farmer's Market, take the appreciation up a notch or two. Enjoy whatever you have in front of you today. What a gift!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Yesterday I had the opportunity to work for a friend of mine. Now, most people would not think that working was a "lucky" thing (unless you are absolutely in love with the job that you do). But, for me, yesterday was a wonderful chance to work for a piece of art.

My friend, Anthony Maki Gill is an accomplished artist. He most recently is featured in a new cookbook that features his ceramics as vessels for food in a most artistic way. The cookbook is called "The Art Real Food" by Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny. Joanne Neft writes this about Anthony in the acknowledgements: "This book is all about art: the art of preparing, presenting, and writing about food. Paula Amerine enthusiastically focused on produce and illustrated it; Anthony Maki Gill made unique ceramic serving pieces; Keith Sutter captured the recipes in photographs."

Yes, I am a lucky person! Not only is Anthony a good friend of mine but he gave me this serving platter in trade for me helping him organize and clean his studio and work space. You see: Anthony is going to be interviewed by Rob (of Rob on the Road) on Thursday. We will be able to see his studio when they air the show sometime in the future. Until then, I get to look at my beautiful piece of art each day. I'm not sure I want to actually use it to serve food on yet. I just might have to get over the fear of breaking the piece that is so special to me.  Thank you Anthony! I am one lucky person!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Some people come into your lives and are there for just a short time. Others, come and go when it is convenient for them. And then, there are the ones that are there for the long haul....the ones that love you despite all your warts and comments. They seem to see you for what you really are and give you a card that says exactly that: "You are wonderfully made, original, and here to do amazing things." Yes, I am! And so are YOU!

How does one person become so wise in such a short amount of time here on earth? She is full of compassion, love, and kindness and exhibits it in her daily life by the way she lives. She gives me this card for my birthday but does she realize that SHE is the true gift? That SHE  is exactly all these words? They say that what we see in other people is a mirror of what is inside of us. I think that I believe that because in this case I see my life as being truly blessed and full. It is filled to overflowing with the gratitude that I feel for this person.

I remember years ago, when talking about the care of my mother to another person, that person said to me "Teri...we do it because it is the right thing to do." How those words seem to haunt me now. The right thing to do. I know that in my life I have made some horrible mistakes and said some things that I am sorry for but they have always come from a place of caring.

It is just now, at the age of 62 that I am realizing that not everyone sees what I see...that no matter how much I explain myself to someone, that person will never, ever be able to actually see what I am or what I mean because we all have different points of view. We are all unique individuals but yet we each come with our own set of eyes and vantage point. For years I thought that if I could just make my point well enough that my point would be observed and accepted. Not true. What a revelation. But this revelation comes with some difficulty to me to. What point is there in making ANY point, if mine is uniquely mine and yours is uniquely yours? Is there any point in discussing things, discussing issues, talking about my innermost thoughts and feelings? There has to be some bleed-over, doesn't there? Some dissemination of thoughts and information? Otherwise, why were we given the ability to think...to reason?

All I know at this point in my life is that I am blessed to have the people in my life that I do. I am blessed beyond compare. And what I have finally realized at this ripe old age of 62 is that YOU are the gift to me. I don't need presents every time I see you because you come wrapped in all the glory of god. And for this, I am eternally grateful for. You have blessed me and you do things "because they are the right things to do."!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Art on my walls is very diverse with a combination of art that I have purchased by other artists, art that I have done myself, and lately...art by my granddaughter Natalie.

Children's art is wonderful! It is full of spontaneity, color, and a freedom that I sometimes struggle with for hours. It is hard to make it child-like most often but a child has that freedom to do something straight from the heart without being tainted by life experiences and pre-conceived notions of what art "should" be like.

Natalie gave me this painting when she lost her first tooth. Look at how she was able to capture the movement of the tooth coming out of her mouth! Look at those eyes! Those eyes themselves tell a story...half-closed, green...is that pain they express or something different? I see something especially wonderful in this face! The mouth with all its teeth carefully delineated by the dark pen...the eyelashes, the golden yellow hair. And that hand! Talk about abstract art! That hand comes straight up from the bottom of the page and does not have "fingers" per se. It doesn't need them to hold on to the tooth that has just been expelled from the mouth. It is not the main focus of the drawing, hence it takes a back-stage so-to-speak to the actual topic of the drawing: the TOOTH and THE MOUTH!

I am so lucky to have Natalie give me so many drawings. I keep them all too! I have an art portfolio for all her art and I know it sounds like something a grandmother would do but this grandmother has a degree in art and appreciates the finer things that hang on her wall!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Last week we had rain storms, lots of wind, and a bit of thunder and lightning. I never like the thunder and the lightning, but the rain is always a welcome element in the garden because it helps me water the yard. Last year, none of these flowers even existed in this yard. We have lived in our new home exactly a year now and each weekend, I add more flowers, more grasses, more growing things to this yard.

One of these days, I will be able to look outside and really see the accomplishment of hard work that I have put into the yard. Hours are spent weeding, raking, planting...and it is never work for me. I think if I had my way, I would be out in the yard all day long. There is just something so spiritual about being in the midst of nature. It seems easier to tap into that when you're right in the middle of it. I sometimes have to remind myself that all that wonder exists when I am stuck inside scrubbing a floor or doing the dishes. Yet, I know that I can find the spiritual side in those simple things too. It's just that I have to remind myself to do so a bit more.

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