Monday, April 28, 2008

Sexiest Husband and His Trees

I have the sexiest husband. Despite his pain from chronic kidney stones, he does so much around the house to make our cottage beautiful and comfortable. Seeing him rake up leaves and haul them away in the wheel barrow makes me so hot for him!
All kidding aside. He is a wonderful example of love and compassion. He knows how much I have wanted a sunny garden. As long as we have been together I have tried to have a perennial garden and there have been plenty of exhausting efforts and failures.
When we lived in Staten Island he had a raised garden built down the side of our deck. Three huge raised plots, 4feet by 3feet (huge for Staten Island) filled to the brim with delicious dirt. Dirt that he hauled down the driveway, down the stairs to the back and dumped into the plots for me. He must have carried 100, fifty pound bags for me. No one would deliver topsoil to the backyard, they would only dump it in the road. It was more expensive but it was also better dirt. The topsoil that was delivered to the front garden 8 years before was full of stones and just a hair better than the clay I had.
Once the garden beds were ready, hubby then let me take the credit card to the garden center and buy the perennials I desired. I bought them, I brought them, I planted them and I sat serenely covered in dirt, happy with my achievement.
As time passed I noticed things looked like they were being trampled. Upon closer investigation, I discovered three large piles of poop in the garden boxes. My German Shepherd looked guiltily from his perch on the deck. I was horrified!
Despite my best efforts - stakes with rope tied between them - an effort at a low visibility fence - constant reprimands to my poor baby - it was a lost cause. Teddy's urine was like toxic waste; burning all things green.
In the end, my husband got something he had always wanted. Pine trees.
Three dwarf cedars which he lovingly tended until the day we moved away....with a tear in his eye. I don't believe he had ever grown anything before, and they were lovely in a very anti-cottage garden kind of way.
Here in the woods surrounding northeast Lake Ontario there are many many pine trees. In our yard we have what I call dinosaur pine trees. Huge, old, gorgeous, enormous...they would make the tree in Rockafeller Center look petite. The biggest pointest one in the back yard is Hubby's pet...his favorite.

Can you spot him bending over to kiss Murphy's head? Do you get a sense of how big this tree is? You can walk under the lowest limbs and it is like you are in a pine bough tent, or a pine scented "cone of silence" tee hee!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This morning I took off alittle early before work and I had a chance to sit by the harbor in the sun, feel the breeze on my face and listen to the sounds of Spring. It was divine!

I also meditated for a bit.

Normally I say my mantra when I meditate...the old stand by Om Mani Padme Hum, but I have been thinking alot about my sour thoughts regarding some humans and I decided to make a conscious effort to think loving compassionate thoughts.
So my meditation today was to visualize the offending party and wish them happiness, health, wealth and peace. I am not good at long, focused meditation yet...not enough practice. But short bursts have been good for me and effective too. I have stopped saying "I don't meditate enough" that is just antithetical to what I am trying to do with my mind and my heart.
The rest of the day I tried to exchange every sour thoughts with "I wish you happiness, health, wealth and peace."

I have a sailor's mouth, have been known to hold an occaisional grudge, want everyone to like me and struggle with depression and anxiety. Hence, I am no saint.
I do, however believe in the power of the mind to create, change, conjour.
Read a great article about the fact that our feelings about someone or something have very little to do with the object of our attention, and everything to do with our mental, physical, spiritual condition.
What We Think We Become.
I believe it and I try to live it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

All Living Things


The maple tree is blooming. Little red puff balls at the end of every twig. It is lovely.

It is also ladybug season. They are gathering in the warm windows and I am carrying them outdoors. They especially like the vestibule and wait patiently for me to come along, prop open the door and flick them outside. Who knows where they come from.
Hubby is NOT a bug person. He comes from the school of "All Bugs are Bad and should Die" I am trying to teach him alittle bug tolerance. Growing up on Louisiana I was a great slayer of roaches....fearless, except when barefoot. I admit, I don't know that I would tolerate them today either. And mosquitos are also fair game.
My husband pointed out that my willingness to kill the cockroach and the mosquito is in conflict with my "compassion for all living things" practice. He pointed out that only the "cute" bugs/animals deserve my compassionate effort. (I save spiders too, most don't find THEM cute)
And he is right. I hate mosquitos, ants, centipedes, roaches, mosquitos, silverfish, flies, gnats...did I mention mosquitos? I kill all of the above without a thought.
When I eat meat I give thanks to the life that lived and died to give me food.
What to do about killing the mosquitos? AND the black flies...evil biting, blood sucking menaces of the north woods.
Have you read Eat Pray Love? Wonderful wonderful book. She tells a story of meditating at sundown in India and practicing detachment as she became dinner for the mosquitos. She got through it relatively unscathed and said it was good for her.
humph....I believe I will continue to rely on Deep Woods OFF and those unattractive yet effective mosquito net hats that go down to your shoulders and perhaps practice letting go of my analytical mind for a while.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Golden Baby

Playing around with Picasa2 from Google. It is a nice, simple photo manipulation program. It is fun to see what I can do with pics that I thought were kind of boring but with color and gradation and "glow" turn into something intersting to look at.
This is My favorite subject, of course with his favorite thing in the world, a stick.
Posted by Picasa

Getting Lost




Went for a drive today after work. We have crystal clear blue skies today. Temps didn't go above 50, but around here that is lovely.
I love to explore the back roads. We have lots of roads that wind through farms and hamlets, and if I have a map on hand, I love to "get lost" on them. Even if I just have a compass and a full tank, I am pretty confident in my navigation skills that I can wander until I find a familiar landmark. I like to say, "all roads lead to home, some are just longer than others"

Last year was my first Spring season her in our new home; I took my Burgman out for a ride and didn't take a map and didn't take a compass. I thought, "I will travel south, the sun will set in the west, I live on the shore of a GREAT lake which is to the west of my house...how hard can it be to find a great lake and head north?" HA!!!!


Oh, did I mention I didn't have my cell phone either? What an idiot! Not that my husband could have done anything about my being lost, he is directionally challenged.

So I was riding down long, lovely, winding country roads, enjoying myself very much. I love to toodle around on my scooter that is big and fast enough to hit the highway, but small and quiet enough to go through a neighborhood without waking the babies. When I started to look around and orient myself for the trip home I saw a large body of water so I headed toward it.
"It must be Lake Ontario, surely". Well, no. The closer I got, the smaller a body of water it became. I was heading southwest, but somehow I was not heading toward any of the roads that wind around the shore of Lake Ontario.



Well obviously I found my way back.

Can't wait till I am well enough to ride my Burgman and my new tri-cycle....yes, you read that right, tri-cycle!!! I am not regressing to being a 5 year old, but when it came to buying me a new bike I know myself well enough that I do not want it all to be about balance and not falling over. I want exercise and I want to be outdoors and I want plenty of opportunities to take pictures without worrying about staying upright. I am also hoping Murphy might want to run along with me and I don't want to be afraid of him pulling me over. I have two long winding, mostly flat roads where Murphy and I can ride/run without fear of traffic. Can't wait to try it.

My new tri-cycle is yellow! My favorite color! with a basket on the back for picnics and exploration equipment and beach towels! So I can be well prepared when I get lost on my bike rides. I better get a compass!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cult Member Expose


I have a confession to make..I am addicted to Murphy.




I have been inducted into his cult. I have taken my vows.
I am smitten. I am wrapped around his little paw.
I worship at the golden tummy.
I am the high priestess of Canis de Aurum.
And I am not ashamed.

Murphy is good for me. He teaches me about happiness every day. He teaches me about contentment and joyful abandon. He teaches me about simplicity and affection and loving deeply. He loves me more than I deserve and is helping me learn to receive and accept that gift.

OK, I am alittle sappy, a tad emotional and perhaps even hormonal, but when I have my hand on any part of Murphy's body, my breathing slows and I am calmed.
Daddy and I honestly believe he was brought into our life to heal us. When Teddy died we were devastated. Murphy's sweet presence made us laugh inbetween our tears of grief.

In that one year, we lost Teddy, got Murphy, Hubby quit his job, we put our house on the market (in the year of the worst real estate market in history), bought a new house upstate, paid two mortgages for a few long months, Hubby lived upstate for three months renovating the new house while I worked on selling the old house on my own, eventually we got it sold (or did we give it away?), I quit my grueling 55 hour a week hospital job (which technically only paid me for 37.5hrs) and we all moved mid-December, began working on the house again, looking for jobs, and dealing with our first upstate winter. (bought a sno-blower while hubby was out of town....it was broken....we had a blizzard....Home Depot customer service sucked!!!)

Lots of highs and lows and I know we were continuously bouyed by our love for each other and Murphy. He joined me in my exploration of the outside world. He helped me get some of my walking stamina back. He helped me meet some of our neighbors!
And when we were sad, bleak, anxious, frustrated, he was always there to point out the simple fact that life is good.

So really I just wanted to share these spectacular pictures I took of Dr. M and explain that my heart skips a beat when I see them.
Thanks for reading.

My Darling


My Darling
Originally uploaded by Gertibird
I will write more later, but I had to get this picture posted. I am so in love with my Murphy and this photo stopped me in my tracks.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Cozy Spot


A Cozy Spot
Originally uploaded by Gertibird

Murphy and I, looking out on Flying Squirrel World.

Stayed home from work because the pain on my left side is bad again.
Murphy is sitting in Daddy's chair and keeping me company as I try to wake up, nice and slow.
Saw a small flock of redpolls today, one male with his harem of three females. I didn't get any pictures, but I did get a really good look at them through the binoculars.
I love my cozy cottage. I have places to sit and places to work, and places to daydream.