Nature verses the local grocery...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trails of LOVE: Back Roads and Daisies


Whether we are 18 or 80, we all understand Love and deep feelings of family and life.

A friend sent me this song today. As my dear heart and I sat listening with tears in our eyes, I was reminded how important each day is – each moment especially; how the simple feeling of Love can heal us – in and out.


  • Did you watch your little one take her first step yesterday? 
  • Did you marvel at the way your rooster chortles at some bit-of-something on the ground that brings his girls running to eat it…while he stays back and watches? 
  • Did your friend call with a smile the other day – just about the time you were ready to bury your head in the oven? 
  • Did you notice the earthy, moist, fresh smell in the air this morning as you stood in the pre-dawn twilight, listening to the crickets sing their song?
Hug your pet chicken tonight; take your teenager's face in your hands for a moment - and smile; wave to your neighbor; heat up your dear heart’s tea water before he does; look into the eyes of your favorite pet and acknowledge their unconditional Love.

The simplicity in/of Love, is a map for an easier life with less stress.  Simple Love can un-complicate our moments, re-connect us to earlier days when youth held eons of time and untold hope. 

I was re-reading a book about such things last week; a book that reminded me that life in the 1940's – though very different from life today in so many technological ways, still resonated the power of human emotions.  It yet again, gave me moments of smiles, of tears and yes – Love.  Along the Back Roads of Yesterday by Oris George may not include computers, moments on the moon or same-day surgeries.  But it does include the more simplistic elements of life that connect us all.  Love…apple pie…child rearing…and child-learning. 

One of my favorite stories in this book is The Dunfee Mule, a story about our human ability to judge and be judged...sometimes mistakenly, based on our exterior appearances instead of our inner humanity, inner beauty...inner capacity for Love.
"The loudspeaker crackled and the announcer said, 'Our own Albert Montague, formerly of Warren, Tennessee, has agreed to give us a demonstration ride on Stella, his gaited mule.' "

"Bert rode to the front of the grandstand, tipped his derby to the crowd, and Stella bowed. Turning Stella to the left, they moved out at a foxtrot. The crowd was silent. Halfway around the arena, Stella changed to another gait. The crowd went wild! Whistling and shouting, the spectators poured out of the bleachers like a giant wave and surrounded Bert and Stella. Hands were extended to Bert.

A new Bert, and Stella - no longer the Dunfee mule, exited the arena that day in 1945."
Take life’s moments today, embrace them thoroughly.  Count your seconds…and be grateful; for your mate, your family, your friends, the safety of our communities, the food we enjoy, the privileged life we live in America.

And yes...for the rivers that still run, and the four winds...that still blow.

AS always…Nature prevails.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

LifeTrails: "I did it MY way!"



I dedicate this post to my dear, wise friend; her footprints cover many parts of my heart.

She shared this in an early morning e-mail;

“Success; to be able to spend your life in your own way”

Some of our world’s definitions of success include;

            -a high salary
            -many children
            -a large family
            -many friends
            -a large home
            -peace of mind
            -good health
\           -a high education
            -notoriety/fame
            -intelligence
            -owning a business
            -getting married
            -your children at graduation
            -weight loss/weight gain
            -personal creation of art
           
And the list goes on. Even Webster’s definition connects us to more material, worldly items:

"The fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame."

As I contemplated my friend’s definition, it occurred to me that hers can cover most of these other definitions.  It’s simply a matter of perspective.

One can choose (their own way) their place of higher education, the career they like, raise their children to their own set of standards, control their family planning, etc. Maybe we don’t choose our intelligence though we can choose how we use it: we may not choose our genes which chemically – may have some impact on our weight and general mental health.

How do you determine your life success?  Is it from the list above?  Or something different? 

Or – do you agree with my wise friend who always seems to have an ‘extra clue’ to some of life’s complex innuendos that elude my view at times?

Leave a comment; give us your take on this profound question. Share your own definition of SUCCESS.  We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime…grab a hold of this day –YOUR DAY…live purposefully.  Give life a personal nod today.

Live this day….”In your own way”.



As always, Nature Prevails.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CHICKEN TRACKS; Barnyard Chickens

Okay.  My English Prof said “Write an article about something you Love to do.”   
I said ‘No, not ready.’   
He said “It’s easy, give it a try.”   
I said ‘Don’t think so.’   
He said “You have to.”   
I said ‘Not really, it’s only the first week of class.’   
He said “Write it now.”   
I said ‘No.’ 
He said “Would you like your F now, or later?”   
I thought about that for awhile.  They should fire this guy; he’s obviously unreasonable and has an overgrown, false sense of authority!  But, I am above all – reasonable; just ask my sainted husband.  So, to bring everlasting peace and tranquility to the entire Universe, 
I said:

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a chicken?  I mean up close? There’s history there.  Think about it. Their distant, DISTANT cousins are dinosaurs, folks!  Remember…those overly tall spooky giants who rattled the mountains when they walked (who knows what moved when they ran?!).  

 https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150602-dinosaurs-to-birds/

They ate things.  Lots of things.  We too, might have been on their menu, had we been there.  Anyway, chickens remain.  Here.  Now.  And they are awesome.  And thank the powers that be, we are not on their menu.  Sometimes…they are on ours, but for sure – not my pet lovelies!.

My barnyard flock includes A Golden Laced Wyandotte, Blue Andalusians, Leghorns, Easter Eggers, a Black Sex-link, a gorgeous, huge, did I mention superb-looking…Blue Cochin? And several other mixes totaling 20 birds at present.



My goal?  To let this flock naturally reproduce themselves into lots and lots of beautifully colored chicken lovelies.  I’ve carefully chosen the traits (and colors) I want in these future birds; heavy egg-layers, larger stock for meat birds, colored eggs, flashy feather-patterns/colors and of course - brooders, for natural hatching, a trait that seems to be disappearing from modern hatchery stock.

 http://www.backyardchickens.com/products/andalusian

I will change out each of the several different roosters for each batch of lovelies to add in the different characteristics. Results will be interesting, and I hope to gather feedback from my barnyard-chicken-buying customers to educate myself with the ongoing results. 

I do Love my lovelies; each and every one of them have their own unique character and personality.  I can stand by the fence, head in hand - by the hour, watching my flock.  They are smart, instinctive and rarely sit still. Neatniks by nature they constantly preen their feathers, and will drink more clean water than dirty.


Think about bringing some chickens into your life.  A large amount of cities are changing their codes to allow ‘city chickens’; that usually means a few hens and no roosters. Several large websites have intelligent, informative forums to help you out with everything from making your own chicken feed to learning how a chicken lays an egg.



And that overly authoritative, pushy Prof of mine is correct about one thing; it is easy to write about what you Love to do.

Next post on City Chickens.

Chickens rule!       

Nature Prevails


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

John Muir: Trails of Nature

"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail."

http://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/favorite_quotations.aspx


I knew previously that John Muir was a Naturalist, that the Sierra Club was affiliated with him.  But only recently, after watching a public television series on our National Parks, did I begin to learn to what amazing extent Mr. Muir related to Nature - ALL of Nature.

If any readers here wish to add their thoughts or interests in John Muir, please DO leave your comments.

https://youtu.be/-ZonmQZG0GQ


As always..NATURE PREVAILS.

Friday, June 5, 2015

HIGH TRAILS of COURAGE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SON

Sometimes in life, it is necessary to test our limits…sometimes vital, in order to understand exactly who we are in this strange and awesome journey we each take on planet Earth.

Sometimes this re-definition comes for ordinary reasons, or maybe after bumps in our journey that threaten our abilities.  Or maybe to regain the recognition of who we STILL are, STILL want to be...CAN be; to re-establish our spiritual footprint; to understand the difference between our yesterday-footprint and our tomorrow one.  Or to mark a turn in our road, a new direction in our journey.

Sometimes pushing our limits gives us the freedom to stretch that skin in which we are physically confined, towards the direction we perceive to be our own spiritual being, our existentially unique shadow of light on this plane.

That said, I dedicate this post, this Birthday wish, to my Son Tony; to his courage, his bravery, his unique existential shadow I am blessed to have helped present to this plane… 41 years ago.

Tony began his Love of the bicycle as a youngster with a Centurion road bike.  He wanted a mountain bike, Mom wasn’t listening.  In my defense – he’s had a ‘few’ of them since then.  And that oh-so-long-ago present still hangs in our barn, is still a mark in time – a tribute to his youth, the Love I hold for him.

Along that road, Tony has traveled many different bicycle-journeys, some exciting, some painful, some breath-taking, some relaxing.  And some proudly-earned ones that more than tested his physical and athletic abilities.  He has bought many different types of bicycles, most of which were high-end models for which he sacrificed MANY of normal life amenities in order to afford; such is his love-affair with the bicycle.

And then, there was the event that almost took his ‘bicycle’ away. It is that event, that 2-year path he traversed and suffered through, to which I dedicate this Birthday Wish.  To HIS courage; HIS determination; HIS perseverance to be the person he WANTED to be – NEEDED to be – was DETERMINED beyond all else…to be - and was!  He achieved that,  and so much more, attested to by this birthday that is filled with HIS normal energy level and challenges.  The life he enjoys today might have NEVER BEEN, had he not met his life-challenging event with not only the efforts NORMALLY expected of him, but with much more drive and perseverance and bravery that IS the Tony I know, and respect and Love.  He fought back as only Tony can.  And he won!

This IS to the Tony I know, I Love, to whom I dedicate this 41st Birthday wish.  A wish that states my pride, my forever Love for him.  A wish inspired by the video below. Though my Tony is not the rider on that ridge in the video, while watching it, I saw my Son’s spirit…and smiled.

It is a testimony to his particular, unique version of bravery in the face of all the adversities in his life - but particularly the one that almost took his life a few years ago.  It is a testament to the unique form of Tony-bravery and determination that brought him to his TODAY, his 41st year, in the physical, emotional and spiritual plane he enjoys TODAY!  He not only rebounded, but has excelled - past what he was.  That life-event did not stop him; maybe slowed him down enough to allow him time to re-challenge himself; re-boot as it were. As his MOM, I cringed and wiggled as I watched him get back on his bike, get back into situations that - as a MOM (it's my job to worry!) I thought less of, wanted him to go away from, choose something LESS dangerous than...  NOW, I recognize HIS unique need to 'get back on his horse' - as HE needed to do; and I see HIS results. And I hope that he continues to challenge his realities, his person-ness...in his own unique Tony-way, not mine.

It is a dedication to his awesome and Loving spirit that I hold in my heart…for eternity.
Happy Birthday Son.

With all my heart,

Mom



As always, NATURE prevails...especially 41 years ago.






Thursday, May 21, 2015

TRAILS of OLD: Baby in the BATH



Yes, I am getting old-ER, vintage, senior, aged, elderly, mature, decrepit (no, let’s NOT use that one!), the list goes on.  But what does that really mean?  Doubt I can cram that into a post, but here goes an old college try. Wonder who remembers that cliché?!  Per usual, I digress – most likely a dis-ease part and parcel of all those cute little terms aforementioned... 

There's a cliche that comes to my mind of late; Don't throw out the Baby and the Bathwater".  Though my writing teacher might entertain immediate eye-twitching at the hint of the word cliché, they can sometimes gather-in a melange of ideas that give their own, unique idea, thus expressing more depth and power to a thought with less verbiage. (Now THERE is a class I need to take).  They can then, actually present a more succinct expression of an idea, though this may seemingly appear to be a contradiction in terms.  Or not.  Now, for the old college try

www.merriam-webster.com/ defines vintage as; “A period in which something was made or was begun.”  Okay; I am then – vintage, but so is everyone, correct?

www.dictionary.reference.com / defines mature as; “Fully developed in body or mind, as a person.”  Well, again, a definition generally applicable to most people.

www.wiktionary.org/  says aged means; “Undergone the effects of time, improving as a result.”  Wow, my new favorite website!  But seriously, again a word that is not so different from the masses – of general (my emphasis) adults in society.

www.thefreedictionary.com/  defines elderly as; “Being past middle age and approaching old age; rather old.” Well, okay, not my favorite website.  But still, not quite herding ALL grey-hairs into a far-off nursing home with stinky feet and Pablum for lunch.  AHA!  How many of you “adults” remember Pablum?  See – digression-be-good!

www.google.com/  says decrepit means “Worn out or ruined because of age or neglect.”  What does Google know – it’s VERY young!

The point here is...“Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” If ‘we’ older folks are so much like all the other ‘folks’ (definitively, that is), why is it our/my world is more an alien one lately, than a familiar one where we are all in the same boat; (my writing teacher is now leaving the cliché-room red-eyed and screaming)?  But – a valid question, nonetheless.

I think the simple answer may allude to the simple premise of ‘volume’.  There is not room for newspapers on every corner and the addition of all electronic stores that put out computers and other communicative devices that now fill the edges of city roads and malls of all sizes. 

There may not be room for the large areas needed for corrals that maintain horses and mules next to the much larger acres needed for John Deere tractor companies to display their monsters-on-wheels (that cost LOTS MORE to ‘feed’) and the dozens of immense ‘dealer lots’ displaying dizzying amounts of vehicle designs and types (again – the hay versus gas discussion for another post).

Selling everyday ladies clothes that cover up most female body parts along side current everyday clothes that generally appear more erotic than warm or ‘ready-to-wear’ (remember the first batch of polyester fashions coined ‘ready-to-wear?), might overwhelm store space at Macys and Target.

Baby AND bathwater.  Why not keep some of the old AND some of the new/current everything. Then, we might feel less ‘alien’; the newer ‘demographics’’ would be used to our saggy bodies perusing the isles at Macy’s and WalMart, buying what would no longer be ‘weird’ clothes, due to familiarity!  And, the more ‘alien’ available products might please our ‘group’.  Gee, our group might actually be a part of the ‘now’.  So just maybe – this chasm between the aged and the newbie’s…may be corporately generated; a deep thought. 

To my ageing logic, our current world would seem less alien - not only to the group ‘belonging’ to these weird clothes/phones/furniture/animals, etc. but also to the newer generations who sometimes (maybe moretimes) tend to view the largest age group of Americans existing as…something less than an errant variety of predator from some Jurassic Park redo…gone astray.

Instead, the small come-back of the now ‘alien’ things of our generation, are labeled “retro” and set aside as a style, a throwback design, something unconnected to the present reality of – I dare repeat, the largest demographic group in the nation.

Let it be known here and forever…we are real; we are intelligent; we are experienced;  we are buyers and would like to be able to buy some of the ‘things’ we know as ‘real’.
But – if tossing the baby AND bathwater works for the now, the new age, the cell phone citizens of now-land, then who am I to question…..  I am - my ‘group’ is; WE are - after all, just the babies…

One of my favorite - oldies-but-goodies, comes to mind. But I wonder if the now-adults remember the form of communication used here.....




As always, NATURE prevails.



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

TRAILS of LOVIN': Supersize a Hug



We’ve all heard the phrase…”There’s no free lunch”.  Not so today…at McDonald's #15874 in Springfield, Missouri at 2115 E. Independence, just off the James River Freeway.

When we first ordered and the friendly cashier said…”Your meal’s free…for Lovin", I’m sure my look mirrored the three heads she instantly grew!  Once she repeated her request with a big smile and a slower speed, explaining that a hug, a joke, a handshake to a stranger…would pay our tab…well, you get the picture. Any excuse to hug my DH and soul-mate extraordinaire does not get past me too quickly, and the hugs/smiles/loads of good “Lovin” began.

The people ahead of me had a similar…”is this for real” expression; then the same big smiles.  The exchange between them - and us, a few minutes later was neat as well.

The point being, for a few minutes in that restaurant yesterday, “Some Lovin” took hold and spread amongst a few people in this world.  We all experienced a few perfect moments, as this blogger has written about before.

Life is all about ‘perfect moments’.  This is a dangerous world including much unhappiness; death, disaster, poverty, wars, diseases, the possibility of space objects stopping by to spend a few memorable moments creating havoc on our little piece of rock.  It’s the “roses” along the path; the “perfect moments” that make it all more than worthwhile.   The new-born foal, the first cry your child shares with your air, a life-time kiss at the Alter, the ethereal song of a Cetacean as they breach the shimmering waters of our precious oceans. 

And yes, a hug at McDonald's…on a stressful day of house-hunting, on a bright, late winter day in stunning southwest Missouri…USA, was just such a “perfect moment”.  Kudos to the manager at this McDonald's who implemented this promo.

My Son thinks we spend way too much time at McDonald's, and maybe we do. But at 67 and 71, their many salads we consume, help ease the tiredness of our late days and nourish us.   Their delicious coffee brightens many a morning for me when life…could be a bit easier. I’ve heard many renditions of the movie “Supersize Me”; and I’m sure it has its value.  And yes, I’ve seen people feed their 14 month old child in a high-chair a bunch of French fries while they consumed a huge cheeseburger.

But today, the perfect moment we experienced at this McDonald's, warranted a small note to let the world know that “perfect moments” in life, can happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace.  Keep your eyes open and your heart ready to receive one; they are worth the trip down this lovely road we call…life, here on planet Earth. 

'Thank you, McDonald's’, on Independence Road, for giving us a ‘perfect moment’ in our day, yesterday.

NATURE prevails….even at McDonald's!