Be Still

2015-01-18 Dove

In preparing for the onslaught of today, I opened up my computer and found this picture on my camera card from a few days ago. While walking to a window then, I had noticed this dove, holding as still as possible, soaking in every inch of the warm sunbeams blanketing the ground.

And I sighed.

No literally, I stood there at the window and just sighed. Immediate relaxation and quiet came over me and I took in the sight of this small creature just being….still.

See, this is why I created this blog in the first place. The occasional glance to the feeders or seeing birds and nature flitting about in the yard reminds of me pretty important stuff every once in a while.

Take yesterday for example. Yesterday was one of those days where stuff hit the fan at work. You don’t even try to take the opportunity to address the mis-steps. Nope. Doesn’t even register. You’re in full-on DEFCON 1 all day long, friend. You’re only potential victory is towing that boat back to the dock at the end of the day in whatever smoldering, crumpled heap it may be left in.

Yep, yesterday was one of those career-considering days we all have every so often.

Once I knew all were out of the woods though, I just slumped in my chair and became still. Sure, it was partly my adrenal glands likely shriveling into prunes and shutting down after the hours-long panic-driven rush. But I was grateful nonetheless to pull up the do-no-disturb status on my computer, hold my calls and just sit quietly for a moment to collect myself again. I recognized and needed the time to be still.

Don’t we all cherish and hold tightly to those moments when our only weapon against the world sometimes is to just step away and find our own mossy patch in the sun and take that one quiet minute? There’s power and necessity in these moments and sometimes it takes a little dove in the woods to remind me.


R&R Rain

2014-04-15 Rain

Sometimes you need a little rain to fall…in a good way.

Today the temperature is every-window-in-the-house-open pleasant. The pollen hasn’t yet painted the world yellow and everything is gloriously greening up outside.

All morning a gentle rain has wrapped the house in a blanket of soothing sound that didn’t let anything else from the outside world in. There were no other distractions (well other than my work laptop as I tapped away in my office), just mother nature reminding me how relaxing the world can be if I would appreciate little things like the rain a bit more often when they happen. I opened as many windows where the rain wouldn’t blow through and listened while I worked.

A little gratitude is surely due on my part for such a relaxing morning and I hope we all take a moment to enjoy such things when we have them.

Surprise Someone

Do something nice for someone else unexpectedly – do it today!

– In the fast food line? Pick up the meal for the car behind you.

– Offer to take someone’s grocery cart for them in the parking lot after they’re done loading their car.

– Carry something for a senior citizen (frankly, do anything for a senior citizen).

– Let the mom with the upset child go in line in front of you.

– Pick up a small-amount grocery gift card for the next time you want to help someone on the street but are uncomfortable handing out cash.

– Next time you appreciate good service from someone (waiter, car wash worker, cashier, or anyone else for that matter) look up the phone number for the place and tell their manager what a great job they’re doing.


Clearing the Air

Evidently, there’s a little clearing of the air that needs to be done here. The people who visit my blog might leave me forever if I don’t.

I called my folks this morning to talk about the snow falling in Virginia and life in general. However a certain blog post was directly brought to my attention with all the maternal love and kindness that prepared me for the certain fact that I had seriously erred in my ways somehow.

“Honey you should pour Clorox down your drain.”

“What are you talking about?”

“That picture on your blog. Your sink. It’s…dirty”

“I swear Mom, it’s clean. There’s absolutely nothing dirty about our sink.”

“You should look at that picture.”

On staring at it for a second, I realized she was seeing  the shadow of my hand leaning over the right side of the drain to snap a picture with my iPhone.

Oh the horror.

For a moment there, I thought I had slipped up and brought shame and dishonor to my family for all the internet to see. We might have had to sell the house, take the cat and move to a secret location to ride this thing out. Eventually, once it all blew over, we could resume our jobs and normal life.

I promise, Mom, you raised your girl better than to show the blogging world a dirty sink. On my honor it’s clean.

An Icy Encounter

2014-02-25 Ice 1

The weather reports have been saying we might get snow of some amount tomorrow, but I had my own icy encounter just now…compliments of my ice maker. Yep, I’ve decided, I’m going to complain about this one. Table of misery and frustration – party of 1.

I really don’t understand. We send people to space, we grow organs and we have 3D printing, but we can’t keep ice makers from freezing up.

And I’d just like to know….What’s up with that?

We bought a beast of a refrigerator when we built here and were so proud of how huge it was and all its bells and whistles. It even has one of those trendy bottom freezer types (I am remarkably talented at causing things to fall out of top-shelf freezers so this was a bonus).

Alas, every few days when we press the magic ice button, all you hear is the sound of gears stalling behind the door and the ensuing groan from whoever is standing there with a sad, empty glass.

Obviously I’m already frustrated by it. Seriously, the washers and dryers out there basically do everything now except tune up your car. How about a little attention to ice makers?

Today was primed for it though. Just one of those days.  And when I went to launch the ice machine into action…nothing.

Well that was all it took.

The ice container may have been yanked out a little too roughly. Words might have been said. And there was definitely carnage. Of both the ice and plastic kind. Admittedly a few parts had to be reassembled.

I glanced over at my cat in the midst of it all and Carmen the tabby sat watching from the kitchen table with a face that clearly said “I don’t understand you AT ALL, but you’re slightly amusing” and then proceeded to lick her foot.

2014-02-25 Ice 2

(In case my  husband read this – Don’t worry, I didn’t break our fridge, the ice-maker now works again).

Reboot to Nothing

2014-02-02 Cup of Tea

Change: Sometimes you have to demand it, but sometimes, it demands you.

Work has chewed me up and spit me out over the last few months and I had to take some time off. Taking vacation directly after business travel wasn’t great timing on one hand, but on the other, a better opportunity wasn’t on the horizon.

I’ve had the place to myself for the last week while my other half was traveling. I did end up having to mark a day or two on the clock due to hot-ticket items popping up in my absence, but I got several days in without cracking my work laptop otherwise. While I have been to some great places in the name of vacation before, this was one of the most restful times of annual leave that I’ve taken from the office. What made it so wonderful?

Absolutely nothing.

I did nothing. Travel wasn’t required to get away, nor was packing a suitcase or spending hardly any money. I woke up when I wanted, I went to sleep when I wanted. And I slept well every single night. Each day my mind was allowed to wander to no end. It was so refreshing to make no calculated decisions, problem solve or prioritize any tasks. Sometimes, you just have to reboot your mind to remind yourself what it feels like to really let it all go.

Tomorrow will bring the 7 a.m. start of my work day, an inbox that has surely maxed out its gargantuan limit and more to catch up on than is possible in a day. However, I am going to bring my bliss with me from the last week and am making the decision tonight that no one or their problems are allowed inside my little bubble of goodness for as long as I can stay inside.

Fall Pumpkin Seeds

It’s interesting how every so often, you can have the chance to try or experience something you’ve done before, but for whatever reason, this time you love it.

2013-10-27 Pumpkin Seeds

Every Fall, my husband loves to carve out his Halloween pumpkin and take the seeds from it and bake them in the oven for a seasonal treat. Truthfully, I can’t stand them. There’s no taste to them, and without the massive amounts of salt, I never saw any value to them – period. I never understood what he loved about them. Every year, I’d sample one or two, make my traditional face of disgust and let him have them.

This year, however, I love them (?!?). Granted, they don’t taste amazing per se, but they’re quite snacktastic. Once I made my face of aversion to them, he caught me snatching a few last night and again this morning, I found myself stealing a few. Maybe it’s because I love all salty snack food, but for whatever reason, they grew on me this year – who’d have thought it?