Friday, September 28, 2007

Paint Me Happy!

Last week my job reuqired a trip North. I left at 3am in a blinding rainstorm and arrived at my destination at 5:30am. Since I'd driven the whole way in the dark, I was thrilled to see color in the trees when the sun came up. On the way home, I nearly ran off the road multiple times as I oohed and aahed over the scenery. Considering that the lady at the Fall Foliage Hot Line said that color was 2-5 weeks away, I wasn't expecting much.

The colors were just coming on most of the trees. I love it when the tree is several colors, as if a giant paintbrush had splashed a little red and orange on the trees. After I'd pulled over the third time, I realized that the camera just can't do justice to the scene. I was driving slow, but as there was no traffic, it was ok. As the sun began to set, I was rewarded with a rainbow. It began on one side, then the other. I kept watching and eventually it was a complete arc. It was soooooo big there was no way I could get it in a single picture. So, you get to see one edge of it. The sunset was glorious! When the drive is beautiful, I really love the driving part of my job. And the day that started so badly, finished really well.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fall Color

A little bird told me that the Fall Color is ON in Utah. I'm impatiently waiting for the color to happen in Wisconsin.
So, I did a Google search and found an interesting link that can benefit everyone! Darren Smith has an article on that lists the hotline number for the Fall Color Report in various States (see link on sidebar)

The hotline listed for the Wisconsin weekly fall color report: Foliage Hotline: 800-432-8747

I called the number. It is 7:25pm on a Friday night. I expected to get a recording. Instead, I got a very friendly woman that read me the report for several areas I was planning to visit this weekend. Unfortunately I have to be patient a little longer. There are NO reports of good color yet, even up North! Most of the areas are predicting 2-5 weeks before we see COLOR.
In the meantime, we'll make a trip to Door County to pick apples, buy fresh pressed Apple Cider and Carmel Apples. Maybe I'll even find some Pumpkin Pie!! (Must stop--I've drooled on the computer!) I bought mums in fall colors, Indian Corn and interesting Gourds to decorate the house. Anything to amuse myself until we can go Leaf Peeping!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bird Migration

I've noticed that the birds are on the move. We see and hear geese daily. I see flocks of something I can't identify gathering for the migration. The red winged blackbirds have been gone for weeks. Yesterday I realized that the egrets are gone. I've seen small flocks of cranes heading South. Guess it is truly Fall. YEAH!

Twice this week I've been driving home as the sun sets. The sky is full of color, and I saw a flock of geese flying over the freeway, getting ready to land. There were 20+ in the flock. Just as I pulled my eyes back to the road, I saw another flock out of the corner of my eye, heading in the same direction. Turning my head to see how big this flock was, I see smudges of color against the sky, and realize it's many flocks of geese, heading in this direction.
My driving became automatic as I kept turning my head to see the sight. The ribbons of geese were undulating across the sky as the lead bird fell back and the flock rearranged itself around a new leader. Some of the flocks were small (6-10 geese) and some were large (20-40 geese). They were all headed for the same pond and field. I wondered just how so many geese knew that dinner and bed were waiting in this very field. Is there a geese equivalent of Motel 6, and somehow they know "we'll leave the light on for you"?

I vacillate between envy and concern when I contemplate geese. I'm envious of their ability to pick up and go without packing, or making reservations, or worrying where they'll eat. They know where and how to travel. I worry when I realize that they ARE traveling without preparation. Will they find food and shelter? And then I remember that geese have been migrating for millions of years without my help. Nature will provide. They will be fine. I get to just enjoy the spectacle!

Friday, September 14, 2007

What I REALLY want!

Several years ago, I was part of a marvelous Women's Group that was dedicated to answering the question: "What would you do if money were no object and you were guaranteed success?"

I've been giving that question a LOT of thought because I'm at a crossroad and feel I have a little time to consider possibility.
So, what is my answer to the question this week?

There are several elements to my answer, and I haven't figured out a way to put them all together in a single package, but I feel it could be done.

I WANT TO WRITE! There, I've said it, owned it, broadcast it to the Universe. I want to write novels, and How-to's, Blogs, and travelogs. I'll write songs, sonnets....hell, I'll even write lists.

I WANT TO TRAVEL! My idea of travel involves a small motorhome (Chinook style) that I aim in a particular direction, but let it (and me) roam wherever the road takes us. The travel is done at a leisurely pace that involves long stayovers whenever I find something interesting, which will be often! I want to see my friends and family with regularity.

I WANT TO COOK! After being a professional cook for many years, I became bored with cooking, but lately I find myself wanting to get back to the kitchen. I'd love to learn new methods, experiment with a variety of ingredients, try new recipees. I enjoy feeding people. It makes me happy.

I WANT TO BLOG! I've found that I can spend HOURS reading and writing on blogs. There is so much talent out there, and so little time to get to most of it. But I love this connection to others.

I WANT TO TAKE PHOTOS! Since we bought the digital camera, I've become aware of what I can do with it. It is my connection (via my blog) to the world. I want to record and share my travels, my cooking experiments, my life.

I WANT TO LEARN TO PAINT! There is an artist hiding somewhere deep inside me. It's time I let her out and gave her paint!

I WANT TO GARDEN! While I love planting and tending a garden, I've realized that this need can be met by visiting gardens. I want to appreciate the lovely spaces created and maintained by others.

Can you see the thread here? Can you see a way for me to string these beads together in a sustainable pattern? It's coming. I truly believe, it's coming!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First Frost!

They are expecting frost up North tonight. That means that the fall color will follow. Intense color! Guess we'll be making a trip North this weekend. I love the very first color, when it is a contrast to the remaining green. To drive along and see an especially vivid orange or scarlet or yellow gives me the kind of excitement I crave. I can't wait!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Blasted Computer!

Tonight, after spending hours and hours editing a document, I pushed the wrong button and 50 pages of text vanished!

Why is it that to MAKE it do this, I have to push several buttons and verify that I truly want to delete something? But when editing, you can screw it up without even trying.

I know that it is somewhere on the computer. I looked at all the places I know about, but it's really and truly gone.

The incident did produce one valuable result. From now on, I'll push the SAVE button with regularity!

Frickin, Frackin, Button smacking, Evil Computer......

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Daily Om

This morning, the Daily OM really spoke to me. I've been thinking along these lines, but this essay prompted me to action.

"The first step to getting what you want in life is knowing what you want. This may sound obvious, but a surprising number of us are going through life without really coming to terms with the truth of what we want. There are many reasons for this, and they range from parental influences that curb our imaginations to external factors that curb our ability to take action. We may feel that getting too caught up in exploring our deepest desires is wasted energy when it seems we want things beyond our grasp. This is a very practical attitude and has its benefits, but it can be safely balanced with a more imaginative and unlimited approach to the question of what we want.

You can begin to uncover and discover what you want by doing a simple, timed writing exercise. Set your timer for 15 minutes and write without stopping, starting every sentence with the words “I want.” Writing without stopping for a set period of time enables your inner voice to override your inner censor and helps to unearth buried dreams. It also creates a feeling of relief in the mind, heart, and body. Sometimes the simple act of expressing a want actually releases it, while other yearnings retain their energy, asking us to pay attention. When we pay attention to what we want, we are that much closer to getting it."

(If you want to read the whole article, it is under: August 20, 2007/Knowing Is The Key/Getting What You Want)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Let's Talk

Last night we watched the movie "The Guardian" with Kevin Costner. It was a good movie about the Coast Guard, particularly their rescue swimmers. It caused me to do a little soul searching. For the past few weeks, I've been evaluating my life, my goals, my talents and abilities, and my determination level.

It has been an uncomfortable few weeks. I've come to realize that I lead a pretty ordinary life, without any real highs and lows. It is exactly what I created, so I can't complain. But it isn't enough anymore. I'm ready for a little more diversity, to get out of my comfort zone, push the envelope.

I've created a time frame for the change and put the events in motion. It's a little uncomfortable just now, because I'm in limbo, waiting for new patterns to emerge, new directions to pursue, and a new set of variables to dictate my behavior.

The part that worries me is whether or not I'll use this opportunity to actually change. Can I overcome years of habit and preference to allow better things to happen? Can I summon and sustain the energy necessary to break out of my inertia? Can I accept more? Can I allow the Universe/Me to create what I really want? Or will I find myself settling, again, for what I can get easily?

Time will tell. I just hope the tale is interesting.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Change is in the Air....

Can you smell it? Fall is in the air. I can smell it in the evening, as the day cools. I can see it in the colors of the trees. They are not an "alive" green anymore. They are still green, but it is not that intense, growing green color. Some of the trees have even begun to change color! I've seen a little yellow and a smattering or orange. I'm excited for the color change. It's my FAVORITE time of year. Since my birthday is the last day of September, when I was young, I always thought that this color display was put on for my benefit. Now that I'm older and more mature, I KNOW IT'S FOR ME!!

Today, one lone yellow leaf fell in front of me while I was driving. I smiled for the next mile.

This year, I'm having all sorts of Fall changes. I've given notice at my job. We've alerted the apartment complex that we're vacating, and I've begun looking for where we'll go and what I'll do. If I allowed it, I could get a little anxious about what's to come, but I try to head that emotion off at the pass. I truly believe that just the right living situation will come along, and the perfect job is just waiting for me to fill it. If we do it right, the move could be easy and stress free, so that by the time Fall is over, we'll be settling into our new lifestyle.

My plan is to allow each day to unfold with only a little manipulation from me. My job is to be aware and present and make each decision when the time is right. There is so much to see and feel and smell and experience. I'm praying for the patience to let it be what it is, to enjoy it as it unfolds, and to not hurry any part of the process. Wish me luck.

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