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Birdhouse

I have a sparrow annoyed with me.

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Its previous nest is blocked (literally, with … blocks) and alights on the wind chime directly in front of me and chirps and chirps.

I pretend I understand. I pretend it understands me and I say things like, “Yes, I know!”  “Yes, I’m sorry.”  “I will build you a home, but it can’t be there.”

Well, today was the day.

Butters had me up twice in the night – she’s not getting any younger and it worries me when she’s out of sorts.

I got completely up at 5.  (Meaning, I had the wherewithal to use all of my faculties at the same time.)

The land around was enticing.

Tangent: I was sharing with a friend yesterday that, while I was glad it was Friday, it was suddenly again Friday.  Life is just ticking away!  Every single day, should count.  So, that in mind, make the moments count right?

Sunrise hike was in order!

A grainy picture of the first of many.

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A less grainy picture of the same spot with more light.

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Somehow ‘grainier’ photo of the same place in more light.

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Sun coming up.

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And, brighter.

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Butters

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And some pretentious ‘artistic’ shots.

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Mysterious alien circle or … maybe a tire was there for a while.

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On the way back.

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Butters was exhausted (and, shaking which was scary).

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Then came part two.  Gardening.

Gardening is so relaxing and rewarding – is a sentence I will NEVER say.  LOL!

My mother, my Grandmother, my Son are all excellent gardeners.  They have thumbs greener than envy.

I reluctantly do it and have little to no expectations of survival.

I could probably, literally, waltz by a plant and have an adverse effect on it.

However, as Jeff Goldblum will attest to, “Life, um, finds a way.”

New ‘cones’ on the Pine trees.

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Strawberry basket still blooming.

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My onions, (that I planted entirely too close to each other) survived the snow!

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Freshly transplanted Malabar Spinach.  God be with you – because, you can’t count on me.

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My potatoes are thriving on top.  God only knows what’s going on where they are supposed to be growing.

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Alright, so, now to the bird box.  And, as this picture shows, apparently I have no problems growing weeds/grass.  But, this was what I collected from the barn to create my promise.

 

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Had some problems but, managed somehow.

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Open for business.

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I was trying to be funny on my page – and how the f&$* did Facebook turn it into an ad???  Anyway, I guess if you can fit in there, I can let you rent it.

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Thing is – the bush to the left of it used to be peppered with birds.  Now, they’re wary.  Only had a couple show up at the open house.  And one assumed that the beverages were included.

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I may have scared them off rather than made amends.

Makes sense.

Life.

It finds a way – and – finds a way out.

 

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Interview with Rainer part Two … About God

Well, it’s been a few years, but here is part two.  In light of the New Zealand massacre I feel obliged, again, to Never Forget,

Not so much obliged.  It is my honor.  My duty, as a human.

It is important.  I never stopped.

And, Rainer is important.

He is a huge part of my past and my memories.  And has dedicated his life to um, not, ‘reversing’ but, healing the scars of his ancestry.

He made me grow as a person.

I always fall head first into anything that intrigues me, and yes, at first, it was the documentary.  But, once I knew him, I felt so comfortable and safe and later so loved.

But, that was years ago.

We managed, somehow, to reconnect.

I asked him, “What haven’t you been asked about, that you want to answer?”

I think the best way to share this interview is in our emails.

I should mention, he’s ill.  And, in keeping with our friendship – and secrets – I can’t divulge the facts.

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So, thinking on a topic, I decided (after he declined) God. To choose Religion.

Having death in our path causes one to ponder no?

I lost one of my best friends to cancer.  She was an advocate for children.  Unselfish.  Completely fucking amazing – and – told me, “I don’t wan’t to go, I’m not ready.”

What ‘God’ takes someone who gives so much on the planet?

How is it that completely awful people still stride this earth and those with love and compassion in their hearts are taken??

And in keeping with my personal theory, here are our emails.

Me: Do you believe in God?  Why or why not?

Him:

How can you believe in the church with all the atrocities in the world?
When I look at the news, especially what has just happened in New Zealand. Wars of faith wherever you look. And all this in the name of faith or ethnicity, how terrible.
Who sets the standards for faith? The church in my eyes. I believe in something beyond our imagination in a power that is certainly not earthly, but I would never call it “church”.
Church is an institution that advertises with the promise of a life after death in paradise. Using the artifacts of a bygone era to bind the so-called believers to itself.
The one who indoctrinates, no less bad than political groups of all colours. Church promotes wars and of course tries to eliminate other faith communities, to take their dominance away from them.
See the Catholic Church, it is a clear proof of such action and procedure.
The Vatican was deeply involved in National Socialism and also helped to eliminate another ethnic or non-national church. Later, the help of the murderers to escape to other countries. The so-called rat line to South America. Church as an institution is a group of companies in my eyes, a profit center which is financed by faith in God, which already over centuries.
What is faith ? What does the institution church tell me that it is?
What it wants to inoculate the believers, and the fact that it is only this redemption and the acquittal for our transgressions. In the Middle Ages in Germany there was the debt relief with the church, by a document which promised against a large sum of money that with it the debt after death was settled. I have never seen or met anyone who could confirm this, who came back from the realm of death to confirm it.
But man is kept in faith in God like a large flock of sheep. You only need a handful of Christian shepherd dogs to control them.
And the church also canonizes people, for what? What is so extraordinary about these people? Isn’t every person extraordinary or only believers who have dedicated themselves completely to the church? Religious madness !
Or there is still the witch burnings world-wide, which was called also by the church into being. For the witch hunters a profitable business, as well as for the church. She has thereby secured herself the ultimate power on earth. So what is church and what does church do in a person’s life?  It certainly helps one or the other, but does God really exist?
Couldn’t God also be called IT?
Where does the faith originate, who brought it into being, every church has its own opinion and interpretation which fits to its own cult of faith and everyone says it is the true church, the true faith and all others are just fakes.
Or the rape and abuse of children in the church, and the fact that the church concealed this for centuries.
In Germany, more and more of these cases are coming to light. The church even has its own court for this, and shows that it does not belong in the normal jurisdiction of everyone. Another point to reject the institution church. Because here the law is trampled underfoot and twisted as one needs it right now.

Me: I also think, what kind of ‘father’ would allow such horror, as you mentioned.  So many good things hurt and harmed that were innocent.  I also asked “In pain or in despair you don’t reach out to something ‘bigger’ than you or the planet?”

 

Him: Unfortunately I have to disappoint you, with my heart operation it was not possible any more in time, everything went so fast.

With everything else I also ask of course: Why me ?

But I do not address it to God, I can explain it to you also only with difficulty.

I was also too much disappointed by the Protestant Church, which is why I left it long ago. There you don’t get adequate help, pious sayings that mean nothing to me and can do without you.

They should rather change their politics and also admit if they have done something wrong and do not hide behind the institution church.

And to know exactly, they regulate that so that it does not cast a bad permanent light on the church.

No I do not pray.

It comes as it has to come, that doesn’t change the church either.

 

 

 

I believe in true love and friendship, even if it was denied me often enough in my life, or even abused. But I continue to believe in it, and at some point it will be true.

And I believe in what I am doing and that it is sincere and good and helps even if it is a slow success but it is one to see. I believe in many things but not in the institution church.

Me: Notice, the door to the cage is open.  Even a fake birdcage I can’t close.  I care too much.  I agree, love and friendship is a higher power.  And, I’m hoping the bible was right when it said, Jesus can see into your heart.   I’m not religious, but, should I be judged, ‘it’ will see the real me in my heart.  I do have one question for you.  What do you to regret?  If you could say something different or be different, what would it be?

 

Him: Our situation back then that I deeply regret, but otherwise I don’t really regret anything.

I see it all in a certain area of fate… You can’t change it in advance anyway, it comes as it comes.

Every day is a new challenge.

And I don’t mean by fate the biblical variant… I have done the most possible thing in my life that I can do to make my environment more beautiful.

I’ve always been faithful in life, I don’t drink, I don’t take drugs…I think more doesn’t work…and I’ve always treated friends as friends and stood by their side like a rock in the surf in an emergency.

I take care of people who need help, I have taken care of my mum self-sacrificingly without thinking of myself. I have always been a good caring father and grandfather.

 

 

We continue this journey together as friends.  And, he IS an amazing father and grand-father.  And friend. I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed.

 

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As a side note, which, seems completely awful calling it so – I also interviewed a survivor – and I didn’t want to make this a piece about the past.  But, (again) in light of current events, supremacists are gaining ground and feeling comfortable.  I shall never forget the survivor who told me more than any history book could.  That they ate their own lice for protein in the camp.  I shudder.  I’m disgusted and am SO proud that New Zealand has instantly said they are going to change their gun laws.  That’s my personal opinion,  not Rainer’s or any one else.

 

Opportunity to be Blessed

I share this not for a pat on the back, but to point out how attitude is everything.  I have found myself slipping in that area and must be mindful – today was a reminder.

Ran out to our local Dollar General (you know, that place where nothing is a dollar) for some bits and bobs because I did not want to go into ‘town’.

I’m in line and to my right it became clear,  was a man (with three little ones) having issues at the register.

I hear, “Sorry” a few times and step in.

Me: How short are you? (Because we’ve all been there right?)

Him: Oh, it’s not that – they can’t change a hundred.

Me: I can do that for you. (Because for one day I could after receiving a recompense.)

Him: Thank you so much!

I return to placing my items on the counter and hear him talking to his checkout person.

Them: Sorry about that.

Him: No worries, I had an opportunity to be blessed.  Everything happens for a reason.

Wow.  An opportunity to be blessed.  I’m so stubborn, I don’t allow such opportunities.  I DO count my blessings.  But, to hear it put that way – just – wow.

He had three very patient, well-behaved kidlets who now didn’t have to be dragged to one of our rural gas stations to get change then return to the shop for their suspended sale.

He wasn’t inconvenienced.  He was calm and kind and ushered his little herd out the door with a “Thank you again.”

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Now I’ll share a little about the drive to the shop.

I’ve alluded to how rural we are – and how dangerous the highway that splits our town in two is.

Apparently a little more dangerous further you go up the hill according to this sign.  Yes, it’s real – yes, I took this pic.  (I was a passenger at the time, let’s not dilute my ongoing rant with ‘But you took a pic while driving).

Back to the route at hand,

I mean, you have to be on point!  Guessing what the ‘non-locals’ may potentially do.  (Unfortunately, locals too.)

There are OH so many crosses up and down the road, the pass and the grade,  I’ve memorized most of them.  You’d think that would serve as foreshadowing to the drivers that I encounter, sadly they don’t.

So, ‘heading out to the shop’ is not as simple as it might be elsewhere.

If you so much as see a rabbit running across the road in front of you – there must be a thought process.

  1. Is it running FROM something?  Should I expect to break for a coyote?
  2. Is there a car behind me?  (Okay, that should be number 1 probably)
  3. Can I brake in time to avoid a collision, or do I need a plan b and where may I swerve safely?

We literally have signs.

BIG highway signs lit up asking the driver to take: CAUTION! CAUTION! CAUTION! Watch for animals!

Smaller signs:

 

That’s just when encountering a critter.

Then comes the actual road – and bonkers traffic.  Timing is everything.

I’ve learned to turn off my ‘give a fuck’ about people behind me at a stop sign.  I am NOT going until I am certain I can safely navigate the turn onto the highway.

I’ve been honked at once, and wanted to bolt out of the car and remind them about the crosses.  Go ahead, go around me – take your chances, and chances are when you’re hit, I’ll still stop and help you.  But, let’s avoid all of that and just chill the heck out!

Back to the animals, says the Queen of Tangents.

I seriously need glasses.

On the way to work Friday I saw someone switch to the left lane for no apparent reason ahead of me.

I squint and think to myself, “Is that a person?”  (On the side of the road, not the lane switcher LOL).

Now, I’ve known for a while I need glasses.  But when you have a laundry list of things you need, somethings that are important start sliding down that list.

I squint harder … “Is that a bush?”

I squint harder, now practically on TOP of the ‘thing’ – “Oh … a cow.”

A large, uninterested, grass filled mouthed cow.  In the ‘bicycle’ lane (I don’t know what it’s technically called out here) of our very dangerous highway.

I would love to tell you there was a great amount of distance between my first guess and my realization, but there was not.

Obviously doesn’t help my commute that I can’t SEE – so I may have to bump that up the list.

But, what I did see today – gratitude and calmness – was enough to open my eyes and return me to a mindset of the same.

Maybe that needs to be on a sign too.  Although, some would probably pay as much attention to it as they do the others.

I’ll just keep my eyes on my own paper and try to practice it myself.

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day Hike!

Started the day out with pancakes at ‘our’ restaurant.  It’s riddled with black and white photos of Laurel and Hardy, Shirley Temple, old movie sets and Charlie Chaplin.  Plus, evidently, very large cups of orange juice.  I didn’t hear my guy’s drink order, but when a ginormous odd-looking cup arrived at our table I asked what it was.  Turns out it was O.J.  Remember ordering orange juice and it came in a thimble?   That justifies my confusion and I immediately coveted it.  I know, I know, ‘Thou shall not covet …” But, I think that only applied to a neighbor’s wife?  Maybe not, but I coveted all over his drink and into a straw and away from my iced tea.

HIKE TIME!

We are so lucky to have SO many locations at our disposal.  Almost makes up for those 120 degree summers.

I’ll just start sharing photos and mumble on about them eh?

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First pic – (and I took my ‘good camera’ which, while quality was better, I couldn’t really see what I was capturing due to sun on my preview)  We had a storm ahead (and a part of me hoped it arrived, although, I don’t think my backpack is water proof and I had my phone in my pocket tracking the hike).

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Me trying to be ‘artsy’ even with a good camera, nothing compares to the actual view.

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I was truly hoping for ‘wildlife’.  And to be honest, if I heard a rattle, I’d be grabbing my camera versus carefully avoiding the source of the serpent sound.  Also waiting the moment I turn over a beautiful rock, and find a scorpion under it that will stay still for a National Geographic worthy pic!  I mean c’mon!  I’ve had them in my home a dozen times, WHEN am I going to see one in the wild?

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Pi or Stonehenge?  You decide.  But, as you’ll see in the next pic, was located right next to a mining excavation.

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We didn’t go in this one.  My guy had already explored it on another hike and there wasn’t much to be seen.

 

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Now comes my favorite part!  Went down into a river bed that is obviously a water source for desert animal dwellers.  Plenty of scat and prints to prove that.  Yes, it did dawn on me that we were literally delicious things walking through an area that many predators visit for protein.  But, the naturally washed rocks and amazing terrain trumped those thoughts.

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Mini waterfall.

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This rock reminded me of a fish.  A fish that evidently has a stick up its nostril. LOL!

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Snake stick, attacking a rock.  We did have to jump down into some brush from quite  a height and MY rock was checking all brush for snakes.  I had snake guards on (he didn’t this time) so I so unselfishly said, “Just go!”  I know.  I’m a giver.

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A storm was threatening the entire time – but, did not come to fruition.

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A vein!  With vugs.

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Just gorgeous!

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“Life, uh, finds a way”  Said in my best Jeff Goldblum voice.

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Okay, he stops for rocks, I stop for close up shots of flora and fauna.

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The colors in this rock was unreal!  Again, better in person.

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Where we came from to flat land.

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Hoof proof.

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A wall that once contained something to do with mining.

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This guy continued to watch us for what seemed like forever, protecting his family. Bless his Burro heart. x

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The family.  When I took this photo, I only saw the darker burros.  Was happy to discover the other two after downloading.

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A thick stringer!

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Almost back to the car.

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The local gold mine.  It’s for sale for $2,500,000.  We were going to offer 2. lol.

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We did not disturb.

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Pay dirt!  Sitting RIGHT THERE!  We still did not disturb.  Although, during the hike, one side of my jacket may or may not have been hanging VERY low due to there certainly NOT being any rocks in my pocket. 😉

We ended the day with a stop at a pub after burning over 1,300 calories on the hike!

AND!  That ended in a Snakebite. The only kind you want!

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HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY ALL MY ‘SOUPER’S’

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Of Love and Uncertainty

I haven’t mused from the laundromat for a while – and that’s been odd.  My weekends have been filled, to my delight.

When I DO go, I do try to be there when my laundry lady is there also.  She told me I was missed.

I believe her, because I miss her too.  The routine – the ‘regulars’.  But I wouldn’t trade another Sunday there for what I have now.

 

I’ll start with this, I’ve been so happy lately that even my son, (who has moved again across country and who I haven’t seen since January 6th of this year) has commented on it.

Keep in mind, our chats have been minimal and our communications brief.  So, it’s a pretty big deal that he sees a change in me.

My heart is more peaceful, my anxiety lessened.  I smile more – I treasure moments no matter how fleeting.  I’ve been exploring, forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  Doing things to make someone else happy and in making the effort, found myself happier too.

Life has taken a turn and whether it’s for a reason, a season or a lifetime – I’m just very glad it happened.

And yet, I still find myself waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’.

As if I’m not worthy of a happy ending.  Or, just so used to not expecting one that the possibility is absurd.

I think the more I let go and the more I trust that I can pinch myself and not wake up, the less I’ll be waiting for things to go wrong.

I’m still also painfully aware at how brief and unpredictable life can be.

I’ll be participating in a 3K walk to benefit my sweet friend with stage 4 cancer on Saturday.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not think of her.

Every visit is cherished.

I find myself wanting to curl up next to her and just … be.  Of course, it hurts her too much to move or be bumped or even to hug.  So, her toes are mine.  I gently rub her feet in some attempt to offer comfort where I know I can’t.

I think I’ve been living for her lately too.

Pushing myself with the ever-present thought, ‘She would LOVE to be able to do this!’  I’m not just talking about adventures.  It’s the little things like,  getting out of bed, standing in the shower, dressing myself.  Standing in line at a store!  (I WILL give you the lecture if I hear you complain you know – “You realize there are some people who would give ANYTHING to be in this line?!”)

I  especially thought of her when it was finally cool enough to join the man who has my heart in the desert.  She would have given anything to sit where I sat after navigating a climb.  She would have been in just as much awe of the view as I was and welcoming the sweet sleepiness that was sure to follow that night.

So there it is.

My life at the moment.

Filled with hope and also with impending sadness.

Certainty and uncertainty.

Immense joy knowing that I am capable of such love now and willing to offer it with no expectations.

To them both.

Knowing that losing either of them is going to break my heart.  And yet, knowing them for however long I have makes it most definitely worth it.