Waterfall and Pond


IMG_1176The pond in our front yard as been an ongoing project for many years. It started out small. Each year we kept expanding, saying this is it. Last year we thought we had it. But we got carried away and dug it out to far, beyond the clay. It kept losing water. We decided we had to break down and buy a liner. So, now redoing the pond is in the forefront again.

Last night I did a sketch on my iPad to give my husband some idea of how I thought the waterfall should look. This will require hauling more rock from the woods. I hope it ends up looking better than the picture.

The pond from the past:

The rock wall minus capping stones.

The rock wall minus capping stones.

Slow and Steady


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Yesterday I treated myself to a pair of new hiking shoes. Well, the old ones were pretty shot. Plus, they weren’t waterproof. Since the winter it has been almost constantly wet. I have been wading across a lot of creeks.

 

Also, today marks the beginning of something for me, something I’m taking one day at a time. Maybe seeing five turtles on the trail this morning was a sign.

 

Early on into the trail I passed one turtle. I didn’t take a picture. I passed another turtle. Still, I didn’t take a picture. Shortly, thereafter, I came upon two turtles together. A sign. Take a picture.

 

Then yet another turtle about half way into the two-mile trek.

 

When I got back I looked up the meaning or omen of seeing a turtle. I already new it meant longevity. The main thing I read was slow and steady. I concluded that is what it would take in what I am beginning today. There would be no easy route. The turtle is also persistent and sure. In the long run it is the turtle that wins the race. I am determined to win this one.

 

As for seeing five turtles, I look to the meaning of the number five in numerology. I used to dabble a bit in numerology. I see the number five as meaning change. It is also constructive freedom.

I do feel a time of change, and I hope it is constructive.

 

Yesterday, as we were taking our groceries out to the car, my husband spied a duck buried in the grass next to our car. It appeared to be nesting there. It was my husband who first saw the duck, so I think the sign was more for him. In looking up the meaning of a duck, two words popped out – transition and honesty.

 

 

Pyramids and Ultrasounds


This morning one of the first things that came to my mind was an ultrasound. It was mostly the shape and how it resembled a pyramid. Maybe I am stretching this a bit.

I am one of those who believe that the pyramids are much older than history records them as being. Edgar Cayce put them at around 10,000 years old, the Great Pyramid in Egypt, that is.

 

Why an image of an ultrasound came up in my mind this morning I don’t know. For some reason I’m associating birth with the pyramids. Pyramids are said to give off certain frequencies or harmonics. I equate vibration with creation. In the beginning there was the “word.” Word is sound.

Edgar Cayce also said that levitation was used in the building of the pyramids. Certain vibrations can nullify the force of gravitation. Legends exist that Tibetan monks are still able to use vibration for the purpose  of levitation.

http://healingtones.org/2012/09/10/pyramid-power-part-3-acoustical-levitation/

 

I think that sound can both create and cure. For the last couple of months my husband and I have been chanting AUM. Whether I am doing it exactly right I don’t know. But, I have noticed differences – good differences.

images-1imagesOne such difference was that one day I walked into a department store seeing this pair of boots on sale. The boots had a bent toe and heels. For a couple of decades I’ve been confined to flat duck-like shoes, because of a toe injury. My right toe has been beyond bendable. Why I even bothered to try them on is a mystery. Unbelievable! My toe bent into them. I wore them with no pain. Okay, there was just a touch of pain, but it dissolved. I was so thrilled. I got to be a little taller. I’m short. Afterward, my husband told me that he had noticed more flexibility in my foot over the past month. He rubs my feet a lot. As an experiment when we first started the AUM, I tried to direct it towards my toe.

I have also noticed an improvement in digestion. Maybe I should be knocking on wood at this point.

So, while I can’t say for certain this is what happened, I don’t dare miss chanting AUM or meditating on a daily basis. I would feel lost without either, or that somehow my day was not complete. It sort of falls into the category of brushing my teeth. I would feel yucky if I didn’t.

There are many theories on what the pyramids were used for. One theory is an energy system. They were scattered all over the earth at certain places on the grid. Possibly they were a more sophisticated version of our cell towers. They could have emitted vibrations that kept both the planet and its inhabitants in perfect health and harmony. In that case, cell towers may be a bad analogy.

So, these are the bizarre thoughts that go through my mind.

 

 

Another Face – Possible Book Cover


This was done last night. I’ve been thinking about a book cover for what I wrote in NaNoWriMo. This could be a possibility. I would have to change the eyes to umber, since that is the way I describe the main character in the book. Since it is about an innkeeper, I have thought about attempting to draw an inn. I guess I could try to merge in a small inn where I have my signature. Thinking out loud – but then I guess that is basically the definition of blogging.

More thinking out loud – Maybe I should change the character’s eyes to blue. Her love interest has sapphire eyes.
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Works on Red Bubble


I’m thrilled that I had some of my digital art printed this past weekend. It turned out well. My uncle who is pictured here was pleased. I was trying to do prints for him for his 83rd birthday.

Thanks to Janette Art and Words who gave me a lot of useful information and told me about Red Bubble. I now have works up their site: http://www.redbubble.com/people/jerrischlenker

I will be adding more.

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Spring is the Elixir


Yesterday, I got a much-needed dose of spring tonic. I awoke with clogged sinuses. I didn’t feel well the preceding day. It had rained all day. The good thing is that the rain melted off the snow.

My husband encouraged me to use the neti pot. That along with several vitamin C tablets did the trick, or started to do the trick. I started to come out of my lethargy. I prepared split pea soup in the crock-pot. I went out into the woods. The woods were the final cure. The streams swelled. There are waterfalls where there were none before.

 

The only snow that was left was in a cave like area. I say cave like because we have never ventured in there to see if it is an actual cave. The opening gets smaller and smaller. Once we asked my father if there were any caves on the property. He said, “No.” We told him about the two openings we saw. He said, “Don’t go in there.” Well, that leads me to believe….

I started listening to an audio book, “A World Lost,” by Wendell Berry. I’m sorry to say this is the first time I’ve read his works, a shame, since he is a Kentucky author. His phrases are brilliant. I plan on devouring all of his works.

The weather was great. We got out the umbrella for our table and ate dinner on the deck – split pea soup, Caesar salad, and wine. We love eating on the deck. We could hear the roar of the stream from the deck.

We rolled back the netting on the fish pond and fed the fish. The netting had been place on it during the late fall to catch the falling leaves. I’m happy to say both the gold fish and koi came out of hibernation in good shape.

My husband also put the hammock back up. Yes!

I still had loads of energy. I made some banana bread, knitted, and worked on some art. A snow picture, of all things. Later I prepared some juice for next morning’s breakfast. I’m not used to having so much energy. My husband, on the other hand, seems to never stop.

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All of this was a joy after the hard winter and the previous couple of weeks when we had experienced the dreaded three. I won’t go into them. They say things happen in threes. One, a leaky roof, did get fixed. The other two will be much easier to deal with in the spring weather.

Still, having energy, I stayed up late, painting on my iPad. I was going for a watercolor style.

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Last Winter Walk


IMG_2978Yesterday, I hiked on our property. According to Map My Hike, the trek was 3.68 miles. The snow is melting. Still there were stretches of ground where I was ankle deep in it. The sound of the streams were a joy. Crossing them, not so much. Rain has been continuous today.

I took this small movie of one of the waterfalls. It will be flowing even harder today, but considering the downpour, I will save my next hike for tomorrow.

I look forward to moving my office outdoors. This picture was taken on Friday. It’s only wet today. A temperature of 60 is expected tomorrow. Won’t be long.

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The Life of a Wanna Be Writer


redmugwithchailatteI’m a stay-at-home mom. Never mind the fact that my child is now in her mid-thirties and left the nest a long time ago. Never mind me not staying at home until she graduated college. That’s not technically true. I worked from home when she became a teenager. Sometimes I traveled for work. If there were parties while I was gone she was an expert at hiding the evidence.

Sometimes I tell people I’m retired. They, who appear to be older than me, raise their eyebrows in doubt. I want to tell them I’m seventy-five, but in truth I’m just shy of sixty-two. I dye my possible gray hair blonde. I only assume it is gray, not that I’ve seen its true color since my late thirties. Telling them I’m older than I am would only make them hate me more.

People ask, “What did you do?”

I tell them I was a weaver. Chances are I will have to explain what a weaver is. They confuse it with quilting or needlework. I tell them weaving is making the cloth. I explain I can’t sew a lick. I don’t even like sewing. I don’t hem. I don’t sew buttons on that fall off. There is a pile of clothes that my husband has asked me to mend. That was years ago. I hid them away. Hopefully, he has forgotten about them.

Sometimes I don’t feel bad about saying I’m retired. Teachers retire early. If anyone has a right to retire early, it’s teachers. For several years I substituted. If anyone has paid his or her dues to society, it’s a substitute teacher.

My husband wants me to make something of my life, like Grandma Moses. He doesn’t express it in that way. I just feel an underlying pressure. He comes home and asks, “What did you do today?” It’s like asking kids what they learned in school. They rarely ever have an answer.

Today he won’t have to ask. I cleaned the house. When I do clean it is so rare, one can’t help but notice.

He will come home today and ask, “Did you write something today?”

I will respond, “No, I cleaned the house.”

He wants me to be a writer. I’m not even sure how that came about. I’ve been dabbling in it for several years now. I once showed him poems I had written in high school. That’s when this new phase of my life began.

I told him I would try my hand at writing. He was excited. I think he hopes I will be a best selling author and make us rich. He is delusional. I heard the other day that a book is uploaded every five minutes on to Amazon. In his enthusiasm on starting me on the writing path, I did get a lap top computer out of it. Not bad.

I don’t know what writers do. So I acquainted myself with some. It was easy to do. I’ve come to the conclusion there are more writers than there are actual books in the world. I question them about their methods. The whole scenario is still vague to me. The only think I have really established is that they drink a lot of coffee. Talk about a buzz kill. I don’t like coffee. I suppose I could move to England. I don’t know any English writers. But, I assume they drink tea. I like tea. To be more specific, I like chai lattes more than I like tea. If I do become a writer, I will be a fat one. Writing one page makes me want to reward myself with one.

To further encourage me my husband said it was okay if I got one of those whipped cream canisters like they have at Starbucks. Soon I won’t be able to fit in my writing chair. I won’t be able to keep up this charade.

When I first started this several years ago, I racked my brain for something worthwhile to write about. Someone I met when I was eight years old popped into my mind. I had met a slave, well someone who had been born into slavery. I would write about her life. If someone asks me about being retired, I can tell him or her I actually knew someone who was born into slavery. After that statement they shouldn’t question me on being old enough to retire.

For three years I researched her life. I waited too late. Most people who had known her were dead. Maybe instead of writing I should have set my sites on detective work. I still managed to dig up a lot. It was mostly stuff that people wouldn’t want me to write about. When it dawned on them I was writing this down, they denied that they had said it. I stored my research away.

Then I heard of something called NaNoWriMo. I dug my research back out. I aimed for the top of the mountain, that 50,000-word peak. I planted my flag, but the whole path to the summit was zigzag. The route I took to get there made no sense. I boxed my research back up.

During my couch potato virtual climb to the top I sat for hours on end in a slumped position. I finally came up for air but my back didn’t. Can one get disability benefits from a month stint at writing? My writing acquaintances were vague on this as well.

My back got better. I learned to sit erect while writing. What did you learn in writing school today? I learned to sit erect.

In the meantime, while I was lollygagging around, not really taking this whole thing seriously, someone wrote “The Help.” While walking on a New York City street, my husband and I did one of those zigzags to avoid running into someone crossing a busy intersection full speed ahead. He had that particular book stuck up in his face. Later we went on a retreat to find a friend had brought that same book along for their nightly reading. “The Help” was everywhere, like the universe laughing at me. My husband didn’t say anything out loud, but telepathically I was getting the vibe, “You missed the boat on that one.”

I let the writing thing rest for a while. I took up painting. My husband came home from work, “Did you do any art today?” The chais came in handy for the artwork as well.

A couple of years passed. I found out some of my vague writing friends were doing NaNoWriMo. I joined them. This time I meant business. I began writing before my husband went off to work. The next thing I knew he was opening the same door he had left through that morning. I said, “You know how to fix dinner, right?” He stumbled around in the kitchen, asking me where things were, and how do you do this. It was impossible to keep my train of thought. I haven’t mentioned until now that the kitchen snack bar also is my writing desk. Teapots and vitamins are lined up in front of me.

Anyway, after all the questions, I caved. “Okay, I’ll fix dinner. You sit here and read what I wrote.” He obeyed. That became the scene every night until I actually surpassed the 50,000 mark and made it to the less oxygenated height of 80,000 words. This time I went in a straight line. I don’t know if his taste in literature isn’t that refined, or the fact that he is just blindly in love with me, makes him like everything I write. He is an avid reader, and his favorite authors are some of the most respected. Still I know it’s because he is blindly in love.

If you write about Paris, can you deduct a trip to Paris from your taxes? I gleaned no information from my writing friends.

I don’t know how long this writing gig will last, or even if it will amount to anything. I am thinking about giving up the chai habit. Does giving up chais mean giving up writing? Will learning to like coffee make me a better writer? I have so many questions about what it takes to be a writer.

After reading that 80,000-word draft of a novel, night after night, my husband found a contest he thought I should enter. He was more elated than me that I made the short list of finalists. It was one of those religious experiences. Now what? My writing friends were once again close lipped. I once met a swami. He said that the real work begins after one has a religious experience.

I plan on getting my loom out of storage. Maybe inspiration will come while making cloth.

 

 

 

 

 

Ending the Affair


IMG_1082I have tried to end the affair several times, but I always lose my nerve and get sucked back in by my uncontrollable lustful desires. Last night, I made the resolve to go cold turkey.

My husband supports me, but he also practices detachment. It is his Buddha nature. I was honest up front. He came into the marriage with open eyes and promised to love me in spite of my ups and downs and struggles with these insatiable longings. I know there are groups for this type of behavior, but shame and embarrassment won’t let me seek them out.

It was only yesterday that I endeavored to end temptation. I felt the cold rush of air envelope me one last time as I slammed the door saying, “Farewell, No more!”

My seducer lives too close. Due to our close proximity it will be hard to avoid further encounters, but I am adamant in my resolve to end this affair.

I am ending it for my own well-being, not because I’m married. My marriage is on solid ground. My husband is truly a Superman, who unequivocally meant for better or worse.

It’s been twenty-four hours now. Making it to this point has been quite an accomplishment for me. I awoke at three am suffering from withdrawal symptoms. There was this incredible hunger and thirst gnawing at me from deep within. I won’t go into fifty shades of detail. Suffice to say it was a sensual dream. My lips were so close. No. I said I wouldn’t go there.

I put on a facade of normalcy and packed my husband’s healthy lunch. For breakfast, I handed him a plate of blueberry pancakes. I lavish him with savory treats like this often. It’s my guilt leaking through. He asked me why I wasn’t eating. I avoided the question and handed him whipped cream to go on his pancakes.

I watched him out the window as he left for work. I quickly showered, and took extra pains with my make-up. My car keys were missing. In desperation, I called him at work. He had them. It was just a mistake I told myself. He drove my car last. Did he think I was going to cave and have a rendezvous at Starbucks?

As I said, it’s been twenty-four hours now. Once I lasted seven days. Another time I lasted four days. I think there is hope. I’m taking it one day at a time

So, there you have it. I have resolved to end this affair I have with food. I slam the refrigerator door shut one last time. I just hope I don’t fall, totally, madly head over heels again once Valentine’s Day rolls around and my husband places roses and dark chocolates in front of me. Who am I kidding? I hope he reads this. Forget the flowers and just make it a double portion of chocolates. After all, dark chocolate is one of the new health foods, right?

Snow Walk


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2015/02/img_1078.jpgInspired by reading “Wild,” both yesterday and today I trekked out on our farm trail. I was disheartened by some of the reviews on the book. One reviewer stated how easy she had it. I couldn’t believe this. This woman hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Oregon, carrying an enormously heavy backpack, sleeping outside, not to mention, she was a woman by herself.

Yesterday I hardly got one mile. That is counting both directions as I turned around and came back home before I passed out. I was walking mostly uphill. The snow was anywhere from four inches to a foot deep. It was that crusty hard snow. Each step was like walking in cement.

Today, my goal was to make it a bit further. I did, close to two miles. The snow today started off much softer. Yesterday the temperature was in the twenties. Today it was in the thirties, and the sun had been shining earlier. But, as I got further along, the snow became crusty again. This was the part not touched by the sun. I ended up getting off the trail and walking down our half mile drive-way. My wobbly legs felt like they were walking on clouds at that point.

I hope to attempt it again tomorrow. On both days I was dripping wet with sweat, under my layered clothes. Hopefully, I burned a few calories.

Wild


2015/02/img_1073.jpgThis morning I finished reading “Wild,” by Cheryl Strayed. Maybe it’s because I love hiking, that I thought this book was so marvelous. I checked out the e-book version from the library, but now I want a hard copy, or at least to have it on my Ipad for further reference.

Maybe this is the year that my husband and I might hike just a small section of the Appalachian Trail. I have backpacked only once, with him, at the Red River Gorge, and only then for a couple of nights. Perhaps we might just do that again.

I was inspired to do this picture this morning. This is a section of our small six mile trail that we have forged out on our farm. Our small farm is sixty percent woods. We like it that way.

I have done easy hikes where I walked fifteen miles in one day. I know that I have walked that much per day while visiting New York City (mostly Central Park) and Paris, France. My husband and I once walked a small section of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Oregon. I will never forget that trail. It was astounding.

At this point, I am so out of shape. We have been snowed in for over a week with freezing and below freezing temperatures. But Spring is coming (I hope?), and time to start walking again.

Hiking Boot 1This is a pencil drawing I did in 2006. I can’t remember the brand, but these were probably the best hiking boots I ever had. They eventually fell apart.

 

 

Barn in Autumn


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Beyond the 3o Day Painting Challenge. I am still only using my Ipad. There is a lot to be said for digital. For the last week we have been organizing photographs before the digital age. I date back to black and white. That gives you some indication of how many pictures there are. Still, we have more in the short span we have taken digital pictures. We have a closet shelf of art supplies and past work. That also dates back. The closet needs to be cleaned out. I think I will stick with the digital format for art for awhile. I already have enough clutter with my yarn and weaving supplies.

Hiker


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I wanted to keep up the practice of drawing, even if it is only on my Ipad. I love experimenting with the different things you can do, or in my case, attempt to do. It seems odd, after thirty days, not adding the link that started it all. I will anyway, because I’m grateful that she started this habit. http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

Eggs


2015/01/img_0988.jpgThis is Day 12 the 30 Day Drawing Challenge which can be found at: http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/

I was unsure if these really looked like eggs. I thought maybe potatoes after I finished. But I asked my husband, “What does this look like?” His first guess was eggs.

We are fortunate in that a good friend supplies us with eggs from his chickens. Getting our own chickens is a one day plan of ours.

Backside of Barn


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This is not the picture I had intended on doing. I had originally wanted to do a picture of beets which may be for tonight’s super instead. But perhaps I will attempt to draw them before we eat them. This needs more work. I need to work on blending better. The trees kind of resemble telephone poles. I got lazy and left out branches. In places I got carried away with branches, and ended up taking them out – too much clutter. So, there may be more versions of this particular one, like the truck, on trying to get them as right as I possibly can. Maybe after 30 days I will have figured out better how to use this app, ArtStudio.

This is Day 8 the 30 Day Drawing Challenge which can be found at: http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com/