Friday, November 30

Some Days are Like This

the needy need
the leaders lead
those in between
watch bewildered

Sunday, November 18

Sloth Day

I am aware that sloth is #7 on the list of seven deadly sins. Even in this state of awareness, I intentionally chose to designate today, November 18th as my own personal sloth day. The irony that I've chosen to do this on a Sunday does not escape me.

When I was once entrenched in the 9-5 corporate world, sloth day would go as follows:

1. call in "sick"
2. turn on the answering machine
3. pile on the sofa in my pjs with my favorite blanket and pillow
4. make sure the following was on the coffee table: a bowl of peanut m&ms, the remote control, something to read, a diet coke
5. resolve to leave the sofa only to go to the bathroom or the kitchen
6. I would then nap, eat, watch tv, read and repeat this cycle until my exhaustion was abated and/or I ran out of m&ms

The next day, I'd return to work refreshed and get back on the hamster wheel for another 6 months or so before the need for another sloth day would arise.

No longer am I entrenched in the 9-5 corporate world, or the 9 -9 non-profit world and no longer do I drive myself to the point of exhaustion...well, almost never! I'm not sure why I needed a sloth day today, but I certainly listened to my body, mind and spirit and let it rip!

Today, my sloth day played out like this:

1. Stayed in my pjs most of the day
2. ate comfort food that was warm and nutritious
3. finished two books I had started
4. listened to my favorite Sunday PBS shows, which I haven't heard since I don't know when ("Say What," "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," "The Splendid Table," and "A Prairie Home Companion")
5. began accumulating things to take on the Thanksgiving trip
6. went through boxes, cookbooks and more boxes to find all the recipes and baking pans I need to make my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner (carrot cake...for anyone who's curious!)
7. crawled into my warm, comfy bed and watched "Moonstruck," interspersed with napping
8. took a shower
9. put on real clothes and took the dog for a joy ride in the car
10. blogged a review of today's list looks less like sloth and more like feasting on that which feeds not only my body, but my mind and spirit. If that's gluttony, then maybe I traded one deadly sin for another, but I most certainly feel more clear-headed and energized than I did 12 hours ago.

What do you do to recharge?

Friday, November 16

The Milk Bone Lady Is Coming!

...that's what I had been telling Mocha for the week leading up to my mother's arrival. Mocha knows her as "the milk bone lady." I don't think I need to explain why.

The paradox for all to enjoy is that in my formative years, dogs had their place...outside, on a chain unless the temperature dropped below freezing (rare in South Texas) and fed dry kibble. It's not that they were treated poorly, they just weren't equal to say, children, in the eyes of my parents.

Flash forward 30+ years. Mom's mellowed quite a bit where the furry ones are concerned. Once her nest became empty, guess who filled the void?!?

While my mom's been here, we've had breakfast in the Dayspring room almost every morning. It's warm, bright and has excellent views of the bird feeders and the rising sun. The first morning, I prepared biscuits, eggs, fruit, etc... I set a pretty table and mom and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. I noticed while eating, her pushing some scrambled eggs to the side of her plate. All the while, Mocha is laying very still under the breakfast table, pretending to watch the birds. In truth, she's waiting to see if the milk bone lady is going to come forth with a tasty morsel.

I feared the worse. Mom shot a sideways glance in my direction, picked up her fork and put 1/2 the scrambled eggs on it. In a sing-song voice, she called her grand dog over. "Sit Mocha," she said. Mocha obliged. Then she extended her arm, holding the fork full of eggs out with the instructions, "now take it pretty." Mocha gently slid the eggs off the end of the fork without scraping her teeth on the tines!

I tried not to giggle. That would only encourage my mother and well, what starts with scrambled eggs could end up as matching outfits. In my most stern voice I said, "Mom," to which she replied, "What?" It was the way she said "what" that completely disarmed me and I knew the battle was over before it had begun.

For the eight days my mom was here, Mocha got whatever Mocha wanted, including three dog treats at a time. Mom returned to Texas two days ago...Mocha is still moping.

Thursday, November 8

The Natural World

Fall is being selective about when and where it makes an appearance. The thermometer plunged this week and the trees have responded. Monochromatic brushstrokes of yellow and gold have yielded to reds and oranges. A single tree more closely resembles a patchwork quilt than a Rothko painting.

We shared our morning walk with my mom, who is visiting from Texas. My love of the natural world was inherited from my mother, who inherited it from hers. We are women whose hands are never too far from a plot of earth.

The sun is now setting and the woods will become dim in the twilight. Tonight we will sit in front of the fireplace and talk or we will be struck dumb by the beauty of the flames. Either way, we will be warmed inside and out.

Sunday, November 4

An Extra Hour

What did you do with your extra hour on Sunday?

Love's New Day

in the soft, still moments of morning
hands clasp, fingers lace
to steady the dizzy rush of love

for you,
the prayer inside me
each day born anew

two puzzle pieces
slide smoothly into place
aligned, there is no space
no trace of a seam

between us
the rise and fall of breath
our timekeeper
a fervent gaze
our barometer

we break the fast
on warm, supple lips
gather vibrant colors
of a hungry kiss

in an arc overhead,
a filter for the sun’s rays
as we usher in love's new day

Saturday, November 3

A Little Fall Color

We encountered little fall color while in Chimney Rock Park. The trees are very slow to turn this year. Mainly, there is yellow and some gold, but very little of the vibrant reds, purples and oranges that mark the turning of the season. The Cherokee National Forest showed only sepia tones weeping from drought-stricken branches.

Friday, November 2

Atop Chimney Rock

A weekend getaway took us to Chimney Rock Park, located near Lake Lure, North Carolina. This is the view from atop Chimney Rock, a 315 foot monolith at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Once you're on top, the elevation is nearly 2,300 feet...spectacular!

Linda's not a big fan of heights, but she braced up for a photo near the edge!

A lone scrappy pine clings to the rock

The view over our left shoulder.

We could hear the cries of peregrine falcons, who were nesting on this site.

Meet Miss Moonbeam

This is Kenzie, aka Miss Moonbeam, Ms. Satellite Dish or The Narrow Dog, an esteemed member of the Edwards Dog Pack of which Mocha is an honorary member!

She's an Irish Terrier who likes to:

chase the ball!

chase the ball!

chase the ball !


tug the rope!

tug the rope!

tug the rope!


bark at the chipmunk!

bark at the chipmunk!

bark at the chipmunk!

Miss Moonbeam is currently recovering from surgery to remove a cyst on her leg. In typical terrier fashion, she felt the stitches were completely unnecessary and systematically removed them, thus the Elizabethan cone she must wear until the incision heals.

The Edwards Dog Pack
Zoe, Linda and Kenzie (l) to (r)

Speedy recovery Miss Moonbeam!


Your adoring fans from the Valentine Dog Pack