Weekly Report

I was going to post this on Thursday, but the tragic murders of students and teachers in Broward County, Florida left me speechless and grieving.  Oh, yeah, I joined in a few “debates” about what we should do about these recurring murders, but the grief I feel for these families who have lost their loved ones so senselessly is beyond words.  Hearing so many of the adults in the room defend the gun is mind-boggling, but the voices of the kids who are crying out for us to do something is clear.  We need to do something to keep our schools safe.  I just don’t know what, though.

When I was working as a school nurse, I came across some pretty fucked-up kids.  Sometimes I got a little scared that we were going to end up in a shooting situation. Would I have been a hero?  I have no idea.  I’m thankful that it was not required of me, but I had a spot picked out where I would  hide, and would have been safer than the kids in their classrooms.  We need to Do Something.   Listen to the children, hear them.  What can we do to help?  Let’s do it.

So, it seems a little trite, but this is what we did last week…

We finished up the Stairway Remodel…

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Pretty neat, huh?  I’m off to Amazonia this morning to enjoy the warmth and the Orchids.  I’d love to see some of you there!!  Even if I’m not present during your visit, I know the monkeys would be happy to see you!

Peace

FB shut me down…

I still don’t understand why, but “suspicious activity” had been detected, so they said.  Okay.  They wanted me to send them a picture of myself, so they could determine if, indeed, the me that was sending them the picture was the Real me.  The Actual Person me was immediately offended, then concerned, so I took the problem to google and discovered that this is not an uncommon situation and it was safe to send them the picture.  But what’s up with sending them a picture?  Don’t they already have all my pictures?  Couldn’t I just pick one of me even if I weren’t me?   How does that verify that I’m really me?  I look at recent pictures and hardly recognize myself, so where does Mr. Bigshot Facebook get off thinking he knows me so well.  Shouldn’t they ask me piercing questions:  What is the name of your first elementary school?  What was your grandmother’s maiden name?   What is the most surprising thing you can tell us about yourself?   How could I surprise them?  They — who the hell is They? — track everything I do on the internet.  How, or why, would they suspect that I am not me?  Who else could I be?  I am decidedly me.  And that old woman in the picture is not the proof you are looking for.

I checked my driver’s license.  There is a picture of me, taken 12 years ago, wearing my nurse scrubs and dark red lipstick, long hair, few wrinkles.  That’s not me, though it was me.  I turned to my brand-spankin-new Medicare card.  No picture, but the name:  Christina J Casey.  I was so bummed when I got my card and saw that I was now going to be, until I fly away from this terrestrial globe, Christina J.   (I was named after my mother (Ruby Christina), a default measure after Dad wanted to name me Ruby.  I don’t know why they never called me Christy, or Tina, or just Christina, but they didn’t.  I was The Bug to my Dad and Jo to everyone else.)  Perhaps that’s suspicious?

This all happened 4 days after I had started my hiatus from blogging, determined to retreat and reset.  I got to thinking it must be a sign that I needed to verify for myself that I am still me.

I began a a spell of study with teachers from the Sounds True Meditation and Mindfulness Reatreat:  Alice Walker, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh.  I listened to some of Oprah’s Sunday interviews with Maya Angelou.  I reviewed my Ayurveda lessons and did some Dosha and Chakra Work.   When the snow and ice came, I watched the birds at the feeders and soaked up the warm cozy.  I started 2 book challenges, one fiction, the other non and read 2 from each list so far.  I dragged out my book of 40’s standards and played Misty and Cry Me a River.

I got back on the treadmill–but only once!!!  Now That proves that I’m really me.

I did eventually send the folks at fb a picture of me, and a week after that, I was bombarded with a barrage of “come back and see what you’ve missed” emails and notifications.  I really hadn’t missed a thing.

I am returning to blogging, though, refreshed! ready!  But I still wonder who I am…

Peace

 

 

Going dark…

I’ve been doing this blog thing for…oh, my gosh, it’s been nearly 14 years!!!  Over a thousand posts, hundreds of thousands of words, a plethora of pictures, and about 300+ readers followed along the way.

The original Sonnystone Acres morphed into The News, then expanded to include 3 other blogs:  Growing Every Season, Rave On,  MadWoman, and Trailer Trippin’.  (Growing is a seasonal gardening blog and the trippers only post when we are traveling —unless it’s to Disney, which goes on The News.)

Anyone who has tried to maintain a blog can tell you it’s not easy. Each post takes a couple of hours to write, even if it’s a photoblog.   It’s intimidating to hit the publish button…you are putting your Self out there…and I’ve written plenty of stuff that I decided to not share. If you want folks to come back, it has to be published consistently and it has to be at least decent, and interesting, or have pictures of darling children!..  Over the years, I’ve often sacrificed quality just to get something posted, but overall, I’m proud of what I’ve written.  It’s been rare that anyone has actually criticized me, though I can always count on my family to point out my weaknesses.  It’s almost as rare that anyone has actually “liked” my posts on wordpress!!

My faithful readers have shared my joy–births of 4 grand-daughters, 5 Camp Sonnystones, 6 Disney trips– and my pain–Eric’s 1.5 years of fighting cancer, deaths of friends, that damn hip thing.  I sincerely appreciate you.

Lately, though, I’ve felt more obligated than inspired…

So I feel like I have to tell you that I’m taking a 6-week-sabbatical from The News.  The MadWoman will likely be in touch, and I’ve got a few other writing projects going, but mostly I want to just shut up for a while.

I know I’ll be back in time to celebrate the February birthdays, so we’ll get together then!

Peace

The Perfunctory New Year, New You Post

The aroma of hoppin’ john — my stock new-year-day lucky food–is filling the air, warming us on this frigid (10degrees), but sunshiny First Day of 2018.

I’m a little skittish about making Resolutions…  I’ve done it before, but I’m just not a Resolute person.  I have only a passing understanding of Determination or what on earth a Firm Decision would be.  Same way with Goals…  The very word implies Effort and there is a whiff of competition that has never appealed to me.

I reject Bucket List, because I do not have a terminal diagnosis, and I sincerely hope to have done Everything before I get the diagnosis…

But just like the traditional lucky food, and kissing at midnight, I usually make a list on New Year Day.  The List was aimed at Self-Improvement, being healthy, changing my habits… The usual stop smoking, stop drinking, lose weight, join a group, take a class…I Would Become a Better Person!!!  January was always full of hope…  By February, I would be making excuses, and March always saw me in the line of shame to d/c my gym membership.

Why did I spend so much time criticizing myself, always falling short of my expectations.  I set myself up to fail, then beat myself up, feeling undisciplined, even lazy!?  Some of those habits changed, but never because I wrote it down on New Year Day.  Time flew in and changed me.  It works much better that way.

At the ripe old age of 64, I see the Year Ahead much differently.  I look at the Year as an Adventure, Each Day as a New Experience, Every moment present and aware.  So I’ll call it my Adventure List?  My Experience List?  My Learning List?  My Here’s What I Want to Do in 2018 List?

Whatever you want to call it, here it is…
(in no particular order and not necessarily complete)

1. Enjoy Each Moment, no judging

2.  Write

3.  Travel

4.  Spend Time with Family

5.  Learn New Music

6.  Read

7.  Garden

8.  Walk/Hike

9.  Spruce up the House

Asking a lot of myself, aren’t I?  I hope you feel free from self-criticism, too.   You don’t always need to Change yourself, trying to please or fit in.  You Will Be Changed, believe me;  that’s what Life is.  Don’t be so determined to be something.  Open yourself to Just Be.  Enjoy the Journey.
Peace

Bye-Bye, 2017

Before I tear off the rear-view mirror and cruise happily into 2018, let me linger just a moment…

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Peace

Have a Safe New Year’s Eve!

Photoblog

Snow, Birds, and a touch of cuteness…

Winter decided to show us who’s the boss around here–for another week or so, at least–and snowed all over the bloomers…  Whaddaya gonna do about it?  Take pictures…

What I actually Like about snow happens at the birdfeeders.  The birds just flock in.  I love watching them…

I got out my bird book to identify a newcomer:  See the little brown guy in the picture below?  He’s an Eastern Towhee.  They usually feed on the ground, but the snow brought him round to visit.  The cardinals, chickadees, and finches are my usual crew.

The snow is now gone, but the danger to the plants and birds is even greater since the temperatures are hovering between 20 and 35.  I read that March is the most dangerous month for birds, as their natural food sources are already emptied of berries and the ground is frozen.  If you don’t already feed the birds, you ought to try it.

Here’s a little bit of Cute to warm you up…

Peace

Week-end Wrap-up

This winter has sure been whimsical…we went from snow to tornadoes to sunny and warm all in one week.   Those of us who live along the Tornado Highway learn to live with the terror of the Tornado Warnings.  Our area got hit with an F3, on the ground for 45 minutes.  It stayed about 25 miles away from us, so we’re very grateful.  The snow was flimsy, but I managed to get one picture before the melt…

The week-end arrived, all sunshiny and warm…  We took a walk down in our Woods (which we call Solla Sollew) to plan a work/clean/prune day.  Foliage is just starting to green, so it’s time.

Sunday after church we drove over to Audubon State Park, just across the money-savin’ bridge and hiked a short trail…

The place was packed with people out enjoying the spring-like day.  The park is small, but has a very nice museum about John James Audubon, who lived around there for many years.  Naturally, there was a lot of bird information, too, so we enjoyed it a lot.

Just down the road, under the north-bound bridge that spans the Ohio, is the Audubon Wetlands.  Just before you get to the wetlands, there is a pullover that looks out on the nest of a bald eagle.  It, too, was packed with people, as were the wetlands.  There are some great blue Herons that are heronizing in the wetlands, and we were quite keen to see them, but decided to wait for another day.

In fact, we’re excited about sneaking over in the early mornings through the week and watching the nesting of both the herons and the eagle.

Unless there are tornadoes or hurricanes, we’ll be traveling at the end of the month, so I’m deeply steeped in the planning.  We want to get away for the Solstice and return ready to get the New Garden going.  Must be patient.

Till the next time…

Peace