Sunday, May 22, 2011

My next door NEIGHbor was just here for a visit. He brought his boss along with him. He really *IS* a NEIGHbor too. His name is Buddy and he is the horse who lives next door. He is the NEIGHborhood watch horse keeping tabs from his pasture on all comings and goings up our road from the highway.

Like most young girls I had a yearning for horses. In my day girls drew pictures of horses the way boys crayoned dinosaurs… big animals we fantasized about. My mother bowed to my passion by driving an hour away from our home in the suburbs to a ranch where I could learn to ride on trails my imagination could turn into boundless adventure. Eventually like many girls, my interest turned from horses to rock groups and boys.

Nowadays horses intimidate the heck out of me. They are big animals and unfamiliarity with them makes me happier when there is a sturdy fence separating us. But Buddy is a NEIGHbor. He is very gentle taking an apple or the occasional peppermint from my hand. He is just enough headstrong to be interesting but his owner has him well-trained and in control. When she walks him up the dirt road I'm delighted to see them, happy that she will share her best pal with me. Buddy is my UP thing for today.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Up Again

My UP thing for today is an activity that allows me to be useful & creative while happily seated at my computer. It also falls under the heading of volunteering/community service. I design posters, brochures, bookmarks and such for our local library. I've also done some for friends in the community and for neighboring libraries.

Is is toe-curlingly fun! I'm like a kid with a big piece of paper, a new box of crayons, and an adoring parent nearby ready to praise. I choose graphic elements and sort through font styles and sizes, mixing and arranging as I sip my mug of coffee and listen to Mozart. It is the perfect activity for someone with the soul and eye of an artist, but not the skill or inspiration.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Something wonderful… BOOKS! I find myself very happy in a library and next happiest in a bookstore. It is so wonderful being surrounded by a multitude of words and offered up all sorts of ideas and ways to think and things to think about. I like to wander around and discover something new, something I didn't even know would be of interest.

I must confess that, having a Kindle, I still prefer the paper and page turning kinds of books. Not that the Kindle isn't great - in fact I'm off in a few minutes to buy a new book to put on mine. But I shall always prefer the comfort of feeling the paper under my finders.

By the way, that Kindle book I'm about to fetch? It is a new novel by my friend Ginny, called Looping for Love. Check it out on Amazon!

(However do you get an author to autograph a Kindle version of their book?)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring, spring, SPRING!

I didn't manage to get back with something more upbeat yesterday because I was out enjoying the beautiful weather. And THAT certainly is as upbeat as it gets! Not only was there no rain yesterday - today is even better. I was able to open the front door and allow some of that delicious pollen-laden air inside,

Give us a little sunshine here in the great NorthWet and we sparkle with gratitude. Our world goes from shades of gray and gray-green to incredible rainbow hues. You can see the planet smile with pleasure.

This is wild rhododendron season. All around the bushes have erupted in huge bouquets of bright pink blooms, every one worthy of showing off in a botanical garden. The deciduous azaleas are opening and sending waves of their perfume into the air. Perhaps it takes the long, dismal, dank winter months to make our spring so intensely SPRING! Impossible to feel gloomy when nature is just bursting with enthusiasm.

I wish it could be bottled and shared with you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It isn't raining outside!

Yeah, I know. Pretty puny in terms of an Upbeat observation - but considering the language and associative terms I might choose to describe the continuing cold and damp - do I get credit for restraint?

Give me half a point and let's see if the day brings me anything cheerier to note.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hot Java!

How I love my morning coffee! I'm not a gourmet fan. I don't drink some exotic Arabica blend or crave a Stabucks Arapacappafancicinno. My morning craving is simple and probably horribly peasant-like: Folger's Instant. In my big, just the right size & shape ceramic mug. With instant creamer.

I can drink fancy-schmancy coffee. In the morning any coffee is better than none at all. But what makes me smile loudest is my mug of creamer tainted instant… Folgers is the flavor I crave. No sugar please, and VERY hot! If you can provide it with a side of toasted onion bagel. Ecstasy!

Guess what I had for breakfast this morning? Yup! I'm starting my morning right!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Look on the Bright Side!

I haven't been writing much lately because I've been depressed and writing takes energy and enthusiasm I simply haven't had. When you look up from what feels like a bottomless pit even a hoot and holler toward the outside seems like a really big deal.

So… in an effort to find a bright side in black velvet muddle I hereby pledge to find at least One (1) UP thing per day to blog/announce/observe and/or comment about. For One (1) week. Feel free to share One (1) UP thing back at me!

I'll start tomorrow. Though I could slip in today that it isn't raining. Is that a semi-UP? Okay, it isn't raining AND the sun made it through the clouds. Briefly. Not quite enough for me to run outside nude and dance for joy - nobody should exhibit goosebumps that numerous or large! Amazing though how a tiny bit of sunshine can bring a smile to the face of a coastal Oregonian!

See you tomorrow?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TV Rant

I'll confess here and now that Himself and I are television watchers. We grew up in the early days of sitcoms, came of age in the years of one-hour dramas, and have survived into the era of reality TV. Our usual evening together begins with dinner and the evening news then progresses into a couple of hours of favorite cop shows. From there I watch a channel-surfing slew of house-hunting, cooking, or nature programs. After I go to bed, Himself returns to the tube to watch news reports or the odd slash&bash film.

Like much of America, we're addicted to our favorite shows, things like: CSI/Las Vegas, Castle, Bones, and The Closer. But I am finding it harder each season to stick with them. There are several reasons. I dislike heartily having the main characters in peril every thirty seconds. How many times per episode do the lab rats have to dash out, guns drawn, to personally accost criminals? And while I don't mind sexual tension between the principals, how totally clueless and unable to communicate can they be? Don't even get me started on serial killers stalking them from their pasts! I also despise the disconnected semi-seasons. Half a dozen episodes and then a long break just gives me plenty of time to forget to care about the show on hiatus.

But the worst is season finale cliffhanger endings. The writers think they simply must bring in some sort of major trauma to the cast and let it hang in suspension during the weeks or months of intermission. Several of the programs I watch are working up to this in the next week or two. I'll be lucky not to throw something through the TV screen in disgust, if I watch the episodes at all. Waiting to find out who died in the explosion, fell off the ledge, was tortured by a serial killer (i.e. whose contract wasn't renewed) just annoys me. I plan to spend the time deciding which of the programs to abandon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Life is loaded with Ups and Downs and I'm stuck in a whirlpool of Downs right now. Spinning around and around, feeling like something you see in the morning when you flush the loo. The emotional ground under my feet is shaking like the Fukushima earth with me as the Daiichi plant, ready to go Boom! And in my usual, brilliant, wishy-washy way I'm aware, watching the process, which makes it all seem silly and pointless even as I cower in fear.

Ya gotta love it! All the years of self-observation, all the classes and meditation, the reading, the processing, hoping that serenity would be there at the end - that when things got tough(er) I'd face it with a calm and composed mien.

It doesn't seem to work that way. The fear and panic still surge up threatening to seize control. Serenity is as far away as ever it was. There is no cool, no collected, and calm is only a molecule deep.

And is that where it is? That molecule? The Boom! that hasn't? Do the wiseguys meditating in their caves have all this going on inside themselves while they sit and wait it out? Breathe. Wait. This too shall pass?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I spend the cold wet winter longing for the warmer weather when the doors and windows can be open to the breeze.

What is wrong with me? Has the chill of those dark months made me forget that with sun's return things begin to bloom, and blooming means <…Ta-DAH!…> Allergy season!

Yes, I'd forgotten. I rapturously opened doors and windows today, the first day warm enough to indulge in a household of fresh air. Himself went out to complete the first lawn mowing of the season. I am now in full reaction: eyes swollen and puffy, nose dripping, and explosive SNEEZING issuing forth to shake the rafters and set dogs barking for a half mile in every direction.

Fortunately the effects are survivable with minimal medication…

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Sunny Sunday Morning

A gorgeous sunny morning on the Oregon coast. Folks who live here are calling each other to share their thrill at being able to open doors and windows. Some think that snow on the ground would be better than the long-lasting months of wet, wet, and more wet. I am not among that group.

And how we crave the sunshine! I basked for an hour on the front porch, drinking my second cup of morning coffee to the symphony of birdsong. My intent was to finish the book I've been reading, but I surrendered to the sun and song and simply stared at the glory of a sunny day.

My enjoyment of the day was added to, sort of, by the activity of a pair of Cliff Swallows who have decided to construct their mud nest over the entry to the porch. I truly love swallows. The wet of the coast encourages mosquitoes and I hate mosquitoes. This makes the three species of swallows (and the various kinds of bats we also have) most welcome residents, but my feelings about the site of choice for this nest are mixed. In the past we have had Barn Swallows choose the porch for a home. It is great fun to see the industry and devotion of the parent birds constructing a nest, feeding three of four voracious chicks, and finally seeing the young birds fledge and leave on their own. It is also very messy and extremely loud.

Will the nest be completed now that mom & dad have noticed me as a neighbor? They fussed a bit while I sat outside but didn't stop their mud gathering. If they stay I'm bound to fuss back a bit as I dodge bird poop and diving protective parent birds, but it will also be fun to "grandparent" some feathered baby birds.