A Nice Lull

The good news is I feel better today. I was even able to ride Drew. Taking it easy was a good idea.

I was up in the middle of the night and got this weird picture of the orange moon rising, through the smudgy window.

I had a lot to do today but nothing too stressful. After our weekly friends’ lunch, Anita came over to get the Red House ready for guests while I did a bunch of meetings. It’s nice to hang out. And after work, we sat on the porch, taking advantage of the sunshades.

We love the porch just like the previous owner did.

I did scare a big moth while I was sweeping the porch. It’s beautiful.

Agrippina Underwing moth

After this peaceful break, all I had to do was hang out with my friends the horses and chickens, then float around in my pool of dreams.

Nice evening for floating.

Kathleen and I even saw another one of those cool spider wasps dragging along a hapless wolf spider. It must be wasp breeding season.

It’s really a relief to have a lull with no stress or drama. Even Lee had a good day! We are going to all enjoy the pleasant and peaceful lull while it lasts.

Let’s have fun!

What Internet?

Do you remember life before the internet?

This will be short, in grumpy old woman mode. Heck yeah I remember life before the Internet! I voted before Al Gore invented it! I didn’t get a computer until I was in graduate school. It had two floppy disk drives. I got email the next year. No wonder I have such good handwriting. I took so many notes.

I wrote with one of these things!! Actually I still do.

And I typed long, annoying reports on an IBM Selectric typewriter. It had correction tape! Modern! Try doing footnotes with one. I did.

It belonged to my lucky boyfriend.

I even typed an entire book on the Basque language, being paid per page, using three different type balls.

I had so many of these. They typed.

I’m oh, so glad for the Internet, for word processing software, and social media. It’s a privilege we shouldn’t take advantage.

Sit a Spell

Lee is probably right. I don’t just sit often enough. I’m always jumping up to do something, like take a picture or pull weeds. Indoors, I have to read or knit. I want to learn how to just sit more.

So many seats to choose from.

I did get some practice today, though. First, some of our old outdoor furniture got delivered to the Red House this afternoon. That’s because we will soon have new stuff! The back porch is great for relaxing and looking at flowers, while the front porch will be fun for watching the citizens of Cameron wandering around (one guy wandered by at least four times while I was working today).

This piece is really heavy AND uncomfortable, so should not tempt anyone.

I’m going to put red cushions on both the wooden benches, even though they’re the wrong shade of red. I washed them this evening.

A nice view

This was good timing, since we have a paying guest this long weekend. I hope they like the outdoor options. They will get to enjoy lots of flowers, which Anita and I did after finishing work (me) and house cleaning (her). We just sat!

When I got home and finished chores, I decided to sit some more. I failed at first, because I remembered that pulling weeds was on my to-do list. So, I pulled most of the evil spurge out of the pool garden. Sigh. I’ve gotten everything else under control, but these sappy things are tenacious.


I even looked it (Euphorbia maculata) up on Wikipedia. No redeeming qualities other than being native. Sap causes rashes. Plant causes cancer. Geez. The tap roots can be two feet long! It’s sure hard to remove. But I got another section done, so I could sit with my beverage.

The lawn just got mowed and weedeated, so it looks extra nice.

I ended up sitting for an hour! There were really happy bunnies frolicking over by the horse pens for a long time. It was so much fun watching them leap and run around. Plus I had good conversation with the family members who joined me. What a nice evening…just sitting a spell.

This bunny is not part of the frolicking group. It doesn’t trust me at all.

I hope you get at least a few minutes to just sit every so often!j

Leading and Following

Are you a leader or a follower?

That’s the blog prompt for today. It’s a hard one. I’ve been put into the position of leadership over and over. I don’t think I’m all that good at it, though, because I spend a lot of time figuring out how to lead and keep those I’m leading happy.

Drew is also an accidental leader. He keeps getting out, but can’t get back in without my leadership.

You really have to accept that sometimes your leadership may not make everyone happy, though. I know trying to protect people I’m leading has cost me a couple of leadership positions.

I’m a follower. I follow Drew.

I’ve been repeatedly told I’m not a good leader for horses, too. I’m not interested in showing them who’s boss. I’d rather lead by being the cream member who sets direction. I think I’m getting better at leading horses appropriately thanks to Tarrin’s excellent leadership (ha ha, that’s a good segue).

I need firm correction and gentle cues, Suna.

I see leadership as teaching others to lead, like a good horse trainer or supervisor at a job. The best leaders are more like mentors, and I’ve been good at that sometimes (sometimes not).

I like to be the boss, but I hate to be away from my herd.

I find it good to be a follower sometimes, too. Not a blind follower who just does what they’re told because some authority says so, but rather a follower out of trust and respect, both of which must be earned.

Don’t worry, Suna led me away before I ate too much grass. See, leadership.

Yeah, I think that became clear reading my diary from 10-11th grades. I sure didn’t follow the rules or orders of teachers I didn’t respect. But it was quite obvious how I’d do anything for the good ones.

I got distracted going out the front door by this moth that looks like a leaf. It’s a large maple spanworm moth. Of course it is.

Now, if this question was really about whether I’d rather go first or last in an activity, my answer would be different. I prefer being in front, where I can see my options, unless, of course, it’s a nature hike. I’ll end up following far behind on those. There are just so many plants, bugs, and birds to observe, plus rocks!

Trimming, Literally and Figuratively

With the radio news making me nauseated today (good thing I avoided Lee’s nightly dose of depression known as ABC Nightly News), and thinking somber thoughts about the local police officer who died in the line of duty (plus a friend’s husband out doing the thankless and scary task of guarding the border down south, I just want to go hide in a soothing bubble.

That was an awfully complex sentence there, Suna.

As I had the thought above, I was reminded that Tarrin said today she felt like she was in a snow globe that was being shaken. Maybe a bubble isn’t all that safe after all. I think she and I both need a hug.

Here’s a rose of Sharon for us both.

Everyone has their limits of what they can take and for how long. Most of my friends have some pretty firm limits and strong boundaries, and I appreciate that. I feel safer around folks like that! I looked around at my friends at lunch today and thought, yep, I’m safe around these people. That’s good, finding your tribe and drawing strength from them (and giving back, one hopes).

An Althea for those friends!*

It did occur to me that I’ve been letting some more negative influences in my life get under my skin. I’m also reading and listening to sources that feed into my insecurities and reinforce things I don’t need to reinforce. What’s that thing…confirmation bias. Yes, I’m having my fears and worries reinforced, and I don’t need that.

That’s when I decided to do some trimming. I switched around my social media feed to help me see less stuff that isn’t helpful or makes me upset. I trimmed my friend list. I added some positive topics to my feeds. Believe me, I’ll still be aware of whose rights are being taken away and who’s being attacked by whom, but not quite so repetitively.

Next, I jumped into some self care, which led to the literal trimming. I got many layers of mud off Drew, in preparation to try to ride him. Admittedly, I spent most of the time picking mud balls out of his mane and chatting with him. I then took him off to do his ground work, only to quickly discover it is still too muddy. The poor guy slipped and yelped like a little kid. I felt bad for him, so we just went for a walk around the driveway. That went well until Penney barreled around the corner and surprised us both. Drew yelled and jumped away, but I successfully stayed calm and all was well.

Note distinct lack of mud balls.

I decided we both needed self care at this point, so I sat in my chair outside the tack room and let Drew graze on the tall grass that was mowed last week but shot back up.

The weed eater in action

I appreciated the great job Drew did in trimming around my steps and the saddle rack. He seemed to appreciate me, too, checking in a couple of times to nuzzle me. Now that’s something healing that goes a long way to bringing back equilibrium.

I’m here for you, too.

Thanks to Drew, a nice swim in the very full pool, and time with my family and dogs, I may not be in a bubble, but I’m in a protective cocoon of love. My wish for anyone who reads this is for you to find what nurtures and soothes you and trim away the excess as much as you can.

*yes, I’m aware an Althea is a rose of Sharon. Trying to be witty.

Things Just Build Up

It’s funny how it goes. You cope, cope, cope. You grant folks grace, repeatedly. You deal with illness and death around you without falling apart.

Rain rain rain rain

Then you don’t. I’m sure that’s normal. I’m trying to keep letting some unkind things I’ve noticed slide by me. All the mental challenges make it hard right now.

Dampness makes very large mushrooms

In addition to being sad about the young police officer and his family, I’m very sad that an old friend passed away on Saturday. Johanna Horton was helpful to me when my children were young, and supportive when my mentor died from breast cancer. She’s been in my life ever since. She and her husband both were kind, gentle, and very talented. They shared all they learned at Elder Hostels and when they bought and sold antique books. She seemed all right just a week ago on our weekly Zoom call (spin-off of an ancient email list and Facebook group). I had a real hard time joining the call today, knowing Johanna’s face wouldn’t be there. We all said we’d even miss the rug on the wall behind her chair. Sigh.

Johanna (from a public Facebook post)

And it still hasn’t stopped raining. Yes, we love rain here in the land of drought. But there’s standing water everywhere. Even if it had stopped, I don’t think we’d have been able to get the trailer to pull out of its parking area to go to Drew and Apache’s lessons. And I almost hurt myself trying to put food out for the chickens. The run is solid slop. At least I’m not worried about the horses getting enough to eat. The grass is growing in front of my eyes.

The dogs did NOT like today’s big thunderstorm. I had five panting dogs surrounding my desk at one point.

Mother’s Day is always hard for me. Mom was so…out of it. And I wasn’t a great mom, either. Maybe I should have listened to myself when I didn’t think I was cut out for it. I think I was trying to please others and probably too focused on their happiness. Well you can’t change what you did as well as you could.

Speaking of mothers, I guess the birds ran out of space in the sides of the house. Yep. A nest on a door.

And it’s funny. I’m finally feeling part of a community here in Cameron, but I’m still feeling isolated and alone. I hear and read so many people saying scary things about my views. Same goes for people in my family who are just trying to live their lives. This undercurrent of feeling unsafe can make one jittery.

Uh, subject change. I’m real good with fingernails. They get cut next week. The middle one is secretly broken.

These things just come and go. I do have friends and family who love me just as I am. I’m just musing.

Darn rain, dampness, sickness, and death!

Sad Times

Wow. People just go around shooting each other and doing collateral damage. Our community lost a police officer after someone shot their wife and then shot at the officers who came after him. I’m not going into details. It’s too sad. I just feel terrible for my law enforcement friends and their families. I’m sure family members of the shooter will never be the same either. Our violent culture creeps in and makes us all feel less and less safe every day.

Kindness seems so futile against so much anger. Keep trying to listen, understand, and support even those who differ in their perspective. That’s how we can work to heal in these hard times.

Internet AT LAST!

Last week when Sandy the Squirrel accidentally set off the transformer across the road, my fancy wired router bit the dust. Since then, I’ve been trying to get it fixed, replaced with a new one, or replaced by some other thing. It’s been gruesome.

My old antenna receiver has nothing to talk to now.

I have spent over 8 hours on the phone or online chat with various AT&T entities. Today was “only” two hours trying to figure out why I couldn’t get the new hotspot they sent to replace my fancy router to connect to the internet. I got passed from chat to chat. Finally they said they’d call me in 10-20 minutes. Um. They still haven’t called.

No one wanted to help my new hotspot.

I thought to myself, “Suna, you went online and on the phone to avoid driving to Temple. You could have driven back and forth many times by now.”

I thought of bringing my mouse catcher with me to wave around. I didn’t.

I stuffed all my equipment in grocery bags and hauled the Angry Snow Kitty to the AT&T Store. I took my knitting, expecting to wait a while.

By now I felt like this guy. Close to deceased.

Thankfully, they weren’t too crowded and I got a competent young man named Quincey to help me. After much trial and error, with consultation from the head tech guy, they figured out the hotspot was not configured correctly. They had to completely reset it. I was assured I couldn’t have fixed it myself.

My feelings about Quincey.

Triumph! Then, young Quincey showed me I hadn’t cracked my phone screen recently, it was just the screen protector. AND rather than trying to sell me a new one, he looked up which one I’d bought and walked me through getting it replaced under warranty! I just paid shipping. He’d done the same thing recently. How helpful!

My faith in customer service is restored. Both the guys who helped me said to just drive over there next time. I said I sure would. I have always had good experiences with this store. I’ll remember that. Online support? Nope.

I needed this sangria.

I’m SO glad this saga is over. Onward!


What makes you nervous?

Today’s blog prompt would have been answered much differently when I was younger. I was BORN nervous. It’s how I’m wired, and feeling abandoned (in my mind) so often didn’t help me stay calm.

Carlton helps keep us all calm.

Today, though, I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not nervous all the time. Things don’t get to me like they used to. In fact, I don’t even “take things personally” and let them get to me like they once did. It ain’t easy, though.

Take the long view, like this old tree does.

I surround myself with what makes me feel calm, but I can’t ignore the world. And the way people treat each other makes me nervous. People shooting each other for walking into the wrong yard or ringing a doorbell…that makes me nervous.

So many governments passing laws that take away the rights of people who aren’t men in the ruling class. That makes me nervous.

Take a deep breath.

The health care system in the US makes me nervous. Wow have I been hearing some horror stories of people’s needs being completely ignored. If I think I may be ill, I get nervous.

These guys keep me focused on good things.

But hey, I don’t dwell on that all the time. There is so much good in the world, so many good people, and so much hope. I don’t want to forget that. You don’t, either, okay?

Not Gonna Go There (in two ways)

What place in the world do you never want to visit? Why?

First, let’s answer today’s prompt from our friends at Day One. Now, there are a few places I’m not very interested in going, at least as they are now. I’m interested in the land and the everyday folks everywhere, though, and would be happy seeing how they live and interact.

I’ll just share butterflies rather than pictures of misogynistic places.

But, there’s politics and religion. And, as a female human, there are places I feel way less safe than I do in the place where I live now (which ain’t all that great for us womenfolk). So yeah, as much as I feel that everyone’s culture is worthwhile and not something I’d want to quash, I am not interested in going to places like Saudi Arabia, where even the mega-rich women who have all the “things” they want have no autonomy. That would not be good for me at all.

A dainty sulphur!

I always wondered if I’d be fine in whatever culture I was born into, thinking that’s the way things should be. But I know that visiting a place where I have no rights, even as a foreigner, is not for me.

Checkered white

All right, so the other place I’m just not going to go to today is my stressfully stressed-out week. While I did get some of the issues solved, no one showed up to replace my router, so I still have to deal with that, but I’ve just followed Kathleen’s advice and put it in my f*** it bucket. I made a conscious effort to find some good stuff, and with the help of friends, by gosh, I did it!]

The potential is always there for beauty and goodness.

I soaked in the kindness of my coworkers in meetings today (eating up all my phone’s bandwidth), and just basked in the friendly conversations at lunch. Thank goodness for friends!

And thank goodness for dewberries! Yay!

Then, this afternoon I got a message from Sara showing me what she saw right on the road in front of our ranch!

Hi, I’m Tom.

That’s a first for me here at the Hermit’s Rest, and a truly encouraging sight. Knowing we have turkeys here rounds out some of the missing pieces of native animals that I was hoping could be here. I’m guessing it got disturbed on the other side of the road in the woods by the creek, because hay was being harvested. Sara really lucked out!

Photo by Sara

The only birds I enjoyed up close and personal today were my chickens. I’m so happy that Not Dead Betty is laying again and has filled out all her feathers. She’s back to normal!

The rest of my mature group of ladies is doing just fine, thanks, regardless of whether the giant rat snake is there or not. I got six eggs today, so I have no complaints! Plus, I do adore giving them their delicious greens and watching them dive in. What pleasure they bring.

It’s such a pretty time of year. There’s always something to watch. I’m back to being balanced now. That’s a relief. All that anxiety and annoying symptoms is no fun.

It’s just so bucolic!
something poetic

(formerly The Lost Kerryman)

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