Posted in Beginnings, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Ohio, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Water, Woods

I am spoiled

Roses on a rainy day.  (Taken last week.)
Roses on a rainy day. (Taken last week.)

Spoiled.  That all it’s about — can’t live without this, can’t live without that.  You can live without anything you weren’t born with, and you can make it through on even half of that.

~ Gloria Naylor

May 2013 011a
The roses are so red it’s difficult to photograph them.

When M and I bought the house at Breezy Acres (in the Bogs of Ohio), we had the unintended luxury of being able to work on the house for six months before we moved in.  We gutted and remodeled the kitchen.  Laid new floors (a beautiful, character-grade hickory we found at an Amish mill for a great price).  I was able to walk through the empty house and see, in my mind’s eye, the colors I wanted to paint the rooms, and then spend time doing the painting before our furniture and other belongings were moved in.  It was a local move so we were able to move things over at our leisure, and when the space became available for them.

I wish it was as cool and dark as it was on the day I took the photos of these flowers.
I wish it was as cool and dark as it was on the day I took the photos of these flowers.

The reason we had that luxury was because our previous house, on the market, wasn’t selling.  In fact, there was little to no interest so we decided we might as well stay put in the old house while working on the new one.

Clouds from a few days ago keeping it cool.
Clouds from a few days ago keeping it cool.

We don’t have that luxury here, but what I find worse yet is that I cannot visualize how I want the house to look.  I don’t know if it’s the clutter of too much stuff, a lack of connection with the house itself, or my bad attitude.

May 2013 014a
Not exactly paradise… or is it?

Our attitudes control our lives.  Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad.  It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.

~ Tom Blandi

Beauty hiding in the weeds
Beauty hiding in the weeds

I suspect it is my attitude.  I am spoiled.  After ten years at Breezy Acres, and lots of hard work, M and I had the house the way we liked it.  Everything had a place.  Here, at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch (a name that sticks in my head better than Back East), nothing seems to fit or have a place.  The house needs so much work that I hesitate to unpack, knowing I’ll have to pack up again to move things when we start doing the work.

The flowers don't whine.
The flowers don’t whine.

Time and patience are needed.  I know that.  Air conditioning would help, too.  Someone turned up the heat and humidity here on the Eastern Shore, and I am miserable during the day.  Thank goodness we brought a small window air conditioner that we can use in the bedroom.  At least I can retreat there when the heat becomes too much.  (We’ve had a few guys out here looking at the heat pump/air conditioning unit.  All the estimates are in and now we’re waiting on the folks who are going to do it to work us into their schedule.)

May 2013 019a

The odd thing is that when I’m outdoors, even with the heat, the humidity, the mosquitoes, and the biting flies, my attitude improves.  The whining stops and I become optimistic and think, “I can do this.”

May 2013 020a

The tasks are overwhelming at times.  Where do you put things in a kitchen that has no cabinets or counter tops?  In a bathroom that has little closet space?  Or in bedrooms and public spaces of the house that are too small to hold the furniture we have?

Windows
Maybe I should throw the extra stuff out the windows and into the woods the way others did at one time.

I’m trying to find a sense of spaciousness within myself.  Perhaps that will help with the congestion in my outer world.

I feel almost as droopy as this rose.
I feel almost as droopy as this rose.

Well, that’s enough whining from me for today.  I need to work on my gratitude skills.  The house is a mess and needs work, but that’s the reason we were able to afford such a beautiful piece of property with a dock and a creek and woods and a pond.  And our very own cemetery.  All I have to do is step outside for an attitude adjustment, and a reminder of why I should be grateful and stop whining.

(But please, please, please, Universe… get that A/C fixed quickly!  Or ask Mother Nature to turn down the heat.  Thank you.)

The grasses don't whine, either.
The grasses don’t whine, either.

Thank you for listening/reading.  I promise not to moan and complain on a daily basis.  Venting is helpful, but too much of it leads to a negative outlook.  ‘Tis better to be thankful and appreciative.

There are works of art everywhere around here.
There are works of art everywhere around here.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Today's view from the dock
This morning’s view from the dock.  These clouds came with a warm, southerly breeze, and cleared out about 30 minutes after this photo was taken. 
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

35 thoughts on “I am spoiled

  1. OMG the irises are sooooooooooo beautifully perfect and unique!!! There are sooooooooooo many beautiful surprises peeking out from within, what to many is, the rubbish. I think that I would be prone to only unpacking basic needs. Putting all of the boxes into one room or corner. Walking about with a notebook, jotting ideas and feelings and see if a design springs forth. I wonder if the hurry is in your head. Sometimes if clutter bothers me, I box things. I assign me one box at a time, and a time limit for each session. Sometimes it is still too visual, so I throw a nice plain sheet over it. Perspective then becomes very immediate and clear.

    I often don’t figure out that deadlines and pressure do NOT come from a real world need outside of me–it comes from the incessant need to be fixing something. I’m very glad when I have the grace to notice the small things that please me and then I am calm enough to do the next very small right thing.

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    1. Thank you, Elisa, for the wise advice (and for liking the irises, who appreciate it, too). You’re right about the hurry being in my head. I want everything done NOW because the chaos and clutter are making me feel antsy. I started moving the boxes to the one room we probably won’t need for a while (the dining room), and it’s already a little better. After reading your comment, I got to thinking about the “feel” of the house and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be rustic, whatever we do. I thought, before we moved here, that I’d decorate like a beach house, but it’s not a beach house. I’ll have to take some lessons from the outside because I think that may be the answer.

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  2. Unfortunately I know exactly how you feel about the heat and all of the nasties that it brings with it Robin and believe me, you may think you are whining, but you’re not. Venting is very helpful at times like this. Sometimes, just knowing that another person (or people) have heard about your misery, it’s as if they have removed some of your burden and you can move ahead, feeling as though your load has lightened.

    I have a suggestion for the house, can you empty out just one or two rooms, perhaps bedrooms, and work on those first? Empty rooms may help you with your vision for the house. Perhaps painting the walls, putting in new floor coverings, then setting those rooms up as you want them to be? Start with the easiest rooms, then progressively work your way towards the more difficult, time consuming or expensive rooms. At least that way you would have some areas of the house that did look lovely and you may feel as though you are making progress.

    The garden has some really beautiful flowering plants amongst the weeds and grass, so you know there is hope for the outdoors when the weather cools down. Sending you huge hugs Robin. xxxx

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    1. Thank you, Joanne. 🙂 I’ve been working on making the bedroom my sanctuary of sorts, getting it organized so there is at least one room in the house where things aren’t so bad. I may start removing wallpaper in there, too. Just about every room in the house has wallpaper or wallpaper borders that I don’t care for. Painting, at least one room, would help spruce up the place.

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  3. Wonderful irises! Bearded irises rank right up there with peonies and lilacs for me. Even here in MA the heat is much higher than normal today, but I’m thankful for it. It was such a cool, damp spring, you won’t find me complaining. I think your strategy of bits and pieces and one day at a time is a great one. Have you been taking pictures along the way? Think of the great before and after posts you could share with us in the future!

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    1. I went around the house yesterday, Karma, after reading your comment, and took photos of the rooms. I think the mess looks worse in pictures. lol!

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  4. sharing your frustrations is good Robin, and we can take it…that’s what friends are for. 😉 and you find the answer in your own words… outdoors you can breathe in and re-adjust your thoughts..you’ve moved from a home, to a house which needs your loving touch, to turn it into a place for you both…and you’ll do it.. in time.and with ideas that’ll flow… Adventurous times ahead, ups and downs, …but I’m wishing you ups most of all (and asking Mother Nature to do a bit of Temperature adjustment.) .. take care and happy trails.. always… xPenx

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  5. Sometimes you need to vent; I would certainly be doing just that under your circumstances. Anyway, that’s what your blog is for, to share all sides of yourself. I wouldn’t apologize, but just keep going and each day will bring its ups and downs. I’m sure it is really frustrating not having air conditioning; that would drive me crazy! So I really hope it gets fixed soon. You really do have all the time in the world, no real deadlines at all. Just do like Elisa suggests and assign one box at a time. And do to yourself as you advise us: Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂

    Oh, and I love those irises with the raindrops and that overgrown garden sign. 🙂

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  6. ah dear!! I know the feeling !!! I´m living in this house with more than half of my stuff packed and it s been 6 months and there are times I want to burn it!! and what´s waiting for me is even worse and it´ll take years to make it decent and I´d like to have it all in its place NOW!! but what your friend Joanne said must be just right. I had to empty a room and even if I needed to put my bed, it was empty for more than a week and I just sat there enjoying the empty space and I felt calmer and more in balance so what she says about starting at one room feels right. Patience. =)

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  7. Every house we’ve ever lived in, I began ‘arranging’ the outside long before the inside…an hour with the boxes, two in the yard. With as much as you have to explore and discover on the new property, I can’t imagine spending any time inside at all 🙂
    There’s treasure everywhere….

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  8. Wow – I think if I was in your shoes I’d be sitting next to and staring at those stunning irises all day! Not sure how long ago you moved into Breezy Acres, but perhaps being a little older now you might have to tackle the renovations at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch at a slower pace, perhaps a room at a time. But I do think air conditioning will make a huge difference in your mood if you’re like me. Humidity outside is tolerable, but trapped in the house it is so oppressive and crushes all motivation. Thinking of you often… *hugs*

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. 🙂 Age might be playing a role in the sense that I didn’t think we’d be starting over again at this point. There’s no turning back now so I need to learn to accept, and even embrace, this new journey. And who knows? I might even have fun along the way. 😀

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  9. I think it’s just the thing of having moved and getting to grips with so many different things, that brings that inability to focus on what you could focus on before, such as how to decorate or get done what you want. I’ve been through that each time I’ve moved – too much else to contend with, really. Thankfully our current house mostly came with decor that we liked from the start, but my own room still isn’t decorated the way I like – years after the event.

    I love your photos. Just let the outside absorb you into itself. Things will fall into place in time. Hugs.

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  10. The flowers are really pretty but I love the old garden fence picture.
    Take some pictures of the house as it is now and file them away, they’ll make you smile sumday. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Sallyann. 🙂 I went around the house the other day and took a bunch of photos of the mess. I was thinking that if I did that about once a week, I might be able to see the progress we’re making. One box at a time doesn’t seem to make a difference, but I bet things are coming along more than I think they are.

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  11. You don’t strike me as whining, but more just stating how things are. Since not everything in this world is a barrel of laughs, there are bound to be things that are not anticipated with total joy. You have a good attitude, and make good points about not letting negative thoughts ruin your outlook and gratitude. And I know once the AC gets fixed the whole world will seem much more tolerable!

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    1. Thank you, Becky. 🙂 The great news is that the A/C guys had a cancellation early this morning, and they’ve bumped us up. They’ll be here soon. Yay!! A little cooling off will improve my mood considerably.

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  12. What gorgeous flowers!! I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of your story…. I’ve been REALLY behind on reading blogs (this 365 is taking up a lot of time)!! I hope all is well! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Holly. 🙂 Here’s my story in a nutshell: I moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I know you’ve been busy with your 365 (which I don’t get over often enough to see!). I hope all is well with you, too.

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  13. There’s two sides to every coin, Robin, and I don’t think you’re being ‘bad’ by griping about your feelings of overwhelm. I’d feel pretty frazzled not having anywhere to put my things, too! I think your feelings of spaciousness and gratitude will re-emerge when your body and mind have had a chance to process the huge move you’ve just undertaken! There’s no need to skip over the feelings of disjointedness or stress in the meantime– maybe by permitting them and allowing them space to get out, you’ll pave the way for that elusive inner peace? 🙂 (Or not. Bring on the A/C!)

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    1. lol! The A/C has made a big difference, Dana. Time, too, has helped. I’m coming to grips with the fact that it will be at least a year before the house will be organized and in some sort of order. One thing will lead to another, and over time, things will get done. I have to be careful not to allow myself too much space for whining and moaning as it becomes unproductive after a while. Best to let it out and move on. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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