Posted in Air, Autumn, Books, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Home, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, WeekendCoffeeShare, Wonder, Writing

If we were having coffee: Still blooming edition

Morning in mid-November.
Morning in mid-November.

Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself.  Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies.  We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.

~ Alan W. Watts

A bumblebee in the garden.
A bumblebee in the garden.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would be delighted to welcome you back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  Let’s grab our beverages and a snack, and take them out to the back porch where we can stay warm while pretending we are outdoors.  The back porch, in case you’ve forgotten, is what they call a three-season room, but we get about three-and-a-half seasons out of it.  The afternoon sunlight keeps it warm and toasty.  Too toasty at times.  If that’s the case today, we can open a window or two and enjoy the breeze.  Or maybe I should refer to it as the bluster since the winds are pretty fierce today.

How are you?  What have you been doing lately?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Tried anything new?  Gone out for an amazing meal at a local restaurant?  Or better yet, cooked an amazing meal in your own kitchen?  Are you making Thanksgiving plans yet?  You’ll have to pardon me if I don’t mention the December holidays.  I don’t even want to think about those yet even if the folks that sell things want me to be thinking about it right now.  Heck, they wanted me thinking about it back in July.

Yes, the honeysuckle is still flowering.
Yes, the honeysuckle is still flowering.

Have you read any good books lately or watched any good films?  I recently finished reading A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon.  It’s been on my bookshelf for a while.  It was on my bookshelf before we moved here.  I don’t know why I took so long to pick it up and read it.  It’s an odd book, and I’m not sure how to describe it.  It reminded me of a British sitcom that revolves around a wedding where everything goes wrong, and then comes together for a happy ending.  Or at least a decent ending.  As you know, I like quirky characters and enjoy dark humor (which I almost spelled “humour”), but there was at least one scene in the book that made me go “oh god” in a way that was not quite laughter.  I did like the book, and while I wouldn’t highly recommend it, I would recommend it.  I suspect that anyone who wanted to read it probably has by now.  It was published in 2007.

And yes, the black-eyed susans continue to bloom in the meadows.
And yes, the black-eyed susans continue to bloom in the meadows.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that the latest film I’ve watched was “Inside Out,” a Disney-PIXAR movie that I loved.  Absolutely loved.  We watched it with our granddaughters when we were in the Bogs.  M and I haven’t had much time for movie watching since we returned home, but we have watched an episode or two of the first season of “Orange is the New Black.”

I think the various mushrooms must have their seasons, too.
I think the various mushrooms must have their seasons, too.  I’ve seen different kinds pop up over the past month or so.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that my novel is slowly coming along.  I finally passed 10,000 words which is not enough for me to get to 50,000 by the end of the month.  Taking a week off for travel and other things put me so far behind that I don’t think it’s probable that I’ll catch up.  I won’t say it’s impossible.  Just not likely.  For one thing, I can’t bear to sit in the office chair — which is not an office chair, but a chair in the office — for more than twenty minutes at a time because it’s very uncomfortable.  Our local Habitat Restore had a good office chair that I considered buying, but I decided against it because the discomfort is what keeps me from spending enormous periods of time at the computer.

A fallen tree in the marsh grasses.
A fallen cedar in the marsh grasses.

Another reason it is unlikely that I’ll finish on time is that we are in the midst of renovating the great room.  You probably noticed the mess in there on your way in.  Between the work I need to do in there and the work I need to do outside while the weather is good, I just don’t have the time to spend writing.  I also have the occasional editing work which I’d rather not do, but it’s the only paying job I have at the moment.

Trees at the edge of the Mysterious Woods.
Trees at the edge of the Mysterious Woods.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would ask:  Does it sound as though I am making excuses?  Yeah, I think so, too.  In my defense, if I need a defense, I have been getting up early to do my writing.  Yesterday I spent a lot of time getting to know my character better instead of on the story itself, and I am not sure how that counts or if it counts when it comes to NaNoWriMo word counts.

The roses are liking the fall weather.
The roses are liking the fall weather.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would move on to some other subject.  Did you notice that most of the trees have finally lost their leaves?  The oaks, of course, are still hanging on, and the sheltered trees still have some leaves.  Today’s winds might take care of whatever is left.  M and I never did get out for our annual leaf peeping tour.  We made plans, but you know what John Lennon sang about that:

Before you cross the street, take my hand.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

I am hoping we will get up to Trap Pond State Park sometime soon to see the Bald Cypress trees in all their autumn finery.  I think it will have to be this weekend.  Otherwise, we might be too late.

The bench by the lagoon. A good place to sit and just be.
The bench by the lagoon. A good place to sit and just be.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would ask if you would like to take a walk through the meadows and to the edge of the woods.  We should avoid going into the woods because of the wind.  I don’t want you to get beaned with a pine cone or a branch or, worse yet, an entire tree.  We have quite a few dead loblolly pines still standing in the woods and you never know when one will come crashing down.

Lacy leaf on log.
Lacy leaf on log.

If we were having coffee, I would guess it might be time for you to go although you are welcome to stay longer if you wish.  Sunsets have been glorious lately.  We could go down to the Point to watch.  It’s at 4:51 PM.  I’m making a sweet potato, black bean, and chipotle chili for dinner, and that should warm us up after our visit to the Point.

Thursday's sunset at the Point.
Thursday’s sunset at the Point.

Thank you so much for visiting.  I hope to stop by your place real soon.

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

Beautiful evening.
Beautiful evening.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

One last look back before going home.
One last look back before going home.

Final thoughts:  I don’t usually discuss world events here, but just want to add that if we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell  you that my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris.  My thoughts and prayers are for and with the people of the world, for the refugees, for all the victims of violence, and for an end to violence.  One can hope, even if it does seem impossible given our history.

May all beings be safe and be allowed to find their home in this world.  May all beings be happy.  May all beings be healthy.  May all beings dwell in peace.

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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.

25 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Still blooming edition

  1. If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I envy that you still have things in bloom. Our nights with temperatures in the mid-20s have discouraged any of the plants that might have been willing to continue sharing their beauty. I would also tell you how much I enjoyed the scenes you presented on our walk – the sunset, especially, was glorious. I chuckled at the “bald cypress in their autumn finery”, because when I read “bald” I immediately thought barren, with no finery whatsoever. The mind paints its own pictures.
    I recently read Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark because I had read nothing of hers before. While her writing is rich, her characters did not grab me and I had difficulty relating to the soaring feelings she was writing about. It took a long time to get through the book – I was conflicted, because I did not want to give up on it, yet I wasn’t certain I cared if the main character was successful. I have just started reading Kate Morton’s The Lake House now.
    I watched the news last night about the attacks in Paris – the world seems to be more and more frightening all the time. How man can perform such horrific acts in the name of their God I do not know.
    And now I thank you for the coffee, but it is time for me to go since I have things that must be done today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol, Carol! I always thought “bald” was a strange name for such beautifully adorned tree, but they do lose their leaves (needles) in the winter which is where the bald part comes in. Before they go bald, the leaves become this amazing shade of gold.

      I tried a Willa Cather book a while ago. I think it was “O, Pioneers!” I couldn’t get into it so I put it away. I’ll try again because I feel like I should read at least one of her books. I think I may have two or three on my bookshelf. Someone gave them to me a while back.

      I don’t understand it, either, and wonder how anyone could believe in a God that would ask such horrific things from them. I’d fire Him. On the spot.

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  2. These pictures are gorgeous!

    As for Christmas items, I’ve been thinking about implementing a no-gift policy. Merriment, yes. Love, of course. Laughter, yes please! But buying gifts now feels like an obligation to appease sellers, not an act of offering to individual friends. The act of giving gifts no longer feels like a self-inspired act, but a shovepushkick coming from outside beneficiaries. No, thank you.

    I’d like to say I’ll start making things, but time is and will remain in short supply till a couple days before Christmas here. I might start leisurely thinking what I’d like to make for next year. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Deborah. 🙂 I love your no-gift policy, and have been considering something similar although for now it is a downsized version. I was never big on the “go for broke” kind of Christmas, anyhow. I would like to make things, too, and have been working towards that when I have time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks glorious there, and I love black bean chili–sweet potato and chipotles are the bonus. If I was in the neighborhood, I’d stop by.
    I’ve honestly have had trouble doing anything last night or today because I keep thinking of Paris. That’s on top of not wanting to do anything simply because it’s November and getting dark at 4:30. I did go to the gym though, and we have some fun weekend plans. Enjoy your weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad to hear you have some fun weekend plans, Merril. It is hard when the days grow this short. I don’t mind too much because I’m a winter person and I’m home most days to enjoy the daylight hours, but my husband doesn’t care for shorter days. Understandable. He goes to work just after the sun comes up and comes home just before it goes down. He doesn’t get to enjoy much sunlight in between except whatever comes in his office window or when he goes out for a walk at lunch.

      Wishing you a good weekend, too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question, Elisa, and good point. 🙂 I joined NaNo because I wanted to give it a try, and I do like the group support and energy. I’m okay with being behind. In fact, I’m okay with taking years to finish if it comes to that. There are days when the writing comes easy, so I write. And there are days when I’d rather be out walking or taking pictures or painting the living room, so I do those things instead. The editing, on the other hand…peh. It’s nice to have a little extra money (which is not really extra because it goes into the renovations), but it’s very dry reading (scientific stuff). I learn a few things here and there, but…meh. Not my thing, really.

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  4. That is one of my oft-used quotes ‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’ It is just so true! I am planning a thoroughly decadent and indulgent Christmas with my two daughters this year – it may be our last all together for a long time and they want to make it memorable. There’s going to be a tree and decorations and food and gifts – everything I haven’t been doing for a number of years now. Strangely I’m enjoying the build up! Perhaps because it is novel and because the people are very special to me. Today I start to make the Christmas Pudding – there is fruit and brandy involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh well, if there is fruit and brandy involved, I’ll be right over, Pauline! lol! Your decadent and indulgent Christmas sounds wonderful. I don’t decorate here at the ranch except to get out the Christmas Lava Lamp. We’re having a New Year’s celebration with our family this year instead of the usual early Christmas. I’m looking forward to it. It’s nice to do something a little different from time to time. 🙂

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  5. Your pictures are absolutely stunning. I actually made a black bean pumpkin chili the other day… gave most of it to my customers and wasn’t smart enough to freeze some chunks of pumpkin – pureed the rest and, well, now I can use it but it won’t be the same. In my neck of the woods, the day after Hallowe’en, there is nary a pumpkin to be found. Dang…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh! That sounds delicious, Dale! We still have pumpkins galore here. I don’t think we have enough people on the Eastern Shore to eat all the pumpkins they grow. I was pumpkin’d out last year. We were part of a CSA, and the farm we joined (or had “shares” in) grew a lot of pumpkins and other orange vegetables in the fall. We ate a lot of sweet potatoes and winter squashes with that pumpkin. I froze a lot of it, too, and I think we just finished the last of the pureed pumpkin a few weeks ago in a Thai-style pumpkin soup.

      Now I’m craving pumpkin pancakes. Maybe I’ll skip down to the local farm market tomorrow and help them get rid of one of their pie pumpkins. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Do report on Trap Pond. I loved A Spot of Bother. The fact that they were so snobbish about the daughters fiancé and he was the only one with any sense. And the moment in the wedding when a guest says, “now that I did not expect.” You might like The Incident of the Dog in the Night better. There’s a rat involved, and a child with Aspergers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will do that (report on Trap Pond), Lisa, if we manage to get there tomorrow. 🙂 It should be a good day to go. We talked about going this afternoon, but it was much too windy. I liked A Spot of Bother, and for some of the reasons you mentioned. I think I was being too realistic when I read it (in regards to depression and suicide) rather than setting aside the realities of life and just enjoying the story. I did read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time a few years ago, and loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. If I was visiting you, I’d be thrilled to see all your flowers still blooming, I miss mine. Did you see The Martian? My hubby and I saw it this week and really enjoyed it, still thinking about it. We went on a crafts tour today and saw some amazing handcrafts, some of which ought to be in museums. It was super cold and blustery today with wind chills in the lower 20s – winter letting us know it is on its way.
    Can’t believe how early sunset is these days, but did you see the nice sickle moon tonight?
    I think your closing thoughts were most beautiful. We must never give up hoping for a brighter tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t seen it yet, but want to, Eliza. It’s playing nearby. I’ll have to see if we can get to it this week.

    I did see the beautiful sickle moon tonight! My husband was outside and called me out to have a look. I’m so glad he did. It’s not nearly as cold here (low of 38 tonight, they say), but it is feeling chillier.

    Thank you. Maybe with enough hope and good thoughts, things will turn around someday. 🙂

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  9. I took Anderson to see Inside Out back when we drove to California. It was his first time at a drive-in movie. He really liked it and so did I. Then his mom and dad took him to see it a couple of weeks ago and we bought it for streaming on Amazon. Then last night I took him to his school for Family Movie Night and that’s what they showed. Can you tell we like it a little bit? It’s one I don’t tire of watching and I learn a little bit more each time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very nice. Beautiful photos as usual. Love mushrooms and love that you captured them. Excuses for writers — well, I’ll tell you, sometimes my house has to be immaculate before I can write a word. 🙂 The leaves aren’t completely off here yet. Almost! I would totally go for a walk to see these lovely scenes where you are!

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for visiting me today.

    Sending light and love and peace to all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Daisy, and thank you. 🙂 I laughed when I read your comment about your house having to be immaculate for you can write. I took care of things like that in the days before NaNo started just to be sure I didn’t have that excuse. Unfortunately, the house doesn’t stay clean for the entire month so the excuse keeps coming back. lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. If we were visiting, I’d find it difficult to sit. I’d want to wander through the mysterious trees, view all of the fallen leaves and say ‘Hello’ to each and every flower. Hopefully, my tea would stay warm enough to enjoy while viewing the sunset. I took glorious pleasure in my visit here today. I’m sure that counts as having done something really special this week. Thank you for posting.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Isadora, for both your lovely comment and your visit. I’m sure the flowers would appreciate all of those hello’s, and I know your tea would stay warm because I’d be sure to keep it in a warm place for you while you wander through the mysterious trees. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I want to tell you I truly enjoy all of your blog posts! You have such a nice way with words and your photos are wonderful. I especially like the rose buds (I’m so jealous! Mine are long gone) and the second sunset picture — the one with the feathery pale pink clouds.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about NaNo if I were you. It is supposed to be a fun activity, not burdensome. If it makes me feel frantic, I just take a day or two off. But I am a full time writer and I write every day (even most weekends) so it hasn’t been too bad for me yet!

    Here and there in my part of the U.S. in especially well landscaped yards, there are trees that look like evergreens, but turn orangy-yellow and drop their needles in the fall. I’ve never know what variety they are, so I’ll be interested to compare if you do visit the Bald Cypress trees. Thank you for your beautiful soothing words at the end of your post. The events of this weekend have troubled me, and like you, I never post about politics or world events, but I felt compelled to do so in my own weekend coffee share after Friday. It is a real lift to read some words of comfort and hope. I believe there are many, many more good people in the world than bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Nooce, for your wonderful comment. I believe the same thing about there being more good people in the world than bad. At least that’s been my experience so far. The trees you mention do sound like Bald Cypress trees. I did get out yesterday to see the cypress trees, but I was late and most have already dropped their needles. I did find one that was hadn’t completely shed yet and will post that when I post about my hike so you’ll have something to compare with your neighborhood trees.

      As for NaNo, it is mostly fun. I think I might be missing out on some of the fun parts by concentrating on my own writing and not taking part in all the other activities and support they offer. There are no write-ins in my area, but I could be playing around with the word sprints and other things they do via Twitter. Time is such a big factor, but it would do me good to play. 🙂

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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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