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If we were having coffee: At home on Sunday edition

Gathering
Gathering

What you encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation.

When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.

~ John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

Near Strasburg, Pennsylvania.
Near Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

If we were having coffee, tea, or any of a wide array of other beverages available here at the ranch, I would be thrilled to see you again.  Hugs if you’re amenable to them.  Come on in!  I apologize for being a day late this week, but as you will soon find out, it’s been a somewhat busy week that included travel.  Let’s grab something to drink and go out to the deck where M and I have put out some chairs.  You won’t need a jacket, or at least I don’t think you will.  It is sunny and 70°F.  We can watch the finches and the bluebirds who, just this morning, rediscovered the bird bath.   I’ll bring something to nosh on, too.  Do you like shoofly pie?  We brought one home from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where we just spent a few days celebrating Christmas with family.  We’ll also have fresh bread soon.  M is baking some today and judging by the scent coming out of the kitchen, it won’t be much longer before he pulls it out of the oven, and we can break some off and slather it with butter or raspberry preserves.  Or both.  Or none, if you’ve had enough of the usual overindulgence that occurs this time of year.

Waiting at the light. Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania.
Waiting at the light. Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania.

How are you?  How were your holidays (if, that is, you celebrated any holidays)?  Was Santa good to you?  Did you visit with family and/or friends?  Travel anywhere to be with family and/or friends?  Or maybe travel somewhere just to get away from all the hoopla?  Have you read any good books or watched any good films?

Left turn.
Left turn.

I finished reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  It was a fast, entertaining read which was pretty much what I was expecting from Stephen King.  I moved on to In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, a psychological thriller that made a few “best of” lists back in August.  It was also a fast, entertaining read.  The main characters were a little on the immature side for me (although it’s possible the immaturity might have been half the point ), and the story was somewhat predictable, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.  It was a good book to read while traveling in the car, and I was able to start and finish during our trip there and back.

Set for Christmas dinner.
Set for Christmas dinner.

If we were having coffee, you might wonder where “there” is (or was, but it still “is” so “was” hardly seems appropriate).  M and I went north to Lancaster County and environs, Pennsylvania, to have Christmas dinner with his family.  It was practically a family reunion.  The only folks missing from the immediate family were our children and grandchildren who were otherwise engaged over Christmas.  We will be seeing them soon for a late Christmas gathering and an on-time New Year celebration.  The trip was quick, fun, and relatively easy.  No major traffic problems there or back.  It was nice to spend time with everyone, especially those we haven’t seen in a while.  The food and conversation and company were all good.

It was a dark, damp, and foggy morning.
When I went out for my walk this morning it was dark, damp, and foggy.  This picture was taken around 8:40 AM.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that M and I went to see the new Stars Wars film, The Force Awakens.  We saw it at an IMAX theater in 3D, and it was very entertaining.  I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone so I won’t say too much about it other than I thought Adam Driver was a strange pick to play Kylo Ren.  Not that he wasn’t good in the role, but his appearance didn’t seem to match that of his character’s parents.  At any rate, it was fun and that, I think, was the whole point of going.

Rosemary in the scrounger's garden. I'm not sure, but I think there is some new growth on there.
Rosemary in the scrounger’s garden. I’m not sure, but I think there is some new growth on there.

If we were having coffee or tea or something else, I would tell you that that M and I had a quiet and lovely gift-exchange celebration on Christmas Eve eve here at home.  M gave me a beautiful piece of artwork that I had admired at a summer art fair we attended.  It was a wonderful surprise.  I want to hang it in the (home) office once we get the room renovated and painted.  I plan to get started on the office tomorrow.  I still have some art supplies that need to be sorted through and either organized or given away.  Then it will be time to open the boxes that have been piled up in there since we moved in.  The office has been a catch-all area for boxes of books that I wasn’t sure where to put.  Some, I think, will be donated, but I have to go through them first.  Once the room is organized, repaired, and painted, I will rename it the office/creativity room.  Or something along those lines.  Any suggestions?  It’s currently the room where I write, blog, and process my photos.  I hope to clear off the art desk enough that it will also be a good place to draw and work on mandalas.

Sage.
Sage.

As for what I gave M, it was something I made for him.  I photographed one of the mandalas I drew and colored, and had it printed on glass.  The finished product came out above and beyond my expectations.  It’s so beautiful that I’m thinking about doing a series of them.  Let’s get the office/creativity room finished first.  Too many projects will mean nothing gets done.

Lavender.
Lavender.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is a joy to see the sun again.  We’ve been in fog, rain, and under cloud cover for quite a while.  When I went out for my morning walk today, the fog was fairly heavy and there was a constant misty rain that at times became a little heavier.  I thought for sure the weather folks had gotten it wrong and that we’d have another rainy day, but by noon the fog had lifted and most of the clouds had moved out.  It’s lovely outside now, and even the birds seem to be celebrating the return of the sun.

Foggy view from the dock early this morning.
Foggy view from the dock this morning.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the warm weather is confusing the plants, the animals, and probably the people.  We finally saw flocks of snow geese here on the Eastern Shore.  They were in some farm fields we passed on our way home yesterday.  In the garden, we will have more broccoli soon.  After harvesting it last week, the plants sent out side shoots which are almost ready to cut off and cook.  There are plenty of broccoli greens, too.  I made chips from some of the greens today.  Just roast them the way you would kale.  Add some salt and pepper, and voila!  Broccoli green chips.  They are crunchy and tasty.  I like them better than kale chips.  I read somewhere recently that broccoli greens are the new kale so I imagine you will see them in your local grocery store soon.

Kale and onions are doing well still, too, and I will be pulling up some onions and picking kale when I go out for my afternoon stroll.

Mossy.
Mossy.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would suggest we go ahead and take a walk since it is so beautiful outside right now.  The clouds will be returning tomorrow, and then the rain will follow on Tuesday and Wednesday.  After that, more seasonable temperatures (highs in the 40’s and lows in the 20’s and 30’s) will be hanging around for a while.  We can stay on the high paths when we walk or, if you brought some good boots or wellies, make our way around the meadows and to the edge of the marsh.  We got about two inches or more of rain this past week and although the ground drains fairly well and fast, it’s still squishy and puddly in spots.

Splashing around.
Splashing around.

If we were having coffee, I would thank you for visiting with me today.  I always enjoy our coffee chats, and hope you do too.  Stay for sunset if you like.  It might be a good evening to go down to the Point to watch it.  It’s at 4:50 PM.  We can watch for the bald eagles while we’re there.  I’ve seen two of them here at the ranch today, and we usually spot at least one near the water or on the Eagle Tree when we go to the Point during the winter months.

Getting a little crowded.
Getting a little crowded.

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

Splish splash goes the finch.
Splish splash goes the finch.

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.

weekendcoffeeshare

 

 

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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.

20 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: At home on Sunday edition

  1. Sounds like a lovely, relaxing holiday. I feel as though those are sorely underrated these days, when there’s so much hustle and bustle and comings and goings.

    I’ve seen The Force Awakens twice at this point, and though I enjoyed it, I suppose I will always have a soft spot for the original trilogy. I agree about Adam Driver—thought he did fine with the part but was an odd casting choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If we were having coffee, I would tell you how my body loves your temperatures – I am already growing weary of snow and cold. I would share with you that our Christmas Day was cold outside, but the warmth of the presence of friends and my Kat being here for dinner was wonderful. There was, as there always is, far too much food and we will be eating leftovers for awhile. I would wish you a wonderful New Year’s Christmas with the part of your family that was not there for your Christmas Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The bird with wings spread is so lovely. We’ve had grey for days – rain now with big storms arriving – wishing the wild winds far from all. It has been a rough 24 hours in TX. We had monarch butterflies two days ago – hope they’ve either found a sheltered spot or ridden the winds on south to warmth. It will be very cold this week.
    Lancaster area is so lovely and such a joy to visit.
    Safe travels home for all!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Perfection. Hustle and bustle are highly overrated, I say. Gorgeous pictures, as usual. I just love your eye, your processing, the finished product (would love to have seen the mandala on glass…)
    Happy New Year, Robin!

    Like

  5. I hope your sunshine is headed our way. I am getting tired of the rainy, cloudy, misty days—but I do love your foggy photos. Your Christmas sounds perfect–quiet time, family time, and a movie.
    I would love a piece of the fresh baked bread with some jam. I always think I should love Shoo-fly pie, but I really do not. Sad.
    We’re exchanging gifts with daughter and son-in-law and having cheese fondue tonight! I think there will be mulled wine, as well, and Christmas cookies, of course. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As I write this, we are on a watch for winter mix weather for the next three days. If it arrives today, I think it will because there are reports of it not far from here, it won’t stick…too warm. But, tomorrow the temps drop for the next few days. So we might have a little stick. We haven’t had any this winter yet so it would be okay.

    I haven’t made it to Lancaster County so I love seeing pictures of it. Your trip for the holiday sounds so peaceful and traditional. Yay!

    I have a suggestion…since it’s the creativity room, how about calling it the Spark Room?

    I got duplicate PrismaColor pencils for Christmas for my coloring books so I think I might return one and get a mandala coloring book. I used to have a website I used for downloading them for coloring but they are now a pay site so I would like a book to get me started and maybe make my own.

    Have a super week!

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  7. Belated Christmas greetings to you and M. Sounds like a lovely holiday and I’m sure it will continue as the rest of your family joins you. I love the idea of a creativity room/slash office.

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  8. Oh my. Bluebirds, eagles, fresh bread, thoughtful gifts exchanged, family reunion, and a bit of sun. Sounds like a perfectly lovely holiday! I’m glad. Also I would TASTE the pickled kale…but am not sure (at all) that it would be something I’d like…what do you do with it after it’s pickled?

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  9. Glad you had a nice Christmas with family. Lancaster County, PA is an interesting place to visit with the Amish and English living side by side. It must be getting more crowded there and hopefully, motor vehicles respect the horse drawn. It must be harder than ever to live in the modern, hi-tech world.
    Happy to read the sun is setting later, minute by minute!
    Love your bluebird photos, they are stunningly beautiful. 🙂

    Like

  10. I simply loved the O’Donohue quote. How marvelous! And that bluebird with his wings fully extended—my goodness, that is beautiful. The house finch, on the other hand, looks like he’s just about drowned himself by the last picture! Our Christmas was lovely and simple this year, and I have been enjoying spending several days with my husband. It’s so nice to have him at home—he’s been traveling so much lately for his business. I’m getting ready to read Bats of the Republic. It’s an unusual novel with maps, diagrams, pamphlets and a novel within a novel in it. Visually it’s amazing. Once I read it, I’ll let you know how it is. I enjoyed your photos of Lancaster County. It’s so nice you got to see your extended family. I hope you have a nice time at your late-Christmas gathering and New Years with the rest of your family!

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  11. Mmmmm….fresh baked bread, what a treat! We are still eating left-overs from Christmas dinner ~ ham, pork and turkey. We had nine here in total on Christmas day and have enjoyed a quiet time at home since.

    The name that came to my mind when you described your office/creativity room was very basic, it sounds like “Robin’s Room” to me, but you are probably looking for a more creative name than that. Regardless, it sounds like it will be the room in the house where you will continue to spend a lot of time, so the main thing is to have all of your favorite things in there. 🙂

    Any chance we might see the gift you gave to M? Such a thoughtful gift, and I’m sure he will treasure it for many years to come.

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  12. What a lovely week you’ve had! We’ve had the freaky temperatures around here too, until today (Tuesday) as I’m reading this. I had a poppy start growing in my perennial bed! It is now a mix of rain/snow/sleet/mushy-wet-stuff. It is hard to get used to what is the normal temperatures for December again. I’d love to see a picture of your glass mandala. I’m checking out your book list too – I received a new Kindle for Christmas (my old one was acting wonky) and I’m looking for good books to load it up with.

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  13. I loved your photos, especially of the little blue birds and the tree skeleton in the fog. I’ve come to a grinding halt after Christmas and have plunged into a state of suspended animation. That said, I’ve been trying to get things in order at home so we can start the New Year off with a clean slate. Both my kids start new schools and it’s going to be a huge adjustment…even the car has known the way and they’ve been at the same school for 5 years. Now my son starts high school and my daughter goes into a selective class quite a distance away.
    We have actually made good progress and have got about 15 photo frames up and have about the same to go. Plus the inevitable trips to the thrift shops and moving stuff onto cousins etc. Thank goodness for cousins! We might be able to move around here again soon!
    Thanks for the coffee!
    Happy New Year!
    xx Rowena

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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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