Posted in A bit of history, Art, Books, Critters, Dreams, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Gifts, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, WeekendCoffeeShare, Winter

If we were having coffee: First coffee chat of 2016 edition

Belted Kingfisher sunbathing. (This is not a great picture -- it was taken through a dirty window -- but it's very difficult to catch a kingfisher and I'm always happy when I can.
Female Belted Kingfisher sunbathing. (This is not a great picture — it was taken through a dirty window. and I don’t know what’s going on around her eye (something is make it look larger than usual) — but it’s very difficult to catch a kingfisher and I’m always happy when I can.

In Greek mythology there is a legend of a woman by the name of Halcyone and her husband Ceyx.  Shortly after their wedding, Ceyx had to make a voyage.  A storm arose during the voyage, and Ceyx was drowned.  Every day that he was gone, Halcyone walked the shores of the beaches, longing for her husband.  After several months, the body of her husband washed ashore.

Halcyone was so filled with grief that she threw herself into the ocean.  The gods were moved by her love and grief, and she and her husband were turned into kingfishers.  They rose out of the ocean and flew off happily into the blue skies.  It was declared that the seas would be calm and the sun would shine for seven days before and seven days after the shortest day of the year.  This time came to be known as the halcyon days.  Today, all sunlit days upon the water are considered halcyon days.

~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

Fairy lights on the water.
Fairy lights on the water.

If we were having coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, or some other beverage, I would be happy to see you again.  Come on in!  It seems like it’s been a long time although I think it’s only been two weeks.  Time gets weird over the holidays.  It speeds by, yet seems to go on forever.  Hugs if you’re amenable.  Otherwise, a nod or a handshake or whatever you’re comfortable accepting.

Posing.
Posing.

Let’s grab our drinks and have a seat in the living room.  It’s not too bad outside (high near 60 today), but it’s overcast and that puts a damper on things.  The weather folks say rain will be visiting us tomorrow with bright, sunny, chilly weather to follow.  We’ll have more seasonable temperatures which will be good.  We need the cold to help balance things out.  There are even some snow showers in the forecast for later in the week, but you know how that goes.  Weather forecasts are good guesses at best.  We’ll just have to wait and see what develops.

I’ll be sipping on tea, as usual.  I have a Greek mountain tea that is really tasty.  It smells like sage and the first sip or two brings the taste of sage to the tongue, but then it does this amazing thing and changes into a sweet, tea-like flavor.  Would you like to try some?  There is also some walnut cake.  Actually, they’re cake pops and telling you how they became cake pops instead of the usual cake is a long story (and a way of salvaging an almost cake disaster), but suffice it to say they are delicious.  Help yourself if you’re not dieting or haven’t given up sugar for the new year.

It was frosty and cold earlier this week.
It was frosty and cold earlier this week.

How are you?  How were your holidays (if you celebrated any holidays)?  Did you visit with family and/or friends?  Travel anywhere?  Stay home and have a quiet time?  Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?   Or have you resolved not to resolve?  Have you taken any good walks?  Read any good books or seen any good films?

Winter clouds are layered.
Winter clouds are layered.

I finally got around to moving my 2015 book list to the 50 Books Project page.  The grand total for 2015 was 38 books which is not bad.  Someone once chastised me for assigning a number to the books I read, saying that challenging oneself to read a certain number of books has the potential to take the fun out of reading and might make one inclined to read certain easy books (fluff and brain candy) just to meet the challenge.  I told him that the number is arbitrary and frankly, I don’t care if I “win” my own challenge.  I do it because it’s fun and interesting, and because it keeps me on the reading track (which I sometimes fall off of if I get busy doing Other Things).

The comfy chair. Photo taken in 2012 at Breezy Acres (when we lived in the Bogs.)
The comfy chair. Photo taken in 2012 at Breezy Acres (when we lived in the Bogs.)

Winter, I think, is a fine time for curling up with a book.  Honestly, I think any season is a fine time for reading, but winter does seem to present more time and opportunities.  My favorite place to read is sitting in the comfy chair in the living room because it truly is a comfy chair.  It’s just the right size for me.  I can, if I want, put my feet on the floor.  Being a person of short stature (“I’m not short, I’m fun sized!”), it’s nice to have a chair that allows me to comfortably place my feet on the floor if, that is, I want to put my feet on the floor.  Usually I sit crossed-legged which my Granny used to say was bad for the knees.  I feel it more in my hips than my knees so I don’t do it for too long these days.  I pull over the ottoman when it’s time to shift positions and put my feet up if I’m going to be there a while.

Winter sunset in the marsh grasses.
Winter sunset in the marsh grasses.

Over my little break, I started and finished reading The Juniper Tree: And Other Tales from Grimm.  The stories are bizarre, and Maurice Sendak’s illustrations are equally bizarre, fitting for the stories.  I bought the book way back in 1992 for M the Younger.  As many mothers do with their children, I used to read with my youngest son when he was young.  If I recall correctly, he was not much interested in fairy tales at that stage of his life so we didn’t read more than one, maybe two, of the tales.  He was in the third grade and reading Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, a book much more exciting for a boy who loved dinosaurs.  M the Younger started reading at a young age, was a very good reader, and his teachers suggested allowing him to read adult books (not “adult” in the X-rated sense, of course).  We did continue to read together that year, including books such as The Secret Garden, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Did you know The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was, according to the American Library Association, the fifth most challenged (as being inappropriate) book in the U.S. school system during the 1990’s?  I suspect that’s why we read it.  In case they banned it from school.  I’m not a fan of banning books.  A possible banning was not the only reason, of course.  We were living in St. Louis at the time, and since we weren’t all that far from Hannibal, Missouri, the setting for Huck’s and Tom’s adventures, we took a trip there after reading the book.

Still, but never still.
Still, but never still.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been a quiet week.  M and I traveled so much over the holidays and spent too many nights not sleeping in our own bed.  It’s nice to spend time at home and not have to go anywhere or do anything.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love spending time with family.  But all the travel involved, and the hotel rooms, can make it exhausting.

Fairy lights in the marsh.
Fairy lights in the marsh and woods.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that although I missed doing my usual retrospective on the blog, I have done a little musing about 2015 in my head now that things are settling down.  2015 brought about some interesting times, and now that I look back on it, I am grateful for the things I saw as negative when they were occurring.  The problems with my health led to unexpected changes, and things I spent decades working hard to accomplish have been happening slowly and almost effortlessly.  I’ve lost 26 pounds, but more than that, I’ve dumped some heavy baggage I didn’t realize I was carrying around.  Ancient stuff, some of which I had buried so deep I had forgotten about it.  Even better, I have felt myself to be in a safe space to explore my inner world.  Much of this safe exploration began after Dana gave me the gift of a free session of coaching with her, and I am thankful to her for getting things started and for all her follow-up.  If you’re interested in energy healing, intuitive or oracle readings, check out Dana’s website for more information.

Caught in a dream.
Caught in a dream.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I am still drawing a mandala every day.  My little sketchbook has become a mandala journal of sorts, visually chronicling the days.  A few people asked about the print on glass I had made for M as a Christmas gift.  I took some photos.  They don’t really do it justice, and I’d have been better off hanging it and capturing the light through it, but M has taken it to work and hung it in his office window so this will have suffice:

Mandala on glass.
“My heart expanded.”  Mandala on glass.  The hole at the top is so it can be hung in a window or as an ornament.

I made it by first drawing and coloring the mandala, then photographing it and editing it in various editing programs (Photoshop, Picasa, and/or Pixlr are the three I usually use).  I combined the image of the mandala with one of my photographs of clouds, and I’m not sure but I probably played with the colors as well.  I’ve had a couple more mandalas with different designs printed on glass disks just to see if the first was a lucky fluke, and I am surprised at how lovely they turned out.  I had no idea you could get photos printed on glass, and now that I know, I’m looking into doing it more often and at a reasonable price.

Sunlight plays in the woods.
Sunlight plays in the woods.

If we were having coffee or tea or something else, I would ask if you’d like to take a walk with me.  Since you arrived, the sky has cleared.  It is sunny and warm, and we probably shouldn’t waste this gift by sitting indoors.  We can go explore the meadows, the edge of the marsh, and check out the trails in the woods before going out to the dock to watch the sunlight sparkle on the water.

Flipping a reflection.
Flipping a reflection.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that there isn’t much else for me to ramble on about since it was such a laid-back week.  Thank you so much for visiting today and joining me for another coffee chat.  As always, I enjoyed it.  After we take that walk, feel free to stick around for a while.  I don’t know what will happen at sunset, but if it looks good, we can head down to the Point.  I haven’t been down there for a while and it will be nice to look out over the water and take a short walk on the beach.  Sunset is at 5:00 PM.  Isn’t it wonderful to see the days grow a little longer?

Winter is a good time for capturing light.
Winter is a good time for capturing light.

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

A peaceful evening.
A peaceful 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.

weekendcoffeeshare

Advertisements

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.

32 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: First coffee chat of 2016 edition

  1. Thank you for the visit too. I love your chair. I have a reading chair too though I seldom actually read in it. I wonder why that is. I did not know you could print on glass either…your art is beautiful and is stunning in the sun I’m sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn. 🙂 I didn’t use my reading chair, either, until we moved here. Somehow it is more conveniently located than it was at our place in Ohio. Or maybe it’s the light.

      Like

  2. I’ve enjoyed having a tea with you today. Peppermint. It is amazing the books that have either been banned or have had a campaign to ban them. I can only speak of Australia but in the sixties in particular many books were banned that I wonder at the minds of those who make the decisions as I would never read into the book what they did. Happy reading and drawing. Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Irene. I’m glad you could stop by. 🙂 Peppermint is a good choice as I always have some on hand. I wonder, too, what makes people think what they think when it comes to banning books.

      Like

  3. Nice catching up and seeing your beautiful photos. How creatively clever of you to put a mandala and photo together on glass, such a unique and personal gift.
    I’m thrilled that the days are growing longer… only 3 wks to a 10-hr. day, woo-hoo!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you posted the picture of the mandala you gifted M. I was very curious but failed to ask. It is beautiful and one can only imagine what it looks like in the window!

    I’ve always been interested in mandalas but have only ever made one. I had a worksheet as part of a writing project that had us draw the mandala about our personal history. Then we transferred them to large tag board and colored them. We then used them to create a list of our own authentic writing prompts! It was a fun project but it left me wanting to explore mandalas! I’ll have to do that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As always, I love looking at your photos. The bokeh in the “Fairy lights in the marsh and woods” picture is incredibly beautiful. Large aperture?

    Our holidays were calm and relaxing, but I’m sorry they’re over because now Mr. M is back to traveling a bunch for business. Last week I read Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer. It was unusual – it takes the form of two young women writing letters back and forth to each other. I liked it, but then I like most fantasy books if they are well written, especially if they have magic in them. I hope you have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Nooce. 🙂 Not terribly large. f 5.6 so on the largish end bordering on medium.

      You read the most interesting books! I’m building a reading list from what you’ve read. I like most fantasy, too, with the same caveat.

      Like

  6. I really like the mandala with the birds. And the one you gave M reminds me of the Pennsylvania Dutch ‘hex’ signs hung on barns when I was a child. I’m glad you’re feeling good after the turbulence of 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 M said the same thing about PA Dutch “hex” signs. He grew up in Lancaster County, and we have always had one to hang outdoors on the barn or shed or just outside our door. M is trying to talk me into making hex signs, or at least my variation of them. I’m looking into it, but I think I prefer putting the images on glass.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The story of the Ki gfisfer was fun to read. Your photo could better by cropping it. As a,small child I panic seeinghe mov Huck Finn when Becky was left in the cave. My Mother had to take from the theater. A good reason to banned it. Iam not a fan of banning books and movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I always enjoy catching up with your week! Thank you for the walnut cake pops. I love the glass mandala you made for your husband.
    I did know that about Huckleberry Finn. I’m also very much against banning books. I always let my kids read whatever they wanted to read. When my older daughter wanted to read The Diary of Anne Frank at a young age, I said OK, but I told her that I wanted to discuss it with her because there might be some things she didn’t understand or would be upset about. Of course my own books and research were always lying about the house. . .:) My husband and I loved our reading aloud time to the girls–it became a family time when we got to longer books, such as the Narnia books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I was the same way with my children, letting them read whatever interested them. We had a reading-aloud family time, too, although we mostly did it at the beginning of December with the annual reading of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Then on Christmas Eve we would watch a movie version of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. If we were having coffee, I would tell you how lovely the Mandala you made for M is, and what a wonderful gift it made! My daughter has done mandalas and zentangling and does both very well. The closest I come is coloring in the adult coloring books I bought a few weeks ago, but there is a satisfaction in that too.
    My holidays were very nice with daughter here, missing son who is making some changes in his life right now and could not be with us. We had the neighborhood Christmas dinner at our house, a lovely afternoon with loved ones.
    A few years ago, I resolved not to resolve because my resolve never lasts very long. I am very good at telling myself what I should do, but my follow-up leaves much to be desired.
    I have two chairs in my home that are where you very often will find me – a smaller but comfy one in the morning room beside my window, one of a pair that was given to me by a friend and now desperately need slipcovering. I have the fabric, a natural canvas, and I have cut out two pieces but find myself hesitating. It has been many years since I have done this kind of thing and I am somewhat intimidated by lack of a pattern. The other chair is my oversized recliner in the family room – my reading/nap chair in the afternoons and my tv watching/reading/gameplaying/knitting/coloring chair in the evenings.
    I thank you for the sage tea, it was very nice, and for the company which I always enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol. 🙂 I enjoyed our chat, as always. My daughter-in-law gave me an adult coloring book when she was out here over the summer, and I think that may have been the start of my interest in mandalas.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely photos, as always. 🙂

    You just reminded me of Banned Books Week, which is something that the American Library Association does annually to raise awareness about censorship by talking about how and why books get challenged and banned. It’s a fun event. Sendak’s books sometimes make those lists, too, because his illustrations are so shocking somehow, and his stories not without their darker sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am just getting back to blogging after the holidays, too. Time was warped, and went by at warp speed, and now things return to normal. Well, except for the 65 degree temps today. Taking a walk in the sunshine sounds good. It’s supposed to be cold again tomorrow. Will winter and spring ever stop duking it out? Who will win?

    Lovely photos as always.

    Happy new year!
    ~Tara

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A lovely coffee chat once again. The mandala on glass is really nice! Weird temps here too but I am thankful because it has been raining hard – I shudder to think how much snow it would have been had it been colder!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello! I’m late to the coffee/tea party, as usual, but I’m happy the kettle is still on. I have been enjoying a decadent tea ‘latte’ every morning for months now. I alternate between rooibos chai and hazelnut Teaccino, and then I whiz it in a blender with some raw cacao butter, hemp seeds, collagen powder, and MCT oil. DELICIOUS!! It froths and foams right up, keeps me full for 2-3 hours afterward, and is seriously the best part of waking up. 🙂 DELICIOUS!

    I have been reading science-y books these days– chock full of research on intention, perception, and energy. So fascinating! I just finished reading a book called “Frequency” by Penney Peirce, and now I’m 3/4 of the way through “The Intention Experiment” by Lynn McTaggart. Neither of these books are easy or cozy reads, but I’ve been enthralled by them nonetheless. (Must be the former academic in me lapping all of these stats and science facts up!)

    Otherwise, I have been keeping myself occupied watching Game of Thrones DVDs (we are only on Season 4 and don’t have HBO/any cable, so we’re always at least a season behind). We are also making our house into a home– finally putting decorations and artwork on the walls, and oh yes! We just finished making a ‘meditation room’ in the house, so for the first time EVER, we have a whole (small) room dedicated to meditation. Super exciting. 🙂

    Like

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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s