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If we were having coffee: It’s been a long week

Goddess of Mercy
Goddess of Mercy

“Gain strength. Suck up energy. Make a point of appreciating the fragrance of the flowers and the beauty of the sunset. It is like armor. When you take a moment to practice my message you can then be armed with an ability to be detached. One is meant to forgive, to forgive and be compassionate.”~Kuan Yin”

~ Hope Bradford, Oracle of Compassion: The Living Word of Kuan Yin

Hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate.

If we were having coffee, I would be delighted to see you again.  Come on in!  It’s a little chilly outside today, isn’t it?  It’s somewhere near the average for this time of year.  In the mid-40’s.  The wind, of course, makes it feel colder.  It has been very breezy here the past few days.

Let’s have a seat in the living room today where the wood stove and the sunlight will keep us warm and cozy.  We have the usual assortment of beverages — coffee (caff and decaff), tea (black, green, and a wide assortment of herbals), hot chocolate, hot cider, and sparkling and still water.  As for snacks, there’s hummus and pita (as always), and chips and salsa.

Bumper stickers.
Bumper stickers.

How are you?  What have you been up to since we last got together for coffee?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Seen or experienced anything new?  Read any good books or seen any good films?

I’m reading a very techy sci-fi book, The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson.  The book has made it past my 50 Page Rule (if I can’t get into it within the first 50 pages, I give up and donate or give away the book), but just barely.  I can’t figure out if I’m interested in the story or not.  It’s a difficult read for me because of all the technical concepts.  The story itself is interesting (which, at this point, seems to revolve around subversion) so I will probably keep slogging along for a while.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Or get worse?  (The one in the lower left that’s in shadow reads:  “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” and the one above “Shoot the Traitors!” is “Fascism: Concentrated Private Control of Wealth, Control of Information, Massive Investment/Manufacture of arms and military equipment, suppression of labor movements…Sound familiar??”)

As for films, tonight M and I will be watching Mr. Holmes with Ian McKellen and Laura Linney.  During the week we have been watching a Canadian series, Orphan Black.  We’re only three or four episodes into Season 1, and it’s been really good so far.  I enjoyed last week’s viewing of Far From the Madding Crowd.  Carry Mulligan was wonderful as Bathsheba Everdene.  M, who has not read the book, found it a little confusing.  I think that’s because the ending was somewhat rushed.

Ain't no time to hate.
Your ignorance is their power.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that in addition to the online course (“Making Sense of the News”), I am taking a course at a local college.  It’s a Boating Skills & Seamanship course taught by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  We meet on Thursday evenings for a couple of hours, and it’s been interesting so far.  I enjoy the classes much more than I do reading the textbook.  When I finish, and if I past the test, I’ll have a certificate to show for it that will get us a discount on insurance if we decide to buy a boat.

Part of an exhibit at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Part of an exhibit at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Since arriving here on the Eastern Shore, M has been looking for a used boat within our price range.  Since I  know absolutely nothing about boating other than what I learned so we could take up kayaking, I decided I should take a course.  When I mentioned that it’s a local college, you should keep in mind that local around here means about an hour’s drive from the ranch.  Not only have I been enjoying the class, but it’s nice to get out and about with other people, and explore a new town and the restaurants in that town where I’ve already had some really yummy food.

Close to sunset.
Close to sunset.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the bathroom renovation is not yet complete.  Although we were told it would only take two visits to complete, the guys have been out here three days this week.  There have been several glitches, but I have no complaints about what has been finished or about the men that have been doing the work.  The glitches come from up above, so to speak.  Those in charge don’t know enough about their products to be sure they are meeting the needs of their clients.  As usual, we ended up doing the research for them and coming up with products that satisfied us and our needs/wants.

Blowin' in the wind.
Blowin’ in the wind.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that the renovation work has kept me inside for the three days they were working on the bathroom.  I have to be available if they have questions (and they always have questions) so I have not been getting outside for the usual long walks.  Since the workers won’t be back for at least another week or two, I should be able to resume my usual walks with camera in hand.  I have been keeping myself to the property when I go out for walks.  The neighbors are still displaying their signs from the last election and although I’m probably reading too much into it, it feels like they are gloating.  I would be feeling shame by now if I had been displaying DT signage in my front yard.

Reflections at the edge of the pond.
Reflections at the edge of the pond.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that between the renovation and all that is happening in this country, it has been a very long week.  So much has been happening that I find myself feeling stunned by the end of the day.  This has led to me finally doing something that I’ve been threatening to do for at least a year or two.  I am suspending my Facebook account tonight.  I couldn’t quite bring myself to burn that bridge completely by deleting my account.  The main reason I haven’t acted on it up until now is because so many of our local businesses use Facebook rather than have their own websites so it has been a necessary evil when looking up business hours, menus, contact information, or in the case of seasonal businesses, the dates they will be open.

Sunset clouds.
Sunset clouds.

It isn’t all bad on Facebook, but the constant barrage of news stories brought to me on my news feed has become too much for my sanity.  My plan is to unplug completely for a day or two each week.  No computer, no phone, no television.  Just me and nature and long, long walks to strengthen my body, my mind, and my spirit.  In between, I will stay informed, I will make phone calls, I will send postcards.  I was somewhat pleased to note yesterday that many of our representatives are so overwhelmed with phone calls that they are asking us to email or write letters or send postcards.  I printed out the postcards from the Women’s March (10 Actions/100 Days), and the first one is going out today.

There is so much going on that it has been difficult to hone in on just a few causes that are most important to me.  In addition to subscribing to action updates from those causes, I will donate what and when I can.  I have a new book list, books about resistance, books about feminism, books about love.  I’m reading a few new blogs here and there.  If you know of any good blogs that cover the topics of resistance, feminism, and love, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Yesterday, out on the dock at sunset.
Yesterday, out on the dock at sunset.

This morning I read Katrina Kenison’s latest blog post, Activism for Introverts.  There is a lovely blessing at the end.  If you don’t have time for the entire post, please take the time to read the blessing.  We could all use a good blessing these days.

Beautiful light and colors.
Beautiful light and colors.

Move through your day with love. Make it a conscious intention. Put your socks on with love. Make your coffee with love. Read the paper with love. Check your email with love. See strangers with love. Sweep the cat hair off your couch with love. Push the elevator button with love. Fold your laundry with love. Watch the news with love. Make time for love. Make love your art.

~John Clement

A sun pillar forming.
A sun pillar forming.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that it’s time for me to go.  M and I have some hard work to do outside today.  We’re moving the trunks of the trees that were cut down when the meadow was mowed.  It will be good exercise, and hopefully will help us both rest better tonight.

This is the first sun pillar I've seen this winter. It hasn't been cold enough for them.
This is the first sun pillar I’ve seen this winter. It hasn’t been cold enough for them.

If we were having coffee, I would turn this over to you now.  Thank you so much for dropping in for another coffee chat.  I always enjoy your company.  Feel free to stick around.  You’re welcome to rest and enjoy the warmth indoors or, if you’re feeling ambitious, come on out and help us haul around some wood.  Stay for dinner, too.  We’re having a starter of lentil soup and an entree of chickpea burgers on pita with tzatziki sauce.  Sunset might be colorful tonight.  It’s at 5:22 PM, and I’m going to head over to the Point to watch it this evening.  It will probably be windy so bundle up if you’re going to join me.

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

Goodnight, sun.
Goodnight, sun.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it. 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.

 

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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.

30 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: It’s been a long week

  1. I am Facebook-free, 575 days and counting. For a time, I did have an account, that no one I knew, knew about, to keep up with businesses, etc., like you said, but I decided I could all if I needed to know something.

    I’m exhausted by all this presidential stuff, and it’s only week one. As I said on Twitter, I survived a week of Trump, and all I got was this lousy president.

    sigh

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve described facebook as chatter, blogs as conversation. FB is a distraction, I rarely learn anything there; but it draws me in and I look at pictures of kittens and panda cubs. I ‘hear’ a lot of noise but it is rarely anything of depth, I look else where for that. Remember, even if your geographical neighbours seem distant from your values, there are many bloggers across the globe who share your concerns and will rise to support them. Just wait and see if DT comes to the UK on a ‘state visit’ it will not be a warm welcome from the public, even if the establishment continue an act of protocol. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an excellent way to describe it Mrs. UHDD. I am grateful for those of you across the world who share our concerns. One of the BBC reporters got under DT’s skin yesterday. He was clearly annoyed at being asked a question with substance. We need more journalists like that asking hard questions and insisting on real answers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t suspended my account but I have “hid” several people as their posts showing up in my Newsfeed drove me crazy. They’re family so I didn’t want to block them – I just didn’t want to see them. You are my muse – thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Debi. And thank you so much. 🙂 I’m reconsidering my move to suspend my account after several friends asked me not to. It’s a dilemma, trying to stay informed and sane at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a facebook account but no longer use it except for the message app to keep in touch with my American friends. I got tired of the rubbish a long time ago. I have no idea how the orange potus did at the end of his first week, I tuned out to that immediately after the marches were finished. It would be most trying to live alongside folk who like his views! I’m going to follow your ‘Orphan Black’ link and see if that would be good for me to view on these many rainy afternoons we are having this summer. I hope your bathroom is finished soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pauline. 🙂 I need to tune out all this rubbish, too. Some friends have talked me into keeping my facebook account open. I probably wouldn’t have done so had it just been that, but my state representatives are now using their facebook pages to reach out to constituents since the phone lines are all tied up. I’ll see if I can keep informed without jumping into the fray.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not easy is it – especially in the face of such determined egoistic stupidity and megalomania! I watched him respond to a news interviewer’s questions, telling him he needed to get his facts correct and he could do that by watching Fox News. It kind of knocked me off my ‘let’s wait and see’ perch. I’ve seen enough – now I’m all for ‘Rise Up, Rise Up!!’ We have to remember this is an opportunity to act, to step up, to do the right thing without falling into despair or hatred. Easy for me to say I know, but it’s our work right now!

        Like

  5. The kids and I binged on Orphan Black last summer, watching all available seasons, I am anxiously awaiting a new season.
    As to politics and the alternative reality of 45, this morning I filed for a divorce – my involvement from here on out will be based on logic, reason and beliefs. No more emotional involvement because it was consuming me. He is wrong, I am right. I will not take him personally. He is a fly in the ointment. The pendulum will swing. Repeat after me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that’s an excellent mantra, Carol, so I will repeat after you: “He is wrong, I am right. I will not take him personally. He is a fly in the ointment. The pendulum will swing.”
      I have been too emotionally involved in it all, too. Today was a tipping point for me in that regard. I have to somehow find a way to detach.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Robin. 🙂

    The hot chocolate looks delicious! I went supermarket shopping with one of my daughters yesterday and she stopped to admire the hot chocolate and marshmallow shelves. We’ve had a long, hot summer so far and it isn’t over yet. We both agreed that winter, complete with hot chocolate, will be a welcome change.

    Good on you for doing some courses! As a mature age student, I’m sure I am getting more satisfaction out of the learning process now than I would have as a younger student. We still have the summer university break happening here, but there was one unit I could enrol in for summer and feminism has been a hot topic of debate throughout the unit (along with colonisation, but that’s another story!) My final assignment for this unit is due next week, but when that’s over with I have a month long break to get back into reading for pleasure (rather than course material).

    A book I ordered online that I’m looking forward to reading during February, published in 1792, was written by Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”. It’s claimed that Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the earliest know feminists, so if you haven’t read the book, you might enjoy reading about feminism from a historic point of view. And it’s a short read, only 133 pages, so if you apply your 50-page rule twice, you’ll be nearly done…lol.

    I haven’t been on Facebook today but I’ve started a new tradition of adding a positive quote there each morning. It’s my small, personal contribution in attempting to change the current ‘vibe of unrest’ I find there every day. It’s not my favourite site to visit these days either, but I’ll keep my account going to keep in touch with my overseas cousins on a regular basis.

    Gosh, this has ended up being quite a lengthy reply – I’d better go now and give someone else a chance to speak! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol! The 50 page rule generally applies to fiction, Joanne, and only because I tend to think of it as entertainment (although I have learned a lot reading fiction and it’s a great way to travel, even to worlds that don’t exist!). Mary Wollstonecraft’s book sounds really interesting. Thank you for mentioning it. I’ll see if my library has it. 🙂

      I think it’s wonderful that you’ve gone back to school. I have to agree about getting more out of classes now than I did when I was younger. Plus I know what my limitations are now. When I was younger, I didn’t realize that I learn better by doing rather than reading. The boating course is a good example. When the instructor shows me how to tie a knot and I repeat it, I learn it. When I try to figure it out on my own by looking at the instructions and pictures in the book, I get lost. Writing is similar for me. I learn better by doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s a horror show, Robin. We all need to get active in what ever way we feel most effective and comfortable. I’ve got the cards, too, and the concerns are every single order signed this week and last–with the latest, on refugees, among the most egregious. Thanks for the link to the activism for introverts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I’m quite heartened by the people who turned out all over the country last weekend!! And I saw a sign that said “I guess we’ll be doing this for the next four years…” So it’s a haul, girl. And we’re in it!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I try not to watch the current president…but he seems to be everywhere. And I’m married to a political junkie. Still. I’m finding hiding my head in the sand isn’t working for me either. I need to find middle ground.

    I wonder if you had a sunset tonight? We didn’t because it’s still grey and wet and yucky here. Sigh. So many days in a row without sun.

    I think things like FB and Twitter are part of the problem with the division in our country. That and the 24/7 news feed. I want to go to AL and leave all this behind. Maybe not smart though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No sunset that night, Dawn, but we did have a glorious one yesterday. We’re back to grey and gloomy today. It’s been a cloudy winter. I’m having a hard time finding middle ground on all of this, too, and have to agree about FB and Twitter contributing to the division. As you already know, I’ve decided to give FB one more try, but I’m not sure it’s going to work out.

      Like

  9. Robin, what a wonderful post…and you began wth such wonderful words from Kuan Yin. 🙏🏻 I left Facebook two weeks ago, after nine years. I had found so many friends from different times and places in my life and looked forward to the pictures, messages and stories that were shared. It was if we are all becoming close again after so many years. In the last few years, it has become a place of darkness, division and deep sadness for me. After flipping the switch on and off again (deactivating my account and going back) I finally decided to delete it and not look back. I could not do what some have done – hiding people so I don’t see their posts. I saw a side of family and friends that was shocking. I simply unfriended them. Then I decided the posts were an assault on my sense of love, compassion and justice and decided it was time to go. It is one less place where I expose myself to the darkness. I have found some people and websites which inspire hope and I will share them in the next day or two on my blog. I always look forward to these posts. Such lovely pictures and beautiful, honest words. Thank you, Robin.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m with you all the way, sister. It has been a long week and you’re the nth person I’ve heard to abandon FB. It is insanity, pure and simple. It only ends up dividing friends and family. Oy. Time better spent in nature or meditation. “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.” Sing it, Dionne!
    Have a good week, Robin. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a crazy time, indeed, Robin. I’m still on FB because I do enjoy reading my friends’ posts, and I also sometimes see news sources I missed, since I also have “liked” them there. But sometimes I do just have to stay away to keep sane. I’m trying to remember to make calls and send postcards, too. (Have you seen 5calls.org?)
    We saw Mr. Holmes in the theater and enjoyed it, and we love Orphan Black! I’m waiting for the next season, which I think may be the final season.

    We just watched Florence Foster Jenkins–it was a wonderful “escape” movie. One cat came racing down the stairs with his ears up the first time Meryl Streep sang. The other cat–who doesn’t really pay attention to music–also had his ears up. It was so funny. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I haven’t had a Facebook account since I was hacked 3years ago My Facebook account was used to break my passwords. I was shocked by what happened yesterday. I am praying for the World especially for those who were effected yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve compartmentalized Facebook (I pop in to check on a few select groups that have proven to be content reliable, either hiking or writing) to maintain a semblance of connection, but am discovering that blogs, such as yours, are a great place to get away from the rubbish while still engaging/ staying informed.

    Still laughing at the “Still pissed at Yoko” bumper sticker 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This week has been like watching a train wreck. Facebook has been challenging for me lately and I’ve flirted with the idea of suspending. I haven’t yet but have hid some folks. I am definitely going to check out that activism for introverts link.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve learned to unfollow the people who post things that are either upsetting to me or are things that I am not interested in or otherwise bother me. That way, they are still “friends” and I can go to their page any time I want to see what they are up to but their posts are not showing up on my feed any longer. I actually have been one of the people that has been posting too much political stuff. I’ve decided to offset the political posts with other posts. I even posted some of your photos yesterday with the hashtag of “beautyevenindarktimes”. I also reposted the tweets from Friday’s “cuteanimaltweetoff” that were posted by zoos and aquariums all over the country. So I am trying to be less of “the problems” but still am sharing things that I think others should take a look at.

    I’m glad you’re staying there. I post different things here and there. If you know me on my blog, you don’t necessarily know the FB me unless you know me there, too. I love seeing you there, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I got off Facebook for 6 weeks at year-end, but now I’m back on with a vengeance! I’m determined to keep posting intelligent articles by reputable news sources, even though I know DT supporters won’t bother to read them. Besides, I’ve blocked most of them just to keep them off my feed, so I don’t have to read their rants; so, in the end, I guess I’m preaching to the choir. I like the link you included from the Women’s March; I’m determined to continue to take action, from financially supporting the ACLU and the International Rescue Committee to PAYING for my news subscriptions, because with the economic pressures news outlets are facing, they need monetary support. Freedom of the press is essential at this time! Anyway, as for what’s going on with me personally, you can find it on my blog in my latest cocktail hour; it’s been a busy (too busy) January for me! Take care and thanks for sharing, Robin. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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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