Why am I feeling invisible these days?

I usually air on a level playing field. Meaning if I can’t say something that brings hope, smiles, or just plain giggles I tend to not air my thoughts out onto the field, meaning yet again out to the world as we know it.

I’m aware that my little tiny spot here on the internet will probably look more like that tree in the forest ~ you all know that tree, right? It’s the one that finally gave up due to age, or insect damage, woodpeckers, etc. It’s that tree that needed to fall onto the forest floor to compost and give back to the earth.

This tree that is no longer living is indeed living and giving life back. Just because this tree became old and needed to make way for the younger, stronger trees in the forest does not in any way make light of its importance to the planet. Or, merely to the forest for which it sprouted as a miniature speck of a seedling with a path to follow for the length of time the tree would be present.

Why then am I feeling invisible these days? as the title states and I’ve gone off talking about trees growing old, and returning to the forest floor to give life back to the soil it took its nourishment from for many years, hopeful decades. At least I hope it was many years ~ life span for that tree.

My thoughts ache due to losing my beloved pet of 19 human years on the 13th of July 2020. She will forever live in a special place among my thoughts ~ A place where only she resides. Just like the many other beloved pups that came into my life, mostly rescue animals in need of human love that goes beyond just walking and feeding them. Each of them have their own special place within my thoughts.

All of my pups spoke to me though their eyes and movements as my silent chatter to them followed the same routes. Of course I spoke with them, often more in conversation than with actual humans. As most of my time was spent with the pups on average ~ given a 24 hour day. I always knew that I was never really alone, or felt invisible. Until, now…

Right now I’m faced with the knowledge that I shall not own another pup. Mia was the last for me. I’ve had to accept many things in this life time so far, which spans like an old oak tree, many decades. I say oak tree because it is a hard wood , yet can be milled and turned into something magical and can last beyond the owners years. A piece of furniture made from Oak wood can be handed down to generations of family members or it can find a truly new home to become cherished.

I wonder if people think about where the wood came from that made that lovely piece of furniture or bowl for cooking, mixing, eating, etc? Probably not…I’m a strange bird some might say. I ponder over these things as they bring me joy, and moments of peaceful, tranquil thoughts. These are the things that I’ve accepted that I need to have so I can continue to live a full and happy life.

Happiness is different for each of us I think. For me it’s trees because ever since I was a seedling (so to speak) child growing up with my grandparents I’ve gazed upward at the tall pines of Florida where I grew up before moving to Canada in aw and wonderment. It appeared to me as a child they each reached for the sky as the warmth of the sun shown down on them. The slightest whiff of a breeze would cause the tops of the pines to sway back and fourth in what through my young eyes was merely the winds being the instruments for the trees musical song just for me. The trees danced with joy and happiness and I was lucky enough to be there to witness the concert.

Those days have long since melted away and became a somewhat mass of who I was to become decades later. Strong like oak, yet bendable like pines when the winds blew. Purposeful, and yet not overbearing to be seen or heard. Reaching for the sky where the fluffy clouds drifted overhead. I use to wonder what the very tops of those tall pines, if they could think ~ what did they think of the fluffy clouds appearing to be enjoying the concert as well as I? Coming from below them.

Over the years those pines growing in Florida have had to weather many storms and brutal hurricanes and if they were destined to survive oh my what a story they could tell, if only they could speak to us. Many of the pines didn’t survive the storms and the brutally of the winds. They bend as much as they can, but over time they become weak in places where the rings of time were once tight and strong.

Sort of like me with bad knees wanting to just give it up, but they continue to carry me and allow me to preform the duties that need to be done out in my little garden of Hope. I will not always feel as invisible as I do right now, while I walk the path through grief of my pup and world events.

I shall rally back with yet again memories of my pup knowing what I am thinking and giving me the puppy shoulder to take solace. I shall become whole again and not feel as if everyone if they looked could see right through me and not see me at all.

If nothing else I shall garden as it gives me hope, and not just for the harvest. I’m tending to life and it will eventually give back to me. Let’s be safe, tend to our lives as best each of us can no matter what belief we have ~ after all each belief belongs to each of us that breaths. You don’t need to believe in the peace I find from the trees around me, to enjoy moments spent here reading my thoughts.

I suppose I’ll continue to respect my life and all others ~ Creations included

Cotton Candy Sunrise

There are mornings when sleep escapes me and the dawn pulls at my heart strings to get up and face the day with perhaps a surprise or two. But, if you’re at all like me all you wish for before sunrise is that hot cup of coffee or freshly brewed and steeped tea from your favorite mug.

My vessel of choice has a tiny cracked edge on the rim, but each time I find myself reaching in the cupboard for this particular mug.  I have to smile as most mornings I feel as worn and chipped as this piece of pottery.

Why don’t I just chuck this damaged mug to the curb you ponder? Well, just because it’s not a perfect specimen of finely crafted clay any longer it still has value. Value for its vast space that is empty, until I fill it with my favorite beverage. Value because it was perhaps a cherished gift at one point in time many decades ago, or perhaps just because it reminds me each and every morning that even though I may feel damaged, chipped, cracked, or just down right worn out to the bone. There is value to be found.

No matter what state this body or mind is in at the time, I still can hold on to my own value and validate myself. I fear too many are waiting for validation from others when all we need is to look in the mirror and see ourselves and the value we all contain in each layer of skin, each cell that makes each of us who we are.

The dawn called to me this morning and would not be ignored. I rose, I brewed that cup of coffee and lovingly poured it into my favorite chipped mug, while dragging my feet inside of my floppy slippers that have aged to the point of barely remaining on my feet.

The curtains came ablaze with pinks and oranges to the point of shocking me into taking flight in those loose slippers with mug, and camera in hand to validate this special dawn that was determined to wake me just before its arrival.

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Stay safe and happy my readers.

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One day at a time little bluebird…

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Last Fall was a time for the seasons to change gradually into our long 6 months of winter

Winter LeafThen we must settle into another frame of mind as the days grow shorter in daylight hours and the light of the winter months take on a frigid appearance. Then as if by design one night around 10 p.m it will appear to be daylight as the moon shines brightly upon the fallen white snow that covers everything. It’s quite magical really. Almost as magical as the colors of the Northern Lights. Every time I am blessed to witness the Northern Lights I dream of warm summer days after a rain when the rainbows appear to dance across the sky from left to right or is it right to left ..

Today is April 29, 2020 and Spring has arrived along with uncertain days and long nights of dreaming of carefree moments that went by un-noticed before. Those moments should have been cherished and the delights of just being able to walk outside without forethought of possible danger. Today, we live in un-certain times, but my heart holds on to H O P E, since I was given the middle name Esparanza which is hope in English. I’ve always throughout my life , these 62 years ~ Held on to Hope … Cherished hope, prayed for hope, wished for hope for others and for myself.

One day at a time little bluebird, hold on to the beauty of hope, one day at a time

 

The First Day of Fall ~ 2019

The first day of Fall is upon me now, September 23rd has arrived with a humid and rain soaked day. Time to search out my woolen mits and hats since the days leading to Winter will quickly arrive with the crisp cold air feeling refreshing to the senses.

This brings me to memories of ordeals during last winter as March rolled in with freezing rain and snow causing the garage roof to leak causing me to worry about the ceiling falling onto my 23 year old car. I suppose all of us have issues from time to time where no matter how much you try to see the bright side of our days we many times must pull up the boot straps and muster through what life throws in our path.

Last winter proved to test the harmony of my days with a car battery waning off to the land of the forgotten, and for some odd reason the gas cap needed replacing as well. The sensors in my vehicle were telling me this. Upon reading the book that came with my beloved black beauty. Indeed, given the amount of money spent on my vehicle decades ago I felt the need to give my car a name.

She has guided me though many snow storms and kept me straight away on the road and not off in a ditch somewhere wondering what to do. She has given me cool air in the heat of summertime when the temps rose above 100 F. Black beauty is beginning to show her age with axles and brake pads needing replacing, but she always rallies after being taken care of and never lets me down.

I use to dread the onset of our long six months of winter here in Canada , but no more. I feel alive during the winter months as I do out in my permaculture gardens during the spring and summertime. I suppose the dread was just the mere thought at 61 years young having to fire up the snowblower hoping beyond hope that it yet again fires up with a sound that delights me year after year. This snowblower is also decades old now, same as my black beauty. They both share a space in my garage together and I often wonder from time to time if they could speak to one another what on earth would those conversations consist of. Who knows, perhaps they can and have been best of friends for all of these years.

The maples are beginning to turn from their summer green dress to their more golden attire. The leaves will soon be dancing in the wind, flying around the branches just before flickering down to rest on the lawn. My pup will always without fail tip toe (paw) over them as if they might tickle her if she ever steps on them.

So while I wait on the brisk winds of winter to arrive I look back on the summer as the light of the days fade and become shorter and shorter. This is a time of rest for the trees and the lawns. The compost bins slow down their pace composting the materials I feed it every summer. The chipmunks are speeding through the tree limbs in my back yard eating the seed pods from my cedar trees that are heavy and bending downward. The sway of the remaining plants inside of my containers on my back deck are beginning to show signs that I soon will be storing away my gardening tools until next spring.

The clad of soil on my rubber boots will soon be washed away so as to store them in my garage for another winter as I dig out my winter boots and check the laces. Soon the winter tires will be adorned on black beauty as she steers me into winter with grace as she has always done, providing me with safe travels.

 

The hidden dangers of Wage Increases…

What a difference a year can make. I turned sixty in 2018, realizing that I’d aged out of my life insurance which now only pays out 30% and triples in cost moving forward, which I opted out of. The wage increase to $15 dollars an hour may have appeared like a wonderful thing for the working force, which I’ve long been retired from. But, in reality it isn’t such a grand thing at all. Even before the increase shopping became so expensive with all of the products raising their cost and the items such as macaroni you’d buy getting smaller and smaller. Soon I imagine it will resemble pea size.

Jobs became harder to find, and lay offs were rampant. Folks were let go in droves since the employers couldn’t afford to pay as many people, benefits for those began to disappear at an alarming rate. The homeless numbers began to increase as the cost of living kept going up. Your monthly bills rose as the amount of money left over for food to just survive began to dwindle.

A jar of mayonnaise should not cost almost $8 and the cost of a loaf of bread close to $4 dollars. This past year I’ve made my own bread and recently making my own homemade mayo. Thank heavens for a G O U T condition that happened a few years ago. You may wonder why I’m happy about this?

Well, you first have to find what triggers your gout pain and believe me it’s so painful that I could barely walk. You can’t sleep either because Gout does not sleep when you want too. So, you either suffer or find out what foods are causing you such turmoil.  By elimination of one type of food at a time that often causes gout pain and believe me there are a ton of foods that can cause this condition. First to go was Beef …

This was not so hard as 5 years ago beef began to rise in cost causing me to give up buying the beloved product in the grocery store. Oh how my taste buds missed the beef, even to a point the memory of how good a grilled steak tasted outdoors was in the forefront of the mind.

Gout pain remained, so the next culprit was to give up seafood. Well, at this point in time I might as well told myself to give up the air that I breath. I grew up in Florida and since I could walk as a child I fished, shrimped and ate seafood like it was the life saving air we need to breath.

Asparagus is a major cause of gout pain~ added to the list making them demons to the inner workings of my body. I’d just planted from seed a million ( well, perhaps not that much~ 6 yrs ago) in my back garden eagerly waiting for the 3 years before I could harvest them and enjoy one of my favorite vegetables. Hum… They are still growing out there and looking massively beautiful each new growing season.

Enter 2019

2019 ~ Arrived with hopes for a much better year, given my knees that needed dual knee replacements back when I was in my mid forties ~ as told by my surgeon are still in good repair after I was forced to stop manual labor many years ago. I rested those knees for 7 years , bought a wheelchair and hoped for my body to realize it was time to fix its self.

With the grace of the universe they did just that without having the knee replacement done, no more cracking noises from them as the cartilage breaking off, grinding between the joints of the knee. So, did it repair its self? Only the universe knows that answer. But, I am walking and gardening still to this day as I approach 61 years old. They may blow out at any time I know, but I somehow doubt it… I listen to my body closely and it tells me without a shadow of a doubt when I need to sit or lay down. I’ve grown very good at hearing it scream at me and I just pure and simply listen.

The roof is leaking, the axle on the car (21 yr old vehicle) is cracked. The windows casing are deteriorating and my pup is aging right along with me at an alarming rate. I know her days are numbered and my heart sinks at the thought. I’ve owned dogs since I was a little girl growing up in Florida under the close eye of my guardians ~ My Grandparents….

I know with the rising costs of everything I will not get another pet to raise and love again. I simply can not afford the vet bills that are needed with a puppy, and spading. Oh my deck steps are going down hill too , which leads into the garden I love. I made some handy dandy tricks to shore up the one step to get me through last summer, but have not looked at them yet this spring as the snow has just now this week finally melted up here in Canada. My back yard is a mess that I will soon be attacking with a rake, to remove leaves and the gifts a pup leaves behind all winter long (6 months of winter) Lots and lots of gifts she bestowed to me..

I use to back in the day do it all in one day clearing and cleaning the backyard, but it will take me at least three days to do a job that once took one. I am blessed that I can still walk on these legs, still have a back that can continue to garden in her permaculture beds which I planned out years ago for this time in my life when bending was not an option for the length of time it takes to put in and work a garden. I am so happy I had forethought…..

So, the radishes are sown in my homemade garden trug (built in 2015) and the mustard greens are sown as well. I plan on more for the deck garden, since I can’t eat many of the store bought lettuces or vegetables because of the chemicals they spray on them. I am going to be one of the happiest women around when I get to eat my first salad of the season in a month or two. I found that the store bought greens hurt my 6 Ulcers .. Chemicals my friend are not our friends…..

Being my own body detective has made my quality of life much better, now if only I can find that damn pot of gold hidden I’d be golden…

My Christmas Elf returns this year….

Just after being sick with a cold for over a month, my Christmas Elf returned this year to help me out in the kitchen to prepare Gluten Free Pie crusts for the mini Apple pies I’m making for my son. Due to terrible skin allergies he has had to give up all gluten.. Please enjoy this bit of whimsy for your post Christmas Day…..

 

And, if you have a few moments to spare, join my beautiful daughter and I in the kitchen to whip up some tasty treats..

 

Thanking you all kindly for spending some holiday time with my family, Hugs….

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Vlog Of Sorts – Dec. 8th 2017

I’m still under the weather as far as the head cold goes, but Winter waits for no one when it comes to having to bring out the snowblower and snow shovels. Friday was a snow storm to prove Mother Nature is boss, no matter how much we as humans think we are. Enjoy these two short videos to see for yourself. Hugs from me to you

Part One…..

 

Part Two…

 

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Caught between Spring and Summer

I’ve been so busy over the winter time here sowing seeds of all types. I wanted to get ahead of the short growing season we have here in the north. I thought I’d try my gardening hands with some different plants this coming season. Now that Spring has finally arrived here and melted all of the snow away I have daily chores of taking out the seedlings for their first breath of fresh outdoor air and the glorious sights of a real sun ~ instead of just grow lights. These little plants need a weeks worth of hardening off, 30 minutes each day not in direct sunlight so they will be able to handle being outside fully.

Today it has been raining, and they are calling for more of the same tomorrow off and on. This morning I awoke to fog which always signals warmer temps after a chilly overnight. So, with the pending rain I thought I’d drive to the lake here and see if the sun would come out for a picture or two.

As I sat in the car (bad knee day) I thought about what I was going to blog about or what video I was going to make for my YouTube channel ~ BirchtreeGuardianGardener

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I of course had to make little cards over the winter time so I could mail some to my gardening friends all over the world. You see we gardeners and other You Tubers love to exchange items of interest. I’ve found this to be quite enjoyable during a time of struggle this past winter. I’ve experienced some family losses that have taken their toll on me for a year now, but I’m strong and will survive one way or the other.

I tend to find things to keep me very busy, instead of sinking into that hole that so many other people know all about. The sowing of seeds this past winter has saved me in more ways than one. They needed my daily attention and care. I could not refuse to get out of bed each day, since these newly sprouted plants needed me to bring the sunshine to them and water them or just tickle them to stimulate the outside wind so their tender stems would grow strong and healthy.

Well, in doing so these tiny little plants over the wintertime have tended also to me. By, giving me a purpose and a goal.

One was to get the heck outta bed! Keep my mind and my thoughts on bringing these plants up so in the spring they could finally feel the warmth of the sunshine, the breeze of the winds and the love mother nature has to offer them.

The past few days I’ve been feeling low and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why….

The weather is brighter and the warmth is returning along with the longer daylight hours. How I love spending time outside working in my garden or just sitting out there watching my little pup enjoy running around or searching out critters. So, why the long face I asked myself.

I drove to the lake here in search of answers .. This is a place where there are no phones to ring, or door bells to blaze… No, distractions except for the calming feelings I get sitting by the lake. Spring has just begun and yet I’ve felt like someone poked a hole in my balloon, and I was sailing out of control without a True North in sight.

Two hours later I didn’t have my answer, so I fired up the old car and drove to another place that I love .. The video below shows you this special place, where many decades ago my late husband and I sat on the bench that you will see in the video.

This bench is the place where I told him what my doctor has said to me (back in 1993) I would one day become blind.. There were five eye operations that I could have, but after that nothing could be done. It was as black and white as that. Well, many things changed that day by the waters edge, but one thing that didn’t change was my conviction to never say never and no matter what the situation I would remain strong, blind or not!

I found my answer today while sitting on that bench, remembering the past and the memories I retained. I still have my eyesight after just One Operation so far on the left eye. I have 4 more operations to go, if they are needed. The doctor back in 1994 told me the first operation would only last for one year and I’d need another one. I told him, “We’ll see about that…” You see I’m not your normal patient and you’ll see for yourself.

I was the first person to have this special eye operation in Ontario all those years ago, and they brought in 5 other surgeons to watch the procedure as well. This has been written up in the Canadian Medical Journal as well. But, as far as I’m concerned they will not get another chance to do another surgery on my eyes. Sheer will of conviction I say has carried me through… I have faith it shall continue…

So enjoy this short video, witness the bench

where I regained my strength back in 1993

and again in 2017

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