Category Archives: nature

Cat on the Prowl….

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You can’t own a cat. The best you can do is be partners. – Sir Harry Swanson

I’m sad today. My bed was lonely last night because Mojo came in just long enough to eat some dinner and then he was off and running, prowling the full moonlit night in the chilly November evening. Since Mojo moved in with us I have gotten used to his presence, and my Rosebud doesn’t seem to mind him at all. She always greets him with a couple of little kisses and sniffs. He’s used to being outside, but I can’t help but worry about him. He’s such a  friendly little bugger and he loves to talk and give hugs and kisses, he’s by far the strangest cat I have ever met. Come home Mojo, I miss you 😦

Here Comes the Rain Again…

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Here Comes the Rain Again…

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. John Ruskin

We had our first rain in months last night and what a blessing. Now, finally, the smoke from local forest fires may clear out of the air. For a vocalist the smoke is really hard on you. It makes you congested and affects your voice in ways that you would not believe. I feel sorry for people that have emphysema. For myself I can’t get enough clarity in my voice for the last couple of months and my voice wears out much easier. It makes it harder to sing, and singing is hard enough as it is. But, the rains, the beautiful cleansing rains, have come once again and there is a rainbow at the end of the smoke filled tunnel. I always love the smell of the Earth after a good rain. The air is so pure and unadulterated, cleansing and toxic free after a good rain!

Tuning in with Nature

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Tuning in with Nature

“It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind,– the realm of your own.” ― Marcus Aurelius

We took some time out of our crazy rehearsal schedule today to take a bike ride along the river and the pond and I thought I would share some of the pics I took with you. It was so peaceful and quiet, we rode along at a relaxed pace and just enjoyed the scenery.

Fall Leaves

Mr. Dragonfly

Boise River

Duckys

Mike in the Tree

Them Are Duckys on the Left

Caldwell Pond

Gifts For the Birdies and the Squirrels

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Gifts For the Birdies and the Squirrels

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”~Buddha

I have so many things that could upset me today, so many things that I could try and control today, so many things that could upset the balance of my universe. I refuse. I refuse to allow outside disturbances to put me on a path that does not lead to peace. Peace of mind and peace of heart. Pure peace and that alone shall stand. Yesterday my sunflowers needed to be cut down, they had been attacked by earwigs and were sickly looking. Yet, even though they looked sick, upon closer inspection I could see that they still bore the fruits of their labors. They were loaded with sunflower seeds. So, in apology for their early demise, I cut them down and offered the sunflower heads to the birdies and the squirrels. After all they might as well give their fruits back to nature. Much like life, some thing or some one may look sickly on the outside, however; if you look deep enough you can find the seeds of good offering themselves up for sharing and giving back in a spirit of peace and good will. 

My Sunflower Heads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Serenity…

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My Serenity…

The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it. Reinhold Niebuhr

 This is my drawing of my place of serenity. On Sunday when I met with my sponge (sponsor) Jules for the first time this is where I went when I was having such a hard day the night before. Saturday was filled with triggers and hurt and I needed a place to go to work through my thoughts and get back in balance with nature and myself. Meeting with Jules was such a blessing, everything just melted away from me. I call her a sponge because I am her spongee and I plan on sucking everything I can out of her, and she is full of all kinds of great wisdom for sobriety. I have so much to be grateful for and in the last month I have begun to see the things and people that were there before me, just waiting for me to open up my eyes and see. They were always there with open arms, all I had to do was be willing to walk into the embrace. It’s amazing how alcohol clouds your vision, blurs your mind and makes you numb. In the beginning isn’t that what all alcoholics seek, blindness and a numbing and dulling of the senses? We don’t want to see, we don’t want to feel. You just don’t realize until you quit, and I mean really quit, how much you have missed. 

 

 

 

July 4th Week in Pics

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July 4th Week in Pics

I just wanted to share my 4th of July week in pics. It’s been really busy and a whole lot of fun!!!!

Down at Indian Creek

My Sunflowers Bloomed This Morning!

Sunday Sunflower

Sunflower No. 3

Playing at The Bird Stop yesterday

Playing the tambourine!

The Bird Stop Saturday

Mike Relaxing

My Dragonfly Drawing and Symbolism

Kira having fun!

Dragonfly

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Dragonfly

Dragonfly – A Poem

For the body

A thirsty twig

Blackened as the earth

Forgotten and abandoned over time

For the wings

Smash a stained glass window

And take the pieces

They say that beauty is in the flaws

For the heart

Let it fly freely

Unencumbered by confinement

For freedom is of what we dream.

© 2011 Anne Oddity. All rights reserved.

By my Buddhist nature I am always learning how to be more in tune with nature. Last winter I was having a collision with ravens and then it was peacocks. Lately it seems that dragonflies keep coming to me in nature. It seems they are everywhere! What strikes me as strange about this is that there are no wet lands even remotely close to my house. Dragonflies are amazing creatures. They can fly up to 60 MPH. In Japan they represent courage, hope and happiness. To me they are beautiful and I love how Anne Oddity described their wings as stained glass. The wings of a dragonfly are so very transparent yet absolutely loaded with the colors of the rainbow. For whatever reason it seems dragonflies are my representative symbol for this early summer and I love it!

I Never Promised you a Rose Garden

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I Never Promised you a Rose Garden

“There is nothing that you can do to me that my own craziness doesn’t do to me smarter and faster and better.” ― Joanne GreenbergI Never Promised You a Rose Garden

I never swore I was going to be perfect or idyllic. I never swore I was going to be this perfect image of a wife, a mother or a daughter. I think sometimes you forget that I am human. I am a human first and always, therefore I am prone to make errors and mistakes. I never said that it was all going to be perfect, it mostly never is. I strive, just like most people, to be the best I can on any given day. That concept, however, is prone to come asunder to my mood swings on any given day. When I created this blog on the eve of the New Year I swore I would try to write everyday. Most of the time I do, but sometimes, yes sometimes, I just don’t give a crap because I don’t want others to see exactly how black my mood is. Today is one of those days, and guess what, most of the time I am positive about life and all its funny little speed bumps. Today those speed bumps feel like massive trenches. Sorry, never said it was going to be all roses and butterflies. It is what it is. Now, would someone please hand me my helmet….I’m going in….  

Crazy Dayz

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Crazy Dayz

Always gotta keep busy or the voices start telling me to do wild things. Steve Brown

This has been a very busy and creative week for me and Kira. We completed 10 of the light switch covers, I finished a new sketch and finished writing a new song with Michael. Unbelievable, even to myself, I managed to finish planting my entire garden and managed to read 3 books. Yes, I finished that damn civil war book, read a biography of Harriett Tubman and read another autobiography about the true story of a slave girl that finally managed to escape from her oppressors. I have now started reading another book about the war in the west during the civil war era. I don’t know what’s gotten into me but this last week has been one of my most productive in months and I’m loving every minute of it.

Here is the sketch called “Masquerade” drawn from a photo I saw on a blog:

 

 And here are some pics of the light switch covers we painted:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say it has been a busy, busy week and here’s how Kira looked after all was done and said:

I Had an Itch I Just Had to Scratch

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I Had an Itch I Just Had to Scratch

My garden does not whet the appetite; it satisfies it. It does not provoke thirst through heedless indulgence, but slakes it by proffering its natural remedy. Amid such pleasures as these have I grown old.  Epicurus

I know, I know. I planted a few days too early. I just couldn’t stand it. I just had to get out, dig up the soil and get the seeds in the ground, the itch was killing me. It’s done now. Everything is planted except for the plants I grew indoors, there’s no turning back now. It’s all good, we are expecting frost the next couple of mornings, but I am way ahead of the game. I cut plastic to fit each of my garden spots and if the seeds should happen to fail I have more of each to replant. I couldn’t help myself. Haven’t you ever had that itch and you just had to scratch it. Thankfully I had some help and I now have a garden spot in my back yard perfect for my peppers, eggplant, okra and radishes. I’m so excited about my garden this year. I am going to spend the summer planning recipes for canning. I also have the intention this year of teaching myself how to make homemade Louisiana Gumbo. A garden isn’t just about the work and the garden itself, it’s all about the plans you have lain for your produce after the work is done in the ground. Then the real creative part comes into play as to what you are going to do with your abundance of love and care. That’s the real exciting part, the end result of all your hard work and TLC.

Oh, for the Sweet Sounds of Spring!

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Oh, for the Sweet Sounds of Spring!

I am a contradictory mess but I see it as my prerogative to change my mood like the weather. Shirley Manson

With the changes in the weather I find my mood changes. I find myself hardly able to sit still indoors for too long when the birds are singing so happily outside my window. They seem to be singing come out and play. Hence, I find my writing seems to suffer the most for my vain need for sunshine and warmth. birds songs and fresh flowers. One can never get enough of birds songs and sunshine. 

Learning to Fly!!!!!!!!!!

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Learning to Fly!!!!!!!!!!

There is an art, or rather a knack to flying.  The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.  ~Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

My beautiful daughter passed her driving test with an instructor yesterday at 97% and I am very proud of her. Does she have her wings yet? No. She failed the written part, but that’s ok. I’m not quite ready to release her out of her chrysalis and see her fly away yet. I know, selfish of me. I simply can’t help it. I love having her presence around me. She is an amazing person and I think most of the time she doesn’t realize how beautiful she really is, not just in physicality but also in spirit. How on Earth did I manage to create such a wonderful person. I only hope that her friends and mate realize what they have in front of them….

Mary Mary Quite Contrary…

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Mary Mary Quite Contrary…

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.  My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.  The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.  ~Abram L. Urban

I planted my seeds for some plants indoors and they are coming up beautifully. I am really loving watching them pop their green heads out of the dark brown richness of the soil. I am so anxious for May 15th to come so that I can mover them outdoors. The joy of getting your hands into the warm soil and running it through your fingers, seeing the dirt on your hands and under your fingernails and then watching the fruits of your labors grow is a happiness that is indescribable! 

A Garden brings a joy and awareness of life and new growth and is representative of positive forces in nature working to produce positive effects.

 

Rising of the Crane

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Rising of the Crane

“I will write peace
on your wings
and you will fly
all over the world.”
(Sadako Sasaki)

Please take the time to click this link and read The story of the Peace Crane It’s a beautifully sad tale about a little girl, Sadako Sasaki, that I found very touching.

This is my first drawing in the longest time. I have finally gotten back into the swing of doing some art work again and the first charcoal drawing I did was of this Asian Crane. I found the illustration of “The Farmer and the Cranes” in a book I have of Aesop’s Fables. Cranes are symbols of longevity and a rise to a higher status. This is a good starting point for me to begin doing art work again. It’s symbolic of my rise from a very deep, dark place into the light of a love so rich and filled with truth. A rise from ignorance to understanding of my own nature and the nature of those closest to me. A rise from stagnancy to motion. It is a very reinforcing image for me and I will carry it with me like the Crane carries beauty and peace on its wings, rising ever higher in the skies of love and serenity.

Peacock Presence

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Peacock Presence

For some reason I keep running into peacocks. It seems that every time I turn around some image of a peacock is crossing my path. It started a few days ago when I won a peacock necklace. Then when I went shopping at The World Market I ran into a peacock ring that I just had to have. Later that same night I went shopping for a journal for my daughter and guess what? You guessed it, I found her a journal that had peacock feathers imprinted on it. These are just a few of the instances, everywhere I go I keep seeing peacocks, peacock feathers and representations of peacocks. I think Buddha is trying to tell me something, and I think it is something very positive in relation to my sobriety. I’m still trying to understand the significance and since it seems to be a recurring theme in my life I’m quite certain there is an underlying positive message. Not so very long ago I kept running into crows, not just a couple, not even just a few, but whole murders of crows, and at that time I was in a very dark place. I never take messages from nature for granted and I firmly believe that the peacock message is meant for me to gain some better understanding of the nature of my new found state in my path to nirvana. 

From “The wheel of Sharp Weapons”, written by Dharmaraksita

In jungles of poisonous plants strut the peacocks,

Through medicine gardens of beauty lie near.

The masses of peacocks do not find gardens pleasant,

But thrive on the essence of poisonous plants,

In similar fashion the brave bodhisattvas

Remain in the jungle of worlds concern.

No matter how joyful this world pleasure garden,

These brave ones are never attracted to pleasures,

But thrive in the jungle of suffering and pain.


 The Symbolism of peacocks in Buddhism

 In buddhism they symbolize wisdom.

Peacocks are said to have the ability of eating poisonous plants without being affected by them. Because of that, they are synonimous with the great bodhisattvas. A bodhisattva is able to take delusions as the path toward liberation and transform the poisonous mind of ignorance, desire and hatred [moha, raga, dvesa] into the thought of enlightenment or bodhicitta, which opens colourfully like the peacocks’ tail. 

The mind of the sentient beings in this world is like a thick forest of desire and hatred. The pleasures and material possessions are like a beautiful medicinal garden. The brave-minded bodhisattvas, because of having realised the shortcomings of samsara, are not atracted to samsaric pleasures, just as the peacocks are not attracted to medicinal plants. The bodhisattvas, having the attitude of wishing only to work for sentient beings and not desiring any happiness for themselves, can utilise the poisonous thoughts of ignorance, desire, hatred and so forth in order to accomplish the works for sentient beings.

By eating poison, the peacocks’ body becomes healthy and beautiful. He is adorned with five feathers on the head, which symbolize the five paths of the boddhisattva and the attainment of the five Buddha families. They have beautiful colours, like blue, red, green and please other beings just by being seen. Similarly, any body who sees a bodhisattva receives great happiness in his mind. The peacock’s eating habits of eating poisonous plants do not cause harm to other beings. Similarly the bodhisattvas don’t give the slightest harm to any other sentient beings. By eating poison the colours of his feathers become bright and his body healthy. Similarly, by taking all problems and suffering upon themselves, the bodhisattvas quickly purify the mental blocks and develop their mind quickly, attaining higher and higher realization. Particularly peacocks symbolize the transmutting of desire into the path of liberation. Therefore, they are the vehicle of Buddha amitabha, who represents desire and attachment transmuted into the Wisdom of Discriminating Awareness.

Learning to Live

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Learning to Live

I just wrote one song at a time. Kinda like an alcoholic. One day at a time. Neil Young

The last week has been one of my most productive in a very long time. I am back on track with my writing, I completed one song from lyrics to melody to end, I started my plants for my garden yesterday in jiffy pots, sure signs that I am out of my stalemate and moving forward in my life. Out of the black abyss and into the light comes so much productivity in me that I had forgotten about and it feels great. I feel just like a child that has just begun to discover the world around her. The big difference, of course, I am not a child but an adult who is learning to live again, learning to breathe again, learning to use my natural talents that I have neglected for so long, I am learning to love again. Learning to love myself and those around me and it’s a feeling of warmth and happiness I had completely neglected and forgotten about. Forgotten were the joys that come from a warm smile, a laugh shared, a precious moment that will carry with me for my eternity.

Waking to Rain

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Waking to Rain

The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfilment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall.
Helen Garner

I woke this morning to the sound of the pitter patter of the falling rain. My heart is yearning for sunshine, my legs are itching for a bike ride,  my hands are itching to paint outdoors. The consolation I have in the drops as they hit my window pane is the knowledge that with this rain comes the blessing of abundant flowers, sunny days filled with warmth and laughter, and the knowledge that very soon I will be able to go riding among the fresh spring smells of new flowers and trees bearing brand new leaves. For now I can visualize it in my mind, almost smell it, almost feel it. That is enough to sustain me for today, but please rain, bring me something special this spring, something I have never seen before. Bring me a memory to cherish and to hold onto through next winter and keep me warm through the chill nights. 

Birds of a Feather

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Birds of a Feather

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” –Chinese Proverb

We just built a bird feeder a couple of weeks ago out of some materials we had lying around, a flat whisker basket and some suede ties that I had cut off a set of boots this winter. After riding down to get a big bag of birdseed I have spent hours and hours just watching the different birds that come to our little feeder. There are warblers, finches, red winged blackbirds, robins and doves that I have seen so far. They are such a joy to watch with their funny little mannerisms and beautiful songs that fill my yard everyday. It is peaceful and a joy to my heart.

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. David Herbert Lawrence

Read more:http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/davidherbe188621.html#ixzz1phkerImc

For the Love of a Garden

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For the Love of a Garden

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.  ~James Douglas,Down Shoe Lane

Today, with the rising of the sun, my thoughts are on my garden, on warm sunny days, on the back breaking enjoyment of growing my own produce. I can hardly wait for spring to really be here. I am looking forward to planning out my garden layout, buying the seeds and plants and getting down to the nitty gritty job of breaking the earth, feeling the dirt on my hands and finger tips and just breathing the air. The enjoyment of raising a garden of your own has such a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. I love to watch the seeds grow as they push through the earth with their new green shoots reaching for the kiss from the sun. Oh the joy of a garden!

The Child’s Gift

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The Child’s Gift

Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed. Robert C. Gallagher

I just had the most interesting conversation with my daughter! It just dawned on me that, yes, she indeed is a young woman. She is no longer the child that I held in my arms. She stands taller than me for goodness sake! I am proud of her, she just graduated early and is finding her path in life. My sincerest hope is that she follows her artistic path or “autistic path” as I affectionately call it. Being artistic is such a pain in the ass and she knows it too. We talked about how being an artist can cause you a lot of pain. The painting at the top of my blog is one of hers. She never ceases to amaze me with her abilities. I am a very lucky woman to have brought such a beautiful treasure into this world. And yes that is her picture on the blog entry, how lucky am I!

In the Stillness We Find

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In the Stillness We Find

“Through return to simple living Comes control of desires. In control of desires Stillness is attained. In stillness the world is restored.” Lao Tzu

 It never ceases to amaze me how quiet my heart and mind can become when I choose to still the demons that threaten that very peace and quiet. Sometimes I forget the most simplest lesson Buddha has taught me of being still. I never take enough time to simply be still and meditate and I allow the world around me to become convoluted by my very own thoughts. Things have been so erratic lately I need to remind myself to take a little time with my mala beads and say my mantra at least once daily. As chaotic as my life has been lately I need to do this every chance I get. We forget sometimes that that very stillness of our hearts and minds will only serve to help us, particularly in times of difficulty. Om Mani Padme Hum, peace be with everyone today!

 

Omen of the Crows

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Omen of the Crows

A building gets torched. All that is left is ashes. I used to think that was true about everything: families. Friends. Feelings. But now I know that, sometimes, if love proves real, two people who are meant to be together — nothing can keep them apart.- Sarah from “The Crow

Last night I saw two huge trees just absolutely full of crows. I am not a superstitious person by nature but I couldn’t help getting a shiver down my spine and I couldn’t stop staring at them. I wondered, with foreboding, what ominous bit of news they may bring with them on their raven tipped pinions.  I have been having difficulty with a relationship for quite some time and I couldn’t help but wonder if this murder of crows was portending some truth that is only obvious to them. They say that when a person dies the crow carries the soul to the realm of the dead. I tend to believe that this can be looked at in different facets. In our lifetimes we have many deaths, many rebirths, and maybe the crows were simply trying to show me that it was the end, or death,  of one unhappy part of my life and the beginning of a new one. I like to believe that this is a good omen, of something bad passing away, of the crows carrying the soul of this bad thing away from me.   

The Moon in My Eyes

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The Moon in My Eyes

“Then the noise faded and Legs squinted up at the sky, the moon so bright you’d never think it could be merely rock like the earth’s common rock and lifeless, merely reflected light from an invisible sun and not a powerful living light of its own…” -Maddy 

The other night I looked up at the night sky and couldn’t believe the size and color of the moon. It was as big as I can ever remember seeing it. It looked so close as if I could reach up and touch it. It was a light shade of orange and was so beautiful I wished that I could take it’s perfect beauty and carry it with me always, my own special moon that belonged only to my eyes

Learning to Fly

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Learning to Fly

Aquarius Horoscope for week of February 9, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
Maybe there is a soulmate for you in this world. Maybe there isn’t. But you can count on this: If that person is out there, you will never bond with him or her by clinging to a set of specific expectations about how it should happen. He or she will not possess all the qualities you wish for and will not always treat you exactly as you want to be. I’m sure you already know this deep down, Aquarius, but hearing it from an objective observer like me might help liberate you further from the oppressive fantasy of romantic perfection. That way you can better recognize and celebrate the real thing.

I don’t particularly believe in astrology, especially because I am Buddhist, but this week and the last few astrological projections from “Free Will Astrology” have been trying to tell me something and I really wish it would stop! I don’t know why the cosmic forces are messing with my world right now, and really,  could you knock it off!  I just only hope I don’t come back as a duck or some crazy thing like that in my next life, a good looking duck I would not make.

My Horoscope 2-12-2012

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My Horoscope 2-12-2012

Aquarius Horoscope for week of February 2, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
If you go to California’s Yosemite National Park this month, you might get the chance to witness a reddish gold waterfall. Here’s how: At sunset, gaze up at the sheer east face of the rock formation known as El Capitan. There you will see what seems to be a vertical river of fire, also known as Horsetail Fall. I nominate this marvel to be your inspirational symbol for the coming weeks. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will have the power to blend fire and water in novel ways. I encourage you to look at the photo here — here — and imprint the image on your mind’s eye. It will help unleash the subconscious forces you’ll need to pull off your own natural wonder. 

My horoscope for the week! Boy was last week ever wrong. I thought I was going to be doing something and the complete opposite happened. Maybe this week will be different. I could use a little water to put out the fire that has been burning in my psyche for the past week!