surviving ordinary

Are you devouring your guacamole leftovers? Did you utilize the fire extinguisher to dampen the blaze the jalapeno poppers stoked in your stomach while you watched the big game? Thinking of a post-Super Bowl diet? I was…..then I ate two homemade chocolate chip cookies. Diet-schmiet. Don’t want to leave anything around to tempt the Texan. He’s skinny. I’m thoughtful like that.

Hmmmm…..first of February…Christmas is a blurry memory and we have another holiday excuse to eat chocolate coming up in Valentine’s Day. I’m anxious to get outside, but the groundhog says we have six more weeks of winter. Cold, dark, trying not to fall asleep at 9:30 pm winter. Ugh.

Want to know what is elevating my spirits during this ordinary time? Noooooo, not vodka, chicken-breath! I have an artsy and thoughtful neighbor who left a little tree lit with red sparkly lights since Christmas. Our neighborhood is pretty spectacular during Christmas season and lots of townsfolk make the drive to our enclave to view the festive lights. When things go suddenly dark after New Year’s, the view can be depressing.

Here’s the spunky tree from my bedroom window. (forgive bad cell phone pics, please)

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Do you spot the little red tree? Nothing very colorful in this view. bleh.

I think that I shall never see…….oh, never mind. When I’m in bed, I gaze out the window and see the festive tree shimmering in the darkness. I imagine it as a gleaming celebration of ordinary time. There’s nothing spectacular to celebrate, really. The crimson lights are all ablaze proclaiming we’re alive. The barren branches defiantly shake sapling tree-fists at darkest winter. It sparkles simply because our eyes enjoy it and we’re breathing. The bright red splits the blackness because we have a skinny Texan and a snuggly wiener dog next to us, and the littlest grand is out of the hospital, and our bed is oh-so-comfortable. Mundane things. Humdrum happenings.

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I think I’ll tell my neighbors ‘thank you’ for the cheery, red tree.

 

It reminds me of all the people who might enjoy seeing a fun red tree, but can’t because they are sick. Or they are serving in the military far away. Or they are too depressed to open the blinds. The uplifted branches call me to remember those who can’t enjoy the radiance right now. Can my gratitude for the tree honor them? I hope so.

The tree inspires me to decorate something in my yard in celebration of ordinary time and as a way of showing solidarity with my red-tree neighbor. Maybe I will. You will be the first to know, OK?

What helps you survive ordinary time? Do you have a red tree? I’d love to hear.

Enjoy-the-view love to all.

 

down time

I’ve been away from the blog for a while.

One day I’m blogging my chipped fingernails to the quick. The next day…week…month...BAM... I’m sick.

Sick people don’t care one whit about fashion, blogs, amusement parks, horned toads, changing seasons or wiener dogs. OK..maybe they still care about dogs, but not much else.

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I’ll spare you all the feverish details and the ensuing poking, prodding and radiating of the ol’ bod. So far, I’m getting better and I’m profoundly grateful. Anything major changes and I’ll let you know. I need to get busy-there’s important stuff coming up!

One evening, during a dark nadir in my illness, I couldn’t sleep. I shuffled into the living room and collapsed on the sofa to play the endlessly fun, yet wildly unproductive ‘What If...’ game. What if this is cancer, what if this illness costs tons of $$, what will happen to my family if something happens to me? blah, blah. You know the story. Deep in the midst of my fun pity party, I hear the clickety-click of doggy toenails on the floor tile and the bump of the dachshund’s front feet on the sofa’s edge.

Roxy-Doxy, (whiny voice) there’s no room for you. Go back to bed with the Texan!

She was having none of it as she waited for me to pick her up. She promptly dug her way under the blanket and wedged herself between my leg and the sofa cushion.

The warmth of the little dog was reassuring. Made me feel not so alone and her presence lightened my thinking. Even in the dark of a feverish night, Roxy sniffed me out and came to me. I was too preoccupied and anxious to simply turn on the light, but she found me in the darkness. Even after I scolded her and told her there wasn’t room, she waited patiently ’til I picked her up. Could this aging sausage dog be teaching me a lesson about someone who comes along side me when I am weak, pitiful and afraid? Someone who is always there, even when I turn Him away?

And the dyslexic atheist says there is no d-o-g.

He hasn’t met Roxy Doxy.

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The wiener (l) and the Texan (r). My loves.

You’re-never-alone love to all.

keeper of the plains

I need to quit watching/listening to the news. I can never unsee Geraldo Rivera’s preening selfie, the drama of Weiner’s wiener, and the over-publicized outcome of a very high-profile trial. Geez…..and it’s only Wednesday.

I need some eye/mind bleach.

Thanks to Sprout #1 filling my email inbox with these photos, I have the perfect mind-scrubbing solution.

This is an update to my wild things post.

Let’s see what the beasts in northern New Mexico have been up to, shall we?

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They’ve been staying up past bed time.
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They enjoy 2 for 1 drinks during happy hour. They even bring the young’uns.
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They munch on hors d’oeuvres while having their drivers license photo snapped.
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They display their massive racks. Who has the most points? Very attractive to the ladies.
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Regrettably, they find themselves still at the bar in the wee morning hours mustering the courage to ask the foxy bear for a date.
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The ruins of the old home in the ‘doctor’ pasture. Is this the ‘doctor’s’ house?
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Bear’s turn at the water tank. Look at the 2 cubs! Do I hear an ‘awww’?
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I wouldn’t want to accidentally stumble across this mama. Mama bears are fierce.
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These buddies are enjoying a snack and relaxing.
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Couldn’t resist cropping this. Wanted to get a better look at that massive back paw. Look at the size of that thing!
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Enjoying some salt.
Exercise extreme caution. This beast can rip off a finger while lunging for a biscuit.

Observing the rhythm of the animal kingdom here on the prairie never fails to inspire. Is that a spark of the divine I see in them? What sort of creator made these magnificent animals? Perhaps they point to the ‘keeper of the plains’.

I’m closing with this Rich Mullins‘ video. Rich was a Christian artist who passed away in a car accident in 1997. Such a loss….I still miss his heartfelt music. I think this song perfectly captures the majesty of the keeper of the plains. You won’t regret listening to it. Promise.

The prairies are calling out His name. Are we listening?

Love to you, divine creature.