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Sunday, July 22, 2012

SOME GATEWAYS ARE SCAREY
 TO WALK THROUGH!

My neighbors have two new horses.

"DEE DEE" in the middle
and
"JUMPIN' JACK FLASH" on the right.
"TEASER" on the left is the
old man of the mountain,
somewhere pushing 20 years old,
(I'm trusting the girls to correct me with his actual age).

"TEASER" has a special place in my heart.
The big black gelding is gentle,
smart, calm and comes galloping up the hill
with his Tennessee Walker gaite when I
call him every morning for "breakfast".

A few months after Eldon died,
Perro (his/my Blue Heeler) and I trudged down
the hill to the Pine Tree beside the
spring creek to see if any wildflowers
had sprouted on the hillside
overlooking Eldon's
resting place, (ashes buried beneath the Pine Tree)

I brought along a rock.... Eldon loved rocks, shiney
black
crystally
or what looked like flecks of gold!
Perro brought along his tennis ball ... all the way down the hill, he carried it in his mouth ....
his and Eldon's favorite game to play catch.
I don't stay long at the Pine Tree ... I don't
linger .... or chat .... or cry.
But I sigh.
"TEASER" and the girl's previous horse, "LITTLE MAN"  followed us down the hill
nibbling at a few sparce blades of grass
growing through melting snow drifts.
Time to climb back up the hill.
It's a steep, narrow path ...
well worn.
Wintry, chilly day ..
and a bit winded from the cold.
I stopped and put my hands on my knees and
breathed deeply to catch my breath.
"TEASER" walked up beside me and stopped.
I patted him and appreciated
how he seemed concerned.
(how do you
know a horse is concerned? I don't know... )
He just stood beside me.
As I began my trudge up the hill again
his long silky mane brushed against my shoulder.
I grabbed onto his mane and said,
"Okay, big guy, let's go."
He slowed his long gaite to match my steps,
and literally brought me up to the top of the hill.
Once at the top, and I let go of his mane,
he trotted off to find a new clump of
fresh green grass.

But I digress!
This wasn't supposed to be about
"TEASER"
I want to tell you about
"JUMPIN' JACK FLASH"
who neither jumps nor flashes.
He's quite the mellow fellow.
Cautious,
slow to react,
third man on the (bottom of the )totem pole,
and would
NOT
walk under the archway leading into my
 front yard,
overflowing with clover and green, green grass!

He walked the fenceline, nibbling on sparce
dead grass .... stretching his neck over the fence
to reach as far as he could for a nibble of clover.
But he would NOT walk under the arch to come
into the yard
where "TEASER" and "DEE DEE" were doing their weekly gardening maintenance on the lawn.
I haven't had to mow my lawn all summer!


JUMPIN' JACK FLASH is a big horse
 and his leaning on the fence
caused two of the posts to bend! Can't have him
busting the fence!
I went to the barn and got a small pat of hay.
You know the saying,
"You can lead a horse to water ....... "
Well, you can tease a horse with hay.......


I scattered the hay just inside the archway.
Put your little hoof,
put your little hoof,
put your little hoof right THERE!


"Mmmmm," he seemed to say.
"What's this on the ground?"
Nibble .... nibble.... nibble.
With my foot, I scootched the hay a bit further
into the yard.


You're halfway there, JACK.
I don't call him
JUMPIN'
or
FLASH.
I call him JACK.




"Eat fast ... eat fast!" TEASER seemed
to whinny at DEE DEE. "One more
mouth to feed and this clover will be history!"

"HUH?
What have I been missing?"


"Why don't you just go back out
where you came from," I could of sworn I heard DEE DEE say.


Is there anything more serene
than watching a beautiful horse
mowing ..... I mean munching on clover!
 JACK  forgot about
the scarey archway that kept him from
getting to "greener pastures".
He put his fears behind him
and took one little step ...
then another ....
then success!
His fear of the scarey archway
long forgotten.


 JACK's  world suddenly became larger
as he expanded his horizons to the side yard,
the backyard,
and the garden.

People aren't much different when encountering
a scarey "archway"
or "fence" that seems to be
standing in the way of
reaching a goal in life.
But, just as "JACK" needed only a little
encouragement from someone who
cared about him,
people get to be an
encourager for someone
through a scarey,
unknown,
difficult
decision in their life. 

Horses can teach us a lot
about compassion,
encouragement,
friendship
and
how to reach
that green pasture .... just a bit out of our reach.
.......................................
HEY!!! HEY, you guys ..... get out of my flower bed!!!!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

LIFE'S FENCES
LEAD TO GATEWAYS and VISTAS
ASTOUNDINGLY WONDERFUL
AND AMAZINGLY MEMORABLE!
If you walk a country lane
for any distance at all,


you're bound to come across a fenceline
and a gate.

and if the workman building the fence
comes into view

chances are he will invite you to stop
and have a beer with him
before continuing on your journey.

There may be an ancient Juniper
to sit under,
 it's wide reaching boughs,
sharing its shade,
and a swing
and table for you to rest and eat and play.

Sometimes you walk alone through the forest

but it's more likely you'll have someone
walking beside you ....

And she will point out a cluster of wild flowers,
and you will invite her to swim with you in the
 forest pond .... free and unencumbered by
clothes or the fear of being seen by others ...
because,
after all,
there's no one in this part of the forest this day
besides the two of you.



There may be a cabin along the pathway
 through
the forest,

but you only peek in through the open doorway
lest you disturb the shadows and memories
etched into the walls within.
A family lived
and loved
and their lives had meaning
within these wood framed walls
.......
but all that remains to give a clue
as to who they were
is a broken down fence,
lending it's  spiked remains as strength,
and a background for
straggling daffodils
that resurface
year
after year
with nary an eye
to appreciate their vibrant faces.


Some forest treks
are more achingly lonely than pleasurable ..
steep hillside
and a heavy load to carry
...... destination
a lone pine tree.

where the footprints and dust of lives passing by
mingle with the wildflowers

that bloom but for
a short time,
then are carried away in the wind to be planted elsewhere.

There is a beginning
of our trek through the woods,
a middle time for exploring and
exhaulting in its beauty,
and a end of that journey ....

so you close the gate and walk down a new path
.......
together.


Not the end.....
just a new beginning.

























Saturday, July 14, 2012

IS MY LIFE HALF FULL,
OR HALF EMPTY?

Are these three ladies holding up the world?
Or is the world heavily bearing down upon them?
Is the glass half full ....
or half empty?



Is my wheelbarrow FULL of pansies,

or half empty ..... a midnight snack for the deer?

My oh my...
how life and outlook and joy and plans can take
a sudden dive
and not look so
beautiful and fragrant
as a few days past.

And they ate my baby
tomatoes! 
Tomatoes, flowers, new sprouts  EVERYTHING!

So .... as a wise friend once reminded me,
...... "and God laughed when I said I'm going to do (this or that, sooner or later)"

So, is my tomato pot half full,
or half empty.

I want to believe I will see new
growth on the little plants.
No wait ...... I CAN believe
I WILL see
new growth on the little plants.
My grandson, Robby, said he and Naomi grew veggies inside their house one winter in Wyoming. 
If need be, I'll bring the little tomato plants into my living room and place them in the south facing window.
There now, I feel half-full of confidence that I will be eating my own tomatoes in December! 

These little setbacks mean nothing
in the
grand scheme of life and eternity.
I mean, really,
what do these half-empty circumstances
have to do with eternity?
Nothing.

I refuse to carry the weight of the world
on my shoulders ....
and I will look at my life as
a glass FULL!

So
cheers and bottoms up ...
and as another wise man once said,
"Don't sweat the small stuff!"
...........

Yeah I know, Snickers, you tried to warn
me that the deer were getting wayyyyy
too territorial in our front yard.
 But that was
winter.
What harm can they do in the winter?

Oh yeah, you're right.
They liked it so much around our gardens that they promised,
"I'll be back!"

I wonder if Bloomers Nursery
has more petunias ......




Monday, July 9, 2012

GREEN GROWING THINGS
 BLUE WATER POND
COLORFUL FLOWERBEDS
AND
  GOLDFISH SWIMMING AMONGST THE LILIES

Dedicated to my dear Great Niece,
Autumn Hansen

Summertime:
Sprinklers to run through,
picnic table for 4th of July bar-b-que...
where is the red and white tablecloth
and watermellon?
A swing, a white chair overlooking the pond and
sunshine!
I love summer.


Bright red poppies hugging the rail fence,
and a path that goes nowhere but
round and round and round.

Even chipmunks need a little shade
after a drink from the pond
and playing hide and seek
with Perro.

A double rainbow stretches across the valley
after a refreshing summer shower.


Sweet William and Bachelor Buttons, Daisies
and a strawberry patch. What more does a garden need?
How could I forget the cherry tree and rasberries, and
tomatoes in large black buckets,
fruit trees
and an automatic sprinkler system
to keep the garden green.


Is anything prettier than an old wheelbarrow
overflowing with  Petunias and Pansies ...
hi cute faced Pansies!

A cozy corner for geraniums to grow,
and a place for me to pray and remember ..... mmmm,
and watch the goldfish in the pond swim lazy circles through the
waterlilies,
beneath a net,
safeguarding their home
from a hungry giant blue heron
who occassionally stops by.


Elizabeth Ann (Byrne) Kaemerer
1918 - 2005
She loved to bring in produce from our garden.



And Eldon .... usually scraping, hauling, digging and playing
 on his tractor,
occassionally tidied flower beds.



Me and my shadow are a good team!

 
My neighbor's horses ... Teaser and Little Man,
a few years ago,
very efficient "lawn mowers".


My neighbor's current stable:
Teaser, Dee Dee, Jumpin' Jack Flash.
"Tres Caballos" Landscaping specialists!
July 9, 2012
Their other speciality is the production and distribution of
fertilizer!
Manufacturing some now ......

My favorite garden picture!
Soon after the photo was taken
my neighbor's horses had the sunflowers for lunch!
They've never grown back like this again.
 "White Eyes"
She was one of 18 fish we put into our pond in 2004. She was about as long as my ring finger.
She is now the
Old Lady Of the Pond.
The Alpha fish.


Thank you, Autumn, for strolling through the years
and cultivations of my beautiful gardens with me.
Some years they were lovelier than others.
My gardens are smaller this year ...
way more labor than I can do by myself.
I keep my grounds around the house and barn
neat and tidy with my newly purchased electric weed wacker.
I can count on my family being here to help when
it takes more muscles than I have
for heavy duty landscaping,
repairs, tractor work (don't have to ask twice to
get someone to "play" with my tractor).
And I look forward to your family's visit ...
Kayla can feed the fish and
sit on my neighbors horse, Teaser,
and the rest of us can just sit under the
giant Juniper, sip ice tea
 and take turns
on the swing!
Love and blessings.
GAM .... Great Aunty Monica

And when winter comes
I rest ......

Sunday, July 8, 2012

EVERYTHING HAS A SHELF LIFE

November 15, 2014
I enjoy scanning past posts to remember
who I was ..... which helps me make plans
for who I am becoming.
It snowed last night ... fall is quickly turning into winter.
I like winter ...
Spring and Summer 2014 is but a memory ..
as I say in the below post...
seasons have a 
"shelf life" .... a time for every purpose under heaven.
__________________________________________

IT'S TRUE ...
EVERYTHING HAS A SHELF LIFE


From the rising of the sun,
heralding each new day,
we draw closer to
the little label
stamped ..... unseen....
upon each of us, as if we were a bottle of ketchup with the warning:

USED BEST BY
FEB32009


or some other date,
signaling that the contents of
such or such bottle, or jar, package or box, the ingredients of which are no longer deemed safe or stable enough to be consumable.
I haven't cleaned out my frig ....
I mean
REALLY cleaned out my frig in
hmmmm, don't know the last time I tackled
the frig.
I browse through it daily,
sometimes
two, three, five, eight times daily
if I'm bored, but not particularly hungry.
Maybe I think I'll find something new
magically appeared next to the
ketchup (I never use) or
mustard (I hate) or
jalapenos (I detest!) or
marmalade (I can't stand marmalade).
But they are all there, in my frig.
Lots of old stuff.
Unless I go shopping
and cram in brand new yummy cartons of
yogurt and cottage cheese,
or a 2 pound loaf of mozzarella,
or kale and carrots and spinach and peppers and
tomatoes (never put tomatoes in the frig) and always hang greenish-yellow bananas on a

uh oh ..... time to buy more bananas. I never noticed if my bananas had a "BEST USED BY" date on them. It wouldn't matter ... I eat one daily .... no chance they go bad ... a little soft and mushy, maybe, but never rotty black yucky.

Today, July 8, 2012
After coming home from church,
I fed my goldfish and marveled at
a beautiful newly-opened water lily.
Even goldfish have a
"USE BY ...." date.
A few days ago I gently and
respectfully eased one of my goldfish
out of the water ... using a rake, which made
me nervous that I would poke the fish......
who wouldn't have felt it because
her shelf life had met the "BEST USED BY" date.

It's terribly sad to lose a friend .... even if it's one who has fins and gills and scales.
Although, I had never given this particular fish a name.
I have only a few (of my more than 35 goldfish) that I have named.
One in particular is
"White Eyes"
lower left,
lovely lady Alpha fish
of the pond.

"White Eyes " and her pond mate
 who
lived her life to the fullest
then
died   ...... unknown cause....
looked a lot alike.
It was sad to bury this
lovely fish in the garden beside
the pond ... but a fitting place for her.


I felt unsettled and restless ....
was it just from thinking about the dead fish,
or
could it be the sermon in church today
about
"Song of Solomon"
a love story in the Bible
about marriage and devotion, respect,
commitment and sexual attraction.
Of which none of that is present in my life anymore since Eldon died
Feb32009 ..... his "BEST USED BY" date. I don't mean to
sound disrespectful .... Eldon would love this picturesque way of saying
he died. He had a wonderful sense of humor!
I usually find more creative avenues
to work through a downer ....
but today
I decided to clean out my frig.
Too bad I didn't take a picture of
"before".
But you can trust me when I say
each shelf was crammed full,
giving me a false sense of security
in that I would not run out of
condiments to enhance my
sandwiches, or salads,
bbq ribs, or burritos.
However,
by consuming the majority of
condiments cramming the shelves from top to bottom in the door of my frig
could cause my
shelf life to come to an end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


"BEST USED BY 0312 11  (March 12 2011)" read one container.
And it got worse .... and older:
10 08 09
04 10 08
07 05 07!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mmmmmm, good for ya!!!

I felt good
when I stepped back to take a picture of my
clean and uncluttered condiment shelves.
Holding onto stuff, for the sake of owning stuff,
is just clutter ... and can make you sick
unless you clean it all out and make sure
the "BEST USED BY" dates haven't expired.

I tackled Eldon's side of the closet within the
first year after he died, but still have
items that will never
 be removed from my home  ....
or my heart:



 "Shirt Quilt"

"Bathrobe Marine Bear"


"Carhart & Cap"

And reading ahead (of the weekly sermon) in the
"Song of Solomon"
I came across a special verse:

Song of Solomon 8:6,7
"Place me as a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
it's jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned."
You see ....
Eldon had my name
with a rose
tattooed on his arm
before we married in 1956.

Love is the only thing
that doesn't have a
"BEST USED BY"
date.
Love is timeless ....
it never ceases .....
even to the grave
and into the
presence of God.
.....................
Now let's see ...
I think next I'll tackle the shelf
crammed full of
Christmas decorations ....
and after that
.............