Sunday, January 25, 2009


I am packing our picnic basket
and gathering our gear.
We are taking a road trip!

Like many other snow birds
we are headed south.

We will return in a couple of weeks.
I have to be back for fiber Tuesday
and Valentine's Day.

It is a big state. We hope to travel the back roads,
the farm to market roads.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley is a flyway
we will be staying near by.
Maybe we will see new to us birds and butterflies.

I have never seen an armadillo or a Texas Bluebonnet!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It is warm today,
59.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once again the ground begins to thaw.
Milkweed seeds drift on the southern breeze.

A feather found a dried rose.

The cardinals and I
enjoyed a break from the cold.

A cold front is moving in.
It is just a short break.

Stranded on a desert island

Shirl's Garden Watch asked us what three plants we could not live with out.
I instantly knew.
There are three flowering herbs that heal my every need.

Lavender is my companion in this life.

I dry the lavender blooms every year for winter use.
It is part of my heart healthy tea blend.
It is in my bath, my laundry and under my pillow.

I have grown, harvested and dried lavender for 35 years.

I always leave a few blooms to go to seed so the lavender hedge is replenished.

I cannot imagine life with out lavender.

The bees love the blooms.

Rosemary is my second must have herb.

Each day I check on the Rosemary.
I almost lost her in 2007.

The Purple Cone flowers, echinacea, is my third must have herb.

The roots are for my tea, the blooms for the butterflies and bees, the seeds for the Gold Finches.

These three plants are my friends.

I cannot imagine life with out them.

What plants are your life companions?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Posted From Home

I met Deb from, Posted From Home, when
she came to Corner in 2006 and left a comment.
I found her journal.
I found a friend.

Deb knows the beauty of quiet days. She treasures the moment. She sees beauty.
She has a darling little bird, Jax, that sings to her and keeps her company.
I adore Jax! He is a sweet bird.

She knows the profound pain of loss.
She knows joy.

Today when I visited I was once again inspired.
She is very creative. She is very kind. She is an artist.

She is a friend to the birds and the bugs.
She has named the squirrels and bunnies that live in her gardens.

She posts "Pink Saturday".
When I see pink I think of Deb.
I send "Thank yous" for all the encouragement she gave me when I first started my photography. I send blessings and I am so very grateful to know her and her family.

When ever I see a Black Labrador I think of Deb and her faithful friend Benny.
I found a photograph of a Black Lab on the internet.
It is not Benny but reminds me of him. I look at this picture often.
I became friends with Benny from visiting, Posted From Home.
It is amazing that Deb's love for her friend came through her photographs and grabbed my heart.

Thank you Deb.
I appreciate you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

A few snow flurries greeted me when I went
to feed the birds this morning.
I did not linger outdoors.
Today is Inauguration Day.

It has been many years since
I last turned on the television set in the daytime.
I normally listen to the radio as I do my chores.

I do not think I have ever had popcorn for breakfast.
Today is special.

I watched and remembered past Inauguration Days.

There is work to be done.

There are wounds that need healing.

There is a sweetness to today as we choose
"hope over fear."

May we learn to share, to work together.

May we learn to live in harmony with each other
and nature.

It is a new beginning day.

There is work to do.

I took the pledge to be non-violent.

Perhaps you will join me.

Namaste, I honour the light in you.

Monday, January 19, 2009


When I began reducing the amount of electricity
my household used, I began with awareness.
I found that I like light.

It was 1990, when I first began my hunt for waste.
I looked at the meter.
I grabbed a leftover notebook.
My job was to find the ways in which my household was wasting electricity.

As I walked around my house I turned off any light I was not using.
The under cabinet lights in the kitchen burned all day.
The kitchen is on the North side of the house. It has always seemed dim.

These lights are florescent tubes so they were efficient yet still they were using electricity for no reason. I was not in the kitchen all day. I realized I like my rooms to be welcoming. I was using light to bring warmth not always for reading or tasks. I decided I needed a plan. Some way to bring light into my rooms with out electricity. I needed ideas. I spent one year becoming aware. I looked at our use in the daytime and at night. I watched how our use changed seasonally. I began asking myself questions, " How can I add warmth and enjoyment? Am I using this light or am I wasting?" Each lamp was looked at. I asked myself, " Is this light for reading or task? Is it to chase the dark away? Why do I have this lamp here?" I wrote ideas in my notebook. I learned that often a lower watt bulb would give me what I needed, I learned to love shadow art!
I began one step at a time. In the first year I reduced our use by 50%!

Since that first awareness I have done many things to add enjoyment and to reduce use.

We painted the walls white and I started finding antique mirrors for decorating.
I removed the curtains from the windows on the south side of the house. I raise the blinds on sunny, winter days. I use crystal and silver in the winter. It reflects the light and adds a shimmering beauty to the rooms.
I added glass doors to my cabinets in the kitchen. I added dresser mirrors to the inside of a dark china cabinet.

Each January I check again all the different ways I use electricity.
I get my notebook out. I ask myself my questions. If I have ideas I write them down.
I still would love to add skylights in the kitchen and one for a windowless bath. It is in my notebook as a, "good idea". Adding solar panels would be nice too.
I walk around the house and look at all the appliances and schedule the cleaning of the refrigerator coils. I plan the spring window washing.
I make sure our furnace filter is clean.
I make a plan for the year.

Last year I added two carafes to my counter top. One is for my morning coffee and the other is for hot water. This way I have my hot coffee with out leaving the coffee maker on. I have my hot water for sipping or for making tea without having to turn my kettle on more than once.
I am looking at adding a clothes line for 2009. I would like the umbrella style. One I can bring out on wash day and put it in a sleeve in the backyard.
Something pretty. I like pretty.

We switched out another six bulbs in a couple of ceiling fixtures yesterday. This was a saving of 300 watts.
I seldom use these fixtures but now when I do need the extra light I will be using efficient bulbs.
I wish the bulbs did not contain Mercury.
This afternoon I will start looking at our water usage again.
Often water and electricity are tied together.
The washer just finished.
I heard the chime.
May your week be filled with green ideas.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cleaning up

The sun felt warm.
I sat on the deck with the birds
and read for awhile this afternoon.

A pair of Carolina Wrens came for suet.

Mocking bird has returned.
I have missed him.
He is back for raisins.

There are two pairs of Tufted Titmice.
They are so charming.

I laid my book down. I was warm.
The deck was a mess. It was full of spent seed hulls.
I took my broom and began cleaning up.

The Jack-o-lantern is dry now and ready for a coat of varnish.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Haiku Friday

Old Man Winter blows
Artic air into the plains
I perch by my fire.

A prelude to Spring
Tulips in January
I am contented.

Be a butterfly
Be a bird a bloom a bug
Be a bumble bee.

3 I am
5 happy
3 now.



3 Bundled and wrapped

5 with bells on my toes

3 I finally arrived!

Chase the cold away

write a loon or a haiku

a way to be green.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inner smiles

When I awoke it was -4 degrees f, -20c.
The windchill was -20 f.

I wanted to stay dreaming.

Once the shades were opened the ice
began to melt on the windows.

I took my dreams into the living room.
A cardinal's feather was caught in October's bittersweet.

I spent the morning caring for the tulips

and watching the light dance about the house.

The butterflies are a whimsey.

They shimmer in January's ice blue light.

They remind me of summer

when the jewels of the garden flew to the sweet nectar.

I drank my coconut and pineapple juice

and dreamed of flying kites.

I am warm and cozy.
This cold shall pass. Quickly I hope.
I smile often. It warms the heart and is good radiant heat.