Monday, May 16, 2011

Rainy then Perfect!

Last Saturday I walked with a friend in the rain and wind.  After 90 minutes, I'm not sure that there was a dry spot on either one of us.  Neither one of us cared though, because the alternative was to watch the weather from under a blanket eating chocolates.  It felt so wonderful to be so invigorated, even if we were soaked!
Fast forward to today, Monday.  My hubby and I walked under unbelievable sunshine.  A male rose breasted Grosbeak greeted us on the path.  He just perched and looked at me while I looked at him.  They are quite stunning, but I've always thought quite shy, until today.  At our blessings pause point, we were both so thankful for such an unbelievable day, and that we got to be out in it literally soaking it up and savoring it.  It was a treat. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Goslings Have Hatched

I had a rare treat today and got outside to walk at lunchtime.  I walked down to a different section of the lake and was so delighted that I did.  I saw 3 pair of Canadian geese and each pair had goslings trailing behind them.  One couple had 5, one had 4, and one had 3.  I will keep watch over the next several weeks, but I imagine that a few will be lost to the hawks and the eagles in the area.  It's a sad reality but a very natural part of the cycle of natureIt sure was fun today to see the downy little chicks; it put a big smile on my face.  On the way home I saw 2 male mallards and one female perched on the neighbor's roof.  It seems like  a very odd place to hang out.  I wondered if they were planning on staying there or if they just liked the view from their perch. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Oriole

Baltimore Oriole from National Geographic
It's funny to me how the arrival and sighting of different birds throughout the season evoke certain happy feelings.  This morning I heard an oriole before I saw it.  I had thought that I heard one's throaty call yesterday at my home.  Sure enough, I spotted the delightful bright orange of the Baltimore oriole who was singing in the tree top. I love seeing their unique hanging nests in the trees in the fall when the leaves disappear.  They are amazingly engineered.  It's getting harder and harder to find the birds as the trees continue to leaf out.  I am already needing more patience to see my little feathered friends.  We're enjoying another warm day with storms and then sun.  Spring is so lovely!

Great book about surviving loss

Good Samaritan Society-Stillwater will host Begin Here author
Local author Kat Reed will give a presentation on her book, Begin Here: Helping Survivors Manage on Friday, May 13th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Her workbook guides survivors through the seemingly overwhelming practical and necessary tasks that remain after a death, from residential to financial to personal.  The guide/toolkit is based on her own experiences after her mom's death. Discovering the lack of resources available to help her and her predominantly deaf dad with these tasks, Reed researched and investigated solutions to the practical matters for herself. In turn, she self-published her user-friendly book in 2009 as a way to ease this burden for other survivors. This is a free presentation. Copies of the book will be available for sale.

This sounds like a great resource and a great presentation!
This announcement was in the Stillwater chamber newsletter today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Simply Glorious

What a day.  I actually walked today in short sleeves!  It was a wonderful day to be out in nature in Minnesota.  The birds were singing and everyone who we passed was smiling and had a spring in their stepAll of the trees have leaves opening and the countryside is greening.  If you can't get outside, open a window and breathe the wonderful fresh air! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rainy Monday

We walked in the pouring rain this morning.  There wasn't any real break from it, and the lightening and thunder were amazing.  We had to peel our wet duds off on the porch, and they left puddles of water as they dried.  It looks like we will have some mild temps this week.  Did I really see 80 degrees in the forecast?  If the rabbits had not eaten all of my tulips and left some green leaves, they may actually have opened this week.  I must admit that rabbits are not my favorite critter because of the damage that they do to my plants and bushes.  I have learned to plant some things that they like to give them something to eat, so they will leave the things I care about alone.  I was cleaning out my gardens all weekend, and I can tell you that we needed this rain.  Things were quite dry.  This will really green things up, and the maple leaves that are just now open, should grow quite a bit this week.  I also saw that the birch have really come alive.  Enjoy!

Let's Go Fishing

I love having helpers all over the place.  My hubby was at Walmart over the weekend and he saw a group out front raising money.  He stopped to hear what they had to say, and told me later, he couldn't figure out why he stayed to listen to the whole thing and chat with them.  Suddenly he realized that I needed the resource to pass on through my blog.
Let's Go Fishing is a free program, and according to their website  "Let's Go Fishing of Minnesota is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals through fishing and boating excursions that strengthen communities, build relationships and create memories."
Here's the link to their great site:
Let's Go Fishing 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Get outside!

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
 James Matthew Barrie

Just a quick post....what a perfect day.  If there is any way that you can get outside for a walk, a 5 minute break, digging in the dirt, a phone conversation or a picnic lunch on a park bench...Go For It.  The day is beckoning.  Get out and soak it up!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Patience and Patients

As a highlight of my week last week, one of my long term hospice patients with dementia was alert and lucid. When I introduced him to someone new, he shook their hand and greeted them.  Then he and I shook hands and he didn't let go of mine.  I sat right down on his bed, and we talked a bit about his past as a scientist for 3M. I asked him if he was the kind of scientist who worked on paper, or if he did cool things in a lab and got to do experiments.   He was glowing when he told me that he remembered that he wore a lab coat every day.  He was full of smiles and little bits of information, and after almost an hour I gently extracted my hand and left to give him time to rest.  
I went to a different home to see another patient and ended up feeding him "lunch".  Pureed lasagna and beans didn't look good to me and didn't seem to taste good to him, but we cooperated enough to get some down.  After lunch, the sun was shining brightly, so I wheeled him out onto the patio and into the fabulous sunshine.  It was a bit cool, but he and I stayed outside and sat holding hands. He closed his eyes and fell asleep in the sunshine, with the fresh air filling his old lungs.  He was so peaceful, and I swore that if he could speak he'd have said "Aaah, this feels so fantastic!" I wondered when he had last been wheeled outside.
There are days when I feel so ineffective as a volunteer and days when we are all in sync.  This hospice day was one of the best that I have ever had.  I felt so very blessed!

It's a Beautiful Day

Rue Anemone by Sarah
Rain, sun, cold nights, warm days, more rain and more sun.  This morning was stunning; it was warm and threatening rain.  I played it safe and wore my rain pants, which I happily didn't need.  Just as we rounded the corner and the whole lake came into view, I noticed two dark shapes in a tree right next to the path.  We halted and caught our breath when we realized that the shapes were 2 mature bald eagles perched in the tree-top.  We stood for a minute or so and then started walking towards them.  When we got right under the tree, I was looking almost straight up at the eagles, and one of them was looking straight down at me.  We were pretty curious about each other.  I was glad we took the time to stare at them, because on our return trip, they had both flown off.  I did see another happy sight along the woodland path:  the Rue Anemone is blooming.  The delicate green leaves with small pink flowers push up through the dead leaves and bob their small heads in the slightest breeze.  We almost missed their gleeful little spring welcome.   "I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."  ~Ruth Stout

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hard to keep smiling with snowfall

Ok, enough is enough.  Sunday the wind chill was 20 degrees - May 1st for those of you paying attention.  I know, Spring is pushing through and I survived (with a smile) by thinking happy thoughts.  Thank goodness because earlier today there was snow accumulation - gasp!  According to the weatherman, Paul Douglas, we should see high 60s Tuesday and maybe 70 before the end of the week!  I am counting the minutes.  On our walk this morning, bundled again in winter duds, we saw some beautiful tree swallows excitedly flying and then perching on nearby branches.  They have a way of lining up end to end on the branch  that is so cozy.  They would land and perfectly space 7 or 8 birds wide on one branch, and 5 or 6 wide on a smaller branch. Soon the little tree looked like it was alive with giant buds.  They would all perch and then flit off, giving us a treat with their iridescent blue back feathers shimmering in the light!  Then the whole process would be repeated.  We stood and watched them for a long time.  It was just too amazing to rush past.