Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Love A Good Farmers Market...

The Beauty & Abundance of the Portland Farmer's Market

At least four times a year we come to Portland and have fun. Caelin does his beloved racing, which brings him a thrill like nothing else does. I LOVE to see him race, he is in his element, when he races, its like a whole different side to him comes out, he becomes gregarious, warm and effusive and his joy is contagious, and I am happy for him.

When I come to Portland, I love to explore. I get in the car and head into the city. My favorite destination on a Saturday morning, is the Farmer's Market. I just love, love, love the energy... wonderful produce, out doors, brilliant colored flowers, a multitude of delicious smells, coffee, baked goods, lilacs, hot tamales, herbs...mmmmm....

Wish you were here...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rejoicing in Spring..

A Bee Buzzes Contentedly On A Mustard Plant...

This weekend finds us in Portland. We are here for Caelin to race - his first of the season...He is VERY happy to be "back in the saddle" as it were.. And I am happy to be down here in Portland, it has one of the best, race tracks I've ever been to. Built within a park and kept very nicely by the city..

Here I find lots of wonderful birds, otters, beavers, bugs and beautiful flowering trees.

I feel the joy of spring everywhere, and found this beautiful poem celebrating spring, by Robert Frost. I have loved his poetry since I was introduced to his poem "After Apple Picking," by my English Literature teacher in High School..

Tomorrow, I will continue to celebrate spring and head to the Portland Farmers Market to thrill in the feast for the eyes..., fruit, vegetables, exotic plants, baked goods, so many gifted growers, farmers and craftspeople, all in one place... I SO love a good farmers market, don't you?

I hope you enjoy this poem.

A prayer In Spring - By Robert Frost

OH, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
and make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

and make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
the meteor that thrusts in with the needle bill,
and off a blossom in mid air stands still.

for this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creating Eye Appeal...

Fresh flowers in the dining room..

This whole week, I have devoted my energy to transforming our home into a show house...

Its been quite a learning experience, and its not over yet.

Our real estate agent sent us Mary Poppins (that's not her real name!) a few days ago, she specializes in "staging homes" for selling, and folks, she really knows her stuff... She handed me a sheet of paper and told me to take notes. We cruised from room to room and she dictated whilst I wrote all the little secrets that make a home beautiful and desirable... I learned quickly about what to remove, and what to keep, how to present, and organize ... for example today, in order to make our walk in closet more attractive to a would-be-buyer, I arranged all of my hanging clothes in order of color, I was surprised at what a difference it made to the whole space.. Small things can make a huge overall difference..

We are selling our home and hoping to move into a bigger house, but we'll see what happens. I am definitely from the camp of one step at a time. I find that the more "things" I have to worry about the more I stress..., and the more I stress, the more unhappy I make myself. Some people are worried that we might sell right away, and where would we go? Again, I cannot worry about something that hasn't happened..

Instead I am simply focusing on the tasks in front of me. This week, I have gone through every room in the house and decreased the contents of each room by at least fifty percent... I've sorted and packed and organized..., and you know what? I am astonished by just how much "stuff" has been "stuffed" into our little house..., and I'm amazed by how much we still have left even after the sorting!

Packing up a families various accoutrements in order to move is proving to be quite eye opening. After removing so many "treasures," I'm finding that the spaciousness has created a sense of appeal that is very gentle to the eye and for some reason a lot less troubling! Having stuff means you have to take care of it, handle it, clean it, sometimes move it..., I didn't know it until now, but the weight of everything had become a burden.

Now I find myself loving every room in the house, whereas before I avoided nooks and crannies, (probably because they'd acquired a kind of negative energy) I now find myself pausing and just standing, feeling the flow of good energy circulating around me and through our home... (thank you Mary Poppins!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coyote comes to work...

Look who I spotted at lunch time today...Coyote (canis latrans.)

I watched him for a few moments before he noticed me. He was prancing almost, I
read that they walk on their toes, which allows them to detect their prey underground or
even under snow. He then came to a complete stop and arched his head and neck, and seemed to be staring at the ground, actually, I think he was listening, perhaps to a small rodent near to the surface.., he looked so intent and then postured himself like he was about to pounce, but then changed his mind when he saw us watching him, he turned quickly and trotted away, stopping occasionally to look over at us... I was very pleased to have had my camera on me.. (a practice I am trying to adopt more and more.)

I have a great deal of respect for Coyotes, and think them beautiful creatures, even though they are considered by most farmers to be a dangerous predator that needs to be exterminated. I admire their resiliency, and their adaptability to ever changing environments, and the fact that they play a major part in keeping down the rodent population, which I give major thumbs up to!

I found Barbara Kinsolver's book "A Prodigal Summer" very helpful in helping me to understand the crucial part that Coyote's play in balancing local ecosystems..., and what happens when top predators are eradicated, because of myths, fears and biases.

Normally they are nocturnal, feeding/scavenging for food at night.. but the fellow I photographed today was out and about at 1pm, in the middle of the day and in the middle of an industrial park, with cars an people coming in and out... what could he have been thinking?
Perhaps he has a litter of hungry pups to feed, and like a lot of other Dad's out there, he's just looking for a job so he can feed his family?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


A Newly Hatched Butterfly Dries Its Wings

Sorry for being absent without a word..
I've been sick with strep throat and did not have energy to open my laptop!
I apologize, as one of my good friends reminded me today, that its probably a good idea to write a line or two, even if its just to let us know that you "feel like your dying right now and can't write!" (even though that might be a tad melodramatic for me, point taken:)

For the past week I've had lots of time on my hands, time to sleep, rest and mull things over.
I've had a big list of chores to do, but could not get to them, I was very frustrated. I had major cabin fever, and wished for energy that I just didn't have.

This past
Sunday, I felt good enough to venture outside for the first time in days, I sat on the walkway in our garden and soaked up the lovely, gentle, healing warmth of the sun. This is where I spotted the little black and white butterfly, drying out its wings... I observed his patience ..., if he took off too soon before they were fully dried out, the delicate membranes might have torn and he'd never have been able to fly, on the other hand, he was vulnerable to birds and other predators whilst he patiently waited for his wings to be finished...

I find that when I take a moment or two to look and see this beautiful life around me, and give my energy to something as small as this young butterfly, I come back to myself. It only takes a few minutes or maybe hours, (in those moments, time loses its hold on me.)

After a while, the butterfly spread his wings and took off, and I felt the best I had in days.