29 September 2013


i anticipated we'd be out walking in the woods this glorious fall weekend, so i took an acorn from the fidget bowl, drew a tiny face on it, and placed it along the path on an isolated bed of moss where i was sure the little girl would find it. and find it she did. she let out a gasp of disbelief, a whoop of joy, and gave me a big hug after i finally admitted that, yes, i had put it there. then she ran back to the house laughing and whooping some more and yelling, "this is hysterical!"

what a great reaction. i must do this for her more often!

24 September 2013

where have all the monarchs gone?

milkweed plants are pretty prolific here in this neck of the woods. every spring, i leave several plants to grow in the yard and in the garden. around here, milkweed is the food of choice for monarch caterpillars as they grow. they feast on the leaves midsummer and then, when it's time, they go into their chrysalis formation right there on the plant, firmly attached to a stem or a leaf, their casings brilliant green with a glittering band of gold. most years there are many, many monarchs here, in various stages of growth. this year, despite my best investigative efforts, i can find not a one. zero. zip. nada.

abrupt changes like this worry me, especially where nature is concerned. i have not researched this to see if there's a reason, but i hope this is just a local phenomenon and pray that it's simply a one-year anomaly. spring was too cold. it snowed at the end of may. the summer was too wet. something like that.  
on a related note, last year i took a monarch caterpillar and the milkweed plant it lived on to the little girl's school so her class could observe the transformation firsthand. the creature died. i felt badly then. i feel worse now.

20 September 2013

here and now

i am still here. the rhythm i thought i had seems erratic these last few days. i am busy, certainly, but am not feeling terribly productive and i can't quite figure out why. a wise friend says i am just not used to leisure and perhaps she is right. i am looking forward to a few day trips this week. maybe that will help.

i sure don't want this space to turn into a whine-fest, a pity party, but this change in lifestyle dominates my existence right now, so i am struggling with upbeat, interesting ideas for posts. it's pretty silly, i know - all the time i've been writing to this blog, how many times did i actually blog about work? not many!

so bear with me. please.

10 September 2013


found on the walk this morning, lots of reds all around...
with more to come as fall commences. 

05 September 2013

rhythm of days

it seems i'm beginning to find my retirement "groove", to establish some structure to my days, a bit of a routine in my life. i am working a lot, lazing a bit, and certainly taking time for myself that can't remember ever taking before. today as i was walking, as i watched a bank of clouds give way to bright blue sky, i was momentarily flooded with a sense of sweet contentment, and felt like i belonged right where i was at this point in my life. i sure hope the feeling lasts.