Sunday, February 22, 2009

Burr, it is a cold day. Every twenty minutes or so we have a break of bright sun between snow squalls. Birds are singing. Yes! The red-wing blackbirds have been back for 10 days and the juncos are still here. The days are getting longer which means I see some daylight - the therefore birds - when I get home from work.

I have made amazing progress on my massive to-do-list. It was easy! After my last post I told myself that there was no need to stress and that it would be easy to finish everything. I asked for ease and it was given.

All of the new appliances have been ordered, a new secretary will probably start one day this week, everything is ready for the seminar Wednesday, after a 2 1/2 hour Planning Commissioners’ meeting we will continue a discussion on land use next month, and my gardening presentation is almost ready. It only needs tweaking!

The sun is peaking through the clouds and my appointment book will not explode. I even took a few photos this morning!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Happened to February?

Blogging has taken a backseat to living on the run. Not from the law. I’ve not gone over the edge – yet! There are multiple reasons for my absence.

Has there been a time in your life when it was easier to buy new underwear than it was to find a moment to do laundry? That about sums it up.

School is VERY busy, but it is all the other details of the last few weeks that make me feel like an old VCR stuck in fast forward.

Months ago I agreed to be a presenter at the Washington County Spring Gardening Seminar February 28. I’m a Master Gardener and I absolutely LOVE teaching and sharing all things gardening. It is my favorite thing. I’m confident the program will come together and be wonderful, but have I searched and organized slides for my new presentation? Nope. It is still in outline form. Ouch!

What will never come together is my dishwasher. It recently decided that it wanted to rinse dishes for the rest of eternity. It would not stop gurgling and spraying. The ageing Gaggenau was going to run until it killed itself. It has been unplugged and pulled from the kitchen. Bliss loves to explore the depths of the black hole that remains.

Add shopping for a dishwasher to my every growing, extra-long, must get this done right away, to-do-list. And, while running to what seams like most of the appliance stores in a 25 mile radius because, of course, this will be a special order for a tight space, I need to make the effort worthwhile. I’ll just have to pick out a new cook top, range hood and oven. The appliances in my soon to be updated kitchen are 43 years old. Let me repeat. They are FOURTY-THREE years old! The range hood hasn’t worked for a few years. It is time for new. I am going to stimulate the economy. I’m shopping! Then there is the installation….

With all this driving between stores, and school, and doctors appointments, while stopped at red lights, I can read a few paragraphs of our township’s Comprehensive Plan. Normally, serving on the Planning Commission only requires reviewing plans and attending a monthly meeting to hear developer presentations, review more plans and taken action on those ready for a vote. Of course, now, it had to be now, we are rewriting the Comprehensive Plan. Chapters 5-8 for THIS Thursday! Ouch! Yikes!

Oh, I don’t want to forget to mention a project I’ve been pulling together for months. I am organizing a day-long seminar with 12 speakers and breakout sessions for 300 participants. It is NEXT week. Everything is going pretty well, but MY SECRETARY QUIT! Ouch! Yikes! Say a prayer! She did the right thing considering a family concern, but I could sure use some help with registration. I’ll be interviewing for clerical help two days this week, not that I have the time, but maybe, just maybe, the new person will be able to work the day of the program. My fingers – and toes – are crossed. Oh my gosh! Just this instant I realize I forgot to cater lunch for the speakers! Insert scream here.

I miss blogging. I miss taking photos of the birds. I miss sitting in my favorite corner of the sofa reading my favorite blogs. I miss daily visits with writers with whom I feel a connection – even if it is in a cyberspace kind of way.

Know that I’m swimming my way out of this whirlpool. I just have to remember not to struggle to exhaustion. I’ll let the whirlpool toss me around a bit and go with the flow. The results of all this juggling will be glorious: a great conference, a fantastic lecture, a 10 year plan for the township, a new secretary and practically a new kitchen. It is an understatement to say that February has and will continue to be overly busy. Thank you for letting me vent and explore my exploding schedule in this very public way. Ahhh…. Breathe….

Now, where is the phone number for the caterer?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Florida Sun, Sand and Seagulls

Last Februrary I was in Florida. It was a last minute trip and only for the weekend, but a year later I can easily imagine the warm sun on my skin and the sand between my toes. There is something very special about being with the ocean. Sitting on the beach, feeling the breeze, watching the birds and breathing in the sea air - heaven on earth.

My Florida mission was to fit in as many experiences in to my few precious days as possible. The adventure started before sunrise. I headed for Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladasi Island State Park. I read that Caladasi Island was rated the number 1 beach in America by Dr. Beach and that both beaches were top notch places to look for seashells. I was looking for treasures and I wanted to get there just after daybreak!

While driving to Honeymoon Beach I saw this bird sitting by it's huge nest. I took the photo from my rental car. Can you id this bird? I'm sure it is a common shore bird, but I don't know what it is. If you know, I will appreciate hearing from you.

Also, let me know if I made any mistakes in bird identification anywhere. I might know most of my backyard friends, but shore birds are new to me. Also new was my camera. This was my first outing with my new camera and I had not yet started to blog. If I had known about blogging, I would have known to take a lot of photos - of everything!

I hope you enjoy the photos and a visit to the beach this week!

It makes sense that the first birds I saw as I walked toward the beach were seagulls. This Ringbill reminds me of myself, testing the water one toe at a time! I'm pretty sure this is a young bird living his first winter at the beach.

Okay gull gurus, help me solve this puzzle. Is this a Franklin's Gull or a Laughing Gull, or some other gull, and how the heck can you tell? There is a bit of a red tip on the bill, but don't the bills of both the Franklin and Laughing turn redish-orange?

That's enough for today! It is too stressful trying to figure out who is who and which gull laughs and which one does not! Good night, gulls!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

January Past

The first month of 2009 has passed. One twelfth of this year of our life on earth is over. Was it a month well-lived? Was it a month of accomplishment, personal growth, enlightenment, friendship, love, fun, or whatever you had hoped it to be?

Small steps and huge strides, forward and, sometimes backward, have been taken toward each of our individual dreams. Are we any closer to who we hope to become, to how we want to live in the universe?

I ask this, of course, because I ask myself. I have been, and will continue to be more mindful of daily choices. I am more aware of what I choose to eat, how I move my body, and like most everyone, each dollar that leaves my wallet. I celebrated with friends and the world on such an amazing Inauguration Day we will remember it into our next lives. All were precious moments for which I am grateful.

A glorious, well-lived month is after all measured in gratitude of joyous days, days measured in moments of work well done, love, fun and hope.

Friends, February is a short month. Live well.