Grabbing Joy

Sunday I planned to spend the day shopping, one of my less favorite activities.  But we had our first day of the year of temperatures in the 50’s and it seemed too fine a day to spend in a car or a big box store.  Instead I enjoyed my morning coffee watching the sunrise and the day warm as the birds made their presence known, sounding as joyous as I felt.  I was able to wander around the property looking to see what the melting snow had uncovered and feeling the soil soften under my feet.

Just before dusk as I was heading in I heard a rustle in the grass and turned to find the biggest flock of wild turkeys I had seen so far.  My best estimate, counting turkeys on the move being what it is, was at least sixty.  Although they are a less attractive bird from a distance, up close their feathers are iridescent and catch the sun as they scurry along.  Another sight I would have missed.

Seeking out moments of joy, even if it means a change of plans to soak up an unexpected opportunity can not only offer the immediate pleasure, but a happiness boost (now that is something they need to offer at Jamba Juice!), every time that I  recall the experience.  Just now thinking about turning around to see the flock come trooping out of the trees makes me smile.

Today I will turn my mindfulness to finding a sight or sound I can savor, even as I am shopping for the mundane.

Sunny Sunday

The sun is out, and it feels like spring.  There are two robins in the tree outside my window cavorting and celebrating as well.  What a glorious way to start the day!  I am incorporating mindfulness (paying attention to the here and now) with gratefulness into my thinking about every moment. I am using what the politicos refer to as spin to change my thinking.  Last night during a roaring wind storm, during which I tend to worry about all sorts of flying objects and damage, instead I turned my thoughts to how lucky I am in a warm safe home, with a cheery fire and a huge selection of books; gratefulness.

One of the risks of this somewhat Pollyanna-ish thinking is the loss of being taken seriously, always hugely important in the past.  But when I framed it in a new way, would I rather be taken seriously and be unhappy or would I rather be happy and let the chips fall where they may?  I chose happiness.

Today I will sing, loudly, all the way to Missoula, dance when I dry my hair and put my purchases away, and laugh just for any old reason or no reason at all.  Happy Sunday.

Not for the squeamish

Not that I have been overly freaked out by the various bugs and rodents that may cross one’s path in the suburbs, but I have risen to the level of nonplussed when it comes to dealing with the grosser aspects of country living.  A friend of mine who lives in central Washington near the Canadian border has waged an all out war on voles that decimated her garden last year and has tracked her body count on Facebook.  Country gals become a little tougher, (and find our entertainment in unique ways).  My personal vendetta has been houseflies, tons of them, with no let up in winter.  I have searched the web for ideas, and short of killing the dang things and removing their food source, there was little help.  I have heard anecdotally that flies are a problem in log and wood beam homes, but cannot find documentation or the answer to why?  I am stumped on the food source, as I have no attic space to hide a dead rodent, the garbage tucked away in a pull out, and I have never seen any activity near the cat items…so clobbering and cleaning up flies is part of the daily routine.  I am the proud owner of four fly swatters and my shop vac has a place of honor among the weapons of war.  Next up is sterilizing the interior surfaces in the hopes it will discourage the filthy little buzzers.

Yesterday when I went out the cat had left me a gift of a severed mouse head and the less tasty (I’m assuming) guts on the walkway to the garage.  I don’t really have a problem, anymore at least, of flinging them into the woods with a shovel, but I have to say even this newly minted country girl was not thrilled to clean the barfed up  indigestible parts of a mouse at 5:30 AM.  Thanks cat!

The trade-offs for which I am grateful:

  • Even on this gray morning the air is still, crisp and smells so clean
  • Heating with wood is one of the most cheerful ways to stay warm
  • The quiet is so soft, the birdsong so sweet in early spring, the stillness so calming

Today I will continue to practice happiness, gratefulness and mindfulness.  I will try a new activity, the First Friday celebration in town, to meet new people while “being Cathrine”.

When the sun shines

I am so inspired this morning to work outside even though it is cold – I still find it amazing how much the sun has a direct effect on my mood and my energy. I sat on the porch step this morning just to watch and feel the sunrise, only later did I realize it was only 15 degrees…no wonder the cat did not want to join me. Our bodies are so in tune with the natural world, if only we pay attention. Mindfulness today and every day.