Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts
Summer

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Old Barn

The Old Barn
This Old Barn has had many jobs in the 42 years that we have lived here.  From the house it was the view that filled our windows.  

It has housed hogs from birth to market, the lean-to was an open shelter for the horses to come and go. After the hogs were gone the inside space became a blacksmith shop for my husband and many friends who would frequent it.  


The floor was broken cement, the walls were fragile cement block, and the tin roof rusted and leaking. After it became the Blacksmith shop the ceiling was lowered to keep it warmer and lights were hung, but it always felt like a dark cavernous hole to me.  

After adding on to our pole barn, my husband slowly but surly moved everything from the little white barn to the new space.  Horses now long gone, we no longer needed the lean-to.  Although it did become a place to store stuff, there is never a shortage of stuff around here!

One fine day a year it was time to take down the Old Barn.  In two days you couldn't tell it even existed in this space.  The cement block and floor became the broken foundation to the barnyard drive.  Once gravel was dumped and sifted down into the broken foundation, we had a big place for the activity of a new blacksmith shop and my studio traffic.

Once the barn was gone, we felt naked and exposed to the world, although we have no close neighbors.  Our view from the house then became a view of critters that moved around beyond that Old Barn.  The small field directly behind that Old Barn had become our wildlife area.  We began to see deer moving and even a coyote now and then.  Rabbits run, tunnel and have babies there.  We often hear pheasants calling from those tall grasses.  Milkweed blooms and even some thistles, both providing a place for Monarch butterflies and Goldfinches. 

Every morning this last week we have seen a Red-Tailed hawk perched on a tree branch, we have seen other hawks glide over this area in search for the next meal.  Ten deer passed through from the pasture, they held up there, becoming invisible in the brown grasses.  We never saw these things when the Old Barn was there. 

 I love the open view now, it's not that I'm exposed anymore, it is nature is exposed to me, from the window of our house. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

This Day and Age..........

My thoughts are not to win any points or debate, just my own Meandering Thoughts regarding the Day and Age in which we live.  I have tried to be quiet and respectful of the thoughts and ideas of my fellow friends.  I have managed to live through months of election forecasts and rants from the Democrat and Republican sides, from Media telling me what to believe and what is good for me.  Who can believe so much $^*t being posted, reported and deemed truth?  I thought when the election was over it would finally be peaceful and quiet, people would move on with their life in peace.

Well, was I ever wrong!  In this Day and Age it seems everyone has become a bully, everyone thinks they have all the answers, that they can speak for me and that what I think is not right and I'm not standing up to "injustice for all women".  Let me tell you, it was all I could do to stand up the the injustice that my own mother pushed on me.  Confrontation and protest are not ME.  Fighting, yelling and turmoil are not my game.  Don't ask me to conform to your ideas and your agenda.  Stop posting your "proof", because this article said so.  Do you honestly believe all the stuff you read?  Must you point out every single little thing that you disagree with?   You have become name caller and bully, which is what you seem to dislike most about our leaders.  What happen to the things you went to church every week to support, what happen to the healing sound of music you made?  Was that all a lie?  I know that standing up to things you don't believe is important, but the hate that is being shown along with your "standing up" is just not my cup of tea. 

You have all heard the story of the grandson, being told by his grandfather that you have a wolf on each shoulder, one is good one is bad and they are fighting each other.  The little boy asks his grandfather who wins the fight.  Grandfather answers, "The one you feed the most."

Which wolf are you feeding?  Where is the "Love" you profess to have?  I'm sorry that I now question everything you say.  I cannot pretend to ignore the hate you have helped spread into the universe.  Your words are like a stone dropped in water, the ripple from that stone continues to radiate out.  You cannot take words back, they have become your new mantra.  I'm sorry, I just can't understand, my trust and belief have been shaken to the core.  I find myself retreating to my own world, the simple truth found in nature, seasons and prayers.


I am trying to live in a state of Gratitude and I will work twice as hard to send my stones into the water with prayers of LOVE.  May you all be touched by those prayers and find a more peaceful state.  


Friday, July 8, 2016

We Are Still Here!

It's been a great while since I've visited and written for Meandering Thoughts.  I have been busy, with so many things this past year.  So many changes in my day to day living.

Trees added to walls

First exciting thing was the change going on inside the house.  Major living room project this winter took many hours, Planning, Cleaning, Throwing out and Renewing our living room.  Carpet out!  Bamboo Flooring in!  Fresh new paint and new artwork (my own)!

Native American Style
Flutes displayed
I love having my flutes out and available for enjoyment in viewing or playing a song.  I love coming into this
Some of my early artwork.
space and relaxing or working. It has a
wonderful southwest feel!
We also built an addition to our red barn and wonderful hubby has a new shop to work in, this spring the old white barn that originally housed hogs and the lean that sheltered the horses, came down.  


Taking down the hog barn....
So we are still here, just busy and trying to keep up with everything.  More thoughts down the road!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Year, 2015

We are well into the new year, 2015.  I don't make resolutions, I can never keep them, long gone by the middle of January, which is where I am today.

At Christmas (2014) my wonderful husband gave me a gift that I'd ask for and I have found that it is keeping me more accountable, which is often why I can't keep resolutions.  It is a wristband that tracks my steps, exercise, sleeping and such.  My goal this year is to put more steps into my days.  With my artist lifestyle I do a lot of sitting and working on the latest project, loosing track of time and movement.  With my new knees walking is not as difficult as it once was, now I'm just lazy I think.  I also purchased a used elliptical machine, I do love this machine, covers those cold snowy days that I'm not going outside to walk, it's easier on these old joints and it also records my time.  So these two things are keeping me on track this year.

So much for the practical part of all of this.  Now I want to talk about the sleep records that my wristband keeps.  I'm so fascinated by the records of my sleep habits.  It records when I went to bed, how long it takes me to get to sleep, how often I move, how often I'm awake and how long I sleep and the percent of "good sleep" I had each night.  It is amazing to look at the graph and study the night and relate it to how I feel in the morning!

So last night I slept seven hours and forty-three minutes, it took me seven minutes to fall asleep.  I had a 97% sleep efficiency!  However I was "awake" 7 times in that seven plus hours, once for about four minutes and the other times were maybe due to movement in my sleep.  I ponder those moments, some nights it has recorded that I only moved 3 times........   No real rhyme or reason, just me.  

I find it amazing that I can be awake one minute and then asleep the next.  There is no time of in between.  You are either awake or asleep.  Think about that......, isn't that amazing?

I wonder if that is what death is like, one minute here and alive and the next in a new space and still "alive".   When we go to sleep, are we really practicing for that moment when we journey forever in the spirit world?  I think it could be that easy.







  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Things Change............

Fender (Fenn) our new addition.
August 2014
After I lost my sweet dog Lily, I was pretty certain that I would not go down that road again.  I said to anyone who would listen, "No more dogs, I can't stand the heartache when they leave us all too soon."  "I still have Gabby, I don't want another dog."  "Besides, it ties us down."

My wonderful hubby and I were planning a trip, being gone for almost two weeks and having an elderly dog at home means we must have a house sitter.  Although my wonderful daughter said she would stay, I know it is not easy to give up two weeks of time in our house.

Days before we were to leave, my sweet daughter, sends me a text that one of her Facebook friends has a Yorkie that she needs to give to a good home.  I have always been a softy for the terrier types of dogs and Yorkie's seemed to be my focus.  Although they cost more than I am willing to spend to buy one.

I tell my lovely daughter that I just wasn't interested, then she sends a picture.  Of course, I'm melting a little.  Then she tells me, "He is a year old and free!"  Then I tell here that I have never been interested in little boy dogs, they tend to lift their leg on everything.  I tell wonderful hubby about all of this and he says to me, "How high can a five pound dog lift his leg?"  Seriously, he is not helping me stay strong about not getting another dog!

Then my darling daughter says, let me find out where the dog is located and maybe you can just go look at him.  "Okay, I'll think about it" I say.  Still thinking about packing for vacation, not getting a little dog.  She sends me another text, guess where they live?  Right in my home town!  She is sure that is a sign!!!

So I went to look at Little Boy Dog, my heart smiled on him, he was so cute, although timid.  I ask the "Mom" why she was letting him go.  She has two other big dogs, he wasn't getting the attention he needed, the kids were going back to school and so was she, he deserved a home with more attention.  He is neutered, house trained, cage trained and too darn cute.  The question that would be the deal breaker, "Could you keep him two more weeks, until we get back from vacation?"  "Not a problem." she said.

The rest is history, we now own a sweet little boy dog named Fender (from a Disney movie).  He is sweet, likes to snuggle, loves Gabby (and Gabby likes him), comes when called and is thriving in our house.  Looks like darling sweet daughter will be house
sitting in the future.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Lily, My Dog Friend

Lily, sweetness and love covered in curly hair.
It happened quite by accident, the idea of a little house dog.  We always had outside (barn) dogs and they were always big.  They roamed our yard and pasture freely, chased balls and slept in the flowerbeds.  They were wonderful.  A house dog was a different story AND a little dog was unheard of on our farm!  The reason for this decision was because I wanted some company, our children were leaving the nest, too busy for mom and I needed to still be that mom, so our Lily came to be with us in November 1996.  She was mostly poodle but pronounced a Yorkie/Poo when we went to look at her.  Dark gray mostly curly hair and floppy ears, I was in love the moment I saw her cuteness.

On Monday, June 2, 2014 our journey together on this earth ended.  I called to the loved critters that left before her, the horses and Jessie who left us last summer, I ask them all to gather and greet her.  I could see her washing Jessie's face, something our lab finally resigned herself to enjoy.  Lily was always the mother in our dog family.  
Lily and Gabby going for a ride.

I spent my last hours with Lily, offering choice bits of bacon, loving and hugging on her.  Wanting to protect her and keep her with me always, and yet knowing it was becoming more and more difficult for her to manage.  

She lived a great life here in this family, she was my constant companion, she got to go for rides in the car, she loved camping with us and the horses.  When camping, she always knew when it was time for bed and we would find her in the middle of our sleeping bags, ready for the night.  She played with toys and stole dropped baby booties for attention.  She went to the barn when we fed horses, always looking for dropped horse feed and somehow managed to avoid horse feet that stomped flies.  She loved stealing hoof trimmings when the farrier was trimming feet, only to vomit them up hours later in the house.  I loved her happy little trot down the sidewalk, it was as if she had springs in her legs.  She had one litter of three puppies, we kept one, Gabby and she is sixteen now.  She and Gabby were a good team, they did everything together.

Lily learned a few little tricks, she could sit and beg, we all thought that was adorable and of course she was rewarded for that.  She and all my dogs were taught to sit and stay, one Christmas Card we had seven dogs posing with little Santa hats on that I'd made, they all would sit and stay for me, it was so fun capturing this picture.  Guest dogs included Midnight and Butchie.............  sadly the only one left is our little Gabby girl.

It is difficult to factor the right time to let her go, her dignity and grace are considered.  She wasn't happy, she would get lost in once familiar places, she would wait for me to rescue her, help her outside and back inside, to find the water dish, to serve her a tempting meal where she slept.  Cleaning up accidents and keeping her beds soft and clean.  I did it with compassion and love and yes, sometimes even with frustration.  But I loved her with all my heart and will miss her always.


Lily, 1996 -2014
She is buried near the studio, a special area that I can see from the house or the porch at the studio.  A stack of prayer stones, Hostas planted and a little wind chime. 

Postscript:   After placing the prayer stones and attending to other details, beside the stones I found a small grey feather.  I felt it was a gift from her and acknowledged it with a tear.  This entire summer, everywhere I go, I find small grey feathers.........   She and I are are still connected.  





Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Medicare!!!!!!!!!!

I have reached the age of Medicare.  

It is rather traumatic, it comes with certain images of an older person.  My mind has protected me from believing that I would ever be an person that was that old.  When did it happen?  Did I fall asleep and dream this age, how could have all these years gone by without me noticing?

Oh, I admit, my body has shown me the reality of my life, my knees are new, my eyes have had cataracts repaired, my hair is getting grey and I have distinct wrinkles on my face.  All of these things still did not prepare me for getting my Medicare card.  I was shocked, felt a weight in the pit of my stomach and put the card on the bottom of a pile of things to worry about later.  It didn't go away.  My 65th Birthday has come and gone.
Cynthia DeRemer McDonald, the uncut version,
no makeup, grey hair and a smile
of happiness.

I need to change the way I am thinking about all of this, I need to turn this into a positive thing or I will sit in a rocking chair and just get older.  Today I will share the most wonderful things living this life, of 65 years, has blessed me with.

I grew up in a time of innocence, two party phone lines, bicycles were horses, I lived in the country and loved being outside.  I had animals to teach me responsibility, I grew up with a brother and sister as my playmates, I went to a small school and came from a class of 55 graduating seniors.  I learned that if I did something wrong there were consequences, I was spanked when I was young and grounded as a teen.  I learned to respect elders and listen to adults even if I didn't agree.

I loved my donkey and horse above all, had a really hard time sharing them as they were suppose to be for all the kids in the family.  I learned to drive a stick shift Dodge Dart, white with red interior.  I loved playing hide an seek with the neighbor kids after dark in the summer.  I loved the smell of dairy cows, fresh cut hay and corn tasseling in August.  I loved skating on the pond in winter, being pulled on a sled when it snowed behind a jeep on country roads and I remember cutting wood for our wood furnace.  

I love my friends from high school and am thrilled we are all still in contact today.  I loved being in 4-H for thirteen years, it is where I met my wonderful husband.  I loved 4-H camp every summer and the county fair.  This was my social life growing up!

I fell in love and married the most wonderful man in the world and we have spent 45 years being married this June.  We had three wonderful children and now six wonderful grandchildren.  I believe that while raising children my life started picking up speed.  Meanwhile I continued to ride horses, that obsession never changed or wavered.

I was a stay at home mom until the children were older, then worked awhile here or there, never really knowing what it was I wanted to be when I grew up.  All the while I was growing up, I was gathering knowledge and hoarding it away until at the age of fifty, I decided I wanted to become an "Artist".   I began to put all my knowledge into creating gourd art and taking my art to shows around Ohio and Indiana.

Because of gourds and my desire to sell to the world and a little stumble in my path, I became immersed in the culture of the indigenous American people.  My life changed again, I began to play the Native American flute.  That single event exploded with the journey of new friends and learning and following the red road. 

The latest journey has been finding my birth father and his second family.  My fathers passing has left a deep loss in my soul and the blessing was finding my DeRemer family and connecting the circle of my life and my family history.  Their love and acceptance has been an overwhelming experience.

My adventuresome life has continued, I have no horses to ride now, but we do have the most wonderful Harley Trike Motorcycle.  The need to travel and explore has never left me, my age has never taken that away, I am loving life to the fullest and feel very blessed!

So I guess when I finally got to the end of this page and know today I am sixty five, I have lived a life of learning, adventures, gratitude, and most of all love.  It isn't so bad being this age, I do everything I want to do, I live each moment with gratitude and I remain open to the next wonderful thing to come my way!