Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Stay Safe and Well

All is quiet here at the edge of the forest - 

very peaceful.

Some days, the morning sun spreads golden rays through the trees.

My amaryllis glows with light.

Other days, clouds and snow obscure the sun.

A white beauty surrounds us.

Animals visit.

Waldo smiles.

We continue to isolate at home.
We escape into the forest for exercise.
We count our blessings.

Wherever you are in the world, stay safe and well.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020


I'm sure all of our worlds have changed dramatically since I last posted.
The Governor of Colorado issued a state of emergency earlier in the week.


In Breckenridge and throughout Summit County, CO, places where people congregate are closed.
This includes schools, shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, rec centers, and ski areas.
People are asked to keep away from others, staying in their own homes.
Outdoors we should keep a safe distance from others and avoid crowds.
Some popular parks and sledding hills are off-limits.
None of our shuttles or buses are operating.
Short term rentals and hotels are closing.
Tourists and second home owners are supposed to leave.

the fox is curious - what's happening Barb?

Bob and I hunker down in isolation.
Even prior to the government edict, we asked our family not to visit.
Before the emergency, we stocked some groceries and supplies.
Unlike families with children, our supplies last a long time.
Meals are simple - we don't eat a lot.
We can exist on what we have for awhile.

the pine marten visits - he abides by social distancing

We maintain a similar schedule to our normal one.
I wake early and give thanks for another day.
I answer e-mails and do some reading.
We work around the house and property.
We get fresh air and exercise.

exercising on snowshoes

We discuss what's happening here and around the world.
If we get sick, we'll care for each other just as we've done for over 53 years.
We don't feel panic though we've never lived through quite this kind of situation.

Each morning we ask each other, "How are you feeling?"
So far, so good.

Perhaps we all can get outside and breath fresh air.
Keep in touch with family and friends electronically.
Smile and remember happy times.
Let ourselves believe that this too will pass.

deserted ski trail

I hope wherever you are, you're well.
If you're able, offer help to someone in need.

May peace and love abide with you.


A friend sent me this meaningful poem:

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Snow Days - Stay Healthy!

In February, over 8' (2.4 m) of snow fell in Breckenridge.

Some days, wind gusts force us to stay inside.

Other days, our skis are our best friends.

Even on frigid mornings, sunshine  and blue sky give the illusion of warmth.

Trees drop gossamer veils of snow as wind blows.

Daylight increases, and sunsets are glorious.

Our resort town welcomes people from around the world.

We limit our exposure to crowds and enclosed public spaces.

We're content to enjoy our private winter wonderland.

Stay well and enjoy the moment!
Thank you for visiting.

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Winter's Hush


four days and 56" (142cm) of snow

we move through white

blown snow sparkles in sunlight

our grandson is jubilant - no school means skiing

moonlight kisses storm clouds

winter's hush cloaks the forest

Our oldest grandchildren (twins) turn 17 this week.

Happy Birthday A & B!
Shown in photo at 2 years old.
Now taller than Grammy and Pop Pop!

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Friday, January 31, 2020

Small Stone - The End

The last day of January means the last small stone. I want to thank you for visiting the blog and also for the many e-mails I've received about the stones. Since I don't have comments enabled, I write and post in a vacuum, not knowing if anyone is reading or enjoying the photos. It's fun to hear from you and to receive your feedback on the stones. It's always quite a commitment for me to post every day. Normally, I might post 2-3 times a month. However, I definitely gain something from sharpening my observations and encouraging my personal mindfulness. 

thank you for your presence
all endings are really beginnings
may love and peace abide with you


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Small Stone - Nature's Plan

deep in a lodgepole forest
3 small evergreens stand in a row
lovely with snow-covered branches
at equal intervals from each other

how were they magically planted
these spruce among pines
what force planned their birth
and watches over their growth

I pass these little spruce and marvel. I hope they stay healthy, spreading their branches over hundreds of years, bearing witness to something that is magical and unknowable.

The wonder of Nature is my Good Thing today.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Small Stone - Taking Notice

red bark dressed in sunshine
jaunty snow hat on stump
golden glitter on white

winter forest in its finery
waits for me to notice

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Small Stone - Alone in the Forest.

Just after dawn, snow is tinged blue with cold shadows.
I ready myself for a solo ski.

As the forest closes around me, I seek the sun's warmth.

Cold makes my skis squeak.
Fresh snow packs with a muted crunch.
Except for the tips of my fingers, I'm warm in my layers.
(I need to stop removing my glove to take photos!)
New snow is a blank page where I write my story.

Alone in the forest, I'm very alert.
I watch for moose and also for their tracks.
Today only small animal tracks crisscross the forest.
The bunnies have been busy during the night.

In the old growth pine forest, spruce and cedar add their stately beauty.
The stillness is a gift I receive with gladness.

After several miles, I loop homeward.
The sun warms me though the day is still cold.
Fox tracks lead the way.
I haven't met a soul.
Alone in the forest, I'm smiling.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Small Stone - Smile

I need to smile more
even when I'm low
worry on my mind
heart heavy

especially when
frustration looms
sadness gathers
anger brews

even a fake smile
lowers blood pressure
heightens immunity
slows the heart rate

Are you smiling back at this lady? I hope so! 

I went early this morning to walk through the entries in Breckenridge's International Snow Sculpture Championships. This is the Wisconsin entry which won 3rd place. Not only was I smiling at the lady, I was also smiling because there were no crowds. The weekend brought record visitors to town to view the sculptures. On a Monday, I could photograph them at leisure with nobody closeby.

Smile because it makes you feel good! 
(Also, a smile is contagious. It makes others feel good, too.)

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Small Stone - What I'm Reading

I usually intersperse reading fiction with nonfiction. Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales is the first nonfiction I completed this year. It was written in 2004 but updated in 2016. It has some interesting information about all kinds of survival, not just in the wilderness but also in daily life. (Here's the gist: don't panic and let your emotions override your reason. Also, don't depend on anyone else to "save" you from a dangerous situation.) 

A friend sent me a list of 10 new nonfiction books for 2020, and from that list, I'm currently reading Physical Intelligence by Scott Grafton. I'm finding the information in that book helpful because he discusses current research on brain/body connections and includes footnotes.  He intersperses some rather dense information sections with some personal anecdotes about physical intelligence. I'm only about half way through, but his message seems to be "use it or lose it". The brain as well as the physical body (including nerves, muscles, and connective tissue)  must receive constant stimuli and must practice many intricate movements to remain in optimum condition for the challenges of daily living. I was happy to learn that physical balance is positively affected if a person continually practices in everyday life. Sitting on the couch is not a physical activity and will not lead to good balance!

Two other books from the list that I have as samples on my Kindle are You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy and The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal. 

Books are my One Good Thing today - and will also serve as my Small Stone.

Here I am, practicing balance and trying to survive using my new touring skis and boots.

Happy reading to you!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Small Stone - Dawdling

At some point, he'll realize I'm not directly behind him.

That straight line of tracks to his distant red coat needs a photo.
After all these years, he'll wait patiently just out of sight.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Small Stone - Nature's Canvas

A scene I've witnessed a thousand times is always unique.

Sometimes, I can't believe the beauty I see.
Trees are laden with their burden of white.
A glitter of diamonds bejewels the trees.

Fox tracks string a dainty necklace into the woods.

Nature's canvas is ever-changing.
May you see something today that feeds your spirit.
There are treasures waiting just outside your door.

Thank you for visiting.

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Small Stone - Fresh Snow

through a maze of snow-splattered trunks
breaking trail in fresh powder
sounds muffled by white

Breckenridge records 15" (38cm) of powdery snow in 24 hours.
Bundled into warm layers, we venture into the quiet of the forest.
Our skis buried in white, snow creeps up to our knees on the downhills.
Two 75 year olds play like children as snow keeps falling.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Small Stone - Winter's Treat

snow sifts downward, sometimes salt, sometimes popcorn
winter's treat

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Small Stone - Past Expiration

I'm embarrassed to admit this:

I finished a massive cleanup job this morning.
It involved our medicine cabinet and the drawers in our bath.
I also tackled the area under the sinks - that nether region of forgotten items.

For two people who don't take much medication except an occasional Tylenol,
I couldn't believe all the outdated prescriptions and potions in the medicine cabinet.
Speaking of Tylenol, why did we think we were low on supply?
Bottle after bottle were hiding in there.

We moved into this house in 1995.
Some of the dates on the bottles preceded our move!
I think they were definitely "past expiration date"!
Truthfully, I can't remember ever getting rid of stuff in that cabinet.
We just kept adding to it until the disarrayed shelves could take no more.
"Out of sight, out of mind" seemed to be our motto.
(This travesty of clutter sprang from a couple who tend to be tidy.)

Now all is pristine, and I'm feeling a pride that I hope doesn't go before a fall.

No photos today obviously - I've shocked you enough.

My challenge to you is this:

Before you judge, go to your own bath and start opening doors and drawers.
Unless you've moved recently, I bet you'll be as appalled as I was.
Happy reorganizing and cleaning!

PS If you need any Tylenol, let me know...

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Monday, January 20, 2020

Small Stone - Blessings

In the sanctuary of the forest, I count my blessings.

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