Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Thoughts

Winter lingers under a dim crescent moon
but I can't sleep. 

I rise from the warm quilts and tip toe out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. 

The cold and damp seeps into my soul while I stand at the window,

waiting for the sunrise and listening for the tea kettle, while the cat, Maggie, snakes around my legs. 

We heard a coyote cry the other night, very close. 
It reminded me that we are just visitors to this wild place we call Earth. 

And most times we are the ungrateful guests. 

With the sun up, it's time for our morning walk. 

No matter how sleepless the night, 
I can't let down these two faithful travelers on the road of life. 

So, I leave the tea-kettle simmering while I slip on my old raincoat with the pocket full of treats. 

And one slimy ball. 

We pass the bench that is a shady oasis in the summer sun - 

now patiently waiting in its moss covered glen.

(some of my gatherings sit on the bench while the slimy ball awaits...) 

We walk by the sleeping garden with its bounty of seed for winter birds. 

We stop by ancient trees with secret stories left untold. 

Kindred spirits with roots firmly planted in the ground, 

But always reaching for the sky. 

Frosty webs, a reminder that all is connected by the web of life. 

We can't begin to know how delicate the balance.

One thing depends upon the other.

 Through infinity. 

Each beam of light sent out eons ago.....

yet with faith that it would reach its final destination. 

A ray of light to warm a small creature, the mighty, ancient tree, 

or a woman's heart on a cold winter morning. 

A flock of crows (or the correct term - the unfortunately labeled - 'murder' of crows)

noisily steals me from my reverie, 

and I turn back towards home. 

I am reminded to be ever mindful of the light I send forth. 

Because I never know its final destination or effect.
But I can choose the quality and know that it always reflects back to me. 

I think of these things as I come back inside, light the warming fire, and pour my morning tea.

It is especially challenging to keep up spirits
 during these dreary, cold winter days and long, long nights. 

I treat myself to the simple pleasures of a few pots of primrose...

The hyacinth bulbs I planted after Thanksgiving are sweetly blooming and scenting the room. 

They help to keep my spirits up. I knew back then that I would need it now. 

There is nothing left to do but stay warm and cozy and keep busy with the necessary tasks of daily life, 

wishing for spring, but knowing we have a while to wait. 

So I bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies to fill the cookie jar, 

and put on a pot of home-made Chicken Rice Soup.

Is there anything better on a cold, winter day? 

Maybe home-made Irish Brown Bread?

I have made this so often, I barely need to look at the recipe. 

But it is these simple rituals that keep me grounded when Cabin Fever sets in. 

I'll spend my day attending to what needs to be done, 

and then reward myself with a little needlework after dinner. 

I have a simple gift idea for Valentine's Day to show you next time. 


Thank you, Dear Friends for your sweet visits. 

Kindred Spirits on this Winding Road of Life.


"My coat and I live comfortably together. It has assumed all my wrinkles does not hurt me anywhere, has moulded itself on my deformities, and is complacent to all my movements, and I only feel its presence because it keeps me warm. Old coats and old friends are the same thing."

-Victor Hugo-

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  1. Thank you for reminding me during this long cold winter to appreciate the simple beauty of the daily tasks of life :)

  2. Thank you for taking us along with you on your walk. It is too cold here to even go outside much. Your flowers are so pretty. They really do lift the spirits, don't they?
    We are having chicken rice soup tonight also. (But no homemade bread today - I had to work:)

  3. you (we) may be visitors to this earth, but i believe you love your land and treat it with utmost respect. you appreciate the smallest of gifts and don't take any day for granted.

  4. It really is the smallest tasks that keep us going in the winter. I love seeing your quiet day.

  5. Hola Bestrice adore esas imágenes de ese lindos maceteros con plantas y esas ricas galletas ,, parece que hace frío por ahí ,, que rica chimenea

  6. Your comment "I am ever mindful of the light I send forward" really touched my heart and reminded me of just how important our words and actions are and how they affect other people. Thank you for brining us back to what is important....

  7. I totally love your post today. felt as if I was getting up with you for tea in the predawn. I also love that you are mindful of the light that you send forth. Something that we should all be so careful with, as we really do not know its impact for someone else. really a beautiful post. Made my evening! with your beautiful photos and thoughts. Hugs to you!

  8. Dearest Karen,
    Ling Ling sleeps first class it looks like... But where are Champ and Whitey sleeping; also in the house? I hope they stay warm.
    Our felines are almost all day inside with the freezing weather; they know where it's coziest.
    Lovely walk again and there are so many signs of the high humidity in your area; mosses and algae growing on old or dying branches.
    Our hyacinths are already gone, got some at Trader Joe's nice white ones and when they bloom it is like heaven but they don't last that long! One got very tall and the other one only half its height. Like humans I guess and it depends on nutrients that are inside that bulb. Too late for us to alter that... We can only give them water.
    Today our garden looked like a fairytale and I loved taking photos. Even though I had no feeling left in my hands but once you cup them around some hot tea, it is soon forgotten.
    We have so many server disconnections with our Internet; wonder if that has to do with the winter storm. But I learned to copy my comments before I hit Publish... A second time I never seem to be able to compose my thoughts the same as the first. Do you have that too?

    1. Dear Mariette,
      It's always so nice to read your comments - little stories in themselves! Yes, Ling Ling is the queen of comfort - she does not like winter and prefers to be outside sunning herself on the deck. Oh, yes, Champ and Whitey are very spoiled puppies and have a pet door to come in and out whenever they please. They also have heated beds on the front porch. They do like to keep watch! :) They like to look at me through the glass as if to say, 'Hurry up - we want to go on our walk!'
      I know you have had terribly cold weather - Atlanta was in a terrible state with people stranded everywhere! It has been a very crazy winter. Here we have been the opposite - unusually dry and warm, which is not good because we depend upon the snow-pack in the mountains to fill our reservoirs.
      It seems many people are having problems with commenting and posting recently. I have had my computer thoroughly checked by my son and it seems to be a Google problem (or blogger). I am hoping they work out the bugs soon.
      Keep warm and don't forget to show us your beautiful gardens.
      Hugs xo

  9. Love your post. Blooming flowers looks beautiful...

  10. All of your flowers are so bright and cheery! I can't imagine having cabin fever when you can get out with the dogs and see so many pretty things in nature. And your bread looks really good too!!

  11. You live in such a beautiful place! I LOVE your flowers. They make me long for spring. Your cookies and soup look delish too! Thank you so much for your book recommendations! I can't wait to try them. Have a great day Karen!

  12. Your posts have always a divine fullness.
    And you are a living legend of the art of living.

    Greetings from me, my family and my students.
    Yannis Politopoulos

  13. Lovely post, Karen! Reminds me to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life. Gorgeous photos of the mountain and the flowers.

  14. Beautiful post Karen, I always feel so relaxed after reading your wonderful way with words...the pics are Fabulous as always...those cookies look good and as for wee Ling Ling she sure loves the home comforts A little cat after my own heart...Hugs May x x x

  15. Beautiful post! It looks like your walking companions were ready to go! Doesn't seem like they want to be left waiting for long. I agree that it can be hard to make it through the long cold winter sometimes. But warm soup and bread plus cookies make it a little easier to take :)

  16. Beautiful Karen...and oh so true about us passing through. What an important reminder about the light that we reflect and its affect. Whenever you do a post like this I can actually feel the comfort and warmth in your house as you are baking and lighting the fire. I do so hope that I am creating that for the beans. Winter has us in a tight grip right now too and like you I look for those simple bits of promise to keep my spirits up. Your plants and bulbs are glorious! Stay warm friend and have a wonderful weekend! Nicole xoxo

  17. Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment on the scarf. It's so pretty and different from where I live! I love that you are growing the flowers and I love the wood burning stove. Growing up we had one in the living room to keep us warm and it brings back memories. I too hope winter goes fast. It's way too cold here. Enjoy the rest of the week.

  18. Karen, what deep thoughts, how much inspiration!
    I imagined myself drinking tea with you. Really a wonderful post with your photos and beautiful thoughts. The animals take refuge in this weather at home and are watching us. I'm curious about the post Valentine's Day
    A big loving kiss!

  19. Karen, yes you can be proud of that great son, wonderful, congratulations to you guys. A success! It's what the mothers want for our children to be happy, complete family ... congratulations and a big kiss!

  20. Definitely wonderful winter atmosphere, beautiful cats and dogs! Nice pictures!

  21. I loved reading your Winter Thoughts and seeing your beautiful pictures, Karen. Your writing touches my soul. I feel the coziness of your home and can almost smell your baking and your soup... mmmmm.

  22. I am thankful for the quiet days- with kids and grandkids in my back yard, quiet moments are few and far between.

  23. Lovely post and amazing photos! I made chicken soup last night so good even here in sunny Mexico.

  24. You are a philosopher and a poet...and an artist. I love your blog and the gentle thoughts that come to you that you then share with lovely photographs of your world. I would love to meet you if I could ever get to the shadow of Mt. Rainier with its fiery heart, or if you COULD indeed get back to "lovely Tucson." I do love it here for a lot of reasons, but I often am left with a sense of "this picture of cactus looks like so many others because this cactus looks like so many others...." Yes, I think the small round ones are different kinds of barrel cactus. Sometimes I long for white hellebore and flaming rhododendron, ferns and fifty different kinds of leaf shapes. Your thoughts about the trees and their long bodies reaching for the sky are nice to see. Well, I was happy to be part of your reverie once again.

  25. I had a sleepless night last night -- most be something in the air.. Love favorite photo image is number 10 - those pines are so huge -- so beautiful. I think where your sweet cat is laying at the moment you snap the photo by the fireplace - this is where I would be found too warm my body up.. I think I better make some oat meal cookies too that's a happy treat for winter evenings -- along with a bowl of soup - but always the treat first - wink!

  26. Mrs Karen...
    You have a beautiful soul. Your writing and capturing for things are beautiful I love that you said we are just visitors int this planet :)
    It looks cozy as always and I love that bench. And the sunlight is beautiful through the woods.
    Sorry that you couldn't sleep, but you are not alone I couldnt sleep as well like two days ago but took that moment to talk to Jesus then after I could sleep well with peace soul.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love and hugs to you.

  27. The setting for your morning walk looks so much like the setting for mine. Wasn't the moon beautiful this past week? We live in a gorgeous part of the world.

  28. what a cute pair to go walking the wood with! I collect little trinkets as i walk the wood or the beach as well. my house is filled with little shells and acorns and such. Your blossoming bulbs look so pretty! I think I may just have to pick some up.

  29. Lovely thoughts, Karen, that surely do pick up my spirits this time of year. <3

  30. This is so, so beautiful!!! What an awesome glimpse into your day!! Your dogs are beautiful and so are your surroundings!! What an amazing place to live! Have a wonderful day! :)

  31. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  32. Lovely post. It's so true that winter, and sleepless nights, have to be borne with patience - and then we can see lovely things if we wait.

    Hope you're sleeping better now!

  33. Flowers, cookies, and soup - not to mention the beautiful colors in the sky - all beautiful ways to brighten a winter day. Your home looks so cozy and welcoming!

  34. Lovely nature shots. The bread in the oven is a nice one too.

  35. Beautiful! I love the sunny flare in your pictures! :-)

    Hope you'll have a nice week! ;-)
    Gert Jan Hermus

  36. Hey Karen, thanks for stopping by and visiting my makeup Monday series. The lip balm does not dry your lips as I have tried some and don't like. This is like the Chub stick from Clinique, but cheaper! Have a nice day.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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