The Penultimate

Let's cross the bridge to the past.  (Somewhere in Pennsylvania, sometime in September of 2006.)

Let’s cross the bridge to the past. (Somewhere in Pennsylvania, sometime in September of 2006.)

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.

~ Ivy Baker Priest

Back in September of 2006, in anticipation of a temporary move to West Chester, Pennsylvania, I started a little blog called Life in the Bogs.  It was not meant to be anything more than an online newsletter for family and friends so they could keep up with M and I as we went on our sabbatical adventures.  This was not my first experience with blogging.  I’ve been doing it in some form since 1999.  But Life in the Bogs was the first blog I created under my own name (rather than a pseudonym).

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99: Still playing

Still off somewhere playing and meeting up with friends.  If this auto-posts, it means I don’t have internet access.  Rest assured that I am meeting my commitment to get outside.

The above photo was taken in Mission Beach, California back in November.  As much as I’d like to be on a warm, sunny beach, that’s not where I’m at this time around.  It wouldn’t be fair of me to ask you to guess where I am since I haven’t given you any clues.  No worries.  I really will tell you all about it.  Tomorrow, maybe.

Speaking of tomorrow, I will be moving into the triple digits with my commitment tomorrow.  100 days.  Wow!


97: Frigid

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I had to go outside in ten minute increments today.  It was bright and sunny, but painfully cold.  The wind seems to cut right through the layers of clothing and skin and go right to the bone.

Brrrr!

(Tracks on the pond.)

I think this might be the first day this month that we haven’t had so much as a flurry.  From the looks of things we may not get any more snow this week.  There is, however, rain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday.  That will likely make a big mess of things once the temperature drops again and everything freezes.

Well, this is a dull post.  How about a visit to the beach just to warm us up a little?

We can take a walk at sunset.

All you have to decide is which way to go…


93: Christmas Eve

(Shelter Island Marina.  San Diego, CA.  November 2010)

I finally finished uploading the last batch of photos from San Diego.  Although this is not particularly Christmas-y, I do like the star effect.  I’ll bring you something a little more seasonal tomorrow.

(Shogun.  Shelter Island Marina.  San Diego, CA.)

Having had our family Christmas celebration last weekend, it’s quiet here today. ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature is stirring… etc., etc., etc.

(Vagabond.)

The Great Outdoor Adventure — Day 93

The cross-country skis are FAB.  And brilliant.  And hard work!!  M and I skied for about 20 minutes yesterday.  The nice thing about owning our own skis is that we don’t have to push ourselves to utter exhaustion just to get our money’s worth in one day.  We can take our time, get used to gliding and skiing, and maybe even learn how to turn.  And stop.  Stopping, it seems to me, is important.  This is especially true when you’re speeding downhill and there are brambles at the bottom.

I fell once yesterday (coming down a hill and running into said brambles).  My legs were a little sore today but not so much that it was uncomfortable.  Just enough to let me know I’d worked them yesterday.

(Warm & fuzzy in the snow.)

Today I watched a video about a few of the basics of cross-country skiing and then tried to put what I learned into practice.  Knowing the proper way to go uphill made it so much easier.  I practiced a few drills (such as skiing without the poles).  I still fell down.  This time I was speeding down a bigger hill than the one I was on yesterday and M was at the bottom.  I was sure I’d run right into him so I threw myself on the ground.  So maybe that doesn’t count as falling??

Yes, I think learning how to stop will be a very good thing.

We skied for about 35 minutes today.  I went out for a short walk after that, mostly to fill the bird feeders and to take a few photos.  The camera will not be taking ski trips with me.

The weather has stayed pretty much the same for the past two days.  A balmy 26 degrees, cloudy, with the occasional snow flurries and squalls.  We will have a white Christmas, for sure.  A storm with more snow is expected to arrive on Sunday.

Yay!  Fresh snow!

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I doesn’t seem right to leave you with such a cold view when I’m feeling all warm and glowy from the exercise.  How about a nice, warm sunset instead?

Merry Christmas Eve!


91: In the quiet

(Old Town San Diego.  November 2010)

During the past few weeks I’ve had some aches and pains that I was able to ignore.  Traveling (in snowy conditions!) and then getting the house ready for an early Christmas celebration meant I didn’t have time to pay attention to aching joints and bones.  It was a matter of mind and spirit over body, full speed ahead.

(A bird on a succulent, calling, calling.  San Diego, CA.  November 2010)

With family here saturating the house with love and laughter, aches and pains were reduced to twinges easily ignored.  Now that the house is empty — with M back at work and our family gone back to their homes and lives — those aches and pains are no longer in the background and in all honesty, today I hurt.

(Being helped along by a service dog.)

Stepping outside was the last thing I wanted to do.  I would much rather sit here and look at pictures of sunny, warm places.  The cold weather exacerbates the aches and pains.  Wouldn’t it be nice to sit on the beach and soak up the warmth of the sun?  In my mind and through my photos, I could go there.

(Finding ephemeral gold in the ocean at sunset.)

It’s been snowing here today.  Flurries to start.  Then a heavy squall for a little while, enough that the driveway and sidewalk need shoveling.  I did not want to go out.  But a commitment is a commitment is a commitment so…

This is how it went

Bundled up from head to toe I stepped outside where I was hit with a blast of wind that must have made its way here from the North Pole, preparing the way for Santa and the reindeer who are accustomed to this type of weather.  There was no evidence of the sun or anything remotely warming.  The wind howled and lifted the snow to form white funnels racing around the front yard.  I wanted to turn around and head back inside.  (Wouldn’t you?)

The warm up yesterday which caused a slight melting followed by last night’s cool down made everything crusty and icy.  I made my way over to the bird feeders, filled them, and gave serious thought to standing in the shelter by the barn rather than going back out into the wind.

(Video from today’s walk on the “low path.”)

This is the kind of day that motivated me to make the 365 commitment.  It is not about perfection.  It is about honoring promises I make to myself.  Somehow those seem to go by the wayside more often than promises I make to others.  Not today.

(The linden tree finally lost all of its leaves.)

I plodded over to what we call the high path.  It’s a path through the future-woods, not all that high as this is Ohio and although we do have hills, they are nothing compared to places that have mountains.  The high path is on the outer perimeter of Breezy Acres and I went that way with thoughts of taking the long route rather than wimping out with a short walk.  All or nothing, right?  Wrong.  And another lesson learned.

(View of the pond from the “high path.”)

The wind sliced its way through my layers but I trudged on to the woods.  I haven’t been out that way since the snow started accumulating.  It’s often windy and the drifts can be high in spots so it was no surprise to find I had to break trail and the only other tracks out there were those of small animals making their way over the top of the snow.

(A tunnel in the snow.)

The snow looks almost the same color as the sky.  A dark grayish-blue.  I thought about tweaking the photos (adjusting the contrast and levels) to fix it but decided to leave things as they are in order to represent things as they are. Sometimes the snow really is blue to the eye, the brain, and the camera processing it.  This is my first winter with my new camera and most of the time the snow is white, as people expect to see it.  The truth of my eye is, the snow is rarely white in the Bogs.  It usually does have a blue or gray cast to it.  Near the end of winter it’s a dirty gray or black.  I am happy to see the new camera reflecting what I see.  (Isn’t that the point of art?)

When I reached the woods I decided to turn around and take the “low path” back.  The low path also goes through the future-woods.  It is higher than the timothy grass path or the wildflower meadow but lower than the high path.  “All or nothing” was a distant memory.  By the time I reached the house, my face felt frozen yet the rest of me was warm and feeling oh, so much better.  I met my commitment and really, who cares if I didn’t overshoot it by pushing myself around the perimeter of the property?

I was surprised to find the entire walk took me over 40 minutes, longer than required by my commitment.  I did not stay out longer to prove something.  That’s just how long it took with the resistance of the snow and the wind.  Common sense, every now and then, prevails.  (I wish that happened more often in life — and not just my life!)

And now…

I canceled the pity party.  I am sinking into the quiet of the house after all the noise of the wind.  The warmth is pleasant, too.  Still, I wouldn’t mind another trip to the beach just to see the sunset…

Isn’t it wonderful and amazing that we can do that through the magic of modern technology?  I think so.  And I’m very grateful for it.


76: Shhhh…

(A tree in San Diego.)

It’s 3:00 in the morning on my birthday, and I’m trying to be (relatively) quiet.  I’m working on the laundry.  I figure if I can’t sleep, I might as well be productive.

(Mission Bay trees.)

I’d rather be sleeping.  To be honest, I’m feeling pretty miserable.  Sleep is not possible because I’m dealing with the consequences of the prep.  I’m exhausted.  And hungry.  And exhausted.

(Balloons.)

I figure I can sit here and have a whinge or I can be grateful.  I’m alive, I’m well (except for the purposely induced problem), and I have another year to celebrate.

(Kite in tree.)

I truly am grateful.  My life is filled with blessings and gifts of all kinds.  Sometimes I don’t always recognize them as gifts.  Right now is a good example.

(A burst of sunlight in the tree tops.)

Instead of sleeping, I’m counting my blessings.  Instead of sleeping, I’m getting my blog post for the day written up and posted.  Instead of sleeping, I’m looking at bright, sunshiny pictures.

I have time now to gather my thoughts, to catch up on email and other blogs, and to look at flowers.  I have time to sort of relax and just enjoy the quiet.

I’m not sure when I’ll fit in my outdoor time today.  Perhaps before I go to the doc’s place for the birthday fun.  I’m pretty sure I’ll want to nap this afternoon.  I know!  M and I can go sledding this evening if I’m up for it.  That will be a fine and fun way to spend time outdoors, don’t you think?

So.  What would you be doing with your time if you had to stay up all night?  Something quiet?  Something fun?  A little of both?


71: Doors and windows

(Bench and window in Old Town San Diego.)

It’s still snowing here in the Bogs.  Mostly light flurries with the occasional snow squall.  So far we don’t have much in the way of accumulation.  The ground was probably too warm at the start.

(Through one door and out the other.)

My outdoor time today was pretty uneventful.  It was mostly about moving from one place to another and trying to stay warm.

(Commercial Restaurant)

I could ramble on about the cold and the snow but in deference to my visitors who have had enough of winter, cold, and snow, I decided to post some more sunny California photos.

(Pitcher window.)

These are all from my brief visit to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.  To be honest, even though I like the snow (so far), I’m enjoying looking at all the sunshine in some of the photos.  It’s very warming.

(Red doors.)

(Yellow doors.)

Not too long ago I posted about my passion for doors, windows, gates, and other portals when it comes to photography.  You can find it here if you missed it (or want to read it again).

(Green door.)

Someday I may gather them all together — all these photos of doors, windows, gates, and other portals — and put them in a book or something.  I’d like to do something with them.  I’m just not sure what.

(Green window with fringe.)

(Framed with succulents.)

I can’t completely ignore my outdoor time, though, since part of what I’m blogging about on a daily basis is spending time with Mother Nature.  If you’ve had enough of cold, snow, and gray weather, leave now.  I’m about to post a snowy photo or two.

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