Category: animals/pets (page 2 of 8)

Crazy Weather

The phrase “The air that you wear” usually refers to humidity here in the South. But every morning last week it meant fog. It would roll in sometime after midnight and hang around till 9 or later, until the sun burnt it off. Friday the fog was so low that I could feel it hitting my face while I was walking Penny.

These pictures were taken around 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

Looking south … foggy pond
… and looking north foggy pond
foggy spider web A spider web

bird close up
A birdie, just for Miss Munchkin


Today, though, I wish we had fog! It is cold! Forty degrees and a north wind blowing. Penny and I did not linger outside on our morning walk. I brought all my plants in off the balcony yesterday and since it is forecast to go back below freezing again for the next two nights, I will have to leave them inside for a few days. Hopefully by the end of the week they can go back outside. But hey, I am definitely not complaining, because at least there is no snow!!!I took a better picture of our Christmas tree. The previous ones did not show up very well.
Christmas tree

Holiday Decorations

We put our Christmas tree up over the weekend. I had intended to go back to Alabama last week and retrieve our decorations, but due to car issues, that did not happen. Instead we went and bought new decorations, which was probably actually cheaper than the cost of the gas driving to AL and back. Charles decided he was in charge of the tree, which he has done the last couple of years. I think he enjoys decorating it. But also, both he and Kat long ago decided that I was decorating-challenged. I suppose that is possibly true, as I never really have a clear idea of the look I would like for a particular room. I am more the thrift-store, hand-me-down, I-am-happy-with-my-cluttered-look person.

So Charles chose all the ornaments, not allowing me to buy even one that was outside his color theme. He then did all the decorating. This one shows the lights better, although they still do not show up well.
Lit Christmas Tree
I was allowed to do the fireplace mantle!
Tree and Fireplace
This picture includes our new audio pier, which replaced the old wooden kitchen table. I love it! It took three evenings to get everything put together, the components all in place and the wiring all tucked away. The open bottom shelf is for my stereo receiver, which is on order. Of course, I do not have any of my records here, but I will be bringing some back with me the next time I travel to Alabama.
Fireplace and Audo Pier
Don’t you just love that we have a fireplace in Florida? We have yet to use it; it has just been too warm. It would seem pretty silly to light a fire when the air conditioner is running! I saw a picture one time of candles lit in a fireplace, which gave the appearance of a fire, so maybe I will try that soon.Miss Munchkin obviously missed Penny. Here she is giving Penny a hug after we got home Monday from shopping.
Penny and Miss Munchkin
And one last picture. It is not often that I get a picture of one of my children. They all hide when the camera comes out. But here is Kat and Miss Munchkin.
Mommy and Miss Munchkin
Oh, and I have Penelope home, again! Five times she has been to the dealership due to a check engine light. Five times in the last three weeks. It has been crazy. The driver of their shuttle van and I are becoming fast friends. Hopefully, maybe, they have it figured out this time. The latest diagnosis was that the pump that was installed on visit two had the hoses hooked up wrong, intake and outtake had been switched!

Joy

I recently read a topic on Amy’s Live, Learn, Knit blog titled What Brings You Joy? In her post Amy mentioned a book she had read, Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer, which I have added to my “must read” list. During this past week’s marathon NaNo writing, I found myself often distracted from my story and thinking about joy. I began to wonder what the difference was between joy and pleasure, since I could easily think of many things that brought pleasure to my world, but not so many things that seemed to bring joy. So today I looked up the words “pleasure” and “joy” online and found an explanation that suited me at Dictonary.com.

    Pleasure, enjoyment, delight, joy refer to the feeling of being pleased and happy. Pleasure is the general term: to take pleasure in beautiful scenery. Enjoyment is a quiet sense of well-being and pleasurable satisfaction: enjoyment at sitting in the shade on a warm day. Delight is a high degree of pleasure, usually leading to active expression of it: delight at receiving a hoped-for letter. Joy is a feeling of delight so deep and so lasting that one radiates happiness and expresses it spontaneously: joy at unexpected good news.

So what does bring me joy?

My first thought was writing, but writing is not always joyful or even pleasurable. It can be difficult, painful and emotionally revealing, none of which brings me joy. Writing is something that I have to do, like breathing and eating. It is a rare day that I do not write something, whether a blog post, an email or a letter to a friend (sometimes those are even handwritten!). It does not matter to me whether anyone reads what I write or not. The possibility of an audience is not why I choose write.

Reading also comes to mind, but again, it is more of a need I have, like an addiction to caffeine or nicotine. A day is not complete if I have not had my daily fix of word input and output, reading and writing.

Crocheting gives me pleasure and satisfaction. I find it relaxing, soothing. But crocheting does not give me joy. The act of giving a crocheted item away, knowing that it will be used and appreciated by the recipient, that gives me joy. I never really understood why we needed to save an item that someone had made, pass it down from generation to generation, never to be used. To me, the value of the item is in knowing the person who created that item. If I did not personally know great-grandma Tilly, I am not going to value something made by her nearly as much as I am going to value something made by my Grammy. And so it brings me joy to know that items I have made and given to others are actually being used. That was the reason I made them in the first place!

Here is a picture of the baby afghan I made for my niece’s new baby boy:

Knowing that Aiden’s older brother loved his afghan and carried it around with him for several years gave me great joy. I hope Aiden enjoys his half as much.

Here is another thing that gives me joy:

Copper has taken to sleeping on laptops and computers. When it was ninety degrees and better outside, she preferred sleeping out on our balcony all day long. But when cooler temperatures came in September, she ceased wanting to go out on the balcony and now sleeps away the day on top of laptops or any other computer she can find that is running and warm. Anyway, just seeing a cat gives me pleasure, but having one (or more) of my own that I can interact with gives me joy.

Photography brings me joy. Amy mentioned photography and art in her post, too. Unlike Amy, I have never been interested in the darkroom and developing of pictures. What I love is the hunt for a good subject, the art of framing the subject and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I capture a moment in time. That gives me joy, knowing that I have saved some essence of “now” that can easily be recaptured in the future simply be looking at the picture.

My children, of course, bring me moments of joy. Their individual births were three such moments. Add to that my granddaughter, Miss Munchkin; I was lucky enough to be present at her birth and one of the very first to hold her. Miss Munchkin brings me joy almost every time I see her. There is just something about a toddler who is happy and curious and loving that is joyful, especially when she is related to you.

I feel joy when we hit the road for a road trip, whether it is just a day’s jaunt somewhere or a vacation. There is something truly joyous about leaving behind the every day world for a bit and looking forward towards possible great adventures. And I feel joy every time I step onto a beach. Hearing the waves crashing onto shore and the cry of the gulls, feeling the heat of the sun through the sand on your bare feet, the smell of the salt spray, it all fills me with joy. Oh, and the skirl of bagpipes bring me joy. If ever I were to come across bagpipes being played on the beach while I was walking barefoot with my granddaughter, my heart would likely burst from experiencing too much joy all at once.

Amy’s post talks a lot about finding joy in your work or rather work that you find joyful. I know this is the goal of many unschoolers, to find a way to turn their passion into a career. That is a great goal, although I know few that have been able to truly realize it. The only possible work-related thing that brings me joy is being able to find answers and resources for others. I love to research; I love to hunt for the perfect gift, for the perfect book, for that needed quote or just the right word that will complete a project. I think that is why I continue with my website, since HTML and web design certainly does not bring me joy. On the contrary, many days it fills me with stress and frustration. But I love to know that a resource I have reviewed or something I have written has provided an answer to someone’s quest. That brings me joy.

So, what brings you joy?

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