Week 37 – Country Heaven

Beauty and Joy in the Woods




I am a big fan of Maria Shriver who writes a wonderful Sunday Paper every week.  She has been on a break for the month of August and I really missed her inspiring words in my inbox on Sunday morning.  This week she is back and she didn’t disappoint.  We are bombarded day in and day out with news that is almost impossible to digest.  It’s not just the political mayhem south of the border but all over the world and even in our quiet corner of Canada.  Today’s message is to take time to see the world the way God sees it.  It came from a line in the movie “Out of Africa”.  So, today, I went for a walk in the scary woods.  Yes, they are scary to me.  I am not sure what I am afraid of but I am, but every time I go there it gets a little better especially if I have a BIG stick with me.  Bean and I climbed up the hill, my Fitbit says I earned 32 sets of stairs for this one, and we wandered down the path into the scary woods.  There were trees over the path everywhere.  Our big storm of Labor Day really did a number on the trees and thus it is an adventure to walk over and under the fallen trees.  Just what my Dynamic Ageing coach would say was good for me!  As we entered one of the lower corners of the path I heard a loud snorting sound.  Yup, it scared me, but when I looked up, there was the most beautiful buck being extremely annoyed at Bean and me for walking in his territory.  He snorted a couple of more times and then pranced through the trees to where he felt safe.  My heart calmed down and Bean and I continued along the path with me saying over and over in my head “see the world through God’s eyes” .  It helped.  Many, many years ago my grandmother took my brother and me for a walk in “The Glen” which was a perfectly gorgeous walk through the woods along a babbling brook.  The light was filtered through the leaves and the birds were singing and jumping from branch to branch.  We were so calm and happy.  Suddenly my grandmother told us to halt and to look up and standing there right in front of us was a beautiful healthy red fox with a big bushy tail.  Of course she said it with firmness in her voice, she didn’t want us to disturb him/her, but it scared the bejesus out of me.  I think that is why I find the woods so scary unless I have someone else with me.  I would flunk Outward Bound for sure.


We continued our walk up and over the hills and just as we got to the clearing, Bean flushed a huge flock of turkeys out of the tall grasses.  They went every which way and she just couldn’t figure out first what they were and second which direction she should go so she just sat there as good as gold waiting to see what she should do.  I was so proud of her.  She didn’t chase them but she certainly was curious.  They all flew up into the trees, even the babies who are actually pretty big now.  The smells were great and Bean followed their scent for a little while but then decided to give up and just continue on the path with me to home.  It was a perfect day, 65 degrees, sunny, the bluest of blue sky, no wind, air that you knew could clean out your lungs.  The world is beautiful through God’s eyes.

The Fishermen are Off and The Girls are Playing

John and his gang are off on their annual fishing trip to somewhere I can’t really find on a map.  They plan this trip with precision down to the timing of arrival at the ferry and the pizza place not to mention the detail that goes into the planning for meals that would clog up your arteries just reading the menu.  They don’t catch many fish and I don’t really think it is about the fishing but they certainly have a good time.  They make the effort, they try to outsmart the fish, but short of dynamite I’m not sure they will get any.  They did get some fish two years ago but that was the only time that I can remember.  Last year, while he was away, I called up my cousin, Libby, and we went on a road trip to Nova Scotia to get my beautiful Ragdoll kitten, Lena.  A fun adventure for all of us.  This year I called her to ask her to come here and I called my best friend, Sue, and asked her to come for a visit.  We are having a blast.  I discovered something interesting.  After the initial getting together we have settled into a comfortable arrangement of who does what and when and we are taking care of things.  Today we sat on the deck and talked for three hours while eating cheese and apples and enjoying an adult beverage.  We are all survivors and we are proud of ourselves for making it to almost 70 or 70+ and are still able to laugh at ourselves.  I invited them both to join me on a walk that was a bit of a challenge but definitely doable.  We did it very slowly, took an hour or more to go a relatively short distance but we really noticed a lot of beauty along the way.  Sometimes speed isn’t everything.  We were looking at the world through God’s eyes.  We ran into a few friends and heard about the walking cat.  Another couple were out there with their cat who followed them wherever they went.  I had heard the cat and couldn’t figure out where the noise was coming from.  Of course immediately worrying that it was a lost cat or a cat in trouble.  Was so relieved to hear that he was just telling his family to slow down and wait for him.  Who knew?

My Meditation Today – Say Yes to Life!

I am trying to attract more positive things in my life.  Yes, after my mother died, I found it stressful and it still is.  Getting used to life without her after almost 70 years is a big adjustment.  Cleaning out her home of 55 years was an emotional time for me and mentally and physically stressful.  It has been three months now and I am beginning to come to terms with this new normal.  It is time to focus on the joy in my life and not the sadness.  Interesting how today’s meditation and today’s Sunday Paper both seem to be telling me the same message.  That often happens.  Things appear from out of the blue that are sending me a message “Listen to what we are saying” so I am going forward with more positive eyes and ears.  I am grateful.  You might notice that Wyke is missing from the pictures this week, that is because he is fishing with John and my brother and Sunny.  I hear that the two pups are a big hit with the fishing camp.

Found a Recipe to Share Once Again

Picked up a bag of avocados when I went shopping this week and then stopped at the vegetable stand and picked up some heirloom tomatoes so of course had to find a recipe to use both.  This one sounded really, really good and not too difficult.  Might be good for a warm September day.  Enjoy!

Chilled Tomato and Avocado Soup from Blue Zones

6 tomatoes, chopped or 4 cups canned tomatoes
6 green onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp salt
1 cup water
2 cups vegetable broth
1 avocado, diced
Lemon wedges
Cashew cream, optional topping
Chopped chives or scallions, optional garnish

In a soup pot, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt and one cup of water.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Add broth and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
Strain through sieve or cloth.
Chill thoroughly.
Spoon into bowls and add avocado.
Serve with lemon wedges and cashew cream topping and chives or scallions for optional garnish.