Rewind: A View From My Window

I’ve been sharing oldie but goodie blog posts that were filed under the category: garden. These posts contain a photo history of the flowers and characters that have lived in my garden. While the flowers are responsible for adding color and fragrance the other items add humor as well as a touch of rustic art to my surroundings. Please enjoy this excerpt from my past!

August 17, 2015

There’s nothing like a quiet moment nestled in nature. The aromas, the melodies of the air and the fragrance of the earth are what set my mind at rest and my muscles to relax. I have a small piece of nature in my very own yard. This small piece is home to a variety of flowers, bushes, trees and a few carefully chosen pieces of art. I would like nothing more than to share a piece of my world with you. Here’s a view from my window.

 

Thank You for visiting!

logo_101417_2

Fragrances in the Air

IMG_5673My Little Cabin in the Woods has been the topic of several postings. Today’s entry is another one in that series. My topic of interest is the memories or experiences  detected by my sense of smell.

While living in the woods one is exposed to, or graced by a multitude of fragrances. Some of them are natural to the area and some are not. Some are pleasant and some are not.

On the natural and pleasant side is the strong scent emanating from the towering pines that surround me, the spell of moist earth, the perfumed fragrance of the abundant flowers and the fresh aroma of the forest just after a rainfall. Staying yet in the pleasing category I would also add the enjoyable experience of wood burning in a campfire as well as the fragrance of cooking food.

IMG_0363When thinking of those experiences that would be unpleasant I could only think of two. The scent emitted by a skunk and the undesired, nose pinching odor of sewage being pumped from my Little Cabin in the Woods. Both of them I would much rather avoid.

Whether pleasant or undesired, smells are everywhere. The way in which we react to them is different for each one of us.. Even though there are some things I would rather not experience I am grateful that my sense of smell is intact. My life is much richer because of it.

A View From My Window

There’s nothing like a quiet moment nestled in nature. The aromas, the melodies of the air and the fragrance of the earth are what set my mind at rest and my muscles to relax. I have a small piece of nature in my very own yard. This small piece is home to a variety of flowers, bushes, trees and a few carefully chosen pieces of art. I would like nothing more than to share a piece of my world with you. Here’s a view from my window.

IMG_6631 IMG_6639 IMG_6641 IMG_6644 IMG_6646 IMG_6648 IMG_6653 IMG_6656 IMG_6658 IMG_6670 IMG_6675

 

The Sounds We Hear

There’s the famous question—

If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?

In my opinion it does but that’s not the reason for these ramblings. The focus of today’s thoughts are the sounds I hear at my Little Cabin in the Woods..

Have you ever taken time to sit quietly and listen to the sounds of the world around you? How many sounds did you hear and what type were they? Did they make you happy or sad, relaxed or anxious?

If I were to eliminate all sounds except those made by nature I would be entertained by a smorgasbord of opportunities. Among the noted sounds are the melodies sung by the birds that call these woods home. I have no idea how many different varieties there are. Of the few that I can identify there are seagulls, finches, robins, woodpeckers and of particular interest the sounds made my a hummingbird’s wings.

066 (2)Early in the morning, before the sun peeks above the horizon, I’m awakened by a chorus of birds. To their symphony is added the chirping of crickets and the scolding chatter of the occasional squirrel. Evenings in the Spring we are serenaded by the family of frogs that find shelter here. Their rhythmic chanting provides background entertainment for our fireside relaxation.

Of my least favorite sounds made by nature is the annoying buzzing of mosquito’s; whose existence seems totally unnecessary. Then there’s the sound made by winged creatures that sends chills through my spine. Those sounds are made by bees and hornets.

There’s a period in the morning between sunrise and 8:00 AM when silence is broken only by the creatures of nature. The minutes before 8:00 AM have been designated by the establishment as quiet time. The hours accumulated by those minutes as well as the ones falling after the hour of 10:00 PM, the designated evening quiet time, are my favorite times of the day.

As we cross those thresholds the sounds around me begin to slowly increase. Added to the sounds of nature are the giggling and chatter of children passing by while hiking or riding on bicycles. Accompanied by the sounds of children playing are the conversations shared between adults. Those can be uttered softly, barely audible from one campsite to another, while others are spoken at an unnatural decibel level, heard even through closed windows and doors.

Also apart of the sounds heard here are those accompanying wood cutting, grilling and the whir of mechanical devices such as fans, air conditioners, water heaters and motorized vehicles. Added to that is the crunch of footsteps on gravel, barking dogs, tarps blowing in the wind, cellphones ringing and doors opening and closing. While these human made sounds are not natural to the woods they are present whenever and wherever humans inhabit.

I prefer the sounds of nature. Those are the ones that bring me peace. They provide interludes of relaxation; a chance to unwind.

May the sounds that bring you peace fill your ears with their melody.

A Storm in the Night

We weathered our first storm, in my Little Cabin in the Woods.

My companion, Sadie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is afraid of storms.

IMG_8723She can hear them coming long before I can. I can usually tell when one is approaching because Sadie typically spends her time curled up underneath my kitchen chair. When storms approach she leaves her quiet little place of solitude to be by my side. If I’m within in touching distance she will get as close as she can possibly be. So close that it seems every ounce of air has been sucked away and there is absolutely nothing between us. If you touch her little body you can feel her heart racing. Her breathing quickens and her eyes open very wide. She gazes up as if to say, “Save me from the storm.”

During yesterday’s storm she curled up into a little ball beneath my makeshift sewing space. If I happened to leave the area, so did Sadie. When I returned she did as well. I feel sad for her because of her fear. If only I could reassure her that all would be fine. Unfortunately it’s difficult to relay that to her. Because of her disease (more about that some other time) it’s very difficult to find a place on her body that you can touch that won’t make her feel uncomfortable.

IMG_0154The storm passed as quickly as it approached. In no time Sadie was once again back beneath her favorite safe place. Together we weathered the storm safely tucked inside my Little Cabin in the Woods.

IMG_0175

 

Little Cabin In The Woods

We all have dreams. I don’t mean the kind we experience while sleeping. No, I’m referring to the lists we make whether in our minds or recorded on paper. One of the dreams my husband and I have shared for the past thirty plus years is the opportunity to own a small getaway. The vision I’ve always had is a tiny cabin in the woods surrounded by acres of wild flowers. On the large wrap-around porch are oodles of comfortable chairs. Some of them are stationary while others can rock. Also on that porch is a swing suspended from the ceiling. This swing is home to piles of soft, cushie pillows just waiting to be snuggled.

Recently we were able to acquire a modified version of my dream. The cabin is not permanent since it sits on wheels. But it is in the woods. It doesn’t have a porch but it does have a wooden deck. There are chairs on my deck but no rocking chairs or pillows. Sparsely scattered about are a few wild flowers. My cabin, if you haven’t guessed is a trailer parked on a seasonal campsite. Even though it’s a trailer I still prefer to refer to it as my cottage or cabin. It’s as close as I will ever come to the real thing.

IMG_0363

This new cottage is my chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life as well as a quiet place to sew, knit, read or whatever else suits my fancy. My only companion is my sweet Sadie. Just me and Sadie chill-in in the woods.

IMG_8723 IMG_8716 IMG_8719

Finally!

IMG_4848_1

 

Long, long time ago I told you about the saga of selling my home. Things were moving so slowly and it looked like everything would fall through. Well, surprise, surprise! My house sold, just in the nick of time I might add, and I am now enjoying a new adventure. We downsized to a home half the size of our former one with a yard to match. It took two and one half hours to mow the grass and countless hours maintaining the gardens. I can only imagine how long it will take to mow our small piece of earth. In fact…at this point all we have is clumps of soil. The only thing growing in my yard are a few brave weeds.

Since moving-in 5 weeks ago I have managed to paint all but one room. The pile of unopened boxes has dwindled to only a few. Gone are the table cloths and such that covered our windows. In their place are shiny new shades. The makeshift wood sidewalk has been replaced with concrete. The rocky driveway is now finished as well. Left on the To-Do-List is the leveling of our soil and the planting of grass seed. Once that task is finished we will find ourselves mastering the art of growing grass.

This is the first day I have had to sit, relax and enjoy my new location. As I recline on my back patio, amidst the soil and rocks I’m daydreaming of what is to come. I’m imagining how different my environment will look by the time snow flakes fall. How many trees and what varieties will be planted. Where will the flower beds go?

For now I’m content with things as they are.

Cindy Anderson
Cindy Anderson

A New Adventure

Quite some time has elapsed since we last visited.  Much activity has taken place during that absence.  The decision on which story to share first took a bit of contemplation.  After much thought I have decided to share with you the following update.

Late last summer my husband and I made the decision to put our home up for sale. Many, many hours and much thought went into that decision. At the forefront was the desire to be debt free. In a few short years my husband will be retiring. Granted we have seven or eight years until such an occasion would take place but plans for that life changing event must begin in advance.

Selling our present home and downsizing to a much smaller structure was our first hurdle. We enlisted the help of a familiar realtor. After her initial visit she left a list of things to do to make our home more inviting to prospective buyers. Hurriedly we tackled and checked off each of those items. In very short order we were ready for her return visit. As is typically the case, we signed a number of documents then watched as she moved throughout the house snapping photos. The photos as well as pertinent details of our home were registered on the internet.

In no time we were preparing for the first, second, third, fourth, and so on, showings of our home. With each viewing came the list of items with which the individuals were dissatisfied. Not wanting to deter anyone from falling in love with our home we set about the task of removing those obstacles.

One by one we removed each of our raised bed gardens. Along with them went our raspberries, the succulent strawberries, of which our grand children took great pleasure in sampling, the Michigan blueberry bushes my husband acquired from a kind neighbor and the beautiful lillys I transplanted from my oldest daughter’s garden.

IMG_5688

Also among the casualties was my herb garden. Flourishing in the organic soil were basil, chamomile and my absolute favorite, lavender.

IMG_5629

Last but not least was the wild flower garden I had initiated to fill in the open soil left by our previously removed compost bins.

We replaced the once hotbed of activity with boring patches of grass seed. Faithfully we watered and tended to those areas making certain they flourished. Before long the seeds of grass bloomed and spread until all that was left of our own little garden was our memories. Thankfully what appeared as scars, in my mind, are now covered with snow. One could not detect a hint of their existence beneath the blanket of white.

Aside from the changes made outdoors we have done some redecorating inside as well. To date we have updated our fireplace, added a few walls in the basement and purchased numerous items to instill a more modern appearance.

Price changes have also been made. It’s funny how the value one places on their own home does not necessarily reflect that of prospective buyers. Three times we have reduced our price. The last one occurred recently. This reduction is the one that hurt the most. The distance between our heart and reality is great.

Unfortunately all of these attempts have yet to produce a signed contract. For us what has resulted is a sense of sadness. Gone are the nuances that made this our home. Left are the daily reminders of what once was our property. Inch by inch we find ourselves distancing our hearts from the home that once was our haven.

And so, we wait for the family that will love this home as much as we have and for the opportunity to move on. We are sad because they will not have the occasion to sample the abundant delights that tantalized our senses. We realize, however, that they will find their own way to love and grow in this home. Until then we cautiously make plans for our next home.

“Chillin With My Gnomies”

IMG_0407_new

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, or Should I Say Time Flies?

It’s been some time since I last entered a post. So many activities have been taking place I barely had time to think. So sorry that this was one of the past times I had to let rest. All that matters is that I’m back and ready to resume my ramblings.

Being a city girl living the fast paced life it’s often hard to slow down. The daily grind of multitasking doesn’t stop immediately. It takes a bit of time before one finds themselves exhaling. The slow but gentle glide to total relaxation begins the all too important sense of relief; that pause that refreshes. It’s that moment of inactivity when you realize how busy you have been; how tired you have gotten. It’s when those furrows in your brow begin to soften and the smile you once had begins to return. Oh how often we forget to take time to smell the roses; to enjoy life for what it should be.

I recently took just such a pause. It was on one of our annual excursions to northern Wisconsin that I once again found my sense of peace. We shared the respite with one of our daughters and her husband. Oh and of course our traveling companion Sadie. Now mind you it wasn’t a trip void of adventures. We did our share of sight-seeing and our part to keep the economy running. The pace, however, was much slower, more relaxed.

During the process of decompressing I enjoyed listening to and observing the natural beauty of the world around me. I am grateful for the time I had to relax and unwind. I left that quiet sanctuary feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever life had waiting for me. Before we part company let me share a few photos of my excursion.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to unwind and recharge. Now let’s get back to work.