Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Last (for a while) Blog Post

Hello out there dear Blogspot reader.
It has been almost a month since I've posted a blog and I'm considering not posting more. This tablet it not exactly a joy to use for writing and I've still not worked on downloading photos to the tablet in order to post them from here.
For me, the joy is in posting photos first, then comes the sharing of ideas. Mostly typing here is a frustration.
Later, after the desktop is either repaired or replaced, I may pickup blogging again. Thank you for being a reader of A Tree House View.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Some of the Sights at Tree House

We have fern and fauna and fungi here at Tree House. The big wind and rain storm is over, but for some, not quite yet.
This beautiful evergreen has had too much rain and is leaning. Maintenance has propped it up with boards so it won't take out the fence. (My computer is scrambled and adds ads on various words. If you see them, I am sorry. Computer needs help and will get it as soon as I can.)
When the sun comes out the roses perk up right away and the color is always good to see. There are still buds on the rose bushes.
Mushrooms have pushed through the gravel and old leaves. The oak leaf mold is just what they need to thrive.
And fauna abounds. I have heard and seen coyotes and foxes and during the summer skunks were foraging, at midnight, under this very tree for the bird seed that was dropped on the ground there. And of course birds, Robins, Black Capped Chickadees, Crows, Ravens, Mocking Birds, and various migrating flocks come through on their way to wherever they are going. 
 There are big differences living here from living alone or in other kinds of apartment buildings. I have 62 neighbors who range from 62 to 100 years of age. Most of these I recognize and we speak almost everyday. Perhaps there are 20 I see several times a week and some of them I have conversations with, go to meetings with, play cards with or have a meal with during the month or every week. 
This is the Christmas Party. They hired me to be the caller again this year. We like to eat.
Community Room Christmas Tree
Of those there are a few whom I consider dear friends. Maybe it’s because we've listened to each other's stories and laughed together, we've noted other’s eccentricities and accepted them, that we become more than just neighbors. It may be because we are all older that the understanding, acceptance and patience levels are higher. The downside of living here is that older people become ill or just die more often than those who are younger. This has occurred several times since I’ve lived here, that someone I cared about has died or moved to to a facility with personal care available.
There is something about the light in this picture that I liked.
Why so somber? Perhaps it’s the weather.  
With this long stretch of cloudy and wet weather it is good to take advantage of any sunlight that you can. Studies have shown the absence of sunlight creates changes in mood. Just like a sunny day also creates changes in mood. Here is what the latest Smithsonian has to say on recent Sunlight studies Smithsonian article
Wishing my reader, you know who you are, a Merry Christmas. Have a great New Year. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Am Thankful For You, Dear Reader

I did planed to write a blog about gratitude before Thanksgiving Day,  the one day of the year when we are reminded, on a national level, to give thanks for what and who we love. (I am thankful for the the people who love me - my friends and neighbors - in my life)

I am thankful for the beauty of fall outside my door
Seems like everyday is a good day to give thanks and remember how grateful I am for all I have and love and for those who are in my life and who love me.

Several of my friends are working on gratitude studies and that sounds pretty neat.
I am thankful for the abundance of nature in my life.
Here is a link to the one Jennifer sent me in an email:
(I am thankful for my son and his family in my life)

Some time in the early 90s I was listening to tapes by Mary Manin Morrissey. From the internet it looks like she was very popular in the 70s. Here is a sample of what she taught:

I am thankful for roses.
The one thing I used from the tapes was an exercise on gratitude. (I am thankful for my hearing and vision) She said to sit down every night and write 50 things you were thankful for. That seemed excessive to me, but I followed the instructions exactly. (I am thankful for my safe and comfortable car) At the time I was sad and depressed (there was little work and I was ending a relationship) and thought this would be something I could do to change my energy level. (I am thankful for my abundance of dollars [even if it’s only $2] in my bank account and wallet) Every night I wrote 50 things I was thankful for. It was not easy when I started; mostly I thought of everyday things and what I saw around my apt: my bed, this chair, running water. It is the feeling that matters. God hears our feelings much louder than our words. My energy, feelings changed every time
 I wrote down what I was thankful for. (I am thankful for my sister in my life) In that sense the change was immediate. It took a couple of weeks before my life began to change for the better. (I am thankful for my home) I have a tendency to use these tools when I want relief and in time I may forget again. Maybe  something different …..  I read an article that told of another way to remember to be grateful. A  man sat down and wrote a thank you note every day for a year. He sent these to friends, family, strangers, even businesses, telling them what a good job they were doing, how helpful they were or how much he appreciated them in his life. He said it was a life changing year for him. I can imagine how the recipient felt getting a thank you note. Good feelings all around.
So, why is this paragraph different? I don't have a clue. Worked to change it, but no results.

The Swamp is being cleared of some trees. This opens up the view and probably discourages the homeless and others from congregating there. There are times when the litter is pretty bad. I figure I can curse the litter or take pictures of the beauty. There is deep shade in the summer and it is usually very quiet there. 

(I am thankful the for this beautiful spot only half a mile from where I live)

(I am thankful the format is only a bit screwed up)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Local Color and The Great Work

The roses are still blooming 
Roses are still blooming here at Tree House

With the cold coming in and the clouds obscuring the sun no doubt they too will very soon shut down for the winter.

Matt is almost finished raking the leaves that covered the grass

One of the perks of living at Tree House is my rent covers all yard maintenance and I don’t have to do a thing. 

This is something to be thankful for, but there are times I can only complain about the noise the machines make. 

                                                                                                               So often it is only the workings of our mind that 
                                                          separates us from happiness and/or those we love.

In the biblical story about the 
Garden of Eden it seems to me eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a metaphor for our ability to make judgments.

Perfection of full bloom
Last Christmas, friend Deneen Peckinpah, gave me a beautiful calendar with the theme of the writings of Hafiz, a fourteenth century Sufi poet who became a famous spiritual teacher. 

His poems are classics in the literature of Sufism and mystical verse and were translated by Emerson and read by Nietzsche and Doyle whose character, Sherlock Holmes, quotes Hafiz.

This morning as I glanced at this calendar I saw this: 

“All I know is love, and I now find my heart infinite and everywhere."

Classical view of a bud near the patio
Reading this my 
heart says,“Yes, I can love and 
feel that spaciousness and freedom."  

Allowing others to be who they are and welcoming them in my heart. 

And yet, my mind seems to be 
ever alert to life’s shortcomings 
and unfairness. 

I believe it is our job to reconcile 
our heart and our mind.

What a beauty
Not by shutting either one of them down, but through integration, allowing them to merge, to become allies. 

Allowing Love and Reason to 
become friends. 

I don’t know anyone personally 
who has achieved this. 

It is no wonder the process of bringing our mind and heart into alignment is called 
The Great Work. 

Thank you for reading my blog. Feel free to leave a comment.

I love taking pix of these roses. Seems I never really looked at flowers or insects until I began to look at them through the viewfinder on my camera. To be able to capture what I see and share is delightful and fun. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Wonder of Fall

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the colors, the cool breezes, the hint of frost, 
the incredible blue of the sky. I notice the shadows growing longer and the days a 
bit shorter around mid AugustNow we are well into November, the harvest is in, Summer activities have faded out. This is the season to assess what we have 
harvested this Summer and prepare for Winter. 

The roses have all been in a state of stress due to a cut back in the water 
used here at Tree House. These last few days of rain have given them new 
vigor and they are blooming again.

Driveway Hybrid Tea Roses

Another Tea Rose grows near the Tree House patio.
The red background, I believe, is a Japanese Maple. 

In Autumn the low, weak Sun casts shadows long and deep

And all around the tress prepare for Winter's sleep

Leaves glowing russet, flame and amber whisper their good-byes

Their Summer secrets they will keep...................
until they are scattered in the  wind

Visiting Robins discover the berries are just right
November has been a great month. Had a good visit with my son, Paul. We
went to the internationally known coffee place, sat outside and had good 
conversation. And my grandson, Aaron, came by one afternoon to interview 
me for a collage project he is working on. Thoroughly enjoyed visiting with 
them both. Pet sitting a couple of days this month. And then there is 
Thanksgiving Day when I'll go to the Tree House Pot Luck and visit with my
fellow neighbors and friends. 

Thank you for reading thus far and allowing me to share my pictures and ideas with you.

The formatting looks good in draft mode, let's see what the finished product looks like.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

You Are Free To Make a New Decision

Some trees at the Turtle Bay Arboretum 
Thinking about what I would tell children, grandchildren or great grand children about life.
I would say you can always make a new decision about you and your life. The choices, the decisions, you made about yourself and who you are at the age of 2, 15, 20, 50, 71 or 90 can be remade. You can decide again and again and again.
Strange flower found at the Turtle Bay Arboretum

So often we follow the guidelines of our parents or family traditions. We don’t think of what and who we are or want to be, which may be different.... or the same. 

A personal example: because my mother always ordered cheesecake for dessert, as a child I thought it was the best and always loved cheese cake. But somewhere in my 30s I wondered if I really liked this sour, mushy stuff and decided I didn't. 

The same flower after being drenched with rain. 
Family traditions may be conservative or liberal, agnostic or religious. Sometime in our life, if we are to grow, thrive, evolve, we start thinking for our self and doing and being what is true for us. So I would encourage all to make new decisions about who they are. We don’t have to be the same all our lives or make the same decisions all our lives. 

The question is, “What if I make a wrong decision?”

In the 70s I read Jerry Jampolsky’s book "Teach Only Love" in which he says there are only two emotions, love and fear. Around the same time I read Theo’s book on "Meditation" in which he says we experience only two feelings or vibrations, expansion or contraction.
Tree House driveway rose
I would answer there are no wrong decisions, but there are always, always consequences. Consequences are not 100 percent good or bad. They may be mostly freeing, filling you with joy and love. Or they may be mostly constricting, filling you with fear and pain. If you’ve made a decision that is freeing, that enables you to grow and thrive, that fills you with joy, now or in the past, then it could be called good. If it is constrictive and painful, if you are not thriving, it could be called bad. 
Rose bud also along the Tree House driveway

Making the same decisions over and over through the days and years of our life is how we  keep our lives the same. Should our life be constrictive or less than what we need to thrive the power to change our experience from constricted to expansive is always today. 
Going to seed?
 Jerry Jampolsky’s site is where he talks about his ongoing work with Attitudinal Healing. 
Our local Mt. Shasta. Taken Nov. 1st. 

Choose what nourishes you

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Haiku and Pictures

Around Home I especially like the cool  mornings before staff comes on and    
the chance to walk around and notice the mountains to the east, Lassen, and 
Mt. Shasta to the north. Also take a few pix of flowers and the birds.

Note: Discovering the formatting with the pictures on one side or the other does not hold from draft to preview to publishing Blog spots Blogger.  So, for now,  it's back to this even though I like the other way better. 

Tree House morning and autumn's deep shadows on the lawn
    One Sunny Morning took this picture and wrote a haiku. 

          Fall day, blue sky, Sun
     casting shadows on the lawn
       Life waits winter's sleep

Haiku is a Japanese form of verse containing three lines. The first and last lines are 5 syllables and the middle line is 7. The idea is to juxtaposition two images or ideas. I’m just a beginner and spend most of my thinking energy figuring out the syllables. I like the gentle quality of haiku and the effort of creating an image with so few words.  Traditionally haiku is about the seasons. Should you want to know more about Haiku click here.   

October rose with green background
                             Another haiku effort   

                             October rose blooms
                          in the cool shadows of fall
                               we also bloom here                    

                   Another day took camera and went to the river near Sun Dial bridge. The ducks and geese were cooperative and did some great posing for me. 
This guy knows who and what he is


Looks like this duck is resting on the branch, but it is in the water,
the branch on the shore. I thought the perspective was interesting.