Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Airplane at Sunset

Although I live out in the country, far from any airport, I recently started noticing planes flying high overhead. And if I listen very carefully, I can hear the very faint roar of engines. This one I spotted high above the clouds looking out my garage around 8:30 tonight. You know all those wide open places you fly over when going from point A to point B? That's us.

Monday, May 30, 2016


We took our usual after dinner paseo today. On the way back to the house I couldn't resist picking some wild flowers. When I turned the corner by our garage, I decided to pair them with some daylilies:

Saturday, May 28, 2016


We had a great day at the farmers' market today. The market has changed so much since I first started selling there in 2005. One thing that I noticed today - and probably an important reason the market has evolved so much - is the diversity of the customers.

During the course of the morning, I had conversations with people from the following countries:

The Netherlands
The Philippines
Hong Kong
New Zealand

This is in a small southern city with a population of around 50,000. We're fortunate to have such diversity as it's making our community a better place. A few years ago we had an intern who was from Saudi Arabia. She told us how shocked she was when she moved to the US and discovered that, although the food in the grocery stores was beautiful, it had neither scent nor flavor. Our friends and customers from other parts of the world feel the same way - so they seek out local food that is tasty and flavorful (and also chemical-free).

I have discovered another beautiful reason to love where I've been planted.

Friday, May 27, 2016

What We Really Want


This article explores the idea of what we think we want and what we really want. Behind every desire is actually the feeling - we don't want the thing, we want the idea or the longing for the thing, the anticipation of the thing. Getting that thing that you've yearned for is usually anticlimactic. The author points out that "[w]hat we want is the experience of ease and unfettered enjoyment that is promised, falsely, by the thought of acquiring the thing—the restaurant meal, the cruise, the raise, the loving relationship—even though everything comes with its own pains and complications and regrets."

As the old saw goes, be careful what you wish for. It is often not the experience you expected. Instead of living for that moment when [fill in the blank], enjoy the process - your imagination is often richer than reality. In our minds, there are never flaws in diamonds.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Inspiring Thought

"Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all."
~Nathan W. Morris

Friday, May 13, 2016

Blooming Spring

Love the flowers of spring. Despite my severe neglect, my nasturtiums and sage are blooming:
It has been a strange spring. April behaved like May; May is behaving like April. As long as it continues to warm, I'll take it! I do wish I had a full time gardener who would surround my house with flowering plants and herbs - as long as it was organic, of course!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Learning to Love Where You Live

I admit I've had a tough time loving the community I moved to over 13 year ago. It was difficult finding people who had similar interests to mine. And it's the kind of place where, if you can, you leave. There's a brain drain here as young people go off to college and don't return. Yet over time the community has grown on me - I've found my place here.

Change is also in the air - whereas 10 or 11 years ago no one here seemed to understand the importance of healthy living or caring for the environment, our farmers' market now has a number of vendors who grow or make healthy products - and shoppers seek them out.

There are also some hidden cultural gems here. Last night I enjoyed a chamber music concert with some extremely gifted musicians. They've traveled the world, playing in some impressive venues, yet they've chosen to settle in our small community. If you think your community has nothing to offer, I suggest digging a little and you might be surprised with what turns up.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A European State of Mind

Although I've only experienced a small part of Europe and just as a traveler, not a resident, I've come to embrace a few of the habits and practices I encountered there. One of my favorites I discovered in Spain when we stayed with a friend and his Spanish wife. It's the paseo, a casual walk taken after the evening meal. While in Spain, we joined an entire community taking a paseo late at night, just after dinner.

We've been taking paseos for years now. We try to do it every evening after dinner. Although sometimes we have to take a break due to weather, it is a regular habit for us. During this evening's paseo, I discovered:

Shiitake mushrooms on our logs
Honeysuckle vines growing next to our chicken house
While the word paseo is supposed to be pronounced "pä-sāˈō," we've southernized it to "passˈ-ee-ō." It's our habit so we can call it whatever works for us!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


This afternoon I returned from a business trip that had me out of town for almost a week. I was supposed to return yesterday but storms in the east resulted in the cancellation of almost all evening flights out of Charlotte Douglas International. My co-worker was able to make it to her final destination but I wasn't so lucky. Fortunately, I was able to get on a flight this morning (the airline originally re-booked me on a 10:30 p.m. flight!). And I was so glad to be home! It was a stressful, yet successful week, with my organization exceeding the fundraising goal that was set. This money will, among other things, help refugees in the Middle East and human trafficking victims in India and Thailand. I'm still amazed that I can be part of such important work.

I really enjoyed the sky this evening after yet another storm. I took several shots of the sunset and couldn't decide which was the best, so settled on this one (those faint white dots next to the barn are some of the goats settling down for the night):