I was grateful to see this beautiful couple in the yarden when I woke this morning, and not troubled that he was scratching his head on the wild plum tree. And I was grateful to see the moisture still dripping from the trees after a light rain overnight.
I’m even more grateful than usual for the Cheese Sandwich. I realized today as I was making a simple havarti, lettuce, and pickle iteration just how much stress I’ve shed since surrendering to my obsession and delight in eating a cheese sandwich almost every day for lunch. As long as there’s bread in the box and cheese in the fridge, I no longer have to think, wonder, or worry about what to have for lunch. I am grateful to walk into the kitchen at lunchtime day after day and pull a delectable assortment of supporting ingredients together with cheese, bread, and mayonnaise to create a delicious, nourishing and often unique cheese sandwich. For most of my life meals were a twice-a-day struggle I was rarely prepared for. This has been another gift of the quiet solo time these past few years, settling into simple food routines that allow more peace and ease. As always, I’m profoundly grateful for the luxury of sufficient food.
And finally, Wren is grateful that I made her another batch of Dog Fud. She watched the whole time I chopped and added ingredients, then devoured her dinner. This batch contained quinoa, ground turkey, black beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes, along with wax beans and zucchini from the freezer. Later, she watched hopefully as I packed the cooled food into containers, and was rewarded by getting to lick to pot clean. Another simplifying routine becoming habitual.
Grateful for a quiet day, for groceries, and for seeing this handsome buck in the yard. Looks like he’s dropped some of those awful growths, with only a couple remaining and not bad scars. I’m grateful for losing growths!
I feel so sad when I see this beautiful buck with awful growths hanging off of him. He’s been around the yarden along with the old doe; maybe he’s one of her youngsters from a few years ago, or maybe her baby-daddy. Today she had two spotted fawns running around outside the fence while she came inside to forage. When I took this shot of the buck north of the house, she was browsing on the peach tree to the east. I feel for the wild creatures, especially in this heat. I’m grateful I can provide them with some food, and a pond to drink from. And I’m grateful for the skill of equanimity so that my feelings for them can arise, exist for a time, and pass away; so that I can value their being without clinging to the outcome of their wild lives.
I’m grateful to see healthy tomatoes growing on some of the vines already, and eager for fruit; and I’m grateful for equanimity so that I’m not attached to the outcome of my harvest, knowing that the grasshopper infestation may demolish it all.
I’m grateful for the app Seek from iNaturalist which identified this native two-striped grasshopper for me, one of numerous species or varieties plaguing the yarden this summer. I guess grasshoppers are pretty interesting… apparently they are among “the most ancient living group of chewing herbivorous insects, dating back to the early Triassic around 250 million years ago,” according to Wikipedia. So it was wise of me to give up trying to get the best of them this intense year. They’ll get what they get of what I grow, and I’ll get the rest. Equanimity. Anything else I need, I’m grateful for local farmers’ markets.
And I’m grateful to have stumbled upon this lovely image in my archives as I was searching cloud photos for the newsletter. I took some time to enjoy memories of Hughlett Point in eastern Virginia, remembering my dear departed beloveds Auntie, Raven, and Stellar with a calm though aching heart.
I’m always grateful to live with good neighbors, human and other people. This handsome mule deer buck is quite at home in my yard, quite likely having grown up here over the years. He’s hanging out with a herd of does and their fawns from this year, and at least once a day they meander through the yarden, browsing and grazing. I watched him rip up some of this broom to his left, then chew on the piece he’d torn off. I’m grateful to him for doing some of my spring pruning early. Then he moved on to check out the ephedra, and the grass under the apricot tree. Topaz, Wren and I watched him and his family from the sunroom windows.
I’m grateful for a lot today. All the usual things, like waking up alive, hot water, good neighbors, and biscotti… And also some occasional things, like my first shingles vaccine at the clinic. I’m grateful that a couple of friends cared enough to twist my arm to go get it, and grateful it didn’t hurt more than it did. It’s left me by darkfall feeling extremely tired and a little bit weak, but that’s a small price to pay to avoid the lengthy torture of the virus.
I’m grateful for respiratory therapy with a compassionate, fun, holistic OT, who has served so many needs over the past few months, including today my craving for a sandwich made by someone other than me. She sent me to Sweetgrass down the street. I’m grateful for her recommendation of the Hal sandwich, which came with homemade potato chips. I brought it home to enjoy and saved enough turkey for another sandwich I’ll make here, after I make some bread. I’m grateful for stretching my boundaries enough to step into the cafe and wait for the till to clear to pick up the order, despite the unmasked crowd. It did put me in a slight dissociative state where I’m on high alert. I’m grateful for the awareness, and grateful after this full day to have my cozy bed waiting for me and the cat and the dog, who have now settled into a regular sleeping pattern one on each side of me. It’s my happy place. And that’s ok.
The bucks are out strutting today, stalking after one another or does. Magnificent creatures. They show no fear as I walk up to open the driveway gate. I’m grateful to live in harmony with wild animals.
I’m grateful for a quiet Sunday, as I often am. Life outside the house went on as usual, with the handsome buck who’s been grazing around for a few days visiting the apricot tree, sandhill cranes narrating overhead their migration south, high clouds providing light cover; magpies flocking through the yarden, and thousands of tiny lives being lived under the ground, in bark, in leaves, in trees, in grasses. Late morning Stellar gathered energy and we walked him out to his favorite tree. He lay around for awhile as I gathered seeds from marigolds, lettuce, calendula, fennel, radishes, and more, to save for late winter and spring planting. We both enjoyed time outside. When he was ready, we came back inside and went about our day, he resting and watching as I worked, wrote, laundered, tidied, cleaned, made food for us, napped beside him, did the crossword, read. I’m grateful for adapting to the flow of circumstance, dwelling deeply in the present. I’m grateful for a quiet Sunday much like any other in our years together, now winding down toward bedtime. Simple pleasures, no expectations, no regrets.