Friday, January 27, 2012

The Rosemary Branch

Here is what remains of the rosemary plant I brought to Ocala from Brandon. I planted this plant when I first began gardening in the backyard of our Brandon home. It grew unfettered into a very nice size plant and when I moved to Ocala, I dug it up and brought it with me. I made the mistake of transplanting rosemary to a spot right by the house next to the back steps.

There she grew, doing very well, until our gopher tortoise decided to make a den right next to her. It was at that point that I decided to dig rosemary up and put her in a large pot. Well, she didn't like that very much; in fact, she didn't like that at all!! And so, this summer, she croaked. However, when I was pulling her up by the roots, I noticed what a lovely shape her final branches took. The wood is very gnarly, she shows signs of her age while, at the same time, making a statement of the fine life she has lived. I keep her in a red bowl now on the coffee table in the living room. Rest in "piece" Rosemary.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meditation And The Downward Dog

This is our meditation bench. How can you meditate on a bench, you might ask? Well, we don't actually meditate on the bench, although it is so beautiful, that we could. Instead, we select a special object each day, place it on the bench, and begin our meditation.

This is a very special bench because it belonged to my mother and father and was purchased in 1960
for the family room in our newly built home. My father loved this bench and when I was deciding what to keep from the family home, this bench definitely made the cut.

We are teaching Cocoa to meditate with us. The other alternative is to put her in a crate because she dances all around us and distracts us from our meditation. So, we have her sit in her "place", reward her with cookies reserved only for meditation purposes, and all three of us meditate. Today, we sat for four minutes. Isn't it amazing the things you have time for when you're retired?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Cedar Tree Hotel

This is the cedar tree in my backyard that we call The Cedar Tree Hotel. We have given it this name because all of the birds use it as a hotel during the winter months. This is a very large tree with thick, sturdy branches that can house hundreds of birds. When we stick our heads inside, we can often see the remains of nests from the spring. When I take the dog out on cold, winter days, I sit on the back stoop. That's when I see all the comings and goings of the aviary population in the Cedar Tree Hotel. There's one mockingbird who spends equal amounts of time in the cedar tree and in the honeysuckle. I think he is scouting for a nesting place for spring.

There is a family of cardinals, goldfinches that are too many to number, chickadees, and titmice. I never tire of hearing them first and seeing them later on, as they are a great source of entertainment for me. Our Eastern bluebird families flit back and forth but not into the cedar tree. They stay high in the oaks and pines, flying down only to stake out their birdhouses for future nesting endeavors.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Contemplating Our New Year's Resolutions

Here I sit, contemplating our New Year's resolutions. I always sit with my little paws crossed when I am in deep thought. My moms think I'm just about the cutest thing they've ever seen. They have made resolutions to meditate and walk everyday and to engage in an artistic pursuit at least once per week.

I am not of artistic leanings so I have decided to meditate while my moms are eating their breakfast. I, of course, will be meditating on the cheese that I get after everyone is finished.

I could walk everyday and I guess I already do, so that takes care of that. I guess I will add an extra few minutes of sleep to my morning; spend more time in nature; and notice more squirrels when I am in the out-of-doors. I only bark when I see squirrels so that will give my voice some exercise. I could resolve to pay more attention to the TV in the evening instead of snoring in the chair but that would not suit my need for a lot of extra rest. It's a dog's life here in the country. Can't you tell?