Afternoon walk at work

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A task in my Happify track this week was the Walk of Inspiration:

Take a meditative walk in a place that always inspires your best ideas. It could be a busy street, a hiking trail, or even the mall. (Hey, great ideas can come from anywhere.) Walk slowly at first, with eyes on the ground. Notice the tactile sensations of walking: the feeling of your feet, the temperature, the way your body feels.

Once you can walk at a normal pace while paying attention to sensory experiences, start noticing sounds—but try not to think too much!

Once you can attend to tactile and auditory sensations, start looking around and noticing any activity around you.

I decided that I would set out with the photo app opened on my phone and walk the grounds around the “campus” here at work. We are surrounded by Torrey Pines and native sage brush so it’s perfect for losing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. A welcome respite from the desk! Today was a good day because I am wearing softer soled shoes so that my own footsteps didn’t interrupt the sounds. It was a little chilly – I was glad I had on a sweater and I needed to button it up due to the gray skies completely covering up the sun. Often though, I find that the gray days mean I can see the bird life more clearly. The lack of glare and deep shadows makes the movement and colors catch your eye a bit more.

Sure enough, not a minute into the walk I heard the soft call of a rufous sided towhee. Not the main trilling song – he wasn’t up on the top of a bush singing – he was just flitting on the ground and then low in the bushes making his more sedated wheezy call. He moved too much for a photo, but was still so beautiful with his black and orange feathers providing a striking contrast to the green of the grass.

After spending a little time watching him, I set about taking pictures and had some fun afterwards making this collage in Picasa. I was paying attention not only to color but also to shape and textures as I walked:

Afternoon walk

 

There was more bird song serenading me through the walk, and the scents were fairly strong too. Sage and pine dominated.

Not a bad way to spend 15 minutes, but something I probably would not have done without the reminder – thanks again Happify 🙂

 

May 23rd – Gastronomical Beauty!

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A blissfully uneventful day at work. That will change tomorrow as we now have less than 48 hours to the software upgrade changeover. It felt like the calm before the storm today really.

I was able to listen to the audio version of the entire module of lessons that I had read yesterday. A great way to present the information in another format and allow for some more slivers of knowledge to soak in. They did too! I took lots of notes as they would say something that triggered a dusty brain cell to shake itself off and go “Hey! You! This applies to the pergola site!” Heh. Yes, my brain is a nag.

Hush up.

The evening though, was somewhat momentous. It was the LAST class that 26 had to take in his DUI probation program. We had finished the regular Wednesday classes back in early Feb, but then there was this ONE lingering Education Series class that had to be taken in a particular order and it finally came back around again tonight. Now, he just has to settle up a small fee, turn in some AA meeting or NA meeting signatures and meet the counselor for a exit meeting on 6/2. This has been literally YEARS in the making and I swear I almost want to throw a party like it’s graduation day when he’s done. He kinda deserves it because, while the reason there have been fits and starts and delays in this whole process were largely his own – we both also agreed that it felt like this place was NOT invested in helping him succeed. It’s run out of the state college system and it’s supposed to be a rehab type process which you THINK would mean they look better if they successfully graduate people out of it. Yet there was just a ton of incompetence and mixed up messages and unclear instructions given.

I’ve made the best of the whole thing over the last year since he got back full force into the classes right as I started dabbling in this web business. So, I could sit in the nearby Starbucks and write which was actually nice since I focused better there than I would at home. Tonight’s class was a longer one though and I have gotten so good at writing while sipping a Naked Juice and watching the crowd ebb and flow in the store that I was done with my planned article in an hour. With still another hour + to go I decided I needed dinner. Usually I just eat something light when we get home, but tonight that would have meant eating after 8pm and I didn’t want to wait that long. Also, it was jam packed and I was at center table with no outlet in reach and the sun was in my eyes and it was cold in there! IOW – whine whine whine and oh, was there a *better* place that I could be? Perhaps.

It was 6:30, I was hungry and I still have my birthday gift card. Therefore I was able to treat myself to a little slice of unplanned, unexpected gastronomical beauty:

Yes, that IS what a hamburger is ALL about!

Yes, I *am* running again tomorrow morning, why do you ask?

🙂

Pelicans!

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Over the last weeks anyone driving along the coast has been treated to the sight of huge flocks of Brown Pelicans soaring along the water line. I’ve been enjoying the views on my way home and saying to myself  “I need to snap a picture of this!” Of course I never remember to put my good camera in the car, and the 1st couple of attempts to capture them on the phone were failures, but on the way home yesterday I got lucky with a long line of birds and just enough traffic to slow me down 🙂 Pardon the funky tilts and angles. Still amazes me that these enormous looking birds actually fly so gracefully.

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Let the sun shine!

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Mini daffodils in bloom

Saturday version of Friday beauty. Some pictures from this week in the back yard. I know daffodils are supposed to be February flowers, but these mini daffodil bulbs that I bought several years ago can’t wait that long. They are also becoming more and more prolific year to year. The spikes poked out in late October and the flowers started bursting out in December. They are at their peak now in this one pot, but a new set of plants have seeded in the other pot and are just starting to bloom. It’s such a lovely burst of yellow and orange against the wall in the corner and when you get close there is even a really lovely scent. I’ve never had daffodils before so these are a fun and cheerful discovery and I will surely continue to encourage them spreading themselves around the yard. Enjoy these lovely little bursts of floral sunshine. I’m going to enjoy the real sunshine in my yard. The bands of rain seem to have passed and now it’s down right warm and dry again. I am not complaining 🙂

 

 

Friday beauty – Merry Christmas!

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My favorite view of tree. I love the way the tree lights reflect on the floors & side door, that some of the outside lights are visible through the window to the backyard, and that Chip is resting on one of the kitty mats.

Wishing you and your families a peaceful, relaxed Christmas weekend filled with love & laughter!

Friday Beauty – winter wonderland

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Ice covered lighthouse from the winter storms this week on the eastern part of the country.

I love the look of winter, but not the cold part! I admit to being exceptionally thin skinned in that regard. From afar however – gorgeous!

The Boy is currently at home fighting a winter cold. Rain is due in for the weekend. I have a neighborhood cookie exchange party tonight and then plan on staying in and baking more batches to take in to work for our short 3 day week coming up. I’m also going to be a Cspan junkie as the Senate has put voting on the START treaty, DREAM act and the almighty important (IMHO) Dont Ask Don’t Tell repeal on the Saturday calendar. Yes, those lazy butts in DC are going to WORK over the weekend 🙂

What are you up to on this final weekend before Santa visits?

Friday Beauty – ‘Tis the Season

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******** FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING TODAY *********

I really need to figure out the proper setting on my camera so that I can take a decent picture of my own house light display, but in lieu of that – I absolutely have to admit that I ADORE even the tackiest of light displays 🙂 Beyond the music (give me the Grinch soundtrack or Andy Williams singing anything & I’m happy), the smells (yes, I have an artificial tree, but I still love the pine/cinnamon/mulberry scent of the season), it is the lights that warm my heart. I LOVE driving through neighborhoods to see displays. I love organized light displays. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE lights!!

Have a very colorful, sparkly weekend!