Hour Without Power

Sounds like some kind of weekly, new year resolution challenge. Power Hour. If only I was that creative and inspired.

The other day, one of those polar vortex days last week, I pulled up at the farm after work to get everything done before the sun went down and got too cold. The thought of having everything finished early and being able to settle in with a movie and fuzzy socks on the couch with my dog sounded like just the ticket. As I pulled into the drive, I had a fleeting thought that something looked, or rather felt, different.

Not being able to put my finger on it quickly and having too much to do, I pushed the though aside and got to work.

Time went by quickly, but I worked just as fast. When I was close to being finished, I slowed down a little and then it hit me.

No power.

Great.

I pulled out my phone. Less than 10% battery.

Double great.

My early evening movie dreams seemed to vanish as quickly as I had conjured them. Well, at least my dog, the couch, and the fuzzy socks would be there.

I quickly fell back on my default. I called Pops. Why is it that at less than a year from being thirty years old, I still call my parents for help? Have I ever been at the farm before with no power? or anywhere else for that matter? No. You call the power company and report it, light candles, get the batteries out, and then you wait. All of the above is what he said, as expected.

Anyway, back to my story.

I got all the candles together, lit them, and arranged them around the house while trying to report the outage over the phone. After that chore was checked off the list, I did a little happy dance before lighting the propane space heaters and being glad for a gas stove to heat up my dinner.

While my dinner was heating up, I looked around at the soft flickering light flooding through the house and just had to smile. Such a pretty sight that almost felt like an actual warmth that was more than the space heaters.

I almost laughed at myself for doing such a 180. Just moments before I was exclaiming (yes, aloud if you must know) how this stuff always happens to me when I am by myself! No power. Broken stuff. You name it. Kick the dirt. It makes me laugh now. How quickly we loose sight of what is important and how much we have.

I sat down with my candle light dinner, Darcy at my feet, and did not even bother with the fuzzy socks. No TV. No phone. No distractions. Just quiet. Maybe I will read a book with my fuzzy socks.

Just as I was thinking how great this was and how I would be OK if this happened on occasion (Occasion?! Give me a week away from it all!), the lights flickered and the power came back on. Figures.

Darcy and I looked at each other seemingly posing the same question. Should I just turn the lights off and continue on in candle light?

Well, I didn’t. I plugged in my phone, blew out most of the candles, and found a movie on the TV.

It all got me thinking how connected and dependent we are. Phone calls. Text messages. Emails. Photos. Social media. Internet. All of it in this little computer we all keep at an arm’s reach. Permeating everything we do. Getting comfortable with convenience. Complacent with the world as we know it today. How different it is now.

I often find myself wanting to really unplug and get away from my phone and computer always demanding things from me. Taking me away from what is really important and what life is really about. Taking actual time out of my life.

I have been thinking about this a lot the last few days. Ever since my hour without power. There are two things that come to mind. Something I read a few years ago and something I read today.

It is going to take me a while to find the article from a few years ago, so that will have to be saved for another day.

Something I found today though, is totally worth the read. A bit morbid at first sight, but absolutely worth it. Too many truths to count from someone who knows what IT is all about.

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Don’t tell anyone if I ‘accidentally’ drop my phone in the water trough and and flip the breaker!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Social Media.

Social media has always been a really strange concept to me. A conundrum. Have I said this before?

Yes, yes, and yes I have.

It can be fun, sure. I really do like to share my photos & animals…and, uh, music, a lot of music…with other people because it brings me happiness to share the things I love and what makes me happy with others…in hopes that it does the same for them. I am sure that is a surprise to no one. And really, who doesn’t like to see cute animals?

It can be helpful. That is one of the reasons I started this blog. To share and connect. It is hard to share the difficult stories, but I do it because I know I am not alone and I am not perfect. I know that other people have experienced the same things.

But it can also be, well, bad. Really bad. Negative. Dismissive. Rude. Hateful. And let us not forget, so very fake. I can honestly say that I am constantly surprised by people’s behavior. Where does that even come from? Where does the energy to perpetuate such exhausting mentalities come from?

How has this platform replaced actual communication between our fellow man?

Something that has always bugged me is the amount of energy many people put into composing the perfect picture to post so they look a certain way…to other people. Or incredibly lengthy diatribes of hate. Do not even get me started on selfies and strange poses. I am not going to go there. I always think to myself that if people put as much energy into having good manners, being nice and positive, helping, and loving our neighbors and just being real as they did on perfecting the perfect post, how much better the world, even just the social media world, would be. Exposure to more love and light. More Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Memorial Day, Happy Veterans Day, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Ramadan, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Birthday, or whatever the holiday celebration may be. More smiling. More love. Create an intersection and not a corner.

I feel like people say Happy Halloween or Happy National Donut day more than any other holiday.

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The last few days have been interesting with the lunar eclipse and the first day of school. There were so many cool posts of people getting outside and experiencing the lunar eclipse, surprisingly with other people…together, and sweet children with happy smiles off on their first day back at school after summer. The negativity and hate seemed to stop, or at least be out weighed! If only for that quick moment.

Again, I can not help but wonder if everyone would put as much energy into good instead of bad, focusing on the positive and not the negative, being honest and real, visceral and empathetic, vulnerable, how much better off we would all be. How much more connected we would be, realizing that we are not that different from each other and we all have struggles.

Stir that around in your pot of thoughts. Each one of us makes a difference.

I can see how this may sound trite, but it is not only important, it is true.

Walk in love, my dear readers, and be a light today! Happy Wednesday!

Hump Day.

Here is my lunch time thought. Since we talked about the Sunday Blues (or Scaries/Funk/Dreads, whichever you fancy) and the resulting conversations (thanks to everyone for your comments and to Karen for this Hump Day inspiration! Go check out her blog because she is expecting a foal here pretty soon and the world is about to get that much cuter. I am currently exercising extreme restraint and not breeding my mare! I have foal fever!), let us get into Hump Day.

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Wednesdays have long been known as Hump Day. That middle of the week hurdle, once conquered, brings us with in grasp of the fleeting weekend. I live for my weekends to ride my horses. To recharge my batteries. To get back to center (let us not forget this song or this song!). Side note, expecting rain again………….Can not complain though, it grows the grass to feed the cows and horses. It recharges the water sources. Positive focus. Go me!

There are many ways people celebrate this day. I often partake in Wine Wednesday, as you might have noticed in the past, to celebrate that Hump Day hurdle. Or a special mid week dinner out with friends. Do you do something special for yourself for making it halfway through the week? Do not tell me you get a gold star.

On this particular Wednesday, I am going to be celebrating in another way. Dinner with my Mom’s parents and my Cousin. I am having lunch on Friday with Dad’s parents. I am so blessed to be 28 years old and have two full sets of Grandparents. I know many people can not say that. I have always been close with them. Growing up I would go to their house on weekends to play and for sleepovers. Or run errands with them. Listen to the stories of their lives. Learn from them. See their faith. Go to the movies. Ride horses. Do arts and crafts. Bake. I see myself in them. I see my family in them. We come from them. I love them and have always been close with them.

It is hard, knowing that every day with them is precious and they will not be here for forever. Life. It is even harder on my parents and it hurts me sometimes to watch the realization in them and knowing one day I will be there in their shoes. I take every opportunity to spend time with them.

I got an email from my dad today about positivity and social media from Jim’s Daily Awakenings. I really liked it so I thought I would share it with you below. Try to remember this advice in this social media driven world. Remember the Golden Rule you were taught as a child. It still applies today in all facets and forums. Get out of social media and talk to people. Be nice. Be positive. Care. Lift people up. Support each other.

Walk in love, dear readers, and have a blessed Wednesday! Tell your people you love them.

“I have a shocking thing to say to those of you on social media: Not everyone is interested in seeing a photo of your lunch, knowing your political opinions, or who you were with last night.
This morning I counted 210 social media networking websites.  This excludes the online dating websites.  The possible way to engage in conversation and share your opinion with strangers abounds.
But it bothers me that so many of the social media sites have gone negative. 
I detest all the hostile, nasty, intimidating political remarks that are posted online.
I hate that social media has become a forum for negativity, criticism, belittling, complaining, fault-finding, cynical remarks, put downs, unkind comparisons, and even verbal bullying.  Words that damage permanently are spoken behind the curtain of the Internet.  Some people have even committed suicide over things said to them online. 
Our words spoken online and in public should be positive, affirming, and encouraging. We should try to build people up in such a way that they never get over our edification of them.”  
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)

These Days & Those Days

Watching the super bowl made me think of how much has changed in this world and what

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My favorite part I think!

life is like these days. How many years ago was it that you had to wait weeks for mail or news to cross the country and that was your only communication outside of the odd telegram? No smart phone always at an arm’s reach. Can you really imagine that in this day and age of social media?

Being 28, I never got to experience any semblance of that, but it sure does sound lovely. Idyllic even. To be truly disconnected and actually experience what is in front of you. I remember when the internet became a basic household staple. Dial up, yes, but still. Instant messaging on AOL. I got my first cell phone before I even turned 16, which was after most of my friends got cell phones.

Now, all you have to do is open your phone and your immediate thoughts can be seen by everyone, whether or not you sleep on it. More people should sleep on their thoughts. To me, it is a scary thing to think…and to witness. That is another story for another day, I digress. back to the super bowl. The game was barely even over when they switched screens to talk about what everyone was saying about it on various social networks! Who cares! Let us hear what the players and coaches have to say in the moment! It really took away from the experience.

Anyway, on to other things.Yesterday was one of those days. Both literally and metaphorically cloudy. The low, flat winter kind that makes you long for the summer sun to take away the ‘seasonal affective disorder.’ I do not actually have SAD, it just feels that way sometimes when I am being melodramatic.

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Those eyes. This is what it looks like when you are frustrated with the weather tampering with your plans.

Why was I being melodramatic? It rained basically all Sunday morning. The one moment that I had the audacity to think I could fit in a ride before going home, the sky unleashed the real precipitation and made the ground slick as oil. Weather man, you mentioned nothing like this, by the way.

I spent Saturday morning doing chores because it was unexpectedly cold. I rode Cheetah Saturday afternoon which was, interesting. It was not the best ride in the world. Read this as the nut of the issue. At one point I had to dismount and lunge her by the reins so she could find her brain. Apparently we were both in a mood this weekend. Let us just be honest here. I really wanted to erase that ride with a better one Sunday morning. It just was not going to happen. Insert frustrated, annoyed me. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day, as they say.

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My Lito could tell I was not my normal self and was extra attentive to me. I love him for that. Animals are great that way.

I will do a happy dance when the time changes back!

I got home and the sun was SHINING with no signs of past rain. Just an hour drive away. Naturally, I made brownies. The best brownies, seriously. I added a little strong brewed coffee, some coffee grounds, and cinnamon…and a little simple cream cheese frosting to top it off…oops. That made me feel a little better. Go make them. Pawning them off at the office today.

Post cleaning up my baking mess, there was going to be no cooking or cleaning for dinner. Insert the cheese tray. How I love thee. Winning as an adult. It was good game watching food.

What did y’all think of the game?

That is all for today. Clearly still random. Make it a great Monday, I am going to try to!

Walk in love, dear readers!