passing through

IMG_1804

One of my favorite by-products of a good snowfall is the tracks left behind by those who pass through Baldy Hill. Of course, there are ongoing glimpses and other signs of the critters that share our fields and woodlands, but never as evident as during winter. On a recent afternoon walk, we found prints human and canine — of course — as well as feline (undoubtedly from “Mittens,” a semi-resident feral barn cat), plus those from a solitary white-tailed deer, hare, opossum, chipmunk, raccoon, and a host of song birds. Paths appeared to cross, even when they didn’t. Some seemed to lead to nowhere, covered over by drifting snow we hope. The animals are all welcome to stay with us over winter, although we know that for many we are only one stop along their journey. Either way, we love them all.

first flurry

IMG_2666_2

It’s been snowing here again today, started off as soft flurries and then continued steadily all day. As I watched the snow fall, I was reminded of this poem — enjoy!

First Flurry by Chung Dong-muk

From the warm spring
You passed through time
Content in the green of summer
Surrounded by the piles of persimmon leaves
Autumn was so solitary
It is winter once again
Yet even when the bright white snow
Envelops the whole world
Beneath the covers
The green shoots of nature will grow

10 years

IMG_1219

How can this day, this beautiful, sun-filled day in the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar, possibly have been ten years ago? And yet when I think back at all that this husband of mine and I have done, experienced since then, I am amazed we packed it all into just ten years. :-) Is it any wonder we find ourselves now contented living in the rural countryside, with little but our books, our animals, our garden, and the beauty of nature to fill our time and our hearts. I am so, so glad I stumbled upon this man in a little Brussels hole-in-the-wall cafe — I can’t imagine sharing life with anyone else.

one day at a time

IMG_0206

The View From Our Window

IMG_1473

IMG_2799

IMG_3580

IMG_2278

We are excited to announce that the first edition of the 2015 Baldy Hill wall calendar is now available to purchase here. This year’s calendar features both black&white and color photos highlighting Baldy Hill’s four seasons, making it a beautiful gift to enjoy throughout the coming year. And shoppers spending more than $100 in the Etsy shop receive a complementary calendar as our gift for supporting Baldy Hill this holiday season. :-)

 

 

loving leni

IMG_2686_2There is much to love about this four-month-and-a-bit-old puppy. Beyond the obvious supercute face, there is such an ebullient personality that drives her actions — one does not chase a ball; one run/hops at full pelt before pouncing and punctuating the move with a final back-leg kick flourish. She smiles at the new day when we go outside for her early morning walk. And the organization skills! She loves to arrange and rearrange her toys both inside and outside her crate. Yesterday I found her sitting on the sofa in a circle of pillows, three nylabones, and two balls — again with a crazyhappy grin on her face, clearly well satisfied with her work.

She’s now up to twenty-four pounds, adding an average of two pounds a week to her morphing frame. We haven’t a clue what she’ll look like in a year from now, but then again that’s how it goes with a mixed breed rescue. I look at photos of Bayliss at the same age, when she looked like a full-on black Lab; it was a month or so later when her tail curled and the long, luscious hair replaced her puppy coat — the end result was a grown dog far more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. We have a feeling the same will be true of Leni as well. :-)

gratitude sunday

IMG_0175

gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • The wisdom that is telling me not to hold on to the anger, frustration, resentment that I have been feeling about my recent layoff. Suffice to say, it was unpleasant at best (no “conscious uncoupling” here — I had to sign a “separation agreement”). But I also know that for my life to move forward in the positive way that I’d like it to, I must put this disappointment behind me and focus on today and the future
  • And the good things that have resulted from the experience
  • Like the fact that I made a couple of really good friends in the office, who have been a great comfort and support the past few weeks
  • And the beautiful thank-you video I received from one of the teams I recently trained — so fun, so creative, and so full of gratitude
  • The invaluable cross-cultural work experience
  • And the five months of amazing eating that confirmed I am a bone fide curry junkie
  • Knowing that I made a positive difference in the lives of the people I helped to learn a new skill, especially the women, who still suffer such tremendous workplace — and societal — discrimination in India
  • The certainty I have about what I don’t want my next job to be
  • The generous people who have already been helpful in passing along and revising my CV
  • And the push I needed to  reexamine my own small business ideas
  • The opportunity to once again revise my own life priorities, which will free up time and energy to focus on my new pursuits
  • As always, the love and support of my husband, which makes managing the trauma of this stressful time so much easier to bear