Mindfulness Monday – Garden

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“Gardening is an active

participation in the

deepest mysteries of

the universe.”

~ Thomas Berry

“Look deep into nature

and then you will

understand everything better.”

~ Albert Einstein

“Gardening simply does not allow

one to be mentally old, because

too many hopes and dreams

are yet to be realized.”

~Allan Armitage

 

 

*Photo taken at Tucson Botanical Garden, Tucson AZ, by W. Holcombe, all rights reserved.  Please do not use without permission.

 

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Ten Things I’m Thankful for This Week

Last week was my first time participating in the Ten Things of Thankful challenge, and it made me feel really good.  This week my ten things were not as obvious; I think that  makes it even more important to take note of them.  I’ll be the first to admit, I did not have a good week.  A lot of pain and stress has taken hold of my body, I’m holding on, but it’s getting difficult.  It’s time to step back and figure out how I can make things a little less demanding.  Every weekend is filled with so much to do, when it gets to be Monday I’m in full flare.  That has to stop, but I really like my busy weekends. I haven’t been able to do any of these things in so long, it does my heart good to be able to do them now, but my body is not as happy with me, and I’m afraid if I don’t slow down my body is going to make me.

I’m so very thankful:

  • for my amazing friends who keep me going every day.  Some I “talk” with almost every day, some I don’t keep in touch with as often. but I know they are there for me, and I am so very, very thankful for that.  I can only hope they know I’m there for them too.  I love my people.
  • that I didn’t get really hurt when I fell down the other day.  Yep, I fell, again.  Hey, it’s been a while, and I didn’t fall because I was dizzy or anything like that, I fell because I stepped on something slippery and my foot flew out from under me.  Mostly, it just scared me.
  • that I was able to go back-to-school shopping with my niece.  It’s so much fun getting to know my niece and nephew, I’m so grateful we can now spend so much time together.
  • that a local friend of mine texted me today saying that if there is every an emergency I can call on her.  That really meant the world to me.  She’s local, and I haven’t even seen her yet, I must rectify that.
  • that I have Air Conditioning.  It has been dangerously hot here; I honestly don’t know how anyone could live here without A/C.  There are so many homeless people here, I don’t know how they survive in this heat.  I’m so grateful I have a safe home and don’t have to live on the streets, my heart goes out to those who do.
  • that I have been having fun learning to decorate cookies.  I’ve only just begun to learn about it, but I’m having so much fun discovering this new art form.  I attempted my first watercolor on a cookie this week, it turned out pretty cool, not perfect, but not too bad. 20180725_121650
  • That my father-in-law is letting me use one of his cars, and it’s a really cool car too.  I’m just beginning to drive again, after a few years, so it feels amazing to be able to get to go somewhere whenever I want.  I’ve only gone on one errand so far, I’m very nervous driving here because I don’t know the area and I can’t hear the GPS.  I need to get a GPS that I can see without taking my eyes off the road, that would make things much easier.
  • for cooler mornings.  I’m trying to get up earlier so I can enjoy the weather before it gets too hot, some days I make it, other days, I don’t get out much.
  • that my surgery is soon.  Just got a call this evening that my surgery date has been changed to the 7th. This is causing a bit of inconvenience with Stuart and work. as that was supposed to be a training day for him, I’m grateful he will still be able to take me.
  • that I was able to do write a post.  With my wrist pain, migraines, and additional pain this week, I didn’t think I’d be able to get this done, I’m so grateful that I could do it.

What are you thankful for this week?  I’d love for you to share with me just one thing you are grateful for this week!!

I’ll try and write more about my surgery soon, a little mini update before I have to disappear for a while.

I’m always thankful for you.

 

Mindfulness Monday – Storm

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Monsoons 2018, by W. Holcombe. all rights reserved

 

“You can’t calm the storm,

so stop trying.

What you can do is

calm yourself.

The storm will pass.”

~ Timber Hawkeye

 

“You will not be

the same after the

storms of life;

You will be stronger,

wiser and more alive

than ever before!”

~ Bryant McGill

 

“The great benefit of

practicing mindfulness…

is the presence of mind

within a storm

 of emotions.”

~ Phillip Moffitt

 

*photo was taken in Tucson, AZ , off my front porch, during monsoon season 2018.  It’s am amazing time, I wish I could get better pictures for you.  The monsoons are full of beauty and power, but…another of it’s secret powers is to cause super duper migraines.  Ahh.  Please do not use this image without permission.

 

 

Visiting Aqua Caliente Park

Today we visited Aqua Caliente Park, it’s located on East Roger Road in Tucson, AZ. I never expected to see anything like this in the desert. Funny though, I saw several oasis in the Sonoran Desert outside of Palm Springs, CA; when we lived there, yet I never expected to see it here.

You can read about this park on the Pima County website, but I’d like to share some of the sites I saw there, I hope you enjoy them.

First you’ll find the Flora, followed by the Fauna.  (some of the plants are not actually native, but they’ve been here a very long time)

 

 

The fish in the photo by himself was a monster!  If anyone knows what kind of fish he is I’d love to know.  I’m pretty sure he’s not a catfish; if he is, he looks different than SC or NC catfish.  🙂   ***I just read that the part has grass carp and bass in it, I think this might be a carp.  I think it should be noted that none of the fish or turtles are native.  However, here are many bird species that call this place home.

The frog was also huge!  Bigger than my foot! He was so patient and let us take a photo of him, there was another frog close by, but he didn’t want his picture taken so he jumped in the water very fast.

I had severe migraines all week, I was lucky enough to have a few hours respite and a few more hours with the pain reduced enough that I could function, still at a slower pace and I was probably a cranky bitch at times, but I’m grateful I was able to enjoy part of the weekend.

*I have one last photo to share, but I’ll save that for Mindfulness Monday 😉

**Remember all photos and artwork on Picnic with Ants are personal property and are not to be shared without permission from the creator.  (in this case, Wendy Holcombe took all the above photos and is the sole owner of all rights)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Things Thankful 07.20.2018

I was over at my friend Faith’s blog, Little Lord Oscar Dandelion, if you haven’t been over there, check her out, she has some amazing short stores and she’s just really cool too! She shared a post from Ten Things of Thankful and posted her own list of things to be thankful for, you can check her list out here. I think this is a wonderful idea, I have not been paying enough attention to the things in my life that I’m very grateful for, I think this will help me bring that front and center. I think it’d be super cook if you joined us on the challenge.

Ten Things of Thankful (I do want to point out that the rules say “Although the number ten is in the title, that is more of a suggestion than a hard and fast rule. Had a rough week and can only come up with one thing? That’s OK! “I’m thankful that situation X wasn’t worse” is a perfectly acceptable post.”

  • I’m thankful my surgery has been scheduled. (I’ll be having surgery on my wrist on the 9th of August, I’ll post more information on that soon)
  • Our house closes tomorrow….unless something unforeseen happens our house in NC will no longer be ours soon.
  • We started looking at houses here in Tucson this week and we already have a couple we are interested in…cross fingers we pick the perfect house, this will be our forever home.
  • My father-in-law has a car he’s letting me drive…and it’s a really cool car too.
  • I’m learning to decorate cookies, it’s an edible art form…cool.
  • I’ve been able to admit I might possibly have an eating disorder. I know I’ve written about this before, but it’s worse/different and I’m scared/desperate. Admitting this is the first step, I think, to getting better.
  • I was met by my niece and nephew today with the tightest hugs ever! I feel so loved.
  • I was able to play a game with my husband, his sister and her husband and I didn’t get competitive, I just found it so much fun, I laughed so hard…mostly at myself!
  • I went to the medical cannabis dispensary for the first time and it was very interesting, I learned a lot, and found out I need to learn much more.
  • I had a few hours yesterday with a great reduction in migraine pain. (I took a heck of a lot of medication to get to that point, but it sure was nice to have that break)

I think I could actually add a few more, like I’m very grateful we have A/C in this 112F+ days, I have a big bathtub, I have been able to cook often, I found a few new cooking shows….yes I can find all kinds of things to be grateful for….Oh I have one! Stuart took me to this little park today and it was gorgeous! A little oasis in the middle of the desert, it was amazing!

Aqua Caliente Park – photo by Wendy Holcombe, all rights reserved.

Don’t forget to share your list Thankful list, I’d love to hear all about it.

Up next, more photos from the part.

Finally some promised pictures.

I’m still not able to type much, a lot of hunting and pecking with just my left hand, but I’m managing to do a little.  My wrist has not improved, the shot did not work, I go back to the doctor on July 2nd (which just happens to be my birthday).  Wish me luck.

 

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Welcome to our home.  The top photo isn’t very good, but it’s of the front gate.  The middle row from left to right: the front porch, the pool off the right of the house, the kitchen over looking the living room.  the bottom row, left to right: the bathtub/shower, flowers from my neighbor, the sick in the bathroom.

When I first visited Tucson I wondered why so many houses had bars on the windows and walls around their homes, well I found out.  The bars are because so many houses eight used to have, or still have, a Swamp Cooler.  For a Swamp Cooler to work, you have to have the doors and windows open.  So it’s not because the whole town has a lot of crime, it’s a deterrent for when people have the Swamp Coolers going.  (Swamp Coolers cool by adding moisture to the air, it’s really cool actually. but it only works in places with no humidity).  The walls are often added if you have a pool.  It is also a law that if a window in your house can open and it opens out to the pool, it must have bars. The pool must also have a gate that locks, or has a latch way out of reach for a child.

The house we live in was built in 1943, I think the realtor said, that surprised me since that was a time of rationing.  The bathroom was tiled in the 1970’s, the owner loved Fiesta-ware and the tiles were bought to kinda match that. I love it!!  The kitchen was also tiled like it at some point, but they remodeled the kitchen not long ago and the cool tile went bye-bye.  You can see the new stove in the tiny kitchen, and the tiny living room beyond that.  The living room is so small we had to get rid of our couch, and the dining area is so small we couldn’t fit a regular size table in it.  Too bad, because the house is pretty cool other than the tiny rooms, if they were bigger we would consider buying this house, but it simply won’t work, so we are on the hunt for a house to buy that meets our needs.  This property also has a guest house, which would be perfect for us when Dad moves in, but as I said, the main house just doesn’t work.

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There are many suns all around the outside of the house, that’s kinda cool.

I took a walk around the neighborhood the other day and I saw all these cactus!  The barrel cactus, the paddle cactus, prickly pear, and the big daddy of all the Saguaro. (you might not be able to tell from the photo bur the Saguaro has blossoms (well buds or dried of blossoms anyway), they don’t bloom every year so this was a treat.

These photos are all from around the house.  I especially like the last one.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the little trip around my new digs.  I have a few shots from the trip across country if you’d like to see them let me know and I’ll post those too.  🙂

*all photos were taken by me, W. Holcombe, please do not use without permission.

 

 

Wish You Were Here!

The trip to Tucson, AZ was a bit rough, but not bad.  The recovery after we got here was much harder.  We arrived late afternoon on Friday, and today is the first day I feel like I don’t need to sleep every moment.

Today is a beautiful day!  Right now it’s in the 70’sF and the high today should be in the mid 80’sF.  At home, Durham , NC, it is in the 50’s all week.  This is the reason I wanted to come to Tucson….oh the weather!  We had a cold front here for a couple of days right after we got here…..I laughed, Stuart was worried about me and the “cold front”, it was in the upper 60’s during the day.  It did get in the 30’s late at night, but I wasn’t out during those hours.

The second day we were here I walked outside to get some fresh air, I saw the prettiest bird!  It was the reddest red I’ve ever seen!  I looked it up and it’s the Vermillion Flycatcher.

Vermilion Flycatcher – photo from http://www.focusonnature.com

That’s one red bird, isn’t it?  I was lucky to see it, normally it has migrated by now.   Right after seeing this lovely bird I saw a hummingbird, actually, he saw me first and was quite interested.  He buzzed by my head, then came back and hovered about a foot or so from me and just looked at me.  It was a brilliant iridescent green.  What a lucky day!

Today I have been sitting outside enjoying the sun.  I know it won’t be this nice all winter, but there is much less barometric pressure change here than there is at home.

I have much more that I planned to say, but I have had a bit of trouble with my email.  I just found out that one of my email addresses that I have imported to my main email address, so I can read everything from one place, wasn’t being forwarded.  This email address is a pretty important one to me, and it appears it hasn’t  been forwarded for months.  I wondered why I wasn’t hearing from some people.  Now I have about 1500 emails to go through.  I’m sure I’ll get tired and start deleting many without even thinking about it….so if you have written me on my “name” email, please forgive me for not getting back to you, and try again.

One more thing about email…well commenting on posts actually…On our ride out here I read some of your posts and commented on them, I don’t think they posted.  I’m not sure I will be able to go back and comment on everyone’s posts.  I’m sorry.  Please know I was thinking of you on our way across the country.  (FYI…I-40 is a boring route)  I read many posts, and even tried to keep in touch.
Some have asked about how Max did on the trip.  He was very good.  I was afraid he wouldn’t settle down since Sandy wasn’t with us, but he did.  The only time it was evident that Sandy was a real help with him, was when we’d try to leave the motel in the mornings.  Max would hide!  When Sandy was with us, Max didn’t want to be left without his dog, so when Sandy was ready to leave, so was Max.  But for the actual ride in the car, Max was great.  He meowed quite a bit the first day, but he settled in and slept most of the time.  Oh the life of a spoiled cat.  (he got tuna every day to coax him out of the motel, I’m surprised he hasn’t been pestering us for tuna since we arrived!)

So I to all I hope to be posting more and more about our trip and how it is affecting my illnesses.  (I should say that on the drive here we mostly ate out….way too much sodium!  So for the past few days my tinnitus has been louder than ever, and I’ve been very off-balance.  I’ve been drinking lot’s of water and really watching my sodium intake, so today I’m feeling much better, but still not hearing as well as I was.)