Welcoming – OSI

All who seek enter
into hushed forest whispers
bird song cantata
under cedar canopy
prayer beads of clear water

all are welcomed here
in reverent communion come
burdened or with joy

regardless

of who you are now
or from where you might wander
or who you would love

follow your heart here.

~~~~

The prompt this week is Welcoming presented by Nancy; thank you Nancy! Read more at One Single Impression.

This effort of mine today is a mix of tanka and haiku sprinkled liberally. It was also inspired by a poem by Mary Oliver which you can read here.

Thanksgiving time

Many friends, relatives, and blogger friends I know have been practicing or writing gratitude the last month. I have so loved reading (or hearing about) this practice because the descriptions are usually rich with detail; sometimes humorous, often serious, and they contain a quiet humility which I admire. So, right now I want to thank you all for your writings and your observations of the minutia — the emotional gifts you receive and the external as well. I learn so much through your different ways of seeing, and often find myself nodding my head thinking – “Yes, I so get that.”

Gratitude is a dual concept for me. I think we all struggle with taking the good in our lives for granted – the little things as so many of you have pointed out – which truly make us rich. Yet when we are living with these gifts we tend to forget how precious they are.  A hot shower, a hot bowl of soup, a good friend’s health, a mother’s recovery, a niece’s (and nephew’s) road to happiness, my husband’s love, a son’s valued education, another son’s artistic ability; these are all things (and so many others) I carry in my heart each day but sometimes forget to stop and acknowledge them in prayer or just with a quiet moment of holding the gifts up and saying: this is good – thank you.

It is rather a delicate dance of living the gift of not worrying….. and being grateful.

Winter is coming and a full supply of wood is in the shed for my friends.  Life can mean living gratitude moment by moment; spark to fire.

I am simply thankful that we often have beautiful places to wander and recharge the soul’s batteries.

The sun’s rising and setting sustains us all, no matter where or who we are.

And I am grateful for all of you, known and unknown. A good percentage of my readership are folks I do not know, or have not even a clue of who you might be. In January I will have been blogging for two years. I am nearing my 1,000th post and I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have you visiting my site, whether or not you leave a comment does not matter. I want to express only… thank you. From all of us here – have a very, happy Thanksgiving.

Pecan Pie

My father in law requested a pecan pie for Thanksgiving when we talked to him on the phone last evening.  He rarely says a thing about what he’d like to eat – ever – so I thought I’d oblige him even though it’s not a choice I would usually make when venturing to make a pie.  He was raised in southern Illinois so I imagine his mom made pecan pies.  I prefer fruit pies; cherry and apple to be specific. Of course, I will make a pumpkin pie to ago along with this one for Thanksgiving.

The real problem with pecan pies I’ve tasted over the years is that they usually result in a sugar migraine about 10 minutes later.  This recipe is using Molasses and only a fourth cup of brown sugar.  I am going to cut down on the corn syrup too.  I’ll try it tomorrow and see how it goes.  It looks good.  I snagged this recipe from Simply Recipes.

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1 9-inch pie shell, chilled for an hour if freshly made, defrosted for 10 minutes if frozen. (See pie crust recipes.)

1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread pecans along the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over pecans. The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.

2 Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes until the filling has set. About 20 minutes into the cooking you may want to use a pie crust protector, or tent the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning.

3 Remove from oven and let cool completely.  Serves 8.

A horse ~ up close

This is my friend Jane’s mare.  Actually, Jane has two horses.  The Morgan was not interested in having her picture taken yesterday; she was rather sulky, so Stinker stepped in.  I nicknamed her Stinker because she has been quite a handful for Jane ever since she was acquired.  Jane had been watching and worrying over this horse when she belonged to a guy in the valley.  He wasn’t caring for his horses properly – basically starving them.  So after a colt died over there due to neglect Jane stepped in and offered to buy this horse.  The owner promptly agreed.  So Stinker came to live with Jane and Steve.  Jane asked a trainer to come work with this horse which has improved her behavior, and of course Jane herself has devoted much time to Stinker as well.

Stinker is still a “dink” sometimes, as Jane mentions, but at least she can ride her without too much tension.  Another example of a spirited/ damaged animal which someone put time, heart, and energy into because she cared.  I know many people have similar stories concerning rescued animals, their care and welfare.  Every cat we’ve ever had either came from the Humane Society or was an alley cat looking for a home and chose us.  You know the story.  It’s a little more complex where horses are concerned. I am still a little intimidated by Stinker, but as you can see the mare is healthy again and well-loved.  And, both horses have many acres on which to roam and eat yummy grass. A happy life.

Really awesome photos

This is one of the latest photos composed and captured by our son’s really awesome girlfriend.   It is titled simply:  Notebook.  Caitlin is entering the Photographer’s Forum College Photography Contest.  She and Ian were spending late nights in the dark room trying to get her images ready this week.  (Hmmm, dark room + deadline + two romantic young people in said dark room together equals what?  No, no we won’t be nosy!)  Below photo is one of her entries. I love them all.  Best of luck Caitlin and may that digital SLR come your way and totally ruin you for life.  Watch out for this rising photographer-star-person.

Black and white “Notebook” by Caitlin J. Carroll