Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 - Boom or Bust?

I keep a mental list in my head of posts I want to write. Today I am setting those aside as well as deleting one that was a bit of a rant. I can't even remember why I needed to rant! Or felt I needed to rant. Everything is relative isn't it?
Kilally Meadows
My house is small compared to others. But it's warm and cozy and protects me from the elements. Isn't that what it's for?  Millions of people don't have a roof over their heads.

I thought I needed new living room furniture (remember that post?) but when my daughter expressed her sentimental love for the furniture we have I cancelled the pickup. The couches may be a little outdated but they are in good shape, firm and comfortable. I often fall asleep on them. Isn't that what they're for? Refugees have no furniture.

My truck is old and rusty - but it always starts, is in good working order and has never failed to get me from Point A to Point B. Isn't that what it's for? The poor in London are hoping to get a discounted bus pass.

I have read many blog posts over the past week that relay feelings of sadness, depression, illness and injury, lost hope and feeling "stuck". It seems that 2016 was not a great year for a lot of people and 2017 is looking pretty scary, especially if you're a liberal. (That's a joke!)

What do we want for ourselves in 2017? It's pretty much a given that we want to be happy, yet our present circumstances makes that hard at times, if not all of the time. Curiously, a couple of months ago I purchased a journal for 2017 called "Create Your Own Happiness". I think I'm going to need it - I have my own issues with depression/anxiety and motivation and I worry about climate change among other things. From what I've written above I think it's clear that I don't derive happiness from things. I'm grateful I own my home, own Dougie the Dodge and own old furniture. (If I keep things long enough they become valuable antiques don't they?) And I have no debt.

What leapt out at me while reading blog posts today were all of the positive and helpful, supportive comments. We have such a good network here, I know, because I've been on the receiving end of your support during some of the worst moments of my life.

So...what's my point? Do I even have a point? Well, yes I do...we really do make our own happiness. What helps us feel happy? - each of us will have a different list and I encourage you to make one. Some of you already have.
Here's mine: ( in no particular order )

  • walking in the forest
  • witnessing the return of birds in the spring and watching the plants and wildflowers come back to life
  • photography
  • trail running, volleyball, hiking, cycling
  • yoga, meditation
  • travelling to new places and exploring them through long distance walking
  • the beach/sunshine
  • books
  • music/listening and playing the piano
  • creating: writing, carving, painting, sewing, journalling, crocheting
  • standing up for social wrongs
  • donating to worthy causes
  • cooking 
  • Luna and Lily
  • Kazi
  • Hannah
  • brothers and sisters
  • Julie and Troy and Lynnie
  • my cyber friends, especially those I have met: Annie, Michelle in NB, Kim and Marguerite in PEI, Johanna (many more I want to meet!)
  • my high school graduating class - we still meet up every year
  • cousins and niece and nephews
  • genealogy research
  • good movies
  • the poet Rumi
  • laughing/singing/dancing
  • road trips
Nothing like the antics of an alien-looking wild turkey to make you smile.

Evidence that the deer are nearby even though all I saw were their hoof prints.

I hope you'll make a happiness list and I hope that at least once a day you'll do something from your list to increase your joy. There's a lot of shit going on in the world that we can do nothing about - and that can make us feel helpless. But you can do something about what's going on in your own back yard even if it's just making a cup of tea and reading a chapter in whatever book/genre that interests you.
Today I: walked in the forest, listened to the geese flying overhead, took photos, read the newspaper, had a coffee and Bailey's ;) , cuddled with Lily, spent time with Kazi, texted a friend, stared at the watery version of the sun that was available today, texted a friend, wrote a post.  
Plan to - have a bath with my new Lush bath bomb, watch a movie, read a book, have a shot of Jameson's, and fall asleep probably before midnight!   

I'm so happy I've been able to keep this orchid plant alive and blooming!

More belly rubs coming right up Lily!

Wishing you all a very HAPPY New Year! Let's work on it together and provide support to those who need it, no judgement, no put downs. As if!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Lake Inagh to Leenane

This had to be my favourite part of the walk, from the beautiful lodge on Lake Inagh to the very appealing village of Leenane, nestled at the end of Killary Harbour. Once again we walked along the Western Way, mouths agape at the range of colours of the Maumturk mountains and sheep grazing pastures. The weather was perfect with the occasional bank of clouds flowing over the mountains.

 The landscape constantly changes, mostly due to the constant stream of "weather" coming over the mountains and sweeping across the open land. Not a whole lot of trees in this area.

 Farms were far and few between and we could see vertigo-inducing fences (and sheep) stretching up to the peaks of the mountains.

Occasionally a small wooded area would beckon...we could feel the presence of fairies ...

 Eventually we did reach a forested area, but unfortunately it was in the process of being clear cut. While the mountains look so dramatic the deep cuts are due to erosion.

There was a small bridge and a sinking boardwalk to help us get through this boggy area.

 But it was a battle maintaining dry boots - FAIL!

This photo shows the type of boards we had to walk on...for miles and miles...through the bog on "The Wet Day!" a few days previous. They caused pain in the hips and knees (and psyche) but we made it.

Still headed the right way!!
After the clear cut area we crossed a road and headed uphill. After awhile I happened to tear my eyes off the mountains and sheep to our right and glanced over my left shoulder to see this!!
OMG! Killary Harbour, a fjord! The photos below represent about 1/1000th of the photos I took from that moment on. Feeling very blessed to witness such natural beauty.

Across the harbour was the occasional tiny village, some only accessible by boat.


The village of Leenane off in the distance.
Heading down...

Can you see us? Kind of a "selfie" :)

Oh yes, I could wake up to this every morning!!

Walking into Leenane...

 The tide is out...

Homes for insects...

The view from our little hotel balcony...we had walked to our B&B only to find out we had been transferred to the village hotel due to some water issue! We felt really fortunate as the hotel was fantastic AND we were staying there two nights!
The tide is out!
The mountain on the left of the photo below is where we were hiking.

 Nice view!!

We had walked past the hotel on our way to the B&B - now we were staying there!!

This is my view...

 ...from my seaweed soak!

It was a fabulous treat after hiking all day...

...the "lounge" where a fire was burning...I see you Annie! inviting is this?!

...Annie made herself right at home!

Our wee balcony...

 When I look at this photo I think I should have put my backpack on the floor rather than on this priceless antique! We were checking in...

There was a gorgeous garden across the street...

...still blooming magnificently! out - we're everywhere!!

Next: The Famine Trail