Ready to Surrender

“Each of us actually believes that things should be the way we want them, instead of being the natural result of all the forces of creation.” Michael A. Singer

I felt more than a little overwhelmed this spring when I realized there was no way I could continue my plan to keep the pecan orchard cleaned up – not this year and maybe not until FD can retire. Storm after storm arrived, producing mostly wind and very little rain, and bringing down more limbs and branches. There had not yet been an opportunity to get chainsaws out to cut three downed trees and huge limbs from the previous year and, even if we could have managed that, we had not yet been able to purchase a wood splitter to properly process firewood for sale. Even the smaller debris could not be picked up and burned because of a burn ban in the county due to a continuing drought. And then, as the heat came on and a little rain arrived, the grasses and weeds began to grow and the wood became harder to get to, tangled in a snarl of vine and vegetation. A barrage of insects moved in, and a bumper crop of ticks made their appearance. I was miserable while working in the orchard as I attempted to keep a few pathways open throughout. Of course the usual summer work started up as well – gardening, watering and mowing, which kept me very busy. Finally, when the summer heat hit, we decided to abandon clearing downed wood in the orchard. As a result of that decision, I was spending less time in the woods, which meant I was not spending quality time in my sanctuary of solitude, nor was I connecting with nature. Working alone in the woods has always been positive therapy for me.

Wild Hogs in the Night – Old River Channel Area. We have been seeing an increasing number of hogs at nighttime on game cameras. I have always worried about the coyotes in the area being a threat to fawns but wild hogs are just as much of a predatory threat to them.
It makes me sad to know this fish perished in the sun. The slough has nearly dried up by now. It never did fill up this spring.
In early spring, we noticed Punkin, along with other woodland squirrels, nearly lost all of her body hair. Tails were not affected at all. I never did discover what caused this. After a couple of months Punkin’s hair grew back and she seems very healthy. But she worried me for a while! Buddy never suffered this hair loss. Both still make appearances for pecans, usually on the weekends!
We allowed the pasture next to the orchard to grow wild this spring.
Musk thistle increased this year. FD and I spent a couple of weekends (and me a solid week) digging up thistle. We managed to get most of them out but it was hard work on sixty-two acres!
This little fawn didn’t live long. At the start of fawn birthing, I discovered these bones while digging up thistle near the slough. I suspect the killer to be either a coyote or an old bobcat we’ve seen on game camera in the area this spring.
On a windy night, this live pecan tree went down. It will be a massive project to cut and split the wood.
The slough will dry up in the next days if we do not get some rain. Temperatures in the low 100’s are creating terrible drought conditions. We got very little rain last fall and this spring.
As I work to pull cockleburs sprouting now, I walk the hard, crunchy floor of the slough. These cracks will widen as the temperatures increase, drawing every bit of moisture from the soil.

Meanwhile, some personal disappointments had hurt me deeply. And for a long time I had been unhappy watching the news. Every day my cage seemed to get rattled, triggering thoughts of upset and helplessness.  Much of my past anger and hurt, thoughts of injustice and betrayal began to surface. I shut down some of the noise by deleting my Facebook account, and simply limiting my TV watching to the local news and weather. But I found myself backsliding into some of my poor coping skills of the past. Like a wounded animal, I retreated to my den. I couldn’t venture out much. I had lost my trust and faith in people yet again. I felt betrayed and misunderstood.  I knew I needed to distance myself from the noise and chaos. It is the reason I have not been able to write in many months.

Years ago, I got my hands on Michael Singer’s first book, “The Untethered Soul”, which really spoke to me about how my mind rambled on all day, telling me lies and having me faunching over situations I had no control over. For years I allowed my mind to run wild with thoughts of seeking justice, or being prepared for the worst, and having a plan for every possible situation or condition. I worried about “what if” situations. I realized of course, that most of these scenarios I cooked up never happened and, if I truly looked at a scenario, that maybe if I broke it down to the bones of the problem, it really wasn’t as bad as I had conjured it up to be. Still, I felt it was better for me to have a plan and be prepared and at the ready, just in case!  Having read The Untethered Soul though, I was now cognizant of this crazy voice in my head that kept me tormented with persistent, meaningless, repetitive dialogue. It took a long time to shut off the noise. Raising Daisy deer was the beginning of my journey in finding my truth. And in spending so much of my time in nature, I found the greatest education of my life.

This bull snake has been hanging around the chicken barn, and I’ve also seen it move into the neighbor’s woolly yard. Apparently it likes our neck of the woods. We like to see them around to keep rodents under control.
The orchard won’t get mowed this year. Maybe in the winter months I can get back to my cleanup project. For now, the deer and other mammals enjoy the wildness of it for cover.
This old hollowed out tree trunk lays along a buggy path. I marvel at it’s beauty in surrendering to nature.
Scarlet and her two fawns from last year (they’ll be yearlings in late August) are often seen in the area. She’s always watchful, but she no longer stomps and huffs at me.
This cottonwood tree has surrendered its trunk to Virginia ivy. I find it beautiful being draped in green, but it won’t be long and the yellows, oranges and reds of autumn will color it spectacularly! Surrendering can be a beautiful experience!

Knowing that, I shouldn’t have needed to read Singer’s second book, “The Surrender Experiment”. When I finished that book, I realized I was not ready for the greater lesson. In The Surrender Experiment, Singer writes about how he simply surrendered to every experience and opportunity that came his way, and was open to what came to him, in order to fully experience what life brings. That just seemed too “trusting” to me. What person just accepted everything that came along without question or tapping into inner radar? That sounded foolish to me, but I had to admit, his story was intriguing. Most of my life I had been going about with my “Lori measuring stick”, thinking I knew the right way something should be done, having a plan for everything, and believing hard work and common sense could accomplish anything. Singer’s way of thinking seemed completely risky and far out to me.

My nephew Jeff, picked out this graduation card for his cousin, Emily. He wrote sweet and loving words inside about life’s great adventures.

And then one night I had a dream. I was walking down the buggy path into the woods, and I had deer legs. They were spring-action and I could run faster than I could have ever imagined. I was weaving in and out of trees, dodging obstacles in front of me, and leaping over downed trees and waterways. I felt my heart beating wildly as I stopped. I had never felt such elation and freedom! When I awoke, I could not help but wonder at this wild abandon. Was this truly what the deer lived by being in the moment?

At the height of my dismay, and being overwhelmed at having to scrap my orchard plans for the rest of the year, I just gave up. I was tired and I felt defeated. I was dealing with nature, after all, and Mother Nature does what she wants – we cannot control her. My personal struggle with a few people was the same as it always had been, and my expectations about what it meant to be an American were rigid, but I knew I would continue to be respectful of my family and others. I still believe that love, compassion, kindness and acting in non-violence is key to any success in life.  I thought of The Surrender Experiment book and knew that this time I was ready. I gave up my plans and “to do” list. This decision felt good and right. I decided to try out those fantastic, springy deer legs I dreamed about. And I am very glad I did, as this year has become nothing short of amazing for FD and me.

FD and I made another trip to Nebraska to help my sister Juli’s family prepare for Emily’s high school graduation. I’m looking a little sleepy here – the day’s were long and exhausting, but oh so rewarding.
FD helped with graduation celebration setup. He did a lot of “gopher” running to help us out too!
Typical Emily… as she moved her tassel to the other side of her graduation cap, the tassel came off. She had to ask for assistance from the guy next to her to get the tassel back on the cap. I love candid photos like this!
I captured some sweet moments with the camera. This was a happy day for my sister Juli and her husband Chris, and I know Emily had a blast!
Niece Sarah brings us the gift of laughter and sunshine. I will be writing an upcoming post about her… she’s Mr. T’s favorite cousin!! We are entertaining a lot of family this year and Sarah was the first to make reservations at our bed and breakfast (we call it that because we do a LOT of entertaining of family and friends over the summer months). I hope she comes back again soon… I look forward to getting my “Sarah fix”!
These two drive up from Lubbock, Texas each year! Angel and niece Shannan are a special couple… we enjoy sitting on the back porch sharing some deep, life conversation. During this most recent visit, Angel finally convinced FD to get a set of golf clubs! So while those two enjoyed golfing nearby, Shannan and I took advantage of shopping some great summer sales. We celebrated her birthday all week. This photograph was taken in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown area at the Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar and Grill” restaurant.
I finally made a day trip north of here to visit a niece and her family in their new home. I had a great time and a wonderful hike through their woods. Now that I know where they live, I will try to visit more often. It’s really a lovely, scenic-highway drive to their home. Despite their busy lives, niece Kati manages to bring her kids to visit Great Grandma (FD’s mom who lives here on the place) on a regular basis. I wonder how many young people today keep up this tradition of visiting the grandparents often.
Lou and Mary Anne’s Bar in Bee, Nebraska is a favorite place to have Friday night fish. The owner, Lou, (standing just behind FD’s head in the photo) always stops by the table to visit. This trip, he informed me an old friend of mine was seated across the room. It was a great reunion and a special night. We love experiencing the feeling of family here. The fish, fries and coleslaw is delicious! People drive in from miles around and sometimes it’s difficult to find a table.
We’ve managed to make several trips to Nebraska this year, and visiting Mom is always on the list. Here she holds Lollipop, her newest grandpuppy.
FD and I have had a lot more time to travel to visit family in Nebraska this year. Game playing in the evenings is a lot of fun and laughs. Everyone is pretty intense playing “Sketch it!” here. My family grew up playing games. It’s awesome to know my nieces and nephews carry on the tradition of playing games.
It always feels good to make time to surprise people and honor them with little celebrations. I wrote about Rachel and Mike’s wedding in my last post, “Gathering in a Storm”. Here, the newlyweds (who live in Wichita, Kansas) took a few goodies home to help furnish their new digs!
We couldn’t miss our niece Emily playing one of the lead roles (Morticia Addams) in her school’s theater production, “The Addam’s Family”. My sister Juli arranged for our family to be seated together in the first two rows. It was an outstanding performance. FD and I loved it so much we attended both nights of the performance.
Mr. T, (next to the wall) Oscar (on the right), and Lollipop (in front) are getting more of my attention these days. I have a lot to share about our trio of chindren!!
My niece Emily and I traveled to Berlin, Germany in June for a sixteen-day stay with a German family. It was outstanding! I will be writing more about that adventure soon. FD and I plan to visit our new German friends next year too… and maybe a few other European countries if he can manage the time off of work.

© 2018 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

 


63 thoughts on “Ready to Surrender

    1. Hi Paulette! Yes, it’s been very exciting. I hope the next days while this heatwave keeps me indoors that I’ll be able to catch up on blog post reading… I bet you’ve had some updates that I have missed in the last couple of months!

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  1. That’s one epic of catching us up on what’s been happening. At the beginning you seemed to have been frazzled by all the things going on, but by now you seem to have come to terms with a lot of it, thanks to The Surrender Experiment and your dreamed deer legs. And given how much was going on, who’d have thought those springy legs would’ve bounced you over to Germany for 16 days in June?

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    1. That trip to Germany was a bit spur of the moment, and I sent the message to Universe that if it was really supposed to happen that everything would have to fall into place and show me that I was supposed to go on that trip. I got all of the signals I needed… and then some. I can’t wait to write more about that! I’m almost embarrassed to publish the photos I took while I was there. I was so busy having fun that the camera and iPhone became secondary. They’re probably some of the worst photos ever, but I had a grand time!

      We should all get to try out a set of deer legs! No way to manipulate a camera though… might be an issue for you, my friend! 🙂

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  2. Welcome back Lori! You were missed . Great post as usual – you bring out so many things in such a “flowing” manner.
    I think I understand where the “personal disappointments” and hurt is coming from but you being you, you’ll find a way around it with your inner strength.
    Loved the pictures, especially of the “trio of children”. Looking forward to see more of LSD 🙏🏾

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    1. Thank you, Mandeep. Actually, your email gave me the nudge I needed to get back on track. Thank you for your friendship and encouragement.

      I have a lot of stories to tell… and I’m anxious to get back to writing again. 🙂

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  3. You had me worried. I knew you were back but you were so quiet. I’m glad to know that you are adjusting to what life is throwing at you. I am too. We just have to bloom where we are planted and do a little bit every day. Bit by bit we’ll get it done. Love your hair, BTW!

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    1. I had to look up faunching. Never heard the word before tonight. It’s a good word to describe how I have been feeling of late. I suspect we are not alone in that.

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    2. Aw, Lynda. Thank you for checking on me sometime back. You and I are much alike and we understand that many times there is little to do about a problem but just “bloom where we are planted” and do what we can each day.

      I finally found a great hair person! She’s our age and finally I managed to grow my hair out enough before the Germany trip that she could cut it in an easy to care for style. I love the photo of Emily and me in front of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany. Isn’t it funny how a good hair cut/style can really lift our spirits?

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      1. And my favorite adage for overwhelming projects: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

        I had a great hair person in SoCal. Ivor Levor was a miracle worker with my baby fine hair. As for you; funny? No, I’d say wonderful! I just wish I had enough hair left to style! Lots of hair issues on this end… but we can talk about that privately. 😉

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  4. I want to share our sincere congratulations – I wish always the best journey and success. I was very touched and emotional reading this post…

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    1. Thank you, Anne. It’s good to be back. I talked to an old friend in Colorado this morning who said she had nine people coming to visit over the next week – all at once! I enjoy entertaining a few here and there but a houseful could be too stressful for me!

      I find also that when the weather is nice, it’s easier to entertain. This heat humidity can make people a bit cranky and miserable!

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          1. Never give up until it freezes or they die. One way or another. I had to move my potted plants to the front porch because of the Japanese Beetles. It was a nightmare. My shade beds are now light shade and my Brunnera shot craps. It’s very easy to wonder why we go through what we do sometimes. But who else will do it? LOL! I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t.

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  5. I very much enjoyed reading this. And the photographs stir lots of thoughts and feelings. After the sketch-it game and your mother, my favorite is the decaying tree. Of course all the images are unique, so I wont try to compare– just to say they are special. The two books sound special too. I plan to check them out, especially the first one. That thing about rambling thoughts is troublesome indeed. My dear friend Charlie would nod and quote from the Buddhist tradition when I complained to him: “Ah yes, ‘monkey mind.’ I understand.” It helps to know how others come to terms with the strange phenomenon of a brain that won’t behave on the one hand and a mind that seems to have a mind of its own. P.S. Just recently I went back to the wedding post. It is comforting to be reminded that love and family are the essential elements of life, and that these can occur anywhere, and do occur over and over in spite of storms, whether in nature,in ourselves, or in the social and political world.

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    1. Thank you, Albert. I have given The Untethered Soul out to many people, but some did not care for it. Like many readings, I believe one has to be in the right place in life to be open to change, accept or have understanding of the lesson. All of those years ago, I just knew I could not go on with that crazy voice in my head. Once I was cognizant, it became easy to stop the rambling thoughts. But oh how easy it also is, to slip back into those old patterns of coping when “storms” come along!

      Your last sentence sums it up for me perfectly. “It is comforting to be reminded that love and family are the essential elements of life, and that these can occur anywhere, and do occur over and over in spite of storms, whether in nature,in ourselves, or in the social and political world.”

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  6. Insightful and humbling to read your journey through nature’s challenges. The tough and crippling conditions through drought can’t be easy to endure. Letting go and finding your way – ‘untethered’ – that inspires.

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    1. I will be sharing more on how nature actually conspired to make some things possible this year. That last post about my niece’s wedding really spoke to me about the gift of a snowstorm. And even the drought helped me take this trip to Germany. I am excited to share about so many things that have happened here. Thanks for trekking along!

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  7. I love the image of you with springy deer legs! What joy! Surrendering to what ‘is’ can be extremely liberating. Your last few months sound amazing and you look so happy. Thank you for catching us up, I have been thinking of you and wondering how life was going for you. I see now that I can rest assured it is going well. xx

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    1. Oh Ardys, I wish my readers could all experience the springy deer legs! It was an amazing feeling and I truly can’t do justice to explain. I am happy, Ardys. The orchard and a few real let downs with people finally took me to the point of being ready to create something different. That book, The Surrender Experiment, keep niggling at me, and I knew I was finally ready. Going with the flow of life, and accepting the lesson is so liberating. I feel like I shed some of the old me, and a new explorer has evolved. I am ready to see what Universe has to offer. xoxo

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  8. Surrender gets misunderstood A LOT. It sounds like giving up or giving in, but it’s more going with the flow. When we become rigid about anything (plans, expectations, concepts), we build flimsy little dams against that flow. Some people spend their lives reinforcing those little dams, rebuilding every time the flow washes them out. How much easier to climb onto the debris and see where the flow takes us next.

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    1. Brilliant way to explain surrender! This is exactly what’s been going on with me. Ever since I said out loud to myself and Universe, “Ok, I’m READY!”, great and wonderful things have been happening. Of course there are a few snarls in the “flow”, like boulders and the threat of water snakes, but I’m finding ways around all of that… just as I should! I hope you are finding great adventure in your new life and digs. Hopefully, we can get together soon – but not until this heat subsides. I haven’t been venturing out much since I returned from Germany. Everything seems to be burning up with this week’s triple digits!

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  9. Welcome back, Lori! I’ve missed reading about your adventures. You know I want to know more about Lolipop!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy! I have a lot of photos and video I need to share about the Chindrin, and I want to update everyone on what’s happening in their world. That Lollipop is a piece of work – she’s a MESS as they say here in the south! She’s so tiny compared to Oscar and Mr. T, but she’s in charge, I tell you!! ha ha!

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  10. I’m so pleased that you are feeling better and enjoying your family and friends and a new puppy! I retired from education last summer and fell into a funk that I was not expecting. I am finally climbing out of it. Making travel plans to visit friends and getting regular sleep. Decluttering the house, straightening and cleaning, actually leaving the house! Your dream sounds so vivid. Im so glad you heeded it’s message.

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    1. Hi Kim. I believe that “funk” period after retiring happens to a lot of folks. I think it’s fine to allow ourselves that time to lick wounds and heal, or as in your case, find out a way to adjust and get on with a completely new life. So much of our lives revolve around our work… just like mine in the woodlands. Once I started opening up to what could be, I realized this was what I was supposed to be doing… going with the flow! It’s been so good. Sure there are snags and troubles along the way, but that is part of the learning too.

      Oh, everyone should get a try at deer legs! My gosh… I can STILL remember the elation and exhilaration of it all!

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  11. It’s funny that last night I came to your blog to see if you had written anything yet (it was before you posted) and thought, I’ll just post a brief comment that your stories are missed. Then, I get an email that you’ve posted! I’ve wondered if the weather had anything to do with your absence. Texas has had its share of heat and more heat and absolutely no rain. My hubby has had to mow our property only once this year because there’s been no rain, so we have no grass, only cracks in the ground. I have also “surrendered” to the force of Mother Nature and just let my flower beds go, since I couldn’t keep anything alive in them. We are so glad we decided to let our garden lie fallow this year… there’s no way we could keep it alive. We are also not seeing any bees this year, a bad omen. Btw, we also have a squirrel that we named Hammy until we found out he was actually SHE and from the looks of it, she has babies. We keep her supplied with pecans and walnuts. Lori, there are a lot of people you have never met who follow your stories and truly care about you. Please remember that!

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    1. Aw, Ellen, that made my eyes well up. Thank you for saying that. I always feel good coming here, surrounded by friends and folks who encourage and support.

      I think Texas is in much worse shape than we are. Interesting what you said about the bees. We do have bees but not nearly as many as previous years. My flowerbeds are not doing well, and even the woodland flowering plants have not had many blooms this year. I never thought about those observations.

      I think Hammie is the feminine spelling. Ha ha! We have been supplementing a few pecans for Punkin and Buddy. The deer are eating a lot of AntlerMax this year… we can’t keep enough on hand. That tells me the browse is dwindling in the area – at least the vegetation and browse that offers protein. I think instinctively the deer know the AntlerMax has nutrition they need. I hope we get the usual fall rains. We didn’t get that last fall nor did we get much moisture this spring. I’ve lost eight trees this summer. 😦

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  12. Big Sister, it’s so good to read your words again!! You took a much-needed break from writing, as well as some other things for awhile, hit the reset button, and once again you are renewed and have your groove back! I look forward to the next posts you’ll be writing, for example, your trip! There is still so much I want to “see” of Germany, and Miss Emily hasn’t shown me a thing yet, LOL!! Great to have you back online, Sister!!

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    1. Thank you, Jules. You and I have weathered a lot. It feels good to be on the other side of the storm – and being open to what God/Universe has to offer for each of us is more than a little exciting. I know for me, I’m already planning the trip FD and I will take to Germany next year… and who knows where else? Yes, I will share about the trip Emily and I took and how important it was for me to see life from a completely different perspective. It feels good, Sister… very good to be at this place in life.

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  13. I will never forget the trees in your region. I took seed from several back with me. I intend to get more, including the red mulberry. I remember the honeylocusts growing wild in the interchanges of Highway 40. There were redbuds and catalpas too. The (wild) pecan trees were the first I had ever seen growing in their native environment.

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    1. I thought of you the other day, Tony. The drought is causing many cedars and conifers to wither and die. I haven’t seen anything like it before. I have lost seven trees so far. The cedars are very tough, and I’m surprised about them giving way in the drought.

      I love the redbuds and catalpas. Mulberry trees are wonderful for the wildlife. I’m not sure what good the honey locust are, but they are wicked to take down. I’ve ripped up clothes and gotten some nasty tears to the skin. We have many to eradicate on this property.

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      1. Mulberries used to grow on the perimeters of orchards to distract birds while the fruit within the orchard ripened. They were exotic black mulberries rather than the red mulberries that live in Oklahoma, probably because they ripened at the right time. Honeylocusts are shade trees in landscapes, but they are cultivars, or ‘garden varieties’ that lack thorns. There is at least one with yellow foliage and another with bronzed foliage. (The bronze one looks like it is stained with coffee – ick.) I like them because they have nice canopies, but the shade is not too dark to keep grass from growing. The cedars are a type of juniper that does not live very long anyway. Like so many of the pines here, they expect to burn every so often. Without fire, they age and eventually get infested with boring beetles or some sort of vascular disease. If a grove of such distressed trees burns, it does so more voraciously than it normally would.

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        1. I wish we had the “garden variety” of honeylocust here. Those and Osage Orange trees are horrible to try to take down. Each year I cut and treat them so they won’t return. I work on the small trees, cutting, killing and burning. FD has to chainsaw the bigger trees and then he uses the tractor to push them off into a ravine to naturally decompose.

          A lot of cedars grow in the plains states. They flame up hard and fast and are a real danger in wildfires. We don’t allow many to grow here, but I do like to keep a few of the older ones for cover for birds. I think they’re beautiful but they sure are prolific!

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          1. There are probably garden varieties available in nurseries, but what gets planted into landscapes does not change what grows wild. We have a garden variety of redwood that exhibits a densely conical form and reliably horizontal branch structure that is better for refined landscapes, but for us, the wild trees are just too excellent to improve on.
            The Eastern red cedar is supposedly so prolific that we are not allowed to plant it where it can escape into the wild. I think that took a bit of foresight, since there are not many here who know what it is or how it behaves. I brought a few back from Newalla. Some were planted near San Jose, where they can not escape into the wild. I have two in pots here, and I really do not know what to do with them. I can not bear to send them to San Jose because I like them so much. They came from Oklahoma!

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    1. Hi Joni!! Well, that makes sense. In all of the online reading I did, I never could be sure what might be happening. It started early in the spring, and it was still very cold in the nights. I worried about Punkin, but then saw a few other squirrels in even worse shape! So, I kept apples and pecans available for her, seeing her appetite was good (as usual!). Eventually, her hair grew back in and she looks very healthy this summer. Thank you for your possible diagnosis! I think you are correct, and I sure has put my mind at ease.

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  14. You’ve had a busy and full past several months. I see so much joy, so much self-awareness, so much family love. While I missed your writing, I respect your need to take a break. Welcome back. It’s good to once again read your inspiring words.

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    1. Thank you, Audrey. It feels good to be past the writer’s block. I admire your pluck to keep at it despite your injury and recovery. There are all sorts of lessons and observations about ourselves to be made in this life. We learn so much and glean from another’s experience by supporting each other in love and kindness. It always feels good to come back here, to friends with kindred hearts. I’m so happy we are friends. 🙂

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  15. As always, an enjoyable read. I totally understand the place you’re in right now, been there… still there! lol We have to learn to go with the flow, slow down, and accept that we can’t control everything around us. Nature has a way of changing what we consider important, it’s not a bad thing, just different. You have two amazing gifts, your writing, and your photographic talent… concentrate on them both for awhile. Together, they will take you where you need o be.

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    1. Aw, thank you for your kind words! I can well imagine with some of the trials you’ve had to deal with – especially the wicked weather and predators – where nature really shows one that she’s large and in charge. It took me a long time to realize my measuring stick was just a silly stick I’d been hanging onto for years. It’s a good thing to let go and let things be. We do what we can to assist and help, but beyond that, we’re just wearing ourselves out. That’s part of it too… observing – and when what we’re doing doesn’t fit we adjust along the way!

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  16. I was thinking that you had dropped out to regroup. I am thrilled that you have jumped back into life. The orchard will wait and in fact all those branches and trees on the ground are really good for the earth. They can be nurse trees. Too much tidiness is not good for our soil. Loving all your travels too. Take care darling girl! And get back out into the trees every day – just to walk – you love it out there.

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    1. I know you understand me very well, my need to be out there in nature. Already we are seeing some new deer and fawns in the area – mamas hiding babies out in the tall grasses. Instead of hoping for pecan production (which we realize after taking pecan management classes that our orchard being so old with many types of older varieties of pecan, production may never happen) we may be looking at selling downed wood for milling and firewood, and letting the rest just go wild. This year we have paths all through the area. I roam them in the buggy right now because the insects are horrible, but in the fall I will return to walk and work a little.

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      1. I love the idea of managing your paths and returning some of the area to woods – maybe even jungle – I just love that idea. And you could leave some nurse trees on the ground to rot. They will become alive with new generations of growth.

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        1. Leaving nurse trees to rot – that’s the way a normal woodlands works and it’s really lovely to watch that process too. Not all trees or vegetation makes it under the canopy of shade, and the process is a continual growth, then death, and regeneration. Even the types of plants that grow have a cyclical rhythm to them, some years are prolific and others scant. The cycle of all of that is amazing to observe. We’ve been here 11 years now, and I’ve learned a lot about the woodlands. I did not grow up with woods and many trees in Nebraska. It’s fascinating to me!

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    1. Hey Henrie!! I see where your photography is really flourishing!! I haven’t had a lot of time to write, but that will come. It just feels good to have so many great experiences happening. I know I’ll eventually find time to write about it all. I love you too, dear friend. So glad to see you are putting out some excellent photography!

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  17. Hi Lori, I just wrote a really long comment and lost it when I went to submit it (grrrr!) But I need to let it go. I can really relate to the noise in one’s head. I went through that stage and had to remove myself from certain people and situations. Recent road trip which included family business didn’t quite go as planned but it was one of those things that happened because of the failure of others to communicate with us. I am learning to take some of my own advice which is be your own-best friend! I so love the image of you with swift, deer-like legs – run free my friend! Lynn xx

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    1. I have suffered lost comments too. I can’t help but wonder if it’s growing pains for WordPress with so many changes going on.
      We seem to be on similar paths with life experiences and realizations. It can sometimes be difficult to deal with so much, but going with the flow really helps. Once we let go of our “measuring sticks” and controlling devices, we can really tap into those “deer legs”.

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      1. My blog has been sadly neglected too, as I get older there are so many things I want to do and I have to push down those anxieties and expectations that surface to put pressure on us. I am so trying to finish my first ever degree since 2013. After being out of action following getting my wisdom teeth out and getting very sick for two weeks, I am looking for my “deer” legs. If I was like one of the kangaroos which has moved in with a mob of 17 to enjoy our front lawn, I could be like superman and bound over buildings and obstacles in my way. Yep, going with the flow sounds good and considering the huge amount of rain we are getting that’s pretty easy to do at present! Always welcome on this side of the world!

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  18. It’s so good to see you again. I assumed you were back from Germany, but given the heat, the various problems everyone’s been having with trees and etc., I figured you either were busy or just flat recovering. Clearly, you’ve been involved in much more: both externally and internally.

    I had a mother who was what I called a great “what-iffer.” That woman could imagine more tragic circumstances, bad consequences, and flat-out failures than anyone I’ve ever known. No matter what the proposal, she knew it would fail. No matter what the circumstances, she knew things were going to get worse. It sounds as though you’d recognize the syndrome!

    Believe me, it was hard to live with, and even harder not to get sucked in to that pessimistic view of the universe. As I grew older and learned more about her life, I came to understand how she’d developed those “what-if” tendencies, but that didn’t make them any less corrosive. What became obvious to me (eventually) was that she wasn’t reacting to reality — she was reacting to what was going on in her head. That’s when I realized (with the help of my sailing instructor, actually) that my constant message to myself wasn’t “what if?” but “I can’t.” Once I got rid of that, I think I began developing what you’d call deer legs!

    I’m just glad to see you back, and happy as can be for all the good news. The heat’s been a problem for everyone, I think — at least, for those of us who don’t live our lives in air conditioning. I’ve found it more of a challenge this year than ever before, but since there aren’t any options for me but to go out and work, I’ve developed some new coping techniques — and away we go!

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    1. I am not surprised that with your determination in life, you avoided the pitfalls of negativity and pessimism that your mother fell into. I did develop those tendencies, and didn’t learn good coping skills until my late 30’s and into my 40’s. I have always considered myself a late bloomer!! It doesn’t matter how long it took to find my deer legs… once you have them, they’re easy to use… and use them often I do now!

      I got spoiled with 70’s and low 80 degree temps in Germany. Returning to triple digits was a big slap-in-the-face reality! But we are resilient people. We find a way!

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