Sunday, October 31, 2010

nature heals...

((before i begin...let me just say thankyou to EVERYONE for your words of support...comfort...and understanding (regarding my previous post).
i KNOW i'm not the ONLY one who feels this way...who has had losses...and, honestly...i felt BAD afterwards...kind of like i was being a 'whiner'...complaining and tossing my problems 'out there' for all to read. BUT...what's this 'blogger world' for...if not to express any way we feel the moment. 
anyway...what i'm trying to say without turning into a pile of REALLY appreciate everyone who stopped their thoughts...whether here in writing...or keeping silent and sending mental messages. 
i received them all and i am so grateful!
  thank you. NOW...after a relaxing weekend...a  new day...a new post...))  :]

>>Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.  
~Cherokee Indian Proverb <<

we went to Lochloosa Harbor  over the weekend. we've been there MANY times over the's only about a 40 min drive going southeast...they're right there on the  time to relax.  unwind.  

there's a small convenience store there at the campground...where we pick up our bait and ice.  i'm usually pretty good at remembering everything we need to take for the weekend...but this time i forgot the COFFEE!! YIKES!!!
...they have everything you might need in that little store...toilet paper, canned goods, snacks, beer, water, sandwiches, cooking oil, potatoes...and all things bait, lures, line, nets...BUT NO COFFEE for sale!!  
i had to FORCE myself to sleep in til 6am...when the store i could get a cup...or two...of the fresh brewed coffee they offer...for free!! 

we got there late afternoon friday...set up the camper...picked up some bait...and headed out on the lake. we have a gheenoe...kind of like a canoe, but more stable...flat back with a 9hp motor. we can motor along or paddle...and able to get into real shallow areas.  we don't have lights on the boat, so we have to be off the water by dark. 

the first 'wildlife' i spotted was the (usual) florida our campsite.

 ...the sun sets...we're still cruising the lake...
these were taken right before we headed in to the dock.
same breathtaking  view right out our camper door...aaaaaaaaaahhh...

saturday morning, we saw smoke across the lake, coming from 'Burnt Island'. it's not really an island, but a protrusion of land into the lake...mainly a wildlife management area. 
in florida...there are 'controlled burns or prescribed fires', and we were hoping that's what was going on...and not a 'wildfire'.  (we did hear the next day that it was a prescribed fire)
that small plane circled for HOURS...making sure the fire was staying under control.

look at that tornado looking thing in the center!!!  
it's a vortex/swirl of HOT smoke!

we tried fishing...i say 'tried' because we're usually not too lucky in the 'catching' department. BUT we have fun anyway...riding around...adventuring!  some of our catches are probably small enough to be considered 'bait' to some people! ha!  we DID catch a few bigger ones this time though. specks...nice and fat! yum!

cypress trees, with spanish moss hanging...reflections of the morning sunrise...

bald eagle resting in a cypress tree...

sam and i agreed...we've never seen these odd looking lilly pads before...
with the large seeds in the head...
((nov 2- thanks to 2 comments...i was told these are LOTUS seeds! i've taken pic's of the Lotus before...on lakes...guess i just never saw them in this stage...BEFORE they become lotus flowers!! cool!))

there were so many butterflies...dragonflies...i wanted to get pic's...
but they never seemed to sit still...constantly on the move...
OH!! we did see three otters walking along the shore...while we were fishing. but by the time i got the camera out...they were behind a thicket of weeds...we could see alot of commotion going on back there...the weeds moving all over the place. then they finally emerged and continued down the shore...dragging a long snake!! by then the camera had already powered down...and they were running like mad. looking forward to feasting no doubt!!

                             mating damselflies on the boat!
we thought it was really odd not seeing alligators all over the place!!  usually we see them crossing the lake...sunning themselves...occasionally trying to go after our bobbers.  not this trip!  we saw ONE gator! we asked at the office/store about the lack of gators and they said florida  (Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission??!!)  issued permits for 400 alligators to be  hunted & killed on lochloosa lake alone!  FOUR HUNDRED!!!!  that's  ridiculous!!!!  what a shame!!

if you ever happen to be passing through this area...south of gainesville...north of hawthorne, florida. stop by lochloosa lake. visit and stay with the folks at Lochloosa Harbor.  
it's rustic. woodsy. full of wildlife. a great get away.

nature heals...even the toughest of us...

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard.  
~Standing Bear 

stay cool...laura  :]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

another...mental health day mother used to say "what's bothering you laura? i know something's wrong because i haven't heard from you."

she was right. when i get depressed...i stay away.  keep to myself.  get quiet.
i go through the days...not really thinking about what i'm doing.  just doing what i do...
same old thing.  routines.

don't wanna check my email.  don't wanna get on FB.  don't feel like talking to anyone.
everything is a CHORE.

no motivation.  no creativity.  just B L A H.

halloween is just around the corner.  i should be excited. i love halloween.
we even got a pumpkin last weekend...and it still sits on the table.
untouched. well, except for the spiders...

so, why am i feeling so down?  
i've been thinking alot...way too much...about my and brother.  
my losses.  my life.

Sometimes our hearts get tangled
And our souls a little off-kilter...
~Sera Christann 

coming into this world...unwanted. a couple who adopted privately because (one of mother for sure) couldn't pass the psychological testing to adopt through an agency.

three years later they adopted again...a boy...and then my mom got pregnant with my sister. andy and sally were eight months apart.

i grew up feeling like i didn't fit in.  like i didn't belong.  like an outsider.
not a warm hug...or an 'i love you' from either parent.  ever.

i never even saw them kiss each other...or hug...or hold hands.

....ok....enough....let me get to the point.  i never 'liked' my mother. it wasn't until i was in my 30's that i began to understand her...her 'psycho' ways.  i began to tolerate her...i forgave her.  but then she passed away from complications of diabetes in '89.  (i was....36)  hmmmmm...mixed feelings.  relief.  sadness.

i had always been closer to my father.  but when he moved out when i was 9...i felt abandoned again. i wanted to go live with him...but my mom wouldn't allow it.  i started running away from home at 12...and never went back.  running farther and farther away...i left NY...moved to FL...and then to CA...where i lived for 15 years...
before moving back to florida.

when i was father moved back into the house with my mom.  they lived like room mates. in separate bedrooms.  always rolling their eyes behind each other's back. no love.
sally & andy were still living at home, but couldn't wait til the day they could move out!

the 3 of us were pretty close. but i had always been much closer to andy. we were like the black sheep of the family. i was the wild and crazy one. andy was gay. we were the adopted ones. if i ever needed someone to talk was andy i'd call.  he was the ONLY one who knew my innermost thoughts. i had never been able to let anyone get inside my andy could.  i could tell him anything. 
To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. 
We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. 
We share private family jokes. 
We remember family feuds and secrets,  family griefs and joys.
We live outside the touch of time.

anyway...' dad passed away...prostate cancer that had spread 
through his entire body.
THAT hit hard. i loved my father. and it watch him fade away. to see the cancer turn him into this BODY that could no longer walk or speak...
i still have that haunting memory...that last day of his life...when he was trying to reach out to me...trying to speak...i could make out that 'V' sound.  he was trying to say 'i love you'. finally.  i always knew he did. he just couldn't get those words to ever cross his lips...not until then.  how sad.
sally & i became much closer after she became a mother. (my youngest son was five when sally had her first daughter). we continued to grow closer after both mom and dad were gone...the 3 of us held on a little tighter to one another.

about 2002, sally found out she had breast cancer.  had a mastectomy.  radiation.  chemo.  reconstruction surgery.
five years later after 'not feeling well'...knowing that there was something 'not right' going on in her was discovered she had brain tumors. she had the biggest one removed. it was the SAME cancer as her breast cancer. spread throughout her entire body. 
she passed away in '07.  i was truly lost. in shock. how could this be? she didn't deserve this. she had 3 young girls.

i told andy i was never going through this again. 
i told him that i was going to be the next to go. i had to be.  this was just too much to deal with.

but he didn't listen.  close to a year and a half after sally's death,
andy was diagnosed with gastric cancer. it was a very aggressive strain of cancer.  
within 3 months he was gone.  that was september  of  '08.

and i am.  thinking too much, as usual.  dwelling...on things i can't change. 
people don't really understand.  the pain i still carry around.  i should be over it all by now.
shouldn't i?  no one likes to hear me talk about 'them'...

but i'm not. over it.  so...what can i 'move on...
if i go to a therapist...which i did after my dad passed away...they tell me i am clinically drepressed...have always been depressed...i need to take anti-depressants. i did.  for a couple of years. then i weaned myself off of them.

i know that the souls...spirits...of those that have passed on...are all around us.
i've seen...and felt the presence...of my dad, sally & andy. 

SO...i've decided to see a 'medium'. 
when i attended the Reiki class a few weeks ago...the guy who runs that massage good friends with this woman who's a medium. 
i made an appointment. 
she'll be in town here...running a couple of november.  
i have a meeting with her on november 13th.  for a private reading...session.

she is a spiritual person who can help me get through...or guide me through the connections with those i have loved...and lost.  i hope to leave there feeling more though there has been some that i don't find myself feeling abandoned...guilty...flooded with overwhelming loss...every few months.

shortly after i started this blog...on july 7th, i did a post  similar to this one:  my mental health day...

july 23rd was my sister's birthday.  july 28th, my dad's. hence - that july post.
november 19th would be my brother's. i go again.   my therapy...writing.
whether anyones reads this or not...doesn't matter.   i'm doing it for me.
i just need to let it out.   face it...confront with it.

Sadness is but a wall between two gardens. 
~Kahlil Gibran

i'll go outside now...and slowly let nature in...let it eat at  the wall i've put around me...
making little holes where the light can start to shine through...
and then little by little...crumble away...
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.  
~John Burroughs 

stay cool - take care - laura

ps - friday late afternoon we're heading over to go camping at Lake some fishing...relaxing...friday and saturday night.  maybe this'll be a good thing...and i'll get some pictures...

Friday, October 22, 2010


this afternoon...

i spotted this
on a banana tree leaf.

(uh-oh! busted!)

when she had enough of the banana tree...
on to the 
mexican petunias.

The poetry of the earth is never dead.  ~John Keats 


i did another
hmmmmmmm...i think of this one as
the Bat Guardian.

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.  
~Robin Williams

just another afternoon quickie...stay cool...
laura  :]

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

florida's “el lagarto”

NO...we haven't gone for a stroll through the misty...foggy...graveyard yet...
BUT...the month isn't over...

we DID however...go for a sunday hike on the La Chua Trail,
which is part of   Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
(22,000 acre wilderness)  in Gainesville, FL.
Paynes Prairie basin  was formed when a number of sinkholes 
which were close together eventually merged.
the La Chua Trail  trail leads around  Alachua Sink...
which works like a drain  in the floor of the basin 
providing an essential 'recharge' of the Floridian Aquifer...
our drinking water.
for over 12,000 years this has been a gathering spot
 for prehistoric animals and people... can spot all sorts of wildlife along the trail...or in the prairie itself.
this area provides habitat for alligators, bison, wild horses, eagles,
hawks and 271 other species of birds.
(great blue heron)

all the many times we've visited the park...hiked the many trails...
we've yet to spot a horse OR bison!!
we did see bison POOP one time...
and i actually have a picture to prove it...
somewhere...on a disc...  :]

((The American alligator has survived the test of time. 
The family Alligatoridae first appeared about 35 million years ago.
The name “alligator” is widely believed to have come from the Spanish name “el lagarto”. 
This eventually changed into "aligarto" and then "alligator" by English settlers.))

"why can't we all just get along..."  
like this heron & gator are doing here!

this gator's up on his tippy-toes...running for the cover of water.

the Gulf Fritillary...wings a flappin'...

the Buckeye butterfly

the last time we were here...there were LOTS of gators...
lining the shore...running up and down the waterway.
but the water was much higher then. they must've moved on to 
Lake Wauberg...the 300 acre lake of Paynes Prairie.

this little lizard...the florida anole...was green...seconds before this picture was taken!
he scooted from a lighter sandy the darker...browner leaves...
and so he quick-changed...camouflaged himself...

i  'sepia'd'  this one...reminds me of an old postcard now...
The land of sunshine, oranges...and alligators."


ok...quick...before i run...if you're looking for some ideas...
to get those creative juices flowing...for your pumpkin carving this year...
check out this site...
there are some pretty weird faces here...

stay cool. and  keep wandering.
(enjoy nature...and october)
laura   :]

Saturday, October 16, 2010

half way there...

ENTER...i dare ya...

october  IS  halloween.

one of those fun holidays. no stress.
just enjoy the dark...spooky...creepy.
horror & nightmarish things.
skeletons. witches. ghosts & ghoulies.
the dead. the UNdead.

...besides halloween, october also usually brings cooler weather!
trees turning from green to red, yellow and orange...
leaves floating to the ground. crunching under foot.
pumpkin pie. cranberry. egg-nog (spiked!).
hot apple cider.
a fire in the fireplace...carving pumpkins...
and toasting the seeds.

(a few of our past pumpkin-heads!)

hey! i never claimed to be a professional pumpkin carver!
THIS year i might try using a dremel tool...i hear you can get some
intricate designs that way.

Deep into the darkness peering, 
long I stood there, wondering, fearing, 
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. 
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

a few years ago...i carved...
and sam had the great idea to put in marbles as eyeballs!

after a while...pumpkin-head starting getting...a little moldy...
well...maybe ALOT moldy!

so...onto the burn barrel with him...

maybe this weekend we'll take a ride to a local pumpkin patch...
at night of course...
after we take a stroll through the foggy graveyard...

((if you're into halloween art...check out this guy's site...
i found it last week while searching 
for halloween pictures for my FB album))

There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: 
religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin. 
-Linus Van Pelt in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

hauntingly yours,