Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It isn't all doldrums and drudgery for Lil' Non-Smokey.

Winter, as we know it here, is digging in its heels. The chill is still crisp enough for coat hugging high on your neck. Shades of brown prevail.


The landscape isn’t very pleasing to the eye


for someone who likes to take photos and

quickly becomes terribly bored


when she can’t find what she’s looking for.

In the midst of doldrums and drudgery, there were a few days of springtime surprises last week


when the sunsets were warm like early summer evenings,


everything green got my attention,



and fish bobbed and begged to impress me.

Bullfrog echoes were heard under the pond rock, Spring Peepers practiced their chorus, and I smiled. Oh, how I smiled and gasped.


I stopped to admire pink against sky blue


and the bees.


It was all so intoxicating to the senses. A lovely, perfect tease.


I’m sorry to admit the longer I stayed away from Mary’s View, the more I enjoyed being away... Posting here is always a pleasure. I thrive on it. But, the commitment to blogging in general gets harder, year after year. Sit and read blogs, sit and read blogs, sit and read blogs, get stiff and wide, and get sick of it, just sick of it. There’s so damned much else to do to soak up my “me” time! With that being said, I’m working on this balancing act, once again, because I’ve missed this blogging community and my readers. I do care, deeply.

A dear friend referred to me as Lil' Non-Smokey which sent me into a fit of laughter. Lil' Non-Smokey is doing well but is still fighting the urge to raid the frig! And, is there anyone else out there who can down a row of Girl Scout cookies in ten minutes? God, I love those Thin Mints like gumdrops.

I’ve heard that smokers are the best people – ones who know how to relax and are generally very friendly. I’ve also heard that reformed Lil' Non-Smokeys aren’t very nice. There’s truth in those statements. Yes, I’ve gently changed sides from the selfless to the selfish. But, what the hell.

Spare time in the evenings is good for walking around the neighborhood at a pathetic twenty or twenty-five minute mile pace, sans camera. While I hate the steep hills, I love the challenge. It's embarrassing to tell that my new, unused Ipod Shuffle has been hidden in my nightstand for two years but I’ve made progress! The pretty little silver gizmo is now sitting next to the laptop, ready for me to clumsily find a way to download some funky walking tunes. Gonna get that fifteen-minute mile back, shin splints or not!

How could I end this post without a picture of my backyard friend?


Hey, I’ll be back if I can cook up something to post about other than what’s bugging Lil' Non-Smokey.


RuthieJ said...

I gave Mr. Johnson an iPod shuffle for V-Day. He's good and walks 2 miles a day, so he's lovin' the tunes. I love the tunes just as well to knit along with while my big butt is parked on the couch!
Hang in there Lil Non-Smokey! You're doin' great!

Corey said...

Dang, almost first!

I've missed your writing in your time away, but I know the balancing act of which you speak.

Man, it is POURING out right now! You sure this isn't spring?

Wendy said...

Oh I hear ya. Blogging takes up so much time and is so much fun! But, I also get a stiff neck (use my laptop for blogging), red eyes, and a wide butt - just like you said.
Loved seeing your koi once again and the buds on your trees. Cold or not, spring is just around the corner.

J.G. said...

Are those pussy willows? I could never get over those and lamb's ears. Gosh, I miss living up north sometimes.

Good on for sticking with quitting. I don't have any excuse for demolishing a whole box of the lemon cookies. Besides total lack of willpower, I mean.

Anonymous said...

I good blogging rest is very nice and I know that I enjoyed my time away! But no doubt its like a virus and you will find your self needing to blog!~ We will be here when ready . . just check in from time to time to let us know your alright! :) I know where to find you if I want to say hi (FB)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I hear ya May. It's a tough balance. I'm not sure I'm finding the middle yet.
Love your Mocker. I think he's calling you out to walk. Or maybe he's just giving you the hairy eyeball.

If Tatiana makes the top 12 and Danny gets voted off, I will quit watching Idol.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Well Mary---I always say that we humans need to learn to balance life.. There are some things we HAVE to do (work, eat, sleep, etc.).. Figure those in --and then see how much of 'your' time is left. Spend YOUR time doing what YOU want to do. If it's not blogging, then don't feel guilty. Right now, I enjoy it tremendously. BUT--when spring comes and I'm working in the yard, my blogging time will change. That's just life.

Congrats on winning the smoking battle. It's a lifelong one --just like losing weight!!! Ahggggg...

Looking forward to more of your posts and photos--when you WANT to blog.

Richard said...

I get book CD's from the library to put on my shuffle for walking. Strange I can listen to the book and still hear birds.

You have strange colors there. What color is green, I forgot?...:-)

Starting to join your club. Day 1 tomorrow.

Carol Michel said...

Hey, Mary. You hang in there. I've got you on my feed reader, so whenever you show up to post, I'll find out.

I can't believe you have trees that are blooming already!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Julie Zickefoose said...

I've missed you bad, Lil' Non-Smokey. But I also know how delicious the vacation must be. Keep taking time for you. There aren't many people who could stand to be more selfish, but you're definitely one. It's all about setting limits and finding some comfort zone in these pursuits which constantly whisper to us, and it is right and salutary, as the Lutheran litany goes, to say the heck with it. There's life to be lived and looking at those blossoms I am about ready to move to NC!!

Oh, and I always wonder if the snail's pace I maintain on my hikes could ever be counted as "real" exercise, too!

Idol news flash: I miss Anoop, but am glad Tatiana's histrionics will no longer turn my stomach. Phoebe cried when Anoop got cut. It's a tough ol' world.

Kim said...

Mary, glad to see you posting again and I absolutely adore the pictures. I am so envious of green, pinks and even your browns. We seem to have more gray than anything here in New England.

You will find your balance at some point. I remember the last time I quit smoking, I couldn't be online half as much as I did before because I liked to smoke while I surfed. I am quitting next month so feel I will be blogging less too because of that. You will get back into it at your own pace and when you do, we will be here for you sister. ;o)

Congrats on the nonsmoking and the walking. Just think how healthy you will be for spring hikes, flowers and of course the birds!

Mary said...

So I have my apostrophe on the wrong end of Lil. Damn. How did I do that????

Anonymous said...

I hear ya, missy, about taking a break. Sometimes it's just what a blogger needs. Glad to hear you're still Lil Non-Smokey. Also glad to see your cherry trees blooming, since it means mine are coming soon. Enjoy your outside time!

KGMom said... And pink buds?
No fair--we have nothing. I mean--NOTHING.
Brown lawns; no snow--or too little. Grey skies. And no green, no pink.
I understand about blogging getting harder as time goes by--buy you are also playing with Facebook! Right?
Hang in there, Lil' Non-Smokey.

Heidi said...

Enjoy your me time li'l non-smokey! You have so much more of you to share when you're ready... I'll be waiting :D

Rose said...

Mary, even your "brown" pictures are beautiful! But to have bees and blossoms right now would be heaven.

Somedays I kick myself for how much time I've spent blogging, but most of the time I enjoy it tremendously. We all have to find a balance as you say, and do what we enjoy. Spending time walking sounds infinitely healthier than blogging:)

Susan Gets Native said...

Never complain, never explain. Didn't Katherine Hepburn say that?
I'm okay with the second part of that statement.
Repeat after me, Mare:
It's MY blog.
It's MY blog.
It's MY blog.
And I'm not gettin' paid to do it.

: ) : )

We miss you when you're gone. And we rejoice when you return. So it's your gig, Mary-dearest....we're ready when you are.

Anonymous said...

Mary, you've got the eye for photography -- whatever happens to be your subject. And I sympathize about the time-eating-monster that is blogging. But you know your friends will still be here when you come back. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I enjoy your blog, and quite often sneak a bit at your photos on Flickr, but I do understand the feeling of not getting enough done. I have decided to visit more, and post less, and not worry how often I do it.

So proud of you for quitting smoking. Wish my daughter would, while she still has lungs.

We are getting rain right now, after six inches of snow. I am going to bundle up and go out to shovel. Maybe even clear off some space under the trees for the robins!

Ruth said...

It sure looks like spring in your area! When it finally arrives here in May, I will not be sitting at my computer in the evenings.

Diane AZ said...

That's funny what you've heard about smokers being the best people. Someone I know who's been smoking for 50+ years, refers to smokers as "real" people, and people who have quit as "the worst." I'm not worried about you; you're doing great! We're all rooting for you, no matter how frequently you post to your blog. And, I love your brown photos just as much as your colorful ones.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you got trees blooming in February. Oh, I guess not everyone lives in New England. Love the photos.

I'm on lay-off for two weeks. I find that I'm shooting about 150 frames per day. That means spending a lot of time in the dark room, (delete, delete, delete, edit, edit, delete...)

NCmountainwoman said...

We love it when you are here and miss you when you are not. That said, this blog is all about YOU. When it becomes a chore, it's time to hold off.

I can't believe how green everything is down your way!

jason said...

Even in winter there's beauty to be found, Mary, and you located quite a bit. Very nice photos, very warm and inviting--and they all feel like spring.

I know how you feel when it comes to blogging. It shouldn't feel like work; when it does, it's time to do something else for a while. Going outside always works for me.

Keep focusing on what YOU need rather than what you think you need to do for others. Sometimes we have to be selfish to survive.


It's so nice to "see" you again Mary ~ a break can be a good thing though. :O)

I have a link for you to check out when you have a chance. This lady (also named Mary) just generally warms my heart and writes very eloquently. There's something in this particular post that I think you'll enjoy. :o)

Appalachian Lady said...

Don't tell me that you already have spring peepers and blossoms! It is freezing today.

When I quit smoking years ago, I chewed on sugar-free lifesavers (lots) and drank tea without sugar. It seemed I had to have something in my mouth all the time. But, that was over 35 years ago. Hang in there--you can do it!

Tina said...

gosh I can't believe all those colors are popping up in your area..thanks for sharing them..ahh come on spring!!

im so new to this blogging thing but i can understand about the time factor..lately i haven't had time to get any pics so my blog just 's really bothering me but still it just sits.:(

TR Ryan said...

You are a paragon of fortitude and an inspiration to many! Thanks for sharing your incredible humanness. That said, I think you will be hard pressed to gather any sympathy votes for your self-described woefully long winter that includes green growing things and blossoms in February. Its been said that spring moves 15 miles a day -- I think it done already passed you! Remember to BWR! (blog without remorse).

Mel said...

Hola Mary,
Escape everytime you want, you are worth waiting for!! ;)

p.s. AWESOME pics

dguzman said...

You can do it, Lil' Non-Smokey! I do agree that I miss hanging outside with the smokers, watching the world go by. But I like breathing clean air more.

Thanks for the photos! Oh, to hear the peepers!

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary....what a beautiful set of photographs....and the blossom and bees, how wonderful....I miss my bees......I long to have them back in my garden.....

The red hot sky looked so sit on the deck with a drink and look at up and see such beauty.....

Have a good weekend Mary.....nice to see you back, if only for a short while....maybe.....

Balisha said...

That sunset picture is beautiful. Looks like a watercolor painting behind those trees.

A New England Life said...

Peepers and flowering trees? Roll out the welcome mat Mary, I'll be there in a flash!!!

I think blogging is like most anything else, you reach a point where it's time to move on and try something new. The internet really is a huge time waster and it drags you down. Lately its all or nothing for me. I enjoy blogging but most of the time I anguish with every post. Probably because my mind knows I should be doing other things!

My backyard friend sends your backyard friend his regards ; )

jalynn01 said...

I so enjoyed this post with all the different scenes of winter and spring... My pussywillow is in bloom but I swear I have never seen that little flower you show emerging? Maybe because I'm further North or a different variety! I hate the time between snow and's ugly and hard to find pretty little somethings to show. You did a great job with the green growth along the pond and the koi were delightful. And the pink blossoms..we are not near that time here! Beautiful.
When I quit smoking it was 5 years before I could say I did NOT want to smoke a cig. It would sneak up on me when I least expected me. Everyday is another day under your belt, though and congratulations so far. You can do it! Just keep thinking of all those things positive...white teeth, no smokey smell, breathing, free time... I thank God I quit now 15 years..everytime I see someone smoking. Have a good week end.

MicheleRF said...

Lovely post. Looks like spring is coming much sooner to your neck of the woods than up here. I did see some crocuses coming up through the crusted snow last week though:) Yeah!

Kathie Brown said...

Balance, balance, balance. It's a hard word to live by! I wish you success! Blogging has made me gain weight also. I sit at the computer for more hours than I ever used to. I need to go outside more, which is where I really want to be, but then I feel the need to take bins and camera, just in case and pretty soon, I'm not relaxing, I'm composing! Oh well. I'm not sorry because blogging has helped me find all kinds of new friends and nature nuts like you! And BTW, Thin Mints are my favorites!

Donna said...

Hi Mary,
I enjoy your stories and your sense of humor. You always bring a smile to my face.

Your spring photos are wonderful. Love the fish in the pond.