I’m sipping hot chocolate enjoying the fresh air on a May early evening up on our treehouse balcony. I am delighted it’s neither warm nor cool, it’s just Goldilocks right. There’s no kids or noise across the street. There’s no cars driving by our busy road. There’s no neighbors on either side.
I recognize the white bright light of Venus in the sky. It’s low between the sugar pine branches to the southeast of where I am lounging.
And just like that, in a snap of a second, in an instant and flash of time, something flies from behind the east side of the house and whizzes past me and smacks into the bird feeding tree trunk. It’s another flying squirrel and this time I see it glide in full flight and I think to myself this one has to be the male because this guy slams, thank you ma’am, scrabbles up and down and causes havoc.
The other beady eyed glider is still, steady, methodical in her bird feeder attack approach and technique and watches the male with I swear, a roll of her beady eyes. So I just assume inside my own judgmental brain, she’s the female.
It’s always a treat to be in the mountains but when you are up there with your bestie and doggie, then the experience is just that much cozier.
No title needed. This is the time of year when we all have good intentions but I am still reviewing the past. It went so fast.
I got my wish this year and was able to spend New Year’s here in the glorious mountain hideaway I call my tree house. To be more accurate, this cabin, in its entirety, feels more like a sanctuary. Surrounded by chirping squirrels with fluffy tails, cold weather feathered friends and glistening pine needles swaying right outside my wall of windows, I am inspired to find my spiritual self.
Both the crashing, splashing of waves or waterfalls and forests (especially pine trees) emit negative ions. Negative ions deter depression or the blues. Therefore, negative ions actually uplift your mood. That’s why even if you are grieving, sitting on a beach or hiking in the woods soothes your soul.
Personally, I need the stillness I find by a mountain lake surrounded by trees. The beach is alive with noisy commotion and sometimes stirs me up, albeit positively. But a forest full of conifers alive with birds, squirrels and chipmunks dining on nuts and seeds, instills an innocent serenity I treasure.
September brings cooler mornings and evenings. Or, at least we hope so. My little teapot set was a birthday gift. Two Kava teabags steep for my nightly sleepytime ritual. Beyond, a variety of birds visit the pine tree feeder. Inside, two dogs lie sleeping.
As it is cooler in the San Bernardino mountain range at 5300 feet above sea level and the air is breezy and clean, I decided to make a triple C invention: a Cauliflower, Cannellini bean soup thickened with Cashew cream and topped it off with water sauteed mushrooms, red onions and fresh basil. Yum. Satisfyingly delish. No oil, no salt, no sugar, no starch.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero
Daisies, lilacs, tulips, daffodils, lilies, hyacinths, ranunculi, roses, poppies, sweet peas and freesias!! These are a few of the flowers that bloom and headline the scene at springtime. Go outside and enjoy the fresh breezes and blossoms! Note the surrounding changes. In April, wherever you live – color, fragrance and new growth permeates. Search for wildflowers on hillsides, between crevices of rocks at the beach, lakeside, near river beds and alongside highways. Notice the pops of color. Ice plants, used as ground cover, burst at the seams with fluorescent “take me back to the 70s” hot pink and fuchsia purple mania. Smell the air. Freesia bulbs, jasmine vines and sweet peas perfume the outdoors with their delicate, pastel blooms.
Daffodils, also known as jonquils, sweep the road paths along the mountain roads where I reside in swaths of yellow, green and white. Teeny yet fragrant purple and white Hyacinths are commonly the first tubers to sprout, often busting through an unexpected snowfall. When your spring bulbs’ blossoms wither, bind their stems into a braid or a simple twist with raffia, strips from an old nylon stocking or tomato Velcro ties. This allows the underground bulb to gain renewed strength for next year. Set annuals, such as pansies (if you live in a cool zone) or petunias (for warmer climes) between the knob corms (bulb seeds). You can cut the stalks back once they are dry and brittle.
I can create anything in my cabin. Like my head, the treehouse lends itself to artistic expression on the loose.
With tall sugar and California pines at every window, the nest is protected. The stellar jays, woodpeckers and robins are back, feeding at their main station off the balcony.
The manzanitas are blooming. The ladybugs are birthing. And the brook runs with liquid, melted snow.