Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Your Nest

There was frost on our quiet lawn as the December sun finally rose from the sky.
That’s when I first noticed the bird’s nest with pine needles; it caught my glance while I dried my hair one Saturday morning. 

The nest was a new addition to my daily view, only feet outside the bathroom window. I continued under the hum of the dryer as my eyes searched closely around the proximity of the nest.

I guess I was hoping to spot off-season robin’s eggs, or something.

I made mental note that the nest was obviously out of place, lying on the ground rather than in an elevated location, but didn’t even think about moving it to a more appropriate place. I went on about my day.

Weeks passed and often I’d glance out the bathroom window to see if the bird’s nest was still there. It was, remaining out of place. I wondered if anyone would be back for the displaced house and didn’t move it, just in case. I even considered putting on gloves to mask my scent, picking it up with a stick and setting it in a place with higher bird traffic, but never took the time to do that. 
It became a very brief part of my routine, if I passed by that window while the sun was up. 

Changes in the weather and calendar came and went, but that nest remained just beside our house.
No movement.
No occupancy.
No eggs.
I watched it with hope that someone – something – would swoop in and take care of it.
Move it to a more suitable place.
Make it into a home. 
Raise a family.
Hang some curtains.
I’m an optimist.

But they didn’t.

Now, months later…it’s too late.
I've watched it go from a displaced project to a complete waste.
The bird’s nest has officially lost its purpose.
What good is a high-rise apartment in the basement?
Grass and weeds are growing through the nest, keeping it from blowing away or being picked up by someone looking for a hand-crafted all-natural bungalow.
It is permanently somewhere where it doesn't belong. 

It reminded me of a few good things 
wasted because no one took the time 
to save them.

So what is your nest?

What have you noticed out of place?
What just doesn’t belong? Or, what is missing?
What is the thing that just isn’t right?
Who needs help, but can’t get there themself?
Who is in a bad place and can’t get where they need to be, alone?
What is the thing that someone has invested a lot of time into

Personal health
Only to lose focus and throw it away?

What comes to mind right now is your nest.

Will you sit idly by and watch it in waste, losing it's purpose?
Or will you proactively do something to improve the situation before it is too late?

What is your nest?

At our place, this little guy better move quickly up my priority list before the Little Mower That Could comes back from the repair shop. You all know how I lose all sense of reality when I'm mowing the yard. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Through The Lens: March in Indiana

I follow Nebraska Through The Lens on Facebook. I don’t know why I do so, or even how I found the page, but it is interesting to see what people deem photo-worthy and in what part of the state the shots hail from. Nebraska is a wonderful place where a lot of our friends call home. The work on the page is beautiful and inspiring and brings a certain light to Facebook that is generally lacking.

Snap back to real life.

This week I decided to emulate their inspiring NebraskaThrough The Lens example, dust off my camera and get out and enjoy the warmer weather.
Home Through The Lens, I thought I'd call this weeks blog.
I changed out of my work clothes and heard the weather guy on TV talk about the breezy evening we were experiencing.
I couldn’t even get out of the house because the grill had blown over, blocking the screen door, a patio chair had landed on top of it and the snow shovel was stacked as the cherry on top. I guess “breezy” was the PC way of saying windy as heck. I used one hair tie and seven bobby pins to get the mop outta my line of sight.

Once outside, I walked around the house and tried to find images of spring.
Home Through The Lens
In search of  beauty.

Beauty? No. 

Inspiration? No. 

Light? No. 

Snap back to real life. Sometimes there aren't enough filters in the world to dress up this life. 

When I really started to study our place, all I found was a long list of things that need attention.  

This is what happens when you forget to store the summer rockers:

This is what happens when your house is lacking bleach water and some elbow grease:

I think this is my year to run the bucket loader.

And this is what happens when you have absolutely crazy neighbors:

Let me back up.

Saturday afternoon I was watching the IU basketball game (it was that or Dateline re-runs and you know I can’t watch Dateline alone) and folding laundry upstairs. Only minutes after watching IU win, a slow moving vehicle caught my eye outside. I watched our neighbor - we'll call him "Mike Craig" -  slowly pull his SUV through the hayfield gates that sit directly across the road from our house, and drive east through his field.

What in the world is he doing out there on a Saturday afternoon? I thought. Like any good/nosey/bored rural neighbor, I continued to watch.

Mike then got out of this vehicle, squeezed between his fence and the long row of wrapped hay bales that line the highway, and began shaking a can.
And then the red graffiti started.

I squinted, watched and began recording video on my cell phone as I slowly realized what he was doing. (I have since removed that video from this blog; my language wasn't suitable for ears belonging to young, impressionable people or my grandma.) He was intentionally spewing Pro-IU trash directly into my line of sight.

I opened the window and yelled across the highway, asking him to stop. I could hear his laugh from our second floor bedroom.
There was no turning back. He was adding exclamation marks to his art at this point. 
Now this Sweet 16 jargon is the first thing I see every day.

Living proof that March in Indiana is cut throat.
And I didn't even have a dog in the fight!

As it turns out, his creative graffiti was just the beginning.

The community must really like Mike’s “art” because since he painted the bales, vehicles have honked non-stop. In fact, on Sunday afternoon I laid down to take a much deserved (ha!) nap. Every time I was seconds from falling asleep, some idiot would lay on the horn as they drove by. Cody was out of town and I expressed my frustration with the constant support of the IU wall that had been built across the road from our property.


When Cody got home one evening this week he calmly told me that he may have figured out why so many people – cars, vans, semis, implements - were honking as they drove by our farm since last weekend:

I hadn't seen this portion of Mike's "art",  far enough down the highway that I couldn’t view it from our bedroom Saturday afternoon. Positioned precisely so that once people read this, their honk is perfectly timed directly in front of our place.  I'm going to lose my mind.  Is March over yet?

Maybe next week the wind will calm, my blood pressure will lower, the honking will stop, IU will lose and this place can get back to some sort of normalcy. I have legitimate concerns about what Mike will do to the landscape if IU wins again, but we can address that can of crimson spray paint when we get there.

March in Indiana: There is nothing like it.

Thank goodness, for the sake of Purdue alumni and fans everywhere, 
it only comes once a year. 

My evening wasn't a complete waste.
A couple shots of our beloved (depends on who you ask)  Shorthorn herd in it's entirety: