Week #19 – Do the unexpected

Okay, those of you following the daily sunrise posts on my photography blog know that I had a bit of a shock this week.  Rather than going over it again here, I’ll post a link:  2016-02-12 – Writing copy… exposing weakness, underscoring strength

On the plus side, I managed to avoid an argument and get Jerry to modulate both his voice and his emotional state this week.

Years ago, a family of friends had a dog named Cinder.  He was a German Shepherd-type, though being taller with a narrow, deep chest there might have been some greyhound in his background, and he went to become a police dog.  He washed out of training – a bit too high strung; he broke out in hot spots.  When he came back, he was still the same energetic dog, but he’d developed a quirk; you couldn’t put your face down near his.  He’d tolerate it for a few seconds, then he’d develop this strange, almost feral, look in his eye, and he’d lunge for you.

One afternoon he tried it with me.  He wanted a walk in the worst way, and he shoved his muzzle up to where it was almost touching my nose to plead silently.  As our gazes met and held, I watched his expression change, then – just before he would have lunged – I turned my back on him.  Mom Terwilliger laughed and said later his face was something to see as he tried to work out what had just happened and what he should do.  I let him make friends with me again after about five minutes of him circling around, whimpering and poking at me with a paw.

So this week, Jerry’s been in a temper most of the time.  He shouts, throws tools, and congratulates himself for ‘getting it all out’ so he ‘won’t turn into a wife beater.’

First of all, I have a serious problem with that phrase.  Basically what it means is that he’s content to not be a bad person, rather than wanting to work on improving himself to that he can be a good person.

There was a matter we had to discuss, and he wanted to shout and engage in hyperbole and empty threat rather than talk.  I was tired of his volume, I wasn’t going to start shouting in return; imagine my surprise when I found myself turning my back on him, given that I’d all but forgotten that incident with Cinder.

And like Cinder before him, Jerry didn’t quite understand what was happening or what he should do about it.  When he stopped shouting, I said over my shoulder that I wasn’t interested in discussing anything with someone who couldn’t use a conversational tone.  Twice more he started shouting; twice more I turned my back until he stopped. We eventually got the burr under his saddle talked out in a reasonable fashion.

It felt good.  No muss, no fuss, no anger feeding back on itself and growing into massive proportions.  And it was satisfying, too, because for weeks I’ve resented (while trying to choose otherwise) the fact that because of the MKMMA and the Franklin Makeover, he could say anything he wanted, however inflammatory or hurtful and I couldn’t.

I’m starting to suspect I need to spend less time around him, as long as he’s determined to be anxious and angry.

Week #18 – Fitting together nicely

Sunday’s webinar was marvelous, made better by the company I was in; I was masterminding with Don before the webinar, and taking pictures of a droolsome Valentine Day meal that Leanne made as a supplement to her Gluten-free cookbook (coming soon!) after the webinar.

Being around the right people can do worlds of good for your mood and attitude.

And it came in perfect timing, too.  Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been trekking to the eastern overlook of the nearby Barn Bluff – a hill here in bluff country that stands 1001 feet above sea level, and you have to hike about 343 feet upward to get to the top of the ridge.  I’ve pushed myself to get up early enough to make the half-hour drive in to town and the forty-minute walk to the overlook; dealt with snow and ice on the trail, winds and fog and twenty-below-zero (Fahrenheit, now, not Centigrade) temperatures.  I’ve taken pictures of a sunrise that was only theoretical, the clouds were so thick and grey; seen vivid reds, deep purples, fiery oranges and molten golds fair fit to adorn an artist’s palette.  Each day I’ve posted those photos of sunrise on my photo blog, along with a story of a thought that occurred to me on the trail – sometimes photography advice, sometimes a tale related to self-development or a particular challenge, sometimes words that have nothing to do with anything.

Nothing has stopped me yet.  Not snow, not ice, nor cold, or wet numb feet; not the increasingly-early hour or a brief bout with a wretched cold, nor nights of short sleep; even the nasty huge specks on my camera sensor didn’t do more than slow me down a bit – sent my camera in for cleaning while a kind friend loaned me his.

The “I” in me had decided, the die was cast, and there was no longer any doubt; I am getting my 366 Barn Bluff sunrises this year.

So when my photography buddy Ivan and my husband Jerry started saying to me earlier this week that “unforseen life events happen, and you have to prepare yourself for not getting all your sunrises,” and “it’s not as if you have to get them all in one year, as long as you get photos of each day of the year,” it was something of a blind-side strike.

I told them both, “No life events are going to happen that will prevent my capturing the 366 sunrises, and you need to mind your thoughts because I don’t need those intentions sent into the Universe.”

Dream-stealers, however well-intentioned, aren’t going to stop me, either.

Well, got an e-mail this week from a gentleman that I met on January 1st; David is a member of the group Friends of the Bluff.  They’re local folks who help maintain the paths, work with the park services when controlled burns are necessary, promote the Bluff as a spot of interest.  David says they’re starting a newsletter among their members and other people who have expressed interest in the Bluff, and he’d like to feature me and my project in their first issue!  He wants to get me traffic to my photoblog and share some of the photos and stories of the Bluff.

Pretty cool, huh?

And on the publishing front, the print-on-demand service that I had my eye on for my journals is running a special for the month of February; they are waiving the one-time $50 setup fee for all new titles!  I’d been wondering where I would come up with the funds to get all six volumes of the meditation journals done!

Question asked, and the Universe answered.


One more event of note this week – southern Minnesota was supposed to get slammed with a rip-snorter of a winter storm on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I asked, ever so politely, that the snow not start until after I was home on Tuesday, and that by the time I was on the road Wednesday morning the roads would be clear and easy to drive.  And barring a bit of drifting and some patches of ice on the county roads (easy to spot and perfectly safe to drive over so long as you slow down), what happened was exactly what I asked for.