Tag Archives: DP challenge

Urban Animals

Although Anne Arundel County is a suburb of both Washington DC and Baltimore, I hardly ever find a reason to visit those cities. I have more than enough to keep me happy and occupied right here in my own little corner of the universe. But sometimes, I am coaxed into their grey landscapes ( in this case, a gift certificate for wood-fired, gluten-free pizza inspired a mini road trip).

While searching for parking in DC, I noticed this whimsical sight amidst all the concrete. It was a quick snap with the camera phone, and a clumsy zoom. But the glimpse of the giant stuffed animals seemingly paying rapt attention to an unseen speaker made me smile.


On the second pass round the block, I noticed that the store was empty and dusty. I don’t know why these animals were there in the window, or how long they will wait. Street-art commentary about the state of Congress or randomly aligned pile of toy store overstock?


Whatever the reason, that small detail of soft acrylic fur within a long wall of hard concrete and glass made me feel just a little bit warmer.

(And the pizza was worth the journey.)

This post has been submitted to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Please visit the other entries listed below for more interpretations of “Lost in the Details“.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Lost in the details. | jaycee68
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | elPadawan ~ around Prague
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details. | small house/BIG GARDEN
  4. Pause | theloneshewolf
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | The Voice from the Backseat
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | SC Surf Butler
  7. Lost in the Details | artisticmilestone
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost In The Details | An Evil Nymph’s Blog
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | Efrata Denny Saputra Yunus
  10. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | Serendipity 13
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | PragueByKaty
  12. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | Images of Lake County
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details | 12 Books in 12 Months
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge: My Sammich | Aphro Junkee
  15. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Detail | Tvor Travels
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the detail | Leanne’s delicious food and travel adventures
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details » The Blog Farm
  18. Lost (and found) in the details – photo challenge | Atlantic Transcripts
  19. legs | yi-ching lin photography
  20. Lost in the details | Clouds of Colour



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Filed under General, Wish You Were Here

Recycled Kisses

I feel privileged that I was there to see this moment. Jake, a recently rescued black Lab mix, partially blind and skittish, is learning to trust his new owner. Little is known of his history, except that he was found wandering in the woods, injured and starving.  It was obvious his experiences with humans were not pleasant.  Yet over the past few months, Jake  has learned that he is safe, again or at last. When I witnessed this scene, he was slowly allowing himself to be vulnerable, good eye hidden and head nuzzled into his owner’s shoulder. No reward was promised, other than a kiss, and someone to lean on.


The resilience of dogs continues to amaze me. A being with such willingness to trust, despite a history that would cement fear into a human heart, must truly be physical proof of unconditional love. The interactions between animals and their loving owners melts my heart.  And it breaks my heart to learn of an animal being deliberately hurt, or cast away, at the whim of a human.

Jake was adopted through a local Lab rescue. Our own pup came through Akita rescue. There are probably lonely dogs and cats in shelters close to you, full of love and kisses and looking for someone to share them with. Please consider opening your home and your heart to an animal in need.

Is there an animal rescue that you support?  Please feel free to post it in the Comments below!

I’m wishing everyone at least one moment of unconditional love today.

This post was inspired both by a wonderful encounter I had with a fellow Free-cycler and by the WordPress Weekly photo challenge. More interpretations to the assignment “Kiss” can be found below.   

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. weekly photo challenge : kiss | Time To Be Inspired
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss « MaanKind
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge – Kiss « The Urge To Wander
  4. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss « Lagottocattleya
  5. Weekly Photo Challlenge: KISS « The Adventures of Iñigo Boy
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | En snögummas tankar om livet
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | Pilot Fish
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | The Blog Farm – A Growing Blog Community
  10. The sun kissed the earth | breathofgreenair
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | mothergrogan
  12. Celebrity News & Alerts | Google Alert – KISS
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss « Last Train to QVille
  14. kiss « yi-ching lin photography
  15. Weekly Photo Challenge: KISS « Life&Ink
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | Notes from Africa
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | Mike Hardisty Photography
  18. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | My Thoughts like Balloons
  19. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | My Sardinian Life
  20. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | My Caymanian Life
  21. Kiss Me! A WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge! « Life in the Foothills
  22. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss | Drama Queen Under the Sun
  23. Penguin Pecks (Pic de Jour) | piran café
  24. Weekly Photo Challenge : Kissing clouds | SABAS LOG
  25. Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss back in Time « What’s (in) the picture?


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Filed under General, Repurpose This, Wish You Were Here

Small Stone

It is still raining.
Mud bubbles up and runs through the herb garden.
Among the sodden brown stalks, buttons of green nose upwards.
It is winter here, but underground, spring is beginning.

(today’s entry for the 2013 Mindful Writing Challenge)

And please do follow the link to read some truly wonderful examples of literary brevity!

(Update: once again, The Daily Prompt is reading my mind. I’ve written about rain, mud, and home for over a week now. Finally, today, January 18, the rain has stopped. For today, at least, I will enjoy the sunshine.)

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Filed under General, Small Stones

Small Stone

I try to deflect spoken words in the morning. I prefer the sound of nothing while my brain awkwardly clicks up to speed. TV and husband energetically chatter as I will my ears to close. But now a stranger’s voice breaks through. ” Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”. I have no idea who is talking, but I am thankful that the pitch of his voice can pierce my irritation.

(today’s Mindful Writing Challenge entry and WordPress Daily Prompt response)

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Daily Prompt: Quote Me | LooknWalk
  2. Don’t quote me « Q the Adult
  3. A Once-Sentence Quote I Base My Life Around | Ramisa the Authoress
  4. Daily Prompt: Quote Me | Musical Foodie Love
  5. Daily Prompt: Quote Me | The Gozum Show
  6. Daily Prompt: Quote Me | free penny press
  7. Daily Prompt : Quote me – you know you want to! | bodhisattvaintraining
  8. Daily Prompt: Quote Me « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic
  9. May these words touch you too. « Gypsied
  10. Small Stone | beyond back creek
  11. My love/hate relationship with “Quotations” | Not Dead Words
  12. Daily Prompt: Quote Me | Angel Frouk
  13. Quote Me « Hope* the happy hugger
  14. Ham Strings and Tree tops! « Melanie Ryding – Ryding2Health BLOG
  15. Daily Prompt~ Quote Me « The Cheeky Diva
  16. iQUOTE | aapatawaran
  17. DP: Quote Me « Life of Me and Mine
  18. Daily Prompt: Quote Me « Phenomenal Lass
  19. Quote me. | jaycee68
  20. Chinese Proverbs: wise words « Being Special
  21. My LifeStory in My Favorite Quote – I | My.Vivid.Visions
  22. Daily Prompt: Quote me « Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  23. Quote: Ain’t Enough Tissues « Sisters of Christ
  24. DP Favorite Quote – Lieblingszitat ..Leben, Freiheit und das Meer in Bildern « OceanPhoenix
  25. Daily Post: Quote Me | tel-uh-vizh-uh-ner-ee
  26. Daily Prompt: Quote Me « Silviano’s Weblog
  27. QUOTED INSPIRATION « hastywords
  28. My LifeStory in My Favorite Quote – II | My.Vivid.Visions
  29. Daily Prompt – Don’t Quote Me On That… | The Mercenary Researcher
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Filed under General, Small Stones

I Want To Thank You…

With all the issues needing urgent attention in the past few weeks, I admit that my faith was wavering a bit in the department of “You Are Never Given More Than You Can Handle”. Especially given the irony that my upper body strength was plummeting…just one more piece of baggage to shoulder that I couldn’t even grab hold of. Not that all the life changes that are happening are bad, but all of them do require attention and persistence, like a litter full of hungry, wiggling puppies. You just can’t pick one or two to devote time to, and hope the rest will voluntarily enter suspended animation until you have the energy for them. So I admit to feeling run down and less-than-enthusiastic about even the simplest activities. Keeping with the hungry litter analogy, even snuggling in to get puppy kisses involves somehow getting down on the floor without crushing any puppies, and strategizing a way to get back up again…looking for the good in this recent batch of Life Stuff has been exhausting in itself.

Gratuitous puppy cuteness.

Gratuitous puppy cuteness. Bouncing = Happiness, although unstable surfaces can be a bit unsettling.

So I’d like to thank the strangers who have conspired with the universe in the past few days to make it So Darn Obvious That Life Is Good, that I haven’t even had to look twice to see the truth in that.

For example, there was the manager and technician at the local radiology center, who gave up precious time on Christmas weekend to work past business hours, and probably against policy. During an urgent-but-not-emergency procedure, the fire alarm went off. Although it was found to be a malfunction and not a danger, the department was still required to be evacuated. Unfortunately, the maintenance staff had already left for the holidays, and no one else had the code to shut off the sirens and flashing lights. After waiting outside for 30 minutes, the staff was officially free to go. I thought we’d never come back from that one before Christmas, but understanding my anxiety, the manager found ear plugs for us all, and the technician volunteered to sneak back in to finish the procedure in the dark. I can’t begin to describe how grateful I was to have one less unpleasant task looming over the holiday.

Thank you to Terry, a fellow WordPress blogger, whom I have never met, for sending me personal notes of encouragement just when I needed them the most. Despite, or maybe because of, all the changes going on in her world right now, she noticed that I have been a little less effervescent lately, and reached out to me. It’s nothing short of amazing to me that a total stranger would not only read what I have been writing, but also what I have been not writing, and wonder about it enough to ask.


My imaginary friend Terry, and her brother Al. This picture gives me the warm fuzzies. (photo courtesy of Terry1954)

And thank you, too, to Sue in Australia, who writes The Crafty Pioneer. Out of the blue, she nominated Beyond Back Creek for the Versatile Blogger Award. Is it too trite to say “I’m so honored”?  I love Sue’s blog, and all her adventures in crafting.   (I am especially tickled by her Yarn Bombing tale…I’d never heard of this before, but I admire the idea of guerilla art-making! It seems especially meaningful, given recent events, to rekindle the sentiment of ‘Make Love (or  more generally, Create Love), Not War”

Yarn bombed tree - Hampton Street

Yarn-Bombed Tree. I am in awe of the work involved.  And I have so many questions.  Do you take measurements of the tree and knit at home?  Or do you brazenly make this out in the open?  (photo courtesy of The Crafty Pioneer)

So, long way around, here is my acceptance of the Versatile Blogger nomination, wherein I am strong-armed (a funny word for me, lately) into sharing seven things about myself as one of the rules of the game.

  1. I have a 2-burner range and no dishwasher. My longest run of countertop is 18 inches.  Don’t let a lack of kitchen appliances get in the way of home cooking!
  2. I truly love people, their stories, their mannerisms, their customs.  But I am happiest spending an evening in peace with a cup of herbal tea to drink and an old English mystery to read.
  3. I don’t believe there is such a thing as Too Much Pizza.  Even gluten-free.
  4. I prefer well-mannered dogs to rambunctious puppies. (Odd, but true.)
  5. If there is a ‘next life’, I hope to come back as one of my own cats.
  6. I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up.
  7. I prefer sunrise to sunset.

As part of paying it forward for the Versatile Blogger nomination, I would like to share the following blogs that have inspired me over the past year that I have been blogging.  There are many others that I admire and follow, but I have tried to pick some undiscovered writers that have not gotten a lot of recognition already.

Chesapeake Journal (this is the first blog I ever read, and I still look forward to reading Kathy’s view from across the Bay. {Waving at you from Annapolis}.)

Putney Farm (yeah, they may be Big Time. At least, they were featured on Freshly Pressed.  But the recipes are so relevant, and so do-able.  How could I resist the subtitle ‘Get some good food.  Cook it. Share with friends. Have a cocktail.’ )

Stefania Wine (yes, there are wineries on the East Coast.  But I actually know these people.  Paul and Stefania are wonderful human beings, and they make award-winning wines, the old fashioned way.  Yes, I mean stomping on grapes…)

Ian Rodger Photography (no matter what he takes a picture of, I find it soothing.  Something about his perspective makes me slow down and take a few deep breaths.  Ian…hint…post more often! The world needs more occasions for serenity.)

Things My Belly Likes (another gluten-free, food-adoring soul.  But so much more than just healthful recipes. Can there be too many gratuitous cute puppies in one post? No, I think not.)

this pretty much sums up my Christmas

“This pretty much sums up my Christmas” as per Cat (photo courtesy of Things My Belly Likes)

Outlaw Garden (the second blog I ever discovered.  Cristina, I found a kindred spirit in your adventures in front-yard gardening, despite the rules and regulations of the community association.  Sister, please keep writing about your subversive vegetable-growing deeds!)

There are so many more bloggers that have inspired me this year.  I sincerely promise to revisit this list and add to it.  But at this point, I suspect I am straining the tolerance of the most avid of readers.  (If you are anything like me, you are eager to move on to the food and libations portion of the evening.)  So, I raise a glass to toast my fellow bloggers, this writing community, and share my gratitude for your acceptance, and my wishes for a joyful New Year.






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The Way Things Are This Morning

Since discovering the WordPress Daily Prompt, I’ve thought about all of them, but shared very few. Beyond Back Creek is not the kind of blog that lends itself to much introspection, and I’d rather spend my time here sharing my experiences trying to create homes, in multiple senses of the word. But today’s question had been on my mind for a few days. (Funny how that happens with the WordPress crew…should I be worried that you know me too well?) You see, my usual ideal Saturday does not involve sleeping in or watching cartoons or going to yoga class. I wake up early, get dressed in the dark, and pack a lunch. I feed the dog, prep food for the next few meals, and leave Mike a note. And then I head off to work, for a weekend job that I love, despite the uncommon schedule.

But not today. Today, I jolted awake after 6 and took a few seconds to realize I wasn’t late for anything. I stayed in bed with the cat and the iPad for an hour, catching up on emails. By the time I got up, Mike had made coffee, and the heater was on. We both remarked how lucky I was to be able to spend this morning watching cooking shows and looking over the seed catalogs. And I am lucky, especially in light of the news from Connecticut that I try to avoid, or the updates from New Jersey where families are still homeless after Sandy. I am here, we are here, the house is here. And everyone we know and love is safe. But not all of me feels like things are okay.

Today, once again, I don’t have a job to go to. Despite all the good things about this life, I am still anxious about This Thing. And no, it doesn’t help when (I assume) well-meaning people say “You are so lucky you have free time now. I wish I didn’t have to go to work!” Funny, I think. If you couldn’t work, I bet you’d wish you could. But I watched TV, and soaked up the heat, and drank far too much coffee. And I pondered today’s Daily Prompt.

So here’s what I decided to do.

I will think about my usual, ideal Saturday. The one I am not having right now.

And then I will write about the way things are this morning, and how this will be The Best Saturday Ever. Because I do have power over that. And taking the time, and the control over the computer, to write this is part of the good thing that today will be.

I will channel the Kitchen Goddess, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Carla Emery. And combine them all together. We have a bit of corn meal, and some pork bits. And I will make food out of thin air, and call it Scrapple.

There is a beautiful, fresh duck egg on the counter. I have no black pepper, but I have paprika, and mustard powder. So I will make a devilled mayonaisse to add to fresh foraged greens from the No-Acre Homestead, and we will have the world’s best Scrapple sandwich for brunch.

Homemade scrapple, mayo, and fresh garden greens....yummmmm.

Homemade scrapple, mayo, and fresh garden greens….yummmmm.

And I will take a leisurely stroll in an upscale neighborhood with the pup, and enjoy their oh-so-tasteful Christmas decorations.

I will take glass out of the long-cold kiln, and turn it into jewlery. And I will have the time to document what went right, and what went wrong, and what I will do differently next time. And I will have the time to make today ‘next time’.

Handmade glass pieces, just waiting for me to have the time to turn them into jewels.

Handmade glass pieces, just waiting for me to have the time to turn them into jewels.

And I will write a list of garden chores that I used to be able to do myself, but now need to ask for help. So I will ask for help, and I will supervise. And I will be grateful, but will try not to feel in debt.

And then I will plan for Spring.

Another seed catalog, with promises of abundance to come in a few months.

Another seed catalog, with promises of abundance to come in a few months.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Me Time « Natalie Elizabeth Beech
  2. Me Time « twilightsteffie
  3. Me Time | Renato Vasconcellos David
  4. Daily Prompt: Me Time | Lady J’s Library – The Desk of Julia Dina Blackowicz
  5. What do I do with my ‘Me Time’? | Beautiful Sin Webmaster Photoshop and Paintshop Pro Resources
  6. Daily Prompt: Me Time | writinglikeastoner
  7. Daily Prompt: Me Time | Stuph Blog
  8. A Day Like Any Other Day « jaschmehl
  9. Ideal Saturdays [Daily Prompt] « Q the Adult
  10. Daily Prompt: Me Time « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic
  11. Daily Prompt: Me Time | Edward Hotspur
  12. Daily Prompt: Me Time | The Cat Chronicles
  13. My first Daily Prompt from WP « Living in Maine
  14. Daily Prompt: Me Time | Daddy’s Naughty Little Girl
  15. Daily Prompt~Me(us) Time « The Cheeky Diva
  16. Daily Prompt: Me Time | Beefy’s House o’ Fun
  17. Me Time | Tangled Up In Daydreams
  18. My ideal Saturday morning: Coffee and Sunrise « oh, this and that
  19. Twenty Stockings | Live-Blogging Love and Loss
  20. WordPress Daily Prompt : Me Time / How Are We This Morning? – Virginia Photos
  21. Daily Prompt: Me Time | …and she writes
  22. The Way Things Are This Morning | beyond back creek
  23. Daily prompt: Me time « Hope* the happy hugger





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