A journal of healing

Archive for the ‘1000 Islands’ Category

June Island images

Summer is half over and so I thought I would post some images from an early trip to the 1000 Islands. But first, my doves. For the last couple of years, we have had doves nest in our porch eve. I love them. This year, they started in March and right up to June they had chicks after chicks. This is the second to last batch.

  They had two chicks, this time around and they got quite big.  I do not know how they all fit. But there was one more chick born after these two left the nest. Unfortunately, the new baby fell out of the nest and died at my feet. It was one of the many sad things that happened this summer.

Tradition has been for me to spend my birthday week in the Islands. We took Joe’s daughter with us this year. The water height was drastic. We have had the wettest summer and so I am not sure if the water has gone down much. Here are several examples of the water.

The first picture is last year and the second one this year.

    They put barrels on docks to keep them from floating away or breaking up from waves.   People build docks over their existing docks.

  

This is a picture of the spot where I normally go every afternoon to meditate. There is an old piece of a wood dock which normally is about a foot out of the water. I can walk to it on the rocks, which are also under the water.

My favorite activity up there is to take pictures of the wildlife, especially the herons. We saw a few in our travels like this dude who was sitting in a canal on the golf course we were on.

Or this nesting site. When we come back in August, this will be empty. The rocks are white because of all the bird poop.     

  We always find something new up there. This was an addition to someone’s cottage. Quite interesting.

In 2014, a landmark in TI Park burned to the ground. It was a tragic loss as it was such a step back into the olden days. It was an ice cream parlor, store and small restaurant. The building originally housed the fire department and in irony, it burned too. The fire was so intense and quick they could not get the trucks out. They have rebuilt and much to many who do not like it, we found it wonderful. The young couple who own it are charming and the food is great. They still have ice cream and they have added much to make the place a community center. The fire department is now located somewhere else and better.

  Now back to my birds.

   When we get there, it always seems like there are no animals. They seem to hide. By the third day, I have all sorts of animals around. There are tons of geese, which I love especially when they are babies.    

And I love my herons, who are more active at sunset.   Hard to see this one but in the middle there is one.   I like the fire of the sunset though the trees.

On the last day we were there, the geese came to say good bye. It is hard to see, but there is one goose on the rocks who died overnight. I do not know why and I did not go down to investigate. It was like loosing a friend. To me, it was an omen as I have never seen this  and why on this rock? All the years we have come up, and I have never seen a dead goose like this. And true to my omen, this summer has been very difficult for me. Last Thursday, and friend of mine died. He was in his early forties, married and his son is six. We all are in shock over his death. I dedicate this post to him.

The rain continued this summer, but I have heard the water is lower a bit. Three more weeks and we are back in the Islands. I cannot wait.

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The Wall

reaaching
I have been accused of being a highly sensitive person. It is not a compliment. It means I react to things that others can let go. I feel too much. It is true and I have been this way my whole life. So maybe it’s just me, but the world lately seems to be angry and negative. It to me feels like what it must have felt like back in the late thirties, when Hitler was coming into fashion. I wasn’t there, so I am surmising. But whatever is going on right now is not pleasant.
In my own corner of the world, I see shorter tempers and more infighting. I see separation of thoughts about the state of the country. It is so divided, and I do not think that is totally bad. But how people are coping is with anger and supremacy. “It’s my way or the highway.”

I do not want to get too political, but it is hard to have a discussion about tempers without factoring in the current state of affairs in the white house. The current regime is causing great consternation to many folks, me included. And again, not getting political, it is about the treatment of people from the top down. All the inroads we made in the past fifty years seem to be slipping back into the abyss of Bubbahood. Discrimination, ethnic and race issues, and the general treatment of women as whole has taken a downward turn.

For example, Trump’s public treatment of his wife speaks volumes. He left her standing there multiple times during the Inauguration. He sharply spoke to her like a child. I said something about it to my husband and he said I was making too much out of nothing. Two days later, he pulled a similar stunt at a restaurant with me. He loves Trump. I realized that the Bubbahood is how he got elected. They will never see that treating women like an object, disrespecting and publically humiliating her is a big deal. And this will carry forth into the world of work and other areas, if given a chance to get a foothold. Think I am overreacting? Take a look at the legislation Trump signed about withholding money for organizations who even SPEAK about abortions. Where does the Bubbahood get the right to dictate what a female does to her body? Don’t get me started.

stone goddesses

It’s like the world has gone mad with hatred. We are going to build a wall to keep Mexicans out? Can there be dumber idea out there? And the cost; 12 to 15 BILIION dollars? How about we take that money and get rid of the donut hole in Medicare where millions of senior citizens get every year? If you do not know what that is, it is a yearly situation where if your prescription medicine gets to a certain dollar amount, you have to pay full shot for it. And for the geriatric set, getting there is very easy as many older folks have multiple heath issues all requiring medication. Take a look at the cost of diabetic supplies alone. And every year, more people get diagnosed with diabetes. (Mind you, they keep lowering the level of what dictates being diabetic and they will keep doing that as diabetes is big money.) This donut hole lasts until you pay almost $4900.00 out of your own pocket…every year. Folks spend their life having money taken out of their paycheck for SSI and Medicare, which shock upon shock, you also pay for Medicare premiums in retirement, it is not paid for….. only to get hit up for this stupid donut hole. It’s when people start making decisions about whether to eat or get their medicine.  $4900.00 may not seem like a lot, but when your annual SSI income is only $11000.00, it’s everything. But… we are going to have a wall.

Just try arguing that with someone who is a Trump supporter and you see the power of hatred and the Bubbahood come forth. They really believe it will stop illegals. Really? Ever hear of planes? Who is going to watch this stupid wall to keep people from crawling over or under it? Did we not learn anything from the Berlin wall? What about Canada? Do you know how many drug dealers import their products across the border from Canada? There is a huge illegal Asian influx as well. Maybe we should build a wall there too? There are places in NY and Vermont where I have stood in both countries at the same time. Take a look at the 1000 Islands and the St. Lawrence and tell how that would look with a big wall right down the middle.

sunset view

In my own work world, the State showed up on Monday to do a survey. A survey is a loose term for investigation. They are looking for errors, misdeeds, poor decisions, bad documentation and places to recoup money. This is our government at its best. It says, go do your job, but we are going to come after you and often to catch your errors and penalize you. Yes, there is a penalty for errors and they now can demand payment for them. Smart: hit an industry that is losing money daily due to government regulations and then make them pay more. If we have enough, they can shut us down, or take over the agency. I doubt we are that bad, but at one time, the agency was. But it creates an atmosphere of finger pointing and accusations. And yes, I get called out with “where and how was this person trained?” I have to demonstrate compliance. We have required mandated training and it better be documented. I spend countless hours retrieving this verification and so I was not worried when I had to pull fifteen people’s training documentation. But it sets up anxiety. This state survey was on the horizon and promised for a later time frame this year. Something triggered them coming earlier. But for the past year, the threat has been held over everyone’s head. We will find out next week how we did.

side 5-15

So it is at my work, it is out in the small community I live in and it is global. It is the little comments and attitudes that seem more negative. Being in public is abrasive. Driving is defensive. People are suspicious of each other. And it seems to me that everyone thinks that this is ok. It is acceptable to be rude and caustic; under the concept of being “real”. I like people to be honest, but being rude is demonstrating a lack of compassion and empathy for your fellow earthlings. It is Bubbahood.

And yes, this all really bothers me. I feel the energy. Too me, it feels like the air is full of steel wool. I come home worn out and used up. I spend the day putting out fires and calming troubled waters. I do not watch TV, but I like to look at Facebook at night. I see the infighting there. I argue with my husband and we have had screaming matches about Trump. We could not be further apart on the man and his government. There seems to be no escape, no island of peace. I keep holding on that soon, the birds will return and my oasis of a garden will return. Oh, and yes, I have a wall around it.

Views from The River

morning2 We are back from my favorite place in the world. No matter how long we go, it is never enough. I took over 600 photos. I am going to share just a few. This particular view is from the porch on our room. It looks down the St. Lawrence towards the 1000 Island Bridge. We are in Alexandria Bay, but on a private spot across from the actual town.  A family owns the Resort and we have been going there for at least ten years. Same room, same time.

morning 1 These are morning shots. There is an abundance of wild life but you have to be in the right frame of mind to see it. When we first got there, I was not in the right frame of mind, and saw no animals, not even geese. By the next morning, my herons, geese, MINK, ospreys and other small animals allowed me to see them. You can see the heron in this shot.

ski 1 The view changes constantly. We do not turn on the TV or play music at all. The silence at first is deafening, which may seem weird. We tune out so much noise everyday, we think. We actually don’t tune it out, we filter it. It still assaults us. When it goes away, you are very aware of the quiet. You also become sensitive when subjected to loud noises again once you are back in the human world. There are sounds here: bird calls and wind and waves of water. Even a chipmunk wrestling with a nut sounds loud.

sky 3 These shots we taken on the same night in succession. The view is never the same.

sky2 My favorite thing to photograph are herons. Every year, there is one that comes to the rock across the cove and sits and fishes. I have hundreds of photos of her. This year, there was a huge heron that invaded her spot across the cove. I took many photos of him too, but it was not the same as the bird I have named Charlene. When we were up in June, I never saw Charlene. When we arrived this visit, I went out on the porch and called for her. Sure enough, she came to her rock that night. However, the big heron I call Babs (Big Ass Bird) fought  with her and she took off.

fight  I saw her a couple of times for a moment and then Babs would claim his territory and off she would go. I was very sad as I have gotten pretty close to this little heron. Babs is very large, over six feet and is sort of craggy looking. My telephoto lens did not do him justice. When viewing him in the binoculars, he looks like a cranky old man.

heron 1 On the last night, I hear the distinct cry of a heron. The squawk was very loud. Sure enough, there was Charlene right below my porch. It was getting very dark but I grabbed my camera and started shooting. She knew I was there. heron2 I followed for a while, and then she took off. I was honored that she had visited. On my way back to the room, she flew back by me, squawking as she passed. She flew and landed right down on the rocks in front of our room. For about an hour, she posed and I took several photos, including with my flash.

night heron 2 She was so close to where I was and she has no fear of me. She went down to where I sit every afternoon and walked around my spot.

Heron 3 She then came back up to me and walked right in front of me. Unfortunately, I am still learning about my camera and struggled to get many great shots.

night heron 3  I was talking to her like I talk to my pets. In all the years we have been coming, there is only one other time I got this close. I do not feed her so there is no particular reason she comes. It was so dark I could not see the settings on my camera well. We visited for over an hour and then she left, squawking her good bye.

flight  Early the next morning, the morning we were leaving, she flew again over me, and squawked a loud good bye. We left four hours later and she did not return.

August Garden

aug garend 3  The garden is beat up and truthfully, so am I. We have had 90 plus degrees every day (28 days to be exact) and very little if any rain. It finally rained yesterday, right after I watered all the pots. If I knew that was the key to make it rain. Actually, I watered every other night all summer. I also make up buckets of plant food water and give them that. It is a lot of work. And I am tired of it.  I will long for it around January, thinking that the work was no big deal. But the heat and humidity has barred me from sitting out there until much later at night.

aug garden 4 I do not bother with the lawn. If it does not grow we do not have to mow it.  Usually I pop out to the chair around 7:30 after feeding my bunnies, who usually join me around that time.  Petee But with the heat and the bugs, it has not been very fun.  I try not to use bug spray because… well, I am covered with Psoriasis lesions.

This is a whole other thing with this summer.  I am now on my sixth drug in a year. I went from Enbrel (after 8 years it stopped working as they all do)  to Simponi (gave me high blood pressure, like stroke level)  Cimzia (raised my blood sugar to over 400 with one shot) Otezla, the glamour drug at $80.00 a pill (which was the most horrific one of all, I was so sick on it and it made my arthritis worse) to leflunomide, (raised the blood sugar back up there to almost 400) to Humira. I have only had two shots of Humira and it is helping the PsA but not the Psoriasis.

aug garden 5  As beat up as these plants look, so am I. I am grateful for the relief on the arthritis (PsA), but I am a long way from where I was before. I can only walk short distances, and at least I am not crying when I get done grocery shopping. But the lesions are awful and they itch and hurt. My legs and arms and scalp are covered.  But the next thing issue is was something that I have been trying to avoid for the last 8 years.

Diabetes.          aug garden 4  Ever since I was old enough to go to the Doctor, they have tried to make me out to be diabetic because I am fat. Up until they started giving me all these very strong drugs, my blood glucose has been perfect. It never was above 5.5. When I first was truly diagnosed with PsA, they gave me a cocktail of Methotrexate  (MTX), prednisone, and Advil prn. My A1C went to 13 and no one caught it for a while. To bring it down, they gave me Metformin on top of all the other crap. The result was my right kidney failed. They took me off of everything and after a while, my kidney came back to about 41%. The sugar came down but it never has gone back below 6.  Now it is back up to 8 or 8.8 even off the last drug that increased it.  So now I have to take Januvia in the am and a shot of 10 units of insulin at bedtime. Already my morning readings are improved after two shots so I am hopeful we can “jumpstart” my pancreas again. If not, this is a life sentence.   My doctor told me this, thinking it would help: “I had diabetes when I was 29 and I got rid of it by losing 40 pounds.” Well isn’t that ducky? At 29, I did not have any health issues! All this shit started after my divorce when I was 47. But I could go off on a tangent about how trauma affects your health, but I am saving that as I am doing more research on it.

aug garden 1  What is keeping me together is we leave for the River next Sunday. We will be gone for 10 days. We have people staying at the house with the “kids”. They use our house as their vacation spot.

Bro Brow cooling off I am going to try to stay cool, get through this week and go to the one place in the world where I feel safe and grounded. I will have a ton of pictures to share.

More images from the Islands

sunset It seems so long now since we were at the Islands. My life here takes over and the peace and serenity vanish very quickly. I long for the day when the normal for me is much more relaxed. One of the things I relish about the Islands are all the animals.

view from porch 2016  When we first arrived, I commented to my husband about how few animals and birds we saw on the way up. There are usually pockets of geese on the low grassy areas  and more ospreys and herons in the sky. As we unwound, they appeared. I truly believe that animals have a different energy wave and in order to really “be” with them, you have to be calm and on their wave length.

naptime This is the time of year when the geese babies or goslings are become teenagers. We had several families who would camp below our elevated porch. I of course had to feed them some choice snacks, which I know is a no no.

mom and dad I watched as Mom goose became very protective of her young and would hiss at the other families if they got to close. Everyone says geese can be nasty, but it is all show.

furious feathers  They fluff and stuff, hiss and go after each other, but it is harmless. I saw one pull a feather out of another goose. I have fed geese out of my hand and they don’t hurt. momgoose

They are so beautiful.

osprey 2  The osprey also have chicks which are getting big. We saw several nests all over the place once I was able to focus on finding them. As we were on the golf course, a pair of fledglings put on quite a display for us, swooping quite close over our heads.

duckies 2 This was the newest addition to the group of babies. One of the ducklings was much braver than the other and would take off from Mom, who would then have to corral him back. They also came to visit but walking on the grass was not as easy for them as swimming.

duckies 3  Every year we go to the Islands, there is a heron who comes to the cove and sits and fishes. I have named her Charlene. This year, she did not appear. However, this big guy showed up the second night. I unfortunately do not have a long enough lens to do this justice. He was huge.

charlemenge and he looked quite craggy. He would hang around and fish every night.  Charl  But I know he is not my Charlene, who I actually have been very near and have a ton of photos of her. She is much smaller. charlemenge flying  When he flew past the porch, you could actually hear his wings. This shot does not demonstrate how big he is.

Boldt barns  We play golf…well my husband plays and I drive the cart and shoot photos. We play on the course that was once George Boldt’s farm. There are structures left from his time and the layout is based on the old canals he employed on the property. There are many animals on the property and it is so quiet and peaceful.

snake  This guy made my husband run. He was about nine feet long. There are lots of snakes on the Islands and in the water, but this is the first one I have seen that was so big. I did not get too close.

About the fourth hole, I spied something moving incredibly slow towards the green. I had seen and photographed a cute turtle last year on this spot, but this was way too big to be that. But it was a turtle…. a massive old turtle.

turtle He was a good three feet in diameter and when he stood up to move he was huge. Again, this was not something to get too close too as he could move and could have really hurt.

turtle 1 He took his time and as we were leaving, we told the golf pro who said he was famous. He is probably as old as the farm.

I could spend my life taking photos of the animals up there. Someday, I hope that is what I will be able to do.

Views from the Islands

view from porch 2016  We spent my birthday and the whole weekend in the Thousand Islands. This is the view from the porch off our place. I find peace and grounding on The River, especially this local. When we first got there, I thought the animals had disappeared. They do, I discover until you are ready to see them. Then they were plentiful. My dream would be to retire and spend summers up here doing nothing but taking pictures.

Tibbetts  This is Tibbett’s Point. It is where the River meets Lake Ontario. You can actually stay in this Hostel house. Across the River is the biggest island named Wolfe Island. You can only get there by a ferry, a very small ferry.  We did it once and it was scary as hell. But the Island was beautiful and full of splendid farms and fields. Now it is covered with

Wolfe Isalnd wind turbines. It was a very lucrative move for the inhabitants as they paid them huge money for the placement. But it has ruin the view from across the river.

towers  My shots do not do justice to the mass and amount of them. The all blink at night and many people have put their cottages and house up for sale. There is talk of trying to do this to Wellesley Island which is across the River from Alex Bay. It would ruin the River. But they pay big money and many of the places on the River are expensive and owned by people who do not stay in them, but rent them out.

boat This is a private boat. I cannot imagine how much this thing costs, or how much it costs to  fill it up. Every summer, there is a luxury yacht that comes down the River and moors in Clayton.

Peonie  We had beautiful weather and I have a ton of photos of the animals we saw, which I will save until next blog. This is a peony from Tibbett’s Point garden. I love peonies but cannot grow them because I do not have enough sun.

sunset view The 1000 Islands are famous for their sunsets.

moon It was full moon when we were there.

I often say, I wish I could bottle how wonderful I feel when I am on The River.