Last Saturday morning, it was too cold to horseback ride but I wanted to give Luke a chance to walk on something besides the hard packed ice and snow in the paddock. So lead line in hand, I took my horse for a stroll behind the barn and out on the paths that wind through the woods.

Although we were shielded from the wind in the shelter of the trees, the rustling branches put Luke on high alert, ears forward, then rotating like radars to take in every sound. Like me, Luke was more at ease when we were moving forward.

The few times I stopped to look at the neighboring field or tried to take a photo with my iPhone, Luke danced impatiently and looked back towards the barn where another horse was calling to us to return.

horse in the pine trees


The wooded area is not very big, so I wound a wiggly path and doubled back a few times to give Luke a chance to settle, which eventually he did.

I know I’ve felt very unsettled myself lately and wonder if the same technique could work for me too. Maybe I need to double back a bit. Go back to the basics. Do something easy that won’t take too long to complete. I want to take the most direct route but maybe the wiggly path is better.

Or at least more interesting than the mad dash of a straight line.

dogs playing in snow

It was one of those weekends where everything I wrote sounded like drivel.
So I’m doing the wise thing and going pictorial.

Java and Latte Playtime

dogs playing in snow dogs playing in snow dogs playing in snow dogs playing in snow

dogs playing in snow dogs playing in snow


People Playtime

Traded in my fat bike for one that fits me like a glove.
This was our first time out and I’m feelin’ the bike love.

Riding fat bike


Riding fat bike

Riding fat bike


fat bikes




Last week I took a couple days off so I could have a four day weekend to work on a few writing/get organized projects. For all the time I spent at my computer, I still felt like I got very little done.

It’s hard laying out a plan for how I’m going to spend my time and then stick to it. I could spend an entire day doing nothing but figuring out how to fit everything into the following day, with all my steps and milestones. Then the next day, I get distracted by a messy kitchen, an interesting article I want to read, and a few funny videos on Facebook. I’m sure you know the drill, unless you actually are one of THOSE people who can focus and not be tempted by shiny, glittery things.

After my break, returning to my job felt like I’d crawled out of a cave and was blinded by the light. The work world felt odd and unnatural. I wanted to immediately turn around and crawl back into my oh, so cozy underground grotto.


Writing and music and photography and getting out with the dogs or my bike — that’s my real life, I thought.

But it doesn’t take long to get back into a job routine, especially after a few phone calls and emails that symbolically are like someone dumping a bucket of ice water over my head. During one “what the hell” moment on the phone, my line suddenly went dead in mid sentence. I called the person back on my cell phone and she said, “What happened? There was this loud screeching noise and then nothing. I thought, ‘Oh no! Maery’s finally blown!'”

Ah yes, they know…


When I do venture out during time away from work or home projects, I prefer to go where there is wildlife and trees and water. I like to experience things up close, the way you can on foot or by bike. I imagine if I stopped as frequently in my car to look more closely at something as I do when self propelled, the other cars wouldn’t like it very much. Actually, the dogs aren’t crazy about it either but will put up with it for the chance to get out and explore.


On our most recent walk, two swans decided to follow along with us for quite a ways. They obviously are used to people taking their picture and came in quite close. Unlike many things I see day after day, seeing swans is something that retains its thrill.

These kinds of distractions from my Git R Dun mode are good ones. They fill the well, let a gentle light into the cave, and meet my need to connect with something “out there.”

But what about you? How do you balance the desire to complete projects that are important to you with the just as important need to have time for fun and relaxation?

walking the dogs




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