Star of Wanderers

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Once a year my family would go on vacation for one week. Every year we would go camping and fishing. I have always loved looking at the stars, observing their brilliance in awesome wonder. Going camping meant time by the campfire looking at the stars, wandering trails, listening to birds and animals, watching butterflies and fish in the streams.

One night my dad sat down with me and started teaching me the stars and constellations. The first star he showed me was the North Star, and that sailors and pioneers used this star as a guide. The North Star does not move like the rest of the constellations. If you know where the North Star is he said you can always find your way home at night. He also taught me how to find my way in the woods and mountains at night.

My dad had me look up and then told me “The stars were the only thing bigger than you. You can climb the mountains, cross any river, be what you want to be, just do not be afraid to try.” Ever since, when I am confused on what path to take, or feeling overwhelmed, I go outside and look upward remember my dad’s words.

With reading and posting on bloganuary 2022, I saw where a part of ourselves wander within the written words, and those word wander through the reader.

This is the final post for bloganuary 2022. I am new to blogging. I keep a journal, wrote essays and thesis’ in college, but only started blogging. While reading others’ blogs in response to the daily prompts, I have learned a few things concerning writing. I have enjoyed the challenge, although it is time consuming on some days. I think I have found my “North Star” to keep me on the path with writing.

I thank everyone for taking the time to read my posts. Thank you to those who “liked” and left comments. I hope the best for you as you continue your life journey.

amtolle

A Tree with a Purpose

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There are various types of trees each with their own strengths and weakness.

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I have enjoyed willow trees as a child I played under them at my grandparents’ home. In the heat of summer they provided shade, coolness as you were embraced by their limbs and leaves. The willow is flexible but not very strong.

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Cherry trees have always been a favorite of mine. Their joyful, bright blossoms in the spring, marking the change of season. The juicy sweet fruit of summer. I have two cherry trees planted in my yard. It takes two cherry trees for there to be fruit.

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The mighty oak tree strong and grand. The timber from these trees is used for furniture and other house hold items because of its strength and bueaty.

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Tall pines reaching straight for the sky. The sweet aroma stimulates and relaxes. The wind whispers a lullaby using their small leaves on every branch. I have spent many a day and night in the presence of their beauty.

These trees are beautiful, yet, in their beauty and splendor are not me. I have been alone, fought to survive and flourish. No protection from the storms of life, I am crooked and gnarled, my bark shows many scars. My roots grow both deep and wide, seeking water and nutrients to keep my alive. I have overcome my adversity, thrived and blessed. I am not so different from others as all have faced storms, overcame and thrive.

amtolle

A Wish and Reality

“He who owns all the gold, controls the world”

Unknown

My last post was on a Bloganaury Challenge prompt “How are you Changing the World?”. I answered by the little things I do to encourage others and show kindness. Reality is no one person or country can change the world. The world is large with many people, beliefs and cultures.

Everyone would love to live where there is no crime, no wars, no prejudices, we want world peace. Reality is there will be crime, there will be wars and people are prejudice.

I believe the world is controlled by the love of power, greed and envy.

I strive to help others, encourage others to be better people, to lift the load of those burdened, even if for a moment of time. No, I can not change the world, but I will continue to show some light of kindness to those I meet. As an individual we can inspire others to love themselves, have peace and joy and fulfillment of their dreams.

My actions do affect those around me, and my community. I live in an awesome little town where people help each other. Our town has what we call the “Blessing Box”. When it was started three years ago, it was started in a newspaper distribution box. If you need food, you take, and you can give food at any time. It sits in the open with no locks. This “Blessing Box” has grown to be two bookcases and several boxes. Through facebook, their is even fresh meat available. We have the Clothes Closet, where people drop off clothing, it is sorted and hung up, and free to anyone needing clothing. It is a caring town we live near.

This was truly apparent in February 2021, when the whole town and surrounding area was without electricity for 4 days. The temperatures were well below freezing day and night. A rarity for where I live. Everyone heats with electricity.

We have a fireplace in our home, that is how we stayed warm, but the highest the inside temperature reached was 47*F. Those who had fireplaces and wood stoves, which is rare, opened their homes to strangers. Some people were able to heat their homes using portable generators as a source of electricity.

For us we dug out the old camping equipment we have to cook on, an antique cow camp stove. We made chili and always had a pot of hot coffee. I went through my whole supply of candles for lighting.

Others did the same, they cooked chili and stews, have hot coffee and tea. We met at the volunteer fire station once a day to share with those who were unable to cook would have one hot meal and drink during the day. People here do not cook from scratch, they buy premade frozen meals or something for a microwave. Grocery stores were closed, no electricity for the registers or lights.

People around us and ourselves have livestock. We get our water from a well, but the well pump does not run without electricity. One person had a well he used for a garden powered by solar. The water did not come out of the ground fast, but it was water. Someone gave him a tank to fit in the back of his pickup. He would fill the tank and deliver water for livestock.

When the electricity did return, and it was on and off for an additional 5 days. People had another problem, broken water pipes that froze, then when the house heated up, the water poured in and flooded. Once again our town people pulled together. Those that knew how to repair broken water lines, came together, formed teams and tackled one house at a time to repair the water lines. The hardware store in our town, sold the materials needed at cost, he made no money from the sales, in addition he kept his store open for longer hours.

This year along with the Blessing Box and Clothes Closet, the community started a garden. I helped a few times, most of the people coming to the community garden did not know how to start, grow or tend a garden. It was a big learning experience for them. There is talk of starting a farmer’s market next summer.

We have an involved and caring town and community. People helping people, but we still have crime. There is a theft ring trying to operate, but with watchful eyes they will be caught.

Perhaps we can change the world one person, one community, one country at a time.

Perhaps, one day, people will love themselves and others so there will not be envy, or the love of power over another, and not desire greed but to give a helping hand where needed.

I was told once when we help others, we help ourselves.

amtolle

One Day, One Step, One Smile

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Bloganaury 29 prompt is “How are you changing the world?”

Each person, each day is changing the world. Our actions, words or lack of affect those we are around or who see us. Is the effect a positive or a negative? I strive for a positive effect to shine a little light into someone’s dark day.

When I step out of my house or speak with someone on the phone, I work to be positive and friendly. Sometimes that is hard to do. Telemarketers irritate me, but the person on the other end is only trying to support their family. I am irritated because they have my number and I did not give it to them. I state I want to be removed, then tell the person to have a great day. Is it the person’s fault they called me, not really. That person was given a list of people to call.

I am not afraid to smile at a stranger or give them a compliment. Once I was at Wal-Mart for some paint brushes for the house. I am in my work clothes with paint spots for sure. I see this lady, her clothing really makes her stand out, modest, good colors for her, and perfect makeup and jewelry. I walked up and told her she looked very beautiful today. First reaction was shock and why are you speaking to me. I went to tell her I feel people should be complimented as we have enough negative in our lives. She smiled and thank me. People do hear negative things about the world events, work, family and others. People also have worries and pressures they carry with them that we do not see. A compliment gives them a moment of changed focus.

I try to mention a person’s name when I am talking with them. When you address someone by their name, you acknowledge them as an individual and with respect. Waitresses/Waiters and clerks light up when you use their name as you request something. Think about it, they wait on and assist people all day, hear complaints, but are not talked to by name.

I give a smile to those I pass going into or out of a store, while I am in the store and out and about. You never know if that smile is the only positive light in their day.

I want the people to feel better after they meet even if it is for a flickering moment.

amtolle

The Tool of Music

Today’s Bloganaury is what is on your music playlist.

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Music moves us, refreshes the soul and retains memories. Couples have “their song” to remember when they first met. Music can pick us up out of an emotional slump. Babies go to sleep with lullabies’. Music is used for celebrations, prayers, and mostly just for fun.

I am old, I do not have a playlist on my cellphone or any other device. I have CDs. I have created music CD for what I am going to do that day. I have a special song for mopping floors, in some foreign language I do not know, by some group overseas, but it is great to swing a mop to. I was introduced to my “mopping song” as I call it by my daughter. I have a song for riding horses, ” I See You in a Different Light” sung by Doug Stone. The rhythm of the song matches the beat of the horse’s hooves. Horses are very musical, they will match their hoof beats to the rhythm of the music they hear. I have several CDs of Celtic songs for when I go on road trips. You can find a song for any occasion.

Couples have “their song” of when they first met or a special date. We remember moments in time better if music and smell are connected to the moment. My husband and I have two love songs; “The Keeper of the Stars” sung by Tracy Byrd and “I Cross My Heart” sung by George Strait. My son and daughter said the song sung by George Strait was the love shown when my husband and I met. And the song truly fits us.

I listen mostly to instrumental music, in various genre, classical, pop, Native American, and blues. I do not like the words of songs to distract me in what I am doing.

Music is a big part of every culture, a language that speaks to us all. Music holds memories, inspires us, refreshes us.

Who does not sing in the shower?

amtolle

My Favorite Part

Bloganuary #26 What is your favorite part about yourself?

Time marches onward. We are born. We grow. We age. We die. The process every living thing goes through.

When going through old photos of my much younger years, I was quite the beauty, although at the time I did not think so. My long black hair with highlights caused by the sun, now has speckling of silver well earned. Grey hair is a sign of wisdom I was taught, I know I have more wisdom than my hair shows…lol. I have small wrinkles, and age spots probably due to the sun. I have put on some weight after birthing four children.

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An old Native American proverb is we have two wolves inside us, a good wolf and an evil wolf. Each decision and word is feeding a wolf. The people around us see which wolf we feed.

But my most favorite part I have since I was young, a good heart. I look for the best in people. I like to help others learn and succeed. No matter what life has thrown at me, I will search and find the silver lining. I look for rainbows to enjoy the color. Indeed I do have a sense of humor, I may not get your jokes or sense of humor all the time, but I laugh when I do.

Our outward appearance changes daily, watch a baby grow up and you will see. But the inward person, the one without your appearance, is who you truly are.

I strive to feed the good wolf.

amotle

Strength Within

Bloganaury #25 is to write about something that makes us feel strong.

Grace of the ballerina seen in each and every movement. Striding over the ground in slow motion, muscles tense yet flowing, controlled power with pride and glory. A race with the wind is a challenge not denied, and often the victor. Gentle like the dove but upon defensive arousal can distinguish life in a footprint. A heart given is rarest jewel, once given will not retreat. Controlled by quiet voice and love the massive gladiator joyfully submits, a partnership complete.

Stolen Night, photo by Teri Cage, rights purchased

Stolen Night, my appaloosa stallion makes me feel strong. The photo above he is 3 years young and not his full statue. He is 16 hand tall or 64 inches and weighs 1,300 pounds. Words and pictures do not capture the majesty of Stolen Night. He is the most powerful horse I have ever been next to or ridden. I have ridden several hundreds of horses of various breeds, including draft.

Stallions are not the safest or most trustworthy of mounts, ask any horseman. A person who succeeds in winning the heart of a stallion is a true master. Stolen Night’s strength and power brings fear, but when I ride him we are a centaur, horse and human, perfect.

When I am feel weak, the world crashing around me, to him I go for comfort, to feel warmth, to dry my tears in his mane, to stand using his strength. He is patient, comforts with a soft muzzle, ever ready to listen.

Growing up, the only sanctuary I had was with the horse. The need to cry or share my fears, the loneliness at school, the crowded house, my dreams and hopes, the horse always had a listening ear. I could not go to my mother as she did not want to spend the time, and when she did her words were a lie. Horses never lie, ask anyone who has been around a horse. My father was often too busy working providing for his family and extended family living with us. My solace, my sanctuary was the horse.

There were many years we did not own a horse, but the horse was there in plastic form on my dresser or traveling with me in my mind. In my mind we would climb mountains, swim rivers and race the wind. During my teenage years, I would not have survived if it had not been for my horse. I could disappear for hours on their back, leaving the cares and bullying behind. We would find quiet places to tell my story and cry, hiding tears in his mane. Loneliness was not there when I was with the horse. We spoke the same language, felt the same heartbeats. Did you know a horse can hear your heart beat from ten feet away?

My wish became desire turned to passion then to life. I pondered why do I feel strong with the horse? The answer is simple, the horse was there to listen, not judge, not condemn, not call me silly or a fool, just to listen. Listen to the fears of a young girl, listen to the trials of a teenager, hear of the broken heart, the joys of good grade, the dreams and plans after graduation, and hopes for the future. The horse simply listened.

You feel strong when you know you are heard.

amtolle

Dreams, Dreams and Dreams

The prompt for bloganuary, January 24 is “Write about a dream you remember”. In pondering what to write, I divided my dreams into three categories.

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The first thought when I hear the word dream is the nightly thoughts I have as I sleep. Until two years ago, I did not want to lay down to sleep. I dreaded sleep. For almost twenty years, my dreams were haunting nightmares. I do not want to remember.

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Day dreams, pleasant thoughts of what we would like to happen. Daydreaming of someone I was attracted to asking me to a dance. Or training a horse to a level in competition and winning. Day dreams for the most part are fantasies, something we would like to happen.

Finally, dreams with a passion. Strong desires I wanted for my life directions. When I was in high school I dreamed of being a veterinarian. I loved animals and still do. I wanted to help animals be healthy and well. I went through high school studying diligently, had high marks. I was set to go to the college and university, then I made a choice. That choice changed my pathway and I never did go to college or university to become a veterinarian. But, I have realized my dream as I care for my animals everyday, first as a horse trainer and breeding facility and today as a sheep farmer.

There are two families I do business with as a sheep farmer. These two families have the same number of children, are about the same age.

The first, this family day dreams of having a better life, being able to buy a car. We have discussed what their goals are for raising sheep. When talking with them their conversation is about everything that has gone wrong and it is someone else’s fault. Their conversation is very negative, they do not dream, set a goal and work towards the goal. They blame their mistakes or lack of change on someone else. They have family near where they live, but I think they get negative support. This family has the ability for change, if they changed to being positive in their thoughts and actions. Bad things happen to everyone, but how we think determines if we move forward or sink a little deeper in the mud.

The second family, the parents dream of a different life for their children. They have obstacles in the way of reaching their dreams, as they are not from this country. They work hard, dream hard and have hope. When I speak with this family, the first is to tell me their successes, and sometimes of their problems in order to find a possible solution.

Dreams are a powerful tool in setting goals for our lives and reaching goals. How we view our life and dreams has a big effect on the choices we make and if we succeed. We can have dreams and goals, but if we view our life through negative glasses, only seeing the bad and not learning from our mistakes, we can not climb the mountain to reach our goal. Looking through positive glasses, helps us to find the solutions when things do not go as planned, to not be afraid to alter our plans to reach our goals, and to learn from our mistakes.

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Do not stop dreaming. I may not have reached the dreams of my youth, but I have dreams and some are big dreams. My husband tells me, I am a person when things do not go as planned or our life makes a big shift we were not expecting, I look for a way to climb back up the mountain. I do not give up.

Keep dreaming, keep climbing.

amtolle

Interview with ?

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For Bloganuary the prompt was to interview a fictional character. Read and follow the clues to discover who I interviewed.

Since your creation in 1919 being the first of what we call today a superhero, I thought it best to have this interview with you. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

I do not have a problem answering a few questions, as long as you uphold our agreement of not mentioning my name or giving away my identity.

Agreed. When did you decide to become a hero?

I received a letter from my father while I was away at the university. In the letter my father sounded upset and frustrated with the injustice happening in our community. I decided to return home to assist, but did not think of becoming a hero. The commoners, poor and Native Americans made me the hero and gave my hero persona a name.

Did you form a plan on how your were going to assist the people, or did it just happen?

On the ship during the trip home from the University I formed a plan. The trip took several months, I had time to work out the details of how I would behave when I returned home and how I would help the people, with out being caught by the authorities and killed for treason.

Why do you choose to wear the clothes you do when you are assisting the people? Does your clothing carry a special meaning?

My clothing is plain and available to the common man. If I were to dress in the clothing of my prominent status I would be know to the authorities. I choose the color black so I am hard to notice in the dark and in the shadows. I can move in on my target slyly and cunningly. There is no special meaning to the color or what I wear other than my rapier, my choice of weapon.

Is it easy living a life with a dual or split identity?

In the matters of the heart, most definitely difficult to live a dual identity. In public I must act the coward so the authorities do not learn my true identity as the people’s hero. The young woman I love with all my heart looks at me with disgust and talks only of the greatness and bravery of my hero identity. Aww, but when she sees me, being the hero, during a short glimpse of time our eyes meet, and she looks at me with love and admiration. I only wish she would look at me that way always.

Why do you always leave a mark on your work? Is it pride?

I do not leave my mark for pride or fame or money, only for justice. I leave a single letter as a mark or brand so the common people and Native Americans, I help, are not arrested and put to death for my actions. The innocent should never pay for others illegal actions.

You have been the influence for other heroes and a major influence in the creation of Superman and Batman. How does this make you feel?

I am honored to have influenced others to seek justice for those who do not have the skills or means to defend themselves. I might be the first hero created by an author, but I am far from being forgotten in the dust with the fairly recent U.S. movies about me released in 1998 and 2005 with excellent actors and actresses who are very well known.

I am in movies created worldwide as well as series shows, animations and even toys. The people are not forgetting me and how I fight for the common and poor of the community.

Thank you for this interview, it has been enlightening. May you continue to be the hero for justice to future generations.

Z

If you know who the interview is with, leave an answer in the comments.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

amtolle

A Quote for a Lifetime

My Grandson at 3 years saying “Hello” to Sis

There is nothing better for the inside of a man that the outside of a horse.

John Lubbock/Winston Churchill

I am a certified horse trainer and riding instructor, although I no longer train others horses or do lessons. I have spent years teaching youth to ride. I worked with different organizations introducing the horse and teaching youth who had never been around the majestic animal.

“Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity? Here where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined” — from the Ode to the Horse by Ronald Duncan, created for Horse of the Year Show

My stallion and I together

The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back”

 Amber Senti

A horse is powerful, graceful and athletic and can hear your heart beat as you walk up to them. They can feel each and every muscle in your body as you sit in the saddle. There movement is silk beneath your legs.

Yet, can be gentle as a kitten.

My 3 year old grandson and a 6 month old colt.

Horses are used in physical rehabilitation or physical therapy called hippotherapy. The movement of the horse stimulates every muscle of the rider without strain on the rider’s muscles. Horses are being used in the United States to help service men and women with the emotional stresses due to combat.

My son-in-law on his first time ride and being around horses, coached by my daughter.

amtolle