Happy 2012!

"And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." Rainer Maria Rilke (a beautiful card that I received yesterday)

I usually don’t post on weekends, but I felt like I had to today. I wanted to start this new year doing something that I loved; connecting with the White Feather Farm community. So many people say that they feel like they know me, even before we’ve met in person, because of this blog, and I love getting to know you through your comments and responses, so I am opening this day up to you, to talk about anything (and everything!) that you would like us to know about your life. Many of you have websites, blogs, and work that you might want to share, but it doesn’t have to be any of this. Feel free to talk about your family, your animals, your dreams and aspirations, your loves, what is important in your life.

Wishing you all a 2012 filled with wonder, love, happiness, health, inner peace, abundance, success, fun, courage, laughter, connection and the fulfillment of your heart’s desires!

RULES FOR COMMENTING TODAY:

1. Take as much room as you need/want.

2. Have fun

3. don’t judge what you write as too long or too short

4. comment if you want to, don’t if you don’t

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend“. Albert Camus

81 thoughts on “Happy 2012!

  1. Mary – what a wonderful opportunity! Thank you so much.

    A year ago today, I had great difficulty when I went out in wishing Happy New Year to anyone. I was unhappy that another year had flown by and I’d barely had time to savor it, let alone live it meaningfully.

    Time flying by hasn’t changed for me – seriously, another year already? – but I find today that I am more at peace and cheerful.

    I worked last year on having more gratitude. That helped a lot.

    I started my blog, doing a daily challenge for both writing and photography. Having those creative outlets made a huge difference in satisfaction with my personal life. I end the year with having improved my writing content and much more confident in my photography skills.

    I gave up some things last year and will give up more this year. My husband took over grocery shopping and cooking, both of which saved me a lot of time during the week and keep us from going out to eat. This year, I will not plant a garden and I have a number of magazines I do not intend to buy anymore. Their value is too low for my time.

    I took field trips because of my photography, although it also helped my blog (an unintended benefit) as it gave me things to write about. It was fun! We’d not taken a vacation away from the house in years and we took two short ones, both out of state. I weekly explored the local botanical gardens. We went repeatedly to the art museum, using our season passes to tour every special exhibit there. We also explored our state. Thankfully gas prices stayed cheap.

    I’m looking forward to 2012. I’ve been wishing everyone a Happy New Year since the day after Christmas, and this year I mean it.

    Happy New Year to you Mary! Thanks for all your posts and friendship, for all the thoughtful things you give us to ponder.

    Nancy
    http://www.livingtheseasons.com

  2. Sending prayers your way for the new year! I’m very thankful for everything I have, which isn’t really alot comparitivley speaking. But I’ve been blessed with giving birth, having two sons, a wonderful husband, and a lovely home and job that I love. I’ve made many mistakes and wrong choices, but God’s mercy and forgiveness is bigger than my blunders!I look forward to 2012 with expectation that our Lord will bring me right where He wants me.My husband gave me a plaque for Christmas that reads: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 AND HE’S NOT MOVED BY OUR ECONOMY!!!

    • Amen to that Tricia! “in this economy” makes me want to gag. I live under a blue sky and stars beyond number. I do not live in the clutches of THIS ECONOMY! Happy New Year to you!

    • Thank you for letting me know that you enjoy the blog Talitha,…I love the sound of your resolution!

  3. HAPPY 2012 …. I’M JACK, MARY’S HUSBAND AND THRILLED EACH DAY TO READ EVERYONE’S COMMENTS. I FEEL I’V KNOWN MANY OF YOU FOR YEARS. THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT AND SINCERE FEELINGS.
    JUST TWO YEARS AGO JANUARY, I STARTED CREATING
    ” FOUND OBJECT SCULPTURES “, AND IT HAS OPENED INSIDE ME A PERSONAL PASSION I NEVER HAVE EXPERIENCED BEFORE, THANK YOU http://www.jackmetzger.com
    MARY ……..I LOVE YOU!!

    • Thank you Jack! I’ve enjoyed peeking over Mary’s shoulder as she’s shown some of your art work in her blog.

      I felt the same way last year about my blogging and photography – it’s satisfying a deep itch for the creative side of me and I love it.

      How wonderful of you to write a note to all of us and support Mary’s blog in that way.

  4. Mary, thank you for honoring us by posting today! I am so grateful for the wisdom and new energy you have bought into my life this year. Your comments spin off to inspire other comments and ideas on a daily basis , all of which enrich, inspire, educate, humor and validate what we each are thinking and feeling, so that we can deepen our “friendship with ourselves” and others.

    Thank you to all members of the WFFF,
    Happy New Year,
    Love from Fran

  5. What a lovely beginning to the New Year to see that card on your post this morning Mary. And . . . to see Jack’s contribution! That perked my spirits up. I wish I could see your shop Jack. I love creating things out of things! You and Mary are such very special people. I do enjoy this blog so much. Although I am much older than most of those that contribute I feel so very far behind you spiritually. I thank you all for sharing your wisdom and helping me grow. My husband passed away 7 years ago and I had to take on my mother who was 80 at that time. We have always had a rather “difficult” relationship and it has been a challenge for both of us to live together. We look at the world through very different eyes. There are times I feel very trapped and overwhelmed and I have to stop and remember just who is in charge of this life of mine! My wish is for all of the “Flock” to have a wonderful and challenging New Year. May we venture forth on the bumps and valleys of life together and enjoy the ride.
    Thank you each and every one and especially you Mary.♥

    • “Although I am much older than most of those that contribute I feel so very far behind you spiritually…..” JoAnne, we are all baby souls concerning some things and old souls concerning others….Speaking for myself, I welcome your comments and observations as I do all the others. We are all kind of ageless on this blog, don’t you think? 🙂

      • Thank you Betsy! I agree, we are all on this adventure called life together but I do feel I have started a little late on attention to my spiritual growth and I gleen so much from the wisdom of the contributions of you and others. I like being “ageless”! Bless you!

    • JoAnne, I do recommend hopping over to Ronni Bennett’s Time Goes By blog (Google it). She’s an elderblogger and writes broadly about getting older, and older. I’m 63 and have found it very useful and fun! Cheers, ~Kathi

      • I did look up and bookmark Ronni Bennett’s blog Kathi, thank you for telling me about it. Very good! I do believe I will enjoy it a lot. :‹)

    • Hi JoAnne and Happy New Year. You know, I felt the same way when I first found Mary’s blog. Unlike many others, I was introduced to Mary’s blog first and through Mary and Jack found Jon’s blog…initially I felt that I was less spiritually mature than most of Mary’s WFF community. I just got so much from everyone and wasn’t sure I was ‘good enough’ to contribute. But I felt so much at home here, and welcomed, and finally got the courage to comment. There are still times I don’t feel worthy…or that my comments aren’t adequate or relevant enough, and even a time or two when I wished I could take back what I had written. I suspect that having endured the loss of your husband and taking care of your elderly mother has taught you things that some of us haven’t even considered. And what a good reminder it is that “we look at the world through very different eyes” as I have an elderly mother too. I look forward to getting to know you better through the blog…and enjoying the ride!

      • Thank you Kathye, I appreciate your comments. I have often felt the same way about contributing. So many here seem so much wiser than I am. The nice thing about this blog is I think most folks are very forgiving and are not judgemental. We are all “good enough” to contribute and it is a very safe place. I look forward to getting to know you better too!

      • Thank you Kathye! There are times when I feel like i’ve said the wrong thing too!…good to know that we are all in this thing called life together!

    • Glad you enjoyed Ronni, JoAnne. She lives near Portland, OR but had years of communication experience in NYC and Maine. I’ll look for you there…and here! I think I shared too much yesterday, but oh well….where do you live?

      Cheers, ~Kathi

  6. Happy New Year to all! Started mine out with a new job; ghostwriting a romance novel. Yeah, get to flex my creativity and make back
    my holiday money spent!

    • Ghostwriting a romance novel. That sounds awesome. Might you put your own name to one or have you already?

    • How interesting Rose!…imagining all of those romantic scenes sounds like a lot of fun!

  7. My goodness, Mary, asking people to talk about themselves is one of the greatest gifts you could give anyone. Personal airtime. I have come to White Feather through the gift of Jon Katz’s website, Bedlam Farm. Several winters ago a friend loaned me a book written by Jon, for our winters in the northern climes are long and we tend to hole up and catch up on all nature of things, including books. On a personal level, I’ve lived more decades than I ever thought to grow old to…after all, 70 seemed very old until one reaches it. I’m active physically and thankfully but have an immune system disorder which requires avoidance as much as possible with city pollutants. So, I now live in the country, another thing that I have in common with Jon, although my reasons for moving from a big city to here, were different to his. The rhythm of country life is now wound so tightly into my life and soul that I could never move back to a busy city life..too much noise, too many people, too frenetic. And throughout this all, I have carried with me my love of making quilts & wearables and which in my early forties took me into art college for a diploma in design. That said, if one has a strong focus and interest in life, I feel one is never without goals. As long as my body holds up, my energy, I’m responsible for keeping my ‘upper story’ in good shape. Your blog reminds me to take care of this part of my being daily and constantly, so thank you again for sharing part of you with others. You help bring a balance to my early morning, as does Jon’s blog as well.

    SandyP, in Canada

    • SandyP: ditto my note above to JoAnne: do drop by Ronni Bennett’s Time Goes By blog–she and her guest editors do a great job on the broad topic of ageing. I also moved to the very rural area I live now, from city life, about 38 years ago, and have never looked back! Cheers, ~Kathi

  8. It is now 2012 and I have stumbled through my first year of retirement. I have gone from Manhattan to laid back North Carolina and there has been some adjustment required. Your blog has been a huge help to me. I found you through Bedlam Farm Blog and I am so glad I did. I am now a full time gardener, lovin it and working on my southern accent. I am gradually learning to slow down and be kind to myself . My son and daughterinlaw made a darling apartment for me in the second floor of their house, I am very lucky. I am also learning to share my life and ask for help when I need it and the future looks bright. A year ago I never thought I could be this happy again. my new years resolutions include much more silliness. Thankyou for your words of wisdom and honesty.

  9. Love the ‘robin’ card, Mary. It’s visually pleasing as well as carrying a simple and pure message for the New Year. Rainer Maria Rilke is one of my favorites.

    Well, if I started talking about myself, the entry would be so long that I might crash the site.

    Suffice it to say that I, too, came to your blog through Jon Katz and feel indebted to him for sharing you with the rest of us. And by reading your wonderful daily posts, I have had a growth within that has been astonishing to me, given that I was coming out of an 11-year spiritual dry spell. In your gentle way, you have made me ponder things again the way I used to and I have come out the better for it all.

    There is something I’d like to share here that I read in a magazine about Reiki the other day. Its simplicity spoke to me and I sort of adopted it as my resolution, not only for the upcoming year, but maybe for the rest of my life. It is named Gokai (“The Five Reiki Ideals,”) and it states:

    Just for today
    do not get angry
    do not worry
    be thankful
    work hard
    be kind to others.

    In coming to your site daily, Mary, I feel I’m getting a small taste of ‘home.’ I thank you for your committment to us as a WFF flock, and I send love and blessings to all of this group, who also provide so much through their comments. We may all be far-flung but we are only a web-click away from each other. How wonderful is THAT!

    • Suzanne, How amazing that you mentioned Reiki. I repeat the Five Reiki Ideals every day as part of my prayers and give myself Reiki treatments whenever I think of it. Reiki is a wonderfully soothing healing energy.

      • Wow, Maya….that’s terrific! I am not new to Reiki but it has been a couple of decades since I studied it, and I am having a session with a Reiki practitioner in about a week to balance some ‘issues.’ I happened to see these Principles the other day and was truly taken by them.

        I love that you incorporate them every day into your prayers, and even give yourself treatments. Sounds like you are full into it! Thanks for the info.

  10. Happy New Year Mary, Jack and All!
    I’d like to share my excitement about a project I’ve been working on that has been in the planning stage for most of last year that is finally about to launch very soon. It involves bringing complementary therapists who do wonderful holistic healing into a local hospital as volunteers.
    I’m so sure they will have a positive impact on so many people this year with their wonderful energy. I’m very grateful to the hospital for the opportunity to integrate complementary and conventional medicine, and also for the team of volunteers who are so generously willing to donate their time!
    May love & light guide our way in 2012.

  11. Mary,
    Looking forward to discovering new people and knowledge this year. Your blog has been a great joy. Missed meeting you in person last year at Maria Wulf’s art show but maybe someday…. Hope your dreams come true about moving to the ocean with Jack,but selfishly hope that would not mean the end of the White Feather Farm Blog. My hobby has become self reliance and preparedness with stocking up on water and food and other supplies this year in case of emergencies. This year I would like to learn First Aid and canning. Would also like to learn how to purify water. Will try to find a balance this year of staying somewhat informed by watching some news but not too much to scare me or drag me down. Your blog always lifts me up,makes me chuckle and encourages me to be more spiritual. Your other readers are also an uplifter. Very positive and good people. We are very blessed to have people like you and Jack and your readers on the internet. Often dream of being super woman so I could fix the world’s problems ,but God in his wisdom knows that people have to work it out together.All people can do is take very good care of their family and then reach out to help others. Boy! never say much at all, but once I get started………….. Everyone out there have a Happy New Year!
    Thanks Mary for the opportunity to use this post!

  12. Hi Mary! Happy New Year! May you continue to be blessed and continue to share your blessings with all of us!

  13. I have never posted on your website before, but would like to now. I so appreciate and enjoy being able to read your blog everyday, each day you write something that helps me to feel a little hopeful and open about things. I am currently in a job that causes me much stress and I do not like, and am planning on going back into the profession I attended school for, pyschological counseling. I am very nervous about it, whenever I have had to find a new job, I am always afraid I will not find something, but I always do! Your post the other day about picturing something positive happening, instead of something negative, really touched me. Why can’t something good happen instead of bad? It is much easier for me to picture the negative outcome instead of the postive, and I am trying very hard to change that! So, thank you so much for sharing your life and thoughts with everyone, they mean so much to me. I hope you have such a Happy New Year!!

    • Rebecca! Welcome to this wonderful group of friends. We will be with you supporting you as you take steps to return to psychological counseling. You can always come here beginning or end of day! Happy New Year to you!

  14. Mary and Fellow Bloggers,
    Thank you for sharing yourselves and reaching out with open arms!
    This site touches my heart and inspires positive thoughts. Love it! How
    fortunate I AM to have found White Feather Farm and the “light” that
    accompanies it. GOOD HEALTH/CONTENTMENT/PEACE/JOY/SECURITY
    and SELF-DISCOVERY in 2012 (and always).

  15. Mary,
    Happy New Year to you, Jack and the entire White Feather Community. The sun is shining in the Ohio Valley today. My husband is cooking breakfast, we have a warm fire burning…we are truly blessed.

    And I ask for your prayers of support for my 2012 project. I’m working on foster homes for pets while their owners are hospitalized during long recoveries (ie. cancer treatment, stroke or accidents). I believe the energy from this community will get the administrators to finally give me the authority to move forward.
    I wish all of you a wonder-filled New Year.

    • Jeannie, I think this is a fantastic idea! It’s enough when a person is ill to try to focus one’s energy on recovery. But if you’re a pet owner, especially if you live alone, a good deal of your energy goes into trying to find a place to safely leave your pet and then worrying about how they’re doing in your absence. A plan such as this would dispel all of that angst!

      I would love to hear about your project and its progress. To whom did you first present the idea? Are you trying to work it through a particular organization? I ask that because you mention “administrators” in your post. If you wish you could email me with some info. Email is state106@comcast.net
      If you don’t wish to do that, it’s fine. There is absolutely no pressure.

      I’m sure you are going to get a lot of energy from this WFF community. Much good luck with this. I really think its a concept whose time has come.

  16. Happy New Year, Miss Mary, and thank you for this invitation to tell you some of my story and my dreams for 2012. The world I currently live in, despite the cherished friends I have and hold dear, does not often offer up the opportunity to share the joys, experiences or stories that each of us have in an un-sel-fconscious un-censored I-don’t-want-to-bore-you-or-take-up-too-much-of-your-time way.

    So thank you.

    Three years ago my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to purchase a modest home on 5-acres in what is known out here in California as the “gold country.” Populated with small family farms, vineyards ,and ranches among rolling rural foothills, it is a small slice of heaven for this SoCal gal who has dreamed since childhood of a home for herself and her horses in the country. I am further blessed with a wonderful city-raised but Renaissance-man husband who has supported the fulfillment of my dream including! learning how to drive a tractor and mow pastures, research living on and maintaining a well, and embracing a transition to a lifestyle that neither he nor I have ever experienced before. How grateful am I?!
    2012 is the year that we determined back in 2009 when we purchased “Stone’s Throw Ranch” (yes, there is a story in the name as well!) that we would make The Move: leave our jobs in San Diego (he will retire, I will “transition” to something else as yet unidentified!), sell or rent our home here, and say good-bye to a place and a life that we both love and consider home. I can only anticipate the feelings of joy and excitement at finally stepping into our new future and “Next Act” (love that from Jon Katz!) that will clash with those of loss and sadness at the many farewells. To say nothing of the doubts and fears that any change instigates..and this will be a big one!

    This process has been – and will continue to be – a test and testimony of faith, will, courage, and love as only pursuing a dream can be. I am blessed by this opportunity and adventure, even as I am overwhelmed by it. To one whose words have become a daily source of strength and inspiration for me, I thank you again for allowing me the chance to tell you a little bit about my own journey.

  17. What a beautiful gift you give us today to read all about each other! Thank you. A surprise happy New Year’s Day post and with Jack as well! A great way to start the year!

    As some on this blog, I am recently retired as well. From city life and airports, alarm clocks and sirens and noise to the peace of the Vermont countryside. And it’s wonderful! Although it has taken well over a year for the little voices to leave my brain. The “gotta do this” and “what about that”. I kept my daytimer from my last year of work. When I look at it I wonder how I did it all! Sometimes I did it well, and other times fell short. But I always gave my best. I continue to seek and to discover who I am without the 35 blessed years of corporate work, international travel, and leadership defining me. And, I am enjoying getting to know my husband all over again. Married almost 30 years, we’ve never known each other free from the stress and daily hustle and bustle of our work life. And it is fun! Much fun! Falling in love all over again!

    I value relationships, growth, making a difference, fun, freedom, and balance.
    I feel that my best years are ahead of me and also find that I am the happiest I have ever been. And I want to continue to grow, to give, to appreciate, to thank, to laugh and to love…and to be the best me I can be. I so value this blog, Mary, and all of “you” who give and share such wonderful tidbits of yourselves. It helps me beyond words. I feel like a sponge soaking it all in every day. No thank you is big enough.

    There are two lines that come to mind today for me and I wish them for all of us…one is from a song, and I’m not sure of the other…

    “Look for the color in your life”…when things seem dark and flat, look for the color and the light will seep back in.

    “When you have the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance…”

    HAPPY NEW YEAR WITH LOVE.

  18. ring the bells that still can ring—–
    forget your perfect offering;

    there is a crack in everything,
    that’s how the light gets in. —-author unknown

    so grateful today that i may cry; my soul, though fractured, is soft and has not shut itself off from spirit

    arms around us all—-thanks mary and jack and pets and all

    • Your post made me cry, Virginia. It really spoke to a spot deep in my heart. I saw the poem many years ago and loved it then, but had not thought about it again until now. I’m copying it into my book of favorite inspirations.

      Your soul may be fractured, but it certainly is letting spirit do its work. Peace always. Suzanne Tate

  19. Today I start a three-week detoxification program with a very prescribed eating plan, in order to determine where and how my system might be inflamed and reacting to allergens. (After the 3 weeks you add foods back in one at a time) Only whole foods, organic, nothing at all processed, no caffeine (!), chocolate (!), grains, dairy, soy, corn….for an emotional eater this is quite a feat. My fears in the weeks coming up to this day turned out to be many; fear of being hungry and bored and just a lot of free-floating anxiety. No chips to turn to in the afternoon. No strong cup of tea to start my day. No daily chocolate to comfort me. But also, I know I will be so proud of myself if I can do it. I am sure there will be times where my husband will have to put up with whining and irritability, especially in the evenings of this long, dark Minnesota winter where we have gotten into the habit of having treats after dinner. But I can do this! Encouragement and positive thoughts always welcome!

  20. Mary, your beautiful soul never ceases to amaze me. What a sweet idea for today, thank you! I look forward to reading everyone’s posts with a big mug of tea tonight… Happy New Year, White Feather friends!

  21. Mary,
    Thank you for your generous spirit…your blog is the first thing I read every morning…bed-head, no coffee, mind open and hungry for spiritual fulfillment. My own journey into blog-land was inspired by your daily posts and the realization that kind, loving and uplifting words that come from the soul can mean all the difference to others. Thank you for your continued inspiration and honest approach to life. http://www.debrasaum.com/blog/

  22. Thanks Mary for your comforting blog. Happy New Year to you and your pack.Peace and love, Cindy Chambers

  23. I’m very grateful to have found your blog, Mary. And love it that I found you via my favorite author, Jon Katz. I feel because of Jon and your blog, among a few others, that my writing of my blog is growing deeper. I’m really looking forward to a new year of deeper writing in hopes that what I share will help others- just like your blog and Jon’s has done for me.
    If someone would like to check out my blog it is http://www.joyfulpaws.typepad.com

    Wishing everyone a year full of joy and peace.

    • Barbara–tried to leave a comment on your blog but it wouldn’t let me. I tried to sign in via FB but it got stuck in a loop, apparently. Your work looks great! I’ve had Reiki 1 and 11 and it’s a blessing with my shelter babies even if I can’t ‘feel it working’ yet. Best wishes on your work! My blog is on Bloger.com. Wonder if you researched what to use or fell into it as I did with Blogger?

      Keep up the great work! Cheers, ~Kathi

  24. What a GIFT to give us all….freedom to think/write/speak….! Thanks, Mary.
    As I’m sort of stuck in a wintry area of the country (tho not bad yet!)…I dread going out and possibly slipping on black ice etc. So many of my friends have gone off to TX, FL or AZ and there is no way I can do that. (& Not certain if I want to). Still have Mom here – more fragile than ever at 94 1/2, can’t move, can’t talk, has to be fed and lifted etc. in a good nursing home, but she can SMILE. Thanks, God!
    Before Xmas I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation in our church and realized I was dwelling on negatives and somewhat envious of others with so much more….whether it was large family gatherings, more money, ability/$ to take trips or spend in a warmer climate, an understanding partner/companion.
    Then I remembered a book recommended by a bookclub friend “A Complaint Free World” – and started reading that. I may order the purple “bracelet” so I can literally move it from arm to arm as I will occasionally (or at first, often) forget and criticize/complain/fuss/carryon etc…..but do think that by following its reinforcing methods and realizing a better “attitude of gratitude” I can change my inner & outer world.
    I’m blessed with a super loveable dog, Theodore Edwin a/k/a TedE. and soon will take him with me up to the nursing home…..he does a grand job of licking chins there…(helps their chin hair grow!)…HA But they love him. And he is a blessings.
    Anyway, one year I adopted the word “Hope” as I felt I needed that…and one year it was “Joy” …this year I think I’ll embrace “Gratitude!”
    Thanks for letting me articulate that!
    Best Blessings to all who read this and may we all be more the people God wants us to be at the end of 2012!
    Karen

    • I almost cried when I read your words…”but she can SMILE.” how simply beautiful Karen, thank you

  25. Thanks so much for your daily encouragement! Your love for us and nature is both humorous and enlightening. You make my day!!!!!!!!!! Ella

  26. First of all, I am very grateful for finding this wonderful community through Jon Katz’s blog. I plan to get to know all of you better in 2012.

    Secondly, I feel like shouting out to the world how joyful I feel to see my 28 year-old daughter, who has been through so many difficult struggles since she was 14, finally blossoming into the most beautiful compassionate human being I could ever know. There were times when I wanted to kick her out or disown her because of her abusive behavior and self-destructiveness. My husband always preached love and support–standing in that place for years when I couldn’t. She has fought off most of her demons now, without the use of psych meds, but with the help of an excellent behavioral therapist. She’s now on a productive path, following her passion for philosophy, and what an outstanding student she is. She turns to us now and tells us how grateful she is to have us as parents and she understands what we went through to provide a safety net for her. I grew so much during those years with her, and I’m just so proud to see that she has reached the light.

    I believe that “everything is perfect.” That is, everything unfolds as it should in its own time and place. We are neither ahead or behind. May the universe’s divine light shine on all of us and bring peace and joy in 2012 and thereafter.

  27. Woke up this morning grumpy and tired from tossing and turning on a sagging, practically new mattress, and thought, great…a new year and I am waking up with negativity streaming out of me.
    Then I got downstairs, hugged and fed Fitz, made coffee and went online to find you posted today, Mary.
    Thank you!
    It is wonderful to read all the comments as to what everyone in the flock is up to for the New Year. I especially love to see people list their blogs/websites. What fun to check those out. More please!
    And Jack’s comment, Mary…all I can say is…What a guy!
    So I had my coffee and mental reinforcement…time to take a walk out in that beautiful sunshine and take back this New Year’s Day.
    Happy New Years to all.
    Here’s to new adventures, creative endeavors, acheiviing personal goals and positive thoughts and outcomes!
    Barbara from http://www.farmgirlstudios

  28. Mary! You’ve done it again, – you’ve surprised us with a Christmas Stocking on New Year’s Day! – what with all the links to the blogs which I’ve already bookmarked to peruse with time, and all the sharing of hopes and dreams for the years, – the light is shining brightly this first day of the New Year. We took down our tree this morning – New Year’s Eve spent at our recently engaged son’s home with his fiance and her eight year old son. My son is 38, not married before, so fatherhood has come upon him sweetly in the person of a dear litle boy who loves him and already calls him Daddy. My heart is full of love for them all as they come together already as a little family. Doesn’t it seem just like yesterday we were at that stage of life, just starting out? My other son may soon be accepting a job offer that for the first time ever (he is 33) may take him out of state and away from home here in Phoenix. I am very close to him, too, and have always considered myself so fortunate to have them both still in town where on a moment’s whim, I can go and visit and “hang” as they say. He is my younger son, and I feel a bit overwhelmed with the idea of seeing him fly away, but that’s what we have to do as parents isn’t it? Raise them up well, and let them go. It just colors this particular New Year’s with a tug of bittersweet, as well as happiness for new opportunities for him. I loved Karen’s idea of adopting a word for the year. I will think on that Karen, and thank you. One of my favorite e.e.cummings poems was on Garrison Keillor’s site yesterday – your little birds could be its illustration, Mary. Thank you all dear hearts for sharing your lives here.

    53

    by E.E. Cummings

    may my heart always be open to little
    birds who are the secrets of living
    whatever they sing is better than to know
    and if men should not hear them men are old

    may my mind stroll about hungry
    and fearless and thirsty and supple
    for even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
    for whenever men are right they are not young

    and may myself do nothing usefully
    and love yourself so more than truly
    there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
    pulling all the sky over him with one smile

    “53” by E.E. Cummings, from 100 Selected Poems. © Grove Press, 1954. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

  29. Hi Mary and people of the flock. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and plans for the coming new year. I woke to a glorious morning here in Sonora, California. It’s a sunny warm 65 outside. Perfect. We desperately need rain but I will take what we are given and be thankful. No muddy paws to wipe, now that’s a blessing as we have 10 dogs today, six are our own and four are on vacation with us.
    My partner Carlos is a “dog whisperer” together we run a pet sitting / dog training business which in turn supports our passion for dog rescue/rehoming and rehabilitation.

    I look forward to my morning shot in the arm from Mary, she straightens me out, helps me keep life in perspective, and makes me laugh too. I to found Mary via Jon Katz, together their unique reflections and positive reinforcements help me dig deeper into my soul and to find a more purpose driven life. We all have so many things to be thankful for, their blogs are just a stepping stones for us to go out into the world and be all that we can be. A BIG thanks Mary, you are the mortar which holds us all together!

  30. My goodness gracious bloggy Face-booky self! What have I gotten into with all this cyber-involvement!? The hubby and two cats tiptoe by the computer station, peeking at me & wondering what I’m doing here so long….

    As with all of us, probably, I started with email, a work one and a personal one. Then I began to build a blog about five years ago just before I retired. And discovered FaceBook this past year, and many delightful blogs, always looking out for the animal and spiritual ones. I, too, plan to go back and check out many of those mentioned. I think it would be a great focus to find out how and why we each use the tools we do. I’m sure Mary could help us do that if it feels right.

    As for me, I came to Mt. Shasta, CA to meet a spiritual teacher in 1972. By the next year, I had moved here to create a natural foods restaurant which soon flopped. Then I went back to the teaching I had a Masters for, but soon found out I needed a subject-specific Masters to teach at the community college level.

    Follow five long years crawling over the Siskiyous to pursue that at Southern Oregon U. while working. My own community college discovered I had a penchant for taking care of “those funny people” who were not mainstream & over the next 25 years I delighted in working with international students, re-entry (older/disabled/poor, etc.) and teaching study skills as well as counseling.

    Then BOOM: retirement and illness struck me. As it seems many of ‘the flock’ here have experienced, all my previous work-oriented identity crumbled as well as a spiritual desert ensued. As I’ve mentioned, volunteering at our local animal shelter has been a godsend as has been making new silly friends at an aerobic swim class. I’d been involved with the Episcopal Church as a youngster, but what comforts me now is a far broader connection with Spirit associated with both Buddhism and the I AM movement.

    So anyhoo, I’m happy to share just about anything with anyone interested. But now I’d better go give some attention to amazing Jack, our blind cat, and his new darling kitten friend. Oh, and hubby, too. We’re moving slowly today from being out past midnight for the first time in years last night, as his western swing band brought in the near year at a local pub. Such adventures, both cyber and in person!! Hope I didn’t take too much space….happy new year of all good things to you and yours!

  31. What a blessing you are Mary and all of the flock. I read all the comments so far and it’s so fun to get to know each one of you a little better. I kept thinking I would love to make a comment after each one because all of you have given me so much to think about and made my life so much richer. I treasure you Mary and the entire White Feather Flock. Wishing you all a very fun 2012 and hope your dreams come true.

  32. I came here from Bedlam as well, my connection there was my 3 (soon to be 4) border collies. Oh yes, and the 6 cats. I live in New Orleans and thank God everyday for the opportunity to be a positive force in the rebuilding of this amazing place. I work for a major financial services firm, and my husband and I just opened a bar/restaurant in the French Quarter. It is both exciting and terrifying. Thank you Mary for your amazing blog and for providing a calm respite and connection in our hectic world. Happiest of new year to you all.

    • Bless you and your husband, Jen. I went to college in New Orleans and will be cheering you on from afar. Here’s hoping for, say, a 3:1 ratio of excitement to terror. Have to have a little terror to make it truly exciting.;-}

  33. What a lovely surprise to find a post from Mary today and an invitation to share a bit more about ourselves. I am so grateful for you Mary and your blog and the many people who come here daily to read and comment. When Jon Katz mentioned your new blog last year, I never imagined the gift I was being offered. I find love and acceptance and water for my soul here and I don’t know how to fully express my gratitude.
    I live in Omaha NE with my husband of 35 years. In 2010 we bought a little home in Boise ID where we both grew up with a plan to retire there in a few years. In Oct of 2011 we sold our Omaha home and moved to a little loft apt. In this wonderful little old market district of Omaha. We are so enjoying this new experience and now I am able to travel back and forth to Boise with a little more ease(less household responsibilities). I am happy and fulfilled and looking forward to new adventures. I am blessed with God’s love, motherhood, family, friends, on this blog and all around and with Mary Muncil of White Feather Farm. Happy New Year everyone!

  34. Thank you Mary for all you’ve shared with us in 2011….

    the words, books, quotes, websites, music, pets, nature,
    photos and joie de vivre…

    I’m grateful for all the WFF friends I’ve “met” this year…

    Who looks outside, Dreams.
    Who looks inside, Awakens.
    -Carl Jung

    • That is an amazing quote by Jung…I had never heard it before and I am such a huge fan of his…thank you Sue for all you bring to this blog

  35. Well, the new year came in and smacked me in the behind like a new born baby needing to breathe. Were it not for the entirety of this blog today, I would most likely be ashamed of what I were to write. As it is, a miracle happened (and I mean that literally). Suffice to say, my husband lost something very valuable on his walk yesterday afternoon, in a 95+ acre green belt area. Yup, the proverbial needle in a haystack. I reverted to some ‘less than enlightened’ thoughts and words; I’m embarrassed to repeat them. We canvassed the entire fields more than 4 times yesterday and today. And I swear I heard the voices and wisdom of so many of you here. What an impact our words leave in reserve for times of need.
    Anyway, I shut up and gave up and posted a sign on the fence of our loss.
    Well, right after dinner tonight I got a phone call from an angel who’d found it. She told me that she and her husband ‘cut across through the tall grass to get to another path’ when she saw it. I’m still processing everything I learned today, on so many levels; and it’s only the FIRST day!
    That doesn’t explain much about me, I guess, except that I’m still working on all the same stuff we all do.But it attests to the power of all you wonderful people. Always ‘under construction’ is a humbling experience, but it’s great to share the travelog with so many open hearts.

    • Cheryl, wow! I am so glad I checked back to Jan. first’s post today to read your story of loss and found! Reminds me once again of Mary posting about little Wonder last summer, and within a day or so, she had a loving family wanting to adopt her. But Mary had to put the word out as you and your husband did with the sign. But oh my gosh, the likelihood of anyone spotting that needle in the haystack! I think your 2012 is getting off to a fine start Cheryl B by the beautiful sea! (I like that, we are works under construction, maybe sort of like Gaudi’s cathedral in Barcelona that he never even finished in his lifetime, but others keep adding on to it!)

  36. I waited till the end of day to slowly get to know you all better and to savor and appreciate that which Mary Muncil has been so generous in offering us. Guiding us and giving us a venue (and a bit of permission) to just be ourselves and to be OK about that. My ongoing purpose has been to find those parts of myself (my essence) that I had not known existed. Sounds like we are all on some type of personal journey and have found this safe haven to share ourselves. Thank you Mary. Thank you new friends.

  37. Mary, Happy New Year! I was happily surprised to see your post today…it’s a perfect way to start the new year. I hope to live with more gratitude in 2012 and to not let the negative energies of others bring me down. I’m looking foward to your posts for the new year and to reading everyone’s comments

  38. Hi Mary! I feel that I’ve gained a friend…you..this year. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and having your share your wisdom with us.
    .
    2011….what a year! My oldest and most educated daughter lost her house in this economy. She was unable to find work here in the US and is now teaching English at the University of Quito in Ecuador. I miss her but on the positive side she loves to travel. I have a new grandson this year. Born in January and contracted infant botulism in August. Very rare (100 cases in all of the US last year) and very frightening. Thankfully he has fully recovered with no residual effects (aside from $170,000 in medical bills). Thankfully there was insurance. I can understand how one illness can destroy a family financially. My youngest daughter is engaged and will be married June 2 to a wonderful man. I am now 12 years cancer free. In April, I found a wonderful friend who consented to live with me. She is very furry and very happy. She lost a leg from some kind of accident, was found on the streets, treated by a vet and then we found each other. Her name is Daisy. Luckily my two kitties have consented to this new arrangement.

    I visited my daughter in Ecuador last year at this time.. They celebrate the New Year in a different way. On every street corner is a stand selling effigies. The stand next door sells masks symbolizing your boss, your landlord, your politician, mother-in-law, cousin…who ever may have wronged you during the year. Then they write out on pieces of paper all the horrid things that happened during the year and pin them to the effigy. On New Year’s Eve they sprinkle the effigy with lighter fluid and set it ablaze……happily burning the wrongs of the past year. The New Year begins with a clean slate with endless possibilities. I loved the tradition and this year I wrote out all the annoyances of the past year, read them aloud and threw them into my new years eve fire.
    This morning is a new beginning with wonderful possibilities and wonderful adventures.

    I wish for everyone a safe place to live, food on your table, friends and loved ones close by and enough money to make you feel secure. May 2012 be better for all of us.

  39. Happy New Year, Mary, and thank you for your wonderful blog. I enjoy it so much and reading others’ comments. I retired this year at 73 years of age and miss the interaction with the people (patients) who came to our office each day. However, it has been a good year. A year ago, my children made a compilation of all the humor columns I wrote years and years ago and published a book. What a gift! In August, my son urged me to gather all the poems I’ve written in a lifetime. He edited and formatted an anthology of those for family and friends and any others who wanted to pay the price. lol I am currently working on a third book and that keeps my mind active. I was born in the western mountains of Maine, in the lake and mountain region, about two hours from the coast and after all these years of living in upstate NY, I still miss the small Maine villages and the friendly people. Thank you again for a wonderful blog and Happy new year to you and all other friends here on the blog.

    • Sandy, what thoughtful children you have! Will you share a poem now and then? We’d love to read and hear them!

  40. I do love your blog because you have so much common sense.I have become aquainted with you thru Jon Katz. Would love to know how to become more spiritual . Are there any concrete things one can do? rrafkin21@gmail.com

  41. Happy New Year. And let me be the last to comment. Looking back, being one of this fine flock has been an honor. Looking forward, please all of you put your imaginations to work on behalf of my daughter, Katharine. She is 30 years old and her biological clock has become a time bomb!!! She asked me to start a “Grandma Box” for her. A box to fill with baby things for her much desired children. This year I gave her a huge Raggedy Anne doll handmade by a local woman who is 83 years old. Colena has a tradition of making just one of these dolls a year to sell at our local Cambridge Presbyterian Church Cristmas Sale. Raggedy Anne and a beautiful cloth Christmas Children’s Book (also handmade by another church lady in her 80’s) will be going in a big plastic box with a pink lid to be stored until……..

    Now, the way I was raised by my superstitious Irish mother, the negative inclination in me says…..bad luck to put the horse before the cart. BUT, as Mary suggests in this blog, IMAGINE what you desire. And so I dare. I remember what turning 30 and longing for a child felt like. There’s one slight problem for my daughter, Katharine: the requisite male person has not yet been presented by the Universe! I am imagining a child for my daughter, at the right time, for the best reasons…so there’s got to be a guy somewhere in there. I am trusting the Universe and the Power of Postive thinking. Trust with me. And I in turn pray for your happiest imaginings to come true for this sparkling New Year!

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