Feather Photo by Jim Ruppel 2017

It’s incredible to see this beautiful delicate feather just lying on the ground, especially when I learn it’s only slightly larger than my pinky nail. Hubby noticed it, though, when walking in our backyard, and captured it in this photo. It’s magic — just the fact, something so tiny and delicate could have been overlooked. But, what isn’t in life?

Who’s to say how long it has been there, unnoticed, or how long it will remain. We may have walked past it a hundred times, could have crushed it under our shoes or the wind may blow it away.

That’s the thing. I wonder what else I haven’t noticed. What have I missed mainly because I haven’t taken the time to look and listen?


Little Summer Poem Touching The Subject Of Faith
by Mary Oliver
Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear
anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green
stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,
nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,
the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.
And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt
swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?
One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.
(Courtesy of Famous Poets and Poems)


It makes me think of how my life is unfolding. So far, it’s been a slow year, in our home, while enjoying my meanderings up here in my mountains. Though it’s been awhile since I last posted, there’s nothing much to report. But, I wanted to catch up and let you all know I’m still here . . . alive and kicking.

I’ve been watching events around me and in the world, somehow through different eyes. My heart has been heavy, at times, and yet full learning to see the magic in all of it. I’ve taken time to observe the process in the good and not so good times, realizing nothing really ever stays the same. Life is always changing in us and all around — ever shifting and moving.

And, ah yes, I did enjoy one of those mini-milestones in a senior moment this summer for my  birthday. I’ve been looking for the magic this year, since I first noted it was going to be a year full of 7’s for me — this year being 2017, my birth day is 27, birth year 47 and turned 70. My grandson is even 17 most of this year until October.

Yet, the magic is not where I thought. It turns out some of it was in a little magic dust with hubby preparing one of my favorite restaurant-dinner dishes on my birthday. He even baked my favorite cake that I always loved back in my childhood days at my grandmother’s, making it special.

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Life takes us on twists and turns and I get caught up in it on occasion or simply never notice the little miracles that appear at my feet. I’m taken back at times, as I pause and find myself in awe at the wonder of it all.

There is magic around me in the little things and subtle shifts, when I join in the dance and notice. I can plow along and never perceive what’s happening around me, playing invisible or even insignificant. But, just like a tiny feather laying on the ground everything has value and a purpose.

Thank you for continuing to be out there and support me. I enjoy your visits and I’m humbled when you stop by to read and share your thoughts at my kitchen table. You’re my treasure.

Pat at the ‘ol kitchen table

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Acknowledgements: Little Summer Poem Touching The Subje more...

Shine Little Glow Worm


Fireflies by Rex Sorgatz — Courtesy PhotoDropper

Shine little glow worm, glimmer . . . glimmer.” How many of you remember that old tune and seeing lightening bugs (or more commonly fireflies) growing up back east? I do. We knew we were deep in the middle of summer with the first signs of lightening bugs blinking off and on in the night sky. Off we’d go giggling and laughing as we chased them around our backyard.  Continue reading

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Reblogged: “Peek-a-Boo, I See You!” by FeyGirl at Serenity Spell

I hope you’ll read and enjoy this short “Peek-a-Boo, I See You!” post by FeyGirl at “Serenity Spell”. To me, it’s a sweet reminder of how delicate and precious life is in the world we live. FeyGirl devotes her site and work to nature and is an advocate for the Florida Everglades.

Her quote from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Pulitzer prize-winning novelist and conservationist, was especially meaningful to me. I think you’ll enjoy her pictures, as well. Here it is:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  Continue reading

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Telling Stories – Holding Onto Memories

“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”                    — Barry Lopez in “Crow and Weasel”

This quote by Barry Lopez from Patti J Christensen in an article called “Quotes About Story and Story Telling” expresses how I feel about stories and the telling of them. Like many of you, I have material for story inspiration from many scenarios and unique people in my life, as you can tell if you’ve read any of my stories on this site. I enjoy sharing them and feel a connection to you when I tell them. I feel someone out there might have a similar experience and together we can recapture the moment and hold it in time.

This is a picture of a personal, historical family book published in 1905 about the life of Thomas Edward, Associate of the Linean Society (one of the highest honors that science could confer on him).

Family Book

Family Book Photo © Jim Ruppel 2012

He is my great-great grandfather and I inherited the book when my father died.

It was given to him by his mother, my grandmother, and granddaughter of Thomas Edward. This hundred-year old book entitled “Life of a Scotch Naturalist” by Samuel Smiles, LL.D, tells the life story of a lad growing up in Scotland with a passion for nature.

So much so, I learned, was his passion that he was kicked out of a number of kindergarten schools for smuggling in all sorts of critters, i.e., young rats, moles, hedgehogs, horse-leeches, bees, snakes to name several. His love of nature led to continued exploring and the collection of many unidentified species throughout his entire life but without an education, which he regretted.

As an adult with wife and family, each day would find him working 12-plus hours as a shoemaker’s apprentice and at night searching caves, gullies and Scotland firths for the next, undiscovered new species to collect and send off to scientists to identify.

Nearing the end of his life after many years having never received any recognition or compensation for his contribution to science, he was finally given an award and a monthly stipend by Queen Victoria (my dad told me of a wooden box his mother had given him with Thomas’s award from Queen Victoria but I could never find it after my father’s death).

Even more important than the award and compensation, Thomas Edward finally became known to the world and placed upon the Civil List Fund by Her Majesty with a memorial signed by many distinguished gentlemen of the time to include Charles Darwin, F.R.S.

If this cherished century-old book of my great-great grandfather had never been written and his life story documented, I would never have known about it. If we don’t pass along our stories, they will be lost forever and generations that follow will never get a chance to know us and what the world was truly like, as we saw it and lived. Many people will write historical journals about our era but only we can truly capture it first-hand and share it with our loved ones and others connecting us now and in the world to come.

I like to hear people share their stories capturing the memories and I want to hold onto the moment with them for just a little longer. There’s one such book you may be interested in called “The Figurine” by Rona Simmons, an author featured on Denise Baer’s “Pay It Forward” Skipping Stones Memories site. Rona writes of WWII experiences, as told by a nurse.

I will be sharing guest short stories on my site from time-to-time and I would like to hear your story. If you would like to participate with full copyright, please send your contact information via comment of this post or email me at Please, under separate cover, send only true, personal story types (nonfiction) that are funny, unique, historical, inspirational or encouraging giving others hope and perhaps tools of lessons learned.

Let’s keep our stories and ancestors’ stories alive by telling them. It will mean something to our children and the generations to come.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table ~~ Want to put a big grin on my face? Just leave a comment or question. I’ll be grateful!

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Rainy Day

Backyard Puddles – Photo by Pat Ruppel

It’s a rainy September day with the feel of fall in the air.  Snow will soon be flying and we’ll pull ourselves inside where it’s warm with reflections of the past summer months.

I remember one of those mornings this summer.  Not many words needed to be spoken just experienced and felt.

It started with one of those rare, spontaneous moments of nature when a group of 8 young deer began playing in the backyard.

The young ones got it started and then the moms joined in bouncing, hurtling the fences between yards, rearing up and darting back and forth at each other daring a chase around the trees.

I don’t remember ever seeing wild animals play quite like that.  It was a natural playground in our background.  It made me smile to see wildlife play like children.

Many evenings would find my husband and I sitting on the deck looking out our backyard, breathing in the summer nights and fresh mountain air.  How time passes ever so slowly but passing nonetheless – if only for a moment we could catch and hold on to it like a firefly.

As we draw inside with reflections of summer and dreams of what the future holds my heart warms with hope and love as I hear Alison Krauss sing, “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”

Pat – from the ol’ kitchen table ~~ Put a smile on my face and leave a comment or question!