Photo by Elizabeth Halt
Photo by Elizabeth Halt

the twelve days of christmas – a tiny story of serendipity

January 28, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | the twelve days of christmas - when you're a dog owner

back in december, i mentioned that i was unsuccessful in my attempt to find my terrible + humorous parody of the 12 days of christmas featuring an adorable + saucy pup named atlas.

last night, i took down my grandparents’ christmas decorations. when i put their wreath back in the spare room closet, i noticed a single card on the floor. i opened the card to see if it was a blank card (which goes in one place) or a saved card (which goes in another).

the card was the christmas card i sent them in 2004, the year after i got atlas. inside the card was a piece of paper with my 12 days of christmas poem.

you can imagine my surprise + delight!

i am sharing the poem here, even though it’s well after christmas, so i will always have it.

the twelve days of christmas – when you’re a dog owner.

on the first day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the second day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – two sloppy kisses and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the third day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the fourth day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the fifth day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the sixth day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – six teeth a nibbling, five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the seventh day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – seven cats a howling, six teeth a nibbling, five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the eighth day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – eight friends a barking, seven cats a howling, six teeth a nibbling, five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the ninth day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – nine children running, eight friends a barking, seven cats a howling, six teeth a nibbling, five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the tenth day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – ten loud howls, nine children running, eight friends a barking, seven cats a howling, six teeth a nibbling, five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the eleventh day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – eleven mile hikes, ten loud howls, nine children running, eight friends a barking, seven cats a howling, six teeth a nibbling, five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

on the twelfth day of christmas, my puppy gave to me – twelve ignored commands, eleven mile hikes, ten loud howls, nine children running, eight friends a barking, seven cats a howling, six teeth a nibbling, five sque-ea-kers, four smelly paws, three pillows’ stuffing, two sloppy kisses, and one cold wet nose waking me from sleep.

eye poetry

January 22, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | eye poetry

elizabethhalt.com | eye poetry

elizabethhalt.com | eye poetry

“I am here to seduce you into a love of life;
to help you become a little more poetic;
to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary
so that the extraordinary explodes in your life.”

~ Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

fields of riotous color

January 19, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | fields of riotous color

mid-january seems like the perfect time for a riotous display of color. don’t you agree?

elizabethhalt.com | fields of riotous color

so, i am pulling one from the archives. and who knows – in the southern hemisphere, tulips might actually be blooming.

elizabethhalt.com | fields of riotous color

tulips are one of the things i miss the most about the pacific northwest. they are a bright pop of color in the mid-winter gloom.

elizabethhalt.com | fields of riotous color

i seem to have an affinity for tulips. there are tulip fields in michigan too. unfortunately, these fields are ten hours away (instead of one), but someday i will see them.

elizabethhalt.com | fields of riotous color

once, i had a layover in amsterdam during tulip season. i still think: if only. if only there had been enough time to sneak away and visit the tulips.

elizabethhalt.com | fields of riotous color

just look at them! i am smiling away over here.

(i closed my eyes and asked the tulips if they had a message for you. it was this, “sing, dear ones, sing.”)

bedtime stories with atlas

January 14, 2015

today, following my excitement led me to create this.

because atlas likes me to tell him a bedtime story, and maybe you (&/or a beloved child) would too.

(want more stories? check out the story club! it’s like a fruit of the month club, only with lighthearted + delightful stories.)

october’s poplars

January 12, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | october's poplars

“October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.”

~ Nova S. Bair

(i am currently loving this photo & this quote. since it is mid-winter here in the northern hemisphere, it seemed an opportune time to share.)

follow your excitement

January 8, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | follow your excitement

my nephew lars likes to do somersaults.

the first few times lars asked me to do a somersault, i tried – i really did – but then my head and feet were on the floor and my butt was in the air and i just didn’t have the nerve to lift my legs up and over. it seemed so far from here to there and i was afraid. after that, i said no whenever he asked me to do one. but i still wanted to do a somersault. i really did. (also, i wanted to not be afraid of them.)

finally, a few weeks ago – after my mom and my brother reminded me not to put my head on the floor – i crouched down and swayed back and forth a few times and then i flung myself forward and over. i rolled through the somersault and found myself sitting cross-legged on the floor – head and limbs intact, slightly dizzy.

i had done it! i had done a somersault! i was so delighted. now lars does a somersault and then i do a somersault and it is so much fun.

last weekend, i went cross-country skiing with my dad and my sister.

cross-country skiing is big here. there are a number of excellent trail systems in the area, including one less than a mile from my house. since i moved back, whenever anyone asked if i skied, or if i’d gone skiing, i’d explain that i didn’t ski because i didn’t enjoy it.

that story seemed true. it was formed during a cross-country ski outing when i was young that was pure drudgery.

if i paid close attention, i noticed that there was a tiny bit of excitement when i thought about trying it again – after all, i enjoy many things now that i disliked when i was young – but i ignored the excitement because i was locked into that old story.

until last weekend, when my dad and my sister decided to go cross-country skiing at night. night skiing sounded idyllic, so i decided to join them.

it was so. much. fun.

the black sky. the white snow on the dark green trees. the swish swish swish of my skis in the tracks. the welcoming glow of the lights on the trail. my shrieks as i sped down each hill. the whistle of the wind. my slightly numb fingers encased in a pair of gloves and a pair of mittens.

so. much. fun.

there is something important for me here.

i don’t know where it will lead, or why it is important, but i want to pay closer attention to what excites me, and follow the trail of that excitement.

do you do this already?

is it easy for you?

how are you at recognizing and following the trail of your excitement?

the color winter

January 6, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | the color winter

“The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination.”

~ Terri Guillemets

moments, memories

January 2, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | moments, memories

i have a gratitude journal on my iphone. every night before bed, i write (type) a list of tiny moments of gratitude.

like the sunlight reflected by the stained glass window that reminded me of a rainbow-edged wing.

elizabethhalt.com | moments, memories

or the miniature acorns that were hanging on a snow-covered evergreen as if they were nature’s own christmas ornaments.

elizabethhalt.com | moments, memories

or my first (and so far, only) latte art heart.

elizabethhalt.com | moments, memories

or the snowflake trail i found in one of my photos after an afternoon spent watching fat fluffy snowflakes fall to the ground while atlas tried to follow the scent of a rabbit.

i like the act of collecting these moments.

they remind me that a simple life can be full + rich + wondrous. even when my mind tries to convince me otherwise.

a 2015 blessing

January 1, 2015

elizabethhalt.com | a 2015 blessing

may the earth support you.
may the sun warm you.
may the wind whisper good night to you.
may the stars light your path.

may you receive your deepest heart’s desire.
may you see the sacred in everything.
may you know that you are love.

on this, the first day of the new year – and always.

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photography

want to see my gingerbread house?

December 29, 2014

elizabethhalt.com | want to see my gingerbread house?

elizabethhalt.com | want to see my gingerbread house?

elizabethhalt.com | want to see my gingerbread house?

my mom decided we’d make gingerbread houses at our family christmas party. it was really intended to be an activity for the little ones – with help from anyone who wanted to help – but one little one arrived post-gingerbread-house-making and the other little one ate candy for a while and then disappeared. after a while, we looked around, and realized that all the houses were being made by adults.

it was so much fun! i love my house; the colors are so orderly. the party was on saturday and my gingerbread house is still here; it’s in the oven, hiding from the kitty. i open the oven door every so often and peek at it.

i think this needs to become a new tradition. also, i think we will need more candy. it is possible i ate most of the dots; they are so soft + chewy.