Traditions, Gratitude & Hypothesis

(Yup, I over-wrote again – gaze at the pics, read in stages – whatever floats your boat…Haven’t written for awhile, thus short word count post was not happening….)

Winter Wonderland here at Bally Bin

With memories of recent years’ drought-ridden, warm winters fresh in my mind, I gazed around yesterday at the storm and breathed sighs of relief – even while I knew, with the man-child unit staying with friends to avoid the bad roads/ground blizzards, I’d be the one shoveling when the wind died…

Relief that snow was arriving to provide at least some semblance to the Thanksgivings of my childhood, when family gathered for dinner and the adult males present made sure to save enough energy from chores, to take all the kids down to the ‘cliffs’ to go sledding. Or to rig up sleds behind mini-bikes and motorcycles. Or the one uncle who drove his dirt bike out on the fishing pond , did some donuts and wheelies, and called out, “Yup, it’s frozen solid, it’s safe! C’mon! Yahooo!”

(insert eye rolls from all the moms and the kids –

Children who even at our then tender ages, already knew that isn’t the best way to check

Meanwhile, the responsible males in the group, lifted their beers in a toast, and shook their heads over the young bachelor of the group, thankful they weren’t going to have to mount a rescue operation…

What?!? You’re upset about the beers?

Why? They weren’t on the volunteer fire department, on call 24/7 for their job, weren’t going to be driving anywhere, cuz nothing was open anyhoo, other than the ER and if the idiots in the party harm themselves, well – they either get better or they die, and after all, they shouldn’t have driven on the pond in the first place….

Oh, the days long ago when folks didn’t try to save everyone from themselves and folks knew their limits and responsibilities …and…- )

With some ‘sweeping’ of the light fluffy, dry & cold snow, yesterday, until the wind picked up and I decided to wait until the storm moved out, I ended up with not much to shovel.

I learned long ago, with this kind of snow, best to get out early and before the sun starts releasing the moisture and making it heavier, to start moving snow from driveways and onto planted areas. I have shoveled cold, dry snow at 3am, just because I woke up, thinking something was wrong and realized, the wind wasn’t blowing anymore, which is why I woke up – no background white noise to sleep to…..)

Took about an hour and half – though I did take one break to warm up my ears and stave off heart-attack, because ya know, I’m outta shape…and getting older…and…well, why rush a process?

“How much snow did you get?”

“Well, there’s 2 inches here, bare ground over there and a two-foot drift over there – so I’m guessing 4-8″, what’s your guesstimate?”

Weather conversation in the windy Great Plains after a winter storm….

Given the weeds/sedum I leave up in fall, and strategic placement of supplies, infrastructure, vehicles and the shed that got destroyed, but I haven’t yet pulled apart to salvage usable parts, more snow falls where I want it too and less on the portions I have to shovel –


But I’ll take the credit for planning, anyhow – the human memory and brain is, afterall, bent towards rewards of congratulating ourselves over how smart we are in the survival game – 🙂


A return of winter snows and recent conversations with folks who mourn the loss of those folks who will never sit at the table to eat with us again, or the changes in Life that means, big meals, a table capable of holding 13-20 folks, and so many other things, are, well, just gone.

And doesn’t look like they will ever happen again – not really –

All has me pondering about the memories we have, the things we can’t ever really replicate, and the need we humans have, as we move through life, to make updates to traditions and memories as needed and as we go…


Many moons ago, when I was in the deep cycle of going through self-help, positive thinking and alternative health options/seminars, I was exposed to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) by Gary Craig.

In a Ballybin style, simplistic overview, if you’re not familiar with EFT, it’s a system comprised of acknowledging what you’re dealing with, (pain, anger, sadness, physical or emotional), and showing gratitude to yourself even while you are at less than your ‘dreamed of best’ and tapping on points of your body that are known meridian points in self-medicine traditions, such as acupuncture, reflexology, etc, while you’re talking to yourself…..

A set up statement, a statement of gratitude, and you keep tapping away – until you feel better.

I diligently tried it – and it was helpful, up to a point.

That, combined with my KNOWN results from acupuncture and some advice from my acupuncturist (who thought the statements were a little hokey, but confirmed the main body points listed to tap on were meridian points, sort of AND showed me how to better determine just where, on my body, that I could reach, to do the tapping, (or massaging, or whatever).

For example

Let’s say you just knocked the crap out of your knee….

(on a metal desk edge/open drawer, cabinet, whatever..

Whaddya mean that never happens to you?!? Okay, Elbow then – funny bone –

WHAT?! You never do that either?!? Sigh – perhaps then, I’m just clumsy….)

IF you quickly feel on your wrist, for the spot between the two arm bones, find the point that really hurts, and if you press, tap and/or massage it till it’s not so tender to the touch or no pain at all your knee feels better, faster.

For me? It’s always the wrist opposite of what knee I whacked – for you? I can’t say – for I’m not a certified professional charging you for this information/cure, ya know….which is great – cuz I don’t have to write pages of disclaimers or terms & conditions, etc….

For me, that ‘special area’ will hurt almost as much as my knee, if I touch it – and I will press on it, tap on it, or massage it, until it feels better….In fact, to this day, I whack my knee through not paying attention?

I immediately reach for my opposite wrist, to find the ‘point’ and start rubbing it…

Meanwhile, I’m distracted from my knee hurting, sort of, not really, but hey – the stuff I’m ‘busy doing’ gives me something to do other than cussing up a storm, placing curses on the ancestors of office furniture engineers and traumatizing everyone in the near vicinity from my salty language AND, when the wrist point feels better, so does my knee –

See? Problem solved…..

The Set-Up

A set-up statement is to be uttered, while tapping, as follows: (remember, I modify everything, from recipes to business operations to healthcare, to ‘streamline’ it IF I can still get results, with less time, money or energy…)

Even though I am really angry (in pain, sad, etc) I completely love and accept myself”

Sample of statement, but probably not sanctioned by true practitioners….

Houston, we have a problem….

You would not believe how many folks I shared the above with, that choked on, and ultimately, couldn’t even fathom the possibility of saying out loud, that they love and/or accept themselves –

Funny, right? When we are surrounded by a whole culture and industries that strives to show us how-to, that reward us when we interview and say how awesome we are – and the overall ‘proven’benefits of thinking we are the brightest crayon in the box… or the social rewards we get when we keep quiet about what we are struggling with – just now ….

For various reasons –

Either the ‘say it outloud’ portion of self-love was labeled as ‘vanity’ or ‘arrogance’ or ‘stupid/silly’ or not scientific enough, or not modest enough – –

Even WHEN I promised, I would never breath a word about them practicing in the privacy of my home/their home (where I was visiting) and IF they chose to do, they could, alternatively, simply mutter under their breath or just say in their ‘inside head voice’ instead of saying out loud if it was that much of an issue….

I have heard more reasons than you can shake a stick at as to why folks can’t say out loud, or even think to themselves, about how they love and accept themselves just now – this moment….

Many couldn’t even say, modified versions – “I accept where I’m at right now, although it doesn’t live up to the ideal I hold for myself” – or “I’m angry, right now, but that isn’t who I always am” –

Believe me, I share anything I think might be useful – short or long term – when our emotions boil over – or life has been unfair/harsh for a long time – anything that gets us back in the game of experiencing, instead of just numbing down and hiding beneath layers, is, to date, my current thoughts on ‘what to do, be, etc.” tools of choice….

But sharing is rather a double-edged sword –

Sharing makes you vulnerable – or at least, that’s my latest take on the phenomenon –

But, if the recipient can’t even fathom saying out loud they love and accept themselves, how much self care are they really going to be vested in?

But, you don’t have to do the whole tamale – just practice it in private, for a while, and it does change how you think –

(sort of like meditating, but without the sitting still for hours, portion of it, I have found, thus far in my endeavors….)

You too can build a quick habit and be ‘done’ with the tapping portion of it…

I learned after just trying it out for a month or so, as directed, that I didn’t even need to say it out loud, OR tap, for most things.

(Intense physical pain aside. I still find I need to either do something I think will help and/OR distract myself when intense pain shows up, though I haven’t yet resorted to breaking my pinky so I don’t think about being in pain elsewhere).

The very act of practicing it for even a short time, meant that anytime life in general, threw me for a loop, my monkey-brain, ticker-tape parade started, on que, with it’s background chant….

Even though shoveling snow wears me out, I’m glad to get the moisture. Even though I’m tired, I’m almost done. Even though, I’m feeling lightheaded….pause….breathe…in one nostril, out the other…breathe….oh! Lookee! the cat tracks from yesterday filled in and look like a mole tunnel!

Sample of me walking myself through that which must be done – usually a mixture of breathing exercises, mind chatter, gratitude, whatever works….
Kitty tracks from yesterday (lower center) and kitty tracks from early this a.m. – Kitty is black feral cat that is, I believe, 3rd generation mommy from the local calico that likes raising her kittens here at Bally Bin….

With my current preferred tableau of ‘whatever works’, I was able to clear the main drive and walkway, without injuring myself, or cussing, or getting grumpy or wore out.

Snow is now moved over to melt on planted or grass areas, where it soaks in better/deeper and I will, hopefully, avoid a mud fest in driveway, since Colorado is famous for storms, bitter cold, followed by sunshine and folks shoveling the drive while wearing summer gear – cuz they got too hot in their winter gear….

Once shoveling done to level I’m okay with, even if others aren’t, I ‘rejuvenated myself’ by walking around the place and actually taking some pics, all while pondering the universe….

Easy to tell which way North is here….

The grandfather pine tree shows which way the wind usually blows –

Estimated to be 100+ years old, Grandfather Pine towers over our homestead. The metal things at the very bottom of the picture are vents, on the peak of my roof –


I have long lived in Colorado –

I have decades of personal experience in shoveling cars free, and driveways free, only to go in to drink hot chocolate, congratulate oneself on ‘gettin’ ‘er done’, only to hear the plows go by for the first, second or one more time and gaze outside to see the 4+ foot wall of snow, now blocking my driveway….that can, sometimes, end up being a solid ice barricade if left alone in sun/freeze cycles- and must be removed, immediately, if not sooner – –

So, I’m testing a hypothesis, and did the work to test, sort of, and snapped pictures of the experiment, just so my memory can’t lie to me later…..

I cleared snow past where the grass starts – – and cleared part of the roadway past my driveway on each side – – If the sun isn’t too warm, I may go out and clear another strip on either side of the driveway, parallel to the road…snow to grass/garden areas, not on roadway….


Well, I’m not a math personage, or engineer, but I’m thinking, if the snow plow bunches the snow up to overflowing, and leaves a ridge, then the less snow to ‘plow’ before reaching my driveway, should leave a ‘smaller’ ridge right in front of the driveway…

Shouldn’t it?

We’ll see….

Giving Thanks

  • Even though I dreaded shoveling by myself, I’m thankful my son has a place to stay and not drive in winter weather. I’ll be glad when is home and we are just hanging out and having fun while cooking or watching Lord of the Rings trilogy (we have our own plans for this weekend!)
  • Even though I am frustrated by various tech things, I’m thankful I can work from home, shovel when it’s easier and not drive to work or risk getting fired, in winter weather
  • Even though my family lives far away, or works on Thanksgiving, I’m thankful we all recognize we can be together and have the food we love, whenever traveling is easier and work can wait…
  • Even though I’d rather have enough solitude to wrangle through to some solutions, I’m thankful for local neighbors who invite me to their festivities, so I need not be alone on a holiday, unless I wish to be.
  • Even though I’m cynical about Black Friday, I’m thankful for tech companies that hold sales, so I can invest in my business, and provide solutions to my customers, in cost effective way
  • Even though I have ‘stories’ about consumerism, materialism, worker rights and all – I’m thankful for those who work during holiday times, providing needed goods and services – and especially, I appreciate those who worked at the restaurant the year I had a stroke, Mom tore her rotator cuff and neither of us could gird our loins enough to contemplate fixing a meal we did, in fact, wish to eat.
  • Even though I’m not going anywhere, and have personally avoided a heart-attack, I’m thankful for the year round road crews & emergency service providers who go out every day to keep others safe or work to save them when they aren’t safe – except for those who test the ice by driving on it – sorry, but I just haven’t evolved enough to get this thingee – really –

Both Winter and The Holiday Season have now, officially arrived, here at BallyBin

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving

– Whether today, tomorrow or whatever day you choose to celebrate such things on – 🙂

(P.S. – Since I left my inbox ‘cleared’ and went to shovel, take pictures, write and respond to client emails, I’ve received 16 Black Friday sales missives – not a single one yet is for the seeds I want to order for next spring – – sigh….)

6 thoughts on “Traditions, Gratitude & Hypothesis”

  1. Thanks for this, TamrahJo. To love and accept ourselves as well as each other ~ what could be more important! (I’ll forego the tapping though, if you don’t mind)… Why is it so difficult to say it out loud or, indeed, at all? It’s good to be reminded to say it and I do think Out Loud is best. I’m always thankful but this is ‘next-level gratitude’ and I’m going to say it to myself every day from now on. Thank you ❤️❤️❤️

    And a very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours too : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anna! I use the tapping/reflexology points for pain. Usually though I can take care of emotions & mental thingees by getting really creative with the Even Though portion. I usually end up making myself laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to try to find the best, most efficient way to keep up with the snow when I lived in Nebraska. Now in Oklahoma, I hope for snow and get out there as soon as there’s an inch or two so I can SCOOP (which I love doing and miss!) before it melts in a few hours time! And I know to stay off the streets in ice or snow.. Southerners do NOT know how to drive in winter conditions!

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m not much on holidays. We’ve been invited to visit friends since we have no family here, but I think I’d be happier if we just stayed home. Tomorrow will be blustery, cold and rainy… of course what am I complaining about? I could be up north in the real cold and bitter! GAH!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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