Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Whatever the weather....right?

I am the wrong person to answer that question. We have a few stellar days, then pay the price with a week of gloomy, damp skies. I mean, it is almost June! The quintessential summer month and it still feels like November outside (without the promise of Christmas just a few weeks away)! I love passionate weather, loud thunder storms with wicked, forked lightning, blizzards of mammoth proportions (well not really blizzards, but snowstorms), heat packed days that cool off in the evening with long, dusty shadows....but weeks of monotonous gray days that meld into nights of the same temp and tone...nope. Can't call that late Spring or early Summer. Just a no man's land of weather boredom.

And yet, I know this day, this day that looked just like yesterday and the day before, all without light and color, is still a day of great promise. I just have to look a little harder, past the weather, into the opportunities this day offers. And there is not a day on the calendar that doesn't bring the promise of surprise, opportunity, growth,  work and rest.

So, when I find I am stymied in any situation it helps for me to put pen to paper and make a list. A list of things I can do, should do, want to do. And if I do any small number of things on that list, if I take a moment and feel grateful that I am still here, able to work on my day...I feel better. Really better. The first step is the hardest when you are stuck, but momentum will be gained with each effort...until you are moving through your day with purpose and and a sense of privilege. To be alive, to experience this life, to have the freedom to choose among the many things you might do is a beautiful, fleeting gift. I am already sorry  that I wasted so much time whining about the weather. I am off to find the silver lining in this day's clouds!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cooking what you crave...

I was reading Erin's blog, Design For Mankind this morning and she was chatting about how much she loved grocery shopping (not me!) bit of advice she shared was if you craved something, possibly something not so good for you, enjoy it, but COOK IT YOURSELF! You want cinnamon rolls, roll out the dough, pizza??? toss some dough in the air. Fudge, find you fave recipe. At least this way you can fully engage while you experience real food, the process and the pleasure of creating it. Plus it will taste better, be better for you and inhibits a snap decision made regarding cheap carbs and fat.

"One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well".
Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday morning wisdom...

After two cups of coffee, a walk in the rain with my dogs, I settled down to look for some pearls of wisdom in a couple of my many books. This is what I found (in small part)...

From Deepak Chopra's Synchro Destiny - There is scientific proof that there exists a "virtual domain" the home of the spirit. One in which we are all connected on the most profound level to one another and to our Source. That is called God for me. Also that all of our thoughts are expressed in our bodies, to our very cells. Time and distance does not impede this transaction of energy and communication. It exists in all of nature.  Harnessing this phenomena is not easy...but possible on some levels and to our benefit.

From Rick Warren's The Purpose Drive Life - All of your life is a test and nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest event is an opportunity to test and develop your character, demonstrate love, to depend on God. All events have eternal implications.

From Rhonda Byrne's The Secret - Your thoughts are like magnets. What you dwell on becomes a reality in your life. If you want to change your life, change first your thoughts. "Our job is not to figure out the how. The how will show up out of a commitment and belief in the what." Jack Canfield

Saturday, May 20, 2017

First Hydrangeas...

 "The summer night was settling upon the neighborhood like a dark lace veil, casting dappled shadows on the roofs and sidewalks and lawns."
―Victoria Kahler, Luisa Across the Bay

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Short Poem by Pat Schneider

“It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?”
Pat Schneider

Anyone can slay a dragon ...but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero. ~Brian Andreas 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wisdom from Marc and Angel Hack Life

Stop doing these things now....

1.  Distractions that keep you from special moments with special people.
 – Pay attention to the little things, because when you really miss someone you miss the little things the most, like just laughing together. Go for long walks. Indulge in great conversations. Count your mutual blessings. Let go for a little while and just BE together.

2.  Compulsive busyness. – Schedule time every day to not be busy. Have dedicated downtime – clear points in the day to reflect, rest, and recharge. Don’t fool yourself; you’re not so busy that you can’t afford a few minutes of sanity. (from the “Simplicity” chapter of our book)

3.  Negative thinking about your current situation. – Life is like a mirror; we get the best results when we smile. So talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re failing. Every great success requires some type of worthy struggle to get there.

4.  Worrying about what everyone thinks and says about you. – Do not take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you; they do things because of them. You honestly can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react and who you choose to be around. (from the “Relationships” chapter of our book)

5.  Band-Aids and temporary fixes. – You can’t change what you refuse to confront. You can’t find peace by avoiding things. Deal with problems directly before they deal with your happiness. Deal with them… so you can let them GO!

6.  Doubting and second-guessing yourself. – When in doubt just take the next small step. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. (from the “Goals and Success” chapter of our book)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summer Bucket List....or Why I Like Summer

Spending time at the beach. Reading, napping, listening to the ocean and the voice from nearby blankets, under an umbrella of course.

Learning to use my new fuji camera.

Walking my dogs, always.

Making seasonal plans with my family (road trip for the girls).

Appreciating the natural bounty of the warmer calendar months, like: tomatoes, corn and, frog songs, and long warm dusky evenings. Wearing fewer clothes...

strawberry shortcake!

Coffee outside in the morning,without a coat.

Giant sunflowers in the garden!

The windows open, so the curtains can catch a breeze... and flutter beautifully.

And with those windows open come the sounds of summer: scratchy insect songs, frog chimes, leaves rustling, faraway dogs barking, turkeys gobbling in the woods, cars going by late at night...

Sudden thunder storms. Dramatic dark skies and a hard, quickening wind.

Painted toenails.

Cold, creamy ice cream and fruity, neon colored snowballs.

Steamed Crabs!!!

Iced tea.

Photo sessions at 8pm

The long, cooling shadows in the late afternoon.   To be continued...

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.” 
― Natalie BabbittTuck Everlasting

“Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o'clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There's no hurry, for there's nowhere to go and nothing to buy...and no money to buy it with.” 
― Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird

Friday, May 12, 2017

Flawed and fabulous....

“Dear Human:
You've got it all wrong.

You didn't come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you'll return.

You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love.
Messy love.
Sweaty Love.
Crazy love.
Broken love.
Whole love.
Infused with divinity.
Lived through the grace of stumbling.
Demonstrated through the beauty of... messing up.

You didn't come here to be perfect, you already are.

You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.

And rising again into remembering.

But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.

Love in truth doesn't need any adjectives.
It doesn't require modifiers.
It doesn't require the condition of perfection.

It only asks you to show up.
And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully.
That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU.

Its enough.

It's Plenty.”

― Courtney A. Walsh

Thursday, May 11, 2017


If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
Lao Tzu

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How you see your life, shapes your life...

"The way you see your life, shapes you life", The Purpose Driven Life


What is your life?
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
The way you see your life shapes your life.
How you define life determines your destiny.
Your perspective will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents, and value your relationships.
How do you see your life?
1. A circus
2. A minefield
3. A roller coaster
4. A puzzle
5. A Symphony
6. A journey
7. A dance
8. A ten speed bicycle with gears we never use
9. A game of cards you have to play the hands you are dealt with
if you think life is a party, your primary value in life will be having fun.
If you see life as a race, you will value speed and will probably be in a hurry much of the time.
If you view life as a marathon, you will value endurance.
If you see life as a battle or a game, winning will be very important to you.
This was an eye opener for me this morning....and got me to thinking about how I see my life??? I don't think I am comfortable with the words that came to mind. But I am certain that the way I "see" my life has shaped my daily life and colored my perceptions of the world around me. I find that notion both scary and liberating! That just a slight change in the focus of the lens of my life can change the total picture. To use photography lingo, that which I focus on...what is in focus (one single item), large aperture, or the whole picture (small aperture) really changes what you see...the forest or the tree? It is amazing to me that there is so much common sense wisdom all around us and we so seldom see it or if we do, we fail to use it. That kind of stubborn blindness is a tragedy. How can I change that? I will be reading more of Rick Warren's book...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Eggs have to become birds to fly....

..."It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird, it would be a jolly sight harder to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at the present. You cannot just go on indefinitely just being an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."
C. S. Lewis   Mere Christianity

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Great affirmations from the Blog, Thirteen Thoughts!

1. Drink more water. If you like soda you can first try flavored sparkling water. If you can’t stand plain water, infuse it with fruit and/or herbs.
2. Don’t skip breakfast. You’ll be less likely to suffer from low energy levels or binge on something unhealthy later on in the day. I personally don’t like having big breakfast, but I always make sure to have something healthy like overnight oats or a smoothie.
3. Snack on berries and almonds. Your nails and hair will thank you.
4. Take Omega-3. Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to improve mood and alleviate depression. There are numerous studies linking anxiety and other mood disorders with low blood levels of omega-3 fats. Low intake of omega-3 is also known to change the functioning of serotonin and dopamine. Bonus? If you suffer from bad PMS and turn quite bitchy (like I do, I’ll admit it!) you’ll find that omega-3 helps with that, too.
5. Drink herbal tea. Make it a habit to enjoy your little tea-time- even if it’s just 5-10 minutes in the morning or evening. I love peppermint and raspberry leaf.
6. Try to sneak in something green and healthy into your diet, at least once a day. This is how I add more greens to my diet.
7. Always have something healthy to snack on, handy.
8. While working, or studying, step away from your desk at least once every hour. Take a quick walk around the office, have a light stretch.
9. Eat slowly.
10. Never go food shopping while hungry. I don’t think I have to explain this one? :)
11. Laugh often. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good comedy show or movie, especially when you’re having a crappy day.
12. Practice gratitude. Before you go to sleep, think of the best thing that happened to you that day and say “thank you, thank you, thank you!” Trust me, there are great things that happen to you, even during ordinary days. I love practicing gratitude in the morning, as well.
13. Be kind. Always. Regardless of the circumstances.
14. Create a few morning rituals that you will look forward to, every day.
15. Take the stairs. When going shopping, don’t be afraid to park several rows away from the door.
16. Spend time in nature. Take long walks.
17. Rise early. Think about what you could do with extra 10 minutes in the morning? Not being in the rush while leaving the house, is worth the effort.
18. Do something nice for others, on regular basis. Nothing’s better than knowing the you’ve put a smile on someone’s face.
19. Practice self-care. Always look after yourself.
20. Diffuse essential oils– they can help you relax and unwind.
21. Never write and send emails or txt messages, while angry. If you’re angry with someone, you can let it all out by writing them a message, but instead of sending it, delete it once your anger goes away.
22. Remember to recycle.
23. Don’t complain. Especially when it comes to things that are out of your control.
24. Stop waiting. Don’t spend your life waiting for Friday, for summer, for love. “Right now” is all you’ll ever have.
25. Be more mindful.
Pin this image on Pinterest

26. Don’t waste your time crying over the past.
27. Let go of your need to be perfect.
28. Keep track of your goals. Set new ones.
29. Do more of what you love. Do you like to cook? Try a new, fun recipe. Do you love animals? Volunteer at a shelter. Do something that you really enjoy, every day. It can be as simple as listening to your favorite album, when on your way to work.
30. Try new things, often. Do things that scare you- that’s how you grow.
31. Judge less.
32. Know how to slow down and be present.
33. Don’t compare yourself to others. Remember that you are unique and nothing can replace you.
34. Keep your email inbox organized. Digital mess, still counts as “mess”. :)
35. Learn to say “no” to things you don’t fee like doing.
36. Nourish your relationships.
37. Practice positive thinking. Your attitude can make the biggest difference, especially when experiencing something unpleasant.
38. Dance more often. Even if it’s just by yourself, in the kitchen.
39. Learn how to stop procrastinating. Tackle your most important tasks, first.
40. Get more sleep.
41. Take a little tech-time-out once in a while. Turn off your phone, the TV and pick up a book or try meditating.
42. Start using positive affirmations.
43. Don’t ever stop learning.
44. Worry less. Don’t waste your time feeling anxious about things that are beyond your control.
45. Listen more.
46. Edit your life frequently. Get rid of things that don’t serve you and surround yourself only with positive, supportive people.
47. Learn to appreciate little things in life. Your life is made up of moments- pay to attention to those good, happy, exciting ones.
48. Stay curious.
49. Once in a while, spoil yourself-even if it’s only a cup of coffee from your favorite place.
50. Don’t be afraid to dream big.

here is the link:  Thirteen Thoughts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

practicing gratitude....

I find that in moments when I find myself lacking, or feeling like I must have this one thing to be happy, I simply need to just begin another kind of list—things I am thankful for. When I start listing that out in my mind, I am overwhelmed by how many wonderful gifts I already have in my life, and just like that, the one thing doesn’t seem as attractive or necessary after all. From the blog, No Side Bar

Ten Good Quotes from Marc and Angel

1. Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality. So pay close attention to the thoughts you choose. They have a way o...