balance

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Let me let you in on a secret. Yesterday when it was around 6:30 P.M. and we were at Target picking up the basics, milk, butter, cat food, dog food and lights for our tree, I realized as my stomach felt hungry that I had forgotten to eat lunch. Not only did I forget lunch…..check out what I did eat. Breakfast, black coffee and one glazed doughnut. Lunch a Slim Jim and a few Charleston Chews. And that’s it. That is exactly what I ate all day long. Does that sound nutritious and all kinds of good for my body and my brain? Duh. NO! And I will do this sort of thing on a regular basis when I have “fallen off the wagon so to speak” When I’m on the wagon, I’m insane. I will walk every single day and drink tons of water and eat every few hours but that my friends takes a lot of effort, a lot of thought and I will burn out every single time and especially when I do it 8 weeks in a row. They say 21 days forms a habit but obviously a solid eight weeks doesn’t even seem to work for me.

Trying to find balance is a true challenge for me. And as I type this I realize my word this year should be BALANCE. That’s it. Just made up my mind in mid sentence. My word will be balance.  Because as I type this I realize like most of us gals we take it all on, not just the favors asked and the every day kinds of things but then we pile on top of that “perfection”  Let’s see if I can juice every single day, buy the best whole foods for my home, cook really healthy dinners each  night, keep a clean and tidy house, the laundry, the kids, the animals and hum, lets see if I can work out an hour a day, and pray/meditate and maybe I can even read a book that will help me be a better person, and perhaps I can take a few on-line courses, and write letters to my friends and family, and pay my bills on time and remodel my dinning room, and make really cool things that I see on Pinterest and plant that new garden from seed alone. I would love to learn to stand on my head and be the most romantic and loving wife on the planet.  Balance is a great word.  It wins hands down and I wasn’t even looking for a word on this particular post.  crazy!  crazy cool!   I found my word for 2015!  BALANCE it is.  Will you be picking a word for this year? A word to keep you on track, a word to reign you in, a word to grow you a little, a word to make you more aware…just a word.  I would love to hear what you might choose.

Even when things are not perfect…..we just keep going

I tend to write about things that are happening in my real life.  I suppose my blog is like therapy in a way.  Last night wasn’t our typical Monday.  We had some guests!  When I heard our cousin Matt was in town and wanted to visit, I was so happy.  I wanted to make him dinner and littlest and only girl wanted to make him cookies.  And Uncle Don came too and so we had a nice conversation and the lasagna…it was dry and the cookies were nice and buttery and Matt brought unique beers and a nice bottle of wine for me and ice-cream for the kids and it was a nice Monday night.  Only we couldn’t offer up our bathroom because right snap out of the blue the plumbing decided to back up and so they dishes they still sit.

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And the super strong stuff Rich bought to put down the drain that has worked for past plumbing problems seems to NOT be doing the trick this time around.  When he gets home today from work he is going to crawl under the house and check a few things out.  I’m happy I married a real handy man.  If he can fix it we can save ourselves some money.  Nine times out of ten he can.

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And along with any good visit you learn things about the people you love and you also are maybe introduced to new things.  Matt and I were talking about some good old music that I find to be timeless, well Led Zeppelin of course.  So he says, do you like folksy type music?  Well, of course!  So have you heard Robert Plant sing with Alison Krauss?  Actually…no.  So here is a taste of the goodness.  I like it lots. Learned something new and perhaps some of you readers out there know about this but me, I’m sort of sheltered it seems.

I hope the plumbing problem is resolved soon, I’m thankful I’m not hosting Thanksgiving cause of that, I can still make my dish and not worry about those dishes.  It sort of reminds me when I hosted Christmas and half our electrical was out so we ran a big orange extension cord through the kitchen to get us what we needed, power to the fridge mainly and we just kept on going.  And this is what we do.  We just keep going even when things are not perfect, we just keep going.

Please enjoy this song, if you have time.

I’m thankful for these hands

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I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

I’m very grateful for these hands. They mostly do very good things. Sometimes they do bad things. But still I’m grateful.
I hold his hand
I hold their hands
I write poems
I write words
I write letters
with these hands
I can create
with these hands
I push the shutter
with these hands
I hold
many things
in these hands
I can touch the sand
the grass
the water
the soil
with these hands

Forever grateful.

This week has been unusually busy.  It has been filled to the brim and although I just desire rest right now, I’m still grateful for the opportunity to raise money for Containers of Hope and I’m hoping someone can take what I find to be special and beautiful and in turn give to these children.  It all goes to them.  Otherwise I have decided putting a price on what I love is something I don’t want to do. This will happen tomorrow at my friends shop in the town I grew up.  I’m grateful I can try to help in some way.  And this picture was prompted by a class I’m taking.  What part of my body am I thankful for and appreciate?  My hands but so much more than that.  I hope your week is going well.  Sending out love.

home

“while you were away”

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He said “I made the bed and was sure that the butterfly was at the bottom, like you like it”

“while you were away”

IMG_9913He said “I took a towel and dried of the tile after my showers”

“While you were away, I meant to change the oil in your car, but it didn’t happen.  I did take the girls to a movie though.” “While you were away, I didn’t vacuum or sweep but I went on a ride with my friend in the hills”

 upon my return

It didn’t matter that the vacuuming didn’t happen or the sweeping didn’t get done or that second to be born’s shoes were left by the kitchen sink.

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all that mattered was.  I was HOME.

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red

red

Red says, dare to be different

Red is bold

Red says look at me!

I was born a redhead

I have my own peeps you know

Anyone who has red hair

They are my peeps

We are our own breed

We must stick together

We have to

Because

At times the world can be kind of mean

Kick a ginger

I’d rather be dead than red on the head

Carrot top

I used to work in a book store

A man would frequent the store

He called me Pippi

I would get so MAD

But now…I embrace

She is my official mascot

She is strong

She is bold

She is unique

She has no fear

She is adventurous

So the guy was paying me a compliment

I just had no idea at the time

I had a chip on my shoulder

Because often being a red-head was a negative thing

How about this one

“Red headed step child”

Which technically is true in my case.

But none the less…

These days it’s a blessing

People tell me they like it

People grew up

Kids pick on kids who are different

I was usually the only redhead in a group of children

Just one

occasionally I would find a fellow peep…

Instant bond

RED

to edit or not to edit?

In the spirit of finding beauty in the simple things.  I share a few images that make me smile. And then I pull it into picMonkey and change it up a bit.

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I found this in Rogers Garden.  It’s untouched and beautiful in its own pure right.

IMG_9204 pmI don’t have any programs to really make my images shine but sometimes I use picMonkey to make things more interesting.  Words always make things more interesting, a little texture and color changing.

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I took this in kitchen by the sink.

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Then I pulled it into picMonkey and added words and stuff.

So sometimes I think it would be a good idea to get a photo editing program.  People seem to take regular photo’s and make them into art in a way when they have programs like that.  I also have a pull to just read more about my camera and use it to a fuller capacity.  I also have a desire to get a really good lens instead of just using the kit lens that came with my awesome new camera.  The lens part takes money though.  I have a hard time spending money on things like that.

So what are your thoughts.  Does tweaking a photo a bit make it more interesting?  Or just leaving it be, more natural as our eye sees it?  I have always claimed to be a purest but I must admit.  I really love to see what my creative friends do with their photos via editing programs.

search, rescue and revere lesson No. 7

search:  to find something you are looking for

rescue:  an act of saving

revere:  to feel deep respect for something

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You see I’m a bit of a collector of “things” sometimes  I don’t have to search very far to make up collections.  One summer in particular the poor Japanese beetles would live their short beautiful lives and end up dead on our backyard patio.  They are so gorgeous that I couldn’t bare toss them away, so I began to collect them in a jar.  I giggle thinking about it because that same summer my sister who is a pretty funny girl made up a song about my “dead beetles in a jar”  Then the jar became more of a collection of creation that had lost its life.  The saddest was the little hummingbird we were watching build a nest.  I had even photographed her up in her nest taking care of her baby eggs.  And then one day we found her little lifeless body beneath the nest.  Again such a beautiful and unique creature, I couldn’t just toss her.  So I placed her in the jar, lizard tail, baby tiny lizard, bee, and a grasshopper.  All the things I keep in my jar.  So to say I search, rescue and revere things fallen would be an understatement.   I also collect and gather less strange things like drift wood, feathers, rocks and sea glass….oh and shells.  But today I only took pictures of a few of these things.  I had expected to incorporate finding and gathering while on my daily walk but my daily walk didn’t happen until much later this evening so I show my collection of life lost that I happen to keep in a jar.  I hope you don’t think me too strange.  And you have to admit the Japanese beetles are stunning with their amazing color.  As usual, I’m so very curious what my creative partner came up with, what did Christina collect up for this challenge?  You can see what she came up with at 22limes.

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 “Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.”

*Walt Whitman*

Nature begins its retreat

Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.

Walt Whitman

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*I* am “exaketededly” three inches high, and it is a very good height, in-*deed*!

– Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland).

Our assignment this time was to capture fall in its starkness, to find beauty in what one may not normally see as beautiful.  I made a conscious effort to use my 50mm lens for this assignment so I could get closer.  I don’t have a macro lens but I do have a macro setting on my camera, which I didn’t use strangely enough.  I didn’t have to go far.  I walked into my backyard.  I wanted to work in my garden.  It’s time to pull it back to bare.  It’s still hot here but the tomatoes have been producing less and less and there was more brown stems than green. I was thrilled to find this little guy on the old tomato plant.  Just as I was going to rip it from the ground there he was!  It took me straight back to Alice in Wonderland  Can you see that?  It’s all I can see! I mean minus  he is green and not blue, minus he isn’t talking to me or smoking but honestly it’s all I can imagine. This little darling creature took me back to a magical place.  And I think he or she, I shouldn’t just assume it’s a boy but anyway, I think “it” is just gorgeous in every way.  I examined it closely and touched it and basically tripped out on how completely unique this creature is.  Where do they come from?  How is it they specifically look to tomatoes for their nutrients?  I don’t see them otherwise? But this is not all I saw.  This is just the first thing I saw.

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The sky was very blue and although it was hot, if one didn’t know, they might think this a cool and crisp fall day.  That’s another thing I like about pictures.  If pictures don’t have words people can look at them and make up their own story.  I do it all the time but mostly I do this with pictures of people.  I make up their stories in my head based on how the photograph reads.   So just know, this day was warm and I spent this day on my knees in the garden.  I pulled all the weeds.  I got dirt under my nails and I have it ready for the crimson and clover.  This is my plan.

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This is my favorite from the day.  Just a few little leaves hanging on for dear life.  The golden sun shining through the otherwise dead leaves.  When I stand back and look at this tree it’s just full of crispy dry and dead leaves.  It looks sort of pitiful actually but as I walk up close this is what I see and it’s gorgeous.  I add my 50mm lens and it becomes art.  Its Gods art and it is good.

IMG_8841And when the assignment had the word specifically STARK.  This is what I found  It’s stark and it’s completely beautiful.  And for me this assignment wasn’t very hard because it’s what I naturally do.  When I feel a need for peace,  I will grab my camera, this is my tool and I walk into my very own backyard which is in the suburbs backed up against a busy street with occasional sirens and traffic, with cables stretching across the sky but in this suburban setting we planted three trees. Just three.  One for each child and only just two seasons ago.   They are sort of new trees.  I have only seen the littlest and only girl’s tree experience spring once so far and it had pink flowers!  It was perfect.  I’m not familiar with their seasons just yet.  We almost thought we were killing the boys trees.  It seemed a little too soon for the leaves to turn crispy brown but I’m thinking it may be normal.  We will see when winter comes and they will be bare and then as spring arrives we will see their new baby green buds that open to leaves. I think it will be like this. I have taken so many pictures of the kids trees it’s a little crazy but for me it’s peace.  This is all for today. Remember Christina at 22 limes because she shares this assignment with me.  I can’t wait to see what she found and what she will share.  It’s a lot like Christmas morning to me when I get to see what she will post too.

 

 

 

Sit down and Rest a While

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Assignment two.  Comfy chair.  I have a thing for chairs.  It’s not so much an addiction because I also have a person of reason who settles me down when I feel the urge to want to drag a new chair home.  It’s like coffee mugs.  Don’t even get me started on the mugs.  A slight addiction for sure on the mugs.  But since I’m not here to talk about mugs, let me tell you about my favorite chair.  It’s an heirloom.  It was my grandma and grandpa’s and I remember I loved these chairs as much as a kid as I do now.  Maybe more now because I really can appreciate the awesomeness of these chairs.  It had a male and a female chair.  One was a little bit more petite while the other was just a larger version of the small.  We only display the male because the females leg broke and it’s in our rafters.  So I love this chair with all my heart and yes, same old story.  Rich wishes we could release the chair.  I rarely sit in it because it sits off by itself but when I do sit in it.  I feel this comfort and a lot of nostalgia.  It’s naugahyde.   It’s black and it has wooden arms and wooden backing and wooden legs that spin and a matching stool.  I will have this chair until the day I leave this earth and then I can only hope one of my children love it as much as I do and will take it in.

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Here we have detail of it’s nice wooden curved modern arm.  You can tell it’s been loved, it’s a little grimy and a lot worn.

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This is the base that turns and twirls the chair.  I love a chair that can twirl.

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Here is me reading in my favorite chair:)

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And here we have an in focused picture of me reading in my favorite chair!

Remember I’m doing this project with my friend Christina who will also be showing you pictures of her favorite comfy chair  at 22 LIMES so please if you are as curious as I am, go look, please take a peek.  I’m wondering how similar or different our chairs will be??  I have decided to include a Walt Whitman quote with each of my posts that I share with Christina.

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.

– Walt Whitman