OK, Nancy Merrill’s challenge to share photos this week that represent “Just for Fun!” reminded me to get back to the Spirit Lifters series I started.
So here are some photos for Nancy, and then, some uplifting things for you to check out for yourself.
(Like how I am always giving you something to do? Pretty clever distraction, eh?)
Here are 3 photos of what we call around here, Spring Snow!
Next, I write a lot about the beautiful street I get to live on, but don’t say enough about my really FUN neighbors.
These folks always have something fun for every holiday, including a small tractor that pulls little kid-filled carts behind it, decorated and driven by Santa for Christmas, and someone scary for Halloween.
Apparently, even the city workers are getting bored though. I came across this fun scene yesterday…
And one of the more uplifting, fun (and reassuring) beings in my household is Lucy, the Woodpile Cat. She is, as are many cats, such a creature of habit. I can count on her every morning, to take a shower in the kitchen sink…
And to demand her exercise time every afternoon…
But do not be fooled. She is not all sweetness and light. The only place I can have fresh flowers in my house is the bathroom as she does not frequent that room.
And THIS Blog, by my sweet friend Lisa, is really worth a visit! Look what she found for us! It is wonderful!!!
Lastly, here is Episode 3 of John Krasinski’s SGN. It can take your mind of all bad virus-related things!
PS The photo at the top was fun…or funny, at least to me. I had just committed to fewer eggs in my current campaign to keep my cholesterol levels healthy. Cracked open my one egg and….well, you see it….TWINS!!
Hmm, I thought I had very little red in my life. Couldn’t think of a single place to photograph something red. But while perusing my photo library, I found more “red” than I expected. Of course, many of these pictures capture colors closer to Fuchsia or orange, but I am counting them as RED today.
Good challenge. Now I’m on the lookout for more RED out there in the world. It is definitely an energizing color!
Like Nancy says in her challenge for us this week, I’m also not much of a girly girl. And unlike Nancy, for whom pink “is never my first choice of color for anything”, in days passed, I actively disliked and avoided PINK.
But I am cursed (yes, and blessed) with the drive to find a lesson in anything I “actively dislike”.
I wrote about PINK once before.
Some one gave me a gift…a polar fleece vest…in the ugliest color…bright fuchsia?! Not a color I would ever choose or wear…too fake looking….I didn’t even like people who wore this color. AND, didn’t the person who gave me this ugly thing, know that pink is way too “girly” for me? I put it in the closet…way in the back…
A couple of years later, I am on a Spring walk with my camera, in search of new flowers. I come across a stunning flower, the brightest color for miles around (or so it seems). I have these thoughts, “there are so many colors in Nature that we just have not been able to duplicate. We don’t even have names for some of the colors we see in a sunset or a flower. This flower is a spectacular color!! I wish I had something to wear in this color…”
I pick just a blossom leaf or two to take home. I put them in my pocket.
That same week I am doing a closet downsizing for a Goodwill run and find the never worn, long-forgotten ugly pink vest tucked way in the back…..and then I remember those bright colored petals!
I blushed about the same color!
Needless to say, it has become one of my favorite things to wear. I even got socks, a scarf and shoes with a stripe in the same color!
Now I’m wondering if I owe my gift-giver an apology…….
So I had to get to the bottom of this. Why such a strong reaction? It’s just a color, right?
Way too long a story (including a couple of years of hard-core therapy) later, I traced my prejudice back to a relatively off-handed comment from my Aunt. I had run away from home at 15 and ended up living with her in high school. She sewed these beautiful clothes for me, whole outfits for daily and church wear, as well as various Prom-type formal dresses. Always in hues of pink.
My favorite color is blue, since very early childhood, and my Aunt knew this so one day, I asked her to make me some thing BLUE. Her response, the casual remark I mentioned above? She said, “No, pink is better. Then the boys will all think you are still a virgin….”
I was shocked and protested, apparently way too much, because it was a disagreement we were still having when she was on her death bed. She never believed me and I never forgave her for that.
Still painfully ironic today because no budding young Flower Child, Hippie-Chick, California Girl in the 1960’s ever successfully fought harder to “save herself for marriage” than I did.
Talk about swimming against the tide of the sexual norms of those days!
So when I finally became more “enlightened” by the late 60’s and early 70’s, apparently I buried the reason for, but still held on to the active dislike of all things PINK!
Aren’t you glad you asked??
Oh wait, you didn’t…another bright pink blush here…
I have since fully embraced PINK in all its hues and tones, in nature, as well as in my decorating choices.
Here’s an example, if you feel inspired to read more about it. I wrote it to anchor the gratitude I have come to feel for my ancestors (especially my Aunt) and all their powerfully feminine (and PINK) influences in my life.
Even though I live in the “Great Northwest”, and am surrounded by inconceivable beauty, my first thought in response to Nancy Merrill’s challenge this week was a spectacular scene from a trip to James’s childhood home, Natchez, Mississippi.
Maybe these would be better shared under the theme “Mother Nature is in Charge” but it’s what I thought of so here you go!
I hope you can get a sense of this…the photos sweep from left to right, all of the same scene. That’s the Mighty Mississippi in the background!
I am blessed…well, maybe cursed…with the ability…well, maybe the compulsion…to find something spiritual and horizon-broadening in almost everything I come across.
Recently we had this wonderful mini-vacation in an Air B and B, with a spectacular view of the horizon.
I took so many pictures the first few days but it wasn’t until I started editing one of the photos that I discovered something amazing.
The mist eventually cleared to reveal THIS!
I had not even realized that the place we were staying in had basically the exact same horizon view as the one from home…the Olympic Mountain range!!
Downtown Bellevue with the Olympics rising up behind!
I’m still working on what that actually means…something about awareness, appreciation, patience with the weather, and of course, perspective.
Another favorite horizon experience is the one I have when driving between our two homes. It’s close to a five hour drive and friends groan on my behalf when I tell them how often we go. I just don’t get how anyone can not love this drive. The variety of horizons alone make the trip a visual feast for me. There is such a dramatic change in topography along the way and as many times as I’ve driven it, I am still delightfully surprised to come around a corner or up over a hill, only to discover again, a spectacular horizon view.
Lastly, way too early one morning recently, when I couldn’t sleep any longer, I decided to go to a local Blueberry Farm and lake to watch the sun climb up over the horizon. I was thrilled with the unexpected view and took way too many photos. I hope you enjoy this slide show.
I’m a Professional Childbirth Attendant. Almost 40 years so hundreds of births now.
But my photos are not about that kind of labor.
This is called Zen Bead Embroidery.
You start with a color theme, or maybe a single button or charm or bead.
Next, collect and collect and collect some more, beads, buttons, rocks, shells, charms, tiny trinkets of any kind, until you have a gathered a bowl or box or pile full of the colors you want to use.
Then, settling as much as you can into a Zen mood, you simply start sewing things onto whatever size canvas/cloth you have chosen. No plan necessary. This is a moment to moment experience. No rhyme or reason. The only patterns will be those that occur to you or that simply emerge as you labor. There is no right, no wrong, and there are no mistakes.
You will spend however many minutes or hours you wish in each stitching session…until you know you are done.
Don’t worry if you cannot muster that Zen feeling. The stitching will assist you.
Or, if you have ever sat through someone’s labor and childbirth, you will already know how.
Frame, if you wish.
If you figure out that you actually like doing this, you can even choose an image, and let yourself fill it in, Zen Bead Embroidery style.
And then, you can frame it, or keep it, or give it to your son, your original, 10 pound “labor of love” and tell him it is a “once in his life time” gift!!!