Wednesday, March 27, 2013

choose kindness

Choose kindness, wherever and whenever you can and in whatever form it comes.  Choose peace over stress and kindness over criticism or the need to be right. Choose creative, positive-minded people over toxic personalities and choose activities and friends that raise people up rather than crush their spirits.   Choose kindness and you change lives, including your own.

Monday, March 25, 2013

enjoy a news-fast

I stopped watching the tv news shows many months ago.  I’d become increasingly bothered by the constant barrage of bad news, gory images and shocking stories that the broadcasters threw at me each morning. Surely there are good things going on in the world that can be shared! Why do those good news stories not merit our attention? The network programming decisions and bias perplexed me. There’s so much deceit and despair in the world and I know this, but I don’t need to invite it into my living room. I quickly noticed after I’d begun my news-fast, that my morning routine suddenly felt  gentler somehow, and a lot more positive too.  I went searching for the good news and found plenty of it. For whatever reason though, mainstream media prefers to focus on and glorify the awful and the shocking. Turn off your tv news. You’ll find that the quality of your day is so very much better for it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

hello friday!

The weekend is here, thank goodness!  It’s time to move away from the hustle of the work week. Make time for yourself. Make time for your loved ones. Plan for some fun and for some downtime. Recharge, replenish, relax.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

corner view: hair

Her face is so sweet and her blonde sunlit curls look like a wild halo.  I think I captured a photo of an angel. Her pink, ruffled "love" dress suits her, don't you think?

Monday, March 18, 2013

ah monday

Today is your opportunity to shake off whatever’s got you. Let go of yesterday’s regrets, mistakes or criticisms. Let them go!  It’s a new day, a new week, a fresh start. Stand back up, take a breath and begin again. Only today, be gentle with yourself.

Friday, March 15, 2013

a little springtime in the dead of winter

Every Christmas there’s a carefully wrapped box under the tree. At first glance, it’s contents seem only to be crumpled newspaper with odd bits of dirt resting within the folds. Not a very impressive gift to receive, that is, until you dig a little deeper. Nestled throughout are paperwhite bulbs, dormant orbs wrapped in papery skin with the tiniest green shoots emerging from their tops.

I’ll admit, when I received my very first box I was secretly puzzled but my father-in-law, the giver of the gift, explained that it’s a long-held tradition in his family, to give these bulbs so that loved ones will have beautiful flowers-a little springtime during the dead of winter. His father had given them every year to his mother and a generation before that, his grandfather to his grandmother.

The summer before I received my very first package, my father-in-law climbed down the rocky water’s edge near West Chop lighthouse, collected up a bucket full of stones, rough edges smoothed by the weather and the constant lapping of the sound. He cleaned each stone and set them aside until he could search out the perfect hand-crafted bowl from our hometown pottery shop. 

So each winter now, I pull out my pottery bowl and those stones, set the bulbs in place and watch their progress. 

The flowers are indeed beautiful, but what I value most is the time and care he took my first year as a part of his family and that, even though it’s difficult for him now to do even the simplest of daily routines, I still receive a box of bulbs in crumpled newspaper each Christmas.

Time moves on and generations pass, but this family tradition will continue on. Soon I’ll be searching the edge of some river or lake looking for perfectly smoothed stones, selecting a beautiful piece of pottery for each of my now-grown kids, and when the time is right, I’ll present them with a box of their very own so they’ll have a little springtime in the dead of winter. 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

corner view: feet

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane and curated by Francesca, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is “feet.”

I was a fan of REM long before most of the rest of the world. Their manager was the son of a prominent family in my adopted town and attended the Episcopal church that my family also attended. They recorded their early music at Mitch Easter’s studio, just two towns over. College radio picked up on REM and made them underground heroes, word spread and they catapulted into everyone’s hearts.
I have a theme that has run through my photo journeys for a while now, and the song “Stand” plays in my head each time I point my camera to the ground and capture “the place that I live.”

Then also in keeping with the "feet" theme for this "corner view", there are the hints of little critter feet that are like finding treasures in the snow,

the little critter feet that so wanted to get in on the action when I was trying to get this shot,

and who can resist the pink sparkly feet of the tiny girl that twirled endlessly at our gig on Friday night!

So, stand in the place that you live!.......

Monday, March 11, 2013

spring in your step

By winter’s end many people find themselves sagging under the weight of the season, especially those of us that don’t live in an area where we’re surrounded by snowy beauty. It’s been a long winter and for many months people have rushed from home to car, then from car to whatever their destination may be. Hunched over to protect themselves from the cold, they become isolated within themselves and think mainly of their physical discomfort and about how quickly they can find relief.

But by succumbing to the cold, curling up upon themselves and rushing to get inside, folks are likely missing out. They’re missing out on some of nature’s signals that rebirth is right around the corner!
Remember when you were a kid, how much you loved to be outside? Sure, you got cold but did that stop you from diving into all the fun that the day had to offer? Search for that child within you and step outside.  The chill is lifting so with your back straight, notice the warmth of the sun on your face. Look for the signs that we’re quickly moving into a time of re-awakening.  Nature’s coming out of her shell and so can we!

Friday, March 8, 2013

hello friday!

Hello Friday, I’m so glad you’re here! It’s time to relax, to nest, to reconnect with family, to catch up and to have some weekend fun.

I’m going to make sure there’s an especially yummy meal to be shared,

some very fun live music to enjoy,

 I’m going to work in a photo safari and hunt for the first signs of Spring

and do some much needed cuddling too.
I hope you can make time to rest and recharge. Monday will be here all too soon, so have some fun!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

corner view - hands

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane and curated by Francesca, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is “hands” and was chosen by Joanne.

These hands create beautiful images. These hands cradled two babies that grew up to be amazing, compassionate young adults. These hands make the most wonderful music come from an acoustic guitar and from the old piano. These hands make awesomely delicious bread at Thanksgiving. These hands have cared for me when I’ve been too sick to care for myself, have dried my tears when I’ve been sad and have held me close when I was afraid.  And for 39 years now, ever since I was a young girl, these hands have held mine. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

letting go

Eckhart Tolle wrote: “Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”  I think that for most of us, there has been a time when we’ve hung on to something or someone for far too long and in hindsight, we realize that we’d have been far better off if we’d freed ourselves earlier on.  But letting go can be excruciating, especially when we’ve invested so much of our time, our money, ourselves.  But projects can go bad, careers can go bad, relationships can go bad and there comes a point that, for our own sake, we need to let go.  This doesn’t mean you’re giving up, it doesn’t mean you’re weak.  It means that you’re done and it’s time to look to the future and see what else that life has waiting for you.  This is not weakness.  That first step and every step you take away is an act of great faith, of great power and of hope for the future. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

life in a small southern town

there really is nothing like a small southern town

folks love an excuse to gather with neighbors

 a vintage car is a prized possession

there’s a homegrown sense of humor

there are awesome finds

there’s an undercurrent of basic principles and hometown pride

and people slow down to welcome you in