Monday, September 30, 2013

roadtrip: lowville, ny

Leaving the city behind and heading to the country, we headed for Lowville, New York to experience the Historic Downtown Lowville Cream Cheese Festival. 
It's a beautiful part of our country and we met the nicest people there.  
Pushing our way through the highways in and around Washington, DC was definitely one of the notable parts of our trip. I can't imagine having to endure their rush hour traffic each day, but many (many!) people do!

Give me the mountains any day.
Room to breathe, quiet, surrounding myself with natural beauty.
 For more photos of our fabulous journey 

Friday, September 27, 2013

on gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.      ~ Melody Beattie

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

corner view: what to do in your country (united states)

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane (Spain) and curated by Francesca (Italy), where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. This week’s theme is "What to do in your country" and comes from Susanna (Netherlands).

There are so many different things to do in my country
and each region has it's own special offerings.
In North Carolina, which is where I am,
we are fortunate to able to enjoy both the mountains...

and the sea.

Around the state we have events and festivals year-round to celebrate various aspects of our culture, our heritage, our diversity, our holidays
and to raise money for various non-profit organizations.
There are always musical events of every genre to attend...

  and if you are a fan of the visual arts there are galleries, museums, exhibits
and other showings galore.
 We're very fortunate here to have so many opportunities to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, a huge variety of artistic events and to celebrate who we are.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

corner view: evening

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 "evening."

Evening…it’s the dimming of the day, the quiet hour, when family comes back together again after a long day apart, to reconnect, relax, restore. It’s a time to putter, to nest. It’s a time to slow down, to reflect on your day and to make a plan for tomorrow. It’s a meal shared, a song softly sung, a movie that inspires, a book that carries you away. And in the end it’s time to rest, to sleep and to dream.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

begin anywhere

It’s a new day, a new week, a clean slate! Right now is the perfect time to take the steps needed, even if they’re baby steps, to make your life all that you want it to be.  Dream big and keep your worries small,  head in the clouds and  feet on the ground. One small step at a time, one foot in front of the other and you’ll get closer and closer to achieving your goals. We all have doubts, we all have fears, we all have naysayers in our lives, but you have the power to create a truly rich life. Stand your ground and hang onto your beliefs. The small actions you make today can have profound impact. So surround yourself with people who will encourage you and cheer you on. Today: make decisions, be of help, try something new, make the call, write the letter, sing the song, submit your art, have the conversation, take the chance, begin.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

corner view: for lunch

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 "for lunch."

On Sundays we often take a drive down a pretty country road and our destination is one of our favorite small NC towns. The center of Carrboro is a huge lawn circled by old shade trees and fronts a food co-op where you can put together a very yummy meal and head outside. You'll find people hanging out on the lawn most every day of the week, but Sundays are different. From March through October you'll find live music, families with their kids and dogs, dancers, readers, hobbyists, and people just wanting to enjoy the day. So this is what we do for lunch. I sink down deep into my chair and soak up everything and everyone around me.



Monday, September 9, 2013

honoring your truth, honoring your self

From time to time we all come right up to that proverbial "line drawn in the sand". It’s that boundary we hit, knowing that if we cross it then we’re betraying ourselves, ignoring our moral and ethical compass and maybe even pushing a legal limit. That’s a frightening time, especially when you are being pushed to that limit by a boss, by someone close or by difficult circumstances. To cross that line, to silence your inner voice is nothing short of denying who you really are, putting on a mask and risking losing a part of your self. The price is much too high to pay.  

The decision is yours to make and even though it may be difficult and it may mean you face a great loss, in the end you have to be at peace with yourself and with your life. Despite the pressure, whether it’s internal or external, you always have a choice. Choose to live your truth. Every day is a do-over. Every day brings new choices and new opportunities. Listen to your intuition, stick by what you believe and your inner guidance system and you win – every time.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

giant puppets and magical pageantry

Each summer, Paperhand Puppet Intervention puts on a massive pageant and it's a real gem for the folks in our area. Masks, stilt walkers, shadow puppets, puppets of all shapes and sizes take over the Forest Theater in Chapel Hill for several weeks and then move on to the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh for several more weeks.

Aside from the magical puppetry, the music is just awesome. Performers move through a routine like clockwork, each musician playing multiple instruments and creating sound effects in most ingenious ways. For any musician, watching these artists is a real treat. This years music for the show "Invisible Earth" was created by Ari Picker and performed by his band Lost in the Trees. It was amazing and equally as wonderful as the puppet performance itself.

Since 1998, the folks from PPI have been creating their giant puppet creations using recycled materials, bamboo, found objects, old house paints and donated fabrics. According to their PPI Facebook page "We tell stories, beat drums, paint cardboard, sew cloth, get sweaty, push boundaries and carry heavy things to help make the world a better place." Their shows are indeed celebrations in themselves and an expression of love.

Community is vital to PPI. The volunteers and supporters come to open work days where the puppets and masks are created and also are involved in the performances.

You can find out more about Paperhand Puppet Intervention at

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

corner view: away

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 "away."

Typically a time when people get "away", Summertime is a time for a change in routine and warm weather fun. Though we didn't travel far this summer, Dave & I are lucky enough to be able to take advantage of some really fun and lovely areas nearby. This week, it included a trip to the NC Zoo in Asheboro, ranked in the top ten best zoos in the world! This is not your typical confined in a cage type zoo. The majority of the animals have wide open spaces and environments that mimic their home countries. The NC Zoo has a North America zone and an Africa zone and on this day we were there when the gates opened and left when the park closed. It was really hard to pick from the 250+ photos I shot that day, but below are the ones I've chosen to share for corner view.

 Wide open plains for the ostriches, rhinos, elephants, gazelles and other deer-like animals.

 Mom & Dad giraffe eat high off the trees,
while baby does a bit of giraffe yoga to reach the food on the ground.
 Park visitors enjoying one of the "misting stations" set up to help us keep cool. 
It was a big draw on the day we visited.

 I do believe the Polar Bear was greeting me.
Either that or he was taunting me because he was refreshing himself in the cool water while I was "bearing up" in the southern summer heat.
 Critters of all kinds enjoy climbing around in their spaces!

 Iguanas and desert tortoises hanging out together in the Sonora Desert pavilion.

The aviary is a huge, multi-level dome, filled with exotic flowering plants and trees and even a creek runs through the center. The birds fly free within the dome.