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Archive for the ‘Life Stuff’ Category

Beauty can be illusive if we are in a hurry, distracted, on a roll somewhere, or just nRose of Sharon Flower4ot paying attention. At times I take some time out with my camera to search for beauty. You really have to give yourself the luxury of time to see and think about what you are seeing. Often we are too busy to do this, but it is an essential part of life and living a healthy life-style.

If you engage in pessimism much of the time, taking time out to find and reflect on beauty may be contrary to your nature. After all, you are very focused on digging up what’s wrong with life, not what’s right with it. It would almost seem sacrilegious to look for the good. You would have to risk getting out of your comfort zone for a few moments to see the beauty around you. I hope you will.

Roseanns Rose2 for 4x6 printsI bought this rose and inserted it in a small vase I had. I sometimes like to bring natural beauty into my indoor world to remind me that there are beautiful things around. Perhaps it’s the fact that I am a woman and a rose is a flower. And you know women and their flowers … smile. My mother used to say, give me flowers now because I won’t be able to see the ones you give me at my funeral. She had a point.

This is a rose that I drew and used for several things. It was used to decorate the front of a Mrs. America Brochure, and then I stippled it and used it for note cards. These are ways we mimic beauty and bring it into our personal worlds. Flower Notecard Stiple Rose Only

Of course nature isn’t the only thing that’s beautiful. Sometimes a situation can hold beauty in ideas, or happenings. People can be beautiful in the way they look, act, or talk. Writing can be beautiful, when we put our thoughts and ideas on paper. So there are many avenues of beauty around us, we just need to stop and notice them more often than we do.

What kinds of beauty do you appreciate? Share them with us.

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When I want to catch a few minutes of relaxation, I usually pick up a book. That’s unusual because I really am not someone who typically likes reading. I mean I don’t have the passion that some people do of not being able to live without a book. They seem gagga over books of any kind. I’ve never been like that, probably because I am a visual person. I go gagga over looking at pictures.

But over the last 8 years or so, the county libraries have been selling their books. Usually I can pick a paperback up for maybe 25 cents depending on the library. Some want more. At any rate, this gave me the reason to read and I chose Amish Romance Novels. I was attracted to the stories and how the authors tried to depict Amish life realistically but also include the old type of boy meets girl and live happily ever after idea that I grew up with. Little by little I discovered other authors dealing with life in the old west, the Norwegians making a life here in the USA, etc. I like that era and a simpler time or way of living.

A friend of mine was an actress in a movie put out last year in Sugarcreek Ohio. The title is “Love Finds You In Sugarcreek”. My friend Marianna Alacchi played the part of Anna Troyer, an elderly Amish woman with a mental disability. I especially liked the part in the movie when she sat on the person who tried to murder her niece to keep her from getting away before the police could arrest her. It was a wonderful movie.

So that’s what I do to entertain myself or relax. Some stories are hard to get through and take me more time to get with their program. But others I like right off the bat.

What do you do to entertain yourself? I’m sure you are far more adventuresome than me. Although some day I’d like to try Ziplining at Tree Frog Canopy Tours, here in Ohio!

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Yay, it’s another weekend! Opportunities to do what we want, when we want, go where we want, etc. I guess that all boils down to having the freedom to choose.Nautilus Shell Perhaps your city borders a body of water and you are headed for the beach.

I live on the North Shore and Cleveland Borders Lake Erie. The parks system has taken over and is already making changes that delight beach goers. Our parks system has a lot of events and attractions to educate and entertain the citizens of our city and their guests. Being close to nature or even interacting with it, can be a stress-free way to spend the weekend. And every group imaginable has a festival of some kind going this summer!

I’ve got some chores to do, such as cutting the grass and trimming the over growth in the yard. I guess it would be safe to say that my yard needs a good haircut and weeding. Grape Hyacinths & Vinca FlowersThis photo was in the spring with Grape Hyacinths and Myrtle. Part of the gardening under my River Birch Tree in the front yard. I found a young black cat sleeping in the Myrtle the other day just as my yellow tabby had done when I decided to claim her as my own many years ago. It is a cushy spot and sort of out of the way so the little one felt protected until I showed up and discovered it’s hiding place.

Sometimes I have to contend with spiders in the yard. A few years ago, Spider Web3 IMG_5715for the first time in my life, ordinary garden spiders moved in. They were everywhere stringing 3 foot webs across walkways and wherever else they could. I’d come home in the dark from a second shift and walk right into one. They changed their locations daily so I never knew where they’d be from day to day or even hour to hour. This is a picture of a web with foam on it to enhance the web. Yuck!!!

Snake on the Driveway 5-2011And of course I have also found other critters in the yard such as this common Garden Snake that some folks like to call Garter Snakes. This was a cute one but I have seen them at least 2 feet long in my yard. Not dangerous but creepy.

I’ve seen possums and their babies, frogs, dragonflies, praying matis, all kinds of spiders and bugs, squirrels, birds and a host of other things in my little 35′ x 105′ living space. I don’t have to go far on a weekend to get some entertainment.

How about you, what are your weekend plans? Vacationing or staying close to home? Lots of choices to pack into a 2 day weekend!

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When sickness comes, do you see it as a benefit or a hindrance? A friend recently got sick for 24 hours and was bemoaning the fact that her day was ruined. She didn’t need this to happen to her today, she had too many important thingDVN Snowy Trees to do. Isn’t that how we all react? At least initially. Of course it depends on the type of sickness. My friend’s lasted 24 hours and when she returned to work, she had three fresh and viable opportunities waiting for her. She hadn’t really missed a thing. She was fortunate.

Some people experience sickness that lasts for quite a while and might even end in the death of a loved one or themselves. This prolonged illness can really take a toll and add to the initial shock of finding out you have a disease that isn’t going away soon and maybe never. We experience a gamut of emotions, thoughts, worries, fears, exhaustion, changes in plans, financial burdens, pain, and so much more.

Illness is a part of life that comes almost whenever it wants to and leaves you the way it wants to. If I had to put a human characteristic on it, I would have to say it is narcissistic in nature. It doesn’t care what you want. It has it’s own agenda and goals. It wants to beat you up, deck you out, crumple you up, and spit you out to say the least!

The Tree I Love To HateBut there are benefits to this side of life. No, I’m not lieing. Sometimes illness comes because we need to stop and take account of ourselves and our lives. I’ve heard of people who have near death experiences and then when given a second chance, have a heightened sense of what is really important for the rest of their lives. The unimportant has been pruned or cut away. Others go through the death of a loved one, and are able to comfort others appropriately because they’ve walked in their shoes. There is a camaraderie that develops between strangers when they share illness experiences. Some have made friends for life because of their illnesses when they might never have met otherwise. There is a sense of hope when people of like problems share how they coped. Sharing what they experienced that another is only starting to face, makes the unknown less frightening. They share resources and ideas on how to deal with finances, and other issues that present themselves such as taking care of children, meals, and ways of helping everyday life run as normal as possible in the midst of this redirection. All of these help with the acceptance of the illness as part of life and to ride the roller coaster of the illness for as long as is necessary.

No I’m not suggesting that we go looking for illness for that would be masochistic. But when it comes unexpectedly, we can find benefit amidst changes we hadn’t bargained for. We can find purpose amidst the senseless destruction of the predatory illness that would seek to devour us mercilessly.

Would you care to share your experiences with Illness? Perhaps someone else will benefit from what you share and have hope in their future.

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Most of us wonder where the time went at the end of the day. If you are like me you still have too much to do at the end of a day. I am experiencing that right now. At 63, I seem to have less energy than I used Timeto have. Plus being a bit under the weather has forced me to slow down and nap more the last couple of days. And things start backing up when sickness occurs. Being single and unemployed, I can’t pass things off to someone else that I need to take care of: Packing garbage for Thursday pick-up, buying groceries, keeping up with Ebay listings, writing blog posts, chores, feeding and caring for a cat, taking my meds and making sure I refill them, going to doctors appointments, listening to webinars that promise a hefty and profitable 4th Quarter, and the list goes on.

Sometimes I stand in the middle of the room and cry HELP ME GOD!!! I often don’t know what to do first or what I want to see accomplished at the end of the day. Everything seems to be important and maybe it is. I’ve found that the crying out to God actually works. He makes something catch my eye or my thoughts and I go do that, then something else will come to my attention and I’ll go do that, etc. Before I know it, I’ve gotton tons of things accomplished, my stress level has decreased, and my self-esteem has been repaired.

If you don’t have a relationship with God, you can try thinking of the 3-5 most important things in your day that really need to get done by the end of the day. You want to be able to lay your head on your pillow at night and not be disturbed by thoughts of incomplete projects, or things your mind brings up when it should be settling down for the night. What will it take to get those done or at least taken to the next step? If by some chance you get them ALL done, then go to an auxiliary list of the next most important things that need accomplished and pick something from that and so forth.

Give yourself some down time in your day also. A 15 minute cup of flavored coffee where you put your feet up, stare at a rosebush and just think of how good the coffee tastes will go a long way to relaxing your mind, freeing up your spirit, and improving your perspective. Whatever it is that will accomplish this for you, do it!

Don’t let the day be ALL about you though. Take a little time to focus on someone else. Write a note of thanks, or send a greeting card with a message that you know will encourage another. You want to do something that will help someone else, but will not take you down a rabbit trail that takes you off course in accomplishing your goals. Maybe you want to plan a meet-up with someone – just call and ask when they are available and avoid a long conversation at that moment – save it for the meet-up. This will help to get your mind off of yourself for a while, and put life into a better focus.

Well these are some of the things that were mulling around in my mind as I look forward to an extremely busy day tommorrow and some ways I was thinking of surviving it … smile. How do you tackle busy days? Do you have any unique strategies to share?

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I usually go to church each Sunday. We have four services, but I usually attend the 9am one. Cross WoodI’ve been going to church all of my life as a ritual. When I was little my mother made sure we went with her while my father opted to stay home. That must have made her feel really good … hmmmm. Well anyway, due to some circumstances at home, I could not attend today, but I missed hearing my pastor’s thoughts. I’ll be able to listen to them on the internet next week as they are recorded, but I still miss hearing them fresh.

When I was older, I went to church because I liked it. I wanted to know God personally but sadly after 12 years of religious training I could not tell someone how to become a Christian. It dawned on me that I could give information to people on how to become a member of my religion, but I could only tell them about God from what someone else had told me and not a personal perspective.

It wasn’t until I was in college, that someone told me how I could know God personally for myself, and not second hand through someone else.

The first step was knowing that I was a sinner. I may have had the best intentions, but compared to a holy God, I had flaws and that made me a sinner: Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

The second step was to acknowledge that sin (including my sin) causes death and separation from a holy God. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death … ”

The third step was to understand and believe that we die once and after death comes judgement by a holy God. Hebrews 9:27 “For it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement”

The fourth step was to acknowledge and accept for myself (make personal) that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

The fifth step was ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart, cleanse me from my sins, and make me a Child of God & a new person. Revelations 3:20 “For behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him and he with Me.”

The sixth step was to accept that God made me His child through His Son and that I have everlasting life in heaven with Him. John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

The seventh step was to understand that God made me into a new creature the moment I made the decision to trust the death of Jesus Christ on the cross as full payment for my sins. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

This is how I came to know God personally and Church became an intimate encounter with God and His Children instead of a Ritual to be observed. Once I believed God’s plan as outlined in the Bible and gave my heart and life to Christ, asking Him to dwell in me, it made all the difference in the world.

Do you have a similar story to share? Please feel free to tell us about your own spiritual journey.

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Is this an American phenomenom or are people in other countries happy when the weekend rolls around, Hospice Bespecially if they have it off from work? For many years I used to survive the week with the expectation that the weekend was mine and I could do with it what I pleased. Well to a certain extent anyway. No punching a time clock or being under the thumb and watchful eye of company watchdogs. I used to work in a place where you would hear immediately if you did something wrong, but rarely complimented when you did something right. Good Grief. No wonder people live for the weekends!

So now in unemployment and in anticipation of retirement, my weekends roll into the weeks. There is no distinction and I have to be more mindful of when they come. They seem like the other 5 days of the week, except that Sunday is a church day for me. If it weren’t for that, I would hardly know the weekend was here. It is Saturday today and I must keep that in mind, for the sake of others. If I want to get together with friends, I have to be mindful that they still work and their schedules aren’t as free until a weekend. I have to be sure that if I have any business to take care of, that I do it during the business week if it involves a company that doesn’t work on the weekends. So even though I don’t live the work week like I used to, I still have to be aware of it.

I guess I still get to be glad it’s the weekend then. For others. I rejoice with you that you have two days off … smile. How will you spend it? Because you know it WILL go quickly and before you know it, you’ll be punching that time clock again on Monday morning … HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

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