Define and Design 2016, Weeks Forty-six and Forty-seven

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“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” ~ Michael J. Fox

November 18

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Inspiration, hot tea, order in pizza, family

Joy: Phone call from Youngest

Awareness: Home really is where the heart is.

November 19

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Though I was late for the party I did finish both of the birthday presents to take.

Joy: Shopped for both glass and fabric on the same day…and yes, I did bump into that couple at the glass store yet again! She said on the way there they wondered if I’d be there, too funny!

Awareness: We don’t have to know everything; we only need to get out there and give it our best shot.

November 20

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Stained glass orders. Willpower to turn down frozen yogurt; ok, it might have been the cold weather, but whatever! Seat warmers (feels like fall is gone and winter has arrived here!)

Joy: Breakfast out with DirtMan and Oldest at our favorite neighborhood pub.

Awareness: Watching the sun go down through a sheer curtain…the glimmering citrine gem drops through tree branches and swaying grasses changing its shape and size until it disappears into a cave of dark nothingness.

November 21

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Having a studio and tools Oldest needed to use for a project.

Joy: Salt water taffy! Phone call from my sister

Awareness: Most times I am stressed it is due to my own high expectations of myself…I need to lighten up and realize I really don’t have to do all the things I think I should.

November 22

Creativity: Stained glass, making desserts

Gratitude: I am thankful my mom is here for another birthday. She turned 83 today. I hope she sees many more birthdays.

Joy: Making dessert ahead of time for Thanksgiving dinner, call from a good friend and talking to my SIL.

Awareness: Things don’t always turn out according to our plans, but faith in the powers that be makes it all ok.

November 23

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: early end to a light work day, early start to mountains, safe arrival

Joy: Dinner and smoothies on the road, early arrival to the mountains

Awareness: How comforted the soul is in silence.

November 24

Creativity: mind mapping

Gratitude: dinner with family, movie time with my mom and sister, hearing from Youngest though I was too sick to talk to him at that time, a warm blanket and a chaise lounger

Joy: a spunky, silly little dog who thinks she’s huge and a big, sweet dog who think she’s little

Awareness: Love can alternate in spits of chaos and spells of calm, and it’s usually personalities who determine which mode.

November 25

Creativity: Cooking

Gratitude: Fever gone, week long headache gone, spray and wash and a washing machine, Oldest driving me home as I do not feel comfortable driving at night

Joy: a brief visit with a school friend I hadn’t seen for maybe twenty years or more, another family gathering, lunch out with my mom, a surprise gift from my SIL, scarlet and mustard hues across a rusty mountain range

Awareness: Sometimes it’s better to allow people to speak their truth even when you see an opposing truth in the same situation; there are times in life people simply need validation.

November 26

Creativity: project planning

Gratitude: A hard working husband and son who cut and split wood (already fallen on the property) two days this weekend for my mom, forest fires near here are finally contained. One consumed over 11,000 acres and the other roughly 1600. My heart hurts for all the wildlife.

Joy: Watching tv movies with my mom most of the day, a visit with my sister, hot tea

Awareness: Lazy days usually occur in my life when I need them most.

November 27

Creativity: Writing, Photography

Gratitude: heat from a wood stove, was able to help the hubby stack logs by driving the ATV which was pulling them

Joy: a cup of vanilla cappucinno, helping Oldest bottle wine, Stumbled upon a Christmas parade on a back country road.

Awareness: It’s easy to slip into a bitter mood when one is in pain…recognizing it and refocusing is crucial and possible when one sets intentions as such.

November 28

Creativity: Watching Youtube videos on stained glass

Gratitude: a chance to run to the grocery store to stock up the pantry, all the weekend laundry done, bumped into Oldest at the grocery store and he bagged and put the groceries in the car for me, text from Youngest, a neighbor picked up packages delivered to our house while we were out of town, two kindle books for a total of less than $5

Joy: Hot tea and Amazon Prime movies, a snuggly cat, answered prayers

Awareness: So often progress results with the loss of what was actually more beneficial.

November 29

Creativity: Photography, writing

Gratitude: neighbors, no broken bones, hoping it’s not a torn rotator cuff as it appears to dr to be sprains to the AC, clavicle, and chest…time will tell for sure (fell down my mom’s basement stairs, but only the last four,  over the weekend)

Joy: Ortho Urgent care rather than an ER (Only an hour as opposed to five or more and less expense)

Awareness: I’m not as young as I used to be. Payne vs. Pain; one is not as tough as the other.

November 30

Creativity:  Writing

Gratitude: life, friends and family especially a hubby to do the lifting

Joy: a good book, egg nog,

Awareness: Fence-line Hitchhikers: Golden braids of the silver leaf plants wave a thumbs up hoping to catch a ride with the wind. Perhaps they are unaware one must lift his feet from the ground to fly.

December 1

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Anti-inflammatory meds, ice packs, a good friend who is a physical therapist, a physical therapy department who is bending over backwards to get my evaluation moved up as soon as possible

Joy: Hubby cooked dinner, Hot herbal tea, hot bath with Epsom salt and essential oils, phone call with my sister, clients who are understanding of my need to be closed next week to help my healing

Awareness: Feeling weepy is totally out of character for me. I’m not weepy in a feel sorry for myself kind of way, but in waves that come out of nowhere and for no particular reason; wondering if this is the part of menopause that never hit or if this is some psychological reaction I can’t pin down due to my current physical condition. I do know I don’t like feeling this way and find it embarrassing. I wonder if it could be a reaction of the anti-inflammatory meds I’m taking.

Define and Design 2016, Week Fort-five

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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November 11

Creativity: Stained glass and writing

Gratitude: The first day of a three day weekend to leisurely do as I please, slept in a bit later than usual

Joy: Music, Dinner out with DirtMan

Awareness: While I like setting intentions for my day I prefer to allow a bit of flexibility, prevents stress and welcomes joy.

November 12

Creativity: Stained glass and writing

Gratitude: Enough free time and finances to explore the creative venues which interest me…maybe not enough to the extent I sometimes wish but definitely enough to fill my well.

Joy: Tried a new spa/salon and now have a great new hairdresser…love my haircut.

Awareness: There is a huge difference in accepting people as they are and accepting them because of who they are.

November 13

Creativity: Stained glass and writing

Gratitude: Finished two projects, a Neti pot

Joy: Did not complete the third project because I had a mishap…the joy is I know how to fix it! The rest of the Halloween candy is finally gone.

Awareness: No matter how well I manage my time I fall slightly short of all the things I attempt to cram in…perhaps it not time management but an attempt at overachievement.

November 14

Creativity: Writing, stained glass

Gratitude: enjoyable work day, time with the hubby,

Joy: Book club

Awareness: Things of this world will not always go the way in which we’d prefer but the fact we are not simply witnesses but participants is a wonderful thing. The greatest thing of all is if we are not satisfied we have the ability to be the change we’d like to see to move things in the direction we want.

November 15

Creativity: Writing, stained glass

Gratitude: Creative inspiration, phone calls with my mom and sister and texting with my niece

Joy: Synchronicity, even if I don’t grasp the meaning I know it’s in there somewhere! Speaking of synchronicities or maybe this really isn’t but still is odd. I watch five children, three have the same birthday but three years in a row, a fourth is the day after , and the fifth is fifteen days prior to the middle age children.

Awareness: People demonstrate love in different ways. We see it in actions and hear it in words, but the best indicator of all is how we feel in the presence of another. Energy is everything.

November 16

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Home, family, creative inspiration (designed a stained glass panel and some suncatchers)

Joy: Looking at machine embroidery design and planning a quilt for my niece’s baby who’s due to arrive this spring, dinner with my family…realizing Thanksgiving is next week. Skipped my writer’s group so I could do some designing.

Awareness: There are times in my excitement I jump ahead of myself rather than taking small details into account…and often those small details make a big difference in the outcome. This is another lesson in looking at the whole picture rather than focusing on one aspect.

November 17

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Inspiration…it’s rolling! Figuring out a computer problem on my own, left overs because I feel kind of crummy and don’t want to cook dinner, hot bath and hot tea, pencils, erasers, sketch pad

Joy: Vanilla eggnog (unspiked), some new designs I can hardly wait to make, stained glass online groups who share their expertise

Awareness: I think the saying “Put your money where your mouth is” is outdated. I’d much rather people be silent and put their hands to work. Action is how we get things done; I’m talking about being the change you want to see…not just donating money to your cause (though that’s great) but getting out there and volunteering your time at the food bank, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, animal shelters, mentoring children, teaching people to read, reading to the elderly or children, visiting the sick, spending time with the elderly, prison ministry, clean the bay, volunteer at the hospital, help maintain nature trails…this is just the tip of the iceberg. I used to do a lot of volunteer work when my children were young, and they participated. In the last few years I’ve resorted to giving money but not so much of my time. I realize I’ve been slacking, and it’s time for me to step back into action.

Define and Design 2016, Week Forty-four

“As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.” ~ Caroline Kennedy

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November 4

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Safe trip to the mountains

Joy: A bright sliver of a moon that seemed to follow us in the darkness.

Awareness: Stressors seem to dissipate as we slip out of the city and into a starlit night.

November 5

Creativity: Stacking wood…yep, there’s an art to it; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Gratitude: Things accomplished for my mom, time with her and my MIL, grateful for a relative who is a neighbor who checked my mother’s property. She had a prowler while we were visiting with my MIL.  It’s always good to know there is someone who can be there in less than two minutes if needed. Fabulous fall weather and colors in the mountains.

Joy: Spending the day with hubby and Oldest, message from my niece telling me how much she is enjoying her stained glass classes

Awareness: Never underestimate how much your presence can lift someone’s spirits.

November 6

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Hubby and Oldest got a few other things done for my mom and I had visiting time with her. Fabulous fall weather and colors in the mountains.

Joy: Talking to Youngest on the phone, a new book on my kindle…yay for reading time!

Awareness: In business you will come across people who will do anything to avoid working and then you will meet those who go the extra mile to make sure your needs are met.

November 7

Creativity: Research for a project

Gratitude: Headache is now gone! My aunt was able to fill in some blanks in a story where I couldn’t remember what my dad told me…write those stories down while you remember them!

Joy: A super happy cat that I am home! Went to book club to find out it’s next week, bwahaha. Well, it opened up my night for reading, so I’m happy!

Awareness: Judgments are often made from the outside looking in and are quite often inaccurate. Most of us know this as we have been on both sides, and yet we continue to do so.

November 8

Creativity: Studying stained glass, reading about writing

Gratitude: the right to vote, freedom

Joy:  a night to read and enjoy a glass of wine

Awareness: No matter which way the election goes, at least it’s over. It’s time to move on, repair relations, lead with love. Be the example you want to see.

November 9

Creativity: Stained glass, writing

Gratitude: a light workday, reading time, dinner, quiet evening at home, early bedtime,

Joy: hot shower, cup of hot tea, talking with a friend who makes me laugh

Awareness: When you focus on the moon you neglect to see the beauty and power of the stars and vice versa. Open your eyes and take in the celestial masterpiece. I must remember focusing on one thing prevents me from seeing the whole picture.

November 10

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: friends, family, people with character and class (a bit disappointed with those who’ve jumped to social media spreading vitriol, especially saddened to see this done by people who are self-proclaimed light workers)

Joy: People who spread the light

Awareness: Temper tantrums don’t change outcomes; positive actions better humanity and the world.

Define and Design 2016, Week Forty-three

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” ~Thomas Merton
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Week Forty-three

October 28

Creativity: Writing, reading about writing

Gratitude: Some quiet time alone at the end of the day, finding my way around a roadblock and a detour I didn’t want to use, ability to have prepared food delivered to my door

Joy: Communication in all its various forms…I love getting texts from friends or family that cracks me up or a phone call that lifts me just when I need it.

Awareness: Having faith in myself destroys obstacles and fills me with renewed inspiration.

October 29

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Getting in and out of the post office on a Saturday in a record time of five minutes! A sale at the glass store!

Joy: I purchased a glass saw today, and I am so excited. It will make some of the curves of the angels, fairies, and mermaids so much easier to cut. I can also cut various materials (metal, plastic, stone) using different blades. My son has given me a collection of soapstone so I can’t wait to get a mega blade and cut some shapes from them!

Awareness: Having faith in others lessens my concerns (which I shouldn’t allow myself in the first place) and also makes them feel good knowing they are supported.

October 30

Creativity: Stained glass, writing

Gratitude: a laid back day, learned how to work my Taurus 3 Ring Saw, slow cooked dinner so I could do other things.

Joy: Designed and completed another stained glass mermaid

Awareness: The more I study a craft the easier it is for me to alter processes to achieve the same goal or envision changes I’d like to see in the finished product and figure out how to achieve it….it’s all about practice. I am definitely a hands on learner.

October 31

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Watching the sun rise, filling the gaps between the tree branches with yellow, orange, and pink layers. First shipment of new daycare toys arrived today and the little ones were so excited! phone call from my brother

Joy: 129 adorable and polite little trick or treaters, what a delight!

Awareness: I appreciate people who share their expertise with others or take the time to mentor. Anyone who has been a recipient of this usually will take the time to do the same.

November 1

Creativity: Photography, writing

Gratitude: My sister had another post-op cancer check and received another glowing report; all numbers are good and still no sign of cancer…YAY! Of course, this is also a joy!

Joy: a gorgeous sunrise; a beautiful swirl of pink and blue.

Awareness: When people insist how other people should feel about a subject it clarifies the insecurities of the person imposing his views.

November 2

Creativity: Writing, stained glass

Gratitude: Another pretty sunrise, getting some errands done after work and a homemade dinner made even though it was a bit later than usual. Though I was on the phone for over two hours I was finally able to get the price of my health insurance down…I took a higher deductible and less coverage and the price is still astronomical but it’s better than it was. (It’s really sad when health insurance for one person is as high as the mortgage, yet I realize I am one of the fortunate ones who is able to obtain insurance.)

Joy: a sweet phone video sent to me of a toddler telling me she loves me

Awareness: A small stress line can destroy a masterpiece; imagine what it can do to the physical body.

November 3

Creativity: Writing, stained glass

Gratitude: Big hugs from little people, people with vision (as in goals) and passion, an abundance of scurrying squirrels in the yard today. A glimpse of a glorious sunset as I was driving.

Joy: My friend surprised me by showing up at my house with lunch for me! Someone called me an artist today! Vanilla cappuccino, DirtMan’s photography

Awareness: Thinking outside the box is often where solutions reside…I need to make it a habit to visit this place more often.

 

Define and Design 2016, Week Forty-two

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~Desmond Tutuimg_2707

October 21

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: extremely light work day, words,

Joy: wine tasting and sushi dinner with DirtMan, hilarious phone call with a friend

Awareness: I love being a “regular” at my local businesses.

October 22

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: cleaned closet, after errands and chores I had time to relax which was good because I was starting to feel crummy (The little kids have been sick for weeks, guess their germs have found their way to me, ugh!)

Joy: Shopping, time with Oldest in the am, phone call with Youngest in the pm

Awareness: There are people in this world who are in need, yet scammers run rampant. It’s important to use discernment. And when you’ve been “had” remember the good in the world far outweighs the bad.

October 23

Creativity: Writing, Stained glass, Cooking

Gratitude: A day at home with DirtMan to do absolutely what we want…it’s a pj kinda’ day here…still getting things done but leisurely. Cleaned out another closet.

Joy: Affectionate pets. Family. Homemade chicken noodle soup. Hot tea. Wine. Books. PJs. Talking with my friend.

Awareness: You never know what an impression you make on others. Remember there are always eyes on you so be the best “You” you can be.

October 24

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: home, a hard working husband,

Joy: Conversations with my sons…sometimes I still catch glimpse of the tots they used to be in these grown men; you know the saying the more things change the more they stay the same. The conversations between the two of them (while we are all on speaker phone) cracks me up.

Awareness: There is a time to think and a time to be.

October 25

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Hot water, electricity, Himalayan salt lamps, my Kindle Fire

Joy: Reading time, essential oils

Awareness: There are many books I enjoy reading a second time, and often it makes a bigger impact on me on the reread.

October 26

Creativity: Writing and reading about writing

Gratitude: Writing inspiration of an old project has resurfaced, reorganized my studio/office-this must be done each time I switch creativity modes. Chopped my hair off today and I like it; saved about $65 by doing it myself!

Joy: A home cooked dinner with DirtMan…has had a lot of crazy hours at the close of a project so it was delightful to eat dinner together at a decent hour. Had a problem with our heat system and the company we deal with no longer take calls in Virginia…DirtMan figured it out and ordered the part; extra bonus is the lovely weather we’re having here so we won’t need heat. Lovely memories of my high school friend who died way too young; her birthday was today.

Awareness: When I allow my mind to stray and enter the worry places (those places of which I have no control and usually not warranted to even visit) it totally throws me off center and takes great effort to find peace both physically and emotionally.

October 27

Creativity: Writing, baked homemade pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting that turned out well even though I tweaked the recipe!

Gratitude: One of the biggest lessons in adulting (and death to the myth we had as teenagers) is we are not always going to get our way…and many times we are quite happy about it. Shopping online; I love Amazon!

Joy: a yellow finch flying through the backyard; we don’t get as many of those as the other birds. Sitting on the backyard swing drinking a glass of wine and listening to the high school band a block away.

Awareness: We are each beautifully created. We should celebrate our distinctness and differences. We have much to learn from one another. We are each individual networks of cultural, religious, and familial beliefs entombed in varying intellectual and economic systems. These variances don’t make any of us right or wrong. I am extremely frustrated by a media who plays on this and creates divides rather than uniting.

 

Define and Design 2016, Week Forty-one

To be creative means to connect. It’s to abolish the gap between the body, the mind and the soul, between science and art, between fiction and nonfiction. ~Nawal El Saadawi

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October 14

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: a few hours to myself to read

Joy: Cardinals in my back yard

Awareness: The things that annoy me probably say more about me than others; I need to work on this…changing me not others.

October 15

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Was able to finish hurricane clean up (except backyard), only problem is I blistered my hands and now can’t do any stained glass cutting for a few day…body is too tired and sore to do it today anyway, still managed to do my grocery shopping (after a hot shower), reading time

Joy: comfort of resting on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, interesting conversations with a few neighbors

Awareness: I often say my body can’t do what it used to do. However, it still can do most things, just slower and with consequences.

October 16

Creativity: Meal planning and prep for the week

Gratitude: Full of energy, friends we consider family

Joy: a night with family friends, love and laughter always win

Awareness: Following the lights wrapped around the limbs of the tall tree I walked into the backyard. The beauty of the sparkling tiny lights was surpassed only by the Hunter Moon filling the dark gaps between the tree branches.

October 17

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: a light and cooperative workday, finished the book for book club, a good dinner thanks to my preplanning

Joy:  Glass of wine, a hot shower, and an early bedtime!

Awareness: This morning the Hunter Moon was still hanging around visiting with the sun!

October 18

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: The internet makes research so much easier than a trip to the library. Made a lovely vegetable stir fry for dinner.

Joy: Communicating with several cousins via FB. A phone call from a good friend and laughing over a euphemism, actually an acronym, she shared with me…always laughing when on the phone with her!

Awareness: There are times it life it calls for you to just kick back and be silly.

October 19

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: love, life, family, comfort, provisions, the end of the work day

Joy: Friends, writer’s group, candy corn M&Ms

Awareness: I tend to live in my own little bubble, and am surprised to hear the reality of some situations. There is not only the shock value of learning certain conditions exist in the world, but once you are aware the next thought is what can I do to make a difference…

October 20

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: A better work day than yesterday, catching up with two friends

Joy: A few hours to myself, a glass of wine, my dog and my cat, phone call from a friend I hadn’t heard from in 25 years!

Awareness: Compassion builds bridges where judgment tears them down.

Define and Design 2016, Week Forty-one

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The frailty of wearing thin awakens us to the strength and beauty within.

October 7

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Visiting with family

Joy: Seeing Wylie after being away from her all week!

Awareness: Though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our adventures, a week of wilderness hiking has worn me down…you can hear my knees and hips creaking a block away!

October 8

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Home

Joy: My own bed!

Awareness: Though disappointed when the weather cancels plans sometimes it works out for the better.

October 9

Creativity: Writing, Photography

Gratitude: Made it through last night’s storm with only a very short time of power outages, no damage from the flooding and only minor damages of fallen tree limbs.

Joy: We all made it home safely after being out and having to travel through flooded streets to get home.

Awareness: Though the storm was said not to be remnants of Hurricane Matthew, the wind and rain seemed stronger than Isabelle which kind of beat us up in 2003.

October 10

Creativity: Read a book about creativity

Gratitude: Got some of the debris (Limbs, sticks, pinecones, and leaves) picked up from the hurricane. Both of my nearby grocery stores were closed but B.J.s was open and running with generators so I was able to pick up a few needed supplies.

Joy: Oldest and his friend cooked lunch for me. Watched a movie during scheduled book club time as it was cancelled (my local Barnes and Noble is closed until further notice; I’m guessing they received damages from the Hurricane)

Awareness: A day balanced with work and pleasure is sometimes just what one needs.

October 11

Creativity: Read a book about creativity

Gratitude: First day back at work after vacation was a good one, some business issues resolved

Joy: Phone call with Youngest…his birthday is today. We celebrated while he was here a few weeks ago.

Awareness: Being a witness of words spoken with love and compassion is a beautiful moment.October 12

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Made dinner ahead of time, so only had to reheat later.

Joy: A surprise visit from some friends!

Awareness: No matter how much things change some things remain the same and usually it is due to someone being stuck in their ways; this can be positive or negative and is definitely something I’ll be thinking about…there are times watching/listening to other people makes me reflect on my own life.

October 13

Creativity: Designing, photography

Gratitude: My headache went away before bedtime, was able to throw together a decent dinner with the staples in my cabinets and freezer, yay me!

Joy: A little visit with a friend, started my book club book for the month

Awareness: My energy level and creativity ebb and flow accordingly.

Define and Design 2016, Week Forty

A wise man travels to discover himself. -James Russell Lowell

September 30

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: a relaxing night after a trying day, quiet time

Joy: Saw the most brilliant red cardinal at one of the backyard feeders, Dinner out with DirtMan and a funny phone call from my sister while we were out

Awareness: When I allow myself to get to the point of burn out I’m not fun to be around…need to remind myself not to reach this point again.

October 1

Creativity: Stained glass, finished both commissioned projects

Gratitude: Got our entire list of errands completed to go on our hiking vacation, found a really nice backpack on clearance at REI, and it not only fits better than my old one but it more suited to my needs.

Joy: Bumped into Oldest and friend at the brewery…funny story about this, another one of Oldest’s friends stopped by for a short visit, texting with a friend, lunch out with DirtMan

Awareness: There are some people who brighten our day whenever we see them.

October 2

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Got everything done that needed to be done before leaving home. Safely reached my mom’s to drop off Wylie for the week.

Joy: Phone call with Youngest and seeing Oldest before we embarked on our trip. A beautiful bright double rainbow before pulling out of town! Silliness with DirtMan on the road.

Awareness: Haste makes waste – you’d think I’d remember this by now! Again, rushed through something and had to redo it.

October 3

Creativity: Photography, writing

Gratitude: First day of vacation! Lots of hiking adventures planned. We checked out Lover’s Leap, Mabry Mill, Chateau Morrisette (lunch on the patio with the view of Meadows of Dan and wine tasting at the winery) Elk Garden, White Top

Joy: Cows, up close and personal!  We walked through a small portion of the AT which ran through a cow pasture. Enjoyed the view (a distance of 78 miles) and the sunset from White Top Mountain, the second highest mountain in Virginia…Amazing! (Overjoyed to reach the hotel!)

Awareness: Sitting outside in the dark wee hours of the morning listening to a crowing rooster. A train whistles in the distance while overhead heavy dew falls, thump, thump, thump, onto the tin roof.

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Mabry Mill

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Moo!

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Sunset from White Top Mountain

 

October 4

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: We made it to Devil’s Bathtub after a false start on the wrong trail. We creek scuttled because it would have been impossible to hack through the rhododendron thickets armed only with our bare teeth and a Swiss Army knife! At any rate, it was well worth it. We followed directions someone had posted which wasn’t correct, but quickly found the trail on our own. We hit Little Stoney Falls (Beautiful!) and then stumbled upon Bear Rock. We just pulled over and took a random trail, and boy, were we glad we did! It was an amazing vista of leaning rocks off the side of the mountain. I’m slightly afraid of heights, but it was stunning! We caught the sunset at Bark Lake.

Joy: A surprise of about 60 plus cairns built on the river at Devil’s Bathtub. I named it Children of the Cairns. Really sore muscles were delighted to reach a hot shower and a hotel bed!

Awareness: We were so tired we didn’t know how hungry we were until we started eating. Also too tired to be fazed when the waitress knocked my glass of wine over me; guess she was tired, too!

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Swimming hole at Devil’s Bathtub

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Devil’s Bathtub

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Some of the many cairns someone built

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A few more cairns

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Another fall and swimming hole at Devil’s Bathtub

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Little Stoney Falls

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Bear Rock

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Sunset at Bark Lake

October 5

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Hiked to the Channels, absolutely amazing! These are mountain outcrop with beautiful vistas from the top of the rocks. From the base you climb into slots (similar to canyons or perhaps caverns) and follow channels that have been formed through the years. Breathtaking, no words to describe!

Joy: We are still alive! The park we were headed to didn’t have a cabin available and couldn’t guarantee us a tent site so we stopped at Glade Creek Park to camp. The camp ground was empty. In fact, we were the only ones in the park. We were taking pictures of the moon over the river that night and the Park Rangers pulled up and asked us what we were doing. When we said taking photos they questioned it because it was dark, but were amazed when they saw DirtMan’s images. Anyway, they went on to tell us they’d had some problems there with “unsavory characters” doing some really bad things. Wonder what kind of “unsavory characters” we were temporarily mistaken for!

Awareness: Upon entering the vacant campground it instantly felt eerie. Not sure if it was because it was dark and empty or more because a river and railroad track ran along it. After the Rangers stopped I felt reassured since they patrol the area. However, no sleep as the trains ran all night long…when we didn’t hear the iron clanking of the tracks or the whistles blowing, two dogs barked and howled. Not much sleep!

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Set of outcrops on the mountain. We did not go around these or attempt to climb inside this set.

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An amazing view from on top.

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Slot which probably leads to channels

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One opening to the Channels we explored

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Inside one area of The Channels

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One channel leads to another

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and another

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and so on.

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Truly unique rock formations

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These channels surely tell a story of time.

October 6

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Babcock State Park, New River Gorge Bridge, Sandstone Falls

Joy: Made it from Hinton, WV to Lexington, VA shortly after 11 pm…dinner, a hot shower, and a hotel bed…never underestimate simple comforts.

Awareness: Witnessing amazing architecture constructed by nature and man is humbling.

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Babcock State Park

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New River Gorge Bridge

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Sandstone Falls

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Sandstone Falls, photo taken on the opposite side of the mountain from the first one.

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Sandstone Falls, zoom photo of one segment.

Define and Design 2016, Week Thirty-nine

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.~ Khalil Gibran
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September 23

Creativity: Stained glass, writing

Gratitude: Bargain shopping! MIL was released from the hospital. Safe trip to the mountains. Early morning coffee on the porch with my mom listening to the songs of the birds and the creek.

Joy: Youngest arrived! Wonderful family dinner, lots of love and laughter…oh yes, always laughter when Youngest and Oldest are involved! Wylie’s excitement over seeing Youngest was absolutely fabulous!

Awareness: There are no words for a heart overflowing with love and blessings.

September 24

Creativity: Dancing at a wedding (That’s all I got! Can I count it?)

Gratitude: Time (We crammed an incredible amount into a 12 hour period.) Heartfelt conversations. Early morning coffee on the porch with my mom listening to the songs of the birds and the creek.

Joy: A family wedding. Love, laughter, family, friends, fun, good times…Youngest absolutely insisted I dance with him (I’m not much of a dancer unless DirtMan pushes me into it…had a wonderful time on the dance floor!)

Awareness: While things are ever changing there are things that forever stay the same…and the most important of those things is love.

September 25

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: To be back home after a whirlwind weekend, Oldest had ordered lunch for us before we arrived home

Joy: A few hours at home before taking Youngest to the airport for his return trip.

Awareness: When your children live far away and you only see them once or twice a year, the joy of their arrival and pain of their departure doesn’t lessen with time.

September 26

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Back in the groove of work, today’s errands accomplished (actually yesterday’s errands a day late!)

Joy: Thrilled to finally have a pattern finished for a commissioned piece (It only took about 6 designs to get it to where I was satisfied, ha!)

Awareness: When I push myself I can often accomplish things I didn’t think I could do.

September 27

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: a rainy day, sometimes a rainy day is good for the soul

Joy: Pulled out my book “Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle LaPorte. I didn’t read much of it when I bought it a few years ago. Now, I feel like it pertains to my life, working on an art project, a series of stained glass that I’m extremely excited about. Loving the designs and finished products, also involves some writing as well. A glass of wine!

Awareness: My attitude sucks today…I am worn down and out of sync; I really need a vacation; fortunately it’s next week!

September 28

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: On schedule with two commissioned projects,

Joy: A hot shower and an early bedtime

Awareness: As one thing dies another blooms, such is life.

September 29

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: A relatively light day, and was able to run an errand at the end of the day and cook dinner.

Joy: Realized there is an unfollow button on Facebook…yay, so tired of all those political rants. There is no way I could remain on there through the rest of the election season with all those antagonistic posts. I enjoy using FB to keep up with family and friends, but shuffling through all the bitterness was really messing with my inner peace. Some quiet time to myself.

Awareness: “I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom goes on as fruit.” ~Dawna Markova:  I posted this quote a year ago as my FB status, and I finally feel I am comfortably “Living in the Gap”. You see, this was my intention for 2012. But when 2013 rolled around I began to shift…while it is difficult to live a balanced life I feel like I’m headed in the right direction.

Define and Design 2016, Week Thirty-eight

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the same horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.”  ~ Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
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September 16

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Enjoyed a quiet Friday night at home, reading time

Joy: Design inspiration is still strong.

Awareness: Sitting on the back swing in the cool air is a balm to my soul.

September 17

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Had a complication with one of my stained glass pieces and figured out how to take it apart and redo a section on my own…yay, me!

Joy: Completed seven stained glass projects, a hot bath, a glass of wine

Awareness: When I exhaust myself doing something I enjoy I feel satisfied, yet when I exhaust myself with drudge work I focus on my used energy and sore muscles. Yes people, life is all about attitude and focus; we make it what it is.

September 18

Creativity: Writing and photography

Gratitude: DirtMan and I met friends in Smithfield for breakfast. Dinner with Oldest. Phone call with Youngest.

Joy: Needed a sweater/jacket to accompany a dress and found a perfect match, reading time

Awareness: Words are powerful. They are able to edify or destroy, use them carefully. When angry try to reach for love because once words are released there is no return.

September 19

Creativity: Stained glass embellishment videos

Gratitude: My husband did not have to pull nightshift when it was expected. I would say we got time together, but he was so exhausted from working nights and getting little sleep (this is week # 5 of nightshift) he slept over twelve hours…so I’m thankful he was able to catch up on his rest.

Joy: People who make me laugh, especially when it’s my kids. Being a witness to happiness.

Awareness: When people are happy with themselves they seem to establish healthier relationships.

September 20

Creativity: Stained glass design

Gratitude: Raincoat and umbrella because the rains keep coming…glad my street was not flooded while I had to go to the store.

Joy: Absolutely thrilled DirtMan doesn’t have to work any nights this week. Phone calls with my sister and a friend. Two little ones playing hide and seek; the counting out of order was hilarious, especially since the other child totally got it!

Awareness: It’s a wonderful feeling to have someone who gets you, and even greater if you have more than one person.

September 21

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Schools were closed due to flooding, waters were down (at least on my street) by the late afternoon though it is still raining. Writer’s Group cancelled so I didn’t have to go out in the pouring rain (except to take the dog out as she refused for the past 24 hours: I swear her bladder must be the size of Texas!)

Joy: Tonight DirtMan and I watched family videos of when our sons were small. It was wonderful to visit the days of our early family and the joy of sharing the river and mountains with them. We spent a lot of time camping, hiking, fishing, ATV riding, and just enjoying the bounty of nature and love of family. I hope they will always have fond memories of their youth.  Learning about creative energy patterns, fascinating how the right side of the brain controls the left (female energy) of the body, and the left side of the brain controls the right (male energy) side of the body.  We need both; female for inspiration and male for structure…this makes our dreams tangible. This comes from the book  “Wild Creative” by Tami Lynn Kent. I am so enjoying this book.

Awareness: Learning this concept in the above joy section helps me understand what I need to expand on in various creative endeavors. I am balanced with stained glass. With writing I have lots of inspiration but I lack structure. I knew this but I’d never looked at it as an energy form.

September 22

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Feeling appreciated…kind words on a card, gift certificates. The sun returned today!

Joy: Love. Twittering birdsong and twitching fluffy squirrel tails have made their way back into our yard now that the rain finally stopped. Manicure and pedicure (with the enjoyment of massage chair) Phone call from Youngest…he is due to arrive tomorrow!

Awareness: Sometimes we receive the honor and joy of positively impacting another’s life, and perhaps they touch your heart as well…though no relation, we call these people family. And often the time comes your job is done and they move on which is the case in my work. My heart is sad and yet it is full as one of my little guys moves up to preschool.