Define and Design 2016, Week Twenty-one

May 20

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: The sun is back! I am able to find all of my files (thus far) since installing Windows10.

Joy: Phone call with my sister and a catch up phone call with a girlfriend. Dinner out at a neighborhood café with the hubby and Oldest and saw neighborhood friends. After dinner a trip by Starbucks. The hubby and I checked out cars at several dealerships.

Awareness: No matter how exhausted one feels, if you throw in something fun, something you’re passionate about, the energy soars. Funny how we always manage enough stamina to do what we really want and put off what doesn’t interest us.

May 21

Creativity: Scrapbooking

Gratitude: Finally able to get my overdue mammogram done. Another great trip to The Fresh Market. Also was able to get clearance foam to make a travel dog bed for Wylie.

Joy: Car research and test drives despite the rain. We’ve narrowed it down to two makes. Hot chocolate and massage chair while waiting at dealership. Wine time and fun night with my Moon Chasers Tribe!

Awareness: Driving out of the neighborhood I watched a Great Blue Heron shake the rain from his wings and inch toward a Raven. The raven continued pecking at the ground while the heron continued to flutter about as if he was trying to infringe on the raven’s territory. The raven kept pecking at the ground, not at all intimidated by the size of the heron.

May 22

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Detailed the interior of our car before the rain ran us inside. Now we only have to do the exterior before putting it up for sale.

Joy: Crème brulee. A hot bath.  Watched a John Muir documentary with the hubby. We made a decision on a car, and the dealer located exactly what we want; just have to wait for it to arrive. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a new car. I’ve had mine fourteen years and it’s a 1999. I’ve loved my Subaru so we decided to purchase another one, different model. They work well for us with all of the traveling we do to the mountains.

Awareness: They say if you go to wash your car it will surely rain the next day…might be true but I can attest that rain surely does not wash a car, not enough “elbow grease” involved! Trust me, I was surely hoping the rain would do the job!

May 23

Creativity: Groomed the dog. Made a travel dog bed for Wylie.

Gratitude: The rain stopped by noon….yay, sun I’ve missed you!

Joy: A delightful homemade card from a wonderful friend. And then a phone call with her!

Awareness: When we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations we must endure, if we accept the situation for what it is we become willing participants, discomfort can come from resistance…humans and animals alike. (me-mammogram, Wylie-grooming)

May 24

Creativity: Throwing together an impromptu dinner, yeah I’m claiming that as creativity!  Android photography. Collecting and filing natural health and home recipes

Gratitude: I made it home safely…those of you who know me know I have a small radius I drive, and I avoid the interstate at all costs. (It’s not the interstate I despise driving but the on and off ramps send me into a panic.) Any way, I had to transport my new car home as we purchased it in another city. I chose a route with limited interstate driving, however due to the crazy traffic I might as well have stayed on the interstate as I’d gotten on and off anyway.

Joy: A joint text with both my sons…adore their sense of humor! Loving all the bells and whistles of a new car. Started reading a new book, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Awareness: Stress is exhausting. Now that I maintain a certain level of inner peace I find the things that would have sent me into a panic attack or highly upset me more or less tax me, deplete my energy.

May 25

Creativity: Planting my herb garden

Gratitude: Even though the squirrels  dug up portions of the flowers in my hanging baskets and pots, I still have some colorful blooms. I’m not sure what’s up with those stinkers, they’ve never done this before. Perhaps, they’re telling me they are tired of trying to raid the squirrel-proof bird feeders.

Joy: Backyard time with the birds. Wonderful phone chat with Youngest.

Awareness: The days are longer, but when the light fades our neighborhood disappears into the night quickly…at least, it so appears from inside the house. I go outside and all that blended comes into view. Light, darkness, shadows, vision; it can all be deceiving.

May 26

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Reading time

Joy: Another snail mail card that made my day! Two in one week, yay me!

Awareness: My dog has been watching too much television; obviously she has seen those Subaru dog commercials: We decided to take Wylie on her inaugural ride…we opened the doors and back hatch and she jumped into the driver’s seat!

Define and Design 2016, Week Twenty


May 13

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: A weekend in the mountains

Joy: being far enough from the city to enjoy a starry sky

Awareness: Silence is sometimes underrated.

May 14

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: family, fog rising in the valleys and hanging over the meadows, country roads, rain on the river, lush green fields, blooming mountain laurel, seafood dinner, milkshakes, craft beer, and catching up with old friends, a jacket (fortunate I packed one since I packed all the wrong clothes for this weekend’s weather; forecast was way off!)

Joy: Hanging with the hubby on the river property in the rain…just like many times we’ve spent there

Awareness: How beautiful and peaceful it is to listen to the harmony of the river and wind singing their praises.

May 15

Creativity: Made a curtain

Gratitude: family, a husband who takes his time and energy to make sure my mom’s property is maintained, quartz stone, fields of wildflowers, safe travels ,

Joy: texting with one son and phone call from the other, visiting with my mom and sister

Awareness: Many of the things from which I am joyous are the very things that make me sick…allergies to the pollen of the gracious trees and beautiful flowers, and the molds from lingering rain. (Perhaps I should start taking antihistamines again. This is my first time in many years of not taking allergy medication.)

May 16

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: My five day headache finally vacated the premises!

Joy: Even though I was wiped out I still managed to grocery shop and go by the bank, bumping into a friend, hot chocolate

Awareness: how quickly my body gets out of whack when it hasn’t had proper exercise and diet for a few days

May 17

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: My talents, was glad some of my abilities was able to benefit Oldest.

Joy: A quiet house, each to his own tasks or joys; mine was reading.

Awareness: Four pairs of house finch flock at the front feeder…they all flutter to it at the same time…feathers fly in all directions except for the two who get a seat at the table. The others bide time on the ground and come from beneath to chase the diners away so they can take a turn at the buffet.

May 18

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Moments spent unwinding with the hubby at the end of the day

Joy: Writer’s Group, laughter and informative conversation

Awareness: Synchronicities of hearing the right words at the right time or coming across something that moved me beyond words.

May 19

Creativity: Writing, drawing

Gratitude: Pleasant attitudes of all I encountered today! My husband taught our sons at an early age how to use tools properly, repair automotive problems and fix household appliances…it’s nice to know as adults they are able to do most things for themselves rather than having to hire someone. My life has always been blessed by family pets.

Joy: a sense of humor, laughter and funny conversations with my family

Awareness: The mundane moments of connection during any given day are enough…those are the moments that comprise a fulfilling life for me.

Define and Design 2016, Week Nineteen


Weeds or flowers?

May 6

Creativity: Android photography, art coloring book

Gratitude: Though a trip had to be cancelled due to a work emergency for hubby, we spent a Friday night relaxing, reading, and watching youtube videos.

Joy: Delivery of unexpected flowers from Youngest, and Oldest assembled the chair he bought me, and a surprise eight strand Earth bracelet from my sister…early Happy Mother’s Day to me.

Awareness: That moment when you realize you’re being led by your ego rather than your heart and you pull yourself back in to reassess and step back out in truth.


May 7

Creativity: Android photography and gardening

Gratitude: A husband who is capable and willing to repair almost anything in or around our house. Watching the birds in my yard: The juvenile female cardinal eats from the feeder while below a grey catbird feasts on a worm.

Joy: My first visit to The Fresh Market! Texts and video chats with my sons.

Awareness: The sun and clouds tussle for control…a few rain drops and a little warmth. However, the singing birds and romping squirrels have no problem sharing the tree branches.


May 8

Creativity: Android photography and building a bird bath (broke the glass bowl so I decided to place a slab of soapstone on the frame and place a pottery bowl on top, turned out quite pretty!)

Gratitude: a quiet day of all the things I wanted… a bit of creativity, a bit of writing, some reading, watching movies, enjoying the flowers and birds in my yard

Joy: Breakfast out with the hubby and dinner cooked by him…flowers, cards, texts, calls, and gifts; appreciation of my role in their lives from my hubby and sons and some others)

Awareness: It’s the simplest of words and gestures that usually are most heartfelt, offered and received.


May 9

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Dinner cooked ahead, only had to reheat. A friend sent me a photo of us and our other girlfriends from way back in the day, a blast from the past! Catching up with Youngest via phone.

Joy: Book Club!

Awareness: The more I know, the less I know; I will always be a work in progress.


May 10

Creativity: Mind mapping

Gratitude: Morning rain, now I don’t have to water the flowers I planted on Saturday.

Joy: Planning a reunion with friends from the past.

Awareness: The house doesn’t moan and groan of her aging ailments. The overhead fan whispers with each whirl of cool air brushing against my arms. Cool sheets drape my body. My breath, deep and content, snuggles into the softness of sleep.


May 11

Creativity: Writing, playing with color pencils

Gratitude: A late start to my morning…I love unexpected unstructured time!

Joy: Perfect timing of finding a reference book on my Kindle I’d forgotten. The view from my studio window…hanging baskets of ruby, magenta, and coral blooms.

Awareness: The silver lady drifted across the yard and through the pines pulling her sweat-drenched skirts behind her. House wrens flew through her ghostly image. Proof of her existence…tear-stained cobblestone.


May 12

Creativity: Writing/Outlining a project

Gratitude: Working from home

Joy: Yogi Kombucha tea, it’s the little things, folks! I really don’t know if this is beneficial or not but it tastes good. Besides, hot tea is soothing…and the inspirational tags attached to a Yogi tea bag is nice. I generally prefer loose tea, but if I use a bag tea I choose Yogi brand…why? Taste and inspiration; again it’s the little things, folks!

Awareness: The sloshing of running water muffles the whooshing of the plane flying over the house. There are times I hardly hear these things. There are days all noises are magnified which don’t necessarily bother me, but today I am hypersensitive to sound.

Define and Design 2016, Week Eighteen

Night pics 005

While night sometimes fades familiarity like a dream, morning lights our lives back to fluency.

April 29

Creativity:  writing

Gratitude: Rainy…ordered dinner in

Joy:  a fuzzy blanket and a glass of wine

Awareness: Some stories end and initiate beginnings of new stories. These life experiences are for learning and character building. As painful as they can be, they are necessary. Every day starts as a clean slate. There are times I am overwhelmed with good feelings when I see people I love act instead of react and choose respect and responsibility.

April 30

Creativity: adult coloring books for the artist!

Gratitude: After running errands and cleaning house I had the rest of the day and night to read a great book, perfect for rainy weather!

Joy: cotton candy, feeling appreciated

Awareness:  No matter where we spread our wings, we carry a bit of our roots with us.

May 1

Creativity: Quilting, machine embroidery writing

Gratitude: DirtMan and Oldest delivered our old sofa to its new home. We got a few other errands taken care of today.

Joy: The sun came back out this afternoon after days of rain, and we’re headed into four more days of rain. I don’t mind the rain but I do enjoy the sun peeking through as well.

Awareness:  Sparkling stars in the daylight or is it diamonds in the sky? It is the glitter of the setting sun breaking through the tiny gaps of the pine boughs.

May 2

Creativity: Quilting

Gratitude: Things generally work themselves out or fall into place on their own accord.

Joy:  Some backyard relaxation time with the hubby before dinner. The first bloom in my iris garden!

Awareness: How good it feels for the soul when the body just breathes while the mind is at ease.

May 3

Creativity: Quilting

Gratitude: The new sofa and throw pillows arrived, and at the exact same time as that delivery another unexpected one arrived at my door…Oldest bought me a nice chair for my studio, a Mother’s Day gift!

Joy: Purchasing college graduation and Mother’s day gifts! Being able to do unexpected things for others.

Awareness: I used to make many life goals and often found myself disappointed, anxious, and frustrated. I find myself making few goals these days, yet I am content…

May 4

Creativity: Quilting, sewing a table skirt

Gratitude: Able to get some business work accomplished over lunch time.

Joy: Got a short visit with a friend, and a great phone call with another one

Awareness: Darkness crept over the neighborhood with a slow grace. The trees became shadows and houses lit like a model Christmas village. Time seemed to stand still in the quiet embrace of nightfall.

May 5

Creativity: Android photography, art coloring book

Gratitude: Had enough time this morning to bake and frost a birthday cake before work!

Joy: My “Cinco de Mayo” baby (Oldest) turned 30 today, and I don’t feel old just incredibly blessed.

Awareness: The Vinca vines and amethyst blossoms swing in the breeze. Three cardinals (two males, one female) sing to their hearts content as they flit about the backyard. Two vultures swarm overhead. The pines wildly swing their arms as if they can’t contain the secrets they’ve heard in the yard.