Define and Design 2016, Week Forty-three

“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-two

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.