Taking it One Day at a Time or…The Power of Now

I took this photo driving from Colorado through New Mexico.  Georgia O’Keefe territory!

Taken near Georgia O'Keefe's Ghost Ranch in New Mexico

Most everyone’s heard of Eckhart Tolle‘s best seller…The Power of Now.  Back in the day, people used to say, “Take it one day at a time”.  I’ve made a conscious decision to implement this way of living recently and it seems to be working!  At times in the past, I’ve had a difficult time making certain decisions…i.e. which of my passions to follow or whether to stay or go.  I’m learning to feel with my heart/gut more than listening to the conflicting thoughts that bounce around in my head.

Learning to accept myself…the dark and the light!

Just in the past few days I’ve had numerous situations of Synchronicity and events that seem to go beyond coincidence!  Now that I have narrowed down my true passions–which are–health/wellness, organization/decluttering, and travel/photography/writing, I’ve decided to stop attempting to pick just one to follow and instead…delve into all of them!  So–that means I’m going to be a traveling hypnotist specializing in hoarding, who blogs about her experiences!  Well…something like that.  I’m still “Taking it One Day at a Time“!

The other key component is ACTION.  So, today I got information about becoming a Certified Hypnotist; and I made a flyer to place on bulletin boards to help people organize their homes!  I also entered a photography contest.

I’m learning to let go of fear and replace it with love!  Fear of not having enough money for retirement.  Fear of speaking in front of a large crowd.  Actually, I don’t have many fears…so I’m lucky!

These are my wishes for each of you…that you may be free from fear; that you know and love yourselves; and that you are able to follow your passions and have Gratitude!

Cold Art

Art is everywhere!  Dark/light… cold/warm…hard/soft…Contrasts help us appreciate life.

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A little magic is always fun!

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Jake loves to roll in the snow and be joyful…and coy!

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Taking a walk on our property…leads to a creek…with more Art!

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You’re never too old to sled-ride!

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Our cabin in the woods.  I like that it blends in with nature.

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Nature loves to change colors!

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What magic is around you?

Weekly Photo Challenge — My 2012 in Pictures

2012 was a year of discovery and fun!

I participated in lots of activities…

Activities

Pinterest inspired me to make over 125 new recipes!  My husband gained a few pounds.

And…I made homemade Febreeze, carpet stain remover, deodorant, In a Pickle Bag, scarves made from t-shirts, and these beautiful Easter centerpieces…

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I attended lots of fun festivals, farmers’ markets, parties, and concerts!

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I was a tourist in my own hometown of Cincinnati and the surrounding areas…

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And–had so much fun seeing familiar places with new eyes through the lens of my camera!

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In May/June, I camped for 26 nights of the 40 nights I spent touring seven AMAZING countries in Africa.  You can read the first post here!

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Met unforgettable people and had once-in-a-lifetime experiences!

People of Africa

Strangers opened their homes to me in South Africa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida–through an organization called Couchsurfing!

It is an amazing way to meet new people, make travel affordable, and get tips from locals on what to see and do!

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My six week-4,200 mile-USA road-trip through North & South Carolina, Georgia and Florida was an adventure!  I left in late October and returned home in December.

I so enjoyed walking through all of the cities I visited!

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There is so much beauty in the USA!

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Florida was too pretty for words!!

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I took a wine painting class with girlfriends, went to Columbus, Ohio for a girls’ weekend, and had girlfriends visit me in Florida!

Friends

Last…but most importantly…had quality time with family!  I thank my husband for being a good sport concerning my passion for travel!

Family

My cousins and I had fun taking photos with Santa!!

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I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve such a rich life…but I’m truly grateful and if 2013 is as good or better than 2012…then all I have to say is…”LIFE IS GOODGREAT IN YOUR 50’s”!

Snow Day

I love snow!  So…today was a special treat in Cincinnati!  Being surrounded by acres and acres of trees provides a winter wonderland to take photographs!  I didn’t even notice the cold…standing outside in my house slippers…taking delight in the beauty!

I tried a few new settings on my camera and was pleased with the result.  It started sleeting this morning, and turned to snow later today.  I was so blessed not to have to drive in it!

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“The snow began to fall again, drifting against the windows, politely begging entrance and then falling with disappointment to the ground”  ~Jamie McGuire, Beautiful Disaster

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.” ~William  Blake

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“The first snow is like the first love. Do you remember your first snow?”  ~Lara Biyuts

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“There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of  heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”  ~Washington Irving

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Staying warm by the fire…filled with gratitude!  xoxoxo

 

Christmas Celebrations…a time for Friends, Family and Gratitude

I’m sure most of you have multiple Christmas celebrations…with all of the divorced families and grown children splitting their time between families.  I enjoy being able to have lots of opportunities for spending time with family and friends!  My first celebration was with my son and his girlfriend last weekend.  He is spending Christmas with his father, step-mother and sister in Texas.  He was excited about seeing his 14-year-old half-sister and I’m so happy that he’s happy!

I received a really special gift from him this year…one of my favorite photographs that I took in Namibia, Africa…framed!

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Friday night we spent a wonderful evening with my long-time girlfriend from middle school and her husband.  She prepared a delicious fish entrée and then we had game night…a couple games of pool and Wii bowling.  Downstairs was decorated for a party their teenage daughter was having the following night.

The photo on the top right is after we arrived home…Randy bringing wood in for the wood burning stove.  That’s how we heat the house in the winter!

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Saturday night we had lots of fun at a friend’s (more like family) house, along with my brother, his wife, and my niece and nephew.  Lynne…the hostess had decorated the table so festively…

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We had a different wine with each course…

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After the gift giving and white elephant…we sang songs…mostly Christmas songs using a Karaoke machine that hooks up to your I-pad, that Lynne received as a gift.

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I was a bit obnoxious with my camera…snapping photos throughout the evening.  But, hey…that’s my thing!

My husband was a bit melancholy because all of our parents have passed away.  It can be a difficult time for people…but I read an interesting article recently that helps people control and redirect their thoughts.  Basically…imagine there is a computer in your head along with a trash bin that you can drag negative thoughts into.  I’m usually quite optimistic, so I don’t need to utilize the technique extensively, but it’s amazingly effective.

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Christmas day we’ll go my cousin’s in the afternoon and then to the neighbors’!  We’re blessed to have such good friends and family!!

 

Wintertime Walk in the Woods

Walking in the woods is magical!  Even when you go to the same place over and over again…there are always new ways to look at the same scenes and these scenes change through the weeks and months.  There’s nothing like breathing in the sweet-clean-woodsy air and feeling the sun’s rays upon your face.  The sky seems bluer in the woods.

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I love the way the towering trees cast shadows and surround you with their being…

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The paths seem so inviting.  Without leaves, the trees don’t seem lonely.

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A light dusting of snow still clings to this path…

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Icicles glint in the light and seem to sprout from the rocks…like roots from a tree.

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The trees admire their reflections in the icy water…

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I’m grateful for the woods!

 

Distorted Reality

These are some photos from my recent trip through the Southern US.  I’ve given them a name.  If you’d like to play along, I’d love to know what your imagination comes up with…

Window Puzzle

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This was a wall in the kitchen of the first lovely Couchsurfing home I stayed in.

Field of Dreams

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Searching for Me

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Frozen in Time

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Behind the Glass

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Hope you can all slow down and enjoy the moments!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

I’ve never participated in the “Weekly Photo Challenge” that WordPress hosts, so I’m excited to be able to contribute.  This week’s challenge is delicate…

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This photo was taken earlier this year in Columbus, Ohio.  Everyone can interpret delicate slightly differently.  My perception/interpretation is something or someone who can easily break or that you need to treat gently.  Or perhaps when something/someone touches you delicately, softly or tenderly.

While I’m thinking and writing, the thunder is rumbling and the gray misty skies are lit occasionally with streaks of lightning.  Raindrops are delicately clinging to the branches of a bush in front of my house….nature’s very own Christmas lights.

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My heart is a bit heavy today…so I’m going to meditate and allow my feelings to be.

I’m officially a Photographer!

A while back a lady contacted me from the African Development Bank organization and requested permission to use a couple of my photos from a six-week trip I took through six countries in Africa for a report that was being published on their website.  I told her that was fine and actually had forgotten about it until she contacted me recently to inform me that it been published and the credit and link back to my blog was on the second to last page.

The report is entitled “Solutions for a Changing Climate” and this is my photo that was used on the cover page…

Deadvlei in Namib Desert

Deadvlei in Namib Desert

So…I’m excited about that and realize I need to start taking action to get paid for what I love…photography, adventure, travel and writing!