Saturday, June 4, 2011

STOP and Smell the Roses (or the rhododendrons)

Challenge for the day ... To seek out a bug and watch it do it's job for a while.

This is not a new thing for me to do ... I love bugs, and I remember many hours when my kids were small, studying bugs!  I though one of the boys was going to be an entomologist!  We had many one gallon terrariums with all kids of little critters habitating in them.

It has been a gloriously beautiful spring day in the Pacific Northwest!  A welcome treat after the coldest April on record, and I believe the wettest May!

The plus side to the drizzly weather that we have had is that our native plant life is really LOVING it ... especially when followed with a couple days of sun as a treat!  The rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming like I have not seen them in many many years!  They are just so beautiful!  So I decided to take a walk down the street to a little park.  The hill across from my home is quite steep, and there is a lovely patch of happy butter cups swaying in the breeze.

 Laying in the grass, and photographing up the hill gives a fun texture and perspective.

The air is fresh, and the drone of lawn mowers buzzing in the back ground is quite hypnotic.  I could lay in the grass and nap ... I can't even watch the clouds go by, as there isn't one to be seen for miles!

The sun shines clement on my shin, and I welcome it's penetrating warmth.  May as well revel in it as we may only have it a few days before it leaves us with a parting kiss of rain, again.

I staked my spot near a bright pink rhododendron in the sun, and right away saw and heard the humming of the busy little bees.

The fat and fluffy little bundles collecting pollen, flit in and out of each bright and welcoming challis of the tidy bouquets God has arranged via this genius plant!  It is amazing to me that each blossom is uniform, but just as unique as each human ever created, or each snowflake!  How can someone simply walk past such beauty, without ever stopping to ponder the perfect design?

 I have no idea the name of this beauty of a blossom, and while there were no bees gracing her delicious colors, my camera begged to capture her forever.

Up close with plant life, and getting different perspectives on things is my interest when behind the camera.  While I do like to photograph people, I do struggle with taking up a lot of their time posing and trying different things until I get the shot I like.  I have been the one in front of the camera ... It can be a very tiresome role (though I do have fun with it when I get the chance!).

 It was pretty shaded ... but I did happen to spot this little ant wandering around taking care of his chores!

Love the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper ... One of my favorites!

Photographing the bees is fun, but very challenging, as they do not stay still for long.  Just about the time my camera gets a good focus, they are off to the next sip of nectar!  I guess that is where that saying "busy as a bee" comes from!  So true, so true!!

On my way back home, I happen to spot this tiny little any wandering down the street ... If you can see it in this picture, then I give you kudos!  I am blessed and amazed that my vision is as good as it is at 43 that I can spot an ant on the road out of the corner of my eye while walking!!  Both of my parents, and my brother, all have had heavy optical prescriptions as long as I can remember.

Home again, I breathe deep of the clean country air that I live so near to.  I like my little town.  It feels safe here.  The business community working together with the city and the citizens to build a growing and lasting community.

I ponder back on the events of my day, and the past week.  I feel enriched through the challenges that I have faced.  I feel empowered by that!  I am more at ease.  I am more focused.  I am more resolved.  I am more alive!

Leaning back in the nest of buttercups, I ponder what is next.  There are welcome changes on my horizon.  I am ready.  I am eager.  I am ...

Living Well!

Love as ever,

When Life Gives You Lemons ....

Not Lemons, but the colors work for me!
To every thing, there is season.

Seasons come.  Seasons go.

And as human beings, we are forever in a fluid state of change.  Our very makeup does not allow us to be stagnant. Even those that say they are the way they are and will never change, actually do change.

Change is not always for our betterment, however.  People change by getting more angry with the world, blaming the people in their lives, more cynical, more withdrawn.  Some choose that path rather deliberately.  Others just find that they have slipped into that place without realizing it ... But they in fact do choose it, simply by NOT choosing another, more positive life path.

I made a choice many years ago.  I refused to let the circumstances others inflicted into my life negatively determine WHO I would be.  I said to myself, "I will be a better person BECAUSE of the things that have happened to me".

This has been a difficult choice to enact in my life, make no mistake.  I am by no means saying that I have not been injured, or scarred by painful events in my life.  I am not saying that anything has been like water off a ducks back.  I am saying that I have chosen, when difficult things have come into my days to make positive use of the experience.

Even that is not easily happened!  My initial reaction is often "un-lovely", and not as I would prefer.  Often, I must take a few steps back, take some time, assess the perceived damage, decide what to do with this new opportunity in my life, and then decide how to use it productively in my life.  For the betterment of myself, and hopefully others.

Sometimes this takes me longer than it ought to.  Longer than I would like it to.  Sometimes it is almost instantaneous, sometimes I can wrestle things into place with in an hour or so.  The more years I do this, the more profoundly things feel for me.  The more I recognize the threads that are woven to make me who I am!  The more I discover who I am, the more I like who I am.

So!  When life gives you lemons ... Make Lemonade!!

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
grated peel of one lemon
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best, but the real stuff out of a bottle works too ... squeeze the lemon you grated ... might as well make use of it!)

Boil the sugar, water and lemon zest for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, and let cool.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator.
To serve, mix 1 part lemonade syrup with 3 parts of something else ... Iced Water, Sparkling Water, Club Soda (be creative, and share what you have tried!). Garnish the edge of the glass with sugar, mint sprigs, and or lemon slices!  So pretty, and so yummy!

Kinda like life ... when it is purposefully ...

Lived Well!!

Love to you all!