"The soul should always stand ajar~~ready to welcome the estatic experience."

Emily Dickenson

Monday, August 29, 2011

THOUGHTS ON HOME................................


"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."
Maya Angelou



Is home a physical place ~ a familiar spot where you are surrounded by things you love and can slouch around in your P. J.'s till noon......or is it more a feeling.....like knowing where to feel safe and cared for in this unpredictable world of ours?

I have paraphrased the above from the book I am currently reading....LOST GIRLS.  This phrase really hit home in light of the recent events that are happening in our country.  Not just the hurricane Irene that is pummeling the East coast....but on all the homes that have been lost in this recent financial crisis.  

I have tried to envision myself without a home....have you ever done this?  Actually....it is a very DISTURBING thought!  I know a sweet woman who has sold her home and recently relocated....she is currently renting her spot....she no longer has a place to call her own.  Actually,  she is managing gracefully....while coping with other losses as well...she is quite amazing.  

I really don't know how I would handle it....if my home were suddenly snatched from me through a natural disaster or financial struggles.  I pray that I would be as brave as my dear friend and realize that your true home is not in this life as we are all spiritual beings and in the end you can't take ANY of the STUFF with you.   (O:

Any thoughts on this dear friends?

Hugs,

Jo

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PONDERING............JUST MY THOUGHTS TODAY........


"To be able to look back upon one's life in satisfaction ~ is to live twice."
Khalil Gibran




Being a woman "of a certain age" I can honestly say I spend some of my time pondering over my life as I have lived it.

I have made many, many, many mistakes and have hurt many people in the process.
I have tried to make amends when possible and have tried not to keep repeating the SAME mistake over and over.  Sometimes that has been easier said than done.

However, more often than not, I feel fairly satisfied with my life.  Let me clarify this statement....this is not my life with my children...or my life with family.....but my OWN LIFE.

I have finally been able to forgive myself for earlier mistakes and come to realize that I really did do the best I could have done at the time....with the tools I had in my tool belt.  Now I would do a lot of things differently today.....but you know what they say about hindsight.  

I have tried to spend my life "making memories" and for the most part I have succeeded.  I have spent a good deal of my life "in recovery" and have worked on spiritual aspects of myself for most of my life.....and since we are all "a work in progress" am still doing that. 

Each day that passes I make sure to put the memory in the vault...to be able to retrieve it in later years.....because if the truth be known......that is all many of us will have in later years.

I want to be able to look back on my life with satisfaction and to be able to LIVE IT TWICE.

How about you dear friends? 

Jo
photo credit:  Turn of the Century~Tumbler.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BEEN PLAYING WITH THE WATERCOLORS AGAIN.............EEEKKKKK

"Art enables us to find ourselves~and lose ourselves at the same time."
Thomas Merton




Unfortunately, I brought very few art supplies with me on our trip this year.  This piece was painted with some broken watercolor crayons and pentel marking pencils.  I have only one tiny tipped watercolor brush with me and I'm using a basting brush when I want to cover a lot of paper. No....it is not the one I use when baking a chicken.    LOL ....LOL   This was done on Canton ll0lb. cold pressed paper....I usually use l30lb. arches.




This rose wasn't even  done on watercolor paper it was done on sketch paper....using the water color supplies mentioned above.


Sometimes the urge to paint just becomes overwhelming and I go with the flow.
This is truly a case of "necessity is the mother of invention" with my art supplies.
Had a fun afternoon.....though!!


Hugs,


Jo

Sunday, August 21, 2011

SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH BEAUTY........................

~"The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread."~
David Herbert Laurence



I believe we all love beautiful things...they don't have to be expensive...but they must be something we find pleasing to our eye.


I know in these troubled times you might think....how shallow can this lady be.....posting about beautiful things...and I do know that many people are living on reduced incomes or are out of work at the current time .  That being said....I'm a Libra.....and of all the signs in the zodiac.....Libra's  MUST be surrounded with beauty....lest they wither and die, and having beauty around you does not need to be costly.  It just takes a little effort and desire on your part.


I had an astrological chart done many moons ago. At the time I was working outside the home in the corporate world.....the first thing the astrologer keyed in on was my being in the WRONG occupation.  She told me I should be working in a flower shop or in an art gallery.  Now I had a family to help support so I couldn't go out a quit my job....but I have always remembered her reading and have tried to incorporate what she told me into my daily life.


I use a pretty coffee cup....and set a pretty table....every meal, or at least I try.


I cover my tea pot with a pretty tea cozy.






I always try to have fresh flowers in the house.....sometimes from my garden...sometimes purchased....at a reasonable price.


I use my candles when I take a bath....what are we saving them for?? LOL




I also use my bath oil and bubble bath...it is there to be used and enjoyed.  We are all so very worth it.




And last....but not least......I try to give myself the time to be creative....and it really doesn't  matter how you choose to express yourself......




Just take the time to make something special and beautiful to your eye.


~~REMEMBER~~




Of any kind!!!!


"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything  beautiful~~for beauty is God's handwriting."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


Here's to ALL the beauty in blogland.


Jo

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ON BEING A GROUNDED FREE SPIRIT......................





A beautiful lady who blogs under Mumsy's Refuge
has passed on the Versatile Blogger's Award to me.
Since I am an award free blog....I simply want to introduce you to this beautiful woman.  She writes from the heart and is fairly new to the blogging community.

In passing on this award to other's she described each blogger to the best of her ability and why she chose them....that in itself is wonderful!!

She described me as a GROUNDED FREE SPIRIT.  I know that is a contradiction in terms...but I do feel she hit the nail on the head.
We do manage to do a little traveling during the summer and have a home base in the winter....but more importantly I think she realized that I love so many things....different styles....different writings...
poetry.....art.......I WANT TO DO IT ALL...as a very dear friend in AZ often says to me.



We only have a limited time on this earth.....why not drink up life till you overflow.

Please be sure and stop to see Mumsy...it will be worth the stop.

Just go and have fun!!!!!

Jo
photos:  Moon to Moon Blog

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MAKING PLANS......MAKING PLANS.........

 "Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes."
Benjamin Franklin


Changes are in the wind for us........my beautiful partner and I are ready to down size a little.

Smaller spot......smaller town.......fewer expenses.....
less stress.

We are just kicking tires for now.......but I know we will make it happen.  We are both retired and ready for a lifestyle change....we'll still travel and see this wonderful country of ours....but hopefully our home base will be a little less work and a little less costly.


I say..........We are ready.......hopefully you'll follow along on the ride....no matter how long it takes.

Hugs sweet friends,

Jo

photo:  Art Worth Hanging UP ~ Ben Sillvermann
Jeff Rogers ~ Flikr

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FOR THE LOVE OF A GOOD BOOK............



During part of the summer... I live in a very SMALL town in Northwest Montana.  Simple pleasures are a must here.
Sailing on the lake ....... buying yourself beautiful flowers .... reading a great book,  you get the picture.







Which brings me to the point of this post...I'm sure all of you know about all the Borders Stores that are closing.  Well.....ours in a little town north of us is one of the ones closing.  I'm so sad over this....
I was there yesterday with a multitude of other people picking up things that were being marked down 50 to 75 percent.



Don't get me wrong, I love a bargain as much as anyone...but I would have much preferred not getting any bargain and having Borders REMAIN OPEN.


With the Kindle, Nook, I-Pad, etc...I am truly afraid books will be put on the shelf along with the typewriter and rotary dial phone...just to name a few of the things that are now obsolete in this world of ours.


I love being able to hold a book, mark the pages and underline passages that mean something to me.


Oh...I know you can order a book on-line from Amazon...but nothing is as pleasant to me as spending an afternoon in a local bookstore scanning the shelves .... choosing a book or magazine I want to look at......ordering a cup of coffee and just relaxing.


I, for one,
will truly miss my local Borders.  I just hope Barnes and Noble manages to hang in there.


Enjoy the day,


Jo

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NOTHING CHANGES......IF NOTHING CHANGES..........

"I am not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship."
Louisa May Alcott


Life has a way of blindsiding you at the oddest moments.
Many of us have a plan for our lives....or we think we do, then wham....thrown completely off track.

That is what has happened in our neck of the woods recently....everything is going along smoothly then one event happens....not something foreseen and a new life plan is required.

So...it is back to the drawing board and you revert to Plan B.
Plan B is not a bad place to be....but it has changed your course.  So you do what is necessary to put it into action....not looking back to yesterdays but making the most of today while preparing for the future.

Going with the flow is what is required here......not swimming against the tide ~~ because if you swim against the tide.....you most certainly can drown.

Let's all of us stay calm ~ and carry on


Jo


image: Pininterest

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ANOTHER STOP DURING OUR SUMMER..........SISTERS' QUILT SHOW....







I  have mentioned before of my "summer progress" to Montana.  This year we were able to stop in many wonderful places.  Most of these places were new to us....so that made it even more joyous.



This is my first "quilt show" and I have to say....the talent shown was overwhelming.  This show in Sisters, Oregon is one of the largest in the nation....with entrants from all over the U.S. and many foreign entrants as well.

I'm showing just a small sample of the beautiful quilts displayed there.


The above is a quilt made into an actual piece of art work.
It was about 4X6 so it was really quite amazing.


I am drawn more to the contemporary quilts...but they also had so many traditional patterns as well.


The quilts were hung throughout the entire town of Sisters.  Every building....every surface that could be covered with quilts was.....there were hundreds of them.


I'm showing you just a few of my favorites.....it would be impossible to show them all.

The craftsmanship and creativity was simply mind boggling.
If you are ever in the area during the annual show in Sisters.....it is definitely a must see.


I hope you have enjoyed this display of wonderful talent.

Have a beautiful day,

Jo

Friday, August 5, 2011

A MONTANA THUNDERSTORM..............







She sneaks in on Tristen's feet

Clouds building with anticipation

Making huge marshmallow  hills in the SKY

AND...OH THE SKY......

THIS SKY THAT STRETCHES AS THOUGH TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

DID I MENTION THE SMELL??

AS CLEAN AS IVORY SOAP


Don't forget the light ~~ the ever changing light on the lake


From blue green to blue to gray and back again.

Then comes the much awaited lightning and thunder

Such huge cracks you would think the sky would divide

The rain finally comes ~~although briefly

Making this Montana wonderland come to life again


~~~~~~~~

Saw a bumper sticker that said

"Montana IS what America WAS".



Kind of nice isn't it.

Have a beautiful weekend dear friends,

Jo

Thursday, August 4, 2011

PAINT PARTY FRIDAY......................

Today I'm linking up with all the great artists participating in PAINT PARTY FRIDAY....

You can find them here........http://paintpartyfriday.blogspot.com

Here is a little something I have been working on



I have a very dear friend who has been going through a lot lately....both personally and financially.....

I wanted to paint something to represent her at this time in her life.


She is beginning to see things clearly...perhaps for the first time......there are flowers and butterflies in her future showing signs of positive growth.  I've added the moon because I have always felt it was a strong heavenly body.



I know.....what I paint can be a little weird at times...but as I have indicated before...I always go with my feelings.


This is done in watercolor and pentel markers.


I've also stated before that I don't really consider myself an artist...but it is so much fun to be able to participate in this with all of you.......that I ALWAYS enjoy myself....and that is what creativity is all about....don't you agree???


Hugs to all,


Jo

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

ARE YOU A WORRYWART????..................





I used to be......but as I have gotten older and life has dealt me a few blows......I don't fret over things nearly as much.

There was a time in my life when I was constantly worrying about this or that.....what will be the outcome of this certain thing....how can I fix this problem......will he/she be o.k......you get the picture.  I was such a worrier, in fact, that a very dear friend of mine gave me the above gift.  WORRY BEADS......VERY  BIG WORRY BEADS!  

I was on a trip traveling through Greece with her and some other friends.  If you have ever seen photos of Greece or the people of  Greece, they are often seen fingering these beads through their fingers...pretty much all the time.  So....this friend, who knew of my propensity for worry, decided to buy me the biggest set of WORRY BEADS she could find.


 These beads are around an inch or so long and made out of some kind of recycled glass....they are actually quite heavy.

She found them in Patras, Greece....it is a small port and we had gone there for breakfast early one morning.  Each time I look at these....I think of her and laugh.  It was such an appropriate gift at the time.

Since I have matured....and life has happened along the way....things don't seem to bother me in quite the same way.
Of course, I have done a  lot of reading on spirituality and meditation and have been somewhat a follower of the Buddhist nature.  Which brings me to this conclusion......I believe control is an illusion.....the ONLY thing you have complete control over is your mind.  Everything around you is changing ALL THE TIME....your skin is shedding, your hair is falling out, your cells are getting older.....along with everyone else.....for that matter.  Life changing events happen all the time....which are TOTALLY beyond anyone's control.

So excessive worrying won't change one thing.......and the ONLY way to change one's circumstance is to see it through new eyes and be as proactive as one can.

Please remember this:  "The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by changing his attitude."  To which I would add....and his thoughts!
The above quote was by Oprah....and it has certainly served her well.


Let's all stay worry free my friends,

Jo