Mist on the Water

Sun Rays

I was looking through some of the photo’s I took on a March hike when I spied this one. I hadn’t noticed the way the sun cast rays upon the water reflecting a pinkish-purple. The still barren branches of the tree and the mist rolling in behind all create quite a nice scene.

Mist on the WaterHeavy FogSandy Beach

These 3 photo’s were taken a few minutes apart on that same hike in March. The coastal mist rolled in and out literally before my eyes.

Below are my ever faithful hiking buddy’s.

Hiking Buddies

Thanks for stopping by. See you in May.

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A Weekend In April

As Sunday rolls to a close I thought I would share some of the images I captured in my varied and busy weekend. I was most relieved on Friday afternoon to end my work week.  It had been exhausting and challenging on several levels but I decided that instead of thinking about the “issues” all weekend I would do as my Savior tells me to do and cast my worries Him. You know I must say when practiced this works! I am feeling refreshed on many levels this evening and ready to begin the week afresh tomorrow.

Yesterdays post captured images of My Favorite Things from around the yard and house. After snapping, cropping and writing I returned to the yard to determine where my new raised flower beds would be placed. I hope to have fresh, organic vegetables all summer long, I will keep you posted on how this goes. I will confess it is a bit of a stretch for me. I kept my camera nearby and captured a few additional images of the bees and butterflies at work collecting nectar from those luscious lilac blooms. Butterfly sipping Nectar

Busy as a Bee

My daughter Jess came home, fairly unusual for a Saturday, and we spent some time chatting while she cleaned out her car(which acts like a cross between a closet and a suitcase). Both Haley and Kitty enjoyed some of the sunshine and fresh air.

Here Kitty Kitty

Cute dog!

After a nice day in the yard I headed out to a FunRaiser for a breast cancer organization called Team Towanda. I was participating in the health fair prior to the party honoring and celebrating amazing women. It was a great event with food and dancing all night long. I was blessed to have both my sister Kelly and a friend Grace attend the party as my dates.

Celebrating Women at TTF

Sunday was busy and fun too. There was a bike blessing this morning at church, hosted by the Christian Motorcycle Association. No good pictures of our bike though…I will snap a few next time. We rode along the shore enjoying more glorious sunshine until we reached a destination our most recent favorite eating spot, The Bridge. Plenty of good food and fellowship. Once back home I decided it wasn’t time to let the weekend go so we went out where I let my husband beat me at two games of pool:) We were heading around the final corner towards home when I spotted him. Standing so majestically. I could hardly believe it. So beautiful. So still. Such great posture. Patiently watching. Waiting for some unsuspecting prey to come past so that dinner could be fetched. Just look at him. Tell me he isn’t amazing.
Large Crane

My Favorite Things…

Green and Black Chocolate

Earlier this week I was reading blog posts while riding the Easy Street van on my morning commute. Carol over at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind was participating in a photo scavenger hunt. Well you know how the story goes, one click leads to another and you discover a “new to you” blog in blogosphere. Karen from Karma When I Feel Like it Blog host a monthly photo scavenger hunt. The theme for the month of April is “Favorite Things”. For me this immediately brought to mind Julie Andrews and those beautiful Van Trapp children. As I pondered the topic I often found myself humming the tune.

Many of the “things” I would call favorite are felt with senses other than our eyes. Such as the feeling of the warmth of the sun on my skin or the way the sand at the beach feels under my feet. The smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning or freshly cut grass in the summer. The taste of the cool drink you have been waiting to enjoy or that Italian meat sauce that has been tantalizing your nose for hours. Or my personal favorite…the smell of the freshly bathed little one as she climbs into you lap for a snuggle and a hug.

Since this is a photo challenge I have headed into my surrounding to capture some of my favorite things from  behind the lens. Hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Some of my Favorite Spring Blooms…

Lilac

Purple Iris

Feeding and Watching the Birds in the Backyard is one of my favorite pastimes. It won’t be long now before the baby birds start coming too.

Bird with Seed

Bird on the edgeBlack Capped ChickedeeChickadee with Seed

My favorite chair in my favorite room to spend my morning devotion time. On the chair is my favorite blanket to wrap myself in while read from my bible and write in my journal while filling the room with my favorite scent, Midnight Jasmine and my new favorite CD spills into the room.

Morning Devotions

My favorite mixed breed, Haley.

Haley  

My favorite colors, red and yellow fill the room and the vase.

Tulips and Daffodils

Share some of your favorite things below with a comment or create your own post and trackback.

~Paige

Be My Guest~ He’s “Spectrum-y” but He’s All Mine

autismawareness

It is hard to believe that the month of April is pushing into May already. Part of my plan for my blog this month is to raise my own and my readers awareness of the often misunderstood diagnosis of autism. Earlier this month a friend shared his family’s personal story. Today’s post is written by my cousin Beth. My invitation to her to share her story on my blog has caused her words to bubble out onto the page. I have learned quite a bit about the trials and joys both of these family’s have faced over the years by reading their hearts story. It is my prayer that you, my reader, have as well.

Yes, He’s “Spectrum-y” but He’s All Mine!

“Spectrum-y”….. it’s a word those of us affected by Autism have come to know oh-so-well. Loving someone who is on the “Autism Spectrum” has it’s challenges, but with each challenge comes a bounty of blessings. One learns not to take the little things in life for granted. All the typical milestones, we as parents count on, become less and less important when one of our children has Autism. Getting through a shopping trip without a tantrum becomes the best day ever. The first day you don’t get woken up by the security alarm going off because your child wants to go outside at 4 AM… it doesn’t get any better! How about the first time you can go out for dinner and not have to leave inside of twenty minutes because after that the screaming begins…all these become milestones of an Autistic parent. A mother learns that the “competitiveness” we feel with other Mother’s is so insignificant- we start to appreciate how much a laugh, smile, reaction, kiss or a hug means more than a winning Lotto ticket could ever mean. Only a parent who lives with Autism gets how important it is to have a moment of peace and a full night’s sleep without having someone erupt into a tantrum. The tantrums can be fleeting and usually tolerable, but when it happens in a grocery store and you have to leave a cart full of groceries just to get the tantrum to stop… it’s always exciting. It’s certainly never dull….

My son was born September 5,1998… I’ll never forget that day. Not just because he was born then, but because it was the same day Mark McGuire tied Babe Ruth’s homerun record. All anyone could hear all afternoon was screaming and yelling- and it wasn’t from laboring women, it was from their significant others cheering the ball game! Interesting to say the least. I thought then, Corey would have have such an exciting life, simply because of the day he was born. How those words somehow “haunt” me, but not really in a bad way. Simply because if I knew then what I know now, I would have shut the doors and turned on a movie- maybe I could have had a little “less” drama. More of a sit-com kind of life? Maybe “Seinfeld” or “Friends” or something to “lighten the mood”. But I went with the moment. Sports were great that year, and I don’t even like sports. But, if you have to watch sports, that’s how you watch them. oh, well. C’est la vie…Corey was always a pretty easy going baby-he went to bed great… no fuss, slept through the night at 7 weeks, ate GREAT- I couldn’t get enough food into him! I never knew babies could eat so much. He was twenty pounds at 6 months old! He was chubby and did exactly what he was “supposed” to do as a baby and life was good… or so I thought. It couldn’t get much better, right? Until about the age of one…then it all changed.

autism puzzle

His easiness and contentedness would be sharply contrasted by how angry and annoyed he would get, for what seemed like no real reason. Loud noises bothered him, especially music, drastic changes in the weather like wind and rainstorms affected him and not in a good way! And foods became a huge issue- toddlers learn what they like and don’t like, but Corey was obsessed with macaroni and cheese- ALL THE TIME! Morning, noon, night… and if I ran out… believe me, I was at the store no matter what time of day, buying more. The extremes of his tantrums were getting worse. I was told repeatedly that I “spoiled” him or he needed a “beating” to put him in line. My heart knew better. My heart knew there was something else. Corey may have been what I thought was “stubborn” but he was perfect in my eyes and he LOVED his Mom! He never left my side unless it was for close family and he was only happy when I was in view. He didn’t play with kids, he didn’t even a want to look at them and that was ok with me, for a while. But, eventually, it was more and more like he was in a whole other world not a part of ours… and a part of me wished I could be there with him. I knew in the deepest part of my heart, something wasn’t right.

` After months of hearing, “there’s nothing wrong with him”, “he’s a typical boy”, ” all boys are slow” ( between you and me, I never quite understood what that meant?) and “you’re being paranoid” I FINALLY got someone to “hear” me- she asked me if he was ever diagnosed “On the Spectrum”? Nope. No idea what that even means? So, being the “neurotic” person I am… I Googled it…Oh My Gosh!!! Finally! It wasn’t me! He was everything Google said and more! Fast forward about 3 months when I could finally get to see a doctor and yes… he was officially diagnosed with PDD-NOS- a form of Autism diagnosed in children under the age of 6. Now I could get help from school for him- he qualified for services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language. Yay. What I didn’t realize in the midst of my happy dance, that while Corey would “qualify” for Special Education, I wasn’t prepared for what home was going to be like… here it comes. I still had a daughter to care for, too. Most of my family didn’t believe me or want to know about it- it was embarrassing. The friends that cared to even know what I was going through asked and the ones who didn’t care, couldn’t tolerate his tantrums and they stopped calling. Going out to the grocery store, mall or a restaurant became the most difficult trips- it almost wasn’t worth it. But I needed to get out and be around other people. Strange noises made him scream, smells made him freak out and unfamiliar places put the fear of God into him like nothing I had ever known. What I didn’t know then, that I do know now, was if I educated myself “enough”, I would have known all those things, right? Being a parent to an autistic child is a learning process. It’s also one where a lot of tolerance is learned, too. I’ve had many people stare at me and him, people have told me I’ m a bad Mother- that one came not only from strangers, but from family, too- if I knew how to be a decent parent, he would never act the way he does. One learns to ignore it. But it makes everything just a little more difficult. Other parents brag about how smart their kid is, how talented their kid is, how many friends their kid has- I had a “party” when Corey wrote his name without assistance for the first time… in first grade!!!! The first book he read by himself… in second grade… was cause for celebration! Mardi Gras paled in comparison to how many people I called and celebrated the news with! With his success came struggles- his OCD. He became infatuated with things that got in the way of his day, sometimes. Sea animals was and still is a big one for him- Star Wars, video games, cartoons, Titanic The Movie- but the biggest was penguins. He talked about them day and night, all the different kinds, he had videos, books… we even went to the penguin exhibit in Mystic- to this day years later, he still remembers everything about that one penguin. That one seemed to take over his life, but we all listened and in a weird way, became educated by him. Truthfully, I’m glad he took it down a notch…but no obsession he has now EVER compared to “The Penguins”… that one was tough. We did it, though.

Corey is 13 1/2 now and in middle school. He likes girls, video games, different types of foods for lunch -pizza and cheeseburgers are his favorites, though- he likes to cook, he likes math. I could never understand that one but it makes sense why… it’s predictable, just like he likes it. Predictable. That’s our life. Our whole family life. Predictable. Sometimes boring, but we do it because it works for him- the peace through the process is something my whole family and those closest to me have had to learn. I know, God doesn’t give me what I can’t handle, but I guess what I’ve learned? He can bring it on! I can handle anything! Sometimes, life doesn’t always go the way we want it to and Corey learns that everyday with great difficulty. I see it in his eyes when he’s faced with a sudden change. It seems so minute for some of us, but for him, he works so hard to just get through the day and when he does, there’s a certain gratification he gets from doing a good job… and so do I. Partly because I know how hard it was for him to do it…but mostly… because I’m his Mom and I get to love every single second of watching him.

Thanks to both of my guest bloggers this month for sharing such courageous stories.

Autism Flower

Warning…that can be habit forming

Good Habit

Habits. We all have them. Habits can be viewed as good. Habits can be viewed as bad. Habits can be developed. Habits can be changed.

A habits is defined as a practice or tendency.

A few habits that come to mind are:

Bathroom Habits

Buckling up

Listening

Eating Habits

Viewing and Reading

Driving

Nail biting

Smoking

Exercise

I have been working over these past four months to develop some new habits and have seen results in several areas. Consistency is key. It has been said that it takes 30 days to make a habit. Change is not easy however, in fact it can be downright painful at times. We must often stare down what we can often view as a glaring inadequacy. Now I know there are those among us that would flip that statement on its head and say it is an area to be improved, which it is but most often when we are seeing ourselves we tend to look at it from the other perspective. I will say however with practice I have begun to see a shift in my thinking from the inadequate person to one who is constantly seeking to improve and grow herself. This doesn’t happen overnight so be patient with yourself.

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.  ~Samuel Johnson

I lean on God and draw from His wisdom and strength, asking where I should seek to change. A number of years ago I smoked cigarettes. I had quit the habit many times but for one reason or another always started again. One day I felt the Lord telling me it was time to quit. So I did. It was quite easy to put them down. As in the past I resumed smoking again after a period of time but this time I really struggled because I knew I was being disobedient to what the Lord asked me to do. Eventually I put them down again but this time it was a real struggle, the cravings were intense and I yearned for a cigarette like I never had before. The season of grace was gone. It had been present when I obeyed initially but not now none the less the directive to quit hadn’t changed. Lesson learned here…do what the Lord asks when he asks…it will probably be easier than if you delay in your response.

Motivation and habit

My personal successes in 2012 include maintaining a well organized home office, creating a priority list of tasks and getting through them each month, rising at 4:30 each morning to spend quiet time reading and journaling, using my directional consistently when driving(this may seem odd but it makes me nuts when others don’t use one so I realized that CHANGE starts with me), and to add to the list this month hanging the laundry outside to dry in an effort to conserve more energy.

What about you…are there new habits you need to develop or old ones you need to let go of?

Daybook Entry April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012 The Simple Woman’s Daybook

simple-woman-daybook-large

FOR TODAY

Outside my window…the sun is shining and the leaves are popping out more fully. I can hear the traffic on the street below through the open window, and the songs of the spring birds. I can feel the warm spring breeze on my face as I peer through the window.

I am thinking…what a perfect day this is.

I am thankful…for so many things. To mention just a few; my best friend and husband Steven, forever and encourager and cheerleader in my court. A wonderfully warm spring day to enjoy. The rain that is coming which is desperately needed in my little piece of the world.

In the kitchen…not too much is happening at the moment.

I am wearing…well…sweaty work-out clothes and sneaks. I took a bike ride with my guy before he went off to work.

I am creating…the life I am meant to live.

I am going…to a worship service this evening at a church we always enjoy visiting. Excited to hear the speaker.

I am wondering…if I should head to the grocery store today.

I am reading…Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and listening to the Big Burn on audio.

I am hoping…to get the closet cleaned and organized tomorrow.

I am looking forward to…a day of rest.

I am learning…to walk out one of my favorite scriptures~ All hard work leads to profit but mere talk only to poverty.

Around the house…things are pretty tidy and the animals are content.

I am pondering…how I can infuse God deeper into my daily life.

A favorite quote for today…

Turtle Quote

One of my favorite things…a great pair of shoes.

A few plans for the rest of the week: special meeting tonight, hope to try Hot Yoga on Monday, maybe trial a few new recipes.

 

 

Haley, Steven and Paige

I don’t think I have shared this picture yet. We took a hike about a month ago on a clear early spring day. A fellow hiker offered to snap our photo.

~Have a wonderful day.

Paige

Panty Hose takes New Life Form

Earth day2

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~ Native American Proverb

Last week I went on a quest to discover a comfortable pair of panty hose. I am of the opinion that it was a man who disliked women that created the things. It is my preference to avoid wearing hose at all costs however last year the hospital adopted a new dress code. Among other particulars we cannot wear capris’, open toe shoes and must wear panty hose if in a skirt or dress. Believe me I would completely ignore this new code if I felt I could get away with it, the hose portion anyway. I need to be in compliance though so last week I set out to find a pair of hose that I wouldn’t need to peel off midway through the day.

Research on the subject revealed that the higher the lycra content the more comfortable the hose would be to wear. I scoured the internet, read reviews, compared cost and made a decision. All my research pointed me toward No Nonsense Almost Bare as the top dog. Many of my co-workers laughed at my on line purchase…why not just buy them in the Walgreens up the street? 2 reasons. There is nothing more frustrating than NOT finding the brand I want at the store(something that occurs in the specific world of hose all too often). Second, if there is no cost for shipping why should I be the one running around? Let them come right to the door.

What does all of this have to do with celebrating Earth Day you ask. When I went on the No Nonsense webpage I learned that the company has a recycling program for your worn out hose. It seems as though the panty hose has progressed beyond the garden tie on the tomato plants. You may be sitting on a park bench created from recycle hose! Cool huh? Check it out…most of us have them, now we can send them back, free of charge and create a new piece of beauty. I like it!

I wore a skirt the other day and pulled on a pair of the hose. I wouldn’t go so far to say that these hose are comfortable but I don’t think I would say that EVER about hose. I did find them to be wearable for the entire day so a winner in my opinion.

What creative way have you heard about to recycle a frequently used item into another item? Please do share so that we all can learn. It our planet, let’s take care of her.