To Be Or Not To Be…

In nature as in life a lot of things are connected but always have the opportunity of reinvention.

Lately I have been doing beadwork. What I like most about working with crafts is the ability to take something plain or raw and make something useful and hopefully beautiful out of it.

Sun Stone Quartz Pendant

The above picture defines my point. I took a rough piece of Sun Stone Quartz that I mined out of the NC mountains, added some decorative black jewelry wire for a harness and now it will have purpose as a pendant.

Not unlike this rough stone we can reinvent ourselves. Sometimes this reinvention occurs as a result of an event in our lives or like me just a desire to be the best I can be.

Have a great Sunday.

A Mountain Journey

Every year I just do not feel fulfilled until I take a trip to the mountains. Follow me on this photographic journey.

Mountain Trail

It’s hard to tell from the photo that it is fall here in the foothills. Slight golds and yellows but little else. We are at just a little over 3200 feet so we are hoping tomorrow we can venture out to a little higher elevation and see if the leaves have changed any more.

The Elusive Dragonfly

I have always been facinated by the dragonfly. They are colorful and fast but more importantly a symbol of peace and prosperity. Some years ago I was able to get a shot of one of these special creatures.

The peacemaker.

While he nestled quietly on top of an unopened day lilly, all seemed to be right in his world. Yes, this was shot with a film camera. A Canon AE1 to be exact with a micro lens.

We should all be like the dragonfly and seek to find peace not violence and destruction.

Peace be to you all.

Tree Limbs and Limbs of Society

In the pictures above you see one of limbs and one of roots. What do they say to you? I know you are asking what does that have to do with society? A lot!

The roots are like our own. They start out spindly but become a vast network into the soil to support what will become a massive trunk and limbs. Like this vast network we have our own supportive system that we may or may not even recognize. This country started with a small root system, just a small band of indians, they began to develop into a vast nation of people and different tribes. Then came the English who migrated to this country along with the scottish and others seeking a new life. They too settled here and developed their own colonies starting another root system. Already these are two different groups with two different root systems and lifestyles. More immigrants came to develop their own root systems and those systems became strong truncks. They were still fairly separate at this point but already at odds with the other systems (races). They didn’t understand each other’s lifestyle and language much like some trees can’t grow together because one of them will wilt and die.

If you look at the limbs though, they have a purpose. These limbs help to balance the tree and provide seed for new trees. Now look at trees that have no limbs, they are dying or already dead. In society, we have lots of trees (origins of people) with lots of limbs (groups within those origins). All of these limbs are important to balance the tree and all of the trees are important to develop the forest (our country). While the original owners and keepers of this land were the Native Americans, all races have added value to this country. It’s time we learn to lean on each other and strengthen this tree! No tree deserves to die!

Tree Of Life

We start out in life as part of a small family unit. We have parents and siblings. As we grow our lives develop much like a tree that has many branches as shown in the image. The right half depicts our family life while the left half depicts our work life.

So many times the left half overshadows the right half and the tree begins to sway. Finding balance is important to a healthy home life. I know in my family as a child I remember seeing my father sometimes only late at night because he was so focused on financial security and being sucessessful. While success and prosperity are important, it is the pursuit of these that can sometimes rock the life boat. It is worth it in the long run to make that extra effort to give of your time and yourself.

On the family side of the tree, as we grow we participate in dating to find that perfect spouse. The pursuit of perfection sometimes leads to bad choices. You don’t have to settle for second best but you should settle for who is best for you. Making a choice should not be about looks but about two people who communicate well, offer attributes that are beneficial to the other, and similar views and values.

Now we are on to the marriage. Marriage should not be entered into casually, but because the love and desire is mutual for a more permanent lifestyle. Marriage can be truly amazing among two people who have the right components or a life in burning hell for those who don’t. I have experienced some of both.

When you are married to the right partner, there is nothing you can’t conquor together. When you are not, each day is a battle that will probably never be won. Just imagine it as stock that has turned out to be a bad investment.

Last but not least comes the children. There is nothing more wonderful than holding your first child in your arms. That being said, it takes all that you have in you not just to give birth but to raise that child into what we hope will be a responsible human being.

Now you see that big word at the top of the tree, LOVE. The Bible tells us:

And so faith, hope, love abide [faith-conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things:hope-joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation;love-true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for in but the greatest of these is love.

If we allow ourselves to LOVE, then all things are possible.

When Notes Fly

There has always been music around me. When I was just a small child my father would wake me up singing things like “Wake Up Little Suzzie” or “You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog”. At the age of eight my parents made arrangements for my aunt to give me piano lessons. I drank up the lessons on notes like a wino devours his last bottle. It just wasn’t possible for me to get enough of it.

Unfortunately for me, the more time I spent on the piano the less time I spent on my studies. When my grades began to plummet, so did the lessons. To my parents way of thinking that was the quick fix to the problem. My grades only improved to a marginal level. It wasn’t that I wasn’t smart or anything, but that I just got bored easily. Music for me was a calming tool that made all my thoughts come together.

The piano in our house sat idle, just there for me to look at. Not being allowed to play, I soon lost the desire to. Oh the notes rolled around in my head still but they no longer had meaning. Five years went by, I guess my parents finally figured out that without music I was nothing. On my thirteen birthday I was handed a very large box. It contained a guitar. A short time later my father took me to town for guitar lessons. It wasn’t the piano but my fingers seemed drawn to it. I played for the church youth group and for anyone who listened.

I had no desire to play professionally, but in 1995 my husband and I went to Nashville to do a TV show. While it was fun, that was all it was to me. Oh we talked to artists and producers and it became very apparent that talent had nothing to do with getting a record deal. By the time the producers, songwriters and managers get their cut there is little left for the artist. Not the kind of lifestyle I wanted.

At 69, I still play for church on occasion and senior citizen functions and that is just fine with me. The moral of this story is do what make you happy not necessarily what makes other people happy. If you make other people happy, that’s a bonus!

Thinking Naturally

About fifteen years ago I received my certification as a Doula (a professional advocate in natural childbirth). While I helped a number of families navigate through the natural delivery process, I didn’t realize how much I was helping myself.

While I still find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet, I slowly started changing the way I looked at things in my lifestyle. I was in a stressful job, my father was dying of cancer and the day-to-day struggles of life were overwhelming. I started applying some of the relaxation techniques and other natural theories to myself.

I trashed all over-the-counter medications and started researching natural alternatives. Even in the grocery stores, I began reading labels and opted for non GMO food products. You do not realize how many contaminates you eat daily. I don’t take any medications that are not prescribed and my physician understands my desire for natural substitutions when possible.

Am I healthier than I was before? Yes to some degree. That doesn’t mean I don’t have issues but I have healthier choices in how to handle them.

Start with the basics, the way you breathe. Sit in a comfortable chair, not a lounge chair guys, breathe in slowly for 7 seconds and exhale the same way and relax. Breathing with this method will not only relax you but benefits the lungs. Try this at least twice a day.

Meditation – I was never really a believer prior to my research but now I can say it is beneficial. Sit on the floor in a Lotus position (reference yoga position crossed legs) relax every muscle from your head to your toes. Next clear your mind of all negative thoughts. This is a great opportunity for prayer or music, whatever benefits you the most. I personally do both.

I even apply some of these techniques to my dog. He enjoys a good massage and I try to supplement healthier foods and snacks when possible.

These are just a few of many changes you can start for a healthier lifestyle. Have a great day.

Age – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly!

This month I am turning 69 and here are my thoughts about aging:

The Good… I don’t have to work again ever, unless I want to. I can sleep all day, drink more coffee, hang out with my dog and husband of 34 years. Say what I think regardless of what it is and not have to apologize for it…besides some nuts will just think I have altheimers, but I don’t. I get more discounts than ever which works for me because I love to save a dime.

The Bad – The budget keeps getting bigger while my social security stays the same. If the Democrats get in office Social Security will come to a screeching halt and I will just go flop my old fat fanny on Biden’s doorstep! While 69 isn’t all that bad it would be a heck of a lot worse if those numbers were in reverse!

The Ugly – While my boobs took a detour a few years back, I don’t have to care anymore whether they are up or down. When I walk now my hips don’t always agree on which way they want to go…..so I just play follow the leader and hope I don’t hit the pavement.

All joking aside, ever age has its good, bad and ugly. We have to meet each day with positivity and hold our head up. God Bless You All!