In Light

Weed Bokeh

Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
~Louisa May Alcott~

I can't for the life of me determine why I have, at the moment, turned in to a woman of so little words. I am relying heavily upon inspiration from others who quite often enrich my life. This week, it's in pictures and textures, as well as thoughts and dreams. Bringing me to reality is a nearing anniversary that is so very hard for me to come to terms with at times. I can't help but miss the gal I used to be despite the fact that I am happy with who I am. Times are hard, indeed. I really think that this is the time of year where I revert to quite spaces that only I can reach. I'm taking steps and making plans, but the progress shows otherwise. I know these things take time and a willingness to keep on going no matter what, but patience is just not my strongest virtue. I feel like there are some great things marinating at the moment and will reveal themselves in good time, but what about now!?!? I have so much to share, but no energy to properly introduce my news/ideas. But, I will. Cross my heart.

p.s. thank you for the wonderful response on my previous post, I know I can be very cryptic at times, but believe me, you should be so happy not to hear about all my grumbles and gripes.
Besides, this is my happy place!

No End in Sight

No End in Sight

Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope.
~Author Unknown~

This is where I hang on as tight as I can.

Moments : Reflective

Moments : Reflective

Winters would be cold
without the warm memories
of the seasons past

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)

Thank you for the wonderful insights on my last post,
The Alternative to Resolutions. This week has been another to surprise me as a result of using my new method. Today, I realized that I hadn't done anything in the family/friend realm, so I continued gathering items for packages I am preparing for a handful of my family members. I am sending them something that is extra special to me.....something I have yet to share here with you, but I will very soon.

This weekend, I hope to start on a new project that I have been giving much consideration to. My ideas are flowing so freely right now, although that can be a bit overwhelming. For now, I have been writing them down so that I can revisit them when I am in the right frame of mind. I know my list makers are with me.....there were quite a few of them in the comments on my last post. It's no surprise, lists are just plain awesome! I have to write everything down or else I will forget. Heck, sometimes I will forget by the time I find a pen and scrap of paper! It's bad.

You won't find a Cody post this week. He was busy playing with some new tools. On the upside, it looks like I will have some new cube shelves in my future ;)

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderfully creative weekend and you find many things to maintain your attention and pique your interests. Be sure to return at the beginning of the week for a debut and giveaway!!

The Alternative to Resolutions

Posted in Wordful Wednesday

Traditional methods of "getting things done" just haven't worked for me. Time and time again I will find that 'to-do' at the end of my list that will inevitably get transferred over to the next one I create. I have often wondered why I do that. Is it the task itself that seems daunting? Or is it just not that important? But, if it wasn't that important how did it end up on my list in the first place? Well, I let go of the why and instead concentrated on what I knew. I finally understood that my relationship with those to-do's needed to change, but how?

I decided to reformat my life.....
As I looked over the seemingly endless to-do list, I realized that all of my items could fit into a category. I began to formulate categories with a general idea in mind, areas in which I wanted to place more of my focus on but can't seem to find the time to do so. I hand selected the categories while keeping what I value and love about life in mind, as well as those hiding in between. I started with a pretty long list to say the least.

Breaking down the reformation......
Having a list of things I wanted to do within a week's time was far better than adhering to a list that didn't allow for deviations. It basically gives me a selection of to-do's that are parallel to my ever changing moods. I am still keeping a master list of items, but have included a weekly category sheet where I add accomplished tasks that get paired with the closest matching category. Since defining the categories is up to me, some things can go in to more than one. By mid-week, I surprised myself with how much I managed to get done.

How to go about reformatting your own life.....
The categories are made up of keywords, all of which I believe are important for me to achieve. I came up with mine based on the things I love/like to do and more importantly the things I wanted to focus on doing more. Having this list has forced me to find ways of incorporating those to-do's in a way that works best for me. As a result, I have crossed off a lot more items!

I know what you're thinking, "This is as clear as mud!" or "What are these so called categories?!" I've got something better than lengthy explanations about what I picked and why. How about a visual aid! You know I love those.

The Alternative to Resolutions

I'm sure you can see why my list contains certain items within, if you were to make a list, I bet you would come up with a few of the same selections. Of course this method won't work for everyone, but if you think it will work for you, it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. If anything, you may create some new habits that are actually good for you!

Who knows...maybe you'd be brave enough to share your categories or alternative methods of getting things done?! If that sounded like a was! :o)

Sneak Peak

Je T'aime

Remember my first experiment with layers in Photoshop?!
Well, if not, the image above was the first image I ever applied a texture to.
It took me forever to figure out how layers work, but once you do, it's easy peasy!

Anyway, I have been working with this TtV photo again this past weekend.
As you know Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I wanted to do something special.

Keepsake Valentine

I'm madly in love with these little keepsakes.....and thought, hey, someone else might
like one, too! Oh yeah, Cody helped me make the handmade envelopes to
go with them (not pictured). Clicking on the photo will take you to the
listing in my Etsy shop.

I have been very busy getting things done lately. There is a secret
that I will share about how I am finding motivation later this week.
Stay tuned! And, who knows, maybe Cody will have a post?!?!
I bet if you ask nicely he'll do one :o)

Fresher Food for Less

Today's post is brought to you by my better half, Cody. You may remember another "green" post he did about our new Vermicomposter a while back. The below post will illustrate how Cody & I are making an effort to become greener by the week.

Ready for a CSA

As the world takes its belt in a notch, it becomes even more essential for us to find the best ways to save. That ridiculously priced green pepper isn't just paid for out of your own pocket. A field sprayed with fungicides and pesticides paid into that pepper too. The storage and shipping of those peppers also has its costs, and then the market has to turn a profit. Where does that dollar then go? Wouldn't it be better to keep money within your community? Buying local food is an amazing way of strengthening a community, financially and socially. A great way of getting farm-fresh produce throughout the growing season is through Community Supported Agriculture or CSA.

This is where a family can buy into a share of the farm's bounty by paying a portion of the operating costs. The family gets a closer connection to how their food is grown and along with this, a greater understanding of the fluctuations of the seasons. Eating what's in season helps reduce the demand for produce shipped from the opposite hemisphere. The farmers operational costs are shared which alleviates the burden of loans and cushions the risks of investment due to bad weather conditions, poor market price, or a number of other factors that can make smaller farms vulnerable.

This kind of community farming strengthens food culture and encourages healthy and creative cooking. It connects people to one another and the area they live while encouraging better environmental stewardship and a stronger local economy. This is all while eliminating the costs of shipping, preserving, and retail of wholesale food. Who doesn't want fresher food without packaging that traveled by hand and was bought cheaper from your new friend right in your own neighborhood?

Look around for a farm offering a CSA near you. I found that there's not an all inclusive online guide but that combining searches online with my local newspapers and organic food publications from the market yielded a handful to choose from. Also, check the farmers market. Spaces are usually limited, and now is the time to reserve.

Below are some resources we found useful when looking for one in our area.

The CSA we signed up for here in Boone is with Creeksong Farm.
If you check out the CSA tab on the left, there is a list of expected produce for each month.

p.s. Don't let those onions fool you, we bought those at the grocery store.
I realized I hadn't ever taken photos of veggies before,
so I did this one when I got home from work.

Melancholy Mood

Melancholy Mood

My mind and emotions are in the process of recharging.
Keeping a low profile is the best I can do right now.
Enthusiasm and energy have temporarily fallen to the wayside,
and as a result
I'm finding motivation harder to come by.
Daydreams, however, those are plentiful!

“For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.”

~William Wordsworth

Tomorrow, on WW you will find a guest post from Cody!
He will be sharing our newest green initiative.
So, please check back.

Moments : Scary Thought

the impulse is strong
impossible to ignore
Glorious Journey

Moments : Scary Thought

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality,
and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”
~Samuel Johnson~

As far as travel goes, I'm pretty new on the scene. Even so, there is no mistaking that its magical grip has taken a hold of me, and I don't foresee that it will be letting loose any time soon. This innate and undeniable desire to move consumes me in ways that were completely foreign just a few years ago. In fact, traveling isn't the only thing that's new to me.....Photography.....that's new, too. I didn't get serious about photography until I had my neck injury/surgery and since then it has, what I've said on many occasion, filled a hole that rock climbing left behind. This hobby is anything but a passing phase, if anything, the passion I have for my chosen craft grows stronger by the day. My photography also lead me to traveling more, before 10/2007 I had never stepped foot on an airplane. Even though I've only done it twice since then, I now crave to pack up and go!

When thinking about vacations I always find myself dreaming about the west coast. This year, I plan to take my birthday trip on that side of the country, again. I can't help it, staying away is just not an option. After getting a taste of Big Sur the Pacific Coast will always remain near and dear to my soul. I think about that April 08 vacation all the time. It was truly an amazing experience for me. I was lucky enough to witness some of the most breathtaking sights along the coast of Big Sur, however, I do want to venture to new territory. Let's face it, I'm a new traveler and I've got a lot of ground to cover, especially since I haven't even been abroad yet! Seriously.

I want to formally announce for the sake of myself and the universe where I plan to go for my birthday trip in October, but I sort of want it to be a bit of a surprise. I also want to do a giveaway when I do it, so be on the look out.

This is a photo of a collection I just found a home for. I'm sure you've collected random bits while on vacation or an afternoon stroll. In my collection you will find shells, cool rocks, sea glass, frilly feathers, mini cones, dead butterflies, and whatever else catches my eye! I put that little reminder in with the items since most of them were picked up while we were on a trip. I read those words, "Imagine Life Without Vacations", and I cringe!! All the more reason to keep my eye on the prize.

Harmonious Me

Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony.

~Mahatma Gandhi~

This Week:
  • Cody walked me to work on Monday and along the way we saw the most magnificent rainbow. Getting my hair soaking wet ended up being worth it.
  • Speaking of hair...I still need to share some photos....I'll get on that!
  • I realized that we still have a blender. I bought some fruit, yogurt, and juice to make smoothies. They are so yummy and super duper easy to make. I used frozen fruit.
  • The above photo was taken on our Sunday afternoon walk. The weather was unbelievably warm for this time of year.
  • However, the daily rain may prevent me from getting in another walk this week. Maybe the forecast will change?! We'll see.
  • I'm also happy about getting to bed earlier, which is why I need to cut this short. G'night.

Share the Love : Award Announcements

I am guilty of never reposting awards. It's not that I'm not grateful because I am. Half the time they look REALLY cheesy and honestly I don't like putting them on my page. However, when I take into account the benefits of reposting them I am forced to reconsider. Not only do I get to thank someone for the ultimate compliment, but I also get to showcase a few favorites of my own. Chances are you may find someone new. I'm all about sharing the love. You really do enrich my life in ways I could not image prior to blogging. I remember when the only people who read my blog were my Dad and Cody's Mom :0) That was only a year and a half ago, a lot can change in such a short amount of time. Along the way I have had the pleasure of forging friendships with some wildly talented people. Each of you have your own individual gifts and you have ways of inspiring me to be a better person. I sound cheesy....okay....enough! I was getting off subject anyway. I'm excited to share this blog award given to me from Marfa @ The Scrumptious Life. It was a complete surprise for me to stumble upon, I was very flattered. It made me think that you never know who you can positively influence through this rapidly growing medium. It gave me a warm and fuzz feeling. At that moment I decdied that from now on I would repost awards in hopes of giving someone else that warm and fuzzy feeling, too. With that being said, I want to extend, what I hope to have a Ripple Effect, to the following bloggers who always inspire, provoke, and spark me in ways they can't even imagine.

In no particular order:

~Technodoll @ Bubblegum Diaries: Not only is she one of my oldest bloggie friends, she also maintains 3 blogs! She has recently said that she will spend a little less time doing them, but you will still find some very interesting musing nonetheless.

~Sian @ Here Be Dragons: Talk about someone who lives an enchanted life....from medieval reanactments to the occasional Welsh recipe there's delight around every corner. Plus, she was my very first bloggie friend!

~ Lydia @ Writerquake: She is the most kindhearted induvidual you will ever "meet". Her strong commitment to living a life that consistently shows such attributes never ceases to amaze me. She is always inspiring me to do more for the world, and my environment. Oh and she also has these awesome "Old Postcard Wednesdays" that you might like.

~Cathy @ The Clothsline: She has a knack for storytelling and sharing green ideas. There you can enjoy the simple truths of everyday life.

~Elk @ Red of Gray: She has a penchant for brightening your day, whether it's because of her comments or poignant posts, she'll surely have you smiling on the inside.

~MaryAnn Ashley: Stepping into MA's world is always a nice escape from the everyday. You'll also find exquiste images of her beautiful family. She is an amazing portrait photographer, and has the sunniest disposition!

~Liss @ A Memory Forever: I see her as a go-getter who's always up for challenges, especially in the realm of photography! I also admire her willingness to give without expecting anything in return.

~Gillian @ Indigo Blue: Lighthearted, fun loving, and friendly. It's like her posts are candycoated!

~Kath & Margie @ Soeurs du Jour: A blog with two posters who happen to be sisters. They both have a way of turing the mundane into the magical. I have even found some organization inspsiration within its pages.

~Jo @ MYSTORY: Here is someone who is not afraid to experiment. She is creative is so many different ways, and inspires me to try new things.

I could have added many more, but we'll save those for another day - assuming I'll get another award someday. To those of you who are listed, don't be like me and not repost them, pass them along!! It will definitely brighten someones day!

Beneath the Surface

 Beneath the surface in the depths of this season my soul still blossoms

Beneath the surface
in the depths of this season
my soul still blossoms

I am in love with the stark elegance of those dried leaves.

I've had a significant amount of time off work. And during this stretch I have finally come to appreciate what was nearly impossible for me a week ago. Throughout my days I have reminisced about the places I've been while dreaming of those in which I wish to go. This sentimental journey has found me thirsty for more. My sense of time in this lingering season has diminished, but somehow haste is still in the forefront. Trying to categorize and prioritize my ideas and hopes is a bit overwhelming, but I am making a valiant effort.

My inspiration was conceived within the heart of another.
Seeing my world through someone else's eyes was the reminder I needed.
I've always been grateful, but I never really thought that we lived an enchanted life.
You all know as well as anyone how much I appreciate my surroundings, and now I feel as though my "home" is part of that equation. I am very content in the haven we have created, which is partly why I have taken this time to savor belonging to myself.
Blogging, and reading blogs hasn't been on my agenda since I've been off work; I needed time away. But please know that I have missed it very much and I look forward to catching up with you all.