Taking the Leap

I heard a commotion through my open window one early afternoon.  It wasn’t the normal noises ducks and ducklings make, but more of an urgent quacking.  I heard that once before when a mama duck squawked boisterously when a red fox threatened her young ones from the side of the canal.

This day when I looked out, there were five ducklings pacing nervously back and forth on the lock, making panicked quacking noises as Mama — in the canal below — urged her little ones to jump.  She was teaching them to fly!

After more squawking, one by one, the five little ones jumped off the 15-foot ledge to the water below where their mother waited patiently until they had all made the leap.  What a thrill for me having a front-row seat watching the little ones get the courage to leap!

Aren’t we the same?  At times, don’t we squawk and give reasons or excuses when there’s something we know we need to learn or do but are fearful of taking the leap?

Have courage.  Like the duckling gathering courage to take the leap, you, too, can make the leap to do what you fear.

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10-Minute Changes

I played!Miss Abby takes a break after 10 minutes of playing with her toys.

Abby taught me a valuable lesson about using your time for the things that are important to you.

As I washed my dishes, I realized it only takes about 10 minutes to do them.  Other projects throughout the day — sweeping the floor, sorting and beginning a load of laundry, gathering the garbage, cleaning the kitty litter box, etc., etc. — may also only take five to 10 minutes at a clip, but combined, they can add up to hours!

Then I find myself asking, ‘Where did the day go?’

Sound familiar?

Instead of fretting about lost time, I decided today to look at taking 10 minutes like Abby does — creating a priority and giving it my all.  Light bulb!!  I’ve procrastinated much, much too long on finding the time to do what gives me joy.  If I take just 10 minutes to write my blog or organize my pictures or (list any other project or task) that sparks my creativity and passion, I can chip away at the projects that never seem to get done, despite my enthusiasm and desire to do them.  Instead of jumping right into work, I can infuse a sense of creativity and passion into my day by giving myself 10 minutes.

Yes, I know sometimes those 10-minute projects turn into 15, 20 or 30.  But what encouragement, motivation and joy comes from that time — priceless!

Ten minute changes can make a difference.

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Dealing With the Crap

Spring Crap     April in Pennsylvania proves to be tumultuous.  Spring’s been here for two weeks but winter holds on tight.

This year (2017-18) winter has provided many opportunities for pictures of gorgeous snow scenes.  But as the calendar moves forward, I feel April showers should be rain, not snow.  This day, there was snow in the morning, rain afterward.

If you’re like me, you’re tired of the winter weather.  So how do we deal with the crappy weather now that spring is here?

Think positively.  Like:

Those who live in the north knows that the white stuff at this time of year doesn’t last long.  When the elusive sun comes out, it warms the earth and the snow melts quickly, watering the earth below to prepare it for new growth.

Have faith ‘This, too, shall pass.’

Remember our enthusiasm over the new growth and warmer weather grows after a long,  hard winter.  This tends to put a little more pep in our step.

Finally, appreciate the slow transition to longer days by using the warmer, dryer days to get outside and vent.  Use the colder, wetter days to clean the grime and clutter that’s collected over the winter months.  Both of these activities promote energy shifts and a change in outlook.

Dealing with the crap life throws at us is much the same.  When we can think positive thoughts instead of focusing on the negative all the time, we can make our moments a little more joyous despite the crap.

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The Day After…

It’s the day after a mid-February snowstorm. Yesterday’s grey skies, freezing temperatures and heavy snow has transformed into a gorgeous Sunday morning.

The sun shines…the winds have calmed.  The snow that landed on the bark and limbs of the trees remain in this picture, but only until the sun warmed the temperatures enough so the snow let go.

There’s just something about the day after that is so fresh, crisp and invigorating.  Everything seems clean and bright…a new day lies ahead.  The sunshine and snow removes the dullness and gloom presently less than 24 hours ago.

I wish in times of turmoil, sadness and challenge we could keep that feeling in mind, feel that newness, the ebb and flow of the natural change.

The day after brings hope, possibilities, renewal of spirit and mind…if one is attuned to those things.  The day after will always come.  It’s what we bring to it, like what we bring to what we have today, that makes the difference between hope and fear, happiness and sadness, calm or chaos.  What does the day after mean to you?


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Be neighborly

     After nearly a month of no activity at my new bird feeders, I finally saw some.  It’s not exactly what I anticipated but I guess even the squirrels need to eat on a cold, snowy winter’s day.

This little guy (or gal) has been setting off my alarm on the steps all summer, coming up onto the deck.  Now he seems to have filled out nicely and put on his winter pouch.

He also was eating the food, not packing it away, so he was saying, ‘Hey, I’m hungry!’

I’ve also seen a woodpecker and some other small birds, so the word has gotten out about the ‘goodies’ on the deck.

Although I know squirrels can be destructive, I feel as if this one wants and needs a little TLC.

So for the first winter in our ‘new’ home, I’m offering sustenance to a ‘neighbor.’

Neighbors come in all shapes and sizes…and it really is good to be neighborly.

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Are you happy?

“You cannot be happy unless you do what you will truly…” A Course in Miracles 

I’ve been feeling the mid-winter blues lately.  So, despite the below zero wind chills at the lake, I ventured out of my car on my way to an appointment to capture a few shots of the sunrise at the lake.  I already was behind what I had scheduled to do that morning.

When I saw the pink skies, I figured I may as well do something I really enjoy doing.

Taking pictures and writing about the beauty around us is what I LOVE to do.  It makes me happy.  I hope I can bring joy and beauty to others through my writings and photos.  My will is to do just that.   When I do this, I am happy.

How about you?  What is your will?  What do you do that makes you happy?


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Uplifting Remnants

      A 60-degree day followed by torrential rain as a front dropped the temperature nearly 50 degrees in less than 24 hours left interesting ice sculptures in this year’s January thaw.

During a walk along the D&L Canal a few days later, these ice ‘tree skirts’ remain as remnants of the drastic temperature and weather changes typical in January’s roller-coaster weather in Pennsylvania.

The torrential rains and water created by melting ice on the canal raised water levels about a foot.  The quick return to winter cold created these ‘ice skirts,’ a unique sight I had to share.

A week later the return of a 50-degree day destroyed these remnants, but the memory and pictures remain.

We, too, can create a unique work of art or generous gesture that displays its beauty in the moment or for a short time thereafter.  But like these ice skirts, they may be fleeting or soon forgotten.  Capture the beauty in the moment and savor its uplifting remnants.  The cost is priceless.

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Signs of Change

     On the way to an appointment the other day, I had to stop and take a shot.  I saw a small rainbow between the ominous clouds and the morning horizon, a rainbow that unfortunately I didn’t capture with the lens.

What I did capture was the winds of change on a winter day.

The mid-January thaw ended yesterday with a high of 60 degrees.  After rain, sleet and a touch of snow overnight, today’s temperatures continue to fall, dropping into the teens when the sun sets.

It’s amazing how the signs of change can be seen if you’re aware of your surroundings and you recognize those signs.

I see other signs of change, some not as obvious as these ominous clouds.  I see potholes in the roads — a sure sign of spring right around the corner.  I also see a little more daylight each morning and each night, another sign of change.  I see a government that finally agreed on something and has moved forward to (supposedly) help stimulate the economy, a sign perhaps of legislators putting their personal agendas aside to do what’s best for all.  Yeah, yeah, I know…I’m a dreamer.  But if you don’t have dreams, what do you have?

What signs of change do you see?  What do they mean to you?

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Happy 2018!

Happy 2018!

The beginning of 2018 starts with a full moon and 4 degrees in my back yard.  The weatherman says we’ll have a high of 14…brrrrrrrrr! For me, this full moon is like 2018 — there’s a bright spot in the moment and the rest remains unclear.

Why does January 1 – a new year – inspire and motivate us to change, to make improvements in our lives and to reset our priorities?  Do you feel the positive energies? It’s really just another winter day, similar to yesterday and the day before.  Yet somehow this day inspires hope.

Imagine what it would be like to live each and every day waking up with that same positive energy, that same inspiration, motivation and hope.

Imagine focusing our efforts on what’s really important to us first instead of waiting until the projects are done or we earn enough money or…or…or.

We don’t have to imagine a new day as each begins every 24 hours with no action on our part.  It’s just another day, a day we can choose to feel inspired, motivated and hopeful just as if it were New Year’s Day.

I wish you all a happy New Year’s Day…each and every day!



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Goodbye, 2017!

Another year – 2017 – will hit the history books in hours.  Potential

I asked myself:  What was my biggest eye-opening experience this year, one that made a significant change in my life and/or those of others?

For me, that eye opener was what is now a five-month bout with dizziness, neck and shoulder pain.  They are all much better now but still remain.  But that occurrence helped me to better understand the self-imposed stresses I put on myself.

Like many others who don’t want to be a burden or a ‘negative Nancy’ on others, I backed away from people, places and things to focus on how to deal with those stresses.  Essentially, I became more of a hermit than my normally introverted personality already was.

I now realize my challenges and self-created isolation actually opened my eyes and my heart to what is really important – relationships.  I realize just being able to interact with others — whether with simple chit-chat, to listen, to learn another perspective or to vent, laugh or cry — IS the core and heart of life.  Like a bud that needs water, food and sunshine, I need to do the same with my relationships.  I allowed the negatives in my life to overwhelm me and replace what I know is good, beautiful and loving.

To all my family, friends and acquaintances, I need to say I’m sorry.  Even though others may think apologizing is a sign of weakness, I believe a heart-felt


apology allows one to acknowledge, accept and atone for those errors, errors of judgment, perception, action or inaction.  To me, that’s a sign of strength and growth.  Saying I’m sorry allows me to let the wounds of the pain, hurt, guilt, ambivalence, misunderstandings, misperceptions and seclusion go.

Like lancing a water-filled blister, I’m letting go of all that kept me hurting and allowing the healing to begin.  For me, that healing begins with nurturing the relationships and activities I put on hold for much too long this year.

So, goodbye 2017.

I know rebuilding and nurturing the relationships and activities I’ve neglected will take ongoing effort, focus and commitment, but I’m sure that will allow my sharing with everyone I encounter the blossoms of beauty, love and peace I’ve kept bottled up this year.

Anyone for a girls’ night (or day) out Sat., Jan. 13, 2018 — a walk or ski on the canal behind my house?


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