Poetry Sunday-Red Flashes

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Red Flashes

 

 

Red flashing by.

Black socks, trotting slowing.

Stopping, motionless.

Two now-stealthily waiting.

Patience…pouncing, rewarded!

And then gone-

Red flashing by.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2014

 

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We have had foxes visiting our garden to hunt for several years now.  They are fascinating to watch.  And the observations of these beautiful creatures led to this poem a couple of years ago.

 

 

 

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The top left picture shows the parent foxes after a soaking early spring rain, and one of their offspring (bottom right)…the mighty Hunter, as we have named him.  He is a beauty with his winter coat, and an excellent hunter.  You can read more about Hunter’s story when he first jumped our fence.  We recently had a new addition to our fox family.  Vixen, as we call her, showed up on Christmas, and has been visiting to hunt.  You can see pictures, and read her story here.

 

The pictures at the top of the post, in the mosaic below, and at the end of the post are of Hunter as he went about his daily hunting last winter.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and Sanaa@A Dash of Sunny for her Prompt Nights every Friday.  Thanks for the invite Sanaa! Please visit these fabulous poetry blogs to read some more wonderful verse.

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I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.

 

 

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The latest issue of the on-line magazine, Rural, is out.  It is aptly named, Winter Love. rural winterlove An except of my poem, Blanket of Cotton, and a short essay, In Winter Play In The Garden, are included in this amazing publication.  I am honored to be included with so many creative writers and photographers.

The magazine is the creation of Jen@ The Light Laughed.  I hope you will check out the latest issue of this free online magazine.  You can sign up to read the new issue of Rural here.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about our foxy visitors.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

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All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

An Interview with Catherine Drea@Foxglove Lane

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“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

It is time for another interview post.  I have been getting into a routine every couple of months now, interviewing amazing bloggers who have influenced me.  As you might remember, after receiving and award from Julie@Gardening Jules, I had promised to do several interviews of some amazing bloggers and share them with you.

 

 

I decided to nip across the pond for this visit.   I met this amazing blogger through, Vision and Verb, a wonderful website of talented women.  Although I think I knew her a bit before I wrote for V and V, my recollection is fuzzy.  I know I felt a kindred spirit for Catherine@Foxglove Lane immediately.  Perhaps because her photos are soul refreshing, and her words penetrate me to my core, bringing joy and understanding.  Or maybe it was because she lives in Waterford, Ireland.  I have only been to Ireland once, 7 years ago, but I fell in love with my ancestral home of Ireland immediately (I am half Irish).

 

 

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So let’s whiz across the Atlantic and meet Catherine……..

 

 

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I’m Catherine Drea, a blogger, photographer and facilitator (www.foxglovelane.com)  I studied art, psychotherapy, have a Masters in Business Studies but my current love is Contemplative Photography.

I founded a social organisation 20 years ago (www.frameworknet.ie) where I still work part-time.

I live down a long green lane in Ireland with my husband and I have three grown up sons.

 

 

 

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 1. Catherine, why did you start blogging?

 

It was a typically Irish grey and wet Sunday about 5 years ago. I had just discovered the world of blogging. I guess I was suddenly inspired to have a go! I didn’t think about it or plan anything. I just sat down and figured out how to do it and in a couple of hours there it was……. my first blogpost!

 

 

 

The exuberance of summer is summed up in the buzzing and dancing of bees in foxgloves on the lane.

2.  I love the name of your blog.  What is its significance?

 

I chose Foxglove Lane that first day. It is literally the name I have given to our boreen, so full of foxgloves in June. It is home, freedom, peace to me……

 

 

 

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3.  It sounds like heaven to me.  Your blog seems to extend the heaven of your home and Ireland, and others have recognized its wonder through the Ireland Blog Awards you have won.  What do these awards mean to you, and what keeps you blogging?

 

As blogging has become so much more commercial and competitive I am always amazed that my blog, a labour of love (and not about fashion or beauty!) manages to win. I have very mixed feeling about competitions at the best of times, and yet I have benefitted from winning for sure.  

What actually keeps me blogging is probably more complex. It is a creative habit, a form of discipline in a way. It helps to keep my creative muscles fit. Without it where would I be, I live in the absolute middle of nowhere on a tiny island in the Atlantic? Through blogging I have been able to share my work, connect with others and create an online home where I can meet people….

 

 

 

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4.  And this creative home seems one of the reason many of us keep blogging.  So how do you define creativity? What does creativity mean to you?

 

I was an Art teacher and I always felt that creativity was about much more than just artistic attainment. It is about a sense of self, a way of relating to the beautiful mysteries of the world, a way of engaging with your own potential. It is for each of us to find our own way to express that. Creativity for me is an essential part of everyday life……when I start humming I know I am in the zone!!

 

 

 

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5.  Oh I love this idea of creativity as an essential part of everyday life.  Do you have a favorite space or spot that is sacred in or around your home where your creativity flows?

 

I am lucky to live in a beautiful and tranquil place in a wild and untamed couple of acres. I think my favourite spot is at the desk in my studio which looks out on it all. I am constantly distracted especially in winter by the birds, animals and wild weather changes rolling in from the Atlantic. Home is precious for humans,  enabling us to thrive and I feel so lucky to have a roof over my head and a room with a view.

 

 

 

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6.  I have traveled to Ireland, and loved its beauty?  What makes your piece of this special island nirvana for you?

 

Ha! Nirvana it is definitely not! I say that because Ireland has been through an economic crash that has been a real struggle. There is nowhere on earth without it’s challenges and we have had so many. However, Irish people are essentially happy go lucky and can embrace the dark side without too much trouble. I remember John O Donoghue saying that if you ask an Irish person “How are you” they will shrug and say “Sure not too bad!” or “Pulling the divil by the tail” Light and dark are part of us……So I suppose the special magic  is in the resilience and good humour of Irish people.

 

There is no downside to the beauty of the land and sea, it is stunning….just keeping it in pristine condition for the next generation is our challenge….

 

That is what I experienced when I visited…the good nature and humor of the Irish people….

 

 

 

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7.  Tell me what famous person or not so famous person you would like to meet?

 

Well if I wanted to swoon it would be Leonard Cohen, if I wanted to chat it would have to be Elizabeth Gilbert and I would love to have a coffee with a group bloggers including yourself Donna…..I think it might just happen some day…..

 

 

 

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8.  Oh I would love to have that meet up one day!  So let me shift topics a bit Catherine.  What is or would have been your dream career or job?

 

If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now I think I might have liked to run a seaside cafe in the South of France. Well who wouldn’t!! A lot of Irish people emigrate. It’s a big part of the culture. I was lucky in many ways to be able to stay in Ireland but if I had gone, it would have been to the Mediterranean and the sun! My amazing Grandmother ran a restaurant in a small town in Ireland, long before women had their own businesses. So I think cafe management could be in my genes!

 

 

 

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9.  Oh that sounds like an amazing dream.  And emigrating to the Mediterranean sounds perfect.  I know you love to travel.  What are some favorite spots you love to travel to and why?

 

I have a fierce touch of wanderlust!! We can get a ferry across to mainland Europe from Ireland and after that we can drive anywhere to get off the beaten track. (A gift for island dwellers) I love France and last year followed 5 rivers cascading through a very traditional part of central France. Recently we spent a month in the Peleponese in the South of the mainland Greece. The small town of Kardamilli there is a blissful spot. New York where I worked as a student is a favourite city, as is  Stockholm where I have family. It can be short or long trip, in wild Ireland or further afield…..any change of scene is inspiration to me!

 

 

 

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10.  Photography is such a big part of your life.  You have an extensive portfolio on your blog where folks can purchase your photos. What is your creative process, and tell us a bit about contemplative photography?

 

I have always taken photographs. My Dad gave me a camera at the age of 10. I study the surroundings of where I live in minute detail and take every opportunity to learn. Contemplative photography is a more soulful approach. I find it is something a lot of women photographers relate to. Although I am committed to fairly complex day job I usually get time to follow some creative instinct every day. Then on my days off I delve deeper into projects. Working from home helps too. I don’t work well under pressure, for prestige, or for money!! It doesn’t suit my muse! As she is a mother earth sort of character I have to be true to myself and my roots or she will squirm about and fail utterly to co-operate.

 

 

 

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11.  I love that you are so connected to your muse and so true to her.  What are some words of wisdom you have for those of us who are still learning about photography?

 

Find and follow the joy in what you do. Linger in those moments because photography is endlessly fiddly and years later your taste will have totally changed and what you adore today you will shun later!! I have gone through a lot of glorious colourful phases and find myself longing to return to the simpler days of black and white….you just never know which way you will be drawn…..I think if you are not “feeling it” something is missing……

 

 

 

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12.  Perfect words of wisdom my friend.  So what new form of arts or crafts would you like to learn now?  

 

I saw some incredible forest yarn bombing in the Basque country once and it remained with me. Crochet and knitting are huge again here and maybe that would be a way to that?

 

 

 

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13.  Catherine you recently wrote a wonderful book, “Seek light, embrace shade, live colour”.  Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to write this book?  How does it fulfill part of your soul’s journey?

 

People are very “helpful” and everyone told me that  I “should” Looking back I wasn’t ready at all to make a book and it was actually quite hard to deal with the attention it brought. I had a hunch that people who are not very active on line would finally get to share my world in an actual book…..and that proved to be the case….My soul’s journey is an everyday thing….if the truth be told putting myself “out there” always scares the pants off me!!!

 

 

 

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14.  Oh I can relate to that and it “scares the pants off of me too”.  Can you tell us anything about the process that you went through in creating your book that was a great lesson or an aha moment…words of wisdom?

 

The process was simple and I loved making the book. Blurb is a very easy platform to learn and work on. I decided to use my Instagram Gallery as the book was square format and tiny 7×7. The writing part as usual were inspired by the images I selected. The great lesson was when the book went out there, the first edition had 12 spelling mistakes!! Living in rural Ireland with a wonky internet connection meant that the corrections didn’t always get saved. So when I thought I had fixed them, they remained unfixed. I nearly had a heart attack when I discovered on the day of the great launch and after a number of sales that I would have to replace the first books. Blurb were totally unsupportive and my aha moment came when I realised that they really have no back up if something goes wrong. Also Blurb don’t share the names of your  buyers so it is hard to give good customer service. A serious draw-back…….on the other hand once a book is done it is there forever and that’s a plus.

 

 

 

Buy this image by clicking on the small shopping cart symbol above and browsing prints and products.

15.  Very helpful information for those of us contemplating creating a book.  What new projects are you working on you’d like to share?  What are your inspirations for your work?

 

I would love to create an archive from my first photos aged 10 up to the present day. I might also include some great photos taken by other photographers in the family. I also want to concentrate on making more physical manifestation of my work, I’m not sure what that will be but I hope to pursue a year long woodland study and shoot some video.

 

My inspiration will always be the light and shade of the day. I watch weather and conditions all the time…..nature is she who must be obeyed, so you just need to be ready to heed her. I also love studying the work of other photographers, poets and artists.

 

I love the idea of a woodland shoot.  And there is that kindred spirit again …..nature.

 

 

 

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16.  Is there anything else you want to tell us about your life, and what might be next for you?

 

Donna I will be 62 in 2016!!! How did I get here and where am I going to? One thing is sure, none of us is getting out of here alive!

 

I am not ambitious as such, more hopeful and steadfast. And I know that every moment counts!

 

 

 

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My goodness you are still so young my friend, and I love your words of wisdom….every moment does count especially now as I am moving to the other side of middle age….59 for me this year.

 

It was such a delight talking with Catherine.  Learning about her philosophy, her spirit and her creative process.  It renews me as does her beautiful photography.  One of the reason I enjoy these interviews is the connections I make on such a deeper level with amazing, gifted, talented and inspirational folks.  I hope you enjoyed getting to know Catherine a bit more.  I know I certainly did!

 

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Please make sure you visit Catherine in all the amazing places she hangs out.

 

 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Photos are the sole property of Catherine@Foxglove Lane and their use in this post is by permission of the photographer.

Poetry Sunday-Blanket of Cotton

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Blanket of Cotton

 

 

Blanket of cotton

Cascading down

Cocooning, enveloping

All as it surrounds.

 

 

With its soft white cushion

Drifts of stillness, silence abounds.

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

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Last winter our snow drifts were up to 7 feet, and temps were extremely COLD!  This verse is how I envisioned the snow as it insulated the garden like a blanket.  The pictures included here were taken last year in my garden during our wild winter with huge drifts.

 

 

 

The latest issue of the on-line magazine, Rural, is out.  It is aptly named, Winter Love. rural winterlove An except of my poem, Blanket of Cotton, and a short essay, In Winter Play In The Garden, are included in this amazing publication.  I am honored to be included with so many creative writers and photographers.

The magazine is the creation of Jen@ The Light Laughed.  I hope you will check out the latest issue of this free online magazine.  You can sign up to read the new issue of Rural here.

 

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

drifts at the fence collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday and with Kara@A Spirit of Simplicity for her Tuesday Afternoon meme.

 

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about the blanket of cotton.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

blanket of cotton

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Conversations In The Garden-On Patience

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“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” ~ Abraham Maslow

 

 

 

I have been working with the amazing Sandra Pawula, from Always Well Within, in her new venture, The Joyful Wisdom Letter and Circle.  Sandra sends a letter once a month with a unique theme to work on.  As she says……

 

I created the Joyful Wisdom Letter to help you overcome these pesky states of mind and live your full potential.  The Joyful Wisdom Letter offers a unique transformational process, which delves deep but moves at a relaxed paced.

The Joyful Wisdom Letter is not about “sexy” or “epic” or “big.”  It’s about being true to your essence, whatever that means for you – from leading a quiet life to dancing in the bright lights.

 

 

DSCN7502Let me just say that the letters so far have been life changing…..especially the one about Patience.  To say I’m impatient is an understatement.  I have learned to cultivate a bit more patience since I began gardening.  Waiting for veg seeds to grow as I work on weeding, or trimming plants.  Trying to learn a bit more about a plant that is limping along, so I can apply the lessons in order to help it grow.

 

 

These small garden lessons have helped me some, but little did I know when faced with a challenging situation, I would find the tools I needed deep inside to move ahead in growth, and not step back into safety thanks to Sandra’s teachings.

 

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It was the phone call we never want to get.  Middle of the day, and why was my husband calling me.  He had gone off with his lifelong buddy for a trip up North.  When I answered there was silence, and then his voice, odd and monotone.

 

 

They had been in a car accident, he was OK as was his friend.  My husband recited to me that he had broken his thumb and was waiting for an ambulance.  It was awful…they hit head on.  All I could answer was OK, try to listen and not react….‘stay calm’ was what my heart was telling me while my brain tried to race in panic mode.

 

 

 

DSCN7767And in the midst of this phone call, I found myself unusually calm.  He was alive, just a broken thumb.  But my mind still tried to race.  With a broken thumb, I’ll have to be ready to take over some chores and responsibilities, and give support….oh boy I am not good with that.

 

 

An hour went by and his friend called back….I couldn’t make out much of what he was saying as he seemed to be in shock.  They were headed to one of our local hospitals.  But they are waiting for the ambulance as the first one took the family from the other car.  They were OK too.  Really unbelievable all were OK, as the collision was 50 miles an hour head on.  They would let me know which hospital they were headed to soon.

 

 

So I waited for the next phone call.  I decided that as I was waiting, I better get showered, clean up the dishes, and be ready to go…oh and grab a bite to eat in case I couldn’t later.  As the time ticked on, I found myself doing other chores and writing to pass the time.  I still was unusually calm…..but why weren’t they calling me back, it had been 2 hours!

 

 

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Finally, I called them.  I had not wanted to be a nagging, needy wife, which is why I waited, but something told me the wait was over and I needed to know what was going on.  I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach just writing about this.

 

 

I reached them by phone just as they were working on my husband’s thumb….hearing him shout in pain did not sit well.  But I finally found out where they were.  I jumped in the car.  I made a concerted effort to drive the speed limit, and not rush….’stay calm’ was still my mantra.  No reason to rush as that would just add to my anxiety.  I made it in great time as traffic was light by that time of day.

 

 

I did have a bit of anxiety trying to find parking, but finally with the security guard’s help I found it.  I walked in as they were finishing up.  His thumb not broken, just dislocated, and he had some stitches.  But what had not been apparent in the phone call, was that his strong wall of tough composure was broken.  This accident had shaken him to his core, and it was here he would need my support.

 

 

DSCN8611I did not panic, I did not cry….instead I found the lessons from Sandra deep inside me.  My practice of these had ingrained them in me somehow, and I had found a new strength, and new ways to respond to this scary situation.

 

 

 

My old habit of responding to stress with more stress was quashed for now….I remained calm, and calmness rewarded me.  I decided to perceive this situation as one of gratitude….thankful he was alive, and not harmed except for the thumb.  This joyful perspective helped me to help him too.

 

 

My life changed that day….and not for the worse (thankfully again), but there was a shift.  I suddenly knew what really mattered.  I had a new feeling deep in my soul…a knowing that I was somehow different as was my husband.  We could lean on each other, ‘in sickness and in health’.  I knew that he was there for me, as he had demonstrated on numerous occasions.  But I was never sure how I would respond when called….now I knew he could count on me too!

 

 

DSCN8740This new found sense of calm and patience has continued in my life….not perfect….but one where I can realize when I am slipping back, and can catch myself.  I am not sure how these new lessons will show themselves as life goes on, but I know that with dedicated awareness and practice I change any habit or tenderly tend any part of me that is in need….and this knowledge gives me solace.

 

 

 

How do you practice patience?  What new lessons are you learning?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of asters from my fall garden this year.  They symbolize patience.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words On Patience.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

aster patience

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-A Smile

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A Smile

 

 

A smile stretches,

And cracks open my heart.

Letting a soft, warm light

Illuminate the fringes of my world.

Spreading from head to fingertips to toes.

This glowing feeling,

Happiness, emanating back

to the corners of my upturned lips.

Stretching further,

And exposing my burning core

set ablaze with delight and peace.

 

© Donna Donabella 2015

 

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This poem popped into my head as I was flying to Colorado for my niece’s wedding.  The warm feeling that a smile can bring, and how easily it can change your attitude.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

selfie smile collage

 

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are selfies taken at various times over the last 2 years without a cell phone, as I do not have one.  I used the Photo Booth app on my Mac.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about a smile.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

smile

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

My Manifesto: An Innovative Life in 2016

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“Making the beginning is one third of the work.”  ~Irish Proverb

 

 

 

As the year was coming to a close, I decided to wander out to my meadow.  Really a sanctuary garden, wild, with native plants, a couple of birdhouses and trees.  It lies just beyond the fence.  It is a place of quiet, curiosity and peace…where I can commune with nature and wildlife.

 

 

 

DSCN1160And it was here, while I snapped pictures of the dried and tattered plants, that I realized I had a full and abundant life.  I was lucky to be alive, to have relatively good health, a partner who gave me support and unconditional love, and family and friends who were still there for me.

 

 

 

I started to think about the upcoming year.  What would it hold?  What did I want to accomplish, how did I want to live out this next year of 2016?  I had recently adopted my word for the year, INNOVATE.  And I was thinking how this word would guide me.

 

 

 

DSCN1187I was also thinking what color this year would be.  I have been working with the Colors and Numbers, by Louise Hay, since 1998.  Each year has a number, unique to you, that matches with a color.  And when we tune into the color of the day or year, we can find more harmony and flow in our lives.  I have found this to be true, and I enjoy the colors.  Before I tuned into colors and numbers, I was wearing too much of one color especially black or gray.  This exploration of color was much more creative and fun.

 

 

 

You don’t have to believe in colors and numbers to have fun with it.  And when I explored this year for me, I realized it was a Personal Year 4.  But not just any 4, a 22/4.  Meaning, when I added my birthdate and this year, I got 22.  The color for the 22/4 year is coral.  And its significant meaning, Greatness.  And when I coupled it with my word for the year, Innovate, I saw a wonderful synchronicity developing.

 

 

 

This 22/4 year, superior accomplishments could be DSCN1164achieved…maybe writing and
publishing that book….it has been on my mind of late
.  It is also a year where I can have success, if I work on big plans for the good of the community.  It is said to be a powerful year.  A bit daunting and exciting, and definitely a year to Innovate.

 

 

 

As I tried to make more meaning of all of this, I decided this might be the year to create a manifesto.  A manifesto is quite simply a written declaration of my intentions, motives, or views.  And I am making mine for one year.  Not really goals per se, but more how I intend to live this Innovative life in 2016.

 

 

 

Creating a manifesto, is a work in progress so I hope to refine it as the year progresses….check in and see how I am doing.  And hopefully make this a yearly practice, if it helps organize and further guide me.

 

 

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As I Innovate my life in 2016, I am living a life:

 

    • Seeking out new destinations to explore
    • Inspired by creativity
    • Spent in the arms of nature more often
    • Of new experiments with growing, cooking and eating new foods
    • Of new habits that facilitate innovation, creativity, health and happiness
    • Moving more each day; stretching my body, mind and spirit.
    • Of gratitude and abundance
    • Of courage showcasing my talents to the world
    • Connecting with more people, more often
    • Of beauty surrounding me inside and outside my abode
    • Tuned into my creative channels allowing them to come forth and flourish
    • Serving my spiritual and intellectual needs

 

 

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Do you have a guiding word or phrase for the year?  Maybe a manifesto?  How have you decided to embrace the new year?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are from my meadow at the beginning of winter.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Innovation.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

innovation and vulnerability

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Winter Blew In

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Winter Blew In

 

 

Winter blew in with gusts of white,

swallowing whole everything in sight.

Twigs and branches with icicles hung,

drifted dunes from which silence is sung.

So let’s welcome the season on this Solstice Day,

put on your boots, and come out and play!

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

 

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This is a delayed poem celebrating the Winter Solstice as winter took several weeks to show itself. Winter finally started here around the New Year with cold temps, frost, snow and ice.  The sparkles of ice from frost in the garden, even in winter, is spectacular.  And the icicles that form with the snow melt, paint such a wintry picture to welcome the solstice.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

ice collage

 

 

 

sparkling collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here represent ice hanging from the house, and icy-frosty pictures of the garden with icicles hanging on trees.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about the Solstice and winter ice.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

solstice ice

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Wildlife Lesson: Surprise Seasonal Miracles

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“Your deepest roots are in nature.  No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.”

Charles Cook

 

 

After our very wet spring, many of our critters seemed to disappear.  We had about a dozen deer living in the woods around us.  And momma deer and her twins were spotted in early spring.  But during summer and fall, all but one deer was occasionally spotted.  It seems that the harsh winter took its toll, and many deer died.  Even hunters noted reduced numbers.

 

 

 

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And our precious fox, Hunter, also seemed to have moved on after his den was flooded so often.  We missed them terribly.  So on Christmas, we were so surprised to see the flash of red run onto the meadow.  A ‘Christmas miracle’ my husband proclaimed.  At first, we thought it was Hunter….

 

 

 

DSCN1553But upon closer examination, the tale had a pure white tip, and was much darker….not Hunter.  And I think this may be a female.  So we named her, Noel, at first.  Then I remembered that a female fox is called a vixen.  So what better name for our Christmas fox than, Vixen (one of Santa’s reindeer).

 

She scoped out the area quickly and then we saw her white-tipped tail bid us goodbye (in the last picture below).  We also noticed her winter coat was not as thick as Hunter’s last year when it was -20 degrees.

 

 

 

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It was rainy leading up to Christmas and one of our squirrels was out and about.  I love his umbrella tail!

 

 

 

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And the green frogs were still not hibernating.  We saw them on Christmas, and just before New Year.  See how dark in color they are now.  They match the dark pond water.

 

 

 

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December saw a busy time at the suet feeders….and some fighting.  It is fun to watch the pecking order as they all vie for the feeder.  This is a female Downy Woodpecker.

 

 

 

xmas bird collage

And other Christmas visitors included the Hairy Woodpecker (left), Goldfinch in its brownish-olive color now.  And Chickadees have been frequent visitors, along with that female Downy Woodpecker (lower right).

 

 

 

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Our greatest surprise was seeing a deer again on Christmas Eve just before the moon rose.  We think it is one of the twins from last winter.  A small doe.  The last time we saw any deer was late spring, and I had virtually no garden damage except for lilies.  Now I see a bit of daylily foliage nibbled so this deer is about, but mostly at night.  And her winter coat is not thick, and looks pretty ratty.

 

So there you have some Christmas/seasonal miracle visitors….and surprises!  We feel blessed!

 

 

UPDATE:

New Years critters

In the first few days of the New Year, Vixen has appeared and was ably hunting voles through the snow.  She (and it is definitely a female) is as good a hunter as our male foxes, if not better.  Perhaps we will see babies or kits one of these springs.

And the deer have returned.  At the first snowfall, we saw many deer tracks, and then three appeared in the meadow.  Maybe momma and her 2 children, now over a year old.  I am hopeful, in this new year, that our critters will continue to share the same habitat with us….and that we will see fawns and lots of other baby critters once again.

 

What wonderful critter surprises are you seeing?

 

With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.  I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about the miracles of nature.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

miracle

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-16.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-What Do You See

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What Do You See

 

 

What do I see when I look at the world…..

 

 

I could say pain, perhaps

Injustice, poverty, surely.

 

 

And while these are heavy, obscuring my view,

sometimes suffocating me,

I prefer to see kindness-yes!

 

 

It glows so brightly in the night sky….rays

of peace, harmony and laughter rain down.

And love is there too, layered beneath,

supporting all who chose to walk this path.

 

 

What do you see?

 

 

Can you see the path of understanding, forgiveness?

Can you see the kindness of strangers?

 

 

Look hard….

It is there.  Just obscured a bit,

right now.

 

 

With each soul, united, we can make a wider path of love,

an enduring course

for millions to walk with us-

 

 

It just depends how you CHOOSE  to see the world.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

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While traveling to my niece’s wedding the opening line kept running through my head.  And the words that poured out were a chorus of hope I wanted to share especially during the holiday season as we begin the New Year.

 

I choose a new word each year to guide me.  This year my word is INNOVATE.  I rolled it out on my New Year’s Eve post.  And it seems this poem fits beautifully with it…I am choosing to see things in a new light this year.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

almond blossom collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday and with Kara@A Spirit of Simplicity for her Tuesday Afternoon meme.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  I used pictures of almond blossoms from my garden as they symbolize hope and contemplation.  And I processed them in an oil painting app on my computer.  I do like how they turned out.

 

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I leave you with a few additional thoughts about the hope of the world.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

world hope

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.