Poetry Sunday-Perennial Life

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Perennial Life

 

 

A beautiful spring.

Next a strong summer,

Moves to a waning fall

As blossom and leaf are shed.

 

To winter slumber,

Emerging slowly.

Renewed with the warm spring breezes,

To flower once more with vigor-

Begins the cycle again.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2016

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As a gardener, I often see my life’s journey as parallel to the seasons in the garden.  This poem was written after one of those reflective moments.

 

Pictured here are Oriental Poppies and their seedheads.  They have such a unique look, and I am struck often by their mandala tops.

 

 

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These are the same poppies in bud and flower.  I love the crinkly, papery petals resembling crepe paper.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog, and with Gillena@Verses for her Monday WRites link-up.

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

 

 

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

perennial life

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-Retreating to Spring

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Retreating to Spring

 

 

As I reflect on the garden these days,

I find my mind retreating

to the spring colors,

of bulbs popping up-

the subtle greens emerging

and dotting the brown wet soil.

Of beginning again…always a new start.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2016

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March means spring is on its way…even if the weather is cold and snowy.  We know it isn’t far off.  And as spring approaches, the bulbs start to pop up with the snow’s retreat.

 

With our unusually warm weather, the snow retreated already and bulbs are up.  I am renewed each spring as if my life has the beautiful gift of starting over…..nothing is the same, and I am ready for all the new wonders about to be shown!

 

 

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.  I am not sure if this poem fits with the ‘Faith, healing’ theme, but the new growth of spring is my healing…it is where I find my spiritual place!

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Please visit these fabulous poetry blogs to read some more wonderful verse.

 

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

retreating to spring

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 New Life

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A New Life

 

 

First kiss.

Such bliss.

Standing at this entrance way,

As One,  will be joined this day.

 

 

Joined as one this day

Pure love delightfully displayed.

Tears of joy shed all around,

Souls collide in sparks abound.

 

 

Watch the sparks from this collision

Can’t be stopped that’s love true mission.

The current builds, this pair transformed

And now, a new bond is formed.

 

 

Formed today this bond is spoken,

With vows never to be broken.

Hard work is needed, and a grand wish,

For a new life started with this first kiss.

 

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2015

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I wrote this poem in October after attending my niece’s wedding.  The first 2 lines were a song in my head, and the rest just came after.  I was playing with an idea for a form, to work the first line of the next stanza from the words of the last line in the stanza before.  It was a challenge, but fun.  And I rather like how it turned out.

 

The pictures at the beginning and end of the post are of my niece, Christina, and her husband Colin, Mr. and Mrs. Murtagh.  The mosaic is my parents’ wedding picture from 1954, and my wedding picture from 1997.  In my wedding picture, my mom is pictured far left standing, and my niece was the flower girl.  She was 10 years old.

 

 

 

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

new life

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Creativity Sunday-Holiday Views

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“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”  

~Norman Vincent Peale

 

 

It has been almost 18 years since the passing of my father….40 years for my husband’s father, when he was just 15.  And 10 years ago, his mother died leaving a huge void in our lives.  Our traditional family gatherings were no more.  We seemed a bit lost trying to find our way.

 

 

We had just moved to our new house a few months earlier, but I just couldn’t open the boxes of decorations I had lovingly used in year’s past.  We didn’t cut down a tree.  Instead we put up a ceramic tree and a little faux tree, and lit them nightly. And I took whatever new decorations I was gifted, and scattered them about.

 

 

DSCN0983But this 10th year in our new house, I found a renewed energy…maybe because I was less stressed and had been retired now a year….maybe it was just time.  This past February, I went through all my Christmas decorations, and saved only those I cherished and might want to use this year.  And I promised myself to open those boxes, and put up some Christmas decorations.  Those I did not use this year would go in the pile to give away.

 

 

So in early December, the 4 boxes and our 2 little faux trees came out of the basement.  As I opened the boxes, a rush hit me, and I went about creating new scenes.  Three hours later, the house took on a holiday feeling, and the spirit of Christmas seemed to pour from every corner.  And you know what?  I used every single decoration….coincidence, I think not!

 

 

So I wanted to share some of our holiday scenes this year, that mean so very much to us!  With as few words as possible….

 

 

 

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Here’s one of our little faux trees.

 

 

 

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With some of my favorite old decorations…..some as old or older than me.  The background is our ceramic tree that once belonged to my mother-in-law.

 

 

 

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Sitting at the base of the tree, is this wonderful container of more old ornaments and garland.

 

 

 

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This little tree graces our front hall.

 

 

 

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It is also decorated with old ornaments, and my cherished garden tool ornaments given to me by a very dear, dear friend.

 

 

 

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My favorite of these garden tool ornaments is the old-fashioned watering can.

 

 

 

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And what better accompaniment for this tree, than my Christmas Garden Fairy.

 

 

 

mantel collage

The mantel was completely redone this year.  I brought out our wonderful Mr. and Mrs. Claus stocking holder and our stockings…..they were missed.  The wreath is one given to me by one of my thoughtful teachers when I first became a school administrator….I adore it.

 

 

 

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Here’s another view of the mantel.

 

 

And a couple of more lovely scenes….

 

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I leave you with a view from my front windows looking onto the porch…the glow of candlelight keeping the Christmas spirit bright!

 

I hope you enjoyed these holiday views.  I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with I Heart Macro hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

 

 

 

I leave you with a bit more sentiment about Christmas.   Feel free to download the photo and share.

christmas is

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Winter’s Gifts

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“There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.” ~Ruth Stout

 

 

 

Winter is a much maligned season…..yes you heard me correctly.  When we say winter is coming, you don’t hear a joyful cheer rise up from the masses, especially if you live where there is snow.  No instead there are groans and grumbles.

 

 

It is cold.  The landscape looks brown or drab or worse covered in white for months on DSCN8599end.  Outdoor activities are limited.  And worst of all, it is dark and gray.  Especially dark….we rise in the dark, go to work in the dark, and watch the sunset before we return home from work.  We are eating in the dark, and if your internal clock is like mine, you want to go to bed by 7pm.  Not a bright prospect for a season.

 

 

So I decided a few years back that I had to stop grumbling and complaining about winter.  Instead I needed to find the good in winter…the gifts it brings us.  And once found, I needed to embrace these gifts, and believe in the wonders winter can bring.  And I do mean believe, for as we know our perceptions about something can color it either positive or negative.

 

 

I believe it is time to give winter the credit it is due.  To bring winter out of the darkness, and into a more beautiful light. And I want to share winter’s gifts with you now, as the season approaches.

 

 

So what are these gifts, you ask?  Take a look……

 

 

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Winter isn’t actually such a dark season.  November and December are the 2 darkest months, and they come at the end of autumn.  As winter starts on the solstice, we mark the darkest day and celebrate the coming back of the light.  Each day we gain sunlight and the days brighten and shine.

 

 

 

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And that’s another gift of winter, some of the most spectacular bright, clear blue skies.  Watching the sun rise low is especially wonderful, as it casts unusual shadows on the canvas of white.

 

 

 

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Then there are the sunrises that take your breath away.  Yes this is an actual winter sunrise of pastel colors with that heart cloud.

 

 

 

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And on the days when the skies are a dark gunmetal gray, and they open up with a fury, we see another glorious scene.  One of magic where the whole world is swallowed whole in white.  I watch each snowfall as each is different depending on the temperature.  And that snow can create such unique scenes.

 

 

 

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While the landscape may not be filled with green and flowers, there is a quiet beauty you will miss if you don’t look for it….really look for it.

 

 

 

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A brown drab garden brought back to life with the magic of the snow and the winter light.  One light show I look forward to every morning as the scene is always spectacular. Reaching deep into my soul, scenes like this make my heart sing.

 

 

 

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And then there are the visitors who add their own light to winter.  Here a pair of bluebirds find shelter and shop for a spring home.

 

 

 

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Watching nature is another wonderful gift of winter.  Now that the trees and landscape are bare, we can see the birds more clearly.  And see the beauty of other critters, like this fox in its thick coat.

 

 

 

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So while winter may keep us indoors more, and may start off as the darkest season, we can take advantage of the gifts of winter even from the warmth and safety of our homes.  By changing your perspective you can observe a stunning world just outside your window.

 

 

Oh and there are other things you can do during winter as you begin to embrace the gifts it bestows on us.  Consider exploring one of the following:

 

 

  • Grow herbs on a windowsill to use all winter so you can still have some of summer’s fresh flavor.
  • Bring in a potted geranium or coleus and watch it bloom all winter.
  • Give yourself a challenge and read more.  Catch up on those books you have been meaning to read.
  • Take walks and look at the beauty of winter from a different viewpoint.  Maybe even build a snowman or make a snow angel.
  • Take up snowshoeing or another winter sport, and see the winter scene’s in a new spot.
  • If you are crafty you can work on projects or delve more into other creative artsy endeavors.
  • Clutter clear your house slowly and create more space for joy and abundance.
  • Cook more yummy soups, stews and comfort foods.

 

The list is endless….So take some time this winter and explore all the gifts winter holds. 

 

 

As the solstice approaches and we ponder winter’s gifts, I hope you join me on November 30th on my garden blog, Gardens Eye View,  for my quarterly meme, Seasonal Celebrations.  

 

What do you think are winter’s greatest gifts?  What are your favorite things to do in winter?  

 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of winter scenes from my garden over the years.

 

 

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Read-Rural-online-magazine Please join me on November 19th, for the next issue of the newly published on-line magazine, Rural.  I will have an excerpt of this post in the new issue.

The magazine is the creation of Jen@ The Light Laughed.  Many of you may know Jen already from her new blog or from her days writing at her old blog Muddy Boot Dreams.  I recently did an interview with Jen which was quite a treat for me.

I hope you will check out the last 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 bit more sentiment about winter’s gifts.   Feel free to download the photo and share.

winter's gifts

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Wildlife Lesson: Bathing’s For The Birds

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“The bath is one of the places I prefer, certainly not a place I leave readily, a place where one can close the door and remove oneself, put oneself in parentheses, as it were, from the rest of humanity. It is a place for reading and thinking, where one’s mind wanders easily, where time seems temporarily suspended.”

― Sheila Kohler

 

 

 

A pond is a garden teeming with plants and wildlife.  One of the wonders of having a pond in the garden is being able to watch wildlife.  Frogs, toads, dragonflies and snakes all come to the pond to live and play regularly.  And if you are lucky you can see birds stepping into the pond for a bath.

 

 

 

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Our pond has too much vegetation along the edge which prevents the birds from bathing.  We need to do a little maintenance to correct this problem.  But the bigger birds have figured out another way to bathe.  They sit in the top of the waterfall and bathe away.  I don’t think he wants us watching him!

 

 

 

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It’s as if they have their own private spa there.  Taking their time with a luxuriating bath or a quick flap of the wings and they’re off.  But mind you, it is not a first come first serve outdoor bath.  No you have to be a robin to get the first chance to use it.  And male robins rule the bath.

 

 

 

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In the picture at the top of the post, our crazy robin momma is none-too-pleased with the catbird who thought she was going to take a bath.  So move over momma catbird, and wait your turn.  This momma robin is spending her second year in our garden so she has special bathing privileges.  I even spied her once covered in mud after she built a nest.  I was standing right next to the waterfall, but she was so desperate to get all that mud off, she hurried and didn’t let my presence stop her.

 

 

 

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I start to see the bathing commence once the robin’s hit town in spring.  Sometimes I feel like a voyeur.  Right up until the tall perennial helianthus puts up screen, in early August, we can keep watching like peeping toms.  By mid-August the robins are almost ready to leave our garden for their winter home.

 

 

 

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Robins and catbirds aren’t the only birds who use the pond for a bath.  We have orioles and an occasional brave cedar waxwing try it out.  But because of the force of the water flowing from the waterfall, only big birds can use it as a bath.

 

 

 

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You can see how this bath is a great source of amusement for us.  Seeing this male robin all wet and poofed up makes me laugh.  And the males seem to be bath hogs.  Most will stay in the bath for long periods, then hop out, shake, stand there for a few minutes and bathe again.  I have seen some hog the bath for upwards of 20 minutes or more keeping the other birds out, even the female robins.  Females are too busy to take a long bath….sounds familiar doesn’t it.

 

 

 

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We have a few other smaller bird baths in the garden for other birds, but secretly I think the other birds are jealous of those who use the big bath.  OK, I will admit the robins who live in or nearby our garden are spoiled, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I think even when we fix the pond so birds can wade in and bathe, the robins will still use the waterfall bath.  After all wouldn’t you want a private bath if you could have one.

 

I hope you enjoyed the bathing birds from our spring and summer garden.  It seems bathing is for the birds here in our garden.

 

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.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about bird baths…actually taking a bath in general!  Feel free to download the photo and share.

birdbaths

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Fall Colors

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 Fall Colors

 

 

Flowers pale, but color remains

The sky’s on fire all through the gray.

Orange, yellow, red dominate the surrounds

High in the trees and low on the ground.

While fall rolls along, it soon will all fade

Back to brown and the rich shades of clay.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2012

 

 

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Autumn (or Fall as it is sometimes called) in the northeast United States is quite beautiful.  Something to be celebrated.  So as Fall begins to move through my garden and the surrounding area, I am showcasing it with some of my favorite poems I wrote a few years ago.

 

 

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.

fall colors 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.  

 

I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

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 were taken at one of my favorite spots to observe Autumn, Beaver Lake Nature Center.  These were taken in 2010.  Soon these colors will be showing themselves again.

 

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

fall colors

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-August Muse

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August Muse

 

 

August seems such a strange month.

The weather shifting in and out of season.

And those glorious golden days,

The hot sun still parching my garden.

 

 

Flowers fading, fruit ripens

And my thoughts turn a bit melancholy.

As the raucous noise of summer fades,

And friends depart for their long journeys home.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2013

 

 

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When August rolls around in the garden, it is a bittersweet time as we watch the garden bloom and fade.  And while I love August and all the bounty it brings, I am saddened as I know it will be gone too fast, and I will be longing for its return.

 

 

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.

hummers

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.  

 

I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

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 of one of the last bird ‘friends’ to leave our garden at the end of summer…the ruby-throated hummingbird.  These are pictures of one of the sweet females, who worked hard raising a brood in spring and summer, getting ready to fly South soon.

 

 

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

august muse

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Summer Breezes

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Summer Breezes 

 

 

A sea of gold set ablaze in the hot sun.

I squint to watch a monarch dance with a bee,

Adrift on the sultry breeze.

As it caresses my skin and sets my soul on fire,

I am lost in the lazy hum of the garden.

All life here has succumbed to this moment-

There is no other as there will never be again.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2012

 

 

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This is the last series of summer poems I wrote in 2012 and 2013 to celebrate summer.  This poem was a memory of a summer day watching the pollinators play on the breeze and sip nectar under the golden sun.

 

 

 

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.

 

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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 in this post are of a monarch butterfly drinking in the last golden nectar of summer before flying south for the winter following those summer breezes.

 

 

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

monarch

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Summer Memories

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Summer Memories

 

 

Lazy days beneath the leaves,

Soft rain falling, feel the warm breeze.

Shouts of joy, blooms of gold,

Dreams of childhood; tales to be told.

 

 

When finally in my older days,

These are the summer memories that never will fade.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2012

 

 

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I am continuing my series of summer poems.  This one I wrote in 2012 as I looked back on my childhood wishing not to be working, but enjoying the summer days again.  That feeling of ease, peace and just being in the moment.

Now in retirement, I am beginning to enjoy those days again, and trying to find that ease of summer days from my many childhood summer memories.

 

 

 

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.

 

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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.  

 

I am also joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

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 of those trees spreading a shady canopy and all the yellow blooms of summer that blaze brightly in the summer sun.

 

 

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

summer memories

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Fun In The Sun

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Fun In The Sun Days

 

 

Humid days, hazy days,

Crazy, busy travel days.

 

 

Fireworks and Fair days,

Burgers, popsicles and S’more days.

 

 

Sprinklers and beach days,

Flip flops, sunburns, staying cool days.

 

 

Please never let them end-

These summer fun in the sun days!

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2013

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This is another in a series of summer poems I wrote in 2013 to celebrate those summer days I remembered from childhood.  We had a County Fair that I was always entering something in…cookies or a badly sewn placemat.  We went swimming, wore flip-flop sandals, made S’mores and popsicles.

And we never failed to go on a family vacation.  All 6 of us piled into a station wagon on the road for our destination.  Nothing too expensive, but exploring neighboring states.  The best was when we shared a house on the beach in Florida with other family.  Made we want to live on a beach…maybe someday.

 

 

 

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.

 

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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 are of thoughts of summer with sunlight streaming through the trees, rainbows after thunderstorms and my flip-flops all grown up and much prettier looking.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Fun In The Sun.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

fun in the sun

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Love In My Garden

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Love In My Garden

 

 

Love is whispered as the gentle breeze blows,

And catches the light in the morning glow.

 

 

It sparkles in the early dew,

And kisses each flower as the day renews.

 

 

Sit in the garden now and drink it up.

Let nature be your loving cup.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

 

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By the time we get to June in the garden, the scents and sights are intoxicating which is how this poem was inspired in June of 2014.

 

 

 

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.

 purple flowers

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 flowers in this post grew in my late May, early June garden in 2014.  I chose purple flowers because they represent dignity, pride, success, accomplishment and admiration.

 

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I leave you with a few words about love in my garden.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

 love in the garden

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

End of Month Potpourri-April 2015

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The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good. ~ Brian Tracy

 

 

For this month’s potpourri, I am continuing my thoughts about self-love.  Self-love and self-care are things we are not routinely used to considering…we are not brought up to think about ourselves first….it is thought of as selfish.

 

 

But in reality it is the most self-less thing we can do to care for ourselves….I feel if we don’t care for ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, then we cannot adequately care for others.

 

 

Part of that self-care is making time for ourselves….not easy in our busy lives, but essential.  It is important to connect to our inner core….to find ways to replenish ourselves.  I disconnect from the world for chunks of time.  It gives me space and solace to think or not think…to go with the flow or put my ideas down on paper.

 

 

But the best thing I do somedays is to celebrate.  With the coming of May, I find it a perfect time to celebrate as it is my birth month.  It is a standing joke that in May….I don’t have a birthday, but I celebrate my birth month.  But that joke has really become a reality for me, as I think it is a perfect idea.

 

 

And while this is something I do in May, I have begun to realize that I need to celebrate more….not just the big occasions, but the smaller moments in my life.  A glorious day….a perfect sunset….the return of a beloved flower or bird to my garden…..a mother rabbit nursing her young.

 

 

These times don’t need a big celebration…they just need to be noted in a journal, or for me with my camera.  So as I look back at some of these special times this past month, I thought I would celebrate them here with you as I saw them through my camera lens.

 

 

 

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As the snow finally began to melt in the beginning of April, fog came to the garden.  This was the foggy sunrise that met me on that glorious morning.

 

 

 

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The willow trees outside my front door, capture the droplets of rain and hold them making sparkles and reflections.

 

 

 

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And those same trees are a perfect perch for many bird visitors seeking shelter, a home or just a spot to watch the sunrise on a foggy morning….like this Junco.

 

 

 

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The first flowers of spring were a daily occurrence as the snow melted to reveal them already blooming.  And with spring rains, the flowers were bathed in more beauty.

 

 

 

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The first daffodils shimmered like the snowdrops above.

 

 

 

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As the ground warmed, and the bright spring sun shone down, more flowers bravely bloomed for me…Iris reticulata here…..Chionodoxa in the first photo.

 

 

 

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And Crocus tommasinianus blooming through the new green grass.

 

 

 

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This Scilla siberica is finding the first light of the new day…what a glow it is giving off that is captured here and in my heart forever.

 

 

 

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And finally the silver maple flowers are blooming already as the spring sunlight makes them shine like diamonds on the branches.

 

 

These are the celebrations I see each day…and so many more I hear with each new bird’s song.  Each a delight…each renewing me helping me to SOAR higher.  Each and every day now I am making time for me…I take it slow with no set plan…just kindness, gentleness and a child’s curiosity regained.

 

 

 

Note:   Each photo was taken on my daily walk around the garden in the month of April, 2015.  Some required me to lay on the soft, wet ground and see the flowers from a new perspective.  Oh what breath of life I found there as I reconnected with Mother Earth.

 

If you like gardening, and want to see more pictures of my April garden, I have a monthly journal post at my garden blog, Gardens Eye View, the first Monday of each month.

 

 

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I leave you with more thoughts about self-love and giving love back.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

heart

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Creating Pure Joy

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“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”  — Erich Fromm

 

 

One of the habits I have lost along the way was the ability to have fun.  I noticed it only recently when I was taking stock of myself and my habits after being retired for almost a year.  I did things that I liked to do such as gardening and photography.  And yes they were fun, but I felt something was missing in these endeavors, in my life.  And I found I did not have as many hobbies or friends to “play” with anymore.

 

Now I know I am an adult and we have to work, but there was never anything that precluded us from playing and having fun with friends as an adult.  It just seemed my life became about the job… especially since we had no children.  And there was less and less fun in the job as time went on.  Challenges had replaced pure fun, and for a while sufficed.  But soon the joy seeped out of the job and I couldn’t find it anymore.  It became, “I have to” not “I get to”.  Where was the fun in that?

 

And sadly it was as if I didn’t know how to play anymore once I retired.  I used to DSCN6752amuse myself for hours as a child bouncing and catching a ball to see how many times I could do it without missing.  I would wander and smell the flowers, look at the bugs, climb trees, swing, wade in the creek, ride my bike, and all alone if friends were busy.  When friends were around we would play make-believe games, riding our horses to the rescue (our bikes with rope tied around the handlebars).  We would roll down hills, play tag, hide and seek and even card or board games.  Nothing planned or scripted, but whatever we felt like doing in the moment that would bring us immeasurable joy.

 

I miss those simple games, those creative fun times lost for hours in the sheer joy of life.  When we were with family at Thanksgiving, my 27-year-old niece and her fiancé wanted to play a board game.  So we got out the only game my sister had, Trivial Pursuit.  You bet I was in and ready to play.  And we were lost for hours playing the game, making up new rules and having so much….you guessed it, FUN!  Yes I won, but that is beside the point.

 

One of the ways I know I can create more joy in my life is to learn to play again….to let go and be creative…find what amused me as a child and still does.  There are the obvious things like riding my bike, wandering around the garden and watching bugs.  But those will have to wait for warmer weather.  It will be challenging to see what fun things I can find this winter…I love puzzles and there are a few jigsaw puzzles with my name on them just waiting to be put together.  And perhaps a bit of play in the snow-making snow angels and  snowmen!

 

Of course once the weather warms up and spring fever hits, I will be itching to get out and DSCN7059have some fun in the garden.  I can ride my bike over to the lake and see what’s what.  Oh that sounds like fun….you know I never get over there.  I wonder why…it could be fun!!  And there is flower arranging, or maybe painting a few pictures of flowers….oh I think I am going to like that too.

 

But more than doing all these things, I will be continuing to find more and more time to create joy…the pure joy from just exploring my surrounds and enjoying life in the moment with no scripted plans.  The possibilities are endless.  All I have to do is get back into the flow of those joyful, spontaneous moments of life.  Hey if you are in the neighborhood, stop on by…no need to call….we can play.  It will be such great fun!

 

Note:   The yellow roses pictured here represent joy.

 

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I leave you with some additional thoughts on, creating joy in our lives. Feel free to download this photo and share.

yellow rose

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Channeling Anger

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“I want to say somewhere: I’ve tried to be forgiving. And yet. There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in.”

Nicole Krauss

 

 

Yes indeedy I invited anger, bitterness and resentment in for a long time.  It had resided somewhat quietly awaiting one of my famous private tantrums of release….these were never pretty nor very helpful.  They were instead deadly.

 

I have learned the hard way that holding on to anger has so many ugly side effects.  It reaches into every crack and crevice eating away at your body, mind and soul inevitably compromising your health.  My blood pressure was inching up, I was breaking teeth, the weight gain was out of hand, I had insomnia, a bleeding ulcer and migraines.  And while these all seemed like enough, I was also unhappy, depressed, stressed out and angry all the time…..oh so angry.

 

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ― Mark Twain

 

And why was I so accepting of anger… so happy to keep this close relationship with something that was literally killing me?  It seemed to boil down to this…I could not forgive.  Actually it was more like I would not forgive.  I was happy to savor the nasty, bitter taste.  I found power in it.

 

By doing this, I was able to project all my woes on those I perceived were doing me wrong….it is all their fault.  They were stressing me out causing my illnesses and migraines…their fault, Their Fault, THEIR FAULT!!!!!

 

But what was this thinking getting me?  Not health or happiness.  What did I want?  I no IMG_5647longer knew.  I was beaten down.  Just dragging myself along.  I read books, worked with an acupuncturist and tried to work through all the stress triggers and issues that came up.  But what I still couldn’t get my head around was the idea of forgiving.

 

Forgive, but don’t forget.  Forgive, but don’t condone.  Excuse, exonerate, release.  But I couldn’t.  I felt I would give my power away if I did….so I hung on for dear life.  Until I was so sick, so worn down that you could have scraped me off the floor with a spatula.

 

Finally unable to bear the pain, it was time….time to release this anger.  It was time for a change.  But how?  How to turn this negative around?  And then one day during my fairly new meditation practice that seemed to be going nowhere, it happened…quite unexpectedly actually.  I finally connected with that place behind the thoughts….it was a place that felt like home…where love resided…where healing tears could flow freely…where I could look within without fear, confront the feeling, stop blaming everyone else for my feelings, my illnesses, my woes.  To feel it all, let it go, and then to give myself some compassion and time to heal.

 

No it was not easy, but it was time to take care of me, and this was the only way to let go of the hurt, the anger and resentment.  By doing so, suddenly I had more room in my heart and my life for other things.  I was transformed and reborn through my anger……now in its place there was peace, joy, abundance.  I had channeled my anger and felt free again.

 

But to maintain these wonderful joyful feelings, I must show up every day, and go to this very special place to continue the work.  Do I still get angry….yes.  Do I hold onto it….hell no.  I feel it, express it, change it into something more constructive and then I smile!  A heart stretching smile that carries me through each moment of each day as I learn again to move forward and put one foot in front of the other, some days content to stand still and rest.   So very happy for each new breath I draw every day I am alive…really alive!!

 

Note:  In the Language of Flowers the petunia pictured here stands for Resentment and  Anger.  And they also mean your presence soothes me.  I adore these flowers and grow them every year in my garden.  Now I know why.

 

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Update 7 months later:

This post was originally published April 30, 2014 in Vision and Verb.  When I finally really learned to forgive, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted from my soul.  I was able to really heal.  I saw each day differently as a newborn.  I was really happy, and knew I owned my happiness.

 

Now I still live in this light of forgiveness.  Still not an easy path, many times rocky.  But I know it is the essential missing piece, that has made my life whole again.

 

 

I leave you with another thought about letting go of anger.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

letting go

 

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