Poetry Sunday: Muddy Waters

 

Muddy Waters

 

 

Muddy waters take me in

Take me down to nourish my skin

Skin made tough

Skin made thin

Through life’s adventures

Through life’s sins.

 

 

So soak it up and banish all ills

Fill me deep, realign my will

A heart made true

A soul made joyful

A powerful voice

Now once again skillful.

 

© Donna Donabella 2017

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I had not written much since last August due to a shoulder injury and due to a need to travel inward….a self-imposed time away. But on a sunny day in early April when I began my new journal habit, this poem flowed forth trying to break the ice damn that had built up.  It was how I was feeling sitting in my garden waiting for it to wake up….and hoping my creative juices would do the same.

 

The pictures above is of my early spring pond a bit muddy, and below my later spring pond full of life and water lilies.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up, Poetry Pantry, for poets who blog.

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

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2017.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Creative Quest

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“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”
~Steve Jobs

 

 

 

Recently, I took part in a week-long Photo Quest (#celebrateARTlife ), put together by Whitney Freya.  I find when I take part in photo challenges, I really reach deep inside and touch my creative soul.  So I was excited to participate.

Each day we were given prompts, and then asked to look at the symbolism of our subject.  I liked the idea of the symbolism, as it revealed much about me, and where I am on my journey.  

Initially, I posted these photos and narratives on my Facebook Page, but I wanted to combine them and post them here too, where I like to showcase what I am creating.  I hope you enjoy the Photo Quest as much as I did…..

 

 

day1 garden maiden

On Day 1, we had to post a picture of a favorite piece in our house that has special meaning for us.  I chose my Garden Water Maiden statue.  Here is what I wrote about this photo:

 

As a long time gardener, she has special meaning for me. I feel she symbolizes gardeners like myself who cherish the land and the critters who live there. She has made her home in my house for a number of years.

And the water jug she carries symbolizes healing water.

Water also symbolizes friendship and love connecting us to the world. It is vital for life, and is a feminine element. Water is also the element of emotion, purification, intuition, mysteries of the self, compassion and family. Water seems to be the perfect symbol for me now as I work on healing and connecting. And we could all use a bit more healing with cleansing water in the world!

 

 

day2 pink

On Day 2, I had to take a picture of my favorite color at the moment.  I was surprised with my choice:

 

Right now pink is catching my eye. I don’t have much pink in the house, but I have a few key pieces like this lovely rose quartz box that belonged to my mother-in-law. It is special and means a lot to me.

Pink has special significance for me right now too. It has very special meanings that are an important part of my healing journey. Pink represents unconditional love, hope, compassion and nurturing. Pink is intuitive, and shows kindness. And pink can signify good health. What a luscious color in my world right now.

 

 

day3 star

Day 3 we had to take a photo of a shape or pattern that was catching my eye.  I thought it would take a while to zero in on one, but I noticed my shape right away:

 

It seems stars are shining for me at the moment. This one is of particular significance; a gift from a dear friend in NM.

Stars have wonderful symbolism and shine the light on our self-reliance. They also symbolize navigation; for me it is navigating a new path with retirement and writing. Stars seem to be guiding my way to my passion and dream, and suggesting I take some bold steps. And this particular star has the Native American lizard symbol on it, also significant for me right now as it represents healing and survival.

 

 

day4 echinacea

Day 4’s prompt was perfect for me, as we had to take a photo of a flower that was most attractive at the moment.  I wasn’t sure what flower I would choose until I went into the garden:

  

Echinacea purpurea, also know as coneflower, is a native wildflower growing throughout my garden smiling on me every day. 

It is a special flower as it represents Strength and Health.  And it is said that Echinacea helps remove whatever is holding you back allowing you to let go of stagnate energy.  It also supports transitions to new ways of doing things.  You should use Echinacea when your self-image is beginning to change, but you haven’t completely become your “new” self.

It is interesting that this flower is capturing my attention as I continue on my journey of retirement, change and healing.  A good flower to keep around me!

 

 

Day5 mandala

On Day 5, we had to create a mandala with materials found inside or out.  I had so many ideas, but when I happened on these materials:

 

I thought about flower petals and stones outside.  But it was hot and humid, so instead I noticed some California poppy petals curled and dried on my little bench indoors.  I gathered some little stones and some live petals from a hydrangea flower in a vase, to add to the mandala.

I am combining materials from the indoors with outdoors for my mandala.  And if you look closely you will see both live and dead materials.  The live or current ringing the past.  And there is much pollen left in those long dead petals, which seem to represent my past life.  These seem to say to me that I have learned so much from my past, and it has propelled me to my current place now.

I also found working with such small materials to represent the minimalism and mindfulness that I am adopting these days.  All in all, this seems to be a pretty significant mandala that I created today.

 

 

Day6 altar

Day 6 had us displaying our sacred space.  I have one inside and one outside, so:

 

I thought I would show a peek at the altar in my sacred space indoors.  It holds many cherished memories and mementos.  It is where I go to relax, to meditate, to read and reflect.

The picture is one of water lilies to remind me of my pond and cleansing water.  The bowl is from a friend filled with last year’s rose petals….the parts of me I am letting go.  The cloisonné bell was a present from my parents that was given to me in my former life as a teacher.  In the right hand corner you can see a bit of the Georgia O’Keeffe comparative stamps given to me by a dear friend and a picture of my dad.  And the vase of fresh white flowers represents my outdoor sacred space, my garden.  White is significant as it symbolizes light, goodness and safety. 

I painted this sacred space a bright vibrant green, a very significant color as green is the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy.  It also represents growth, fertility and environment. All the feelings important to cultivate in my sacred space.  When I enter there, I have the feeling that I am home.

 

 

day7selfie

Finally on Day 7, we had to take a selfie of ourselves doing something we love.  What a way to end the quest, with the most challenging prompt:

 

Those who know me well, know I do not take selfies, but I certainly am up to the challenge.  I decided to take a picture of myself doing something I have loved to do since I was very young….reading.  I spend hours a day reading for pleasure.  And my favorite spot is in my sacred place in my rocker next to the window.

This summer I have been reading more self-help, motivational books that have helped me connect to my inner source.  And this personal growth is coming out in my creative self especially through my writing and poetry….and now in my photography with this challenge.

This is our last day of the photo challenge, and I am feeling a sense that I will miss this creative time as it has energized me.  But I am sure I will stay connected through my creative endeavors in some way.  I want to thank Whitney Freya for a most marvelous adventure!

 

 

echinacea

What creative quests have you been on lately?

 

 

 

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Special Note:  

The echinacea in the mosaic and at the top of the post were the rest of the photos I took for Day 4.  it was hard to choose from all these fabulous shots of an amazing native plant that grows all throughout my garden.  You can learn more about echinacea in my garden post.

 

The photo below is another perspective of the mandala I created.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about creativity and my inner fire.  I welcome you to download this photo and share it.

inner fire

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.

Beyond Words: Autumn At The Lake

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“When you sit tranquilly, you set a great example to the people who rush around in panic and thus you show the crazy waves the beauty of being a calm lake!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

 

 

 

In my Seasonal Celebrations post, on my gardening blog, I talked about what I wanted to focus on for autumn, and I decided to take in more of the world around me through some local  field trips.

 

 

So a couple of months ago, I started a new series, called Beyond Words.  I wanted to showcase different spots I find, in pictures, with as few words as possible.  For my first post, I traveled the short 10 minute walk to the lake across the street to see it in late summer.

 

 

And here we were again, at the lake in mid-Autumn, to see how the views had changed.  It was unseasonably warm in November, so there was lots of color and activity at the lake.  And little did I know when I wrote this, that December weather would also be warm and still looking like fall with no snow.

 

 

So let’s go to the lake…….

 

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Children were playing on the beach and playground as it was 75 degrees, and a perfectly clear day.

 

 

 

geese collage

Beyond the children were hundreds of geese spread out from shore.  A few ducks and seagulls were mixed into the group, but the ducks are few and far between as it is duck season.  Many mornings, at sunrise, we can hear the loud gunshots.  Poor ducks.

 

 

 

autumn fisherman collage

And the fisherman were out on the lake still.  There were about 6 fishing boats I could see, and this lone fisherman who had waded into the shallow water.  In my last post, there was a fisherman who had waded in.  I wonder if it is the same fisherman?  This time the water was cooler so he was wearing his waders.

 

 

 

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One of the first things we noticed, besides the trees, was the sandy shore.  It was now covered in grass as the beach grooming stopped in August.

 

 

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And with the lack of beach grooming, there was lots of grassy debris along with seaweed and leaves stretching at least three feet up the beach from the edge of the water.

 

 

 

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The grassy jetty that had reached out into the water in late summer was now gone, along with the plants along the shoreline.

 

 

 

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Continuing to scan toward shore, you can see the grasses declining and the barren woods giving you a view of the water on the other side of the jetty.

 

 

 

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And if we come ashore we can see this lovely path ending at a bench to take in the views from either side…..let’s get in closer.

 

 

 

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I love this peaceful view.  A spot I must remember to visit more often.

 

 

 

lake woods collage

As I turned from the water, I saw this magnificent sight of leaves in their full splendor….still hanging on.  There is a mix of American Tilden, White Ash (already leafless) and Maple trees here.  The woods are so dense in summer and early fall…..a wonderful shady spot now partially barren, and blazing with the early afternoon light this November day.

 

 

 

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This is our first view as we get close to the lake, and it is also our last as we turn to walk back.  If you look at the summer post from Oneida Lake, you can see some of the dramatic changes that have taken place during autumn at the lake.

 

I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and Kara@A Spirit of Simplicity for her new meme Tuesday Afternoon.

 

 

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:  Oneida Lake is the largest lake entirely within New York State.  It has a surface area of 79.8 square miles, and is located northeast of Syracuse and near the Great Lakes.  There are several parks, marinas and beaches along this lake that spans several counties.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional thoughts about lakes and how they can draw us in.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

lake

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.

August Break Completed

smile

“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”

~ Denis Waitley

 

 

 

I promised I would finish up the photography challenge,  The August Break, the creation of Susannah Conway.  Today I have the last 4 prompts, and my interpretations.  These last few words seemed even more of a challenge, but I practiced patience and waited as the inspiration took hold.  Some came to me days later, and I changed the images that didn’t seem to work for me.  So here we go.

 

The first picture above is Day 30-Smile.  Yes that is me, or what I was willing to show of me as I wanted to emphasize my everyday smile.  Just a hint of a smile always on my lips as my mouth upturns and my cheeks puff out.  This photo was actually taken on my Mac computer using the application, Photo Booth.  The camera on my Mac is easier to use for taking self portraits.  And I love some of the effects that this application has.  The effect I used for this was picture is called, Color Pencil.

 

 

 

In The Bag collage

Day 28-In My Bag  This particular prompt had me stumped.  I had many ideas none of which I liked.  As I was going by the pond, I noticed the yellow waterlily finally blooming at the end of summer, which was late.  And I remembered it grows in a cloth bag at the bottom of our pond.  The cattails have all but crushed this waterlily, but I was happy to see it was not going to be pushed out.

 

 

 

in my bag collage2

Then the next day, I saw the new bag of my favorite coffee waiting to be opened and ground.  And it hit me!  I opened the bag on our kitchen table and let it spill out.  And here are 3 views of the coffee beans (that was in my bag of coffee) spilled on the table.  I love these images and can still smell the coffee.

 

 

 

listen2

Day 29-Listening  I knew I wanted to take a picture of our, almost antique, receiver.  My husband has had this receiver for a long time, even though we no longer have the turntable.  We have a CD changer still hooked up to it, and we love to use the radio.

 

 

 

tree frog

Day 31-August Was….  Full of Discovery.  Everywhere I looked in my garden, the smallest creatures seemed to bring delight.  And I continued to see more and more special scenes like this one.  This a Gray Tree Frog.  They are more gray when they are living closer to our trees, and green when in the garden.  As I walked by the stalk of a plant, this tiny green blob caught my eye.  Only an inch long, they are hard to see, but they make a mighty song in high summer when mating.  The pictures were processed a bit differently to highlight this little creature.

 

At the end of the post is another little creature hard to see when they rest in our big ash trees, on tiny branches.  Of course I am talking about the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  This is either a female of juvenile hummer.

 

 

 

So there you have the photos from days 28-31 of  The August Break challenge.  Here are the links for the my other posts from this challenge: Days 1-10, 11-20, and 21-27.

 

I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

 

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

create joy

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.

End of Month Potpourri-August Break Highlights 2015

real life

“When the creative impulse sweeps over you, grab it. You grab it and honor it and use it, because momentum is a rare gift.”  ― Justina Chen

 

 

 

 

I am continuing my participation in the photography challenge,  The August Break, the creation of Susannah Conway.  Today I have the next 7 days of words, and my interpretations for you.  This week seemed to be quite a challenge as I tried to capture so many images interpreting the latest words, many which are very common.

 

The first picture above is Day 21-Real Life.  This is my everyday work area with my laptop front and center.  I liked the picture better in black and white, as color was not an important aspect of the picture.

 

 

 

curves collage

Day 22-Curves  I had many different pictures picked out for this word.  But it was when I was outside sitting, that I noticed the curves in my garden hat.  This hat is a prized possession, and I had a lot of fun capturing the curves.

 

You can see another picture of my garden hat in the last picture.  This was an impromptu picture taken while I was sitting outside enjoying the garden.

 

 

 

water collage2

Day 23-Water  One of my favorite spots is the pond in our garden.  The sound of the waterfall is relaxing.  I wanted to capture the waterfall as it flows down the rocks.

 

 

 

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Day 24-In The Distance  This is the beginning of the wetlands about a couple of miles down the road.  It is acres of cattails that end at the woods edge, in the distance.

 

 

 

green distance

Day 25-Green  The cattails end as the wetlands open up.  And you can see this amazing Chartreuse green algae covering the entire surface of the water.  Isn’t it stunning?  Especially against the pinkish-purple flowers of the purple loosestrife plant that has invaded the wetlands.

 

 

 

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Day 16-Door  When I originally was thinking about this word, I wanted to capture our front door.  But then as the day went on, I wanted to look at a few more doors around the house and garden.  I especially love the view through the door on the gazebo.  Isn’t it inviting?

 

 

 

door collage

Our purple front door is bottom right, the door I originally wanted to capture.  And then I experimented with opening the door to a couple of rooms and capturing the view as you enter.

 

 

 

recipe collage

Day 27-Favorite Recipe  During tomato season, we love to make sauce.  This is a special recipe from a garden friend, Kathy@The Violet Fern.  It is called Summer In A Jar, and you can read more about it here.  All the ingredients, basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, were grown in our garden this summer.

 

 

 

 

So there you have the photos from days 21-27 of  The August Break challenge.  I will have the remainder of the words, for days 28-31, in two weeks.  Next week will be another Wildlife Lesson post, always on the first Thursday of the month.

 

I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

 

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

creativity artist

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.

August Break Continues

edge vase“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”
~Hugh MacLeod

 

 

 

I have been enjoying the photography challenge,  The August Break, the creation of Susannah Conway.  And today brings another 10 days of words, and my interpretations.  This creative challenge continues to tickle my creative muscles as I play with ideas, composition and perspective.  Again I am including a few collages of pictures as they make for interesting photos too.

 

 

The first picture above is actually Day 11-Edge.  I was looking at this vase that was sitting on the windowsill of our back windows that angle out.  And I saw how it was peeking out from the edge of the wall.  I thought it was an interesting shot.

 

 

 

edge collage

Part of the same vase contained Queen Anne’s Lace which I just love to photograph.  And it is especially stunning in up close pictures emphasizing the Edges!

 

 

 

yellow

Day 12-Yellow  There is so much yellow outside in the garden, so I was searching inside for something yellow I wanted to showcase.  I spied our yellow hummingbird teapot that we bought in Santa Fe, NM.  It was perfect next to the same vase of declining sunflowers (also yellow).

 

 

 

last year

Day 13-Last Year  When I searched through the photos from last year, one special event that I just loved was the twin fawns that visited nearly every day.  Surprisingly, we have not seen any fawns so far this year.

 

 

 

favorite smell

Day 14-Favorite Smell  At this time of year, my favorite smell is fresh picked tomatoes sitting here on the kitchen counter.  They are a favorite treat as well.

 

 

 

art collage

Day 15-Art  This word was a challenge until I looked out at the garden in the morning light, and saw this hardy hibiscus glowing.  The incredible details of the huge flower petals are truly a work of art.  I thought I would make the inset picture into an actual painting, and then compare them in this collage.  I can barely tell the difference between the two….both Nature’s art.

 

Speaking of Nature’s art, I have a picture of a monarch, at the end of the post, that has been visiting my garden for several days.  I consider monarch’s and their beautiful wings, with the stripes and spots, artwork!

 

 

 

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Day 16-Fire  The early morning light coming into the garden creates so much magic.  And as it touched the red and orange sunflowers recently, it looked like the flames of a fire.

 

 

 

fire collage2

I absolutely love these sunflowers because of their color, and they have about 50 flowers on a 7 foot tall multiple branched sunflower.  And this sunflower is a volunteer from last year’s plant.  .

 

 

 

books collage

Day 17-Reading  I have so many bookshelves filled to overflowing with books.  But my absolute favorite is this Stickley glass-fronted bookcase.  I keep very special books in this bookcase with special artwork.  The tile and the pottery are both from NM.

 

 

 

look up

Day 18-Look Up  The days have been hot lately, and the sun around midday washing out all the color.  As I sat on the patio step and looked up, I shot a bunch of pictures.  And to my surprise, I caught some interesting spider webs being constructed in the Sanguisorba officinalis.  It is always good to look up!

 

 

 

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Day 19-Sweet Delight  What better sweet treat on a hot day than a popsicle.

 

 

 

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I left it out in 85 degree heat and photographed it melting from many different views.

 

 

 

two final

Day 20-Two  I was not sure what I was going to do for this word as I already had a few pictures with 2 items in this post.  Then Tuesday, we had severe thunderstorms that snapped many of my beloved sunflowers in two.  Those same beloved sunflowers above set ablaze by the sun.

 

 

 

two collage

Now they are in a vase a bit bedraggled, and dropping petals….these two petals were my inspiration!  It seems sunflowers have been an ongoing inspiration for me during August.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these photos from days 11-20 of  The August Break challenge.  I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

 

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

aug break create2

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.

August Break Begins

talisman

“Non-judgment quiets the internal dialogue, and this opens once again the doorway to creativity.”

~Deepak Chopra

 

Last August I participated in a photography challenge called The August Break, the creation of Susannah Conway.  And I was excited when I heard she was doing it again this year.  Each day is a new word, and you decide how to show it.  So for Thursdays in August, I will be showcasing my pictures from the challenge.

 

 

I love this challenge because it is simple, and allows me to be in the moment and to be creative.  I thought I would break it up into thirds and show you what I came up with in 10 day chunks.  I am truly a novice with photography still using the auto setting on my point and shoot.  But I am enjoying composing the images daily, and looking for different perspectives.  I have included a few collages of pictures as they make for interesting photos as well.

 

 

The first picture above is actually Day 10-Talisman.  This hand-blown glass rabbit has been with me now for about 30 years.  I bought this at our local Renaissance Faire as I was told it was a special animal spirit for me.

 

 

 

bfast collage

Day 1-Breakfast  I took a few different perspectives of my breakfast plate; in more light and then less light.

 

 

 

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Day 2-Air  This was a bit challenging to decide what to shoot, but when this dragonfly perched on the tip of this tiny plant right in front of me, I knew this was my shot.

 

 

 

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Day 3-Skin  I wanted to find something besides the obvious human skin to shoot.  So when I saw these cucumbers from the garden, I was drawn to their skin which can be smooth or bumpy.  They also make great pickles!  YUM.

 

 

 

numbers collage

Day 4-Numbers  I took this day to go around the house looking for interesting numbers.   And then I thought about how I would compose the photos of these ordinary objects.  The first is of an antique crock.  Next is an antique kitchen timer.  Both antiques belonged to my aunt and uncle.

The last photo is of a ceramic clock we bought on our honeymoon in Italy.  I love this photo because even though the numbers are Roman Numerals, the number 4 is incorrect.  It should read IV as a Roman numeral.  It gives this clock more personality the way it is written as tally marks instead.

 

 

 

citrus views

Day 5-Citrus  There isn’t much to tell here.  Again I was playing with perspective when shooting the lemon next to this vase of flowers from my garden.

 

 

 

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Day 6-Notebook  My notebook is my journal.  I opened to the next blank page and took a picture.  I liked working with the perspective and angle of this shot.

 

 

 

5 things

Day 7-5 Facts About Me  I had no idea what I was going to use for this day.  As I was sitting on the couch and looking out the window, the sun was streaming through this little display on the windowsill.  The screen was up so the garden in the background was more pronounced.  I loved how the scene glowed and I knew this was the picture.

So what are the 5 things about me:  Love to garden, love to pick flowers and arrange them, love New Mexico where I bought the glass tile (and wanted to move there at one time), my dear friend (who lives now in NM) bought me the 2 figures and the gourd is an inspiration to me for many things including gardening, and I am fascinated with Native American lore, history and archeology.  In another life, I might have studied Native American tribes as my career instead of being an educator.

 

 

 

smooth contrast

Day 8-Smooth  So many choices here, but I decided on the lily pads in the pond that are still occupied by many frogs who love using them as lounge chairs.  When I was leaving the pond area, I caught sight of the native cactus I have growing in the stones on the side of the waterfall.  The contrast struck me, and I added it to the picture.

 

 

 

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Day 9-Earth  Again the possibilities were endless, but the sunset that night was too beautiful not to use here.  The atmosphere of the Earth working its magic here and in the last picture below.

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these photos from the first 10 days of  The August Break challenge.  I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.  And I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

 

I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about courage and creativity.   Feel free to download the photo and share.

aug break creativity

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.

End of Month Potpourri-May 2015

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“People often ask themselves the right questions. Where they fail is in answering the questions they ask themselves, and even there they do not fail by much…But it takes time, it takes humility and a serious reason for searching.”  ~ William Maxwell

 

 

As I end this special month of my birth, now another year older, I continue to contemplate life…asking myself questions about what I am doing, where am I going, what do I want out of this life of mine….and I am finding many answers within, as I listen to my heart and soul speak to me.  As you may remember, this year I have chosen to be part of an online group, Women’s Circle of Joy, led by Cigdem Kobu of Peaceful Triumphs.

 

 

And this month, we have been exploring, “Living Lighter”.  It’s not just about losing DSCN8975weight or getting rid of your stuff…it goes much deeper.  We were asked to examine seven areas of our life to see if we were Living Lighter.  These areas included:  Our Private Lives, Our Physical Body, Our Environments, Our Emotional Weight, Our Mental Hassle, Our Career and Work and Our Social Lives.

 

 

This path to living lighter really started for me last year in retirement.  I wanted to simplify my life, and took time to reacquaint myself with my home, and my husband as we would now be together 24/7.  We have easily slid into this new phase of our lives working together as a couple sharing the load.  We did a huge clearing in February when we clutter cleared our house from top to bottom.  It felt wonderful to let go of stuff we no longer needed, but I have learned this clearing of stuff is an ongoing process you must continue to revisit every couple of months as clutter can sneak back up on you fast.

 

 

DSCN9107And living lighter isn’t just about letting go of the things we have…it is also about the mental and emotional sides of simplifying.  I have poured out many of my personal revelations regarding mental and emotional clearing in this blog.  As I have worked through issues, such as worry and fear, I have found my heart and soul becoming lighter.  And with retirement, I lightened my stress load, and now dictate what “work” I will explore and take on.  Socially, I am reconnecting and opening up to invitations and connections put on the back burner.  And I have let go of relationships especially where others try to control my life.

 

 

And most of all, I have been building better habits that will bring me closer to perfect health.  Moving more, finding what physical activity I like to do, daily meditation and journaling, and discovering which foods are best for my body.

 

 

I have recently found it important to take time to pause and reflect on life.  I think that is IMG_2414where the poetry I write comes from….those things that give me pause or that I see when I pause…so magical really that reflective time.  And in that time when I let my mind wander and wonder, I think about my easy, carefree future.  What does it look and feel like…..

 

 

In this future, I awake from a restful slumber to the sounds of nature…refreshed and eager to see the new dawn…the wondrous colors of the day both in the sky and in the garden.  I move easily out-of-doors, and walk in this new light of day coming back home to the incredible smells of a nutritious breakfast.  What do I want to accomplish today?  A bit of weeding, a new writing project, a little cleaning and clearing in the house, or is this my day of rest where I can play or take a fun trip to a new spot.  Will I be grabbing lunch with a friend or perhaps seeing a practitioner for a bit of wellness care.

 

 

And part of my day will be spent in quiet contemplation….writing about my gratitude for the wonderful things in my life.  There is always time for daily reading; books for pleasure (mostly mysteries), or books I find more personal and spiritual….maybe someone’s journey of inspiration.  There are always things I can do to keep life simple…and with that simplicity, comes time for joyful activities that allow more room in my life for new experiences, new friendships and new journeys.

 

 

 

 

Note:   The Daisies pictured here are from my garden, and are said to represent simplicity.  Daisies were the first flower I remember that I cherished as a young girl.  They are such a simple flower of pure white that never cease to bring me a smile.

 

 

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I leave you with another thought about simplicity or living lighter.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

simplicity

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-How It Feels

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How It Feels

 

 

I know how it feels to have lost,

As if the life I know has ended.

Moving through a vortex,

Not really living, just existing.

 

 

I know how it feels to hurt deep inside,

that intense pain in your heart.

As if a vital piece is missing,

and it feels impossible to move; to go on.

 

 

And yet I know it is from this pain,

 That the stronger me will emerge.

And the truer meaning of my life will be known.

 

© Donna Donabella 2015

 

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I have these inner dialogues with myself sometimes when I am hurting, depressed or going through some unpleasant strong emotions.  Recently with my mom’s illness and weakening, some of these darker moods have shown up again to be heard.  And so the inner dialogue continues as I move through them.  For me, I know I must lean into these times of shadow, in order to move back out into the light.

 

 

 

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.

thyme 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 thyme plant and flowers pictured here represent courage and strength.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about strength, courage and  finding the better path.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

thyme-how it feels

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-Christmas Scenes

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Christmas Scenes

 

I look upon the Christmas tree

And fade to childhood memories;

 

Of snowflakes, boots and mittens warm

Donned on frosty, biting morns.

 

Sleds dragged down snow-covered streets

To find fresh powder on hills replete.

 

Later home with frozen fingers and toes

Warmed before the fire with hot cocoa.

 

Smells of cookies permeate the house

As I stealthily sneak one as quiet as a mouse.

 

And all about tinsel and lights galore

Are sparkling hung from roofs and doors.

 

While I await, anticipating the scene

Of Santa and spectacular Christmas dreams,

 

I sing songs of joy and choruses of mirth

that herald in the day of His spectacular birth.

 

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

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I am participating in The Personal Photo Challenge hosted by Donna@Cottage Days and Journeys.  This month’s challenge is called Christmas Scenes.   I wrote this poem on my way to see family for Thanksgiving.  I had not seen much of my family for a few years.  And on the plane ride, some lovely thoughts of Christmas were running through my brain.  So I hope you enjoy the poem that is filled with many of my childhood memories.

 

I am also 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.  

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Special Note:  These Christmas scenes were taken upon our return home once we did a bit of Christmas decorating.

 

All photos were taken on auto mode and first processed in iPhoto (so nothing fancy).  The collage was made in Fotor.com.  The tree images were further processed in PicMonkey.com to add some brilliance, snow, frost and stars.

 

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

xmas

 

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.

Poetry Sunday-Trees

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I Am The Tree

 

Erect I stand, strong of will.

Defying the wind, and all nature can swill.

 

I cast my eyes to take in the scene,

While all around is washed white and serene.

 

The strength of my roots and courage in my stance,

Will serve me well in life’s new dance.

© Donna Donabella 2014

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I am participating in The Personal Photo Challenge hosted by Donna@Cottage Days and Journeys.  This month’s challenge is called Trees.   I wrote this poem on the first day of my retirement, March 3rd 2014, after over 30 years in public education.  It is a testament to my perseverance and what awaits me now in my new life beginning again.  I hope you enjoy the poem.

 

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

 

autumn trees

 

And I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

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Special Note:  These trees are from my garden and surrounding my garden.  The views I see every fall when trees are at their finest.

 

All photos were taken on auto mode and processed in iPhoto (so nothing fancy).  The collage was made in Fotor.com.  The last image was taken in black and white on a foggy autumn morning and processed in PicMonkey.com to add the text and frame.

 

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I leave you with a bit of a sentiment about trees and planting dreams.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

 

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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.

Poetry Sunday-Still Life

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Still Life

 

The heat of my days is gone,

now a tinge of coolness on the wind lingers.

 

Soft colors faded from the garish summer sun,

as light shines at an angle, my perceptions skewed.

 

Gone is the black and white, the absolute.

Born is the gray, the in-between that stays.

 

Locked in my periphery, soon movements far afield will dim,

all will stretch out before me barren, a new canvas.

 

Awaiting the first brush strokes of fresh color,

a novel design-now the whisper of a dream awaits.

 

© Donna Donabella 2014

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I am participating in The Personal Photo Challenge hosted by Donna@Cottage Days and Journeys.  This month’s challenge is called Still Life.  So I decided to create a poem about how my garden has become a still life as it fades and withers to winter, and that it still has life as do I as I age being reborn again.  There are multiple meanings in this poem but you can also take it at face value.  I hope you enjoy the poem.

 

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

 

And speaking of wonderful verse, my friend Susie@Life.Change.Compost has written a  beautiful poem she is featuring this week.  I encourage you to read it…you will be glad you did.  Susie is a gifted writer and I look forward to her posts.

 

still life

 

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.  

 

 

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Special Note:  These vases were some of my favorite still lifes from this past summer.  All were created by me with flowers and foliage from my garden.

 

All photos were taken on auto mode and processed in iPhoto (so nothing fancy).  The first collage was made in Fotor.com and the last image created in PicMonkey.com to add the text and frame.

 

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

still life dream

 

 

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.