May 29, 2009

Water for the soul...

I am thirsty for natures' sources of water. It can be a gliding movement such as a lake, surrounded by tall trees or mountains. You don't necessarily hear it moving, but you can feel its strength.

Then again, I LOVE a waterfall. If only I knew Ansel Adams way back. I love his photography, especially of waterfalls at Yosemite Park. I would have married him - sorry Hubby. There is something about the various sounds of a waterfall, sometimes misting and trickling, sometimes a steady flow, and other times a roar that can knock your flip flops off -ahhhh. I am starting to feel refreshed already.

I also love a river on a warm day. The coolness of the woods, coupled with taking off your hiking boots and socks, and dipping them in a cool stream . That is another way to instantly refresh and rejuvenate oneself.

Although the photo above looks like a place for a river rafting trip, I would still like to sit along the edge of the rocks and dip my toes.

And then there is the ocean. Another gorgeous specimen of Mother Nature at her best. The lapping of the waves, flowing in and out can tranform one's soul from hyper to calm in minutes.

Nature provides us with life sustaining qualities that feed our soul. It is up to us to seek them out, contemplate their beauty, and be thankful.

Thinking outside the box...

"Only those who see the invisible can do the impossible"
- Richard Gregory

Having come from a corporate environment, we were constantly challenged to 'think outside the box'. It almost became our corporate mantra. We were asked to do things differently if it meant 'smart and cost-effective'

As one of the participants in a think tank meeting, I received this gift, and I like it. Normally, the standard paperweight and/or pen is mundane to say the least. However, an actual 'thinking out of the box' that I kept on my desk, allowed me to look at it, think about it, and many times do something in a different way.

This thinking out of the box certainly does not pertain only to corporate life. There are countless ways we could look at our lives, and think about things differently, and not do things the same way, if it means to better oneself and/or the world around us.

Do you think out of the box very often? If so, please share. Thanks.

May 27, 2009

Believe in the goodness of life

Look for what is good, and you will find it.

A good life is not lived by chance, but by choice. We can be wise from goodness, and good from wisdom.

Find something to love with all your heart.

Inspiration and contribution go hand-in-hand. Our friends Mary and Theresa gave us this beautiful rose bush. We were inspired and they contributed - how generous!

Go out and find where people hold their potential and meet them there. Be not only good for yourself, but the cause of goodness in others.

May 25, 2009

Pve Artist

(click title for linking to Pve's blogspot)

Patricia Van Essche has designed this banner for my blogsite. How do you like my new look? I think it makes me look ten years younger and thinner (blushing). Patricia created the look I was daydreaming about, and her talents made it come to life.

I first saw Patricia's artwork on other blogs in the blogsphere, and it was 'love at first sight'. I think her work is sophisticated along with a "joie de vivre" quality that can make people smile and feel good.

I hope you enjoy looking at my new garden banner as much as I do. The timing is perfect. Thank you Patricia! You have made this "Leo Girl" very happy!

May 24, 2009

Your legacy...

(A double Impatien from my garden)

As time goes by, I tend to think how quickly the months and years pass. It may be part of the aging process, because when I was just a kid, I thought twenty-eight was really really old. I think that idea is still around, according to the kids I talk with.

Although I love simplicity in its purest form, the other side of me inately questions life on a deeper level. I have always loved taking philosophy classes. They seemed to have tickled a chord in me that asks questions, not so easily answered.

My thought today on this quiet Sunday morning is 'What is the legacy you want to leave?' I find that topic extremely interesting. It gives me insight as to what a person feels is one of (if not) the utmost important character traits in their lives.

I would like for people to remember that I indiscriminately love people, pets and nature (oh, and chocolate ice cream). I live my life in such a way, whereby I try everday to say a kind word to someone, or perform a deed for someone. It's not a life assignment. It is a passion and the love in my heart that I need and want to share.

May 22, 2009

Beginning of rose season

Flowers from my garden.

Juliet Rose: I love looking at the tight bud and then the unfurling of its beauty. Our friends who gave us this rose bush call it "marmalade" for its exquisite coloring.

A wonderland of colors within a rose.

The closed bud to the left standing at attention is about to bloom like her sisters.

(Knockout Rose) A salute to Memorial Day.

May 21, 2009

"Sweet Baby James"

I love that song by James Taylor.

I recently received an updated photograph of my very young cousin, James. He turned one year young on May 12th. I first met him at a wedding, when he was eight months young, and he was wonderful to hold and to play with. He was more fun than the actual wedding.

James at eight months young

James at one year young with those big baby blues! The Mickey Mouse head is bigger than his own. He's so yummy, I just want to play with him and kiss those peachy colored cheeks. :)

May 20, 2009

Think Big

"The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless."
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There is such power in those words. They jump off the page at me.

When we were children, many of our books brought us into endless imaginative stories of characters and magic... We were thrilled with the idea that we too could fall down a rabbit hole, explore a castle, or kiss a Prince or Princess.

With adulthood and its path of, well, you know how it is; it seems like all that great imagination gets put aside until you read those books to your own family. Why can't I walk around the house with a crown on my head and call myself Princess Katrina? Oh, but I can. And you too, can unleash your creativity in any way shape or form to generate wonderful imaginings.

Life doesn't stop at age ten, why should we as 'older children' stop using our creative juices. Many of you use these juicy juices everyday with your painting, decorating or dancing. That is the way to work it and never stop, even if the music does - keep going.

From a tight bud to a full bloom.
(Knockout roses in my garden)

May 18, 2009

Seating for two?

While my Hubby and I were out shopping at a garden nursery, we found this lovely bench, or...should I say it found us. We pulled into a parking space, and there it was positioned right in front of us on a landing. Talk about fate. Well, I momentarily forgot about the Cleome Senorita that we were looking for, and began to examine this love seat. It is very comfortable to sit in (good lower back support), and just a neat way to sit with someone. Well, it turns out they didn't have the Cleome Senorita, but they did have this lovely seat for two, and now it is ours.
(This past winter, our grass was used for carpet by the squirrels and birds as they feasted from the bird feeder). New grass seed has been put down, but when will we not see the patches anymore?)

The bench takes company with a French Bakers Rack

Some details of natures' lovelies

We have already sat on this love seat, and like it uniqueness. I can envision us having a glass of tea or sharing a bowl of summer delights such as raspberries or blueberries, while sitting on our bench. I am so glad 'it' found us!

May 17, 2009 sit down

I love this chair and of course, the view. Time spent there is priceless. We live in a fast pace world, which makes it vital to take time to heal, soothe our souls, and rest our eyes and spirits.

May 16, 2009

All together now...

The Rosario Irises are all in bloom.

Color the world one flower at a time

Our Firewitch is burning bright with the color fuschia. Such an eye catcher.

This is our Garden girl with purple Alliums behind her. We call these flowers purple balloons, because that is what they look like, although they were in full bloom last week. Oh well, things come and go so quickly around here. :)

I love Poppies. The color yellow just 'pops' in the garden, and the leaves remind me of Italian parsley.

We love our Azaela bush. We did not prune it at all, and the effect is very unique. Hubby loves it!

The Menton Tulips have continued to show us their gorgeous colors until late this week. We enjoyed their long green stems with large pinkish-coral petals. They became neighbors with the pansies. :)

May 14, 2009

Clematis (Nirobe)- growing on our three posted trellis

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -
Anatole France

Dear Readers: I would like to thank each and every one of you for your sincere sentiments regarding the loss of our cat Leo. Although words can't bring him back, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and sentiments during this difficult time.

It amazes me that I type on a keyboard, and get to know people from all over the U.S. Canada and Europe (I welcome other parts of the world as well). I fell in love with blogging when I receieved my first post from overseas; I felt 'so international' :)

I will be back to the world of blogging. It is an outlet for me on many levels. Creating a post and receiving your replies are important to me.
Thank you again for your kind words about Leo.

May 11, 2009

Our Leo: December 31, 1994 - May 11, 2009

Leo had a cancerous mass in his chest that was impinging on his breathing. There wasn't any quality of life left for the little guy, and there wouldn't be in the future. Major surgery was out of the question (the mass was deep and large in size), and there was no guarantee about being cancer-free post surgery. Allen and I spoke all weekend about the various scenarios of what we would/could do for Leo. Scan results led us to the conclusion that he would no longer have a good quality of life, let along a high quality of life. And for both Allen and I, that ranked #1 as our priority for Leo.

We made the decision to put him to sleep. I thanked him for the fourteen wonderful years he made me so very happy, and of course we told him how much we love him, and will always love him. Saying goodbye is extremely difficult when you love a person and/or a pet.

Leo is no longer uncomfortable. He is no longer gasping to breathe.
Rest peacefully Leo. We love you.

May 8, 2009


What do you do when sad news is staring at you in the face? You don't want to hear it, but you have to. All I see right now are two big beautiful green eyes looking up at me with a very sad expression.

This afternoon we found out Leo our cat, has heart disease. We won't know more details until Monday when an Eckocardiogram will be performed on him. He was healthy one day, and the next, I noticed him having trouble breathing. And it simply went from bad to worse. The Vet removed as much fluid from around his lungs as she possibly could, which should remove the difficult efforts of trying so hard to breathe.

She also shaved a portion on both sides of his body to make the procedure easier. I, however, have never seen Leo without his brown tabby hair. This is all a first for me; I have never had my own pet before Leo. We had dogs when I was a kid, but my very own pet - no, not until Leo Meister.

So far, all we know is that he now has heart disease. The test on Monday will produce alot more medical information, and the more information, the more we will know for our decision making process.

Right now, I know that I am broken hearted because I am slowly losing my Leo.

May 7, 2009

Create Balance

"If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein

This quote posed a pause in my thinking. Some people tend to think intelligence = serious, while silly is just plain silly. Not so! Thankfully, we have playgrounds so school children can go outside and and shed the books in order to create shapes out of the clouds.

The serious side of life can sometimes consume us, and that is when it is necessary to find balance. It could be creating something from clay, a run, playing the piano, telling jokes, reading the comics. There are a myriad of ways by which someone can, and should shake off the seriousness by doing the opposite. This is called balance, ying/yang, whatever you want to call it. Run, jump, and play - it is all good.

Many an evening, my Hubby and I will dance in the kitchen or living room. There is no music, our steps are not matching up to the sound on the tv etc. I call him Fred, he calls me Ginger. We laugh and laugh and it feels good to act silly.

Do you have a balance in your life?

May 5, 2009

Love comes in many forms

Love can signify many things to many people; the list is endless. However, I believe it should be enjoyed. I hope your love (whatever that means to you) is strong, passionate, kind, and full of heart.

May 4, 2009

There she is...

I bought this print entitled 'Looking to Sea' painted by David Schock. I can only imagine how beautiful the original is. I am captivated by the entire scene. The woman's stare, seeing only her hat, and not her face. I would like to know why the Artist decided not to show her face? Perhaps he was telling us it did not matter. He wanted to convey her as a person, without specific identity? He created the mystery of the ocean, and the wind blowing her dress. I could hear the waves roll ashore. It was one of those 'had to have' beauties.

I then had the joy of getting it framed. I double matted it, and selected a light-colored frame. It hangs in "my space" room where I have plants, a gurgling fountain, a cozy reading chair with ottoman, a desk and lots of family pictures. The room gets bright light through the windows, which makes her world come alive. There are some items in my life with which I need to feed my soul. This is one of them. Are there things besides family/friends/flowers/pets/nature that you get joy from?

May 2, 2009

Have you ever met an Angel or two?

"I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives." - Tracy Chapman

I know two women (Mary and Theresa) that I am fortunate enough to call my dear friends (and neighbors). We have laughed, we have helped each other, we have shared confidences, I bake - they enjoy it. It is all good!

This is the beautiful view from their front door from last summer. They planted all the flowers you see. And you can be sure, it will look just as beautiful this summer. They should sell tickets!

Mary and Theresa treat Mother Earth, animals and people with the same amount of love and kindness. Mary, the guru Gardener has generously shared with me her insights to working with clay soil, along with dealing with various invaders. Her sense of humor is priceless, and she makes me glad I have a Gardener friend.

Theresa is the Assistant Gardener, who helps and contributes alot of information. She has learned alot about gardening from Mary. Theresa is an extremely kind soul. And because of Theresa's nursing background, I always wear my garden gloves.

My Hubby Allen is also a contributor to gardening. He is an expert at digging holes, and he does it with a smile! :)

The following picture is another one of their garden photos in full bloom from last year. They are something fantastic! This summer, I will take more pictures of their garden and if they let me, I will snap a photo or two of both, Mary and Theresa. I really do believe they are angels in everyday clothes.

May 1, 2009

Out with the old, In with the new

Well, most of the tulips have said "goodbye" in our garden beds. Goodbye Tulips; see you next Spring!

Hello Perennials and Annuals!
The photo above is just one flower on our Mandavilla plant (annual). The flowers are exquisite. The petals are shaped like fruit slices on a dessert. This plant has vines that are beginning to grow up a trellis. It will be looking tropical very soon!

And who could not resist Forget-me-nots? I love this small delicate flower (perennial). They are a periwinkle color: so pretty. And they are great for planting around and under other plants. We never planted these flowers. They showed up last year, and they must like us, because they showed up again. Sometimes seeds pick up wind and fly around. Many Gardeners enjoy the freebies.

This is a Purple Allium (perennial) otherwise known (in our house) as a Purple Balloon. They are about 4' in height (total) and are attached to a long skinny stem. They are planted in a half circle, and truly look like balloons swaying in the wind. I will have more pictures of these rather unusual flowers as all eight of them join this one in summer fun!

Spring is a time of rebirth. In addition to changes in nature and animal births, people tend to want another "go" at resolutions. Maybe it is the extended daylight hours? People want to feel better in the warmer months. My maternal Grandmother had a saying. "When the trees undress, we dress. When the trees dress, we undress."

Mirror Mirror on the wall

"Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives." - Mary Ann Brussat

All of us have had to change in many ways, many times in life. It is an integral part of life's metamorphosis. From infancy to adulthood - change happens.

Events occur in life that push us to re-navigate our ship, either slowly or quickly. Whether it is waivering over a minor decision, or that dreadful phone call in the middle of the night. It is all about change, good or bad, happy or sad. No matter what, transformation, growth, and renewal is in process.

A couple of years ago, I left a career I had for many years. I knew the day would come when I would eventually leave, however, I did not know that I would leave sooner than I expected. One day, I held a mirror up in front of me, and I knew the transformation was taking place right then and there. The change was at my doorstep: I saw it in my eyes. Am I glad I transformed and renewed? You bet.

Has transformation, growth and renewal been a part of your life lately? Please share, if you will.