Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name


Flowers have been used to symbolize many things for centuries.

The orchid is considered to be one of four noble plants. Because it grew deep in the mountains, it was compared to scholars who had transcended the greed and fame-seeking of the secular world.
Orchid growth is affected by everything from elevation and light to humidity, air movement and nutrition. When I looked up how to care for this "delicate" flower, I realized that this is a flower I would probably kill in just a few days.

In my search for a more disciplined life, I came to an understanding about myself. I like my laid back life. I love that I am not always worried about menus and shopping lists. My children are healthy and happy. Yes, my house is less than tidy, and my flowerpots outside are less than tended, but I am happy.

So as this year of searching for discipline is nearing an end, I will begin thinking about what it is that I would like to work on next year.... I have two more months to think about it.

See what my friends had to say about their flower, starting with Octamom:

As my blog buddies and I continue through our Reflecting on Our Words project, I have been delighted with the number of ways my creative friends have come up with to bring imagery and metaphor to their guiding word for the year. This month, the theme was to choose a flower that exemplifies each of our words. It was a fun mental challenge to think through flora and fauna that would give example to my 2009 word, excellence.
I at first thought of flowers that have great beauty or hardy qualities or are rare. But what kept coming back to me is the flower that we see a lot of during this season, the blossom that someone decided is the 'birth flower' for November. And that would be the chrysanthemum. (The chrysanthemum illustration on the right is from the New International Encyclopedia from 1902, with the image url being hosted at Wikipedia.)

The chrysanthemum is actually native to Asia and wasn't introduced into Europe until the 17th century. It is often seen as a symbol in Chinese and Japanese artwork. In the U.S., it is a floral symbol of the season, a happy spot of color for the autumn.

Chrysanthemums are also used in a number of beneficial ways. The petals can be used to make a sweet tea. The blossoms make a natural insecticide that is not harmful or toxic to animals and humans. The plant is also used as an antibiotic and an antiviral agent. A potted indoor chrysanthemum has also been shown to be effective in reducing indoor pollutants in the air.
And now for the tie-in to my 2009 word, excellence…

True excellence brings with it the benefits similar to the chrysanthemum. When I operate in excellence, I can make life sweeter, more palatable for those around me. When I operate in excellence, I can help reduce the pests of procrastination and apathy. When I operate in excellence, I can help fight off the infecting agents of mediocrity. And when excellence is present in the room, the environment is all the cleaner for it.


Peggy said:

The amazing flower I chose to represent my word is called "Hippeastrum Cinderella".

I took this photo in my hairdresser's garden last week. The complete beauty and balance of this flower called to me as I was leaving his house.
Flowers have always been a source of pleasure and happiness symbolizing love and friendship and since the dawn of time we have instinctively known that flowers can lift our spirits and make us feel well again. They play an important role in restoring or evoking a sense of harmony in mind, body and spirit of healing in its quintessential form.

AVTCoach shared this bit about living abundantly:

I have spent the past ten months with an action plan to have the most abundant life possible. I have cultivated new friendships and renewed old ones. I have committed time to family and used social media to create more connections with people. I made efforts to use my leadership skills in my work and have encouraged countless families in their journey toward spoken language. I have meditated and prayed. I have listened to music that stirs my soul. I have set new goals for fitness and nutrition. Abundance has been all around me each step of the way. My chosen flower can only be the flower that is a personal favorite. I have chosen the poppy. I smile when I see an abundance of poppies scattered across a field as in a Van Gogh painting. The dichotomy is that poppies have a bad rap. They are associated with a shady industry that is the demise of many people, unhealthy, commemorate the death of soldiers in some countries and symbolize remembrance.

They were used in the Wizard of Oz to hinder Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road. Even so, looking over a field of these beautiful flowers gives me a feeling of abundance and of gratitude. Abundance spread in the open for all to see and enjoy.

Roban has shared with us a photo from the wonderful Caroline of Whimsical Whispers and Nowordz Photography from whom we got the wonderful idea of focusing on a word for the year. Here is what she had to say about this flower....

This year as I've journeyed through life contemplating faith and joy, I've been more aware of the beauty around me each day. Yet even though my focus has been on these two words, I've still had days when I saw the world through a darker lens. A busy schedule and seemingly constant demands have clouded my world at times. When my friends and I decided to choose a flower that reflected our words, my first thought was on finding a photo that captured the essence of joy. I thought of sunny buttercups and my mother's favorite flower, tulips. I also thought of flowers that connected to my word, faith.

When it comes to photography, there's no one better than Caroline Manrique of http://www.nowordz.com to capture the beauty of everyday life, so I asked if she would be willing to share one of her photographs with me. And she sent this....

The beauty of the flower against the muted tones of the background seemed to perfectly capture my feelings this month. Even when peering through the world in an imperfect fashion, there we find it. Beauty. It stands out against the backdrop of life leaving us with a more peaceful and joyful feeling.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Beautiful Saturday Afternoon

The weather today couldn't be beat. After dance lessons, I just had to take the kids to the park. That's when I realized, I can't remember the last time I took James to the park. To my defense, our park is not the nicest park in the world even if it is a very big one. For this reason I drove to another town to go to the park.

When we pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car, James looked at me as if to say, "Is this for real? Do my eyes deceive me? Are we going to play at the park?" Once he realized it was okay, he immediately ran to the jungle gym and began going up and down the slide. I followed him around taking pictures, listening to him interact with other kids. I had to giggle when he asked a little girl her name and was quickly given the brush-off. (Get used to it, kiddo. Girls are fickle.)

A little help please?


I can do it mommy.

Even Cait got in on the fun.

James was a little nervous at first.

Then he began to have a little fun.

After some fun at the park, we went for lunch at Five Guys Burgers where James decided to provide us with a little entertainment.





He's quite the little ham.

After having such a fun day, I promised James that we would return to this park. It was definitely worth the drive.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Disappointing

I am home with my sick child.

After a round of the Game of Life with a four year old with the Flintstones in the background, one can tend to get a little stir crazy, especially when your day is usually spent engaging 10 year olds.

I decided to take a break with a little snack and went to the pantry where I pondered the benefits of high fiber cereals and the like when I spied this:




Doesn't it look yummy? I can't wait to break into it.

Wait a minute....What is that rattling sound?

Well, I'll be.


Who does that?

So disappointing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Connections

We have been studying about Vital Connections at church this past month.

It is something that I think about often.

Today, I am thinking about it even more.

I use Google Reader to let me know when most of the blogs I follow post something new. Sometimes I take the time to read them all. Other times, I am so busy that I have to hit delete and just get on with the rest of my day. When I do, I wonder what I am missing.

Recently, I decided to click the "Next" button at the top of my blog to see whose random blog might show up. This can be a good or bad thing. I found a site that had a bunch of anime pictures. Not being interested, I hit the back button and tried again. The blog owner must have had a way to capture who passes by because he left a simple "Thank you" note on my comments. Unfortunately, when I went back to see who I visited, it took me to something rather unsavory, so I deleted him from my comments to prevent anyone who visits my blog from accidentally encountering him.

On the other hand, on that same surfing day, I came across a German woman who quilts and makes the most adorable little stuffed witches. I decided to add her to my reader list. Even though her blog is in German, her crafts were just so nice. Fortunately, Google will translate just about any page for you.

Today, the German crafter's blog showed up on my reader, and I clicked on her link waiting to see what project she had to share. Sadly, I was met with a poem to her mother who as far as I can gather (translators aren't perfect) passed away yesterday.

My heart was touched and felt an immediate connection with her that moved from a superficial level based hobby interests to one based on life experiences.

I am glad I didn't just hit delete. I just hope that my few words in English could give her some support, even if it is from the other side of the world. She only has one other "follower" at this time. I thought maybe some of you could take a second and visit her and leave a kind thought.

Wishing you Vital Connections,

Annemarie

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just Having Fun

I have been playing with Fireworks photo-editing tools, and this is how it came out.
I used a picture that James took of himself.



That's all. Enjoy your Sunday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Honey!!

At 4:30 in the morning, the last thing I want to have to say is, "Honey, do you smell that?" But say that I did.

One of many things I inherited from my mother is a strong sense of smell. It makes it hard to just walk through life blissfully unaware of the unpleasantness that may surround me. AND it often wakes me in the middle of the night asking, "Do you smell that?" I suppose it may come in handy one day should there ever be a fire or gas leak. This morning, however, was not a case of life or death...at least for me.

My outcry went unattended. My husband who is the locator of all things stinky assured me that there was in no way any source of stinkiness in house, so I as a good a loving wife accepted his odor report and went on with my sleep.

Unfortunately, my darling loving husband does not have the odor detector that I have, so after he left for early morning Bible study, I went to wake my son to get him ready for school. That's when it hit me...that strong smell of old grass. And there it was, a nice gift from the dog waiting for me on my son's floor.

Several thoughts went through my mind.
1. Call my still sleeping daughter since it is her dog.
2. Leave it for my husband to find when he gets home.
3. Pick it up. Bag it and leave it under my husband's pillow.
4. Pick it up. Bag it and complain about on my blog.

Well the vengeance in my heart was beaten out by my desire to not have World War III in my house. That and my love writing lead me to pick it up myself and put it in the dumpster.

Here's the proof:

Dear G, I hope you had a great bible study. When you get home tonight, you and I will have long discussion about the merits of listening to me when I say, "I smell something." Love, Me
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