I’ve decided to return to this blog and use it as a more personal space for cultivating my gratitude. In the past, I’ve kept a gratitude journal. It was a place where I’d record several things I was grateful for in a day. Some days, it was easy. On other days, it’s not so simple to find things for which to be grateful. However, it seems a bit more meaningful on the difficult days. It reminds me that no matter what happens, life really is a beautiful thing. There are numerous good things every single day.
Today, I’m grateful for:
1. my hearing… because the sound of the birds outside my window as I drink coffee and write this is so beautiful and serene;
2. my family… because they know almost everything about me and love me just the same;
3. my other support people… because they provide the voice of reason;
4. my health… though I’m working on improving it in general through weight loss, I’m so grateful I’ve been spared weight-related illness that could have impacted my quality of life even further — so grateful; and
5. for my job… I’m so happy to be in a job that I not only enjoy but also believe in… I know that I’m doing good things every day… and the best is yet to come.
I took so many photos during my two week sojourn to Ohio, Savannah, GA, and Florida. I’m going to put them on here in a couple of categories. First, Savannah, GA. Second, my top five photos. Third, eleven honorable mentions. And finally, photos from around Preble County of what I like to call “great big puppies.” There are so many more I could share, but these are the most representative of the 178 photos I took.
First up — Savannah, Georgia
County Courthouse with flag on top at half-mast on September 11th.
Savannah oak trees with Spanish moss… so tranquil.
A lovely palm tree by a building
My Top Five Favorite Photos … (okay, could only narrow to six)
The Honorable Mentions
The Great Big Puppies
Mom and I drove around the country in Preble County Friday evening. I got out of the car to call the cows, and they came over to the fence just like big puppies. They were so curious and had such expressive faces. There’s no way I can eat another bit of beef. Look at these beautiful, graceful animals.
Sometimes, I take pictures during the day too. This is my Library… a good place to be. There’s a lovely view looking toward the upper stacks on the other side, but the view is obscured by “art.” So, I took the photo of the staircase and reading area instead. Taken from the reference area.
And Serena. First, one of her favorite activities (yes, you’ve seen a similar photo before, but she does it ALL the time).
In the following few photos, Serena attacks her little yellow ducky that’s stuffed with catnip.
And in the following photos, Serena attempts to take a cat nap while I attempt to take a high quality photo of her in her new pink bed so sweetly gifted by Melissa, the librarian (thank you, Melissa).
“Ugh, that camera again,” sighed Serena.
With diminishing patience, Serena stated, “A little consideration, please.”
She tried to ignore the camera.
I put the camera away after one more photo when she covered her little eyes and said, “Please, please, just stop this. It’s sssooooooo tedious.”
I’ve stalked this poor cat with the camera for two days now, but I still can’t get a good photo with her eyes open. Unsurprisingly, she detests the flash. I’ll get that perfect photo soon. These introductory photos will suffice for now.
Her favorite activity is watching out the patio doors. I need to get a bird feeder to put out there to help ensure a steady supply of birds to watch while I’m out at the Library every day.
Serena said with great annoyance, “Get that flash out of my face.”
Her face isn’t even in them, but I love these next two photos. They show her pensive side. She is so content, peaceful, and serene. She is just precious!!!
Melissa said, “Michele, you’re the hero in this situation for giving an adult cat a home.” I see her point, but I feel like I’m the one who received a tremendous gift. Serena has a wonderful personality, she’s entertaining, she’s so smart, and I think she’s a deep thinker too. We’re going to get along just swimmingly.
I put a lot of photos on here, but these are just about 20% of the ones I took. It’s difficult to choose which ones to post.
The first few are in and around the Colorado Convention Center. Isn’t the bear great?!
Along the 16th Street Mall… yes, that’s a man with a huge pink teddy bear. At first, I thought I might be hallucinating due to the altitude. Alas, no hallucinations.
The city placed numerous painted pianos along the streets. Anyone can play them. It’s incredible really. There are times when you pass someone playing who you might never expect would be a piano player. Somehow, those are the players that made me smile inside and out.
Denver’s World Trade Center
Red Rocks Park. Photos fail to express the magnitude and majesty of these mountains, these rocks, these geographical marvels.
Denver in the distance from Red Rocks Park.
At Buffalo Bill’s gravesite. I love this photo.
From the parking lot at the gravesite.
Denver’s skyline from parking lot at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
This is the piece of pottery I painted at the Firefly Studio a few weeks ago. It was so much fun doing this. The most interesting part is that I just did this without any pre-conceived ideas on what type of pattern to use. I just did it as it came to me… colors that struck me, patterns that emerged. I can’t wait to do it again.
And this is the famous, brand new desk the law school purchased for my office. It’s gorgeous, it’s huge, it’s just perfect!! I couldn’t be more fortunate. The picture really doesn’t do it justice though.
…and my new shower mat because I love the color SO much. I love Target!
Out of what seemed like 25 duck eggs this spring, only two ducklings are walking around the law school grounds. I couldn’t get a photo of their faces because the mother (as she should) kept gathering them up and away from the scary human with the camera.
Alas, my few duckling photos. They’re as cute as can be.
Their little feet are so tiny, but they move so fast.
I think Mama Duck was giving me the evil eye in this one. Mama: step away from my children. Me: Hold still for just a minute, please. I want a photo of your family.
And look at those cute little baby feet. Precious.
I also recently turned this (plus a bit of butter and several spices)…
…into this. It’s Chana Masala. I’ve never eaten and certainly not made Indian food before, but I saw this recipe on a healthy living blog called Eat Live Run, and I had to try it. I also learned a culinary term – pince (pin – SAY), which means pretty much to let a crust form. I love new words!!!!
It turned out very good, but there was something missing. I used no added sodium everything thought the spices would make up for the lack of salt. But it really needed just a little. I also need a better camera for food photos. The flash tends to wash everything out and make it look far less appealing than it does in person. Perhaps one day I’ll have a fancy schmancy camera.
A few of my favorite photos…
1. I took this in St. Augustine, Florida in April 2009, and it remains one I view at least once per week. It just makes me smile.
2. Same trip to Florida — view at sunrise from the condo. It doesn’t get much better. If it does, I can’t even imagine what it would be like. I love love love early mornings. Sunrises are definitely one of my favorite things.
3. This one can’t be left off a list of my favorites… my law school.
4. Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival – Arkansas, March 2010.
This cypress tree is so impressive. It’s HUGE and must be 200 years old.
The roots growing up from the water were really pretty, and the sound of flowing water never fails to make me happy. Can you hear it now?
The photo doesn’t capture it perfectly, but the light was shining like a spotlight onto this stump. Bruised and battered… but still beautiful.
When my tendon fully heals and I’m back to doing several miles, I’m hiking to the top! You can’t see it in the photo, but there were people on the summit. I’ll be one soon. Check back for photos from the top.
And just because he’s so precious… Clinton at age 6 in his backyard late April 2010.
I notice this size difference consistently now in my new love — Asian pears. The organic, although smaller, does taste better. The flavor is more clear – if that makes any sense. And seriously, the size difference has got to be from chemical fertilizers. Organic really is better. I don’t think we, as a society, can deny it any longer. We can’t deny it costs more too, but I’m working on a new plan — eat better, eat less. It costs about the same to eat less higher quality food than more lower quality food. We have to pick and choose sometimes. According to the Environmental Working Group, pears are one of the 15 most contaminated conventional produce items.
This post warrants two photos rather than one. Just outside the door I enter at work, a miracle of nature is taking place. I’ve watched over the past several weeks as a mother duck built a nest, layed more than a dozen eggs over a three day period, and now sits nearly all the time on her precious brood. Yesterday was particularly warm, and she decided to go for a brief swim in her water dish. She needs a little swimming pool. There’s a pond across the street, but I surmise she didn’t want to leave her eggs that long. I’m anticipating the arrival of the little ducklings. It won’t be much longer (they should hatch approximately 28 days after the mother begins sitting).
Call it Green Monster. Call it Spinach Smoothie. Call it Swamp Water. Call it what you will, but it is pure Green Goodness in a glass. Blend one frozen banana, one cup almond milk, and two big handfuls of fresh spinach. This is one simple pleasure I enjoy five or six days per week.
This photo conjures memories of leisurely days during the summer of 2009. Perfect days during a perfect summer.