December Photo Challenge: Holly Jolly

With December’s photo challenge from PJ, we say adios to 2017. This month’s challenge is, of course, Holly Jolly in celebration of the holidays….which come the same time every year….yet I’m never fully prepared.

But, here are my five for December.

Holly Jolly 1

We kicked off the season with a holiday concert at Peanut’s school with lots of fun songs about the season. My favorite was Zoot Suit Santa, compete with “shades” and attitude. Peanut doesn’t normally like to be the center of attention, but seemed to enjoy herself as much as we enjoyed watching her.

Holly Jolly 2

The tree went up the day after Thanksgiving and I was a bit concerned it would be down by the first of December because of a very excitable 50 pound, 8 month old pupper. But he didn’t mess with any of it! The closest time came when Bridget, the kitty, ran under the tree….it was a bit touch and go for a few minutes, but it still stands.

Holly Jolly 3

Two little grand-elves, Peanut and Twix, celebrating the season of giving. I laughed when I saw the photo with the upside-down Ho Ho Ho paper. I think it may work both ways. At 9 and 3, they are growing up too fast.

Holly Jolly 4

It came the morning of Christmas Eve. White stuff falling from the sky just in time to ensure a white Christmas. Cabo’s first Christmas and first snowfall. He had a jolly time outside.

Holly Jolly 5

This is a Magic Tree. It’s one of a few trees like this around our town, but definitely the biggest. Our church created it from an 85 foot tall Sycamore on the grounds. There are 38 miles of lights on this tree, with 200,000 bulbs…representing each person in our county. The symbolism is each light reminds us of a person in our community that is precious in God’s sight.

As with each bulb on this tree, may we all strive to be points of light in the dark places of this world….especially when it looks like all the other lights are out. Our love can shine in the darkness and light the way.

I hope everyone had wonderful holidays filled with lots of Jolly Holly moments. Please take a few minutes and visit PJ’s place to enjoy more jolliness.

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November Photo Challenge: Blue

Another month has come and gone…can you believe it’s one day away from December?! Yikes! PJ prompted us this month with finding photos that represent Blue. This prompt may seem a bit strange among the orange, crimson and gold colors of Autumn, but there is a method to his madness. Blue is the color for diabetes and November is National Diabetes Month. And, November 14th was World Diabetes Day.

So here are my five, lovely blue selections to bring attention to this battle many people fight on a daily basis.

Blue #1
I know they’re around all year here in middle Missouri, but I see  blue birds more in the winter than any other season. I’ve occasionally seen blue, indigo buntings with their iridescent, neon blue feathers. But this little guy posed so nicely on the feeder hook, I had to take the shot.

Bue #2
This is my go-to mug when I’m feeling a bit blue. It holds a lot of hot chocolate and just enough Bailey’s Irish Cream to make a blah morning a bit better.

Blue #3
I bet you thought this was a piece of artwork by world renown glass artist, Dale Chihuly. Well, you would be incorrect. It’s a wine topper…made out of pony beads!

Blue #4
This is a blue dish, handmade by an artisan in Cabo San Lucas. The colors are every bit as bright as they look here. No photo manipulation at all.

Blue #5
I swore I wouldn’t opt for blue sky shot, but couldn’t resist this one. While most might see the vibrant orange of the clouds at sunset, my eye first went to the aqua blue of the sky.

There’s my five for November. Be sure to visit PJ’s place and see what colored everyone else a bit blue this month.

Autumn’s endings

This might be my last post of the Autumn beauty in middle Missouri. I’m not getting out as much as I’d like, and have had to rely on a few hit and run photos this year. Time continues to slip away each day. It seems like I’m busy but at the end of the day, I can’t really point to accomplishing much of anything. Strange.

Autumn continues to be the season of reflection for  me. But, my reflecting has taken a shift with the addition of Entrepreneur’s cancer. A friend’s wife passed on November 1st after battling this horrid disease for more than a year. These types of events tend to intensify reflection…and reassessing priorities. There is so much in this world that is simply not worth bickering over in the grand scheme of things.

Time is such a fleeting illusion. Hours can sometimes drag, but then days, weeks and months are gone before we realize it. We all say we want to live for the moment….yet, we’re quick to squander those moments with activities that are counter-intuitive to that goal.

Autumn was a mixed bag of weather this year. One week it was like a summer day with sandals and shorts; the next, we’re hauling out the coats and boots. One thing for sure….I’m not looking forward to the cold. And, I can feel its presence much sooner than expected. I’ve discovered the older I get, the more intolerant I am to cold weather.

Believe it our not, I took this shot almost as an afterthought. Twix and I were puttering around the yard on one of those summery Autumn days. As soon as I saw it on the computer, I knew exactly which quote to pair with it!

I hope your Autumn has been enjoyable so far. I’m sharing today with others over at Peabea’s Pictorial Tuesday. 

October Photo Challenge: Photographer’s Choice

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

You might think phrase as a bit odd for October….when there isn’t a jingle bell or snowflake in sight…at least in middle Missouri. But PJ’s prompt this month is Photographer’s Choice, sooooo my choice is to feature my favorite season of the year…Autumn.

Use what you have, use what the world gives you. Use the first day of fall: bright flame before winter’s deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves as they spark into wild color just before they die are the world’s oldest performance art, and everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white silence of winter.
~Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

Based on this quote, who wouldn’t love Autumn? So here’s my five (with accompanying quotes) for October’s photo challenge.

Photographer’s Choice #1
Wouldn’t you just luuvvv to spend a warm Autumn day creek stomping along this waterway? It’s not fancy or especially gorgeous, but when I happened across this scene, it struck me as extremely inviting.

Photographer’s Choice #2
Summer’s blue sky doesn’t hold a candle to an October blue sky.

Photographer’s Choice #3
The trees are ablaze with color now thanks to a few nights in the 30sF, but Autumn color is not always in the trees.

Photographer’s Choice #4
This might just be my favorite Autumn quote. Doesn’t it conjure up a delicious image…and you can almost smell the brown sugar and cinnamon!

Photographer’s Choice #5
I completely agree. I’m totally bewitched by Autumn’s colors, aromas and cozy textures.

There’s my five for this month. Please take time to visit PJ’s on October 31st and see what other photographers chose for this month’s enjoyment. Better yet, play along with us next month!

 

 

August Photo Challenge: Summer Fun

I think PJ threw us all a bone this month with his prompt of Summer Fun. The only problem I had this month was whittling down the photos to only five! So what did I do? Well, some would call it cheating. I call it being resourceful.

With Peanut and Twix back from Alabama, we worked on packing in as much summer fun as possible before school began mid-month. I’m always astounded when school begins mid-August. Just doesn’t seem right.

But, anyway, here are the five I chose to share with you for August’s Summer Fun.

Summer Fun #1

Twix turned into a water bug this summer…and is working on her tree-climbing skills. What? Doesn’t every girl climb trees in a skirt?

Summer Fun #2

August began Cabo’s Walk/Heel 101 classes. I’m happy to say at 5 months old he can walk two miles before he is totally distracted. Heeling is more of a challenge, but he’s starting to get it. It’s going to be nice to have a walking buddy again.

Summer Fun #3
You would think after those two-mile walks, Cabo would be exhausted but Noooooooo. He can come home and play like he’s slept all day. Fetching the ball is a favorite any time of day. And, his Golden Retriever roots show every time water is present. Yes, that is HIS baby pool. 🙂

Summer Fun #4

Peanut is a vociferous reader and summer vacation is no exception. She does take a few breaks, but her love of books is only rivaled by her Nana.

Summer Fun #5

If you were in the path of totality, all eyes were on the heavens August 21st for the eclipse. Peanut watched it at school, but Twix, Entrepreneur and I hung out in the backyard to experience the event. I’m not sure how much Twix will remember, but she thought her eclipse mask made from a paper plate with a pair of eclipse glasses taped to it was pretty cool.

August is now ending and pumpkin spice everything is just around the corner. Our weather feels more like late September than late August with cool nights and below-normal temps during the days. Please stop by PJ’s place to enjoy some more summer fun before it’s all gone.

 

Beautiful Coincidence

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

Eclipse 2017 is on the books. For most of the country, it was a celestial event that won’t soon be forgotten; an event many of us may not ever see again in our lifetime.

So how special was it, really?

Yes, it was an event that doesn’t happen every day, although an eclipse of some sort happens in our world more often than we realize. But every time it happens, people stand in awe. Astronomers and those with more knowledge than I say the moon is traveling away from the earth and in a few million years, earth probably will not even have the type of total solar eclipse we just saw because the moon and sun will not be perfectly aligned in size.

But for now, what are the odds of the moon and sun appearing nearly the same size from earth’s perspective? There are mathematical calculations that have to do with angular size that are far above my pay grade, but they explain the coincidence of how the moon can appear to be the same size when calculating angular size in relation to distance from the sun.

To further make your brain hurt is the statistic that the sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than that of the moon. Add to that, the sun is about 400 times farther away from the moon. This results in the sun and moon appearing nearly the same size as we stand on earth and view into the heavens; which is why we are privileged to periodically witness a total eclipse of the sun.

The closest comparison of what we experienced yesterday may be duplicated on Saturn with one of its moons, Titan. I’m not sure that counts, as no one can stand on Saturn. Earth is the only known planet where living beings are able to enjoy this type of celestial display.

A beautiful coincidence?

Guess that depends on what worldview a person holds. Personally, I don’t believe in coincidence when viewed as events or discoveries that seemingly happen completely at random. And, I’m not talking about the person sitting beside you who is wearing a hat, or watch or the same kind of shoes. I’m talking about “coincidence” on a much larger scale. There is a magnificent order to things in the universe, our world and within each of our bodies. And, I believe, that is by design.

God is not susceptible to proofs and disproofs. If you believe, the evidence is all around you. If you don’t believe, no evidence can be enough. 
~Andrew Klavan, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ

Yesterday’s event was jaw-dropping awesome. Unless I travel, I will probably not be privy to another one that can be witnessed close to where I live. For me, I’ll be eternally thankful that the God who set these mathematical specifications in place did so on the only planet known to humankind that could actually enjoy it.

Beautiful coincidence.

Playing along with others over at Peabea’s Pictorial Tuesday.

Photo Blogging Challenge: Point of View

July is over! Can you even believe half the year is gone already? From my point of view, it’s a bit scary how days seem to drag but weeks and months go by at the speed of light. And speaking of Point of View, that’s PJ’s prompt this month.

In keeping with last month’s post using quotes, I decided to continue that trend for this prompt.

Point of View #1
Nothing’s beautiful from every point of view.
~Horace
I kept these seed pods because I thought I’d do something creative with them in an arrangement…..in my spare time. By themselves, they’re probably not very beautiful from most people’s point of view. But I love the warm, aged color of the pod.

Point of View #2
Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance. ~Charles Lindbergh
Life is messy…especially when we’re in the middle of challenges, crisis and struggles. Sometimes it helps to distance ourselves from the emotion of the moment and see the bigger picture. Sometimes looking at it from that point of view can offer some clarity. It’s like the difference between being in the middle of the lake versus sitting on the bench, looking at the entire landscape.

Point of View #3
There are three sides to every coin (Heads, Tails, and The Edge). Your ability to understand contrasting points of view and your ability to glean what information you believe to be valuable from each side is a crucial skill.
~Robert Kiyosaki
Now, some may look at this and believe it’s just another excuse for sitting on the fence and not making a decision. But, what I’ve learned in 50+ years of living is situations are rarely heads or tails….black or white….rather, they are shades of gray. And, to have the wisdom to discern useful information from contrasting points of view is the secret to compromise and a more peaceful existence.

Point of View #4
From the dog’s point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog.
~Mabel Robinson
Do you ever wonder what goes through a dog’s mind when they look at us? Do they see another strange-looking dog? Or, do they really care what we are as long as what they are looking at plays with them and feeds them? How do they decide whether you’ll be the “alpha dog”….or not!? Cabo is coming along nicely, but I will say he’s a very opinionated puppy!

Point of View #5
A unicorn is just a horse with a point of view.
~Ron Sexsmith
I couldn’t resist this quote! It really makes no sense when you think about it, but it’s a good excuse to use a photo from the point of view of this little filly. I’m sure she wishes she was a unicorn with a horn. Or, maybe this quote refers to having a magical perspective on life?! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my point of view on PJ’s Point of View prompt. Please visit A “lil HooHaa to see all the other points of view for July.