Photo Blogging Challenge: Express Yourself!

photo blog challenge

The first month of 2017 is almost on the books, and here we are again with PJ’s monthly photo challenge. This month’s theme is Express Yourself. And, I must say it was more than a head-scratcher for me.

In the end, I opted to combine two of my loves to express a little of who I am and some of the mindsets that have made me who I am today. Those two components are photography and quotations. No extra commentary will probably be necessary for this month’s five. All the photos except the first one are from a trip Entrepreneur and I took earlier this month to Meridia Beach, Florida. The amaryllis was a December gift and was suppose to bloom for Christmas. Obviously, it knew my muse would need it for January!

express-yourself-1-blog

express-yourself-2-blogBTW, that “star” by the crescent moon is Venus.

express-yourself-3-blog

express-yourself-4-blog

express-yourself-5-blog

Be sure to visit PJ’s A ‘lil Hoohaa on January 31st and see what others expressed this month.

 

Today's Sunshine!

Some people are making such thorough plans for rainy days
that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine.
~William Feather

Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with planning for a rainy day. It’s the responsible, smart thing to do given the uncertainty of our economic and political environments. If we didn’t, we just might find ourselves up a creek without said paddle. But some of us are so focused on planning for the “what ifs” that we don’t take time to enjoy what joys today has to offer. So, firm up those contingency plans, and then go play in the sunshine and enjoy what’s been given to you today!

Personally, I think enjoying today’s sunshine would be best served in a hammock with the above view.

This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
~Psalm 118:24

Linking up with Quotography: Sunshine

 

The lesson of the palm tree?

 

Texture by Jay Hilgert stained concrete 5

Can you believe there are quotes specifically about palm trees? I couldn’t either! When I found out the Quotography theme this week was trees, my thoughts went immediately to autumn trees with their fabulous colors or winter trees with branches gracefully arching under the weight of snow. But then I thought about all the other kinds of trees there are and, on a whim, decided to let Google find me some tree quotes. And I was very specific in my search by putting palm in there just to see what she would return back to me.

I’ve always liked quotes about trees taking deeper roots when the winds blow. If roots run deep, there’s a better chance of surviving the storm or a drought. But this quote seems to approach life’s burdens a bit differently. It seems to say, even if your root system is shallow (like a palm tree), you can still be strong if you reach upwards when life becomes difficult.

What we’re reaching for will vary from person to person. But for those of faith, upwards means reaching for the source of our strength, regardless of the depth of our roots.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
~Pslam 18:16-17

Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
~Psalm 91:14

So maybe the lesson of the palm tree is to look upwards and just hang on!

Sub­mitted for Quo­tog­raphy and Cre­ative Exchange.
   

 

 

Where to put the salt

It’s the time of year when I prefer my salt on the rim of a glass rather than on the roads, sidewalks, cars, my shoes, inside my house…..

In previous years, this is the time we usually run away from winter for a week to warmer climates. That climate is usually the Caribbean side of Mexico. Not so this year due to finances, and it’s already staring to mentally take its toll. How easy it was to adopt an escape-mode mindset after ringing in the new year. Winter tends to drag now in Middle Missouri. It’s worse if there isn’t any snowfall to distract from the doldrums. Now there’s just drab, gray, cold days. The snow is gone, replaced by temps above freezing. And that means mud. Muddy shoes, cars, dogs.

Contrast Mexico. The cool, white-sand, sun-drenched beaches of Cancun. An area book-ended by spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Umbrellas in every touristy drink. And the only salt is on the rim of my margarita glass, where it should be. Last year we went to Playa del Carmen. Considered the heart of the Mayan Riviera, it may reflect more of an authentic Mexican experience than the tourist trap called Cancun. For it’s on the Mexican highway, going back to your resort from an evening in town where you can experience up close and personal…the Mexican highway patrol. Officers that lie in wait for tourist rental cars so they can pull them over and issue tickets for “speeding.” My guess is, like us, most unsuspecting drivers are not. No point in arguing. They’re all corrupt. Be prepared to pay them off with cash and they are more than willing to forget the whole thing. Give me the ever-efficient, speed-crazed Cancun Hotel Zone bus drivers and leave me in peace. If you want to experience Mexican culture first hand in Cancun, forget the taxis and ride the city buses.

There is something therapeutic in sun, sand and surf. To look out over the azure-blue ocean calms my soul and creates a serenity in my core.

But this year we aren’t going.

So, as a replacement, here are some of my pics from past Mexico vacays. Call it my January mental health break.

And then, of course, there’s Margaritaville. Where the salt flows freely along with the margaritas.