Sunday, April 27, 2014

Each Day is a Gift

I recently came across the Instagram account of @juanita_powell who lives in Melbourne.  One of her posts completely resonated with me and totally relays how I approach every day.  I've typed that post in it's entirety below.  It's long, but worth the read.  I've added my own pictures, of course,  that visually portray the feeling behind the words.

If I could wish one thing for everyone reading this, it would be that you be absolutely present in every moment of every day.

When was the last time you thought about how amazing "life" is and everything and everyone that's in it?  I spend a lot of my day having my mind blown by just this notion, and it's a deliberate thought process to ensure not a single blessing moment passes me by.

Think about it for a second, please.  Stop whatever you're doing and just be present, right now, wherever you are.  Look around you and think about everything in your picture.  What can you see?  What can you hear?  What can you smell?  What can you taste?  What can you feel?

Wow, right?
I think about the weather a lot.  I think it's the farmer's daughter in me.  How these clouds are formed.  How it's hot one day and cold the next, how rain can fall in one spot and be dry less than 20m away.
The pear I just ate, how much energy was taken to produce that.  Each day, it's been on a journey to flourish and be plucked from a tree.  It's sweetness, it's consistent pear shape year after year.  Fruit, vegetables and flowers are incredible.  Each meal or bunch I have, I gaze for a few moments to appreciate the effort each one has taken to have thrived.
Even Mankind has produced some amazing inventions that day after day we take for granted.  Don't.  Marvel at it.  Be thankful for it.  Nothing in life is mundane.  Nothing.  Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed or self-absorbed in "Juanita's World", I take myself outside, look up and fill my lungs with Mother Nature's free anti-depressant/mood stabiliser-oxygen. And in that moment, I take in life, everything around me and give thanks for the blessing to be able to indulge each of my senses.

Don't ever allow yourself to get caught up in the glorification of busy.  Don't let life slip you by -- don't exist . Use each of your senses today and reconnect with how amazing Mother Nature [is] and everything she provides us with.

 Wishing each and every one of you a most beautiful and blessed day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Today is our last day of Spring Break. Tomorrow I will return to life behind a desk in a windowless office, tap-tap-tapping away on the keyboard and staring at a computer screen for 7 hours.  Can you tell I  am excited?  
 Despite the heat, I headed out for an hour and a half walk, once again meandering up and down neighborhood streets, looking for spots of green, blooms, finding unusual homes, snapping busy bees and dragonflies. Most of the butterflies from earlier in the week seem to have disappeared.

 I especially love these hollyhocks standing so straight and tall!  So beautiful! 
  Was very happy upon my return home to have leftover broccoli soup and zaatar olive bread that I made yesterday.   
 And for a quick dessert, nothing beats a simple banana ice cream.  Frozen banana with just enough almond milk to blend, topped with cinnamon and walnuts, or cocoa powder.  Really satisfying and delicious and much needed on a hot, hot day.
Whatever your plans are for this Easter Sunday, I hope it is a restful, peaceful, lovely day.
Best wishes and blessings,

Friday, April 18, 2014


This morning we made an early morning trip to the plant souk and were quite surprised to see that there were so many flowers to choose from.  Last time we went it wasn't quite so colorful.  
My husband bought a few trees to put outside his warehouse in the industrial area, the reality of which is very grim.  Truth is, there are a lot of areas in this country that are filled with trash.  People walk through it without a second thought which always boggles my mind.  Why would you not want your surroundings to be clean and presentable?  I started sweeping up trash which completely freaked out a couple of the workers.  They insisted I stop, but I am a worker bee, always have been.  I don't believe in waiting for others to do something when I am capable of doing it myself.  (Which is why I don't have a maid at home when most people in this country do.  I am an anomoly in that regard for sure.)

 I bought moss roses and some rosemary but didn't even take pictures of them.  I spent an hour and a half repotting and planting and sweeping and cleaning but had to call it quits because I literally started to feel nauseous from the heat.
My gardenia (I think that's what it is) has just started to bloom and there are still tomatoes popping out, too.  Having plants in this environment isn't easy, but to me it is worth the effort.  And honestly, what would Jingles do if she didn't have a balcony to explore, pots to sit in and a place to relax?
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beach Inspiration

Another beautiful day here albeit hot!  We are already hitting the 100 mark during the day.  My college boy in Colorado is complaining about the fact that they got more snow when it is supposed to be springtime.  I know many of you are in the same boat and would like Spring to come and stay for awhile.  I'm definitely not ready for it to end as it will just get hotter and  hotter and hotter from here on out. 

I spent the morning with a friend and her daughter.  We first had coffee and then, since neither of them had ever been before, we headed to the same beach  I was at yesterday.  I actually found a cute little pink terrarium buried in the sand so brought it along for Renee to collect shells and seaglass.  After bringing home my own beach treasures (and after taking a much needed shower) I was inspired to crochet based on the colors of the day.


Spring Break certainly has been good for my creative side.
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

RAK at the Beach

Today I spent 2 hours wandering up and down a small beach area practicing random acts of kindness.  I picked up three bags of trash (no litter laws and people seem to think it is okay to just get up and leave their garbage behind).  Smiled and said good morning to everyone I met (something unheard of in this culture for the most part).  And gave money to a couple of street cleaners (they work long hours for little pay).  My reward was joy in doing something nice without expecting in return.  Plus, I got a healthy dose of Vitamin D, fresh air for mental clarity and the sound of lapping waves to soothe the soul.  

 I also found two heart rocks.  One embedded in the sand and one that I brought home.  I'm always on the lookout for them but never have any success.  Perhaps it was a sign.

Of life's two chief prizes, beauty and truth, I found the first in a loving heart and the second in a laborer's hand.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Treasure Hunting

Whenever I am out on my walks, my eyes are always peeled for treasures to bring home.  Smooth stones that can be transformed with crochet.  Feathers. Leaves and weeds that can be pressed.  Anything of interest that catches my eye.  I find that doing that turns my walks into an adventure rather than a chore.
 Yesterday I even found a perfect little tile and a stick that can be used for hanging either a cross-stitch or crochet project.
This evening I happily painted and crocheted and have started a nature journal, too.  I'm no artist, but I'm having fun and that's all that matters.

Happy Tuesday!
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