Flowers and friends

Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time–we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keeffe

We often hear the phrase “take time to smell the roses.” The truth is we seldom do take the time. There are some people who do but most of us don’t. Georgia O’Keeffe painted the flowers and she took the time to really see them….on a level most of us never will. Do I ever see the beauty? Do I ever experience the smell or the shape of the petals? Not often.

O’Keeffe compared this to the time it takes to have a real friend. Seeing all the things about a person and understanding them takes time. Accepting  who they really are takes more time and the ability to see beyond the surface. We don’t often take that time but that is how we find friends who understand and accept us as we are.

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Stop and really look at that flower. Absorb everything about it. Take the time to do the same things with those who could be real friends.

Success at last

Today I have been working on communion bread for my church during lent. Since I make bread all the time you would think that this would be easy. Not so! I lost my original recipe and have been hunting for another one. So far I have tried two that didn’t work for me. They both tasted fine but looked awful.

bread2
failure #2

So I gave up and came up with my own recipe. Here’s hoping that this one works. If it doesn’t it is back to the drawing board and next week is Ash Wednesday. See what we get when we volunteer. Something that is usually easy can turn into a nightmare.

If this one works I will post a photo of it. Here’s hoping.

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Success

All Hallows Eve

I have occasionally taken photos of the wonderful mail box in my neighborhood that gets decorated for every holiday. This is the latest. I love the Manatee even when he “au natural” but it is really fun to see what is coming next. Hope everyone enjoys(ed) All Hallows Eve and a blessed All Saints Day!

 

trick or treat

Looking at acceptance

Acceptance. A mighty word. Merriman Webster says:

1: the quality or state of being accepted or acceptableHis theories have gained widespread acceptance.
2: the act of accepting something or someone : the fact of being accepted : APPROVAL

The two perspectives listed here show two sides of this word. One is the act of us being accepted by someone else. The other is from our perspective. Our acceptance of someone else or something else. Both of these are important.

How many times have we wanted to be accepted by other people. How many times have we wanted to belong to a group, join a club, or some other organization? We worry about ourselves. Will we meet the standards they want? Are we good enough? We may experience a feeling of angst while waiting for an answer. Sometimes we are too concerned with what others think. We don’t think well enough of ourselves. It can cause us to be afraid to try things. We may not think that we are good enough. We can have the sense of being an outcast or that we don’t belong.

change accept

The other thing is having the courage and wisdom to accept the things that happen to us in life. Acceptance can bring us to a place of peace and calm. Knowing that there are some things we cannot change is an important fact of life.

The other side of the coin is our acceptance of others. How many of us have been in a group that rejected other people. My youngest child while in high school was asked to join a prestigious club. She discovered that her best friend was not also asked to join. I was so proud of her when she turned down that invitation. Her concern was for her friend and the judgment of others meant nothing.

admirableIt is so easy for us to reject others without any knowledge about them. We too often take outward appearances and don’t look deep enough. We may find that someone who we deemed unacceptable is actually one of the best people we know. It is so easy to pass by the homeless person on the street. We make assumptions about their life, their intelligence and their perspective. When I worked for the church there was a man who was homeless. After having several conversations with him I discovered that he was quite brilliant and homelessness was not the norm for him. It helped to show me that judgment is not always based on reality.

When we think about the word acceptance we have to look at both sides. We have to remember the times that we were not accepted and also the times that we rejected someone else. Be careful with the choices that you make about other people and understand the mistakes others can make about you.

Without a sense of humor I don’t think I would have lived as long as I have. When as many things fall apart as have around here recently laughing is the only option. It really reaches the ridiculous. Today the water went nuts and decided to gasp out of the faucets and produce brown water. Fortunately I have a husband who can see beyond the ridiculous and solve problems. So we are temporarily able to shower and have water to drink. Further solutions will come in time.

sense-of-humour

I think if asked what is the most important trait needed for survival and sanity I would have to say sense of humor.

Do I live in the same time?

impatience downloadYes, life continues to surprise and challenge. The tile is finished in the bathroom and looks great. The vanity is in (sans sinks) and now we wait for the countertop people to come and make a template. We thought that would go quickly but not so. They will be here next week and will take a week to make the countertops. Oh well. That means at least two to three more weeks until we are done. I just want to run away until it is over. Anyone for a three week cruise? Not happening since all our saving was for the bathroom.

Patience….the magic word. I knew this would take time but I didn’t expect this long. Of course the hurricane didn’t help. We lost a week.

Patience…..something I am not noted for.

DevopsCertified

We live in a world where everything seems to happen immediately. Reaching friends and family on cell phones means we can get them FAST. If they don’t respond we are upset. If we get an illness we expect to get a medicine that will fix it NOW! We don’t do well with waiting.

accelerating-clock

When I was young things were slower. We were less impatient over minor things and didn’t expect everything to be done immediately. We could be impatient but the timeline was much different. I think we were less stressed Sometimes I feel as if I have been transported to a world where time is sped up. Some kind of alternative universe.

 

It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the earth and how it works. It seems that each time mankind reaches a level of uncaring about life around them the earth fights back. Just one example is the Black Plague which wiped out so much of Europe in the 1300’s.

I have wondered if the earth has had enough and is now fighting back again. I know the things that are showing up due to global warming and these may be related but (as far as I know) haven’t been linked yet.

poor mother nature

The green tide that seems to be in both fresh and salt water and is killing dogs (and maybe other animals). I have not heard of this happening before. Has mother earth had enough?

How about flesh eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis) which is now being seen in so many places that seem unlikely? Who ever heard of that being in salt water? If it was it certainly wasn’t frequent enough to cause the shut down of beaches.

Is this all due to global warming? Maybe. Regardless mother nature is fighting back. Besides epic storms and weather patterns I wonder what we will see next?

 

Perspective

 

Often I think that perspective is everything. How we view things is our reality. This is hard to learn and to realize that the world functions that way. One of the most difficult things to do is to change someone’s perspective. Our prejudices and our beliefs come from there. They are so ingrained that I don’t think we even know what is creating our world view.

The dictionary says perspective is:

a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
“most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective”
synonyms: outlookviewviewpointpoint of viewstandpointpositionstandstance,  angleslantattitude, frame of mind, frame of referenceapproach, way of looking/thinking, vantage point, interpretation

When you read the synonyms you can see the far reaching effects of this. Sometimes it is worth our while to made changes to our perspective. If we see everything from a negative point of view then life will be negative.

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“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln

Perspective can change your life.

No labeling

I was reading an old journal of mine today and come across the statement “Labeling is easier than compassion.” I don’t know if this thought is mine or a quote so forgive me if I err.

stop-labeling-people-just-because-they-are-not-like-you

It is so easy to label people. It is also easy to make snap judgments about who they are. How many times have I met someone and “assumed” what strata of society they come from or their level of schooling or intelligence. How often I have been wrong.

My son, when a teen, worked at a golf course’s shop. A man came in browsing. He was dressed in somewhat crumpled clothing and sported a battered hat. Fortunately for him my son just took it in stride and sold the man the things he wanted. Later someone told him the mas was Sam Walton…the founder of Walmart. How easy it would have been to think the man didn’t have the money to buy anything.

Labels are “odious” (Madeleine L’Engle). We have not walked in the shoes of the person we are labeling. We don’t know what kind of life they have had. Someone who seems angry man have been abused as a child.

jars

Having compassion for those we meet is the way to start out. Even if we don’t know what is behind their behavior or mindset. We can’t go wrong in setting our own behavior to believe they deserve our compassion. Maybe we can change lives.

 

A raccoon tale

yard work2This was yard work day. I do have someone who comes once in a while and helps now. For years I have done it all myself. It is nice to have periodic help since there is so much to do. I get out early in the morning and enjoy the sounds and smell of the yard and, when tide is low, the smell of the salt marsh.

Today we had an unusual occurrence. There was a raccoon on the dock….in the daylight. Raccoons are nocturnal so having one out in the daytime is concerning. I recently noticed that something was climbing on the porch posts to get to the birdseed. I thought it was a squirrel but it left muddy footprints everywhere. That would be unusual for a squirrel

raccoonA few nights ago just before full dawn one of our dogs was on the porch barking like crazy.  It woke me up and I went to the porch to see a raccoon climbing higher to get away from the dog. I have never known raccoons to go after bird seed. It made me wonder if the raccoon was starving.

Today he/she showed up on the dock and we were worried about rabies. We have a good bit of that around here. We didn’t want to harm the raccoon so my husband called animal control and they came and captured him/her. They said they will check for rabies and if ok will release in a better place.

I hate seeing animals in distress. This turned out in the best way it could.