Thank you all so much for your love every day and for your presence in my life. You are so appreciated and so cherished. I pray that you always know that. I count each of you as a blessing and always will. Thank you!
The spring blooms are glorious and I don't think we have ever had a bluer sky! The ducklings are so darn darling I cannot find words to describe. I found a rock in a tree on the lake with an adorable bird on it and I was so thrilled! Lakeland Rocks is a wonderful thing we have going on here - people paint rocks and leave them somewhere for someone else to find and keep or re-hide. A really neat way to spread some love and sunshine. Have I said lately how MUCH I love my town? SOOOO MUCH. Papa Goose is in his glory with his babies and seeing him so happy makes me so happy. And speaking of babies, Summer Lynn is so ready to be a big sister ...
And God willing, that moment will come tomorrow morning - Friday, February 24, 2017. My "baby" will be having her second baby and well, you know my mama's heart.
Ballet shoes. They hang on the bed in the guest bedroom upstairs that also houses Summer Lynn's "castle." - the bedroom that once belonged to my daughter who wore these ballet shoes when she danced. My daughter, who flexed and pointed and stood tall on the raw, bleeding skin of the end of her toes. My daughter, who twirled one day as a little girl with excitement to show me her latest learned dance moves to end up falling and breaking her arm. My daughter, who every single time in her life since then, has gotten UP after every single fall. No matter what. The most beautiful part of these ballet shoes to me, as her mother, is that the remnants of the earth - and its grit and determination - is forever embedded on the soul. And grit and determination define this precious human SOUL to me - who continues to dance; live; and love. Always my baby - Shannon! May you and your new baby to be - yes DANCE. ❤
Yeppers, random thoughts and feelings as I feel them.
In all things may we see spring. Right? Right! :-)
I hope you are doing well and life is treating you kind! Somehow January slipped away and now half of February has too! We had a very mild winter here, and yes, spring is popping already and it is beautiful. We have brand new ducklings and a few mama swans are on their nests. Papa Goose is very busy and very happy - caring for his babies so diligently. The tabebuia trees are blooming and I am embracing their beauty so much! This is Florida's glorious season and I am so thankful for it.
I have been very busy with photography sessions and have not picked up a paint brush BUT I plan on doing so this week! The exterior of Daisy Cottage is being painted - in yellow of course - and getting lots of loving. My mom will be having open heart surgery soon ~ she needs a valve replaced. Here she is at Shannon's baby shower ~ isn't she gorgeous? She will be 83 in March ...
So yes, Shannon and Austin will be having their baby girl VERY soon. Like any day. :-)
And this baby girl had a birthday this Saturday - she wore a pretty hanky for the occasion ...
Can you believe she is 13 years old? Sigh. She has been dealing with a bad UTI and we are waiting on her latest lab work to see if she is all clear from infection after several rounds of antibiotics. Praying so ...
And this one, who is now 14 1/2 years old is in his final spring ... Marley has several health issues but still has a pep in his step, an appetite, and daily enjoyment. The time is coming, however, that the decision will have to be made to let him go to the rainbow bridge unless God calls him home first.
And of course, I can't type that without tears.
Life is so precious, so fragile, so everything.
Seeing spring and LIVING spring with all of my heart.
I must admit, I really wasn't ready to say goodbye to December and hello to you. While you are indeed beautiful, please be gentle as I tiptoe through your tulips flowers underneath your glorious light. And maybe linger awhile? You know, now that you are here.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, I finally made a post.
*edited to say, that thanks to our Vee, I finally learned when the REAL 12th day of Christmas is!
I hope you all are having a BEAUTIFUL December. I hope you are healthy and doing well! The lake has its Christmas tree up and it makes me so happy that Papa Goose has his own tree - he has to share of course - but you know what I mean. And Daisy Cottage has her Christmas tree up too and it is all decorated and bright and shining. The annual Christmas parade was the first Thursday night of the month and it started out with gorgeous fireworks and I brought my chocolate chip oatmeal nut cookies to celebrate. I decked the dining room WALLS with a canvas print of one of my images of Summer Lynn feeding the ducks. I love it up there! I've been busy painting while Marley has been busy sleeping. ;-) Have listed a few cards in my Etsy shop too. And the Great White Pelicans are back - our literal snowbirds have arrived, once again, all the way from Wisconsin. I find that SO fascinating that they find our little lake every single year! They will be with us through Easter. Oh and I stood on our airport's tower catwalk to photograph the runways for a client. I just didn't look down. Or breathe.
Well, I haven't finished Christmas shopping. I haven't wrapped anything. I haven't mailed any cards. I haven't ....
Ahhh never mind. I would rather focus on what I HAVE done.
And being in the moment of the moments. It's all we have, right kids?
It is early Wednesday morning, the day before Thanksgiving, and Maggie is on my lap while I write to you. The sun is still asleep but when it rises I will go check on Papa Goose and all on the lake before I proceed with grocery shopping and sweet potato casserole and pumpkin bundt cake making. This is my favorite time of the day. The hope to come in the morning bird's song and the brand new day's dawn is so beautiful to me. I cherish these gifts so much.
Well, I have been busy painting and Christmas card making. I've also been working on my photography site. And cooler air has finally made its way here and that has been so refreshing! The swan couples are swooning and no matter how many times I see them do so, it is always a breathtaking sight. We have a few ducklings making their way in life, a few steps at a time, and sometimes that is the SUM of their life. Precious precious beings. Tiny, sweet souls who teach what is really important to giant human souls with each and every peep.
In this season of thanksgiving, I wanted to thank you for your presence in my life. You are always in my heart and I am so appreciative for all that you are and all that you have given me! I pray that each of you know how much you are loved in this world. And how much you are needed. You are beautiful.
Through the failures. Through the flaws. You'll realize.
That even as fragile as you are.
You're still unbreakable."
I don't know who wrote the beautiful message above, but I loved it when I saw it on Instagram. It went straight to my soul. As a woman, and as a human being, of course I could relate. Been there. Done that. And have lived to know. I am sure that I will fail again and again. And flaws? Hello! I am so very flawed. But I am finally at a point where I am able to forgive myself for my trespasses against others and myself - if that makes sense! Why are we always so hard on ourselves? I don't know, but we are. And it needs to stop, don't you think? We have to love ourselves ENOUGH to move on... to move on in life and to have joy. Life can be so hard and that is not a cliche but a fact. None of us escape that reality. And I know that some of you are battling heartbreaking, gut wrenching things and it is all that you can do to hold on. But you are ~ hopefully and prayerfully, because life - though, yes often very very hard - is absolutely PRECIOUS. Please hold on to that fact too - hold on to the promise of a new day, a new way, a new reason to breathe with every depth of your being. I pray that peace wraps its gentle presence around you in your fragility and in your strength and that you always know that you are not alone. Hope beats in our heart. Love flows through our veins......
Our world may be badly broken and it may be severely hurting and how I worry, and cry, and hope that it mends as my heart breaks for all who suffer. But, like the incredible Louis Armstrong, I will always believe our world is wonderful and I will always see trees of green and find the good somehow, someway, wherever I go.
Sunday morning light, somehow, always seems softer. I don't think that is a coincidence.
There is so much madness in the world right now. It would be so easy for us to succumb to all of the unfairness; all of the ridulousness; all of the cruelness; all of the sadness; and all of the unknown.
But we cannot. And we must not. We have to hold on to each other. We have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. We have to keep sharing with each other.
And we have to keep loving each other.
As long as there is new life, we have hope. And as long as we have hope, we have life.
These late babies of summer have been so very special. Reminiscent of the first summer years ago when I witnessed Papa Goose and his beloved Mama duck raise all of her babies to adulthood - something that now, for some reason, is harder and harder for the ducklings to achieve. It has nothing to do with Papa's valiant and vigilant efforts, however. He never stops and he never stops being amazing.
Amazingly beautiful, yes he is!
And this is his home where he is doing what he was meant to do.
May his light and his love shine on and on and on ....
These are some recent images that I thought you might enjoy! The swan family that you see crossing the street are doing so well on the lake. Absolutely makes my heart soar to see them together and as how they should be. Papa Goose has been VERY busy with his ducklings and oh my gosh - are they ever ever adorable! It is so hard for me to walk away! But alas, I must and do. I have been framing images to take to the local gallery where I have some of my work and for my Etsy shop. I am savoring the remaining crepe myrtle blooms that surround Daisy Cottage and my street! They are so lovely and I will miss them when they are gone. I hope you like the egret images - such a beautiful bird that I probably should take more pictures of. And the "funny" looking duck, is a male Muscovy that Papa Goose raised from birth five years ago! They still hang together and that is a joy to see. I love witnessing all of the relationships on the lake - they are as diversified as our human ones.
I hope you have a beautiful week ahead! Sending you much love and hugs .....
I leave in the morning for the mountains and will be gone about a week. Which means gone from "my" lake. Which means I admittedly have anxiety about leaving behind Papa Goose who is not "mine" of course but tell that to my possessive and obsessive heart!
Though so excited to slip away a bit, I will miss him terribly. I will worry about him terribly. As I fed him this morning, I told him "I would be right back" - the same thing I always told my children when they were young and what I always tell my fur children now - even if only going to the grocery store. Papa Goose looked at me and let me pet his head. His wild in nature head. Me being a sensitive freak, I teared up. And as I reminded him to stay away from cars and bad people, he shook and spread his gorgeous wings to dry off droplets from his early morning swim. One of his feathers fell floated to the ground at our feet. The thing is, Papa Goose doesn't leave very many feathers behind. So, I asked him if this treasure was for me. And with his good eye he told me yes. This I know.
Love has no language barriers.
I will take his most beautiful feather with me. And yes Papa, I will be right back.