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.
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.
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.
Hello August! Aren't you a bit early to arrive? I mean it was just April! How are you here so fast? I know it is time for you due to the hot and muggy weather but still. I'm not ready! These days are flying just like all of those who were older and wiser than us when we were young told us they would. The same 24 hours simply do not feel the way they used too. Sigh.
But we "old-timers" know to embrace the same 24 hours in all the ways that we can, right? We know the value of the minute. We know that seeing the sun rise on a new day is not a given. We know to hold on to what we've got and let go what we should not.
Most of the time. ;-)
So yes it is so very hot and humid here and you know that this isn't my best season but again how thankful am I to be here to complain about the heat and humidity? Ummmm ..... VERY thankful. When it gets this hot, I tend to stay inside more - after feeding Papa Goose and walking the lake of course. I painted a few beach scenes yesterday to cool off in my mind. Oh and I bought a little sketchbook last week and some pencils too. So far, I have sketched Maggie and this handsome, beloved old-timer guy ...
Can you believe Marley is 14 years old today! After my son adopted him from the SPCA, he was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia and his vet at the time said he would most likely not live past 5 years old. Well he was wrong. As Marley aged, his dysplasia seemed to improve and he has lived a very happy and very spoiled life. Deservingly so! The sweetest boy ever. He is now deaf, as of a few months ago, but has quickly learned to rely on the antics of the doxies to know what is going on. He is also the smartest boy ever too.
Happy Birthday Dear Marley! We love you!!
Young, old, or in between - life is worth embracing.
The last of the swans to have babies this season had theirs on Memorial Day. It was sweltering hot but this smart mama built her nest underneath the palm fronds and she was in the shade. It was such a beautiful nest and it was such a beautiful day! A day that we honored those brave souls who gave their MOST precious lives so that we can be free. Those of us who were there with the swans never forgot what the day meant and a friend of mine even named the first baby born after my son, Shawn, in honor of his courageous service to our country. That touched me deeply.
As always, I am so grateful for so much. Grateful that my son came home. Grateful for friends. Grateful for these moments in time, spent with nature and God.
And as always, my mind always spins in thoughts, even when at peace. I think about how we humans have our bucket lists. But I am thinking animals do not. And while bucket lists serve their purpose, we also can be content with living and loving what is right in front of us. For what we have is on someone else's list. And what we have is what we got. And that can be amazing.
I hope you are having a beautiful weekend! This past week has been so magical on the lake with lots of new babies and the liquid sunshine that only belongs to May. It is hard to stay away and as a matter of fact, I am going to hit "publish" and go back there now. :)
Please click on any of these images to view in large if you would like and feel free to print too.
Always keeping you in my heart and taking you with me ...
Though the heat is rising, the harsh summer light hasn't arrived yet and everything is still so beautifully lit outside. I love being on the porch this time of year. I wish I could get good pictures of the cardinals who love to frequent it but they are too fast for me, as are the butterflies. How lucky am I that while rocking or swinging on my front porch, there is such precious life two blocks north of me - always beckoning, always blessing.
I am pulled here - to this little lake of "mine" which isn't mine but you know what I mean. :-)
While my affections may be scattered and while my heart forever belongs to precious family, friends, fur babies, and all things home ....
It also belongs here.
I get antsy when I have to be away from the lake, even if only for a day. There is a restlessness that I can't describe. The call of this little lake of OURS is so strong. The call of the wild indeed! I breathe differently when I am here. My step is lighter. The heat doesn't seem to matter. My senses are heightened. And my soul is always awakened.
Like a magnet, I am pulled. Like a mother, I am consumed - dedicated; worried; elated; sad; happy; scared; brave; weak; and strong.
I have had like three sinus-chest-sore throat infections so far this year. I've gone years without so much as a cold so I don't like to complain! It is no biggie in the big scheme of things but you know how it is - when you feel crummy, you drag. And this is NOT the time of year that I want to be dragging! It isn't boiling hot - yet - and the lake babies are about to be and I want to be outside and there for every possible moment! I cough and blow, and cough and blow, and suck on one soothing cough drop after another. I've had two rounds of antibiotics and I don't like taking medicine. So these germs need to fly away ... today! Right? Right!
Well that's enough complaining for this post. Speaking of soothing, the lake early in the morning is always soothing to me. I hope these images soothe YOU. I hope you are well and enjoying the fresh air wherever you are.