April 14, 2014

Mindful Miscellany

This past week I hit a bit of the blues for a day or two.  I think it was a result of being overwhelmed as a mom, for no particular reason other than occasionally it's overwhelming caring for & worrying about five growing & very-important-to-me people.  
I'm feeling better now. 

We slept in our new room for the first time last night.  I love it.

I haven't been reading as much as I was back in the dark ages of winter, but I just finished Maisie Dobbs #9 and really liked it.  I'm eager to start The Happiness Project next.

The grammatical error that befuddles me the most is when I read the words "could of." 
Could've is a contraction of the words could have.   Could "of" makes no sense to me at all.
Good to get that off my chest.

I find satisfaction in a good design challenge.  I recently got to contribute in designing the layout for a kitchen remodel Mitch is being contracted to do. 
The other day I designed business cards for him, too.  I'm excited to see how they turn out.

Our neighbor Marianne turned 95 this weekend.  She called to let us know her visiting family had gone back home to the city, wondering if we'd like to come over for an evening visit.  She shared candy & was looking festive in a pretty necklace & her hair recently done.   She'd been out on the town earlier in the day with her sister, who turned 100 last summer.   
I've said it time & time again:  Amazing ladies.

Speaking of amazing people..  I've become acquainted with so many interesting people around our world through blogging, people I've grown fond of.  This week some big things were shared.
One set a new world record for the number of women skydivers over sixty in a formation.  I'm so happy for DJan (who happens to be over seventy & has decided this will likely be her last season of playing in the sky.)
Another made a grueling climb to the top of Mt. St. Helens on skis & shared about it.  Linda rocks.  What an inspiration.  You can read about her adventurous feat here.
And yet another decided to leave her blog behind.  I respect a person doing what they feel is right for them. 

I finally did it.   I ordered a smart phone.  It will be here tomorrow.
Paradoxical that a plan with data will cost less than our old plan without, when I was mainly holding out because I couldn't justify the cost.

And I finally did this, too.  I tried out a water color effect.   
This barn in North Dakota was one of many wonderful, simple things I photographed there.

That's all for now.

April 12, 2014

An Illustrated Lesson from our First Grader

Beau, ever loving & entertaining, and always creating stories & pictures, leaving them in clever places for me to find (like in manilla envelopes on a blade of my bedroom ceiling fan)..
left this taped to our bedroom wall:

He explained, "The bunny is hopping along and he sees the crack where he's going to land and (pointing to the think bubble) thinks he's going to fall, but it's too late!"

It made me laugh, but also made me think.  A lesson of sorts.
Slow down?  Stop and think?  Look before you leap?

"Slow down and enjoy life.
It's not only the scenery that you miss by going too fast -
You also miss the sense of where you are going and why."   - Eddie Cantor

About the illustrator:
Beau is a seven year old boy who lives with his Mom, Dad, three big brothers, one big sister, and one big dog in northern Minnesota.  He loves Legos, riding bike, and making stuff.  He drew this when he was six, about to turn seven. 

April 11, 2014

Five Signs of Spring in Northern Minnesota

1. American pussy willows are bursting with catkins.  These are the true harbinger of Spring.
I searched for other buds on trees today but didn't find much.

2.  Robins returned to us this week.   In this case the early birds are not getting any worms.  Our ground was still buried in snow cover when they arrived. 
So, like the grouse I saw last week, they're resorting to sumac & things in the trees.  
It's nice to see the flutter of activity.

3.  H2O, in liquid form.
In our yard today, I kept breaking through snow into pockets with several inches of water underneath.  
Our culvert opened up, water is rushing through it.
The pond is still frozen but has run-off accumulating on top of the ice - so the kids got a kayak out after school today.  Never too soon to dip a paddle, I guess.

4.  After a long winter, our Chiquita & Bandita have been laying eggs again! 
In abundance.  All these eggs are making me think of Easter.   

5.  We heard a frog this evening. 
Not a full blown frog chorus yet.  But a frog.  It sounded like a tree frog.  
Every year I document the first day or night when frog music fills the air. 
We're running a little late this year, but headed in the right direction.
Wood frog, March 24, 2012 - (our earliest):

As for the kids - they are showing all kinds of evidence of Spring.  Mud splashed up their backs from running up the driveway or riding bike.  Increasing color in their faces.  Beau's freckles are more dashing by the day.  Bikes, scooters, fishing nets, shovels, balls, sidewalk chalk, hockey sticks, mudboots, wet shoes; these are everywhere.  They're having a hay day with the longer daylight & mild weather. 
Take a peek at April 19 last year. 
We're making awesome progress.

Spring is good for us all!

Sharing with Random 5 Friday