Saturday, May 16, 2015

Art of Awareness Blog Hop . . . Juvenile Arthritis

"The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen
awareness of the interdependence of all these
living beings, which are all part of one another,
all involved in one another."
-Thomas Merton

I first want to start out by saying thank you to our hostess, Lori of Pretty Things,
for this great idea, and to bead artist, Heather Millican of Swoondimples. for her bead beans
that you will see as a common denominator in everyone's Art Awareness piece today.

My hope is that this awareness blog hop will bring a new sense of compassion to all of us.
Because everyone is fighting something and we never know what life will throw at us, or where and how hard we will land (or fall). Because it doesn't just effect us personally, it ultimately effects us all.

Hi, my name is Kim, and I am a parent of a child with Juvenile Arthritis.
Approximately 300,000 children in the U.S. as young as infants to teens have been diagnosed with some type of juvenile arthritis. There are six different sub-types, 5 of those being autoimmune diseases, with the last one considered an auto-inflammatory disease, and the one my son has.

In March of 2103 my son was diagnosed at the age of 15 with a rare and serious form of juvenile
arthritis called Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or SO JIA, sometimes referred to as Still's Disease. Out of the 300,000 kids who have arthritis, only 10% get this type.

What is SO JIA?

It is a systemic inflammatory disease that can affect their organs and tissues as well as their joints. It is often accompanied by high fevers and a salmon-colored rash at the onset of illness and has the potential to be life-threatening.

Here in the United States there are currently less than 250 pediatric rheumatologists and 90% are
clustered among the large cities. There are 11 states that have no board-certified practicing pediatric
rheumatologists, 19 with three or less, and the remaining have 4 or more. Some people have to travel
long distances on a weekly or monthly basis just to get treatment.

My son wakes up with stiffness and pain on most days. He is tired more often, and everyday small motor tasks like buttoning a shirt can sometimes be challenging. Juvenile arthritis is not "just arthritis." It's MRI's and CT scans and x-rays. It's hospitalization for an infection. It's emergency room visits, and irreversible damage to joints. Sometimes it's having to give up things you used to do. It's hours and hours of infusions and blood draws, lost time from school and make up work. It's serious side effects from those infusions including the risk of cancer. It's the 5 stages of grief that you go through as you see your child lose his "old" life in exchange for this new one. It is a thief of childhood and adolescence and it impacts the entire family.

I ran out of daylight as I got this bracelet done last minute so I used my cell phone to save time. And I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the back of the bead which has a ribbon imprinted on it. This week has been a train wreck of a week between the 8" of rain in one night and flooding that nearly kept us from getting to our infusion (except that the one on ramp I needed to take was the only one not under water), waking up to a completely defrosted freezer and refrigerator full of food (it was the converter), the internet going out in the middle of writing this and random power outages. And sick caterpillars and dead butterflies ( I raise them.) So these are what they are, the color is slightly off. I promise it all blends in person. The dangle flower beads are a pretty gray-blue and are opalescent which doesn't translate in the photo either.

I chose the word "reach", which is my word for the year, to signify reaching for hope, and faith and for a cure. And because despite all these challenges I want him to still be able to reach for the stars and touch everything in between. (more on my word reach here)

In a perfect world I would have gotten this post done a month ago, but nearly a month ago our world was turned upside down once again. And rather than write a novel (I know, this is probably already borderline) , I do hope you will click here as this link has an overview of what the first few months were like when he was first diagnosed and is part of a bigger story. It will help you understand the gigantic peaks and valleys of this disease that are always ongoing. No good news goes uncelebrated at our house.

So fast forward, back to nearly the first of this year. He has continued to have flares, which include the systemic rash that comes and goes and is a sign of something going on. And it's accompanied by more pain and stiffness and intermittent fatigue. And my mom sense says in the last few months something just seems off. I've noticed the joints in his hands are looking bigger and swollen and I inquire about having x-rays done (that they compared to his baseline ones from two years ago). There is now permanent and irreversible erosion in his hands, primarily his left. And they are adding methotrexate, a chemo drug, to prevent further damage to his hands. He is only 17, he will need those later in life. And here's the thing, we have to do the injections at home, weekly...sigh.

Yes, kids get arthritis too and I often hear, but he doesn't look sick. And that's because his body
is waging war against itself on the inside. He won't outgrow it and there is no cure, but we do pray for remission or better yet a miracle. 

To date, my son is one of the strongest and bravest people I know.

Love, Kim

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Oh What a Beautiful Mornin' . . .

Oh What a Beautiful Mornin',
by Rogers and Hammerstein II

Oh what a beautiful day,

{KK Warm Sun}

 There's a bright golden haze on the meadow,
All the sounds of the earth are like music.
Especially the sounds at a sunrise.

I've been absent from here, and have spent a great deal of mornings in the last few weeks at the sunrise. It's that one place that gives me the reassurance of a new day. Not tomorrow's new day, just this one, the only one promised.

This coming Saturday, May 16th, I'm participating in a unique "Awareness" blog hop. Each participant has chosen a special awareness to write about. Either something that has touched them personally or something very close to their heart, and I would be so grateful if you came back . . . I will be sharing a lot more information about Juvenile Arthritis and some of our journey. It will explain why I haven't been here, and our challenges going forward.

And one last thing, today is my last regular post as a contributor at FOL...Goodbye doesn't always mean, the end.

Love, Kim xo

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

To marvel at . . .

. . . everything!

"All God's creations great and small,
the Golden Gate and the Taj Mahal..."

- The Miracle by Queen

"The Golden garden gate"

"We're having a miracle on earth, mother nature does it all for us. . . 
The wonders of the world go on . . ."

. . . and on and on whether or not we are paying attention.
Slow down and observe.

"If every leaf on every tree, could tell a story that would be a miracle. . . "

I would be the first one in line to buy that book!
And what a story it would tell about photosynthesis...a miracle all by itself.
So much going on inside that leaf, a life force.
Slow down and appreciate.


"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is." - Albert Einstein

So often we (I), associate miracles with being on a grand when our kids were born, or someone survives a really horrible car crash. Or when a tornado wipes out a town and there are no fatalities. 

But the reality is, a million little miracles happen to each of us every single day and probably go unnoticed as such. Maybe, or more likely, a lot of them are things we might associate with as mere annoyances (like hitting every red light). Things that put us in the right place at the right time, that connects us with someone else, that keeps us from harms way. Because timing is everything.

We probably even think of them as more of a coincidence rather than miracles.

But you know, I imagine something really incredible, even miraculous perhaps, would happen if we chose to live all our moments as if they were miracles. Maybe even something called gratitude, because gratitude changes the heart for sure, and it doubles that thing called joy.

Love, Kim

Friday, April 17, 2015

A new adventure . . .

. . . with lego girl!

Call me a bit of a nerd, but I have always wanted a lego person, with a camera!

So, ta da, meet lego girl (she is a Nikon gal too)  ;)
I probably should give her a name (and pink highlights), any good ideas?

She has already had quite the adventure and I will be sharing here as
well as on instagram (kimatpickingpoppies).

So earlier in the week I found this fella at the gas pump. All excited, I ran into the gas station and asked the attendant if I could have an empty cup or anything to take this guy home in for a photo op. I was pretty sure it was a type of tussock moth caterpillar, just wasn't sure which kind.

Well, it's not exactly the kind you want to run into because those are urticating (or stinging) hairs. They have a venom (they aren't really poisonous) that can cause some pain and irritation depending on individual reactions. I believe this is a fir tussock moth caterpillar, and they love oak trees.

Now, later in the week, I stopped to get some soup at La Madeleine and when I came back out the side entrance, I spotted another one, and another one, and then I noticed they were all over the table, and on the building and well, they were crawling everywhere. There were even some dangling by a silk thread from the overhang over the exit door I just walked out of. Then I found it, the host tree on the corner, an oak. I walked back to my car and they were crawling on my car, and the cars next to me, and they were dropping from the tree I parked under! I have to say I was a little freaked out to get in my car, and I don't get that way often. But it was a caterpillar apocalypse.

I had my camera in the car, so I tried to get a picture (hard through a slanted and tinted window). You can see some of the bigger ones, but there are smaller ones that are harder to see, and those blobs in between the bark, those are cocoons. And just in the last day or so, I've found two of these guys on my front porch and I'm a little nervous because we have two live oaks in our front yard....I keep checking them and haven't see any on the tree so far, but I have noticed the wasps are quite interested in something up there. And while I'm not fond of wasps because they eat my monarch caterpillars, I might just add them to my friends list if they help keep this one out of my trees.  

I love to photograph water, any kind, fast, slow, from an ocean or a fountain it doesn't matter. And the other day while at my favorite nursery I found a fountain where the light was hitting just right and as the water was drip, drip, shared some wisdom with me. I will share that snippet with you in a later blog post.

On the caterpillar front, I have some monarchs, but things haven't exactly started out so great. Two stalled in the middle of their pupation, and some have died in various instars. I can't seem to keep up with the chalcid wasps who find the eggs before I do and parasitize them. And yeah, back to those wasps....I took a plant outside and I had only been out for 5-10 minutes when I was distracted by something and came back to find one of the caterpillars had met a horrible death.

sigh.....being a caterpillar mom is hard, and heartbreaking, and frustrating.

But on a fun note, I saw a polydamas butterfly visiting my pipevine and was so hoping she would stop and lay some eggs....and she did....almost 50 of them! I love raising those guys, so much easier. So since it's still early, my pipevine hasn't grown back that much yet and I ran to get a few more of the smaller one, the fimbriata and I only hope it will be enough!

I'm hoping for good weather tomorrow, even though it says 80% rain, since my son
who is coaching 6th grade 7 on 7 football has their state championship tournament tomorrow.
Cross your fingers, we have three games.

That's my random finds for the week and I hope you have a stellar weekend!

Love, Kim

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Soak up the sun . . .

"I"m gonna soak up the sun
while it's still free
I'm gonna soak up the sun
before it goes out on me."

-Soak up the Sun (by Cheryl Crow)

It seems lately, all the sun does is go out under the cloud cover.
And it's certainly not been the shining star (get it) of the sunrise these days either. :)

So I had to go back a few months, to last year really, 
for a sunrise where the sun wasn't so shy, or lost.

I've heard rumors that people like to wake up to Folgers in their cups,
me, I like to wake up to sunshine in my day....everyday.

[KK 1216]

And at least, when the sun can't get around all that cloud cover, there is always the blanket flower to act as an understudy!

Hope this finds you in a sun shiny day (we have a 10 day forecast of mostly rain),

*P.S. -  I almost forgot, I am over at Focusing on Life today musing about our {Flower Theme}. We are like flowers....Music of the Earth.

Love, Kim

sharing with Texture Tuesday, Song-ography, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Roses of Inspiration

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

You see, I've been through the desert . . .

. . . on a horse with no name

On the first part of the our journey #2500mi
I was looking at all the life #frommycarwindow
There were plants and birds and rocks and things #mostlyrocks
There was sand and hills and rings #norings

-A Horse With No Name by America

The thing about vacations is, that when you haven't been on one in a while (a long, long while), you might try to cram too much into your allotted time frame. The downside to that is you just don't get enough time in any one place, but the bonus to that (and thankfully there is one), is that you get to see many things and then you can decide where you want to go back and spend more time. 

This is one of those places for me....

This was our last day in Arizona before heading back home and we had just finished a tour through a slot canyon and this place was only 10 minutes from there. And I'm SO glad we didn't decide to skip this!

Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon

When we arrived at the parking lot, we were at the bottom of a large hill.  Once we climbed the hill (thank you new hiking shoes) we quickly realized there would be some more walking involved until we reached the awe-inspiring bend in the Colorado River. About 1.5 miles round trip to be exact, up and down a very sandy hill and across a sandstone incline.

So away we went....and if you look really, really closely (you might need a magnifying glass) you can see dots of people way in the distance. There are some even sitting and standing that very large sandstone hill on the right. And beyond that are the Paria Plateau and Vermillion Cliffs. 

As we got closer to the bottom it got a little bumpier as it alternated between the sand and the slopping Navajo Sandstone. Now you can see those people a little better. Sure gives a perspective of how far away 3/4 of a mile is.

So, one thing you should know about me is that I'm deathly afraid of heights. I get chills up and down the backs of my legs and feel a bit disoriented, and just looking at a picture will do the same thing. And, you have to understand that there are NO railings here are on your own, at the mercy of a gust of wind or someone else standing close to you. This explains why my son went on ahead of us...he was sparing me some stress, and he has heard the lecture of how NOT to stand too close to the edge. Really, the whole thing just freaks me out.

And the next thing I know, my daughter hands my son her phone and says take a picture of me laying within an inch of my life on a narrow strip of sandstone? Seriously?

So, I find a spot that gives me enough room to get this shot without (hopefully) rolling off the edge myself, 'cause I do get in the zone when I have that camera up to my eye! 

She says to, this view is amazing and very peaceful. And then I think to myself...I didn't come 2500 miles, and trudge all the way down here to be a coward.

So you know what? I said what the hell and I handed my girl my camera and starting about 5 feet away I laid down and crawled to edge. And you know was so beautiful and peaceful, and awe-inspiring. And then I performed my biggest feat of all...she handed me my camera and I put the strap around my neck, and I leaned into the landscape...and I'm still here.

Because you can't get this view...unless you are within an inch of your life, or the edge. And the only thing I was wishing for at this point was a wider lens. But I was just in a canyon prior to this where they were throwing sand and I wasn't about to change my lens without a blower. And by the way, it's 1000 feet straight down to the bottom, to that gorgeous Colorado River. See that white fleck near the edge of the bank on the right side, that's a large boat.

It's almost mind blowing to know that after the Colorado Plateau uplifted 5 million years ago that the river after being trapped, cut through this rock, and not only that but it created a 270 degree bend in the canyon.

And somewhere on the river below the dam, there is a panel of petroglyph left by Ancestral Puebloans over 800 years ago. Putting that on the checklist for next time.

On our way back up, and as an excuse to catch my breath, I tried to take in as many details as I could.

I was fascinated by these rock sculptures that were very meditative. I couldn't help but wonder who had put them there.

And how they don't blow over in the strong winds, or get knocked over by wildlife.

And then we finally made it back up to the top, and I sat under this gazebo to rest. 

I have to admit, going back up sorta felt like a stress test!

It had also been a long, busy week and we were all tired.

(KK 1217 music)

And as I was sitting there, and getting one last view of where I had just been, it hit me all of a sudden. And I know this is chronologically out of vacation order, but the whole trip even though it was amazing and fun, was a little hurried for me...the wanderer. I just didn't feel like I had the time to explore and discover, and even though I personally would have loved to stay here a little longer, this is where I finally found that moment of peace and tranquility. 

The place where I reached out and conquered a real fear, and it felt powerful. But just to be clear, I'm still afraid of heights.

"Take risks. Ask big questions.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes;
if you don't make mistakes, you're
not reaching far enough." - David Packard

Have a great day!
Love, Kim

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We could see for miles, and miles, and . . .

. . . miles

[KK 411]

Technically it was more like 3/4 of a mile . . . did you know that people look like ants that far away?

One whole spring break week of togetherness, some little things, some big things, and we definitely took some things to new heights....even tried something new.

2500 miles
8 days
3 states
2 capitols
1 zoo
1 canyon with a bend
1 slot canyon
1 grand canyon
and a walk through the Sonora desert
Oh and one white knuckle ride on a curvy road near dusk with no guard rail! #youcouldhearapindrop

We might have even [#oops] gotten back a day early. #totallynotplanned

Last week was crazy busy with doctor visits, some planned some not, and my poor fur baby had an infected paw.

It's my turn today, I'm finally getting re-allergy tested. My allergies have gotten so bad that I've developed asthma and allergies to foods because I'm so environmentally allergic [to every grass weed and tree in Texas]. Last time I was tested it wasn't pretty and I had a bad reaction to the testing, so keep your fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I'm over at Focusing on Life today with some thoughts about personal growth, can you measure it? I would be gobsmacked if you would join me here,

Hopefully I'll see ya on Thursday,
Love, Kim

Texture Tuesday, Sweet Shot Tuesday, Roses of Inspiration

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Because it's the little things . . .

. . . and because it's Thursday!

"Little things seem nothing,
but they give peace,
like those meadow flowers which
individually seem odorless
but all together perfume the air."

- Georges Bernanos

Little things like this add up to Spring,

Spring means there is a break from school,

and when both your kids get the same Spring break

it's a little miracle of sorts. 

Especially when one is in college and one is in high school.

So, next week I will be celebrating this alignment with them.

The little things, maybe some big things, maybe we'll even

take some things to new heights.

Games, laughter, maybe we'll try something new.

Being together as a family of four again will be just fine too!

I hope you have a great rest of the week, plus one more.

And I hope that Spring will be a little closer to being sprung

for those of you still waiting!

Love, Kim

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Preparing for take off . . .

Activity is reaching fever pitch . . . Elizabeth Howard

"getting ready to go"

Once or twice a week now I get an email in my inbox from Journey North with updates about the monarch activity in the mountain tops of Mexico, their overwintering site.

On February 26 there was a flurry of activity as the thirsty monarchs started breaking out their clusters on the trees looking for water, and within the month they will leave their winter home and begin their journey north to recolonize North America.

Which means, especially for those of us in Texas as the main migration corridor between Mexico and the States, please, please start planting nectar plants for their arrival, and milkweed for laying eggs. 

"The monarchs would come out of the trees each time that cumulus clouds
covered the sun. They reached almost unbelievably dense numbers, flying
out over the llanos. The trees were nearly emptied at such times. Literally
every cubic foot of air held at least one monarch."  El Rosario Sanctuary, Feb 21, 2015

Can you even imagine what a sight that is . . . sigh . . . I feel a lump in my throat thinking about it!! 

As they break out of their clusters, looking for water they will also be mating and the females will be looking for a place to lay their eggs when they get here. When they arrived in Mexico in the fall the typical monarch weighed 140 mg and per Journey North those energy reserves are about 70% depleted by now. They will be very hungry when they get here.

For those of you unaware there was a petition filed last year to put the monarch on the endangered species list and within the stipulations of that status they had said that citizens would only be able to raise 10 wild caught caterpillars. Let's just say that didn't go over very well in the monarch community and they have since revised it to read 100 caterpillars. It is only a suggestion though, and will be at the discretion of the service if it's listed as threatened. That is still 500 less than what I raised last summer alone.

I simply don't agree with listing the monarch as endangered. Their migration is what is in danger because we have lost nearly all (90% or more) of the native milkweed in the Midwest that used to grow in our row crops, now being sprayed with Monsanto herbicides. (That's a whole other post by itself)

I spent some time today pulling weeds, starting to prep the garden and thinking about what I want to plant. Purple trailing lantana ( with a heavenly scent) and a red-orange-yellow variety that I think is called Luscious Citrus Blend, were both really big hits with all the butterflies {and the hummers loved the red one}. I also plant different varieties of salvia, coneflower, zinnia, penta {both butterfly and graffiti varieties}, hyssop (didn't come back last year, and couldn't find it last summer), and black-eyed susan. I'm sure there is something I'm missing and I hope to add to the list this summer, including some different host plants for more butterflies.

Here's to diggin' in the dirt!

Love, Kim

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Shake it Off", song-ography edition . . .

. . . "can't stop, won't stop moving"

- Shake it Off, Taylor Swift

There was a little mayhem and chaos on my front porch this weekend as I tried to photograph
tulips and poppies. The wind, it just wouldn't stop moving. . .

[KK taped edge]

. . . and the flowers and I couldn't keep up with all the grooving.
(Okay, so I'm really stretching this weeks song)

It probably started out in the thirties early Saturday morning, but because I had a bloom
on the poppy I went to the front porch in search of some light, and all I got was wind.

Now, I'm a pretty patient person, so I stuck it out for a little while, and then since I
just couldn't "shake it" I packed it in and came inside...with the plant.

That's when something magical happened, or at least for me. There were two buds that
were already split open, just enough to see the color and suddenly the pods popped off
and the flowers started to open like I was watching time lapse photography!

Literally, right before my eyes these flowers opened up, and it was magical! 
I've never seen a flower open up that fast before, have you?

I would love for you to pop over here, to Focusing on Life, where I'm sharing
some thoughts on our new monthly theme (link won't be live til 3 am PST). And then why not
consider adding photos of the theme to our flickr group. You just may be 
featured one Saturday morning on the blog!

Happy Tuesday,
love, Kim

Thursday, February 26, 2015

So, funny thing . . .

. . . I took a walk several weeks ago on one of our coastal birding trails.


as I was walking along, up ahead on the trail I spied this....
a very exotic species of coastal bird,

CHICKENS! (who knew)

Before I could get much closer, they retreated back into the brush.

But then ahead, just slightly around the corner I could hear them so I positioned myself in a spot that I could see them if they decided to come back out. I could hear them, and had been waiting for about 15-20 minutes?  Of course, right when they walk out and start feeding on some bird seed a couple with a stroller walk by and stop and start taking quite loudly and then ask me...."Are you a photographer".....yep, I am. And off run my subjects back into the wooded area.

(Now, I know they're just chickens, but they were beautiful and it's not a usual sight for me to see them here on the trail, so yeah I was kinda bent on getting some photos.)

It was a tad warm that day and I was carrying around my 70-200 lens which is pretty heavy and so I decided I would just climb up this little hill and sit down on the bench and rest for a moment. I hadn't sat down, literally for 30 seconds, when I hear a loud rustling from behind me, and this beautiful rooster comes barreling right over to me as if we're long lost friends. 

And wouldn't ya know, someone else walking in the opposite direction takes notice of this rooster about the exact same time and stops and starts asking me if this is my pet? Ummm, I didn't really know what to say, because, who takes their chicken for a walk? lol

Of course he high-tailed it right back where he came from, and I moved on.

I did however, see some real coastal birds on the trail....

This is an Osprey. a type of hawk, a large raptor (with a wingspan of 59-71 inches) whose diet mainly consists of live fish. They have unique barbed soles on the bottom of their feet to help them grip slippery fish. And are quite fun to watch dive for food.

I don't know all my hawks, but I think this one is a Red Shouldered Hawk (anyone?) There were quite a few that morning soaring the skies.

Then a nice woman told me there were whistling ducks (Black-bellied Whistling-Duck) ahead on the right. She wasn't kidding, there were several groups just like this one and you couldn't miss them for all the noise they were making. And yes, their call sounds just like a whistle. They have the most beautiful bright pink bills.

Finally, I got some in flight....

And then on my way back to the car, I spotted this White Egret. They aren't as keen on getting their pictures taken, but this guy was concentrating pretty hard on brunch to care that much.

It was a sun up to sun down kinda day....and on my way home, I had to make one more pit stop when I spied these guys on the side of the road in a field. I need a bumper sticker - don't follow too close, I make quick stops.

I should note that right across from the street is Galveston Bay....the best of both worlds. At least this time I didn't run into any wild boar...I'm not that fast a runner anymore!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, looks like the sun may appear here for a bit and then back to a week more of clouds and rain.

Love, Kim

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On spending the afternoon . . .

"I don't want to come to the end of my life
and find that I have just lived the length of it.
I want to have lived the width as well."

-Diane Ackerman

{KK 212}

Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare? How the hare laughed at the tortoise, who he said was too slow. How he bragged and bragged about how fast he could run....yep, that one.

Remember what a joke he thought the tortoise was for even challenging him to a race? And that the hare ran so fast that he left the tortoise behind, and how after half the race was over he got so confident that he stopped to play in the meadow and then took a nap?

Well, I think there is more to the moral of this story than "slow and steady wins the race."

Because, I don't believe life IS a race.

We live in a world so full of technology that we fool ourselves into thinking we can accomplish more than we do. It's simply an illusion.

We live in a world where "fast and furious" is prized. Where people live only for the next big "thing" that will make them happy. The next vacation, or car, or when they are debt free. For the next job promotion, or when they lose weight. We are an "if" and "when" society. If and when I do these things, and accomplish this or that, then I will be happy kind of society. The kind of society that thinks the more that's on the schedule, the faster you will get to your destination.

But life isn't really about the destination, it's about the journey . . . it's about all the moments we touch from here to there. There is no medal to be found in getting to the finish line first, and no points for big meadows (of course the meadow is a metaphor, because meadows are quite lovely). And just like the hare, when we go too fast we become delusional about our time, how much we have and what our goals really are. And, when we have completely exhausted ourselves by going so fast, we may even find ourselves fast asleep in between.

We buy into that thought that life is lived at the next pit stop. But life commences here, and now, taking advantage of all that surrounds us as we plod on ever so slowly.

When we go slow enough, we don't necessarily have to stop. We can take in the view, and reach out and touch everything. We can see things because the road isn't moving so fast.

And then we can say, 

"I owned ever second that this world could give . . . " - One Republic

It's a choice to spend an afternoon, one slow step after the other. It's also a choice not to.

Trying to be the tortoise,
Love, Kim

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's coming soon . . .

. . . to a neighborhood near you!

"The Ladybug wears no disguises.
She is just what she advertises.
A speckled spectacle of spring,
A fashion statement on the wing . . . 
A miniature orange kite.
A tiny dot-to-dot delight."

- J. Patrick Lewis

I've been trying to make it to my nursery once a week to check on the flower inventory.
Been looking for poppies, anemone and or ranunculus, and the only one I've managed
to come across is the ranunculus. But they have been the really tiny ones and no
soft peachy pinks, my favorite.

But last week, I came across dozens upon dozens of ladybugs. Not sure if they put them
there or they found their way there. But I can say that there will positively be little
ladybug larva soon.

I was so enthralled by them I must have spent at least 45 minutes with my camera in
the same spot.  But boy oh boy can they move fast, which sure makes it tricky to get
them in focus.

I know most of you have had either bitter cold weather or have been buried in snow
this past week(s), and I just want to let you know that it won't be long...

. . . spring really is coming, I promise.
I know this because it happens every year without fail, and the tree pollen
has been off the chart here. I don't think I've ever had this much trouble with asthma before.

So, keep your eyes peeled, it may be subtle, but she's on her way.

Love, Kim

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