It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.



Saturday, February 28, 2015

Namasté

Stained Glass Sanctuary Window
First UMC, Kerrville Texas
In late January I attended a choral workshop in nearby Kerrville.  I went for the Friday night and Saturday sessions, driving home late on Friday and back on early Saturday so I didn't have to board the dogs.  It was a very enjoyable time, although by Saturday afternoon I was ready to move onto something else beside working through choral music!  Our clinician was Mark Hayes, a well known composer, director and concert pianist; he was excellent! 

One of the pieces we worked on was a piece he composed titled Namasté. The piece is beautiful; I hope that our choir will someday purchase this to share with our congregation.  But I was especially intrigued by the description of Namasté that was written inside the cover of the music, reading it over and over.  

The word, Namasté (pronounced Nah-mah-STAY) comes from Sanskrit, the classical and spiritual language of India.  It is a customary greeting often accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest.  The gesture Namasté represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that connects us.  We acknowledge or "bow" to that divine spark in each other as a sign of affirmation and respect.  As a point of spiritual practice, we try to see the divine image in everyone, especially people who are different from us or people we don't like.  Romans 12:10 tells us, "Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself."  Imagine a world where the spirit of Namasté was practiced all the time.

There is a Divine spark within each of us that connects us. How unfortunate that we don't realize this or forget it when caught up in the daily trials of the relationships in our lives.  I echo the writer's final thought...imagine a world where the spirit of Namasté  is practiced all the time.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter snow

The Quadrangle
University of Mississippi



Knowing full well that the Southeastern US is pretty much snowed in I pulled up the Old Miss web cams this morning wondering if they would give me a glimpse of a winter wonderland.  I was not disappointed!  What a beautiful sight!  The misty-like clouds hanging over the campus, the bare trees covered in snow and the undisturbed area in the middle of the Quadrangle combined into a perfect snow picture.  I thought about the winter silence I wrote about earlier this winter.  I'm sure it was there and in many places today where the snow had fallen like a blanket bringing the silence with it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday 02.25.2015

Reflection of the Exhibit Room in the Watersaver Garden's pond
 Lucille Halsell Conservatory 
San Antonio Botanical Garden

Sunday, February 22, 2015

In my crock pot tonight

It's cold outside tonight, the perfect night for red beans and rice.  Served with extra onions, parsley, grated Monterey Jack cheese, and hot biscuits.  What's in your crock pot tonight?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Things I love

While writing the creating yourself posts I swirled around a lot of thoughts about myself and the person I've created, all without conclusion. Without realizing it I revealed a small clue to myself of how I've used the selective process where we attach ourselves to what we want to be and turn away from what we do not want to be.

A few days ago I did a much needed makeover to the sidebar on this blog.  I added several pictures and labeled two of them as something I loved.  Really, they all are things I love.  Afterwards I realized that the pictures on this blog really are a statement of who I am. I've used that selective process to choose the things I love, the things that bring me contentment and make me want to surround myself with like things.

Maybe this blog should be titled "The Small Simple Things I Love"! I've realized that I really was creating a part of myself when I started this blog; now I realize that I'm using it to express who I am and to refine the things I love.  The creating process continues, doesn't it?  And, I'll be sharing more of the things I love that make me who I am.

A not so great cell phone picture, but it shows something I love.  My coffee/tea cup was sitting in the sun in the window of a former office when I made this picture.  I've always loved china and pottery and have incorporated them into my home and everyday life.  Recognize the pattern? 
Old Country Roses by Royal Albert


Monday, February 16, 2015

Creating Yourself, part 3

Life Isn't About Finding Yourself.  Life Is About Creating Yourself.  So, how do you create yourself?

After my first two posts about creating yourself that I shared on January 22nd and 26th I have found that I have more questions than I do answers.  Honestly, though, my thinking time has been short.  It seems that my life has shifted onto the fast track, the fast track of the hamster on the treadmill to nowhere.  I have to think that life distracts us and can sometimes block us from creating ourselves.

In the first post I shared that part of creating oneself is through exposure to different thoughts and new approaches to thinking.  I gave the example of creating yourself through expanding your thoughts, exploring your world, embracing new ideas, always seeking to know more, accepting life's experiences. In the second post I shared that the events of your life lead you to be the person you are today as well as the person you want to be.  I think in the process of creating ourselves we incorporate a selective process where we attach ourselves to what we want to be and try to move away from that which we do not want to be.  In the process, we create the person we are happy to be.

A further thought is that you create yourself. It isn't like the popular game show where a voice calls out your name and says, "Come on down, here you are all created".  There is no "BOOM" and you are yourself. Whether it is through the conscious selective process or a sub-conscious process where you make decisions about yourself without being aware of what you are doing, it is you and you alone creating yourself.  And, it is a life long process of creating.  It never ends.

So, what is it inside us that makes this process work?  I don't know.  Remember Jaydon's question why do you like to sew? in a post a while back?  I had no answer to that question either.  There is just something within us that causes us to become the person we are. I am starting to think that to a certain extent it is something we can control once we are aware of having that selective ability.  I have no answers, just questions to ponder. Am I the person I want to be?


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday 02.11.2015

Rose at San Pedro Springs Park, San Antonio TX 
Camellia in the garden at the Eudora Welty House, Jackson MS

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday 02.04.2015

I love these tile entrances.  This one is at what is now the Commerce Street entrance into Casa Rio's private party area.  Time to do a little research on this building's earlier history! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lost and found

Saturday was a day of loosing something and then finding something else that had been lost.  I always marvel when there is a day like that, when there is one occurrence that seems startling and then another where there is a surprise. Two totally unrelated things that seemed to group themselves together.

What was lost:  14 inches of hair.  Yes, my hair.  I had 14 inches of not so beautiful hair cut off.  I am donating it to Locks of Love and growing the hair was easy.  I'm glad that I can donate my wavy, frizzy, unruly hair to be turned into a nice hair piece for a young person that needs it.  I had planned to do it for a while; the hair had become a pain to care for and tangled unbelievably.  I'm very tender headed and combing out those long locks was not only tedious, it was painful.  Not to mention trying to roll over at night, that involved raising up in bed, flipping the hair around and then laying back down. The only thing I really liked was being able to French braid it.  It was time for that stuff to go, Saturday was the day.  I told the stylist I wanted it shoulder length, but in the end I got a fairly short bob with a length just below the ears.  Here's the surprising twist - my wavy hair is now almost curly!  I'm not sure if this is natural or just a result of the suddenness of the cut, but for now fixing it is a breeze! No braid, no ponytail, no twist in a clip.  Just wet, spray, scrunch and go. A little frizzy?  No problem, it is part of the new look.

What was found:  I had a diamond ring that just disappeared off my hand one afternoon in December 2013.  It was not a large, expensive ring (I am not a woman of any wealth). But it was a ring that I had bought for myself and I enjoyed wearing it.  It had three stones and was light weight; it was my ring and it just disappeared without my knowing it.  I got home that afternoon and looked down at my hand and it was gone.  Vanished.  Of course, I retraced my steps many times.  I searched through my purse as I had pulled out my phone to make a call after I got home.  I went back out to the mail box, flashlight in hand.  I walked the yard numerous times and it wasn't there.  I tore the car apart, too.  The next morning I went back to the UPS store where I had stopped on the way home.  The office was hopeless because we were temporarily relocating and it was chaos.  Could it be in a box?  Could it have fallen down in those files I had been packing?  OMG did it go in the bathroom trash when I dried my hands?  The ring was gone, I had to accept it.  I told myself that God knew where my ring was and that I needed to accept the loss.  Still, every time I walked across the yard I was looking for a sparkle or little glimmer.  I still felt that someday I would look down somewhere and see it and exclaim, "my ring, my ring there it is".

Saturday night I had gathered several things to take to church the next morning and decided to use a particular tote bag that would be the right size.  When I took it out of the closet I realized that it still had items in it.  I didn't have time to go through the stuff so I just pulled it out and stacked it up.  As usual there was debris in the bottom of the bag and I just grabbed it and pulled it out, wondering why on earth I had all those odds and ends in the bottom of the bag.  As I laid the assortment of small items down I felt something round and I wondered what on earth that was and why was it in this bag.  My curiosity made me look to see.  And, then I was exclaiming, "my ring, my ring, here it is" over and over and over!  I laughed for 30 minutes!  And, I think God laughed with me, too!  I'm still smiling as I think that the ring I lamented loosing was resting safely in my closet all that time!  I don't know how that ring fell off my hand and landed safely in that bag.  I also don't know why I hadn't used that tote bag in so long. 

And that, dear readers, is my tale of lost and found.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday 01.28.2014

I know, I know.  I should not have let him do this, but he slipped up there while I was making pictures and then I realized he was watching me to see what I would do.  So what did I do?  The overindulgent grandmother simply made his picture and told him to be careful that I did not want to have to pull him out of the lake and then have to explain what happened to his mother!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Creating Yourself, part 2

Life is about creating yourself. I have many thoughts to share about that statement, many of which are still swirling around in the salad spinner brain.  And, dear readers, I think you also have thoughts about how the events of your life have led you to be the person you are today as well as the person  you want to be.  I think in the process of creating ourselves we incorporate a selective process where we attach ourselves to what we want to be and try to move away from that which we do not want to be.  In the process, we create the person we are happy to be. 

As I mentioned in the last post, I was creating myself when I started this blog.  Little did I realize that it would, in turn, lead me to other bloggers who are of like mind as well as some who have given me insight into different avenues of thought.

Through an internet search one afternoon I found the Preservation in Mississippi blog which has kept me in touch with preservation efforts in the other state that I love and call home in my heart. I have travelled virtually all over the state reading about the preservation of and sometimes the loss of historic treasures.  My love of old buildings was buried deep down inside, I knew it was there, but it needed to come bubbling up to the surface.  It needed to be released so I could incorporate it into my life - part of the creating process.

From that blog I found Suzassippi's blog after she became a regular contributor to Preservation in Mississippi.  She recently wrote a lovely post that shared our chance connection and how we connected through post office murals and cemeteries. She shares words about historic places (and pictures, too) and introduced me to the Living New Deal project.  She also writes about life in Mississippi as well as her trips home to Texas and a dear horse named Rio. She likes good food, pots of tea, and good wine!

Suzassippi in turn led me to other bloggers that have expanded my world.  She introduced me to Lana at Hickory Ridge Studio.  Lana shares good recipes on her blog, writes about her love of music and horses, she quilts and does needlework, and is a working mother with a precious little one.  Often she shares about her struggles with the lack of time and so many things she wants to do.  I relate to that struggle and it encourages me to know that I am not the only woman with not enough time to do the things I need to do, much less the things I want to do.  Lana also is a super photographer and catches the Mississippi landscapes to share with her readers.

She also introduced me to LindaRe's blog, Between the Gate Posts.  LindaRe is a genealogist who  describes herself as a community researcher who intertwines family stories with historical events.  She has some amazing stories that are heart wrenching to read, but need to be shared so they are not forgotten.  I'm thankful for her dedication to sharing these stories as she is also busy tending to her family.  LindaRe also includes photographs and illustrations of the people and events she writes about, bringing reality to the stories.

One last blog I want to mention before I close is Southern Lagniappe.  Janie is a photographer who shares fabulous pictures from around Mississippi along with beautiful devotional thoughts.  She has the artist's eye for capturing nature and I'm grateful that she shares it on her blog.  Flowers, trees, and nature always lift my spirits and her blog inspires me to keep on working on my photography skills. 

Thank you to all of you who blog and share your world with me.  You have inspired and encouraged me more than you will ever know. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Creating yourself

 
I found this little plaque while Christmas shopping and the words struck me so that I knew I had to bring it home.  It quickly found its place in my kitchen window.  I wish someone had told me this when I was younger, but maybe it is something that you can't understand until you have experienced life.  I've thought about this saying a lot in the last few weeks and have several posts outlined on the subject.

I didn't realize it, but I was creating myself when I started this blog almost five years ago. If you've read that first post then you know that it was a small chrysanthemum that lifted my spirits and caused me to realize that it was the small simple things of life that give me joy.  Starting the blog was a way for me to write down and capture my thoughts; I was creating a part of myself that had been hidden deep inside and needed to come bubbling up and out of me.

Little did I know that in addition to satisfying that creative drive with writing and photography that I would encounter other bloggers with similar interests and values.  Reading their blogs and sharing comments has formed friendships for which I am very grateful.  I have found that reading about other women’s experiences has made me aware of the many commonalities that we share.  Reading posts written from different viewpoints has made me even more eager for more experiences of life that expose me to different thoughts and new approaches to thinking.  Yes, that is part of creating oneself, isn’t it? Expanding your thoughts, exploring your world, embracing new ideas, always seeking to know more, accepting life's experiences.