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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Jaydon!

Jaydon got a Razor scooter for his birthday so we
took it to the Botanical Garden to try it out...worked great!

Jaydon loves to feed the ducks.  This morning we also saw a snowy egret.

The Garden is beautiful even in winter and we enjoyed our time together.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Picture of the Week-Sunrise

One advantage to having the dogs is that I've gotten reaquainted with the night sky, what little I can see through the trees and the city lights.  When I take them out early in the morning I find myself looking east to see the morning star (Venus) and watching the phases of the moon.  This morning when I took them out before leaving for work I looked east but by this time the morning star was gone, the sun was rising.  The colors in the sky were so light, yet so vibrant.  It was not a brilliant, flaming expanse of color but the various colors were so soft and soothing.  After a few seconds of admiring this display I decided to run in the house and get the camera.  In the minute that it took to get the camera and get it set the light had already begun to change.  But I managed to get this shot before the sky just turned to a soft orange.

As I drove to work I thought about the pre-sunrise moment I had witnessed.  I'm not a morning person and don't usually have a reason to watch a sunrise.  But I know that that moment was a gentle gift from God, a quiet blessing to the start of my day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wasted Food

I read an article last week that stated that the average family wastes 14% of all the food they buy in a year.  No source was given for this information so I don't have a way to gather more statistics.  Based on my own experiences I can't question the validity of the statement.  At first I thought that when you think of 14% as a percentage that is not very much.  Then I thought of it in the quantity of food wasted and decided that 14% is a lot.  After thinking about this for a while I decided that 14% may really be a low estimate.  I would think it could be as high as 20-25% if you include the food thrown out in restaurants.

I grew up in a family that did not waste food.  My parents grew up on farms in the Depression and nothing was wasted.  So it was in our modern family.  If I did not eat all the food on my plate I was severely chastised.  Even if there was just a small serving of a vegetable left over it was saved (and re-heated and eaten).  Throwing food away was not an option.  So deep down inside I don't like to throw away food, but alas, I do.

As a young wife and mother I planned every meal for the week and shopped once a week.  Usually just about everything was eaten before the next shopping trip.  Except for the leftovers that weren't a hit the first time around that would turn into something that resembled a science experiment in the bottom of the refrigerator.  Oh, now I blame wasted food on the fact that I live alone and it is hard to feed just one person.  I try to shop very carefully and only buy exactly what I need for a few days at a time, but it seems that I always end up with something that goes bad before I get around to eating it.

There are so many hungry people in the world today.  Right here in our city I know there are children that only get the free meals at school and nothing else to eat.  I know that hunger is real because our church has a small food pantry that is open for a few hours one day a week.  They can not keep the pantry stocked with food, there is such a demand (and I don't know how to say this except to say that the church is in a "nice" part of our city so hunger doesn't have boundaries).  I wish there was a way to feed the hungry of the world with the 14% of the food that is wasted.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Blog

I've started a new blog devoted just to the dogs.  The new blog is Tales of Wagging Tails.  It will be under construction for a while, but please check it out.  This way I can stay focused on the original purpose of Small Simple Things of Life but still have fun posting about the dogs. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Picture of the Week

A sunny winter afternoon after a cloudy, wet week.  The air was cool and the light was very interesting.  I thought the bare trees formed a nice screen for the pavillion.  (Note that this pavillion was host to many Scout events and other activities in days gone by)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seasons and stars in the sky

Ok, I didn't know what else to name this post but here is what I'm thinking.  We are having our week of winter right now.  It has been cold and cloudy all week, but it will start to warm up in a few days.  And we may have some more cold weather but we may not either.  Normally I just moan and groan during the winter.  The gray sky and leafless trees and brown grass (not to mention the cold weather) usually give me a "ugh" feeling.  I find myself thinking that I just can't wait for spring, can't wait to get outside, can't wait to see that first bluebonnet.  Can't wait to get out my sandals again.  But this year, even though I don't like the cold, I've been looking at winter a little differently.

After I took down the Christmas decorations I realized that I'm always looking forward to the next season, without really enjoying the current season. So this winter, I'm enjoying the season.  I see beauty in the monochromatic landscape, and I find comfort in those winter things I love (like wearing my sweaters and eating big bowls of soup).  I really sense that the earth is sleeping and will awake up soon, but I'm not quite ready for it to wake up,  I want to hit the snooze button a few more times! 

When I took the dogs out this evening for a "go potty" break I was surprised to look up and see stars!  After many days of cloudy skies it was a nice surprise to see the stars.  Another reminder that stars shining in the night sky are one of the small, simple things of life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This is Bentley, or Bentley-Beau-Bentley as I've been calling him.  He is sleeping beside me on the sofa as I write this...yes, there is a new member of the pack.  He is 8 weeks old and is a shaded English Cream long haired miniature dachshund.  I'm hoping he will be a champion show dog someday, but for now he is a sweet baby.  What a little love.  He will be my last baby for a while so I'm enjoying him.  More pictures to come!

Jaydon and Bentley cuddled up together!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sun, Mist, and Fog

When I left home this morning it was cloudy and a little misty. By the time I got to the freeway, the sun was trying to come out and I wondered if I should pull out my sunglasses. But the sun quickly disappeared and clouds appeared again. In a few minutes I was driving through fog, looking for familiar landmarks. And the thought came to me that the weather this morning was similar to life.

Sometimes life is sunny and bright. We pull out our sunglasses and relax and enjoy the drive down life's pathway. But then it can get cloudy and little misty and life just doesn't seem right. Then the fog rolls in, troubles abound and unhappiness is in our heart. We look for familiar landmarks as we struggle to get through the fog. We can't see the path of life and feel all alone.

As I reached my office the fog began to thin. The sun was shining through the fog so it was lighter, almost like a cloud and made it have a slight pink tint. Sometimes life is like that, too. The fog of life swirls around us but we see the sun trying to shine through to us and light the pathway.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some thoughts on blogging

As you've noticed I've redecorated (so to speak) my blog.  I did this New Year's Eve and had so much fun!  I'm still working on it, and it may be a continual work in progress as it gave me a creative "fix".  I added a string of pictures down the right hand side, and I think this will be like a digital frame with always changing pictures.  Next I'm going to update the pages.

Tonight I realized that I've been blogging for three-quarters of a year. I have to say that I've really enjoyed working on this project!  I re-read my first post which discusses why I started this blog.  I'm not sure if I've really kept to my original intention.  I think it has been more of a creative outlet and a way to share events and photos than a writing endeavor.  Since this is a time for New Year's resolutions I found myself thinking about the blog. I would like to resolve to do more devotional thoughts and more creative writing (so if this isn't your type of reading just skip those posts). I have done several posts on small things, but really want to focus on them because I think they are so important. And I think I want to post more with the thought of putting the posts into a printed format (so in other words no quick writing, begin with the end in mind!).  So that's how I want to start the year with the Small Simple Things of Life.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned during 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Picture of the week

I caught Lacey napping on this box in the garage this morning.  She was very relaxed in the morning sun, enjoying her morning nap.  And, yes the garage was a little chilly but oh well a nap in the sun is sheer bliss for a cat.  What a life!