Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week 3 ~ Bugs (21/365)

These red-headed flies have been hanging around lately.  I find them fascinating ~ and they also creep me out a bit.  They are large and lurking, often pausing for a long time to rest in the sun.

Their smaller fly friends have been in attack, biting mode lately.  This I do not like.

I will be glad when the bugs of summer are gone ~ and my legs can finally heal from the vast map of bite wounds that adorn my legs.

Week 3 ~ Bugs (20/365)

This little moth visitor was resting on my balcony carpet.  In the cool morning air, it remained very still while I shot several different up-close shots.   I thanked it for its patience and restfulness while I took advantage of its beauty and presence.

Later, as the Sun rose and warmed the air, the moth came back to wakefulness.  It flew up to rest on the balcony railing for awhile and then fluttered away into the morning sky.

* * * 

Moth teaches sensitivity to touch, smell, taste, intuition and physical/spiritual awareness, along with heightening sound and vibrations in this world and in others. Moth aids in the metamorphosis of your being. Which stage are you currently in; egg, larva, chrysalis or flight? Moth will help in each transition and show how to adapt to the new surroundings. He will teach you to find your own light as a beacon in the direction you should go. It is time to pay attention to your feelings to clarify your movement and discern what is real and not. Are you listening carefully to verbal and non-verbal cues,to what is and is not being said? Are you sensing the world around you? or sensing too much? Moth will teach how to be still, rest and listen and balance your being. In finding your own light clarity in the moment of darkness will be found and your sensitivity to Spirit increases.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 3 ~ Bugs (19/365)

On the day this photo was taken, I had the incredible honor to hold sacred space for a friend while he had an emotional breakthrough.  That course of events was not on the agenda for the day (are they ever?), but it was what the stars had planned.

Tears were shed, truths shared, confessions uttered, and long-repressed emotional wounds purged.  It was a remarkable transformative experience for both of us.

We found ourselves sitting close together, my hand gently resting on his leg or back, while deep memories and perspectives shifted into the light of truth.  Healing was at hand.

After the tumult passed, we shared some more.  I spoke of the life/death/life cycle.  I remarked at how these episodes come in waves and cleanse us in ways we never knew were possible.  I explained my past experiences of raising my personal vibration (through yoga & a veg lifestyle) ~ and the inevitable demands of the detox process on physical/emotional/mental/spiritual levels.

It was such a miraculous, healing, cleansing, transformative experience that I marked it on my calendar in red ~ a day worth remembering.

During that afternoon, I kept hearing the sound of an insect nearby.  It sounded close, much closer than if it were outside.  Locust?  Cicada?  Cricket?   What WAS it???

I listened more intently.  It was coming from INSIDE my apartment!

I followed the sound until I had reached it source.  It was emanating from my linen closet!!

I opened the door, not knowing what precisely I was looking for ~ but expecting to find something small.  I searched the floor, the shelves....nothing.  (And my cats weren't even paying attention!)

Then....I saw it.  A LARGE, BRIGHT GREEN KATYDID on the side wall of the closet about four feet up.  I was BIG, perhaps the length of my index finger.  I was ASTONISHED!!!

After a momentary freak-out, I grabbed a clear glass and a piece of paper.  I placed the glass over the katydid and gently slid the paper between the wall and the cup.  I carried my capture outside and placed the glass on its side on top of the deck table, so the katydid could be gently released.

Confused, it remaining in the glass for a bit (I got a great view of its belly!) and then, righting itself, crawled out onto the table.

So as not to disturb it any further ~ and to return to my friend and our discussion ~ I went back inside.

Later, I emerged out onto the deck to check the katydid's whereabouts.  I was somewhat afraid I had harmed it or placed it in a location from which it could not escape.  Can they fly?  Jump?  Was it too far from its natural home?

The little green visitor had crawled up under the eaves of the building.  I stayed there the rest of the afternoon, just hanging out under the gutter.  That is where I was able to manage this photo.

Finally, when dusk came,  it disappeared from this temporary shelter and we heard it singing away in the nearest tree.  I was happy it was safe and letting us know it was back in a leafy camouflaged habitat.

Now, to the best of my recollection, I have *never* had a katydid in my home.  Therefore, I was certain it must have been a spirit message of great significance.

Imagine my/our amazement, awe and wonder at finding this description (sourced  here):


Katydid teaches attunement to new vibrations and will aid in heightening intuition, sensitivity and awareness. They teach transformation in five stages as part of the molting process. Is it time to shed old ideas to make way for the new? Expect changes and new developments that will bring growth through reflection and patience as the sensitivity to mental, emotional and physical challenges are coming are your way. Katydids also teach the art of camouflage and the ability to evolve and use many survival techniques. Are you adapting to your surroundings? Are you blending in or standing out? Katydid will aid in strengthening senses and perceptions of the seen and unseen so whatever transformation stage you are in will be a time to be aware; mentally and spiritually sharp.

To this day we continue to be astounded by this course of events!  Words truly cannot accurately describe the profound transformation we experienced ~ and the tremendous humility and awe we felt at having this little green sentinel bless us with its magical, powerful, witnessing presence.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week 3 ~ Bugs (18/365)

This little green friend kept me company on the balcony for a few days.  It showed up on my deck chair and also skittered across the wood railing several times.  I enjoyed having it as a visitor.  :)

Tomorrow I will post another little green friend photo ~ with an AH-mazing story to go along with it!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Week 3 ~ Bugs (17/365)

Sometimes you're the windshield,
Sometimes you're the bug.

~Mark Knopfler

High-speed impact collision between moth, grasshopper (?) and windshield wiper!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week 3 ~ Bugs (16/365)

Spider...weaving webs of delight,
Weave me a peaceful world.
Carrying creation in your web,
Waiting to be unfurled!

~from Medicine Cards
by Sams & Carson

Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 3 ~ Bugs (15/365)

With MUCH gratitude to the wasp for remaining 
still and calm while I caught these glimpses!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week 2 ~ Sun (11-14/365)

Well, here I am again.  After a much-longer-than-expected hiatus (for which I've coined the term "lifeus interruptus"...because they seem to keep coming!), I'm resurrecting these daily photo posts.  Please forgive my absence and lack of dedication to my commitment.

(Three reasons for my sojourn away included a two-day, 500 mile road trip ~ nine days with my mother visiting here at the Lake ~ and more than two weeks without reliable internet service.  Oy!)

So, in some catch-up posts...I give you...more of the SUN!!!

Taken from my car window while driving South on I-75 in Ohio

The celestial toilet seat at my dear friend Persephone's house!

The view of my Kettering house as I back out of the driveway,
a part of the above-mentioned 500-mile journey.

Arriving back at the Lake, an indoor shot of my shower curtain!  :)

Tomorrow starts a new week ~ a bit off my original schedule of 365 days straight, but...oh, well.

The theme with be bugs, insects, and tiny crawling/flying creatures.  I've got some incredible shots & stories to share, so please stay tuned! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Week 2 ~ Sun (10/365)

Elusive Saturday Morning Sun

In what has been a mostly hot and dry summer, the past few days have brought clouds and storms.  Today is delightfully overcast, cool and breezy.  And as one who struggles in the humid heat, I am grateful for this respite.

As I type this, I am actually supposed to be on a road comprised of both business and pleasure.  And yet I procrastinate.  Or is it that I am listening to my Spirit?  And choosing differently? So many of my old ways of doing things are being replaced by new perspectives of navigating the world (and my obligations in it).

Here's a beautiful post that similarly describes where I find myself these days.  I think it might hit home with you, too.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Week 2 ~ Sun (9/365)

Even after all this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
"You owe me."

Look what happens
with a love like that,
it lights the whole sky.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week 2 ~ Sun (8/365)

Imagine my surprise when today, forecasted as mostly cloudy, I chose this week's theme of The Sun.

I went out this morning intent on capturing a photo of the actual Sun itself, but in the back of my mind I thought to keep my eyes open for another option.

Lakeside hosts an annual Arts & Crafts Show on the lawn in front of the Hotel Lakeside.  Today was the first day for that, so I decided to browse the booths.  It was quite an interesting time of strolling and admiring the varied handicrafts for sale by remarkable artisans.

Had I looked harder and longer, I probably could have found additional suns to shoot.  However, it was hazy, hot and humid and I didn't want to linger.  In addition, I had a rather lengthy conversation with one of the vendors (he makes gorgeous pens out of wood) which was both fascinating and disturbing.  I won't go into any details on the subject matter, but suffice it to say I was ready to make haste in taking my leave and heading home into the air-conditioned sanctuary of my apartment! is today's sun photo... a delightfully welcoming hand-painted birdhouse.  :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (7/365)

Late Morning Black-Eyed Susans

I have photographed this batch of flowers in years past.  Today, when I came out of Orchestra Hall, having spent another lovely hour with Philip Gulley's soul-stirring Quaker wisdom, I noticed the sun shining brightly on one half of the flowers, but not yet the others.  It struck me as relevant ~ a contrast of light and dark (or what we perceive as such) ~ which was the Scripture for Sunday's service.

"Where can I go to get away from your spirit?
Where can I escape your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there.
If I went to the grave, you would be there.
If I could fly on the wings of dawn,
stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean...
even there your hand would guide me;
your strong hand would hold me tight.
If I said, "the darkness will definitely hide me;
the light will become as night"
Even then the darkness isn't too dark for you!
Nighttime would shine bright as day,
because darkness is the same as light to you!

~Psalm 139:7-12, CEB

It is interesting to notice how the flowers still in the shade seem to have more depth of color.  In life, we often think of the dark times as bad, hard, wrong, unpleasant.  What I've learned though, it those are indeed the times when our light shines brighter and the qualities of our lives become more alive.  And we learn that we are not alone in the midst of the darkness.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (6/365)

Mixed purple flowers with variegated Coleus ~ outside our public library

I find myself dealing with some recurring anxiety this week ~ and am mindfully recalling the need, yet again, to remember what I have forgotten...

Happiness is not a brilliant climax 
to years of grim struggle and anxiety. 
It is a long succession of little decisions 
simply to be happy in the moment.

~J. Donald Walters

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (5/365)

I am giving up on my perfectionistic tendencies and posting a somewhat out of focus photo today.

My day started out nice and peaceful while enjoying a morning chaplain's hour with the amazing Quaker pastor, Philip Gulley.   This photo was taken shortly thereafter, near the venue.  I loved their little purple faces all clustered together like a tiny potted family of beings.

It wasn't until I got home (I'm guessing my new no-line bifocals have something to do with the adjustments in my photographic ability!) that I saw how blurry all of my shots were.

Suffice it to say the afternoon and evening unraveled ~ with crises that needed diffusing, boundaries that needing setting, and the emotional recovery necessary after those events.

So here, at 10:30pm, this is what today's post will be.....perfectly imperfect....just like my life!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (4/365)

Osho Zen Tarot with Buddha

I've had some mindblowingly incredible oracle card readings this week!  In this evening's rather lengthy spread, this card showed up...with flowers!  And while I had other plans for today's flower photo shoot, this unique improvisation seemed much more appropriate.  

Innocence appeared in my card spread under the category of 'what I am attracting from the outside'.  And, indeed, it serves to reaffirm that the way in which I am now choosing to live my life is being echoed by the wonder of creation all around me ~ and my newfound, delightful relationship with it.

"The old man in this card radiates a childlike delight in the world.
There is a sense of grace surrounding him, as if he is at home with himself
and with what life has brought.
He seems to be having a playful communication with the praying mantis on his finger,
as if the two of them are the greatest friends.
The pink flowers cascading around him represent a time of letting go,
relaxation and sweetness.
They are a response to his presence, a reflection of his own qualities.
The innocence that comes from a deep experience of life is childlike, but not childish.
The innocence of children is beautiful, but ignorant.
It will be replaced by mistrust and doubt as the child grows
and learns that the world can be a dangerous and threatening place.
But the innocence of a life lived fully
has a quality of wisdom and acceptance
of the ever-changing wonder of life."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (3/365)

Busy Bee on Hollyhocks

Life is a mosaic of pleasure and pain ~
grief is an interval between two moments of joy.
Peace is the interlude between two wars.
You have no rose without a thorn; 
the diligent picker will avoid the pricks
and gather the flower.
The is no bee without the sting;
cleverness consists in gathering the honey

~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (2/365)

Today felt like a black and white day.  Weather here brought a blustery wind from the Northeast, some rain and much-welcomed cooler temperatures.  With gusts of 20+ mph, I knew trying to capture flowers outside might be more challenge than I wanted to face.

In addition, with the utterly devastating news of the shooting tragedy in Colorado, my spirit needed to stay in the safety and calm of my cozy home.  As a highly sensitive person (HSP), empath, and emotional intuitive, days of national shock and mourning like today take their toll on my Being.

I stayed in meditative, contemplative silence most of the day.  The cats seemed to reflect my mood and maintained a mellow, close presence throughout the late morning and afternoon.  When I looked over at Tanner sleeping peacefully curled up on the couch, I soon realized, "Hey!  There are flowers on my couch!"

Thus, the subject for today's image.

* * * * * * * * * 

It is in tribute to ALL those affected by horrific violence across the globe, I offer this photo, divine prayer, and beautiful video:

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
And may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life
contribute in some way to that happiness
and to that freedom for all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Week 1 ~ Flowers (1/365)

Red Hibiscus at Lakeside Pavilion

We had a much-needed soft, cooling rain this morning.  I ventured down to the lakefront Pavilion for a foot reflexology session.  It was cool and breezy enough that I chose to cover myself with a fleece blanket during the relaxing release of tension and toxins. Ahhhh...

The landscaping in front of the Pavilion is one of my favorite places to find these majestic flowers.  They have been my source of study for perhaps the past three years.  I find them endlessly fascinating!

Little did I know that this one in particular is named Alicante, after a city in Spain.  Which is, of course, very serendipitous because I have an afternoon phone chat scheduled for later today with my magical friend Gail  ~ whose soul is most at peace on Spanish soils.  Perfect!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Arm's Length Studio

Sunset on the evening of the Venus Transit across the Sun ~ 6/5/12.

Back in 2006, when I started taking photography more seriously, I began using some of my shots to create photo greeting cards.  I had seen others market and make money in this simple yet powerful way, and found myself saying, "I can do that!"

Wanting to come up with a catchy brand name for my work, my husband brilliantly suggested "Arm's Length Studio".  It fit perfectly!  Since most of what I was capturing was indeed, just a mere camera extension of what could be photographed within my arm's reach, this new mindset provided a refreshing perspective from which to intention my artful hobby.

Amazingly, I sold many of my greeting cards ~ and gave away probably an equal number to friends and family.  It was an exciting time of creating something uniquely mine and sharing it with the world.

As the wheel of Life has turned and the years have passed, this branch of my entrepreneurship has waned, in light of more pressing demands on my time and energy.  However, in the past week, my kinship with and fondness for Arm's Length Studio has been rekindled.  When my blogging friend, Rebekah, suggested a 365 photo project (in honor of her birthday!), I again found myself thinking, "Hey, I could do that!"

The timing seems right, as my creativity has been all but absent in recent months.  I need to get back out  into the world, so to speak, and see with new eyes what stories and pictures my trusty little camera has to share. honor of this month's New Moon ~ and the day of two birthdays of family members (my sister and uncle) ~ I will launch my very own 365 days of Arm's Length Studio photo project this Thursday, July 19th!

In order to give myself some structure, it is my plan to have a weekly theme.  Tomorrow, while waiting for new brakes on my car, I will cut up 52 small pieces of paper, each marked with a theme word.  They will be folded nicely and then placed in a shoebox (which might even need its own decoration!) to serve as my version of a weekly drawing 'magic hat'.  :)

It seems funny to be starting on a Thursday.  (Of course, you KNOW I toyed with the whole Sunday/Monday starting day approach!)  But, given the unpredictability and massive-transformation quotient of my life these days, it seems rather fitting.   I need to continue to challenge myself and shake things up a bit!

(Oh yeah, you're invited to join in if you're so inclined!)

See you back here on Thursday!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Way Forward

Since words are not coming easily to this space these days, I've decided to accept an offer by the lovely Rebekah to embark on a 365 photo journey.  I know in my heart that my creative spirit needs to be rekindled and allowed to emerge, so I am hopeful this will jumpstart that process.

I hope you'll stay tuned!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 18 ~ New Discoveries

One of the things I love best about traveling is discovering newness!

Today's sojourn around Erie took me past this amazing shop.  My radar immediately went off and I had to do a U-turn to investigate.

Oh my goodness!  What a wonderful array of beautiful, exquisite pieces made from glass found along the shores of Lake Erie.  Neat!

I just might have found a new hobby!

* * *

Today I am grateful a multitude of new discoveries while visiting Erie, PA, just one of which is Lake Erie beach glass.  :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Days 14-17 ~ The List Grows

I'm writing this from Erie, PA ~ where I've come to spend some fantastically fun & adventurous time with some dear friends.

Needless to say, my gratitude list is growing exponentially!

~safe travel
~new sights & sounds
~good food
~Romolo's chocolates
~amazing art by Marcy
~buying incense in a cute local herb shoppe
~bubble water
~espresso, espresso, espresso
~learning to explore and empower my body in new ways with Christine's dance classes
~time away to rest, renew, and refocus

* * *
Mmmmm...definitely basking in sunny gratitude today. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 13 ~ The Clean Scene

There is a car wash here locally ~ one of those new-ish versions with a laundromat in the same building.  It is a top-notch outfit, let me tell you.

For the low, low price of only $3.00 you can ride your car through the automatic wash & rinse.  It does a really good job. And on certain days, you can even get a token for a free vacuum session!

It is one of the best deals around!!

And....on top of all that...when you drive away, there is a sign that reads:


That cracks me up!!!

* * *

Today, I am delightfully grateful for The Clean Scene car wash.  :-D

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 12 ~ Tanner

We were meant to be together.  This I know for sure.

For almost three years now he has been a faithful, loving companion.

He is a magnificent specimen of the feline kingdom.

All 15+ pounds of his buff stripy self!

I love him dearly.

Oh my, yes.  I am *most* grateful for my Tanner Boy

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 11 ~ The Marblehead Light

I don't remember how old I was when I fell in love with this lighthouse.  As best I can recall, it was a special site for me even back in high school.  And to this day, it continues to be a sacred space.

Each time I go, whether for just a few minutes or for a longer, more meditative visit, it is a reverent pilgrimage of sorts.  I find the energy there very centering, cleansing, and healing

Last summer, I had the chance (for the second time in my life, I believe) to tour the inside and navigate my way around the top open-air lookout.   The view is spectacular!

There's Cedar Point Amusement Park straight ahead in the distance.

And a wonderful view of the magical rocks below.  (More on those in another post.)

Then back down the 77 steps of the narrow, spiral staircase!

This is the oldest continually working lighthouse on Lake Erie, in operation sine 1822.  When the original light keeper died in 1832, his wife took over the role, making her the first woman light keeper on the Great Lakes.  (Click here to read more.)

There is a lovely museum house on the property now.  It contains an array of interesting historical treasures about the Lighthouse, as well as certain artifacts from the surrounding area.

If you ever have the chance to visit, I hope you do.  You will not be disappointed.

* * *

I am indeed grateful for the Marblehead Lighthouse. :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 10 ~ A Good Hairdresser

Finding a good hairdresser ~ who can handle short hair creatively ~ is a true blessing.

Recently, my 'go to' stylist left her place of employment and I was unaware of her new location.  So, in the meantime, I took a chance on a local salon, to which I had never been before.

The results were great!  And I am happy to report that it was an enjoyable encounter with a good outcome.

Yes, today I am grateful for good hairdressers!  :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 9 ~ These Trees

When I Am Among the Trees

~by Mary Oliver~
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, 
and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, 
to be filled with light,
 and to shine."

Almost every morning for the past six months, these trees have greeted me ~
faithful sentinels of strength and wonder.
Countless hours have been spent simply soaking in their beauty and majesty.

I am overwhelmingly grateful for their presence in my life at this time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 8 ~ My Honda

Today, I am grateful for my 1994 Honda Accord.

18 years ago this week I purchased it new ~ and it has served me well ever since.

With more than 194,500 miles on it now, it seems fitting that my new bumper sticker reads:

Powered By Optimism!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 7 ~ Miracles

As we become purer channels for God's light, we develop an appetite for the sweetness that is possible in this world. A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world that is, but toward creating the world that could be.

Marianne Williamson

They are all around us.   Every day.  With every breath.

They arrive when a lifetime of pieces fall perfectly, astonishingly into place.

And sometimes, when we're incredibly blessed with amazing grace from the Universe, they sit across the table from us, hold our hands, look into our eyes, and speak Truth to our being.

Today was one of those days.

* * * 

My goodness, how grateful I am for miracles!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 6 ~ Squirrels

I find them endlessly fascinating and entertaining!

And...they bring an important message.  (Click here to read more.)

Here on the North Coast of Ohio there are mostly red squirrels.  Compared to the common gray squirrel in the city areas, these furry friends are quite fat and fluffy!

I especially like it when they pose for a photo!

* * *

Today, I am grateful for squirrels.  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 5 ~ Spring

The sounds of birds singing, especially first thing in the morning.

The greening of the grass.

The budding of the trees.

The emergence of an amazing variety of flowers, trees, bushes.

The return of migrating animal friends.

The extended hours of daylight.

The warming of temperatures (with brief cold spells to give us perspective).

The return of my urge to travel.

The sights and sounds of neighbors emerging from their houses.

The shedding of heavy clothing.

And, ultimately, the overall promise of rebirth ~ that life will go on ~ and, as a part of Nature, I can embrace the cyclical nature of things and trust that I, too, am being renewed.

* * *
Today, I am grateful for SPRING!  :)