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It is still here, and I am still here. Sometimes, like these times, I get swept into a maelstrom of seemingly endless focused work hours and no sleep, and the last thing I feel like I can do is get on a computer when I finally set the work computer down for a two or three hour trifling doze of dreaming about work. Between overload and overtired, it almost took me down this time, to the depths, but MKL proved his wonderfulness again…when I called him, choice in hand, and said, “I need you to talk to me,” he didn’t ask what was wrong or why I needed this or what he should talk about. He just talked, about his day, about a phone call to his parents, about S3’s new car. Just talked. And listening to his deep, comforting, seductive voice talking about normal things that happen in lives when you have a normal amount of hours to live a life, made me choose to empty my hand and look forward to the prospect of holding his. It’s a strange thing, not living in the same house as a married couple (and yes, we’re working on it…we have a new plan.) We are not bound by the day-to-day battles over clean kitchen tables or piles of laundry or car parts, but we have made a point of identifying what our individual triggers are, and strategized on how to make it good for each of us. We’re being grown up about it. But now we are getting impatient, and more lonely for one another, and as sad as that sounds, it is a good thing. Adventures are in the offing, and I have so much to say. For now though, I may have half a day to breathe, and then back into the thick of the fray, so I thought I’d pop by to say hello. And bring you some flowers.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” — Neil Gaiman (one of my favorite authors)

Daily gratitudes:
The golden hem of the sunset’s slip against the black mountain’s silhouette
Lights reflecting out of chrome and steel windows
My head on MKL’s shoulder
My boss reading me a poem an old campfire poem – “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”
My fuzzy moose robe that feels like a hug from my husband
A dinner of Merlot and a lavendar bath

 

 

Bullying of any kind. Against LGBTQ people. Against people of different religions. Against people of differing political views. Against people of other races. Against people of other cultures. I stand against bullying and mockery of any and all humans.

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Asheville, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Desmond Tutu

Daily gratitudes:
A beautiful day
Coffee with MKL
Progress
Regrouping and determining next steps
Joy’s pictures of puppies at the beach

Springs
No matter how broken
Winter leaves me
I find that
Like a bough
Thought killed by the chill,
I recover
Under the warmth
Of the spring sun.

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Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Quote of the day: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” — Rachel Carson

Daily gratitudes:
Working to make things work
That my bout of illness has passed
Faith
Harris Tweed
MKL

40 Years At Sarah P. Duke

Come spring, the siren calls of memories,
Whispers in the wind saying, “Come home,
Come home, the daffodils are rebellious in bloom,
And the pansies of the long gravel walk
Yearn for your gentle touch on each velvet petal.”
Those short stone walls clamber for the feel
Of my shoes balance-walking down them.
The wisteria palace is approaching bloom, vines
Enveloping the gazebo in fragrant violet magic
Promising blosson clusters and later, velvet seapods.
I stand at the edge of the steps, waiting for the view to
Empty of souls, so I can survey my own
Private kingdom.
A descent to the fountains, tricking cherubs
Where my father used to scoop coins from the shoulder-deep pools
Of wishing wells for us on hot summer days.
He is gone now, but the fountains still sparkle.
Criss-crossing rows of bark mulch paths
Through beds of tulips and butterly bushes
Into shade beds of hostas and lilies of the valley.
Still descending, still cross-crissing
To the koi pond teeming with water lilies and dragonflies,
Then up the slate stones, slightly slippery, as they pass
The trickle-down waterfall
To the big sitting rock – the peasant’s view of the garden kingdom.
Down across another little waterfall, through the dark shade
Of climbing magnolias
Into the big meadow beyond
Where Sarah and I drank little bottles of pink champagne
And lay among the dandelions discussing philosophy and world affairs
And boys
While basking in the sun and avoiding the bees.

This haven, with its empty grass hills, where I snuck in
With high school boyfriends for moonlit make out sessions,
With sky-high pine trees where I gathered greenery
For the mantel at Christmas, filling paper grocery bags
And leaving with cold, resin-stained fingers,
With its Japanese garden and arching bridge
Redolant with peace and solitude.

The gardens call to me, with memories of roses and sweat,
Sweetness and spring.

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Durham, North Carolina.

Quote of the Day: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

Daily gratitudes:
Feeling some better
A talk with Charlotte
My voice when it sounds like Lauren Bacall
Spring coming
Soft blankets

 

 

 

I loved the colors of San Miguel. I could (and will) wander the streets for hours on end. It seemed that at every turn something new and different and beautiful caught my photographer’s eye. There were details, some accidental, some by design, and some a partnership with nature and the sun. But all were beautiful.

And I love bougainvillea. It was one of my Mother’s favorites. The first time I ever saw it was in San Francisco when I was 14. Mother hadn’t seen it in years, and was thrilled. She would have been delighted with this peach variation on the classic brilliant pink.

Weather report here in Colorado? Snow last Friday, 70 degrees today, snow on Wednesday. Welcome to Spring!

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “There’s a magic here working its way through my veins. There’s something about the vegetation, too, that I respond to instinctively – the stunning bougainvillea, the flamboyants and jacarandas, the orchids growing from the trunks of the mysterious ceiba trees.” — Cristina Garcia

Daily gratitudes:
Small barefoot toddlers
Meeting a dog at the bus stop this morning
MKL
Snagging the last bag of cat food for Mr. Man
Back-and-forth viewing between the presidential candidates and Dancing with the Stars

I’ve been quiet of late. Kelsea was home for a few days, which was beyond wonderful. Thanksgiving was awesome, thanks to my darling husband. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year in terms of the energy of joy in the air, so it brings lots of poignant memories. As we also approach the anniversary of my Mother’s passing, my mood turns inward and indigo. With all the pain of violent acts in our world recently that seem to be stacking up like firewood, my heart hardly knows where to turn. And so I give you another orchid. An orchid for peace. I promise that I’ll perk up and share some fun memories of Christmases past.

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Asheville, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” — Mother Teresa

Daily gratitudes:
Ginger-hair
Bookstores
Kisses
Cuddly blankets
That Kelsea will be home again soon
The shadows that leafless trees cast against brick walls

 

Prayers tonight for San Bernadino.

 

I love sunflowers. They’re so cheerful – almost as cheerful as daisies (one of my absolute favorites.) I had a couple of volunteers on the Easement of Evil this year, which was really nice, but the city objected to their height. (Scofflaw that I am, I left them anyway….just waiting for the citation to show up in the mail.) These, however, were in the lovely Aquarius Park off of Empire Road, a perfect place to watch a sunset. I caught up with this little spot of sunshine along the trail. As much as I love sunflowers, and as many wonderful memories as I have of them, I do always feel a little candle in my soul for Amanda MacDonald, the University of Colorado-Boulder freshman who died car-surfing down Flagstaff Mountain in 1994. Sunflowers were her favorite flower. Why I remember that – something I read in the newspaper about a young woman I never met – is curious, but poignant. I have told Kelsea about her, as one of those “this is why you don’t do that thing” lessons, so she remembers that about sunflowers as well.

Sunflowers
Louisville, Colorado.

Quote of the day: ““Who knows what may lie around the next corner? There may be a window somewhere ahead. It may look out on a field of sunflowers.”  — Joe Hill

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
How every time I call Western Washington University, an actual person answers the phone
Promises that everything will be okay – and I believe them
The one tree on the corner of Public Road and Cannon that is always full of birdsong in the afternoon
Creating half a trash bag of recycle as a first step to purging before moving.

Still basking in the glow of newlywed bliss – although it would be really nice if we lived together, but that will come. It’s been a time of many moods, getting ready to send Kelsea off to college. I bought her a one-way plane ticket, and that made me a little shocked. She cut off all her hair and she looks adorable. We know we have a limited number of trashy-tv-together nights, and it makes me a little weepy. So my blues have been coming and going like the tides, rising and falling. But my happiness at being Mrs. MKL and the wonderful memories of our wedding help keep the light in my heart. I had saved a “blue bomb” orchid blossom from a wedding I worked a year or more ago; it has sat on my bathroom shelf so I could describe it perfectly to the florist (shout out to Judy at Surf City Florist for an awesome job). I now wish I had saved a blossom from my own bouquet, but I’m so pleased that I was able to leave Kelsea’s with Lynn and mine with Janie to enjoy.

A Bridal Bouquet
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option.” — Marissa Meyer

Daily gratitudes:
The man in mismatched socks in the bus station
Pretty skies
Mothers who smile at their children (that happens less often than you might think)
MKL
Prairie dogs

My feisty friend at Half Girl Half Teacup has nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World award! It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the blog award circuit and I’m delighted, so stay tuned for my acceptance speech and nominations!

It has been a beautiful weekend for so many reasons, starting with this lovely peony that transformed itself as it bloomed. So much more to come!

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I want to try with someone who loves me enough to try with me. I want to grow old looking at the same face every morning. I want to grow old looking at the same face every night at the dinner table. I want to be one of those old couples you see still holding hands and laughing after fifty years of marriage. That’s what I want. I want to be someone’s forever.” — Rachel Gibson

Daily gratitudes:
Mountains
Road trips
Champagne
Moonrise
Cottonwood Hot Springs
Love
MKL

When you think about it, we all start as seeds, in a way. And we grow, impacted by the circumstances of our lives, as the growth of a seed is determined by the soil in which it is rooted, how it is cared for, and the forces of nature that cause it to thrive. We can see each other’s changes on the outside, but it is a rare blessing when we can peek inside of a living thing and see all the petals that surround its core, its heart. As this image gives you a peek inside a rose, this blog gives you a peek inside of my spirit.

Inner Rose

Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair.” — Daphne du Maurier (and I am most often a woman with untidy, tousled hair.)

Daily gratitudes:
A lovely day
Winning the battle with the lawn mower (but not with the voles)
Mr. Man feeling a tiny bit more like himself
Clean sheets
Showers digging in the dirt.

 

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