Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday, all!!

Thankful for:
  • The dark cloud that consumed me yesterday finally lifted (sigh.. thank God)
  • Folks that help out when I need help, even though it's extremely hard for me to ask for help. I can dish it out, but I just can't ask for it for myself (need group therapy, Lol!)
  • Son's joy at the arrival of his new Special Olympic T-shirt
  • The joy & peace I feel when I'm on a photo walk. So much beauty to be appreciated
I know the list is short today, but my mind has been so weighted down lately that I've been forcing myself to count my blessings & take the focus off myself. I'm thankful all the same, yet distracted. Hopefully, I'll be able to express greater thanks next week :-\

Pictures by me :-]

(in this season, the hydrangeas are really sweet; perfect for drying; I chased this Monarch butterfly around like a crazy woman before he finally landed; and lastly - my neighbor's Zinnias are still going strong - even through the frost!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Son + "Fragile X" Syndrome = Love

Happy Monday, folks.

Yesterday, Son & I took a 2-hour photo walk. The sun was out, only a high of 62, but I knew rain was on the horizon so I wanted to make sure the camera got exercise (Lol). Luckily, it was a beautiful, blue sky day. Even though it's nearly November, there is PLENTY of beauty out there to be found.

But first, this picture is 23 years old. It's my favorite picture of all time of Son & I. He was a little over a year old, had been diagnosed with being mentally delayed, (born w/"Fragile X, " or "Bell-Martin Syndrome") and I was still trying to wrap my head around that. Everything I had envisioned changed; I had to slow myself down. Way down. And prepare myself to learn from my new teacher (him).

This is Son today (yesterday, in fact during our walk). He'll be 24 in a couple of weeks. If you had a chance to click on the Fragile X link above, it pretty much describes him. In fact, eye-contact is such a problem for him, that getting him to look directly in the camera is a hit or miss. Thank God for digital cameras where you can erase & have do-overs :-)

But all in all, I am so PROUD to have my perfectly made son. My mother says God gave him to me like this because he knew I'd be able to take care of him. Everyone compliments me on what a kind gentleman he is, he's a hard worker & wants nothing more than to please everyone, and that makes me proud. His neurologist said that even though he's nearly 24, due to delay - he's technically 16/17 year of age mentally.

When I first learned of his delay, I was depressed. I mean DEEPLY PRESSED. I don't think I set myself free until his neuro used the word "retarded." When Son was 13, doctor told me to make long term plans for him due to his "mental retardation." No one had ever used that word pertaining to Son. That very day, I let it go. I took focus of my selfishness & focused on how remarkable Son was/is as a person. I banked on what he COULD do as opposed to what he COULDN'T do. The world opened up & the weight had been lifted. It wasn't till I joined HIS level that I understood. After all, I had the problem with all this - not Son. All he did in this was be born.

I will always appreciate & honor Special Olympics for it is where both he & I blossomed. We found a whole other world of "us" - anyone & everyone was/is accepted. And my lesson was in seeing all types of children with various disabilities and other parents dealing in their own ways, and I felt such a kinship with these people. Son has been involved with Spe.Olympics since he was 9 years old, so we have quite a large "family." Imagine - you watch the same group of guys grow into young men while playing baseball, softball, basketball, now track, weightlifting, etc. Each season of each sport is like a family reunion. We truly are family, thanks to our blessed young men & women.

God is good.

Pictures by: me :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011


In the middle of the City, I happened on a shaded spot

With a mighty willow tree, dancing in the wind with hair-like movement.

I pulled over, and ventured boldly up the trimmed walk
It never occurred to me that the owner(s) of the property would protest

When I turned the corner, I gasped with delight
It was a shaded oasis, a paradise, full of dappled light
Birds sang loudly, the squirrels did their dance
Every spot my eyes landed, we filled with pots of colorful plants

Oversized cushions begged me to sit, to let the day drain away
To offload some shit :-\

My shoulders relaxed, but then I got jarred
When he opened the door & said,
"hey; how long you been in the backyard?"

Pictures by: me. This really IS my backyard. :-}
Sunday Scribbling word prompt: "My Backyard"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Good morning, all! Happy Thursday; we're almost at the weekend. Giving thanks today for:
  • Catching the beautiful sunrise (above) yesterday on the drive in. I don't drive on the freeway, so finding hidden treasures like this make me thankful, indeed
  • Being a trusted confidential friend to a friend. I am thankful for her trust in me
  • Lunch with mom today. Being the bad girl that I am, I haven't talked to her since last week, so when I called to confirm lunch, just hearing her voice made me thankful :-)
  • "D" getting employed, the employment being so close to home, & the joy he is feeling at getting his self-worth & self-esteem back. Honestly, I haven't seen him this joyous in a long time. It's long overdue in every way
  • My friend, Cassie, just completing a 13.5 mile walk in San Francisco. That chick is my "Shero!!!!"
  • Compliments on my photos. I know I mention this a lot, but it gives me such joy inside when others appreciate what my eyes see :-)
  • Reflecting back on this fact, every time I think my job is meaningless
  • Not having a dime to my name until payday (more than a week away), but trusting that we'll make it :-)

  • ALWAYS being thankful to God that He makes a way for us to 'always make it.'
And that's all I have off the top 'o my head for this week. Thanks for coming by, and remember to always stay thankful!

Pictures by: me
Aren't the red flowers beautiful? I drive daily past a house where they are. The other day, I jumped outta traffic, pulled over & proceeded to edge onto the edge of the yard to shoot a few. The color called to me - I just had to have it. If the folks noticed me, they didn't say anything... nor did they call the police. Another thing to be thankful for... (LOL!!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Call

I wasn't going to answer, but then I took The Call. It guided my day in this kind of way:

  • Treat yourself to that gorgeous fall bouquet
  • Let yourself linger in bed after you wake. Let your mind wander & adjust to being awake, and wonder why you never clearly remember your dreams
  • Take your time and drink your coffee
  • It's okay to go from one campy dollar store to another & love it
  • Enjoy the powerful wind, bright sky & colors
  • Be friendly & smile. Folks seem to appreciate it
  • Hold close the sincere thanks & blessings the guy in the library gave when I told him to buy his next coffee(s) on me
  • Enjoy the packs of fake fall leaves you're going to sprinkle on the fireplace mantle
  • Deeply inhale the Seed Pumpkin & Spice & Hot Apple Cider soy candle(s)
  • Give thanks for the simplicity, & cozy effects of a pot of chili
  • It can wait: didn't that feel good to take 2 hours readings 2 mags, cover-2-cover?
  • Get started with the "OWH" stamp that came in the mail. I did something like this last year
  • Shoot as many frames as you want to & take as long as you want to
  • Enjoy the anticipation of watching "For Colored Girls" from at the library. Booyah!!
  • Exhale

I'm so glad I answered the phone. :-)

Pictures by: me
Sunday Scribbling Word prompt: "The Call"


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Good morning, friends. Happy Thankful Thursday!!! I am extremely burned out mentally; I think I'm "sleep posting", yet I am thankful for:
  • my friend, Cassie, living her life to the fullest after (& still ongoing) cancer battle. Since her bone marrow transplant(s), surgeries, & horribly grueling treatments have ended, she's been walking up to 5 miles daily on the beach; traveling; organizing & walking in cancer-walk marathons. She is my constant inspiration in every way. She puts most of us to shame, especially with her outstanding bright spirit & attitude. When she asked God for her life, she truly meant to live it. There's not a day that goes by that she doesn't inspire me. GO TEAM CASSIE!! :-)
  • working in an environment where I can listen to jazz all day long
  • getting a nod of encouragement from a professional photographer on my picture (on this very picture, in fact). God, please give me the sense to know how to do bigger things with my stuff
I'm sure there is more than I'm thankful for, but I'm so tired, I can't think. Those were a couple of things at the forefront of my mind.

Until next time - stay thankful!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Walkin' in Sunshine

Hey friends! Uggh... Fall is getting under way here - the 70 temps. are giving way to lower ones as the week goes on. I try to get a walk in while I still can. Camera in hand, of course. Enjoy and happy Tuesday! :-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Good morning everybody! Happy Thankful Thursday. We're one day away from what's to be a gorgeous weekend, weather-wise, here in the big OH. This may be our last opportunity to bring the grill back out, so let's make the most of it!! Today, I'm thankful for:
  • Being able to capture the beauty of the fog yesterday morning. Yes, I was late for work, but it was worth every second
  • Being able to capture the low-lying fog THIS morning (not pictured - will post later). If traffic allows, from now on, I will always pull over when I see something photo-worthy
  • Again - the feeling of 'maybe I DO have a talent at this thing' when folks compliment my photos :-)
  • Steve Jobs for being such amazing human being & creating the iPod, etc.. I appreciate my iPod more than ever now. God rest his soul :-(
  • My boss providing gourmet cupcakes & "Yuengling" beer for my best friend's birthday visit at my house. I so appreciate her (boss's) thoughtfulness
  • Thursday lunches w/mom & my brother
  • The beautiful Fall weather we're having
  • Secretly sending paperback books to an unknowing recipient :-)
  • Everything that "D" does around the house
And that's all I have for now. Until next Thankful Thursday, everyone have a great, blessed day!

Pictures by: me :-}
Photographed at Lake Cable, Ohio - my daily route to work. Talk about blessed, huh?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From Karen to Carol

Hey folks! Happy Tuesday.

I found this book @ the library 'side-table book sale'. I loved the cover immediately.

When I opened the inside, this was written:

This was my favorite part of the note. An everyday message for all of us. I wonder how Carol's book ended up @ the donated book sale? Maybe she took what she needed from it & passed it on. Clearly, Carol isn't a book hoarder like me.

Then I got this one, too. 1) It's my son's nickname and I've always liked seeing it in bold, strong print, and 2) I like the premise of the story of a carpenter, whom is very Jesus-like, moving to a small town & freaking everybody out. (Lol!) I have seen this book around forever. I'm glad I bought it.

Lastly, I wanted to share the beauty of one of my treasures. A sweet, angel friend who always encourages me to live, laugh & love, sent me this great journal. What are the odds of her finding these very words? I also have a rubber stamp w/this same phrase. It's a welcome, constant message. Look closely @ the 'real' stitching on the cover. Swoon.

Plus fresh, new, lined pages begging for attention. I Love. It.

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thoughts Not My Own

Good morning, everyone. The weekends are truly the fastest things on earth. I hope all of yours were relaxing. On this rainy first Monday of the new month, I'll share pix from last week's lunch break & give some great quotes on 'thought' since I can't seem to seem to form my own thoughts into words today. Enjoy! :-)

Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

What we think, we become.

Thought is free. William Shakespeare

A man is what he thinks about all day long. Ralph Waldo

Change your thoughts, and you change your world Norman Vincent Peale (I call this one "land of the forgotten toys." A park that has been rebuilt pushed all the old playground toys to the woods. They looked sad to me :-\)

The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry. Maya Angelou

You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. James Allen

The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money. Thomas Jefferson (I came upon this bench in the woods. Doesn't it invite you to sit & stay awhile?)

One great use of words is to hide our thoughts Voltaire (I call this one "wild & wicked")

Best News of the Day

Hey, folks. Sister #1 has decided to take Sister #2 up on the offer of renting mom's house!!!! My heart was so overjoyed @ this news...