2013 Peony Series – 02

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

60 Seconds of Happiness60 Seconds of Happiness

Why the above quote?  In my post titled  “2013 Peony Series – 01” I provided the meanings of the Peony.  Anger was one of the meanings.  I chose this quote and image not because the image makes me feel angry, but because if you look closely at the image there is a Peony hiding in the background as though perhaps it is angry, or has caused anger.

I love the quote because it is so true and there is no value in holding onto anger, only in letting it go.



“Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the worlds, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.” – Ben Okri



2013 Lily Series – 03


“Oft expectation fails, and most oft where most it promises; and oft it hits where hope is coldest; and despair most sits” – William Shakespeare


“I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.” – Frederick Perls




It is somewhat ironic that expectation is the word that came to mind when contemplating this evening’s post.  Why, you might ask.  Because tonight I am filled with both excitement and anticipation, and trying not to escalate my expectations of the gallery opening I am participating in tomorrow evening.  The Buck’s County Project Gallery has its debut tomorrow night and the owner, who is also an artist and photographer, asked me to participate when she saw my sunflower series earlier this year.  I was very honored and am filled with gratitude that she found my work worthy of her gallery featuring fabulous photography by Buck’s County artists.  Even more ironic, is that the author of the second quote above was born in Germany,  as was Stephanie, the gallery owner, who, I believe, lives by the philosophy so eloquently stated in the quote.

Sharing Christmas Traditions for the Joy of Others

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” – Charles Schulz

“Christmas is love in action.  Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” – Dale Evans

“Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” – Calvin Coolidge

I chose the above quotes for this post because of the experience my family and I had today.  Every year at Christmas I try to coordinate a giving project for us to do as a family.  Something that will impact the thoughts and hearts of our children and to remind them of how blessed we are to have each other and the life we have together.  This year, our project involved little extra time and effort and produced big smiles and much gratitude.  We took a Christmas tradition from our home and shared it with those who do not have a home or family with which to share traditions.

Every year we as a family work together to make dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies and candies.  It is a tradition.  Every hand is involved and we spread Christmas cheer to our neighbors and friends by giving them each a tray of the goodies that we only make once a year.  This year we took this a step farther.  We made a huge tray of cookies and delivered them to a homeless shelter for youth.  We paired the cookie tray with a bundle of gift cards, one for each child presently staying in the shelter.  We delivered the cookies and cards this afternoon and I have to say I have been an emotional wreck since.  Yes, my heart is filled with joy from the act of giving, but my heart is also breaking for these young kids who have no one to hug them, to love them, or to shower them with the gift of family togetherness or traditions this Christmas, or maybe even any Christmas.

I tell you this not to obtain praise for doing something nice, but to share the Christmas spirit and to share the idea so that others may do something as simple as sharing a homemade gift with someone who otherwise would not be so blessed.  To me, this is Christmas love in action.  Sharing the joy found in the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Joy to Be Shared

Christmas Joy to Be Shared

Sharing Family Traditions to Give Joy to Others

Sharing Family Traditions to Give Joy to Others

Withdrawn…for a Reason

“Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.” – Miller Williams


The Quiet

“Much of what was said did not matter, and much of what mattered could not be said.” – Katherine Boo

This quote is so true, on so many levels.

The Quiet When the Voice has no Strength


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ― Dr. SeussThe Lorax

While John and the boys were camping this weekend, Gracie and I took advantage of the quiet time and rented a movie.  It was her treat to choose dinner, pizza of course, and the movie.  She chose “The Lorax”.  Can I tell you that I enjoyed the movie very much?  I really did.  The quote above was shown on the screen towards the end of the movie, and of course can be found in the book by none other than Dr. Seuss.   Gracie enjoyed the movie so much she asked the boys to watch it with her when they arrived home.  It was a hit all the way around.  And the quote above, what more can I say about it?  I love it.  Dr. Seuss certainly had a way with words and his quotes have so much meaning, as well as application for all generations.

As I was contemplating which image to post this evening this tree came to mind in light of having watched “The Lorax”.  We were in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina recently and the trees with the Spanish Moss hanging from them reminded me of Dr. Seuss trees.  With that said, I thought it appropriate to post an image of one of the  trees with Spanish Moss.

It is not an award winning image by any many means, but I liked the contrast in the lighting and it reminded me of Dr. Seuss.