It’s that time of year — time to enjoy the great outdoors. Soaking up sunshine, digging in the dirt, planting a seed and watching its development, listening to the birds singing, observing wildlife, discovering new insects! Endless opportunities and enchantments! Isn’t nature marvelous! No matter the weather, do your best to enjoy some time outdoors wherever you are. Make it a daily habit. Clear your mind and absorb your surroundings. Exhilarating! An elixir for the soul!
Do you ever stop to ponder where you are in life, how you got there, where you’ve been, where you are headed?
I’m an avid reader. And, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, someday I’d like to write my own stories. “someday I’d like to” Do you see anything wrong with that statement?
A quote I read once upon a time that I often repeat to my sons went something like this: “four birds sat on a wire, one decided to fly away, how many were left on the wire?”
Just because I want to or would like to or think about doing anything doesn’t get it done. I dream, I think, I ponder. These are good starting points but where is the action that catapults these thoughts/dreams/wants/desires into reality.
Ponder, plan, and proceed.
I just finished reading “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. A great read in my opinion. It has given me a different perspective as I ponder where I’ve been, where I am, how I got here, and the direction in which I travel.
Follow your dreams! You may face fear, uncertainty, obstacles. It may take some hard work, stamina, motivation, encouragement, time, frustration, and patience. But with your drive, determination and effort, someday in your future as you ponder where you’ve been and how you got there you will find the joys in the journey of your life.
May you make all of your dreams and wishes a reality!
Be excited because today is the day you get to start reinventing yourself.
Put on some Reiki, Zen, Piano, (whatever resonates with you) music, maybe something to evoke your spirit which will help you find your purpose.
Fix yourself a cup of tea.
Light a candle or burn your sage smudge stick while your tea is heating.
Open a window to help release negative energy from your home.
Find a quite, beautiful place to sit and listen to the music while you sip your tea. Maybe on your porch or outdoors so any negative energy can dissipate and you can absorb the beauty of nature.
Clear your mind and breathe (takes practice).
After this do a few stretching exercises to show your body some appreciation.
Grab a paper and pen/pencil/paint marker; something pretty to write on and with, maybe even one of your color book pages you can jot down thoughts along the edges.
Without thinking about your current circumstances; where you live, what you do, what you’ve done, your age, your health; write down your dream life; the career that will make you happy, where you will live, where you will travel, who you will be with, people who make you happy (known or not yet met), how you will dress, items that make you happy, activities that make you happy, how you carry yourself. Everything you can think of you can do. This is where you’ll start.
It is never too late to reinvent yourself and become the person you’ve always dreamed of or get back to that person that you once were.
Change starts from within and your thoughts become your reality.
When/if any negative, destructive, or self doubt creeps into your mind, go back to your page and doodle, draw, color, write, read and remind yourself what a STRONG, CONFIDENT, BEAUTIFUL WOMAN/MAN YOU ARE!
I believe in you and can’t wait to see you blossom through this new challenge in your life.
Be invigorated, enthusiastic and excited as you rediscover yourself.
And, just so you know, just writing this note to you is giving me the same incentive. Let’s do this together!!!!!!!! Have a terrific day!!!!!
Excerpts from a recent note to my penpal, Eileen…..
As I pause in writing you this note I look over at Greg who is watching me. He has this funny smile on his face. I say, “what?” He says, “I was just watching you, typing away and then you stop and sigh”. I tell him that I am writing you a long overdue note but I don’t have anything interesting to say because I haven’t done anything different lately. He laughs and says, “tell her you’re staring at the four walls, it’s cold, it’s raining, it’s snowing…..ha, ha, ha”.
So, I will make up a story to entertain you…..maybe……here goes……thinking…….
Easter Sunday 2020. This year due to…… a) a wicked virus, b) a travesty set in motion by evil sources to wreck the US and/or it’s governing body(ies) (conspiracy theory), c) God’s wake up call, d) all of the above……. we were unable to spend the holiday with our family and traditions. Although we were disappointed and sad we realized we were still blessed and had the opportunity to be creative with how we would spend this Easter Sunday.
We headed out to the woods in search of morels. What a beautiful way to visit with God, in nature. Somewhat overcast, it was still a beautiful day.
Early in the morning, between rain showers, we jumped on the four wheeler and skiddadled up the hill to our super secret spot known for a plentiful morel harvest in previous years.
Me with my rubber wellies and Greg with his steel toed boots we entered nature’s portal with high hopes and determination. The ground was moist and covered with a blanket of crunchy brown leaves and soft bright green moss.
We slipped and slid, as we found our way over fallen logs, through spider webs stretched between bushes, down valleys, up hills.
We paused to appreciate the delicate flowers and plants pushing though to start their new journey of growth and beauty; dutchmen’s britches, jack in the pulpit, mayapples, ferns; to name a few.
Overhead squirrels twittered their annoyance with our invasion and birds sang their beautiful wake up songs. All else was quite. Pausing for a moment I took my cell phone from my pocket to snap a few pictures…..for prosperity sake. On hindsight I wish I would have left the cell phone at home; cherish the moment, maintain the memory.
The mossy hill called out to me; come rest here.
The flowers lifted their heads; be strong, have faith.
The wind blew gently; embracing my body. The sun peeked out from behind a cloud; all is bright.
Yes, we did find a few morels
but what we really found was the beauty of Life and a peak at the abundance of God’s gifts and many Blessings. Not the traditional egg hunt and chocolate bunnies and church service. No, something much deeper than that. So next year, if we’re so blessed that Easter Sunday brings us the opportunity to spend it with family and friends in addition to the Easter baskets and family dinner I think we’ll add a new tradition and add a nature hike to our celebration of Life!……..(no phones/cameras allowed). The end! (or maybe the beginning 😊 )
So, there you go, our Easter story 2020. Funny, I was going to write a story about finding a village of fairies in the woods while mushroom hunting but I guess I’ll have to save that one for another day.
Swallows Nest Pottery (Etsy Shop) meets JudysTreehouse (Etsy Shop) a unique and beautiful collaboration.
“Serendipity (noun) – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”
Etsy has been a joyous journey for me. I’ve found some awesome treasures along my way…..not only material treasures but awesome people and treasured friendships I will forever cherish.
These beautiful pottery pendants were created by the most lovely lady, Eileen. Our serendipitous friendship began around Christmas time last year when I found her lovely pottery shop on Etsy and purchased a few of the beautiful pottery platters she creates for gifts. A simple question about internet providers and living in the country started a lively chatter and a new friendship blossomed.
I haven’t met her in person yet but we are cyber pals and chat weekly, if not more.
She sent me these gorgeous pendants she created and said, “Girl, see what you can do with these” and now we have a few collaborated pieces……so cool!
So the moral of my story is……”life is a journey and the people you meet along the way”. And, for me Etsy has turned into more than just a market place of cool unique treasures. It’s a cool people place, too.
Check out Eileen’s lovely pottery creations. I have one of her gorgeous egg platters and the most awesome bowl and look forward to adding more of her beautiful pieces to my collection.
Of late I’ve really been getting into and enjoying herbal teas. I guess you could say they are my newest addiction. There’s just something about the “mystic” of the blends, the “calm” in waiting for the water to heat, the “melodic” whistle of the tea kettle calling your attention, the “clarity” of the hot water as you pour it into your cup, the “anticipation” of good things to come as the leaves and flowers “meld” together to become a “unity” of unique, earthy flavors and aromas, the “vision” of nature as I add a drop of raw honey to sweeten the moment, the feeling of “peace” that engulfs me as I wrap my hands around the warm cup and bring it to my lips to enjoy the fruition of my preparations.
Truly a zen moment and one I enjoy at least twice a day.
I’ve grown herbs, dried herbs but never really started growing and harvesting herbs for the purpose of medicinal and culinary uses.
Most of my herbs and tea blends I purchase on line from MountainRoseHerbs.com. I love their blends and their huge selection of herbs and more. And, I’ve quite the supply on hand.
For quite a while I’ve been on the lookout for a cool, vintage storage cabinet type piece to create an apothecary cabinet to display and store my earthy treasures. Every now and then I would stumble across something that I thought might work but never got that “this is it” feeling so I’d continue my search.
Recently, on a trip to Lisa’s Antique Mall in Auburn, Illinois I found another piece, actually three pieces, that I thought would be perfect. Now, Greg doesn’t share my enthusiasm for old, vintage furniture. So when I would point them out to him he’d just shrug and say, “get it if you want it”. Hmmm, that doesn’t help solidify a “this it it” feeling. So I hemmed and hawed with indecision. Greg went out to the jeep for a fit measurement to be sure we could haul it home. He came back and gave me the thumbs up. We put our heads together to discuss an offer and came up with a number. But in the end, as usual, I had talked myself out of it.
Well, all this took place about two weeks before our wedding anniversary. Imagine my surprise when Greg disappeared for a few hours and upon returning told me I “had” to go out to the jeep, he had something he wanted to show me. Yep, the cabinet. So cool but the real gift is the gem of a husband I have.
So now I have the start of an apothecary cabinet. I love it. And, I think MountainRoseHerbs.com has been loving me lately, too, as I fill my shelves with herbal goodness.
Now my goal is to expand my herbal knowledge and continue to work on creating my very own herb and flower garden that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also with culinary and medicinal benefits and regenerative in nature. Not to mention more foraging for beneficial plants that grow wild and untamed. Cool places in which to further enjoy some Zen moments.
Then there’s my love of incense which has piqued my creative curiosity with thoughts of blending and forming my own little cones of sensory delights. But I’ll save that for another day. Right now I am very happy with the incense from LeftOverHippies.etsy.com. Hazel’s blends are perfectly earthy and spicy and the best I have ever enoyed. And, enjoy them I do on a regular basis.
As I grow older I find myself changing my ideas and ways of living in ways I’d never imagined. It’s refreshing and peaceful and amazing this life. And, change can lead to growth and experiences and joy you’d never imagine.
And, so I leave you now with Blessings for a joyful journey, a few ideas for perfect Zen moments, and a fruity herbal iced tea recipe…..
daily; read inspirational, deep, thought provoking books. I am currently reading Wayne W. Dyer’s “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem” Great read!
have a tea ritual like the one I explained in my opening here
take a walk in the country, breathe deep, look beyond what you seen in front of you, and listen for the sounds that aren’t obvious
think of someone you know, maybe even someone you don’t know well, look beyond their appearance and the little you know about them; think of their spirit and send them blessings
This recipe is from “The Medical Medium” by Anthony William and an excerpt from a recent post from his Facebook page.
“Lemon Balm Wild Blueberry Iced Tea
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 lemon balm tea bags https://amzn.to/2FyeF04
4 cups of water
Ice, to serve
Handful of fresh lemon balm, for garnish
Place the wild blueberries, maple syrup and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over low heat until the wild blueberries are mushy, about 5 minutes.
Add the water and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off, add the tea bags and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Pour everything through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher or bowl, using the back of a spoon to squeeze out juice from the blueberries and tea bags. Chill the tea for about an hour in the fridge, then serve over ice with fresh lemon balm for garnish.
Lemon balm: Kills viruses, bacteria, and other pathogenic microorganisms inside the liver. Makes a better environment in the intestinal tract, which supports the delivery of cleaner nutrients from the gut to the liver. Lemon balm calms the nerves of the liver, causing it to be less spasmodic, agitated, and angry, while also calming the nerves inside of the intestinal lining, which lowers toxic heat inside the liver. It also supports the adrenals, which makes the liver less toxic.
Wild blueberries: Contain dozens of undiscovered antioxidants, including anthocyanin varieties. There’s not just one pigment inside a wild blueberry; there are dozens of pigments not yet researched or studied. The wild blueberry is to the liver as mother’s milk is to a baby. Not only do wild blueberries have the ability to grab on to plenty of troublemakers, they also hold on to them as they leave the liver, in a way that most other healing foods cannot. The pigments in wild blueberries have the ability to saturate deep into liver cells and cross cell walls and membranes inside the liver, spreading their blue everywhere. Wild blueberries enhance the intestinal tract, feeding good bacteria there, which benefits the liver greatly.”
So, let your wild self free, enjoy new journeys and adventures and always look beyond for the glory of each and every moment.
Maybe you just simply smiled at someone and you made a connection. And that person smiled back and said Hi. A simple action followed by a simple word and a new friendship relationship is built.
I’ve had the pleasure on a few occasions to meet a few people by chance. And those unlikely meetings have blossomed into the most wonderful relationships.
My husband! The chances that we’d meet were unlikely but a connection was made and we are living together Happily Ever After.
New friends…..you know who you are! Although we live hundreds of miles apart we’ve established the very strong bond of a true, real lasting friendship.
Old friends……you know who you are! Although we may have drifted apart over the years, as life takes us down different roads and new journeys, we still manage to find our way back to one another, even if only for a moment or two…..always we remain with each other in heart and spirit.
Friends of friends……you may not know who you are but I do! I appreciate knowing you through my relationships with others.
Think of the hundreds or maybe thousands of people we run into by chance. Some we may never see again but there may have been a tiny flicker of acknowledgement. A small catalyst that could ignite a forever relationship.
Think of the thousands or millions of people we will never meet but touch our lives through ways we will never even realize. The person who packages up your Amazon order; or cooked your delicious meal; or cleaned your hotel room; or hauled away your trash; or made your new dress……. Do you ever consider these people? I try to.
There are so many people that touch our lives. So many that it would be impossible to have a meaningful relationship with all of them. But how awesome if we could…….make a special place for each other. And we can and should, even if only to share a smile, a hello, a thank you. Because, as the saying goes, nice matters.
My “people” are so very special. I appreciate each and every one of you. What a delight it is when you reach out and share a little piece of yourself and suddenly a new relationship begins to blossom……
Life is a journey and the people we meet along the way become a part of our narrative……..in ways we may or may not ever know. Seek out and embrace the good in each and every interaction. The life you live is your story, the people you meet are your characters, each day is a new chapter. Make it a best seller!
The summer days are ticking by. Beautiful sounds, changing scenery, gorgeous colors, earthy scents!
I love summertime…………
And, I love taking walks. I’ve started this quest to walk 500 miles…….just a few miles at a time mind you…..I’m not Wonder Woman……although, aren’t we all full of wonder! Yes, we are. Sometimes we just have to dig deep down inside to reminder ourselves. I find walking is a great way to find peace of mind and gratitude for all of the beauty and greatness this life has to offer.
https://www.facebook.com/judystreehouse (“Like” and “Follow” JudysTreehouse on Facebook. From time to time I’ll post items I have in the works, new items, fashion ideas, and just plain cool “shares” of things I find beautiful and interesting.”
I love love love making these etched copper sun catchers. Each one has a story of some kind.
Here’s the story behind the “Life Is A Journey And The People We Meet Along The Way” sun catcher prisms I created.
You know those times when you meet someone for the first time and you later wonder if it was a one time chance meeting or maybe the meeting of your soulmate or a lasting true friendship.
I created this copper sun catcher after just one of those chance meetings during a weekend road trip Greg and I took to Galena, Illinois.
You haven’t been there? You should change that to haven’t been there “yet” and but it on your bucket list of places to visit. It is a quaint little river town in Northern Illinois with much to see and do. Historical. Cool, old buildings. Beautiful landscape and an awesome drive, especially in the fall. We’ve been to Galena a couple of times and always find something new to discover.
My photos don’t do the town justice! Just go there and see it for yourself.
So, here’s the story behind the creation of this sun catcher. On our last visit to Galena we stayed at the historic Desoto House Hotel. Lovely stay and I highly recommend. Our package deal offered a few cool amenities including tickets to the Galena Historical Society and a Galena Trolley Tour. (And, yes, I highly recommend both.)
We decided on the early morning trolley tour. We rose early, had breakfast at a local restaurant and took a stroll down the streets of Galena basking in the serenity of still quiet streets as the stores were not yet opened and the town not yet bustling with tourist activity.
As we strolled we absorbed the beauty of the morning, browsing in windows of quaint little shops and antique stores, and taking in the sights around us. We came upon one of the long stairways of Galena and I jokingly challenged Greg to a race up the steps.
There was a woman sitting on a bench who heard me make the challenge. She commented on the steps and started giving us a little history behind them. As we chatted with her the topic of the trolley popped up. She, too, had a ticket to ride. So, she joined us as we continued our stroll to the trolley station.
There she introduced herself to us as Katherine Walker, Executive Director of Tourism for Jo Daviess County. She also introduced us to a couple she had made previous arrangements to meet for the trolley tour; Phoebe Smith, from the United Kingdom, Editor for Wanderlust Magazine and, John, her photographer.
These two travel all over the WORLD experiencing and reporting on beautiful places to visit. Talk about an awesome career. They were in the United States traveling down the Mississippi River stopping to explore the river towns along the way. Very cool to have met them and have had the opportunity to chat with them. The article was set to be published sometime in the fall of 2017, if I recall correctly. I’m going to look into that. I’d love to see their article.
Anyway, we all boarded the trolley and enjoyed a great tour. Being early in the morning there weren’t many other passengers. A fabulous time to ride and be able to get great views from both sides of the trolley car.
After the tour, Katherine asked if we had dinner plans and invited us to join her. We were happy to accept. We made plans to meet later that evening at Fritz and Frites, a lovely European style restaurant.
During dinner we chatted about Galena and Jo Daviess County and how there was so much more to see in the surrounding areas. We also learned that Katherine was originally from Belleville, Illinois, my home town as well. Small world, right?
To me the evening was almost surreal as Katherine’s pleasant personality and easy conversation made us feel as if we had known her forever as she told us her stories about Galena and bits of her life. The night went by too quickly but it was certainly a night to remember.
Together, the three of us walked back to the hotel, said our goodbyes at the hotel lobby, and from there Katherine whet her way and we on ours.
Feeling a bit melancholy with our evening now at an end, I, as I am sometimes known to do, started spinning a story to Greg. Was Katherine real or perhaps a Galena ghost there to tout her beautiful city and to guide tourists? Was she a hotel ghost or did she walk the streets and climb the stairways? How was it she was sitting on that bench this morning and just happened to hear my comment about the stairs? And, she just happened to be going to the trolley, too? She was so easy to talk with, no uncomfortable pauses in the conversation at dinner with someone who was a complete strange. And, she was from Belleville? You know there is a ghost story linked with this hotel, do you think Katherine may be the ghost…..
Yes, that stay in Galena was pure magic. Of course traveling with my most awesome husband is always magical but this last trip to Galena was made even more mystical and intriguing by the kindness and interesting personality of a mere stranger who happened to cross our path that day.
Katherine had such an impact on me that I wanted to send her a thank you for hosting such a marvelous evening for us during our Galena stay. It was quite memorable.
And, that’s how I came to create these “Life Is A Journey and The People We Meet Along the Way” sun catchers. Because you never know who you might meet and how they may inspire you along your journey.
In conclusion, yes Katherine Walker is real. I searched on the internet to find an address so I could send her a thank you c/o the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Jo Daviess County. Truthfully, though, I was kind of hoping that I wouldn’t be able to find any information on her. That way my ghost theory could become my next best seller, or should I say my first best seller. And, then again I never know when my creative catalyst might just become a reality because of that one person I met along my way.
But, in all seriousness, I’m glad she is real because she is quite a lovely woman, a stranger who made an effort to become an acquaintance and share a moment in time with two very grateful people.
Life is a journey and the people we meet along the way. Always wander and wonder!