Weekly Photo Challenge – Happy

Here are photos that make me happy – they represent experiences that make my soul sing. And I am especially happy that I learned to use the new gallery formats that WordPress created. Thanks!

For more information about this Weekly Photo Challenge and to see more photos, click here.

Memories of The Painted House

We have been spending most Januarys in southern Florida for 30 years. Every few years we would mention the painted house, the one with flowers and vines and birds and birdhouses. We found it as we were walking to the beach one evening many, many years ago. In resent years we drove around looking for it – but couldn’t find it. We knew about where it had been but it wasn’t there now. Maybe we weren’t looking in the right place. It was lost.

The other day I was looking for some other pictures and found these. Yes, the painted house! Just as I remembered it.

I think I know where the house went. The bulldozer got it. It was on a corner, in that first block from the gulf beach. People can’t own beach property in this city, but they can own property along the beach. And all of these small, quaint southern-Florida houses are being bought up to build HUGE houses, with lots of foliage blocking the views of the beach for people going down the street. It makes me sad.

I guess there are times when we want to hold onto the past. I know that European cities face this dilemma. I was talking to a woman in London about city ordinances to preserve the old buildings. She wasn’t in favor of it because she said what is built today will become tomorrows historic buildings. Of course she is right. We need a balance of preserving and inventing, hanging on and letting go, old and new. But I do miss the painted house.

A New Day

Yesterday morning I woke up knowing I needed to change the name of my blog. It isn’t the first time I’ve thought about it but this morning was different: this morning it was a given. I woke up early and I really would have liked to fall back to sleep but I couldn’t get this idea out of my mind. My mind was racing. I was trying to come up with names that reflected who I used to be, who I am now, and who I am becoming. I came up with several that I don’t remember now – probably because none of them were right. I even told God about it.

I got up because I knew I wasn’t going to sleep any more. The first thing I did – even before I made coffee (actually my husband usually does this but he didn’t look like he was getting up right away) – was to log onto my blog. And there was a comment from Christna, from the other side of the world, suggesting I change the name of my blog and giving me a suggestion. This stunned me because Christna doesn’t follow my blog. She had visited this post once before and left a message, and is here again. I just sat here stunned, rereading her message. And then I smiled. I know that chance happens but most of the time things that happen seem to be a part of a big plan. There is a lot of rhyme and reason to my life – most of the time.

This morning I woke up and knew the name. A New Day. Yesterday, after I read Christna’s e-mail and drank a cup of coffee (my coffee isn’t as good as Jim’s), I picked up my camera and stepped outdoors to take some fall colors in the morning light. What I saw was a new sunrise coming through the clouds, signifying a new day, new challenges, new joys. Yes, A New Day works very well for me and I think Christna will like it, too.

A New Day

I don’t miss me any more, but I’ll tell you more about that on another new day. And I’ll have to update the page about my blog. What a glorious new day. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Early Autumn: Garden Activity

Jake’s Sunday Post this week is Autumn – my favorite time of year.

The leaves in Michigan are just beginning to turn – last week there was color on the ends of branches and this morning this same tree had whole branches. And there are a few leaves on the ground. Nothing too grand.







But there are other signs that the transition from summer to fall is taking place, especially in the garden. The neighbor’s ornamental grass has seed heads swaying in the slightest breeze.

The snow white Little Lamb hydrangea blossoms of early summer are turning beautiful shades of fall.

And the mums are giving a splash of color, both in my garden and at the farmer’s market.

But most of the fall action is around my Autumn Joy Sedum.

Autumn Joy Sedum

The bees and butterflies are so very busy, undoubtedly urged on by the cool nights and mornings. When the sun gets hot at midday, the plants are humming with activity.


Rose of Sharon

I am so excited. The other day I spent a little time reading some more about using my camera and all of a sudden it started clicking (get it?). The past few days I haven’t been using Auto at all and am really pleased with the results I am getting. It is so much more fun being in control of what my camera is doing – no big surprise to my friends who know I like being in control.

Another thing I’m excited about. I am enjoying my world so much more now that I’m attempting to capture it on images. My morning walk is nice. I live on a funny shaped elongated circle that is 1/2 mile long and with lots of up-hills and down. But pretty typical suburban – nothing too exciting.

Today I took my camera with me and shot about 100 pics – on what is normally a 10-minute walk. I guess there is lots going on in my hood that I never noticed before – or at least not up close. Today I had lots of fun in my neighbor’s yard capturing the many moods of their Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus family) blooms. Here are my favorites. They are all from the same bush and are presented to show their unfolding to full glory.

Here are a few taken in the yards of two other neighbors.