Me in the Middle ~ #WordPrompt ~ July

PLAY ~ “Play is the highest form of research.”- Albert Einstein

Susan Crouch Watercolor

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” ~ Mr. Rogers

My fondest memories of PLAY were mostly while being outdoors. From the time that I was little and throughout my childhood, my parents, especially my mother, made an effort to teach us through nature. Water was always a part of the teaching and we’d take family rides to streams, lakes and oceans. I learned to be respectful of the natural world while finding joy and relaxation as I played with a freedom not found indoors. I learned there were limits to that freedom and listened to the warnings of any dangers I might find in my adventures.

Me at the New Jersey Shore

My oldest brother was the nature lover in the family from the very beginning. His interest in collecting birds, fish, turtles was what drew the rest of us into exploring the best spots to explore the great outdoors. One place was a nature park with walking trails, streams and a pond where I could go ice-skating in the winter. I used to follow my brother when he explored the streams and sometimes wade through the water with him.

Me watching my brother explore

When I grew up and was raising a family of my own the best family play was visiting the county/state parks in the area. My five energetic sons could take off and explore which helped them release stored up energy. Their father and I could find ways to relax with a good book, take long walks or just sit beside the calming water. For me, water has always been my source of play and relaxation.

Now, just turning 80 and slowing down, I’m content to play with my ‘Water’colors. It’s a playing that keeps me centered during these troublesome times. I love the watercolor by Susan Crouch of the child playing at the shore.

And Wordle!! I play Wordle! Haha!

United We Stand; Divided We Fall

Thank you to all of the bloggers who show courage during these ugly, dark times and still speak in a voice that doesn’t follow and still maintains their heart convictions and integrity.

joyful2beeblogs

American Flag American Flag

                                                                                                                                                                           I’ve lived almost 71 years full of varied and interesting experiences with people of many different races, cultures, and religions, which I feel gives me a broad understanding of a large sampling of people’s attitudes, lives and feelings about life.

Through traveling I’ve met other people of different cultures  from Mexico, Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Traveling is a mind expanding experience.

I’ve traveled…

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Me in the Middle ~ Crushing It ~ Part I

At the beginning of 2022 I was gifted with a year-long mixed media on-line workshop ~ Crushing It ~ Artfully Inspired Life by Joanne Sharpe.

Mixed Media means all types: Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache, Inktense Pencils, Watercolor Ink, Gel Press, Stencils, Fountain Pen/Ink and Watercolor grounds.

Six months have passed and I can’t say enough how much I look forward to each month’s lessons. It’s helped me to find focus during the uncertainty of all that’s swirling around me.

So here is Part I of the past six months of artwork in my journal:

If you’re interested in finding out more about Joanne’s workshops, here’s the link: https://joannesharpe.com/online-classes/?doing_wp_cron=1655930741.8427019119262695312500

See you in Six Months for Part II

Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ June

“The eagle opened its wings and circled up into the air”

OPEN ~ unfold or be unfolded; spread out.

The WordPress WordPrompt for June is OPEN.

For me, the word OPEN has an accepting and welcoming feel to it. Life experience has taught me that it’s good to be accepting and welcoming of the lives, opinions and choices of others as long as I don’t lose my own integrity. Being open to life as it is and living in that worldly reality needs boundaries that protect our own life and our own reality. To Openly embrace the reality of the world and humanity while standing courageously in what we’ve learned in our own life is the definition of OPEN. To hold space for ourselves and others as our lives unfold. This is freeing! It leaves us open to learn and understand while still deciding where we fit into that learning and understanding. This is freedom!

“Open your eyes! Look within! Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”

~Bob Marley ~

“Be open minded but not so open minded that your brains fall out!”

~ Groucho Marx ~

“The open heart sees, feels and absorbs the beauty of the world.”

~ Sonia Choquette ~

Me in the Middle ~ WordPrompt ~ May

“You never know how STRONG you are, until being STRONG is your only choice.”

~Bob Marley ~

I found this writing by Brené Brown while visiting a post by Jennifer Juneau Looking Back While Looking Ahead.  It’s only been recently that I’ve embarked on the journey of ‘Looking Back’ all with the intent to continue moving forward and ‘Looking Ahead’.  Writing about our life story, the good parts and the not-so-good parts, pulls together a pattern that reminds us of who we were all along the way.  A pattern of strength and courage through our struggles that becomes clearer when we become an observer from the present  time and allow ourselves to look back.  We can do this at any time and at any age.  The insights we gain and the freedom we experience keep us ‘rising strong’.

~ Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted ~

“There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers
Than those of us who are willing to fall
Because we have learned how to rise

With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
We choose owning our stories of struggle,
Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward truth and look at it in the eye.

We will not be characters in our stories.
Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.

We are the authors of our lives.
We write our own daring endings.

We craft love from heartbreak,
Compassion from shame,
Grace from disappointment,
Courage from failure.

Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home.
Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong.”

Brené Brown