Every Time I Read The News

Every time I read the news, my heart hurts. I’d prefer not to read it, but I don’t believe that ignorance is bliss; I believe ignorance is complacency. Though the news keeps me abreast of the world, it does an even better job of reminding me to focus on compassion, and strive to contribute to a climate of peace

IMG_1427

Psalms 145:8-9 KJV

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works…

IMG_1430

Today, here’s wishing all of us a great compassion for others, grace and love for ourselves, and hearts always bending toward peace in a complicated world…

A Message Of Peace Upon The Shore

I have the good fortune to live just a few blocks from the beautiful shoreline along Lake Michigan. There are beaches for people, and beaches for dogs. You can rent a boat or picnic in the grass, and even take in the view of Chicago…

img_1679

I quite enjoy a summer’s day at the beach, and I go prepared with fizzy water and snacks, a comfortable chair and an oversized sun hat. It is my time to catch up on reading, and the soothing sounds of the lake’s waves sound every bit as powerful as ocean waves…

img_1678

And just down the block is Northwestern University, where many a youth is filling their head with intelligent notions. I love school. If I could make a career of taking classes, I would…

img_1688

But along this wonderful shore, upon land owned by the university, there is a curious sight. Hundreds of enormous rocks, decorated with colorful messages…

img_1687

Out on those rocks, people lounge in the sun, eat their lunches, and even fish…

img_1685

And if you get close enough to read what is written, you will find interesting quotes, marriage proposals, individual memories and tributes. They are entertaining to explore (though somewhat precarious to walk upon)…

img_1689

There are many rocks that make me smile and warm my heart…

img_1693

And I find it a complete wonder to consider how many folks have trudged down to the lakeshore with paint buckets in hand over the years!

img_1695

Some were decorated so long ago, that the messages are fading away under the elements…

img_1692

There is much love to be found upon the rocks, which a community can never have too much of…

img_1694

And writings that are very wise indeed…

img_1690

We of course cannot leave out messages that instigate a giggle or two, for what is life without laughter?

img_1684

Here’s wishing you a place of nature and beauty to enjoy, wherever you may live. Here’s wishing that you’ll visit it often and be filled with peace and happiness!

Letting Live, in Love and Peace

IMG_2643

I just caught another lovely creature who was clinging to the ceiling near the front door. She was there this morning when I rushed out and was still there this evening, in the same place. I did my careful balancing act on the chair and gingerly caught her…

IMG_2636

This one is not a Cave Cricket like the one I caught in the house earlier this week, but rather a Speckled Bush Cricket. It is of the Katydid family, known for their singing (not from their mouths but from the scraping of their wings along their bodies)…

IMG_2637

Look how gorgeous her beautiful green! Know how I know she’s a gal? Her very obvious ovipositor at her rear, an appendage that pushes into the dirt and then lays eggs!

IMG_2638

Fun Fact: Do you know what the differences between a cricket and a grasshopper are?

  1. Crickets have long antennae while grasshoppers have short antennae.
  2. A cricket’s song comes from rubbing its wings while a grasshopper makes music by rubbing its legs together.

IMG_2642

In the house, she’d been unmoving on the ceiling and went mostly motionless when caught. The moment I brought her outside, her antennae twitched and she started walking around. It was like she immediately sensed she was outdoors once more. Freedom!

IMG_2644

Love this photo, her two red eyes looking at me upside down. I probably appeared as a giant monster. Think it’s too late to return to college and become an entomologist? I sure love bugs!

Here is to the sanctity of life, however great or small, and letting live in love and peace…

Bringer of Peace

This beautiful creature was right outside my window early yesterday morning. He saw me, but didn’t fly away. I wondered if the dove wasn’t sick, as I’ve seen pigeons puff up and disregard people when they are (and doves are of the pigeon family). But it was just the cold, and this little perch was actually perfect for soaking in the rising sun.

IMG_2267

We frequently have lovely sets of doves in our yard. They nest in our neighborhood and often peck around for seeds in the grass. I stop and listen to their cooing. Doesn’t this beauty look so soft and precious?

IMG_2272.JPG

Unfortunately, we’ve had none of the fine April weather I’ve been hoping for. We’ve been having random snowfalls, which instantly melt in the sun, and then dump down from the next cloud, and then melt once more. One minute white, ten minutes later, all green again. Pretty odd, and chilly too! This little guy was waiting it out in the sun until the snow melted, which it did.

IMG_2276.JPG

He was resting on this little vine trellis. I love how these baby green vines are peeking out, soon to uncoil, climb and burst to life. These vines try to climb up the window in the summer, they are very hearty.

IMG_2277

The snowy path to our little secret garden…

IMG_2278.JPG

Where the shockingly bright green plants and the birdies are all having trouble deciding whether it is spring, or still winter…

IMG_2279.JPG

And the daffodils are quite sad in the snow (though they continuously perk up again as soon as the sun hits them)…

IMG_2275.JPG

But as for that dove…they say when one sits at your window, that they are bringers of peace. It is a reminder to your spirit to be still and forget your stresses. And don’t we all constantly wrestle with our inner worries and stresses?

I’m sharing the dove at my window with you, to bring you peace. Don’t let your stresses speak louder than your joys and comforts, for with every winter you weather, spring will come. A little birdie told me so…

Food & Fellowship

On Christmas evening, I enjoyed a homemade dinner at my mom and step-dad’s house. I am an only child, so it is often just us three. We had a casual picnic using used wrapping paper as our tablecloth over a low coffee table.

IMG_1954.JPG

My step-dad steamed up a big pot of crab legs, and baked us each a potato and some hot buns. I’d made coleslaw, which was the perfect fresh and crispy compliment to the meal.

IMG_1952.JPG

Mom and I had some chilled white wine and my step-dad enjoyed some beer that handsome sent over for Christmas. We ate on paper plates and enjoyed every delicious second of hunting for our meat. It was sweet and fresh!

IMG_1956.JPG

As you can see, the meal was thoroughly enjoyed. Since there were no claw-crackers, or nut-crackers in the house to be found, pliers and a hammer may have been used, and chopsticks too, to push the very last little morsels of crabmeat out of their shells. We take crab seriously.

IMG_1957.JPG

A big bowl of empty shells and a roll of paper towels later and we were lounging relaxed and merry, listening to holiday music. In our family, when crab is served, we mean business!

IMG_1948.JPG

I’m very happy to call my folks my best friends. We always have animated conversation and a lot of laughs when we get together. And though on Christmas, we tend to spoil one another with lots of gifts, this year we took it easy and just offered a few presents (I got a bread maker and I’m making a wheat loaf this very minute!!).

This meal reminded me however, that all the good restaurants and a pile of gifts can never beat good food and fellowship. How thankful I am, all the year long, for special occasions like this one. I could ask for nothing more.

Here’s wishing you many blessings this season, and well wishes for the approaching new year! May you enjoy every moment of food and fellowship that come your way!