Category Archives: Family Ramblings

Goal Progress–Windows

Applying Stain and Finish to Windows

One of my goals set for 2015 is to complete the installation of replacement windows on the house. There are five windows left as the rest have been replaced a few years ago. This has been done in stages to spread the cost out in order to avoid borrowing money for this project. At this point two of the windows are almost complete. They’ve been stained and finish applied. The other three are on their way. It’s nice to have this much progress but I definitely look forward to this project being behind us.

Staining and Finishing Windows

Vacation Style

Going to the Ocean on Vacation

What’s your vacation style? No, not vacation in style. How do you like to spend your time away on vacation. Just a quick internet search brought some entertaining results which centered around luggage styles and travel fashion. I’ve gone through three different styles as I’ve gotten older and my choice of vacations is an indication of that. They are: Beach Bum, Whatever Happens, and Adventurer.

The first vacations I had decisions in was crossed between ‘beach bum’ and ‘whatever happens’. Spring Break in Daytona Beach is what I consider my first independent vacation where I primarily just wanted to lounge on the beach with the biggest decision to be made for the day was what to eat. A second vacation on a cruise ship brought more of the same as I never wanted to leave the ship even while at port. Apparently there is enough adventure when you’re a college student between classes, homework, working, and activities that vacation was all about R & R. Of course, spring break usually came after difficult exams and large projects requiring a mental vacation.

Beach Bum

That first vacation along with several after did include a bit of ‘whatever happens’ as Daytona Beach was the sight of Mtv’s Spring Break broadcasts and I took part in those from time to time along with a quick trip for my first time to Disney World. Planning is not a priority for these types of vacations but you still decide to take advantage of an opportunity or two when they happen to go on an adventure. Maybe a snorkeling trip or a ride in a submarine for something to talk about later.

Currently I reside in the adventure vacation style which can take quite a bit of planning. As daily life now involves a lot of routine, vacations need to be more fulfilling to me. The need to just catch some sun has passed and actually feels like wasted time away from work. It usually takes 3 – 4 days away to begin to mentally get a break from the grind of everyday events so just using my vacation time a day at a time does not accomplish its purpose of refreshing me. My goal often times is to return from a trip needing to catch up on sleep but with many great memories packed into a short time.

Adventurer

There are definitely downsides to the ‘adventurer’ vacation style. Usually these trips can be more expensive because everything costs money and they require more time planning and making reservations. Along with the planning can often come additional stress because of trying to figure out if you’ve taken care of everything in preparation and needing to be at a certain place by a certain time once on vacation.

These vacation styles kind of came to me recently because of our next trip coming this spring break which happens to be a Caribbean Cruise. Cruising has lost its appeal to me because I want to spend the time in port doing things instead of be on a ship most of the time with all that food. So why am I going on a cruise you ask? It’s has become part of a family trip to celebrate my mother and father in-laws 50th anniversary and they would like that trip to be on a cruise ship. Our initial plans where to visit Padre Island and Hot Springs Arkansas for spring break which falls into the ‘Adventurer’ category. That will happen another time as a 50th wedding anniversary is an incredible milestone to me. I can only try to imagine it.

Going on a Cruise Ship

Back to my vacation style realization. When booking this next trip the portion I really was having a difficult time with is spending all that time on the ship. That has become kind of boring to me and I’m not all that attached to food so there is not as big of an appeal there either. That enlightenment helped me understand that I’m no longer a ‘beach bum’ and have moved further from the ‘whatever happens’ style as well. For this trip being in the ‘whatever happens’ category would be most beneficial but I’m not able to let myself and my family be that type of traveler because I know I’m missing an opportunity to create life long memories with my wife and children and the chances to do that are diminishing as the children get older.

It’s interesting to me to recognize changes in how I spend my vacation time from when I first started taking vacations to now. I’m sure that will continue to change as things in life continue to evolve. I know several people who like to be in the ‘beach bum’ or ‘whatever happens’ categories and that is a great place to be, just not for me at this point in my life. Is there a benefit to classifying vacation styles? Probably not. Just something I did without realizing it and decided to put out there. Enjoy you’re vacation any way you can!

Creating Family Memories

2014 In Review, On to 2015

Reflecting on the Setting Sun

Reflection is an important piece in learning but I don’t want to spend too much time on it because going forward provides the ability to experience new things. With that in mind, how did I do in accomplishing my 2014 goals? Here’s what they were from my 2013 in review post:

-Finish the Photography Experiment Monopoly Board

-Explore Gettysburg, Edison, and the Lewis Falls Trail

-Share these travel experiences with others creating life long memories they can reflect on.

-Send Lysa off on her own European adventure

As I look over these I see I only accomplished a parts of most of them. Finishing the Photography Experiment Monopoly Board was close. There were five spaces that I didn’t complete – Flash, Fill Flash, Rock Climbing, and Travel Portraits. There are a couple of reasons they went uncompleted. First, these are unavailable on Peter Carey’s blog, and secondly because these aren’t experiments that seem as interesting or useful for me. Having said that I did start playing around with fill flash late this fall and realized there are times it can be quite useful so I may try to accomplish this space in the new year. Travel portraits are something I should probably pay more attention to as I tend to focus on scenery more than people taking in the scenery. Another goal for 2015.

Looking Towards the National Mall

We did get to explore Gettysburg and Edison but changed our plans to include the National Mall, Valley Forge, and a stop in New York which means Lewis Falls Trail is still on our list of places to experience. I have been debating since we started this National Parks adventure on how many places to cram into one trip and if it should be done at one time or split into multiple trips. Opportunity provided the answer with a conference in Baltimore making more sense to visit areas around that city. Lewis Falls Trail goal will be added to another year. In addition to only partially completed Gettysburg, Edison, and Lewis Falls Trail, I didn’t fulfill the goal of sharing those travel experiences with others. That was a little bit beyond my control. I did share other travel experiences with people beyond the four of us on a journey to Mammoth Cave, Churchill Downs, and a few days in Las Vegas.

Lysa made it to Europe so that goal was completed.

Another goal that I made but didn’t really push for was to take at least 3,500 photos to improve my photography. Surprisingly I took over 5,000 pictures this year. I write surprisingly because by the forth of July I had only taken 1,300 photos so the last half of the year provided more opportunities.

The Sun Setting on 2014

That essentially recaps the 2014 goals. Let’s move on to 2015.

The goals for this next year don’t include quite as much travel at this point. Here there are:

-Explore Padre Island and Hot Springs

-Complete the window replacements at my house

-Finish a few more spaces on the Photography Experiment Monopoly Board such as Fill Flash and Travel Portraits

-Take 3,500 more photographs in an effort to continue improving.

I started replacing windows in the house back in 2011 and figure I better finish all of the windows before styles change or the stain I used at that time become unavailable along with trying to keep all of the windows about the same age. Since there is not expected to be as much travel in 2015 I figured it’s a good year to complete windows.

Celebrating the New Year

Looking Back

Our First Monopoly Adventure in South Dakota 2009

As I was looking back over this past year I looked at some photos from the past several years, some of which were from our first Monopoly travels to the Badlands in South Dakota. This has definitely reminded me of how much the kids have grown since we began our National Park adventures not all that long ago. This brings a number of different feelings as I’m sure many parents experience.

First, a huge smile to my face remembering the places we’ve explored together as a family and the stories there are about each one. Then a little bit of sadness enters because we can never go back to those ages with the kids and all that are left of those times are the pictures and memories. As I’m reminded of the changes that have occurred I begin to think about the changes that will be coming as we have only eight spaces remaining on our Monopoly National Parks board out of twenty-eight total spaces.

The end of these family adventures is nearing and I’m wanting time to slow down because our last trip is supposed to be to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which coincides with the oldest daughter graduating from high school. From that point I expect our family to change as she begins to venture out on her own making family vacations more challenging to complete. As I envision entering our final park and stopping to take the requisite photo by the sign I begin to well up a little and feel as though I can’t get out of the car to get that last photo as my girls will be pretty much all grown up. Even writing this now is more challenging due to my emotions. I made the mistake one time of looking up images of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and saw a photo of the entrance sign making these visions all that more real for me.

USS Constitution 2011

We have been very fortunate to have these adventures and share them with several family members and friends along the way. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to explore so many areas of the United States with my children and watch as they grow up and learn about these parks and places as well as they get to learn more about what each of them likes and doesn’t like and begins to explore themselves. Fortunately I have eight more parks to share with them and watch them continue to grow more.

As I look over these photos I’m very proud of our family for what we’ve done and tried and learned. There is no question in my mind these Monopoly Adventures are worth what we’ve put into them and some of the trade offs we’ve made to accomplish our goals so far. I’m hopeful we are able to complete the last parts of our board without too many difficulties, but not too quickly. OK, time to look ahead into 2015!

Exploring the Statue of Liberty 2014

Photographing Christmas

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It has taken weeks to plan a family Christmas celebration at your house for everyone to enjoy and that time has finally arrived. You’ve had wonderful images in your head about the beautiful decorations, the incredible food, and the enjoyment of everyone’s company while sharing gifts with one another. What a great opportunity to capture these moments with your camera and remember this time for many years to come.

For the past several weeks there have been countless emails, texts, and phone calls all in an effort to find a day and time that everyone can come together for a short time. Should it really be that difficult? If it is, does everyone really want to be together or is that just a fantasy in your head? Where’s the aspirin?! I feel a headache coming on. Why do I fight with these decorations for so long? How did they get tangled together? When they were put away last year they were wrapped up nicely and carefully put into storage containers. Now it’s one big pile of wires and glitter. Get the cutters! I’m going to win this battle if it’s the last thing I do.

Tangled Christmas lights and electrical cords on hardwood floor

Who’s calling me now!? Great, it’s my mother saying she can’t make it at the time we agreed on earlier. More emails, texts, and phone calls to accommodate her. Just what I was hoping to do right now. Ouch!! I think I cut my finger instead of the wire. Got to stop the bleeding. Who used the last bandage and left the empty box?! Tissues and tape will have to do. There’s no time for a trip to the store, well maybe the ER for a few stitches. Later, I’ve got to get more presents wrapped right now. But first let’s get these lights put up outside. Drag out the ladder along with nails and a hammer to hang these stupid lights. Why am I starting to get dizzy up here? Ohh, there’s a small pool of blood under my ladder now.

What? Why am I laying on the ground? I’ve got to get these decorations up and get to the store yet. How come these lights aren’t on? And those over there are blinking? Oops, I cut the wrong wire. Enough, I’ll have to do this later. Good, here come the delivery truck. My online order has arrived just in time. That’s not the color I ordered. Too late now, better get it wrapped. I’ll have to exchange it later. Now for the trip to the store to get the last of the food. There’s the phone again. What’s my sister doing with her friend at the bar? She’s suppose to be here soon. Can’t deal with that now.

One more thing to get – cheese for the potatoes. Why is that space empty? Sir, do you have more shredded cheese?  Sir…. Sir?  HELLO! SIR! No more shredded cheese?! OH but you have that 5 pound block of cheese? Wonderful! Just what I wanted to do yet today – shred cheese. A few more hours to go before our wonderful guests begin to arrive.

Adam's Art

That snowman wasn’t laying on it’s side when I left. Now all the lights are off. Well Mr. Snowman. How would you like to meet my great oak? Here you go! That problem solved. Are these lights plugged in. Who unplugged them? Better plug them back in.  Who’s that screaming in the garage? Dad? What are you doing? Oh, you were working on the electricity for the decorations. Sorry, I didn’t know. Where’s mom? She’s getting her no good brother out of jail. THRILLING! Who’s pulling up in a taxi? Wonderful, it’s my sister.

That can only mean one thing? Yep, she almost tripped over the pieces of the snowman. What great fun this is going to be. Well, at least she’s pulling enough bottles from the trunk for us all. That is until she dropped the box and broke them while falling on top and slicing her forehead open. Wait! don’t pull away yet. Can you drive her to the hospital to get…?  Wait, Wait! Uh, Dad? you’re up. Never mind, I’ll do it? Here you get the cheese shredded inside for me then. Come on sis.

Unbelievable how busy that place was. Do they have more than one doctor? Back to the house for this amazing Christmas celebration. Now my mom’s here. Maybe she can help get things back on schedule. Or not seeing as how she’s crying while my uncle keeps insisting he’s been clean for weeks now. Not one hit of pot or anything. He accidentally tripped through the window to the police station. Those TV’s and computers in his truck belonged to a friend of his. How was he supposed to know he stole them? I’ve got to get in the house. Where’s all this smoke coming from? The ham is on fire! Quick get it out of there. No, don’t use water!

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Can you deliver three large pizzas to room 121? Thank you. Maybe there’s some hope to get a few nice pictures of this Christmas still now that it’s a complete failure. At least the hotel has done a nice job of decorating for the holidays that will be a nice background. Why is this not taking pictures? Thanks brother for pointing out my blinking light that says low battery. Forgot to charge them again didn’t I. Are there any more bottles that survived the fall around?

http://aroundtheworld-divaqueen.blogspot.com/2011/12/this-is-how-people-decorations-at-home.html

For those hoping to get tips out of this article there’s probably not much here but hopefully you were entertained for a few minutes and have a much better Christmas story than this one.

Recapturing that Innocence

Enjoying a Monarch

Remember being about five years old or watching a five year old explore the world? Remember that innocent love of learning about your surroundings? So many new things to explore. No filters or experiences or judgments to get in the way of those feelings of wonder and enjoyment. No other things to worry about. Just living in the moment and taking it all in. So innocent! Where does that go as we get older? Who does not want to experience that feeling again? Can we re-gain that innocence?

Absolutely! If you allow yourself to. This was a topic recently brought up where I work after one of my co-workers spent the day with a five year old exploring a natural park. After this brief conversation I began to reflect on it more and found ways that I come back to this innocence from time to time. Without really knowing it, I’ve had to allow myself to find opportunities to just be in the moment. To take in the situation without thought or judgment. It can take some learning and practice to accomplish but this child like enjoyment of life is at our control.

A Beautiful Landscape

As I thought about this a little longer the easiest situation for me to enter this mindset of an innocent child is while exploring our national parks whether it be the stunning landscapes of Alaska, the Grand Canyon, or standing in the midst of a historic landmark like Bunker Hill where the Revolutionary War started or were Benjamin Franklin is buried. It doesn’t just happen though. Often our brains are working causing thoughts of things to be done or parts of conversations to enter the moment distracting from just being and taking in that moment in our lives.

Over the years I have learned how to quiet all that is running through my mind to just take in a certain moment from time to time. Allowing me to just take it in and enjoy the opportunity I’ve been given. I continue to improve this skill which brings more enjoyment in this short time we have available. Now, just seeing a firefly blinking in the backyard or sharing a memorable moment with someone or watching a dragonfly eat can bring this young innocence back. It has taken a lot of hours of self learning and reflection to work on this and bring back these skills.

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I remember when I was younger being around some people who always seem to be smiling and where amazed at every little thing. I thought they were a little bizarre because not everything is amazing and needs to be treated like it’s the first time it has ever happened. This constant state of happiness approached stupidity in my mind. As years passed I began to admire this ability in people because it was not something I could do. They seemed to enjoy life more than I do. Jealousy started to creep in. Questions as to why I couldn’t have this much enjoyment arouse.

Soon I began to realize that while I thought I enjoyed traveling, I really wasn’t taking in those places I was visiting mentally. My thoughts were usually of what I had to do when I get back home or of recent conversations that occurred before I left for the trip. Sure, I did spend some time mentally in this place I had traveled to see but I wasn’t allowing myself to be fully in that place. Over time I have learned that I need to remind myself to be in the moment.

Pretend to be a little kid again – it’s OK!

Kids Enjoying a Summer Day

2013 in Review

Olympic Mountains in Olympic National Park

It’s always interesting to look over the last year to see where you were so that you figure out where you’re going. We choose what point we call a year in order to do this. It doesn’t have to be when the year changes. Maybe there’s an anniversary of something meaningful or another date in the year that makes more sense for you. Most people decide to do this as the year comes to a close on the calendar and a new one is beginning. I guess mentally it gives us a sense of finality and an opportunity to start fresh with the change of a number in the year.

Questions I like to ask are:  Did the goals set get achieved ? If so, were they beneficial goals? Was there satisfaction in achieving them? If not, why not? Should those goals be extended another year? Where there other achievements that weren’t set as goals but happened anyway? How did those unexpected achievements affect you? There are a number of other questions you can use to analyze the year and how you used it but these will get me started.

An Alaskan Cruise

My goals for 2013:

-Complete the Photography Experiment Monopoly Board

-Explore Olympic National Park

-Cruise to Alaska traveling through Glacier Bay National Park and hiking on the Chilkoot Trail.

-Share these travel experiences with others creating life long memories they can reflect on.

Well, how did these come out?

Before the Photography Experiment

I completed over half of the Photography Monopoly Board but have yet to finish it. I will continue this in 2014.  While working on this I got involved with photography so much that I spent quite a bit of time out and about taking pictures. Just to give you an idea of what I’m referring to, I took over 55,000 photos in 2013. While this seems like an incredible number to me, 48,000 of them are from a time-lapse project covering our entire Alaskan Cruise. That leaves 7,000 images taken while working on photography this year. Still a lot of images to go through for a year. Many of these are not great pictures but I still like looking through them as they remind me of the adventures taken in order to get the images. As I’m sure you can imagine there are a number of really nice photos as well. Just the laws of probability suggest that if you take enough pictures, some of them will turn out. This has created an unexpected issue for me. How do I display the number of images I really like? There are too many and not enough wall space. This photography experiment will continue into 2014 because it has helped me improve and I enjoy it a lot.

During the Photography Experiment

We did explore Olympic National Park and were joined by 5 other family members as we did so creating some wonderful memories while learning some great information. Also, the Alaskan cruise taking us through Glacier Bay National Park and to the Chilkoot Trail was accomplished. There were a total of 14 friends and family on that part of our adventure, 7 of which had never been on a cruise before. There are a couple of posts yet to come from this trip. So, all in all, 3 out of the 4 goals were accomplished. Why is sharing these experiences a goal of mine? I love seeing and doing things I’ve never seen or done before. Probably the only thing that I enjoy more than that is to watch others as they experience new things. These adventures don’t mean much to me unless I can share them. As an example, while working on photography I found a nearby park reserve that offers many opportunities for some great photos. There have been numerous trips there this fall with many more coming I’m sure. Only a handful of times has there been someone with me. It is those few times that stand out for me more than the others because I get to share that with the people who have been with me.

Some unexpected achievements this past year include a couple of trips to the North Shore of Minnesota along with a few weekends camping with friends. One big one was the opportunity for Lysa to go to Europe during the summer of 2014. That one has definitely altered this next year for all of us both economically and time constraints.

Minnesota's North Shore

Moving on, what are some goals for 2014?

-Finsh the Photography Experiment Monopoly Board

-Explore Gettysburg, Edison, and the Lewis Falls Trail

-Share these travel experiences with others creating life long memories they can reflect on.

-Send Lysa off on her own European adventure

May you have new life experiences in 2014 and find some great adventures!

On This Christmas

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I can’t go any further! How can I stop? This little girl needs to get somewhere warm. We’ve been walking all night in this freezing weather just to keep from freezing to death. I thought I heard someone say it was going to be one of the coldest nights of the year with temperatures below zero. The feeling in my hands and feet left several hours ago. Sara has been shivering for hours. How could we possibly go on? She hasn’t had anything to eat since yesterday at the shelter. I wish they would have had a spot for us so Sara could be comfortable on this Christmas holiday. Just a little bit further. There is a mall near. I just need to get her inside for awhile.

Look at all these people hurrying to finish their Christmas shopping and get home to be with their families. Oh how I would love to be with family but they’re all gone now since the fire destroyed our house and took my mom and sister with it. And then a car accident killed dad a few years ago on his way see Sara at the park. I just don’t think I can go on. Resting in this snow bank wrapped around this child I can feel the snow and cold slowly taking our life. Is there a reason to resist any longer? Of course, she deserves better than this. I need to get up and move again. Just a few more steps. But nothing seems to move.

Ah warmth. Are we dead? I pry my eyes open to see someone has put a jacket around Sara and placed a blanket around me. Why is this person helping us? With the glow above he must have been an angel. There are sounds coming from his mouth but I can’t make out what he is saying. Finally I hear “eat?” and know this child needs some nourishment to continue on. So I accept the offer and with his help get Sara and myself into his car. What a glorious feeling of heat! Still unsure of where we are going I look back towards her and see a small amount of color entering her cheeks. For a quick moment I feel a sigh of relief and offer a prayer of thanks for this angel sent to help us in this time of desperation.

The Glow From Above

Arriving at a nearby sandwich shop I can begin to feel my fingers tingle. Something I have not felt in hours. Unsure if this was a kind person or cruel individual, we order something to eat. Maybe he should have left us. It would probably all be over now. Has his kindness just extended our misery? A little bit of heat will make it torturous to trudge back into the frozen white earth for another night of wandering just to keep some life. This must have been our fortune at this moment so I will take in some food and get Sara all she can eat to prepare for this night while I continue to figure out what we’re going to do.

Steve began to talk, asking us questions about where we’re going and how we got there. First asking Sara for her name and how old she was and offering the information that he has two daughters of his own. After finding out we had no where to go, he eagerly invited us to stay with his family on this Christmas night. I could possibly accept. He has done so much already and how could I face new people while wearing the same clothes for the last week and in bad need of a shower. No, we just need to get through tonight and hopefully a place will open up at the shelter. We’ll be ok I promised myself. Ouch! what’s that. Hey I can start to feel my tows again. I didn’t think I would ever feel those again. By this time Sara had taken off Steve’s coat and began to bounce around a little as the heat and nourishment entered her body. My face started to get a little wet as I realized we couldn’t give up. She has so much life in her.

After declining a few more offers to join Steve and his family he made another offer. A night at a hotel to recuperate. How could I possibly accept this? Beginning to again turn down his generous proposal I looked at this little child and realized I could not decline again. Hesitantly we joined him in his car and drove towards the nearest hotel. Holding Sara close I could see this gentleman talking with the person at the front desk and then another person entering the lobby. After several minutes Steve was escorting us to our home, carrying Sara, on this Christmas Eve. Unlocking the door, we entered a beautiful room with a bed for Sara and one for me. With all this space I couldn’t tell if this was a dream or if it was really happening.

Sara was laid in her bed and fell fast asleep. Steve wished us a “Merry Christmas” and disappeared through the door. I didn’t know how to thank this kind and generous person. Without him I would not be able to hold my little child again. Just as I was about to take a soothing bath there was a knock at the door. Oh no, it was too good to last. Will we need to leave this place? Slowly answering the door it was Steve again holding several packages. He quickly placed them near each bed explaining which ones where for Sara and even left one for me. Again he wished us a Merry Christmas and disappeared again.

With tears beginning to fill my eyes I glanced towards this beautiful sleeping child and noticed his jacket. Grabbing it I raced down the hall towards the exit to catch this angel. I met him near the door and offered the best hug I could thanking him for saving us tonight on this Christmas Eve. Tears were rolling off of both our faces as we waved good bye. I could hear Christmas music playing in the lobby which I hadn’t noticed before. That helped complete a day I couldn’t have imagined. Better get back to Sara and wait for her to awaken Christmas morning with gifts to open. Yes, Santa brought us both more than words could describe!

Exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Soon I began to dream – of a house for Sara to grow up in, people to share our lives with, and angels watching over us. A new beginning On This Christmas!

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Inspiration From Zach

I heard Zach Sobiech on the radio last year and was inspired. In brief, he was diagnosed with cancer early in life and given a short time to live. As a parting message he wrote a song which has been doing quite well – it’s called Clouds. This was kind of his way of saying goodbye. Unfortunately Zach passed on May 20,2013.

To see his story watch the video.

There are many stories of kids that are terminally ill and are difficult to understand and accept. There is inspiration in these stories. Inspiration for gratitude. Inspiration for those around you. The biggest piece of inspiration I received from Zach is to live! To me that doesn’t mean living on the edge and skydiving or swimming with the sharks. It means looking back on the day and finding those pieces of joy. Enjoying those your with that day even if they have done things that really irritate you and they do it every day. We all receive unwanted news and get angry or depressed. Feel it, embrace it, and move on. This doesn’t mean do it all in minutes. It could take days, weeks, or even months to move on. Just don’t let if affect you for years and years.

How often do you stop and ask during the day “Am I enjoying this?” It’s a valid question. What is interesting is the answers you begin to give yourself. Why are you or are you not enjoying this right now? Could you be? Should you be? Is there something that needs to be changed? What are the consequences of those changes? You realize you are in control of more than you thought and that can be invigorating.

Orchids - One of My Hobbies

For me, I enjoy learning and experiencing new things. I change hobbies somewhat frequently. It may be keeping fish for awhile and then moving on to orchids and then photography. With each hobby comes dedication to learning and expenses. Traveling to different destinations is my most impactful hobby. Sometimes those travels are costly and other times they are just a day trip with little cost. Traveling is not just about the destination, it’s about experiences and the people that I get to share those with.

Those I get to Travel With

Zach has re-inforced that the things I like to do are ok. It’s alright to keep learning and living. Changing hobbies every 3-5 years has become a little frustrating because of the time, energy, and money I put into them. While I learn a lot, I can never seem to become a master at any of them because I get bored with them. Maybe that’s what I’m really good at, learning. Zach’s message to live reminds me that is what I’m doing and what works for me.

Clouds

I hope Zach can be an inspiration to you also!

The Winter Blues

More Snow ?!

Well, for some of us it seems winter just does not want to leave. Usually by now we can start to see life beginning to return outside. As I write this the snow is falling once again. What can be done to avoid the winter depression that so many are experiencing right now? For me it’s enjoy the orchids that are putting on a wonderful display.

Maxilleria Orchid

Personally, I’m sick of wearing winter clothes – especially jackets. Shorts and T-shirts are my preference. At least while at home the orchids are showing their spring blooms. Early in the winter they didn’t look very good but thankfully pulled out of it and starting growing again. I continue to learn about different orchids and their care requirements in my house and they are rewarding the efforts now.

White Knight

I’m still trying to figure out how to get the lady slipper orchids and phragmipedium orchids to bloom. There are some that have never bloomed as they were purchased as seedlings so I don’t know what they look like. Guess I’ll have to concentrate harder on these.

Purple Phalaenopsis

For now, enjoy some pictures of these beautiful orchids.

Phalaenopsis