September 16, 2017

Project Something Beautiful: STILL

STILL. Calm. Quiet. Reflect. Peace. God. Breathe. Me. Rest. Difficult. Fleeting. Worth fighting for.
I am blessed to be able to start my day being STILL with God ~ to me, these go hand in hand. I read his Word, I write my prayers, I meditate, I reflect, I breathe. And I feel the stillness within, and peace.
But then the day moves on and that stillness is left in the dust as I take care of the seemingly millions of little things and some big ones. There always seems to be one more thing that needs to be done; one more something. One more way to keep moving. One more thing for my brain to focus on, to worry over. One more, one more, one more... I want my stillness to be with me throughout my day. I need that grounded feeling to stay balanced. By dinner time, usually earlier, my morning stillness has evaporated, not to be found again until the new day dawns. And my soul is unsettled.
If I can only stop for a bit in the midst of all the movement and recharge. I need to be still. I remember a meditation prayer taught to me about a year ago by Rev. Judy Yates Siker during a woman's retreat ... and I take some time to breathe.

 Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know
Be still

And I am made whole.

Meditation ~ Psalm 46:10

This post is part of a series and a blog circle titled "Project Something Beautiful," exploring our lives and emotions. I'm so excited to collaborate with this wonderful group of talented women. For more on STILL, check out Britney's blog here:  Britney Wharton Photography

August 23, 2017

August Monthly Madness

OK... we used to have Fab Fridays because I was off work on Friday. We would go do something different each month (well, maybe not EVERY month!) on a Friday. Well, now that I'm totally retired, we don't need to go on a Friday, we can go any day. So "Fab Friday" doesn't really work anymore. So I'm thinking it should be "Montly Madness," what do you think?

For August's Madness, we went to the Orange County Fair. Neither of us had been in a loooong time. But this was the year, and here's why: I submitted photos to the fair's photo competition and had two accepted for the competition and exhibition. So, of course we had to go see them!! And, I received an Honorable Mention for the Photojournalism photo and 3rd place for the Color-Children & Family photo!!! I was so excited just to have them accepted. Then blown away to get ribbons!! So, here are some photos from our August Montly Madness!! To see the rest, check out the Monthly Madness tab!

Yep, deep fried Oreos!!

August 16, 2017

Project Something Beautiful: HOPE

I think there are great similarities between Hope and Prayer. I cannot see either one; I cannot hold either one; I cannot control either one. Hope and Prayer are brother and sister, cousins, lovers, you & I. Hope looks forward, to the future.

Hope is ethereral. Hope is eternal.
Hope is like a mist moving softly through you.
Hope is growing, reaching, blooming.
Hope is living, for I cannot live without Hope.

My husband and I recently overheard a man near us at dinner saying that he knows statistically what will happen in life, so basically that's it. What a sad statement. He is living a hopeless life, full of darkness, pain, and status quo. I want to live a life full of Hope. If I didn't have hope I don't know how I would have made it through the end of 2002-2003. My husband almost died from Multiple Myeloma (just writing that still shakes me to my core). He was a week in ICU, then treatment, surgeries, & therapy; finally, underwent a stem cell transplant the end of 2003. Statistically he should have died. Without Hope and Prayer I would have been lost. We would have been lost.

I see Hope in every day dawning.
I hear Hope in a child's laughter.
I lived Hope through my husband's illness.

In the end, I trust in Hope and Prayer. On a breath releasing both to God, and they float away.

This post is part of a series and a blog circle titled "Project Something Beautiful," exploring our lives and emotions. I'm so excited to collaborate with this wonderful group of talented women. For more on HOPE, check out Britney's blog here:  Britney Wharton Photographer

July 15, 2017


Oh this word. Rejection. It brings up all sorts of things, emotions, pain. But also hope. In thinking about this for Project Something Beautiful I kept coming back to this...

When I think of the word "rejection," my first thought is Psalm 118:22 "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." This often is used in reference to King David and then to Jesus Christ. But the underlying principle applies to many, many people. Perhaps you have done something bad in your life; perhaps you don't quite fit the same mold as everyone else; perhaps others have ignored you, disdained you, torn you down, rejected you. That rejection is only one part of your life and your interaction with others. God may have something bigger and better in store for you. Rejection is not the end.

In college I took a psychology class that was more of a group therapy session than a class. I'm still not sure what the point was supposed to be. In this "class" we were encouraged to share feelings and emotions. Somehow, and I don't remember the details, I shared that I found another member of the class attractive (it was appropriate at the time - I don't just blurt out that kind of thing, even back then). And, there it was - rejection. Because he didn't feel the same. I wasn't expecting a TV style movie ending, but I also wasn't expecting complete rejection. I had pretty much forgotten about this episode until I was thinking about this project. And then it came back to me. The humiliation and embarrassment, the feeling of being on the outside. But I didn't quit, I grew. It was only one part of my life. One lesson in this adventure we get to live. There is so much more. 

We never know what will come next and we certainly can't control all of it. If all of us would see with God's eyes, there might not be so much rejection in the world. Perhaps, there would be more love.

For more in the Project Something Beautiful, see Lisa's post here: Lisa Lynett Photography

July 2, 2017

Project Beautiful ~ FEARLESS

I am not fearless. I am so far from fearless. To me, FEARLESS isn’t a lack of fear, rather it encompasses a willingness to admit and face the scary things in life. Both concrete and ethereal. Tangible and intangible.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a worrier and one who doesn’t take a lot of risk. I can see disaster and or disappointment around every corner. It seems that “What if?” can only be answered by the worst that can happen – not the best. My equation always seems to end up with a negative solution in my head. In reality, rarely does the worst happen. But yet I can’t seem to let go. I know it’s a problem.

Recently, my husband finished the four-year build project on his 1965 Ford Falcon Sedan Delivery. He restored it and amped up everything on it. We now own a hot rod! Just the thought of all that power & speed & loud engine and exhaust was enough to make me sure I’d never drive it. FEAR. Nerves. Trepidation. What if… What if… What if… What if…. Nuh Huh.. not me. 

But I faced my nerves with my husband in the passenger seat. I steeled myself and started the engine. Oh, this felt different, sounded different. Oh. My. Goodness. I learned how to put it in gear – it’s an automatic but there are tricks to this particular shifting mechanism. Foot securely on the brake, I put her in drive. And she just wanted to jump out of the garage. Stiff accelerator; slow push to the brakes; rear view mirror that vibrates & doesn’t stay put; low to the ground where scraping on a driveway is a concern (fear!); tiny side view mirrors combined with no – I mean NO – side visibility; and the rumble. She’s loud. Foot off the brake, to the accelerator, slight push and just like that I’m driving her. Around town and on the freeway to our first car show out of town 370 miles away.

Thanks to my husband for taking pics of me driving Surfbird

Safely at the car show - she's a beauty!

Being FEARLESS means a reward, right????

Maybe it will get easier with the next thing.

April 30, 2017

A man, a dog, the beach, & an iPhone

 The other day my husband took our dog for a walk at his "happy place." (You can decide whose "happy place" it is!!). He took along his iPhone - which is the first smart phone he has had. He has a love-hate relationship with it. Well, that isn't accurate. Actually it's a tolerate-hate relationship. I'm so proud of him that, despite the dreaded phone, he captured some shots that tell the story of their walk!
Photos by Steve; minimal editing by Dawn

Beautiful beach day

"Do I look like a pointer?"

Checking out the waves

"Who goosed me?" 
Where's Knarley?

One last look at the waves


I"m outta here!

Bye beach! Until next time.