Then and Now, a Week

A week is only 7 days but man, the things that can happen in such a short amount of time. Good Friday evening friends, I hope your week was good, as eventful as you wanted it to be and above all safe.

I have been exceptionally busy this week but have approximately 75% of my Christmas decorations up. I know its early but like the commercial on TV says, its only too early if you think its too early. Plus, Hallmark Christmas movies started on October 22, so the house has to look right to watch Christmas movies. Just sayin’.

Because of the amount I like to put up, it takes 2-3 weeks to get it situated like I like it. I takes me a week just to build the village. I added a train this year, a cheap one but it still choo-choos, has a whistle and goes around the track. That’s all I needed. Once everything is up and running, I will start sharing that part of my fun.

I am all about being happier.

I explain all of that because I have not had time to post all the beauty I have seen this week. Coming from the deep south and now living in eastern Iowa, I get a taste of all four seasons. Fall though is probably the shortest, lasting only a few weeks – like 2 weeks max. Summer lasts forever and then winter is a sneeze away from fall. But there are 4 distinct seasons here. What happens with such a short fall is like in a cartoon – poof, the leaves change, sometimes overnight. This last week was fabulous with temps in the upper 60s – its November y’all, In Iowa.(Two years ago it snowed on Halloween.) Then Sunday the temp dropped into the 40s and poof…

Monday and Tuesday were alight with rich color. And because I am not an expert photographer, these picture don’t really show the beauty of their color. But I am sure where you live, the colors are just as striking. And the clear evening skies were amazing.

Wednesday showed more beauty but the cloud cover started moving in and today, Friday, its in the 30s and snowing…Yep, welcome to Iowa.

So thanks, fall, for stopping by with a quick hello. While I love spring, fall to me has the most dramatic colors. Maybe because they have such short lives pushing all their beauty out at once. They they turn brown, turn loose and go to sleep for 5 months. Five months is a long time to not see the rich colors of nature but if we look hard enough, we can also see the beauty of nature as she sleeps. I think the evergreen and its deep green color is a symbol of life and hope and maybe why we put evergreens in our homes, real and artificial, with multicolor balls and lights to remind us the importance of color, smiles and happiness in all that we do. My hope for you this season is to feel the happiness as the lights of Christmas start to come out. Share that joy and remember to always be kind. Being kind, especially at this time of year, can really help a struggling soul to believe in the hope that the struggles may soon be soften in not completely go away. May we all share the kindness this season gives us with the chance to do more.

Always Be Kind, Share when you can

FOTD – September 8, and Macros

Cee Flower of the Day challenge to day looked to be a macro so I thought I would share some of mine from today’s play in the front yard. September is marching on by and this beauty we now have won’t be around much longer.

First off we have the FOTD star of the day, my last giant sunflower with the rich blue fall sky behind it. And of course the gourd trying to make sure he is in the picture as well.

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The birds due to their messy eating habits planted 5 sunflowers this year but only two are currently blooming. These are smaller guys at 3-4 feet high.

I have enjoyed watching the different phases of growth on the sun flowers. Due to their size, you can get a good look at each stage of development. The bees are really enjoying these as well so I played a bit with my macro lens. You can see the hair on the bees legs as he gather the pollen to feed his crew.

The breeze was playing havoc in me not getting a good clear shot but his legs are amazing as he walks on top of stamens

The beauty of macro is that you see things you just don’t see with the regular lens.

Check out the stripe of sunlight as it slipped between the petals, the curl of the pollen covered “thingys” and then the star topped “thingys” toward the center of the flower. Can you tell I know very little about flower definition. I know stamens but not which which is which. Regardless, nature is amazingly beautiful.

I am also showing other flowers currently blooming. My baby mums are lovely. And my double dianthus is trying to sneak out from under the gourd plant that has taken over the yard,

Both blooms are small, about 2 inches across but they shine with all their worth. The “bug guy” as we call him jokingly, came by the church today to do the monthly spray for insects and check for mice. He did not have good news for us about the coming season. He was telling us that the wasps, insects and mice are not behaving normal per this time of year. They are all ahead of schedule for their seasonal behaviors. He told us that last time he saw this behavior was the year we here in Iowa had the polar vortex. UGH!!. Even farmers Almanac is prediction a colder that average and longer than average winter. This was a really hot summer this year so it may be followed with a really cold winter. So enjoy the beauty of fall while we can and remember to always be kind.

The beauty of Autumn

We all know that each season has it own type of beauty but the reds this year seem to be brighter than usual. Maybe its because we need something better to focus on with all the chaos of the pandemic, the violence and basic unhappiness we all seem to be in. So I give you the beauty of the trees here in the Midwest. I am sure the leaves for you area are just as beautiful, so share those and let us focus on the beauty of nature for a while.

And remember, kindness is usually contagious, so spread it around a little as you go about your day.

The Deeper Gifts

As we look to end another year, we are reminded that this is the last two days of the month, the last two day of the year and the last two days of the decade. Pretty monumental. I have been busy and not on here much this month so its time to fire it back up again. I give you a poem on my thoughts for tonight with blowing flurries after unseasonable warm Christmas in the upper 40s.

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THE DEEPER GIFTS

There is a frightful howl that the wind makes

As it zooms through trees with no leaf brakes

When darkness permeates the early evening sky

Reminding us of this season, one, I’d rather pass by

Each season has it gifts that reflect the makers plan

This one requiring deep rest across the land you scan

But as you look across the beauty of each season that you see

You will find a beauty for each one created for you and me

From the cold death of winter with a purity of white snow

That turns to bloom in spring where it all wakes up to grow

The warm caress across your face of a warm summer breeze

It sometimes backfires on you and reluctantly make you sneeze

But then there is fall where the flowers all turn to fruit

Giving food for your table to prepare anyway you suit

As I sit quietly in thought tonight by a fire and the warmth it gives

I am reminded of each season’s beauty, the many gifts our maker gives

So as we close on this year, being a bit more profound than others

We must remember His best gift ever, in that we are all sisters and brothers.

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As you reflect on the beauty of this year gone by, remember the little things that were really quite profound and be thankful for the beauty of your year or if it was a bad year, be thankful for the grace in that you are still here.

If you can make a promise to your self for the coming year, remember the enormous value of kindness and try to always be kind.

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