Simplicity

Simplicity boils down to two steps:
Identify the essential.
Eliminate the rest.

LEO BABAUTA

Welcome back to my series Life: From A to Z and the word Simplicity for the letter “S.” And just for the record, you have no idea how excited I am that there are only SEVEN letters left! Don’t think for a second that I’m finding it easy to write through the alphabet. But, I’m proud of myself for sticking to it. The last thing I need on the blog is another unfinished series.

Anyway, I love simplicity. I wish I was able to live simply, but I have a little too much craziness in my blood. A perfect example is my featured image. I had the word simplicity in mind today and then I took my mom to Hobby Lobby. I found a simple piece that made me think “yes… that is perfect! It is nice and simple.”

Continue reading “Simplicity”

Treasure Fishing

One thing becomes clearer as one gets older and one’s fishing experience increases, and that is the paramount importance of one’s fishing companions.

I’ve had this image of some fishermen hanging out for a while now, and there’s something about it that I just love. That being said, I’ve gotten a little creative with the appearance of it—a sort of dreamy, double exposure effect—but I was just going with how it made me feel.

Now… I’m not here to insult anyone, or debate the differences between men and women (or people in general), and I don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers, but can someone please tell me why men always look like they’re having the time of their lives when they’re together?

These guys aren’t sitting around taking selfies, or worrying about how they look, they’re embracing the moment and all that it has to offer. I don’t know, maybe they’re actually arguing about who caught the biggest fish. Who’s to say?

Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley.

Anyway, regardless of what they may or may not be talking about, there is a vibe there that I want to reach out and grab. It’s something that you see when people fish together. Maybe it’s camaraderie.

I’m sure that I’ll always be part introvert, and that I’ll always LOVE and appreciate the peace that can be found in solitude, but with the extremes that have been thrown upon us during the quarantine times, I’ve developed a real fondness for companionship and camaraderie.

That being said, I’ve also realized that I dropped the ball on The Quarantine Project. It was difficult to keep up, because it was harder and harder to find excitement and meaning in the days of isolation. I’m thinking now that maybe that lack of busyness wasn’t meant for seeking out fun or excitement, it was meant to boost my appreciation of the valuable things that can easily get lost. Like the old song says, “Don’t know what you’ve got (till it’s gone).”

So, I’m going to keep adding to my collection. I’m going to put my focus on the new “appreciations” that I discover, and I hope that you will come along and join me… as I go fishing for treasure.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

Henry David Thoreau

Until next time,
Peace & Love!

Give Thanks…

NO MATTER WHAT

Hmmm… well isn’t that a wee bit grandiloquent?!

Between the Word of the Day, grandiloquent, and the weekend writing prompt, peristeronic, I’m beginning to think that I need to keep a thesaurus and a dictionary at my desk! 


Grandiloquent: Language or behavior is very formal, literary, or exaggerated, and is used by people when they want to seem important. Fancy or pretentious. 


Honestly, I don’t think that being cheerful, praying, and giving thanks no matter what is grandiloquent at all. It’s biblical.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 (MSG)

I thought that this might be the perfect opportunity to submit my entry to Out of the Ashes, for the challenge: New Directions—a prompt that was started by yours truly—ME.

It’s terribly awkward, spreading myself so thin like that… but these are the COVID days, and I think that most of us can agree… anything goes.

I have a zillion things that I could write about new directions—starting over or changing the course of your life—but I think that the perfect starting point is gratitude; being grateful for every single thing in your life: A roof over your head, food on the table, or even the basics like air, soap and water.

I think that when we learn to be grateful for “life itself”—when we’re cheerful, prayerful, and thankful—it clears paths and opens doors. An ungrateful mind is muddled with negativity and complaints, and it creates a toxic fog.

The more we focus on despair and hopelessness, the cloudier it gets. After awhile, we can’t even see ahead of us let alone try to change our course! Mindsets are crucial, and I like to think that this biblical instruction is offering us truth and wisdom about the value and benefit of having a healthy and positive mindset.

So, at the risk of sounding grandiloquent, “be cheerful, pray, and give thanks… no matter what!”


Written for Word of the Day Challenge: Grandiloquent, and Out of the Ashes prompt: New Directions.

The featured image is another friend portrait that I did. The leaves were added as a finishing touch, and I couldn’t help but think that a woman celebrating the falling leaves (which my friend would inevitably do) was the perfect representation of gratitude.

The “oil paint” tool on my old PC never worked before—I think because of my graphic card—and I realized yesterday, while working on my “moon art,” that it’s available to me now, on my new laptop. Hence the new oil paint effect.

And I couldn’t be more grateful!

That’s about all for now. Peace & love to you all…

Having a Vision

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Japanese proverb

My new laptop is working great, but the screen is VERY small. My little old eyes (that need cheater glasses) were not too thrilled with the size. So… I decided to get creative, and I’m using an old television as a monitor, and it is REALLY big. Boy do I have vision NOW. Ha! I’m exaggerating, I must confess, but it’s larger than any of my laptops have ever been. I was really able to zoom in and see some of the tiny details in my flower tonight.

I guess that’s what having a vision is all about; being able to see, or at least imagine, what it is that you’re working on, or going after. I think the first half of my life was a whole lot of action without vision. Like the hamster on the wheel, or a dog chasing its tail… just thoughtless, repetitive motion. And boy what a nightmare it became!

Sobriety was a gift (thank you God!). It really opened up my eyes and gave me clarity. My vision about the future can be clouded sometimes, and I definitely daydream, but I can see my feet, and the path that they are on, VERY clearly. And all I can say is… Oh, what a beautiful road it is!


The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.

helen keller

Beautiful Storm

I started working on this image during my “time out” yesterday. I feel wonderful today, and very well rested. The beach scene is not quite where I wanted it to be, but it will have to do. For now. Striving for perfection is exhausting, so it’s “good enough.”

I’ve come to the conclusion that—even with this extra time we’ve all been given—it’s still possible to burn out. Too much sleeping, overeating, excessive introspection, and even (in my own case) an overdose of blogging. Some of it isn’t visible; it’s the unseen things we do behind the scenes—thinking about what to share, writing and editing, scratching the whole shabang and then starting over—that sort of stuff. Assuming I’m not the only one who does that!

Yesterday I REALLY dug in and I’m almost finished cleaning and organizing my space (the old bedroom / desk / work area). Wednesday is my new student orientation at the University— which, unfortunately, is now on zoom instead of face to face—and then the following Monday my classes start. Yay! That being said, I’ll be too busy to over-introspect or overdose on blogging, so that’s really good news. Anyway, it felt SO good to clean and organize. Sometimes I think cleaning is good for the soul. It helps us heal, and everything looks so pleasing afterwards. Like a fresh start!

I thought I’d do a Daily Gratitude because that’s how I feel today. After writing about my struggles with the ALL or NOTHING syndrome, and trying to find some kind of balance, I see something very beautiful in that storm, something I’m very grateful for…

Sanity: The ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner.

Although it’s not official, I’ll stick to the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I’ve done that before! And I blamed everyone around me for the destructive tornado that seemed to follow me wherever I went. Not until recovery did I learn that it was me. I was the cause. It was MY storm.

Having a sound mind and the wherewithal to think and sort through my whirlwind of thoughts, from different perspectives, is something I’m truly grateful for. It is in that storm that the answers hide.

I’m ALSO grateful to all of the readers, my friends. Every comment (or like) encourages me, and your words have helped me to see or realize new things. 

I know it’s a bit strange to lump together sanity and readers (friends), but actually it’s not. This is a difficult and unusual time we’re all in. Life is “different” right now, and it will be different for quite some time. Being there for each other is part of what keeps us sane. So, if you ask me, I’d say that the two go hand in hand.

Thank you for reading, and for being there!

Peace & Love…
—Janet