Don’t be offended, but I am not a fan of the Beetles

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In May of 2014, I bought a young Birch tree and planted it in my mom’s memory.  The tree is just outside of my living room window and, recently, my brother, sister-in-law and my nephews came over to place the river rocks around the tree that we collected at her celebration of life.  Each rock contains a word or two that was written by friends and family to share their memories of our mom.

I have been faithfully watering the tree each day and trying to make sure it thrives in its new home.  Last year I had noticed some of the leaves were beginning to yellow.  Upon closer examination, I also discovered the tree had become home to a bug that I have never seen before and this particular creature loves to devour the greenery and skeletonize the foliage.   Had these pests been named John, Paul, George or Ringo I may have been a little more forgiving, but these Japanese Beetles waged a war that I had sworn to win.

beetles

(image credit: walterspropertyservices.com)

 I diligently tended to my tree at least three times a day to pick these creatures off, one by one, to rid the poor tree of this unnecessary destruction.  Google and the garden center staff seemed to agree that this is the most effective way to eradicate these pesky bugs.  I only hoped that I could put an end to them before they put an end to my tree.

My tree blossomed beautifully again this spring but the creatures are back with a vengeance.  If anyone is going to Japan in the near future, save some room in your luggage.  I would love to send these iridescent insects packing!!

Living in abundance

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I am not wealthy, but I feel rich. I don’t have a large collection of belongings, but I live in abundance because I choose to define my prosperity in the most basic of ways.  I choose to perceive my success in the reflection of the people in my life and I don’t measure that success by any other standards but my own.  My richness cannot be seen, only felt.  The wealth I have is in the things that I hold dear to my heart and, for that reason, I will never be poor.

I have love in my life, so I will never be without emotion.  I have friends in my life, so I will never be without laughter.  I have the gift of creativity in my head, so I will never feel alone.  I am bathed in the glow of the sun, so I will always be warm.   And I live as my most honest self so I will never be afraid.  My abundance is overflowing.

Life-of-Abundance

True success should only be defined at the end of your emotional journey and not in the possessions you collect along the way.  Your greatest wealth lies in the eyes of your partner or your children.  Your greatest strength lies in the arms of your family and friends.  And your only obstacle is the limit you give your imagination.

I live well because I am rich.  My stocks are in my family, my bonds are in my friendships and my gold is in my truth.  My richness collects interest with each day that passes because I have people in my life that support me and challenge me.  I have discovered new friends that inspire me and that feeling of worth pays me dividends that mean far more to me than monetary wealth ever could.  I am living in abundance and I have more than I ever dreamed possible.

 

Branching out from every day life

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“Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify, simplify.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

treehouse

(image credit)

This picture is my bliss.  If I could press a magic button and be transported to this place, I would be a happy woman.  I have never been lured by the latest fashion or by the possession of “things”.  I am not a person who is concerned by status.  I simply want to feel joy in my day-to-day life and this representation of simple happiness truly defines the life I wish to live.

I want to create my own standards.  I don’t want to be held hostage by the confines of what society deems acceptable.  I refuse to compare my success to the success of anyone other than myself because that would be unfair to me.  I want to live on my terms and live by my own rules.  I want to live the way I want to live….nothing more, nothing less.

Being able to climb up into this tree house at the end of a long day would make all of the effort worthwhile.  Just to know that this little piece of Heaven existed would make all of the daily hardships seem more acceptable and afford me that much-needed escape at the end of a long day.

The perfect tree awaits and I have begun my search.  I don’t need bigger and better, just my own little piece of paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I followed the crumbs back home

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“A party without cake is just a meeting.” ~  Julia Child

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 I’m not sure how old I was or what passing birthday had just eclipsed my dream of being a child forever but I remember the birthday cake my mom had made.  It was a chocolate cake with homemade buttercream frosting and a bittersweet chocolate ganache.  It was decadent.  It was made with love.  And to a child still in single digits, it was crack cocaine.

Every special occasion I demanded politely requested that my mother painstakingly recreate that masterpiece.  Throughout my childhood, I never deviated from that cake.  It is one of the favorite memories I have of my mother.  I cannot recall whose smile was more prominent when the cake was delivered to the table, hers or mine, but I do know that cake was our moment to share.

Over the years, I lost track of the myriad number of times that cake graced our dining room table but I never lost my love of that cake.  I saw how much effort my mom put into that special treat and, perhaps through osmosis, I garnered the same conviction that cake made people happy.

After being absent for some time, due to unforeseen construction on the path of my life, I am back on the road that leads straight to my oven and my decorating tools.  I missed cakes.  I missed the escape from reality that decorating affords me and I missed the joy in people’s eyes when they had seen what I created for their special occasion.

The piping bags are ready, the cupboards are stocked and the fondant is ready to roll.   Let them eat cake!