Monday, February 23, 2015

"I Am A Solar-Powered Person" Gina Waite

I love the sun! I love the light it provides and the warmth from its rays! It’s about this time EVERY year that I long to bask in the sun’s beams as I wait in my car to pick up my children, or lye on my bed with my face in the early morning rays as it shines in through the windows. I am happier, more energetic and filled with a solution-oriented attitude when I’m able to get in my much needed absorption of Vitamin D from the sun….it’s taken me years of understanding but have recently come to the realization that I am a Solar-powered person.

It’s a lovely thing to be solar-powered person…when the sun is out you’ve got the world by the tail…but it doesn’t come without it disadvantages. For example, not every day is sunny! I remember when I first discovered I was so sun-dependent. Sitting on my couch in the middle of the humdrums of winter and very low in spirits, my first born ran into the room and started dancing around happily. When I asked him why he was so happy, he responded, “I just decided I was going to be happy and I did it!” Eureka!!! What a concept!!!! My son taught me then and there that void of any sun…I could make a personal decision to be happy AND I saw the light!

Terri Guillemets said, “Sometimes just looking up and seeing the light is enough,” and I’m so glad my little boy taught me that very concept on that day! So here’s to all the solar-powered people out there…when those skies are gray for several days and your solar power battery is running on low…Remind yourselves that until the sun returns…you MUST make a decision to be happy! Look for the good in others, serve others with a willing heart and try to ALWAYS be kind…these efforts in my decision to be happy sustain me while I wait for the sun to come back out…as I have come to realize, I am a solar-powered person!

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Monday, February 16, 2015 Mary Hazlett

So the other day, I was at one of my million of doctor's appointments that are scheduled for me at this point in my pregnancy....only 3 and a little weeks left... that is if I make it...and foolishly I picked up one of those pregnancy magazines.  On the front there was a beautiful woman with a perfectly round belly with no stretch marks devoid of cellulite and a smile on her face.  Inside the magazine, there was an article titled "Getting ready for baby".... sounded intriguing since I am almost there and this is baby #3 for me and although a pro, I might have forgotten something.  Okay, usual checklist of diapers, clothes, car seat, blah blah blah....and finally "a list of to dos before baby arrives".

Okay, so I decided to take the challenge to make a list of to dos.  I began most enthusiastically knowing the first things on my list were already completed so I could immediately check them off. Then the momentum began to slow to till it hit the wall.  Nearly four pages of to dos later... I began to cry.  "This is ridiculous", I said aloud as my two year old repeated that same phrase.

Let's recap what has happened in the last little bit in my life:  moved in with Dad to give him a retirement,  send husband on a 90 minute commute instead of a 2 minute commute to and from work, max out financially to make space for us with Dad, have a surprise pregnancy (not knowing till I was 10 weeks along and I was really ticked I missed 10 weeks of entitlement), register my kid for preschool (which is quite serious over here...I almost thought that I was trying to get him into college), go to the YMCA to try to keep my sanity, complete my church responsibilities, caulked and sanded trim for many hours while I am in the ninth month of pregnancy, painted the trim and walls for a 600 square foot addition while in the ninth month of pregnancy, catching the flu and peeing my pants with every cough, moving Dad out to live with new wife, moving back in all our things,  and all of this while weathering the awesome comments of "Are you sure there is only one baby in there", "Aren't you like 24 months pregnant", " Do you really think you are gonna make it", and my favorite, "You look miserable"!  (At least I have an excuse, what is yours lady!)

This stupid magazine said that there is usually a list of 43 things that a mom-to-be would have on her list..............Mine was more like 43 million!!!

So, I crumpled up the list, opened the garbage can, and dunked it like Michael Jordan!  Went back to my clean paper and wrote at the top:

1.  Stop taking advice from magazines, especially ones with perfect looking people on them.

That was the beginning and end of my list!  Time for me to be gentle on myself and just be proud of the accomplishments made.  (Which today's number one accomplishment is that I have not yet peed my pants or farted....unintentionally!)

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Monday, February 9, 2015

"Enduring to Endear" Gina Waite

I can’t believe it’s the second week of February.  Mother Nature is either pulling a cruel trick on us Idahoans and we are about to be dumped on with snow… OR …we are having the most mild and warm winter I think I ever remember having!  It’s no matter because whether it’s warm, or cold, I don’t think the temperature will ever stop me from enjoying Valentine’s Day!  I don’t love Valentine’s Day because of things I’ve received; I love Valentine’s Day because I love…LOVE!  …And believe you me; I know what REAL love looks like!

My parents shared fifty-one years of marriage together.  They enjoyed the first year of firsts and made the adjustments necessary to compromise and forgiveness that allowed them to get through the many accompanying years of compromise and forgiveness!  They made it through the years of successfully raising eight children: the scheduling, financial coordinating, and task of trying to keep a united front in the face of possible mutiny!   My Mom and Dad loved each other in their finest of form and later recognized the beauty of fine lines and grey hair!  They experienced the financial success that comes with hard work and dedication…then stood shoulder to shoulder while they lost it all.  They built beautiful houses with surrounding barns and wood working shops…and together watched in disbelief as flames consumed the shop they knew they’d never have again.  Through the ups, and the downs, my Mom and Dad battled against contemporary odds and loved each other, in spite of the fact that things were not ALWAYS…perfect. 

Reflecting on my parents time together, and the REAL love they shared, reminds me of the lyrics of one of my favorite little love songs, “Endearing young charms.”  Written by Thomas Moore in an attempt to remind his wife that no matter what happened in life, or in their personal circumstance, he would love her forever!  Due to the disfiguring effects that smallpox left to her skin, Thomas Moore's wife refused to let herself be seen by anyone, even her husband, because she believed no one could love her after they viewed her badly scarred face and skin.  Despairing at her confinement, Moore composed the lyrics of this song to reassure her that he would always love her regardless of her situation OR appearance. He later wrote that after hearing him sing this song to her from outside her bedroom door, she finally allowed him inside and fell into his arms, her confidence restored.  The Moore’s, just like my parents, knew what REAL love looks like…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

“Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Were to change by to-morrow and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will;
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.
It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear.
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close
As the sunflower turns on her God when he sets

The same look which she turned when he rose.”

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Monday, February 2, 2015 Jim Terry

Anyone know who Ansel Adams is?  Over the years, I have been astounded by his presentation and production of several diverse landscapes.  He has taken us on adventures that span from the great El Capitan in Yosemite, to the majestic Grand Tetons, to the vast expanses of an open meadow only to eventually end up next to a simple rock formation enhanced with the silhouette of a dead tree.  Upon further evaluation of his work, I am always surprised by his aptitude to always somehow capture the most amazing highlights and shadows in his photography. 

Just the other day I had the opportunity to take a hike.  I’m not sure how you all feel about hiking, but for me, it’s like catnip is to a cat.  Each and every time I approach a trailhead to head up a mountain, hike along the coast or take a simple stroll through a tree lined path, there is always a feeling of elation and excitement as I place my foot on the path or trail and take my first step towards my new adventure.  Part of my excitement comes not only from my love of being in and experiencing nature but also from my love of photography. Even as a young boy NO ONE, and I do mean NO ONE or NOTHING, was safe from the 110 speed film lens from the great “wanna be” young Ansel...ME!  

One of my favorite trails that I hike on a regular basis is located about two miles up the road from where I work.  It can be found in San Pedro County Park.  As you walk up the path that enters into the park, you will see the small entrance booth that the park rangers frequent and a small visitors center located off in the distance. Walking further into the park and up the path, you become awestruck due to the presence of a huge redwood tree just adjacent to the path.  And while taking in this amazing God given structure while feeling and seeing a gentle breeze move the limbs and the fernlike “leaves” of this 200’ tree, you hear a disturbance just off in the distance.  Upon further examination, you notice that this noise you once thought was a disruption is anything but that…a small stream that gently crawls and babbles its way along the rocks and the edges of a small ravine that holds its course becomes anything but an annoyance.

Looking further up the path you notice a small bridge that leads you to the beginning of the trailhead for the Hazelnut trail.  I would say it’s easily a moderate intensity climb with a total loop length of 4.6 miles and an elevation change of 900’ up and 900’ back down to the bottom of the valley.  And not to give you too many details on this hike so I don’t bore you, but never in my day with all the hikes I have completed have I EVER SEEN an entrance to a path as breathtaking as this one.

Just after you pass over the small bridge you are once again blown away by two of the BIGGEST oak trees I have ever seen.  I have taken several photos of these trees over the years but have never captured their beauty, their grandeur or their majesty…until NOW!  With this picture I am sharing with you today, I couldn’t help but to notice the amazing coloration of the ferns, the poison oak, the small plants that decorate the foreground or the moss that gently rests upon the limbs and the trunk of this remarkable tree.  

I was contemplating and trying to think of “WHY”—this time at least—this photo worked for me?  Upon further inspection of this photo, I believe that what really makes this photo work is the contrast and the shadows contained within it.  They simply define the edges of the trunk, the limbs, the moss, the sky, the individual leaves of each fern and just simply make everything unique and exceptional…Isn’t it interesting how something as simple as a small shadow can make things better or worse? 

So in following the great Ansel’s true form of media, I am providing a color and a black and white photo of today’s picture. Which one do you like better?...Suggestions?...Oh and speaking of shadows and how a SMALL shadow can make or break a setting or a situation and make a BIG difference…what’s Punxsutawney Phil saying where you are at today?  I hope it’s only good news for those of you who are hoping for the beginning of an early spring.   HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!

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