Thursday, July 11, 2019

Backyard Philosophy

Musings From My Backyard

I've been taking walks outdoors sauntering around my woods and waxing philosophical with my musings. I thought I would share. We'll begin with this surprisingly good pic of the Lantana on my back porch. I surprised myself with getting the bokeh on this shot! Just goes to show that if you keep trying, you can eventually get it right!

I spied these toadstools out my door today and grabbed my camera to snap some photos. I have a "thing" for toadstools that dates back to when my Mom and I would watch the Smurfs on Saturday mornings. Just look at the detail on the stem of the toadstool on the left! How beautiful the stem is with the creamy white of the cap with brown in the center! I like looking for beauty in small things. Think of the small creatures who may take respite from the sun under the shade of these toadstools. 

This is the fern that ate Manhattan growing on my front porch! There are equally large ones on the other side of the front porch and on the back porch. These ferns have gone to town over the summer and are HUGE. This pic doesn't do it justice! Note to self to allow for more space between planters next summer so the Coleus in the side pots don't  get overwhelmed by the fern. Sometimes a little space is a good thing. 

We have had several trees fall in our woods during stormy and windy days. This one fell into the crook of another tree and got wedged saving the underbrush from getting crushed. It's a good thing to be able to give support when needed. 

This pile of large rocks may not look like much but my husband has been steadily finding them on our property and moving them to the front of the house where he will eventually be turning them into stone steps up to the house. It is hard work to move such heavy objects but he is determined! What looks chaotic can actually contain order

Thankfully, this little Leyland Cyprus tree seems to be recovering nicely after the baby bear cubs used it to climb on during their playtime. It pays to be able to bend without breaking. 

I was lucky enough to be able to catch the raindrops on this leaf. Into every life a little rain must fall. 

These ferns were not planted but just popped up on their own next to these huge boulders in our front yard. Not a very hospitable environment for plants but these ferns appear to be thriving! It's possible to bloom and grow even in poor circumstances. 

This spider web covers a large territory along the ground ivy and it sprinkled with raindrops. The delicate web strands are unharmed by the heavy droplets and the wind that accompanies the rain. Delicacy does not diminish strength. 

Our mountain stream now runs smoothly and gently never hinting at the raging waters which washed out portions of our driveway during a deluge a few weeks ago. The strength of water should never be underestimated. 

This gray fox paused for a moment during a foray through our backyard. I snapped this photo from inside the house. The fox looked my way warily, unsure of my intentions and listening carefully for every sound. It pays to be on alert in uncertain circumstances. 

And it's ok to leave if it doesn't feel right. 

My marigolds didn't like the front yard and were thin and spindly until I moved them to the backyard next to the porch. Now they are thriving and multiplying! It can take awhile to find your best place to thrive. 

I am blessed to live in such a place of beauty where, like the needles of the pine tree, there is the evergreen of nature throughout each season. The beauty of nature, unlike fashion, never goes out of style and never worries about trends. Each plant, creature and aspect of nature has its own style and is beautiful in its own right. May each of us copy nature's styling in our own lives. 

Our backyards can teach us much if we take the time to look and listen.

Until Next Time,

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Devotional: Psalm 34 and Anxious Fears

When Fearful Thoughts Come

I bless God every chance I get;
my lungs expand with His praise.

I live and breathe God,
if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy:

Join me in spreading the news;
together let's get the word out.

God met me more than halfway,
He freed me from my anxious fears.
Psalm 34:1-4  (The Message)

Everyone has anxious thoughts from time to time. Whether it's concern over finances, family, health, jobs, the state of the world or something else, worry is a common affliction in our world. When worrisome anxious thoughts assail us, Psalm 34 is a great reminder to us that God is with us in all times and situations. He works on our behalf to calm our fears and anxieties if we rely on Him. I love the idea of not only living God but breathing God. Have you ever heard of a "breath prayer?" I have recently been reading about how to pray breath prayers. It can be as simple as breathing in while praying "Jesus" and breathing out while praying "give me peace."  Try it and you will be amazed at how calming breath prayers can be! Breath prayers don't have to be about anxiety. They can be praise prayers as well. For instance breathing in while praying "Praise to you" and breathing out while praying "Lord Christ."  Give breath prayers a try and experience Psalm 34's recommendation to "live and breathe God!"


Friday, July 5, 2019

How To Wear A Little Black Jumpsuit

Styling A Jumpsuit Two Ways

Hello, everyone! Today, I'm showing two different ways to style a little black jumpsuit. I've shown before how to style a little black dress, so why not a little black jumpsuit, right?!

To be honest, I really didn't think that the current jumpsuit trend was right for me. I recently remarked to a friend that I had tried on a couple of jumpsuits and they REALLY showed my pear shape and were not at all attractive. I decided to try this one, however, when I saw it on the clearance rack at Target for a few reasons. 
  • I love to wear black and find it very slimming.
  • I thought this outfit would work well for both casual and dressy wearing. 
  • I liked the structure of this particular jumpsuit and the thicker fabric. Others I had tried were made of flimsy material. 
So, I gave this jumpsuit a try and I feel that I found a winner! It wasn't that I had to have a jumpsuit, but for all the above reasons, I figured it would be a good addition to my wardrobe. In addition, I can change up the look of this jumpsuit, which I will show you in this post, making it a versatile piece of clothing. 

Here, I'm styling a dressier look wearing the jumpsuit with the belt that came with it, black heels, large silver earrings and a dressy bracelet and clutch purse. 

To change up the look a bit, I decided to go for a more casual look by adding lots of pink. I switched out the belt for a pink multi-belt and added sparkly pink sandals and a pink purse.

I like the pink accessories, but think I'll stick with the black belt. Which styling do you like best? Have you tried jumpsuits? Let me know in the comments. 

And, here is my solution to the "bathroom dilemma" that accompanies jumpsuits. This jumpsuit has a small button and fabric hook at the neck which was not easy to either button or un-button, which could create problems!!  So, I simply added self-sticking Velcro tabs on the neckline and now I have no issues with quickly snapping/unsnapping the neckline. As you can see, this jumpsuit is by Prologue and gets great reviews. As I mentioned before, mine was on the clearance rack so I got a really good discounted price. 

Hope your 4th of July holiday was good and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

Until Next Time,