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February 2019
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April 2019

March 2019

The Truth of It

There was probably a time in my life . . . before I had cancer, surely . . . when I might've been upset at the thought of turning 60.  Or, at least, felt melancholy and pensive about it.

But now?

I say . . . BRING IT!  MORE BIRTHDAYS!!!!

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Tomorrow, when I wake up to my first day as a 60-year-old, I don't anticipate feeling any different or looking any different or acting any different than I do today -- my last day as a 59-year-old.

I plan to fling my arms wide to embrace the day . . . and enjoy every moment that comes my way.

Because living to celebrate another birthday is a gift.
And I am so happy to be here.

"I decided if you're lucky enough to be alive, you should use each birthday to celebrate what your life is about."
                    ---Mary Steenburgen

 


Birthday Butterflies

As part of my birthday-week celebration (60 on Saturday!!!), Tom took me to the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids the other day.  

The exhibit is the largest temporary, tropical butterfly exhibit in the country -- and it comes every spring to Meijer Gardens.  Watching these exotic butterflies flutter all around you . . . in a truly beautiful tropical conservatory . . . is just magical!

But first, there was a Monarch butterfly exhibit.  As you know, I'm a huge fan of the Monarch, so I loved finding all the caterpillars munching away on various milkweed plants, and seeing the caterpillars actively forming their chrysalis.  This one was close to emerging.  (You can see the distinct Monarch colors/pattern through the chyrsalis.)

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Here are three cool things about the tropical butterfly exhibit:

1 - Feeding stations.

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The butterflies were just flocking around various feeding stations set up throughout the exhibit.  The butterflies in this photo are Postman and Pink Cattleheart, all from Central and South America.  (We were there in the morning, and these are all "morning" butterflies -- they like the bright morning sunlight.)

2 -- Beautiful butterflies we don't see locally.

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This blue butterfly is the Common Morpho (also from Central and South America), and I'll tell you . . . it didn't seem "common" at all!  It's big -- much bigger than a Monarch; kind of . . . bat sized.  It was just amazing to see them floating around.  The blue was much more brilliant and iridescent that my photo shows.

3 -- Hatching station.

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The exhibit featured a hatching station where we could see all the types of chrysalis for the butterflies included in the exhibit.  It was fascinating to watch the butterflies in various stages of "hatching."  I loved watching them emerge.  

It was a fabulous way to spend a morning!

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Be sure to visit Carole today for more Three on Thursday posts.

 


My Wabi Sabi Bunny

Are you familiar with the concept of wabi sabi?

The Wikipedia definition of wabi sabi is this:  In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete".

There's a lot more to it than that simple explanation, but that will suffice for an introduction. (I've been studying wabi sabi this year -- it's something I'll be writing about more in the future, I'm sure.)

Anyway.

I'm embracing the wabi sabi with my first little bunny.

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He's adorable.  But flawed.  In a delightfully wabi sabi way.

I am using scrap yarn to knit him, and I ran out of the main bunny color after knitting the first hand.  So one of his hands and both of his feet don't match his body or head.  (You can't tell so much in the photo, but in real life it's quite obvious.)  One of his ears is bigger than the other.  (I miscounted somewhere along the way.)  His head is crooked.  (Picking up stitches for the body is trickier than it looks.)  And he has a loose stitch at the tip of his nose.

But I'm embracing the wabi sabi here.  (And I know the recipient will, too.)
I think it adds to his charm!

How about you?  What are you making this week?


Your Life is Your Life

(With special thanks today to Juliann . . . for hosting a monthly one-little-word check in over on her blog . . . . and for keeping the conversation going all year long.)

your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
    --- Charles Bukowski, the laughing heart

Intention.

It turns out this is the perfect word for me . . . right now, this year.
I'm having a great time exploring and thinking and connecting with my word.

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Three months into 2019, where has intention pulled me?

  • I've been doing a lot of thinking about why I do what I do.  (Knitting, for example.)
  • I've become much more aware of "Future Kym."  (Like . . . how she's not a stranger at all, and how I ought be making more of my decisions with her in mind.)
  • I'm discovering that wellness (in a holistic sense) is key to "living my best life."  (For the rest of my life.)

I've also begun compiling an "intention journal" filled with quotes and images and ideas that resonate with me as I explore my word.  This month, I added 3 poems.  This one, by Charles Bukowski, particularly fits my word . . . for me.

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the laughing heart. charles bukowski

your life is your life
don't let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the odds will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

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How about YOU?  What are you learning about your word this year?  I'd love to hear about it.

 


Sometimes Mondays

. . . look pretty mundane; all too ordinary.

Same old stuff on the calendar.
Same old items on the to-do list.
(Especially when you procrastinated doing them last week.)  
(Just sayin.)
Same old same old.

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But maybe . . . not really so mundane; not necessarily ordinary.

My challenge?  To seek the patches of blue in the puddles of my day!

(Happy Monday.)

 

 


TGIF

Here is my very-early-Spring-in-Michigan version of #blueskyblooms. . . 

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Yep.  It's a taken-from-the-inside shot of an amaryllis -- but blooming against a blue sky outside the window!  That's about as good as it gets here in Michigan in late March.   But I'll take it.  Blue sky and sunshine FTW!  (Even though the wind is blowing cold and the temperature is only 35 F right now.) 

It's Friday; let's TGIF!

T - Thinking about . . . pulling the details together for a couple of trips in the next few months.  

G - Grateful for . . . no more snow piles in my yard!

I - Ignoring . . . that "soft" deadline I set for my taxes.  (Sunday.  Yeah.  Just not gonna happen.)

F - Feeling . . . super ambivalent about March Madness, but will probably watch a few games with Tom anyway.  (But how about those pink shoes on the University of Michigan team?  Fun, huh?)  (Here's the story behind the shoes.)

Happy Friday to all of you!
See you on Monday.

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Don't forget to check out this month's Stash Giveaway.  Comment by 7:00 pm EST tonight (Friday) if you're interested!


Instead Of . . .

It happens every. single. year.

Tax time approaches.  I am a CPA (or. . . I was when I worked).  Our taxes are not very complicated.  And yet . . .

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I put off doing them.  
But I WILL do them.  
I ALWAYS do them.  
(I've given myself a "soft" deadline of - gulp - this Sunday.)
(Like I said. . . "soft.")

Yes, people.  We have some major procrastination here!

What am I doing . . . instead of doing our taxes?  Well.  Pretty much anything.  But mostly:

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Procrasti-painting.  (But my new cow is much better than eye-patch-cow, non?)

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Procrasti-cleaning.  (My kitchen needs a good scrub-down after Tom's beer making yesterday!)

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Procrasti-knitting.  (Pleaseohpleasehelpme . . . I've got another binge going.)

How about you?  Are you a procrastinator?   If so, how do your procrasti-activities manifest themselves?  
(And please don't rub it in that you-filed-in-January-and-already-spent-your-refund.)

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Jump over to Carole's today, for more Three on Thursday fun.

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Don't forget to check out this month's Stash Giveaway.  Comment by Friday if you're interested!

 


Tuesdays Are For Wellness

Last week, I wrote about recent my eureka-moment . . . that to live my best life, I need to focus on wellness.  Since then, I've been doing some researching and some reading, and y'know . . . there's a lot of information out there!  And a lot of it is worth sharing. (Especially because, based on your comments, I think a lot of you are interested in wellness, too.)

So.

Tuesdays around here . . . are for wellness.
(At least, for the time being.)

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There are many books and articles and websites based on wellness and self-care (because "self-care" is really having a moment these days).  There is lots of information -- and much of it is focused on the self-care-as-pampering concept.  Now I do think that a bit of pampering does the body/heart/soul good, but I think there's more to self-care and wellness than pampering!  I'm looking for a more holistic approach to wellness.

I discovered an organization called the National Wellness Institute, and they define wellness as follows:  Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.  

Now THAT's what I'm looking for!

Further, the National Wellness Institute describes wellness as having six interconnected dimensions:

  • Physical - Maintaining a sound body through regular exercise, proper nutrition, sleeping well, monitoring personal health, and avoiding harmful habits
  • Social - Connecting and contributing to our environment and community, and understanding our personal impact on both environment and society
  • Intellectual - Engaging with creative and stimulating mental activities
  • Spiritual - Searching for meaning and purpose in human existence, and aligning our actions with what's truly important to us
  • Emotional - Becoming aware of, accepting, and expressing our feelings, and understanding how they impact our daily lives
  • Occupational - Contributing our unique skills, gifts, and talents to work that is personally meaningful and rewarding

I really like this dimensional concept when it comes to wellness.  It makes sense to me, and helps me understand the various moving parts that contribute to . . . living my best life.  Over the next couple of months, I plan to do a kind of "deep dive" into each dimension to examine how my own activities, habits, etc. measure up.  I want to figure out which dimensions are working well for me -- and which could use a bit more attention.

How about YOU?  When you look at the six dimensions, where do you think you're doing the best?  And - just off the top of your head - where do you think you might need to pay more attention in your own life?

[The National Wellness Institute states that "wellness is a conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving full potential."  Hmmmmm . . . sounds kind of intentional now, doesn't it?]

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Don't forget to check out this month's Stash Giveaway.  Comment by Friday if you're interested!

 


Sometimes Mondays

. . . provide evidence that time really does fly!

Winter really does seem to drag, y'know?  So even though I really know that time is passing, it sort of feels like it's not.  But when you set out to do something once a month on a certain day (say . . . the 3rd Monday of every month), well.  It seems like time really IS passing.

Which is all a prelude to say that . . . it's time for another of my Stash Giveaways!  This month, I've got a couple of lovely and very fun skeins of sock yarn.

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I picked up both of these skeins at the Michigan Fiber Festival a couple of years ago.  The dyer is from Grand Rapids, but doesn't seem to be actively selling through her Etsy shop anymore.  

The bright pink skein . . . 

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is called "Party On, Wayne" and features various shades of pink, grey, and some lavender.  The fiber content is 70% merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon.  Yardage is approximately 400 yards, fingering weight.  (The color is fairly close to actual in the photo, although the grays pop a bit more in real life.)

The bright blue skein . . . 

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is called "Rock Out With Your (Pea)Cock Out" and features very peacock-like colors -- shades of teal-y blue and green, shades of lavender to purple, and a touch of gray.  There are also black "nepps" throughout.  The fiber content is 85% merino and 15% Donegal nepp.  Yardage is approximately 400 yards, fingering weight.  (I'd say the color in the photo is pretty much accurate.)

So.

Let me know in the comments - by Friday - if you'd find joy in either (or both!) of these skeins.  I'll choose a winner for each skein on Friday (through a highly scientific, random draw-a-name-from-a-hat process), and will contact the new joyful owner(s) for their addresses by email.

Thanks for letting me share the joy!

(Tell your friends.)