Getting Garden Ready

It seems that Mother Nature just cannot make up her mind!  We have had some perfectly lovely days, but suddenly the rains came through and once again it is cold and damp.
Every time I think Spring is here to stay, another cold blast of winter comes barreling through.¬† I know that I have no reason to complain as there are places that are still getting snow!¬† ( I’m so very sorry. )

Whether it’s cold and grey where you are or if your fortunate and the sun is shining bright, we are all thinking about the same thing…..warm, sunny days and flowers in the garden.¬† ¬†So, today I thought I would share some photos of springs past.¬†

Last May, I attended the beautiful garden wedding of my niece.
As always, I was captivated by the beauty of the garden ( and the beauty of the bride) and captured a few photos to store away for savoring on grey days like today.  


It was a small garden with lots of potted plants and fountains creating the perfect ambiance for a beautiful Spring wedding.

The bride and groom exchanged their vows before this wall of potted ivory, and you can just image how perfect it was. ( I guess I’m a bit of a romantic at heart.)

I’ve always loved a garden wedding.¬† They seem so cheery and bright.¬†¬†

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.”

Have faith, in no time at all, we will all be singing in the sun.  Blessings РGerri 

Today Anything is Possible!

Let your joy burst forth like flowers in Spring!

Spring is a time of new beginnings!  The earth is bursting with colorful flowers and the trees are budding out, showing off their new green color.  The birds are singing their most glorious song and the sky is as blue as the sparkling color of the ocean seas.

¬†¬†It seems that nature is celebrating the return of warmer days with it’s burst of glorious beauty!

He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.¬† ¬†

– Ecclesiates 3:11

Spring makes me feel like anything is possible.¬† The increased light and the warmer air encourages me to get outside more, work in my garden, go for long walks, and just take in the glories of nature.¬† It’s finally time to shake off those winter blues and feel the joy that arrives with spring.¬† ¬†

Spring is a time of celebration! It’s the time to kick off your shoes and run barefoot through the dew sparkled grass.¬† It’s a time to gather with friends and family for picnics in the garden and cooking on the grill.¬† It’s a time for planting and starting with new beginnings.

For nothing will be impossible with God.  -Luke 1.37

My hope for you for today is that you will relish in the glories of spring and lift your eyes in thanks for the beauty of this day.

Wishing you blessings today and everyday.  РGerri

What’s Up in the Garden

A change of season always brings excitement!  After weeks of grey, cloudy skies the slightly warmer weather definitely has me yearning for Spring!

This past week, in between the scattered raindrops, RH and I have been observing the damage to our garden from the hard freeze.  In southeast Texas, we usually have fairly mild winters.  This year was different.  Temperatures dropped below freezing and stayed there for a couple of days.  Our somewhat tropical garden took quite a beating.  Although all potted plants were stored safely in the garage and we covered the plants that we knew would struggle in a freeze, the cold weather really took a toll on our previously lovely garden.  ( I do realize there are places in the world that would delight in our mild winters and are probably chuckling at our gardening woes.  We are a bit spoiled in this region! )

While I did enjoy the cooler temperatures, it was so nice to see highs peeking into the seventies this week, although we are still being inundated with lots of rain and grey skies.  My husband is truly the passionate gardener, and he has begun trimming away and hauling off branches filled with ugly, dead leaves.  After surveying the bleakness of our garden, we ran out and purchased a few Daylilies and Lavender in an attempt to bring some life back into the space.  I know that the Daylilies will thrive as they love our hot and humid climate.  However after purchasing the Lavender I learned that they prefer a less humid climate.  Well, I do love Lavender so I want to at least make an attempt. We shall have to wait and see.

Everyday day, with sweet Bear close on my heals, I walk around the garden searching for bits of green sprouting through.  The tulips I planted last Fall are slowly pushing through the ground and I can see bits of green around our Mexican Heather. However, I’m afraid it’s going to be a long, slow process though.

To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow.

– Audrey Hepburn

The garden is my place of delight, peace and contentment.  I look to my garden to be a retreat from the busyness of the day.  A special place to relax, enjoy and simply breathe.  However, as with most things worthwhile, gardening is a process.  So for now, I will simply wait, nurture and believe in tomorrow.  

Wishing you blessings as we await Spring. – Gerri

**The photos shown in this post are from last summer’s garden. Hopefully, I will have new photo’s for you soon.


One Word – Simplify

Simplify ……this has been my goal in life for oh, so many¬†¬†years.¬† I crave simplicity …. in my home, in my mind, in all that I do.

I have an inherent belief that if I can simplify all aspects of my life.¬† I’m not sure that this is truly possible as we live in an extremely complex world.¬† However, it has been my goal for quite awhile now, so I will continue to strive for this.¬† I believe that if I can truly simplify my life then I will find the peace and serenity that I truly desire.¬† I believe that I’m not alone in this pursuit.

With my goal being to create a simple life, each day I begin with a vision of what this simple life will look like.  For me,  the first step is to start with my home.  I want my home to be as clean, simple and clutter free as possible.  I am currently going through every nook and cranny to eliminate any items that I no longer need or desire.   I don’t want possessions to create complexity in my life.  Clutter makes me anxious.  So, I am striving to eliminate anything that restricts my idea of freedom and joy. 

Another step in the process is how I spend my time.¬† It’s important to me that my time is spent doing what brings me joy and satisfaction.¬† As I go through this process,¬†I have found that I am now eliminating¬† activities that are not as meaningful to insure I have time for the activities that I most enjoy.¬† Life is full of choices.¬† It’s important to me to choose activities that bring joy. Sometimes, I have to really stop and consider my goals and what brings me the most joy in making decisions.¬† I am not as quick or impulsive in agreeing to do some things as I once was.¬† Often times, I prefer staying home to read a good book or spend time in a creative pursuit rather than filling my time with an activity that has less meaning for me.¬† The added bonus is that I’m not spending money on something I don’t really want or need.¬† This allows me to save for those things or activities that are most important!

Several years ago,¬†I heard of the concept of choosing a “word of the year.”¬† The idea is to choose one word that will guide your life choices for the year.¬† It’s similar to making a new year’s resolution, but more……simplified!¬†¬†At the time I thought it was a great idea, but there wasn’t one word that seemed significant to me.¬† This past year, I ran across the idea in several blogs that I follow.¬† Again, the idea really appealed to me, but what word to choose!

Well, I suppose this idea has been rolling around in my head for a while now, but I have finally decided to choose simplify as my word for the year. I know that it is already February and that I am behind in this process, but I am not one to make a commitment lightly, even if it just involves choosing a word.

Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify.

                                                                                   РHenry David Thoreau

I am looking forward to my year of simplicity and eager to learn of the influence it may have on my lifestyle.  I will definitely be sharing along the way.  

If you have a “word of the year,” I would love to hear your word and your thoughts on how your word is effecting your life.¬†¬†

Sending you blessings for a simplified day!¬† –¬† Gerri

 

 

Countdown to Cozy

While many places in the world are bracing for winter’s chill, in Texas we are just beginning to see subtle changes that some might call fall! ¬†With the recent time change,¬† darkness descends upon us by six o’clock.¬† The recent cool front as encouraged my sweet husband to light a fire to take the chill off the house.¬† With soft, jazz playing in the background the atmosphere is definitely cozy. ¬†The cooler temperatures have inspired me to make some homemade vegetable soup. ¬†It has been simmering on the stove all day and the smells wafting from the kitchen are delightful. ¬†As evening approaches I plan to light some scented candles to complete the cozy setting.¬†¬†

Gray skies and cooler temperatures definitely inspire cozier times at home. ¬†It’s the time of year to enjoy a crackling fire, grab some comfy pillows, a warm blanket and curl up with a great book. Or perhaps you prefer to spend your evenings snuggled up to someone special and watch a favorite movie together.

I’ve always found the cooler, winter season an excellent time to slow down the busy pace of life and recharge my battery.¬† The darker days encourage me to “just stay home”¬† and enjoy a cozy atmosphere, and even crawl in bed a little earlier than usual to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation.

I’m sure that come spring I will be anxious to leave the cooler days behind and enjoy soaking up the warmer rays of the summer sun, but for now,¬† I am content to light candles and curl up in blankets and enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with this time of year.

So Surround Yourself with Pillows and Blankets and Enjoy the Cozy Days Ahead!

Stay Warm and Cozy – xxoo Gerri

 

Finding Everyday Joy

Finding joy in the simple things is my quest.  I seek simplicity, peace and serenity.  I strive to make my days and my surroundings as quiet and peaceful as I possibly can.  I have made a purposeful decision to avoid stress and chaos in my life and I structure my days for calm and quiet.

IMG_0391

I realize this may not be completely possible.  I know that life can be stressful and there are certain times when stress and chaos are hard to avoid.  However, I am making a purposeful choice to turn away from stress and chaos and fill my days with calm and quiet.

This has been a long term goal of mine, however, as with many goals, often we fall short of what we have planned. ¬†Life gets busy, overwhelming, with stressful jobs, raising families, and seemingly endless to do lists of things we believe must be accomplished each day. ¬†It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday stresses of life. ¬†Sometimes so caught up that we become weary, physically exhausted and emotionally drained. ¬†

Finding everyday joy involves finding simple pleasures in ordinary moments.  Finding joy each day involves taking a moment to enjoy small, simple pleasures.

IMG_0393

I know that I cannot completely avoid stress and busyness in my life.  I know would be unrealistic.  But there are things that I can do to bring a stressful day back to calm.

Here are some tips that I follow when I feel my peace and calm is turning into hectic and crazy. 

Start each day with quiet.  I know this can be difficult, but I try to carve a few minutes of quiet into the  beginning of my day for meditation, reflection, prayer.  It truly gets my day started on the right foot.

Flowers, candles, music.  I love for my home to be filled with fresh flowers, the smell of scented candles, and spa music or jazz playing softly in the background.  These things can instantly take the hectic out of my day and bring me back to calm and joy.

Spending time in nature. ¬†A part of everyday for me includes a walk outdoors and some time in the garden soaking up some Vitamin D and enjoying the nature that’s around me. ¬†The simple quiet of a gentle breeze and chirping birds can relieve stress from my day.

Being Creative. ¬†Writing, drawing, painting, photography, arranging flowers…..anything that allows me to simply escape and forge my own way brings me relaxation, calm and rejuvenates my spirit.

Keeping things simple. ¬†I try not to let to much clutter into my life. ¬†This includes physical and mental clutter. ¬†Stuff that takes up space in my home and stuff that takes up space in my brain. ¬†If I don’t need it it in my life, I let it go.

Find the simple moments in your day and you will find joy.   xxoo Gerri

 

 

 

A Rainy Summer Day

As I look at the sky, I notice the gathering of dark water-laden storm clouds and wonder will we actually get some rain. ¬†A bit later, I hear the patter of gentle raindrops as they slowly begin to fall. ¬†The thunder rolls and the lightning strikes….. and, it has begun! A much awaited summer storm!

I know we equate summer days with lounging by the pool, relaxing at the beach, or perhaps a backyard barbeque. But one of my favorite summer events is when the rain begins to fall!

With summer temperatures rising into the nineties, and the blazing summer sun beating down with brutal strength,  the summer rain brings as much excitement to me as the first cool autumn breezes blowing in.

I embrace the summer rain much as I would a winter storm.  A chance to power down, choose a good book, grab a cuppa tea and hide from the world.  Believe it or not, I even have a favorite blanket (more for comfort than for warmth) that I pull out as I escape to a quiet corner with my awaiting summer read.  There I immerse myself in whatever novel has recently piqued my interest as I know the rain is continuing to fall just outside my window.

I don’t always read during a summer rain. ¬†Sometimes I take cover on the back porch and luxuriate at the musical sound of the raindrops pounding the roof. ¬†I have to position my chair just so under the breezeway as not to be splattered by the rain falling on either side of me. ¬†From this vantage point I can watch the thirsty plants gobble up the falling drops. ¬†It’s as if I can hear them chanting to the sky, “Thank you so much for this magnificent rainfall!”

Eventually, the rain will pass and the sun will come out again.  The temperatures will again rise and I will do my best to hide from the midday sun.

But until then, I will enjoy this refreshing break from summer’s heat with this delightful summer rain.

 

What do you like to do in a summer rain?

Have a lovely summer day! – Gerri

 

 

Early Morning Quiet

Summer has definitely arrived with temperatures soaring into the mid 90’s! ¬†I am a lover of warm weather, but it is truly difficult to enjoy the outdoors when the afternoon sun just beats down on your head and bakes you.

Fortunately for me, one of of my favorite times of day has always been early morning. ¬†(Well, to be completely honest, this probably wasn’t true when I was in my teens and only saw early morning on an as needed basis!)

image

However, now that I am older, I feel my best in the morning, refreshed and ready to conquer the new day. Recently, I’ve taken to grabbing my coffee and sitting outside first thing to enjoy my garden and commune a bit with nature. ¬†The sun is not high in the sky and the temperature is pleasant. ¬†I listen to the birds chirping and enjoy the slight breeze rustling the the tall pines. ¬†It is quiet and peaceful. ¬†It gives me a chance to put my mind in order and reflect on my goals for the day.

image

I draw my peace and serenity from these early morning quiet times. I gather my thoughts and my energy. ¬†This time alone in the peaceful, quiet early morning inspires me. ¬†It’s in this quiet time that I gather my creativity and think about the possibility of future projects. ¬†Without this time, I feel lost, without focus, unable to attain my creative goals, or to even be sure of what they are.

I have found that if I go too long without this quiet time, ¬†I become depressed, anxious and unsure about my future. ¬†It’s in these quiet moments that I gather my serenity and hold on to my faith.

How about you?

Where do you find your serenity?

What to helps inspire your creativity?

xxoo Gerri

A Surprising Walk

IMG_0269

So often it’s the little things that take place in our day to day existence that make life meaningful. ¬†It’s in the sound of the wind rustling through the tall pines. ¬†It’s in the beauty of the light and shadows as they play across the water. ¬†It’s coming across a special surprise on an ordinary day.

It is no secret that I am a lover of gardens and nature.  I am so fortunate to live in a lovely area filled with gorgeous, tall oak and pine trees.  A favorite activity of mine ( if you can call it an activity ) is to sit on our back porch and listen to the wind as it whistles through the tall pines.

I also enjoy walking on the trails we have and visiting the pond. It fills me with peace and serenity to escape from my home for a bit each day and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.

This morning on my walk I had a lovely surprise!  As I was heading along the path, I came across this sweet friend just coming out of the forest!  You can imagine my delight when I saw him there.  I am tracking my steps so I now walk with my phone in hand ready to capture any special moments.  He was probably scared to death of me, but he did stay still long enough for me to get a couple of photos before he scurried back into the woods.  It made me feel so fortunate to have just a moment to observe him just a few feet away!

I hope you all take the opportunity to get outside and enjoy this beautiful day!  Take in the small details of nature that surrounds you and look for the joy and peace it has to offer.

xxoo Gerri

My Hygge Obsession

Lately, I have been obsessed with the Danish practice of hygge, pronounced hue-gah.¬† I’m not quite sure for the reason for my obsession. ¬†Perhaps because it seems to be the embodiment of all that I am longing for in my life. ¬†It gives validity to ¬†the peace and serenity that I so long for and have been trying to create in my own little world. ¬†It has a name and that name is hygge.

cropped-cropped-image1.jpeg

I have long been a fan of coziness.  Sitting by the fire, lighting candles, and buying fresh flowers to have in my home are not new concepts to me.  Craving a simpler, less hectic life and taking pleasure in simple, everyday things is what I strive for.  Spending quality time with friends and family, but also treasuring alone time, cuddling up with a good book or on occasion, cooking a fabulous meal for my husband, are things that I am passionate about.

Perhaps it’s because I feel such a strong connection to this latest wellness trend that I feel so obsessed. ¬†It’s like “Hey, new friend. ¬†You really get me! ¬†You understand what I am all about!” ¬†You know that feeling when you meet a new person and you just immediately connect. Yeah, that’s how I feel about hygge. ¬†And I have to say it’s a really good feeling!

img_0080

Today, we are experiencing 100% chance of rain. ¬†It is pouring right now. ¬†Temperatures will drop into the 40’s again tonight. ¬†I know that’s not especially cold compared to the weather in Denmark, but it’s cold enough for me!

Tonight, for Valentine’s we will probably have a fire and light some candles.¬†( I picked up fresh flowers yesterday.) ¬†We will definitely be staying in. ¬†We have no desire to fight the crowds at restaurants on Valentine’s Day! ¬†We will have a wonderful home cooked meal and maybe a glass of wine. ¬†I’m sure it will be a very hygge evening!

img_0079

I think our world needs a little more hygge right now. ¬†Valentine’s Day is a day of love, a day to show kindness, to reach out to others and show them you care. ¬†Today, consider calling a friend who might be alone, maybe an older relative who has lost their spouse, or anyone you can think of who might need a little lift. ¬†Share your love and fill our world with a little hygge. ¬†Who knows, if everyone makes an effort, maybe we can raise the hygge quotient around the world.

Peace and Love to all on this Valentine’s Day!

xx00  Sending Extra Hugs Today  РGerri

img_0081

Photographs of these precious children are property of To Create Sunshine.  Thank you for not using them for other purposes.