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Hard Work is Hard Work

Seems a given that if you work harder, you’ll get better results. It’s the American way, the Puritanical philosophy. And while I’m not a lazy person, I can also say that I’d probably find it easy to avoid more work. It Smacks of Effort.

There are times when we want things and we know that we’ll have to put a little extra effort into achieving them. Taking final exams for school for example. Or studying to pass your drivers test and receive your driver’s license.

Happy Mail Number One on Shalavee.com

I was asked recently to take part in an Instagram challenge to promote snail mail and national letter writing month along with the Happy Mail Club. I felt flattered to have been asked because that meant I could be trusted to follow the rules and create quality content related to the cause.

But what it also meant was that I had to work harder than I usually do it seems, to take and make pictures that were nice enough to post in this elevated “tag everybody and you represent us” fashion. I was a little more particular and was surprised again at how difficult styling a photo is when you truly care about the outcome.Earth Day Happy Mail Challenge two on Shalavee.com

I’m thinking I’m a regular underacheiver because now I was reshooting my displays after looking at them on a bigger screen to judge the composition or the light. I deemed them to have more potential than I had captured in my first round of shots.

Sometimes you get lucky with a photo. But partly because I’m taking the majority of my pictures with a fancy phone camera, I feel the need to retouch them 9 out of 10 times. If you take them in the ideal place with the ideal light, you are likely not to have to touch them usually. But otherwise, I’ll be fiddling with those shots. And that is a minimal amount of effort compared to composing the shot in the first place.Styling with four legged beasties on Shalavee.com

And there’s always the shooing away of the furry four-legged beasties who want to know what the heck you are doing with all this cool stuff next to the very best view of outside in the house. It’s a given here.

The next step requires more work. Where you want to be, that next step up? That will require an extra effort, that added concentration, that time to edit, and think, and edit again. You do this to prove that it’s worth it to yourself. You’ll be proud of yourself when you complete it. And impressed that what once seemed a hassle to you, now seems like what you always needed to do.DIY happy mail post final on Shalavee.com

Yes, I think we are prone to fight that mindset of faith in the work to deliver you to the next level. To take the easy road is a preset. To keep the load light, moving from thing to next thing, making “progress”. That even the changing of the gears is work in and of itself. But it’s the best work to be done. And when your heart knows what it wants, you need to back it up by exclaiming, “Well lets get to doing whatever it takes to make this happen.” I wanted to prove that I was capable of beautiful work and I proved it. I expand as I take on projects where I push my comfort zone and come out ahead. And I am happy to know what my capabilities are always.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Pictures and Songs

From your own authority on shalavee.com

Click on the Eight track play triangle and enjoy listening to beautiful music while you scroll through these best of February Pictures.

I Heard Your Heart Beating from survivingindie on 8tracks Radio.

Mantle waking on Shalavee.com

The last of winter in the orchard on Shalavee.com

Valentine's Day roses on Shalavee.com

My Painted Pagoda card on Shalavee.com

Fiona and Me on Shalavee.com

Madeleine's handmade card all the way from Australia on Shalavee.com

Fioan in the swing at the playground on Shalavee.com

Soup on Shalavee.com

Apartments across from Rise Up Coffee in Easton, Maryland on Shalavee.com

Daddy and Fiona on Shalavee.com

Daddy's block castle on Shalavee.com

The kids at the playground on Shalavee.com

Come crying to me on Shalavee.com

Fruit salad making on Shalavee.com

Muffins make us happy on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The City Girl

I barreled over the Chesapeake Bay on up the highway to my hometown city of Baltimore.

The Western Shore on shalavee.com

On the way to meet up with some old friends and journey up to see another friend now living in Pennsylvania. 

Howard Street in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

I sped through the city. The quickest way through the city to my friend’s house was right through the neighborhood that I grew up in, Waverly.

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

And I was thrilled to see that there was a new library there. So much beautiful light now. I got tears in my eyes.

Another hour plus driving and we were in New Oxford Pennsylvania visiting our friend Rose and her lovely kitchen shop.

And then feasting on green chile and psole stew at her house and toasting ourselves.

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

And then all too soon, I made the journey back. Through the city of my youth which doesn’t look itself at all these days. I’m glad.

The city I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Dig Deep For My Creative Soul

I prefer to live deep. I love thinking and pondering, considering and meditating. That deep kind of thinking that allows me to reach down into the roots of myself, into my creative soul, draw deeply from my intuition and come up quenched and real. As a mother, I get very little of that now. I live shallowly, twitching with the constant stimulus and reactions. This is parenting, and sometimes it feels like post traumatic stress disorder. Especially when there’s no good amount of time away or off.Spring plant thing on Shalavee.com

You get used to what you live. One day at a time sometimes means one minute at a time. Crisis and resolution after crisis and resolution. Living in your everyday is surface living. It’s automatic, task-oriented, short-term, keeping everyone alive kinda choice making. And that just is.

But going into creative mode is where I thrive. There you can expand and follow your thoughts out and away. You cultivate your sparks into fires. You connect with your center, your core finding out where you are and where you are going. A spark can suddenly ignite and you know what the next six months will find you doing. This what is called creative flow.Decorating flow on SHalavee.com

Fits and spurts but don’t give up I tell myself. True, our children are only small for so long and then they leave to go live their lives. It’s feast or famine, expect it. But my soul is roaring, craving the time and depth to dive and seek. Making me feel short and mean sometimes. So I attempt again to cajole my needs out of my life. Harass my husband for some away time with the kids. Say a prayer for my creativity and my children.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Bang Goes March’s Start

Gonna throw some words and some pictures at you because that’s what I’ve got time and energy for this evening. This has been a long week and so much has happened. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the start of March and it was all Liony.

Wash room on Shalavee.com

The washer went kaputz a week and a half ago. Husband installed new one yesterday, Waaaahooo! See this post for the details.

Fiona and I had to go up to the laundromat to dry a last load of laundry.

Fiona on the folded laundry at Shalavee.com

Fiona got a big girl bed. We spent an exhaustive amount of energy fretting over and thinking about this and now it’s done. She loves it.

Fiona's big girl bed on Shalavee.com

Did I mention the part where you don’t expect the stealth snow.

walking in the snow day on Shalavee.com

Party is on Shalavee.com

And our Wee Fiona turned three this weekend. Un-freaking-believable. Besides the fact that I was under duress to produce a Disney affiliated Minnie Mouse themed party, GASP, we ended up changing the date from Saturday to Sunday to insure a very special guest, Eamon and Fiona’s first cousin Miss Emma, would be at the party.

glad for cousin Emma on Shalavee.com

decorations on Shalavee.com

Three cupcake on Shalavee.com

Three cupcake on Shalavee.com

Emma and her cupcake on shalavee.com

Ariel costume on Shalavee.com

balloon fun on Shalavee.com

I was slightly more stressed out about the dryer in the prior week but everything turned out wonderfully. The birthday was a party success. The decorations, the cupcakes, and the food all turned out according to my bigger plan. And fun was had by all !

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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