Posts Tagged ‘hope’

weeping cherry

Photo by Linnell Chang

Tucked away and wrapped around the scars of sawed off limbs, lays an oasis of flush, verdant growth. Young leaves glow brightly as the sun weaves its way through heavy branches and highlights this little piece of heaven. Despite its injury and its scars, this tree found the strength and the resiliency to prove that it’s still alive and beautiful. Alexander Pope said it best, “Hope springs eternal.”

#1 – From the Brink of Extinction
Imagine your excitement if you were an exploratory botanist and you noticed a tiny plant that had been thought to be extinct for the last 60 years growing on the steep slope of a volcano. Read the article about this amazing discovery on Mother Nature Network.

#2 – A Poet Who Knows It  
Whether you have a daughter or not, you will appreciate poet Sarah Kay’s heartfelt, sometimes rambling, but always thought-provoking TED presentation titled “If I Should Have a Daughter . . . “

Here are some examples of her thoughtful prose:

“Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”

“Put the star in starting over . . . and over.”

“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.”

#3 – Art and Nature

Artwork by Moki

Painting by Moki

German-based artist Moki combines humans with nature in some of her artwork. Learn about this talented artist and see more of her incredible art by clicking here.

#4 – With a String of Lights . . .
With a string of lights you can do a ton of fun and interesting things – well, at least the 46 Awesome String-Lights DIYs For Any Occasion that are shown on BuzzFeed. I really think the doily wedding garland is cute, but there are just too many clever ideas for me to choose a favorite!

#5 – The Negative Is the Positive
“Life is like photography. You need the negatives to develop.”
– Unknown

Have a wonderful weekend!

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The sun was low in the sky on a crisp and breezy autumn day. It was the kind of day that beckoned for a stroll in the park. As the black lab puppy strained against his leash to see more, smell more, and play more, my husband and I walked and chatted. As we rounded a path leading down to the bay, I suddenly yelled out to him, “Stop! Don’t step on someone’s hope!” There at his feet, scrawled in the decomposed granite path, were large letters spelling out the word “hope.” As we continued our walk, my mind filled with questions. Who wrote that? And why? Does that person have hope or need hope? Or was it just someone’s name? I’ll never know the answers to my questions, but I do know that hope can be found everywhere.

#1 – Convoy of Hope
Recently in my small area of the world a Convoy of Hope came to town. Over 13,000 people attended this outreach to receive assistance ranging from “health and dental screenings, family portraits, groceries, clothing, shoes and employment – all of which were free of charge.” Convoy of Hope has ambitious plans for 2012; their plans include outreach events in every state. To read more about this charity that has won the Charity Navigator Four Star Award for seven years in a row and to learn about ways in which you can help, click here.

#2 – Flowers of Hope
My husband called me from work the other day and asked, “Do you have any use for a box of assorted flower vases, because if not, they are going to be thrown away?” He knows me too well. Since it is not in my nature to throw things away, I replied, “Bring them home. I will fill them with flowers and take them over to a senior care home.” Although vases are not required in order to give a bouquet of flowers to someone in a senior center or home, they certainly make it easier for the staff to distribute the flowers. I mentioned in a previous post, that glass jars work great for this purpose, too. So before you get rid of those inexpensive vases you get from the florist, fill them with lovely flowers from your yard or from a store and give a home-bound senior hope that someone still cares about them.

#3 – Is There Hope For Mom and Dad?
The text I sent my daughter read something like this, “@ emerg room. Dad mayb hd gdasu buvacj!” I admit that sometimes when I text, I inadvertently send jibberish instead –  thanks to clumsy fingers or that darn spell check program that keeps changing what I write! I’m sure I’m not the only one with texting issues. Read these amusing texts that appeared on the Huffington Post Parents page or read many more funny texts by going to When Parents Text. I hope my kids haven’t submitted any of my bloopers!

#4 – Hope For Creativity
This four minute TED video presented by Gever Tulley shows hope exists when creativity is fostered in children. His Tinkering School allows children to design, create, succeed and fail. Life skills are learned when they have to figure things out. I love this idea!

#5 – Words of Hope
“Men and women are limited not by the place of their birth, not by the color of their skin, but by the size of their hope.” John Johnson

Give thanks this weekend to the many people who gave hope to our country by serving in the military! Have a safe Veterans Day weekend!

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During our lifetimes we make many vows and take many oaths. Some are official and spoken out loud such as wedding vows and oaths of allegiance. Others are silent vows made to God or vows of love and protection that mothers say to their newborn babies when they are put in their arms for the very first time.

A couple of nights ago, while I was waiting for my computer to install updates, I decided to explore a new “magnetic” poetry application on my iPad. Like on a Ouija board, the words seemed to move and form groups magically by themselves. When all was said and done, I found myself staring at the the screen. No ordinary wordplay transpired here, as I noticed the messages behind the words. Then the impact of the words hit me and I realized that these thoughts were significant and were vows I needed to make to myself. When was the last time you made a vow to your true self? So from the depths of “magnetic” poetry, I share these vows with you.

Create Joy – I must create joy for others, to find joy in myself.

Breathe Hope – Hope is a force inside of me like the air I breathe in out out. As I inhale the power of hope from others, I must also exhale it to share with others.

Grow Imagination – More than ever the world needs people with imagination. I will nurture mine in every way I can.

Accept Love – I give love freely, but also open myself to accept love in all of its forms.

Thank Nature – For all the gifts that nature bestows upon me, I thank her by taking pleasure in them and by taking great care of them.

Applaud Gifts – I gratefully acknowledge my unique gifts and, like a super hero, will find ways to use them to make the world a better place.

Remember Dream – I will keep my dreams in the forefront of my consciousness and will work to make them a reality.

Feel Passion – To really live, I must feel passion or be passionate about something.

Shine – There is a light inside of me that shines through my whole being and is reflected in my thoughts and deeds.

Become Thought – If I am the sum total of my thoughts, then my thoughts must reflect the person I desire to be.

Show Heart – I will show compassion for others. Mother Teresa once said, ” Let us not make a mistake – that the hunger is only for a piece of bread. The hunger of today is so much greater: for love – to be wanted, to be loved, to be cared for, to be somebody.”

Live Life – With only a finite number of breaths in my life, I will breathe deep and live my life to the fullest!

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All that was left of my grandmother’s teacups were an odd few. One-by-one each of her teacup and saucer sets had been adopted and taken home by relatives. Of the thirteen grandchildren, twelve of them being girls, I lived the farthest away. If not the very last one to choose, I was close to being one of the last ones to make my selection. As my eyes surveyed the shelf of the remaining teacups and saucers, I spied an elegant porcelain teacup sitting off to the side. Of the few teacups that I could have chosen, I was drawn to the imperfect one.

No saucer accompanied the eggshell-thin teacup, but it was still pretty enough with its softly painted flowers in full bloom and it’s dainty little pedestal. My mom remembered that at one time there was a matching saucer to the teacup, but thought it must have broken over the years. She asked if I was sure about my selection, since there were complete sets to choose from, but I said yes, I was sure.

I took the teacup home and stared at it. What in the world made me choose this one? It was very unlike me, a middle child who tried so hard to be perfect, to pick out something “defective.” I cherished the teacup, but felt sad for its incompleteness. I realize now it was the part of me that had hope – hope that I could find a matching saucer. Somewhere in this world was a cup-less saucer waiting to be reunited with its cup! So began my quest. As my husband and I browsed through antique stores, he would always find me in the back corners searching through stacks of odds and ends saucers. Then when eBay came into being, I scoured the offerings to see if there was a match. Finally I gave up.

Although I gave up actively searching for a matching saucer for my teacup, I did not give up hope. I had, however, reconciled myself to the fact, that if I never found the saucer, I would still be happy with the delicate porcelain reminder of my grandmother.

One day when I was visiting my parents, my mom pulled out a brown paper bag. She knew of my quest. “I found this in some of grandma’s stuff,” she said to me as she handed me the bag. I opened it slowly. Having grown up during the Great Depression, my grandmother threw away nothing. After she passed away and the family was going through her possessions, we found a bundle of pantyhose packages tied together neatly with string. Attached to the string was a note scrawled in my grandmother’s tiny, Parkinson’s-affected handwriting, “crotch too short.” As I gazed at the contents in the little brown bag, I thanked my grandmother for being the pack-rat she was. For inside the bag was the saucer I had spent years searching for – she had kept the saucer all those years even though it was broken into four pieces!

After my husband lovingly glued the pieces back together, I put my grandmother’s teacup and saucer in a glass curio case along with all my other teacup and saucer sets. As it turns out, in my search for the missing saucer, I never went home empty-handed. I managed to accumulate quite a nice teacup collection of my own to pass down to my grandchildren. So thanks, Grandma, for saving the dainty teacup, even though it had a broken saucer, and thanks for saving the broken bits of saucer, too. We never gave up hope, did we?

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The saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” is one we’ve heard many times before, but do we actually do it? Most of us get stuck on autopilot day after day and do not take time to appreciate the beauty in things around us. Sometime back I took such a moment to capture this daylily at it’s prime. It was delicate in appearance, yet strong in stature, and I marveled at how the sun’s spotlight gave it an ethereal glow. In the back of my mind there was sad acknowledgment that even the most magnificent of daylilies lasts only one day, but my consolation was that I was a witness to its glory.

#1 – Speaking of Roses
In a tattered and yellowed newspaper article that I’ve kept in my rose journal for years, Don and Mary Marshall, members of a rose society said, “Early spring, just after pruning, is the time to scatter a tablespoon or two of Epsom salts around the dripline of the plant. Several generous handfuls of alfalfa meal may also be added at this time, lightly scratched into the soil and watered in.” I’ve added these supplements to my roses in the past and have been happily rewarded with healthy plants and luscious blooms.

#2 – Gives Me Hope
At GivesMeHope: Life Is Beautiful Today! read entries posted by people regarding things in life that give them hope. With all the negative news in the world, it was refreshing to read some of the uplifting entries.

Here’s an example:
I work with kindergarten children, and when a little girl wet her pants, we decided to give her dress up clothes to wear.

She was very upset and embarrassed so a little boy in the class put on a cinderella dress and held her hand the rest of the day, saying “look – everyone’s laughing at ME!”

His kindness gmh (gives me hope).

#3 – A Kitchen Tip
If you are making a recipe that requires Italian Seasoning and you don’t have any on hand, just make your own by mixing together 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. marjoram, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. rosemary, and 1 tsp. sage. Store any unused spice in an airtight container.

#4 – Got Ants?
Many years ago one of my friends called out a pest control company to help her get rid of ants. The exterminator told her to use Terro. She passed this advice on to me and I’ve found it to be a very effective product. Don’t buy the Terro Ant Baits. Buy the Terro bottle in the box that has the cardboard circles that you tear off. Squeeze out enough Terro to fill the circle and place the cardboard circle near where the ants are entering. Obviously, do not put Terro in areas where children or pets can reach it. Ants will come and swarm the glob of Terro and take it back to the nest. Patience and restraint are virtues here; it takes time for the ants to discover the Terro circle and it’s not a good thing to kill the ants you see crawling around, because they have to be alive to take the poison back to the nest!

#5 – Quote For The Day
Nothing is worth more than this day.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Stop and enjoy something beautiful this weekend!

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