Category Archives: I Spy With My Little Eye

This is what happened when I aimed a colander toward the sun during today’s total eclipse across America.

Baby crescent moons!

I took this picture with my iPhone 7. Using my solar eclipse glasses as a shield for my phone lens, I was able to capture the eclipse as I saw it through my glasses.

Today was so cool.

I think I’m hooked on eclipses now.

Texas 2024. On my eclipse calendar now.

Finito Benito

Life is a Puzzle

Every summer, I complete a massive puzzle.  I break out the card table, dump the 1,000 pieces on top and begin the process of sorting and connecting.  In those moments, I am a puzzle zombie.   There’s only a certain amount of time I can dedicate to the hobby, but while I’m there, I’m nowhere else.   It’s just one of many reasons why I love summer.  I hate the ridiculous heat, but if it were not for summer, I’d be moving in a constant state of speed, rushing, rushing, rushing.  Heat slows things down.      And so I build it, piece by piece, enjoying the quiet of a hot afternoon or late night or morning.

I’ve come to learn a few things about life through this process.  In the beginning, the puzzle is hard.  You are not familiar with the big picture yet.  Over and over again, you must return your gaze to the puzzle box to understand where the piece you’re holding, belongs.  It can feel chaotic.  Frustrating.  So many pieces that fool you.

IMG_5770It’s easy to walk away after a few minutes of not finding one match.   You know when you’ve had too much.  So you take a break.   Breaks are necessary.   All muscles need rest and our brains are no exception.    We are no good when we overdo it.  You have to know when to walk away only so you can come back, ready to solve that puzzle.  Over time, the puzzle begins to take shape.

IMG_5769You must open your mind and see that each piece is unique and the one you are holding may not necessarily fit another in the way you expect.  Sometimes the piece connects upside down or sideways.   Or it’s yellow and it still connects to red.  Surprise!  You cannot believe you  know better or more than the puzzle.  You must follow its lead and open your mind to all of the possibilities of connections.   Kind of like life.  That magical moment always comes.   Suddenly the pieces fit, one by one.  You’re caught off guard because you didn’t see that piece fitting the other like the way it did.  Over and over again, this happens.

You have to keep trying new ways of seeing and doing things.   The moment you stop believing there is nothing more to learn is the moment you stop growing.   There are times when you have to step back and breathe in another avenue of happiness, but in the end, it comes down to keeping an open mind.

I think that’s where true happiness lies.  We cannot lasso and control life. It flows as long as we understand we are shaped by our ability to accept it isn’t supposed to go exactly as we planned.  As we do that, the puzzle begins to take shape.  The pieces become more and more familiar until you get to the point where you pick up a random piece and, without thinking too much about it, your hand naturally moved toward the exact spot it belongs.   It’s as if all of that dedication has begun to pay off.

IMG_5768

And that’s because you’ve earned it.  Your mind stopped trying to overthink, to make it work.  It’s a beautiful process.  And a good life lesson.  Slow down, recognize that there’s more than one way to see and do things and allow joy to spill into your space.

Forest Gump was right, but life isn’t just a box of chocolates, it’s a puzzle, too. 🙂

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”!

I was feeling a bit colorful yesterday when I saw this ice cream sundae coloring contest in Food Network magazine.


There’s been such a resurgence to the 70’s in the design world. You see it everywhere. Colors, textures and patterns exploding next to each other, macramé hangers holding long, unending trails of green.  Bamboo. 

That’s what inspires this sundae.  It’s a tribute to the summers I remember as a kid from the 70’s. The summers of color and joy and freedom.   Of being outside all day and at the drive-ins or front yard (capturing lightening bugs) at night.  


It was gritty, too. Food wasn’t so pretty or gourmet. It was hotdogs and hamburgers and corn on the cob. I’m happy for those memories. I hope to make them for my own children. Less Martha Stewart. more Janis Joplin.  OK a little easy on the Janis Joplin, but still.  

Supercalifragilisticexpedalidocious!   

Mating Season

They were like this for hours.


And they didn’t bat an eyelash. Or a wing, or a leg.

Just stuck on each other. 😍

Bring Outside In

These are parsley blossoms. They look delicate, but they have staying power. Parsley grows so easily here in North Carolina. And it grows in abundance so I let it bolt.  They make for lovely arrangements indoors, too. 

Even next to my fake, purple flowers on the mantle. 

Plants are back. With a vengeance. And it’s not just ferns and fig trees. It is everything: twigs, oak leaves, evergreens.  And it’s beautiful. 

You don’t need a green thumb. They do pretty well on their own. 

A nice privacy screen and setting for my porch.  Instant relaxation.  

That rose has seen better days though.😬

Purple Majesty

I’ve been waiting for this moment for two years.

 

They were not open this morning, but as I pulled into the driveway about an hour ago, I could see that brilliant purple.

Awe.  Like first time you see that fledgling sprout push its way through the soil.

In fact,  I gasped.

Beautiful purple irises.

I wish I could tell you their specific name, but I have no clue.

They are majestic no matter what their official name may be.