You can’t spend time with a five year for very long without shifting the way you look at things, especially when taking a walk in the country. John’s granddaughter is constantly in motion or conversation and we’ve been very busy here while her parents are away on holiday. I arrived well equipped with the all necessary items a forty-nine, I mean five year old might like to use when settling in on a rainy Saturday morning. Below are a few pictures of our young artist at work.









You may have noticed that our art table has some flowers and leaves scattered around mixed with in our water colors, acrylic paints and oil pastels. We tried using some of them as paint brushes with varying results. We’ll be painting a little more later today, but the sun is out now so we’re off in a minute for another nature walk.


We couldn’t find a painting smock for our little artist so I used one of my t-shirts that I normally use for running. After a liberal use of safety pins, we managed to make it fit nicely. It was only after I began to review the photographs that I realized she’s wearing a perfect shirt for October since it’s Breast Cancer awareness month in America.

The Color Of Joy


The color of joy….yellow, green, and blue and a field full of sunny delight.

We’re away for a few days having been spirited off by ferry to one of our favorite islands to spend a little time with family. Yesterday my eyes went wide with surprise to see this field of my favorite flowers still full of color on the last day of September. John’s daughter graciously pulled the car over so I could get a few quick shots and there was even a tiny visitor on one of the petals. I have an affinity for these little winged creatures. If you want to know why, you can go here to read about it.





We’re off to do a coast path walk this morning. The sky is blue, the fields are green, and from the window I can see a spot of yellow sunshine… all the colors necessary of the right shade of joy.

Share a bit below if you’d like…. about what’s making your world brighter today.

A Ladybug Love Story


Jersey Ladybug Or (Ladybird)

Jersey Ladybug Or (Ladybird)

In England many things have different names than what I’ve grown up with in America. Here, ladybugs are called ladybirds. Farmers and gardeners love them because they eat up the aphids that threaten the plants they labor to raise, but ladybugs have a different reason for being special to me.

If you’ve read any of my writings at my old blog you may remember my friend Marty who I wrote about here.  He was an important teacher for me in many ways. In fact, I would have to say that much of what I learned from talks with him such as why he made certain decisions in his own life, had a great influence on some key decisions I’ve made in my own.

Marty died of melanoma while we were next door neighbors and his decline was difficult to watch. He impressed me with his wisdom in the way that he lived and without knowing, he left a last lesson for me after his death. A short time after he died, I was talking with David, who had been his life partner for 14 years, about finding love. David told me a story that Marty had told to him when they were discussing David’s future life without Marty. David is one of the kindest, sweetest, souls you can imagine and Marty was worried someone might try to take advantage of him later when he was alone with his grief. Marty spoke of his concerns that his status as a physician might bring out those less interested in David and more interested in his position in the community.

So it was in a way that was so uniquely Marty, he told David the ladybug story that David later told me when we talked of how love finds us.  As I remember it, but perhaps not exactly as was told, Marty said words to this effect, ” When the day is beautiful and the weather too perfect for words, you decide to go on a hunt for a ladybug. So you take yourself to your favorite meadow and search and search everywhere looking for the tiny red and black creatures. You look high and low even bringing out a magnifying glass as you try as hard as you can to spot the tiny winged bugs that contrast so brightly with the green of new leaves and grasses.

When you’ve worn yourself out with a slightly desperate search for your ladybug, you stop to rest, unrolling the quilt you dropped in the grassy meadow a few hours earlier and you sit and enjoy the light breeze that keeps the day from being too hot. Feeling thirsty from your labors, you open a bottle of your favorite wine and take out a little package of cheese and crackers and you drink and eat until you feel quite satisfied. Listening to the soft hum of the insects buzzing around you, you begin to feel sleepy as the sun warms your quilt and the wine soothes your busy thoughts to a calmer, slower pace.  Lying back on the quilt you close your eyes and you sleep, a peaceful, restful sleep with dreams you can’t quite remember. Waking slowly from your summer dreams, you notice your hand lying on the worn patchwork fabric of your grandmother’s quilt and on your hand, sitting very still, you see a tiny red ladybug covered in spots.”  

I don’t think I need to explain the moral of his story…that real love comes to us only when we are ready inside and not when we search for it with the desperation of the hunt… for the ladybug or for love.

Marty Thompson - Embracing Every Moment!

Continue reading