dolphin love

IMG_6844blogJust got back from two lovely weeks in Florida. Two weeks away from the frigid Michigan weather, work pressures, bill paying, and the general responsibilities and stresses of daily life. It was a much needed breather for me and Mr. Bookbabie. The highlight of the trip was a ride on The Sanibel Thriller, a boat that tours the islands and attracts dolphins who love to play in it’s huge wake. Watching dolphins leap over the waves and zig-zag beneath the walls of rolling water trailing the boat was very healing as I continue to deal with the ups and downs of health problems. Their joy in the moment was so pure and so free, check it out if you’re ever on Sanibel Island!

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
~Rumi

See more (nearly) Wordless Wednesday here.

spring riches

butterfly2“To be rich in admiration and free from envy, to rejoice greatly in the good of others, to love with such generosity of heart that your love is still a dear possession in absence or unkindness – these are the gifts which money cannot buy.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

See more (nearly) Wordless Wednesday here.

play time

I had a lovely visit with a friend and her granddaughter recently and I couldn’t help but bring my camera along when I met baby Claire so I could chase her around and take a few pics. She’s a cutie and it didn’t take her long to simply ignore the strange lady with the big black camera lens stuck to her face and go about her baby busyness. I’ve noticed on Twitter and various blogs recently that some people are choosing a single word as their New Year’s resolution. I like that idea, coming up with a one word theme that we want to honor, or infuse into our lives as we begin another year. Watching Claire explore her grandma’s house that afternoon was very relaxing and even mood boosting and it reminded me how as grown-ups we often forget the importance of play. Of doing something “just because”, with no agenda, no expectation of what we will get out of an activity, what we will accomplish.

My daughter got a small white kitten before she moved out a few years ago. I was going through some difficult things at the time but “Mr. Boo” didn’t know, or care about my troubles, he just wanted me to drag a piece of string across the floor so he could chase it. As it turns out, the hours I spent sitting on the floor playing with him was good medicine because play is the opposite of depression. Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneering researcher in the field of play, said in a TED video, “Nothing lights up the brain like play. Three-dimensional play fires up the cerebellum, puts a lot of impulses into the frontal lobe–the executive portion–and helps contextual memory to be developed.” When I start singing the blues in 2012, I’m going to remind myself of my word, “play”, and then I’ll whisper my thanks to a six month old baby girl and a little white kitten for reminding me how it’s done!

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt

teaser tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) β€œteaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. Do you ever fall into a non-reading rut? I’ve been having a hard time getting into any books for quite awhile. I pick up a novel and start it but nothing really grabs and holds my attention. I know it’s not the fault of the books, my brain just feels “burned out”, if that makes any sense. When I thought about participating in Teaser Tuesday I looked around and saw my Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming tour book sitting next to my computer so that’s where I got my teaser from today. We’re thinking about going somewhere for my 50th birthday and I’ve decided that we need a vacation that is more about nature and renewal than a big city adventure like the one in Paris I was trying to plan. We’ve never been to Europe, and while we still plan to go someday, neither one of us feels like we have the energy (or the cash) to take that kind of trip right now so we may grab our cameras and head for the wide open spaces of America’s west instead!

Here’s my teaser: Grand Teton brags of its soaring mountain scenery; Arizona’s Grand Canyon flaunts its imposing expanses. But Yellowstone enchants with a more subtle beauty, hinting through its very diversity the changes undergone during a volatile, explosive past. As I was typing those two sentences it struck me that maybe I’m a little like Yellowstone. Maybe we all are. Life can be very challenging at times. Nobody gets through it without “stuff”, and some of that stuff is volatile and explosive and it changes us along with the simple passage of time itself. Our bodies get older, they sag a little here, ache a little there and as our past grows longer our list of sorrows grows too. Of course, so does our list of joys. The diversity of our experiences, the ups as well as the downs, truly are the stuff of life that make our lives both bountiful and beautiful.

Yellowstone Photo is by fellow iStocker Wallentine at iStockphoto.comπŸ™‚

sunday smiles

Time to lighten things up around here and what better way to do that than with another joy filled laughing baby video. Come September I may be posting a baby video of my very own as my son and his wife are expecting their first child. We are thrilled, grateful, and just plain happy about the prospect of becoming grandparents. The baby is due the week before my 49th birthday and I’m thinking that this is one birthday gift Mr. bookbabie will never be able to top!

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. ~James Barrie