Back to Peaceful, Calm and Tidy

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Oh man, what a wonderful time we had with the Walker Boys. They arrived just after Christmas and left only last Saturday for Canada again.  When you only meet a couple times a year, family time together is even more valuable!

There were plenty of good winter walks at Rowe Woods, excellent meals (Dutch Pea soup, now that sticks to your ribs!) Lots of good talks and banter or just quietly sitting together and reading. Charley was so happy with both her best friends around.

The Oldest Walker Boy went with Mr. Walker to The Air force Museum in Dayton, for a photo shoot. They have just opened a new wing and it lead to many new gorgeous photos. And we went with the four of us the FABULOUS Viking Exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center. No photos but I can indeed highly recommend it!

And then they left again…SIGH!!! I was sulking, and pouting for days. But of course, that won’t do any good. What’s a girl to do? Some vigorous cleaning (as any other possessed by cleanliness Dutch Girl will) and knitting. I finally finished this shawl and it was received with a little dance of joy by a wonderful Princess in Toronto. And I am having lots of fun with this summer colored yarn I received for Christmas. It’s going to be a little summer bag.

And a little thrift store shopping was in order too.(My comfort food, so to speak) I found these beautiful swans to compliment my collection of Fifties Kitsch Planters. But this one receives a place of honor in this nice cupboard because it is a little light as well…such bliss!! It makes me very happy and Mr. Walker says that is all what really matters. ( as long as it doesn’t end up in the living room ;o))

And I found this pretty little handmade quilt. I love the colors. And my darling girl Charley was very happy with it when she returned so cold from a walk. (She is getting on in age)

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So back to drawing , I will show some later….drawing and pouting, not a good combination.

Och hemel, wat een heerlijke tijd hadden we met de Walker Boys: gezellig samen zijn, winterwandelingen, lekker Hollandse pot op tafel, wat museum tripjes.
Ze gingen zaterdag weer terug naar Canada. En ik pruilde natuurlijk nog dagen daarna. Maar kom, en dan als elke Hollandse meid maar weer verder na een flinke schoonmaakbeurt hier en daar en wat yoga breien en natuurlijk een rondje kringloop wat een knus kitsch lampje opleverde en een warm quiltje voor mijn wat bejaard wordende Charley.

Love and Liefs,
Johanna

Sketch Journal Project: Fungi and Crayons

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For a couple of days the weather was really cooler and for the first time in weeks Mr. Walker and I had a proper hike, up at Rowe Woods.
Nature is changing, the leafs are looking tired, some are falling already. The last flowers are blooming and lots of beautiful mushrooms and fungi everywhere. I love those, such extraordinary shapes and forms.

It inspired me to make an early fall drawing and playing some more with the water color crayons. I really like the possibilities and it creates a bit of roughness around the edges, so to speak. Not entirely happy with this but quite pleased.

And lovely to do now the heat has returned yet again…

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Mindfulness and Five Beautiful Things

Mindfulness is a beautiful word that can be used in different contexts. When I googled the words ‘Mindfulness and Meaning’ this definition came up. It does not say who wrote it but it comes closest to what I was looking for.

“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

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I am pretty sure you will recognize the following experience: you hear/read about something new to you, figure out what it means and than all of a sudden you come across it ‘everywhere’. I always feel that the cosmos is nudging me than to take some kind of action and when it happens, I investigate further because it always brings me something positive.

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So lately, I bumped into Mindfulness all the time. I heard stories, read articles, blogs and spoke with people who had followed a course/program and I liked what I heard. You learn more about ‘being in the moment’, looking for what is positive, finding down to earth solutions. Ha, that sounded ‘like me’, having followed that path already for years and discovering it brings a lot of happiness. People use it for handling stress, to get rid of bad habits, for support in losing weight or coping better with illness and pain.

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I am not blessed with a strong constitution and without going into boring details, I can tell it has affected my style of living. And I am happy to say, I have come to terms with that. I used to stand on any barricade possible, combine work, study and a wonderful family. Nowadays my pace of life is slow, instead of jumping on barricades, I walk in nature and enjoy its beauty. On good days I do a lot and bad days less and I feel blessed I have that option. And I still have that wonderful family! I look after my health, the doctors after the illness. And I am so incredibly fortunate to find the most loving and kind people possible in my family and friends…wherever they are on the world!

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However…there is always room for improvement;0) So when the cosmos nudged me about Mindfulness, I inquired and of course…just 15 minutes away from us, I have the possibility to follow a course, starting January. I spoke with several people there and I am so looking forward to this! In the meantime and as an introduction, I bought that little book and I have tremendous fun with it. ‘One Minute’ suits me fine, since I am not a very patient person ;0)

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It gives little ‘practice assignments’. One of them was, to collect five beautiful things when you take a walk. So here you see, five things I collected when I was hiking with Mr. Walker yesterday in Rowe Woods. First the memory of that beautiful walk with the Youngest Mr. Walker late summer and we came across this little deer. It was totally relaxed, kept on eating and looking at us. Unfortunately..branches kept ‘ruining’ the photos but the memory is just beautiful!

The leaf with holes fascinates me. The layer of fallen, rotting leaves is just one big habitat of all kind of creatures living comfortably in and of them. Everything in a forest is alive.

The gall on the leaf shows already that life in Spring will continue. (after taking this photo, I left it outside again, among other leafs;0))

And that reminded me again of a course, I did years ago about intuitive and symbolic drawing. How I enjoyed that and this drawing is about how a tree can represent life.

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And then some other beautiful things that Mother Nature leaves for us to pick up and admire and feel good about. So, I had a very good weekend;0) How was yours?

Love and Liefs, Johanna.