No Trespassing?

Private Property - No Trespassing Sign

No Trespassing…

I pass this sign, and many others like it,
on a daily walk with Charlie along the country road we live on.

The other day, in particular,
it struck me as being so sad.

What is so important that we must stop people,
that we must block them…. from entering what we feel is ours only?

I wish there were more "All are Welcome" signs along the road.
I wish there were more "C'mon in," "My House is Your House," "Peace to all who Enter."

Remember the song we sang as children?
"This land is your land.  This land is my land….  This land was made for you and me."

Let's open our hearts.
Let's open our arms.

Let's open our eyes.
Let's open our ears.

Let's open our homes.
Let's open our land.

And if you have time, I urge you to quietly listen to this deeply moving version of "This Land," by a young Bruce Springsteen from over 30 years ago.

Let's keep trying!
This land was made for you and me.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Let’s Face It

Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona - July, 2017 - Do you see the face?

Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona – July, 2017 – Do you see the face?

Let’s Face It…

We must
all face the choice
between
what is
Right
and
what is
Easy.

– Professor Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Do you see the face in the rock?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Seems Professor Dumbledore has some pretty profound things to say….  After all these years of my boys telling me I really should read the Harry Potter series, maybe I should……..

On Hospitality

Pineapple Watercolor 11x16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb

Pineapple Watercolor 11×16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb

On Hospitality…

“True Hospitality
is when people leave
feeling better about
themselves –
not better about
you.”
– – Shauna Niequist

My hope is that all who enter my home leave feeling better about themselves.
Better because they felt welcomed….. loved…….. and comfortable.
Better because their bellies were filled with yummy food.
Better because we shared good wine or good coffee.
Better because we laughed.
Better because we could be our authentic selves.
Better because we shared and created memories.
Better because they know they are always welcomed back.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Watercolor Pineapple – a sign of hospitality – using Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Umber, Olive Green, Perylene Green on 11×16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb Cold Press.

 

Don’t Let the Grass Grow Under Your Feet

Grass Flip Flops – Don’t let the grass grow under your feet

Don’t Let the Grass Grow Under Your Feet.

After getting a total kick out of these grass flip flops I spotted in a gift shop in Sedona   and seeing where someone who lives in the desert southwest might enjoy these, they reminded me of this saying Grandma used to say.

“Don’t let the grass grow under your feet!”

Some of her other favorites included, “Make hay while the sun shines,” and “Work before pleasure.”

I can still hear her saying these in my head, and it makes me smile.

Grandma only went to school until fourth grade before she had to stay home and take care of her brothers after the passing of her mother.    At the age of nine, she also did the cooking and cleaning and laundry (long before automatic washers and dryers, microwaves, and vacuum cleaners) while her dad worked in the coal mine.

Can we even image any of our children at the age of 9 doing this today?  Not that I would recommend it!

Though she lacked formal education, she had more common sense and a stronger work ethic than anyone I’ve known.  There is nothing she wouldn’t try doing – including electrical work!

She taught me many things.  Things you don’t learn in school.

She taught me the important “stuff!”

But most of all she loved me with a love I still feel today.

My grandma has been gone for over 20 years, but she is still my guiding light in so many ways every day.  Now that I am a grandma, I can only hope that I will have the same impact on my grandchild(ren).

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Ethereal

Ethereal.

Everything changes
when you allow yourself
to be you.

Not the you
everyone
thinks you should be.

Not the you
you think
everyone wants you to be.

But when
you allow yourself
to be you…

You embody
the light
that is you

through the fog
that is
the world.

Be the light
that is you
to the world.

When you are real
you become
Ethereal.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Difficult Paths

Scottsdale, AZ - July, 2017

Scottsdale, AZ – July, 2017

Difficult Paths.

Difficult paths
often lead to
beautiful destinations.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

On a recent trip to Arizona, I loved snapping shots of the beautiful desert scenery.  Little did I know how sharp and painful beautiful cactus plants are when you rub up against them too close………. In Steve Erkel voice….. “Did I do that????”  Yep!  Yep I did!

Sometimes I Wonder

Goldfinch and Grosbeak at the feeder - Mars, PA - June, 2017

Goldfinch and Grosbeak at the feeder – Mars, PA – June, 2017

Sometimes
I wonder
how you put up
with me.
Then I remember,
oh I put up with you.
So we’re even.

Author unknown

Lovingly dedicated to a guy I call “Merv.”
He calls me “Gert.”
I put up with him.

He puts up with me.
Let’s do it until eternity. ❤

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

How do you say “Thank You?”

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA - June, 2017

Crooked Creek, Ford City, PA – June, 2017

How do you say “Thank You”
for sunshine or health…
for clear days or gentle rains…
for happiness, joy or love?

You say it by sharing
what you have.
You say it by making
the world a better place in which to live.

-Thomas D. Willhite

How do YOU say “Thank You?”

I say it by trying to share something small every day
in this tiny little platform that is mine
to give to the world
a little bit of happiness…
a little bit of joy…
a little bit of love.

My “Thank You” might be
a photograph,
or a painting,
or a craft or DIY idea.

It might be a favorite cherished
or newly discovered recipe.
It might be a verse
or a quote or a story.

But it is my “Thank You”
for sunshine and health…
for clear days and gentle rains…
for happiness, joy, and love.

It is my gift.
It is my little life.
It is my creative journey…
at life in between.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Focus

Everyday Heroes

Everyday Heroes.

They really are among us.

And I have to brag on one of them (maybe two).

For those of you that have been hanging around here at TheCreativeLifeinBetween for any length of time know about our amazing McHendy family.

Well – our youngest Jake (who we affectionately refer to as Baby Jake, but who is far from a baby these days!)  is now a distinguished Naval officer on a ship that was being commissioned this past weekend.  An Everyday Hero he is!

But behind the story of this great hero is another hero.  This everyday hero shuns the spotlight, but she does magical, amazing, generous acts of kindness behind the scenes.

She also just so happens to be my BFF.  Her name is Jill, and she is astonishingly extraordinary.  (Remember the Pay it Forward Christmas Gift Challenge?)

Well – much like any Mom of a military service person would do – Jill sends “care packages.”

But Jill doesn’t send care packages just to her son (our Jake), she sends them to the ENTIRE crew of the ship he is on – EVERY month!

She does it behind the scenes, all on her own, while also working full time and then some in an executive position, being a mom to four grown children and grandma to one (and a half!), and being an amazing friend and philanthropist.

When we recently celebrated Jill’s birthday, Jill insisted on paying the bill for lunch.  When paying, she told our server to “keep the change.”  The server questioned her to assure she meant what she said, because, you see, Jill tipped our server over double the amount of the cost of our lunch.  It was her “gift” to the server – on HER birthday!

That’s the kind of person she is…  Someone I can only aspire to be like!

When she was recently called up among dignitaries and military personnel and political celebrities to be honored at the commissioning of the naval ship our Jake is an officer on, she humbly accepted, but raised her arm in respect to doing it “all for the crew!”

I am so stinking proud of her, I had to share!  She will likely not be pleased, but hopefully she will forgive me, because she knows I am doing it out of love and respect for the amazing person she is.

Everyday heroes are among us!  And I am so honored to call one of them my BFF!

Love you Jill!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi