Sunday, March 28, 2010

good news / bad news

the good news:  spring light is streaming in my windows!!

the bad news:  all the winter dust, cobwebs and dirt are clearly visible!!

more bad news:  winter hibernation = disorganized clutter!!

the best news:  i have the time and inclination to do some spring cleaning!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

hanging on

you are the
fresh new shoot
budding out
bursting with life

i am the
withered old fruit
hanging on
steeped in wisdom

i will
embrace your energy
sidestep your ambition
forgive your
youthful mistakes
encourage you to grow

will you
acknowledge my worth
let me keep my dignity
understand my
learn from what i offer

i've patiently waited for over a month to capture the above photo. there are three of these crabapple trees in the secluded courtyard of my workplace. somehow the birds never found the crabapples over the winter and all three trees are still loaded with last year's fruit.  i couldn't wait for the new spring leaves to bud out so i could witness the new co-existing with the old. and, all along i composed in my head the blog post that would accompany the photo. i felt in my heart, the message i wanted to convey. if you're a frequent visitor of this blog you may remember a few posts about trying to survive/compete in a youth-oriented competitive corporate business environment. above is the message i would love to share with my young co-workers. many are wonderfully supportive and team-oriented. others strive to put me in my place, devalue my worth and succeed at others' expense. that competitive spirit often has me questioning my desire to continue on the corporate battlefield. but, most days i find renewed strength to quietly hold on, intelligently fight back and most of all, do it with grace.

whatever stage of life you're in, i hope you'll find it in your heart to have compassion for others. without compassion, your life will be much less fulfilling and memorable. you may succeed but at what price?

Friday, March 26, 2010

little hummel girl

one day little hummel girl told her geese it was going to be a day of adventure. she promised they would see new lands and experience new things that would make their hearts happy. so off they set on their voyage of grandma's china cupboard. as they circled round the other hummels, the merry wanderer tipped his umbrella in a goodbye salute. the first obstacle was grandma's tea set collection. little hummel girl had to tiptoe so carefully over and around each delicate little cup, saucer and tea pot. as she crept she told the geese the story of how grandma had collected each piece so that one day she could give them to her granddaughters jenna and layla. next they came to the antique tea set from japan. grandma's dad had sent it home to his mother during his tour of japan after wwII. it was one of grandma's most prized possessions. the geese were in awe of the crystal pieces, all lined up in shimmering splendor for their enjoyment. and the little hummel girl was right. their hearts were oh so very happy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

openings in my life

as much as i love big wide open spaces, lately i've been entranced with the idea of seeing the world thru small openings. it's my new photographic challenge to myself. as i wander with my nikon i'll look for openings to shoot. it will be fun to capture the interesting shape from this side of the camera and then whatever part of the world that can be viewed thru the hole. more shots to come soon.

of course, i can't think about these things without drawing some sort of parallel to my life. so i ask myself what holes have i climbed thru in my life? and what was the view like on the other side? i've had some embarrassing moments when i wanted to be swallowed up by a big hole, to disappear and never be seen again. i fell at work a couple of summers ago in front of two men -- one a co-worker and the other a vendor. my shoe caught on a rug and down i went in a skirt no less. then i picked myself up in total embarrassment and did it again. yes, it is true. i fell again, even harder than the first time. the other side of that hole found me throwing the shoes in the trash and sighing good riddance.

i dug myself out of a disappointing marriage once. or maybe it was me that i was most disappointed in. either way, the view on this side of that hole has been challenging, rewarding, inspiring and really quite rosy.

i've let myself sink into a hole of depression a couple of times. i can honestly say that sometimes we are our own worst enemies. and, once we acknowledge that, there's nowhere to go but up and onward, determined to fight the good fight every step of the way.

i've faced a few questionable openings in my life -- windows of opportunity and doorways to unknown destinations -- that i've leapt thru with hope and faith, courage and longing. i have a few regrets but for the most part life has handed me orchards of sweet, ripe apples and fields of juicy, red strawberries. all for the picking as long as i was brave enough to reach out for them.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

playful puppies

bella:  "i got it!!"

zoe: "hey, wait up sis, i gotta scratch first!"

bella "just workin' on my tan!"

zoe: "aw, shucks, mom, another picture?"

today i asked myself "who's having more fun these days -- bill and i or the puppies?" what fun it is to sit in the back yard and watch them run, romp, tumble, chase and chew. bill strung a clothesline across the fence and hung a knotted rope from it, just long enough for the puppies to grab and pull. when i throw their rubber chicken and say "chicken" they chase it across the yard and carry the chicken back TOGETHER and drop it at my feet. zoe has already learned how to jump over the short white picket fence bill put around my flower beds. she jumps in and out and in and out, just for the joy of being able to do it. one can be peacefully dozing in the sun and then will immediately perk up when they hear their sister getting into something. we took them for a walk at the river on sunday and they got their first chance to wade on the shallow rocks. summer is going to be a blast, for sure!

Monday, March 22, 2010

in the spring

in the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. --margaret atwood--

in the spring, you should dance in the rain, raise your face to the sun and listen to the birdies.
--julie king--

Sunday, March 21, 2010

the morning sun

what a lovely dawn we had yesterday. the sun has changed its angle and is shining into our east and north windows in tantalizing new ways. i'm not really a morning person but there is something very uplifting about the start of a new day.  i like the peace and quiet, an hour or so of solitude to collect my thoughts. i enjoy watching the outside come into focus as the sun's rays strengthen and extend up over the horizon. then there are the little glints of sunlight that appear on the windows, the kitchen countertop and the dining room table. they start out as tiny spots and then lengthen to create delightful trapezoids of brilliant yellow. next come the shadows, the whimsical interplay between the sun and the objects standing in its way. all this drama right in my kitchen, a private showing just for me. 

i had an e-mail this morning from a dear friend letting me know that her elderly mom had passed away in the night. there was no warning, no extended illness, no last goodbyes. although i spent the day with my parents yesterday, today i'll give them a call to make sure they know how much i love them. to check in, to brighten their day.

each day
let me face the morning sun
with gratitude on my face
hope in my heart
and a whispered prayer
for those i love
that they may know
how much i think of them
each day

Saturday, March 20, 2010


the senses
my soul

(c) 2010 julie king

Friday, March 19, 2010

spring at the arboretum

these pictures
say a million things
about spring
the wonder it brings
and how it makes
my heart sing

one lunch hour at the arboretum


211 photos


fresh air




soaring heart


singing spirits

Thursday, March 18, 2010

plastic surgery

i would never have plastic surgery. this is not an idle, random statement, rather one that originates in the very soul of my being and reflects so much of who i am, what i believe and what i stand for in life. i pass no judgment at all on those who choose to nip, tuck, lypo, enhance, augment or reduce what god gave them. i just don't have an interest. long ago, i accepted all my flaws and i'm proud of the wrinkles, gray hairs, age spots and skin imperfections my wonderful life has given me.

however, when i looked at this photo that bill snapped of me in my art room i did wish 2 things:

1) that i hadn't plucked the daylights out of my brows for over 40 years, resulting in negligible hair where most people have lovely full, arching brows

2) that my mouth was a bit more lush. my thin-lipped, sagging mouth often makes me look angry, sad or stern when inside i am feeling none of those things.

so, bored and full of mischevious energy, i used the liquify tool in photoshop to create how i would look if i DID have plastic surgery:

notice the harpo marx brows and the picasso lips? scary, huh? lesson for the day? be happy with what life gives you AND careful what you wish for!!!

hee hee

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

hey mom!!

hey mom! whatcha doin' in there? we're ready to come in and get dried off. we've been really good puppies in the back yard. first we chased some wind-swept leaves around at the back door. then we did our sprints, practicing to see who could run across the yard the fastest. zoe won; she always runs the fastest. then i noticed that the flower bed fencing was loose so we knocked it down and dug a big hole. you should be proud of us since we were able to uncover some green sprouts about ready to poke thru the ground. i told zoe to leave them alone but she ate a few.  now her teeth are all green. i ate a few earthworms and smell like dirt. next we pushed two small logs off the wood pile and chewed on those for a while. yeah, our paws are muddy and our faces covered with mulch and wood chips, but hey we sure had fun. let us in, mom, we want to come sleep on your blanket. please, please, please!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

silver liquid drops

let the rain kiss you. 
let the rain beat upon your head
with silver liquid drops.
let the rain sing you a lullabye.

--langston hughes--

things i like about a rainy day:

rain is nature's way of saying you deserve a lazy day to relax, read and watch a sweet movie in your pajamas. that's all the reason i need.

hot soup and a cup of tea taste best on a rainy day

traffic and barking dogs are muffled by the rainy rhythm on my window

zoe and bella are content to snuggle at my feet

there's no pressure to take out the trash, sweep the porch or cut the honeysuckle bushes back

long guilt-free naps

what do you like about rainy days?

Monday, March 15, 2010


into your life
i see
a woman
who is
yet vulnerable
full of wisdom
occasionally doubting
looking forward
sometimes back
full of life
seldom regret
with love

into my life
you will see
of you
the same

into your life
brings me
belief in
a world
filled with

Sunday, March 14, 2010

her wings whispered

"her wings whispered"
mixed media collage
8 x 16 canvas
(c) 2010 julie king

she woke from a long nap wondering what to do next. rain drops pattered on the window and the wind wooshed across the roof. closing her eyes, she called for a little inspiration to get her thru the day. long months of winter cold and hibernation had left her feeling lonely, devoid of joy and missing her communes with nature. a hint of persistent bird song reached her ears and she quickly pattered to the window. the sparrows were back making their annual nest in the decrepit old wooden birdhouse on the back fence. working as a team they took turns flying off for twigs and soft grass fronds to weave into the house. as one wove the magical nest, its mate sat on the fence and sang of spring and making babies and living happily in her secluded back yard. her heart rose with the knowledge that spring was upon her and the circle of nature was secure and constant. exhaling a silent prayer of thanksgiving, she unfurled her soulful wings; they whispered of hopes and dreams to be filled if only she would fly again. and so with joy rising and exhilaration beating a happy tune in her heart, she flew to the art room to let it all flow out onto paper.

her wings whispered and she was happy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

in a fog

i've been feeling bad lately -- tired, grouchy, uninspired, a bit depressed, in a fog. a visit to the dr. on thursday seemed in order. he said he's been seeing a lot of this with his patients lately and he thinks it's mostly the long, hard winter. we've not gotten enough exercise or sunshine plus we tend to comfort ourselves with well, you know, comfort food. so we pick up weight (that's me!), our BP goes up (mine was way up!) and we feel lethargic. even though i consciously knew all this, it was reassuring to hear a medical professional give a name to the reason and that i'm in good company. we decided to up my half dose of serotin-enhancing med to a full dose. i've been on this mild anti-depressant for about 1 1/2 years and it is wonderful for helping me to cope when i feel overwhelmed. so i will take a bit more but the real needed Rx is sunshine, a walk in the woods with my nikon and a long bike ride.nice weather can't come soon enough for me!

i had my nikon our yesterday and shot the above photos around dawn. i love fog and so wanted to be out on a creek bed to capture it creeping along the banks and rolling over the trees.

it's raining this morning and our girls bella and zoe have been wallering in the mud and water in the back yard. when i went out to check on them i caught them digging in my flower bed. 

does bella look guilty or what?!! last night was the first time they had ever experienced the rain. when it started pouring they just stood on the back patio and looked at each other. i loved that they just took it for granted and didn't run inside to take cover.

my crocuses are up and blooming! don't they look fresh and springy in the rain?

is anyone having trouble with spam comments on their blog? i am literally hounded with a dozen or more spam comments a day. since i moderate all comments i'm able to reject them so they never show up but i sure would like to stop them all together. any ideas? i hate to go back to word verification but that may be the only way to stop them. any suggestions would be helpful.

have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

good earth tea

i've been drinking a lot of good earth tea lately after rediscovering it in the grocery aisle. a blend of black and herbal teas, it has a sweet spicy flavor that i love. i made a cup for my friend and co-worker garth recently and he was not impressed. a south african transplant, garth prefers his tea weak and loaded with milk. we got a good laugh out of his reaction to the sweet spicy taste (envision a look of pure disgust) and i tease him at least once a week about making him a good cup of tea. 

the other thing i like about good earth tea is the inspirational quote on the tag of each bag. it's an extra little treat to read the tag as the water is heating in the microwave. this evening's bag reads "youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life".  this made me chuckle and then reflect. it seems a little like that chicken - egg conundrum. when we're young we take youth for granted. it is only when we are older and wiser that we can see how wonderful being young was and how frivolously we flaunted it away. the truth is, i like myself better now than at any other period in my life. i have more confidence and am better focused on what's important in life. yes, i'm aging and have lost my youthful glow. the creaking knees, age spots and gray hairs may be seen as unattractive to some people but to me they are my battle medals. accolades i've won for fighting the good fight for my kids, women in general and especially for the right to be me and to live the life i want to live.

so forget youth. i'll keep my hard-earned wisdom and never-waning hope.

oh, and good earth tea, please and thank you!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

hello blog!!

hello, blog! i’ve missed you! i’ve been on a little hermitage lately often thinking about blogging but there’s been a little voice in my head whispering you got nothin’. maybe i just needed a break. maybe i’ve had a bit of the winter blues. maybe i’ve just been lazy and too happy and comfortable reading and snuggling with the puppies. whatever the reason, i’m itching to get back into the blogging saddle. thanks to those of you who sent messages asking if i was ok. it meant a lot!!

today the sun is out and the temperature is rising.  birds were singing outside my window as i awoke this early morning. snow is quickly melting and i’m seeing tiny buds on the trees. big sigh!!

the photo is a combination of three photos i took last summer. the cute girl in yellow is my granddaughter jenna. she was so cooperative when I asked her to pose with a dandelion. i wrote the poem with a strong yearning for the summer sun!