Thursday, September 29, 2016

Do You Suffer From Text Neck Syndrome?

by Linda

A funny thing happened to me a while back. Not so much funny-haha, funny in that it was something unexpected and brought with it a little stress and an epiphany, sorta.

You see, I have one of those devices that keep me connected with the outside cyber world. Have you seen it? It's a marvel of our modern technological world, it contains the power of a computer that once needed to be housed in a very large building with very strong air conditioners. Yet, I can hold it in my hand!

I can read email, google search anything, text, check the weather, take pictures, edit pictures, check facebook/instgram/twitter etc. and make a phone call. I am always fearful of dropping it either on the floor or in water and when it's time to upgrade, I make sure I don't lose ANYTHING that is stored on it. I love it! It is my dear friend!

That is why one day, when I became separated from it, I suffered a brief panic attack.

Here's what happened and what I did-

I was out back with the girls roasting chile. This is an activity that needs to occur outside and takes several hours. Older girl was helping and the younger one was playing PokemonGo on my phone. If you play PokemonGo, you know it sucks the battery like crazy. So it wasn't long before I was informed that my phone was out of juice. Older girl volunteered to take my phone inside and plug it in. Thanks! That was a big help!

Soon their dad arrived to take them home. They went inside to gather their things then came outside to say goodbye. They went in the back door and out the front door. After a little bit, about 15 minutes, I decided I needed to go inside and get something out for dinner. So I went to the back door-locked. So I went to the front door-locked. Great. Now what! I don't have my phone! I can't get anyone here to unlock the door and let me in! It was hours till someone came home! I have to get in! Should I break the glass on the door? Break a window? Try to have superhuman strength and pull open the garage door? Panic!

Well I could go to a neighbor and ask to use their phone but the problem was there were only 2 phone numbers I knew and one was my home number and the other was my cell number. Great! I'm stuck outside and it's starting to rain!

An then a calmness came over me. I had a covered area to get under while it rained. I had water and the dogs were out with me. No biggie. I could wait. So once the rain stopped, I finished roasting my chile. Then as I looked around my yard I noticed just how pretty the trees were swaying in the breeze. I listened to the birds calling and the cicadas singing. It was lovely! There was nothing to distract me from all the wonder and beauty of nature that was waiting to be noticed in my own backyard!

I cleaned up a few flowerbeds, played with the dogs and just let the time pass. Can I say that it was the most relaxing thing that has happened to me for a long time? I obviously spend too much time in the cyber world and that isn't a good thing for me.

I was disconnected and unplugged from everything. I couldn't check anything to see who went where or who did what. And I couldn't share what I did and where I went.

And guess what? The world didn't end. Nobody cared that I wasn't online and I'm just fine with that!


How about you? Have you ever stepped away from the cyber world and truly experienced the life that is all around you? You really should try it! I am making it a practice that at least once a week, I am totally unplugged!


My dilemma ended after about 3 hours when trophy husband came home from work and let me back in the house.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Variety of Different Meanings

by Deanna

Last week I went to the Arboretum with my out-of-town, blogging friend, Jeanne Stone (Butterfly Tales: Metamorphosis from the Cocoon).  Jeanne and I became friends via blogging.  We met in Chicago about 3 years ago while she was here with her grandson, Sam. We became fast friends and have taken 2 trips together with another one planned for early 2017 and another in the Fall of 2017. With cameras draped around our shoulders and bags filled with extra lenses, batteries and SD cards we are always up for an adventure.

While Jeanne was here visiting, I knew that she would enjoy the Arboretum, because 1) she loves flowers 2) she likes to take pictures and 3) she likes to take pictures of flowers. (pretty much describes me too). As we parked the car to visit the Scented Garden we were greeted by these wonderful flowers.

These charming blooms have inspired poets, artists, and songwriters for centuries with their colorful cup shaped petals and contrasting yellow center.  The Anemone is a staple in cottage gardens and contains an entire genus including 120 different species all under the scientific name Anemone.  The lavender colored species pictured here blooms in the late summer into fall and is called the Japanese Anemone.  Or as I like to refer to it as....the fall Anemone.

Anemones are hardy in gardening zones 3/4-9 and will grow in all but the hottest and the driest areas of the US.  (ie: southern California, southern tip of Texas, and a good portion of Florida)  The Japanese Anemone grows to 3-4 feet high in sun or partial shade in good soil.

In the spring, the Wood Anemone covers the ground with it's white blossoms and yellow centers.

These flowers are also commonly called windflowers. Anemone comes from the Greek word with the same spelling which means "the wind's daughter". It is a combination of the word for wind and the suffix - one which indicates a female offspring or daughter. Greek myths portray the Anemone with dual meanings of the arrival of spring breezes and the loss of a loved one to death. Quite opposite meanings for sure.  In Eastern cultures windflowers are used at funerals, but Westerners (that would mean us) tend to see it as protection against evil and ill luck instead. Personally I like the Western correlation better, don't you?!  With the vast varieties in white, blue, red, pink, and purple we can enjoy these beauties from early spring until late fall.

With a variety of different meanings, you can use Anemone flowers for occasions like:
  -  A funeral or memorial for a loved one that passed away
  -  A bouquet for someone looking forward to a big move, marriage, or the birth of a baby
  -  A stay well gift for anyone trying to avoid illness
  -  Wishing someone good luck

The message the Anemone delivers is simple...

"Look forward to the future and don't forsake the ones you love. Something new is always around the corner, no matter how dark things might look right now."

If you spot an Anemone, enjoy it's beauty and think of it's message, they are both worth remembering.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


by Leigh

I stumbled across an unfamiliar word the other day....solivagant.  Have you ever heard it before?  I don't remember how I came across it, but as soon as I saw the meaning I knew that this was a word to add to my vocabulary.
Solivagant: rambling alone; marked by solitary wandering

It really resonated with me.  About once a week I find a need to escape the hustle and bustle of my day and wander alone.  Sometimes I stop at a local nature preserve located in the middle of the city off a busy turnpike.  As soon as my feet hit that trail I feel protected by the tree canopies.  It's just myself...well not quite alone, nature is there with me.  

Sometimes my wanderings are just quick trips....enough time to de-stress and unwind for a moment. Other days I get lost in my wanderings and time slips away.  Before I know it I have wandered for hours.  

The first day of fall was last week and I felt like it was an occasion that needed to be marked in some way.  I ventured downtown to the Myriad Botanical Gardens.  It's still been pretty hot in Oklahoma, but this particular morning there was a cool breeze and low humidity.  Even though downtown was busy during the rush hour of morning, the gardens were calm and still.  As I wandered alone through the gardens I realized that I was in the middle of a very concentrated area of people in downtown OKC, yet I felt alone.  Just me, my thoughts, the monarchs and bees buzzing past me and the sounds of cars in the distance.  It was extremely peaceful.  

I took time to engage all my senses fully.  I stopped and sat by a small pond and felt like I was in a trance watching the ripples on the water.  This solitary wandering is what I need to connect to myself.

Do you find yourself wandering alone sometimes?  Is there a place that you go to where you can be alone and just feel lost in nature?  Now you know there is a word for that...solivagant.

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