RSS

Tag Archives: early mornings

Ballet Shoes

As a child I remember wanting to take dance lessons. My best friend had dance lessons every Saturday morning. Some Saturdays I would go with and watch while she and the other girls danced. I attended their recitals and watched as the danced in their pretty costumes to the music.

My parents bought a piano and I learned how to play it, not well but I can pick up a not too complicated piece of music and it will sound recognizable to the untrained ear. I find playing the piano relaxing at times when I need a break from bookkeeping or other mundane tasks. I think that my parents made the wiser choice given the fact that I have an overall dislike of physical exercise. Playing the piano is more of a life skill for me. One that I can put down and pick up over time.

This morning I took my camera down to the lake to capture a pink sunrise. The sky had a pink glow to it and I thought it might lend itself well to some interesting pictures.

Saturday evening the winds blew so strong out of the north that the windows were making noises and we could hear the tree branches all night long. When we woke up Sunday morning the ice that had starting forming around the edges of the lake were gone because of the strong winds.

This morning I found branches along the shore of the lake with icicles hanging from them but my favorite find was the above picture that looks like ballet shoes. I love how the icicles formed evenly to look like a pair of shoes hanging from ribbons.

Sometimes when you are searching for one thing, like a beautiful sunrise, you find something better.

It pays to look a little closer.

 
16 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Nature, Photography, Reflections

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Frosty Fall Morning

This morning we woke up to the first frost of the fall. Last evening my neighbors were all busy covering their gardens to protect their produce. It was a chilly morning only 30 degrees with some areas including our area with temperatures below freezing over night. It warmed up to a chilly but 55 degree sunny day.

This is what Pine Lake looked like this morning from the shore in front of our home. Steam rising from its surface in waves from one end of the lake to the other. I watched its ever changing shapes for about ten minutes before my cold feet told me it was time to move on.

I headed up the hill to our house and then out to the field behind our home to see what the field looked like frosted. I’m not a fan of colder weather but I love to the frost on the plants. It gives them a whole new look and of course something new to photograph.

One of my favorite finds this morning was this frosted clover in the roadside ditch along our driveway.

I also loved how this grass looked in the early morning light.

It’s hard to think that soon the ground will be covered with snow once again and the lake frozen solid in just a couple of months. Until then I will just have to enjoy the daily beauty in the few remaining flowers blooming and the soon to arrive fall colors.

I still have a few Hydrangeas blooming. Most of them have changed to a soft mauve color but I still have a few that are white colored.

I love this spider web that graced my porch in the morning light.

Enjoy your surroundings where you live and try to find some beauty each day.

 
28 Comments

Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Fall, Nature, Photography

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring: My Season of Productivity

This morning as I stood under our maple tree looking towards the blue skies I thought “I could get a lot done today if I stayed home from work.”

Mornings that I wake up and see blue skies, sunshine and feel the warmth in the air energize me. This morning before work I washed three loads of clothes and hung them out on the line. Spent an hour on my bible study homework and picked up a few things out of place.

If I were home today it would be a perfect day to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in and start washing windows. I know why in the old days women did their spring cleaning. It was not just because they needed to do it after the long winter, they felt capable of doing it. During the winter my energy level is much lower and I feel like I get so much less accomplished.

During this season I spend very little time indoors so I can savor the perfect weather. I love to be outside in the flower garden, down by the lake or just take a walk. I can’t help but notice the daily changes around me. During the winter everything seems to stay the same other than a little more snow than the day before.

As I was walking around the yard this morning I could hear activity in the air. The birds were singing, tractors in the distance, motorcycles on a nearby road and voices of others outside on this beautiful morning.

Today is a day that many things will be accomplished.

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Mystery Tour: Clues 1,2 & 3

The mystery tour began this morning at 3 am when we got up and were ready to leave the house for the two hour drive to the Minneapolis airport.

Our flight departed at 7:00am this morning and arrived at our destination at 11:00am.

Clue #1

This morning when we left our home at 4:15 am my son had to scrap ice off his windshield before we could leave. It was a bone chilling 31 degrees.

Upon our arrival at the first stop in our mystery tour I saw this sight.

Clue #2

And this sight…

During our travels we happened upon this lovely sight. It is definitely not native to my home state of Minnesota.

Our travels this day began with two hours of driving in a car, three hours by plane, 5 minute train ride, a mile and a half of walking, two hours of a city bus ride and topped off with five more hours of driving by truck.

I will post more photos on Monday of leg two of the Mystery tour but I will leave you with Sunday evenings sunset.

 

Tags: , , ,

Time to Fly on a Day Off

 

I love early mornings. Especially ones with no snow and the possibility of flying for a time. This morning I am headed off to the airport with hopes of hitting some clear blue skies to view life from a different perspective.

My husband and I will be mixing it up a little with business and pleasure. Some flying time, some errands and be assured some photo time as well.

A couple of things that I love about early mornings are the quiet and the beautiful color changes I can see as the sun is rising. This morning in a matter of just 15 minutes the sky has gone from blues to pinks as the sun is rising.

 

Tags: , ,

The Fine Art of Relaxing

Today as I listened to those around me there seemed to be a developing theme for the day. The morning started with reading my email as I usually do before work while drinking my morning coffee. One email I receive every day is Turning Point by Dr. David Jeremiah. It is a daily on-line devotional. The theme of this morning’s devotional was Crazy Busy.

In his book, CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap, Edward M. Hallowell wrote about the moment he knew he had crossed the dark side from busy to crazy busy. It was when he lost his temper at a rotary dial phone while on vacation. His cell phone wouldn’t work, and he just about went nuts waiting for the dial to return to start with every number. Then, calming down, he timed the process. The entire dialing process took all of eleven seconds. “What a fool I had become,” he wrote. “I had become a man in a hurry even when I had no need to hurry.”

After finishing up with a few things at home I headed into work and there was a salesperson waiting to see me when I arrived. She comes to our business once every month or two for a visit. We talked about my vacation a bit and then she related a story about their family trip to the Wisconsin Dells with her husband and two kids. They planned carefully for their trip time wise and financially before they left. She said everything went fine for the first two days because they were in one place but then she said that’s when the fun ended and it went from vacation to crazy busy even on vacation.

They spent the third day of their vacation hitting every tourist trap up and down the streets in the Wisconsin Dell area. They denied themselves nothing. They spent more than they had planned on stuff they hadn’t planned than on what they had planned. She said it was like the whole family was in a frenzy going from one thing to the next. It was not what they had planned for their vacation. They came home frazzled, broke and exhausted.

When I started on the work I had planned for the day I managed to get a few things done on my list but spent most of the day “putting out fires” as my husband refers to taking care of the urgent but not necessarily the important.

Some days we are too busy “putting out fires” in our crazy busy world that we neglect what’s most important-time for ourselves and our family. It’s important to build some solitude in your daily routine and rest. On the days when my husband and I get home late from work it is hard to give up the time for the things I enjoy and opt for the rest I need.

When my boys were young one of their favorite things to do was to hop up into Grandpa’s chair if he had vacated it long enough for the boys to notice. They loved to lean back and stretch out pretending to be just like Grandpa in his chair. Our grandson has started to play the same game. I hope that the next generation will learn how to slow down and enjoy the moment better than this generation does, at least that is my hope.

 

Tags: , , ,

In A Fog

This morning my mind is literally and figuratively in a fog. 

I stepped outside this morning in my plaid flannel nightshirt and black snow boots to capture this photo. We are socked in with heavy fog this morning. In the background of this picture is a snow-covered lake that you can usually make out the shorelines even with snow on the lake but not so this morning.

As I was walking down to the lake to take a few pictures I heard sounds of birds singing which amazed me because before I went outside I had watched my bird feeder this morning for birds to come and none had before I went out and none since I came back in. The other prevalent sound was the dripping of water. I could hear it falling from the trees and roof of our home.  As I walked through the snow it had a crunching sound and not the almost silent sound of walking through fresh snow.

The figuratively nature of my mind’s fog this morning is in preparing for an upcoming trip. I don’t know if you are like me when you plan for a trip, you start adding things to your to-do list that have needed to be done for years and somehow you think you will finally do them just because you plan to leaving town. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I said that we needed to load up and deliver the crib that we had borrowed from his brother and wife almost a year and a half ago. It has only been sitting against the wall in our bedroom for the past month. 

Do I have a fear that I will not return from this trip so everything I have ever borrowed must be returned to its proper owner?  Certainly not, but why not use the reason for leaving town to get some of those things accomplished. I’ve concluded that if I only had less stuff it would be easier to leave more often.  Too much of my day is caring for all the things we have accumulated. I have downsized a lot in the past year but there is so much more that can go but I want to do it in a responsible way.

I don’t want to fill the landfill with useful items so I need to find places to donate. I need to assess just how many pots and pans I really need.  Afterall I only have four burners on the top of my stove and my oven can only hold so many baking dishes at one time. Clothes are a problem around my home. I am not a clothes hound by any means but because of the different seasons we need to have a variety of clothes for the different seasons and all the winter clothes take up more space.  I was thinking that if we didn’t live where there was a winter how much less storage I would need.

Time to emerge from the fog and head to work in the fog with renewed energy to carry out great things today or at least a few important things on my list knowing that some time off awaits me soon. 🙂

 
18 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Life Happens, Nature, Photography, Vacations

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Horses on a Winter’s Day

This past week I was on my way home from flying when I went past this pair of horses.  I stopped my car and backed up to take a picture of the two.  I sat for a long time and watched to two horses and they stood and watched me.  While I sat in my car and watched I thought back to my junior year in college.

Shortly after Christmas my Mom told me that she would be sending me some money to do something fun.  She said that she didn’t want me to spend it on school.  I thought about for a few days and I finally decided that I would sign up for riding lessons at a nearby college.  I had never been on a horse in my life.  I lived in the city growing up and always thought that it would be exciting to learn how to ride a horse. 

I researched when the classes would be and signed up for riding lessons.  It came time for the first riding lesson.  It was on a Saturday morning at 8 am.  What college student in their right mind signs up for a class at 8 am on a Saturday morning.  I usually worked as a prep cook at an Italian restaurant until 2 am on Friday and Saturday evenings.  I got myself out of bed and drove a half hour to my lesson and arrived about 10 minutes early. 

I asked for directions to where my class was and they directed me to the stable and said I would find my instructor there.  I walked over to the stable and walked inside.  There must be some mistake I thought as I looked around the room.  I was the only adult in the room except for the instructor.  The rest of the students were all elementary age students.  I thought that the class would be beginning college age students not elementary age students.  So much for asking all the right questions.  I pride myself on being prepared.  I wasn’t ready for this.  Once we started the class the age difference didn’t seem to be important.  We were all learning to do something we wanted to do from someone who wanted to teach us about horses.

Learning about saddling a horse was all new to me.  I had one advantage over the younger students, my height.  I could lift my saddle up on the horse without help while the younger students struggled to hoist their saddles up.    My instructor taught us about English riding.  It was fun learning to do something I had always wanted to do.  Each Saturday morning for twelve weeks I got up and headed over for my lesson.  It was rough after working so late but the fresh air was wonderful.  My lessons were in the winter time and many mornings we rode in the indoor arena but the best lessons were when we bundled up and headed outside and rode on the nearby wooded trails. 

I haven’t been on a horse since my lessons in nearly 28 years but I can still remember the feeling of accomplishment having learned something new.  There is a new horse back riding arena just outside of town.  Seeing those horses this past week have ignited a desire in me to ride again but not wait 28 years for the one after that.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Nature, New Challenges, Reflections

 

Tags: , ,

Unassaulted Time…Early Mornings are worth it

I love early mornings.  A quiet mind within a quiet house not yet awake.  It’s a great time to read, think, and write.  I enjoy sitting in the quiet and thinking about the day that is just beginning and its possibilities with a cup of hot coffee in hand.

Some mornings like the past week have been dreary and rainy making it hard to get moving.  This time of the year it is difficult to force myself out of bed in the dark.  It takes so long to see the early morning sun which is another motivator for me.

I love to listen as one by one the others in my home wake up and join the day.  Each in their own way.  My oldest son jumps to meet the day and hops instantly into the shower to get ready.  Not late, it’s just how he starts his day.  My youngest daughter greets the day slowly and slumbers later into her morning.  She takes it slowly never in too much of a hurry.  It’s always been that way since they were born. 

My youngest son used to greet the day screaming as a baby.  He was hungry.   Now!  Feed him and everything was right with his world.  He’s mellowed a bit in that department.  My older daughter always greeted her new day with delight and still does.

Throughout the day at work so much of the day is spent in the reactionary mode or as my husband likes to put it “Putting out fires”.  When you deal with customer service you drop what you are doing or planning to do to meet the needs of the customer  your day becomes fragmented.  It ends without a feeling of accomplishment because not one thing was finished to completion on your list.  Many things may have moved forward with some progress but not entirely finished.

Even on the most stressful days at work if there was time in the morning for quiet before the chaos the day seems to go better.  If there was none because I started the day racing through it and there was no time to relax in the morning,  things just don’t go as smoothly.  Unassaulted time has its benefits even in the dark.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2010 in Quiet Times

 

Tags: , , ,

Earth’s Early Morning Song

Watching, waiting, listening to earth’s early morning song,  overcast skies with fresh, cleansing breezes blowing after an overnight rain.  Water dripping from the freshly washed branches of the pine trees.  Rustling in the poplar trees leaves sounds like a steady rain.

Patience perfected as cautious head appears from the pine grove.  Searching, ears up like radar checking for danger.  Mother and fawn appear slowly crossing the edge of the field.  Slowly moving from east to west.  Tiptoeing near a flowerbed they stop for a nibble.  Galloping from behind they are joined by a third.  Cautiously scanning they continue their parade nearly out of sight.  Head down every so often for a taste of wet clean grass. 

Rustling in the east a fourth emerges, stops to survey the surroundings then runs to join the others,  standing like statues frozen in time trying to be unseen.  Dog barking in the distance they disappear in the west.

Dragonflies perform aerobatics in the skies above,  two in formation.  Left steep turns together and then right.  Higher, lower they fly their ballet.  Silently they dance as the crows caw in the distance.  The cars on a distance road provide their song to the mix.  Heard in the distance from west to east.  The sound rising as the approach and quieting as they depart on their way to work in the early morning hours.

Scampering, looking a field mouse climbs to the deck sees me and retreats below.  A second try, more brave, as it sits with its little pink feet and big brown eyes.  Observing me trying to decide,  moves a few inches carefully watching then darts on by with the sound of the woodpecker in the distance covering its steps.

Pink Cosmos flower heads swaying in the morning breezes.  Sunflower heads, heavy from rain, straining to find the sun.  The leaves of the maroon smoke plant shimmer with its fresh raindrops displayed.  Overcast skies clearing, making way for glimpses of blue.  Low gray clouds passing by, making blue skies not true.  Storms moving in as the day begins.

 
 

Tags: ,