#SOCS – Last photo I took

https://lindaghill.com/2021/07/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-31-2021/

My last photo is a selfie, and I just found out that I tested positive for Covid.

Despite the disposition in the photo, I’ve been struggling with a lot of symptoms: intense coughing, runny nose, body aches, throat constriction, hand cramps, fatigue, fever. My friend calls and apologizes profusely.

One day after my Brick Rodeo trip, I decided to have a low key dinner date with her and help her with technical issues. When I arrived, there was an unexpected guest. He was there to help her when she fell on the ground and hit her head.

The next day she calls to let me know that that same friend fainted and hit his head. He’s a landscape architect, and spent so much time in the sumer heat. When he went to the emergency room, he tested positive for Covid and unknowingly passed it onto us that day.

When I had trouble breathing, I called a doctor for a virtual visit. He prescribed a stronger cough medicine and an inhaler.

It helps. I can sleep better. I feel confident I will recover. I believe the vaccine in me is speeding up the recovery time.

Brick Rodeo 2021

When I was a young girl, my parents bought me a red bin filled with hundreds of plastic bricks to build to my heart’s content. My first project was a pirate’s ship. It’s been a long time since I last played with them, but last week I had the opportunity to attend a Lego convention called Brick Rodeo! It was such an incredible trip. The builders’ imagination led to the creation of some awe-inspiring pieces. I have created a separate Instagram account for all the photos I’ve taken. Here are a few of my favorites!

FOTD – Rose Garden🌹 & Reflections

“It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important…People have forgotten this truth, but you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie

“True friendship is like a rose, we don’t realize its beauty until it fades.” – Anonymous

“Real beauty is in the fragility of your petals. A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all.” – Crystal Woods

“Just remember, during the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, that there’s a seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes a rose.” – Bette Midler

“The rose is fairest when it is budding new, and hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.” – Sir Walter Scott

“A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.” – William Carlos Williams

“If the rose puzzled its mind over the question how it grew, it would not have been the miracle that it is.” – J. B. Yeats

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

https://ceenphotography.com/2021/07/16/fotd-july-17-blue-iris/

Cee’s Flower of the Day

What If We All Met?

VJ sparked an interesting fantasy, “What if we [bloggers] all met?” What would it look like? How and where, imagining animated conversations and unexpected bonds. Money and Covid not being an issue. I couldn’t help but indulge in this fantasy!

Greeting you with floral leis and fruity snacks

Hawaiian beachfront estate, palm trees swaying in the breeze

A few of us are sipping Mai Tai’s in the infinity pool

Gazing at the ocean watching the dolphins leap in the air

Adrenaline junkies water skiing and para sailing across the clear skies

Bartender entertains bloggers at the bar with fantastic stories

Others will set up their canvases and paint the peaceful scenery

Fishermen share crazy tales of living out at sea

Conga lines on passing cruise ships delight passerby

Children collecting seashells

Sand between our toes

In response to:
https://onewomansquest.org/2021/05/17/vjs-weekly-challenge-read-on/

Blogging Insights – Editing

Do you edit your work before posting it?
I typically edit a lot before posting, but that may have to change soon due to recent obligations. I miss blogging, and I may have to sacrifice editing in order to just get my ideas out.

Apart from correcting typos and spellings , how much (if any) of a post do you change before you send it out in the world?
I typically change a post quite a bit since I’ve had an audience. Interestingly, I hardly changed anything when I first started blogging!

Do you think that re-drafting a piece can “rob” it of its spontaneity?
Yes and no – Sometimes, I enjoy the candidness of a raw, first draft. However, a blogger can continue to be spontaneous as new ideas are integrated into a re-draft.

In response to:
https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/2021/07/12/blogging-insights-editing/#like-10236

Enjoying the Little Things

Dewdrops glisten on each blade of grass
Morning sunlight brightens the verdant fields
Greeting cards with loving appreciation notes
Aroma of a home-cooked meal and the warmth of tea
Snuggling up with a well-worn book under clean cotton sheets
Lighting a candle in the bathroom at night while taking a shower
Friend surprises with a cover from your favorite song
Unexpected recognition of work well done
Laughter from the deep within
Scent of floral blooms
Sincere compliments
And so much more…

What little things have you enjoyed lately?
Response to:
https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/07/11/sunday-writing-prompt-july-11-21-the-little-things/

Lost in the Blur

“To lose it all in the blur of the start! Seeing is deceiving. Dreaming is believing. It’s okay not to be okay…Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart.”

Jessie J
Krysten’s Happy Fridays

Hello there! Happy Friday! Summer is here! Stepping back into the WordPress community for a cool dip! Oh, my dear heart… I was spinning in the wheel of life and needed a moment here! ~A breather in my oasis~

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

What Have I Been Up To?

Striking the right balance amongst my various engagements has always been a challenge for me. I often wonder what has motivated me to do so much. Certainly, life is short.

I must say ‘NO’ more often so that I won’t burn out. My question as of late is, “What do I prune?” How do you all prioritize? Varies from individual to individual, I’m sure. These are my happy interests presently!

A2Z Bird Blogging Challenge

I’m still working on this bird challenge! I’m so PROUD that I got halfway through. Because of this extended A2Z challenge, I’ve been paying more attention to the birds who live in my area and feeling a greater sense of gratitude for their presence.

Masters Degree in IT Innovation and Management

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”

Abigail Adams

I’ve been diligently working on my master’s program, and it’s been a rather steep learning curve for me. There have been days where I just feel like I’ve been staring at a block of text for hours at a time and cross-checking with other references. On the one hand, I have been fighting analysis paralysis, and on the other, I have been learning about some fascinating things. One day I will experience the bittersweet taste of victory!

Udemy’s Blogging Masterclass

I’m also reinvesting in my blogging skills by taking a Udemy Masterclass: Blogging Masterclass: How To Build A Successful Blog In 2021. Thank you, Mr.A, for this fantastic gift! I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I truly love blogging, and look forward to learning and sharing with others.

Work Accomplishment

My technical writing duties have occupied my thoughts as I’m assisting the CEO create a presentation for INSA‘s National Security Showcase. I’m floored that one of our technologies got selected by their committee! I helped submit the write-up for the application. Only a dozen out of hundreds of applicants got chosen. I’m humbled. Yet, it’s the software developers that deserve the credit. I’m just helping them get a piece of the limelight! The next thing I know my supervisor is offering me a promotion.

Birthday Month

I had a lovely time at the caverns and took plenty of photos of these magnificent beauties. One of my friends fainted due shift in humidity levels being 150 feet below the earth and all. Very grateful for the EMT and staff! We enjoyed an authentic Italian meal afterwards. Siblings gave me a few helpful tools to better manage life. One of my friends gave me nun-chucks and a flying lesson!

Rotary

I recently got recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow for our local Rotary group. Deeply honored. I created a short, snazzy animated promo video for our club, and we won a district superhero challenge!

Toastmasters

Crafted, prepared, and delivered my 3nd speech about my father’s solar powered cowboy hat! 6 minutes of Nerves. Joy. Growth. Overcoming my fear of public speaking one speech at a time.

Crochet Group

Working on Tinna Thórudóttir Thorvaldsdóttir‘s Saga crochet pattern for a gorgeous pillow!

Beauty Consultant

I’ve studied hard and earned some educational bling! I’m now an advanced product consultant for skincare, color cosmetics, and clinical solutions. I’ve been engaging with my clients on social media and learning about fun applications. Exploring new fragrances through poetry with the help of a friend.

Books

Reading when I can… while waiting in lines…

  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • The Odyssey Chronicles by Carolyn Shelton
  • Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Groeschel
  • Even as We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
  • Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence by Erik Qualman
Astrology & Horoscopes

Even though I read Yodha’s fun, inspiring messages as entertainment, I enjoy learning about it when I again have the chance. I have various mutable signs within my natal chart indicating flexible, adaptable, and changeable qualities (modalities) which allows me to see life from many different perspectives. I learned that I have a Mercury in Gemini, Lilith in Virgo, and North Node in Pisces. Mom has a ton of Sagittarius in her chart. Thinkers and philosophers in the zodiac!

Finding Clarity

“Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.”

Atul Gawande

I’ve been doing more brain dumps and mind mapping exercises to keep moving forward and uncover more of my life’s purpose. As for my blog, I will continue to write about the birds, some new poems, and share new photos I took on my break!

Perhaps a spa day is in order. A massage with essential oils sounds nice!

Take care now & I’ll see you soon ❤

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Today’s Prompts

Intermission & Snapshots

Hello! Happy belated mother’s day! I am blessed with so many mother figures in my life.

I needed a break, so I painted a rock for the kindness rock garden at the park.

While waiting for a restaurant table, I listened to my boyfriend chat about a sibling and past hurts while watching the clouds.

1 hour later I encounter lovely flowers!

A friend created these lovely figurines from scratch!

My plants are well!

Cool hair! This duck is strutting his stuff!

A beautiful tree!

A2Z 2021 – Birds – Magpie

Featured Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

  • Physical Description: A striking bird, the magpie has the deep, glossy black plumage of a crow or raven, with a white chest and white blazes across the top of the wings. The primary flight feathers also have white on them, as can be seen when the magpie flies. It measures approximately 20 inches long (almost half of which is the magpie’s long tail), has a wingspan of approximately 23 inches, and weighs about 6 ounces.
  • Geographic Distribution: Magpies are found in western and central Canada and the United States.
  • Environment: These birds are found in open woodland, meadows, and grasslands. Magpies are very comfortable in residential areas and around people

Myths, Folklore, and Cultural Associations

In China and Korea, the magpie is said to be a bird of good luck and happiness. If a chattering magpie is observed, it means guests will arrive or other good news is on the way. If you hear a magpie when you’re setting out, your errand will be blessed with good luck. However, in Western symbolism, the magpie is more often considered a thief or a wastrel, and a symbol of bad luck, much like crows and ravens. In England, it is considered unlucky to see a single magpie, and to offset the bad luck you must take off your hat, make the sign of the cross, or cross two sticks on the ground.

Magpies are attracted to shiny objects, and will often filch pieces of tin foil, glossy ribbons, and small coins to hoard. This has given rise to the casual terms “magpie syndrome” or “magpie mind, “which describe people being drawn to shiny, pretty things or ideas that distract them from what they should be properly focusing on.

In some American folklore, if a magpie lands on the roof of a house, it is a sign that the house is sturdy and will not collapse or be destroyed in a storm. In other folklore, a magpie landing on the roof or flying past a window means the imminent death of one of the inhabitants.

A commonly known folk rhyme lists the symbolism associated with the number of magpies seen. It is also applied to other corvids such as crows and ravens, and has a few different regional variations. Here is one of the most common versions.

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil’s own self.

In Greek mythology, the nine daughters of King Peirus of Emathia (Macedonia) challenged the Muses to a singing contest. When the sisters lost, they were punished by the Muses for their presumption by being transformed into nine chattering magpies.

A Chinese festival called The Night of the Sevens or the Magpie Festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It is a celebration for lovers, something like the Western Valentine’s Day. At this time of year the stars Vega and Altair are high in the sky, and in the story these stars represent two lovers, a princess and a cowherd, who were separated forever by the Milky Way. On this festival, all the magpies in the world, out of pity for the lover’s separation, rise up into the sky and form a bridge with their wings so the lovers may spend one night together.

Omens and Divinatory Meaning

The magpie may be telling you to look for the shiny things around you, to enjoy the bright attractive things in your life. Alternatively, it may recommend that you look at how you balance your love of shiny things with the more serious things in life. Are you too often distracted by the glittery things in life?

The magpie can also represent destructive habits; too much hoarding, gossip, idle chatter, or loud talk can harm you or others. But the magpie’s black-and-white coloring makes it a symbol of balance, and seeing it can remind you to maintain balance in your life.

Associated Energies: Hoarding, distraction, communication, balance between extremes
Associated Seasons: Spring, Summer
Element Association: Air
Color Associations: Black, White

REFERENCE: Birds, a Spiritual Field Guide, Explore the Symbology & Significance of These Divine Winged Messengers by Arin Murphy-Hiscockv

Reflections

I enjoyed learning about Magpie folklore. As for balancing the shiny and the serious, I feel like I have done this often in my life on here on my blog. While I like to contemplate serious topics that impact humanity, I can’t help but be attracted to sparkle of all sorts from time to time. 🙂

Many people consider the magpie to be among one of the smartest animals. They are highly sociable and have fascinating communicating patterns. I’ve watched many videos of the magpie, and it was interesting seeing them interact with other birds.

I saw a video of one imitating human speech and being ever so loving, one of two magpies getting territorial and harassing hawks, foxes, rats, another one of magpies attacking people. In Australia, it’s called swooping season! Below is a magpie mourning the death of a loved one.

Apparently, they can serenade you too! I was also fascinated by the Magpie Whisperer!

A2Z 2021 – Birds – Lark

Featured Photo by Dimitris Vetsikas

  • Physical Description: The horned lark is a small brown bird with a buff chest, a black mask, and a black patch surrounded by pale yellow on its throat. This bird has two small feather crests on either side of the top of its head, giving rise to its name. Larks are small to medium-sized birds, about 8 inches in length, with a wingspan of approximately 12.5 inches. They weigh about 1.5 ounces
  • Geographic Distribution: The horned lark is the only true lark native to North America. It is found from northern Canada and down to the southern United States and Mexico
  • Environment: This bird favors grassy, open plains.
Horned Lark Image Credit: Pinterest

Myths, Folklore, and Cultural Associations

Folklore tells us that the lark sings and flies as close to heaven as possible to demonstrate its joy at being alive, something we evoke when we say that someone is “as happy as a lark.” The collective noun for a group of larks is an “exultation,” a beautiful reminder of the joy associated with this bird.

Larks were once considered game birds, and were eaten as part of luxurious feasts. The cheery French-Canadian folksong “Alouette” is about plucking a lark, a fact that astonishes many people when the words are translated for them.

A “lark is a term for a playful romp or fun activity, often perceived as irresponsible in some way. The word lark is also used to describe a person who functions best when he rises early in the morning and goes to bed early.

The Colorado state bird is the prairie lark bunting, which is actually a member of the sparrow family. The meadowlark, the state bird of Kansas, is not a true lark either; it belongs to the Sturnella genus, which also includes some blackbirds.

Omens and Divinatory Meaning

If you see a lark, it could be telling you to cast off the shackles of responsibility for a bit and go on a figurative lark. Play hooky; visit the zoo, the aquarium, or the museum. Get some ice cream, or treat yourself to a new book and a full-fat latte. Do something out of the ordinary, something you’ve always wanted to do but felt wasn’t dignified enough, or something you couldn’t possibly do because you were too grown up.

The lark can also be telling you to experience more joy in your life. Are you working so hard that you’ve forgotten how to have fun? Think of the image of the skylark, flying as high as it can while singing in sheer exultation. You can figuratively sing out to celebrate the things you love in your life. The lark may be reminding you that you do, in fact, have things to sing about.

Associated Energies: Joy, celebration, playfulness
Associated Season: Summer
Element Associations: Air
Color Association: Brown, beige

REFERENCE: Birds, a Spiritual Field Guide, Explore the Symbology & Significance of These Divine Winged Messengers by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Reflections

I know the author of this book said that her book wasn’t meant an exhaustive reference, but I realized the focus of her geographic distributions is limited to the North America region often. I know that there are larks all throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

There are so many different types of larks out there. I thought this Magpie looked like a skunk! 🙂

Magpie Lark Image by picman2 from Pixabay

Yes! I’ve been working very hard as of late. My face is breaking out as if I was a teenager again. However I’m planning a trip to the Natural Bridge Caverns with some friends for my birthday in a few weeks. It’s been a long while since I went spelunking in a cave. I’m also looking forward to a live Q&A session with the author of the book, The Midnight Library.

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Christopher McCandless

I think of how fascinated I am by so many pictures and angles of sunsets and sunrises even though it’s just one sun. In “The Midnight Library”, there’s was a quote about fish that makes me think about how important it is for us to have fresh experiences.

“Fish get depressed when they have a lack of stimulation. A lack of everything. When they are just there, floating in a tank that resembles nothing at all.”

Haig, Matt. The Midnight Library (p. 83). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Maybe the sound of wood larks would help me mediate and relax a bit, before I take on my next assignment. 🙂