Category Archives: Random Thoughts & Contemplations

Music Monday – Hold Back the River

 

Another scene from a bike ride that brings song lyrics to mind.  And a certain someone…

Hold back the river…

 

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Mandala Madness

 

Circular patterns

painted in pretty colors

helps clear the mind

quieting troubled thoughts

bringing order and calm

to the chaos within my heart

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2017

 

I recently experienced a painful heartbreak and have been having a pretty rough time of it here emotionally.  But also during this time, I have found painting mandalas to be quite therapeutic – it’s very focused and takes a lot of concentration, so it doesn’t leave much room in my mind for anything else.  It’s also meditative, so it’s soothing and clearing as well.

At the end of May, I took a Mandala Rock Painting Class at a local art studio and learned how to paint mandalas on beach stones.  I wish I could say I enjoyed the class, but for various reasons (which I won’t make you listen to), I actually found it a bit frustrating.  However, I did learn a few techniques from the two wonderful gals who led the class, and I’ve been painting mandalas nearly everyday since.

The following day after the class, I went out to hunt for suitable stones among the river rock landscaping rock that I have around the perimeter of my house.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any round stones, but I did collect a few that were somewhat round that I figured I could practice on, and off I went to the art supply store to purchase some paints and a few other necessities.

When I got home I painted this little oddball…

Don’t look too closely at it, it’s actually a bit of a mess, but it’s much better than the turd one I painted in class – which is so bad, I’m not even going to show it to you.

Unfortunately, the next day was when my heartbreak occurred and I was so sad and stunned, I could barely function.  But for some strange reason I felt compelled to paint.  I had this strong urge to try and create something that somehow represented my feelings, and I painted this…

And although it may have heartbreak associated with it, it also has beautiful, meaningful things, and profound love associated with it, so I like how it turned out.  Even if my heart is blue…

From there, I’ve continued to be compelled to keep on creating more mandalas.  It’s been a fierce urge, to be honest, a sort of madness.  I neeeed to paint them, like my life (and sanity) depends on it.

But the trouble is, I can’t find any round stones to paint them on.  Ask my sister how badly I’ve been obsessing about finding round rocks.  It’s become a joke between us now.

I worked with the little rocks I had found around the house, but unsatisfied with their lack of circularness, I moved onto tiles.  Even though they’re square haha!   I had a few tiles left over from a remodeling project and got an idea in mind of how I could make them work.  And I painted these…

Don’t look too closely at them, they’re not painted very evenly.  Hey, I’m still learning!  It’s a lot harder than you think to paint dots of the same size and to space them evenly.  Especially when you don’t have a real steady hand.  The tile pictured at the top of this post was the 3rd tile I painted, and I’ve since painted 6 others, each progressively improving.

Would you like to see them all, or just the most recent one?  I guess if you don’t mind scrolling, I’ll just share them all.  More blue…

This one got way out of hand and crooked, but the pattern and colors are still pretty 🙂

I wish I had a better photo of this one, the colors got a bit glossed over by the lighting

This one took me the longest. All those dots around dots, around dots… it took me 4 or 5 hours to make.

This last one is the most recent tile I’ve painted, and it’s my favorite so far.  The photo doesn’t really show the full depth and color.  You can click on it to enlarge…

I really like the look and the idea of the tiles.  I might even use these (and any future ones I make) in some of my remodeling projects around the house – maybe as a back splash on the kitchen or bathroom counter, or around a window or mirror or something.  I was using one of them as a coaster the other day, and I even thought I could attach some type of ribbon or wire and just hang them on a wall as they are, the possibilities are endless.  🙂

But as much as I like the tiles, I still really wanted to find some round rocks to paint on.  Remembering the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior, I took a day trip up there with my sister in hopes of finding some.  And in hopes of providing a bit of self care too – the North Shore of Lake Superior is one of my favorite places, being near the water is always very restorative and soothing to me.  ❤

These rocks aren’t exactly round either, but they all spoke to me and said they wanted to come home with me…

I love rocks, and I don’t really even want to paint on these.  They’re lovely just the way they are…

But I have painted on a several of them, and I have to say, I enjoy the feel of painting on rocks better than on the tiles.  If only I could find some round ones.

 This one reminds me of the sun…

And this one reminds me of an Easter egg…

This one I made into the shape of a heart after writing my last post

And this is the most recent rock I’ve painted.  It was a challenge on this elongated shaped rock…

 

I have no idea where I’m going with this mandala thing, but for now it feels good, so I’m gonna keep at it.  It feels like it’s helping me work something out within myself – while also creating something beautiful outwardly.

That’s all I got for now.  Thanks for letting me share my mandala madness.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I’m off to check on my garden (which is doing splendidly this year) and then I’m heading to Minnehaha Falls for the day for a picnic and a free Bluegrass concert.

 

“I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point — namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation.”  

~ Carl Jung

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Music Monday – Yellow

 

I came across a massive field of dandelions on my bike ride the other day and just had to hop off my bicycle to try and capture a piece of the magical scene with my phone, it was like looking out at a sea of pure sunshine.  While I was looking out at it I heard a line from Coldplay’s song “Yellow” playing in my head…

“And it was all yellow”

 

Except when against the blue of the sky…

How can anyone hate dandelions?  They’re like bright little stars shining in a field of green and “Look how they shine for you.”

 

I like the sound of the studio version of this song better, but listening to any music in concert is always fun, and this one is “all yellow”  😉

 

May bright things shine for you this week…

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Brain Surgery

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately as to what career path I should take, and last night I had a dream that I was performing brain surgery.  Apparently, I had become a neurosurgeon?   But I had no clue what I was doing and faked my way through the whole thing.  It felt so wrong.  I was so happy and relieved afterward that the guy was okay that I held his face in my hands and cried.  Even though it all turned out okay, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no future for me in neurosurgery.

Other things happened in the dream too that give me cause to ponder and reflect on, but what I come away with in the end, is that I should do something that feels authentic to me.  Something that I am equipped for and gifted at – unlike brain surgery.  There’s a no-brainer.   😉

Ever since my divorce back in 2011, I’ve been wondering what I should do with my life.  Thankfully, I’ve had an income from my divorce settlement, so I’ve been able to take the time to try and figure that out.  But the interesting thing is…  that while I’ve been wondering what I should do with my life, I’ve realized that I’ve already been doing it all along.  Living each day, being open, listening.  And I’m so grateful for all of the experiences that I’ve had over these past 6 years – even the sad ones, because I’ve grown so much through it all.  But the time is nearing that my settlement will go down to an amount that is no longer sufficient to support me financially, so I will need to find a job.  It’s exciting and daunting at the same time, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do.  What to do, what to do?  I might need brain surgery after thinking so hard trying to figure it out.

A few of you know, but I haven’t shared here publicly yet about the total knee replacement surgery I underwent this past September.  The recovery has been really slow, gosh what an ordeal it’s been for me, like seriously, wow, but the surgery went very smoothly and I haven’t had any complications, so for that I am truly grateful.  I’m scheduled to have my second knee replaced at the end of February, and my hope is that once I’ve recovered, I will have more job opportunities available to me with two fully functioning knees.  The sky is the limit really, and I’m completely open.

Well, open unless it includes performing brain surgery.  😉

But hey, maybe the meaning of my dream was more about how I can do anything – even brain surgery.

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Wordless Wednesday

 

The sea speaks to me without words…

 

 

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

My New Year’s Resolution for 2017 is…

 

…to become bare and blank…

 

“Who would write on a page already filled with writings?

Who would plant a sapling where one is already planted?

One would look for an empty page and virgin soil.

Become bare like the earth so the Beloved may plant His seed, become a blank page so His pen may write upon you.”

 

~ Rumi

 

Perhaps that way, what pours forth from me in this new year will come from the divine…

But hopefully this blog won’t be as bare and blank as it has been for the past several months.  😉

Can I just say…

2016 = whew!

 

Wishing all of you much love and many blessings in the coming year!  ❤

 

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 ✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

The Happiness Tag

Joey from over at Joeyfully Stated tagged me in her Happiness Tag post, and even though it was like 2 weeks ago (what can I say… my laptop is still on the fritz), any time is the perfect time to remind myself and to share with others a few of the things that make me happy…

Here are the rules:

List:

5 Things that make you happy

5 Songs that make you happy

5 Bloggers that make you happy… (Let them know that you have nominated them).

I don’t know about you, but once I get going on this train of thought, I can come up with waaay more than 5 for all of these.

 

Five things that make me happy:

My garden

Let me share a few photos I’ve snapped of my garden with my phone…

Omygosh first of all, my lavender!  I love lavender so much, I can’t even tell you.  Lavender should actually probably be listed separately on my happiness list.  Lavender definitely makes me happy!  ❤

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And I’m very happy to report that my zucchini survived.  And not just one storm, but a few that have rocked through my area recently.  We even had trees down all over the neighborhood and lost power for about 12 hours in the last storm.  I’m so thankful  it didn’t destroy my little garden.

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I’m also happy to be harvesting my beans…

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And happy to see my cucumbers are coming along…

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And that I’m finally getting a few tomatoes…

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I’m also really enjoying all the blooms on my trumpet vine this year…

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And is there any color happier than yellow ?

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My Granddaughter

And it makes me especially happy having her out in the garden with me.  😊

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Look at that… I only shared one picture of her!  I have more photos of her on my phone than of anything else, but I thought I’d spare you from all the endless scrolling.  😉

 

Autumn

I love the changing of the seasons, and fall is my favorite, the vibrant colors, the crisp air…  Everything may be dying, but it makes me come alive.

I stole this photo from one of my previous posts.  The way the sunlight was shining on this tree made it one of the most magical autumn scenes I’ve ever come across…

 

Butterflies

It makes me happy watching them flutter around, alighting on flowers and sampling nectar.  And I enjoy trying to photograph them.  I’ve really missed my camera.  Since my laptop died I haven’t bothered to use my camera because I have no way of uploading any pictures.  I’m thankful for my phone that does take decent pictures, but it’s just not the same quality.

Stole this one from a previous post as well.  It’s one of my favorite shots that I’ve ever captured of butterflies…

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And this may be cheating, but here’s a twofer… or maybe it’s more like a threefer…

Spending time with my daughter

Riding my bike

Being near the water

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Like I said… I have way more than five things that make me happy.  😉

 

Five songs that make me happy:

Again it’s really hard to list only five.  I love music and enjoy so many varieties of it.  Different songs speak different things to me on any given day.  In browsing through my various play lists on YouTube, these are the ones that stood out to me today…

Anything Irish sounding instantly makes me happy.  As far as I know, I don’t have a smidgen of Irish blood in me, but something resonates deep within me when I listen to Irish music.  This song is one that we will sometimes listen to in the mornings while we’re getting ready for Renfest, such an uplifting tune…

Speaking of Irish music, I love me some Riverdance/Lord of the Dance.  And how freaking adorable is this baby…

Watching all these various dance scenes from movies set to Footloose makes me happy…

And so does watching this.  I know, I’m weird…

And speaking of weird…

Apparently songs that have to do with dancing make me happy today.

 

Five bloggers that make me happy:

Again, gosh it’s really hard to list only five.  I sincerely love so many of your blogs.   Screw it, I’m breaking the rules and listing more than five.  For those of you listed below, there’s no obligation to participate, just know that I enjoy you and your blogs, and that you make me happy.  Thank you so much for that.  By the way I’m really sorry I haven’t stopped by your blogs much lately.  It’s hard being without a laptop and doing everything from my phone.

Joey – and no, I’m not just listing you because you listed me – your writing never fails to make me smile.  Thank you for being you!  😊

Noora – Beautiful poetry from a beautiful person

Trisha – I’ve really missed visiting your blog and reading about Scooby, Smarty, & the squirrels.  I hope all is well in your world lately my friend

Dorinda – More beautiful poetry from a beautiful person

Lois – I miss your blog too.  Give Parker and Teemu some loves from me, and while you’re at it, give yourself some too!  Hope everything is going okay with your treatment.  Sending you big hugs 

Val – Thank you for bringing bring calm and balance into my world and helping me find my middle ground

Brad –  Thank you for your authenticity and kind heart.  I’ve missed connecting with you too.  Hope all is well with you, I must try and stop by soon

Eliza – Kindred hearts in our love for nature

Trini – Such a sweet soul

Jean – Thank you for sharing your beautiful Co. Waterford

Randall – Beautiful writing, beautiful photos

Noelle – Everything about your writing speaks to the deepest part of my soul

Ladyfi – Beautiful photography

Derrick – Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden and wonderful photos from your archives

 

I really could go on and on, there are so many more blogs that make me happy.  I wish I could list every one of you, but I’ve already broken the list 5 rule and this post is getting really long.  Thank you for reading this far!

 

I’ve really missed sharing with all of you in recent months.  I’ve started several posts, but doing it from my phone is so excruciatingly tedious.  There’s been lots going on around here, some good and some not so good.  To be honest, I haven’t really had much inspiration lately.  I’ve been struggling quite a bit about a multitude of things recently, so it’s probably for the best that you haven’t had to endure my rantings and ravings.

Anyway, I hope to be back posting regularly soon.  Until then, be well and be blessed my friends.

Wishing you happiness today…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1