(047:  Escaping through the fence.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The sun is new each day.

~ Heraclitus

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(Seed of Life mandala in summer colors.)

On Sunday I decided to finally do something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time.  I colored a mandala.

In January of 2008, after reading QuoinMonkey’s post Coloring Mandalas, I did a search for free mandala templates and found this website where I printed out The Seed of Life mandala.  I set it aside with plans to do it someday soon.  It was winter and I was sure I’d find plenty of free time to do some coloring.

In May of this year, Norm at Unmerited Gifts posted a similar version of this mandala and that reminded me that I had the same one sitting around here somewhere, waiting for me to be inspired enough (or not) to sit down and color.  Kel at the Xfacta posted an Art Attack asking you to create your own mandala that same month (you can find it here).  Not quite ready to create my own but wanting to color one, I searched for the mandala I printed out over a year ago.  No luck.  I didn’t know where I’d put it and then got sidetracked by something else.

This past Sunday I was sitting at the desk I set up for my granddaughter to use when she comes to visit.  It’s a little corner of the office area in the basement where she can sit and create (color, paint, glue, whatever comes to mind).  There is a window next to the desk that provides plenty of natural light (or distraction if you look out it and start watching the birds that like to hang out in the bush near the window).  You may recall that I bought an antique, leather-topped desk for the creativity corner back in March and it’s a place where I, too, can go if I’m feeling the need to be creative.

Getting back to my story… I was sitting at the desk, waiting for M to finish using the computer so I could do something on it (I can’t even remember what), and I decided to look through the drawers of the desk for my box of crayons.  I didn’t find the crayons (I wonder what happened to them?) but in one of the bottom drawers I did find the mandala.  A big container filled with markers was sitting there in front of me so I started coloring, figuring I’d just a color in a few spaces while I waited.

Well, one thing led to another and the next thing I knew, I’d colored it all in as you see above.  The colors are a little off in the scan.  I used three different shades of orange representing the three different orange-colored lilies that are currently in bloom on our property.  The colors, I came to realize after a few minutes of randomly choosing, turned out to be the colors that are dominating nature in my neck of the woods right now.  Summer colors.  Our orange period of summer with some of the greens and blues thrown in for good measure.  The yellow in the center are for the sun.

I’d forgotten how fun and relaxing it is to sit and color.  Coloring a mandala seems to add a meditative quality to the relaxation and fun.  The pattern kept changing as I looked and colored.  When I focused on the area I was working on and stayed in the moment, it went pretty smoothly.  When I lost focus and started thinking about the finished product (the future) or what I’d already completed (the past), I stumbled.  I didn’t bother to try to cover up the stumbles.  They’re good reminders for everyday living.

I’m looking forward to coloring another mandala sometime soon.  It’s a wonderful way to relax and free up my mind from the usual mental clutter.

I’ll be back later with today’s photo.  I have a date with the yoga mat this morning and don’t want to miss it.

Hot air balloons

(046:  Hot air balloon.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

The lovely weather we’ve been having (for the most part) has brought with it a few hot air balloons floating across the sky here in the Bogs most evenings.  I don’t always take my camera out anymore since there are only so many ways I can capture a hot air balloon (depending on light, distance, etc.).

As a result of being a little bored with taking pictures of the balloons (but not at all bored with seeing them!), I started playing with some of the shots in Photoshop.  The little sparkle of light you see on the top right is sunlight.  My favorite part of this photo is the way the clouds were swooping upwards.

Here is the unshopped version:

(Photo © 2009 by Robin.)

I’m off to do a Muscle Max workout and if that doesn’t kill me, it’s laundry day.  The goal is to get all of the laundry washed, dried, ironed if needed, and put away by the end of the day.  The weather is cooperating with my goal.  It’s a good day to hang stuff out on the line to dry.

Exciting stuff, don’t you think?


Hidden away

(045:  Sculptures hiding in the weeds.  Akron, Ohio.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

You can find sculptures like this hidden away amongst the weeds along the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail in Akron.  I’m not sure who put them there or why.  Perhaps it was part of the trail (re)construction.

The spiral stairs are up and went up with almost no stress thanks to the extra pair of hands on the friend who stopped by to help.  I’m grateful for his help.  I didn’t have to do much at all since the two guys had everything pretty much under control.  I’m not sure it would have went as well or as smoothly if it had been just M and I doing it on our own.  For one thing, the friend is taller than either of us and that was a definite plus in dealing with the tallness of the stairs.

There is still some work to be done on the stairs, held up due to a need to contact the company.  One piece had a bad weld and fell apart.  Another piece was cut wrong and won’t fit.  We’ll have to get those replaced.  But the main staircase is up.  The pieces we need to replace are part of the railing and balusters.

M and I went to the Old European Days festival at a local park yesterday evening.  I think it should have been called the German Summer Festival or Practice for Oktoberfest since it was held at the German Family Society park, included traditional German dancing by people in traditional German costumes and traditional German foods and beer.  I ate far too much food, having ordered the German dinner plate which consists of lots of meats and heaping helpings of sauerkraut and German potato salad.  The only food choices, by the way, were German.

I don’t think I’ll need to eat again for a few weeks.  My stomach is still pretty unhappy with me this morning.  No wonder gluttony was considered by some to be one of the seven deadly sins.

Spiral stairs

(044:  Daylily in black & white.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

This morning we will be putting up the spiral stairs that go from the deck to the patio doors in the dining room.  We had hoped to have that done before the wedding, but the stairs didn’t arrive until the Monday after the wedding.  The best laid plans and all that.

Wish us luck.  These projects have a way of turning into marriage stress tests.  Fortunately, we have a friend coming over to help out.  Having a third pair of hands (and another presence) ought to make it easier.

Just stuff

(043:  End of day aura.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I’m doing far too much procrastinating lately.  Today I decided to do something about it.  Procrastination, it seems to me, is far more stressful than actually doing the work.

You may have noticed the ad and sponsor over there in the sidebar to the right.  WordPress has teamed up with SocialVibe (if you’re a WordPress user, you’ll find it in your widgets) so that donations for charity can be earned through a sponsor.  I picked Sprint as a sponsor and the charity I chose is Fill the Cup, a world food program.  When you come to visit Life in the Bogs, take a moment to click on the “Help now!  It’s free” button, watch a quick video, rate the video, and if you like, leave your name and a message to let me know you helped.

Then again…

I’ve removed the SocialVibe ad for now.  I need to do some research first.  Thanks, Anhinga, for the heads up.

Saturday clouds

Last Saturday I sat out on the deck watching the clouds.  We’ve had some interesting and wonderful cloud formations over the past few weeks.  I suppose there is some scientific explanation for it all, but I don’t know what it is.

Norm, over at Unmerited Gifts, has similar weather to what we have here in the Bogs (he usually sends his weather this way in the winter months, sharing the snow and cold from up north).  He was  drawn to photograph the clouds we’re seeing this season, too.  His post, Head in the Clouds, inspired me to post some of the photos I came up with while sitting on the deck on a Saturday afternoon.  I put mine in the form of a slide show just for fun (and to learn something new).

(042:  Saturday clouds.  Photos © 2009 by Robin)

A big thank you to Bo at Seeded Earth for helping me out with posting this as a slide show.