Joy In The Outside

The February Joy Dare earlier this week was to find gifts in three things outside.  Easy peasy, I thought.  And it was.  I found more than three gifts, which made up for the day I couldn’t find three gifts when bent over(!).

  • The brilliance of the full moon shining into the skylights in the early hours of the morning.  The backyard is so bright, there are shadows.  I find it beautiful and mysterious and could look at it for a long time without thinking any particular thoughts.  The beauty of a bright night is enjoyable just as it is.
  • A heavy frost on the cars and roadways.  I’d rather not scrape the frost off the car, but the roadsides were pretty for my morning commute.  More heavy frosts (and some sustained cold) would also help kill some bugs before summer comes.
  • A pale and delicate sunrise, with tints of silver, orange, and lavender.  The sun was behind thin clouds, giving it a translucent yellow appearance.  I was driving and had to pay attention, but this is something else I could look at for a while simply to enjoy.
  • A clean car!  My favorite boy toy showed me the new car wash in town – very nice!  It was well worth the money and I had a nice waiting room as my Honda Civic was vacuumed and wiped down afterwards.
  • Gorgeous clouds all day.  They were very wispy and curly, not what I usually see during my lunch walk or from the windows during work.  Something else I could stare at for a long time.
  • The full moon again at night, shining from behind thin, filmy clouds.  The clouds were moving quickly.  Even if I’d wanted to photograph the moon, the clouds would have made it all a blur.  I’d love to have recorded it though.

The Psalmist tells us:

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human being that you care for them?
Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)

When I look at the moon and the stars, the clouds and the frost, I do consider God’s graciousness in caring for us and providing for us.  I thank him for a day of beauty and that everywhere I looked, it was good.

Over at A Daily Life, a new post links to The Simple Woman’s Daybook.  The daybook has prompts to use in recording your life at the moment, making a mini-time capsule in your diary / blog.  There is also a post about why a field trip can help your blogging and photography.

Here’s one of the cloud pictures that I talked about in today’s post.  Double click it to get a better look at the sky.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

Gifts On The Hours

The January Joy Dare for today called for observation of gifts before 9 am, noon, and after dark.  I’ve always enjoyed activities that call for a remembrance on the hour, whether praying a short prayer every sixty minutes to the opening the small gifts of cheering up from my sister to books that give inspirations to read.

The gifts were not at all what I expected.  I don’t know what I expected the gifts to be, but these wouldn’t have been on my list in any event.

Before 9 am – I got such a good night sleep last night!  I felt so good this morning – awake, alert, enthusiastic.  I wasn’t achy or congested.  I remember when my daughter was a baby and I’d get a rare night of six or eight hours straight of sleep.  That felt so good!  That’s how I felt this morning.

As I drove in, the sun rose high enough over the horizon to be seen.  It was wrapped in a gauze of silvery clouds and shone with a bright yellow that caused the sky to light in delicate shades of yellow and orange.  I couldn’t get a picture of it, but I enjoyed it for the several minutes that it lasted.

Before noon – I ran into a former co-worker in the bathroom.  She’s young, my daughter’s age.  When I started working with her four years ago, she was madly in love with her husband and had a cute little house out in the country.  She loved her life.  A few months later, her husband announced that he was moving in with his girlfriend and didn’t want her anymore.  She wasn’t making a lot of money, being new in her career, but he wanted alimony too.  And the cute little house?  He dumped it on her to sell and cover the losses from it.

She was devastated.  He did everything he could to ruin her, not being content to just break up their marriage.  It was hard to watch what she went through and how she struggled to not cave in to his endless demands.  The days were long and hard.

She moved on to another job in the company.  One day last year, she came in with an engagement ring and a big smile.  She married soon after to a guy who loves her as she is.

I chatted with her for a few minutes today when she told me her big news – she’s pregnant!  I said – you never thought you could be happy again.  No, she replied, everyone kept telling me it wouldn’t always be like that.  But I didn’t think it would ever get better.  Are you happy, I asked?  Yes, very much so.  Then she smiled and went back to her desk.

It was a gift to see her content and happy.

After dark – my last gift today came right as dusk turned to black.  The garage doors at work roll down at 6 pm as an added security measure.  They only take a few minutes to roll up and I use that time to dial my Mom so I can chat with her for a few minute as I drive home from work (using a handfree headset).  I left work early enough tonight that the doors were still up!  And yes, it made me very happy.

Were the gifts big?  Probably not to some.  But for me, I enjoyed them very much.  They made me smile as I thanked God for them.

I don’t think these are the only gifts from today.  As I considered whether to write tonight or skip it, I felt strongly that for someone out there, they need to see this.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what’s in here that will be important, but for someone, these stories needed to be told tonight.  And that is my last gift from tonight.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

Myth Busters Quiz

For a change of pace, we are having a pop quiz to see how many urban myths you can identify as false.  There are three questions here, and a bonus question at the end.

Ready?  Here we go!

Now that the garden is down, does it still require extensive guarding from danger?

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Very good!  For the second question, is it necessary to keep the bed warm when there are no humans to occupy it?

© 2011 dogear6 llc

You are all so smart!  I haven’t decided on a prize yet, but if you get a box in the mail that’s barking like mad, that means you won your very own miniature pinscher.

For question # 3, if you get up at 6 am to help your husband take a van rental back to Enterprise by 7 am, is it possible you will be rewarded with a wildly beautiful sunrise that goes on and on?

© 2011 dogear6 llc

And for the bonus question, how does a goatee look on my favorite boy toy?  Actually, pretty good but I haven’t been able to get a good picture of him with it yet.

Thanks for playing urban myth busters!  No, no, I’m not giving away a miniature pinscher as a prize.  Maybe I will do that next time.

You can go back to your life now.  The quiz is done.

Word for tomorrow – REFER.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

Early Up For The Sunrise

I love the quiet of early morning.  It’s a new day, everything is peaceful, my mind is relaxed, and it’s just nice.  I enjoy it.

Taking a nice sunrise picture is an extra plus.  Of course, that’s easier to do in the winter when the sunrise is so late!

Word for tomorrow – QUOTE.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

To see how others might interpret today’s randomly selected word, check out other challenge participants in the box at the right.  For more information on participating in the challenge, click the tab above.