GratiTuesday Guest Post: Space

Guest post by Pat, Retirement Transition

Picture Credit: Pixabay

I love when an idea comes at me multiple ways.  This has happened in the past couple of weeks with the concept of Space.

During a Thai Yoga Massage (one of my 52 New Things this year inspired by Joanne at My Life Lived Full), apparently, my “space meridians” are blocked.  The therapist asked me “What do you need to let go? Where are you holding ground too much?”  He suggested I look at adding more space into my life, getting outdoors, taking some action, taking some risk.

Then the New Moon Ritual for me this month (another New Thing) had similar space references: “What boundaries do you have to leap over? How will you broaden your horizons?”  And my first cards pulled in my new Tarot Purpose deck (yup, still another New Things item) were: Make Decisions, Protection, and Letting Go.

The Universe is definitely sending me a message about letting go and expanding.  Not surprisingly, this spring I have been focusing on space with our recent downsizing move.  Letting go (finally) of the old space where I felt shackled.  Designing this new space to be comfortable and welcoming.  Making the new space the right environment for living the retirement lifestyle I envision.

So today I am Grateful for my Space.  While it is not completed in design/creation, there are multiple elements that make me grateful for this space we are creating:

  • There is positive energy in this house! It has solid “bones” (100 years worth), lots of woodwork, unique chandeliers, and stained glass windows to provide beauty.
  • The house feels like my sanctuary. It has many nooks and (new) comfy chairs where I can cuddle to read, write, and daydream. We’ve decorated with artwork that reflects our travels and love of arts & crafts shows.
  • It has the bigger kitchen that was a “must have” and is encouraging me to cook again. (And the 2-bay garage for hubby’s toys.)
  • We are working on creating outdoor spaces as well – a porch to sit and watch the world go by and a patio for friends to gather for evening meals.
  • I am grateful that I have the ability and the support (thanks, hubby) to create a space that brings me joy and that allows me to embrace the lifestyle I want to live at this stage of life.

I am grateful for my new space and looking forward to expanding in entertaining of friends (which for me is taking risk).  Universe… I’ve heard your message.

From Janis:

Thank you, Pat, for sharing your GratiTuesday guest post with us! The space you are creating sounds cozy and welcoming, and reflective of you and your husband’s interests and personalities.

For those of you who haven’t yet discovered Pat’s blog, you are in for a treat. Join her on her journey “envisioning & implementing life’s next stage”.

Please stop by next Tuesday when Marty from Snakes in the Grass shares his gratitude.

Thursday Doors: Las Puertas de Oaxaca, Tres

The doors of Oaxaca, Mexico are as interesting, joyful, and unique as the people who live and work there. This third grouping of doors (my first two posts are here and here) are wide-ranging in design, and include doors from churches, businesses, galleries, museums, and a residence.    

Several commenters on my last post mentioned the bars in front of many of the doors and asked if that was indicative of the crime rate. Although we never felt unsafe during our stay in Oaxaca, crime does exist (like everywhere, unfortunately) and many people feel more comfortable with bars in front of their doors and windows. You’ll notice that most of the doors in this group don’t have bars (except to prevent injury), although one does have fire-breathing lizards to keep watch.  

Beautiful combination of colors on a residential exterior.
Carved wooden doors welcome the guests of this bed and breakfast.
A door through an arch.
No one is getting in or out through this ghost door.
I loved the light coming through this museum door.
This second floor door looked down on a huge sculpture of a fisherman.
First there’s love…
… then there’s marriage.
Brightly painted garage doors.
Fire-breathing lizards guard this shop.

Thursday Doors is a link-up of fellow door aficionados generously hosted by Norm Frampton. Head over to his blog and click on the rana azul (blue frog) to view all the amazing doors he and others have posted.

GratiTuesday Guest Post: MARS Garden Tour

Guest post by Donna, Retirement Reflections

For the past twenty-seven years, The Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS) has organized an annual MARS Garden Tour on Vancouver Island. Participants have the opportunity to view backyards (of all shapes and sizes) that have been transformed into innovative sanctuaries. Although I am not a gardener, I look forward to attending this event each year. Below are a few highlights from our recent self-guided tour.

This property is one block down from our home. I’ve passed it hundreds of times, never knowing that there was an oasis hiding behind the cedar hedge!

These Master Gardeners had the right idea. Wine was served in the side yard, while tea was waiting on the front porch.  Centrally located chairs in the backyard made a perfect spot to soak in the serene sights, sounds, and fragrance. I wanted to move in!

One property owner said that she had worked steadily for the past three months to prepare for this Garden Tour. She is no stranger to hard work. Above is a photo of the house when she and her husband first bought it in 2008. Beside it is a photo of what her home looks like today. BTW – Richard REALLY wanted to drive away in their car.

At our next stop, these flowers caught my eye. Any plants that admit they ‘R. Grumpy’ are plants to which I can relate! (For those of you more interested in actual gardens, than wordplay, this rhododendron is a yakushimanum hybrid. It thrives in cooler climates and can reach three feet in height. It produces creamy flowers that are tinged pink in mid-spring. See, I was listening!)

Can you tell that my camera was attracted to bright colours, textures…and water views?

As in previous years, this garden tour also included:

  • Displays by local artists,
  • Floral art arrangements,
  • Master Gardeners to answer questions,
  • Music,
  • Refreshments,
  • Attendants at each garden to assist participants.

If you have the chance to visit this, or a similar garden tour, I highly recommend it.

As with so many enriching community events (that are often taken for granted), endless volunteer hours are required to make everything happen smoothly. Many of these generous volunteers remain unseen.

A heartfelt thank you to all who have worked tirelessly to put together the MARS Garden Tour (and so many other community events like it). When you have the opportunity, why not consider volunteering to support a well-loved activity in your community? Your efforts may make more of a difference than you realize.

Is there an annual community event in your area that you look forward to attending each year?

From Janis:

Thank you, Donna, for sharing your GratiTuesday guest post with us! A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into putting on these community events as your pictures from the beautiful MARS Garden Tour illustrate.

For those of you who haven’t yet discovered Donna’s blog, please check it out. Her tagline, “New Chapters, New Discoveries and New Adventures” says it all.

Please stop by next Tuesday when Pat from Retirement Transition shares her gratitude.

Sunday Stills: Furry Friends

My husband and I decided a while ago not to have any pets at this time of our lives. Although we love animals and enjoy their companionship, we also love the freedom of being able to pick up and go at a moment’s notice without worrying about arranging for their care. Fortunately, I am able to get my furry fixes in other ways from time to time.

We were maneuvering our shopping cart through the Costco parking lot when we happened upon this handsome boy. After peering into his soulful eyes, I was tempted to go back inside and buy him one of those mega-sized bags of dog food… or maybe several Costco hot dogs.

Carlos lets us take care of him while his “A-Team” staff is away. As long as we feed him regularly, provide fresh water, and scoop his poop, he allows a few cuddles and ear scratches. We are very happy to be of service.

Sunday Stills is a weekly photography link-up co-hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt on her blog Second Wind Leisure Perspectives. Each week there is a new word prompt to inspire a shared photo (or photos). Follow this link to learn more about it, see other submissions, and to share your own.

GratiTuesday: Sharing Space

Every so often, I have been invited to write guest posts for other people’s blogs. I am always extremely flattered to be asked and happy to do it if I can. Our blogs are very personal, and we put a lot of time and thought into their proper care and feeding. To be asked to contribute our words to another blogger’s site requires a leap of faith on their part. Even though the blog owner always has the right to edit, it’s important to have an initial confidence in the person writing the guest post. The expectation is that the post will be one that they are happy to share with their followers.

One of the positive benefits of guest posting is the exposure you get to a whole new audience. Even though you might share a few – or many – followers, chances are pretty good someone new will read what you’ve written and click on over to your blog. Each time I’ve been a guest on someone else’s blog, I’ve been pleased to gain several new followers. In addition, I’ve discovered a few bloggers whose comments on my guest post have led me to their blog.

For the next seven Tuesdays, I am sharing my space with bloggers that I have followed for a while. I have met two of them in person, but the others feel like friends too, because that’s what blogging does: it brings people together, builds a community, and creates relationships with people you probably would never have met in the non-blogging world.

Donna, from Retirement Reflections, will be my first guest host on Tuesday, June 5.

I am grateful that these seven bloggers said “yes” to me when I asked them to contribute a GratiTuesday post. I am also grateful for all their time and effort (they have their own blogs to manage, after all). I hope you enjoy reading what they’ve written and, if they are new to you, I’d be grateful if you checked out their blog too.

Sunday Stills: Aroma

Just about 90 miles south of Monterey and five miles north of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, is the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery. Along this 6-mile stretch of shoreline on California’s central coast, visitors can see these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat. From the viewing walkways above the sand, the elephant seals can be observed – depending on the time of year you visit – breeding, birthing, molting, fighting, and napping.

October – the month this picture was taken – marks the third population peak on the beach as the juvenile elephant seals arrive for the fall haul-out.

The Piedras Blancas Rookery is the only elephant seal rookery in the world that is easily accessible, free, and open to the public every day of the year. Whether you are driving north or south on Highway 1, the Rookery is a stop you’ll want to make. You will be rewarded with a lovely view of the coastline and the opportunity to see the elephant seals on the beach and in the water. And, if the breeze is blowing towards the shore just right… oh, the aroma.

Sunday Stills is a weekly photography link-up co-hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt on her blog Second Wind Leisure Perspectives. Each week there is a new word prompt to inspire a shared photo (or photos). Follow this link to learn more about it, see other submissions, and to share your own.

Thursday Doors: Las Puertas de Oaxaca, Dos

Again, as I did last Thursday, I am sharing a few of the doors we came across during our six-week slow travel trip we took to Oaxaca, Mexico a year ago.

Like the first group of doors, these are indicative of the joyful colors, expressive creativity, and welcoming spirit we experienced during our stay.

Yet another door that I’d love to open and see what’s inside.
Welcome… but, unfortunately, the gate was locked.
I loved the contrast of colors.
A favorite shade of teal.
Can I come inside?
Although the door isn’t very interesting, what surrounds it is.

Thursday Doors is a link-up of fellow door aficionados generously hosted by Norm Frampton. Head over to his blog and click on the rana azul (blue frog) to view all the amazing doors he and others have posted.