Beautiful Blankets…

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© Joan Currie

And you belong right here, where you’re home,
and where I hold you close,
Of all the wonders I’ve ever known,
you’re the one I love the most.
From You Belong Here by M.H. Clark, Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

There is nothing better than snuggling with you under one of the beautiful blankets from our travels together.

Beautiful Valentine’s Day Red…

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Detail of Old Man with a Young Boy by Domenico del Ghirlandaio

All of my life I’ve pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It’s exactly as if I’d said, “I want Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple” – they have no idea what I’m talking about. About the best red is to copy the color of a child’s cap in any Renaissance portrait.
-Diana Vreeland

Pursuing my perfect Valentine’s red.

Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥️

Beautiful Winter Thaw…

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© James Currie – NYC

Like a sudden thaw in the middle of winter, grace happens at unexpected moments. It stops us short, catches the breath, disarms. If we manipulate it, try to control it, somehow earn it, that would not be grace. Yet not everyone has tasted of that amazing grace, and not everyone believes in it.
Philip Yancey

On my walk today, I felt the warmth of the sun on my back like the reassuring hand of an old friend.

Beautiful Valentine’s Day plans…

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© James Currie – NYC

In winter
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches.
Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,
but he’s restless —
he has an idea,
and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings
as long as he stays awake.
But his big, round music, after all,
is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.
In the pine-crown
he makes his nest,
he’s done all he can.

excerpt from White-eyes by Mary Oliver

I liked where we lingered and kissed and made plans for Valentine’s Day.

Beautiful homes…

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© Joan Currie – watercolor

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro…
from Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I grew up in a neighborhood where the homes were identified, not by street numbers, but by the surname of the first owners. It didn’t matter how long the first residents had lived in the house, their surname was retained despite subsequent owners who may have lived there for much longer.

Furthermore, it seemed that whatever that state of emotion the first owners possessed, either happy or sad, the house seemed to attract the same sort of owner. I don’t know why, but when I visit a home, I can sense immediately if it is a comfortable or uncomfortable space – one where the inhabitants thrive in harmony or one where is there is upset and discord. (This is independent of color, lighting, furniture, or any other physical aspect of the house.)

I hope that when anyone enters my home they feel that they are not only entering a welcoming, happy, and comfortable place but one that is nurturing, creative, and flourishing!

Beautiful Morning…

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© Joan Currie – Morning Sun, collage

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I have a wonderful feeling,
Everything’s going my way.

from Oklahoma by Rodgers and Hammerstein

I am a morning person. I like to get up with the sun and make a definite start to the day.
But some mornings, especially when it is cold outside, I am completely seduced by the
warmth of my own bed and the feeling of the covers around me. So I decide not to get up
but to stay in bed and enjoy the moment.

Beautiful nitty gritty…

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© Joan Currie – En Route

They must retrench; that did not admit of a doubt. But she was very anxious to have it done with the least possible pain to him and Elizabeth. She drew up plans of economy, she made exact calculations. from Persuasion by Jane Austen

I am getting down to business trying to figure out how to execute my revised New Year’s Resolutions. It isn’t enough to wish for them to happen, plans have to be made, especially if travel is involved.

I knew a man who unabashedly spent thousands of dollars every year fulfilling his New Year’s Resolutions list. He was a last-minute-man and top-notch all the way – be it first class travel or uber expensive purchases – you name it! The envy of all his friends, he appeared to have a life of abundance that was only attainable by the super rich. The catch was that he couldn’t afford his extraordinary lifestyle and ended up accumulating massive debt. But, time after time, he appeared to pull a rabbit out of the hat, begin anew, and look forward to his next year’s list. I have always wondered just how he did it.

I envied his lavish lifestyle. My lifestyle has been one of frugality. I have achieved certain New Year’s Resolutions over the years but they have come with a lot of planning as I am not at all comfortable with debt. I always have a budget and stick to it. And so, the sights I hope to see on my travels this year will be of the sublime, and those are the only excesses that I desire.

A Beautiful New Year’s Pivot…

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© Lauren DiMarco

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;
from If by Rudyard Kipling

I have already run into events that have knocked almost all of my New Year’s Resolutions completely off-track. I didn’t expect to accomplish every goal over the next fifty weeks, but I did not expect so many things to happen that were completely beyond my control.

And so I take a moment and think. There are things I cannot control, so…what? Should I create a list of lesser goals? No, that is not at all satisfying – I was planning for an epic year, not a mediocre one. I can envision what I want to accomplish, perhaps I just need to take a different path to that goal than the one I had originally planned. And that new path may hold undiscovered joys and opportunities!

I resolve to continue the journey that I started, but along a different path.

Model: Lauren DiMarco