Tag Archive | winter

National Blood Donor Month❤

This is an Instagram post I put on last night!

“Selfie” cam is broken so no good pics for now but January is National Blood Donor Month! The Red Cross encourages us to not only donate blood but share why we give. The reason I give blood is very simple; I have a whole body full of healthy B-negative blood and people need it to live so there’s no reason not to give it. What if my friend or family member needed my blood, I wouldn’t hesitate to give, right? So why hesitate to give to a stranger who is just as valuable! And if I needed a blood transfusion, I would be so thankful if blood were available for me! So why not give to others who need it now!
It’s a great way to give thanks, “give back,” or “pay it forward” for our own life & good health. Every 56 days we can donate to the Red Cross if we meet the requirements. The whole process takes around one hour, checking in, physical checkup, blood bag filling up, recovering with snacks. We can look at the bag of blood if we want but don’t have to. I saw mine once; it’s no big thing. I go right back to work after donating with no problems, never been lightheaded or nauseated. There is a severe shortage of blood for people in need. More people are eligible to donate blood than actually do. The Red Cross needs all the kinds of blood. O-positive is the most common & 0-neg is the universal giver so people with O have a tremendous gift of being able to save many, many lives as O is most in demand. One unit of blood can save up to three lives! Someone somewhere needs a blood transfusion every single day. We don’t have to wait for emergencies made popular in the news or wait for blood drives at work/school/special events. ❤
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#love #universallove #blooddonor #donatelife #giftoflife #giveblood #givelife #onelove❤️ #loveforall #lovesomeonetoday❤❤❤ #savealife #kindnessmatters #actofkindness #missingtype #redcross #americanredcross #universalcompassion #youresomeonestype #itsinyoutogive #givemorelife #life #give #bneg #beauty #gift #nationalblooddonormonth #joyfulgiving

Much love & light,

Xoxo Kim❤

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Winter’s Blessings

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“Blessings are the things we take for granted.
Each holiday we notice what we see.
Most know the Earth is utterly enchanted
Yet walk through life and love mechanically.
Valuing one’s gifts takes resolution
After days and nights of fantasy.
Love brings the sweet relief of absolution,
Enveloping our hesitance in need.
No touch inspires so swift a revolution,
Transforming all the hieroglyphs we read.
In your love is the charity of spring,
Nor self-obsessed nor blinded by some creed,
Embracing the grey dawns that blessings bring.”
~Cornelius Lyons

What a lovely quote about living & loving!

I hope you are having a fantastic day/night! It’s night here in Philadelphia! I just recently got out of work. It was a slow day at work.

Now I’m eating sour gummi worms! Mmm, my favorite! lol 😀

I still have a few comments to respond to and blogs to catch up on. I will soon!

Also, that picture above, it’s deceiving. It’s totally not snowing here and there’s none around that I know of. It’s one I took a few weeks ago shortly after the blizzard!

❤ 😀

Much love,

xoxo Kim

Here comes the sun….

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“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here 
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right”

I am loving these days of Wintery sun! They are chilled but warm enough to walk outside and not freeze!

The sun shines so brightly every day! I don’t think I have ever seen it so bright! Winter sunshine is the best!  
Today is a happy day. 😀 I had work all day and I got to see Diane’s son, Thomas, today. Diane is my close friend/coworker who we lost unexpectedly almost a year ago. I’m blessed to still see her family occasionally. I love Diane and her wonderful family. ❤

Later I'm going to see my good friend for tea.

And in a few days a book I have been waiting eight months for will finally be out! It's part of a mystery series by Dr. Carey Baldwin. Each book can be read alone but they have the same characters and some things in previous books are sometimes referenced briefly in the next ones. I can't wait! 😀

Here is a lovely song for you! 

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Isn't it beautiful? 😀

It's one of those happy, cheerful songs, one of those instantly uplifting ones. ❤

Thank you to everyone who wrote me comments! I still have a few to respond to and will soon! ❤ I always appreciate it!

😀

Much love,

Xoxo Kim 

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“Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.” ~Rumi

Today I woke up with the headache worse than usual when I wake up, but it wasn’t the worst. Now it’s a lot better. 

I woke up with this feeling like this life can’t be better than this. I have no money (I haven’t been working because of the weather, my boss closes for wicked weather! ) and I have a chronic headache but life is still beautiful! 

I feel so inspired, so beautiful, so hopeful, so grand. The sun is shining brightly through the bare trees, the ground and everything is covered in melting snow and ice and sludge. It’s so hard to walk because my shoes slip and fill with cold slush. And it’s all so beautiful.

I saw a few birds flying by out my bedroom window. Some of my favorite kind of days are cool/warm Winter days that remind me of an impending Spring. Especially when they are covered in snow and the sun is shining brightly!

I love when the seasons collide and mesh together to form a beautiful medley.

Today I’m eating chocolate Oreo cookies with green mint in the middle instead of the original white cream. They are delicious!! Mint is my absolute favorite! The scent of the mint in these cookies is heavenly. 

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The air is so cool and so sweet today. It caresses my skin so gently and is exhilarating.

I’m generally happy but I also have recurring episodes of severe depression. The episodes often come close together. They last hours,days, weeks, or months. They used to last around three and four months, sometimes longer. And often in the middle I would have less severe, but often still severe, depression. Through the years I worked on myself to be better and better. Now I’m still not cured but my depression is much less frequent. The duration of my depressive episodes usually isn’t months anymore. Usually they last a month or less now. And I don’t have longterm depression in the middle anymore. Sometimes I still have symptoms in the intervals but not always and not usually as bad. Also, I cope with the depression much better now. 

This sunny afternoon, I was thinking what a sharp contrast this beautiful feeling is when compared to that deep, dark, depression I lived (and sometimes still live), for years and years.

What a beautiful, sharp contrast. 

Just last night I felt somewhere all the way in the back of my mind that I may be detecting an impending episode. But it quickly vanished. I’m so thankful! Because it’s already in me to have depression, I can have symptoms very briefly that end as quickly as they begin. I can usually detect what kind of episodes I am about to be hit with and approximately how long I will have to endure it. And I can sometimes make it so it doesn’t hit too hard. Isn’t that amazing?! I have different degrees of depression, different severity levels, and different durations. Some only last hours to days while others last weeks to months. Some are severe and some beyond severe. Some are suicidal depression and some are not.

But today there’s not an ounce of depression in me. I am very mindful of not being depressed. One of the great things about having to live a life of longterm depression is when I’m not depressed, I never take it for granted. I realize even more how great it is to be happy! I realize not only how incredible it is to live but to want to live.

And today I am even more mindful of it than usual. 

I am filled with immense gratitude. 

And I am inspired by this beautiful season.
Winter inspires me deeply.

Yesterday I went for a walk to a couple of stores and I went out of my way just to walk more and to take beautiful pictures! 

I will share some here!

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This is the same picture with two different effects. Kids and their daddy sledding up on a hill having fun. It was so sweet and inspiring to hear their laughter & squealing and see their love. I remember when I was a little girl and would go sledding with my friends and my dad.

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I love the shadows and reflections upon the snow that the fence puts there with the sunlight streaming through the slits.

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The sun always comes out again. ❤

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I love seeing workers doing work outside.

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It’s not all beauty & fun though, I heard a few people were hurt and killed in the recent storm and a few died of heart attacks while shoveling the snow including an 80 something year old man and an eighteen year old girl who was pregnant. Seriously?! An 18 year old?! Her unborn baby and her both died. My heart just sinks. My love & compassion go out to all those affected by these terrible tragedies. How heartbreaking.

Last night my mom, sister, and me watched the movies My Girl & My Girl 2. I haven’t watched those movies in many years and never realized how inspiring they are.

Here is a song that the girl’s mom sings on a video in the second movie:

“Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile”
😀

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“Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you”

A beautiful, inspiring reminder to smile even when things aren’t so perfect. There’s always something to smile about!! 😀 ❤

Much love to you,

xoxo Kim ❤

Step Into Christmas

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“Step into Christmas
Let’s join together
We can watch the snow fall forever and ever
Eat, drink and be merry
Come along with me
Step into Christmas
The admission’s free”

I love Christmas & Winter themes! Cozy pj’s and blankets, crisp cold air, pine & cinnamon, peppermint, candy canes, Santa Claus, reindeers and elves, glistening snow, gifts, the sense of unity in the air, decorations, wreaths, Christmas music, holiday cheer, holiday movies, fireplaces, giving, snow covered hills ….all of it! It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Lol

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The Christmas spirit is always with me all year but especially in October to January! I keep it under control the rest of the year usually!  

It annoys people!

It comes flooding out at any second no matter what part of the year it is! It’s kind of like grief except this is purely pleasant. You know how grief never goes but at any second maybe triggered by something, maybe not, it comes to the surface and is more raw like when the loss recently occurred? That’s how my Christmas spirit is, always here but gets stronger at some points. ;-D

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When I walked into work recently, I found that my manager has it all decorated for Christmas! Yay! What a pleasant surprise. 

Here are some pictures I took of our decorations:

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And a lovely song sung by Elton John!

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Step Into Christmas – desktop

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“Take care in all you do next year
And keep smiling through the days” ❤

Huugs & loove!! ❤ 😀

xoxo Kim

Random Inspiration #13 {March Magic}

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March is a beautiful month! I love it! I find it very unique because it seems to be a complete mixture of all the seasons. It has snow, even snow blizzards, but can also feel almost like Summer the very day after a blizzard just ends. One moment it can have the bluest, bluest sky you have ever seen, decorated in the fluffiest white clouds and the bright golden sun blasting then later the sky is beautifully gray and cloudless. The trees are still all bare, the land still cold and barren, but flowers begin to blossom on the branches and through fences.  
Like Fall, March is cool but a different kind of cool than the Fall months, there’s more of a gentleness to the March coolness. 
It’s just beautiful how Winter & Spring come together in March, a beautiful medley of Winter & Spring. March is magical! 😀

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Here are some March pics & quotes!!

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” 
~Quoted by Lewis Grizzard

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“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. “~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

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“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~Mark Twain

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“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” ~Doug Larson

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“Oh, Spring is surely coming,
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.”
~John Burroughs, “A March Glee”

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“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.” ~Nadine Stair

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I hope you’re having a beautiful day/night!! 😀 ❤

Xoxo Kim ❤

Winter

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Today is the first real snow day this Winter! It has been snowing all day and the snow is landing! A Winter wonderland! Yay! 

Of all the beautiful four seasons, I am most inspired in Winter usually. Inspired to create and take pictures and also just feeling inspired. All the seasons are inspiring but there’s just something about Winter….

Something about the gray, the cold, the barrenness, the sometimes somberness, the bare tree branches, the glistening white, the footprints and paw prints in the snow, cat, dog, and bird paws! 

Something about dreary, dreamy landscapes and the warm, cozy feeling. The idea of firesides and soup brewing on the stove. A steaming cup of hot tea, frozen sunsets, Frigid sunrises, and Winter pj’s….

Something deeply inspiring!

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I love the feel of warmth that flows through my entire body when I hold a steaming cup of hot tea or hot cocoa in my hands! The feeling of towels and hoodies just out of a dryer.

For the last few days I have been suffering devastating headaches related to my chronic pain disorder. These headaches are migraine- like headaches, not as bad as the cluster-like headaches I can get where I can’t lay down or be still and sometimes scream through the night til my throat is raw. But still absolutely devastating.
Just devastating.
Sickly headaches on the one side usually, where I have to lay down, sensitive sometimes to light and sound. Dizziness. 

A throbbing achy ache. It hurts.

Sometimes my headaches and facial pain generally occur, most days, and sometimes they go away and generally I’m pain-free, most days, or only in very mild pain that doesn’t interfere with me. It comes and goes. 

But for the last few days, they have been occurring, most severely  in the afternoon. A severe ache. Sometimes it’s hard to stand up.
They go away after a while but some days, quickly return.

My physical pain, even when it’s bad, usually doesn’t depress me even though I’m prone to temporary fits of depression. But it does sometimes provoke me to go into a “depressed-like” state. A state where I don’t get out of bed, sometimes for fear of making the pain worse, sometimes thinking what’s the point when I’m in so much pain. I stay in pj’s most of the day, avoiding things I like to do like putting my makeup on, art journaling, going out, even getting dressed..but it’s not depression. I still have the desire to do things, still have interest and appetite, it’s just I feel that the pain will either get worse or mostly ruin the fun of doing anything pleasant. And sometimes the pain is so physically severe I literally can’t stand up or I’m too dizzy and it throbs so much. 

But it’s not good to think that way.
I’m going to feel the pain anyway so why not throw a little fun and inspiration into the mix!
Doing fun things as long as I’m physically able to, can help significantly. Help me cope, distract me, and allow me to think of something other than the pain. This pain hurts me not only physically but emotionally. It hurts to hurt so much. 

But I won’t let it conquer me. If I want to stand up, I will stand. If I want to go out for a walk I will go. If I want to take pictures, to draw and paint, do stretches, I will. It takes courage and strength some days but I will muster the courage and the strength. 

There is so much beauty to be thankful for! 

Also when I keep doing fun, inspiring things even when it hurts, the habit will become more and more ingrained, the habit of having fun, coping when pain is overwhelming. 

Sometimes my pain even sends me into a deep, deep abyss of dark despair or a full blown panic. But I always find my way back to the sunlight.

For a while my pain disorder has been mostly not acting up, I have been not hurting everyday, and even when the pain would arise it was brief and mild. But this disorder flares up terribly once in a while. It’s ok though. It’s to be expected and at least I’m alive to feel pain, right?! 😀

Whenever I want to crumble, I remind myself of the goodness all around me. The beauty of Nature, my books, uplifting quotes, people, animals, taking pictures….the fact that I’m alive, the fact that pain strengthens us and teaches us, deepens our empathy, compassion for others, and our wisdom if we allow it. I won’t let my pain be in vain. I won’t let it conquer me.

 “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank

My head has been throbbing today but when I look out the window and watch the little flurries, when I take a walk and listen to the white crunching, feeling the cold embrace me, when I catch a snowflake on my tongue, tasting the wet coldness, and smell the fragrance of wet concrete and hear the cars sloshing through the sludge in the streets, it temporarily burns out the pain, the emotional pain that accompanies the physical and it helps me cope with the physical pain. I look up a foggy street of white like a dream and the magic ventures through my veins. I know I can go on.

Here are some of my pictures and my favorite Winter quotes! 

“I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape—the lonliness of it—the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it—the whole story dosen’t show.” ~
Andrew Wyeth

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“And finally Winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.” ~ 
Roy Bean

“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” ~
Gary Zukav

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” ~
Rogers Hornsby

While I usually promote living for the moment, not overlooking Now just to want something else, I love this quote and concept because it’s so full of hope. It shows that we have things to look forward to, whatever season (whether a season of Nature or a season of life) we are experiencing that may not be pleasant to us at the moment, it will end and something seemingly more pleasant will begin. It’s fantastic to live for now but also great to have something to look forward to and know seasons are fleeting. 

“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” ~
Gary Zukav

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“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” ~
Andy Goldsworthy

 “You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” ~
Robert Frost

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 “While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” ~
Tom Allen

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“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” ~
Pietro Aretino

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“Once something has outlived its usefulness in one area of life, its purpose for being in existence is no longer the same. The leaf that captures a stream of sunlight, and then transfers its energy to the tree, serves one purpose in the spring and summer, and another completely different one through the fall and winter.” ~
Guy Finley

Each season, each day, each stage of life, each sentient being…is important.

 “Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness. At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, trees are bare and all lies in stillness beneath blankets of snow.” ~
Gary Zukav

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“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~
Charles Dickens

“I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.” ~
Taylor Swift

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I wish you much love, happiness, warmth, joy, and healing if you need a sense of healing. I hope you are staying very warm & cozy wherever you are if it’s cold. My heart goes out to anyone struggling with the cold weather or chronic pain or sickness, grief, depression, anxiety/panic, eating disorders….anything. We’re all in this together and we can help lift each other. We won’t all experience all of these things but we can use whatever experiences we have, no matter how serious or less serious, and our basic empathy to better understand to some degree, each other’s pain.

“I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today.” ~ Og Mandino ❤ 😀

Xoxo Kim