Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin'

fire
Ignite your inner fire to follow your dreams and passions.  All you need is a spark to get it started.

Think big!
Dream big!
Don’t compromise your happiness.
Discover YOU!

I greet the summer with great expectations!

Today I choose happiness, success and abundance.

About the photo: It was a cool, summer evening at the beach in Southeast Alaska where we were celebrating our friend’s wedding earlier that day. This beach is famous for its driftwood along the shoreline, so it was easy to make and feed this blazing fire.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Summer

sunset_freeThe best things in life are free.
Take time to enjoy them to the fullest.

Fire in the Sky

Looking out my window I could see the sky beginning to burst with color
Reaching for my camera I hurried out the door.
I didn’t know where I was going, just knew I would see something spectacular.
It was one of those summer sunsets that you just know is going to be amazing.
Before my very eyes, Mother Nature’s painting grew more beautiful with each moment as the sun sunk into the mountains.
Every time I look at this most favorite photo, I am in awe of Nature as I appreciate and enjoy it to the fullest.
And guess what? It’s free!!
 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

blue_float_house_sinking
Once, an historic landmark and the most photographed house on Prince of Wales Island, this beauty of a float house was abandoned after many years of neglect. I knew the last, eclectic residents that lived there and witnessed it beached many times. Each time it was laid on the shore by the tides, more bolts would loosen, boards would separate from the structure, even to the extent that it was tied with ropes to keep it together to survive another impending tide.
It was quite the site to see when first coming into this tiny fishing town in Southeast Alaska with it’s brilliant blue paint silhouetted against cloudy skies. Many times I would drive by and see a group of people with cameras snapping photos. I am sure there were all sorts of stories these visitors had to tell when they returned home.
Photo by Richard Trojan
blue_float_house
Here’s what the ole girl looked like while I lived there. Shortly after we moved, the city condemned the house and she was put to rest.  Yes, abandoned, but not forgotten. Good memories live on!

Stinking Beauty

Today, I choose peace, quiet and stillness.

skunk_cabbage_peace

The peaceful scene in Spring by the Klawock River in Southeast Alaska on Prince of Wales Island.

skunk_cabbage_leaves

Early morning sunlight striking the new Skunk Cabbage leaf growth, untouched by the bears.
They must still be hibernating.

skunk_cabbage_sunlight

The bright yellow lilies pop their heads out of the ground with a splash of color welcoming Spring.
What a great way to escape the gray and dreary days of Winter.

skunk_cabbage_close

Close up and personal.

skunk_cabbage_raindrops

Raindrops on Skunk Cabbage leaves.  Adult leaves have been know to grow five to six feet in length.

More information about Skunk Cabbage can be found here. http://natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic4/skunkcabbage.htm

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

giving_thanks_salmon_skunkcabbageLunchtime doesn’t get much better than this!!!

Fresh Coho, onions and beach greens wrapped in skunk cabbage leaves,

cooked over an open fire on the beach the Tlingit way.

A question was asked by a reader (below) about what Skunk Cabbage tastes like.  Here’s some information about that …. probably more than asked for but very interesting . . .
Skunk Cabbage is botanically known as Lysichiton americanus.  It grows in the muskeg and wet wooded areas in the Pacific Northwest and the Island where I lived, Prince of Wales Island.  It’s called Skunk Cabbage because of its distinctive “skunky” order that permeates the air.  The smell attracts flies and beetles for pollination.
Most people consider it a weed but it is the harbinger of spring for bear food.  They eat it when they first come out of hibernation.  When we walked in the woods we would know when spring was about to arrive because the stalks would have been nibbled upon.  That’s when we would start making loud noises to scare away the bears.  Who wants to encounter a groggy, sleepy-eyed bear just waking up from a long winter’s sleep, especially before his morning coffee, I mean Skunk Cabbage snack?
Natives used the plant for medicine to cure burns and swelling and in times of famine when most of the plant was consumed.  It has a spicy or peppery taste and not suggested that it be eaten because it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which give your tongue and throat a prickling sensation that can result in intestinal irritation and even death if eaten in large quantities.
Its large, wax-type leaves were used by the Native in food preparation and storage.  In the photograph, we used it to wrap our salmon and bake under a fire.
And that’s the story of Skunk Cabbage.  I have more photographs of the beautiful, calla lily-like yellow flower that I will share in future posts.  I used to bring them into the house to enjoy their cheery, sunny color.  I didn’t mind the smell but it was offensive to others, especially after being in the house for a few days.

Step Away From the Madness

madness
What trap are you caught in?
It could be a personal situation, relationship or issue which you’d rather not think about.  Or it could be something that has your full attention way more than it should. Eventually, we all reach a point where we are so caught up in the drama of our everyday lives, or the lives of others, that we no longer can feel or think.
That’s when it’s time to stop what we are doing and seek tranquility.  Oh, to seek an atmosphere of calm, stillness and serenity.  A place where our emotions and thoughts will allow us to re-discover who we are and where we are going.
Allow yourself to step away from the madness and frenzy of life and step into balance and awareness.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

nature_humor
This “nature” deer is definitely unique.  I have photographed it many times and always laughed to myself at how interestingly it looks like a deer.  The photo was taken in Craig, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island.  I wonder if any Sitka Black-tails ever noticed it.  It might frighten even a human that came upon it at dusk or in the dark.
And speaking of trees and nature …. take a few moments to check out my Tree of Life Pentants.
Live like a tree. Take root and reach for the sky!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

memory_dave_fremming_blue_moon
This week’s photo challenge is “Illumination”.  I must say that it took me awhile to find the right picture and after much searching I came upon this beautiful “Happy New Year” photo emailed to me on December 31, 2009 by a wonderful photographer who passed away recently.  His life was an illumination.  He was inspiring, witty, genuine, and it was an  honor to have known him.
He titled this photo “Caught between the moon and the Capital City”, where he not only captured the lights and their reflections in the Juneau harbor, but a jet flying out, at precisely the right moment, over the moon.  But wait ….. knowing Dave, he was a master of Photo Shop so I can’t be sure on that. At any rate, it’s a fabulous photo.
I got to know him through my activities with the Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce and his publication of the Alaskan Southeaster where he published a few photographs and stories I wrote about our Island.  He stayed at our house while visiting our beautiful Island because he was writing a story on the various communities.   I was planning to go with him on the last day of his visit to the northern part of the Island, but I woke up with a “bug”.  I will never forget my disappointment that day.
So, it is to you, Dave Fremming, that I dedicate this weekly photo challenge because you truly lit up your corner of the world.  Your life was an illumination to everyone you met and everyone you knew.  You will be missed but not forgotten.  What you gave to this world will shine on forever.

The Power of Intention

intention

Intentions are purposeful statement or wish that one means to carry out, determining mentally upon a specific action with a desired end result, an unbroken commitment, a resolution.  Yet, just having “good” intentions is not enough. Sometimes we need a wake up call to provoke action and get our attention, to make that connection to find balance and happiness in our lives.

An intention is something you really, REALLY want to happen.  It’s a dream that hopefully will come true.  We all have them and while we hope that our dreams come true, life presents many obstacles in our pathway.  Yet, the more you dream, or make purposeful intentions, the more likely it will happen.
Make it clear
The key to any intention is to get really clear on what you want.  Most of us don’t even know what we want.  We think we do, but do we really know?  This can take time to sort out the answers.  You have all the answers inside you.

Write them down.  Say them out loud.  Post them on your walls.  Share them with someone. 

They are there waiting to be discovered.  Everything we create or want to create is exactly as it is intended to be.  So if you think that it won’t happen, it won’t.  If you think positive thoughts, the outcome of them will come to fruition.
Positive self-talk
Did you know that  90% of your subconscious mind acts on the thoughts you are thinking and it recognizes your emotions and feelings to determine what will happen in your life?  If you want positive results, an emotional connection with positive words and feelings will bring positive results.  It’s what you say to yourself that directs your life.  If you continually bring up thoughts of negativity, like, “I am just running on an endless treadmill, I am miserable and unhappy”, those are the results you will continue get.  If you aren’t getting the results you want, then change the way you talk to yourself. Your chances of success will soar.
Living life on purpose
From intention, we tangent to purpose.  When you live your life on purpose, with your intentions of service to others, making this planet a better place to live, or doing what you love that supports others for the highest good, the Universe comes back at you in unbelievable ways.
Your life is a container that holds powerful and unimaginable events and circumstances, called vibrational frequencies, that are waiting for you when you change your self-talk egoic needs to “I am here for you”.  Wanting and needing keeps you small.  When you give more, you get more.  It’s just that simple.
Give up your old beliefs
Let’s face it …. we humans don’t come with an instruction manual.  So we have to figure out what tools and information we need to live the life we want to create for ourselves.  Your subconscious may have layers and layers of things like fear (that’s a big one) and pain from previous events in your life.  When your subconscious tells you that you will never succeed, then that’s exactly what will happen.  When you tell yourself that you will never get above the poverty level, then that’s where you will stay. As long as you have limiting beliefs and thought patterns, the same things are going to keep happening to you.  Ask yourself …. “What am I afraid of?”  “What are my limiting beliefs?”
BUT, when you are clear in your intentions and beliefs, your old thoughts become your new beliefs, which in turn become new actions and new habits. You form a new character and your life changes for the better.
So, what is causing doubt in your brain?  What are the feelings that you feel in your body right now? What are your fears? Writing them down helps to sort things out in your mind.
Become aware of the things that are standing in your way of your dreams.  Don’t beat yourself up with the past.  Confront your fears, feel brave and empowered.  Leave the victim you once were behind you.  And, never look back.
When you become aware, really aware, those old beliefs that once held you back, dissolve and you shine with joy, love and creativity.  You then become the beautiful and magnificent creature you intend to be.  You become the creator of your life, not the victim of your past.
Hang in there.
If you are like me, you want things to happen NOW.  But that’s not the way it is, mostly.  There will be challenges that get in our way.  You may feel that your dreams are sealed in a box and can’t get out.  But stick with it.  Be patient.  Stay present.  Never, never give up.  One day you will wake up and the box will be open, shining a ray of light and hope beyond your wildest imagination.
Intention = Attention = Connection = Balance = Happiness
When you are consciously aware, trusting the Universe that where you are is where you are supposed to be, not judging or comparing your progress to others, life happens the way you planned.  Of course, there will be ups and downs, but nothing you can’t handle.  Live every moment in gratitude for what you have right now.  Live in the present moment.  The more you do this, the more positive things will come your way.  Positive expression of your intentions will unfold and beautiful and wonderful things will shine on you.
There is more abundance, success and happiness inside of you than you know.  I challenge you to find it.
About the photo: Taken in Klawock, Alaska on Prince of Wales Island at low tide, this was a favorite place to view any time of the day, especially at sunset.

Travel theme: Transportation

kayak_trip-end
One of the blogs I follow is Where’s My Backpack?  This week’s topic is transportation which brings me to posting the above photo.
It was the end of the day’s kayak adventure where we paddled to Clam Island, near Craig, Alaska and had a picnic on the beach.  While kayaking may not be the main mode of transportation of most people, it enables one to relax and enjoy Nature, a place to be alone with your thoughts in the vast ocean of the beauty that surrounds you.
It reminds me of a quote by Thornton Wilder:  “We can only be said to be truly alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”