Wow!!!

Dear Friends,

I haven’t felt like doing much blogging lately, so I’m sorry for missing so many lovely posts. But, as a follow-up to my recent blog post, health issues have been resolved, although some gray area needs explaining and clearing up. So we’re still waiting, but all is a bit brighter. Then just when we sighed with relief, another cause to worry arrived this week, but we’re not alone. It’s been a tough year, period! In so many ways!

Even though negative thoughts tend to stick like glue, when positive thoughts arrive, they are welcomed like a warm embrace. So, we carry that positivity with us everywhere we go because suggesting a mindset of the opposite would only create doom and gloom. And I can’t help but fall gracefully into the magic of the season even if Covid lurks in the shadows. I love the Christmas carols, the twinkling and colorful lights of joy, and this season of hope even in dark times.

Then, on my early morning walk with Copper today, the sunrise greeted me with a BIG smile. We just can’t have enough photos of sunrises and sunsets, can we? I looked to the sky and thought, “Wow! Another gorgeous sunrise! Another day to enjoy life and all the people and joys in it that make us so grateful.”

And in every dark moment, a hint of hope shines through…

New bloom!

I hope all of you are doing well in spite of this crazy, tragic, and stressful year. And if you’re feeling down, I hope the sunrises lift your spirits as you lean into people around who love you. And when the sun is hidden, I hope its warmth stays in your hearts, guiding you into each new day.

Sending virtual hugs, Lauren 💓💓💓🎄🎄🎄

Peace, Love, & Sunflowers!

My daughter took these photos in Tennessee
and these murals are too amazing not to share.

The artists are most likely local, so we do not take credit.
In fact, we applaud them not only for their talent,
but for the timely messages.

Don’t you agree the world needs a great deal more
of Peace, Love, and Sunflowers?

What a year this has been…so traumatic and devastating for many because of the loss they have endured, and for the rest of us, it has been a time where new normals could not be avoided – different ways of going about our everyday lives simply had to be implemented. For the west coast, fire season has come and gone, and gratefully, our first family of raindrops has arrived. Mother Earth smiles and sighs with relief.

Autumn officially presents herself and brings a cozy, warm complexion of spicy nutmegs, pumpkin oranges, burnt squash yellows, and pomegranate reds. Can we break away from the rat race even for a moment and remember to inhale, then exhale, s-l-o-w-l-y?
Do you think we can relax the pace and capture the magic around us that we would normally let pass by?


Maybe in that moment as the landscape shifts, we will feel gratitude for the gift of another day and the possibilities in a new year that are so close we can almost touch them ever so gently.

Love, Blessings, Happy Monday, & Stay well, Lauren 😊🧡🍁🍂🧡


Free Rent…

Is there a challenge enticing you, but your lack of confidence makes you shy away from even trying? Well, do you realize you are allowing negative voices to control your actions? You are giving them free rent in your brain. How kind of you. Kidding. Only You know what your capabilities are without having anyone remind you, not even yourself! So, you should evict those voices! Now! Don’t wait! But it’s not easy, is it? We’re too quick to second guess ourselves, so we listen…well, listen to this…

Copper thinks he’s a lap dog. He has no idea that he is tall and lean, weighs 75 lbs. and is all muscle. Hence, he is not a lap dog! Truth is, because he’s confident in how he feels and because he sees himself as a chihuahua, he gracefully curls his body and folds his long legs to fit into the tiniest space – especially in the spotlight of the sun. He is the most faithful sun worshiper. And he’ll place himself between two pieces of furniture and lean. Yes, he’s a leaner. He leans on us when he sits next to us. He leans against the sofa and chairs and anything else that will hold his weight.

So, be like Copper and just do what you set your mind to. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t give those voices free rent anymore! You have more important data to occupy your mind and Dogs really do know best, don’t they? 🙂

Stand tall on your own two feet – don’t give doubt the upper hand. And observe your furry family members who truly know how to live a life of happy!

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

There’s nothing like…

coffee on the patio with some good reading material
happy blooms
a gorgeous sunset
covid humor

More fires rage, the pandemic isn’t going away soon, and political and social unrest remains. So, everywhere we go, whether on a stroll around the neighborhood or a walk around the house, it’s the little things that have the ability to quell the anxiety if we give them the opportunity. XOXO

Her Offerings

Harmony lives in each flow of a breeze
In each gentle embrace of evergreens
The clear blue enchantingly shields
Let nothing stay concealed.

Blooms tender their affable smile
Leaves listen in for awhile
Birdsong soothes the whirling mind
A landscape perfectly designed
.

Nature’s lessons are plentiful
Shall our choices be flexible?
We are not ignorant to her offerings
Receive them for relief of suffering
.

A painting of beauty and brilliance
Mesmerizing even in distance
Can you deny the splendid view?
Allow serenity to fall into you
.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020
Photo: from our backyard

All Good Things

In these unsettling times, it’s important to find joy in each day,
even if digging a little deeper is necessary
. Anxiety, fear, and sadness
have certainly been fueled this year, which is reason enough to find things in life that make us happy. Throw in a dash of fun and a sprinkle of silly – bring on the smiles and laughter! It’s important for our mental and physical well being to find a balance so that all of our energy and focus isn’t directed only to the negative. I’m sure you’ve heard of a gratitude journal, so let’s count this post as one of my long journal entries, but first the visuals:

I’m grateful for another drive through the majestic redwoods and then onto Bolinas Ridge where the view of Stinson Beach was stunning – no fog or wind, just a glorious June day. I find joy in receiving fun gifts like the musical note earrings my daughter gave me because of our shared passion for music, and then the socks from her that tell me “I’m gorgeous, don’t change.” Wearing this kind of encouragement throughout the day is definitely a mood-booster.

I’m thankful for how I followed in Mom’s footsteps as my family indulges in sweet decadence once in a while, as well as baking for gifts. The plate of cookies are oatmeal chocolate chip, so don’t be shy! The cake was for a birthday: lemon with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting (all homemade). I also look forward to our relaxing patio time where we can talk about the day, make plans for tomorrow, and clink our glasses to celebrate being healthy and employed in these Covid times.

And then there are books! Can’t live without the exciting and adventurous worlds they draw me into. My son gave me “Little Fires Everywhere” not knowing anything about it. It turned out to be an engrossing and riveting read, and the mini series starring Reese Weatherperson and Kerry Washington was just as captivating. I found “Nineteen Minutes” listed on one of Stephen King’s book recommendations and am half-way through it. Can’t put it down either, but I must so that I can write this post! I highly recommend both books.

You see Copper lying on the bed…he was also enjoying “Little Fires Everywhere.” He is diligent in practicing how to relax and has become very good at it. 🙂 The love and joy this big puppy gives us is priceless. Oh, and look at Mini! As a child, I lived in Anaheim with Disneyland in my backyard. So, Mickey and Mini will always have a special place in my heart.

Nature provides serenity. It calms and emboldens us to look deeply within ourselves. It is a teacher of simplistic living, especially while backpacking. The sunset was taken at one of our favorite campgrounds, Look Lake – a gorgeous body of water in the Sierra without the crowds. The other photo is of Spider Lake that is a higher elevation, and I’m happy to report not one spider was found! Both destinations were perfect to take in the beauty around us, to spend time together, and to simply be. No technology, just a tent, a couple of chairs, and a picnic table. This is what we love to do, and we hope to venture onto the trails as long as our bodies will allow.

I hope you enjoyed these samples of some things in life that bring me joy – the list is never-ending. What do you lean towards in these times of uncertainty? What brings you calm? What turns your frown upside down? What makes you chuckle? Do you find that some of these photos bring you joy, too?

Wishing you a wonderful Friday and much joy in your days ahead,
Lauren
💗🎉💗🎉

Searching…

Each day, we search within ourselves to find beauty that soothes us during these pandemic times. I’ve always loved flowers and what they symbolize: New Life and Hope. But I’ve never had a green thumb – hubby has two for both of us. Given the fact that we’ve lived under a dismal cloud since March, blooms have been more dazzling than in past years. Did I value these precious gifts before? Or did I take them for granted? Have you wondered the same?

This weekend, I planted white alyssum and orange geraniums (of course, with the guidance of Mr. Hubby Green Thumb). Their brilliance enriches our landscape of pinks, purples, and reds. I’ll admit, though, the whole process was hard work, but I felt quite accomplished when the job was done. And when I gave them their first drink of water, it was as though I could hear them sigh…Now I have a better appreciation for those who find planting annuals and perennials cathartic.

We know beauty lies in many other forms, poetry for one, and recently, a friend sparked my interest in writing a Triolet poem, a form I’ve never dabbled in. So, because I’ve been profoundly drawn to flowers this year, below is my first Triolet attempt with them in mind…

Blossoms

They’ve graced us with their presence
But have we missed their shades in haste?
In this shelter are there lessons?
They’ve graced us with their presence
And mastered their attendance
With joy and beauty interlaced.
They’ve graced us with their presence
But have we missed their shades in haste?

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I hope you enjoyed my Triolet and I’m sharing these blooms that were part of my Mother’s Day gifts from my husband. Lately, I’ve been into the vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds. Aren’t they gorgeous? 

The impact of Covid-19 has been different for all of us, but I hope you will search within to find some form of beauty each day to carry you through. Stay safe and well. 

Sending love and virtual hugs,
Lauren ❤❤❤

The Way it Was

Is there someone in your life who made a strong, positive impact? Someone who motivated you to step out of your comfort zone? My answer is yes, and this is my story:

The year is 1970…and tonight’s special performance takes place in my home where the center of the living room is my stage and an antique mahogany chair is my podium. A small cassette tape recorder rests on the floral cushioned seat. I wear a powder blue dress and my shoulder-length brown hair usually worn down is swept up into pigtails. I press play on the recorder and sing my heart out. My parents and aunt and uncle cheer me on from their seats, and following my curtsy when the last melody is sung, they tell me the show was phenomenal. That night remains as glowing as yesterday’s sunrise. I was nine years old but already knew I wanted to be a singer. Barbra Streisand became my vocal idol. Her voice wowed me the first time I heard it, and regardless of how often I listened to her, my arms would get goosebumps. During those years, I fell asleep each night with one of Barbra’s albums spinning on my record player, lulling me to sleep. Unbeknownst to the amazing singer, many a night we would perform a duet using my special hairbrush-microphone. I had a wild imagination and wanted to be just like her.

Whenever I had the chance, I held concerts in my room, imagining sold-out crowds. As a teenager, I joined school choirs, but it was not until my junior year of high school that I truly found the self-confidence to pursue my dream. That year, the music department welcomed a new teacher, Ron Perry. He was in his mid-twenties and became more of a friend to his students than a teacher. He treated us as equals, and over time, it was natural for us to call him Ron. During his first week, he focused on listening to us individually to determine what part we would sing. I was nervous when he called my name, but I managed to echo the notes he played on the piano, and was surprised when he praised my singing ability. I knew I could carry a tune, but to hear these encouraging words from the new teacher boosted my self-esteem. 

I became part of the alto section and the choir soon began working on a Christmas repertoire for the December concert. The solo offered was a jazzy version of “Silent Night” and I was one of several students who auditioned. I was thrilled to be chosen – this was my first solo. The concert took place in the school’s historic Louis E. Plummer Auditorium; with the plush red seats and bold red curtain, I felt privileged to perform a solo in this iconic building. Little did I know then that another big solo opportunity was on the horizon.

Ron continued his teaching outside of school as the director of his church choir. In the upcoming summer of 1978, the choir was going on tour to the east coast. He was generous to invite the high school choir to tryout if they wished to join the road trip adventure. I auditioned for the rock gospel solo but had not planned to, believing I only had a voice for ballads; the song was “Hallelujah” by the group, Seawind. Ron wanted me to tryout; he felt my voice would be good for the solo. My feelings were opposite. I told him that I couldn’t sing a rock song! I probably couldn’t even reach that high note! Despite my can’t-do attitude, I auditioned, executing that high note! I was one of three contenders, though – not a shoo-in, but the solo was mine. I was ecstatic and thanked Ron for nudging me. 

With auditions complete and summer approaching, the choir prepared for tour. Excitement bounced off the walls. Mostly teenagers, we traveled in a classic yellow school bus, leaving Southern California and heading across country. What a crazy, fun time that bus ride was, laughing and singing and getting to know each other while blazing through state lines. We had several performances on the calendar and we stayed in the various churches where the concerts were held. I performed “Hallelujah” in each concert and was exhilarated by the positive reactions.

When the tour ended, that rock solo led me to perform for a convention with an audience of more than 2000, and what an experience singing for so many people. Before I walked on stage, Ron told me that if I get nervous, to look above the heads and don’t make eye contact. He said that a smile makes you feel good, but a negative look can affect your singing. I must say, the far wall of the concert hall needed a paint job! Afterwards, the event planner praised my performance, and I held onto her words for what seemed like eternity. 

“Hallelujah” also paved the path to winning 2nd place in the senior talent show the following year. I have tucked vivid memories of that exciting evening into a corner of my mind. I opened up the second act singing the rock song. My pianist, Kathryn, started playing the introduction as the red velvet curtain rose. In spite of the butterflies in my stomach, I walked on stage into the limelight and began belting out the lyrics. Hearing the audience clap after I sang the last note whirled me into euphoria. I closed the act by singing Barbra’s “The Way We Were,” and the audience’s reaction was even more passionate than the first. So this is what it feels like, I thought. 

Lauren talent show 1979

Even though singing was my ultimate passion, my priorities shifted after graduation. I lived with my parents at the time but was ready for a taste of independence; however, the only way to make this happen was to quit college and begin earning a steady paycheck. I made the choice. I put this plan into action, placing my dream of a singing career on the back burner. Several years passed when I met the man who soon became my husband, and in the years to follow, our family grew when our daughter and son were born. But this life trajectory did not stop me from singing. My husband and children stayed entertained with my serenading around the house. I even joined local choirs. Eventually though, my time was devoted to family and less and less to singing. But I was proud when my daughter developed the same passion, adding harmony to those years.

Memories of listening to Barbra – becoming mesmerized by her beautiful voice and even her quirky, yet classy Brooklyn personality – remain a dynamic part of my youth. She inspired me to pursue something I truly loved and my high school experience was better for it. I was also fortunate to see her in concert at The Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. When she strolled on stage in an elegant black gown, opening the concert with the song “As If We Never Said Good-Bye,” my eyes welled up. It was an evening of pure magic.

I believe most of us have a favorite teacher who made a great impact on our lives. Ron was that teacher for me. To say that he was influential sounds minimal. His way of encouraging me to try for those seemingly unreachable solos, jolted me into stepping out of my insecurities. Because of his faith in me, I danced into a world where if we try new things, pushing fear aside, there is a good chance for positive outcomes.

I had my moments in the spotlight. I felt the excitement and anticipation of walking onto that stage, listening to the inspiring buzz from the audience when I sang those first few words. I am grateful for this time in my life and I will always offer the sincerest appreciation to Barbra and Ron. If it were not for them, my passion would have fallen by the wayside without the chance to crescendo into such a memorable musical past.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane, and if you answered yes to my question and feel like sharing even a snippet of your story, I’d love to read about it. ❤

 

 

 

 

Beauty along the way…

As Copper and I enjoyed our morning walk this morning,

Copper smelling the flowers by Steph

I couldn’t help notice the vibrant blooms along the way. Whether they blossom in our garden or in the neighborhood, they have served as an exceptional balm during this time of sheltering in place. Copper even knows when it’s time to slow down
and smell the flowers…

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“Miss Bougainvillea, luxuriant and sturdy,
unaware of her magical attributes.”
Yours truly

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“The earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“Love is a flower you’ve got to let grow.”
John Lennon

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“The flowers of tomorrow are the seeds of today.”
Anonymous

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“After women, flowers are the most divine creation.”
🙂 Christian Dior 

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“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
Lady Bird Johnson

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“Bloom where you are planted.” Anonymous

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“But he who dares not grasp the thorn should never 
crave the rose.” Anne Bronte

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“Their colors bring infinite joy
as they are cared for with pride.
The thorns do not lessen their beauty –
not one delicate petal is denied.”
Yours truly – an excerpt from one of my poems

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“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.”
Theodore Roethke

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“Spring has returned. The earth is like a child
who knows poems.”

Rainer Marina Wilke

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A Cup of Spring

Miss Spring sips her tea
as we anticipate
her arrival.

She says, “Be patient,
I will soon bring you
colors so pleasing

and new life, delightful.
But first, Mr. Winter
must finish acting
out his scene.”

Yours truly

I believe Miss Spring kept her promise and I hope these gorgeous blooms were as soothing to you as they were to me. 

Lauren