I Appreciate These Past 41 Days – Day 41

41 Days FB group on wine barrelsToday is the last day of my 41-day challenge and I appreciate that! As part of my Facebook group on “41 Days of Appreciating Rampages,” I committed to blogging here for 41 days with photos. I am feeling quite good, now that the 41st day is here.

I started the Facebook group ten months ago and have done several rounds of “41 days.” After a break when I let myself get a bit too busy, I decided 41 days ago to be more deliberate through this blog on the next round of 41 days. I’m so glad I did! While this is not the end of my daily appreciation habit, there’s something about reaching the completion of something that feels really good. So today, I’m appreciating these past 41 days, the new blogs I’ve discovered from people commenting or liking my posts and most of all, the joy that comes from this daily practice of appreciating.

All are invited to join my Facebook group and post your joys as your inspiration leads you. There are some wonderful people in the group! I love them all and find reading their posts very uplifting.

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Appreciating Banana Bread – Day 10

It may seem as if my posts are “random” but any energy of appreciation is a very good thing. We can appreciate little things, big things, major events, people, circumstances, and just ANYTHING. The important part is to remember to appreciate!

As part of my renewed commitment to post in my 41 days of Appreciating Rampages Facebook group, I’m now on Day 10 and today I’m appreciating banana bread! It’s something I grew up with and something I love to bake. My mom taught me to throw those ripe bananas in the freezer for a “rainy day of baking” later and then defrost them when you want to do some batches. This is how I bake banana bread.

Banana Bread on Thanksgiving Day

It’s a great feeling knowing that I’m not wasting the bananas that ripen, and that I’m creating something really yummy that I can then share with my world of family and friends. As I usually bake several batches at once, I always end up giving some to others and that feels really good.

Some people look for evidence in their bank account to “see” abundance showing up in their lives. The beauty of a daily practice of appreciation is that one can see and feel many signs of abundance.  I appreciate that banana bread is one of the signs of great abundance in my life. So thank you, banana bread! It feels good to make you, to share you with others and you taste delicious, too!

 

Appreciating Origami – Day 9

IMG_0298 IMG_0300 IMG_0303 IMG_0306 IMG_0312 IMG_0313I’ve always loved origami, although I’m not such a master of it. I love how a simple piece of paper can be folded and folded and folded to make all kinds of shapes. I love the variety of origami papers to choose from, too!

Last year I had the opportunity to try my hand again at origami during a work event with a visiting Japanese delegation.

The photos represent my creation: easy (as long as I have someone to show me how to do it!), and beautiful.

I Appreciate Gardening – Day 8

Growing Strawberry plantGrowing up in Iowa, I never had trouble growing anything. The soil is so rich and everywhere it’s like top soil. But here in New York, the soil around me has red tones and I’ve found a whole lot of extra work is required to make things grow. So I’ve experimented with some container gardening and I have to say that I really like it. Whether it’s planted directly in the ground or in a planter, I love the excitement of seeing seed grow into plants, and plants into vegetables, fruits or herbs. This year I’m trying some container strawberries. I can’t wait to taste them! I love checking in frequently and talking to my plants to encourage them to keep growing and I especially love the end result! Yes, I talk to my plants! I love and appreciate gardening for I know how I take care of the plants, and know exactly that everything is truly “organic.” I love gardening!

Appreciating Firefighters – Day 7

IMG_1780I appreciate firefighters! They put their lives in danger for the safety of all of us. We could easily take them for granted but when we’re in need, they are there! Whether they are the first responders to a health emergency, a cat stuck in a tree, or a raging house fire or forest fire, all of  their service to the community is greatly appreciated!  In my lifetime, I’ve had a house fire and a health emergency where the firefighters were the first to respond to the scene. I truly appreciate that we can dial 911 and they’ll show up – FAST. And they are trained and equipped to know exactly what to do. I appreciate that!

Not everyone wants to be a firefighter and I’m glad for those that do! So I’m saying a big THANK YOU to all firefighters out there- and a special hug to the volunteer firefighters! Without you all, our lives might just go up in smoke. 🙂 Thank you so much for your service.

I Appreciate Trees – Day 6

Change.001I love trees. I have always loved trees. There is something majestic about them. I love all kinds of trees, and especially deciduous trees: I love the changes each season. I love a tree full of leaves in the middle of the summer, with its leaves that make a rustling music with the wind. They sing their own song while they provide a quiet shade from the hot sun of sizzling summer days.   The autumn leaves of all colors that so gently fall to the ground  create works of art in the sky as well as on the ground when the pile of leaves lay below. There’s something so fun about playing in a pile of leaves! Winter branches remind me of the cycle of life: the transitions from life on this planet to moving on to a higher place, and taking time to rest, reflect and renew for the upcoming springtime.  Spring buds give such promise and excitement of a new birth, new lives and new journeys that blossom once again into summer fullness. The cycle repeats. Change is indeed inevitable and the tree grows stronger.

Oh, if trees could only talk! Imagine what stories they could tell! I appreciate trees!

I Appreciate Singing! – Day 5

Bird on Cow from PDPhoto dot org
Photo Courtesy of PHPhoto.org

What do cows have to do with singing? For me, they were probably my first real “audience” as a singer (aside from my parents). When I was a little girl, I used to sit on a fence at the end of my dead-end street in my small town in Iowa and sing to the cows that were in the field there. They were a very captive audience! They would gather round and listen to me very intently. I can still see their faces but most of all, I can still remember that feeling of singing to them and how it lit up my soul inside.

I love to sing and appreciate that I have vocal chords that still work to do an “ok” job of it now. There were times in my life when I was singing daily.  Singing fills my heart with joy and makes me feel alive. I would say that singing is one of my passions: something that I would be happy doing as a career. But I didn’t follow that path and I appreciate that it’s really never too late to pursue it now, if I decided just that.  I also appreciate that I don’t have to be in a singing career in order to sing.  Singing doesn’t require any instrument, except our own voice. While I play several instruments, I love singing most of all.

I appreciate really good singers like Barbra Streisand,  Celine Dion, Cristina Aguillera and Kelly Clarkson. I love singers that give me chills when I listen to them and I love to experience that feeling when I sing, too.  I appreciate singers of all musical genres. I also really, really love singing shows on TV!  My fave show is The Voice!  I appreciate how there are no age limits on that show, and that the initial “judging” is done entirely by listening to the contestants’ voices.

I love to sing anywhere – but lately have been singing more privately in my home, my car and yes, in the shower! I feel inspired by singing. What inspires you?