Posted in blog challenge, body image for women, celebrations, journal prompts, self improvement

Groundhog Week

Blogaday prompt: Groundhog Week
If you could relive the past week what would you do differently?

Last week I had a wonderful time visiting with our son and his lovely girlfriend. I was so happy to be able to hug my son again and enjoy a laugh together. He made us a breakfast. We went to the Musical Instrument Museum here in Phoenix. It is exquisite. They have Pablo Casals’ cello and the piano on which John Lennon wrote “Imagine.” Elvis boots, guitars, and outfits are fun.  Plus, there is a room where visitors can play an assortment of instruments and gadgets.

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With headsets one wanders through spacious rooms with exhibits from all over the world.

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Why do we respond to certain sounds? I love strings, horns, bass, gongs and bells, all of it. Some music doesn’t move me. After studying past lives through channeling and hypnotherapy, I felt a strong kinship with the sounds of what may have been the locations of my previous incarnations. No, I wasn’t famous. More on that later.  In essence, I floated through history.

early piano
The second week switched into some moments of minor tension. I generally put myself into a funk over the topic. The take-away from the crunchy part of the week is I had some nice phone conversations. I held my own. I made a decision not to fret over any of it. Voila! If it doesn’t feed the Spirit and Soul essence then it’s not worth it.

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My only regret is not exercising more. I may not have that body image (yet) I was chirping about a few posts ago, but I am working on trying to stay healthy. Another 15 minutes per day on the treadmill would have been nice. Onward! And….no worrying allowed.

bow and weird musical instruments

Oh, and I saw an interview with Don Miguel Ruiz  author of The Four Agreements. YES!

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Until next time…

Posted in celebrations

“Scuse the Hogs”

Blog challenge. Write about a favorite food celebration from your childhood.
I decided to write about a memory of about 20 years ago.

The weather is hot, lush like a jungle. We live among the redwoods, inland from the Pacific Ocean. Meadows with ripening apple trees and oaks dripping sphagnum moss liven up the countryside. Everything is ready for harvest.

Our garden is full. The August warmth comes up from the sweet earth, delivering fertility and contentment. We have corn, peppers, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers. I have vines on a trellis, abundant with of gourds of all sizes. I will have to hang them to dry in the coming months. The process takes almost a year from start to finish. Country work. The star jasmine is blooming, a perfume that fills the front porch.

Jesse comes back from the lake with a stringer of fresh trout. He works in the side yard quickly cleaning the fish, his hands deft. Jazz music filters from the radio inside our house. A crow caws in the huge pine at the edge of the yard, letting us know she has an eye on our goods.

The kids help me in the garden. We pull some corn, two ears for each person, then pick the last of the red leaf lettuce. We pick perfect cherry tomatoes. We pull some carrots, a bell pepper, baby spinach, and harvest a couple of lemon cukes. Home grown salad. Then comes the best part, green beans. Just the sight makes me drool. Butter and sometimes a  little  sea salt, or light garlic salt is the only condiment necessary. But they have to snap when you pick them. That’s why they’re called snap beans.

A few leaves of fresh basil and marjoram are plucked for a sauce type marinade that I brush over the trout right after it comes out of pan. We’re doing chicken too, local organic. I arrange the apple wood for the fire under the grill. Only suburbanites use coals for barbecues. The wood smoke is as aromatic as the food we’re preparing.

The kids laugh about something. My daughter is 16. Her silky hair glistens and I can smell the Herbal Essence shampoo as I reach behind her for something while she tosses the salad. She’s a junior in high school and works in town. She drives and helps with the shopping. My son is 12. He’s into drumming and skateboarding. He’s a good kid. Our young ones don’t argue. We don’t have all that slamming of doors and hurtful phrases…maybe some moping or pouting…but it isn’t because we are authoritarians. Some people just get along. I start to wonder why my sister and I used to fight.

I put my mind back on chopping up some dill and green onions.

Finally we sit down to eat. We recite our homespun non-denominational prayer. The food is from our own hands, our own efforts. Every bite is savory and we’re happy. Not rich, not poor…. doing ok. Jesse makes googley eyes after chomping down on the corn on the cob. He wipes the butter from his chin and lets out a big belch.

“Ooops, ‘scuse the hogs, you pigs.”

The kids giggle.

“This is some good eatin'” we say to each other.

Posted in blog challenge, celebrations, current events, Gratitude, inspirational, memoir, stream of consciousness writing, time

Antique Browsing for Modern Dummies

                                                         scribeners 1890

Hello readers. If I haven’t responded to each of one of you, it’s because I’m not organized. Forgive me! I’m not ignoring you-it’s really a case of AES, aka eyes, aka aging eye syndrome.

 I want to say thank you for being there and, to my FB family, I’m overwhelmed by all your kind birthday wishes. It’s not my habit to make a big deal of the birthday thing, but this year I am going to enjoy it by talking about “it.” One of my indigenous teachers reminded us years ago to thank our mothers and fathers on birthdays. Sounds good to me. Any chance to be festive is fine and dandy. Speaking of dandy, a term nobody uses much anymore, here is the blog challenge.

Antique antics. What’s the oldest thing you won-toys, clothing, Twinkies, Grecian urns. Anything’s fair game. Recount its history from the object’s point of view.

 

woman in repose

 

A sense of what is current
I give you stories and knowledge,
the ads are fresh for this season-it’s nothing new-
topics listed-summer styles to better digestion,
food prices, tools for the handyman, salves, potions, ointments,
spices and flavors, garden seeds, dates for events.
I give you
articles on weddings, cures for baldness,
calming hysteria for women, easing tension, games for children,
conversations on building self-confidence, catering and career.
Mysteries, muscles, chocolate truffles,
I am the latest magazine now faded into gingery paper
selling you thrills and ideas, bidding, counting, recruiting…
it’s current where I live in 1890.

 

 

sue with chey in background copy

Grandma Sue-turning 61-2014

 

 

 

Posted in earth friendly, friends, memoir, spirituality, Writing for healing

Fork It, Explained

the old house near caspar

 

Did I sound critical and dark about her need for adventure?
No, no, no, no!
It’s just the grief talking.
How could I have lost another friend?
My poems are full of it, you know,
seems like I’m supposed to get it,
this thing called death

and a monster disease,

a thief stealing a woman

who was always

a giver.

They say it is “ just a transition” a shedding of the physical body.
Another piece about death?
That’s what it is-evidence-
raw and real…
Not crossing over, not the transition, not passed away,
such are the phrases of pablum, more bland than unsweetened oatmeal…

damnit!

The last time I saw her,
I could tell something was up.
She was meeting with her son at the local taco stand;
her sparkling eyes seemed so serious.
She didn’t stop to talk or chat, even her red hair
was different that night,
and you could always tell it was she…
a block away,
her coppery hair lit up like her splendid soul.

I can’t seem to get the timeline right but I do know
I was back in Ohio at my father’s bedside, right there…silently screaming
at the ides of March.
He never liked March.
He passed on during that third day of the dreaded month, and when I came home
to California, the redwoods and giant oaks seemed foreboding.
I found she was going too.
How could it be?

Would there be no more adventures to exotic places?
No more post cards and slide shows,
her altruistic voice, far-seeing tiny eyes filled with tales of people.
I always thought she was a reincarnated Chinese sage,
with those hennaed locks
flowing with the energy of an athlete.

She said “you were the first people I met when I moved to town.”
She told that to everybody because we made her feel at home.
We felt like family, because our hearts united for simple honoring
togetherness.
That was before I’d had enough and had to leave my kid’s dad
for all the fighting and verbal demise.
It was I who had bitten the dust. She understood.

It was easy to make anyone feel at home because she was so friendly and vivacious,
making people feel welcomed was simple for that’s the way we were raised.
Only later I found out there was a name for it….codependency…she could see that there was a jagged edge
in my marriage, that the hurled barbs of word attacks hit me when company departed
and my hurt was starting to show.
She knew.

Everywhere she went, she rallied for others…for the earth, nutrition, and good causes,
attending to the forgotten, women, children, and others.
She was outspoken about formal religion,
It made her feel like an animal in a cage.
“Don’t give me that Jesus stuff” was the underpinning of the message,
and here’s why:
She lived the real word of the gospel
by doing right,
but that girl just would not sit tight.

When she went to Nepal
we lent her Johnny’s leather suitcase, perfect for her voyage.
It had pockets on both sides, with an inside zipper and storage places.
She never forgot to bring us little trinkets, shiny red and glittering
tokens of those places she acquired on her voyage list…
but it was so far away this time, we made sure her itinerary was printed clearly.
We knew she’d be back with tales of adventure, talking of
of fabulous foods served on floors, and statues of Buddha mixed with
mountains of foreign language
and new friends.

Posted in friends, inspirational

Fork It

pottery flowers bricks on left

Fork it she used to say
“Another one bites the dust”
when a neighbor couple broke up-
something like that,
and one time way up in the mountains
she drove the whole way on the back road
with her top off
and I was cringing at her
trying not to look at
her super small breasts and
muscled arms with pale freckles.
Luckily she put her blouse back on
when we got to the paved road.
I was always watching, standing back, observing.
I never understood how anybody could
leave their kids
to go travel around the world.
But she was a nurse
and not even her own son could stop her
from being important.
Maybe she was looking for a new man.
One time, she thought she found one
in Egypt.
But it didn’t work out.
She had been to Nepal, Honduras, Guatemala,
all over the place
working as an ER nurse.
I was a townie,
worked the county fairs, the crops, the markets,
and delivered mail.
I didn’t venture out much,
familiar with
every creekside, each bend in the road,
and all the sacred groves from Hopland to Dos Rios,
anticipating a late Spring rain
when it was too early to put in tomatoes,
and the soft scent of manzanita blossoms
bounced up from Red Hill.
I had to make rent and…
wouldn’t you miss your children?
She died ten years later.

© copyright 2014 poetry and photography by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in celebrations, inspirational, journal prompts, memoir, Writing for healing

Coming Out

each moment is a new beginning

I’m outing myself! No, not that. I’m a straight psychic with a hint of the conventional.

“Do it only because you love it”— Barbara Sher, It’s Only Too Late if  You Don’t Start Now

The gift of being intuitive comes with a price which is usually  from a near death experience or devastating event. The shock comes when you doubt yourself.  But you know that you know. After a while the hiding starts to wear you down. Then, you give in and come out. The folks who used to torment me by walking around in my mind and causing sleepless nights  started fading away. The need to impress anyone or  to battle my true identity disappeared into the sunset.

  I spent decades working for less than stellar pay.   A family member  used to ridicule  me about my  so-called life choices and “lack of interesting work” and not living up to my potential.  In retrospect, I never felt bad about my  service to the community or the earth.  Elitism bores me to tears.   All rejections have turned into great teachers.

Much as I dislike the term “psychic” I now am now no longer afraid to take my place where I belong. Try switching up the word “psychic” with “recognizing” or “seeing.” Seeing is recognizing. In my coming out phase of life, a certain freedom exists. Just look at spring cherry blossoms on an old tree. Without the aging trunk with its extended gnarly branches there would be no blossoms. Nature is not afraid of color, diversity,  or aging. People are.

“ I had no intention of losing hope and giving up.” —Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

portrait of the artist as a young woman                                         portrait of the artist as a young woman

Come out, come out wherever you are!

People who have the sixth sense are often tested by non-believers. The point is when we open ourselves to the gift of Spirit a profound shift occurs and information is delivered. Anyone can learn. Psychic messages can be arrived at through meditation, making art, dancing, trance channeling, repetitive movement and dreaming. Clairvoyant messages may also appear in a flash of recognition to the practitioner.

Here’s one of my magical grounding tools.

         worry rock

Take any smooth rock, especially a river rock, and hold it for at least 10 minutes. Take a deep breath, counting to four… in through the nose and exhaling out through the mouth. As you exhale, imagine all your concerns disappearing.  Repeat the breathing exercise four times. Then, out loud, give all worries and concerns to your stone as if speaking to a dear friend. You can be as crude or as formal as you want. I like to be a little formal, just to be ceremonial. Say “I now release all worries about money and health.” Or, “I no longer  want to hold onto any insecurity,” etc.  Be specific. Use details. As you hold your stone, ask for what you WANT. For example, ” I now affirm that I am in my new house.” Or, “I now feel healthy and whole.”  See yourself as ALREADY doing what you want. Practice SEEING yourself  in your new life role. Remember to conclude out loud with something like “and so it is” “amen” or “true dat!”

 Don’t forget to thank your healing tool, the  angels, and Spirit out loud.  Observe your body and how it feels afterwards.

Happy Spring! Happy blossoms. I’m glad to be OUT as a hetero- intuitive and ABOUT as….myself.

Journal prompt 1: Do you believe in the paranormal? Have you ever had any experiences, visions, dreams or do you do readings? Does your family of origin have any opinions about psychics or intuitives? Do you fear psychic phenomena? Write about your experiences or feelings.

Journal prompt 2: What is your vision of success?

Copyright © 2014 by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in angels, celebrations, Facebook, friends

100th Blog Celebration! Share the Joy

Sue's 100 blog
Welcome to my 100th blog post! Thank you readers. If I haven’t thanked you individually yet, here it is. Ever grateful.

Since the focus of my blog is to share journal writing and inspiration, I want to highlight some of the work of my friends who offered to share in the joy. I put the call out on Facebook and am delighted to show you what came in from some of the people who make my everyday life shine. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, my angel friends are always there to help keep it real.

Below are their blogs, journal entries, poems, photos and essays in the order they were received. I’m looking forward to doing 100 more blog posts.   I’m looking forward to another year of living and breathing on this great planet of ours.

Angel blessings to you all.

APRIL JOY GARRETT

Willow Tree

I am ready for more.
Lovingly I believe in me.
Chances are this beautiful
willow tree holds the key
of a history I never seen.
Watch the leaves,
draping,
laying.
Believe in more and more.
Unraveling the knots of
thought into a dreamy trust.

willow tree

A note from the poet: here is a meaning of the willow tree.

Check out her talent here or at:http://www.spiritualcosmetics.blogspot.com

email: livelife.joy@gmail.com
Colorful Adventures Await!

********

EDIE WEINSTEIN, journalist, speaker, and social worker shares her many talents.  Once in a while there is a person who is willing to jump right in with both feet; that would be Edie! I  decided to pick one my favorite blogposts about writing that she posted.  Here’s one about finding your expressive voice and the writing muse.

*********

GABRIELA DOMINGUEZ, CA
Love has no boundaries
It is endless and real

Love holds friends together

It holds families together

Love grows bright within our

hearts Like a never ending fire

That ignites deep with in our soul.

Love makes life possible

There is love within our land

That radiates through the flowers and the trees

It flows through the rivers and streams

Love brings compassion and kindness to our hearts

Love is shared with just a look,

it’s deep with in our eyes

Love is shared with a smile,

Love is shared with a small act

of kindness

Love is all there is.

waterfall Grand Canyon Veronica Payan

photo credit: Veronica Payan

 GINGER BLISS  from The Writer’s Water Cooler on Facebook
Windwalker
I am a wind walker

sky talker.

I whisper to the breeze,

on the wings of angels

I ride with ease.

The wind sails,

on pretty tales of tomorrows dreams.

The wind blows

who knows where life will lead me?

I am a wind walker

sky talker

I whisper to the breeze
Singing sacred songs

in my heart they belong,

as the wind whispers to me.
@ Ginger Bliss

orange rainbow copy
LOUIE OTERO
May God and his Angels touch and embrace you with their wings of flight. Behold the wing of Pegasus in honor of the year of the horse. Let time take you on your quest of loving victories and conquests of divine love. May you truly find the wings of angels comfort and heal you every day. Just know that you are truly blessed by the wings of your guardian angel. ~ Louie

pegasus

Dr. IDARA E BASSEY

Operating as an Integrated Being

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” (Mahatma Gandhi)

Think about the times you really wanted to get something done- perhaps you cleared your mind in an attempt to rid yourself of distractions, buckled down and got focused. And more often than not, if your preparatory efforts were well-intentioned and sincere, sometime later, tangible evidence of progress began to come into view. When your whole being is engaged in a clearly defined pursuit, on a singular path, you are rewarded with the fruits of your labor- this is a simple enough concept for most of us to understand.
What may not be immediately apparent is the energy dynamic at play beneath the surface. When we wish to create anew- be it a physical object, a state of being or a transformation of any kind, we begin with some vision of the end point in mind. This is where the creative process begins, and any eventual manifestation in a form we can interact with depends on what extent all pistons are firing, so to speak, with all the other relevant players.
For example, say you want a new car. It would be quite reasonable to visualize the vehicle in question, perhaps to think about the features you would prefer; its appearance or even to conjure up the sensation of tootling along on the freeway at top speed. Again, all plausible things to consider-however, stopping at this stage of the game would make it very unlikely that that car would ever arrive in your driveway. Thoughts must eventually morph into action, and if they do not, we can clearly see that as far as the desired goal of securing a vehicle is concerned, a key component is missing- the energy of integration that is present whenever we take an action that is in alignment with our desired objective.
When we expand our vantage point to the broader issue of how we live our lives, we can also apply this same thinking about operating from an integrated core to the success (or lack thereof) we achieve, both personally and professionally. Say you would like more synergy between your personal values and your career path. And while you may make this declaration to yourself, the you who wishes to impress friends and family is relying a bit too much on how well your current title “presents” to the world, the cynical part of you wonders whether your goal is a bit too unrealistic given the present economic climate, and the worried part of you figures it’s better to continue suffering in your present job rather than face the unknown of exploring different options. At the end of the day there is a considerable disconnect at work here, and not surprisingly as a result, the status quo will continue to limp along. Thoughts are developing into “actions” alright, but the question is whether said actions are in alignment with the results you desired to begin with.
To move beyond this kind of disconnect that is operating here additional energy must be expended and two options immediately come to mind- you can continue to spin your wheels by using your energy to find new and inventive ways to wonder why your goal of a fulfilling professional position is not any closer in sight.…OR you could shift gears and actually bring your actions into alignment with your hopes for a career path where you can really shine. With the latter option, each and every action we take moves us closer to realizing our intention and a very different energetic momentum is unfolding. An integrated approach to living is emerging. Tangible progress is much more likely when all component parts- intentions, thoughts and actions are singing from the same hymnal.

What kinds of actions support us in operating in an integrated fashion in our lives?
• Being clear on our values
• Choosing relationships with supportive, like-minded people
• Eliminating aspects of our life experience that pull us away from our best selves
• Cultivating a dialogue with people who are already where we would like to be

Our effective and satisfying operation in the world flows beautifully when we come from a space of unified focus. Deciding who we wish to be and putting some quality attention into determining just what is necessary (and what needs to be “minimized”) to bring the vision of the life we desire into fruition means we have much more to offer. Cheers to making yourself a priority in this fashion and best wishes on the quest!

Idara E. Bassey is a lawyer, energy healer, spiritual counselor and author of Reflections of a Mystical Sistah: On Traveling Down the Road to Self-Definition (iUniverse). For more information about her services and upcoming programs visit her website at http://onelightmessenger.com/

She does amazing readings!

nature's filigree

PAULA BROWN, NYC

We in Dis Mess

Fenced in on all sides
Hours, minutes, seconds
collide

Nothing to do-trouble is wide..FREE ME!

pray?
I tried
but
all I see is cry faces
all I see is dark places
all I see is missed races

What we need is Gods’ graces.
Amen.

*inspired by “The Interrupters”
Frontline documentary, re: the Chicago street gangs
Paula ~

Thank you, Paula! I always enjoy your messages and quotes.

the East River by JadiancY

photo credit: Jadianc Aidaj

I have more fun reading other people’s work and looking at blogs. What an amazing world. I promise to get more techie so that I can do a better job in sharing the work.

Journal Prompt: What do you want to write about in your own life? Don’t wait. Do it now.

All rights reserved to the writers and artists/photographers on the this page.

Posted in friends, journaling

Quiet Moments Before the Rush: Gratitude Post 26

I am grateful for the quiet moments

between the two of us,

soft background voices of the networks…

a stay at home vacation.

He’s  happy with  games and teams.

No comments, no dialogue, no needless whacky scenes to dissect.

If Norman Rockwell had put me in a painting,

which one would it be?

 

Josie  and I would laugh at work

all through the 90’s.

I can hear her  talking,

about wanting to have a life like the American paintings,

the ones  where everything seems so normal, functional.

In snow – blanketed pictures of farmhouses and posing people,

standing together, eyes on the camera-

a group selfie intended for this year’s Christmas card,

complete with  form letter

written in third person about all the landmark accomplishments.

It’s fine really, just a short page from a movie script.

For a blessed thirty minute break I watch

the news about holiday travel.

In an attempt to make some visual semblance

of the crumbling and regal

saguaro out by the side gate,

I want to resurrect his dignity

from leftover gold and tumbled sable brown pigments

amidst questionable brushes in an old  jelly jar.

nature spirits 2

Copyright © 2013 poetry and  art by Susan E. Rowland

Posted in forgiveness, friends, inspirational, journal prompts

Gratitude Post 12: Friends

trinkets from friends

I am grateful for friends.

We have lots of acquaintances and co-workers in our lives. We have blood relatives. But who really has a good friend? I have enjoyed the  most awesome friends in my life. There are those special few; she’s  the one you’d  put everything down for in a hot moment and rush to, if she asked. But she’d hate to ask in the first place. Don’t we all need someone we can call without having to be polite or keep score?

The closest buddies don’t constantly  try and one-up.  Some people like competition. We all have it in us, but what could be more wearisome?  In sports, of course, you want competition, have at it.  Let’s go.

 As an artist I don’t care about the impress-me-with-all-your great-accomplishments-and-your tight ass in skinny jeans or bikini (that one’s for you, Joce, I know you have a perfect body in heaven).  I’ll celebrate your success and happiness with my heart if you don’t try to shank my good nature.

                         jocelyn journal

                                  the journal Jocelyn gave me

 My bosom buddies and I have been tight because of, well, pain. We understand each other with a glance. I’m not talking pity party either. The dearest friend acknowledges in just the right way and understands without question when you say “it’s not a good time.” They might want to ask about things but won’t pry and get into your business. They know that you would share if you wanted to. They put up with your inconsistent moods.

 A true friend wouldn’t dream of betraying a confidence. Ever. Or back-stab. Good luck.  I like lots of space and don’t like people getting in my business. Women (and some men) can be so conniving. Oprah did a whole show on why women are so….dangerous to each other.  Chuckles. Generally, men don’t need or want to know all the details of relationships,  how much you make, where your kid went to law school (Harvard, Yale or Princeton)  and who banged who in 1995, or is it who banged whom?

Sometimes men make better friends but not when a woman is already married, of course. I did have a wonderful man friend once, Mark Walker. He was in his late 90’s when we met. He called me his  “fiddler girl.” I have one of his red violins. He couldn’t see, couldn’t hear well, but we had some great talks.

 My dearest friends have crossed over, but we still ‘talk’ in quiet moments and I dream about them. I have to be honest and say that I went into a depression when my friend  Jocelyn died unexpectedly at age 38.

                                jocelyns handwrting

                                 the inscription in the journal Joce gave me

My other dear friend Libby crossed over at the fine  age of 93.  We used to have the best discussions! She was not shy about asking for help. We assisted in moving her four times until she finally settled in Santa Rosa, California. She had lived all over the country and would say, “I can live anywhere, even Texas.” Rather than go into details about family drama stuff she would say, “it’s a mell of a hess.”

Times were not always rosy in my friendships-I may not have been qualified for any friendship awards but for the most part, I felt complete in knowing my girlfriends. No friendship is ever without challenges. It is that particular friend who will be honest with you about little things, and say it sweetly, like your hair color isn’t working or you could use a good makeover…the things that other women might not be willing to say nicely. Most people don’t tell you anything.  Very rarely will you find another person in your career or job field who is honest. Again…too competitive! Looking for acknowledgement from peers feels like begging. My husband says that women’s friendships always sound too involved-with the over-sharing of personal information and I agree. I’m trying, I’m really trying. Why does that lady want all that information anyway? What is she doing to do with it? Sure I love a good gossip session, but only up to a point. Then, I’m done.

 Libby had an uncanny way of telling me stuff that I needed to hear without being too direct. She knew I was paying attention and that I would get it.

The longest Jocelyn and I ever went without speaking to each other was four days. When she smiled, the whole world was happy. I forgive you for leaving, honey. The world could be a cold, harsh place.

Journal prompt: Write about friendship. Are you happy with your friends? Do you need lots of close friends or are you the independent type? What do you feel makes a good friend, especially in the age of social media?

Photo above top: 3 of Hearts nail clippers, gift from Libby.

Copyright © 2013 text & photos by Susan E. Rowland