Photo Friday: Trees of Batsto

Last week I promised more photographs from my Easter excursion to Batsto, New Jersey. In honor of the beautiful Spring day around me, I’ve chosen two nature shots for today’s Photo Friday entry. I don’t have much to add. I will let the photographs speak for themselves.

Happy Friday!

A tree leans in Batsto, NJ

A tree leans in Batsto, NJ

Perfect blooms from another tree in Batsto, NJ

Perfect blooms from another tree in Batsto, NJ


Everyone Should Have a Duck

My grandpa sent me a link to the below video yesterday about a trucker and his duck. Yes, that’s right. Joe has a pet duck named Frank that rides in the front seat of his truck on all of his jobs.

It’s a happy little story. Joe muses that “if more people had a duck in their life, maybe we wouldn’t all be so mad at each other all the time.”

Havi, who I mentioned here yesterday, also has a duck. Her name is Selma and she is of a brighter, smaller, wide-eyed variety. I suspect Havi and Selma would agree with Joe’s philosophy.

My husband loves to reminisce about a pet duck he had as a child. Football (aptly named for the way he was carried happily tucked under hubby’s arm like a football) was one of those tall white ducks. You know, like Webster who used to help David Copperfield in his magic shows.

Hmm, there are more people with ducks than I realized. And all of those duck people do seem happier. Joe may be on to something.

Anyway, here are a few videos of people and their ducks. (Or is it the other way around?) Enjoy!

Joe and Frank:

David Copperfield and Webster:

Update: I had to pick a new David Copperfield clip. The other one was in a foreign language.

Photo Friday: Graffiti

I love a good story and if inanimate objects could talk, this window would have lots of stories.

I took this photograph in Batsto, New Jersey where I spent Easter day with my husband, stepson, and in-laws. (I went a bit crazy with the camera actually. Expect to see more Batsto pictures in the coming weeks.)

This particular window is part of the gristmill built in 1828. Imagine what this window has seen and what it has revealed to those peering in at its treasures or out at its landscape.

I could have shared photographs of the buildings or the river or the pines. But of all the photographs I took that day, this is the one that captivates me most because it tells a story. The weather-beaten wood, cobwebs, carvings, and spray paint give a glimpse of the life that has passed through.

Happy Friday!

Window graffiti in Batsto, NJ

Window graffiti in Batsto, NJ

“Aha!” Blog Posts

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately. There are several in particular that I read every day. It seems almost all of them have inspired some sort of “aha” moment for me in the last few weeks. You know those moments. You’re reading along and all of a sudden you lean back in your chair and think “ohhhh… it’s all coming together now” or “why didn’t I think of that before?” or whatever form your aha’s take.

I thought I’d take a few minutes to share here some of those posts that have spurred aha moments for me in the last few weeks.

Aha #1: Claim your inspiration
The lovely and artistic Brandi Reynolds (whose rebellious joyfulness has inspired me to make exquisite introductions like “the lovely and artistic Brandi Reynolds”) challenged her readers on Monday to think about expressing the self. She references a point Goddess Leonie bravely made that it’s hard sometimes to acknowledge that what we do matters when there are other people in the world who do the same thing (and maybe better).

Brandi’s overall attitude toward life has inspired me to embrace my own inner joy rebel (yes, that explains the “I am a Joy Rebel” badge over in the sidebar). I am a joy rebel. I have things that I enjoy doing. As it turns out what I do might even be useful to someone somewhere.

Aha #2: Just one thing
Havi Brooks, whom I deem a genius, wrote Tuesday about Doing Just One Thing which resonated with not only me, but at least the 28 other people that had commented as of when I wrote this. Havi inspired me to do a simple mind shift. Instead of telling myself “one thing at a time” to help get through overwhelming moments, I am now telling myself “just one thing.”

As Havi explains it can be overwhelming to face a day filled with a million things to do, especially when you look around and realize all of the chores waiting in your home. It’s not as daunting to pick one thing you want to do. For her it was taking the juice glasses to the kitchen. Easy enough, right? Then from there you may find just one thing you want to do there. Before you know it, you’ve accomplished a lot, reducing your stress.

Aha #3: Wisdom sometimes masquerades as trivial obviousness
Yesterday’s post by super-savvy Deb Owen on Mastering the Obvious made me realize a few things. First, what’s obvious to me isn’t necessarily obvious to others. Just because something seems simple to me, doesn’t mean it’s simple to someone else and vice versa. Deb knows tons about leadership and motivation. I learn a lot from her posts which to her may seem like common sense.

So drawing from that notion, we have to take the next step of acknowledging that what we know is valuable even if we don’t think it is. There is someone out there who needs that “obvious” piece of knowledge that you didn’t realize was actually wisdom.

So to sum up…
What is it that you know and find joy in doing? Recognize that someone else needs that, even if you consider it plainly obvious. Then do just one thing to free your mind from stress and start that connection.

See how nicely all of these amazing ladies’ posts tie together? I love when the universe aligns.

Photo Friday: Cherry Blossoms on a Cloudy Day

Spring is arriving. It’s like a painter has taken a brush to the world, bringing it to life with smatterings of color.

My husband and I took Tuesday off and puttered around Princeton. We went to the Princeton University Art Museum, roamed around Palmer Square, lunched at a quaint Italian cafe. It was grand.

While wandering, we came across a tree blooming with cherry blossoms. At least that’s what I think they are, but I’m not exactly a botanist. Anyhow, even on a cloudy, windy day like it was, the speckling of pink made me smile.


Cherry blossoms on a cloudy day in Princeton

Cherry blossoms on a cloudy day in Princeton

Photo Friday: Peaceful Garden

The recent sun and rain is wakening my world. The grass in my yard is sprouting in tufts and will surely be ready for a mow soon.

It made me wonder if I should try a garden again this year. I think I would like to. I may do a few flower planters and grow some herbs and vegetables.

Some day in the next few years I would like to begin carving out my own quiet garden hideaway. A beautiful place where I can sit and write, read, or sip a glass of ice tea. I don’t think I want it to look like the one in this photograph, but I want it to instill the same sense of serenity.

This Friday Photo comes from a public garden I visited last Fall.


One of many peaceful areas at Sayen Garden

One of many peaceful areas at Sayen Garden