decluttering & demolition… & opening up to possibilities

I have apparently designated this as my year to declutter, clear out, demolish. This has happened without my full realization, but as each month progresses, I’m sure that the year is meant to unfold this way.

In the process of cleaning out and demolishing, I hope to create space for new possibilities.  I am spending this year in a process of self-discovery, and my quest is multi-faceted and I hope, life-changing.

This process started in January after I read the book: the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo.  She dubs her method The KonMari method, advising her clients to work by category, not by where clutter is located in their houses. She outlines a specific order to the categories, beginning with clothing, followed by “books, papers, komono (miscellany), and finally things with sentimental value.”

Marie Kondo says in her book: “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective” (p. 3).  Why?  Because “when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too” (p.4).  She says, “When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future” (p. 181).  She suggests that when you get rid of clutter, you should touch each item and let it go with thankfulness for the part it played in your life.  I have found her method freeing, and so far, though I’ve only gone through clothing and books, I’ve been able to let go of things I’ve been holding on to for sentimental reasons while giving thanks for the part those things played in my life.  I feel unburdened every time I let something go.

Marie Kondo claims by decluttering and tidying, you will experience a dramatic change in your life.  You’ll clear up space where you can fill it with only the things you love.  Choosing to keep only those things that “spark joy,” you can focus on only the things you love without distractions.

At the same time I began my decluttering project, I started taking a real estate course through Moseley Real Estate Schools that lasted from early January into mid-February.  I took the course like the perfect student I always am, passed the class test on the first round, and then passed the state and national exam, again on the first round.  I cleared all hurdles to get my real estate license and to sell real estate, but after talking with numerous firms, all of whom want me to come on board (at no cost to them, I might add, as selling real estate is totally commission-based and you have to pay a couple thousand dollars just to begin), I just cannot take that final step. No matter how much I try to tell myself I could do it, my heart just isn’t in it.  So I’m back to my perplexing dilemma: what to do with my life?  This has been a quandary for me since I was in college, and at age 60, I still haven’t figured it out.  I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet, and I want desperately to figure out what I can do that gives me pleasure and some sense of accomplishment while I’m still “young at heart!”

In the early part of this year, I was seeing a Sikh therapist who I’ve seen from time to time over the last couple of years.  She recommended that I read The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder.  Though the book is Christian in principal, my Sikh therapist thought it was applicable for people of all faiths in teaching the power of affirmations. In a chapter titled “The Vacuum Law of Prosperity,” Ponder says: “Basically, the vacuum law of prosperity is this: if you want greater good, greater prosperity in your life, start forming a vacuum to receive it!  In other words, get rid of what you don’t want to make room for what you do want.” She poses that nature abhors a vacuum, and by getting rid of what you don’t want, you’re automatically making room for what you do want.  She says that you should talk about prosperity, not lack, and envision that your prosperity is already visible in great abundance (p. 41-51).

At the book’s suggestion, I’ve made a vision board and a list of affirmations, but I have to say I haven’t been totally devoted to using them because I’m still unsure what vision I have!

In the midst of my personal self-discovery project, a major remodel of our kitchen, laundry room, and screened-in porch/deck has gotten underway. We’ve been planning this since the fall; during that time, we talked to several contractors and ended up choosing Northwood Construction.  It took us a long while to go through the planning and the many choices of cabinets, countertops, deck material, floor plan, appliances, sink/faucet, lighting, etc.  Following are pictures I took in early February of our kitchen, family room and deck BEFORE the project began.

Friday, February 5: Our kitchen is original to our house, which was built in 1981.  When we moved here in 1994, we replaced the floors throughout the first level with hardwood, painted the kitchen cabinets white, replaced the countertop with formica, got new appliances, removed wallpaper throughout the house and put new wallpaper in some rooms and painted other rooms.  Twenty-two years later, after many years of neglect, things were looking pretty ratty, especially our deck, which was literally about to collapse.  The steps off the deck had broken in several spots, leading to a dangerous situation.

The previous owners had moved the laundry room from the basement, which they’d refinished nicely, to the garage — into a kind of small makeshift room that wasn’t heated or cooled.  We decided when we moved in that the laundry room was the first thing that needed fixing.  Despite our declaration to fix it immediately, we’ve lived with it for 22 years, despite it being uncomfortably hot in summer or icy cold in winter and in such ramshackle condition.

Laundry room - BEFORE
Laundry room – BEFORE

Our family room is adjacent to the kitchen and is a very narrow rectangular room. Its strong point is that it has four long floor-to-ceiling windows that let in beautiful natural light.  We decided we’d like to have the more open plan seen in modern houses, where the kitchen and family room are one big room.  However, because of the narrow dimensions and the four nice windows on the opposite wall, there is only one place to put a couch, on the wall between the family room and kitchen. In three-dimensional drawings made by the contractor, I didn’t like seeing the back of the couch from the open kitchen.  Since there’s no space behind to put a sofa table, we decided on a knee wall behind the couch.  This change requires major structural changes, as the wall we’re partially removing to give a more open feeling is a load-bearing wall and needs a steel beam and major structural changes to make it work.

Our deck was a hazard.  Not only was it dilapidated, but it also got the sun full-on in summer, making it virtually unusable.  Also, mosquitos are a big problem in Virginia.  Thus we opted to demolish the deck and build a screened-in porch, with an open deck behind the garage for outdoor grilling.  Our backyard is a very narrow sloping yard, perfectly useless in my opinion.  Hopefully this will give us a more inviting outdoor space.

Deck - BEFORE
Deck – BEFORE

Friday-Sunday, April 8, 9, 10:  Before the project began, I attended an intensive 3-day “transformation course”: The Landmark Forum.  The reason I signed up for this was because my son had done the Forum in March, as well as the Advanced Course in April, and I was seeing a positive change in his behavior, his confidence and his willingness and ability to communicate.  The change in him so far has been dramatic.

At my forum, about 140 people gathered every day, Friday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Three thirteen-hour days! All the description in the world can’t equal experiencing the Forum.  However, I can say I discovered some realizations about myself that have dictated my life since I was a child and a teenager. Some of the discoveries I made are things I knew at a superficial level before, but after participating in the Forum, listening to other people share, sharing myself, and engaging with the speaker in a kind of Socratic method of dialogue, I felt  a deeper understanding of the limiting beliefs I’ve been governed by, “stories” I made up about actual events that happened in my life that have been determining my behavior for my WHOLE LIFE.  The speaker guided us to understand how ludicrous it is that our behavior is totally governed by “stories” and fears based on something that happened to us when we were 3 or 5 or 10 or 15 years old!  Again, a kind of decluttering, a demolishing of old beliefs and an opening up of possibilities for a transformed existence.

At the end of my forum, I signed up for a series of 10 “Commitment” seminars, weekly or bi-weekly, to keep me on track applying what I learned.  I also signed up for the Landmark Advanced Course, which should enable me, now that I’ve been stripped down to “nothing,” to create a life of new possibilities.

You can find allegations online and elsewhere that Landmark is a “cult,” but I don’t believe it to be so; they actually address that allegation by emphasizing that the Forum is about YOUR life.  It’s not about a group mentality, but about transforming your relationships and reaching your dreams and goals.  I guess you could say that many things in life are cults, including addictions and religious affiliations.  I have to say I don’t care for the marketing aspect of Landmark, as they encourage you to bring more people to sign up, but I do see the value in the Forum itself, especially when I can witness the transformation in my son, as well as my own self-realizations.

Monday, April 11: On Monday morning after I completed my forum, our contractor showed up and in one day demolished our deck.  All the debris was carried out to the street awaiting delivery of the dumpster.

Thursday, April 14:  By Thursday, our laundry room was demolished, materials were delivered, a dumpster was set up for construction debris and a porta-potty was installed on our property.  The contractors will be working on our house through the end of June, apparently.  At this point, they were waiting for us to move everything out of our kitchen and family room, so they could begin the inside demolition on Monday morning.

Friday, April 15:  On Friday, the concrete was delivered for the porch footings.  The holes were already dug in preparation for this and the concrete was poured and leveled and left to dry over the weekend.

Concrete arrives for porch footings
Concrete arrives for porch footings

Saturday & Sunday, April 16&17:  We spent all weekend going through every item in our kitchen and dining room.  We boxed a lot of stuff which we took to Goodwill.  We packed unessential items into boxes and put them in the basement.  We set up a makeshift kitchen in the dining room with essentials: refrigerator, coffee pot, wok, rice cooker/food steamer/slow cooker, hot water heater, toaster, toaster oven, plastic dishes and utensils and cabinets of food.

Makeshift kitchen in dining room
Makeshift kitchen in dining room
Makeshift kitchen in dining room
Makeshift kitchen in dining room

Monday, April 18: Our contractors are here every weekday by 7:30 and they leave promptly at 3:30.  They work non-stop while they’re here.  So far, I’m impressed by their professionalism and capabilities.

On Monday, the foreman let me do some of the first strikes to begin the kitchen demolition.

I pose for demolition
I pose for demolition

Don’t laugh too hard.  I know, I look like a wild woman!

I’m surprised by how quickly our construction foreman demolished the entire kitchen and the drywall between the kitchen and family room all by himself.  The porch is also being framed simultaneously with the kitchen demolition.

Tuesday, April 19:  Now we can see the backbone of this portion of our house.  When the drywall was pulled off, the contractor found a number of ant colonies and wood destruction.  Two times we’ve had to call our pest control person to treat certain areas under floorboards and on the ceiling.

the contractor in what remains of the kitchen
the contractor in what remains of the kitchen

In addition, we found a lot of water damage in the area where the skylights were.  That means the plywood and several joists on the roof need replacing, adding another $800-$1,000 to our already expensive project. 😦  We knew we would find some degree of water damage, but we didn’t know it would be this extensive.

the water damage and rot around the skylights, adding another $1,000 to our project :-(
the water damage and rot around the skylights, adding another $1,000 to our project 😦

The kitchen is open to the garage now, so we have to be careful of critters getting into the house until the laundry room and wall are rebuilt.

The kitchen opened to the garage
The kitchen opened to the garage

The porch flooring is framed.

framing of the porch
framing of the porch

Wednesday, April 20:  Today, the contractor spent most of his day shoring up the load-bearing wall was so that he could place a steel beam sandwiched between two wood beams.

the steel beam is sandwiched between two beams to replace the load-bearing wall
the steel beam is sandwiched between two beams to replace the load-bearing wall
the open look we've been waiting for
the open look we’ve been waiting for

And the work continues.

So, here I am in the middle of my story, with a demolished house and a stripped down set of “stories,” beliefs, and “rackets”: an unfinished life with possibilities.  I’ve given a lot of thought to both the house and my life possibilities over the last couple of months.

As for the house, at this point most of the decisions have been made.  We’ve picked almost everything except the cabinet hardware, and the ceiling fan and outdoor lights for the porch and deck.  Now we will move forward with our choices, seeing them set in place and watching the evolution.  The possibilities presented by creating new spaces in our house are set in motion and all we have to do is sit back and trust the process.

That’s the thing about decisions.  Once you make them, other possibilities fall by the wayside.  Well.  Maybe that’s not true. If we don’t like the choices we’ve made and decide to make changes, it will cost us in some way, more money or more time.

I think that’s one reason I’m so afraid to make decisions about my life.  Once I make a decision, all other possibilities are off the table, unless I’m willing to pay the cost of lost time or money. I’m not getting any younger or any richer, so I want to make the right decision.  I’m hoping the “Commitment” seminar series, the Landmark Advanced Course, affirmations, my vision board, and being open to the universe will help me to find my way to creating a transformation in my quality of life. 🙂

 

Advertisements

the george washington masonic national memorial

Friday, July 25:  Today, the day after my mother-in-law’s memorial service, I have to drive Sarah to the Greyhound bus station so she can get back to work in Richmond this evening.  Since the bus station is in Springfield, I hop over to Alexandria to visit the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.  I’ve seen this building towering over Old Town Alexandria, but I never knew what it was until I heard it was a nice place to take photos.

entrance to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial
entrance to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a memorial and museum, an active Masonic temple, a research library, a cultural space, a community and performing arts center, and an important regional landmark, according to a brochure handed out by the Memorial.  It’s a nine-story neoclassical structure erected and maintained by the Freemasons of the United States to express their high esteem for George Washington and to preserve the history and heritage of American Freemasonry.

The Memorial Hall is symbolic of Greek and Roman temple entrances. The Hall features eight green granite columns 40 feet high and more than four feet wide.  A marble floor, painted elaborate ceiling and two murals surround the room.

The painted ceiling of the Memorial Hall
The painted ceiling of the Memorial Hall

The mural on the north wall shows General Washington and his officers attending a St. John’s Day Observance at Christ Church in Philadelphia on December 28, 1778.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Mural of George Washington and his officers attending a St. John’s Day Observance at Christ Church in Philadelphia

The mural on the south wall depicts President Washington in full Masonic regalia laying the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol on September 18, 1793.

Mural of George Washington and his officers attending a St. John's Day Observance at Christ Church in Philadelphia
Mural of President Washington in full Mason regalia laying the cornerstone of the United States Capitol

In a rounded niche at the end of the hall is a huge statue of George Washington wearing his Masonic apron and jewel.

George Washington
George Washington

Next to Memorial Hall is the Replica Lodge Room of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22.

The Replica Lodge Room of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22
The Replica Lodge Room of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22

In the lodge room are artifacts, paintings, and a portrait display of past Masters of the Lodge.  It also includes the Chamber clock of George Washington, stopped at 10:30 p.m., the hour Washington died on December 14, 1799.

Chamber clock of George Washingon stopped at the time of his death
Chamber clock of George Washington stopped at the time of his death

On the third level of the Tower is The Family of Freemason Exhibit, featuring organizations such as the Grottoes of North America, The Order of the Eastern Star and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon.

On the fourth level of the tower is The George Washington Museum. The space draws on the old reading room of the Boston Athenaeum and portrays Washington’s life.  Alcoves feature Washington as: Virginia Planter, Model Citizen,Military Officer, the Nation’s First President, Mourned Hero, and American Icon.

The George Washington Museum
The George Washington Museum
Staircase in the George Washington Museum
Staircase in the George Washington Museum
The George Washington Museum
The George Washington Museum
The George Washington Museum
The George Washington Museum
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Death notice for George Washington

On the observation deck of the Tower, we can see a view of Old Town Alexandria all the way to the Potomac River.  We can also see the great Washington icons: the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol, the Naval Observatory and Washington National Cathedral.

view of Old Town Alexandria to the Potomac River
view of Old Town Alexandria to the Potomac River
views of Washington and the Washington Monument
views of Washington and the Washington Monument
Views across the Potomac River
Views across the Potomac River
Views of Alexandria, Virginia
Views of Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia
The observation deck
The observation deck

I can’t remember which level this was, and what it symbolizes:

Looks like a Crusader
Looks like a Crusader
Stained glass of Christ on the cross
Stained glass of Christ ascending into heaven

Below Memorial Hall is the Grand Masonic Hall.  The prominent features of this room are the eight Doric New Hampshire granite columns (4 1/2 feet wide by 18 feet high)  which support the entire Memorial Tower.  The room is enclosed by six etched glass panels featuring the Memorial Crest and the Square and Compasses.

The Grand Masonic Hall
The Grand Masonic Hall

In the east alcove is a bust of Washington backed by a mural of Mt. Vernon.

Bust of Washington with Mount Vernon surrounding
Bust of Washington with Mount Vernon surrounding

So, what are the Freemasons?  Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that traces its origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of masons and their interaction with authorities and clients.

View from the front steps of the Memorial
View from the front steps of the Memorial

According to Freemasonry: A Fraternity UnitedFreemasonry exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around three million (including approx. 480,000 in Great Britain and under two million in the United States). At its heart, Freemasonry is a self-improvement organization. Through three initiation rituals, lectures and other ceremonies, combined with social and charitable activities, Freemasons seek to improve themselves as they improve the communities in which they live. To join, one must believe in a Supreme Being, be upright, moral and honest in character, and be recommended by a Mason.

Freemasonry employs the tools and instruments of stonemasonry to teach a system of morality, friendship and brotherly love, hence, the standard emblem of Freemasonry is the square and compasses.  

It sort of brings to mind a top-secret boy scout organization for men.

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Our guide at the tour today asks us if we know how many U.S. Presidents were Freemasons.  She tells us that 20 were, beginning with George Washington.  However, according to the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, only “fourteen U.S. presidents have been Freemasons, meaning that there is conclusive evidence that these men received the Master Mason degree: George Washington; James Monroe; Andrew Jackson; James Polk; James Buchanan; Andrew Johnson; James Garfield; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; William Taft; Warren Harding; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; Harry S. Truman; and Gerald Ford.”

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial

According to some sources, there is much opposition to Freemasonry because of its secretiveness, its cult-like nature, and some of its practices.  There are many groups that oppose Freemasonry, including religious groups, political groups and conspiracy theorists.

To learn more about Freemasonry or the Memorial, you can check out the following links:

Wikipedia: Freemasonry

Freemasonry: A Fraternity United

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial: A Brief History of the Memorial

 

“words and letters” at the athenaeum

Saturday, June 7: Today I go to an exhibit in Alexandria that was written up in the Washington Post Weekend Section.  The exhibit titled Words and Letters came about as the curator at the Athenaeum explored a wide variety of artists in the DC metro area who use text in their visual art.

The Athenaeum in Old Town Alexandria
The Athenaeum in Old Town Alexandria

The Athenaeum is one of Alexandria’s two surviving examples of Greek revival neo-classical architecture open to the public. The room has 24-foot high coved ceilings, enormous windows and beautiful woodwork.  The exterior features four Doric columns across the portico and walls of stucco over stone and brick.

The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum

The building was constructed in 1852 as the Bank of the Old Dominion.  Robert E. Lee did his banking here. During the Civil War, it served as the Chief Commissary’s Office for the Union Army.  Between 1870 and 1963, the building was owned by the Citizen’s National Bank, served as a factory, and served as the area’s first Free Methodist Church.  In 1964, it was purchased by the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA), repurposed as an art center, and renamed the Athenaeum for the Greek word Athenaion, a temple for Athena, the Greek Goddess of wisdom.

Wordfall
Wordfall

Wordfall, a curtain made of 60,000 paper clips wrapped in words, is the first piece I encounter in the exhibit. Two artists created the piece: Lisa Hill, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor at Northern Virginia Community College, and Francie Hester, an artist with works represented in various collections from the World Bank to the IMF. The words aren’t just random words, but are the words of two writers who both succumbed to brain cancer.  Diane Granat Yalowitz was a journalist and senior editor of the Washingtonian magazine.  Brendan Ogg was an aspiring writer with a love of poetry from the past, including that of John Keats and TS Eliot.  Brendan was a close friend of Diane’s son, Adam.

Wordfall
Wordfall

Diane first succumbed to brain cancer, and Brendan followed six years later.  In separate efforts, Diane’s articles and Brendan’s poetry were woven together as a tribute to their life and spirit by friends, family and even people who didn’t know either of the writers.

Wordfall, up close and personal
Wordfall, up close and personal

Marty Ittner’s encaustic collages show a random assembly of disparate elements.  Says the artist: “There may be meaning or no meaning, and that is the beauty.” One of the three collages is titled Slope.  The volunteer docent tells me the artist used old family photographs as part of the collages.

Marty Itner's Slope
Marty Itner’s Slope

Artist Billy Colbert has used popular culture, personal experiences and cultural leveraging to serve as narrative for his mixed media works.  His collages include scraps of text with graphic material, including W.W. Denslow’s “Wizard of Oz” illustrations.  Colbert works and resides in Washington, D.C.. He received his MFA in painting from the University of Delaware in 2000, where he was a Presidential Fellow.

Billy Colbert's "Watching Something Happen When You Know You Should Stop It."
Billy Colbert’s “Watching Something Happen When You Know You Should Stop It.”

Here are some of the other collages in the exhibition.

Robert Cwiok's "Rectilinear Collage Study No. 3"
Collage using envelopes
Collage using envelopes
Collage using envelopes

“Secrets of the Elements is what happens when a chemist becomes an artist and meets an advertising copywriter turned poet.  Art and haiku meet the periodic table and tell a story as old as Lithium.”  Lithium 3 is created by Langley Spurlock and Martin Tarrat.

I AM MY NORTH POLE
SOUTH OF MY SOUTH
FLYING EAST WEST ALL DIRECTIONS
UP AND DOWN AND DOWN AND OUT
WITHOUT MY LITHIUM STONE

"Lithium 3" by Langley Spurlock and Martin Tarrat
“Lithium 3” by Langley Spurlock and Martin Tarrat

Here is but a piece of Pat Autenrieth’s Grasping at Straws, which features the word “Mama.”  It’s nearly impossible to read because of the size of the quilt, nearly 5 feet tall, which makes the letters appear as patterns rather than text.

Pat Autenrieth's "Grasping at Straws"
Pat Autenrieth’s “Grasping at Straws”

According to the exhibition brochure, “In her early work, Lynn Schmidt used letters and numbers as formal elements.  Later she introduced dictionary illustrations and text into the paintings and sculpture as links to the wider, outer world.”  In The Road Home, she uses acrylics and a collage of dictionary illustrations, unstretched canvas, and grommets.  In her #125, Trap, she uses found objects such as a minnow trap and toilet tank balls, and a collage including a surveyor’s measuring tape and dictionary illustrations.”

Lori Anne Brooks was a writer when young, and using text as a subject matter for her painting lets her give in to both passions and honor the stories that make up who we are.

Cara Ober layers drawing, painting, and printmaking into mixed media works that examine and reinterpret sentimental imagery.  She says the fun in working with text is confusing its literal meaning to create layers of (mis)understanding.  Her work reveals the inadequacy of words in expressing the complexities of experience.

Pat Autenrieth has always been attracted to using words in her work.  In the case of I Said No, the artist says it’s a satire on the fatuous names of lipstick. Women’s lipsticks often have names such as Pink Cloud, Dollhouse Pink, Orchid Frost, All Heart.  In this quilt, the lipstick names speak to emotions, and angry ones at that: Rage, Contempt, Smolder, Sarcasm, Insolence, Sneer, Pout.

Pat Autenrieth's "I Said No"
Pat Autenrieth’s “I Said No”
Another textual painting
Another textual painting

After enjoying this exhibit, I take a walk down to Old Town’s waterfront, where I see some nice views of the Potomac.

Bicycle shop
Bicycle shop
Waterfront
Waterfront
A lovely day in Old Town Alexandria
A lovely day in Old Town Alexandria

Have you visited an interesting art exhibit lately?

green spring gardens

Saturday, March 15:  Inspired by Ailsa’s travel challenge of gardens this week (Where’s my backpack? Travel Theme: Gardens) and by the momentary beautiful weather, I venture to Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria today in hopes of finding a glimpse of spring.

Inside the greenhouse, where it’s summer all the time, I find succulents and orchids, but outside, dirty remnants of snow still mar the brown grass and only a few crocuses peek out from the soil.  Nonetheless, the breeze carries the promise of spring.  Families stroll about and photographers snap pictures of brides and grooms.  It’s lovely to get outside for this fleeting spring day, as the mid-Atlantic is preparing for yet another snowstorm (3-6″) beginning Sunday night through Monday morning. Please!  Haven’t we had enough this winter?

orchid in the greenhouse
orchid in the greenhouse
orchid
orchid
orchid
orchid
in the greenhouse
in the greenhouse
succulents
succulents
succulents
succulents
succulents
succulents
cactus
cactus
succulents
succulents
cacti
cacti
succulents
succulents
crocuses
crocuses
other spring peepers
other spring peepers
gazebo on the pond
gazebo on the pond
gazebo
gazebo
Canadian goose
Canadian goose
path through the woods
path through the woods

At least we do have more daylight hours now, as daylight savings time began last Sunday. 🙂