Abandoned

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Hollow. Empty. Derelict. Broken. Unloved. Sad.

Feelings of abandonment reflected in imagery.

With a structure it’s possible for beauty to be found there. To use our imagination to create a place and time that tells us what life might have been before it disappeared.

With a person or animal abandonment produces a far more tragic result.

Sad stuff.

I don’t like to dwell on it.

Black and white

Let’s end with two abandoned kittens I rescued in 2012.

Where there’s life, there’s hope.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Shout Outs

A Busy Life of Leisure

ArtizenImages

Lost in Translation

A Slice of Winter and A Wish For Spring

The Green Barn

I have tried to avoid the subject of winter because we’ve had so much of it this year. Still, here it is. Let’s look it in the eye.

Mountains of snow. Treacherous ice in amounts not seen in decades. Temps below zero for such an extended period of time my beautiful rhododendron, sadly, has finally given up the ghost.

(I hope the greenhouses are well stocked for a spring rush.)

Winter

Normal temperatures for this time of year range in the 1C area. Today we’re deep in another polar vortex that’s going to take us through until Saturday. We’re talking -15C with a wind chill of -25C. Triple-blanketing weather for my horse who’s already shedding his winter coat.

Which way?

A dear friend in England sent me a note yesterday in which she included the cheerful news that the first snowdrops had begun to show. I can only dream of a blanket of snowdrops when I’m staring at a bank of snow.

It’s going to take a long time for this mess to disappear.

Still, the days are getting longer. My horse continues to shed his winter coat. And little by little the snow, and the three inches of ice underneath, is melting. (But not today, of course.)

Let’s end on a happy note.

Longed For Tulips

I’m looking forward to seeing these purple darlings in my garden again.

Stay warm. Stay dry. Be happy.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Best Friends Forever

Daily Prompt: BFFs

~*~

BFF

True and enduring friendship is a rare and beautiful thing.

If you have it, cherish it.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

More BFFs

Friends Trust Each Other Prayers and Promises
Daily Prompt: BFFs | The Wandering Poet
Defy the Diet | Daily Prompt: BFFs | likereadingontrains
Seriously? | My Author-itis
Friends | trifectumblog
The one who spoke | dandelionsinwind
Learning from each other | Geek Ergo Sum
Those I Adore | Writing and Works
Mans best friend | From One Crazy Life To Another
A BFF Haiku | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
I’ll Be There For You (When the Rain Starts to Fall) | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
Special Purpose or Special Man | marjanitalarosa
The Strength of Family | A mom’s blog
Lessons Learned « One Crazy Mom
Get Back Up | Wanderlein
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good. | Amoeba Kat Musings
S. Thomas Summers: Writing with some Ink and a Hammer | Me and the Outlaw Jesse James
Daily prompt: BFFs | ferwam
Never Letting Go | Pretty ToThinkSo…
A Poem: A Bit of Friendly Advice | I Hope You’re Taking Notes
Smoke Flares Must Taste Delicious | Exploratorius | Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer

Naughty Jerome and the Bank Barn

Winter Scene

~*~

I love old bank barns.

There’s nothing that evokes the feeling of country to me more than a big, old barn.

Creeping development in the rural areas around here means most of these lovely buildings are being demolished. Beautiful, rolling farmland is being homogenized into ugly subdivisions.

Sad …

Still, as it happens, the farm where I moved my horse last week has just such a century bank barn. Since there is a moratorium on development in that area for the next 25 years, this barn is safe for a while.

Happy!

I’m almost giddy with excitement at the photographic opportunities to be had here as the seasons unfold.

This week before the bitter cold blew through I captured this moment.

Naughty Jerome just happened to be standing about and curious about my activity. His blue blanket offers a hint of colour to an otherwise stark winter scene.

Needless to say there will be more images of this lovely old farm building in future posts.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

The Beauty of Loss

Daily Prompt: Unexpected/Loss

SIlver Lining

~*~

We often think that to lose smoothing means the end. To me this is a limited view. The beauty of loss is that it also marks an incredible new beginning. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of the loss this is a difficult view. Nevertheless, it is true.

When my grandmother passed away some years ago I made the active choice, in the midst of my sorrow, not to wallow in feelings of loss. To me this was not productive. Of course I needed to mourn, but to take it beyond a healthy release of stress and emotion didn’t seem to me to be the best way to honour what she meant to me.

My grandmother was a go-getter. After leaving my grandfather following 27 years of emotional and psychological abuse, she somehow had the strength to make something of her life. The scars of her experience with him never left, but she made the most of her loss of faith in relationships and people and did what she needed to do to make her life her own again.

After she died I decided to honour her memory and strength of spirit by making the most of a sad situation. I wanted to turn my loss into an expression of new life, and I did this by honouring my need to heal.

Not that I thought of it in those terms at the time. I simply made up my mind that her death would not be in vain and that the best way to do that was to pick up the broken pieces of my life and start again.

In essence, granny’s death marked the birth of my long journey to self-awareness.

So, what did I do?

Well, we had a shared love of horses, so I knew she would have loved this. I quit corporate life to pursue a dream of working with these beautiful animals. I was in my early 30s at the time, unhappily married and barren. I was at a point in my life where I really needed to start making sense of things; needed to see a few of my dreams come true.

Working with horses (please see my Freshly Pressed post Confessions of a Coaching Intern: Finding Clarity with a Pitch Fork and a Song) put me through a refiner’s fire. I leaned on my promise of making good of my loss and honouring my grandmother to get me through some really tough moments. In the process, I began to explore my suppressed creativity, which eventually lead me to working with people who could help heal a lifetime of pain.

The loss of my lovely gran had paved the way for me to learn how to live authentically, and I have always believed in my heart that she would have been proud of my choice to do so. No matter how difficult our relationship had been, I knew she wanted me to be happy.

And now, when I look at my life and how much more grounded and happy it is; when I see how far I have come since that sad summer of 1994, there’s hardly a day that goes by when I don’t think of granny and the positive life-altering experience that came of my sad loss.

How we handle loss is, of course, a personal thing. I have chosen to adopt the attitude that every cloud has a silver lining. That to honour the person or anything else that is lost by honouring the life and blessings I still have is a greater tribute to what is gone than to sacrifice my happiness on the alter of bitterness and self-pity. Granny would not have wanted that for me. Up there in the heavens she has the pleasure of knowing that I have made good. It is also her blessing to observe how happy I am in my life now compared to the miserable woman I was at the time of her death.

The beauty of loss is that with every ending there is a new beginning. I believe those we have lost who truly loved us would want us to live our lives fully and joyfully.

It doesn’t mean the journey will be an easy one, but at least we’ll be heading in a positive direction.

To me, life is too short to look at it any other way.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

More of the Unexpected

Dreams Soar | crookedeyebrows
Death. | ♥Bob’s Magical Land Of Oz♥
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | life n me!
Monuments to Loss | Finale to an Entrance
Remembering My Mother | The Pinterested Parent
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
The Lurker’s List | In Silence
Daily Prompt: 20 Days Left….Unexpectedly | Not The Sword But The Pen
Love and Loss | The Nameless One
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | Finding Life
Sideswiped by the Unexpected | The River Mom
Life Happens, Good and Bad | Kansa Muse
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” | Beauty
Signed Unknown | Ashes of Roses
Daily Prompt: Unexpected | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
Signed Unknown | Ashes of Roses
TEARS STING | hastywords
The Road Not Taken Does Not Exist
Not alone | Life is great
In Loss We Often FInd Ourselves | An Upturned Soul
Loss | the ephemeral petal

Thank You …

Celebration bouquet

Here’s a bouquet of lovely Lilium for my 600 followers.

Thank you for sharing my journey.

To all who pass through, thank you for stopping by.

To all a peace-filled and happy day …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell  CreativeWorks 2013

Be the Light

Daily Prompt: Courage

Into the Light

~*~

Lots of things take courage …

It takes courage to face each day with a sunny disposition.

It takes courage to pursue our potential.

It takes courage to apologize when we’re in the wrong.

It takes courage to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.

It takes courage to pull ourselves out of a rut and choose a new road.

It takes courage to open our hearts ~ to allow love to flow in, and flow out.

It takes courage to open our minds to new healing ideas, and to shed harmful old ones.

It takes courage to be responsible for our actions.

It takes courage to stand up for our truth; for what we believe in.

It takes courage to shine in a world increasingly dark.

It takes courage to step out of the shadow and into the light.

It takes courage to be the light you are.

Take courage … and be that light.

~*~

Happy Thanksgiving …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

More Courage

Spinning a Web of Words | In Harmony
Courage | The Magic Black Book
DP : Irrational Fear | Experimental Fiction
Daily Prompt: Fear Factor | Everyday Adventures
It was November, and I was afraid | Butterfly Mind
Fanning the Flames of Fear | Spirit Lights The Way
Emotional Baggage | Kate Murray
My.Vivid.Visions | Daily Prompt: Fear Factor
Daily Prompt: Fear Factor | Under the Monkey Tree
227. Fear Factor | Barely Right of Center
Arthur Overcomes The Fear Of Books, (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
Daily Prompt: Fear Factor | Insanitree
Fear Factor: A litany of phobias | James Clegg
Courage | Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
Daily Prompt: Fear Factor | Finding Life
I ain’t afraid of no ghosts…or whatever the line is from “Ghostbusters” | thoughtsofrkh
theferkel | My Irrational Fear of Spiders
ermahgerhd | Darkness
Going through Childbirth | A mom’s blog
Daily Prompt: Fear Factor | On My Front Porch

Contemplation …

Daily Prompt: Contemplation

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Contemplation

~*~

An elderly gentleman is lost in thought at the harbour of Port Olimpic in Barcelona.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

More Contemplation

Listening within | Words ‘n Pics
http://hayatalishah.multiply.com
Daily Prompt: To Boldly Go… | My Extraordinary Everyday Life
2014 To-Do List | Not a Punk Rocker
Daily Prompt: To Boldly Go and Take the Stand | Bowl of Rice
14 Random Goals for 2014
And All Old Aquaintance Be Forgot | Catching A Scent of Salt…
Daily Prompt: To Boldly Go… | Under the Monkey Tree
2014, Here I Come! | On Thick Ice – The Spurious Imaginings of Reality
Day by day | Life is great
Daily Prompt: To Boldly Go…. | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
To Help More… | Haiku By Ku
Un-goal My Soul | Momma Roars
A handful of goals for a new year | tornin2’s Blog
A new year, a new perspective | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
Men With Machetes, Bones With Souls, Mountains With Secrets | The Life NomadikThe Life Nomadik
To Boldy Go… | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
Contemplation | Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind
DAILY POST: CONTEMPLATION « MY WALL
Thank you 2013 – Hello 2014 | Everyday Adventures
Daily Prompt: To Boldly Go… | Morrighan’s Muse

It’s a Sign …

~*~

Light Fantastic

~*~

Actually, there are lots of signs that Christmas is on its way …

The days are shorter.

The temperature has dropped.

A skiff of snow has fallen.

Pretty twinkle lights are emerging on yards all over the town.

And … today is Chocolate Day.

An annual gathering ~ three mothers, three daughters, two daughters-in-law, a couple of friends, a husband or two ~ to make chocolates to give away as Christmas gifts.

We start at 9 a.m. and go til we’re done ~ probably around midnight.

Hand-rolled. Hand-dipped. Hand-boxed. Hard work.

Last week we made fondant. 11 flavours. Only the purest ingredients. No preservatives. This is the real mccoy. 😉

I’m getting pretty close to 20 years of  involvement in this tradition. Our fearless leaders have been churning out Christmas chocolate for more than 50 years.

As you might imagine, we work like a well-oiled machine.

And the results?

Delicious!!!!

Today is the official start of the Christmas season for me.

And no, I don’t eat chocolate all day … 😉

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013