Hootie Hoot or May the Swamp Be With You

I grew up on a Swamp...

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Well not really, but I went there a lot growing up.

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It has springs and snakes and alligators.  It has boats and birds and Swamp people.

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This is the foot of the bed I slept in most recently on the front porch.

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There are birds to watch.

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Adventures to be had!

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...even if you're a little scared.

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We have friendly neighbors.

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With high couture design aesthetics. 

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And at the end of the day, you get the most spectacular show ever!

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We even recycle!

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There are scary, monster-like bugs!  Can you see it?

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Scars & Angels

Scars are tough and messy;

They follow you around;

Their marks can be quite pesty;

Depending on their sound.

Scars can feel sick and painful;

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Sad and restless, too;

Imperfect and quite hurtful;

But it's really up to you.

Tell a scar you love it;

A true brave, wonder, work of art;

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And see what blooms from it;

It might be something from the heart!

Thank you Emily for turning my scar into an angel!  Please check out Emily's photography at www.emilyrailsback.com.

Step by Step, Day by Day

Step by step 
Day by day 
{Day by day} 
A fresh start over 
A different hand to play 
Only time will tell 
But you know what they say 
We'll make it better 
The second time around

(Roller coaster dip and screams!)

Who knows this theme song?  Step By Step anyone?  Where are my 90's friends?

This song was in my head today as I was reminding myself to take it "one day at a time".  I was recently laid off my full time job and going through a transition.  The company is closing down.  I'm looking at it as a much needed time for change.  A little push!  People have suggested a multitude of books, advice and words of comfort.  The words that have stayed with me the most are from my Great Aunt Lucille in Los Angeles.  "Have faith and take life one day at a time."  It's been repeated to me in various ways that I love.  "What is one thing that you can do today that can change your future or get you closer to your goals?"  "Be present"  "The sun will come out tomorrow."  And of course, "Step By Step, Day By Day."  

Time goes by SO fast.  Life is gone in a blink of an eye.  When I slow down and breath in each moment and have faith that what I'm doing today is what is best for my tomorrow, I feel calm, connected and truly alive.  I feel optimistic about the future!  And positive.  

How do you stay present, calm and optimistic?  What advice has someone given you that you think about almost daily?  I'd love to hear, so share the wealth!  

Love and peace (and today, the beach), Casey  

 

 

Earth Day, Gray Day

Marcos Mancha - Photographer Extraordinaire

Marcos Mancha - Photographer Extraordinaire

Sneaking a look at the Fern House, which opens today.

Sneaking a look at the Fern House, which opens today.

The Conservatory even has a slide.

The Conservatory even has a slide.

So in case you hadn't heard, it's still cold here in Chicago.  Grrr.  Chicago Spring likes to play games, and I'm about to give up on him.  Like the Katy Perry song...you're hot then you're cold; you're yes then you're no; you're in then you're out; you're up then you're down; you're wrong when it's right.  It's black and it's white; we fight, we break up; we kiss, we make up.  I don't really wanna stay, no.  But I don't really wanna go - o!  

Thank goodness for this city's bright culture and the fantastic people.  It also has good winter escapes like the Garfield Park Conservatory.  In honor of Earth Day, my friend Marcos and I took a field trip there last week and found a perfect escape.  There is also the Lincoln Park Conservatory which is closer to my house.  I love going there in the winter to take in some nature and warmth when it is freezing and gray/white out.  Inside, it is most definitely spring time in Chicago.

I don't see myself as a fashion blogger, but it's fun to play dress-up and take pictures like I did when I was a child.  Sadly but humorously, I was locked out of my apartment this day, which is very typically of me.   I had these gorgeous dresses to wear locked just on the other side of my door.  Instead, I owned my favorite gray Gap dress and resembled what Chicago looks like outside these days...gray but still vibrant!  Marcos made up for it in the fashion department ;)

Today, for Earth Day, The Garfield Park Conservatory is opening the Fern Room and Desert House for the first time since their closings for extensive repairs.  Their Grand Re-Opening Family Day Celebration is this coming Sunday, April 26th.  It's a relaxing and beautiful activity for the entire family.  Find out more information at www.garfield-conservatory.org

What are you doing today to honor Earth Day?  I'm taking my recycling out instead of being lazy and putting it down the trash chute.  I'm terrible!  I admit it!  And I'm making a commitment to you and myself to never do this again.

I'm also donating to The Florida Wildlife Corridor.  It's a vision to connect, protect and restore natural lands and waters from the Everglades to Georgia and Alabama.  Every penny helps.  If you didn't think about doing something this Earth Day or don't know how to help, please go to their website here and donate, as well.

If you have any other suggestions or causes you support, please leave them in the comments.