Posted in child death, Colombia, Colombian life, Order, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, photo challenge, Spiritual Presence, storms, Uncategorized, Waiting

The Layers of Life

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/layered/

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The sun upon the mountains in Colombia

When I hear the word layered I think of my life. If I go back through time I can actually envision in my mind peeling the layers away as it unfolded. When I look at this photo of the mountains I think of each layer as representing portions of my life. The green foliage in the front portion is me starting to grow and move in different directions, as do the lines of the trees. Which way will shape my future, which path did I choose? The sun hitting the front row of trees points directly to a path of beauty and more sunshine. You can follow that path all around the picture and see the sun illuminates it. The right side shows the trees ending in a shadow, cut short from completion. The left side is cut off and we the observer’s are left without knowledge of where the trees end up.

When I think of all I have lived through, the good and the bad, one of the hardest parts of life is deciding to walk away or try harder. As we get older memories encompass us, thus making us question our choices and decisions in life. Normal thoughts because our younger selves think we will be young forever.

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A  small rainstorm in the Valle del Cauca
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Storm clouds completely cover the landscape of the Colombian mountains

So which path is my life story ending? Am I going to walk the straight path that follows the mountain around bathing in the sunshine? Am I going to go to the left which leads me to an unknown future waiting to be discovered? Am I going to turn to the right that is in the shade and then just stop and stay forever in obscurity, questioning all the memories that find me, thinking about what could have been?

Maybe I will be the second photo where small storms enter but exit quickly. Sunshine appears again and I am happy for a while and then another downpour erupts which I deal with; then the sun comes out again. This scenario makes the most sense and is what most people encounter as we live our lives.

Hopefully, I won’t peel my layers back on life and find the last photo. Dark, disturbing clouds full and ready to burst with a torrential downpour.  Because I am tired of the copious rain in my life. I  have had these layers in my life before, when my daughter was murdered, when her murderer was let to go free. I have more resilience in all aspects of my life because of her death, I am wise like I never was before, I am forgiving and thoughtful about many things that happen to me.

Since I have moved to Colombia I have had these dark clouds appear and deluge me with situations that seem impossible, but I have been able to get my life back to the second photo that is just a quick storm passing through. In reality the first photo where the trees go off to the left and we don’t know where they will end up is probably my route. Preemptively the direction most of us take. Because as much as we want the passage through the mountains with all of the sunshine and the happiness this is not reality. It is the movie you watch that has the perfect ending.

So I will continue to peel those layers that are actually years in my life and let each day help me discover a new beginning. One that is the mountain path of sunshine, but I will accept those storms that trail me sometimes and I will conquer them.

 

 

 

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Posted in chaos, Colombia, Colombian life, expat life, friendship, Grief, Hurricane, mother nature, photo challenge, photo challenge, Signs of the Universe, Uncategorized, Waiting

The World Waits with you Florida!

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This photo is so cool because you can see people waiting outside the windows

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/waiting-2017/

I awoke this morning early to the sound of rain. I love to hear the soothing sound of the raindrops as I lay in bed. Then I remembered that my home state of Florida is being hit by monster storm Irma. So I am waiting along with the rest of the world for the aftermath. The storm has downgraded to a Cat 3, but you have that storm surge and the possibility of regaining strength as it heads back over the ocean to the Keys. Please get to a shelter and be safe!  I am watching from Colombia in my Bed and Breakfast hotel Villa Migelita. I am here for anyone who is without a home after the storm. All you need is a passport, no Visa needed for up to 3 months. I am offering my place for just my costs to anyone who needs a place to stay while repairs to your home occur, or until the electric comes back on. We have temperatures in the 50’s at night and  up to the high 70’s Fahrenheit at my Villa. We do not use air conditioning at Villa Migelita. No need. If you don’t want to live in that heat of Florida without power, you can get a flight to Cali, Colombia and stay here. I remember very well the after effects of hurricanes as a native Floridian. It is hell. Literally. Also I will give food and shelter at such a reasonable cost, home cooked meals, maid service, laundry and free wi-fi. Remember I am a direct flight to Miami from Cali. I am here, I am ready and I am waiting to help. Villa Migelita has the American flag flying and the Colombian flag beause we all support the USA in this terrible time of super storms hitting without normalcy

 

 

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Both flags fly at Villa Migelita 

You can have a wonderful experience in a perfect climate without stress, and I will be here to support and help in any way I can. Michele

 

Posted in camping, Colombian life, expat life, Order, photo challenge, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Order in Colombia

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/order/

Camping photos
Such perfect order of my animals looking at the camera

Like always, I am going to share some favorite photos I have taken in Colombia, my new home and country. As an ex-patriot, I enjoy my life in this country that is so full of color and beauty. With that I say: ENJOY. PS: We now offer camping at Villa Migelita.

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Order in the barrios of Medellin and a little chaos too
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My housekeepers twin girls, I bought the headbands to tell them apart. 

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Perfect order of flowers growing on a roof in a Colombian park

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Silvia, Cauca, Colombia
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Order in Nature
Posted in Colombian life, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Edges of Life

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/edge/

Edges are found everywhere in my nature photos. I  focus on nature and animals. I have a Villa that frames my photos with edges in all my pictures. The cover photo is an example of Colombian life.The line of the walls, the roof, the beam and the walls frame the backdrop of the mountains and banana trees. Even the line of the coat rack that holds the hats exemplify life in Colombia

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My ducks Poco and Corazon when just babies with my goats

The edge in the photo above is the bamboo fence which is part of Colombian life. We use a lot of bamboo…you also can see the piece of metal with a frayed edge. We had a hole and we fixed it temporarily with a piece of sheet metal.

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The edges of a painting, a doorway and the flowers with a stem used as decor in an arrangement

 

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The stairway to the upper floors of Villa Migelita

I love the photo above because it shows so many edges, again the fence is in the background, along with my stairs that go to my upper floors. the backdrop of nature shows what I see every single day when the sun rises. A perfect life.

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My Collie Colleen a few months before she passed

The line of the swing in this photo of my old dog Colleen adds a bit of sweetness to a sad photo of my dog who had not long to live. This photo captures all that is good about her and her life with me. She could not walk well by this time, the angle of her front legs show this. Her eyes show all the kindness of her soul.

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The edges of the tile with the tiny bit of a chair showing in this picture of two wonderful friends

This photo encompasses a lifetime friendship of two animals that grew up together. They are both deceased now. I brought them with me to Colombia. They enjoyed their last years in Paradise.

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The bumpy edge of the mountains of Cali with clouds

A view from my Villa in the morning with cloud formations.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Colombian life, hummingbirds, nature, Nature, photo challenge

Rarity in Nature

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I am surrounded by nature. I never know what is going to show up around me. It is a delightful way to live. I come from South Florida. I remember growing up in a middle class neighborhood with a lot of empty lots that all of us neighborhood kids would explore. Many a time we would come home with scrapes, bites or bloody knees. I love to reminisce about my times in the Smoky Mountains with my children every summer. I am a nature gal. I started young and I have never lost the wonder I feel when I see some new insect, bird, flower, views of the mountains, anything related to nature.

There is so much to be seen when you are looking for good photos. I am no longer the person who finds spiders creepy, bees scary, and insects gross. I find them all to be a much-needed part of our ecosystem. I respect all life. I wrote about my new rescue here at Villa Migelita in my last blog; a hummingbird who has a hurt wing. He is still with me after three weeks and that in of itself is rare. Hummingbirds need protein, which I hopefully am supplying by crushing insects into his sugar-water. It must be working because he is still alive. His wing is still unhealthy as you can see. But he is a fighter.

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Grigio on a rare Jade Orchid

This spider is a common Cross Garden species..but I love this photo. He looks so intimidating.

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Normal Garden Spider

What about the birds I see daily? Sometimes I am lucky enough to get a good shot. The wonder I feel when I see a rare Toucan still keeps me captivated. I never have my camera when I need it, but I get to enjoy rare sightings of many birds every single day.

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Vermilion Fly Catcher

Colombia has the most species of birds in the world and is the second most bio-diverse country in the world. I have settled in the perfect place to satisfy my nature needs.

Rare in nature can be completely defined by this one butterfly:  Diaethria neglecta, a very rare phenomenon of nature.

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The #89 butterfly on my screen

When you visit Colombia, you never know what will show up. A Preying Mantis, an insect I have no idea what the name is but it is a flying leaf!

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A leaf insect

I no longer am afraid, I just wish I knew what they all did to help our planet. Because they are all part of a very intricate ecosystem called our world. We need to protect and defend each one in any way that we can.

 

 

 

Posted in photo challenge

Details in Life

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One of the most amazing natural details I have ever seen is this leaf. It is called Christ’s Tears or Las lágrimas de Cristo in Spanish.

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This leaf is a plant called Christ’s Tears

A phenomenon of natural beauty and elegance that surprises with the intricate detail that is on the leaf.

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One tiny duck one gentle dog
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Peaking over a bucket

Animals can show us so much  detail with their simplicity and kindness. The eyes have it all.

Raindrops on a rose. Detail that is lovely and calming at the same time.

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One rose

With all that happens in our lives, we need to take a moment to look at the essence of the familiar that surrounds us. We need to embrace the beauty of normalcy. We need to let ourselves find joy wherever we can.

When I hike I see so much I can never capture in a photograph. I try. But the reality is you need to get outside and just look around. Let the moment you see something incredible stop you in your tracks. Take that moment and live it. Stamp it in your memory. Then you will understand the details of life.

 

 

Posted in Colombian life, photo challenge

Grazing

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http://wp.me/p23sd-11N7https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/dinnertime/

Here in Colombia we have dinnertime at 1 pm. We have a light meal in the evening, and all of nature is continuously grazing. So why not us humans? I am a grazer, I admit that. I have never been one to sit down and eat all that is on my plate. So I relate to the cattle or horses I see wandering the roads here in the mountains of Colombia. I never finish a meal, never … something is always left on my plate! So I relate to grazing animals, and wish I could graze forever. Thank goodness I have someone who finishes my meals for me. LOL! I leave whatever I don’t want to eat, always. I am not a person to say ‘finish your meal’ never ever! Grazing is my dinnertime. xploring 060