Friday, April 3, 2020

Positivity, er, Positively

Time for some positivity, er, positively.
I'm positively behind.

This is my third post this week.
Try as I do, I will never match the unstoppable Pat Hatt and his productivity.
Nor his ability to get ahead of the curve.
Lord, he's just published another book!

Let's see if Amazon can get it to me quicker than 
a memory card attachment for my new computer.
I can't wait to see what happens to Sally and Travis in the end!


"The Elusive" by Pat Hatt









So, I'm positively making this post short,
and I'm trying not to let perfect be the enemy of good.

And the positivity?
Every day I wake up like this, and today may actually be the day!!!
Call me a perpetual optimist or call me insane, I don't care.
What matters to me is what I think!


Positivity and Positively




I am positively bummed that I couldn't go to Hawaii,
and now my trip back to Italy is down the toilet.
But when I'm positively behind like today,
I'm going to take a shortcut, post a travel photo I love,
and find positivity in a substitute.



Positivity and Positively




Terry says I should have been born Italian.
He is positively right.


Positivity ~ No "er" About It! 
Padua, Veneto, Italy
September 14, 2018
Photo by Terry Barbour
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




I will return to Italy, my soul country.
Apologies to my Scottish ancestors,
but Scotland is rainy and cold and dour.

Haggis and whisky or Tuscan red and pasta ~
Are you kidding me?

Take care, everyone!
And try your best to keep up your daily rituals.









Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    







Wednesday, April 1, 2020

IWSG: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 ~ Take Care of Your Spaceship






It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex Cavanaugh are Diane BurtonJ.H. Moncrieff,
Anna @ EmaginetteKaren @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard.

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy April, Everyone!
I hope all is well with you.

I live in Aurora, Colorado in the United States.
Our Governor Jared Polis has issued a stay-at-home order through April 11th.
He is considering extending the length of that order.
As of yesterday afternoon Colorado has 2,966 cases of covid-19 and 69 deaths.

Terry and I are doing well.  
We are taking the stay-at-home order seriously,
because we are older and I have asthma.
Life continues normally inside our home,
but when we go out the door everything has changed.
I know the covid-19 pandemic is real, but it still feels unreal to me.

Terry and I are concerned, but we are focusing on
what we can do to keep ourselves healthy and positive.

My sister Barb shared a video which I found calming, reassuring  and inspiring.
In the video Chris Hadfield, a retired Canadian astronaut,
gives people a guide to self-isolation.

This astronaut has lots of experience dealing with isolation under risky conditions.
Chris has flown two Space Shuttle missions
and has served as a commander of the International Space Mission.

His calm, down-to-earth manner and his reassuring, matter-of-fact guide
gave me a sense of purpose and direction for this difficult time.
I now have a plan to take care of my spaceship.

Take 2:05 minutes to view this inspiring video.
It's well worth your time. 


An Astronaut's Guide to Self Isolation
by Chris Hadfield

  
What I have found necessary to my mental and physical health at this time
is to walk outside in the open space near our home.
I meander along my beloved Piney Creek listening to joyful birdsong
and watching the landscape blush and green with rebirth.

I'm taking lots of photos, but I can't share them right now.
I need a memory card attachment for my new computer,
and Amazon can't deliver it until late April.
This is a lesson in patience for impatient me!

I have an iPhone, but it can't match the capabilities of my little Canon.
Nevertheless, my iPhone sometimes captures a photo that lifts my spirits,
like the shot below taken near the spring equinox.


Hawk High Over Piney Creek
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 21, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Today I posted, along with my fellow anthology authors, on the IWSG anthology blog.
We ten authors shared our favorite middle-school-aged books.
It's a great list for antsy kids of all ages.
Perhaps you'll find one you can read aloud with your family.
Check out our post:  Good Reads for Challenging Times.  

Take care of your spaceship!  
Be Safe and healthy!
Happy writing in April!





Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


Waiting for the Ferry to Tiverton
Grand Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada
July, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Friday, March 27, 2020

Coping with Colorado's Stay-at-Home Order


On Wednesday Colorado's Governor Jared Polis issued
a mandatory stay-at-home order for all residents of the state
to take effect Thursday, March 26 at 6 a.m.,
and to last through April 11 unless rescinded or modified.

As seniors Terry and I are taking this very seriously.
We're watching health systems overwhelmed in places like Italy and Spain,
and doctors, nurses, and emergency workers forced to make
decisions about who will live and who will die.
We're watching medical personnel in these countries
collapsing from exhaustion and dying in increasing numbers.
We're likely to see the same situations developing here.

As older people who might not be considered worth saving,
Terry and I are doing the best we can to stay isolated and healthy,
hoping to make it past the hospital crisis that might hit our state.
We both consider our lives worth living, we both want to live,
and we certainly don't want to die for the economy.

The only control we have is to be as responsible as we can for ourselves.
We're going outside only to walk briefly, pick up prescriptions,
and buy necessary groceries and supplies.
We're focusing on being pragmatic.

It's an adjustment for sure.
Sometimes I'm buzzing around inside, busy and productive as a honey bee.
Other times I can't motivate myself, and hours disappear into nothing,
as I ignore things I should be doing.

But that's okay.  I'll find a rhythm and get on top of this new state of being.
Meanwhile I'm FaceTiming with family and doing things to lift my spirits:
like playing with my photos of happier times and listening to favorite music;
and I'm thinking of and praying for all the selfless people
risking their wellbeing, perhaps lives, to help us all.

Here's a photo from a happier time and a favorite song that never fails to cheer me:


Terry and I catch a wave.
Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
March 14 2015
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Somewhere over the Rainbow 
Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole



Wishing all my blogging buddies health, happiness, fulfillment,
and lots of love and support from your families and friends.

Take care, everyone!




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


















Friday, March 20, 2020

A Surreal Time


Surreal.  
I keep searching for another word to capture how I'm feeling,
but I can't get past surreal

Inside our home everything feels normal.
I'm sitting at the kitchen counter typing, snuggled in a warm robe.
Terry is slouching on the couch texting with a friend.
Bright flames are dancing in the fireplace,
blown about by wind in the chimney escaping the snow swirling outside.

But beyond the familiar comforts of a winter evening
is a world I don't recognize.

Two weeks ago I was packing for Hawaii.
One week ago Terry insisted I had to stay strictly at home.
Tonight, after a week of stunning events, I'm wondering
What will happen next?

I've stayed inside, except for one brief hour.
I've never known Terry to literally bar the door,
but he did when I tried to head for the grocery store.
"I'll do it.  Not you!" he exclaimed.

He's freaked out worried over me and all the scarwhat ifs.
He's made brief forays outside,
one day scoring eggs, another milk, a third bread.

He also found yellow tulips, raspberry chocolate ice cream,
and two slices of plain cheesecake, items not on most stock up lists.

But then, Wednesday was a landmark birthday for me,
and Terry wanted to surprise me with something.
Our plans of lingering over mai tais and pink haupia cake at the Royal Hawaiian
while listening to waves washing on the shore had blown up.  
I never anticipated spending this birthday, any birthday, isolated by a pandemic.

That one brief hour?
As a birthday treat, we walked in the open space along my beloved Piney Creek.
The red-winged blackbirds filled the air with whistles, trills, and chucks.
Spring is coming.  One of the best gifts ever.


Heading into the Open Space
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Middle Pond
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Nests Waiting for Occupancy
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Winter-Weathered Rabbitbrush
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Open Space Along Piney Creek
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Pair of Mallard Ducks
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Cottonwood Stand
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Jetliner Out of Denver International Airport
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Cottonwood Limb
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Upper Pond
Aurora, Colorado, USA
March 18, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






I can't imagine what the next week will bring,
but I'm optimistic we'll get through this surreal time.
I'll ease Terry's worries by staying inside, 
and he'll ease mine by walking with me along Piney Creek.

Take care, everyone!




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    








Friday, March 13, 2020

No Tropical Waters for My Tippy Toes


No tropical waters for my tippy toes,
no delicious mai tais to sip in the tropical breezes.


Mai Tai
Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




This past week has been chaotic in the Barbour household.
We went from preparing and packing for three weeks in Hawaii and one in Vegas,
to canceling our trip and trying to recoup some of our money,
to unpacking and restocking the supplies in our house.
And that was for starters!

Last Thursday I hit my all-time-since-retirement record
of 35,312 steps on my Fitbit, and I never left the house.


Hibiscus
Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




I'm the reason for all this chaos.
As a senior with asthma who is susceptible to bronchitis and pneumonia
and who is allergic to almost all antibiotics,
I reluctantly conceded that perhaps this wasn't the best time to be away from home.

Likely we would have been just fine on our trip,
but the downside medically and financially was definitely risky 
if we ran afoul of the coronavirus.
My husband Terry was concerned about me, and my brother was FaceTiming me daily.
Better safe than sorry was their relentless message. 


The View from the Top of Diamond Head
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




It was a huge letdown because we were looking forward
to seeing our friends and doing all the fun things we love.

We're not hunkered down and afraid.  We're not hoarding toilet paper and tuna.
We're just trying to be prudent until the coronavirus situation becomes clearer.


The Toilet Paper Shelves at our Grocery Store
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




I'll be around to catch up with all my blogging buddies,
and I'll get back on track with posting next week.

The upside to all of this is that I might finally catch my tail!


Sunset
Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Wishing you each peace and health during this crazy time.
This too will pass!
Meanwhile, my tippy toes remain ready to go.





Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

Tippy Toes Ready to Go!
Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved










Wednesday, March 4, 2020

IWSG: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 ~ Opting Out






It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex Cavanaugh are Jacqui MurrayLisa Buie-Collard,
Sarah FosterNatalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence.

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy March, Everyone!
I hope all is well with you.

I'm opting not to answer this month's question.
February has been nuts, and I'm giving myself a pass.

Sunshine, warmth, and tropical breezes are beckoning.
I'm so ready to slow down and relax for a bit.

There is a Hawaiian tradition that I followed when I left two years ago.
I'm not sure it's a real tradition.  It might have been a Hollywood invention.

Regardless, it is said that if you toss a lei into the water near Diamond Head
when you're leaving, you'll return to the Islands one day.


Pulling Me Back
Near Diamond Head, Hawaii, USA
2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




I tossed mine, and it's looking like that lei worked!
I plan to be dipping my tippy-toes in that tropical water very soon!

If you have a chance stop by today's IWSG Anthology post
featuring Bish Denham and her short story "The Blind Ship."
Link







Happy writing in March!




Friday, February 28, 2020

The Hallgrímskirkja


Last Friday I shared photos of the starkly beautiful and dangerous
Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland, a country I love and long to return to.

Today I am sharing photos of one of the most striking buildings I have seen.
It's architecture is said to have been inspired by Iceland's geology,
including the columnar basalt outcrops at Reynisfjara Beach:
Hallgrímskirkja, in Iceland's capital Reykjavík.


Hallgrímskirkja
Reykjavík, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




This dramatic building, visible throughout Reykjavík,
is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church.
It is the largest church in Iceland and one of the tallest buildings in the country.
It's soaring main tower reaches a height of 244 feet (74.5 meters)
and pulls your eyes straight up into the vault of heaven.


The Main Tower
Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Hallgrímskirkja
As Viewed from the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




The church was named after Hallgrímur Pétursson,
an Icelandic minister and poet, renowned for his Passion Hymns, 
a collection of 50 poems that describe Christ's Passion from the time
He enters the Garden of Gethsemane to His execution and burial.

Hallgrímur Pétursson
1614-1674
Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Iceland's parliament, the Althing, adopted Christianity
as Iceland's predominant religion in 999/1000 CE,
replacing the pagan old Norse religion.
In the 1530s, following the Icelandic Reformation, 
Iceland turned from Catholicism to Lutheranism.
The Lutheran Church of Iceland has remained the state church ever since.
Icelanders were granted religious freedom in 1874. Wikipedia


Skálholt 1550:  Last Roman Catholic Bishop in Iceland,
beheaded with his two sons in 1550
by Friðrik Bridde
Oil 150 X 200 cm
On exhibit in Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
Reykjavik, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





 Wikipedia








Guðjón Samúelsson designed
the Hallgrímskirkja church,
his final and best known work.

He was the first Icelander
educated in architecture
and went on to become a State Architect
and one of the most influential
architects in Iceland.

Construction of the Hallgrímskirkja began in 1945 and ended forty-one years later in 1986.
The crypt was completed in in 1948, the steeple and wings in 1974, and the nave in 1986.

Initially designed to be shorter, the height of the Hallgrímskirkja was increased
to make it taller than the Landakotskirkja, the cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland. 


A Portion of One of the Wings
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







The Roofs of the Nave and the Sanctuary
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Crow Rests in the Sunshine
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Overlooking the Roof of the Sanctuary
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The Black Roof of the Nave
contrasts sharply with the rest of the church.
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The church's tower contains an open-air observation deck
from which you can see sweeping views of Reykjavík
and the surrounding mountains, harbor, and ocean.


The Open-Air Observation Deck
at the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The Open-Air Observation Deck
at the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Reykjavík
from the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Nearby Mountains
from the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Reykjavík
from the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Standing in front of the Hallgrímskirkja is a commanding statue
of Leif Erikson that predates the construction of the church.
The Icelandic explorer was the first European known to reach North America.
The United States gave the statue to Iceland in 1930 to commemorate
the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD.



Leif Erikson
in front of the Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Leif Erikson
in front of the Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Leif Erikson
in front of the Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




If ever you make it to fabulous Reykjavík, 
the Hallgrímskirkja is one landmark you can't miss! 








Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



The Sun Voyager, a sculpture 
by Jón Gunnar Árnason
Reykjavík, Iceland, June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    



Source:  Wikipedia

Note:  Iceland turned from Catholicism to Lutheranism when Christian III of Denmark imposed it
           on all his subjects, including those in Iceland.  Jón Arason, the last Bishop of Iceland,
           resisted, even after the other bishop, Ögmundr Pálsson was deported.  In the religious strife
           that followed, Jón Arason and his two sons were seized and beheaded in 1550.
           Today he is remembered as a national and religious hero.
           Sources:  Britannica and Encyclopedia of Protestantism



For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Iceland
Map Data Google, INEGI, 2020






Location of Reykjavík, Iceland
Map Data Google, 2020






Location of the Hallgrímskirkja
Map Data Google, 2020