flower garden

absorbed in thought; meditative – which is not the same thing as overthinking – or so I think

Random thoughts – random photos

Ever since my old point-and-shoot bit the dust, I’ve missed having a pocket sized camera in my bag – and no, my iPhone doesn’t count. Worried that I didn’t have a camera for our upcoming bike trip, Greg bought me a new one for my birthday 🙂
I’ve been having fun playing with it – pointing, shooting, and not overthinking every shot. While it doesn’t replace my Rebel, it’s a pretty nifty toy.

morning garden

I am learning the value of silence during times of frustration…
There have been lots of those.

I attempted joining an online daily meditation program – attempted, as in I joined, but only lasted about four days. My mind doesn’t quit or quiet, sigh… Someday, I will give it another try; but right now, it just feels like one more thing… So, in an effort to be a little more mindful, each morning I set a “daily intention” for myself – giving my day focus.

Misty mountain morning walks…
If I knew how to capture the feeling of this misty background in a paint color, I would wake to it every morning.
Is it odd that I am so utterly captivated by backlighting?



We’ve been busy working on lots of little home improvement projects – painting, carpeting, cleaning, organizing… In my current minimalist mindset, there has also been a good deal of tossing, donating, gifting… With each wall hanging or knick knack that I remove, I feel a bit lighter. And, I am finding that I enjoy our belongings so much more, with fewer of them. Each one speaks a little clearer, when not surrounded by clutter.


And then, walking back up my driveway after our morning walk, Chessie and I are greeted by this little gnome. He is living my best life – reading among the flowers (unconcerned by all those weeds which are making me a little bit nuts.)

I’ve been reading, also:

Shoot First (Caught Dead in Wyoming #3), Patricia McLinn – What can I say? I like the setting, Wyoming
Still Me: A Novel (Me Before You Trilogy), Jojo Moyes – Fun read, and reminder to trust in yourself; things will work out
Less, Andre Sean Greer – I’m currently reading this one, it’s odd – I’ll let you know how it goes…

Please tell me it isn’t really September, already!

We head to Michigan on Friday for our much anticipated bike tour. I am a little nervous that I am not physically ready, but am looking forward to a week of riding and unplugging. There’s a saying “Train for the ride, or train on the ride” – I guess I know which I will be doing…

Anyway – that’s all for me. I’d love to hear your random (or not so random) thoughts, too!


13 responses to “Musing”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    I hope you have absolutely gorgeous weather while you are here. I have been enjoying your minimalist thoughts so much this year. I seem to get one room almost done and then something distracts me, and I never quite finish. Am hoping to do some deep cleaning/decluttering in September and October, and get back to an art journaling practice I started, that helps focus on what feels right for each room of your house. Someday we have to get together and have a mini-photography trip.

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      mini-photography trip – yes! Let’s plan…

  2. Debbie Avatar

    i clean, organize, declutter during the winter, when it’s cold outside and warm inside. i enjoy doing it more then, i find i am more committed. as for becoming a minimalist…i am not sure i get it, entirely. i would like someone to come into the house and guide me through the process. my home is big, very neat, kinda’ clean – i have plenty of room for all my “special effects”! should i still pair down?? should i get rid of my stuff that has meaning?? it all has meaning…..

    your captures with the new camera are lovely, you have great talent for “creating” pictures. my susans and coneflowers are long gone, they are in fact, pathetic looking. good luck with your adventure, i think you will be fine…training on the ride sounds perfect to me, you don’t want to show off to the boys!!! have fun…and don’t be pulling weeds as you go!!! hehehehe

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      A true minimalist would say you keep your memories and let the “things” go. I’m not a true minimalist and think that if your things bring you joy and you don’t mind caring for them – keep them! 🙂 You have a beautiful home with beautiful collections – somehow it would make me feel sad to think of you letting them go.

  3. Lynne Avatar

    Reading your post, seeing your pictures, photos, new point and shoot snaps . . .
    Felt like meditative . . . I often feel that way when I read you.
    There is something quiet that bubbles up inside me . . . with a Karen visit . . .
    You seem to bring an ease . . . something right, okay . . .
    It takes me back to my working days when I was always scrambling to get something finished, done, out the door on time.
    My saving grace during those days, was to sit in my favorite chair, for “five” and think on one word.
    Never knew what word would emerge, but one always did, and it gave me that moment, energy, to carry on, go forth .
    I am gifting you a One Word day . . .

    Happy Michigan UP bike trip . . .
    I am that person in lower Michigan, waving at you . . .
    And wishing you a great trip!

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      Thank you, Lynne! I truly enjoy our blogging “conversations”. I love your idea about one word. I am going to give it a try and am already curious about the word that will emerge.

  4. Elisabeth Avatar

    Have a great time exploring the Upper Peninsula, especially on a bike. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to explore, and we may make it there next year. I’ve enjoyed reading your minimalist posts; it’s something I’ve been working toward, but this summer I actually purged some books, so there’s hope! I love the black-eyed Susans and Purple Coneflowers together; mine never seem to want to bloom at the same time.

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      Our growing season in Vermont is very short – it seems as though everything blooms together. I definitely don’t follow “minimalist” guidelines when it comes to books – I love having books everywhere. I have so many, though, that I do try to donate my most current ones to my local library fairly regularly.

  5. Carola Avatar

    I love random thoughts and random photos. I used to have a point and shoot as well that I really liked since I didn’t always like to haul along my “big” camera. Now it’s my phone if I don’t have the SLR with me and it’s okay.
    Starting the day with meditation sounds lovely, but I’m like you, I’m too restless and there are too many thoughts that simply don’t stop wandering around my head. I wish though that I could quieten down.
    Enjoy the bike ride – no matter whether you’re ready or not. Take it as it comes and don’t be discouraged please.

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      Very good advise – thanks! The ride is meant to be fun. I’ll take it slow if I need to – more photo stops! 🙂

  6. Jeevan Avatar

    Though I too use iPhone, I always rely on my canon point and shoot for better, detail and focus shots and I can’t go for a trip without my p & s. Your photos are truly inspiring and I love mist and you have it pretty well on background. For me any tour excites me and I would get automatically ready, but being healthy or physically good will only encourages the tour.

  7. Beatrice P. Boyd Avatar

    By the time you are reading this comment, Karen, your Michigan cycling trip may be a memory in the past, but a recent and hopefully very pleasant one. And I will look forward to reading about it and seeing your photos, which are always such a pleasure. Thanks for your comments on posts done during our recent cross-country road trip. It was difficult sometimes to be posting late at night and even in the early morning hours. However, is was fun sharing our adventures and experiences and we truly appreciated the feedback comments. Sorry, but I missed the post about your new camera and am now curious as to the make, model and specifications. I plan to see my two current digital cameras to buy a single new one.

  8. Michelle B Avatar

    Wonderful photographs. I love back lighting also, I especially like it when I catch a sun flare. Home improvement projects seem never ending. We are still working on our master bathroom and little odd things here and there. When my daughter is in school, I wake up early to meditate and also to make sure she gets up in time. I love the quiet, it is a perfect time to meditate. I enjoy it, but…during the summer I didn’t do it. I think only a few people really meditate every single day, at least that is my theory. 🙂 I have been decluttering around my house too, my closet is next. Well…that was random. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your trip to Michigan.

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