outings & adventures, photography, sacred sundays, watercolor

Sacred Sundays, Lupines, and Lobster Coves


Seven months ago I made some lifestyle changes and declared Sundays as sacred. What makes them sacred? I unplug from social media and I don’t do any work; I spend quality time with my husband, savor nature, and create art. The idea is to slow down.

What I’ve discovered is how much I look forward to Sundays. My body, mind, and spirit deeply relaxes and I experience an inner peace and joy. I had no idea how much stress I was carrying until I made time to rest and renew on a regular basis.

Last Sunday, my husband and I ventured over to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.


It’s lupine season here in New England and I was in awe of the reds and dark pinks found at the gardens.


I’ve only seen the blues, light pinks, and white lupines.


Hens and chicks are a favorite of mine from the succulent family.


I snapped these shots to give me ideas for color combinations to use in future mandala projects.


Here we find a little shelter from the hot midday sun where the shadows captivated my attention.

While many flowers were not blooming at this time, I enjoyed how the wind played with the sculptures.


Often when we set out, we have an idea of where we’ll go but we are always open to the unexpected blessings and surprises that show up. Much to our luck we discovered a sweet spot on Lobster Cove for a picnic.


When we arrived late on a Sunday afternoon, we had the place to ourselves. It felt incredibly peaceful. The swing on a beautiful old tree called to me. I couldn’t remember the last time that I sat on a swing. As I kicked my legs out and back, I allowed my mind to relax into the moment. The crispy cool air chilled my face as I watched it gently ripple the water. It was the perfect way to end our day.


Sometimes the weather isn’t conducive for an outing or work demands our attention. Sacred Sundays then become Sacred Mondays or in this case Sacred Thursday. I googled, “breakfast with an ocean view” and found a restaurant called, “The Lobster Cove” in York Beach, Maine.

Our late morning arrival on a weekday meant we had our pick of seats on the deck.

We had ocean views on one side and …


views of this marshy area on the other side.


Looking down, little shadow mandalas dotted the deck.

As I look at the shadow photos in this post, thoughts go to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain who both appeared successful and having so much light to offer the world yet this week both took their own lives. While I don’t know the underlying issues and reasons for their deaths, what I do know is that our culture needs more Sacred Sundays, more unplugging, more time face-to-face hanging out with loved one, more time in nature, and more time getting creative or active.


For today’s Sacred Sunday, I was inspired by the recurring “lobster cove” theme from our recent two outings. I pulled out my Arteza water-based brush pens to create this colorful lobster. There is a spontaneity and unpredictability with watercolors and it’s so much fun to see how the water interacts with the colors. I find myself giddy and playing like a kid.

How about you? Are you always plugged in? Carve out some time this week to pull the plug, find a swing at a nearby park or gather up some art supplies to make something.


outings & adventures, photography

Don’t forget to look up.


Earth Day was on Sunday. My husband and I felt called to one of our favorite places, the ocean, specifically, the Marginal Way that’s located in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, Maine.

The well paved path, just as it’s name suggests, hugs the margins of the ocean.

Here was our first stop shortly after we started our walk. What called me was not the bench so much as the trees.


Maine is known for where the “forest meets the sea.”


It’s remarkable how strong and sturdy these windswept trees are especially when we see…


where they stand. The rugged, rocky coastline steals my heart, every time I visit.

If I were a tree, is this where I’d want to be planted?

True, the views are incredible but is my constitution strong enough to endure the elements? Could I adapt?

Here’s where I get a wee bit philosophical…

I look at these trees and I compare where they stand with where I’m standing in my life. Hmmmmm….I’ve weathered many events in my life and know my share of loss and disappointment. Resilience is one of my strengths of character. Perhaps, I’m more like these trees than I first thought?

As I was juggling my camera with the camera bag to grab a different lens, I tapped the view screen against my tummy which in turn took this photo…


Look at that! This happy accident gave me a completely new and unexpected perspective. There are times when I look up and take photos but on this day, I was looking down and outward.


While the photo isn’t in focus, I love the feeling of it and it’s a great reminder to not forget to look up.

Do you get so focused on the rocky parts of your life that you lose sight of your why?

My busyness has slowed down in the last week. In that doing, doing, doing there is little room for being. There is little room for listening. I’m good at keeping myself busy. My grandmother even gave me that advice. She said, “Don’t be idle. Always keep yourself busy. If you’re idle, you’ll end up feeling sorry for yourself.” It’s advice that I’ve put into practice. I’ve been known to say, “There’s isn’t time for fear. There’s only time for doing.”

Over the years, I’ve also come to know the value of being. My body, mind, and spirit require that I balance “being” with “doing.” Add to that there is no amount of doing that can mature an idea like the quiet of incubation time.

This quiet time, however opens up a space for where those inner critics like to show up.

Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend. She started our conversation, “I’ve been wondering how it’s going for you since you made that big decision to leave the day job. How are you doing?”

I told her how I’ve been so busy that there was little time to panic until this last week. Here’s what I do when fear grips my heart: I allow the tears to surface, I listen to what the inner critics have to say, then I step outside for a quick walk to clear my head. When I come back in, I get back to work. Sometimes I journal it out. Other times, I create a mandala. I can’t let myself get stuck in fear. There is a lot of work to be done to make my business a success. Momentum is key.

When a “should do” becomes a “get to do.”

One of the biggest challenges of an entrepreneur is to keep up with social media. This week, I started a new Facebook page and Instagram accounts for True North Arts. It has been on the “you should do list” and I was dreading the idea of starting these new accounts, building the following, and finding time to post to them. As I sat down to finally do it, I found myself feeling more and more energized with each photo and post. I love my work and it makes my soul jump for joy. I feel lucky to have these sites as they offer another way to share the beauty of my soul work and to connect with kindred spirits. Now that’s cool!

As I bring this blog post to a close, and looking back at the tree photos from Earth Day, my inner critics are quiet. You see, I’m feeling up for the challenge to grow where I’m planted. I’ve shifted my focus from the rocky parts to my “why” which is the work that makes my soul happy.

Three things that make me happy these days…

Oh and one more happy thing…