Gratitude – Thorns and Roses

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“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” ― Alphonse Karr

On Gratitude

We all have thorns in our lives.  Be it circumstances, or people, some days it just feels like the world is out to get us (I can hear George Constanza yelling: “Probably because this whole UNIVERSE is against me!!”).

We obviously can’t ignore the thorns, and sometimes no matter what we do, or don’t do, they will still cut us open!  So we take care, bandage the wound, and eventually proceed with our lives – the scars a reminder of where we have been, and how far we have journeyed.  Without the thorns, perhaps the roses wouldn’t be as beautiful, or smell as sweet.

On those days when I’m feeling like Constanza, I find it so helpful to have a gratitude journal.  Just a simple app on my Tab that I can put a few words in each night.  The app even reminds me (just in case I forget) to write something.  It may be as simple as “so glad to have heat in my house” or “running water” (have been without both from time to time living in the boonies!).  If it’s been a really ugly day, I will also take a few minutes to review previous entries.  It serves as a reminder that really, even in the midst of chaos and a bad day, month, or maybe a terribly thorny year, I have many roses.

Some of my roses include my wonderful hubby (although he may not necessarily SMELL like a rose all the time, hehe!), great family & friends, and of course all my kitties, both indoor and out!  Those are all obvious (come on.. who wouldn’t love a kitty mash-up in your lap, unless you’re allergic ;) )- but the little things (a warm shower, a good book, the smell of fresh baked cookies [ok so that doesn't happen very often, but still... :D ]) can also add up in a big hurry if you really stop and think about them.

I am immensely thankful for all the gorgeous roses in my life – what about you?  Who/what gets you through your thorny days?





Long Winter!

Longer Winter by PicturedRox
Longer Winter, a photo by PicturedRox on Flickr.

Oh beautiful for snowy skies
For getting stuck in the driveway,
For purple toes from digging out,
And jeans soaked for the whole day!

Oh Michigan, Yes Michigan!
I need a bigger broom,
To clean the car and find a bar
As I don’t need this gloom!

(oh the irony, as I was writing this the sun peaked through the clouds just for a minute :) )

How are you coping with the (seemingly) never-ending snow?


Surprise! by PicturedRox
Surprise!, a photo by PicturedRox on Flickr.

Hi all – and welcome to my blog.  YAY!  My first real post.  And it has little to do with photography.  Don’t worry, all the posts will not be this long!  This photo is of our newest house buddy, Chips.  He is such a fun, sweet, and super silly meow.  Chips was an outdoor kitty, who started coming around this summer with his brother, Queso.  Our first encounter was at the big summer barbecue we throw (almost) every year.  He had no fear, loved everybody, and frankly just wanted someone to give him a hot dog.. and then some potato salad.. and then… you get the idea!

Needless to say he kept coming back – and I started putting out food morning and night.  Sometimes Queso would tag along, sometimes not (he was more skittish at the time) but I could count on seeing Chips every night when I came home from work.  Fast forward to Thanksgiving – it was our turn to host the family at night.  Chips was in the garage with the smokers, having a simply grand time getting all the attention he could handle.

That was the last I saw of him until Saturday afternoon (by which point I knew something was very wrong, really if you saw the way he ate – he would not miss that many meals!!)  Queso had come over and was clearly upset, and wouldn’t come when we called to him.  So, my husband went out to see why and there was Chips, lying next to the house in the mulch (under the eave thankfully since there was snow on the ground already!).  Hubby brought him into the garage and put him on his favorite bed and he collapsed under his own weight.  So, five minutes later I’m on the way to the vet, who thank goodness is open until 4pm on Saturdays!  I was so scared, wondering what on earth was happening to my (now extremely) good buddy.

As it turns out he had two broken back legs.  The prognosis wasn’t great, the vet was very cautious in explaining that even if we tried to fix him up, it was going to be a really tough surgery due to the nature of the break on one of the legs (now has permanent pins).  In the previous months, this kitty had really earned a spot in our hearts, so we just had to give him a shot.  Even if it meant a lot of time (wow a lot!!), money, and yes ultimately a fourth kitty in our house!

We went ahead with the surgery, and he came home the following Monday night.  It was rough at first, he could barely move, didn’t have much of an appetite, and was rather doped out on painkillers.  Within four or five days, though – our Chips started making a come back.. in a major way!  When we went back to the vet for stitch removal ten days later, he was walking really well, and vet was so happy.  And then 5 weeks later for pin removal – he was absolutely thrilled (of course by this point I knew Chips had been running around with the other boys having a blast being the indoor kitty he always wanted to be, haha)!  The vet even said Chips wonderful results inspired him to take a chance on another kitties surgery that he maybe would not have done before as it was even more complicated – that was so wonderful to hear (and that kitty is also doing well so far!).

Chips still has to stay in a separate bedroom for another week or so when we are not around to supervise, just to allow the now un-pinned leg to get a little stronger.  I think this photo conveys his personality even better than the long story above, he is all about “Surprise”!  Chips is a silly, playful, adorable, tough little buddy that is going to live his remaining 8 lives to the fullest.  We can all learn from that – am I right?  Stuff happens (oh, does it ever), and though it may be a long, hard struggle, we do our best to fight through it and keep living life to the absolute fullest!!

“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.”
― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

I hope you enjoyed the “Chips saga’.  :)  If you have any feedback (seriously, anything at all, was this way to long-winded, is there a problem with the site, that I suck as a writer and shouldn’t bother doing another written post!) please feel free to comment or contact me!



Hello everyone, and welcome to the PicturedRox Photography blog!  This is very much a work in progress.  As I started working on this, I realized that you don’t know what you don’t know, until you know.. just the design is taking forever, let alone actually writing some decent content!  So – if you have somehow stumbled upon this site, bear with me, it will be up and running (hopefully) shortly – if nothing else with some neat pics :)