Pink is not just a color. It’s an attitude.
Here we are at the end of October and I haven’t even checked off half the blog posts I’d plan to write this month.
But I cannot let the month end without acknowledging Breast Cancer Awareness Month and reminding readers to mind their breast health. Though my sisters, Karlette and Lori, eventually succumbed to breast cancer, they first detected the disease via self-examination. If you’re not in the habit of performing a monthly examination of your breast, begin today. Be sure to examine yourself monthly and schedule mammograms regularly; your doctor will help you determine what regularly means for you based on age, health, and medical history.
If you’re unsure of how to do a self examination, there are a number of resources available online. Some are simple and straightforward and some provide a bit more detail.
- Breast Self-Exam Chart
- Show Me Healthy Women | Missouri Department of Health Services
- Breast Cancer.Org Breast Self-Exam
There are also many organizations that provide free or reduced cost mammograms for those who do not have health insurance or cannot afford the cost of mammograms.
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Mammography Program
- American Breast Cancer Foundation Breast Cancer Assistance Program
- Centers of Disease Control’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
Finally, if you or someone you know is coping with a breast cancer diagnosis, allow me the pleasure of sending a bit of cheer and light. Simply, click the Karle’s Wings link above and fill out the contact form near the bottom. I’ll be sure to send heart mail soon.
About the image: The image above features Ellie’s Belles, a gift from my dear friend Lauralee (LL). LL, who works with organ and tissue donation, hosted a BRA Day event earlier this month in which the dolls were featured. She gave them to me when I visited DC earlier this month and spent a few hours with the family. The elegant dolls were created by artist Loren Martz. You can find these and many other dolls in her Etsy shop. [Thank you, LL for the special gifts, and thank you, Browns, for making time for me. ❤ y’all!]
About the title: The title of today’s post was inspired by one of the art journal pages my photographer friend, Diane W., posted on Instagram earlier this week. “Pink is not just a color. It’s an attitude.” It’s an attitude that I hope is sparked whenever we see the color pink, an uncompromising attitude that we will do what we can to manage our breast health and well-being and do all we can to support our sisters [and brothers] who have to deal with breast cancer.
Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. –Oscar Wilde
The Southern magnolias are blooming and spring is breathing her last. Last week when we visited my cousin and her family, her daughter who is four, noticed me photographing the magnolias and the tiny purple flowers near the front door and made it her job to find all the remnants of color and flowers left in the garden.
So while the guys looked over a “fixer-upper” vintage Corvette, we searched for all the bits of color still hanging on in the garden. [Click images for a closer look].
We found pink in “once roses.”
Purple, always camera-ready.
Almost-missed yellow hiding out in all the green.
White hydrangeas hiding in the shade of trees in the front garden. And my favorite “unloved” flower, dandelions, in the back.
Green, of course–new holly berries and lettuce, one of the many leafy greens growing in their back garden.
Purplish/blue hydrangeas hiding against the back fence. [They look purplish here, but they really were more bluish “in real life.”]
And more purple from the lamb’s ears plant that I’m sure was some small animal’s feast.
We found a tiny green heart-shaped leaf.
And lots of colorful flowers on the little explorer’s skirt.
These photos aren’t so great. In our search for color, I simply followed directives. The tiny one was a taskmaster, so there was little time for composition and focus.
Just as we had exhausted color in the front yard, their neighbor’s dogs came charging at us full speed and barking ferociously. That was my favorite part of our adventure. Not! I stood shock-still in terror while the tiny one stood chatting away, oblivious to the danger the dogs posed.
It’s amazing how quickly things change. Just weeks ago their gardens–front and back–were exploding with color. I missed the hydrangeas and roses in full bloom, but I managed to capture the Japanese magnolias and apple blossoms. I have yet to post the apple blossoms on the blog, but if you missed their gorgeous magnolia, click the link and take a look. They’re certainly a treat for the eyes and soul.
Wishing you a weekend full of color and light…
the water bowl balancing
on my thighs.
i soak the flowers.
they become words.
then i write.
nayirrah waheed, salt
I’ve had far too many words tangled inside my head and heart this year. The month-long meditation on flowers gave me permission to leave the [hard] words “unexpressed” and allow them to unravel and stretch naturally.
I have a summer of writing ahead of me, and having “soaked” for some time, the words are ready to flow.
Thanks to my friend Meli for allowing me a moment to “breathe” today and photograph the beautiful vase of flowers sitting on her desk. Hugs…
Spring is definitely here in Northern Alabama! I’ve been enjoying the buds and blossoms and looking forward to those that are on the way. I was on spring break when the Japanese magnolia on campus blossomed, so I completely missed opportunities to photograph the tree. However, when my cousins [who live nearby] posted a photo of a newly farmed patch of land on their property, I spied in the background the pink blossoms of the tree!
The magnolia was in no way the focus of the photograph, but those blossoms commanded my attention.
A few days earlier–while photographing the purple tulips–I remarked to a friend that I missed the magnolias this year. I can’t remember what prevented my pausing for a few shots [after dropping my son off at school]. Was it rainy weather or a desire [read: need] to spend all free time during the break sleeping?
The tree offered forgiveness for my neglect of its earlier splendid display, and I thanked it for a second chance to accept its beautiful gift.
This particular magnolia usually blooms in late winter–a much needed burst of color after the long, gray winter.
The tree is known by many names–Japanese Magnolia, Saucer Magnolia, Tulip Trees (which is what I first called them).
After I posted a photo on Instagram, a friend told me she had never seen the Japanese magnolia before, so I’m sharing a couple of links with a bit more information about the tree.
Spring’s explosion is short-lived, so be sure to take some time to notice the flowering trees. I’ll be back with more tree blossoms for our next #ThursdayTreeLove–if I can wait that long. 😉
I am joining Parul Thakur for #ThursdayTreeLove every second and fourth Thursday of the month. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link it back to her latest #treelove post.
My Love Notes friend Andrea F stitched this pretty in pink pocket card in honor of my sister, Lori, but I received it in honor of both my sisters–Karlette and Lori–whom we lost to breast cancer. When I opened the envelope I thought of them immediately: Karlette’s love for pink and their mutual love for Christmas and pretty things.
If you’re used to seeing Christmas in only traditional ways, you might think the gently falling snowflakes that dominate the card are simply asterisks on a pink background. It is not until you open the card that you see…
…Christmas joy, a home overflowing with warmth and love, and a golden star-topped tree.
Add a bit of pink to your Christmas joy!
My penfriend Christine sent me the postcard above a couple of months ago. The photo of Bob Carey, “the burly, hairy-chested man in the pink tutu,” made me smile. I have been consumed with thoughts of cancer and how much I absolutely hate the disease. It is a heavy, heavy thing to deal with for the patients and those who know and love them. I needed to remember my smile, so I picked up the postcard again late last night when the house was quiet.
I love what “the man in the pink tutu” is doing to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer patients. I love how he manages to help us laugh in the midst of some of the hardest moments. He reminds us that there is still so much more to life, so much more to celebrate, so many reasons to dance.
Cancer has taught us that life is good. Dealing with it can be hard, and sometimes the very best thing—no, the only thing—we can do to face another day is to laugh at ourselves, and share a laugh with others. –Bob Carey
I’m going to dance in a pink tutu. Do you care to join me?