Autumn Inspiration

As a welcome gift to new readers, and because it is part of my evolution to brush up on my graphic design and keep inspired, I am sharing a new, free autumn graphic. This is one of my top five favorite sayings, it’s by Harrier Beecher Stowe, and when things get really hard, keeps me going. I have put it on a fall background so we can all get in the spirit of things. It is very large, so that you can print it up big on regular size paper if you like. Feel free to use it for personal use only. It is great for framing for the wall or mantle, as a gift for someone who needs uplifting, or just a background for your devices.

This image features my photography in the background, and my graphic design on the foreground. 

I hope you enjoy it, and join me on my journey of growth and evolution.


This is the small size image, and click the link below for the large size.

Never Give Up

Never Give Up



The large size version for Download Here

 Enjoy and Happy Autumn to all!


What Does Peace Look Like?

Milo at peace

Milo At Peace…
A wonderful depiction of peace. Not just because he looks cuddly and happy, but mostly because I know he loves me unconditionally, and the feeling is mutual.


This is what I have been thoughtful on the last few days. What does it look like to me?
What does it look like to you? Does anyone truly know? Sure, we can philosophize about it, share quotes about inner peace (yes, even I do this), debate politics and religion on it, even sing John Lennon songs about it. But, when we look deep into ourselves, do we really perceive what peace should and does look like? Is it different for most if not everyone?

As I stood outside yesterday and today, in the midst of a very challenging task, feeling overwhelmed and defeated, I asked this out-loud. I stood alone out there in the yard, watching the rain come down, my body feeling heavy and tired, and I actually said it out-loud to no one. What does peace look like?

The concept of peace has been pondered by philosophers, politicians, the religious, many leaders, and any person ever finding themselves in the middle of utter chaos.

This is what I find myself in now…utter chaos. I am facing the monumental chore of going through a ton of my stuff, most of which has been packed under tarps and plastic outdoors for the better part of two and a half years. Long story, suffice to say, I moved 3000 miles, lost my home, many family members, life as I knew it, and am starting over. As I sift through the destruction that was much of my belongings and life, I am facing mold, bugs, stinging bees, blazing-hot sunny days, rainy wind-swept nights, cold pouring onslaughts, northern west coast harsh and fickle October weeks, sogginess, mud, decay, and loads of memories and time lost to me. Its a gut wrenching experience. I started this task with optimism, strength, and a willingness to just get through it. As I get toward the latter end of this grueling work, my energy is low, my spirits deflated, and my body hurting. But on I go, getting the job done.

I stared at one of the piles yesterday for many moments, feeling like it was never going to be done, buckling under the pressure of my time and weather constraints, and I asked the above question to the open air…the universe, if you will. Mostly, I wondered how to find it.

Another day in the muck and mire done, I dragged myself indoors for some tea, warmth, and a fresh pair of PJ’s for a welcomed night’s sleep. I sat down at my laptop, my fluffy-boy curled up next to me, and began to browse the web a bit. And of course, as I often do, wound up on Pinterest. If you have not found your way there, a fair warning…once you jump down the rabbit hole, you’ll never leave.

So, I plug in, “peace looks like,” to the search bar. And the returns it came back with, gave me pause, and somehow surprised me. I am truly finding a sense of peace somewhat baffling, and also elusive. So, I figure, if I am exploring this subject, let me see what other people’s interpretations might be.

Most of the results were the same kind of thing. A beautiful sunset beach, a moonlit night, an ocean-view window with a book and a chair, a vibrant autumn forest, a warm fireplace with a pillow and a cup of tea nearby, or a boat on a placid lake. Sure, there were a few images of famous quotes, philosophical points about peace, a rare image or two of actual humans, scattered images of cute animals, people hugging animals, visualizations of the perfect body and build, and the occasional, obligatory, messages of world peace, and religious and political views and points. But it was mostly scenery. Beautiful, and admittedly, very peaceful looking scenery. But where are all the images of people? I found myself wondering, “isn’t it people that make up the majority of what peace looks like?” Could it really be that peace is merely about aesthetics?

I turned to my other half, on the end of our, thankfully temporary, long distance conversation, and posed it to him. “What do you think peace looks like?” And his response at first was, “I don’t know.” But after a few minutes of pause and thought, he continued, “An open field, green grass, and blue skies.”
Again, scenery.

The more I think about this subject, the more I question all that I have believed and took for granted a lot of my life. Ten years ago, five years ago, heck possibly even yesterday in that marshy mess, you probably would get a response from me, something like, “A cozy cabin on a calm, tree-lined lake.” Who could not think something like that, or the myriad of nature images I saw on those search returns could be anything but peaceful? But again, does peaceful-looking equate to peace? Does pretty=peace? Does perfect=peace? Does scenery create peace? I ask and ponder to myself again, is it all about the aesthetics? Have we all been drawn into the multitude of media images and flashes of colors and nature and tranquility into believing that where we are, will give us the peace we seek? Or worse, what we look like?  Good grief Charlie Brown!

Continuing my train of thought, I go with it, and process the line of thought through. So, if it is really all about the setting/appearances, then why is it, I think, that the people who seem most at peace, can be that way, even in the midst of chaos and pain? Why is it that many can be miserable, in turmoil, or just downright mean, in the middle of the most beautiful settings? Then, how can it truly be all about the surroundings? Maybe we all need to dig deeper…maybe I need to dig deeper.

Oh sure, a beautiful setting can definitely set the stage for peace, it can help, it can add to it, but, while I am here, struggling and wriggling in all of this entropy, the concept was still eluding me. Okay, so maybe I need to differentiate between what peace looks like, and what it actually *is*. Or maybe I just need to ask what peace looks like…to me. And that thought, leads me back to all those images I saw, and the fact that, somewhere in my heart, something kept tugging at me and asking, “but where are all the people, where is the love?” AH-HAH!

Love! Love?
Where is the love? Okay, yes that was a song, but lets glaze over that for now.
In all those interpretations, I think I only saw one, maybe two images of people hugging each other. The majority was the settings. And that is when it hit me. Simply the fact of the absence, of the concept of just love, led me to realize, that for me, peace=love. When I saw it missing, was when I realized it WAS missing. Not so much from my life, but from my interpretation of what peace really is to me, and perhaps from others. Could it really be that simple…did The Beatles have it right all along? Is that all we really need?

When I look back on my life, and my many memories, honestly, the ones that bring me the most peace, involved two things, all the rest is just greeting card baubles. People, and love. That is what made me feel at peace, feel complete, and feel happy. And sure, the very people we love, can also be the people that bring us chaos and pain. But, as it is typical for love, it can also bring us great peace. And I mean true love, the kind that lasts and endures, and accepts us as we are.

And then, another fact struck me as interesting (aside from the fact that I start way too many sentences with and…sorry.) All those images of cute animals that I saw. For so many people, it was animals, mostly pets, that they interpreted as what peace looks like. And (yikes) there you go! Why do we see them as the picture of peace? Unconditional love (and throw in a few of those AWWW-overload-on-cuteness sentiments!) We find peace and yes, love, in our pets so much, because they accept us just as we are, and love us unconditionally. Whether we wake up with crust in our eyes, hair in tangles, sweatpants and, until we get our coffee, downright Ms. (or Mr.) Crankypants-Greeting-Card-Lady; or we are freshly showered, hair combed, clothes tidy, and smiles back on our faces…there they are. Those precious, devoted pets, loving us just the same, either way. How much peace does it bring a person, to just be loved, no matter what, our flaws, talents, assets, negatives, and all! Isn’t that what we all long for, deep down? Does that concept, of having that between us and others, and even in ourselves, bring us feelings of completeness and peace?

So maybe this mystical, almost mythical-seeming critter of peace, is not as elusive as I thought. Maybe, as humans typically do, we are just over-complicating things. Perhaps, I do not need to look any further, than the lovable fluff-ball sleeping so blissfully next to me, that he is actually softly snoring. Or to the honey-voiced love-of-my-life that is on the other end of the line. Or the wonderful friend who has endured, in the worst moments, the true hellish times when most can be scarcely found. Yes, this once again leads to an inner process, a perspective on my part…and the fact that I really just need to evolve it. But, what it boils down to, is even though I merely just need to SEE it, for me, it really is simply that…
Yes…I think that is what it really does look like to me.

Okay, so, yes you will find me, at moments wanting to scream as I tug at my hair, in the middle of chaos, wondering once again how to find some peace, and where it has run off to. And yah, I will still stare wide-eyed at beautiful lakes and forests and dream of laying there with a good book and feeling calm and content. Yes, I will struggle with this concept again and again, because life is just like that. We can all be like this, we are all just human. But I do know this much, without love in my life, I can never find peace…true peace. And I mean love with others AND myself. For me, it encompasses all things. We wither without it, we blossom with it. The serendipity of it all, is its simplicity…which ones again leads us back to peace.

So, the next time you feel in turmoil, the next time I do, maybe I can hope that we can just find a way, in those grueling moments, to remember the love in our lives, past, present and future, and let that bring us, if even brief, moments of peace.

So, for now at least, I put this topic to rest, satisfied that while I understand it, and realize it, the process of living it is ever-challenging, and ever-evolving. Life is like that too.

I will grab my cup of tea, turn to my sweetheart to chatter a bit, feel the warm furry companion next to my leg, and feel the satisfaction of a day of hard work and a step closer to my completion goals. And in that love, that I find around and in me, still in the midst of all that chaos, I will have my moments of peace, even if it is a bit fickle.

So what does peace look like to you? What does it mean to you? This can be different for everyone, and that is okay. Just something to think about. This is just my piece, of peace.

Meantime, I wish you ( anyone reading this {{{again hearing crickets still}}} ) lots of peace (and forgive me for sounding like a Barney song) and lots of love, within, and without.


With warmth and thanks for reading,
Kat :@   ( –that is a pawprint =P )



P.S. If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I had originally written this piece yesterday, but WordPress and I did not get along well then. {grumble} So today, I had to completely rewrite, and reconstruct the whole thing. I think I might have had a few elements in it the first time, that I really loved, and I still wish I could recall and retell, BUT, the part that brings me peace (I smile as that word pops in again,) is that I am pretty happy with what I have now, perhaps not exactly the same, but expressing exactly what I was feeling, and the thoughts and conclusions they brought me to. Just another factor that makes me realize sometimes we all just need to breath, reboot, and find the place where our peace is hiding. 😉


What Does Peace Look Like? (The Prequel)

Milo my fluff-ball at peace.

Milo my fluff-ball at peace.

What does it look to you? As I ponder this tonight, I have been hit with extremely painful irony. I wrote this entire post and felt very satisfied with the final piece. And that piece, gave me a sense of peace.
And because I relied on that WordPress auto-save letting me know it saved a draft every few minutes, I felt safe.

Big mistake.

I went to post an image into the post, and somehow, it deleted the entire post and left only the image coding. I had even copied the post into clipboard first, because I have had issues in the past with typing into browser dialog boxes. But silly me, I wrote the caption in the wrong place, and went to copy paste it to the right place, and lost my clipboard too. After searching and reading endlessly, I come to find that autosave only saves ONE draft. Apparently, autosave only managed to save the highly shortened image only version, minus the entire (what took nearly two hours to write) post.
If I had known this, I would have manually saved copies every few minutes, like I am doing now in notepad. So, I am feeling highly agitated at the moment.

The irony is, after completing the entire post, I felt at peace, after questioning what does peace look like. Leave it to a lost blog post to completely sever, that *peace.*

So, now I have to contemplate this question once again, and try to recall my previous thoughts, and try to reconstruct, what I was actually very happy with when I was done. Ever write something that you felt so pleased with, even proud of?
Then you come to find its just gone? I was so upset I cried.

But, once again, I will breath and reboot, and gather my thoughts, and attempt tomorrow to recreate, what was meant to be a reflection on today, well, it is now tomorrow already, but you get the point.

Meantime, if anyone stumbles by this blog {{{still hearing crickets}}}…I leave you with a picture of how one creature has managed to demonstrate the concept of peace, my furr-ball, Milo.

Wishing all peace and warmth,
and thanks for reading,

Kat :@

P.S. Stay tuned, I hope to have that reconstructed piece up by tomorrow.

The Birth of a Blogger (Oh No, Not Another)

 (Note: This was my first post ever, but should give you some ideas about who I am.)


Milo the Fluffball

Milo the Fluffball


Okay, so I have been warm and comfy in my website, awaiting the day I will see the light of this blog world. But something in me is pushing me to get something out and get started. But, but….it looks scary. All that light, all that unfamiliar territory. Comments, and feedback, and exposure, oh my!  But to truly live in this blog-land, it is time to come out. This is a lot of struggling, a lot of pushing, but I hear its worth it in the end, to unleash your creative person within. Why don’t you, any of you,  anyone, come with me.  Help me out of the dark comfy place into a learning journey. I am going to share some of my growing process until I feel comfortable. With time, I hope to share more.  But be gentle, though I am a veteran, to some degree, in the web world, I am baby in the blog world. Don’t make sudden sharp movements, don’t yell too loud, and please don’t stick any pins in me. 😉

I am coming slowly out of a closed off life, and a woman finding herself again, so this is a dual journey. My rebirthing as a person, and birth as a blogger. You as a reader, any reader {{{hears crickets chirping}}}  will grow with me. You can be a part of this process if you choose, but I must say one thing. I only welcome the helpful and the positive. The world has enough negative. It is everywhere you turn. I read an online news article, and negative comments abound, I read a blog, and negative splattered everywhere. I watch a video/vlog, and negative this and that. Not to say that there is not plenty if not more positive, but there is just too much of the latter too.  It does no good except clutter the air, the mind, and the heart. I am fragile of heart, but not a pushover. If someone has something constructive, yet well mannered (no hidden digs either), then I warmly welcome it.  If there is positivity and kindness, I welcome it. But if there is negativity or downright nastiness, then I hit delete. I am coming from a very painful and wounded place, and I will accept no negativity here. I intend to come out, and to heal, and will allow no person to hold me back anymore.  That’s all on that, one paragraph, “nuff” said. =)

Who is this mysterious woman and this dark place she comes from?  Well, hey, I just met you. You wouldn’t expect a life story when you first meet someone, would you? So, let’s get to know each other slowly, and in time, maybe we can grow to be friends. Fair enough? Just call me Kat.  I hope I am lucky enough to call you a reader, at least one day.


I am developing this blog, and I invite you to help me along. I welcome tips, experience stories, and just general information. Heck, anything you’ve got to share, as long as it keeps in the spirit of positive and growth.

For now, let’s call it the blog project. I am still trying to figure out it’s general direction. Even though I have a lot to say and share, that does not mean what we all have to say, blabber on about, or have opinions on, is worth reading, or interesting to anyone else.  😉

I have lots of subject areas to post about, but as I grow on this journey, I want to figure out which areas interest people the most. I want to do what I love, but also engage you the reader, with something of interest. My time is valuable, your time is valuable, I want to spend it wisely. (At least most of the time.)  That is why I welcome input. You the readers will help me, by being signposts in this blogging road.

Think of this as unsettled, empty territory in the wild, wild west. I have bought up a big chunk of land, my website. It is largely empty. I am laying down one road…one little piece of foundation right now. But, I could use a little help. I need to clean out the clutter (useless thoughts and meanderings too dawdly), lay down some  roadways, put up signposts, build a few dwellings, and so on. Think of the categories of which I will post on, as my dwellings. Most will be more residential in nature. But some day, at some point I may add a commercial building or two. But that’s only later, and if I find a direction that is good for me professionally. For now, this is largely a personal journey. I am coming back out into the world. As scary as that can seem.

So, I grab my proverbial/metaphorical binoculars. I seek a couple landmarks, natural wonders, even a signpost or two to guide me. Will you help?  Show me some signs, help me to figure the layout?

Okay, so, I laid down a little foundation for you there. Now to give you some clue about me. I am first and foremost a woman with a huge heart. It has been broken oh so many times, by many means and many people. But it is a healing heart. Compassion is fine, I sure could use some of that, heck anyone could. Pity….ah…no! I am a tough cookie and have survived a lot. So make no mistake. But, I have been hidden away a long time healing.  Sharing yourself with the world is a scary thing. People can be harsh. But if you scratch the surface, you can find, people have heart, and have goodness to give. But, for better or for worse, for pleasant and scariness, here goes!

War wound stories, for later, a brief list of some interests. After being a huge-hearted person first, my self descriptors would be;  artist/creator, writer, graphic and multimedia designer, painter, crafter, photographer, all things purple, computer enthusiast, gamer, stationery-nut, cat-lover, kangaroo and butterfly lover, all animals lover, outdoors woman, and also indoors woman (I love both,)  fisher-woman, organization lover, and yes, I can be the talker. Now while I list those as things I am, and there are more (for later,) I will also list some other things that interest me. I love all things outdoors pretty much, even despite taking long hiatuses from outdoor activity. Nature and all things within her, encompass the very core of me. It comes into all things I do, see, and love.

I love many things indoor too. Some of these dualities include, fishing, hiking, nature collecting, bird watching, swimming, and camping. And the indoor stuff includes all things computer, whether it be tinkering with putting them together, puttering with software of all kinds, graphic design, building web pages, gaming, you name it. The social networking stuff I am wary and nervous about, but have dabbled here and there. Other indoor stuff includes most types of artistry that I have dabbled in whether smaller or larger scale, crafts of many kinds, in general working with my hands, painting (mostly pastels, but dabbled in watercolors, attempting oils, etc, drawing (loved both charcoals and colored pencils), photography,  even tried sculpting which I loved, crazy about any kind of stationery, planners, scrapbooks, journaling, and even interested in the newer things like smash books and project life, art journaling…I love it all. I love to cook, love to read, literature, plays, I am a beginning gardener, mostly interested in edible things for self-sustaining (and I think pesticides taste yucky,) I love Lucy (who wouldn’t/couldn’t), classic animation (the cell by cell type), as well as new kinds,  I love decorating and organizing (though I  have a long ways to go on my dreams there,) and I tend to collect too many things.

Okay, I am sure I am leaving out stuff, which I can add later. But suffice to say, I feel like the typical “jack of all trades, and master of none.”  But I will get there, I intend to master at least a few. And last, but probably most important besides the huge heart thing, is my love of family!  Mine is small right now, has been big before, is ever-changing, but, it always has been, and will remain, so important to every human being. This need to connect, to love and be loved. We sure need more of love in the world.

Right now, my blog is called Katspeak.  That is because my nickname is Kat, and I adore cats with all my heart. The domain and site won’t change, but the blog name might. The direction, and what I write about might change. I am not even sure what kind of blog schedule  I wish to have. Lots might change, I might change… that  is life in general. But my heart and capacity for love, never will change, as won’t the core of me. All the rest…well, evolution in each of ourselves is key, without it, progress is not made, life is stale and stagnant. I look forward to change a little more now, I look forward greatly to improvement and greater things. I am optimistic about the future now, where I once was not. But I have a lot of mountains to climb, and growing pains to do. Won’t you join me?  If you have a useful signpost to show me, ideas to share, optimism to catch on…here I am…ready to come back into the world.

Let me know what you think, keeping to my one request above please, introduce yourself. What interests you?  What interested you in what I have to say or how I say it?  What would interest you within my realm in the future?

I look forward to taking this journey, and hope you will join me. Maybe we can help each other grow.

Until next time, wishing you good days, and warmth always,  =)



Note: The image above is my precious Maine Coon/Tabby Mix kitty Milo. He is on his cat tower, flashing his fluffy belly, being his lovable self. The picture is taken by me, as are all my blog post images, edited by me, and belongs to me…and copyright by me. Please do not take, borrow, alter etc. my images under any circumstances, except to show others, with a link back here.  This blog is my first attempt, hence the theme I used from WordPress’s selections. Eventually, as I learn more and more, and brush up my web skills, I will be doing all my own stuff, backgrounds, layouts, etc. For now, this is my first attempt, so be kind. Like all else, its a growing process. =)