Joy List Monday & Feeling Mercurial

It's been a strange week. In addition to other things going on in my life, our perfect weather suddenly remembered that it was spring and the humidity and bugs arrived. There was rain. There were storms. There were rainbows. There was sunshine. The weather reports couldn't keep up with the changing skies. My mood, too, seemed to be all over the place.

On Saturday I discovered a dead tree frog on my potting bench. It was hidden under a tray of seedlings. I can't imagine accidentally setting anything down on a frog and I have no idea how it died (if it was smashed by the tray or killed some other way), but still I felt a guilty and a bit heartbroken. That my garden is a haven to all sorts of wildlife is both an honor and a source of pride. Hearing the tree frogs in the yard made me so happy, blessed. That my garden was, perhaps, not as safe as I imagined it to be made me feel terrible.

garden, gardening, kale, flowers, yellow, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Was it my fault? I don't know. What can I learn from this experience? I don't know. Perhaps, be more aware of what I'm doing. Pay closer attention. I know I have a tendency to throw tools anywhere while I'm working (often having no clue where I put them). Maybe this is just another instance of me needing to be more present and aware.

portulaca, gardening, cinder blocks, flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I think it is also, another lesson in seeing beauty. Not to take life's magic for granted.

And a good way to do that is to write a Joy List. I do hope you'll join me and write your own list. Privately or in a comment here or on your blog or Instagram or other social media (and be sure to let me know if you do!).

peonies, flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

My Joy List this week:
  • thunder and the sound of rain
  • the smell of irises in my studio
  • mixing paint in my studio to the sound of a storm
  • salads, salads and more salads
  • being greeted by happy greyhounds
  • a celebratory dinner out with my family
  • painting
  • going to sleep in a bed freshly made with line dried sheets
  • peonies, roses and all the other flowers popping up in the garden
  • working on my 2017 calendar

painting, violas, watercolor, botanical watercolor, botanical painting, paint palette, spring flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I hope you have a beautiful week and that you take the time to notice life's beauties and be grateful for them.

My new viola painting is now available in my Etsy shop.


  1. Beautiful painting Anne. I love to see the colours all mixed up in your palette and the thought of you mixing them to the sound of a storm! It is sad to hear about the tree frog but you can't blame yourself for its death. If I inadvertently tread on a snail in the garden I apologise to it even though it wasn't intentional. I think I probably need to pay more attention too! I love today's joy list. Thank you for commenting on mine also. Your photos are gorgeous and I especially like the peony. Isn't it a beautiful colour? Have a great week full of joys! :)

    1. Thank you, Simone.

      I'm so glad you wrote a list of your own!

      We're sensitive people and we wouldn't go tromping around without thought. Yes, I'd feel bad about the snail, too.

      Yes, I do love the peonies' color. Too bad they're around for such a short time!

      Hope your week is full of joys, too!

  2. I have PMS so this list is even more necessary for me. Ha.
    1. Summer like weather.
    2. Shrimp salad.
    3. Yummy lunch out with the family.
    4. Yard sale exploring with the family.
    5. Ice cream stand stops.
    6. Planning summer trips.
    7. Finishing another pair of socks.
    8. Cat snuggles

    Your list sounds lovely. Especially mixing paint in your studio while a storm is going on.

    1. Haha! Glad you made a much-needed list, Dana.

      Your summery joys are just perfect. (And they're making me hungry).

      Hope you have a wonderful week!

  3. Hello,
    It must have been the weather, I too had a strange week last week. I was so tired. I had no energy, and that is not like me.
    I also received some very sad and disappointing news. I let it get to me, and make me moody. I know I need to work on that! I can not let news or things that I have no control over take me for a loop.

    Joy List
    Rain, we needed it!
    The garden is growing.
    My family.
    Celebrating our 19th Wedding Anniversary.

    1. Thanks for sharing your list, Carla!

      Happy Anniversary!! Congratulations on 19 years. I hope you had a wonderful celebration!!

      And I hope you were able to let go. It's so hard to do sometimes.

      Enjoy the weekend!



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