Crawling Guiltily Along

July 29th, 2015 | Posted by Dawn Bertuca in Conscious Parenting | Garden | Living On Purpose - (Comments Off on Crawling Guiltily Along)

I discovered the above poem at the tender age of seven, when I decided to plagiarize it and claim it for my own in a second-grade writing assignment. The teacher did not recognize the poem and gave me a “very creative” stamp on the paper. And guess what? I’ve felt guilty about it all these years. So here’s your shout-out, Monica Shannon. I’m sorry I stole your poem in second grade.¬† I still think of it whenever I see a caterpillar. And, sorry, second grade teacher (I think her name was Mrs. Ryan), for passing off this work as my own. Also, I probably shouldn’t have waited 40 years to make amends. Sorry. Sorry!

Speaking of guilt, I have a number of friends who are into raising monarch butterflies. They are considered endangered, you know. My friends wouldn’t have left this fellow on the milkweed to be eaten by a hungry bird. Oh no, they would have taken him inside to nurture him safely to butterfly adulthood. But I didn’t do that. I don’t really know the fate of this fat friend. I do know that he enjoyed his meal of milkweed leaves. He mowed them down with gusto, just like anyone who has read The Very Hungry Caterpillar would expect. I hope he moved on to a safe branch somewhere to begin his transformation into a stately monarch. But I feel guilty for not knowing.

I feel guilty for a lot of things. I feel guilty for not writing. I feel guilty for not cleaning my house. I feel guilty for not pulling weeds. I feel guilty that my office looks like it belongs on an episode of Hoarders. I feel guilty for not hugging my children enough. Or am I hugging them too much? I feel guilty that they spend too much time staring at a screen. I feel guilty for nagging them about their screen time. Most of the time I’m not even sure what I’m doing right or wrong, but guilt is a constant. And let’s not even get started on world hunger, social justice and the environment. If it has a hashtag, I probably feel guilty about it.

A very good friend once told me: “Guilt is a useless emotion.” She was mostly right, and I admired her ability to give guilt the cold shoulder. Guilt is paralyzing, stultifying, crazymaking. It tells you bad things about yourself. It’s a sign of thinking too much. Perhaps it’s also a catalyst for action, though. Doesn’t it spur us to do better? Or keep us from doing wrong in the first place? I have a sense that the antidote to guilt is action, and the cure is grace, but still I get mired in the guilt-mud on a regular basis.

Are you living a guilt-free life? What do you do about mommy guilt? Daddy guilt? Eco guilt? Other kinds of guilt? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

And by the way, I feel guilty for all the guilt I’ve laid on my kids over the years. But at least I feel better about the caterpillar poem now. That’s a start.

Mental Discipline

March 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Dawn Bertuca in Garden | Living On Purpose | Photos - (Comments Off on Mental Discipline)

Sometimes you just have to stop the negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. Am I right? That’s why, even though it’s March 23 and we just got four inches of new snow, I’m refusing to photograph it. Instead, I’m posting pictures of these hyacinths. Yes, they’re forced blooms, but their perfume fills the entire first floor of my house. It may be winter on the outside, but it’s spring on the inside.

A photo posted by @dawnann12 on

Watching the Raindrops Fall With Hyperlapse

September 4th, 2014 | Posted by Dawn Bertuca in Fun | Photos | Social Media - (Comments Off on Watching the Raindrops Fall With Hyperlapse)

I’m nursing a nasty cold on a rainy day (and therefore not getting much done), so it seemed like a good time to check out the new Hyperlapse app, which lets you create stunning time-lapse videos with your phone. When I think of time-lapse photography, I think of watching natural processes unfold. So, I walked around my yard for awhile in search of something time-lapse-worthy. Hampered by rain and mosquitoes, I settled on this leaf. The raindrops are sped up to 12x their original speed. I think it’s pretty cool for a first attempt. I should have left the video running for just a second longer, though. My next try will inevitably be better. I already know what I’m going to attempt to capture next. Companies are already jumping on Hyperlapse as a unique way to share content. Here are five examples of how marketers are using it. Have you tried Hyperlapse yet? Where do you think it’s best applied? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

You can follow me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/dawnann12. My theme is “finding beautiful in the everyday.” Hope you enjoy it!

Spring Heats Up!

May 5th, 2014 | Posted by Dawn Bertuca in Garden | Photos - (Comments Off on Spring Heats Up!)

Spring is showing up in fits and starts here in Chicagoland. I captured this wind-splayed tulip over the weekend. I do not know the variety, but I purchased the bulb last summer in Holland, Michigan, one of my “happy places!” When closed, the tulip petals make a nice flame shape to complement their blazing color.

Please follow me on instagram! You’ll see very few (if any) selfies as a I try to find beautiful in the everyday.

Happy Spring!

April 11th, 2014 | Posted by Dawn Bertuca in Garden | Photos | Social Media - (Comments Off on Happy Spring!)

It’s finally warm enough to venture outside here in Chicago! Trying to find something photo-worthy in the newly thawed yard is a challenge. This chair was made by a lumberjack in northern Wisconsin. When it started to disintegrate, I put it out in the garden. I tried to cover it with moss milkshake, thinking a moss-covered seat would be cute, but it didn’t take. The neighboring tree is more friendly to moss, it seems.

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Scenes From #Chiberia

February 10th, 2014 | Posted by Dawn Bertuca in Fun | Photos | Social Media - (Comments Off on Scenes From #Chiberia)

Just testing out the embed functionality of Instagram with these photos from a banner winter in Chicago. Follow me on Instagram here.