AFTER BEING MOSTLY an indoor person all my life, I spent the summer of 2007
working with a friend who began to implement my landscaping ideas and designs
for the whole yard. In the process, I found that I loved yard work and flower gardening far more than I thought.
During the next five years, several perennial garden areas were added to the
yard, and now every year
finds me and my friend making modifications of one kind or another to this or
that part of the yard.
As my neighbor told me when I started this project, "Once you start, you'll
never be finished with your yard."
She was right. Decorative wood fence dividers and trellises and a back-yard
bench have since been put into place, and every year now one area of the yard or another needs
attention as plants grow out of control, die or are killed by animals or the
weather, or just need to be transplanted for beauty's sake.
In warm weather as I relax on the back yard patio that I designed and helped
build, I survey my yard and listen to the birds and the relaxing sound of my little water
fountain. Year-round, I enjoy views of my yard from various windows, and the
winter landscape is as satisfying to me as the flowers are in the summer. I
snapped the picture below one March evening after a heavy snowfall.
Barbara Brabec's colorful and interesting life. Here you'll find several illustrated articles and
nostalgic reflections on various topics.
Barbara's new family memoir!
Click to get content details and view the
book's online photo album featuring Barbara and her family at all ages.
art/craft "memory projects," featuring personal photos and nostalgic keepsakes. Years after Barbara created some of these
projects for her own enjoyment, some were published in her "Making
Memories" column for Crafts 'N Things. magazine.
ONE YEAR when I decided to rewrite this page, I got to thinking about
all the things I love or have a passionate interest in, and I surprised myself
when I saw how long my list was getting to be. While many of us may complain about our lives at times, if we really sit down and make a list of all the things we
care about or love about our life, we might discover that we have been taking some pleasures in life for granted.
I love my family (both immediate and adopted), my friends, and my
my life with Harry.
I love my cat, Charlee, who has made all the difference in my ability to be
content as a widow. I also love dogs, wolves, Bengal tigers, polar bears,
teddy bears, and the resident chipmunk in my back yard.
Like Harry, I love carousels and circus wagons, old-time circuses,
lion tamers, a parade of elephants in a circus ring, and calliope music.
I love my work on the Web because it gives
me something satisfying and meaningful to do every day, while also connecting me
to both old and new friends around the world. I especially
love knowing that I will never run out of things I want to write
about. (And I hope I will never run out of readers, either.)
cross-stitch embroidery, and my favorite motifs are carousel ponies, wolves, and
Bengal tigers. Needleworkers will appreciate the story related to the
seven Bengal tiger
pictures shown here. I stitched these over a period of several years, and
I'm grateful to my sister, Mollie, who in 2013 helped me to frame and hang all
of them in my office. Each piece took hundreds of hours to stitch; now looking
at them each day as I work in my office is a great stress reliever.
evenings and on weekends, I enjoy cooking from-scratch meals for myself or
friends, playing the piano, or curling up with a
good book or my needlework and a movie that excites my senses, makes me cry, or gives me something
to think about. I especially love the old Gene Kelly
musicals and classic Westerns featuring the great stars who are long gone. (And
how I treasure the personal note Jimmy Stewart sent me after I sent him a fan letter in his old
I also love my digital camera. See some of my old "Photos of the Month"
Overall, what I really love about my life is that it holds endless
opportunities for me to find enjoyment in it, and best of all, it never contains
a boring minute!
I now challenge YOU to make a list of all the things you
love—the things that make you a unique individual—and then
I urge you to look for new ways to maximize the enjoyment
you're getting out of life.