flower bits

flower bits, Canon Digital Rebel

It’s hard to know what to write about this week. Everything seems sort of silly and unimportant in comparison to what is happening in the world. I find that I vascillate between focusing on the minutae of my life, and then seeing something like this, and just falling apart.

At Glide last Sunday, twelve hundred of us sang the gospel song “Wade in the Water” {God’s gonna trouble the water} while images of New Orleans and the hurricane played in the background. We were all a puddle after that.

I am heartened by all of the help, money and love that has poured into this cause. A group called Craft Revolution asked for donations from crafty folks like myself and have already raised over $15,000 (and counting) by selling our wares online. Anything you buy from this site will go directly to the Red Cross. It felt good to contribute in this small way.

Some things I didn’t photograph this week that I wanted to:

1. A man on crutches with one leg walking his fluffy brown dog who also had one leg.
2. A man in Chinatown pushing his grandmother in a wheelchair, while his wife pushed their baby in a stroller.
3. A piece of art at Creativity Explored that described Utopia as “a place where everyone has to look for things. And then they find them.”

Big blessings to you all. Tell me any good stories you’ve got from the week. We need those too.

“He who can take no great interest in what is small will take false interest in what is great.”
– John Ruskin

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. Michelle Ensminger

    Wow! Thank you for the link to the Hurricane memorial and for the warning. You’re right, it is a tear jerker. There does seem to be a heaviness in the air, waying down on most people I know. I’m glad we can all share it together.

  2. Michael

    Thank you for the link to the memorial. It’s good to see some people focus on help instead of blame.

  3. Jason

    Again, not to overlook the beauty and warmth in this post, but I can’t get over the fact that the dog was able to walk with one leg? Was there some kind of triple amputee dog device in the works? Was hopping involved?

  4. MamaChristy

    I posted this on my blog on Monday. Perhaps it’s the kind of story you’re looking for:
    Happy news
    I was going to blog about a lady that J was chatting with on prince.org who was looking for someone after Hurricane Katrina. I was saddened and thinking of who else I could ask to post information when we got a message – she found him! It is so wonderful to hear a story of someone found. It gives hope to a situation where it seems that hope is much too much to ask for.

  5. jenn

    I went to the etsy.com site you buy something from you in support of the hurricane and the site stated you had no items listed…
    if you are involved with this site let me know and I’ll for sure make a purchase.

  6. jenn

    Lovely Photo Andrea.

  7. samantha

    Lord, Andrea, I would’ve been in a terrible puddle after singing ‘Wade in the Water’! What a wonderful idea, though, and beautiful, too. I couldn’t make it through ‘Amazing Grace’ last Sunday without bawling.
    Here’s a good story for you.
    I live in Mississippi, 80 miles from the Gulf Coast, and we received 120 mph winds from the storm. I’m getting married in a month, and my wedding dress was getting final alterations in Slidell, LA. I was supposed to pick it up Aug 31. Obviously, the hurricane changed all that, and Slidell is very heavily damaged. One of my bridesmaids, who escaped to Missouri since there was no power here , got on the phone and contacted David’s Bridals in Springfield. Unable to reach anyone in Slidell, they decided to REPLACE my wedding dress and will have it here by the first of October. How beautiful is that? I had ‘let go’ of my dress, decided that I’d get married in a borrowed dress or jeans if I had to.
    Somehow, good things abound. I am very blessed.

  8. Marilyn

    Ah yes, “Wade in the Water”…I wonder how many times I’ve heard that sung at Glide… 🙂 Here’s a good story from today: the kids at the junior high where I work spent half an hour after school today selling Mardis Gras beads and having a bake sale…and made about $275 for Katrina victims. They’ll be selling again on Monday.

  9. andrea

    Regarding your question about the 3-legged dog:
    Much hopping involved!
    It was one of the sweetest things I’ve seen in a long while.
    Two old buddies hopping along looking at the dahlias.

  10. kristine

    I kept thinking of the song Wade in the Water last week as I watched footage of the hurricane on CNN…

  11. Andrea

    A wonderful dog trainer who helped me housetrain my rather-resistant-to-the-concept dog (for free – who does that but a wonderful, kind person?) decided to gather up donations, rent a truck, and drive to one of the affected areas to help with abandoned pets.
    But then she ran into lots of closed doors – no one wanted or was prepared to accept her help.
    We exchanged a couple of links, and today she made contact with the veterinarian whose hospital the Red Cross designated to house the rescued animals, who does want her help & the donations.
    So she is taking off on Monday with the rented truck loaded with donations, going to help with what she does best – working with animals.
    It gives me such hope that even though there is so much heartbreak in the world, there are so many people rising to the occasion, trying to their part to help mend those broken hearts.
    Good does prevail after all.

  12. Em

    My nice story for you is that people are talking about this stuff. It makes me feel hopeful that we will remember ourselves. It makes me hope we will remember that everyone is important.
    On a local level my kids and their homeschool friends raised nearly $100 today selling their toys and their crafts and various food items. They are going to send the money to the red cross. They are between 7 and 11. It was great to see them counting the money, totally thrilled.
    Okay, I’m bragging. Sorry. But we are all trying to come together. Yay.

  13. m

    Good stories. Thinking … thinking …
    I spent a few days this week putting together a similar slide show for my very un-Glidelike Dysfunctional Presbyterian Church. Only the slides are set to “Here Comes the Flood” by Peter Gabriel. It’s my good story because, I hope, it will get the emotionally frozen congregation to open their purses and hearts and finally, finally do something. Do anything.
    As an aside, do you know any unattractive people? Because those girls on your intro page are just stunning.

  14. Jen

    My good story is this: My brother has been down in New Orleans this whole time. My family had been watching Larry King Live on CNN one evening. A man called in crying for help for his father. He said he is really old – in his 90’s- and didn’t have a chance to get out and get food, water, etc. He lives on such and such street. Can anybody go there and help him? They zereod it in on a map – and my family saw it was the same street where my brother was. My sister took the street address down and immediately called my brother. My brother went down there on his bike and brought him food, water and made him a meal. He has been checking up on him everyday since.

  15. Lisa

    I work at the wondrous public library in Oklahoma City. This last week we’ve had people who are staying with relatives in OK as well as some who have been placed in shelter type situations as a result of Katrina. Of course they are all desperate for INFORMATION. All of our Librarians have been amazing at helping these folks any way they can–printing off forms, guiding them to websites with information, extending the rules (in a library?!?) about internet usage time, etc. I think the thing, though, that touched my heart the most was when three sisters from New Orleans brought us all homebaked cookies to thank us for all we had done for them. They had lost their home and all the the stuff they couldn’t carry with them in their car when they fled…and yet they wanted to express their gratitude for our help.

  16. kristen

    i am crying. andrea. i wish i could help more. i feel so helpless.

  17. Kerstin

    Hi Andrea,
    Living in the UK I do feel slightly removed from the aftermath of Katrina, but I am reminded of it daily as I read my favourite blogs, most of which are American. Here is our good story, it’s a spontaneous one:
    My husband, who is from New England, and I have been decluttering our house in anticipation of our move to the US in 4 weeks. Tomorrow we are selling a lot of the stuff at a so called carboot sale here in England. After reading some of the other journals, and now yours, we decided to give all our proceeds from the sale to the American Red Cross. We have already donated money but this feels more meaningful because we are physically doing something despite the distance.
    Thank you, and the others, so much for the inspiration – Kerstin

  18. Kat

    thank you…
    for speaking so honestly, and for sharing that link. i, too, have been feeling the same way. yes, life does go on, but everything nowadays seem so petty in comparison to the disaster that hurt our brothers and sisters. And the children. Oh, those children!
    It makes me wonder, where do we go from here?
    again, many thanks for sharing.
    Love & Light,

  19. Craig

    The best memorial we could possibly give to the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast is to do something real towards changing the conditions that led to this disaster. Once the initial mess is cleaned up we cannot forget about these people. We need real solutions to the poverty that most ot them were living in. The problem we have now is that people stick their heads in the sand and pretend that there is no problem.
    As a memorial…we should all refuse to do business with companies that make their money by paying the people that work for them poverty level wages. Instead we will give a few dollars in a one shot deal, make ourselves feel better, and stick our heads back in the sand. We wouldn’t have as much as we do….but what we have wouldn’t have come at the misery and suffering of others. I don’t profess to know what the real solution is…..but I do know that the solution wont be found untill the problem is recognized as a problem.
    The people that have to work the hardest in this world are expected to live the worst. That simply is not right. I have no respect for a company that can make its stockholders and leaders rich by exploiting their workers. That is not hard to do….the companies and people I respect are the ones that can make a good profit and take care of the people that work for tham also. Just something to think about. I feel we place importance on the wrong things in the world.
    Enough ranting for now..just remember that we, the people of the world, have the power to change it. And I’m not professing handouts…for that just reinforces the problem and helps to keep the people that get them down.

  20. Megara

    I live in M?xico and while we cannot help much directly, except by donating via internet to the Red Cross, I am proud that right now the Mexican Army is helping there. Our soldiers who most come from very poor families and choose the military as a way to make a decent living are by far some of the most caring and hard working people when it comes to disaster. I am also proud that Mexico has been ranked as one of the best prepared countries when it comes to natural disasters.
    I think it was a good lesson in humbleness to accept help from us because if the US hadn’t accepted any foreign help, echoes of mistakes made by other huge and powerful countries (remember the Russian submarine?) would make the global community not sympathetic to the situation.
    I hope your president finally accepts that there is much more work to do at home than you-know- where.. but what an utopic thought!
    And this photo Andrea is one of the most beautiful pictures I’ve seen in your blog. I love it so much.

  21. susan

    that katrina link flattened me.
    thanks for sharing it.

  22. Lani

    I wanted to find out which artist had that beautiful quote about Utopia, on the Creativity Explored web site.
    I looked and looked and couldn’t find it.

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