Monday, November 20, 2017

Sparks: 7

The negative energy in the world has become thick and oppressive. Social media has become a part of this dark, negative storm. There is an obvious universal need for more positive energy and peace. And, we can all be part of this affirmative change. 

I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!

I hope you will join us. Please link up a positive quote, thought, poem, or verse.  Add the Sparks badge to your post to invite others. The more, the merrier. Peace.

Now, it's your turn to add Sparks. Let's light up the world! 
The link-up is open Monday through Friday every week.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

My Soundtrack

Songs have been a crucial thread throughout my life. I have always believed there is a soundtrack linked to my name in the Book of Life. As far back as I can remember, songs string together events and moments in my heart and soul. The songs all have meaning for me, in one way or another.

My grandmother used to sing to me when I was very small. I can remember her rocking me in her chair while she sang. Sometimes she sang old hymns. Sometimes she sang traditional songs. Sometimes she sang songs with the radio. One of my favourite songs from that time period was “Puff the Magic Dragon”. These early musical memories make me happy.

Grampy gave me a transistor radio when I was seven. I was hooked. I took it everywhere. I was also in choir. I loved the way music could bring people together. It spoke to them, and often for them. People responded to music, just as I did.

Growing up under the supervision of mostly teen babysitters, I was exposed to their music. It was The Sixties. I quickly caught on to the fact that music was a deep expression of those involved in it. The music was attractive to me, but the lyrics seemed to explain so much. I appreciated this blending, understanding it was something very important. Uncle Eddie was just back from serving in Vietnam. I valued his thoughts about life and everything in it. He was a serious source of guidance in music, too.

My connection to music carried through my teens and into adulthood. I never had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, but I could write. Music fueled my writing. Writing helped me sort out my thoughts. I am forever grateful for that. Songs and their messages validated my own searching.

Of course, my soundtrack remains intact as it continues to grow old with me. I can still feel what I felt when I was young, though my understanding has deepened with age. Each song takes me back to the time of an event, or the bittersweet memory of a feeling. Sometimes I relive a joy or laugh at a memory.

In the A-Z Blog Challenge for 2017, I shared some of my Lifeblood songs. These are songs that are meaningful to me. I shared one each day in April 2017, A-Z. But, there are just so many more. Music flows into all areas of life, endlessly. It is universal. That is one of the things about music that I am most thankful for. 

Day Nineteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Big Sister is Watching

~Grizelda & Clyde~

Clyde seeks Grizelda out every afternoon
for some quiet time together. He adores her.
She loves this funny little brother, too.

Shared with:

Saturday, November 18, 2017


I am thankful for reminders of my many blessings.
Indeed, there is much to be thankful for,  every day.

Giving Thanks
Day Eighteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Seasons of Life

I am thankful to live in the Great Lakes, which is blessed to experience all four seasons. In fact, this area of the country really does it well. Mother Nature smiled on this area. She has her hand in every season here. I am happy to share each season, too.

I love Autumn’s cool, coloured confidence. She knows her value. But, this year, as Autumn settled in, I was disappointed that the leaves were not as vibrant. While many had fallen, some clung to tired trees. I can relate. There are times when it is easy to let go, because it feels right. Sometimes we hold on, reluctant to let go, because things feel incomplete. I am thankful for knowing it is okay to linger when I need to…and to let go when I know it is necessary. Autumn makes that clear.

Winter is coming. I am ready for the cold, the hunkering down, and the planning. Winter is a state of waiting for what comes next. I actually enjoy the quiet and even the darkness. I can hear myself think, without distraction. I can plan for when the sun shines. And, I will appreciate it all the more. Winter offers necessary solitude. I can appreciate that life needs Winter.

Suddenly, it will be Spring. She will sneak up on Winter. They will argue, but Spring will win. In all of her colourful glory, she will make promises. I will partner with her and begin to see her intent to keep each promise. I will also see how my plans will fit right into hers. Yes, Spring will be my friend, too. Spring brings hope. I am eternally grateful for hope.

With such ease, Spring always makes way for Summer. They never argue. One blends into the other. They even dance in both the sunshine and the rain. While Spring is full of hope, Summer encourages one to take it easy, slow down, relax. She illustrates it with the growing gardens and the lazy breezes. I do appreciate her philosophy and her splendor.

And, then we come full circle. Summer eventually tires, wearing herself out, perhaps. She gives way to Autumn, allowing her to display the full array of accomplishments accumulated by the year of seasons. I am eternally grateful to witness each season in their glory, and I am humbled by the life lessons shared with me.

Day Seventeen of my Giving Thanks series.

Friendly Fill-ins: Week 80

We are happy you are here for another week of friendly sharing! As always, you can find the fill-ins here and at each Thursday. On Fridays, we post the link for sharing. The first two fill-ins are always provided by Ellen. The final two statements are offered by myself. You are welcome to answer in the comments, but if you link up, even more people can share!

Internet gremlins persist. This is not to be confused with Joanie’s gremlins, unless she has connections that I don’t. I truly do not understand what the problem is with the connection, other than at my end. My connection is off and on. Sometimes, the wi-fi blinks like a frog in a hail storm. Just when I think it has settled down, it starts to flicker. Then when I am about to give up, it settles back down. So, when it works, I try to make the most of it, to try and keep up with blogging. When it goes out, I call Comcast to chat.

Bonnie & Clyde are four months old today. Yes, she is still Bonnie B. Good. The B stands for Beatrix. But, she will not be fooled. It’s just Bee. She only acknowledges Bee. Clyde is Clyde, and has been from the very start. He has always been very responsive, including answering to his name.

Thank you to everyone for supporting Sparks! It seems that many are enjoying finding and reading the good thoughts. It is all about positive energy. This is a great season for sharing good, so let’s do it! If you haven't, maybe you will think about joining us. Sharing always brings about good feelings. So, I thank you all.  

I look forward to your holiday fill-ins this week. I am thankful for each of you!

1. I can't wait to eat homemade cranberry-apricot sauce on Thanksgiving. This is a recipe from Bill’s childhood. It is the best addition to Thanksgiving dinner!

2. My favorite kind of pie is pecan pie. I like several fruit pies and some specialty pies, but pecan pie…yum. That is a holiday treat.

3. This year, I am particularly thankful for Bill’s regional routing. This is getting him home more, which is healthier for him. There seems to be a rapport with his boss, too. While it isn't perfect, we are all pretty happy about this situation.

4. A funny holiday tradition in my/our house is watching the Macy’s parade, then the dog show, and finally football. Even when Bill was on the road, I did these and told him about them. We think he will get home late this year, but at least he will be coming home!

May you have a bounty of food and love!
~Happy Thanksgiving!~

I am sharing this post with:
Thanks, Sandee!

Now, it's your turn. Please link up with us here.   

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Love Notes


Love is the fuel of life. It is the blood that flows to all parts of life, keeping it going and sustaining it. Without love, there is no life, merely existence. And, if you have love, you know there is a difference between living and existing. I am thankful that I do know love.

It was not always that way. Love is elusive. Admittedly, I did not always understand love or how it works. But, I accepted its value and importance. As a small child, I knew that certain people loved me, and I was sure that I loved them. I never doubted Grampy’s love, believing that it was absolute. I trusted him and always felt loved by him. Others made it known that their love was conditional, and therefore withheld.

Love comes in many ways and forms. As we grow and experience life, we learn this valuable truth. Beyond the love of parents, and of family, there is the love of friends. The love that friendship offers helps shape us. It often upholds us through our search for self. Friends help you become yourself by validating who you are. The love of friends can fill gaps where love was otherwise withheld. It cannot replace that love, but it can heal wounds and smooth scars. I am grateful for this love, too.

I learned early in life that the love offered by pets is unconditional. Animals are genuine in their emotions. Studies have proven that they have a calming and positive effect on our health, physically and mentally. Our pets make it easy for us to love them. We are then able to accept their love without question. This love is certainly something that has been important in my life. I am deeply grateful to have been blessed by this love.

Loving others is a blessing. Love must fulfill itself to be true. To give love and to receive love brings it full circle. This allows it to continue, strengthen, and ultimately sustain us throughout the stages of life. To be loved and to love is the greatest blessing in life. It is also the purpose of life.

I try to always let others know how I feel about them. It has been said that love is not really love until you give it away. I believe there is truth in this. It serves no purpose to withhold it. Love is meant to be shared. I appreciate those who love me, as well as those that I love. I am very thankful for the power of love.

Day Sixteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Fill-in Statements: Week 80

Each Thursday, my co-host, Ellen of 15andmeowing, and I provide Friendly Fill-In statements. On Friday, we post our answers with a link-up for you to join us with your own responses. We hope you will copy and answer these on your own blog, but remember to link up here. If you need help, please let us know. We look forward to your answers!

Week 80: November 17, 2017:

1. I can't wait to eat                       on Thanksgiving.

2. My favorite kind of pie is                                 .

3. This year, I am particularly thankful for                                    .

4. A funny holiday tradition in my/our house is                                   .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blessed by Books


I learned to read when I was very young. By Kindergarten, I had figured reading out. No one sat down and taught me how to read, but I remember Grampy reading to me. I am so thankful for these memories.

Every Sunday, after church, Grampy read the “funny paper” to me. I would sit on the floor next to his recliner. He would read in different voices and show me the comics. He would laugh with me over each one. Some of our favourites were Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Peanuts, and Little Iodine. That comic is where I learned about the time change. “Spring forward and Fall back.” I can still see Little Iodine falling backward. With every time change, I think of Little Iodine. And, I think of my Grampy.

Grampy took me to church every week, but he often read the Bible to me, too. He would tell me about each story that he read to me. If I had questions, he answered them to my satisfaction. Grampy taught me that reading was fun, but that it also served purposes. It was the key to learning. Learning was the key to understanding.

When I got to first grade, reading became something that was formally taught. I realized the importance of this subject and was ready. In Chicago, we used the Dick and Jane primary readers. My first official word to read was “look”. I was called on to read out loud. Much to my teacher’s surprise, I did so with great emotion.

I was hooked. I became a fixture at the library. The librarians knew me well, often putting books aside for me. I read everything that I encountered, including newspapers, magazines, ads, and labels. I finally had an outlet, an anchor, and wings…yes, all of these. Reading was my way to learn and to make sense of my world. It also gave me a way to escape it when I needed to. There were plenty of times throughout my life that I really needed to. For that, and many reasons, I am deeply grateful for the ability to read. 

I still read love reading as much as I did as a kid. I may be more choosey, now. But, I still feel excited when I come across something interesting. I love bookstores, because I prefer physical books. I feel a relationship with them. We are old friends. I am deeply grateful for everything they have done for me, and helped me to do. 

Day Fifteen of my Giving Thanks series.