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

Thankful

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 15andmeowing.com 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.

Quiet Time



Shared with:

&

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Arthur


~The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home
Written by Mikael Lindnord

This tells the true story of not only a dog but of a man, as well. This is their very special story.

Arthur was a pitiful street dog in Ecuador when Mikael Lindnord tossed him a meatball. Mikael was there competing in the Adventure Racing World Championship. Arthur saw a good thing and remained with the team. Mikael and Arthur became a team of their own.

A campaign to get Arthur back to Sweden began. The racing team took to Twitter to help raise funds. The Ecuadorian Social Affairs Ministry Dept. assisted, along with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, in getting Arthur “Home”.

As Arthur was noticed by the media, people came forth to claim him as their dog. However, when his poor health and severe wounds were uncovered, talk turned to prosecution. Claims were retracted. Arthur finally went home to Sweden and Mikael.

Once there, he got the medical and emotional attention that he needed and deserved. Arthur was quarantined for four months as he healed. His health was evaluated and improved greatly.

Arthur finally had a family. But, he also had a purpose. He continued to be part of Mikael’s racing team, accompanying them on more competitions. He also was the inspiration and heart of “Arthur’s Foundation”, to help other street dogs in Arthur’s native Ecuador.

I recommend this book to those who love animals and love happy endings. This story is special. It is about coming from behind and winning. It is also about passing that goodness on to others who need it. And, it’s all true.

Thankful for Others


There are many unsung heroes in our daily lives. Too often they are considered to be just doing their job. Maybe they are, but I think it is much more than that. I appreciate these people.

I am talking about the cashier who takes the time to pull out a coupon for something I am purchasing. There is also the bagger who double bags my cans because we all know the bags will inevitably split from the weight.

I am grateful for the auto service guy who went out to my car to help me re-program my phone to my car after a computer update messed it up. And, I am also grateful for the young mechanic who was so nice in adding air to my tires on the busy and freezing cold, rainy morning.

I am so very thankful for my local pharmacy staff. The technicians treat every medication with detailed care. They make sure that each one is processed in the best, most cost-effective way for us. They check with our doctor, insurance, and include any coupon to help with cost control. This great pharmacy staff also makes sure that we fill our medications on time, for continued care for routine issues.

I am also thankful for the mail clerk who takes the time to put extra tape on a faulty envelope. There is the UPS man who makes sure to leave packages where they stay safe and dry. I appreciate him, too.

There are many people who I encounter throughout my daily routine. I am especially grateful for the ones who take an extra moment to reach out and care about how their job affects me. It makes the difference. I am sure to thank them. I then pass that extra-care on to others that I meet throughout my day.

I am always appreciative of what others do for me. I am also thankful for the opportunity to make the difference for others. I believe that karma can be a wonderful thing, when we make it so.

Day Fourteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bedtime!

Clyde and Maggie find a comfy spot together.

Cuddling is the best part of bedtime!

Stella agrees. Sweet dreams!


Shared with:

I am very thankful for the relationships that our furkids have with each other. We encourage them to interact with each other, but allow them to develop natural interactions. And, they do. The love that they share is a blessing to each other and a joy to us. I am grateful that they love each other as much as we love them all.

Day Thirteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Sparks: 6


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. The link is open Monday through Friday each week. Please link up a positive quote, thought, poem, or verse. The badge and code can be found in my sidebar. Please add the 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 12, 2017

Together Time


Life is busy. So much of life is dictated by the clock. There is always something we have to do or somewhere we need to be. It seems we never really feel that we are caught up.

It is a special blessing to find someone who is happy to adjust their clock to yours. Hours and days shift, blending important moments and marking time. The time together becomes the most important time.

I am thankful to have Bill to share time with. I happily adjust my clock to his. I am very pleased that he does this for me. His home time is very precious to us. We can appreciate the demanding, busy times of daily life, as well as the rare, quiet moments in between.

Time together is always time well spent. No matter what the clock is telling us, I truly appreciate every minute that Bill is home. I know that he does, too. I am profoundly thankful for our time together. When all is said and done, together time is what matters. 

Day Twelve of my Giving Thanks series.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Appreciation for Veterans


I am extremely thankful to be an American. God and country have deep meaning for me. I respect our veterans for preserving America's history while protecting her future.

Many of my relatives and friends are veterans. They served in various branches of the U. S. military, and at different times throughout history. But, the importance of their duty and honour, their reasons for serving, are the same. Their personal service to our country meant something to them. It means something to me, as well. As an American, I am beholden to our veterans.

America’s strength is rooted in the service of its men and women. Their animal counterparts should be honoured for the unique work they do, too. I appreciate each and every one of these veterans for providing and protecting our freedoms and beliefs.

Day Eleven of my Giving Thanks series.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Focusing on Thanks


Bill surprised me with a Ford Focus four years ago. I am grateful for my little car. It was my first brand new vehicle. In the past, we had always gotten new vehicles that Bill drove. They suited him and his needs, as well as family needs. I wanted a Focus "someday". Bill had this one planned out.

My race red car is pretty cute, too. Bill got it with the special black wheels. It looks sporty and matches the black interior, too. It isn’t all about looks, though. Sure, “she” is also fast, responsive, and fun to drive. But, I am really thankful for her because of all of the things that I can do with her help.

I am alone when Bill is on the road. He used to be gone 4-6 weeks at a time. Even now, he is gone all week. I needed a car that would be safe and dependable. My cute little car can help me do it all.  I can still go to appointments, run errands, and make trips to the vet clinic. I am pleased to say that I can even get four big cat crates in there with room left over. I can even squeeze in a Sheltie or two. Trust me; I know.  

I am thankful to be as independent as I am. It isn’t always easy, and a good car is essential. I am especially pleased that my car is a cute little, reliable Ford Focus. Oh, and thanks, Bill!

Day Ten of my Giving Thanks series.

The Legend Lives On...


The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore, twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well-seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made the tattle-tale sound
And the wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too
T'was the witch of November come stealin'
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashin'
When afternoon came, it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When supper time came, the old cook came on deck sayin'
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya
At 7 P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good to know ya'
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go, as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!

Written By: Gordon Lightfoot

~I was raised in (and still live in) the Great Lakes region. I remember this tragedy. I have been to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at the Whitefish Point Lighthouse, just beyond where the Fitzgerald went down. The museum continues to remember the most famous Great Lakes shipwreck with an annual ceremony. The bell is rung 29 times, once for each member of the Edmund Fitzgerald crew, and a 30th time for all who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes. It is with great respect that I remember and honour the crew of The Edmund Fitzgerald, lost to the gales of November 10, 1975.~

Friendly Fill-ins: Week 79


Wow! Seventy-nine consecutive weeks of friendly sharing! Thank you for being here. The fill-ins are posted here and at 15andmeowing.com each Thursday. We post the link for sharing here every Friday. 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, it is more fun for everyone!

It has been the week from a recurring nightmare. Think Groundhog Day. I spent literally half of it at medical offices. The testing should all be about finished, now. I am counting on the doctors to come up with definitive answers and a plan of action that I can live with. Obviously, I cannot resolve this on my own. They are the experts. As a team, I can hopefully get feeling better. I believe that doctors and medical science are modern-day miracles. God provides.

I also had recurring issues with Comcast. Again. The Internet was unstable most of Tuesday through Thursday. This has been a chronic, recurring problem since May. Hopefully, they have finally gotten it resolved with the new lines outside. They already replaced everything inside, piece by piece. So, if I have not visited you, this is why. I hope to start fresh, now. Here it is, Thursday evening, and I finally am getting this scheduled to post. *good grief*

The leaves never quite reached peak beauty here. The weather of late Summer and early Fall was too fickle. Our weather was too hot, then got too rainy, then too hot, then shockingly cold! It really messed up nature with its tricks. No treats. We went from green to a sickly greenish-yellow, and then shades of brown.

I won the much sought-after Teaser Tuesday "First Right Guesser" badge! I love this game. I enjoy seeing if I can figure it out based on clues in the picture. I also love to learn about the places featured. This time I won because the Great Lakes is Home. For many, there is a strong spiritual pull associated with The Great Lakes. I am thankful that Sherri and Pam shared this week’s Teaser pictures. I am sharing my badge on my special page, too.

Enjoy your weekend. Please join us on Monday for Sparks! Share something positive and encouraging. And, be inspired by others. I am inspired by this group of great bloggers!

I hope you enjoyed the fill-ins this week. I did.

1. The best part of where I live is the chain-of-lakes that run through the area. There are also two major rivers that feed into them and surrounding channels. The water attracts wildlife, which can be especially amazing during migration.


2. The worst part of where I live is human interference. People keep tearing the land apart to build more housing, box stores, and strip malls. Then, they “beautify” by strictly landscaping everything, killing indigenous plants and bringing in invasive species.


3. If I had known the true intentions of certain others I would have trusted myself more. I have always had an intuition about people and situations. But, there have been people that I trusted because of who they were. Consequently, I learned some hard lessons about trust. In the end, I must always trust myself the most.



4. My favourite article of cold weather clothing is my lightweight (but warm) grey fleece coat. It was made in the U.P. They know about dressing for the cold UP there!



~May your weekend be only relaxing !~

We are sharing this post with:
❤ Thank you, Sandee! 😺

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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Healthy Thanks


I am thankful for good health care. I appreciate those who provide it, too. This is an important issue, as I have a complicated health history.

I am very much in tune with my health. I have learned to be out of necessity. I have had some very scary situations and some very bad doctors. This makes me even more appreciative of the good ones.

I have seen firsthand what happens when health care is not carefully handled. I am grateful for mostly good outcomes. I am especially grateful for Mayo Clinic for my own health care. They are modern-day miracle workers. But, thankfully there are others, too.

I believe that the field of medical care provides miracles every day. Modern medicine offers miracles in many ways. People are saved, health is improved, and sometimes functions are restored. I believe these are all God-given miracles.

It is necessary to monitor one’s own health. We cannot expect doctors to do it for us. Our daily, overall care must be done by ourselves. However, doctors are there to help us, diagnose when things are not right, fix things that we cannot, and guide us to be as healthy as possible. Achieving good health requires a team effort, especially when there are issues.

I am extremely thankful for modern medicine and good health care. I am sincerely appreciative of those who provide it, too.  

Day Nine of my Giving Thanks series.