Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z Reasons to Smile - "P"

Each day this month I'll be sharing a list of things corresponding to the alphabet letter of the day that encourage and uplift me, the little things that make smile. I hope you'll join me, and maybe add some of your own in the comments! 
"P" Things That Make Me Smile... 

Papa Bear - I think you all knew that my most favorite p-word could be none other than my most favorite person in the whole world - my beloved husband Papa Bear!  Some of you may remember that I had "Papa Bear" tattooed on my wrist for my 60th birthday. I am that certain that the love we share is an eternal bond. <3

Prayer  - Definitely the most important thing on this list, not only prayer, but the power of prayer. It isn't so important that we understand exactly what it is or how it works, but that we believe it does!  Time and time again I've seen miracles big and small happen because a few people offered prayers. That doesn't mean we always get what we pray for, more often than not I am praying for God's divine intervention and His will to be done, because He sees the big picture, and He loves each and person and creature more than we could ever know.

Purple - My most favorite color, it's also the color of my birthstone! The cover for the Surface tablet I am writing on is purple , and my mouse is purple too. :-)  I love all things purple, and I've learned that I am not alone in that.  In fact there is an entire catalog devoted to things you can purchase in purple - www.thepurplestore.com.

Pistachio Ice Cream - My friend Ivy encouraged me to try pistachio ice cream last year because it's her favorite.  Thanks to her, I am now hooked on it too - and that's surprising since I am a lover of all things chocolate, including chocolate ice cream.  This is even better - trust me - try it!!

Photographs - Photos definitely have the power to make me smile, they capture our best moments and turn them into memories!  I love our ability to share photos instantly with our cell phones and tablets now, and I often think of how much my mother would have loved the ability to exchange photo messages each day.

Peace - Peace begins within.  We have to find a place for it in our own souls, and our own lives and relationships before we can hope to achieve peace in the world.  I believe peace is possible, I believe that it is our deepest desire.  Imagine what could be accomplished if we all worked together for the common good!

Pope Francis - Although I am not a Catholic, I truly believe that Pope Francis is a humble and devoted servant of God.  I love not only what he says, but the way he conducts his own life as an example that all can follow.

Post-It Notes - These colorful little squares of sticky paper are lifesavers, having a poor memory and so many things to keep track of at work!  Various sizes adorn my desk and credenza, my computer monitor and sometimes my phone! :-)

Penguins - Penguins just make me smile in their tuxedo suits and funny manner of walking. If you've ever watched a video of the baby penguins sliding and playing on the ice just like human children, you'd be in love with them too!

Perseverance - Persevere is a directive that was revealed to me nearly forty years and, has served well all the years since.  For many of us, life has been all about persevering - about hanging in there when things get tough, enduring the struggles, and putting one foot in front of each other with the clear intent to survive.  I believe that we are each given the inner strength we need to persevere when it is required, even if we don't feel confident that we can.  Hold tight, hang strong, persevere!  Remain fierce in the belief that life brings twists and turns, and good will come around once again!
Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, then click HERE
to check out what lots of other folks have to say about the letter P.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for April 21st

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The April 21st  writing themes to choose from are:

RATTLE or RISK
 or any word that begins with "R"
(for those who are participating in the A-Z Challenge :-)

Please remember that the THEME of your post must be related to the prompt
 you choose, rather than it just appearing as a word somewhere in your post!

A to Z Reasons to Smile - "O"

Each day this month I'll be sharing a list of things corresponding to the alphabet letter of the day that encourage and uplift me, the little things that make smile. I hope you'll join me, and maybe add some of your own in the comments! 
~photo credit~
"O" Things That Make Me Smile... 

Owls - Majestic, amazingly beautiful birds! Alleged guardians of wisdom in some cultures and harbingers of death in others.  They fascinate me!

Oldies Songs - The music of the 50s-60s-70s that I grew up with never fails to make me smile. :-)

Omelets - Papa Bear makes the best omelets of anyone I know.  We have them weekly, if not for Sunday morning breakfast than for supper on a night when we get home from work tired and hungry.

Opals - Beautiful, fragile precious stones that sparkle with fiery light.  I have one opal ring that is now forty years old, a precious memory of long ago.

Overalls - Maybe its coming from generations of farmers or just my quirky nature, but I love a man in overalls and a work shirt or flannel shirt, there's just something down to earth and cute about that! :-)

Oyster Stew - This was a Christmas Eve tradition in our family when I was growing up. Not a favorite food of my kids, I didn't continue it, but it does bring back sweet memories of my Dad who loved it so.

Originals - People who aren't afraid to be originals rather than carbon copies of their peers, make me smile. I understand feeling the need to fit in as an adolescent, but as we grow older it's fun to develop your own identity, and promote what sets you apart and makes you special. We all have our own unique gifts to bring to the world!   I always chuckle when I see forty year old women out with a group of friends and their hair color, make-up and manor of dress is identical.  Be yourself... always!

Orchids - I love these exotic flowers once had a friend with a talent for growing them.  They whisper of tropical places far away from the dry brown landscape where we presently live.

Out of Town - Getting out of town - away from everything - all the cares and to do list items, feels wonderful.  Sometimes it's just the medicine a weary soul needs.  In fact that's just what we are doing this weekend.  The recent weeks of work have been particularly difficult for me, and I found myself feeling stretched to the breaking point, and more and more exhausted.  Papa Bear and I both took today off and headed to Lubbock for the weekend, a nice little get-away for some good food, fun and relaxation.  I'm feeling better already... I hope it helps!

Optimism - I would classify  myself as being an optimist for the most part, and I like being around other people who feel that way about life too.  I recently saw the perfect explanation - "People who wonder whether the glass is half-empty or half-full are missing the point - the glass is refillable."  That's what I believe!  No matter how wrong things sometimes go or how frustrated and defeated I might feel,  I start each new day with hope that it will be a good one and things will work out as they should.  If we believe it's possible, they can!
Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, then click HERE
to check out what lots of other folks have to say about the letter O.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z Reasons to Smile - "N"

Each day this month I'll be sharing a list of things corresponding to the alphabet letter of the day that encourage and uplift me, the little things that make smile. I hope you'll join me, and maybe add some of your own in the comments! 
~photo credit~
"N" Things That Make Me Smile... 

Neon Signs - Classic neon signs were beautiful works of art. They graced motels, caf├ęs, gas stations and the local bar.  There are still some to be seen if you are out and about at night, relics of another time.

Nature Walks - It's a proven fact that taking regular walks outdoors in nature improves not only physical health but also emotional wellbeing.  I think anyone who takes nature walks, even short ones, can attest to this. If you can drag yourself out the door, you will come home feeling better about life, and your soul will feel more at peace.

Needlework- I know how to knit, crochet, embroider, and cross-stitch, and I've done a little bit of crewel, candlewicking, and rug looping.  I love creating with all the beautiful colors and shades of yarn and thread!

Nut Bread - Be it banana nut, cranberry nut, date nut, apricot nut, raisin nut, or avocado nut bread - it's all delicious, and even more so warm from the oven with butter spread on it!

Nail Art - I love beautifully hand-painted fingernails!  I used to have mine done twice a month, but have since abandoned that in favor of other financial needs. My favorite design? Royal purple nails with flowers painted to resemble those you might find on a piece of fine china!  I love gold and silver sparkle highlights too.  One can never have too much sparkle! :-)

Nextflix - Movie watching simplified, whether you subscribe to watch downloads or receive overnight DVD's by mail, it's easy and inexpensive, and means you can have that popcorn in your pjs at home!  We try to always have a couple new movies on hand for the weekend.

Natural Beauty - Although I've always preferred it, the older I get the more I appreciate women who are comfortable in their own skin, aging gracefully and naturally without resorting to coal black hair dye or Botox, or mini-skirts riding high on wrinkly thighs.  Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, all colors and conditions, and to my way of thinking God's gentle touch is so much nicer than our heavy-handed attempts to improve on our looks.  A little goes a long, long way!

Naps - Ahh, the luxury of babies and us oldies!  There is nothing more refreshing than a nice after-lunch nap, and I think it would be oh so nice if we could have a nap room at work!  There are actually Asian countries where such accommodations exist for power naps. But I'm talking more about the luxurious kind where you wake up when you are recharged and ready for more activities or a.pleasant evening shared.  I love mornings and evenings, warm afternoons not so much.

Nightlights - From the hallway or bathroom plastic plug-ins to the incredibly beautiful ones available today (check out Ibis and Orchid Designs at Amazon.com ).  Nightlight offer a bit of comfort and security in that they chase away the shadows and help us navigate dark hallways without tripping over wayward cats. :-)

Namaste - The definition of Namaste (pronounced Na-ma-stay) is both a physical gesture and a spoken spiritual salutation, which is the recognition of the divine spirit (or soul) in another by the divine spirit in you.  It is a peaceful, loving greeting that acknowledges our oneness. I wish that it was used universally.
Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, then click HERE
to check out what lots of other folks have to say about the letter N.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A to Z Reasons to Smile - "M"

Each day this month I'll be sharing a list of things corresponding to the alphabet letter of the day that encourage and uplift me, the little things that make smile. I hope you'll join me, and maybe add some of your own in the comments! 
"M" Things That Make Me Smile... 

Miracles - I believe in miracles.. yes, I do!  I see them in my life and the lives of people I know every day.  Bottom line, God loves us and continues to work things out for good in our lives. Life itself is a pretty amazing miracle if you think about it!

Moss Roses  - Moss roses are the prettiest little flowers in a rainbow of colors that always make me smile.  My mom always had moss rose gardens when I was young, and I love them now. They thrive in our Texas heat.

Mittens - Mittens always make me smile.  I guess they remind me of the fun of childhood winters in Dakota where we would go through several pair in an afternoon of outside play in the snow, as they became too wet and were exchanged for dry ones.  On really cold days we wore two pairs at a time.

Margaritas - Margaritas are the opposite of mittens, but cause smiles just the same. They are adult reasons to smile, perfect for warm weather refreshment. The best ones we ever had were while sitting above the Riverwalk at a Cantina in San Antonio. We are by no means big drinkers as we grow older, and though they tasted quite tame we were laughing as we walked back to our hotel and found that we were weaving a bit!

Music Boxes - There is something magical about music boxes and the beautiful tunes they play with such tiny mechanisms.  I love the old traditional wind-up ones best of all. 

Meerkats - You just have to smile when you see a clan of meerkats - they are adorable, and it's  fascinating to watch their group behavior!

M&Ms - Do you have a favorite color?  Have you ever ordered special colors for a party or reception?  We all grew up with M&M's and the fact is they are just plain yummy fun... but they do melt in your hand, at least that colored candy shell does :-)

Monopoly - Many good times filled with laughter and friendly rivalry have been spent gathered around a Monopoly game, first as a child and then as an adult.  I'm competitive when it comes to board games, but don't let me be the banker... I've found it's rather fun to be unscrupulous and bolster your own stash of bills!!  My kids have forever banned me from being the banker, by the time they caught on I was nearly exploding from trying to contain my laughter! :-)

Magnets - Papa Bear and I collect magnets when we travel or do something fun. Our fridge is covered with little mementos of happy memories made.  Toby has decided that his job is to see how many magnets he can remove at night while we are asleep, and I have to admit he is good at it!  Sometimes it turns into a game of hide and seek and I have to search a bit for missing ones. :-)

Motherhood - "The hardest job you'll ever love."  When you are grown you begin to realize just how difficult it was for your own mother to carry out her role, and you come to cherish the memories once she is gone.  My son and daughter are the two achievements I am most proud of, but I give the credit all to them, I pretty much fumbled along doing the best I knew how.  One thing is certain though - they've always known how much I love them and always will!
Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, then click HERE
to check out what lots of other folks have to say about the letter M.