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The Magic Carpet Ride

~Author Unknown~

I saw the above poem on Facebook recently, and it was so perfect. For those of us who love reading, books have been our best friends since an early age. They fill our minds with wonder and take us places we've never been in real life.  They make us laugh, they make us cry, they gives us windows into the lives of people we wish we knew, and those we're glad we don't.  When we are sad they comfort us, when we are lonely they keep us company. When we are happy they enhance our pleasure.  When we follow characters from chapter to chapter and sometimes sequel to sequel, we become a part of their adventure and we grow right along with them. 

From the time I was old enough to hold a book I knew that magic existed on the pages between the covers.  I've traveled far and wide  on the magic carpet of reading and learned a great deal more than I ever did in school.  Books show us how amazing and diverse our world is!

I can't imagine how different I would be if books had not been my companions through the years. I many ways I have them to thank for what I have learned about people, life, and what's truly important. I have to agree with Alice Hoffman's quote below that books are true magic... they have the power to unlock minds!
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I'm joining Patricia for In Other Words
where this week's writing prompt
is the following quotation by Alice Hoffman:

"Books may well be the only true magic."


Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 16


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a weekly meme called Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a fun way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. I wish ____________ would bring back ______________.

2. An act of kindness that I do often is  __________________.

3.  I still have __________________ from my childhood.

4.  If I didn't have ___________________, I'd be completely lost.


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Here are my answers:

1. I wish parents would bring back raising children with traditional values.

2. An act of kindness that I do often is taking advantage of opportunities to say or do something that will brighten someone's day, especially someone who isn't expecting it.

3.  I still have many memories from my childhood, some treasured, some not so much ;-)

4.  If I didn't have the Internet to connect me to my friends, I'd be completely lost, or at least very lonely.

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Playing My Part

(Artist Unknown)
 
We tend to believe that people are only important if they have some magnificent gift or talent to share with the world, and most certainly I don't fit in that category.  But in the words of the Blessed Mother Teresa, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”  

The above cartoon was circulating on Facebook recently, and I think it conveys the power one person can have when it comes to healing a battered heart.  This is the role I have always seen myself in. The task that has been assigned to me during my journey here on earth is to do my best to encourage and uplift each others.  In doing so, even if I manage to make just one person feel a little better about themselves or their life, then I've achieved my purpose.  I've also found that any time I am able making someone else feel a bit happier, I end up feeling happier too. That's where the healing part comes in, when we reach out to each other we all feel better!

~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm joining Patricia for In Other Words
where this week's writing prompt
is the following quotation by Marianne Williamson:
"Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world."

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 15


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a fun weekly meme called  Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a fun way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. When I run out of  _____________, I use _____________ instead.

2. My guru is  __________________.

3.  I am afraid of  __________________.

4.  I feel empowered  ___________________.


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Here are my answers:

1. When I run out of  excuses, I use humor instead. :-)

2. My guru is Jesus.  There are others such as Mother Teresa, and followers who are still living, that show us how we can live in the footsteps of the Master.

3.  I am afraid of losing the people I love, especially Papa Bear. I also worry about us not being able to take care of ourselves as we grow older.

4.  I feel empowered when I make a suggestion or a decision and it turns out to be a good one. 
 


 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 14


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a fun weekly meme called  Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a fun way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. My nickname is  ____________________.

2. The first thing I ever won was  __________________.

3.  I have never been to  __________________.

4.  Next year  ___________________.


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Here are my answers:

1. My nickname is  Josie. It is not my given name, but I like it much better

2. The first thing I ever won was an award in high school for "The Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year".  My essay was chosen as the winning entry and it still makes me chuckle because no one has ever accused me of shining in that role! :-)

3.  I have never been to  the Pacific Northwest, but I hope to visit there someday.

4.  Next year  will hopefully go more smoothly than this year, and will be a better year for all

      the people I care about!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 

Unconditional Love

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Beef Tongue - Mmmm!


I clearly recall the time I sat down to dinner with my first husband's farm family and discovered that the meat on the serving platter was quite unmistakably a large tongue. 

 
Needless to say, they were quite bemused by my look of horror as I worked to hold my gag reflex in check.  However, being a good sport I consented to trying a piece, and I discovered that it is some of the most tender, tasty beef you can imagine! 


Like with most "gross" foods, it is much more palatable if you don't know what you are eating. I later learned that it is usually presented already sliced, vastly improving the appearance, but they left it whole at my husband's request just to see how I would respond.  UGH!

Come and share with us at Ivy's
Today's Cue is: Worst Food Ever

Thank Them

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Savannah

 
Today's cue for Ivy's 30 Day Art Challenge is: cityscape. While this isn't exactly a cityscape, it is a collection of some of the incredibly beautiful homes we saw while sightseeing when we visited Savannah, Georgia three years ago.  If you've never been there, GO!  I promise you will fall in love with it just as we did!
Come and share with us at Ivy's
 30 Day Art Challenge
 

Find Some Humor

Thought for the Day:

  

What I Can't Live Without

 
What can't I live without?  That's the question Ivy is asking for Day 8 of her 30 Day Art Challenge.  The first answer that came to mind was my cellphone.  The ability to reach anyone at anytime, anywhere, and to be able to research information about any topic in seconds has changed our lives completely. I would be hard-pressed to give up my phone.  But of course I could live without it, it just wouldn't be very much fun.
 
My next response is far more serious - Papa Bear, I can't even fathom what it would be like to live without him.  I don't want to consider it and I hope I never have to experience it. He has changed my life completely, and without him my life would be so different and I would feel so very all alone. But we know that in reality partners depart this world every day, it could happen to any one of us, and despite my desire not to, I would have to find a way to life without him.  I would, because I am a survivor, but I would hurt.
 
Okay then, what is really, truly ESSENTIAL for life, as I see it?  Nothing in the way of possessions or even people. I read once that "nothing lasts except the grace of God", and in some ways I tend to believe that.  But there has to be something to give meaning to life, to give us a reason to carry on despite our losses.  There are three answers as provided in the Bible - faith, hope, and love. I have existed at times in the past without believing in any of these, and I can assure you those were dark times indeed. 
 
Faith is essential to me, it gives me belief and direction, and is the basis of all hope for getting through the hard times and for better days to come.  If we have nothing to believe in and nothing to hope for, we might as well just give up now. 
 
Then there is the nicest one of all - Love. It has been proven time and time again that children do not thrive without love, and this is true of adults as well.  There are many kinds of love, and many sources, but in order for life to feel like it's worth living, we need the awareness of love. 
 
On that note, sometimes we feel like no one loves us and we struggle through life accordingly. But I want you to know what I know - God loves us!  He has loved us from the time that he created us and will love us for all eternity.  If you aren't feeling that love, it is you who aren't reaching your hands up for it, I assure you his arms are reaching down to hold you.
 
I know for a fact that I could not live with out faith, hope, and love - life would have no meaning and my spirit would surely turn to dust. Let's encourage each other to find these things for their lives too.
  ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 
"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."
                                                                                                   - I Corinthians 13:13                    
Come and share with us at Ivy's
Today's cue is "What Can't You Live Without?"

Make It Count

Thought for the Day:
 
 

What Do you Miss?


The cue for Day 6 of Ivy's 30 Day Art Challenge is "What Do You Miss?"  When I started thinking about the people I long to see, the places that are special to me, and all the times of life that are sweet memories, I started becoming sad because they feel so far out of reach right now.  I decided to approach this differently and just focus on the one place that I that I really love to be and will return to one day, even if not as soon as we had hoped. 

This picture was taken at Galveston Island last October. I love it there! I love the sunrises and the sunsets, the ferry rides, the dolphins playing in the water, dinner next to the tall ship, fudge and ice-cream from the candy store, beautiful architecture, and most of all... a place to get away from the crowds and let the ocean wash my cares away.
 
Come and share with us at Ivy's

Before You Go To Sleep

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 13


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a fun weekly meme called  Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a great way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. I am most proud of  ____________________.

2. I am embarrassed to admit  __________________.

3.  My super-power might be  __________________.

4.  I really wish I could  ___________________.


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Here are my answers:

1. I am most proud of my children and who they've grown up to be.

2. I am embarrassed to admit that my furkids get by with more than my children ever did!

3.  My super-power might be the ability to keyboard for hours on end? :-) Seriously, I don't think I possess any powers great enough to call super. I wish I had the super-power to teleport myself to wherever I want to be.

4.  I really wish I could do more to alleviate the struggles that people I care about are experiencing.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 

Feels Like Home

Thought for the Day:
 
 

A Passion for Purple


My friend Ivy at Uncharted is offering us a 30 Day Art Challenge this month with all kinds of creative cues, a different one for each day. Here's what she has to say about it:
"Art is a relative term, so my intent is to include pieces that may be graphic, written, or maybe even audio. There are no rules, because hard-fast rules for me (in such circumstances) can promote failure. So it’s all about flexibility… so if you only want to do one and make it an essay, then so be it! Go hog wild and do day five on day 25 for all I care… just have some fun."
Today's cue is purple.  Ivy knows it's my very favorite color (and fittingly, the color of my birthstone), so I would be remiss if I didn't join in.

Here's an inventory of the purple things I have around me for everyday use and enjoyment.  I have amethyst rings, and a beautiful chunk of amethyst stone that Papa Bear gave me. There is a purple cover on my phone, and one on my Surface tablet. My computer mouse is purple, as is my pen.  My hairbrush is purple, so is the cat brush and their bowls. I have purple Beanie Bears, purple silk tulips, a purple print lunch bag, and a mug with purple designs.  Along with several shirts that are purple/purple prints, I have purple pajamas, a purple velour robe, and a purple winter coat. Even our bedroom is purple (well, lavender).  I would most certainly dye my hair purple, at least once, if Papa Bear wasn't quite so opposed to the idea, but I do have purple flowers on the tattooed bracelet on my right wrist! 

It's fairly obvious that my eyes are drawn to purple things, and I don't think that I could ever have too many.  Did you know that there is a website where you can buy all things purple?

While purple is the color of royalty, I don't see myself suited to that role, I would very likely lose my head due to a rebellious attitude and a serious lack of proper conduct!  However, Papa Bear gave me the little purple egg pictured above, and I love it as much as I would any royal jewels! :-)

Just for fun, I decided to see what it would be like to have purple furkids... very cool!


 
Joulie thinks so too :-)
 
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 It's not too late for you to join us for the 30 Day Art Challenge!

Let Go

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Thankful Thoughts 8/03/16


Anxiety was my bedfellow this morning as I awoke to ever-present awareness that my last paycheck arrives in my bank account on Friday (if we are paid on time), and after that there won't be another. That's pretty scary when the bills will most assuredly continue to arrive. Then I realized that I'm letting fear and anxiety take control, a total contradiction to my belief  that God has a plan for me, and for each and every one of us. I need to have faith, and I need to focus on staying positive. That begins with an attitude of gratitude - of being thankful for all the blessings I have. With that in mind I'm going to start sharing some of the many reasons I have to be thankful.

Today and every day I am thankful for the amazing love and support that Papa Bear gives me though good times and hard times, he is the rock I lean on.

I am thankful for my children who check in often just to find out how things are going and to make sure I am holding up okay. I know I can always count on them to be in my corner,  and to do their best to cheer me up.

 I am also eternally thankful for the love and encouragement of friends and fellow-bloggers who believe in me and encourage me when I begin to doubt myself. I would be lost without you.

Last, but not least tonight, I am thankful for this opportunity to change and grow, and to write a new chapter in my life. I'm praying that it will be a good one, and that I can navigate the transition  without too much grumbling and whining. :-)

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Hug Someone You Love

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Doing Nothing

 
The fantasized version of waking up on Monday morning without having to go to work, with nothing you have to do, is quite nice.  Unfortunately, this week's reality isn't all that pleasant.  I was wonderful to be able to stay in bed a bit longer, and to cuddle with the furkids when I got up, but not going to work because I have no job to go to at present, comes with a heavy dose of anxiety and dread.  All the what-ifs are dancing in my head.
 
I can't honestly say that I have done nothing; there are plenty of things that needed to be done, such as filing online for unemployment benefits, continuing with the job search, and trying to figure out how to budget the money we will have coming in which, without my paycheck, isn't going to cover everything.  I've run a couple errands in town, and done a few loads of laundry, read a few blog posts and played a few turns of Words With Friends and Yahtzee.  There are endless housecleaning and de-cluttering projects waiting to be done, but my head really isn't into taking much of anything on.  Deep down I'm just beginning to come to terms with the loss of my job. 
 
Being laid-off is not something I anticipated having to deal with at this stage of my life, I don't suppose anybody really does. The angry child in me stomps her feet and says "I don't want to find another job, I don't want to have to go to work at all, I want to stay home."  It's not that I'm opposed to working, I'm just opposed to the ever-present state of stress and fatigue that comes with it. If I could find a job that was not so tiring or stressful, that would be great, but the job market here is pretty thin right now, and there are too many jobs I am not qualified or able to do.
 
I need the perfect answer, and I believe God has one for me, but what that is I don't have a clue at this point. So I will keep hunting, and watching, and praying for direction, and try to relax and breathe in these days I have off and not fear for tomorrow, and not feel guilty if I take a little time to do nothing other than improve my perspective.  But I can say with certainty that having nothing to do isn't really all that fun right now.  
~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm joining Patricia for In Other Words
where this week's writing prompt
is the following quotation by Jerome K. Jerome:

"There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do."

Together We Thrive

Thought for the Day: