Celebrating Heroes



Memorial  Day:
 
~ In loving memory of those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom ~

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Faith In Action Is Love

 
Thought for the day:
 
Faith requires action... do you put you practice what you preach?

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The Perfect Day

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Thought for the day:
 
A great way to spend a Saturday!

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Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 3


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 with the blanks:

1. Whatever happened to ___________________________?

2. I always ____________________________ on Memorial Day.


3. I used to wish                         , but                       .

4. I just cannot                        , no matter                         .
 
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Here are my answers:

1. Whatever happened to teaching children manners and how to behave in public?

2. I always remember the families who lost a loved one in service to our country  on Memorial Day.  There would be great pride, but it would also be heart-breaking.


3. I used to wish that one day I would be free of the prison I created in my life, but I no longer have to dream of that day - I've been free and content with my life for 9-1/2 years now.  That still amazes me!

4. I just cannot abide people who don't own their behavior, no matter how hard they try to convince me that the fault lies with someone/something else.
 

Go Outside



 Thought for the day:
 
Go outside - fresh air promotes clear thinking!

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Go With the Halo


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I have often said that I manifest both the sacred and the profane in my writing and in my life.  Fairly often I find myself yielding to minor temptations or bad behavior.  One night recently when I was pestering Papa Bear as he tried to fall asleep, he asked me why, and the only valid response I could provide was "The devil made me do it!"  Papa Bear then cited the classic illustration of having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.  "Go with the halo", he said, "not the horns".  I try, most of the time I really do, but as to whether I am more drawn to the halo or the horns, I think it's pretty much a draw. :-)
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I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "DRAW"
Come and share a story of your own!

That's What Friends Are For

 

Thought for the day:
 
Good friends are a wonderful blessing!

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You Can Fly

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 Thought for the day:
 
Use your own wings... fly high!

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Following Her Home

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While out on the town for a good time
She met a man who didn't have a dime
But he had a killer smile, designed to beguile...
Would you like to come back to my place for awhile?
 
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I'm joining Patricia for In Other Words
where this week's writing prompt
is the following quotation by George Carlin:
"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."


Come and add your words to ours!

What Owns You?



 Thought for the day:
 
Does something own you?

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Here We Go Again

 
Things have been running pretty smoothly at the office for almost a year now, but shortly after arriving at work this morning the attorney at our branch of the law firm announced that he was submitting his two week notice of resignation this morning.  He has been here almost two years, and is moving to Dallas for a better opportunity.  I don't blame him for that, it just makes me sad.

Those of you who've been following my blog for the past couple years or more, know the ongoing saga of staff turnover.   I have been here over four years, making me the senior employee at this branch which currently has an attorney and four support staff.  It goes without saying that I am NOT looking forward to yet another transition, and all the accompanying paperwork and issues that go with it, not to mention reassuring clients who will be concerned about having a new attorney handling their claim.  I am old and tired, and I've already done this dance more times than I can count, but what can I do - take a deep breath, take it one day at a time, and hope for the best... or to win the lottery so I can retire.

Please Lord, let them fill the position quickly with someone ambitious and nice to work with, and don't give me more reasons to hang myself from the nearest doorway!


Go!



Thought for the day:
 
Life is waiting for you... Go! 

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Pause

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Thought for the day:
 
Pause today... relax and breathe... tomorrow begin again!

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Enjoy Your Time Alone



 Thought for the day:

Time alone is a blessing - do something you enjoy!

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Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 2


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 with the blanks:

1. Everyone should read _________________.

2. My first ___________________was a _____________________.


3. My favorite time of day is                 , because                .

4. I think dreams                             .

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Here are my answers:

1. Everyone should read The God Memorandum by Og Mendino, it is so uplifting!

2. My first week-long visit to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and Red Cloud Indian School there was an eye-opening experience. Life is so difficult for many there, but the resilience of the children, and their capacity for love, is amazing.



3. My favorite time of day is the morning, because my mind is fresh and rested then, and my outlook on life is better.

4. I think dreams can be caused by different things, such as a response to stress or illness, the replaying of old memories - or maybe even memories of other lives, visits from people who have passed over to the spirit world, warnings, lessons, or reminders of something we need to take care of.

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Change Your Focus


 Thought for the day:

It's all a matter of perspective - focus on the positives!

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Reality Check


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I was talking with a friend the other day about how differently our lives turned out from what we anticipated when we were graduating from high school.  Some of us had grandiose dreams of how we were going to save the world while others were struggling to come to deal with dark realities that we knew nothing about; some were gorgeous, thin and fashionable, while some of us were ordinary and not so thin.  Some were headed for college with all expenses paid by parents and a new car to boot, while others joined the military or searched for jobs with wages good enough to be able to help out mom and dad at home.

It turns out that time is the great equalizer, and as we review our lives from forty years down the road we discover that some of those who seemed to have it all didn't fare as well in the long term, while some of those quiet ones we hardly knew went on to live in wonderful places and do amazing things.  Some of the strong ones have been laid low with cancer or other maladies, and some of the not so strong developed strength and courage far beyond what we might have expected.

In the final analysis then, life is the sum of what happens to us along the way, and how we deal with what we are given... it doesn't matter if your cup is half-empty or half-full, be grateful that you have a cup.
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I'm joining the incredible Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "CHECK"
Come and share a story with us!

The Words You Speak

 
Thought for the day:

What kind of a house are you building with your words?

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Make Someone Laugh

 
Thought for the day:

Laughter is music to the soul - make someone laugh today!

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She Had A Reputation

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She had a reputation for being a dreamer; most of her classmates found her distant and strange. She often talked about things that made them roll their eyes and laugh when she wasn't looking.  She said that one day when she was grown up she was going to build a shelter for abused women and children, and that it would also be a shelter for animals that had no homes. "Oh sure," they said among themselves, mocking her resolve.

She was often found walking the streets and alleys of their city after school, handing out whatever food and personal items she could collect from others, or buy with her meager allowance. She always carried cans of cat food and dog food in her backpack, along with bottles of water and disposable bowls, so she could feed any stray that she encountered. 

After she finished high school she attended a local college and earned a degree in business management while working full-time at a grocery store that let her take all the out-of-date food so that she could share it with the street people who had come to know and love her.

She lived simply in a small apartment and kept mostly to herself, putting away every spare dollar she could from her job, and spending nights and weekends working on grant proposals for the shelter she intended to build.  No one ever thought much about it until a national foundation took interest in her cause and sent a team to the city to meet with her and talk to local officials about her proposal. 

And just like that, more than fifteen years after she had first began speaking of it, her shelter for women, children, cats and dogs became a reality and a place that her community took great pride in.  She became a local legend, with her quiet, caring ways, and an unspoken determination to get things done. 

Never doubt the dreamers, nor concern yourself with reputations based on being different. More often than you know it is the dreamers who hold a call to action, a burning fire in their soul, and will become the doers when the time is right.
 
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I'm joining Patricia for In Other Words
where this week's writing prompt
is the following quotation by Henry Ford:
"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do."



Come and add your words to ours!

Think Outside the Box



 Thought for the day:

Think outside the box - look for other options!

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Do Something Good


Thought for the day:

Do something good today!

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Have An Open Mind


Thought for the day:

Never be afraid to examine things in a different light!

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Have Faith



Thought for the day:

Breathe, everything will work out ok!

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Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 1


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are starting a fun meme called  Friendly Fill-In's this week. 

Here are the first week's statements with the blanks:

1. I want to stop ________ and start ________________.

2. I haven't ___________ in __________________.

3. I believe ____________.

4. My earliest memory is _____________. 

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Here are my answers:

1. I want to stop procrastinating and start making more progress on my goals.

2. I haven't seen my children who live in Tennessee in a year and I miss them very much, although we talk and text and exchange pictures often.  It is hard to coordinate a meet up with four different work/vacation schedules, but we hope to do so soon.
 
3. I believe that we are all family, all related, and that our purpose here is to "walk each other home".
 
4. My earliest memory is when I was sick with pneumonia when I was two.  I was in my flannel pajamas and my parents were preparing to take me to the hospital.  I remember it in a hazy, feverish way, but I didn't know what it was about until I asked my Mom many years later. I spent my first two Christmases in the hospital.

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All you have to do to participate is
complete the statements and link your post up here
This way we can all get to know each other a little better!

Be Yourself



Thought for the day:

Be the real you... that's when you are most beautiful!

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Change of Address



 In 2012 I wrote a post called The Road I've Travelled in which listed the thirty-seven residences in eighteen cities, eight states and two countries that I've called home in my sixty-two years of life.
I've moved with my family, with a partner, and sometimes on my own. Some of those moves were sad and/or scary, but usually I was happy to see the old address in the rear view mirror. I always look forward to the adventure of discovering a new place; I have a Gypsy soul.

Papa Bear has also moved more than twenty times in his life so we are quite content to stay put on our little piece of land out in the country for the time being.  We are talking about making one more move though, to someplace greener than it is here in West Texas; one more change of address before our final forwarding address reads "Gone to Heaven." :-)

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I'm joining the incredible Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "ADDRESS"

Be A Rainbow



Thought for the day:

A caring word can make all the difference!

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A Mother's Love

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Thought for the day:

Never underestimate the power of a mother's love!

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Shine Your Light

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Thought for the day:

Don't let fear overcome you - shine your light!

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More Beautiful With Time

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I'm joining Patricia for In Other Words
where this week's writing prompt
is the following quotation by Harriet Beecher Stowe:
"So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls,
why don't somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?"

A friend close to my age texted me this past weekend.  She started going to Weight Watchers and has lost a little weight, so she bought a new outfit to wear for Mother's Day.  She was proud of it and had her husband take a picture.  Photographs are rarely flattering, and after she saw it she felt fat and ugly, and it ruined her day.  It was heartbreaking.  Why is it that we are taught in our society that beauty can only be found in being slender and youthful?  Why have we defined it so narrowly that a great many women over fifty will not fit the label? 

Is beauty really so superficial that size and youth are the only criteria that count?  What about eyes that shine with the light of humor and love?  What about hands that have washed dishes and scrubbed floors, and tended babies? What about hair that has turned to silver in the course of a lifetime of experiences?  What about a lap that is broad and soft and just right for snuggling grandchildren and reading them stories?  Couldn't we also see these thing as being attributes of a beautiful woman too?

If objects like furniture take on increased value when they exceed fifty years of age - even if they are faded and worn on the edges, and have lost a few screws along the way -  shouldn't the same also be true for women?  I think that we may need to rethink what we view as beautiful.
 
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Come and add your words to ours!

Monday Isn't Doomsday

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Thought for the day:

Attitudes are contagious - make yours a good one!

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Join The Fun Next Friday


My friend Annie at McGuffy's Reader is co-hosting a new meme on Fridays beginning next week. I'm looking forward to joining in, and I think you might enjoy it too!  Here's what Annie has to say about it...

"I miss the Friday “Fill-In” meme. I used to join Hilary of Feeling Beachie for this weekly fun. However, now a busy author, Hilary has discontinued this meme. She still has a blog and is always busy over there. You might want to see what she is up to!

I am not the only one who misses the weekly Fill-In fun. Ellen of 15andmeowing enjoyed this weekly meme, too. After some friendly discussion, we have decided to team up and co-host the “Friendly Fill-In”. My thanks to Ellen's friend, Jamie, at Diverse Designing for the cute badge.

Next Thursday, May 12, we will post four fill-in statements for you to contemplate and fill in. Then, Friday, May 13, we will post our four filled-in statements with a linky, so you can join us with your answers. Every week we will have new fill-ins to share. We hope you will join us and please, spread the word, too. 

This is a fun way to reveal a little bit about yourself, while learning about others, too. We are looking forward to sharing with you!"

It's Friday


I know it's probably not a good thing to spend your life living for the weekends, but the reality is that if you work at a job away home you most likely count down the days each week.  Even though time seems to pass incredibly slow on Friday's, it's usually a happy day at work where everyone feels a bit lighter... we've survived another busy work week and we can smell the scent of freedom. 

Freedom, that's what Friday represents to me - it signals that once 5 PM comes I have the next two days to do as I please, and the only "must do's" there will be are the obligations I place on myself, directly related to my own needs and desires.  I will also have freedom from the non-stop ringing of phones.  The quiet is such a blessing, it clears my mind and restores my soul.

 Thank you Lord for Fridays and the freedom to go my own way!

Innocence

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Look at my sweet little face, the very picture of innocence.
 
Why does Mom always blame everything on me?
 
A book falls off the shelf, she hollers at me.
 
A cookie disappears, she blames me for that too.
 
Really, she has nothing to base these accusations on!
 
Pictures, she has pictures?

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I'm joining the incredible Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "BASE"

Not For Me


Something happened yesterday that struck a dark chord with me.  I was reading some short stories that a blogger had written, and I was enjoying them very much until I came across one that was totally out of character with the other pieces in the collection.  It contained explicit violence in the forms of both predatory rape and domestic abuse.  I have very strong feelings about both of these issues, and I quickly found myself repulsed. 

I can accept a movie or book that incorporates these themes if done for the purpose of enlightenment - if there is a message to the madness, AND if restraint in depiction is used.  I do not want to watch someone being raped, I do not want to see someone being battered, and I certainly don't want to read about it graphic detail if the sole purpose of the content is to entertain me. 

I have been known to walk out of a room or a movie theater, or fling a book to the floor, if I find the violence to be over the top in terms of depiction and if done solely for the purpose of titillation, excitement or entertainment.  Graphic violence is NOT entertaining.  I am not talking about the cowboy shows or cop shows we watched as kids - none of us grew up to accept killing people as a good thing as a result of watching this diluted fare.  I am talking about the sickness that has pervaded our society in which we are willing to spend our time and money being "entertained" by tales of such extreme evil and abuse that it makes my stomach turn. 

If you have ever found yourself in one of these situations or something similar in real life, I suspect you will agree with me that when we read or watch graphic depictions of violence solely to be entertained we erode our sensitivity to the subject, and what should repulse us becomes common fare.  I believe that in finding our entertainment in something so inherently evil we are distancing ourselves from our spiritual nature, and that every time a reader or viewer enjoys such fare the powers of darkness laugh. 

I can only speak for myself, and I know there are many who will disagree, but as far as I am concerned graphic violence is not entertainment, and I hope the day will never come when it doesn't shake me to the very core of my being. Violence hurts.

Do You Care? (C-1)


 A thought for today in one word:

Care!

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This is the final day of
Brenda's 28 Day Challenge at BYG Adventures!
 
I've been using the following format for my posts:
 7 words in 7 days ... April 1-8
  6 words in 6 days ... April 9-15
    5 words in 5 days ... April 16-21
    4 words in 4 days ... April 22-26
    3 words in 3 days ... April 27-29
          2 words in 2 days ... April 30-May 2
                                                         1 word on the final day ... May 3
(Sundays excluded)
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Simplify It (S-2)



 A thought for today in two words:

Live simply!

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I've been participating in
Brenda's 28 Day Challenge at BYG Adventures
using the following format for my posts:
 7 words in 7 days ... April 1-8
  6 words in 6 days ... April 9-15
    5 words in 5 days ... April 16-21
    4 words in 4 days ... April 22-26
    3 words in 3 days ... April 27-29
          2 words in 2 days ... April 30-May 2
                                                         1 word on the final day ... May 3
(Sundays excluded)
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What We Can Learn

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I'm joining Patricia at Patricia's Place for In Other Words
where the current writing prompt is the following quotation by Bill Nye:
"Everyone you ever meet knows something that you don't."

When I read this quote it testifies to the fact that there is always something to learn from another. With each relationship we have in life, be it short or long-term, there are things we can learn and are meant to learn. 
 
Sometimes those lessons come in the form of examples - how to conduct ourselves, what kind of character traits to manifest (or not). Sometimes the lessons provide direction - where we might want to live or what career might suit us. Sometimes they are history lessons, connecting us to our family and the past, and sometimes they are "how to" lessons that teach us new skills or forms of creativity. 
 
But the lessons I treasure the most are the unanticipated ones... the ones we learn from complete strangers in walks of life often far different from our own that humble us and show us what it's like to walk in another's shoes.