Wednesday, December 7, 2022

December 7--Transparency

Let things taste of what they are.  --Alice Waters 

    I've been doing a lot of tasting lately! We've had four nights in a row of sit-down dinners lasting 2-3 hours. The food is wonderful, but I'd just as soon not sit around eating for that length of time. 
    The Waters quote expresses a desire that a person/situation/thing is true to its nature. It's another way, possibly, of saying "what you see is what you get." No subterfuge, manipulation or conniving. 
    I share these words of Alan Watts regarding the difference between belief and faith:
We must here make a clear distinction between belief and faith, because, in general practice, belief has come to mean a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith. Belief, as I use the word here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would “lief” or wish it to be. The believer will open his mind to the truth on the condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas and wishes. Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith lets go. In this sense of the word, faith is the essential virtue of science, and likewise of any religion that is not self-deception.
    Happy birthday to my father-in-law!

These shrubs are just blooming now,
red & green for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

December 6--A New Taste Treat

Only in peace do we have joy. Not by acquiring things, not by doing things, not by earning or learning, but by dedication.  --Swami Satchidananda

    It's pretty peaceful here, and I'm feeling a lot of joy. 
    Yesterday's highlights... I did the usual 24-lap swim, and hung out on the beach. Mid-afternoon a friend and I went across the road to the fitness center for water aerobics. A half-hour of that kicked my butt. (Though I must say I'm not sore this morning from it.) In the evening the resort held the "private" dinner for returning guests. The feature was surf & turf, which I declined in favor of spinach and eggplant lasagna. It was good, really just a big pile of veggies with cheese. The highlight of the meal was dessert--hot cheesecake. It was flavored with the very hot Scotchbonnet peppers, quite an unusual flavor and SO delicious. A bit of nighttime "relaxing" on the beach made for a lovely night's sleep. 
    Time to swim,
After sunset

Monday, December 5, 2022

December 5--Not Suffering in Paradise 😉😉

Harmony makes small things grow; lack of it makes great things decay.  --Sallust

    I think of the harmony in my small grandson's home and how he is growing at a marvelous, happy rate. We know of unhappy homes where great families decay. 
    Enough heavy stuff! I'm in Jamaica, it's fabulous, I'm off to swim laps...

Saturday night is lobster tail night

The sunset catamaran cruise

Sunday, December 4, 2022

December 4--Grateful for Perfect Water Temperatures!

Out of clutter, find simplicity.  --John Archibald Wheeler

    There was a lot of "clutter" around as I was packing for this trip. I stuffed my large suitcase and still came in under 50 pounds. I believe I have everything I need for a simple 11 days in paradise. 
    Yesterday, after a morning lap swim and smoothie at the fitness center juice bar, it was off to the beach. The day went like this: float in the water--read in the shade--lie in the sun--REPEAT. There was a snack somewhere in there, a trip back to the condo for forgotten items, and a couple trips to the bar. Busy, huh?!!?
    Saturday is lobster tail night here, so that was our dinner treat. We had a live band serenading us. Bands here love to play "Sweet Caroline" and get the diners to sing. I'll bet I hear that at least a half-dozen times when I'm here. It's become musical torture for me. 
    We watched the sunset, and I got the most beautiful beach photo, post-sunset. See below. 
    Time to swim!

Saturday, December 3, 2022

December 3--Serenity Abounds

Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is. 
--Thomas Szasz

    I'm in Jamaica, arriving last night after a LONG, crowded trip. Friday night is "Beach Party" night, so the buffet and band were moved out on the beach, and our table was about 20 feet from the ocean. I doubt that there will be much boredom here--it's all serenity to me! Already this morning I've done a 24-lap swim. It is such a treat to swim under the brilliant blue sky 😀😀
    I am not having much luck with internet service here, so postings may be sporadic. 
    Below is one of the interesting sights in the Atlanta airport. There is also a display case of old lunch boxes. 
    More tomorrow, maybe, 

Friday, December 2, 2022

December 2--Woohoo!

We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us.  --W. B. Yeats

    I must confess that I have no clue what Yeats means by that statement. I am happy because today I get to return to Jamaica for 11 days in paradise. I have a desire to travel (inside) and a trip now happening (outside). Maybe that's the idea? 
    Anyway, I am not sure that I want to return to writing the blog. I do look forward to lying in the hammock on our balcony overlooking the ocean and chillin' with my thoughts and Chromebook. So we shall see how things go. 
    Safe travels for me, inside and outside!
I had the colors of the Jamaican flag--
black, green and yellow--
put in my hair. FUN!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

December 1--Harmony. I Think I'm Back.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. 
--Albert Einstein

    December's theme in "Daily Gratitude" is harmony
    How many lives and billions of dollars have been wasted on the oxymoron of "peace-keeping force"? 
    Switching gears, let's look at personal harmony. This idea comes from Rev. Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones. You are the king or queen of your own personal monarchy... "It is the domain of your own life, your mind and body, which means the only inhabitant is you. You are the ruler of your own empire... How does your personal monarchy measure up? What kind of ruler are you? Do you rule yourself with a hard hand and judgmental heart, or do you treat yourself with kindness, generosity of spirit, reverence and respect? The next time you enter the sacred gates of your own mind and heart, be wise, strong and loving--and long live the queen/king."
    It's good to be queen!

P. S. The final quotes for November were:
Nov 28----Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.  --D. H. Lawrence 
Nov 29----The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.  --Michel de Montaigne
Nov 30----True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each hour as it goes by. --E. S. Bouton

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

November 22--Thanksgiving Week

Here are the quotes for the rest of the week while I am taking a writing break:

Nov 22----Praise the bridge that carried you over.  --George Colman

Nov 23----Things do not change; we change.  --Henry David Thoreau

Nov 24----It's never too late--in fiction or in life--to revise.  --Nancy Thayer

Nov 25----Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep.  --Felix Frankfurter

Nov 26----Forget injuries, never forget kindness.  --Confucius

Nov 27----The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

Have a superior, pleasant, bountiful Thanksgiving with safe travels if you are on the roads!

Astronomy Picture of the Day, 11/21/22
The Butterfly Nebula

Monday, November 21, 2022

November 21--Stick a Fork in Me

Life is made up of moments; small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live. 
--Anna Quindlen

    I've decided it is time for a break. I'm tired of the thoughts in my head, and I don't feel like writing. I have written a post every day since April 1, 2020, except for a short break in April 2021. That's over 900 posts. I'm feeling like I write the same things over and over again. My reader count is declining. I'll be back sometime. 
    In support of my break, here is the useful affirmation from today's "Daily Guide" (Science of Mind magazine) by Rev. Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones: "Today, I observe what occupies my mind, soul and body. I give myself permission to take an intentional time-out, the time necessary to rest simply in spirit, mind and body." 
    Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

November 20--Good Stuff

Adopt gratitude as the basic tenor of one's life--gratitude for being alive, for being free, healthy, and intelligent; gratitude for the senses and their pleasures, the mind and its adventures, the soul and its delights.  --Johannes A. Gaertner

    What an excellent suggestion, especially moving into the week of Thanksgiving! Gaertner makes a list of likely items to appreciate, but you can certainly add to it. Gratitude feels good!
An estate sale "treasure" I found

Saturday, November 19, 2022

November 19--Sometimes We Live Bigger, Sometimes Smaller

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.  --Anais Nin

    I'm a mixture of brave/courageous/bold and fraidy-cat. I've driven thousands of miles by myself all over the country this year. I do that without hesitation. Yet I'm terrified to back our RAV4 into the garage. I can drive it in forward just fine, but don't ask me to back it in. I can't even watch my husband do that, and he's comfortable with it. 
    This fall has hammered me, and beat up a bit on my courage. My s-i-l passed in September. I made two trips to PA and Ohio, the second ending with me coming home with Covid. I've fallen twice (only bruises, thankfully). Then on Thursday, the husband of a dear friend passed after a lengthy fight with cancer. I feel like the wind keeps getting knocked out of me. Then there's winter-time setting in, and missing my kids and grandson. 
    But there is a Jamaica trip upcoming in a couple weeks. That will re-spark expansion in my life!
Christmas decorations in Jamaica

Friday, November 18, 2022

November 18--Kindness--More! More!

If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired. 
--Tshi Proverb

    Are you contributing to the good of the whole, or living by the philosophy of "what's in it for me?" Being human, we will most likely be a mixture of those two options. It seems to me that the Trump candidacy and presidency encouraged a widespread return to rude and negative behavior, and that isn't good for anyone. 
    My daily morning prayer is "Please help all of us on the planet to be kinder to each other and kinder to our Mother Earth." 
    Let's all make kindness a continual practice. Every act of kindness matters!

Kindness works in every season!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

November 17--WOW! Cool!

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. 
--Mary Oliver

    I note that today would have been the 81st birthday of my s-i-l Mary Ellen. She passed seven years ago and I still miss her. My Ted Bear is a constant reminder of her love. 
    As an over-the-top-lover-of-lights, we are entering my favorite time of the year. I LOVE Christmas lights!! I'm gradually getting our Christmas decorating done before I head to Jamaica for an early December vacation. Displays are beginning to appear in our neighborhood. No matter how simple or extravagant the display, I love it. I also love Botanica's annual fundraiser "Illuminations," where millions of lights shine in the winter gardens. Lights are set to music, too. It is astonishing. I can hardly wait!
    Ms. Oliver's instructions are simple and "right on." Find a "WOW!" today and tell someone you love about it!
A fabulous avocado toast & poached egg 
breakfast prepared by my son. YUMMY!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

November 16--Give and Give

They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.  --Hindu Proverb

    It's a mindset--one either supports circulation and flow in life, or one dams it up. My dad was a very generous person, giving freely of his time and financial resources. He and Mom started life together with very little, so he could have been a miserly hoarder of all he earned. He taught me the "keep the flow going" lesson for which I am eternally grateful. Giving continues to bless my life every day. 
    Everything in nature gives abundantly. We would do well to follow that lead.  

Fall leaves--now there is abundant giving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

November 15--Balance

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. 
--Lionel Hampton

    This is certainly true for the many wonderful people in my life. It makes my heart feel happy to think of them and how they have blessed my sojourn on Mother Earth. 
    Life has been interesting lately. In the past two weeks I have had two nasty falls. One was when I fainted during Covid, and I bruised my left side in assorted places. The second was when doing some cleaning (see, I told you I despise cleaning!) and Christmas decorating. I fell off a chair (insert here: "that was dumb!!!") and fortunately, our recliner broke my fall, so I bruised only my right side. I feel great gratitude that these did not result in any injuries more significant than bruises. Alas, I hate being thought of as "an old person who falls." I have not fallen in years before these two incidents, and I don't plan to fall again for a very long time! I attribute my toughness to Melt and yoga and staying active, and that's good motivation to continue those practices. 
    Upright and moving,
I say often: "It's a good thing one does not have
to have perfect balance to be a yoga teacher!"

Monday, November 14, 2022

November 14--little/BIG

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  --Robert Brault

    Amen! I think of my sweet husband caring for me during my recent experience with Covid. I stayed in the lower level of our house, and he was up and down a lot bringing me food, water, meds and anything else I requested. That was definitely a "big thing."
    There are so many things in my life that are little/big things: swimming, golf, walking Barney, hanging on the new deck with my husband, road trips, gardening, fun times with family and friends, home-cooked meals, teaching and coaching... Looking at this list I see that it is the day-to-day "little" activities that make for a great life, and that is one BIG thing. 
Sweet Barney 😍

Sunday, November 13, 2022

November 13--Phrases of Love

There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it. 

Thank you
You're welcome

    How about we all use those three phrases more often? It would make both me and Miss Manners happy. I suspect that we have all had poor service and good service. Given that most of us generally prefer good service, let's acknowledge it! The more we bless good service, the more we shall receive it. 
    Lovingkindness pays,
A fern in the woods of PA

Saturday, November 12, 2022

November 12--Living or Existing?

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.  --Oscar Wilde

    It is quite difficult from the outside looking in to tell if someone is living or merely existing. What about Mr. Wilde--it is commonly known that he really enjoyed his alcohol.  Was he living or existing? Addiction is rampant in our society. Having been on both sides of addiction--actively using and recovering--I can say that if one is still practicing the addiction, that's existence, not living. 
    Each individual must decide what it means to live, and if the effort is worth it. This is an ongoing process for all. Many changes have been happening in my life, and I am pondering what my new version of living looks like. What do I want to keep? What do I want to release? The clearer my picture of living, the more likely I am to create it. 

Where is your path leading?

Friday, November 11, 2022

November 11--It's TIME!

They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.  --Andy Warhol

    Isn't time an interesting thing? What did people do before clocks were invented? There must be some natural organic function within us that understands the passage of time and could easily guide us through life without clocks. But then I would be late for appointments, which would drive me nuts. 
    Sometimes, however, I feel like there is always a time readout in my face, emphasizing the super-quickening forward march of time. Nowadays when I go into a hotel room, I either cover the clock faces or turn them to the wall. I'm really looking forward to my upcoming time in Jamaica where no one cares what time it is!
    Consider the idea that time heals. I guess that's so for a physical wound. I'm not so sure about grief. I believe time can mellow a heartache, but it doesn't eliminate it. 
    There is very interesting information relative to time in the book by Gay Hendricks titled "The Big Leap." Time is human creation and we can create as much of it as we want. Have some fun with that one!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

November 10--We Can Do Better

Our life is the creation of our mind.  --Buddha

The land itself and the conditions of that land, like altitude and climate, impact our genome just as our human ancestors do. We are born on it, die on it; we come from it and return to it. The land and the waters, oceans and rivers, are part of us, relatives and ancestors in a very real way.  --Patty Krawec

    Two quotes today. Let us use the powerful creative ability of our mind to take better care of our dear Mother Earth. We belong to her rather than she belongs to us. 
    Let us use the powerful creative ability of our mind to take better care of our magical and mysterious bodies. Our priceless vehicle for being alive on the Mother deserves our loving attention and care.
    Let us use the powerful creative ability of our mind to take better care of our mind/spirit/emotions. It is essential for expanding into new consciousness that creates a world that works for everyone. 
    Let us use our creativity wisely,

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

November 9--I Gotta Be Me 🎵🎵🎵

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.  --Anna Quindlen

    There it is again... perfectionism. I think we can pretty much agree that "perfect" doesn't exist, yet our society is still insanely encouraging this concept. At the least, this is keeping our kids from being kids, and at the worst, killing them when they take their own lives because they don't "measure up." Perfectionism and its Siamese-twin judgmentalism are widespread, insidious and destructive addictions. 
    Why not delight in the unique specimen of humanity that you are?!?! What is wrong with you? Too short, tall, fat, thin, pale, dark-skinned, smart, stupid, lazy, hyper, disorganized, anal-retentive, ugly, beautiful?!?!! Clearly I could go on and on. Welcome to the human race! We all have some reason to get down on ourselves. Stop it! 
    Every part of every one of us enjoys appreciation much more than criticism.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

November 8--What Does Yours Say?

Our faces become our biographies.  --Cynthia Ozick

    Can you look at your face in the mirror and smile? It's a worthwhile practice. If we can't see the Light within ourselves, how could we see it in others?
    Being well into my sixties, I have wrinkles in my face. Lots of life experience went into making those! I have brown eyes which I love. My skin is healthy--I don't use a lot of "product" on it because "clean" feels best. Gravity is taking its toll, but my smile still works, and I like to use it a lot. 
    Joyful appreciation of my face leads to joyful appreciation of life.

Then and...

Monday, November 7, 2022

November 7--Be SomeONE

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone.  --Coco Chanel

    I'm having thoughts of ...
  • comfortable in my own skin
  • progress, not perfection
  • nothing to prove
  • live and let live
    A person comfortable in his/her own skin could be in the lowliest of positions, ruler of a country, or anywhere in between. Being true to oneself is a much more rewarding career than any occupational role. Note that we are always with ourselves. Jobs come and go. I was a store clerk, a legal secretary, a computer geek, a finance manager and a tax preparer. None of those defined me, even though the jobs were generally fun and satisfying at the time. 
    "Progress, not perfection" is a common 12-step program saying. Progress/growth/expansion is the natural process of life, while perfection does not exist (despite endless, absurd striving for such). I think a lot of perfection-seeking is a cover-up with "something" when one is not comfortable with the "someone" he/she is. Perfectionism leads to judgmentalism, not a characteristic to be cultivated by a serene "someone."
    In a world constantly demanding bigger, better, and more, taking a stance of "nothing to prove" is quite bold. Having nothing to prove is an internal stance of self-approval that does require accomplishing something to be fully aware of one's worth. 
    A "someone" who is practicing the first three naturally operates in "live and let live" mode. If I'm happy with myself, I don't need you to be different to make me happy. "How many cares one loses" when one stays out of other folks' business. 
    Good with where I'm at,

Barney explores the neighbor's 
driftwood lawn display.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

November 6--"No Joy in Mudville"

The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest comes. 
--Diana Vreeland

    This is my annual post pouting about the end of baseball season. Alas, I was cheering for the Phillies, whose offense took a premature vacation, and they lost the World Series last night to the Cheaters, I mean, the Astros. March 30, 2023 is Opening Day, only about five LLLOOONNNGGG months away. 
    My elegant mind will have to be entertained by basketball, grandson fun, the occasional trip, and chilly winter walks with Barney. Maybe another worthy puzzle will challenge my winter months. 
    Looking forward to "PlayBall!!!",

Saturday, November 5, 2022

November 5--What Is A Day Worth?

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day. 
--Alexander Woollcott

    Well, I agree with that, but then I run into the self-agonizing debate of "Am I enjoying this day enough?" and "How should I be enjoying it more?" That debate alone can ruin a day's enjoyment!
    Yesterday felt pretty unimportant. I'm recovering from Covid, feeling better, but still quarantined. Most chores were done, there was no good sports on TV, I was bored, and naptime did not produce any rest. Yet I caught up on my bookkeeping, started a good book, gave Barney some belly rubs, and had a wonderful video chat with my grandson and son. It was an important day.
    Let us value this day,

Friday, November 4, 2022

November 4--Precious Time

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  --Carl Sandburg

    Now that I'm in my sixties, I am acutely aware that when I am watching the timer on the microwave go down, those are seconds of my life ticking away. That's a little distressing. 
    I had a first in my life early this morning. I fainted. I had gone to the bathroom and was headed back to bed. I was a little woozy but I thought I could make it to the bed. Next thing I know, I wake up on the floor. My first thought, after discerning that I was on the floor, was "Why the hell am I sleeping on the floor?!?!" So I hopped up and got in bed. Then I realized I had fainted, and that my angels did a helluva job keeping me from greater injury. My left shoulder and knee are bruised, minor compared to what could have been. Is this Covid-related? Who knows!?! I'd prefer never to repeat it. It's completely freaky to have fallen and have no recollection of it whatsoever. 
    I'm feeling better, so hopefully the worst of this Covid illness is past. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022

November 3--The Heart Goes Everywhere

Integrate what you believe in every single area of your life. Take your heart to work and ask the most and best of everybody else too.  --Meryl Streep

    That "head cold" I mentioned in yesterday's post has tested as Covid. I notified everyone I was around--so far, so good. I believe very strongly in my body's ability to heal, so hopefully this will pass in a few days. The tiredness is astounding. It felt like a great effort last night just to lie in bed and watch TV!
    I love Ms. Streep's quote. It seems so often that our society is in dumbing-down mode, operating on mediocre, instead of encouraging the best from all. We'd all do well with the reminder to "take your heart" everywhere. 
    I am home from my big back-east trip--just over 2,800 miles driving and a huge amount of fun. I'm grateful for safe travels and happy to be home, where my sweet husband is taking great care of me. 

The place in PA where my dad taught me to swim.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

November 2--Freely Giving

A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.  --Vyasa

    Let's ponder how good we are at "expect nothing in return." It seems like there are strings attached to everything. One of my pet peeves in life is giving a gift, then being given one immediately in return because the giver feels we have to stay even.
    That's it for this morning. I'm headed home today, and I've managed to pick up a head cold, so all I want is to get home and go back to bed!
    More tomorrow!
One of the bears at
Bear Creek Resort

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

November 1--I Appreciate My Awesome Family!

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.  --Voltaire

    Welcome to November! The theme is wisdom
    I found this wonderful quote from Richard Rohr, and it warmed my heart relative to my recently transitioned sister-in-law: "When my mother passed over, I had no doubt that she built a bridge—I don’t know what other words to use—she built a bridge and she took some of me over with her, and she sent some of herself back." Isn't that a wonderful way to view the passing of a dear loved one?!?
    I had a lovely day in northeast Ohio yesterday. I swam at the Akron YMCA, then picked up my brother for a 12-step meeting and an ice cream adventure. Being Millers, naps ensued. Then I did MELT and yoga with my niece. We retrieved my brother, and my niece, great-nephew and I took him out for dinner at Red Lobster. Every moment with these folks is priceless. I head today for Missouri and another evening with my in-laws.
    On the road again 🎵🎵

Monday, October 31, 2022

October 31--One Weed, Mostly Flowers

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.  --James Russell Lowell

    As a lifelong gardener, I am at least slightly challenged by that one! But I get it. It all depends on how you look at things. 
    Yesterday's drive through "my old stomping grounds"... Big Valley is beautiful--mountains on both sides, perfectly-maintained farms, old houses and lovely gardens. I drove to Alan Seeger Natural Area and trekked the "Alan Seeger Loop." This is the equivalent of "died and gone to heaven" for me. I was tickled at the end to find this new sign: 

Now we know!
    Then it was moving on to check out, for sure, whether or not the home I grew up in was still there. On the second pass by, I stopped and knocked on the door of a completely different house on the property, hoping the new owners might know what happened to my childhood home. No answer. But at least now I know for sure that a huge landmark of my life is gone. 
    I met up with my BFF from middle school, and we had a great time catching up over lunch in State College. Then it was off to Ohio to visit my brother, niece and family. Lots more driving, lots more joy!
    Happy Halloween!

At Alan Seeger

Sunday, October 30, 2022

October 30--I See LOVE!

There is so much in the world for us all if we only have the eyes to see it. 
--L. M. Montgomery

    Let's be literal for a moment. When I was 20 months old, I had eye surgery to correct a crossed left eye. Fortunately my parents figured out that the reason I was having difficulty in school was because I couldn't see the board, seated as I was at the back of the room. So I have been wearing glasses for distance nearly my whole life. But even at age 67, I can see things up close without glasses. That's a huge blessing!
    The wedding and celebration was awesome fun!! Lots of dancing, cheering, great food and drink--quite the celebration! I feel extraordinarily blessed to be present for all of it!
    Today I drive through "my old stomping grounds," the area where I grew up. I get to go to Alan Seeger Natural Area in central PA--as far as I'm concerned, it is the most beautiful spot on the planet. I drink in the beauty of this area--the mountains, streams, fall colors, fresh air, bazillions of trees (I'd guess that one PA mountain has more trees than the entire state of Kansas). My "eyes to see" shall be filled to overflowing!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

October 29--Woohoo!! Good and Gooder!

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.  --Oprah Winfrey

    I like the reminder to be thankful IN everything, because I have a hard time being thankful FOR everything. At this moment, I am very thankful for safe travels and arriving safely at the wedding venue, Bear Creek Resort in southeastern PA. There is still much color left in the PA mountains. It is beautiful! I love the feeling I have in my heart driving the winding back roads of my home state. 
    I feel like my life has proven Ms. Winfrey's quote, and even greater expansion of the idea is always possible, because Source is infinite. Potentials are infinite.  ANY attitude we live by will bring us more of the same. It applies to negativity and cynicism just the same. I would suggest that gratitude feels better and is the preferred way to go. 
    I'm so thankful for my new grandson!! I'll take more! 😉😉

Bear Creek (Ski) Resort, the view from our balcony.
Note the wedding site at the bottom of the photo.

Friday, October 28, 2022

October 28--Why Not?

A little perspective, like a little humor, goes a long way.  --Allen Klein

    I'm in a Comfort Inn near Wheeling, West Virginia. Yesterday's 600-mile drive was fairly uneventful. I'm disappointed in that most of the brilliant fall color of this area is on the ground. Not many leaves left on the trees. But the weather is lovely, and I am grateful for that. 
    When I tell folks about taking off on a trip such as this one, the first response I usually get is "By yourself?!?!" I do sometimes reflect that my long driving trips are a little nuts, but a) family events are important to me; b) I can't accomplish what I want by flying; c) we bought a new vehicle to make these trips safer and more comfortable and most importantly, d) why not!?!!--I am perfectly capable, and up to 600 miles is doable because I've done it often going to/from Colorado to see our kids. 
    Here's a recommendation for an excellent 6-hour audiobook: Handling Your Fire...Passion, Burnout, Routines and Resilience by Rob Bell. I'm in the midst of figuring out what I want to do in life (after tax work), and this gave me some very different perspective on where I'm at and where I want to head. 
    Actually, I'm headed to southeastern PA today, only ~300 miles. Easy day with family fun at the end!

Ted Bear, my copilot.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

October 27--MY favorite colors

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.  --Marcus Aurelius

    Today my perspective travels along I-70 between Wentzville, Missouri and Wheeling, West Virginia. It's a long, nearly 600 mile trip. I had a lovely visit with my in-laws.
    This quote is a reminder to me to not take everything so seriously. My perspective colors everything in my favorite colors. Knowing your favorite colors are likely different from mine, and just as valid, I remember to be more curious than critical. I am reminded that the world does not revolve around me. 

Note the moon.
Around Lake Dowdy, Colorado
My opinion: beautiful!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

October 26--Sunshine

The greater part of life is sunshine.  --Thomas Jefferson

    Hopefully sunshine will bless my travels as today I head east toward PA for a family wedding and other assorted adventures. 
    Here is some light from Kryon to ponder. Kryon is a loving entity from the other side who speaks through Lee Carroll. Learn more here.
Pleasing God

The perceptions of humanity are that you must somehow please God with your goodness. I want to tell you, angels, you’ve already pleased God because you’re here!

You’ve already pleased God! You don’t have to think about being fearful or worry about what you might do to displease God because of some kind of a super reward and punishment system on the other side of the veil. There isn’t one.

It’s hard enough while you’re here, isn’t it? If you ever knew how much you were loved, you would never think for a moment there’d be punishment on the other side of the veil, even for the darkest among you.

Yet your major religions are all based around this feature. A billion of you feel that you arrived "dirty," already broken and carrying the burden of humanity’s darkest deeds.

Then, if you join and perform certain rituals and beliefs, you can overcome this horrible fate. In the process, those who never find out about how it works go to Hell! Does this make any spiritual sense to you?

It’s time to understand how Human this concept is.
There's some sunshine for you!
Another amazing Kansas sunrise

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

October 25--Flowering

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.  --Henri Matisse

    Yesterday when I was walking Barney in the neighborhood, I noticed a crack in the middle of a sidewalk section where there were blades of grass peeking through. We should all have the perseverance of the seeds that sprout through cracks in the most dismal of conditions! And yes, some of those "weeds" even produce flowers. 
    If you are a parent or grandparent, you have probably been gifted with a "flower" bouquet presented by little hands and a big smile of love. Praise life that little ones will always find flowers no matter how barren their surroundings may seem!
    For many decades as a gardener, I've noted in the description of some plants: "flowers insignificant." For example, one generally plants hostas for the foliage, and the flowers are not that impressive. However! Flowering to me indicates plant health, so whether the flowers are lovely or not really doesn't matter. Plants are meant to flower. 
    So are humans!

Monday, October 24, 2022

October 24--Simplicity

It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.  --Amelia Barr

    I used to work with a person whose philosophy of life could be summed up this way: why do anything simply when we can over-complicate it? The filing system this person used was maddening. 
    I think a lot about keeping things simple. I took on a golf league treasurer position two years ago. For that I was given a whole bunch of spreadsheets to maintain in order to keep track of income and expenses and create reports. Being the bookkeeper I am, I moved all the information into Quicken, and now the job is so simple and easy. Quicken does the work for me. 
    I like to keep things simple in terms of "stuff," too. Less is more! I've become ever more conscious of not bringing more stuff into the house that I will one day have to dispose of. I have to REALLY like something to want to add it to my stuff collection. I'm even reluctant to start any new hobbies because it would require more accessorizing with stuff. 
    Experiences--that is what I prefer to collect. Simple adventures are always marvelous!
    My mother used to say, "Give a lazy person a hard job, and he/she will find an easier way to do it." That's marvelous advice that I've taken to heart personally!

Wildflowers along an Ohio Hike-Bike Trail

Sunday, October 23, 2022

October 23--"In Living Color"

One should absorb the color of life, but one should never remember its details. 
--Oscar Wilde

    I've read that after one dies, there is a full life review. I certainly don't know if that's true, or even if it's a good thing, but I surely would be surprised to see the many things ("details") I have forgotten!
    I think of our recent hike around Dowdy Lake in Colorado. The nearly-cloudless sky was brilliant blue. The aspen leaves were vibrant yellow. The water was crystal clear, the huge rocks, gray, the fall vegetation, dusty brown, and we were surrounded by evergreen. 
    Imagine the picture below from that hike without color. The details would still be there, but it would be nothing without the color!

Dowdy Lake, Colorado

Saturday, October 22, 2022

October 22--Ebb and Flow

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.  --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I'm in the midst of some deep, deep spiritual excavation to release stuck energy from a traumatic incident when I was four years old that has affected the rest of my life. Awareness of the potency of this energy has come as a by-product of the grief I feel relative to my sister-in-law's passing. I've passed through a lot of tears and sadness, and I expect there is more to come as I continue to process this. However, with plentiful prayer support, I am already feeling lighter. The "lowest ebb" is quite useful in helping to free me from some lifelong habits that don't serve me. 
    The tide is turning,

Friday, October 21, 2022

October 21--Let's Think Differently

A mistake is simply another way of doing things.  --E. B. White

    Comically, the photo accompanying this quote is of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 
    Wouldn't that significantly lighten our load in life if we adopt the sentiment of White's quote? We could simply say, "Well, that didn't work," and move on, rather than berating ourselves for the error? That is a much more self-loving approach to life. 
    On the topic of self-love, I offer these words by Civil Rights leader and activist Ruby Sales:
It’s hard to love yourself when you follow people who degrade your humanity and teach you to hate other people. It’s hard to love yourself when you’re being used by powerful people to carry out an agenda that buttresses their power but disempowers you. And so I think that the critical question that all of us must deal with in the 21st century, is how is it that we can love ourselves so that we might extend that love to others? Because I think that we have been taught to hate and despise ourselves...
    Self-appreciation leads to other-appreciation. We could use lots more of that.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

October 20--Big Truth

Life itself is a gift.  --Daphne Rose Kingma

    Amen! I don't know how much I can add to that. But I'll give it a shot...
    I had a lovely birthday this week. I was blessed with lots of cards, calls, texts, and well-wishes--I was even serenaded via voicemail. Both sons remembered. My longest-time friend since 7th grade in PA called. We have been friends for 55 years! I swam and had a pedicure and a haircut. I had ice cream AND carrot cake. (And I'm ready to return to my much healthier diet!) I feel far better at 67 than I would have ever thought possible. 
    One of my birthday treats was a new photo of my grandson. He is the perfect gift of life, and I get to watch that precious new human grow, explore and learn. I can't think of a greater gift. 
Huntingdon High School,
Class of 1973

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

October 19--A Very Influential Life

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. 
--William Shakespeare

It is time to offer my tribute to my recently-transitioned sister-in-law, Sue.

    Both my brothers had excellent taste in women. I'm not so sure about Sue's and Mary Ellen's taste in men, but I'm glad they both said YES! And both sets had many good years together. Maybe it was Sue's life-long sexy legs that attracted Arlie???
    Sue made the best spaghetti & meatballs on the planet. She was a great cook. Mealtimes with Sue were so much fun. Her infectious laughter was always present. 
    In preparation for the memorial service, we looked at lots of family photos. Though I have no recollection of it, I was the flower girl in her wedding to Arlie. What an honor! As it turns out, that was the only wedding I was ever in. 
    Sue was always willing to listen--we had many a good and meaningful conversation. We both had some pretty challenging family issues in our backgrounds, so that we had some experiences in common there. We also had common recovery experience.
    Sue and I shared a love for gardening and sewing. She served multiple causes with her sewing and knitting skills, determined to be useful and helpful even when she wasn't feeling well. We enjoyed many hours sitting in her garden by the lovely water feature she maintained.
    What a dog lover she was! I know it tore out a piece of her heart to part with Shadoe. I always enjoyed a good "doggie fix" when visiting.
    Beach trips were so much fun with Sue. I would not have the love of the beach that I do without Sue and her love for it.
    She stuck it out through what I know were some rough years with Arlie. She was a military wife. She went through Arlie's two tours in Viet Nam. Once I became a wife and mom myself, I had a new awe for her fortitude, both physical and emotional. She was a single parent with a husband in constant danger as an Army Ranger. She was one STRONG woman.
    Sue gave me a niece and two nephews whom I dearly love. She was a great mom and taught me a lot about mothering and grand-mothering. Since my mom died when I was 23, Sue and Mary Ellen (my other late s-i-l) were like mothers to me. She was so excited about me becoming "Grammie" for the first time this past August.
    My husband said, "It's so sad that she spent so many years in pain." Mercifully, that's over now. Sue, we miss you, love you, and know you are in bliss and at peace. 
    I can hear her joyful laugh right now.
    C. S. Lewis once said " To know the grief now is because we knew the love then."
    Sue, our love for you and your love for us will never die. Thank you!


The "girls" on a pedicure adventure...
Sue is on the left.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

October 18--🎉🎉🎉🥳🥳🥳

There are no facts, only interpretations.  --Friedrich Nietzsche

    You know what? It's my birthday, and I think that IS a fact. 
    My interpretation is I don't feel like thinking hard enough to write about Nietzsche's quote. 
    As the song by Rare Earth goes:
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
I just want to celebrate another day of life 
    Party on, friends!

5-year-old me, the flower girl

Monday, October 17, 2022

October 17--I'll Take Open with a Clear View

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. 
--Helen Keller

    My faith is telling me that there are open doors awaiting me, but I feel that I can't see them at the moment. 
    One of my biggest challenges in life is letting go of my sons. This process has been going on for nearly two decades (yes, I said decades!!), and I expect it will continue till the day I die. Letting them go while still loving them intensely and wanting to be with them is no small challenge for me. On the Colorado visit just completed, we barely saw our younger son due to his work schedule. At the time he said he could meet us, he didn't show due to resting up for later work. So it was a legitimate excuse, but it hurts nonetheless. This is not uncommon behavior for him which I should be used to by now, and able to easily overlook. 
    Our older son now has a wife and a two-month old son (my grandson!!!) which has completely changed his focus in life, as it should. We are all figuring out this new arrangement, and what is a comfortable level of being together. The pessimist in me feels "doors closing"... will I ever get to golf with my son again? Will we be able to truly know our grandson living so far away? 
    Staying focused on "open,"

Sunday, October 16, 2022

October 16--Mountain Adventure

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.  --Henry Ford

    But alas, driving into the fierce wind lowers gas mileage! This happens often on our Wichita to Fort Collins drives. Today we leave our grandson and his parents and return home. It is literally downhill all the way. 
    On Friday we enjoyed a beautiful drive into the mountains to hike around Dowdy Lake in the Red Feather Lakes area of Colorado. My husband, son, grandson (strapped to his dad's chest), three dogs and I trekked the almost 3-mile trail around the lake. It was quite breezy, but the sky was bright blue, the air fresh, the sunshine brilliant, and the water crystal-clear. The return back to Wellington was a scary, winding, beautiful drive through the Poudre Canyon. We enjoyed "lupper" at the restaurant where my younger son works, and bought dessert at Mary's Mountain Cookies. Fort Collins is extra-hopping this weekend because of homecoming and family weekend at CSU. 
    Below are a few pics from the hike...