Saturday, March 25, 2023

March 25--Are You Your BFF?

Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.  --Eleanor Roosevelt

    So true! If you don't like yourself, the one person you can't get away from, how could you like anyone else?!?!?! I've been around folks who continually criticize themselves--that does not make for any sort of pleasing long-term relationship. If one can handle his/her own internal "good/bad/ugly," it makes one much more ready to handle that in others. 
    I'm off to make new friends on the pickleball court!
        Leta

We are ALL LOVABLE! 

Friday, March 24, 2023

March 24--It's Really Not a Bad Thing

There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self. 
--Edith Wharton

    Think about who that friend is for you. Maybe there is more than one. Let him or her know how much the friendship means to you. 
    Tax season work can get heavy, so I feel like writing about something funny. My husband and I were enjoying beers on the deck last evening before dinner. We started talking about being "anal" about certain things. I had gone to the bank and picked up some cash and the teller put all the bills in proper order. I like that. My husband and I agreed that if the teller doesn't do it, we immediately rearrange it outside in the vehicle. He jokingly said that when they was interviewing prospective programmers at the Eagle, they would give them a pack of Smarties and see what they did with them. If they laid them out and sorted them by color, they were hired on the spot. I busted up laughing because below is the picture I had taken at my lunch time earlier in the day...

Reese's Pieces,
properly arranged 😀
Then he pulled out his money clip (a binder clip), and we both arrange our cash in the same way--ones on the outside, bigger bills inside. I think we were meant for each other. 
    Nerds rule!
        Leta

Thursday, March 23, 2023

March 23--Freely Given

"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."
"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing."  --E. B. White in Charlotte's Web

    How many times have friends rescued us just by being friends, just by being there? It's what we do as friends. Friendship is not something we deserve. We create it by being our natural, authentic, open selves. That is a "tremendous thing."
    I'm thinking of things that are simply given to us in life, that we did not do anything to produce--sunrises, sunsets, flowers, rainfall, beaches, mountaintops--all the spectacular wonders of our awesome Mother Earth. Let's be friends with Her. 
        Leta 
A 2000-year-old live oak in FL,
read its story below...


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March 22--Wonder

Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship--never. 
--Charles Caleb Colton

    I'll let you do with that one what you will. 
    Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations this week are on the "beginner's mind." The idea is to approach life with the curiosity and enthusiasm of a child. We could all use a little (or a lot) of that. Here's his description:
Beginner’s mind is a readiness to always be in awe, to always be excited. We see it in children and in people who don’t filter everything through the brain. Beginner’s mind is one’s mind before the hurts of life have made us cautious and self-protective. We can still be excited, we can still be in awe, we can still expect tomorrow to be different than today. Mostly, beginner’s mind is someone who’s not in their mind yet. That’s the freedom. They can still experience naked being apart from filtering it through mental categories. That’s what it comes down to.
    Have a wonder-full day!
        Leta
Outside a cookie store in Savannah

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

March 21--New Worlds

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.  --Anais Nin

    I love how the Universe brings people together. I have several examples of this quote in action. 
    The first is meeting my husband through mutual friends at the company where we all worked. I grew up in Pennsylvania and he grew up in Missouri. All sorts of wandering, rambling and decisions eventually made our paths cross, and a new world of love, marriage, and family was born.
    Another example is the meeting of my dearest 12-step friend at one of the first meetings I attended. I soon asked her to be my sponsor, and a new world of recovery was born in me. We are best buds to this day, grateful for each other's support through decades of recovery.
    Lastly, there's my world-traveler friend. We met through golf. Who knew during those first few rounds when we were getting to know each other that someday we would literally travel the world together? That's definitely a new world born in each of us. 
    Wait! One more! Our dog Barney--his arrival in our lives birthed a new world of love, joy, movement and laughter. He's an angel. 
    OK, I'm done,
        Leta

Aunt B's Soul Food,
an excellent restaurant in Tupelo, Mississippi, 
discovered on our recent Florida-Georgia trip

Monday, March 20, 2023

March 20--Cream of Wheat

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.  --Woodrow Wilson

    One of the staple foods in our house when I was growing up was Cream of Wheat. Hot cereals commonly graced our table. So when I had a family of my own, I anticipated that being the case also. Let's just say that did not happen. The first time my husband saw the remains of Cream of Wheat solidified in the pan, he labeled it "cement patch," and it was never to be seen in our house again.
    So if friendship doesn't hold the world together, Cream of Wheat will. 
        Leta

Sunday, March 19, 2023

March 19--Friends Again, Woohoo!!!

There's no word yet for old friends who've just met.  --Jim Henson

    Re-friend? I've had this experience several times in my life, and it's the best! A fairly instant connection is recognized on both sides, and we know that we have known each other before. Clearly there has to be some belief that we live multiple lifetimes. I've heard the term "soul family," the idea that there are connections much bigger than our human brains can comprehend, and we continue to spend earthly lives connected in assorted ways. 
    Even though some of my re-friends are far away, the Universe keeps finding ways to bring us together. I believe that's our extra-strong spiritual connection at work play. 😉😉 What a blessing it is to hang with friends who lovingly accept the good, the bad and the ugly within us! 
        Leta

Saturday, March 18, 2023

March 18--The Shelter of Friendship

Friendship is a sheltering tree.  --Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    I've started paying attention recently to my anger levels (who, me? I don't get angry). I'm realizing that I have a LOT of suppressed anger that is wanting and needing to get out. I am blessed to have sheltering friends who can help me through this, encouraging me to "trust the process." 
    Thank you, Donald Trump, for bringing gaslighting to center stage. Much of my anger realization came about as a result of this article: 35 Common Gaslighting Phrases and How to Respond in Parade Magazine. It's quite enlightening and worth the time to read. I believe I've been subject to gaslighting since the day I was born. I'm just now coming to realize how pervasive it has been in my life. 
    Awareness is the first step.
        Leta

Friday, March 17, 2023

March 17--My Story

My friends have made the story of my life.  --Helen Keller

    My first thought relative to this is my "travel life." So many friends, so many destinations. I was just looking over the "The Knot" website for my great-nephew's upcoming June wedding. I'll be traveling to Ohio for that ceremony. The couple then moves to Arizona to start their married life together, and I'll likely visit them there. 
    It's great to have friends and family spread out in so many places. When I look at joys for the future, travel plans are at the top of the list. 2023 alone has Colorado, Texas, Ohio, and England/Wales on the list. Lots of friends, lots of fun. 
    Then there's day-to-day life between trips. My friends get me through that, too. Texts, emails, shared meals, golf--all the things we do together make life rich and fun. 
    Thank a friend today!
        Leta

Jamaica fun, one of my life's 
BEST stories!!

Thursday, March 16, 2023

March 16--It Takes Time

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit. 
--Aristotle

    This makes me think of the skit Travis Kelce (Super Bowl champ) did on Saturday Night Live: "Straight Male Friend." (Watch the whole SNL episode from March 4--it's a riot!) The gist of the skit is that gay guys who have lots of dramatic girl friends occasionally like the "no pressure" fun of hanging with a straight male friend. The SNL writers did a super job of showing off Kelce's talent. 
    I did not grow up in an environment that inspired trusting people. I've always taken it slow with creating friendships. It seems to me that the longer the development process, the stronger the friendship is over time.
    Facebook is "wishing to be friends is quick work." The "slow-ripening fruit" of true friendship is in real heart-to-heart connection. 
        Leta

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

March 15--A Good Laugh

Laughing is the shortest distance between two people.  --Victor Borge

    Our dog Barney is a great source of laughter. We feed him supper as we are sitting down to eat. He wolfs down his food, then slinks away into the bedroom to get a dirty sock from the clothes basket. He literally romps out to the kitchen to show off his sneakiness. If we make the slightest move to retrieve the sock, he runs downstairs with it. Even repeated almost daily, this still makes us laugh. "Good boy!"
    Game- and card-playing with friends really spikes up the laughter level. Quite competitive we are. The word "bitch" gets thrown around freely and lovingly. 
    There's just too much going on in the world and most of our lives wherein we wouldn't make it without laughter. May you have a few good belly-laughs today!
        Leta

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

March 14--Loving Touch

Ah, how good it feels! The hand of an old friend.  --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I would revise the phrase this way: The hand and hug of an old friend. One thing I sorely missed during the pandemic was hugging. Hand-shaking and hugging are such natural behaviors for me that I had to train myself not to automatically reach out to others. I'm not sure that I like the reticence remaining in me relative to extending a greeting. 
    On my recent southeast vacation, I was blessed to spend time with friends that I don't see all that often, maybe a couple times a year. It was so great to be together, and we had a blast. If laughter is the best medicine, we were all medicated to the max. 
    Life is good!
        Leta
Astronomy Picture of the Day, Mar 13
A rainbow is also "the hand of an old friend."

Monday, March 13, 2023

March 13--Monday Again Already!?!?!

Love is like the wild-rose briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree--
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms,
But which will bloom most constantly?
--Emily Bronte

    Ms. Bronte is a very fine poet, but like so much of poetry, I don't get this bit. Alas, about the only poetry I do understand is the limerick. Even being a gardener, I don't get this botanically. Some days I am simply OK with being dense. 😉😉 
    So I move on... I am back part-time at tax prep work. In previous years, I worked with the owner and one other person, and despite the stress, we had FUN. We laughed a lot, we cussed, we made fun of ourselves, we celebrated our successes. We enjoyed interacting with (most of) the clients. The owner sold the business and my co-worker and I thought we were finished with tax work forever, woohoo!
    This year the new owner begged me for help through the transition, and I agreed to work ~20 hours per week. Despite having a "corner office with a window," this year is not fun. It's a bigger staff, and the increase in workload due to combining two businesses has everyone stressed to the max. I must keep reminding myself that the income from this gig buys me another trip, the only reason I agreed to work in the first place. I'm really glad I committed to work a limited number of hours. The situation has been quite informative.
    April 18 can't come soon enough, for many reasons!
        Leta

Sunday, March 12, 2023

March 12--Double Blessing

When I count my blessings, I count you twice.  --Irish Proverb

    As I sit and smile over this quote, many folks float through my consciousness. My life is rich with friends and family members who have blessed me in powerful ways. 
    I think of assorted ways that people in my life are blessings:
  • Listen and don't try to fix
  • Always up for a road trip
  • Enjoy meals together
  • Offer a shoulder to cry on
  • Been through that, can help me through
  • Have similar issues
  • Understand grief in its many forms
  • Encourage learning and creativity
  • Laugh with me
  • Send messages of love and support
    Please take a moment and think of someone who blesses your life and count them twice 😉😉 
    It is the people, not things, in our lives that are a wellspring of happiness. I close with this quote from Richard Rohr: "As long as we think happiness is around the corner, it means that we have not grasped happiness yet. Because happiness is given in this moment and this place, and this moment and place are as perfect as they can be."
        Leta

Silly fun at the Barberville
Yard Art Emporium

Saturday, March 11, 2023

March 11--Meals with Friends

We learned how to create beauty where none exists, how to be generous beyond our means, how to change a small corner of the world--just by making a little dinner for a few friends.  --Gabrielle Hamilton 

    Meals shared with friends--isn't that one of the great pleasures of this earthly life? 
    On my recent Florida-Georgia vacation, meals ran the gamut from snacks pulled from the refrigerator and cabinets to munch on, all the way to the fanciest dinner I've ever had in a restaurant. In every case there was joy, love and loads of laughter. The food was always wonderful, and everything tasted better because we friends were together.
    I especially like the reference to "change a small corner of the world." Most of us don't have what it takes to change the whole world, but each of us definitely affects our own "small corner." Just think--when all the "small corners" of the world are happy/healthy/peaceful/abundant/friendly, what a world we shall have!
    Let's brighten our small corners!
        Leta
One of the many beautiful
"small corners" (squares) in Savannah, GA

Friday, March 10, 2023

March 10--"Would You Do Me a Favor?"

We secure our friends not by accepting favors, but by doing them.  --Thucydides

    My husband, an excellent cook, has come up with a great way to visit his parents 400 miles distant. He cooks a meal that he can easily take with him. Previous items have been lasagna and a pot of lentil soup. He drives there one day, shares a meal with them (and other family members who may show up), spends the night, and returns home the next day. He's fine with the driving, he gets to enjoy his family, and it puts very little burden on his parents. This is a great favor to both them and him. 
    Think of how you might favor someone today...
        Leta

I'm so ready for spring!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

March 9--You Are Not Alone

The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."  --C. S. Lewis

    It is extremely common for folks new to a 12-Step program to say, "I thought I was the only one who did ________." That was the case with me when in 1987 a friend started talking with me about his eating behaviors and how he was going to check into a 12-Step group. I was stunned to hear another human talk about feelings and actions similar to those I had with food. Learning I was not alone has led to a lifelong recovery with friendships that are truly priceless to me. 
    I believe one of the benefits of the internet is that it is bringing folks together with similar issues. One can find kindred spirits and support for most any difficulty, disease or trauma. Feeling alone sustains unhealthy behaviors; reaching out gives one hope and the opportunity for new friendships.
    One day at a time,
        Leta

Another magnificent KS sunset,
photo taken near Clearwater

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

March 8--Cracked Eggs

A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.  --Bernard Meltzer

    LOL. All my good friends are slightly cracked--that's why I love them so much. And I have no doubt that I am at least slightly cracked in their eyes!
    We had our annual golf league spring dinner and organizational meeting last night. That group of women is definitely a bunch of cracked eggs. Let's face it--golf is a frustrating game, but we keep after it. 
    I've traveled all over the U.S. and to Canada to fulfill my every MLB stadium quest. I've even gone solo on two organized group baseball tours. I don't know anyone else who is that nuts about baseball (except those on the tours). I only have the two Texas stadiums left (out of 30), and I will be visiting those in May. "Slightly cracked," yes?
    Upon further pondering, I believe one has to be "slightly cracked" to make it in this world. The ticket is to enjoy our particular cracks and share them extravagantly with the world!
        Leta

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

March 7--Dog-Owner Friends

The process of falling in love at first sight is as final as it is swift in such a case, but the growth of true friendship may be a lifelong affair.  --Sarah Orne Jewett

    I'm writing today about what may seem a rather bizarre aspect of friendship. That would be picking up poop after your dog. 
    I grew up in the country where dogs and cats roamed, and the idea of cleaning up dog poop would have been thought silly. However, now I live in town near a park where lots of dogs are walked regularly. That includes our dog, Barney. My husband and I sometimes refer to the park as a "dog toilet." That's not very flattering. 
    Dog poop and kids' sneakers have a cosmic magnetism. If I was lucky, I caught the misstep before they tracked the poop into the house. Many a time I used a stick and toothpicks to clean dog poop out of sneaker treads. 
    If Barney had his way, he would smell every pile of poop left along his path. Disgusting as it is, some dogs eat other dogs' poop. Diseases can be spread through dog poop. It's no fun to look at. 
    I don't know if it is laziness, ignorance or arrogance that causes some dog owners not to clean up after their pup(s). I definitely cannot think of any good excuse for such behavior. Please be a friend to the rest of us on the planet and clean up after your "best friend."
    Rant finished, 
        Leta
Barney, the poop sniffer

Monday, March 6, 2023

March 6--Middle of the Night Friendship

It's the friends you can call up at 4 A.M. that matter.  --Marlene Dietrich

    I am blessed to have several of that sort of friend. I haven't needed that service lately, but it is comforting to know that the opportunity is there. And I am equally willing to provide that service. If your phone rang with a friend's number at 4 A.M., would you blow it off? I doubt it. 
    With my 83-year-old brother having some health problems, calls from his daughter, my niece, with whom I am very close, can cause some angst. She called a couple days ago, not at 4 A.M., and the first thing I asked was, "Is everything OK!?!?!" She laughed--she was just calling to catch up with me. Whew! 
    Being there for friends is an honor and a privilege.
        Leta

Sunday, March 5, 2023

March 5--Friends Are Saviors

Best friend, my well-spring in the wilderness!  --George Eliot

    While I realize that family members can be friends, my family members are all far away, and thus I am very dependent on my local family of friends. Many a time a friend has lovingly held me during a meltdown, listened to me whine, and allowed me to do the same for them. Having just completed a fabulous vacation with friends, I am feeling especially grateful for the love and joy we share. 
    There are a few friends in my collection that I see only every few months. It is such a joy to get together and catch up like hardly any time has passed. I have almost daily contact with some other friends.
    I think it is vitally important to talk deeply and regularly with someone who is not living inside my head--it can be scary there. Friends are gracious listeners, and I treasure the opportunity to do the same for them.
    Friends are FUN!!
        Leta
A best friend of MANY years!

Saturday, March 4, 2023

March 4--Heart Check

Some people need a red carpet rolled out in front of them in order to walk forward into friendship. They can't see the tiny outstretched hands all around them, everywhere, like leaves on trees.  --Miranda July

    This seems to me to be a question of whether or not one sees the Universe as a friendly place. Expectations of good and friendliness have certainly led me to a rich conglomeration of good buds. I cherish those times and friends where we initially meet and soon recognize that we have known each other before. 
    Friendship is a heart thing. We know in our hearts those to cherish and those to let pass on by. I found this great quote relative to centering in the heart:
The monks Callistus and Ignatius taught: "Collect your mind from its customary circling and wandering outside, and quietly lead it into the heart by way of breathing." (Richard Rohr's Daily Mediation, 2/27/2023)
    What a gentle, easy way to bring oneself into a contemplative state! 
    MARCHing 4th into Saturday,
        Leta

Florida azaleas

Friday, March 3, 2023

March 3--HOME!

What a delight it is to make friends with someone you have despised!  --Colette

    I can't recall this happening to me. I have, however, made friends with someone who scared or intimidated me at first. 
    I'm home! Many miles and states covered with loads of fun. A few remaining funnies:
  • On a t-shirt seen in a store: If you are happy and you know it, it's your meds.
  • Regarding the annual huge and wild St. Patrick's Day celebration in Savannah: The beer truck is the first responder. 
  • I had to surrender my job as navigator when we were walking anywhere because I got us lost several times. 
    Happy to be home, grateful for such good times!
        Leta

At the Barberville (FL) Yard Art Emporium--
don't ya want one?!!?!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

March 2--Extreme Good Fortune

You meet your friend, 
Your face brightens--
you have struck gold. 
--Kassia

    Let's talk a bit about the blessing of having one or more good traveling companions. My friend and I have been traveling together for years because neither of our husbands have been interested in going where we want to go. We've been to Phoenix, Mexico, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, eastern Canada, Niagara Falls, the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver, Bahamas, Wyoming, Colorado, Florida, and most recently, Savannah. After all this concentrated time together, we still like and love each other. This is even after we drove home from Colorado in July in my car with a broken air conditioner (that was bad!). We were able to golf three times on this current trip, and that's a bonus for us.
    We made it to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, yesterday in the late afternoon before the thunderstorms rolled through.  
    Today, HOME!!!
        Leta

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

March 1--Friendship Overflowing

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience; this is the ideal life. 
--Mark Twain

    FRIENDSHIP is the theme for March. I'm not sure what Mr. Twain means by a "sleepy conscience." I'll be pondering that one for a bit. 
    I'm all over "good friends." The vacation of the past two weeks has been blessed and huge fun with four girlfriends roaming Florida and Georgia, exploring, eating, shopping, relaxing, and game-playing. We've discussed making this at least an annual event, as we are already missing each other and our fun times together. Our Florida hostesses have spoiled us. This trip has done a superb job of chasing away February!
    "Good books"... we spent at least a half-hour of pool hanging time yesterday afternoon talking about authors and books we love. What would life be without books to read!?!?
    We played our third round of golf yesterday at an easy yet interesting course in Panama City Beach. Knowing that it is quite cold at home made it all the more enjoyable. 
    Our destination this evening is Pine Bluff, Arkansas. 
        Leta

We were glad we did not have
to hit over that pond!