Lilypie - First Birthday

Lilypie - Fourth Birthday

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Walk


Yesterday was a very good day when it came to my recent attempts to go walking more - yes, I know that it may not be impressive by others standards, however I did end up walking just over a mile (slightly steep walk up then back down).  Am glad that I was able to go so far -- the "marker" I had been able to go to had been much shorter.  Downside of course (as usual!) was after I finished I felt so exhausted and drained that I could not eat for a while -- although of course I did make sure to sip water.  With the heat going back up I am pleased with my decision to continue walking either later in the evening (I am NOT a morning person still!) or to go walking indoors (ie wander around just wasting time doing errands) -- getting up and out of the house several days a week is much better than I had been doing so I am going to say that I am currently pleased with my health.  I am also pleased that there are new episodes of my favorite shows on television and with my reading!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Love the ocean


As the temperature slowly rises every day (hopefully Monday will be the "worst" and then things will return to normal), I find myself missing the beach/the ocean more.  Love this image which I found on a friends page. I love being able to walk along the sand, sit on the beach and watch the waves... it does not matter what time of day, I am always drawn to the ocean and it is always nice when I have the opportunity to go to the beach! I rarely ever go into the water past my knees, it is too cold :)  I do recall the one trip I took to Hawaii however because the temperature of the ocean water there was much warmer and I was able to go in and stand with my shoulders gently touching the top of the water! Not interested in getting sunburnt however, so for now I shall look at various photos and perhaps plan a visit soon...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pretty Moon


The moon looked very full, bright, and pretty late last night when I went out into the backyard around 2am.  (Yes, another night of not going to sleep at midnight, but luckily today was not busy so it worked out -- plus I had accidentally fallen asleep for about two hours in the late afternoon!)... The past few days I have been trying to focus more on positive things although I realize there are several people I am missing -- yes, that includes my young godson and his twin sister :)

The photo I put into the post yesterday is really a great one -- I think the combination of nature, the night sky, and how the trail did not end but continued to curve out of sight -- it was a good reminder that enjoying things is alright and at the same time when there does not seem to be an end to a road there is still more road to travel and things to hope for.  Although some days hoping does not bring any type of "happy ending" so I do not know...

Last week I started to really get into television shows again (I am still reading of course!). If I had to pick just two shows that I really love still they would be "BONES" and "Revenge" -- yet I realized there are perhaps six or seven shows a week I try to watch!  I have been slightly better about walking the past couple of weeks and while I still need to do errands and/or walk every day, I do see it as a good thing that I keep trying to improve at least a bit every week.

Oh!  Last note -- went for a massage today! Had not gone in... a very long time - it helped my muscles relax which was needed!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The stars line up


"There’s this place in Ireland where every 2 years, the stars line up with this trail on June 10th-June 18th. It’s called the Heaven’s Trail."

This image (and description) were posted on Face.Book by a friend of mine and I had to copy it -- so beautiful!! Ireland is on my list of places that I would like to visit if I get the opportunity and I will be looking to figure out exactly where this is located because I would love to view it myself!!

This week I finally managed to make it to the "new" farmer's market (yet I forgot to take photos!)... Technically it has been up and running since -July??- but I was working, sick, or just too low on energy to make it over for a visit :(  Since I am not working at the moment due to various health stuff, I was able to look at tons of goodies!  Although purchases did include "regular" items such as lettuce, tomatoes, apples -- there was also a shirt table to help raise funds to keep the market up and running as well as a tent that had small cups of ice cream (I got a long-sleeved burgundy/dark red shirt with the market logo on it and tried a small butterscotch because they were all out of chocolate already).  It was also an excellent exercise motivation for me - walking to there, around there, and back. Does not sound like much but in comparison to my recent "usual" weeks it was another good example of getting out and I shall be trying to include the market day in my weekly walks/outings.  I did forget to go by the dry cleaners but that can wait :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moon River


Andy Williams (You.Tube video above is him singing "Moon River") passed away apparently... I like the song, and there are just too many frustrating (mostly my health) things to talk about so -- I give you Moon River!  Also was sung in Breakfast At Tiffany's

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Create Haunted Bushes


I found this image on Face.book and since it amused me I have decided to share it with all of you.  A quick and easy pre-Halloween "do it yourself" project! All you need to do is hang onto your old toilet paper rolls, cut a random pair of eyes into each, and place (perhaps tape?) a glowstick inside of every one.  Place them into your bushes, or maybe just all around your yard and after the sun sets there will be "scary eyes watching you" in the dark :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 24)

"Never judge a book by its movie"

The top two books series that I think about when I saw this quote were the seven Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, and the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  In both instances I LOVE the books -- the way they are written, the stories, the images my mind makes up.  On the other hand I really hated the couple of Harry Potter movies I watched because they "destroyed" at least some of the world that I had created in my mind.  I know that on their own movies are very much enjoyed... but when books I really like are turned into movies, the movie tends to not only come off as "worse" in my mind, it also inevitably gets stuck and my imaginary world for that book is damaged.

The one exception I can think of is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen -- I actually really enjoyed the most recent DVD.  The music in particular is great and the book seemed to come to life through the movie.

That's all for today! Shall probably do a "book image" post next Monday!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"The Mayonnaise Jar"

"The Mayonnaise Jar"
(A story I found some years back online)

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,

When 24 hours in a day is not enough,

Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.


A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with golf balls.


He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.


The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.


He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with an unanimous ‘Yes.'


The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.


'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.


The golf balls are the important things - God, family, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.


The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.


'If you put the sand into the jar  first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf  balls. The same goes for life.


If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that  are important to you.


So...


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children.  Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner.


There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.


'Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really  matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'


One of the students raised her hand  and inquired what the coffee represented.


The professor smiled.


'I'm glad you asked'.


‘It just goes to show you that  no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.’


(Or in my case a mug of tea or hot chocolate instead!  Hope you enjoyed the story and pass it along/share it with your own family and friends!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Holding on to anger



"Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. ~Buddha"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Frank Sinatra (The Way You Look Tonight)


Frank Sinatra - The Way You Look Tonight

Lyrics (The Way You Look Tonight)
Some day, when I'm awfully low,
When the world is cold,
I will feel a glow just thinking of you...
And the way you look tonight.

Yes you're lovely, with your smile so warm
And your cheeks so soft,
There is nothing for me but to love you,
And the way you look tonight.

With each word your tenderness grows,
Tearing my fear apart...
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,
It touches my foolish heart.

Lovely ... Never, ever change.
Keep that breathless charm.
Won't you please arrange it ?
'Cause I love you ... Just the way you look tonight.

Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm,
Just the way you look to-night.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Ok Thursdays (September 20th)


("It's Ok Thursdays - September 20, 2012)

It's Ok... To read "too many" books in one week.

It's Ok... To be pleased about small accomplishments (ie making lunch everyday for two weeks) yet still feel guilty about walking only a few of those days.

It's Ok... To dislike days when gardeners are around.

It's Ok... To skip dinner because I was in the middle of a great book! (Not to worry, I had hard-boiled eggs later to "make up" for not eating dinner before the sun had set).

It's Ok... To be happy yet frustrated at the same time.

It's Ok... To not have much to say -- more important is the fact that I am staying hydrated and going to all my dr appts! (Although I do need to work on walking DAILY)...

It's Ok... To miss and wonder how certain family/friends are doing and send them positive prayers!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Count your blessings instead of sheep


Could not find a clip from the movie "White Christmas" on You.Tube, but did find Bing Crosby singing "Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep"

Lyrics:
When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

Last night I fell asleep with this song running through my mind and I slept in past my alarm! Overall a good night though, I was able to relax!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 18th)

"Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am a happy victim of books."

(Okay, TUESDAY, but still.  Book entries are usually on Monday so...yes)
(Also the computer put them into alphabetical order - more random?)

I love the quote/image above -- especially the detail of letters/dust that "fly" off the page and turn into a hummingbird!  Found it recently and decided it had to be the image at the top of one of my "What are you reading?" posts.  I am not sticking strictly to books that have been read in the past week, although some are included, however I wanted to add some books that I normally may not have chosen on my own.  The following are a few books that were random pick-ups, lent by a friend, suggested reads, etc etc.  Also, obviously, I decided to not post this on Monday (17th) as planned but I had mentioned I might move my book entries to Tuesdays and that is what ended up happening this week and I should return to Monday posts next week so... Enjoy!

 1001 Cranes by Naomi Hirahhara

 A Loss For Words: The story of deafness in a family by Lou Ann Walker
(READ THIS ONE!!)

 A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick

 Aztec by Gary Jennings
(Originally in Spanish, interesting read)

 Girl In Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
(The history of a painting, starting now and ending with the subject!!)

 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson


 Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout


 Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
(Emotional read - about the Holocaust in France)

 The Book Of Useless Information
(Great to have around the house, separated by random subjects)

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
(Fun "fluff" book, quick read)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lost In Austin


Not a book entry today (tomorrow instead) however the Monday entry still surrounds a book of course!  This is one of the more fun/unusual movies that was recommended and then given -- "Lost In Austen" is a great movie (although I did not realize before starting it that it was three hours so I was low on snacks/water)... Anyway, this movie really makes sense for those who love and/or at least very much enjoy the writings of Jane Austen!  Actually that is a bit too broad... you really need to have read and enjoyed/loved Jane Austens' classic Pride and Prejudice!!  This movie basically has an unsuspecting modern day female find Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom due to a secret door.  The story of time travel, the two similar strong female leads, and the basis of the movie "inside" of Pride and Prejudice makes this a great (and previously unknown!) movie for any and all Austen fans.  Also a great way to slip into another time period for a while -- read the book or watch the movie, then get this movie... Although I still love White Christmas and The Music Man, Pride and Prejudice is pretty high up there, and this movie makes a great addition to any fan of P&P!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Keep the faith. Hold on.

     "Keep the faith. Hold on. Things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can't rain forever."

Part of what drew me to this image was the raindrops (I do love when it rains - and in the middle of another heat wave yet again I find myself looking for rain, or at least a drop in the temperature!)... Part of me loves the red leaf because it shows a change in season (although I have no idea what tree it came from, I used to know things like that but have forgotten)... And part of me likes the support/encouragement that the various phrases scattered around the image say.

Overall my health is holding steady now, which is good.  On the other hand, my recent "dip" in health is probably the worst since 2006 (prior to that it was 2004, prior to that was... the early 1980's??)... I am going to just hang on for now and try to focus on what I can do.  In this heat that includes much more DVD viewing and television watching, although I still am reading which is good :)  I think perhaps I will move my "book/reading" posts to Tuesdays instead of Mondays but am not sure at the moment...

Today I finished another book and decided to start re-reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder series!  Hopefully everyone is enjoying this weekend and at least some of you are not stuck with the recent heat wave - excessive heat is getting a bit bothersome - but I do not want the humidity AND high heat back so I should not complain!  More good news: my godson, his twin sister, and their parents (ie "My France Family") are currently having their first camping experience overseas!  Only received a few photos so far but it seems like everyone is having fun!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The REAL To-Do List


This tile (which I found online) is very true and very cute so I picked it to be the image for this post.  The real to-do list: sing, smile at strangers, keep learning, notice kindness, eat ice cream, hope, count your blessings, laugh, love, love some more... It is a great list!  Some things I do often, others not as much.  Perhaps by posting this it will remind me to do all of these more often ::HUGS:: Have a wonderful day today!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sara Bareilles - Love Song

         "Head under water/ And they tell me/ To breathe easy for a while"

I found this song again online ("Love Song" by Sara Bareilles) and I wanted to share it partially because I like the way this particular music video was created, especially because of the details put in, but also I enjoy that the lyrics are teasing yet serious that she will not just write a song for someone because they want one.  Everyday is different and I am going to try and make sure I create/find some highlights, positive notes/things to surround myself with/to do this weekend.

Most of the doctors appointments have not yielded anything that I can work on aside from "wait and see"... Yet one thing I do need is a bit more time in the sun so I shall perhaps adopt some part of the yard and create a reading "nook"... After I buy strong sun block so I do not turn brick red! A common problem for me and unfortunately once I fell asleep and got second degree burns on my shoulders/back -- NOT a mistake to ever make again!  (Happened perhaps a decade ago but still...even the lightest sheet felt like it was trying to rip my skin off!)  So somewhere to read where there is plenty of shade -- likely on the brick patio near the small pond :)

Almost forgot to post the lyrics!  Hope you enjoy!

Head underwater
And they tell me
To breathe easy for a while
Breathing gets harder, even I know that
Made room for me;
It's too soon to see
If I'm happy in your hands
I'm unusually hard to hold on to

Blank stares at blank pages
No easy way to say this
You mean well, but you make this hard on me

I'm not gonna write you a love song
'Cause you asked for it
'Cause you need one,
You see

I'm not gonna write you
A love song
'Cause you tell me it's
Make or breaking this
If you're on your way

I'm not gonna write you to
Stay
If all you have is leavin',
I'ma need a better reason
To write you
A love song
Today
Today, Yeah

I learned the hard way
That they all say
Things you want to hear

My heavy heart sinks deep down under
You and your twisted words,
Your help just hurts
You are not what I thought you were
Hello to high and dry

Convince me to please you
Make me think that I need this too
I'm trying to let you hear me as I am
I'm not gonna write you a love song
'Cause you asked for it
'Cause you need one,
You see

I'm not gonna write you
A love song
'Cause you tell me it's
Make or breaking this
If you're on your way

I'm not gonna write you to
Stay
If all you have is leavin',
I'ma need a better reason
To write you
A love song
Today

Promise me that you'll leave the light on
To help me see
With daylight, my guide, gone
'Cause I believe there's a way you can love me
Because I say
I'm not gonna write you a love song
'Cause you asked for it
'Cause you need one,
You see

I'm not gonna write you
A love song
'Cause you tell me it's
Make or breaking this
Is that why you wanted a love song?
'Cause you asked for it?
'Cause you need one?
You see

I'm not gonna write you a love song
'Cause you tell me it's
Make or break in this
Or you're on your way
I'm not gonna write you
To stay

If your heart is nowhere in it
I don't want it for a minute
Babe, I'll walk the seven seas when I believe that
There's a reason to write you
A love song
Today

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's Ok Thursdays (September 13th)


Third of my "It's Ok Thursdays" posts...

It's Ok... To not be okay. (Six dr appts in six weeks -- with two more the last week of this month -- and three funerals of family friends).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Do not get upset


          "Do not get upset with people or situations. Both are powerless without your reaction."

No clue who said this, simply found it online and despite my recent efforts to do "better" -- yesterday was yet another day when I just had this horrible attitude about almost everything.  I did almost nothing, but the few interactions I had (even just taking the dog out)... I do not want to say that everything "made" me upset... Yet I felt upset.  Continuously.  I was perfectly aware, in the back of my mind, that it was stupid and utterly pointless.  And I still had the urge to scream or throw something or just curl up and cry.

Nothing had happened that was out of the ordinary, there was nothing that should have caused such powerful reactions -- and yet there they were again.  I continue to just feel -- frustrated?  helpless? tired? ...I continue to feel at a loss and no, despite trying, I cannot currently change that I can react to pretty much anything (whether good, bad, or in-between) with some type of an over-reaction that is not needed.  Nor does it help anyone, including myself. Especially not myself.  Even little achievements wear me out and make me feel useless and just...

I am sorry.  I feel...guilty? Also frustrated.

And still, I feel OH. SO. TIRED.

...Maybe tomorrow will be different?

...Maybe...


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eleven Years Ago...

(Image found online via Google Images)

Eleven years ago... I was sleeping in, having no clue that the day was going to become very emotional and memorable.

Eleven years ago... I had happily graduated from high school and was in my first month of college.

Eleven years ago... I had a larger support system than I feel I do now.

Eleven years ago... I knew I had family (and vaguely knew some family friends) who had "supported our country"

Eleven years ago... One of my roommates (there were four of us total, each enjoying our first steps into a bigger world -- enjoying the small things like having our own rooms yet making new friends... we were the only room to request the same roommates our sophomore year of college! This was a big deal because as freshman we were randomly selected to room together).  Anyway, one of my roommates, I am not positive which one... I remember being woken up and told to turn on the television.

Eleven years ago... There were four of us surrounding the television and I remember hating to tear myself away from events that were unfolding and I knew would make the day so different from any I had experienced before -- but I had a morning class to get to so I got dressed, took my phone, a notebook and a pen and walked across campus.  Sat down in some random seat still thinking about what I had just been watching.

Eleven years ago... My teacher showed up but almost at the same moment, so did a student from one of the administrative offices carrying a stack of flyers.  We were told that the CSU system was taking precautions by canceling all classes at the very least for the day. (The flyers were being posted all around, to spread the word that the campus was closed).

Eleven years ago... Calls/emails to my parents (who were both busy working and who I recall being more stressed that I was interrupting their already stressful day to share with them what they had watched hours before I woke up) -- I was reassured that my family was alright and I was also scared by the uncertainty of everything.

Eleven years ago... This blog would never have happened.  I was more outgoing then and while I am still willing to make friends, I feel like my life has gone down an unexpected path and I still cannot find my place despite trying.

Eleven years ago... I could not have imagined how the past decade would unfold.  Thankfully life has thrown many good/positive memories my way, and I have been able to hold onto family (and some friends) who are important.  I have "lost" (and LOST) friends who decided to not be part of my life (or who passed away) -- yet I am still lucky and blessed...

It is important to remember and be thankful for the blessings in our lives everyday.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Sept.10.2012)


(Note: The internet kept going out so I could not write as much as I intended for this post, instead I shall try to keep it to an image of the book covers and perhaps a description of each one... the following are most of the books I have read the last two weeks -- had intended to post every Monday about what I had read the week before but last week I did not get around to it.  Hence a large amount of books in todays post than "usual"!  A couple of others I only read some chapters of so I have not included them.  These images are of books that I read from start to finish -- this time around the last listed is my favorite).


"A Horse Called Holiday" by Frances Wilbur ... This is actually my only re-read of the past two weeks.  A high school student wants a horse of her own but cannot afford one so instead stays busy with once-a-week lessons at her local stable and takes care of an older neighbors horse.  The older neighbor has a friend who bought a horse that needs care -- a horse the girl names Holiday.  The girl advances while practicing riding on Holiday but when Holiday becomes ill and an admirer offers the girl a "push-button" horse instead, she must choose between a horse she could only dream of or working every day in the future to have things work between herself and Holiday.


"Christmas Present" by Jacquelyn Mitchard was the first of nine new reads for me these past two weeks.  As some of my other posts on this blog have touched upon, I am interested in and looking forward to the holidays, particularly Christmas.  This story is about a wife, who has just celebrated her 14th wedding anniversary with her husband (who is just waiting for their 15th or 20th anniversary to take her to France as he promised many moons ago)... Her unexpected, and very quick/short journey which occurs just two days before Christmas, is a huge reminder of family, love, and the holiday spirit. The main character loves her entire family, and while I did cry a bit during this story (as well as the following book, which is based on real life and is not fiction) it still was in a good way, appreciating family and life.


This touching story, "Heaven Is Here" by Stephanie Nielson, was written after a real life incident which forever altered her (and her families) lives. Prior to the accident she was often blogging, and her blog is still up and running.  In the period she returns to in this book, one of her sisters posted a tiny bit on Stephanie's blog, but most of the updates can be read (still) on her sisters blog.  After finishing the book, where "Nie Nie" -- Stephanie -- writes her version of everything that happened after her husband, who she surprised with flying lessons, finally took her up on a quick flight with just a good friend of theirs who was the supervising pilot.  The small plane crashed and their friend died from his burns.  Her husband had a large amount of burn injuries -- but Stephanie was nearly lost several times, with over 80% of her body burned.  This book gives a bit of their history (including their four children), moves on to Stephanie's recovery, and concludes with how she and her husband started transitioning back into "normal" lives -- getting a house and moving under the same roof again with their children -- while recovering from both of their horrific burns.  The love and faith in this book is a powerful testament to what can be overcome, despite the odds.  As I mentioned, Stephanie started blogging again and her blog is still available to the public (almost more than another book in and of itself!)


"Millie's Fling" is the second book by Jill Mansell that I have read this year.  She is a fun author, and I would place her books in the "fluff" category because they are, for me, quick fun reads.  Each centers around the title character and their group of friends, then proceeds with stories about each person and their current fictional lives, all the while surrounding and supporting the thread of the main character.  Still one of the "longer" reads for some people however -- I think her books average 350 pages?


I shrunk and moved all three Sarah Graves murder mysteries into "one" entry here primarily because there is a total of 14 or 15 "Home Repair Homicide Mystery Books" written by her!  Learning that I now want to return to the library and find the other dozen I have not yet read.  They are short books, quick reads, that have the main character -- Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree -- living in Eastport, Maine. Along with her best friend, Ellie White, spend time in the small town (usually during the cold snowy seasons!) traveling through the forest collecting clues about each current (and different) murder mystery.  "Jake" is referred to as a home repair expert however from these three books I think it is more of a running joke of sorts because she bought an old house and attempts to do repairs but others (including her second husband) are always helping her out instead of her being an "expert."


"The After Wife" by Gigi Levangie Grazer was a night-time read for me (meaning I started it around 10pm when I could not sleep and finished it in the "wee small hours of the morning" then I fell asleep).  I recall enjoying the book... It was about a woman who found love later in life and was lucky enough to "currently" have a three year old daughter.  They both adored her husband, a good chef who was becoming famous for his cookbooks. Unfortunately, as the story opens, the husband dies in a hit-and-run, and the world falls out from under their feet.  This book is a wonderful story of how wife and daughter (with the support of three "oddball" friends) make life after death work for a single mother in Los Angeles. Extra twist -- since the wife loved her husband so much and did not want to let him go after such unexpected circumstances, she started seeing and communicating with ghosts.  Interesting story. (For those of you who also watch "random" television shows, the previous book "The Starter Wife" had briefly been aired but did not have enough of an audience to stay on the air for very long at all).


I know I posted "Swimming Lessons" by Mary Alice Monroe" in the past two weeks, but since this is my actual book post I wanted to be sure to include it again -- a delightful and insightful tale primarily based in a town next to the ocean, where the sea turtles come annually to make their nests.  Four women (all with their own story to tell) help make up the core of the group who finds, watches over, and protects these nests during the summer, then helps the baby turtles reach the sea when they hatch at the end of the summer.  The main character has gone back to school (she took a break years before to give birth to a beautiful girl) and now works at the local aquarium where, in addition to the adventures of the turtle nests, she also finds and is trying to aid in the health recovery of an adult sea turtle.


"Time Is A River" by Mary Alice Monroe is my FAVORITE READ from the past two weeks.  This was both a new book (and a newly introduced author) for me but I absolutely loved the story.  The main character has just succeeded in surviving breast cancer and after leaving a bit early from a weekend in the mountains with other breast cancer survivors she unfortunately learns the hard way that her husband has fallen into the second category of cancer surviving spouses -- instead of being caring and there for her, he has found someone new.  She immediately turns around and returns to the mountain town she had left and this book chronicles her tale of re-discovering herself, the joys of learning how to fly-fish, believing in the beauty of nature while enjoying her new small-town friends -- and exploring the various tales that surround the former owner (now deceased, granddaughter is the current owner) of the cabin she is staying in while coming back to life a new, better, more confidant individual.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Stand by Rascal Flatts

"You feel like a candle in a hurricane/ Just like a picture with a broken frame/ Alone and helpless/ Like you've lost your fight/ But you'll be alright, you'll be alright"



Chorus:

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause its all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough

You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand, Then you stand
Life's like a novel

With the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon

With only one way down
Take what you're given before its gone

Start holding on, keep holding on

("Stand" by Rascal Flatts)


...I, like many before me, do realize that music can help in multiple situations...  We can use songs to celebrate when we are happy; wallow when we are sad; help us move past rough times; change our attitudes -- whatever we want can often be helped along by a few good songs/artists.  This particular song helps me remember that I CAN do things -- I am strong enough and it is worth it to continue to try and try and try again... (Yesterday I attended my 2nd funeral in four weeks and overall  I am trying to do better -- I am still searching and trying to remember the good).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Courage

Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow."

I do not recall where I found this, but today is particular day when I feel the urge to hold onto this...  It has not been a horrible day, but neither has it been a great day.  Thinking of this quote helps though.  I know that every day is different and that I can, indeed, try again tomorrow.

September 8, 2011 was a Thursday, I wore the same grey dress with structured seams running 360 degrees around my center, each about four inches long creating symmetrical vertical "ridges" (to make people look taller perhaps??) which ended symmetrically just above my knees that I wore to my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary -- except I wore it without my "happy" pale pink sweater. I wore it alone like a suit of armor to fruitlessly try and protect myself from what I knew was eminent... For the first time in my life I had the unhappy and completely unsettling task of severing a connection that was so very important to me.

It was necessary, I know, but if I put myself back in that place long enough I still feel my world unravel, the cruel silence punctuated by the gardeners at his place and my heart felt like it was breaking yet again.  I made it less than two blocks before I had to pull the car over and broke down into sobs for who-knows-how-long. It was the absolutely correct decision to make, it was removing myself from a situation that had become toxic/hazardous to my sanity/happiness and yet...


It took more strength and courage to remove myself from that situation than I knew I had.  To give up, to turn and walk away, to know that I had finally, irreparably, deliberately injured/changed others lives (including my own)... If I slip and start playing the "what if" game, even a year later, I find I can still hurt -- but that is what scars are for right?  To remind us that something happened but that life has continued and hopefully the scars are mostly healed? This one does remind me of a very difficult emotional/mental battle that left an invisible scar on my soul (hopefully the first and last time I will ever have to cut someone out of my life).  Thank God for my parents and few people I knew I could trust to keep things quiet yet be there to support me, help me, be there for me, and help me find my way back to being happy.

I have continued to grow and try again and have been able to move on.  Some days are still a struggle, especially when I want to turn back.  Yet if I was to do so, I doubt there could be any true happiness and so I sometimes will sit quietly and know that I can still hurt.  Then I try to change that hurt and realize that I although I was severely bruised that I did not truly break.  I have had hundreds of "tomorrows" since then and more continue to arrive with each sunrise.  I have the courage to continue and to love and to appreciate the good in life.  Thank you to everyone who made me happy/smile/reached out to me.  I shall continue to learn and try again -- hopefully there will be an ending that is actually the beginning of a new life that shall help me be (mostly) happy for the rest of my days.  In the meantime I will continue to hold onto this quote, continue moving on.

(One year later -- how could it already be a year? At the same time wow, it has already been a year. Sat. Sept. 8th 2012 - busy day. Funeral of a family friend from elementary school church community -- she had just turned 40 two weeks ago. Then her reception -- in the elementary school hall which is located across the street from the church.  Afternoon with a group that will hopefully be allowing me to help out  for at least a few months -- they work primarily with individuals who have Down Syndrome and although my sign language is rusty from lack of use there is a need for someone who has previously volunteered with children who have disabilities and can sign -- hopefully I am still semi-fluent enough to be a help to them because I need to distract myself/become less stressed! Book reading update on Monday will show how I tried to "escape" into literature again in the past week).

Friday, September 7, 2012

This One's For The Girls


(Past few days have been a bit on the difficult side and am anticipating the next few days will be the same.  Hoping that this song "This One's For The Girls" by Martina McBride, which is a bit more upbeat and sends a positive message for women of all ages, will help a bit. Reminds me to jump in heart and soul, to try again -- and that life goes on "From 1 to 99" years of age... Although I had two great-grandmothers who lived to be 100 and 107! Was debating several other songs, particularly something from either Andrea Bocelli or Frank Sinatra... But my mind cannot settle at the moment so I will stick with this one. I also enjoy her version of "Independence Day"...)

Lyrics:
This is for all you girls about 13
High school can be so rough, can be so mean
Hold on to, on to your innocence
Stand your ground when everybody's givin' in
This one's for the girls

This is for all you girls about 25
In little apartments, just tryin' to get by
Livin' on, on dreams and spaghettios
Wonderin' where your life is gonna go

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holdin' back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world, this one's for the girls
(This one's for all the girls)

This is for all you girls about 42
Tossin' pennies into the fountain of youth
Every laugh, laugh line on your face
Made you who you are today

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holdin' back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world, this one's for the girls

Yeah, we're all the same inside
(Same inside)
From 1 to 99

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holdin' back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world, yeah, this one's for the girls

(This one's for all the girls)
Yeah, this one's for the girls
(This one's for all the girls)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Ok Thursdays (September 6th)


Since there were no "negative" comments my first time trying to use this image (Thursday August 30th) I think I am going to try and post an "It's Ok" note on here every Thursday.  So here is my week two -- also going to try to keep the list a bit on the shorter side -- did not realize until after I hit "publish" last week that it was such a long post!

*It's ok... to be a night owl even though I am surrounded by early birds. I should not feel guilty for my sleeping habits -- I am able to sleep which I decide to see as a gift.
*It's ok... to read half (or all!) of a book in any given day.
*It's ok... to feel like I have accomplished something with my day -- even if all I did was read, eat, and pack a lunch for the next day.
*It's ok... to look for emails, FB posts, and/or blog entries from people whose lives I find interesting, inspiring... or just because I am tired/bored.
*It's ok... to have the fan on to cool down AND still drink a couple of mugs of tea to stay warm.  Contradictions are sometimes necessary to relax.
*It's ok... to want to spoil my godchildren as often as possible (although this one comes with a grain of salt because I only tend to see them up to seven weeks out of any given year plus I have rules -- ie no hitting -- that stay in place no matter who is in any given situation).
*It's ok... to not know what tomorrow will hold.  I continuously need to remind myself to take life one day at a time and just enjoy the little things/be thankful for what I already have!
*It's ok... to be mad/grumpy at the dog when he starts barking/howling when he thinks he has been left alone.  (I tend to give in pretty quickly, either going to sit where he can see me or bring him into my room where he lays near the foot of the bed on one of his blankets).
*It's ok... actually more than okay, to fall asleep to/listen to songs and/or artists (even if the "artist" is just me, singing songs that I enjoy!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are

"...Goodnight Moon!"

(This nursery rhyme reminds me of my "France Family" ..feeling content..)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Family


I absolutely love when song lyrics that are meaningful are combined with a good artist -- and better yet, this particular artist has added home videos from her childhood to make the above music video -- "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift is all about family.  Reminds me of a quote: "Family isn't always blood.  It's the people in your life who want you in theirs, the ones who accept you for who you are.  The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what." I love my family and that quote (along with this song) help remind me how lucky and blessed I am!  Thank you, to everyone who is in my family -- and to my friends as well...  I hope everyone has at the very least a handful of great memories -- and at the very best, too many great memories to recall even if you had decades with nothing to do but to try and recall all of them!

"The Best Day" Song Lyrics (Taylor Swift)

I'm five years old
It's getting cold
I've got my big coat on

I hear your laugh
And look up smiling at you
I run and run

Past the pumpkin patch
And the tractor rides
Look now -- the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep
On the way home

I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day
With you today

I'm thirteen now
And don't know how my friends
Could be so mean

I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys

And we drive and drive
Until we've found a town
Far enough away

And we talk and window-shop
Until I've forgotten all their names

I don't know who I'm gonna talk to
Now at school
I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you
Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day
With you today

I have an excellent father
His strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother
Inside and out
He's better than I am

I grew up in a pretty house
And I had space to run
And I had the best days with you

There is a video
I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen
And you're talking to me

It's the age of princesses and pirate ships
And the seven dwarfs
Daddy's smart
And you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

Now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side
Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine

And I didn't know if you knew
So I'm taking this chance to say
That I had the best day
With you today.

Monday, September 3, 2012

White Christmas


Irving Berlin's movie "White Christmas" is my favorite holiday (well, favorite Christmas!) movie of all time. I really do love A Charlie Brown Christmas -- but does that count as a full movie?  If so I might have to call it a tie... I recall when I was somewhere in early elementary school, I actually wore out my grandparents copy of the film "White Christmas!"  (I of course ended up buying them another copy out of my babysitting money, then a while later I purchased them a nice DVD edition to enjoy).  There is only one other movie I have ever done this to (also a tape belonging to my grandparents, also replaced later -- "The Music Man").

Today I was not going to post about this movie (I was going to write a "It's Monday, what are you reading?" post) however it is a holiday and so I am taking a break -- although I have not technically started my Monday reading updates, they have been planned.... "White Christmas" came out in 1954 and I love it for various reasons, primarily made possible by the director (Michael Curtiz -- also directed "Casablanca"), of course Berlins music (shall list some of my favorite songs) and the four main characters played by Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen Rohe.

Part of the allure of this film is that it was made during the golden age of film... I have never actually experienced a "white" Christmas (hard to do living near Los Angeles for most of my life!)... During the holiday season I get to/try to see people I care about... I also often am able to give out gifts/help out.  Having my godson and his family visiting helps make me feel a bit like Christmas is in the air and I am reminded that in addition to the wonderful family/family friends I have around more often -- summer visits remind me how lucky I am to be a godmother! :)

Instead of trying to type out most of my favorite songs from this film, I am going to try using a bullet-point system... Also if possible I am going to end this post with what I believe is the original White Christmas Theatrical Trailer that I found on You.Tube!  This past week has been, overall, heavily sprinkled with happy moments and thoughts (even if my posts have not necessarily reflected that).  I hope this week is filled with the same for all of you!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Prayers and Candles


I love candles.  Mainly I love the warmth that I feel inside of myself when I look at the glowing, flickering, constant flames.  I want to thank whomever took this photo because it is one of my favorites... There are many people who are in need/want of prayer (or as some prefer to ask "good thoughts" or "pixie dust") -- my personal range of prayers tend to vary from a request made just this week, to ones made years ago by people who have chosen to no longer remain in contact with me, to those I pray for "just because." I think that it can never hurt to have positive prayers heading your way/sent out into the universe.

This is a bit early, but part of why I love Christmas/the entire holiday season/end of the year through New Years -- I love how people, families and individuals, are brought together.  Many celebrate with candles, fires, "twinkle lights" -- there is always a bit of reminiscing about the year that is ending and often hopes for the year ahead.  Most importantly it is a time of year when many people feel drawn closer together, whether just in spirit or actual physical presence.  Although there are many times that I am nowhere near my best, I am always thankful and grateful for everything I have been blessed with.  Each day holds the possibility for something positive, whether already known or something new. I hope all of you find at least one moment of peace/happiness/joy in your life today!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blue Moon

Ever since I was a little girl I remember loving how nature showed me the huge night sky, taking up so much space and filled with tons of stars and the moon... These memories, the "how nature showed me" come from times when we visited a family friends house (their backyard overlooks a canyon so there are still "human-made" lights and distractions, but not as many as when you are in the middle of a city)... times when we would be camping as a family or with extended family/friends/girl scouts/etc -- from Yosemite National Park to a camp up near Mammoth Lakes to -- I think we went as far as Four Corners (Utah/Colorado/Arizona/New Mexico) but I have no idea where we stopped/slept.  (Again, in case it has not been noted enough in this blog, I really love and appreciate my parents, family, extended family, family friends, friends... So many people with their hearts in the right place who have helped me grow and maintain my roots while encouraging me to continue to spread my wings.  I would be nothing without all of the love and support I have received my entire life.  Thank you again).


My point is that being exposed to nature at night, whether at home, in a particular backyard, camping in a meadow, up in the mountains, being near the ocean... At night all of these areas had/continue to have a special place in my heart because of the night sky.  I know now what I might not have fully grasped when I was young -- the sky, especially with the stars and the moon at whatever point in its journey -- it connects everyone no matter where we are in the world.  We all have day and night; we all have memories and hopefully futures with bright spots; we all are on the same planet.


There are a few however, who do get to journey past this planet.  Tonight (technically it is still tonight because I am up late) -- tonight was special for various reasons.  The two that connect to the title of this post, "Blue Moon" are that Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was laid to rest today.  The second is that tonights moon was a blue moon.  I am reminded of memories, of stories, of the past, present, and future... 


There are several images scattered in this post of the moon that I have chosen to share. Obviously the moon did not really look blue ("blue moon" is simply descriptive, do a quick online search if you do not already know what it means), so that one image was taken by someone with a blue filter (I think that is all it takes but as previously mentioned on this blog I am NOT a photographer!)... The two large clear images of the moon were also found online... And the very small (but bright!) moon came from me.


I can only guess at the number of people around the world who have memories/thoughts that are connected with the night sky and how everyone on earth looks at the very same moon every night