Sparks #17


My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

The photo quote above carries such a simple message, and yet it is such a powerful truth! Kindness is so badly needed in our world, and it truly is amazing how one kind word can make a difference.

I know you’ve had it happen before, you were out somewhere and a complete stranger took the time to say something nice to you.  It made you feel great, didn’t it?  It doesn’t have to be a stranger either, kind words should be at the forefront of our thoughts with every interaction we have, be it personal or public.

Kindness is contagious, it creates a ripple effect, so today and every day from now on, make an effort to say something kind. Surprise people, it only takes a moment of your time, and it will make you feel good too! 🙂

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there,  and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry messages of hope and encouragement, and I look forward to sharing similar things here.

Ten Things of Thankful – 1/28/18

Last Sunday of the month, and what a month it’s been. We’ll just call it emotionally challenging and leave it at that.  I’d rather spend my time and my energies focusing on good stuff and gratitude today. 🙂

I am always and above all grateful for my husband, Papa Bear, grateful for his unfailing love, his patience, his caring heart, his sense of humor, his love of animals, his values, his hard work… and the list could go on and on.  I am blessed beyond measure to have him as the rock and the joy in my life!

I am grateful for the many nice comments I’ve received on recent blog posts and responses to my comments on other blogs.  These little exchanges means someone takes the time to reach out with friendly words, and it’s always a smile generator!  I just can’t stress the importance of caring, communication and feedback enough in life.  Just do it!

I am grateful for warmer days, longer hours of daylight, all the little birds that are loving the food and water we’ve got out for them, and the supermoon coming up this week. Full moons are one of my favorite things and this one is going to be so beautiful!

I am grateful for the handful of friends I keep in touch with each day, being at home most of the time, they are my connection to the outside world and our daily check-ins assure that each of us is coping with the ups and downs of life and doing well.

I am grateful for my furkids, each and every one of them.  Animal personalities are as varied as those of humans, and as empty-nesters Papa Bear and I spend a lot of time enjoying their affection, antics, and interactions.  I honestly believe that everyone should have at least one furkid of some sort in their lives, it softens us and there are so many in need.  If you can’t, or don’t have room, or whatever, then do what you can to support the efforts of local animal shelters and sanctuaries.  Mac’s Mission is one of my favorites.

I am grateful for the relationships I have with my children and my nieces and nephews, you couldn’t ask for a better bunch of young people (well, young as relative to my age). They are caring and kind and just make me mighty proud.

I am grateful for my many friends from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. This began about sixteen years ago when I adopted a first grade class at Red Cloud Indian School there, and the friendships that developed with the children and their families is a precious part of my life and a big piece of my heart.  This first class of kids are now in their early twenties, many have gone on to college and some have already graduated, some of families of their own, and it’s fun to see them in these new adult roles.  Life there is not easy, poverty, hunger, alcoholism, gang activity, suicide, and violence are a part of the lives of so many.  So it takes courage, hope and determination to find your way through that and make something good of your life.  I’m even prouder of those who choose to return home after college and do things to improve their communities.  Facebook has proven to be a wonderful tool for helping me stay connected with my Rez kids. Yay for Facebook, which also gives me an opportunity to share support and encouragement.

I am thankful for the blessed quiet that most often fills my days. I have not forgotten what it’s like to work in an office with phones ringing non-stop for eight hours, and the endless jabber of chatty coworkers.  I don’t even have the tv on when I am home alone. All you can hear is purring cats, kitty toys being chased around the room, and the clicking of my keyboard.  Quiet is my refuge.  Loud noise, lots of people, and general commotion are hard for me to process. I am so grateful to be at home.

I am thankful for all the basic needs that God so generously provides for us… food, housing, clothing, clean water, heating, transportation, clean air, mail service, machines to do laundry, phone service,and last but not least, the Internet!  Yes, for me that is a basic necessity! 🙂

I am thankful for the gift of four free nights of hotel rooms that my son-in-law gave us for Christmas this year.  This means that we might be able to reschedule that missed mini-vacation to Galveston either late Spring or early Fall, God willing.  I love the ocean, it is my happy place, and that’s the closest spot to access it.  I love Galveston too, and especially the free ferry rides with all the dolphins playing in the water. Delightful!

I guess that’s about a wrap for this week, I could go on endlessly about the many little and big things I am thankful for, but most of all I am thankful that God helps me walk through each day, one at a time, and enables me to see the all the beauty and the good things around me.

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Ten Things of Thankful

Visit us at the TToT by clicking on the button above, or click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own!

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 90

Each Thursday, Annie of McGuffy’s Reader and  Ellen of 15andmeowing provide four fill-in statements, and on Friday we post our answers and join their link-up to share our responses.

The Fill-ins for Week 90 are:

1.The flu shot                    .

2. I think everyone should take _________ daily.

3. I (almost) always                   , because                      .

4. I (almost) never                       because                         .

Here are my responses:

1.The flu shot never seems to include the strain I manage to come in contact with.

2. I think everyone should take time to contemplate what they are thankful for daily.

3. I (almost) always try to leave positive comments on Facebook and blogs, because I think encouragement is something we could all use more of. I also consider myself to be a guest on their page, and I try to conduct myself like one.

4. I (almost) never carry grudges because they are like a cancer that grows in your heart. I get mad, sometimes I lose my cool, then I get over it and move on.

FFBadge (2)Now it’s your turn… come and join us at Friendly Fill-Ins! 

A Dry Heat (A Six Sentence Story)

imagesT7XCTFU9Chele hated living in the Southwest; the temperature had been in triple digits every day for the past five weeks, and it was beginning to get to her.  She swore if one more person said that it wasn’t so bad because at least it was a dry heat she was going to strangle them. Dry heat, yes… like sticking your head in an oven. How she missed the trees, lakes, and green rolling hills of her childhood in the Midwest, and while she had to admit that there was a kind of stark beauty to be found where she lived now, it would never really feel like home.

Money was in short supply for Chele after the divorce, making it impossible for her to relocate; and Zane, the one who had brought her out here, and the only thing that had made her life good, was gone.

One day they found her drowned in the deep end of her swimming pool with a strangely peaceful smile on her face and a handwritten note on the poolside table that said “Please take me home”.

I’m joining Zoe at “Uncharted” for
The cue this week is “dry“.

Sparks #16

extMy friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks. Here’s what she says about it…

When I began blogging, it was my intent to post an inspirational thought each Monday. It would be my weekly meditation, and perhaps feed another’s spirit as well. I am inspired by the positive energy of my peers.

The negative energy in the world has become thick and oppressive. Social media has become a part of this dark, negative storm. There is an obvious universal need for more positive energy. And, we can all be part of this affirmative change.

I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!

I hope you will join us. Please link up a positive quote, thought, poem, or verse.  Remember to add the Sparks badge to your post to invite others. The more, the merrier. Peace.

I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week! Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry messages of hope and encouragement, and I look forward to sharing similar things here.

The photo quote above is one I found on Pinterest that I love, not only for it’s bright, cheerful colors that make me smile, but also for the message it bears. I believe that God made each of us unique and endowed us with a special purpose that can only be revealed when we are being who we were meant to be, and not trying to be like someone else or what someone else thinks we should be.  I encourage each of you to be true to yourself and let the beauty of that shine through!

untitled (51)Come and check out Sparks… find your inspiration for the week there!


Ten Things of Thankful – 1/21/18

A dusty, dirty, wind blowing 50 mph Sunday here in West Texas, but dishes are done and put away,  the Papa Bear is settled comfortably into his recliner to watch the big teams play football, the furkids are stretched out for afternoon naps, and it is the perfect time to do a little reflecting on the many reasons I have to be thankful.

First off, I am so very thankful to see old friends and new showing up here and responding to my posts.  I have a tendency to isolate, and I am always surprised to realize how fun it is to have so many nice people in my life! It is good to be back.  I am thankful that the transition from Blogger to WordPress was easier than I expected, though I still have more to do.

I am extremely thankful that I don’t have to be outside today. The wind and dirt are blowing 50 mph here in West Texas, it is nasty. I am thankful for the warmth and comfort of our little house, even if the dust filters in a bit – a good excuse not to work to hard on dusting today. 🙂

I am thankful that I am blessed with living in a home we own and with a husband who loves cats as much as I do, which enables me to have rescued furkids here where they can be loved and cared for.  Before I met Papa Bear I lived in an apartment for a year which allowed no pets. It was the only one I could find/afford and it was so very sad. Having a furkid family is a blessing to me.

I am thankful that my children are not growing up in a time when boys wear their pants hanging below their underwear, and girls are pasting on makeup, eyelashes, and eyebrows thick enough to qualify for the theater stage.  I wish I understood the obsession to always take it one step further.  I think I am still drawn to the simplicity of the sixties, and with young people who looked for more meaning in life than can be found in eating Tide Pods!  (And yes, I know that all young people aren’t this ridiculous, thank God.)

Little things I am thankful for….

– The flannel robe my son gave me for Christmas.  I love soft things, and this is the perfect house wear on a stay-at-home day like today. There is something cozy about flannel.

– The cool little cat feeding bowls my daughter taught me about that keep the food sitting at an angle they can easily access, and don’t slide around on the floor.  They work so well!  You would get a kick out of my dinnertime prep lineup of six bowls on the counter. 🙂

– That my sister so enjoyed the red reindeer nose I crocheted for her VW Bug at Christmas time that garnered so many smiles, now she has requested a daisy ornament for Springtime. I get such a kick out of her with that little VW convertible in Minnesota.  She always wanted one and my Dad was much more practical when it came to purchasing cars.

– That neither Papa Bear or I have been struck by the flu bug going around so far, or any other illness.  My exposure is more limited now that I am at home (except when out grocery shopping, etc.) but he deals with the public all day, so the risk of germs is ever-present.

Last, but definitely not least this week, I am thankful for reconciliation with a special friend who means a  whole lot to me. We’ve been through our ups and downs but somehow God always draws us back together, so I think it’s meant to be, and it makes my heart happy.  A little older, a little wiser, ready to try a little harder.  Love never fails!

Blessings to  each of you in the days and weeks ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Ten Things of ThankfulThe above photo is a click-button to the TToT link-up. It is photo of one of our beautiful Texas sunsets with blue still peeking through the clouds; yellow, orange and pink bands around the remaining sliver of bright sun, and a wide band of black earth below it on which I’ve written Ten Things of Thankful.*

* Descriptions of the included photos are being provided for those who may be unable to view the illustrations.

Good Grief

untitled (53)I am quickly understanding the problems WordPress bloggers have had trying to comment on my old Blogger blogs.  So far this morning, in trying to catch up on a little blog reading/commenting, I’ve encountered several Blogger blogs that required me to jump through hoops and make multiple attempts in order to comment with my WordPress ID.  One blog took six tries, doing the same thing each time, and finally it published!  In the process it shows that my comment will be anonymous, but it actually ends up showing my WordPress ID once it posts.  Every single Blogger blog is making me endure the Captcha game too… arrgghh!

There were two Blogger blogs that I really wanted to comment on but wasn’t even able to pull up the comment box to enter my info.  I’ve had this happen before on some Blogger blogs, and I’ve had people tell me that happens with my old blogs too.  I’ve also had friends that had to post comments to my old blogs as “Anonymous” because it refused to accept their ID.

I’ve had friends tell me that they aren’t able to comment on my Blogger blogs, usually after I asked them, and that leaves me wondering how many folks would have left a comment if they were able, or if they didn’t have to jump through hoops to do so.  If you are blogging on Blogger, you might be missing comments too!

Blogger has also become increasingly slow to publish comments to blogs,  and comments that are written and just disappear when you hit publish are all too frequent. We’ve all had that happen, and since I write long-winded comments it can be so frustrating to have one just vanish into thin air.

One has to wonder if Google/Blogger is intentionally trying to make things difficult for WordPress users, because it hasn’t done anything to address these long-standing issues with commenting.  I’ve tried all the comment settings they offer, it didn’t help.

While I am still learning the ropes of WordPress, and have work to do on my new blog, (and my old one to back up and archive), I am so thankful I finally took the plunge and made the switch from Blogger.  It’s not as difficult as I initially thought it would be.

I am going to try to remember to leave a link to my blog in each comment I write on other blogs, that way the author at least has a chance of finding their way back to me.

If you experience problems when trying to comment on any blog, PLEASE let the author know so that they are aware there is an issue.  I thought one of my friends just didn’t care enough about what I wrote to ever leave a comment, until I asked and learned they couldn’t.  If publishing a comment on someone’s blog takes more time and effort than writing the comment, something definitely needs to be done about it!

Ok, stepping off my grumbly soapbox now and returning to attempted commenting. 🙂

Friendly Fill-ins: Week 89

Each Thursday, Annie of McGuffy’s Reader and  Ellen of 15andmeowing provide Friendly Fill-In statements, and on Friday we post our answers on their link-up to share our responses.  Here are mine…

Week 89:

  1.  I have never been able to understand how people can be intentionally cruel or unkind.
  2.  I wish I could still  accomplish all the things in a day that I could at 40.
  3.  Curled up with a warm blanket next to Papa Bear and a cat, or two, or three, is my ideal winter night. Adding a fireplace would make it even nicer.
  4.  In my fantasy life, I would live near the ocean and operate a no-kill cat sanctuary.

FFBadge (2)Now it’s your turn… come and share your answers with us at Friendly Fill-ins

Ripped Apart (A Six Sentence Story)

Jess wasn’t sure if the tears stinging her eyes were more about hurt or anger, some of both she decided. Her journal was her treasure, the one place she felt she could truly be herself and didn’t have to hold anything back. If only she hadn’t forgotten to put it back in it’s hiding place, and now he’d found it and read the whole thing through.

He was probably right anyway, saying it was all just garbage and not worth anyone’s time to read. Hands shaking, Jess ripped each word-filled page from the notebook and tore it into halves and then quarters, and dumped them unceremoniously into the trash can.

Late that night, unable to sleep, Jess retrieved the torn pages, spread them across the table and slowly began piecing her life back together.

I’m rejoining Zoe at “Uncharted” for Six Sentence Stories.
The cue this week is “ripped“.

Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!

Ten Things of Thankful ~ 1/16/18

Here we are, already two weeks into the new year, and I wonder why time seems to go by so much faster as I get older.  Today is my big  sister’s 66th birthday, that seems impossible!  We were talking about how special my mom always made us feel on our birthdays, with crepe paper streamers and balloons, a few wrapped presents, and wonderful decorated cakes. We didn’t realize then how much we would treasure those homespun memories later in life.  I am thankful for the relative innocence of my childhood.

I am both amazed and thankful that I have somehow managed to lose 35 pounds since I quit working at the law firm with no intentional effort on my part. I did a lot of stress snacking back then, and often ate fast food lunches, so while I can’t say that lead a healthy lifestyle now with the right foods and exercise, I can say that I’m doing better.

January 2nd marked the 10th anniversary of my meeting Papa Bear on the Internet at the Yahoo Personals site (which is no longer in existence). People can say what they want about the risks and crazies involved with online dating sites, but I know of several people like me who have found the perfect for them partner that way. I am so thankful for the gift of Papa Bear in my life, it has totally changed me, it has changed everything!

The first week of the month brought the opportunity to take the two feral tomcats I’ve been feeding since last June to the vet clinic for neutering.  They both did well and recovered quickly, will now live much safer and healthier and happier lives, and won’t be adding to the rural cat population. I am thankful I was finally able to locate a low-cost spay/neuter clinic which made it possible for me to do this.

Smoky, one of the two feral boys is very special. I cannot explain it, but he was always very insecure outside, and loves being in the house.  He behaves perfectly, gets along well with our other four cats, and is just a big mushy teddy bear who loves to snuggle and sleep on our laps!  Both Papa Bear and I are amazed at how well he has adapted, and how peaceful and content he is.  Truly the sweetest boy, with thick blue/gray fur coat that feels like rabbit fur.  I am thankful that he and Toby have become good friends in the house, often playing together, both of them needed a buddy, since the three girls are older and not so delighted with games of pounce and chase. 🙂 He is happy to be an official insider.

Andy, the other feral boy is also completely tame now, but loves his outside life, so he shall remain there. He gets to come inside to stay in the guest room on cold nights, and he is a very well-behaved visitor. I am thankful we can provide love, care, good food, and warmth for him too. He is so cute popping up in the deck window to greet us, visit with the inside cats, or request supper!

This month marked my 9th year on Facebook, and I am thankful for all the wonderful connections with family and friends I have there.  I have reconnected with cousins, former classmates, and friends from all stages of my life, along with making many new friends via blogging, etc.  While Facebook can be frustrating at times, and is too often a means for people to promote political agendas, negativity and drama, it can also be used for the opposite, to promote love and light and strong relationships, and to present prayer requests. We CAN use it to encourage each other!  I am thankful for all the wonderful opportunities it provides.

Speaking of prayer requests, I am a great believer in the power of prayer, and the power of people joining together to pray for specific needs.  I could easily make a whole Ten Things of Thankful list each week of prayers answered, but the highlights of this week include a runaway found and returned safely home, animals rescued from the cold/starvation/neglect and abuse, the safe delivery of a high-risk baby, urgent financial needs met, and broken spirits starting to mend.  I am thankful I can offer up my prayers and know that they join those of others in reaching the ears of our loving Father.

I am thankful for the beautiful “supermoon” we were blessed to begin the New Year with! The moon is such a powerful symbol of the things that connect us all, and as we witnessed that beautiful bright sky we know the others we love were sharing it with us. I am also thankful that each evening now provides us with a few more minutes of daylight and I love moving slowly out of winter darkness.  With more light comes more energy and renewal.

Finally, I am thankful for my new blogging space here, and for the perfect picture popping up in my photo files to use for the header.  Sophie really does appear to be checking out what I have written.  🙂 Once I set my mind to it the transition is going better than expected.  I will eventually be archiving and printing hard copies of my old blogs.

I would also like to apologize for my absence over the past weeks/months. I feel very sad about not getting around to read and comment, and I resolve to get back on track with that beginning today!  The dark clouds of December and early January have passed and I am ready to rejoin you in the light. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

Blessings to  each of you in the days and weeks ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Ten Things of ThankfulThe above photo is a click-button to the TToT link-up. It is photo of one of our beautiful Texas sunsets with blue still peeking through the clouds; yellow, orange and pink bands around the remaining sliver of bright sun, and a wide band of black earth below it on which I’ve written Ten Things of Thankful.*

* Descriptions of the included photos are being provided for those who may be unable to view the illustrations.