Some of my favorite words to live by.


"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault

"THAT THERE ARE NO RANDOM ACTS. THAT WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. THAT YOU CAN NO MORE SEPARATE ONE LIFE FROM ANOTHER THAN YOU CAN SEPARATE A BREEZE FROM THE WIND." - Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

"ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS, FOR ONE DAY YOU MAY LOOK BACK AND REALIZE THEY WERE THE BIG THINGS." - Robert Brault

"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall


Monday, February 8, 2016

* BOOKS TO RECOMMEND & THOUGHTS ON WRITING *

As usual, time is flying by and I'm behind in so many projects: writing blog posts, commenting on others' blogs, replying to emails, writing and mailing snail-mail notes and letters, and most importantly writing! I am excited to say, though, that I've been writing quite a bit lately...and most of it is for a piece I'll be submitting somewhere fairly soon. AND, on top of all that, I've also been reading...a lot! Three books in about three weeks time, which is an amazing feat for me!

That may not sound very amazing to most voracious readers, but it's been years (except for a couple of books here and there) since I've come across a book(s) that I just couldn't put down! Thinking about those last three books makes me smile not only because I liked them so much, but also because I found them quite by accident at Dollar Tree! (One of my favorite stores! You can't go wrong paying one dollar for a book, sometimes hardcovers. If I don't care for it, I take it to Goodwill.)

The first one I read: The Borrower, by Rebecca Makkai.  Loved it!
A librarian, a highly intelligent young boy whose parents are attempting to "change" him, a kidnapping.....Yes, it has its fallacies, as some reviewers point out, but it's FICTION, and I just could not put it down!

The second one was: You Belong to Me, by Marisa de los Santos. Liked it a lot!
Interesting look at suburbia upper class, marriages, friendships, with twists and turns.

The third was: A Beautiful Blue Death, by Charles Finch. Loved it! I can almost use the word "never" when I say I never read mysteries, but this grabbed me right from the beginning, and what shocks me the most is that it's a period piece (again, not my cup of tea...so to speak!) set in England in 1865! I loved the main character and descriptions of the era, etc. It had me guessing "whodunnit" all the way.

~~~~~

I learned a long time ago that if you want to be a good writer, you also have to read a lot, and not just in the genre you prefer. Following are two quotes I came across just last night from an author, writing couch, motivational speaker, and secret ghostwriter: Roz Morris  https://rozmorris.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/hello-world/

"If they don’t read, how can they write? My impulse to write comes from reading. Once I’ve been in the grip of a good book, it gets me to go and write my own." - Roz Morris

"Reading—the good and the bad—inspires you. It develops your palate for all the tricks that writers have invented over the years. You can learn from textbooks about the writing craft, but there’s no substitute for discovering for yourself how a writer pulls off a trick. Then that becomes part of your experience." - Roz Morris

So, reading and writing, writing and reading...they go hand in hand. Although I've been moving at a very slow pace on both until now, I feel I've escaped from under the cloak of excuses:
"I don't have the time" to read or write.
 I'm having "writers block."
"I can't find anything to read that I like."
"Etc!


Have a blissful week, wherever you are! Sing like no one is listening...I do that all the time! Maybe I'll try karaoke at the local bar one of these evenings! hee hee

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

* THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES *

I love old movies, particularly black and white films from the 1940s and 1950s: Comedies, dramas, & love stories. One of my all-time favorites is The Best Years of Our Lives. The first time I saw it was on TV when I was probably 12 or 13 years old.

Although I've watched it dozens of times since then, and remember every scene in the almost-three-hour-movie, the one that struck me that particular day was twenty-something Peggy talking to her parents, Al & Milly, about love, and how they were "so old" they'd forgotten what it was like to be in love....

Peggy: It's none of your business how I'm gonna do it. You've forgotten what it's like to be in love.
Al: You hear that, Milly? I'm so old and decrepit I've forgotten how it feels to want somebody desperately.
Milly: Peggy didn't mean that, did you darling?
Peggy: Oh, no. I don't know what I do mean. It's just that, everything has always been so perfect for you. You loved each other and you got married in a big church, and you had a honeymoon in the south of France. And you never had any trouble of any kind. So how can you possibly understand how it is with Fred and me?
Milly: We never had any trouble. [To Al] How many times have I told you I hated you, and believed it in my heart. How many times have you said you were sick and tired of me, that we were all washed up? How many times have we had to fall in love all over again?

~~~

At my young age at that time, I couldn't imagine how a married couple could feel like that and say such awful things, and still experience the magic of falling in love again and again, especially at their ages. (and of course, my parents' divorce didn't send this kind of message to me, either.)

My disbelief lasted for many years. Obviously during my entire, short-lived-too-young-to-get-married, first marriage. I realized at some point that I had never been in love with my first husband. I wanted someone to love me, take care of me, be a good husband and father, etc. I loved him in the beginning, but I certainly was not "in love."

Fast forward many years...The Ronald and I will celebrate our 33rd Anniversary next month. Thirty three years! I don't know how that's possible since I'm only 40 years old! Hee Hee...

I'm so proud and happy to say that it's been a very happy marriage, too. We have fun. We laugh together and make each other laugh. We like pretty much the same things. Sure, we've had disagreements and arguments, and times of real anger, and loud voicing of opinions at times. But being with him, I know and understand how it feels to be in love, and how exciting it is to fall in love all over again.

~~~
 
 

 
This will be Ron and me in about 20 years!
 
 

Friday, January 8, 2016

* A NEW YEAR AND A NEW WORD FOR THE YEAR? *

I've read a few blog and Facebook posts recently where people are sharing their "word" for the year. You know, words like positive, love, peace, etc. (and please, if any of you have chosen and written about any of those words, I swear I either didn't even see your post, or I don't remember, because I'm definitely not writing with anyone in mind!)

I made the decision years ago not to make New Year's Resolutions any longer. I just wasn't any good at keeping them, no matter how simple they were, and all that ever happened was that I felt like a failure. Not a good way to start a new year...or even a new day!

And as a result of that, I choose to continue living my life the way I have for a long, long time. It's about being grateful for all the little things. It's about choosing to be optimistic and happy. And to continue, no matter how slowly it goes, to accomplish those tasks and goals ahead of me.

~~~

"One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself." - Lucile Ball

Sunday, January 3, 2016

* NOSTALGIC SUNDAY *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday
 

~~~
 
This will be a short and sweet Nostalgic Sunday, since it's very close to being Monday!
 
 
 
This picture is one of my favorites, partly because it's probably the only one I have of just my brother Mike, and me, and our dad. But also because we were so happy then. It was Christmas Day approximately 1960. Looks like we were getting ready to go to Mass, or just got home. I vividly remember my outfit, I guess because I loved it so much! It was a gray jumper with a pink blouse. To this day, I still love pink and gray together. Mike is holding his new Chess For Beginners game, and I'm holding my much loved Colorforms! And what is our dad doing? Reading the newspaper, not paying a bit of attention. SO TYPICAL! And he's wearing what I affectionately refer to as his "Barney Fife suit!"....I wonder what's the deal with he and Mike wearing white socks with their suits??
 
Ahh, such a happy time in my life that ended way too soon......
 
 
Happy 2016 everyone! May this be a year of doors opening and blissful encounters for all!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

* IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE 2015 *

Merry Christmas to All!
 
I'm sharing some photos of Christmastime 2011.....Our tree, sweet Vern, and homemade cookies!
 
I really wanted to make homemade Christmas cookies again this year, but it just didn't happen. Maybe if it finally gets cold, and we have snow, I'll make them....for New Year's Day?!
 


 
 

Wishing everyone peace and happiness.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

* A GROCERY STORE ENCOUNTER.....*

I posted this on Facebook this evening and want to share it here, too. 
 
I stopped at a local grocery store today, to buy just one thing....a very important thing. A package of rawhide bones for our dear Vern! (Actually, I bought two packages because he goes through them pretty fast.) Walking from my car to the store entrance, I saw a woman standing on the sidewalk about 50 feet from the door, holding a leash with what looked like a beautiful, very young black Labrador puppy. For a brief moment, I thought she was waiting for a car to come and pick them up, but when I saw her talk to another shopper in front of me, I was pretty sure what was going on. As I got closer, she called out to me, "Would you like to have a puppy?" I kept walking and replied, "I would LOVE to, but I can't right now!" I thought how ironic it was that I was there to purchase chew-bones for my beloved, Vern, who is 14 years old, has a bit of dementia, and cannot hear any more...and I worried about that puppy. I thought about saying something to the employee inside at the Service Counter. Did they know the woman? Was it legit? Should I call the Humane Society? Usually someone has a cardboard box with a sign "Free Puppies" on it, and so I just didn't feel right about it...and yet I did none of those things, but hoped that someone would stop and give that beautiful puppy a loving, forever-home. What would you have done? I'm still thinking about that little puppy....





 
“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” - Dean Koontz

Friday, December 11, 2015

* JUST PLAIN SILLY *

Since it's winter and I do quite a bit of driving in the dark, the following funny quote, from one of my *favorite movies, always pops into my head:


State Trooper: Do you have any idea how fast you were going?

Del: Funny enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer has melted and as a result it's very hard to see with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.


You're probably asking yourself what this has to do with my driving...

Well, I think a couple of the tiny fuses that light up my dashboard have quit working, because for a few weeks now, I can only see how much gas is in the car! No other gauges are lit up, like if I need oil, or if my car is overheating, etc. Also, I have no idea how fast I'm driving (which is usually pretty darn fast!) or anything about the RPMs.

So, I just pretty much "go with the traffic flow" and hope for the best.

Now, that is just plain silly, isn't it??!!


*Oh, and the name of that movie.....

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
 
 
 
Traffic cop checking out the situation
 


But the radio still works...clear as a bell!




Sunday, December 6, 2015

* NEW THOUGHTS ON FOLLOWING MY BLISS *

Last week I had one of those moments where a thought just popped into my head and made perfect sense. I was in bed, trying to go to sleep, but my brain had other ideas...ha ha! Get it...my brain had other "ideas"!? (Sorry for the groaner, but I'm still going pretty much on lots of coffee and a lack of Zzzzs... due to working three full days and three half days last week.)

So...the thought that popped into my head was all about "following your bliss"... and isn't that what my blog and I are all about?! You've seen the following poem on my side bar:

"Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.”
-- Joseph Campbell

 

Both of my part-time jobs just happened to come along, when I wasn't even looking!

"...you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open..."
 

And yes, both jobs are rewarding and fun, and yes I'm following my bliss!

And then a powerful thought: Stop worrying about whether I'm writing or not writing...Enjoy where I am at this moment, and the writing will come.
~~~
 
When my friend, Robin Theiss, first told me about Joseph Campbell's quote, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately felt like those words had been written especially for me. I still find it very powerful every time I read it. 
 
I hope all of you are following your bliss, but if you aren't, please give it a try.
 
Wishing you all a beautiful, blissful 2nd week of December!


 
 
A horse drawn carriage on Main Street in old St. Charles, Mo.
This was taken in December of 2009.



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

* YIKES, IT'S DECEMBER! *

Right now, my two part-time jobs are kickin' my butt! Yesterday when I got into my car, I had to stop and think which job I was going to and which highway I needed to get on! LOL

Actually, it's not that bad, but I'm looking forward to working only one job after this Saturday. (Have I even mentioned the two jobs? Long story as to how I came upon the second one and got hired the day of my interview, even after I was AN HOUR LATE for it!)

My posts will probably be even fewer this month, but I hope everyone knows that you're always in my thoughts. Maybe I'll just post a photo or two every now and then....



 
December 2008


... like these two wacky pictures of myself from December of 2008. Gosh, it doesn't seem that long ago!

~~~

Welcome to my newest follower, Dawn.
 
I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thanks so much.
 
P.S. - Dawn, please leave a comment with your blog or website. When I click on your photo, a link pops up for about one second and disappears before I can even click on it.
 
 
                                              ~~~
 
 
"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" - Dr. Seuss
 
 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

* MY COUNTDOWN TO THANKSGIVING - DAY 8 *

* Countdown to Thanksgiving *
 
Wow, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! How did the fourth Thursday in November arrive so fast?!
 
 
I just love these adorable pilgrim salt & pepper shakers!
They're from the grocery store, Publix, which is in the South.
My sister, Marian, sent them to me as a little gift in 2010.
 
Both of these photos are a bit blurry.
I'll have to take new pictures,
just as soon as I dig through more boxes! J
 
I was a bit melancholy the first couple of years we didn't have all of our grown kids and grandkids over for our Thanksgiving get-together. We always had our dinner the Saturday before most actual holidays, because it just made it so much better for them. No pressure and/or guilt about trying to make it to X number of houses, and X number of dinners....but this year, I am feeling much happier about going to one of their homes tomorrow! All I'm bringing is a couple of bottles of wine!
 
 
 
One of my favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas movies:
Miracle on 34th Street...the original, in black and white.
 
 
Fred: That baseball player sure looks like a giant to me.
 
Susan: Sometimes people grow very large, but that's abnormal.
 
Fred: I'll bet your mother told you that, too.

 
 
~~~
 
 

Monday, November 23, 2015

* MY COUNTDOWN TO THANKSGIVING - DAY 6 *

* Countdown to Thanksgiving *
 
The TV show, The Waltons, began when I was a senior in high school. I immediately loved it for several reasons:
 
I like movies and programs about past eras, particularly the 1930s through the 1960s.
 
It was about family values, love, hard work, etc.
 
I loved the way it was narrated by the "real" John-Boy, Earl Hamner, Jr., and knowing that many of the stories were true or based on true events.
 
I dreamed of having a home with lots of kids, parents, and grandparents, all living under the same roof. Since my own childhood certainly wasn't like that, I wished for something similar when I got married. Ahh, the dreams of an 18-year-old girl. Maybe that kind of life was down one of the paths in my future...until that crowbar changed everything! J
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Although my family isn't as large as The Waltons', I'm very happy with the way things turned out! And I have so many friends who are like family members, and that number seems to grow all the time!
 
 
 
~~~
 
 
"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them,
is the true measure of our thanksgiving." - W. T. Purkis