"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Lisa Hammond

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

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, October 30, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

 Every time Vern and I go for a walk, I think of Pluto in the cartoons, sniffing the ground as he walked. That's exactly how Vern looks! He runs along sniffing, stopping, walking slower, sniffing some more, marking his areas.
Then, after he's completed his "Number Two Reason" for our walk, he proudly and happily trots home.

Vern chewing on one of his favorite "flips."

Why is this posted on Nostalgic Sunday? Because Pluto is so much a part of Walt Disney.....and on September 25th, I wrote about some of the Sundays of my youth....and the Wonderful World of Disney was a TV show we  never missed. I always loved Pluto.

"You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, 'My God, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!'" -Dave Barry-

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cards Win! Cards Win! Cards Win!

Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals. What an incredible team! If Game 6 and Game 7 were part of a baseball movie, it would be so unbelievable, movie goers would say, "That's just crazy. That would never happen!" Ahhh, but it did. I'll never forget this particular World Series -- 2011.

(both photos courtesy internet)

"Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem." ~Saul Steinberg


ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!

I'm exhausted.


The St. Louis Cardinals are amazing.



I don't have any other words to say, except.....
Yay, Rally Squirrel!!


And, tonight same "bat" time, same "bat" channel!


I don't think I've ever blogged about baseball, but I'm a huge fan of my hometown Cardinals!


"A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings. " ~Earl Wilson

(except in the Thursday evening game...it was eleven (11) innings!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Intense Colors & Joy

I've mentioned before that autumn is my favorite season. I wasn't sure what kind of affect the crazy summer weather would have on the leaves in my part of the world, but I must say I haven't been a bit disappointed!

When I've been in my car the past few days, I could barely keep my eyes on the road due to my "Tree Admiring, Shrub Gawking, Foliage Observing" driving!

I thought many internal "Oohs and Aahs" and even shrieked some outloud....all to myself, while meandering through winding roads.
When I left to go on errands today I even took my camera with me. I realized immediately, though, I wasn't going to be able to stop and take pictures.

I would've been stopping every few feet, rolling down my car windows, taking pictures of gorgeous trees in people's yards....and would've probably had the police called on me! I'm going to have The Ronald drive me and see how that works.  


So..when I got back home this afternoon, it was time for Vern's walk. We try to go on one every single day. He gives me the incentive to do it even when I don't really want to, because he just loves it! AND, an added side benefit to that is....it certainly has helped with my weight loss. I've lost between twelve and fourteen pounds, depending on how well I eat any certain day! I plan to lose at least eight more.
Vern snoozing last Saturday evening, after a hard day....consisting of one walk and lots of rest!

Anyway, while on our walk today, I picked up a few lovely leaves to share with y'all. These were right in my neighborhood which is just breathtaking.

While stooping down to pick these up, a flood of school day memories hit me: Walking home from fifth grade, shuffling through the fallen leaves carrying an armful of books, seeing a pile of burning leaves at the edge of the street, hearing the crackling noise and inhaling that intoxicating aroma, reliving the two-sentence conversation I had with the current boy of my dreams....Ahh, it seems like yesterday.
Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter." ---Carol Bishop Hipps

Sunday, October 23, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

Happy Nostalgic Sunday, Everyone!

After looking at some charming "way back when" photos on Kathy's blog yesterday, I decided to attempt to post some of my own here. The problem is....trying to take a picture of a picture, and with MY camera, the results aren't very good. I couldn't get half the ones I wanted because it just wouldn't focus. But...for Nostalgic Sunday.......
This is my mom. Isn't she adorable??
She has on a tiny necklace and what looks like a mesh shawl.
This would've been taken in early 1916.
(Yes, she was almost 40 years old when I was born.)

These are my two (older!) sisters and me. I'm in the middle.
[I think it's obvious we hadn't fixed our hair yet!]
To my left (purple shirt) is my deceased sister Jo Ann.
To my right (navy shirt) is my sister Marian, who lives in Atlanta.
This was taken in March of 1983 when we were in Iowa.
A little over a year later, Jo Ann died from a brain tumor.
(She didn't even know about it at this time.)



Remember my Illinois neighbors I wrote about on October 9th?

¸ ¸ ¸¸¸

Well, here they are at my 3rd Birthday Party!!





The little boy in the striped shirt and the girl in the checkered dress next to him.
I don't know if that's me in the back right corner, or not.
But the little boy in the back, by the door, is my brother, Mike.


 
"Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money." ~ Author Unknown


Saturday, October 22, 2011

* Autumn Bliss *

I posted this picture of my fireplace and mantel last October. Since I decorated it pretty much the same way this year, I thought it would be okay to share it again!


About a year ago, I began to find a different picture/painting to put over the mantel, for the four different seasons. Until then, I kept the same one for years, until I got tired of it, or decided to switch back and forth with a large mirror. Because I found very inexpensive framed pictures, it's been really affordable to do. And since the size does vary a bit, we don't hang them on the wall, but stand them on the mantel, leaning against the wall (with a hook thingy so it won't fall off!)

Right now, I have candles and autumn decor inside the fireplace, until it's time for wooden logs and fires! I just love having a fireplace. It was always one of the top things in my Home Wish List. The Ronald and I take turns stacking the logs and lighting the fire, and I do all the clean-up. THAT'S how much I love being near a crackling, glowing fire.

We never had a fireplace when I was a child and I always longed for one. They just represented "Home" to me. Most likely I got that idea from living in the world of TV and movies......Ah, but that's another post for another day.


"Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!" - Humbert Wolfe

Friday, October 21, 2011

* I WONDER *

Zowie! Time for another I Wonder.



I Wonder: Those of you who have DVRs (digital video recorders) on your TV...Do you ever catch yourself, while driving along listening to your car radio, reaching down to hit some kind of Go Back button?? You didn't hear what the person said, or didn't understand, and so you wanted to go back and listen again?? And in that split second you think to yourself, Duh! my radio does not have that!
The Ronald and I have gotten so spoiled by having that on our TV. Eldest son, Scott, kept telling us we should get it, but we always seem to drag our feet on anything new-fangled and that costs more.

I Wonder: Do the radio systems you can buy for your cars, like Sirius, have a Go Back button on them??

"There is no harm in repeating a good thing." -- Plato

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Special Day

Twenty four years ago today I received a special gift.....my youngest son, Mark, was born! I could go on and on about what a wonderful boy he was and what a great guy he is now. But since we moms all feel that way, I don't feel the need to write about it.

I receive Mari McCarthy's e-newsletter and always get something really great from it. I was also fortunate to win one of her "Peace of Mind and Body" journaling book a few months ago. (Sorry to say I don't remember where I won it! Somewhere in Blog Land....and I still haven't begun to use it. Mari said to be sure and start it when I know I'll have the time and desire to keep at it every day....I hope I begin soon!) Be sure and check out Mari's website. She's an amazing woman.

The following was included in today's newsletter. It really grabbed me and made me say WOW. It perfectly fits my current self and that third sentence is the one I really need to remember...and achieve.

"Be vigilant with your mission. Be exuberant with your passion. Be gentle with yourself." -- Michelle James 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Virtual Book Club

Stacey Krone-Battat, co-founder of Kiwi Publishing, and the President and Editor-in-Chief of the Thin Threads book series contacted me yesterday. She asked if I'd like to join in with her and promote their upcoming Virtual Book Club! As soon as I heard the details, I said a resounding "YES." Please read the following two paragraphs which I copied and pasted from their website.


What: A Virtual Thin Threads Book Club – we are expanding our community to share the best of the Thin Threads series – both to our dedicated fans, and to new readers who are intrigued by the topics. Every other Wednesday, simply dial a number on your phone and escape from your hectic pace to join our inspiring and soothing conversation. You won’t have to leave your place or home/work during the cold months (if you live in the cold)!

This is not a boring radio interview or webinar. You will be able to listen, ask questions, answer polls for fun, and even have a chat with others about the topics, as if we were together in my living room. Just think, you can invite one friend over for coffee or tea and participate, or call in while you are on the go! HOW CONVENIENT!!

Now, how cool is that?? I've already registered for the first two sessions: November 2nd and 16th. Click on the link below, and then click on the book title to get to the Registration Page.

http://www.kiwipublishing.com/component/option,com_eventlist/Itemid,54/ 


It'll be a blast! Just like Stacey said, it'll be like we're in her living room, chatting about books, having coffee or tea...and hey, I'll bring some homemade desserts! Come on and join the fun!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

* New Photos of Vern *

Aww...Vern, my sweet companion.

I was surprised to see wrinkles in these photos. He really doesn't have any fat or flab. He's a lean machine! Maybe he's part Shar-Pei!

He always reminds me of "Nipper" in this picture. Remember the RCA Dog?

Nipper

"An old dog, even more than an old spouse, always feels like doing what you feel like doing." ~Robert Brault

Friday, October 14, 2011

WOMEN'S WISDOM

I just can't pass up words of wisdom, especially those spoken by women.....

MAXINE
~~~~~~~~

"I've had heartaches, headaches, toothaches, earaches, and I've had a few pains in the ass; but I've survived to tell about it." -- Dolly Parton
~~~~~~~

"Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves." -- Phyllis Diller

~~~~~~
"The heyday of a woman's life is the shady side of fifty." -- Elizabeth Cady Stanton
~~~~~~

And finally, another MAXINE!
Have a beautiful, blissful weekend!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

* This 'n That on a Tuesday *

Good morning! Happy Belated Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! I was sure I'd be able to post something yesterday, but time sped by. I hope everyone had a lovely day!

Every year, I look forward to our Thanksgiving in November. There's just something about that time of year: Aromas. Friends. Family. Pretty table settings. No commercialism! Just scrumptious food!

~~~~                                           ~~~~~                                                        ~~~~~  
On October 6th or 7th, I received the Robert Brault calendar and note cards I ordered. They are just as beautiful or even more so than the posted photos. I haven't decided which note card to use first, or who to snail mail it to. I really like the size of the cards, too. They are 5x7, blank inside, and so there is plenty of room for writing. Most note cards are TINY and there's never enough space! So, I can honestly say I LOVE THEM. They are beautiful, inspiring and uplifting. And how cool is it to tell others that I am a Robert Brault Blog Buddy?! And so can you...hop on over and check them out. Both the calendar and note cards would make thoughtful gifts for any occasion.
~~~~                                        ~~~~~                                                           ~~~~~   

I've come to the realization that I cannot keep up with all the delightful blogs I attempt to read and comment on. Therefore in an attempt to keep my sanity, I won't be leaving comments on any blogs, nor do I expect to receive comments from any of my readers. I hope everyone understands and won't be offended. By taking this action, plus my term ending December 31st as president of Saturday Writers, I hope to have the time, energy, and desire to WRITE.

“We're running out of time babe. The dream will come no closer by itself. We got to run after it now..." -- Gaelic Proverb

Sunday, October 9, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

Another beautiful Sunday in October.


Happy Nostalgic Sunday, everyone!

Before I begin my post for this evening, I want to address Friday's "I Wonder."

I feel as if I may have portrayed myself incorrectly, but I certainly didn't intend to. When I said "tough times," I didn't mean it was anything really traumatic! I'm so sorry! You left so many caring comments and I didn't mean to worry anyone! I pulled myself up by my boot straps, smacked myself around a little bit, and said, "Get over it!" So, I'm better now! I truly thank all of you for sending me your lovely thoughts. There is no mistaking that I have wonderful friends!☺

On to my nostalgic story for tonight: I had THE most incredible, nostalgic day in quite a long time! I won't go into a long explanation, because y'all would be bored with that, so here's the short version.

Two friends and I drove over to the small town not far from here, where we spent some of our growing up years.....our Wonder Years. They are brother and sister and lived next door to my family when we were young kids. We had a blast driving past old schools, churches, and grocery stores. Some places were still there. Some still looked a lot like they did....uh hem....50 years ago! Acccckkkkkkk! Some neighboring streets were sadly rundown, but our little one-block-dead-end street looked really good. Talk about a trip down memory lane....literally!

I'm aggravated with myself, though, because we were SO busy talking and looking and driving slowly, that I forgot to take any photos!! Duh!

Fortunately I had the presence of mind to have the waitress take our picture when we stopped for lunch. Unfortunately, she took two pictures and neither one is very good. (crappy camera plus poor lighting) Believe it or not, this is the best of the two!

That's me in the middle! I'm not naming my childhood neighbors, though.
Witness Protection Program and all....!

"I remember a place... a town... a house like a lot of houses... a yard like a lot of other yards... on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back... with wonder.”
quote from the TV show, The Wonder Years.


Friday, October 7, 2011

* I WONDER *

I Wonder: What is it about women's friendships that make them so special? And what is it that attracts one person to another in the first place?

I've never studied psychology or human behavior but I do know one thing. I know about myself and my reasons for connecting with someone as a friend, a woman friend. It only takes moments for me to know if someone has a sense of humor. Bing! And if we find out we have similar ideas about what's funny and what isn't. Bing! Instant Friend!

A very thoughtful, funny and sweet friend sent me this card a few days ago. She knew I'd been going through some tough times and thought I'd get a kick receiving a funny card in the mail. She was right!
This is the front of the card and it really does have huge fake eyelashes on it! I laughed the minute I opened the envelope and saw those.

And this is the inside of the card. Another belly laugh!
Underneath, she wrote her usual, caring and funny words.
It made my entire day....uh...week!
 
 
Welcome to my newest follower, off kilter. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!


"How rare and wonderful is that flash in the moment when we realize we have discovered a friend."
- William Rotsler

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

* A Prayer or Two *

When most people think of the The Beatles, I doubt if "prayerful music" comes to mind. We all have our favorite songs of theirs, ranging from the very first pop/rock tunes until the final more contemplative recordings.

Somewhere in my past....maybe 15 or 20 years ago....two of those songs became prayer-like to me. The music and lyrics would pop into my mind, just when I needed them. I'd either sing out loud or only "in my head," depending on whether I was alone or not.

Those two songs are:

The Long and Winding Road
Let it Be

I've read various so-called explanations about the lyrics of these songs, and it doesn't matter to me what the "real" meaning is or isn't. I know what they mean to me and that's all that counts.

What about you? Do you have certain "prayerful" songs that aren't considered hymns?


"There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is." ~William P. Merrill

Sunday, October 2, 2011

* Nostalgic Sundays *

   A beautiful Sunday in October.


"Opie. Aren't you a bit chilly in that short sleeved shirt?"
"Heck no, Aunt Bee. I'm a kid."

(The above dialogue is not from the show. They are my words.)

Why did adults always think we needed a coat or sweater just because they were cold? And how many of us do that today?  

My back yard neighbor's...taken in 2009.
My front yard and street...taken in 2009.

No, the fall colors are not like this yet, but I eagerly anticipate them.
 
 
 
"Once you begin looking, you may be surprised to discover just how much joy your world has to offer." --Thomas Kinkade