A Good Match

via Photo Challenge: A Good Match

Ben Huberman on the Daily Post challenged his readers to come up with a “good match.” Mine is a bottle arrangement I made in my bedroom. I’m crazy for bottles, and I love colors, so this is a perfect decor statement for me. My OCD kicks in from time-to-time and makes me rearrange the locations of the bottles within the arrangement, but that makes me happy, too.

Here’s how they look:

colored-bottles

Can you tell my tastes fall somewhere between Gypsy, Bohemian, dumpster-diving?

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“Real Neat Blog Award” Surprise

Thank you, Petrel41 at Dear Kitty. Some blog. You are what I would call a special, interesting, intriguing, intelligent, encouraging, multi-talented person. And somehow you saw my blog and nominated me, along with ten other bloggers, for the Real Neat Blog Award, for which I am very honored. Run, don’t walk, to the Dear Kitty. Some blog site. This award graphic was created by Petrel41 to represent this award in 2014.

First, I shall answer the seven questions asked by the author and nominator from Dear Kitty. Some blog.

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

Well, I’m so new to blogging on WordPress (just a few months), I’m pretty sure that most folks who read my blog are those who got started about the same time I did. I have a feeling the excellent WordPress Team groups us around the times we begin blog, making our fellow bloggers kind of a support group. At any rate, new bloggers are wonderful supporters of one another, and this camaraderie has boosted all of our blogs’ popularity.

2. What is your favourite sport?

It must be soccer, because I love to watch my grandchildren run up and down the field. ūüôā

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?

Back to my grandchildren, every summer I host what we call Camp Gigi – which includes swimming, making, fishing, playing, sliding, painting, storytelling, fireworks, and much more. This last summer, for the first time, several of the kids’ friends came along for the ride.

4. What is your favourite quote?

It may be erroneously credited to Einstein, but I love it still:

‚ÄúImagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.‚ÄĚ

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

Drama, of course!

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

I wish that I had learned earlier on that love is an action. I know now that the romantic idea of love is great, but won’t get you through the rough times. It would have been nice to understand that love is an action and taking actions each day is what makes life joyous.

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

I played the guitar in high school and college and it helped me make friends and allowed me to bring something to the table, so to speak. Just because I wanted you to know that I clicked on your musical instrument link, may I say I had a friend who played the viola da gamba. I can also tell this about you: if you do not know about this instrument, you will want to hear it. Sounds like this:

Marin Marais (1656-1728) – Sonnerie de Sainte-Genevi√®ve du Mont de Paris “The Bells of St. Genevieve” from La Gamme et Autres Morceaux de Symphonie (1723)

The ‚Äėrules‚Äô of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don‚Äôt have time; or don‚Äôt accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

Queen of the Girl Geeks

Kaitlyn, Me, Myself and Everything Else

cookandenjoyrecipes

MissTalkaholic

Eat Sweets and Be Merry

gilliansvoiceonpaper

Renewing

This is what I love about entering into a new year. Even at 70, or maybe because I am 70, I feel that turning the proverbial page and seeing that there is another year to enjoy¬†makes me feel renewed. I am past the point of making resolutions, and I have promised myself never to¬†use the word “diet” again, but it does occur to me that the coming¬†twelve months will¬†be like opening a new box of crayons. So I am going to “re-establish” a few things in my life, if I can find the courage, keep the ideas straight in my mind, and persist.

fireworks-5thnov2011-banbury

 

 

Number one is reconnecting with people I love. I have allowed myself to isolate a little too much in the past years, and I want to change that and resurrect myself, as it were.

I also want to practice being passionate. I am fortunate to have several gifts and talents that I love to use, but this year I want to savor and take delight in the possibilities. I want my crocheting, writing, building, gardening, and jewelry-making to take on a new glow, a fresh aspect, as if I were learning to do these things for the first time.

And, above all else, I am not going to be fearful. I’m talking about that free-floating anxiety that has no basis in reality, but which feels as true as being bitten by a snake. I’m throwing that emotion away,¬†erasing it from my persona, kicking it into the an imaginary junk yard somewhere in another galaxy. That emotion has not served me well and will no longer be my “go-to” state.

I also want to give more. Not in a sanctimonious way, but because it makes me feel so dang good myself. It seems to me, if I could do one good thing every day for someone who needs that one good thing, my days would be enormously happier than if I did not do that one small, seemingly trivial thing.

To those who blog, those who read our blogs, and to everyone who reads this page:

Here’s to a Happy and Prosperous 2017!

 

Banned

inspirational-bird-quote-freedom

Just hearing the word “banned” makes me feel a little sick. Whether it’s used as a word meaning to forbid or suppress, or it is used to mean excluding or expelling, it’s a word to which I have a visceral reaction.

One of my first forays into understanding this word was in high school when we were learning about books being burned by the Nazis. The books to burn were selected based on their subversive natures. This was a time in my life when books were very important to me. I wouldn’t even take notes or underline in my textbooks.¬†Seeing pictures of “un-German” books being lit with matches and engulfed in flames was at the same time frightening and senseless to my young brain.

In my home state, hearing the word “banned” catapults me back to the 1950s and 1960s when Jim Crow laws¬†enforced racial segregation. African Americans were banned from white restaurants, drinking fountains, and restrooms, among many other places.They were not allowed to ¬†be a part of white workplaces, institutions, clubs, or the military.

I wish that I could wrap up today’s thoughts by saying something like,”I know that being banned is a terrible thing in whatever context it appears, but at least today, we do not have to face the hurt and humiliation of banned books or banned human beings,” but I can’t because it’s just not so.

In Kentucky, this year at a certain high school, students who had hairstyles such as dreadlocks, Afros of over two inches in length, cornrows, and mohawks were banned from their high school prom. And according to the American Library Association, in¬†the past decade, there were 5,099 “challenges” against books that were deemed by some to¬†have inappropriate content¬†or were simply inappropriate¬†overall.

Thankfully, the ALA “condemns” censorship, believing it is “still a very serious problem.” It is beyond their control, however, to monitor all schools and libraries in the nation which receive challenges and take the books off school and library shelves without the ALA knowing.

So it’s not time¬†yet to pat ourselves on the back and enjoy a victory lap around the track. We, as a country, still have a long way to go.

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” Nelson Mandela

Three Days – Three Quotes III

‚ÄúImagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Albert Einstein

This is a part of a networking activity between bloggers. This particular activity involves quotations. Read on and I‚Äôm pretty sure you will get it.ūüôā

As an educator, this is a quote i have always held in high esteem. After all, helping young ones gain knowledge and expertise became my central life’s work. But this quote, from a man whose very name conjures intellect and achievement, caught me happily off guard.

I began to think of those who have made a mark on the world and quickly discovered that for many of these success-oriented people, imagination played a huge part in their careers.

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Walt Disney, for example, showed an interest in drawing in his childhood,¬†and by 18 was a commercial illustrator. The rest is history, as they say, but the immense impact of imagination on not only this man’s life, but also all who have been touched by his work in all its iterations, cannot be argued. Though he may have been and remains controversial, the man had a vision.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was in a league of his own when it came to Renaissance art, sculpture, and architecture. Some even say he was the greatest artist of all time. His skills, techniques, and talent were beyond compare.

He once said, “I saw an angel in the marble¬†and carved until I set him free.” How’s that for imagination? And yet, on many occasions, he spoke of how difficult and draining the actual labor of making art could be.

Imagining, daydreaming, visualizing, whatever you want to call it, we all have it, and we all need to use it as much as possible.

The rules for the Three Day ‚Äď Three Quotes challenge are as follows:
1.A quote will be assigned each day for three days.
2.Three different nominees will be notified each day (no repetitions).
3.Thank the person who nominated you.
4.Inform the nominees.

Thank you to the Settle in El Paso family for nominating me to become part of this generous challenge. Take a look at their blog, it will fill you with happiness.

My nominees for today are:

Three Days – Three Quotes II

This is a part of a networking activity between bloggers. This particular activity involves quotations. Read on and I’m pretty sure you will get it. ūüôā

‚ÄúA bell is not a bell till you ring it. A song is not a song till you sing it. Love in your heart isn‚Äôt put there to stay. Love isn‚Äôt love till you give it away.‚ÄĚ

Oscar Hammerstein II

I’ve already told you that everything I know I learned from Broadway musicals. Well, this is a little-known verse that introduces the song “I am Sixteen, Going on Seventeen” in ¬†the musical The Sound of Music. I may be wrong, but I think Maria sings it to Liesl before the reprise of the “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” song. And, of course, I love it.

But I find that many things I loved for one reason or another when I was younger, mean more to me as I look back on them.

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And now that I have known love in so many different forms, I realize that Mr. Hammerstein was speaking of love as an action. His reference to a bell is¬†a perfect metaphor to explain that love is an action. And when I love another person, my dogs, my children, and children in general, for example, ¬†speaking the words “I love you” is special, but hugging, helping, supporting, spending time with, listening, showing up, feeding, and back-rubbing, to name but a few, are the actions that solidify the love I feel inside me for another.

Might there be a “bell” in your life that needs ringing?

 

The rules for the Three Day ‚Äď Three Quotes challenge are as follows:
1.A quote will be assigned each day for three days.
2.Three different nominees will be notified each day (no repetitions).
3.Thank the person who nominated you.
4.Inform the nominees.

Thank you to the Settle in El Paso family for nominating me to become part of this generous challenge. Take a look at their blog, it will fill you with happiness. Thank you El Paso family for following my blog as well.

My nominees for today are:

1.bythestand.com

2.lifeofcreativityblog.com

3.talkaholicme.wordpress.com

99 Word Challenge

This post is in response to Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch Communications’¬†Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. I was intrigued by this writing exercise that consists of only ¬†99 words and knew I had to give it a try. The prompt for this week, which is renewed each Wednesday, is “Walk Across Sand.”

I’ll take any opportunity to practice my writing, and I think Charli is a very interesting person, so here’s my story.

Sand in Her Soul

pensacola_beach_1957_white_sand

 

She grew up on the beach and was twelve-years-old

 before she knew

 that all beaches did not have

 sand that looked like pearlized glitter.

 She used tanning lotion when she was on the Gulf side of the island

and was unaware of the sun’s effect.

But she did know about the secret,

she just did not know what the secret was.

She thought about it most of the time.

Secrets are fear-filled and ugly. So, finding out

what could not be spoken

was not one of her top priorities.

Not knowing was better than the knowing was to be.