A New Spin on an Old Custom

index

We made it to Mid January!!

Throughout the first days of the new year, after the dust from the holidays settled down and our routines started to get back to normal, we did what we always do immediately after the new year — we took stock of our lives, digging deeply and reflecting upon the previous 12 months and made big bold (and often unrealistic) resolutions to change for the better.  Not that there was necessarily anything wrong with the previous year or with us, but because that’s just what we do. (How’s that resolution working out for you??)

In 2015, I started to obsess with Instagram.  The main attraction for me on this amaazzzzzing social media venue had always been the photography.  If you’re a photographer at heart, like I am, you’ll be thrilled to know that there’s an endless sea of photo’s at your disposal to scroll through.  (Well, it’s also a hugeee time soak.  So, be prepared and be warned.  If you have an obsessive personality like I do, you might want to set a time limit for how much of your day you spend there.  Otherwise, before you know it, it’s time to start dinner and you’re still in your pj’s.)

I got hooked on Instagram because of it’s photography, but something wonderful happened as I got more versed in all that was available there.  One day I was utilizing the search function and suddenly I stumbled upon an entire creative art community. There were people from all over the world with different talents, passions and gifts that were involved with this social wonderland.

I found photos that calligraphers and artists and poets had posted.  Their work journalcarefully portrayed through the lens of a camera for all the world to see.  It was gorgeous.  Good grief!…I was instantly hooked all over again.  I found peace and solace in their words.   I found comfort and a sense of belonging in their works of art.  I had been a calligrapher when I was first married, which seems like a lifetime ago to me now.  I had three young children under the age of 5  so I chose to stay home with them and find some way to make extra money.  And, that ended up being calligraphy.  I cared for my kids during the day and addressed wedding envelopes at night.  It was a fun hobby which turned lucrative for me.  That is, until the home computer and printer became a mainstream item in every household across America putting people like me out of business.  Suddenly everyone was printing their own envelopes.  And, just like that, handwritten calligraphy would become a lost art.march

I was so thrilled with this community I had found and quickly became involved.  I revisited my calligraphy and my art hobbies.  Carefully studying how everyone was applying and utilizing their talents these days.  It was like riding a bicycle and before I knew it, I was back at it.  I started to design and create journals and planners with artwork and calligraphy for people.  Journals that could be used for anything from daily devotionals to weight loss logs.  And, planners that could be used for menu planning, goal setting or time management.  And,before you knew it, I had opened an Etsy shop to sell my journals.  (which you can visit at http://www.etsy.com/shop/journalcreations ) <—shameless plug.


babiyseries


feb

When the end of 2015 rolled around and everyone was making resolutions, I noticed that my Journal/Art community was doing something quite the opposite.  Instead of setting themselves up for failure through some unrealistic goal for the following year, they were choosing key words to be “their word” for the year.  Words like commitment, involvement, dedication, grace, faith.   Their intent was to make this word something that represented their life throughout the next year.

I liked it!  It was a fresh spin on an old custom.  It was realistic and attainable.  And, it would set you up for success.  The definition of the word you chose could be something you worked at throughout the year.  Honing and bringing it into your life in small steps.

My word?  Intentional.  I wanted to be intentional in my goals, my faith and my actions in 2016.  And so far, I have been.  It’s working for me.  Success!

So, I’ll ask you again.  How are those resolutions working out for you?  It’s never too late to do something nice for yourself.  Pick out a word!  Watch how that word starts to work in your life and how it ends up positively influencing your 2016.

 

be-intentional

 


 

 

 

 

Standing on the mountain top.

boxing_day_eatoncentre.jpeg.size.xxlarge.letterbox

I’ve always had a beef with New Year’s.  Not the actual Eve or Day, exactly.  But all the other hoopla that surrounds it.  There’s that depressing song for starters. It’s so bittersweet. As if you’re supposed to reflect on the could have beens, instead of the thank God there was’s. And then the expectations. Oh, the expectations!

My normal new year routine is to go to the mall when the holidays die down and shop for bargains with the other 2 billion people out there looking for bargains.  I bundle up in a lightweight outfit (because lord knows the malls are steaming hot and between that and my menopause, I tend to sweat ) and fight the traffic and the weather and head out.

Because I usually get all kinds of nifty kitchen gadgets and candles and lotions from Clark and the kids, (which I LOVE!) I tend to veer towards the women’s clothing department.  Last year (and the year before that and the year before that) I learned a valuable lesson.

I went to the mall (surprise, surprise!).   I didn’t need anything, but of course that wasn’t the point. One of my favorite stores was having a “70% off everything in the store!” sale.  I shopped myself silly and avoiding the glare of other shoppers waiting in the dressing room line behind me,  I stepped in with loads of bargains piled high in my arms.

It wasn’t long before I realized that none of the clothes I chose, fit. I tried on a red dress two sizes too small and stared in the mirror.

Wow, my mom was right! Red really IS my color!! I guess it’s kind of tight, but, it’s still a great price.  I could wear this, Yeah! …Or maybe…maybe in May for Mother’s Day it’ll fit…

I closed my eyes.

Stop.  Just, Stop.

There’s some insistent force that tells us buying our goal weight outfit will make us feel better, when in fact all it does is make us feel like a pile of crumbled up rice cakes and diet seltzer.

I was 50-something years old, and there was a lesson I needed to finally take to heart.

Dress for the body you have today.

I carefully lined up the five tops, one dress, and two pairs of pants that didn’t fit. In another pile, I placed the one top and one dress that did. I took a deep breath and headed for the register. With only two items.

And yet, in 2016, I want to learn to finally and forever learn to live a healthy lifestyle.  I want to lose 20 pounds, instead of celebrating the thousand (this might be a slight exaggeration) I’ve already lost. In 2016, I want to celebrate all of the blessings I’ve been graced with in my life.  In 2016 I want to remember that beauty is skin deep and that it’s what’s inside that truly counts.

So I’ve got this fab idea! Maybe instead of focusing on our shortcomings in 2016, why not stand on the mountain top and send echos off into the distance that we are fabulous – Just.The.Way.We.Are.   Sound good?

90a6d92ff8ad6a9dcdae9f44e03734e9

 

 

With a wink and a nod

 

Christmas-Image

The “Happy Holiday” vs. “Merry Christmas” debate heats up every year around this time.  Well, let’s be honest people, the holiday debate probably starts in September when the department stores start to set up their Christmas displays in a pitiful effort to outdo the sales of their competition.  Shameful!!

Since when has saying a very simple “Merry Christmas!” become such a crime?  I know, touchy subject.  But, bear with me and let’s see if we can’t sort this entire mess out.  OK?

If I understand it correctly, when in public, I’m supposed to avoid the words “Merry Christmas” at all costs for fear of completely offending someone to their core if they are not a Christian?  Is that correct?  Now, if someone came up to me and said “Happy Kwanzaa!” I’d be like, right on!…”Happy Kwanzaa to you as well!”  Of course I myself do not celebrate Kwanzaa but I also don’t find the expression offensive in any way, shape or form.  Oddly enough, I also don’t find the words Happy Hanukkah offensive.

Maybe we’ve all just gotten a bit too sensitive and things have gotten blown out of proportion.  So, this year, instead of getting upset over this same, stale topic, let’s see if we can’t sort this misunderstanding out.  Shall we?

Maybe instead of saying anything at all to each other, maybe we should just give each other a big spirited wink and a thumbs up as we pass each other on the street.  That would be jolly!  Or, we could all wear hats and jauntily tip them to each other as a silent signal of holiday greeting.  No words, no offense!  We could heartily slap each other on the backs as a happy greeting or we could simply shake each others hands.  No, wait.  Then we get into the entire spreading germs debate.  I know!  We could all wear bow ties and bow to each other in greeting rather than shaking hands!

Maybe if we shifted our focus to these fascinating (and fun!) new greetings rather than staying stuck in the quagmire of the old, boring argument of whether or not we’re offending each other, things would settle down and we’d all get back to just enjoying the season for what it is.

Or, we could all just accept the “Merry Christmas” greeting for what it is – a simple expression of the joy of the season.  Not a sinister, thought out plot to offend one another.

If you don’t believe, try not to get offended at someone the next time they say “Merry Christmas” to you. Think about what they are wishing you, what they are sharing out of their own belief. And if you do believe, and someone says “seasons greetings” or “happy holidays” or ‘joyous Kwanzaa”   just smile and say, “And to you  as well.”  Your countenance alone might just extend to them the meaning of the season; at the very least it will warm your own heart, and you’ll be that much happier for doing so

So, Merry Christmas, Christians; Happy Hanukkah, Jews; Super Solstice, Pagans; Hurray, Human Light Humanists; Joyous Kwanzaa to African Diaspora and to everyone all together — Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

merry_christmas_2013-HD

25 Things All Women Should Be Able To Do Before The Age Of 25

christmas-banner

As the Month of November leaves us and December lands on our doorstep, chaos ensues.  Busy and hectic days are upon us.  It’s hard to find time to sit down for a moment and think, let alone, find the time to pound out a well written blog post.

As is my usual habit, December posts tend to fall by the wayside.  This year, rather than taking a small holiday hiatus, I’m going to concentrate on writing just a few original posts. In between those posts, I’ll be sharing articles and essays and interesting tidbits that I run across from a variety of venues.

So, Enjoy!! Take time to savor the month of December. Slow down when you can, look around, open your eyes and really see all that this magical month has to offer.


25 Things Every Woman Should Be Able To Do By Age 25

via

 

Here are 25 things you should aim to learn how to do by age 25 — or whenever you get around to it.

1. Negotiate a raise. Women –especially women of color — earn less than their male counterparts If you don’t think you are being paid what you are worth, know how to ask.

2. Whip up a signature drink. Bees Knees, anyone?

3. Give unwelcome news with tact and compassion. There are times when brutal honesty is OK — and times when it is not. Learn the difference, and practice being an effective communicator.

4. Put together furniture. You’ll feel so proud every time you sit on that IKEA sofa that took you three hours, two beers and one private temper tantrum to assemble.

 

5. Read and think critically. Don’t believe everything you are told. Know how to read between the lines and analyze something for yourself, whether it’s the morning news or someone’s convoluted Facebook post.

6. Spell properly. If you don’t know something, look it up.

7. Be a good houseguest. And for the love of god, write a thank-you note.

8. Understand your finances. No, your student loans won’t magically go away. Yes, you should put money into your 401(k), especially if your company matches it. And so on. Financial literacy isn’t something you learn in school, so you’ll have to take matters into your own hands. It’s worth it.

 

9. Have fun on your own. Not everyone is built for traveling the world solo, but being able to entertain yourself is a seriously underrated skill.

10. Make at least one simple, nutritious meal. 

11. Trust your instincts. Constantly second-guessing yourself is exhausting.

12. Walk away. From a friendship, a job, a relationship, an argument, and anything else that you know in your heart just isn’t right.

13. Advocate for yourself.  Ask your doctor for a second opinion if you really think something is wrong. Ask that manspreader to move over so you can sit down. And don’t let anyone steamroll you into making a decision until you’re ready to make it.

14. Perform simple repairs. YouTube will teach you how to sew that button back on or use a power drill to re-hang that badass feminist print.

15. Say “no.” It’s a complete sentence.

16. Cut yourself off when you’ve had enough to drink. Enough said.

17. Stick to a budget. Apps like Mint and You Need A Budget make this easier than ever.

18. Take rejection well. This one is easier said that done, but as Aaliyah famously said: “If at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again (you can dust it off and try again, try again).”

19. Use the items in your toolbox. Because the days of paying your friends down the hall in beer to hang your pictures are over.

20. Argue without losing your cool. If you can stay logical when you are angry, any conversations you have in the midst of conflict will be far more effective.

21. Speak passably in public. Be prepared for that future work presentation, maid of honor speech or casual toast at a party.

 

22. Tell a totally inoffensive, hilarious joke. Bonus points for clever puns.

23. Apologize with sincerity. No matter how old you are, you’ll mess up and get things wrong sometimes. But how you react after the fact is up to you.

24. Go a full day without complaining. You’d be surprised at what you learn.

25. Make a new friend. The squad goal of #NoNewFriends can’t last forever. You can do it! After all, you’re a grown-ass woman.

 

FRIENDS1_1

Hey, Norman Rockwell, That’s Not Thanksgiving!.

13212745

Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell

 

Right, so Im not so sure that Norman Rockwell’s famous print, Freedom from Want, is an accurate portrayal of what Thanksgiving truly is.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve romanticized the ability that the Holiday’s have to unite the family.  Especially Thanksgiving.  In my head, it’s a time when we should all gather ’round the table together, enjoy an old-fashioned specially prepared meal, and recognize all that we have to be grateful for.

As you  walk through the door of the of the home where you’ll be celebrating the big day, you immediately notice a blazing fire in the fireplace as you shake off the cold and bits of snow that stick to your wool jacket.  As your host helps you with your scarf, gloves and dish that you’ve brought to share, your senses are assaulted from the aroma of pumpkin pies, cinnamon pinwheels, or maybe even the pine tree scent of a live tree. (for those of you who jump the gun on Christmas!!)

You look around and spot a children’s table set up somewhere in a discreet corner where chaos is sure to break out.  The women are gathered in the kitchen, each with an assigned duty to help make the meal flow – All the while catching up on news from each other’s family’s.  The men, all gather in a room with a giant screen TV  watching some must-see football game. In good nature, they slap each other on the back and laugh loudly at something just out of your earshot.  They debate and argue about whose favored team is best and sure to go to a bowl game.

All of this activity leads up to some fantastic meal that you’ll all gather around, while celebrating the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock.  This is Thanksgiving!!

Or, is it?  Is Thanksgiving really all about this festive scene that’s been planted in our heads with the help of the media and storybook tales and long-lived family traditions?

Let’s face it: as wonderful as the holiday may be (a day dedicated to football, gluttony and awkward family moments) maybe Thanksgiving is about something deeper.  Something deeper than this gluttonous tradition that we’ve all been raised to treasure.  A tradition with a very questionable beginning might I add.

Last September, something joyous happened in our family.  My husband and I were having Sunday breakfast with my son and daughter-in-law.  They told us about a shopping trip they went on in which they found a little something for us.  It was an early “Christmas gift” but they wanted us to open it together that morning.  Lauren handed me the bag and I  peaked inside. I saw a gift along with a homemade note.   I pulled the paper out and read it aloud.  On it was written – “Only the best parents get promoted to grandparents.”   *blink*   I had not even made it through the end of the note before I started squealing in happiness.  I turned to my hubs and he was tearing up.  I continued to squeal, ran to the kids and hugged them.  They were giggling.  I was squealing.  Clark was crying.  It was a beautiful scene! We were going to be Grandparents!!

baby copy

Fast forward thirteen weeks.  Fast forward past thirteen weeks of my beautiful daughter-in-law, Lauren, being cautious and keeping the pregnancy on the down low until just the right time to make the announcement. I couldn’t wait to share the news with my sisters and friends and relatives.  Lauren and my son Bruce were doing everything right.  They went to the Drs’ appointments together.  There were ultrasounds and multivitamins.  They were eating healthy.  There were checkups. Everything was moving along perfectly.

And then, the phone call.  This past week, Thanksgiving week, I woke early to a text… “Hey Mom, txt me when you get up.  Bruce left for work already so it doesn’t matter how early it is.”

As a mother’s intuition goes, I instantly got a knot in my stomach.  I immediately called Lauren. It was before 6am.  Something was off.  I could hear it in her voice as she answered.   And then her words hit me like a brick.  “Something’s not right.”  She had phoned her Dr and was told to take her time but to meet her at her office when she had a chance that morning.  They would check things out.

I threw on some clothes and raced through the Chicago rush hour traffic to her apartment. Ninety agonizing minutes.  And then we drove to the hospital together.  Bruce was waiting for her there.  My hub was there.  Clark and I watched as the kids walked into the exam room.  An hour later our worst fears were confirmed.  Lauren had lost the baby.  It was heart wrenching to watch their world fall apart.

Outside the downtown office, it was cold and windy that day.  Clark and I looked at this young couple who had just gotten the worse news of their lives delivered to them.  In the span of a few days they were catapulted from cloud nine to a state of agonizing devastation. It was more than any of us could bear.  Our hearts were broken.

The days to follow were solemn.  Everyone tried to hold each other up.  My boys, who would have been uncles for the first time, were heartbroken for Bruce and Lauren.  Devastated, Clark and I kept a close eye on the kids to make sure they were processing this tragic loss.  They came out to stay with us.  It was open-ended.  They wanted and needed to be with family.  And so, we gathered and just stayed together.  It was without a doubt the hardest thing that both Bruce and Lauren had ever gone through in their lives so far.  And, they were right where they needed to be for the time being.

The day before they were going to leave to go back to their own apartment, the news stations were warning people about an early snowstorm that would hit the city. We don’t usually get snow in November.  We rarely even have snow on Thanksgiving. But, we were being warned over and over again that we were about to get hammered.

I woke up very early that morning after that predicted snowfall.  I pulled the drapes back and l looked out my window.  The outside world was lit up from the glow of the moonlight.  The predicted snow had come.  The ground and streets were covered with a deep blanket of undisturbed white that stretched from one yard to the next..  There were no tracks on the streets yet and no footprints across any lawns.  It was beautiful. And, peaceful.

My eyes were drawn to our driveway which had four cars parked on it.  Those were my kids cars hidden under those mounds of snow.  Cars that last week would not have been parked on that driveway.  Cars that were there that morning because we, as a family, had gathered together to hold each other up while mourning the loss of something so precious to all of us.

I thought about the timing of it all.  It was Thanksgiving week.  I smiled to myself and got a feeling of warm love inside.

This…. This is what Thanksgiving truly was.  Family.  Love.  We feel each other’s pain.  We celebrate each others victories.  And I’m so truly thankful for the blessing of Family.

Wishing you and your loved ones a truly Happy Thanksgiving and a Joyous start to your Holiday Season.

 

IMG_20130306_221652

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Mom, It’s snowing!

Two years ago this weekend, in the United States, we were marveling at an unseasonably early snowstorm.

It was beautiful. It packed a lot of snow. We went to bed, the world a frozen tundra under our feet, and woke up to a pure white carpet of snow. It hung heavy from the tree branches. It covered the ground, untouched yet by footsteps. It brought back happy memories of days gone by. Days when, as children, we’d hope and dream and keep our fingers crossed for the snow to come. And, when that first snowfall did finally arrive, the reaction was always the same. You’d wake up and peek out your window in amazement with a feeling of pure joy.

The first snowfall of the year is always magical. There’s something so special about seeing the ground covered in a carpet of white. And, through the frosty window pane, even before you’ve had a chance to walk out into the elements, you can just tell that the air is frigid.

There’s something so pure about the first snow. It’s peaceful. It feels like a little piece of heaven on earth.

This week, the world unitedly came to a halt and watched in horror as Paris was attacked and so many innocent people lost their lives prematurely. It was a cold reminder that this world can often be ugly and cruel.   And recently, terror seems to be a common thread that binds us all together.

In a world that can at times be a very harsh place to live in, let’s remember that it’s also a world filled with blessings and goodness. At times like these, when evil rears it’s ugly head, it’s important that we come together as a humanity that is there for each other. Life is hard. But, love is stronger.

Like a first snowfall that is pure and peaceful, let hope and faith and love wash over you during these difficult weeks ahead.

After a weekend of sadness, fear and devastation, we can all use a little happy in our lives.  My contribution to that “happy” is to reblog a post that I originally posted  two years ago this weekend, when rather than terror, the peaceful, pure snow was on our minds.

Being Margaret

tumblr_md36doz8ah1r2zu7yo1_500

Snow – Everything about it reminds me of my youth.   It reminds me of my parents.  And, It reminds me of growing up in South Bend, Indiana.  The snow always seemed to be piled high from November through March.  Every year.  Not just on years that were considered  “the year of the polar vortex,” but always.  You could count on a beautiful white blanket of snow throughout winter just as sure as you could count on presents under your tree on Christmas morning.  The two-way neighborhood roads would turn into single lane paths that you’d wield your car down.  Snow piled high on both shoulders along your way.

Maybe this is why I still love the snow so much.  It’s beauty takes me back to my childhood.  And, to a time when I was living under the same roof with my 4 siblings and my parents.  Every year you…

View original post 738 more words

Pray For Paris

Pray for Paris

Who knew that when I woke up yesterday morning and created this print, that by end of the day it would be so fitting to the world events going on.

Keep Paris and everyone touched by this horrific tragedy in your thoughts and prayers. The world can be such a cold place.  We will always need each other.

image

Mamma Mia!!

87419

It’s Monday morning and normally I’d be pulling the house back together from the weekend.  Instead, I’m having coffee with one of my besties, Jeri.  She and I have a standing coffee date that I wrote about here.  Thursdays are our day!  We meet come rain or shine, snow or hail.  It’s written in stone and nothing comes between us and our coffee dates.

Except Dr’s. appointments.  More recently because of repairmen who seem to only be able to make house-calls on Thursday mornings.  What gives! 

So we’ve adjusted and tweaked our schedules a bit.  Monday’s are now the day.  (At least for the immediate future.)  Our coffee dates have turned an ordinarily dreaded and hated day of the week into a day that I now look forward to.  Hurray!!  Monday’s are fab!

This morning, while catching up with each other and everything that’s happened in our lives since last week, we decided that we’d make this upcoming holiday season super special and go see a play in the city.  There’s nothing we love more than to spend time downtown.  The people, the lights, the beautiful river walk, the restaurants and lively bar scenes make for such fun.

So, a play for the holidays it is!!  It was all decided!  After discussing it for a while we settled on  Mamma Mia!!  YAY!!

I was put in charge of looking for good seats.  No problem!  I love this kind of task.  I’m a self-declared event planner.  I could plan, coordinate and execute events like there’s no tomorrow!  A regular party girl, that’s me!  Now that I think of it, I probably should have been a concierge at some big, swanky city hotel or high-end specialty retail store because of my love for (a)  events, and (b) all things swanky!!

After coffee, I raced home and got out my computer.  I looked at the seats that were still available for the date that we had agreed upon.  Lots of availability popped up.  Hurray!!  I carefully studied the seating chart (just as a professional event planner would do!) and chose two seats where I knew there would be nothing obstructing our view.  We were on our way!!  Great!

Or, so I thought.  I went from the “select your seat” page to the  “security” page” when things started to go awry.  What is with these security pages that pop up all over the Internet when trying to purchase any kind of venue tickets?  They’re annoying.  And, impossible to read.

The security screen that popped up informed me that in order to help “fight bots” I was to type the letters that appeared on the image in front of me.

image1

Huh?  It was like trying to decipher Russian.  No, it was worse than Russian.   The image I was staring at was like a big mass of scribbles.  Who could read it?  Not me.  And worse yet, there was a timer counting down the number of minutes I had to complete the purchase before I would lose the seats.  It was making me nervous.  It had big red flashing letters that said “You’ve got 3 minutes before you lose your selected seats.”  YIKES!  I quickly typed out random letters that I thought I was seeing.  Nope.  Wrong letters. Nuts!  A new combination popped up.  It was worse than the first set of letters.

image3

I glanced up at the timer..  “You’ve got 1 minute 32 seconds before you lose your selected seats.”  Good Grief!  I was going to lose my perfectly thought out seats if I didn’t guess the right combination.

I noticed a large button next to the alien image. It said to click if you wanted a new image.  YES!  I want a new image!  An image that people can actually read!  I clicked the button.  Nope, couldn’t read the image either.  I was starting to sweat.  My fingers which normally sailed over the keyboard effortlessly now felt damp and clumsy.  I think I was making typo’s but what did it matter?  I was randomly guessing and typing  any old letters in hopes of hitting the jackpot.

And then – “ding ding ding” – the page went black.  My shoulders slumped in defeat.  My hands fell off the keyboard and down to my sides.  I had lost our seats.  I stared at the blank screen.  What had just happened?  If these sites have an option to press a button for a new image, then they must be aware that nobody can read their STUPID IMAGES in the first place!

Well!  I was going to give somebody a piece of my mind!  I was going to call the theater and demand to talk to the manager.  I wanted those seats that just two minutes ago were in my online cart.  I was going to tell them that no normal human being on the planet can decipher what that secret scrambled image says.  Ever.

I quickly googled the number of the theater and called it.  It rang a few times and then was picked up….. by a recording.   Oyyyyyy!  Another pet peeve!  I listened to a mechanical sounding voice on the other end and was given a list of prompts.  I pressed the number associated with talking to an agent and was transferred.  The phone rang again.  One ring…two ring…three ring…  BINGO!  The line was picked up…by a recorded voice.  It stated that tickets could only be purchased at the box office and that the box office was only opened during performances.  Some good that would do me!

Okay, it was on to plan B.

Or, plan A revisited.  I went back to the theater’s website.  This time I was prepared.  I knew what was coming.  I plugged in all of my information.  Our seats were still there.  Hurray for small miracles!!  I added them to my online cart. Andddd, there it was.  The crazy security image.  I stayed calm and stared at it.  I plugged in some letters.  Wrong.  Tried again.  Nope.  And one more time.  YES!  It worked!!  I had no idea what letters I had plugged in or how I got them to work but I wasn’t going to question it.  I hit “purchase” and Wallah!!  The tickets were ours!  Mamma Mia here we come!!

I knewww I was a talented event planner!

Trees

autumn-trees-desktop-wallpaper


When I was in grade school we were expected to memorize the poem Trees, by Joyce Kilmer It was during  4th grade, I think.  I sat at my desk reading the words over and over.  Then I would close my eyes and try to recall one sentence at a time,  peeking down at my paper each time I needed a prompt.  Silently starting at the beginning of the poem again each time I had mastered a new line.  Closing my eyes  over and over and mouthing the words silently until I had memorized the entire poem.

In 4th grade, when I was 9-10, the emotion behind these words were lost on me.  The poem was strictly an assignment.  A task that I needed to work through until complete.  When I was finished, we moved on to a different assignment.

Today, the words and the meaning behind the words are not lost on me.  Especially at this time of year.  In autumn when the trees are so full of beauty and rich color, the words to this poem wash over you and fill you with a feeling of gratitude and appreciation for all of God’s wonderful gifts to us.  I’m so grateful for the beauty of autumn and for the sense of renewal that goes hand in hand with this beautiful season.

The trees seem to be at their peak color in the Midwest right now.  My favorite season.  Fall.  It’s like floating over a carpet of bursting, vibrant colors every time you walk out your front door.


dorrigo-autumn


Trees

I think that I shall never see

a poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

against the sweet earth’s flowing breast

 A tree that looks at God all day,toamna-Toamna-природа-xxx-outdoors-ana-music-Good-Morning-yellow-fall-animation-erotik-animated-nature-gifs-nice_large

And lifts her leafy arms to pray

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

tree-within-tree-autumnUpon whose bosom snow has lain

Who intimately lives with rain

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

 – Joyce Kilmer (1856-1918)


UnitedStatesNewYorkNewYorkCityCentralParkMallAreaD_102711