An Overlooked Gift

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Yellow flowers are said to represent friendship

What did the television shows I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, Cheers, and Friends all have in common?  Easy, each was a show about friends and their adventures together. Who can forget Lucy and Ethel and their escapades or Seinfeld, the show about nothing, which still delights us today? We all have friends, some more than others, in many different areas of our life. Friends from work, friends in the neighborhood, friends near and far, friends from different social groups. Even in our families we have siblings, cousins, or a dear family member who is both a relative and a friend.

Friends are a basic need that we often overlook when we thank God for our blessings.  Like food and water we need interaction with other people.  No matter how much we may treasure our solitude we still need friendship and fellowship with others. All too often we don’t realize this need and don’t recognize it as a blessing.

Friends are a gift from God. I’m thankful for those people I can count on to be there for me when I need support or just need to blurt out what’s on my mind.  Thankful for friends to laugh with, too. Don’t take your friends for granted, but thank God for them as they are a blessing not to be overlooked!

Heavenly Father, I cannot imagine how storms can be navigated, burdens borne, and hardships handled without the company of a few good friends. I praise you today for the gift of friendship—for the joy, encouragement, and refreshment you give me through my friends. (Scotty Smith)

Independence

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Upon the approval of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 the document was rushed to the Philadephia print shop of John Dunlap. He quickly set the type and printed about 200″broadsides” (a page about the size of a full sheet of newsprint).

In December 2002 I was fortunate to get to see one of these  broadsides which is considered an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. Only a handful survive and this one was touring the United States. Visitors were given a copy of the document printed on very nice card stock (pictured above).

As I looked at the heavily guarded page I had to think of the hands that held that paper that day, the eyes that read the words, and wondered what did it mean to that person to be declaring independence.

As we celebrate as only Americans do, let’s remember how this nation was founded and the men and women who were determined to have freedom and a new nation. Little did they realize where they were headed…

Happy Independence Day – Let Freedom Ring!

WordPress Woes

Recently I started having problems with my WordPress reader. Everything was grayed out – just blue boxes where I knew other blogs should be visible.  When I went into view my posts they were the same way.  I could post, but not see it afterward.

I tried everything with no success.  No problems with other sites either.  The nice folks at WordPress suggested several things to try, but I had already tried them. I tried them again, just in case.  No le hace.  So they suggested I change browsers.

So WordPress friends I ask if any of you have ever had problems with IE being incompatible with WordPress?  Fortunately my WiFi Android tablet is compatible, so I can catch up on my reading😊!  But I need normalcy restored! Share any suggestions in comments, please.

Maybe next year

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The nice thing about blogging is that there are no deadlines, no quotas, or time restraints.  You blog when you want or can.  If you blog, fine.  If you do not, no problem.  I honor and respect that freedom; perhaps that is why I love to blog.

Thanksgiving came early this year.  Christmas Day fell on a Sunday.  So that meant we had an extra long Christmas season, assuming that the season “officially” begins when Santa rides in at the end of the Macy’s parade (that is my official beginning and may be disputed by some). For me this has been a wonderful luxury that I have enjoyed to the fullest.  I love Christmas and having the extra time just gave me more time to enjoy it…well, maybe.

It has been a wonderful fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas season.  I would like to share with everyone that it was beautiful and absolutely perfect.  My immaculately clean, beautifully and perfectly decorated house sparkles.  I baked 50 dozen cookies and created beautiful cakes and pies for friends and neighbors.  I mailed out 200 Christmas cards, each hand addressed and with a personal note written inside.  I made quilts, table runners, and monogrammed towels for everyone on my gift list.  I gave and attended brilliantly executed parties. But I can’t tell you that as that isn’t quite the truth – there were a few glitches along the way and everything wasn’t like a picture from a magazine.

First up was the outside decorations.  I’ve always been a minimalist with lights on the house and other decorations.  But this year instead of my usual scattered lights across the shrubbery I had the idea to wrap those three nice, big tree trunks in the front yard with lights.  The oldest grandson was on board all the way.  We made a trip to Home Depot the Friday before Thanksgiving and returned with extra extension cords, a splitter, a new timer, and more lights (just in case).  We got the first tree wrapped, but the darkness and decreasing temperatures made us stop.  No problem, we’ll continue.  Well, maybe.  A week or so later I decided the project had to get done as I didn’t want to look like Scrooge. After an hour in the dark of moving the ladder around this large tree to go higher and higher I decided I had better things to do.  Finally ten days before Christmas I abandoned the project, tackled unwinding the lights, and got the grandson to help me scatter them on the shrubbery. Maybe next year.

Cookie baking was executed one Friday night and Saturday.  They were wonderful and eaten fairly quickly except for the Chocolate Crinkles that were dumped into a plastic bag and dropped into the trash before they ever hit the baking sheet.  It was a classic example of everything going wrong.  Ingredients in the wrong order and multiple misreading’s of the recipe were to blame. They were packaged in plastic bags and an odd assortment of tins, no silver platters with twigs of rosemary and holly.  Only a select few actually made it to a Christmas platter.

And those quilts and other projects, let’s talk about them.  They never made it out of the storage boxes and onto the cutting table.  What? No hand crafted projects this year?  What on earth did people think was going on here. For shame.  Well, I did monogram the twin’s names onto stand-up laundry hampers for them.  I didn’t make the hampers, so that may not count.  Maybe next year.

Christmas cards went out early, but only to a select few, and they weren’t cards I created – they were bought in the store, packaged in a box (perish the thought). I only attended 2 parties, both very enjoyable. I did not entertain during the Christmas season. I did not feel compelled to shop sales and spend ridiculous amounts of money on gifts. My house certainly doesn’t look like a magazine – it looks comfortably lived in.  No, Christmas wasn’t perfect, and I found myself at times absorbed in other things and forgetting to just enjoy the season.  But still…it was Christmas and I am at peace with myself.

Dear readers, I hope your Christmas was peaceful, too.  And, remember, Christmas is a celebration of God’s love for us.  It isn’t about being perfect and feeling compelled to do impossible things.  It is simply about sharing love and joy with others.

 

A few more Legos

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Liberty Bell – incredible detail! The crack fascinated me as it always has in pictures!

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Supreme Court – replica is almost 10 feet long.  It took 3 Lego Masters 450 hours to assemble.  And, yes, that’s the grandson in the picture! He’s still into Legos a little and prefers the large pieces that have gadzillion pieces and take all night to put together!

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The “back door” of the Supreme Court.

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This happy little quintet was in a glass case making a good picture impossible.  Some of the little people were actually the Simpson family!

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Jaydon was excited about the Lincoln Memorial since he’s visited it. Likewise, I was excited to see the Old North Church (One if by land, Two if by sea) since I’ve visited it.  Part of the fun was finding the exhibits in the mall!

 

On the road

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I am a happy vagabond.  Very happy with one exception that I’ll explain shortly.  I’m on a road trip that is almost totally unplanned and totally relaxing.  I put this week on the vacation several months ago and even though many unexpected events have come to pass at work I held firm that I was going to be off this week.  The only problem was that every time I started planning some things to do I just drew a blank.  I would sit with a blank notebook page and feel so overwhelmed that I would close it up.  So many places to visit, so many things to see, how could I choose what to do?

As the time drew nearer I hesitatingly started making skeleton plans. Go, I told myself, just go, you need to go.  I argued that I needed to spend the week at home getting things done and having work done on the aging house.  I also argued that the money spent on a road trip would be better spent on other projects.  In the end the road trip, albeit somewhat unplanned, won.  If I had stayed home this week I would have lost my mind.  This has been the most refreshing thing I’ve done for myself in a long time! There’s no rushing to get from place to place and I’m keeping driving minimal. If I have a spur of the moment idea, then so be it, off I go.  This is the new way to road trip for me!

Now, with that explanation being offered here’s the unhappiness of the week.  My camera, my faithful companion, has decided that it will absolutely not focus.  It’s been out of whack for a while and I thought I had it back in sync.  But no, my pictures are just not right.  And, what’s the fun of a road trip if you can’t make pictures?  I passed by a Best Buy tonight and told myself, no shopping now, just deal with what you’ve got. If it’s the only problem this week then I can get over it.

So, where have I been?  (to be continued)

 

Mimosa Time

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Albizia julibrissin Mimosa, Silk Tree origin: first imported from China 1745

It’s that time of year again – mimosa time! No, not the orange juice kind, the tree kind!

The blooms aren’t as profuse as they usually are, but the fragrance is super strong! This poor tree is so crowded by the gigantic oak tree in my back yard, but it keeps faithfully blooming every year. I can’t bear the thought of cutting it down and not having these lovely blooms every spring that remind me of my grandparents’ trees.

Wednesday 04.20.2016

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Long ago I accepted the fact that I have an invisible sign in my front yard.  It has various inscriptions such as “Hungry, stop here and go no further” or “Pregnant and homeless?  Stop here.  The kind hearted soul will feed you, care for your young, and have you spayed afterward so you can live happily ever after”.

So I was not surprised when this battle scarred kitty started hanging around.  I tried to run it off and it just laid down in the yard and looked me like it was saying, “I’m not a bad kitty, I really just want to hang around here, please, please”.  It got along well with Lacey (surprisingly) and I think the thing that suckered me in was that it appeared to be starving.  So I began feeding it twice a day.  Lucky kitty.

I had previously seen it and several other felines hanging out at a house across the street and down the way.  The lady that lives there leaves one of the garage doors up just a bit which is a sure clue to owning a cat.  But this poor thing was starving, so I wasn’t sure if it really belonged there or not.  Plus it was wearing a dirty green collar, so I felt it had to be somebody’s pet even if it appeared to be starving. It spends most of its time in the bushes in front of the house, but I hoped it was up on the porch during the horrific storms we had during the last week. It would approach me like it wanted to be petted, but would only let me briefly stroke it before it would walk off as if to say, ” that’s all you get for now”.

This morning it was waiting for the morning rations and sporting a new yellow collar.  Tonight at the evening ration time I saw a dainty little tag hanging from the collar.  Yep, there was an address for the suspected house on the tag.  I think I need to go meet the neighbor and find out the kitty’s name.  That way when I feed it I can at least call it by its given name.