Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Spot of Joy . . .

"The morning glories and the sunflowers 
turn naturally toward the light, 
but we have to be taught it seems."
- Richard Rohr


"Later, Gator
In an hour, Sunflower!"
-Alexandra Bracken






Friday, September 12, 2014

Still Happy to be Grateful . . .

Here we are ready for the weekend with so much to be grateful for. I did mention last week that I would/could/should fill a month of gratitude postings. Found it not so easy when I was in town for two days this week but here I am back on my favourite subject. Gratitude.

I am grateful for my Mother.

This may be how many of you remember my Mother. What a pretty lady.


When I think of her, I think of pink. Pink roses, maybe, but mostly just pink. She has favoured that colour over the years.


Some time ago, I was talking with Mother and told her that I had started a list of things she had taught me. Oh, there was a silence on the other end of the phone and she said, Yes?

I used my smiling voice and let her know that I was only writing down the very best lessons she taught me. There would be nothing written down that she would not want to hear. I promised her that. And tonight I am grateful for these lessons.

I cannot say I have learned them all thoroughly... I have not. And those of you who know me well will know which life lessons I still am skirting around with a wary eye.

I am grateful Mother tried!

Things My Mother Taught Me:

1. Never marry a man to reform him!

2. Pick quality over quantity anytime.

3. Attitude is everything.

4. Rise and shine!!

5. We shall see . . .

6. When all else fails, sing a hymn.

7. Play comes after the work is done.

8. Efficiency reigns!

9. As does cleanliness and order.

10. Comfort comes out of the kitchen, dispensed liberally.

11. Follow through.

12. Keep your promises.

13. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

14. Do the task at hand.

There are most likely many more that I just have not remembered. The fact that Mother loves her children unconditionally is one of the most important gifts to us.

We celebrated her 95th in April. After all the dust settled I looked at my photos of the party day and found these interesting shots.

I don't know who picked up my camera and got these revealing photos but they are choice!!



Mother, thinking her own thoughts, not hearing the craziness going on around her in the room, just there with her girls.

This is one of my favourites of Mother and me.


And of Father and Mother...



Sweet...

I do wish we would have realized long, long ago how blessed we really were. Blessed in the important things in life. Too soon old, too late smart!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day Five . . . Books, Part 2

My fiction list covers all 60+ years... 

1.  I loved this little book as a child. "The Boss of the Barnyard".


Among the 'other stories' was my all time favourite childhood story, "The Reasonable Rabbit". In fact, I thought I was the reasonable rabbit. This little rabbit saved his friends and neighbours from the big bad bobcat! By the way, this is one of the first books ever illustrated by Richard Scary.


And from there I have had a wonderful time in the world of books.


2.  The Narnia Series by CS Lewis has been a fun read. When our kids were young the four of us read it together and we have all read it again and again, on our own. Every filmed version of these stories has our attention.


3.  Sweet story, "A Prayer For Owen Meany", full of life lessons.


4.  This book, "What's Bred in the Bone", is part of a trilogy. Love Robertson Davies' storytelling ability. He grabs you and holds you till he is done with the tale. Great stories.


5.  Willa Cather was introduced to me by my daughter-in-law, Kim. "My Antonia" is only one of the stories by Ms. Cather that I have enjoyed.


6.  This is a long time ago read but I remember the enjoyment I got from "A Bend in the River" by Naipaul.


7.  When I was a young mother my neighbour, a med student at Loma Linda University, thought I needed some mental stimulation and gave me this book, recommending others. "Atlas Shrugged" made an impression on my young, naive mind, that is for sure , spurring me on to read anything else by Ayn Rand.


8. There are 4 books in this set. Loved 'The Raj Quartet' and highly recommend it. "The Jewel in the Crown" is no. 1 in the series and once you have finished this one you will not be able to call it done until you have devoured all four. But then, for me, any story set in India gets my attention.


9.  Like this one... "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry is a great story also set in India. Maybe it is time to read this one again.


10.  But then there are the books by Wallace Stegner. Whenever I go to a used book store I look for anything by Mr. Stegner, fiction or non. He dealt mostly with the American West and does a fine job making you fall in love with that part of the world.

Thank you to all the people who contributed book titles to the FB challenge. Love to see what others are reading. So nice to have the love of such good books in common with others.

Now I am off to bed where I am hoping to get some more read in "Zorro" by Isabel Allende! I like it way more than I thought I would. I bought the book because we stayed in a hotel in Mexico that boasted that they were the birthplace of Zorro! Not according to this book, but then the man was 'just' a legend!

Happy reading to you all.
And above all, be well.




Monday, September 8, 2014

Day Four . . . Killing Two Birds With One Stone

The joy of reading had crossed my mind as something to be grateful for and then I saw the girls (Sherilee and friends) start lists of books they have enjoyed...

So, here goes.

Today I will just put in 10 books that quickly came to mind in the non-fiction department of my library.


1. The Bible - cannot be surpassed for comfort and assurance.

2. I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson - from my mother's library, appropriate for me.

3. The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman, anything by Ms. Tuchman is good.

4. Katherine Graham A Personal History - top marks for that one.

5. Catherine the Great by Robert Massie.  I have read more than one bio of Catherine; this is the best.

6. Thomas Jefferson by Fawn Brodie, recommended by Shelby and enjoyed more than once.

7. Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose which started me on my Lewis and Clark binge!

8. Marriage A Two-Part Invention by Madeline L'Engle. Good read.

9. Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan. This was engrossing and very educational.

10. Gandhi and Churchill by Arthur Herman. Amazing parallels in the lives of these two men, glad I didn't have either of those two as one of my children!!

And that is just a quick walk past the books I have in one part of the house. Tomorrow I will give you 10 of my fiction faves!! This is fun.

In the meantime, be well.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day Three of Being Grateful . . .

It just gets better all the time...

Maybe I should do this for a month. Do you think I would run out of ideas? Probably not.

I know you were wondering when I was going to be thankful for my husband, now weren't you?

Today is the day... I told him this morning that he better be good to me today because I was going to use him for my Day 3, Gratitude.

He laughed and grabbed me for a hug!

So I am most thankful today for the laughter and fun we share. It does seem that the older we get the less we laugh but we still have lots of laughter around here.


Secondly, I am very thankful for the adventures we have shared. And there have been a lot. I do not like dull moments and there have been none. In fact, there are some days when I look up to heaven and say, "Maybe one dull moment wouldn't be so bad Lord!"


And thirdly, the greatest gift my husband has given to me are . . .


these two delightful children. They are now in their mid-forties but there isn't a day goes by that I don't say, "Thank You, Lord, for Shelby and Sherilee!"

And for the people these children have brought into my life... and on and on. I am very grateful for all these gifts.

Stay tuned for tomorrow...
In the meantime, be well.





Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gratitude Multiplied . . .

Where do I start, listing off those things I am most thankful for... hmmmm. This gratitude challenge is going to go for a few days so I hope the rest of the world is getting in the mood too!

1.  Like my sisters, I too am thankful for God, my Creator and Saviour. He has carried me in the palm of His hands all these years and I am most grateful for His tender love and care. Of all that I am thankful for I would have to say this is my No. 1. 

2.  It was nice to see sister Marilyn mention our father today on her gratefulness list. I am very thankful I had him for a father.


He taught me the good stuff. He was gracious, polite, kind and compassionate. I could count on him to 'have my back' all through childhood. And of course he taught me to appreciate hot cars, horses...


and the fact that a dog makes a good friend. (Very thankful for my short time with friend, Scruffie, my little Mexican friend.) Probably, I learned to have a discerning eye for the beautiful from Father too.

My great regret about Father is that I didn't tell him, that last day, when I stood by his last earthly bed, how grateful I was for him.

3.  Today, I just happened to be sorting through some photos and came across some good ones of my 3 sisters when we were together some summers ago for a mini-vacation. You all know what I look like but these are my sisters... starting on your left, Sheila May, then Marilyn Joy (you can tell she is saying, Shirley Ann, put down that blessed camera and be done with the snapping!!) and then on the right side of the photo is Bobbi (Roberta Joan).

They are especially known for their unconditional love. They know me way too well but they still love me. Funny thing.


If you have been following my blog for that past 4+ years you will know that I usually do a Friday night or Sabbath blog on what I have been thankful for in particular during this past week. So some of this may be a repeat but I do know that I have been a lucky lady!

Hope you are feeling blessed and grateful on this gloriously sunny day.