Friday, November 17, 2017

Seasons of Life

I am thankful to live in the Great Lakes, which is blessed to experience all four seasons. In fact, this area of the country really does it well. Mother Nature smiled on this area. She has her hand in every season here. I am happy to share each season, too.

I love Autumn’s cool, coloured confidence. She knows her value. But, this year, as Autumn settled in, I was disappointed that the leaves were not as vibrant. While many had fallen, some clung to tired trees. I can relate. There are times when it is easy to let go, because it feels right. Sometimes we hold on, reluctant to let go, because things feel incomplete. I am thankful for knowing it is okay to linger when I need to…and to let go when I know it is necessary. Autumn makes that clear.

Winter is coming. I am ready for the cold, the hunkering down, and the planning. Winter is a state of waiting for what comes next. I actually enjoy the quiet and even the darkness. I can hear myself think, without distraction. I can plan for when the sun shines. And, I will appreciate it all the more. Winter offers necessary solitude. I can appreciate that life needs Winter.

Suddenly, it will be Spring. She will sneak up on Winter. They will argue, but Spring will win. In all of her colourful glory, she will make promises. I will partner with her and begin to see her intent to keep each promise. I will also see how my plans will fit right into hers. Yes, Spring will be my friend, too. Spring brings hope. I am eternally grateful for hope.

With such ease, Spring always makes way for Summer. They never argue. One blends into the other. They even dance in both the sunshine and the rain. While Spring is full of hope, Summer encourages one to take it easy, slow down, relax. She illustrates it with the growing gardens and the lazy breezes. I do appreciate her philosophy and her splendor.

And, then we come full circle. Summer eventually tires, wearing herself out, perhaps. She gives way to Autumn, allowing her to display the full array of accomplishments accumulated by the year of seasons. I am eternally grateful to witness each season in their glory, and I am humbled by the life lessons shared with me.

Day Seventeen of my Giving Thanks series.

Friendly Fill-ins: Week 80

We are happy you are here for another week of friendly sharing! As always, you can find the fill-ins here and at each Thursday. On Fridays, we post the link for sharing. The first two fill-ins are always provided by Ellen. The final two statements are offered by myself. You are welcome to answer in the comments, but if you link up, even more people can share!

Internet gremlins persist. This is not to be confused with Joanie’s gremlins, unless she has connections that I don’t. I truly do not understand what the problem is with the connection, other than at my end. My connection is off and on. Sometimes, the wi-fi blinks like a frog in a hail storm. Just when I think it has settled down, it starts to flicker. Then when I am about to give up, it settles back down. So, when it works, I try to make the most of it, to try and keep up with blogging. When it goes out, I call Comcast to chat.

Bonnie & Clyde are four months old today. Yes, she is still Bonnie B. Good. The B stands for Beatrix. But, she will not be fooled. It’s just Bee. She only acknowledges Bee. Clyde is Clyde, and has been from the very start. He has always been very responsive, including answering to his name.

Thank you to everyone for supporting Sparks! It seems that many are enjoying finding and reading the good thoughts. It is all about positive energy. This is a great season for sharing good, so let’s do it! If you haven't, maybe you will think about joining us. Sharing always brings about good feelings. So, I thank you all.  

I look forward to your holiday fill-ins this week. I am thankful for each of you!

1. I can't wait to eat homemade cranberry-apricot sauce on Thanksgiving. This is a recipe from Bill’s childhood. It is the best addition to Thanksgiving dinner!

2. My favorite kind of pie is pecan pie. I like several fruit pies and some specialty pies, but pecan pie…yum. That is a holiday treat.

3. This year, I am particularly thankful for Bill’s regional routing. This is getting him home more, which is healthier for him. There seems to be a rapport with his boss, too. While it isn't perfect, we are all pretty happy about this situation.

4. A funny holiday tradition in my/our house is watching the Macy’s parade, then the dog show, and finally football. Even when Bill was on the road, I did these and told him about them. We think he will get home late this year, but at least he will be coming home!

May you have a bounty of food and love!
~Happy Thanksgiving!~

I am sharing this post with:
Thanks, Sandee!

Now, it's your turn. Please link up with us here.   

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Love Notes


Love is the fuel of life. It is the blood that flows to all parts of life, keeping it going and sustaining it. Without love, there is no life, merely existence. And, if you have love, you know there is a difference between living and existing. I am thankful that I do know love.

It was not always that way. Love is elusive. Admittedly, I did not always understand love or how it works. But, I accepted its value and importance. As a small child, I knew that certain people loved me, and I was sure that I loved them. I never doubted Grampy’s love, believing that it was absolute. I trusted him and always felt loved by him. Others made it known that their love was conditional, and therefore withheld.

Love comes in many ways and forms. As we grow and experience life, we learn this valuable truth. Beyond the love of parents, and of family, there is the love of friends. The love that friendship offers helps shape us. It often upholds us through our search for self. Friends help you become yourself by validating who you are. The love of friends can fill gaps where love was otherwise withheld. It cannot replace that love, but it can heal wounds and smooth scars. I am grateful for this love, too.

I learned early in life that the love offered by pets is unconditional. Animals are genuine in their emotions. Studies have proven that they have a calming and positive effect on our health, physically and mentally. Our pets make it easy for us to love them. We are then able to accept their love without question. This love is certainly something that has been important in my life. I am deeply grateful to have been blessed by this love.

Loving others is a blessing. Love must fulfill itself to be true. To give love and to receive love brings it full circle. This allows it to continue, strengthen, and ultimately sustain us throughout the stages of life. To be loved and to love is the greatest blessing in life. It is also the purpose of life.

I try to always let others know how I feel about them. It has been said that love is not really love until you give it away. I believe there is truth in this. It serves no purpose to withhold it. Love is meant to be shared. I appreciate those who love me, as well as those that I love. I am very thankful for the power of love.

Day Sixteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Fill-in Statements: Week 80

Each Thursday, my co-host, Ellen of 15andmeowing, and I provide Friendly Fill-In statements. On Friday, we post our answers with a link-up for you to join us with your own responses. We hope you will copy and answer these on your own blog, but remember to link up here. If you need help, please let us know. We look forward to your answers!

Week 80: November 17, 2017:

1. I can't wait to eat                       on Thanksgiving.

2. My favorite kind of pie is                                 .

3. This year, I am particularly thankful for                                    .

4. A funny holiday tradition in my/our house is                                   .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Blessed by Books


I learned to read when I was very young. By Kindergarten, I had figured reading out. No one sat down and taught me how to read, but I remember Grampy reading to me. I am so thankful for these memories.

Every Sunday, after church, Grampy read the “funny paper” to me. I would sit on the floor next to his recliner. He would read in different voices and show me the comics. He would laugh with me over each one. Some of our favourites were Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Peanuts, and Little Iodine. That comic is where I learned about the time change. “Spring forward and Fall back.” I can still see Little Iodine falling backward. With every time change, I think of Little Iodine. And, I think of my Grampy.

Grampy took me to church every week, but he often read the Bible to me, too. He would tell me about each story that he read to me. If I had questions, he answered them to my satisfaction. Grampy taught me that reading was fun, but that it also served purposes. It was the key to learning. Learning was the key to understanding.

When I got to first grade, reading became something that was formally taught. I realized the importance of this subject and was ready. In Chicago, we used the Dick and Jane primary readers. My first official word to read was “look”. I was called on to read out loud. Much to my teacher’s surprise, I did so with great emotion.

I was hooked. I became a fixture at the library. The librarians knew me well, often putting books aside for me. I read everything that I encountered, including newspapers, magazines, ads, and labels. I finally had an outlet, an anchor, and wings…yes, all of these. Reading was my way to learn and to make sense of my world. It also gave me a way to escape it when I needed to. There were plenty of times throughout my life that I really needed to. For that, and many reasons, I am deeply grateful for the ability to read. 

I still read love reading as much as I did as a kid. I may be more choosey, now. But, I still feel excited when I come across something interesting. I love bookstores, because I prefer physical books. I feel a relationship with them. We are old friends. I am deeply grateful for everything they have done for me, and helped me to do. 

Day Fifteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Quiet Time

Shared with:


Tuesday, November 14, 2017


~The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home
Written by Mikael Lindnord

This tells the true story of not only a dog but of a man, as well. This is their very special story.

Arthur was a pitiful street dog in Ecuador when Mikael Lindnord tossed him a meatball. Mikael was there competing in the Adventure Racing World Championship. Arthur saw a good thing and remained with the team. Mikael and Arthur became a team of their own.

A campaign to get Arthur back to Sweden began. The racing team took to Twitter to help raise funds. The Ecuadorian Social Affairs Ministry Dept. assisted, along with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, in getting Arthur “Home”.

As Arthur was noticed by the media, people came forth to claim him as their dog. However, when his poor health and severe wounds were uncovered, talk turned to prosecution. Claims were retracted. Arthur finally went home to Sweden and Mikael.

Once there, he got the medical and emotional attention that he needed and deserved. Arthur was quarantined for four months as he healed. His health was evaluated and improved greatly.

Arthur finally had a family. But, he also had a purpose. He continued to be part of Mikael’s racing team, accompanying them on more competitions. He also was the inspiration and heart of “Arthur’s Foundation”, to help other street dogs in Arthur’s native Ecuador.

I recommend this book to those who love animals and love happy endings. This story is special. It is about coming from behind and winning. It is also about passing that goodness on to others who need it. And, it’s all true.

Thankful for Others

There are many unsung heroes in our daily lives. Too often they are considered to be just doing their job. Maybe they are, but I think it is much more than that. I appreciate these people.

I am talking about the cashier who takes the time to pull out a coupon for something I am purchasing. There is also the bagger who double bags my cans because we all know the bags will inevitably split from the weight.

I am grateful for the auto service guy who went out to my car to help me re-program my phone to my car after a computer update messed it up. And, I am also grateful for the young mechanic who was so nice in adding air to my tires on the busy and freezing cold, rainy morning.

I am so very thankful for my local pharmacy staff. The technicians treat every medication with detailed care. They make sure that each one is processed in the best, most cost-effective way for us. They check with our doctor, insurance, and include any coupon to help with cost control. This great pharmacy staff also makes sure that we fill our medications on time, for continued care for routine issues.

I am also thankful for the mail clerk who takes the time to put extra tape on a faulty envelope. There is the UPS man who makes sure to leave packages where they stay safe and dry. I appreciate him, too.

There are many people who I encounter throughout my daily routine. I am especially grateful for the ones who take an extra moment to reach out and care about how their job affects me. It makes the difference. I am sure to thank them. I then pass that extra-care on to others that I meet throughout my day.

I am always appreciative of what others do for me. I am also thankful for the opportunity to make the difference for others. I believe that karma can be a wonderful thing, when we make it so.

Day Fourteen of my Giving Thanks series.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Clyde and Maggie find a comfy spot together.

Cuddling is the best part of bedtime!

Stella agrees. Sweet dreams!

Shared with:

I am very thankful for the relationships that our furkids have with each other. We encourage them to interact with each other, but allow them to develop natural interactions. And, they do. The love that they share is a blessing to each other and a joy to us. I am grateful that they love each other as much as we love them all.

Day Thirteen of my Giving Thanks series.