Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, writing

Summer Solstice and TToT #53

Today in my part of the world, it is the first day of Summer and therefore the Summer Solstice. So today I thought I would combine my love of the Summer Solstice with Ten Things of Thankful, that Lizzi over at Considerings has going on every weekend. Why not give her a visit and maybe even join in! Or read a whole bunch of thankfulness and feel better.

So much to be thankful for! I’m sure everyone can think of a few? Right? Right! So let’s get going shall we?

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1. Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. I love the long days. Here where I am in Alberta, the daylight can last till 11pm. For some reason I love that. I like to get things done during daylight. With the longer days I seem to be able to get much more accomplished. Or maybe it’s all in my mind. Either way, I love it. So it’s all good.

2. Midsummer Day, near the solstice, was said to make old people look younger. It was also thought that walking barefoot in the dew would keep one’s skin from getting chapped. Hell if I would have known that sooner I would have taken advantage of that! But, I’m ok with how I look. I don’t look my age and I certainly don’t feel my age, especially lately so I’m thankful for that.

3. The summer solstice, was a time to celebrate renewal, life, fertility, and the potential for a good harvest. It was celebrated through outdoor feasts with singing, dancing, and bonfires. I’m all for celebrating life. So let’s dance, sing and make a big bonfire! Well, ok, or just sit back with a favorite brew and relax. I’m thankful that I can do that. Relax, enjoy life, because life is good right now.

4. Midsommardagen is Sweden’s traditional midsummer festival, observed throughout the country and in full bloom during the month of June. On Midsummer’s Eve, which is always on a Friday, young girls place nine different flowers under their pillows to dream of their future husbands, while on Midsummer’s Day, flower wreaths are worn while men, women and children dance around the maypole. When I was young I never dreamed of who I might marry. I never thought I would. I didn’t want kids, I didn’t want traditional marriage. I always was the odd one out. At the time when I was growing up, there wasn’t a lot of options for women. You either got married and had kids, like my sister did. Or you tried to have a career. I did neither. I went exploring life, I traveled a long ways from home. I made mistakes and corrected them. I was my own person. I”m thankful for that time to grow, to see life and become the person I am.

5. The summer solstice was especially important to the ancient Egyptians since it signaled the annual flooding of the Nile River. To keep track of the day, the pyramids were built so that the solstice sunset fell exactly between two of them when viewed from the Great Sphinx. I can understand that, with all the rain we’ve had in these parts, I wish there would have been something to warn us if there was any flooding. But I’m thankful there wasn’t anything major. My front yard was flooded, but the house sets up high, so do danger of it flooding.

Glen Allison/Getty Images
Glen Allison/Getty Images

 

6. Perhaps the most remarkable solstice landmark in the U.S. is The Medicine Wheel, located in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. Built several hundred years ago by an unknown Plains tribe, the arrangement of stones is perfectly in line with the solstice’s sunrise and sunset each year. I’m thankful for traditions, new or old that celebrate nature and everything in its glorious splendor.

7. New York welcomes summer with a collective ohm in the middle of Times Square. On June 21, thousands of participants will roll out their yoga mats at The Crossroads of the World to celebrate the longest day of the year with an all-day yoga fest. Free classes will be held from 5:30AM to 9:15PM. I’m thankful for easy exercise. I’m not into yoga, but I do believe we all need some sort of exercise in our lives. I’m just thankful I still can do it.

8. Since 1974, Santa Barbara, Calif., puts on an extravagant summer solstice parade, complete with over-the-top floats, flamboyant costumes, brilliant dance ensembles, creative street performers and eclectic music. But unlike other parades, this one is about getting back to basics; even the floats are man-powered. This year’s theme, “Creatures,” promises not to disappoint. I’m thankful for people coming together for a good time. For thinking of these wonderful things to do and celebrate. For good old-fashioned imagination.

9. Sunrise Celebration is an ethical living and organic arts and music festival powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Held on an organic farm in England, the festival has a site-wide organic food and drink policy and promotes a positive feeling of heartfelt gratitude. It’s a celebration of summertime, community and creativity, featuring 13 music stages, performances, healing arts, crafts, talks and workshops. This makes me thankful for people who want to have a better healthier life. Not only for themselves, but for the planet too. Because this old planet needs our help people, no doubt about it.

10. Pull from any of the above traditions or start your own: Pick wildflowers, tend to your garden, watch the sunrise, have a picnic, light a sacred fire, and gather with friends and family on the longest day of the year. I”m thankful for good friends. Now and in the future who will be there for gatherings of talk, laughter and good times.

Damien Gadal via Flickr
Damien Gadal via Flickr

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, nonfiction, postaday

Ten Things of Thankful #50 ~~ My List of Thankfuls

Lizzi over at Considerings and her co-hosts for Ten Things of Thankful are celebrating hitting #50 this weekend! Yay! It’s a wonderful idea that Lizzi came up with. By making the list, especially when you’ve had a tough week, makes you more aware of things in your life you are thankful for.

So please, join us and help celebrate being thankful!

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1. I’m thankful for plans coming together. I have some long-range plans, that I’m not ready to reveal yet, but rest assured they are great!  Things are falling into place and I couldn’t be happier. I love it when a plan comes together.

2. I’m thankful for friends. Best friend, long distance friends, online friends. They make me smile and make me feel loved. I hope I do the same for them.

3. I’m thankful for the warm weather! Finally, here in Alberta we are actually having a spring! It’s been warm and sunny and all the trees are leafed out. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever come. But it’s here and I’m grateful.

4. I’m thankful for blogging friends. I ask for favors and they go out of their way to help me. Can’t ask for better than that! So thank you Michael and Martin for doing that blogging process hop for me, you guys are awesome!

5. I want to thank Lizzi over at Considerings for having the concept of Ten Things of Thankful. Sometimes we need a nudge to think of things to be thankful for and you know what? We can always find something to be thankful for and that’s a good thing. So go over to Lizzi’s place and read some of the awesome posts from all the bloggers who are thankful for something! Maybe even contribute yourself. If you can’t find 10 things I bet you can find at least 5.

6. I am thankful that I have lived in a place where I received an education, even though I am a female. I am doubly thankful that I live in a country where even though being female has its set of problems, I don’t have to be afraid just because I AM a  female. Not like in some places in the world, where if you have read the news 2 sisters were raped and hung just because they were females. Now if that isn’t scary, I don’t know what is. Sure, we have ‘rape culture’, and we have our own set of problems. But these women, girls, females have it much, much worse and I wonder about a world that would let this happen and continue to let this happen this day and age.

7. I’m thankful for modern technology. Computers had made this big old world a lot smaller. The internet is not perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. If I want to learn about something, I look it up. If I want to read a certain book, I find it and buy it, or sometimes get it free! I don’t have to waste time or gas by going to the library to try to find it. I can do it all in the comfort of my office chair and home. How great is that?

8. I’m thankful for people who have that artist’s knack of taking photos. I have been looking online for photos to use as writing prompts and have found some wonderful ones that truly speak to me. These people who take those photos have a creative mind and a wonderful ‘eye’ for what makes great photos. I am so grateful. Makes my writing process so much easier when you have excellent photos to work from.

9. I’m thankful for polite people. It’s amazing how many people are out there that would not say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ if their life depended on it! Then you encounter some that just make you smile, they are pleasant, polite and have a smile for you. I try to be like that. To everyone. You never know when someone is having a terrible day and a nice smile and thank you could make it so much nicer. Remember people, you might be having a tough day, but there is someone out there who is having it much worse. It takes less energy to smile than to frown. Why not make someone’s day today?

10. Last but certainly not least, I”m thankful for people who love me. They don’t want anything from me, they don’t have hidden agendas, they just love me for who I am. They know who they are. I just want to say thank you for loving me. I love you too.

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Now go and think of what YOU are thankful for this weekend! I bet you can come up with some awesome things! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, postaday, writing

Ten Things of Thankful #46

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Join the Ten Things of Thankful community and work with us to nurture an attitude of gratitude. We use the whole weekend to focus on the Good Things in life. Make a list of Ten of those wonderful Things, then share the Wonderfulness with others.

We will prevail because we have compassion, and we have each other.

Above is a quote from Lizzi’s blog at Considerings, and her wonderful Ten Thinks of Thankful idea. Come join us if you can! We all have things to be thankful for.

Now for my list of Ten Thing of Thankful:

1. I’m so glad April is over with! I was super busy with NaPoWriMo, a poem a day for a month! What the heck was I thinking? But I did it and I’m glad I did it, as I learned a lot about poetry. I also found out I actually like writing it. Sometimes I don’t always hit it out of the park so to speak, but there was a time or two last month that I was quite proud of what I managed to write.

2. We had some really nice spring like weather lately. Not today, of course, as it is snowing again right now. Ugh!!!! Old man winter better high tail it out of here, or I’m going to find a big torch and burn his ass. LOL Sorry, but I am so tired of winter hanging around. But those few days of 20C+ were so nice.

3. I am as always appreciative of best friends. Without them, I sometimes would be lost. They let me vent, or tell exciting new too. Or just to talk. So yeah, I do love my best friends.

4. Multiple email address’. Yes, I am thankful for having more than one email. My main one went down yesterday. Couldn’t get into it. It’s where all my most important emails come in. So I had to email the help department and give them an alternate email to tell me how to fix it. Which they did quite quickly too.

5. And that brings me to #5, which is I’m thankful for fast acting customer service. It doesn’t happen too often sad to say, but it did yesterday and I’m grateful it did.

6. Music has always played a big role in my life. It’s helped me when I was sad. It’s such a good way sometimes to tell someone how you feel when you can’t find the words yourself. I have an eclectic taste in music from the Motown oldies to some of today’s hits. From classical to rock. I’m always on the lookout for more good music. So if anyone has any suggestions for me to listen to, tell me! Give a listen to these 2 guys, believe me they are not your typical cello players!

7. Lists. Yes, lists. I tell you, if it wasn’t for some of the lists I make I would forget so many things! I’m a list person, I love them, always have. I usually have so many different things going on at one time, that lists have saved my butt many times. I take one to the grocery store. I have one for music I want to listen to when I have time. I have one with writing ideas. I have one for things I need to do. I’m only surprised I don’t have a list for my lists! LOL

8. Items from the past. I was looking at the cookbook that my father owned, that his mother owned, and that I own now. It’s from 1928 and it has seen better days. It’s more than a cookbook though. It’s a book of memories. I remember my dad using a recipe out of there to bake bread and rolls. He made the best bread. He enjoyed making it. He was happy when he made bread. I look at that book and I see my grandmother, long and lanky, but so full of love and laughter. She died much too soon. It might look like a well used cookbook to anyone else, but to me it’s a book of love filled memories.

9. I was talking to my best friend the other day about past teachers. I loved my high school English teacher. She loved her job and it showed. She was the first to tell me to never give up on my writing as I was good at it and if that’s what I enjoyed doing that’s what I should do. School for me was not a pleasant experience, but she was a bright star in this girl’s lonely dark days. I only hope everyone had at least one teacher in their lives that made a difference to them.

10. Which brings me to the last item. Writing. I am so very thankful for writing. It has helped me through some hellish times in my life, when I kept a journal. It has also helped me in times of my greatest happiness, where I could communicate with people far away how much I cared about them. Writing sets me free as nothing else has done. It lets my imagination fly, takes me to wondrous places and fascinating people. It helps me build worlds and characters that I fall in love with. Writing has brought me here, to WordPress, where I have met so many terrific people. Thank you for being one of those!

Posted in Blog challenge, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, writing

Ten Things of Thankful

So here is another weekend. Hope everyone’s is going good.

It’s time for another post hosted by Lizzi over at Considerings, called Ten Things of Thankful. Where we list 10 things we are thankful for this past week. I just hope I can actually do 10! Why not go and visit Lizzi and see what she’s up to? She’s an awesome writer, so you won’t regret it.

Lizzi also did a great Wordle thingy which I am totally stealing. Thanks Lizzi!

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I am thankful that another month is almost over. It’s bringing me closer to something that I am going to love. It’s a secret for now, but when it comes, man I will be so ready! Sorry I can’t let you all on in the secret, but I want to hold it close for a little while longer.

I thought winter was over with, and I was thankful for that. But then, I woke up this morning to a white mess outside. Spring, spring you fickle creature. (That was yesterday, today it warmed up and melted all the snow!)

I have a few wonderful, truly amazing best friends. They lend me their ears to pour my insecurities or my happiness into. They never judge me and cheer with me on every adventure I want to take. They are wonderful, amazing, and I am so lucky to have them. (They know who they are)

Sam (c) JLPhillips 2013
Sam (c) JLPhillips 2013

Sam, my little bundle of fur baby joy is just wonderful. He cuddles me when I need them, kisses my tears away, listens to my secrets, and keeps them too! He’s so funny too. And he’s getting down right popular! Soon he will have fans wanting his autograph. He’s been in a book written by my good friend tiny over at tinylessonsblog.com, she’s a fantastic writer and her book “Confessions of a Rescue Dog” helps other animals at her local humane society with each book sold. (This is the one Sam is in).

I love music, it’s been a huge part of my life. It’s helped me say so much that I want to say to certain people. I’m always on the lookout for new music to give a listen to. So if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know and I’ll give it a go! It has helped me when I was down and out, or when I’m happy and joyful!

I saw my first spring Robin the other day! Now I know Spring is coming, even if old man winter just doesn’t want to let go. I was so happy to see that Robin, now I hear him every day outside my window and it makes me smile.

Ah, coffee, my love, my preferred nectar. I’m always grateful for coffee, but today for some reason it tasted extra good. Yeah, I love me some coffee.

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I have been doing NaPoWriMo this month and it has been quite the experience. I have learned so much about poetry and all its different forms. It’s been some hard days, but I’m glad I did it. I am planning on doing an extra special poem on Wednesday which is the last day of this month-long extravaganza. I have asked my good friend Michael to help me in this and he has graciously accepted the challenge (poor deluded man, LOL). It has been a great learning experience. I wanted to challenge myself (as I was NO poet) and I accomplished that. What amazed me, was my dear readers (this means YOU) seemed to enjoy the experience too. Thank you so much, you guys are the best!!

Next month, I am going back to writing what I love the best, short stories and flash fiction. I took a break, now I’m revved up to get back into it.