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, 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.