When The Moon Inspires You, Whatcha Gonna Do?

The moon. Sunday morning.

In a cloudless sky.

Pretty. Inspiring. Unexpectedly perfect.

Looking like someone had painted it above my head as part of a set decoration.

Like an artist’s interpretation of what the moon is supposed to look like in the early morning hours.

When you see it while sitting on your deck, drinking your morning coffee.

Tending your own thoughts, wondering if it might be time to get back to blogging again.

Deciding that it is…

So how’ve you been? What’s new, kids?

I’ve missed you. Mean it!

Be The Light: Of Washing Machines & The Retirement Scene

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of February, I have a positive story to share with you, my gentle readers. 

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THE NEWS STORY:  

Lee Maxwell, a retired electrical engineering professor who lives in Colorado, collects washing machines.  His washing machine collection, stored in two warehouses, consists of nearly 1,500 machines.

Maxwell, age 87, finds the machines all over the United States.  They’re usually in disrepair.  He gets the machines to his warehouses where he repairs them, and stores them.

He has what is believed to be one of the largest personal collections of anything in the U.S.A.  His hope is that someone, a benefactor, will build a museum dedicated to washing machines so that everyone can see for themselves how washing machines have changed over the years.

[Complete story with video: Washing machine collector takes a whirl back in time]

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MY COMMENTARY:

This story is a quirky happy news story that makes me appreciate people who follow their own muses.

What’s not to love?

A retiree finds a hobby, that turns into a passion, that ends up preserving pieces of history that are easy to overlook.  And suddenly there’s a collection worthy of note because someone, Maxwell, took the time to notice.

I give props to this man.  He didn’t start collecting washing machines to be a news story.  No, he just did it for something fun to do, and in the process saved an interesting part of American history.

I consider him an inspiration.  Think about it, when it’s time to retire we all should be so fortunate as to stumble upon a hobby that takes us down uncharted roads, while filling our hours with a quiet sense of accomplishment.

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Be The Light: Of Lost Sharks & Viable Solutions

INTRODUCTION:

You probably remember that I’ve joined We Are The World Blogfest, a yearlong monthly event.  

Again let me remind you that the purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of October, I have an easily overlooked news story to share with you, my gentle readers & fellow #WATWB participants.

THE NEWS STORY:

On a beach in Australia a woman, Melissa Hatheier, 50, saw a stranded shark that seemed to be disoriented, swimming too close to the sandy beach, not out in the ocean.

She waded into the shallow water, dived on him, and grabbed the shark in such a was as to not hurt herself, while relocating him farther away from the beach.

That is, putting him back in the deeper part of the ocean where he belonged.

[Complete story with video: Australian Woman Picks Up Shark In Pool Rescue]

MY COMMENTARY:

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Do we not all love this woman?

[Did we not all immediately think of Mack the Knife when we read this article?]

Are we not inspired to be better people because of her?

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I’m going to say YES! to all three questions because this is a news story unlike any other that I’ve read lately.

I like that Hatheier saw a problem [shark in wrong place];  sized up the situation [I can capture this critter who is “kind of like a toddler”];  and then went on to solve the problem [put shark in better place].

Granted I’d be scared to try to hug a shark, but I say kudos to Melissa Hatheier for doing so.  And to any and all women out there who unceremoniously make their immediate world a safer place.

What could be more positive than that?

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Be The Light: Of Books & Buses

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of June, I have a positive story to share with you, my gentle readers. 

* * *

THE NEWS STORY:  

In Albuquerque, N.M., a city program called Discover a Book stocks public buses with children’s books so that young riders, and anyone else, can have something to read as they ride the bus.  This project has been around since 2006.

The books, which come from the city’s Read To Me book donation program, are available on the bus in specially made cubbies on the back of each bus seat.  These cubbies allow the program to distribute about 8,000 books a year– and the program encourages families to take a book home with them if they want to.

As one community volunteer, Kathy Chilton, said of the Discover a Book program: “There is much to be done in New Mexico to improve families’ possibilities of success.  Discover a Book is a simple, inexpensive, and significant step toward that goal.”

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MY COMMENTARY:

I love this idea.  LOVE IT!

Books that are easily accessible are books that are read. That holds true for all of us.

I can think of no better way to casually, consistently introduce children of all ages to the idea that reading is fun and good than to have books right there in front of them when they’re bored.

And I can think of no better way to demonstrate to children and adults that there are people in your community who care about you.  People who want the best for all the kids who live there– and put their principles into practical actions.

I mean, FREE BOOKS.  And the time to read them?

This has win-win written all over it.  😉

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Get wild about reading!

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Be The Light: Of Ladybugs, Love & A Clever Little Girl

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of April, I have a story to share with you, my gentle readers. 

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THE NEWS STORY:  

Did you know that in the Jewish religion when visiting a loved one’s grave it’s customary to leave a stone on the grave?  These stones are called visitation stones.

I wasn’t aware of this tradition until I read about a girl who took it upon herself, in response to cemetery vandalism, to create some pretty hand-painted lady bug and heart visitation stones.

The complete story [found here with video] tells of 6-year-old Ayel’s response upon learning that vandals had damaged her great-great-great-grandmother’s tombstone in a St. Louis cemetery.  Ayel decided to paint some stones for herself, and for all the other families who had experienced this vandalism, as a way of showing kindness to the living– and respect to the deceased.

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MY COMMENTARY:

If you took the time to watch the video, then you’ve already realized that Ayel is cuter than the bee’s knees.  I mean, how could you not love her?

That smile!

But beyond that fact I like this kid’s spirit.  She understands what happened in the cemetery and that it was a lousy thing for anyone to do.  However, instead of ignoring what happened or giving in to helplessness, she’s opted for kindness.

Ayel intuitively gets what many adults have forgotten.  She understands that creating something healing and meaningful doesn’t have to be complicated.  It just has to come from the heart.

Which, as anyone with even just an ounce of kindness in their soul knows, is a great place to start.

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As Pumpkins As My Witness, I’ll Never Be Cluttered Again

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Good Morning!

I’m pulling together a post today, the first full day of Daylight Savings Time, by using this delightful Halloween photo, taken yesterday, and by re-wording a famous quote.

After all, what is a blog but a place to let your freak flag fly?

Especially on a Monday morning after a lazy Sunday in which I never got out of my jammies, but did manage to photograph our jack-o-lanterns.

Oh happy day!

• • •

But now that it’s Monday morning I’m feeling the need to accomplish something.

The muse of productivity, and my inner Katie Scarlett O’Hara, are telling me to apply myself to what is directly in front of me, take control of the situation, and get on with life.

That is, in a word, DECLUTTER.

Meaning that today I’ll be putting things away in the places where they belong. Sorting through piles of magazines + catalogues + recipes. Reviewing and filing important scribbled notes for future decorating and writing projects.

• • •

So with a hat tip to GWTW I’ve begun to chant to myself: “they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be disorganized again.”

To me, this chant seems motivational.  To you, it might seem nuts, but if I end up with a tidy house and know where things are, who’ll be laughing then?

Hmmm?!

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[ALSO:  I know how you people think.  So let me say right here that if you, gentle readers, go all Rhett Butler and say you don’t give a damn, I wouldn’t believe you.  

Why?  Because if you’ve read this far down you do care about me!  So say something nice.  I need all the encouragement I can get and it’ll be good karma for you.] 

In Which I Do The “3 Quotes In 3 Days” Meme, My Way

[During the last few months I’ve seen a meme around the blogosphere that asks you to share three quotes + three photos.  

Or something like that.  

The intention is that you do this over the course of three days, but this being a quiet Sunday afternoon, and me being me, I think that I’ll do it all at once.  

Why not?  Are the blogging police going to come and get me?]  

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I took these photos last month when we were visiting Centennial Park, Nashville TN.  The famous author quotes are three of my favorites which seem to go perfectly with the photos.

Don’t you love serendipity?

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“If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

~ ANNE LAMOTT

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“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”

~ NEIL GAIMAN

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“To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”

~ JANE AUSTEN

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