"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

I was out in the shop moving the furniture around to make the best use of the room, and I couldn't help but wonder, "what will my guests think of having Thanksgiving dinner in Ronnie's shop?"  I think they will enjoy it.  The shop gives off good vibes. It certainly will not be a traditional uncomfortable formal sit down dinner where you have to wonder if you're using the right fork, because here, there is no right fork, so relax and enjoy.

We're going to feast on Texas style chicken and dressing with mashed potatoes, green beans and corn. My sorta son-in-law, Andy, is smoking a turkey, and making his famous pea salad. My sister Peggy is cooking cornbread dressing with jalapeños, giblet gravy,  Brussels sprouts cooked with Parmesan cheese and spices -- and a pecan pie. Our  friends Grace Warihay and her daughter, Janet and Janet's husband, Philip are going to bring some yeast rolls, deviled eggs and egg nog with brandy! Dottie Laseur is making a new kind of "Monkey Bread".  My niece, Whitney and her man, Juan, are bringing pumpkin empanadas, and I made some fresh pumpkin pies. Deidre made chocolate chip pecan cookies. My niece Alesha and her husband, Sam are coming. My son, Ronnie and his partner, Michael will be here and there's no telling what they will show up with.

We'll have iced tea, coffee and water. Some will have wine and beer.

We are not going to eat on fine China.  We'll use paper plates, paper towels, and plastic cups.

I'll have the neon lights on and we're gonna have National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation playing on the big screen tv.

We have Deidre's  long wooden table and four chairs, plus the big couch, a recliner and 5 lawn chairs. The big Dearborn is on to take the chill off, but hopefully by the time we actually serve Thanksgiving dinner, we'll be able to open the big door and let the beautiful sky light things up for us.

We'll have a bond fire when it starts getting chilly again and we'll stand close and talk and laugh.  We'll hear some new stories and maybe I'll learn some new words to use in my books.

This is a time to give thanks for all the goodness that comes our way every day in so many different forms, a friendly nod, a warm hand shake, a thank you note, an email or facebook message. A wagging tail, a laughing child, Cardinals and finches visiting the feeders. It's a squirrel peeking in my bedroom window, deciding there is no threat here and stretching out on my window sill to enjoy the morning sun.

We are taught from birth to aspire for the "finer things in life" but to me there is nothing "finer" than feeling relaxed and comfortable with my friends and family, not being afraid to show my true self, not being afraid to expect the best from others.  Life is for loving and having fun.

The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins said it best, "It is no bad thing celebrating a simple life."

I love you all!  Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Back to Blogging -- because not posting here doesn't get the books written either.

sunrise near Wichita Falls, November 2013

I publicly swore off blogging on October 3, 2013, in order to focus on getting the third book in the Kirkland Family Saga finished -- but it didn't help. Fifty five days later, nearly two months, the story is moving forward but not much faster than when I wasn't blogging.

What I've found is that life has an effect on me.  Different things people say, the attitudes they share with me cause reactions and thought processes that can not be stifled.  Before I swore off blogging, that's what I did here -- found ways of sharing those experiences that touch me deeply in one way or another.

When I decided to stop blogging, I think I just made the problem worse because the experiences got all clogged up in my mind.

So, I'm back.

Fourteen days ago I started the second 21 Day Meditation Series with Deepak Chopra and Opra. (It's free! All you have to do is sign up.)

From the beginning, I took notes because some of it is so powerful, I didn't want to forget it.
October sky, 2013, taken by Greg Baker in Dallas

I want to share some of the things I'm learning, and some of the things I have been reminded of.

Day 14, three days before we, as a nation, give thanks for whatever amount of bounty we have, the centering thought for this day's meditation is "gratitude is my prayer."

Every day, Opra opens the day's session with her own understanding of the day's mediation.  Today, she talked about how powerful the attitude of gratitude is. She got my full attention when she quoted Meister Eckhart (never heard of him.  Googled him.  He's a German philosopher from the late 1200's).

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you', it will be enough."

In other words, being grateful and appreciative of the blessings that we already have is the single most
powerful thing we can do to change our life. When we say "thank you, we acknowledge all that God and the Universe have already given us.

One of the tripping places for a lot of us, is that we are so aware that others have more than we do. One thing I have learned in the past 22 years of studying the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, Seth, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Greg Braden, Neal Donald Walsch and others, is that what someone else has, or doesn't have, has nothing to do with what's going on in my life.

We, each one of us, is responsible for learning to "think" in patterns that allow abundance to flow to us. Many of us just flat out can not accept that we create what's happening in our lives with our thoughts, so we don't even try to change the way we think.

But according to all the new wisdom that is spreading in waves all around the world, thanks to the invention of the computer and the internet, if you will acknowledge your blessings every day for ONE MONTH, you will see a change, mostly in how you feel.  Who doesn't want to FEEL BETTER?  but other good stuff will follow shortly.

So, what are our blessings?  They are different for each of us.  Those in less comfortable circumstances than I am, may have a harder time identifying what their blessings are, but some of those who live in total comfort and affluence, may have just as much difficulty figuring out where they have been blessed.

So lets begin with waking up each morning with a brand new day in front of us.  This should be  -- if not exciting, at the very least, a relief.

Being able to swing my legs off the bed, put my wonderful, strong, comfortable feet on the floor and stand up is something I will never take for granted again. Every day, I am aware how wonderful it is to be healthy and strong, to be able to walk, to go outside and tend to the pigeons and chickens.

I am thankful that I live in the United States. With all our faults and problems, it is a beautiful country, a wonderful country to live in and be part of.  It is America, the Beautiful in every sense of the word.

I am grateful for my beautiful comfortable home.  I appreciate that it is paid for.  I am grateful for the warm air in the winter and the cool air in the summer. I love and appreciate my big windows that allow me to watch what's going on outside. I love and appreciate the critters that come to my yard every day.

I'm always thrilled to the core when I see beautiful sunrises and sunsets, huge puffy clouds against a brilliant blue sky, and the blackened sky that promises rain.  I love waking up to the sound of heavy rain that has come during the night while most of us are in bed and our negativity regarding the drought, water restrictions and dry lakes has been laid to rest while we sleep.

I'm grateful for my pooches, Shelbie, Sox and Breck Roscoe Gentry, my kitty, Chamo, and even for Chester, the mean green screaming and biting machine.That parrot has taught me more about patience and tolerance than any other single experience in my life. I'm grateful for the two Tiels, Tiel Bird and Fancy. They are the ultimate pet bird experience.

I am grateful that I am a writer.  I'm grateful for the characters who run rampant in my mind and eventually force me to sit down and put their experiences into words.  I'm grateful to all those who read my books and enjoy the characters. I'm grateful for those who read my blog and enjoy it -- and even those who don't.

I am grateful for music that stirs my soul, music that uplifts and makes me feel like dancing in my car. I'm grateful for all those who write it and play the instruments.  I'm grateful for the geniuses in this world that create the luxuries that make our lives so much easier and more fun.

I love and appreciate Facebook because it allows us to share all kinds of things from recipes to cute animal pictures and videos, pictures and videos of our family and friends, words of wisdom and encouragement.

More than anything else, I'm grateful for the wonderful folks who came to be my family and friends, to  enriched my life in ways too numerous to count.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!