Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Wordless" Wednesday: Craving....Sand & Surf !

Do you ever get the feelin' that you got to get away?
It's a sympton of the fever all across the U. S. A.

My family doctor told me "son the flu is what you have!"
But I know it's island fever, and I got it real bad.

Hey doc I need a pain reliever!
(Oooo I got it bad) I got the island fever!

I got it bad, I got the island fever!
(Oooo I got it bad) I got the island fever!

from the song: "Island Fever" by The Beach Boys
(Tom Melcher & Mike Love)

Well, we're not getting any beach-time soon...but I have amazing memories of previous vacations spent on sandy shores. 

Watching the waves roll in, clouds drifting in endless shapes and sizes, the sun warming my skin and healing my soul. 

Just looking at these pictures brings a smile to my face, and Joy to my heart as I recall those sensations.  Craving?  Yes.  But happy that I can always return another day....

Pay it forward - spread a smile!

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5th - After the Fireworks

Upon visiting a new site for fellow bloggers and writers this morning, I discovered this picture.

It wasn't until after I had been staring at the photo (for several minutes!) and then left a comment for the host that I realized what the subject matter was, and then what I was supposed to do!

It took me a minute, but it hit me - it's a close-up of firecrackers!  Cool. Still feeling the "glow" of our 4th of July festivities and fun, I really liked this picture.  It just tied in beautifully with all that our family did over the long 4th of July weekend!

Magpie Tales  instructed us to write a "short vignette or poem" on the basis of this photo.  Today being Monday, July 5th, I have to say that it still feels like we're on the holiday!  Although many businesses are closed todayin honor of the holiday that fell on a Sunday this year - the "hullabaloo" is over, the cloudy haze from thousands of fireworks has cleared, the frantic last-minute grocery shopping is over, and even the traffic isn't as bad.   We are filled with great memories of another celebration of our country's independence and freedom.  Spent with family and dear friends, I couldn't let the day go by without remembering why I'm glad I'm an American.

We are Blessed and fortunate to live in a nation that - although it has it's flaws and failures - still continues to offer us so much more.  In that regard, I decided to keep today's posting simple. (and sometimes, "simple" is better!)  Thinking of all those reasons I'm glad to be an American, I actually started making this list last night while watching even more fireworks - way off in the distance - from the top of our front-porch roof!  (we have quite a "view" from that perch!)

Top Ten Reasons I'm Glad to Be an American
(in no particular order)
  1. My Catholic family and I can worship as often and where-ever we wish, with no repercussions.  We can worship in any faith that we choose.
  2. We can travel and participate in vacations anywhere within this great country without issue.
  3. We can even travel outside the country, visiting neighbors world-wide, knowing that we can always return home.
  4. My children have always been guaranteed an education.
  5. Regardless of the paperwork, red-tape, and hassle, we have always been able to find health-care.
  6. Even though we may not always choose to voice an opinion, we have the ability and the right to do so.
  7. Even though we may not always choose to do so, all citizens have the ability and right to vote for their governmental representatives. And we can do (or not do) this without fear of reprisal.
  8. If we don't "like" our current life and circumstances, we have the freedom to pick up and start over elsewhere.
  9. We have the privilege and ability to choose and participate in many forms of recreation and entertainment - from sports activities and clubs, to movies and concerts ( and yes, even neighborhood parties with fireworks!) -  without excessive censorship or interference.
  10. We can be anything we want - or dream - to be!

After the fireworks, picnics, sitting  with family, drinking with friends, playing with the kids, what better way to contemplate what this country stands for?  I also thank and honor all of those who have ever given the ultimate sacrifice in support of this belief and cause.

"In the truest sense,
freedom cannot be bestowed;
it must be achieved."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

What are your Top Ten? 

Pay it forward - spread a smile!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Pat On The Back!

I know deep within that we aren't always going to get to witness the outcome when we've offered "good deeds," words of encouragement or moments of support to others.  Faith teaches us that we continue on "just because."

My blog is an effort to just spread a small amount of happiness, in a small space, in a short amount of "time." Reaching out to whoever happens to cross this path.  But ocassionally, it does feel good when someone turns back to you and says "thank you," or "good job!"

We all need to hear and feel those words from time-to-time.  I received a little award last night from a new blogging friend, and I must say, the name of the award says it all.  I'm glad Suzie believes I truly have something substantial to offer.

In receiving this Blog of Substance Award, I am to describe my blog's purpose and "philosophy" in 5 words:

a little ray of sunshine

And in that same spirit, I'm to share this award with 10 additional bloggers:
(in no particular order)

  1. Lessons From the Monk I Married
  2. Fake It Till You Make It
  3. The Joy of Birdwatching and Living A Simple Life
  4. Crimson Covered Farmlife
  5. I'd Rather Be Blogging
  6. Butts and Ashes
  7. Healing Morning
  8. Daily Coping Skills
  9. Random Recycling
  10. My Daily Spirit
I'd like to personally thank each of the above-mentioned writers for continuing to bring me  a bit of inspiration (and motivation!) each day - each of you write with conviction and faith.  Be sure to check them out!

Pay it forward - spread a smile!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pay It Forward Fridays: Shopping With A " Stranger "

I missed last weeks "Pay It Forward Friday" - had a much-needed date-night with my hubby last Friday, and it was simply too late when I got home to write!

Been thinking about what I could do for someone this week, and my opportunity presented itself in a very fun way on Wednesday.  After meeting a "long-lost" friend for an amazing lunch, I stopped at our local craft and hobby store for some supplies and 4th of July decorations.  I had made arrangements to take my youngest niece out to the movies that afternoon but fortunately wasn't in too much of a rush.

Holding some decorations and a couple jars of decoupage glue, I was searching the aisles for a specific kind of craft paint.  Looking up and down the racks, the woman next to me leaned over and pointed to the items in my arms - "you look like a crafty person, could I ask for your opinion?"

Now, the first thing that came to my mind was "I look like a crafty person?"  But I found myself answering her with a "sure!!" anyway.  I'm certainly not an expert in any particular art medium - by any means.  But I have dabbled in quite a few craft projects over the years, particularly faux and decorative painting.  Trying to decide the best way to make over a gold, plastic angel, we started to fall into an easy discussion about paints that would offer the best coverage and give her the look that she required. 

The next thing I knew, we were walking up and down the aisles together, searching for products and discussing color-choices.  Before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone by!  Again I wasn't in a hurry, but I did need to pick up my niece in a timely manner. 

My new friend and I continued to discuss her project and look at paints for another 10 minutes, and I then explained I needed to check out.  She thanked me profusely, and I felt genuinely happy when I responded with "it was my pleasure."  I bid her the best of luck on her project, and wished her a wonderful holiday weekend.  With another thank you and "Happy 4th of July," we parted without ever exchanging names.

I don't know if I've ever done that before - I mean, I've quickly helped someone look for something in a store before, but to actually spend a little time discussing something and exchanging ideas with a total stranger?  Never.  And it was cool!

I feel like my little random act of kindness was "re-paid" yesterday when going to lunch with my boys at a local fast-food chicken place - the restaurant was absolutely packed, and we had trays full of food and no where to sit.  Another mother with two kids in tow came up to me and said we could have their table.  They weren't even quite finished - her little girl was still finishing up her dessert, but she gave us her table anyway. 

Hmmmm..... one simple act of kindness begets another?  Hard to prove, I know.  Still, I can't help but wonder what our world would be like if we ALL started to practice these tiny - yet significant - little exercises of cheer and kindness.

Wow - isn't it cool to know there are strangers out there who are our friends?

Pay it forward - Spread a smile!

Photo courtesy Google Images and Photosearch