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    My Little Blossom

    “My Little Blossom” A daughter is a gift from God. There cannot be a finer thing Than watching while she’s growing up. Her growth reminds me of the Spring. She’s

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    The Wedding Gown

    Today we were going to look for my daughter’s wedding gown for the first time. A huge wedding gown sale had been advertised and she was determined that today she

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    Essence of Reminiscence – Week 2 – Mischiefs and Pranks: “The Little Girl in the Tree”

    I’ll never forget the beautiful spring day in late May when our five-year-old daughter Stephanie found herself as the little girl who needed her daddy to be her knight in

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    There’s Nothing Like Mom’s Home Cooking

    To me one of the best things in life is to sit down and enjoy a wonderful meal, and the best part of a wonderful meal is if you are

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    Share Your World – 2015 Week #12

    When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion. I remember this occasion well because it was part of

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    Essence of Reminiscence – Week 1 – That Unforgettable Journey: “A Dream Come True”

    As we sat down to supper the night that my husband, Michael, gave us the news, I could tell he had a special announcement for us. There was a twinkle

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    Essence of Reminiscence – Week 4 – Random: “Every Time I See Candy Dots on Paper . . . “

      I was the middle child of seven children. As you can well imagine, growing up in such a big family meant that we didn’t exactly live in the lap

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    The Simple Life

    I was born and raised in Minnesota, and except for spending one year in North Dakota with my husband, I have lived in Minnesota all my life. Therefore, I am

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    Home Is Where the Heart Is

    Today’s prompt is an easy one for me and as soon as I read it, I knew in an instant what my answer would be. It asks the question, what special item

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    A Grand Celebration

    Yesterday was Father’s Day, and I was happy to watch as our children paid “homage” to my husband, their father, on his special day. But in a way, I was

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My Little Blossom

Stephanie and Sarah as little girls

“My Little Blossom”

A daughter is a gift from God.
There cannot be a finer thing
Than watching while she’s growing up.
Her growth reminds me of the Spring.

She’s just like a little blossom.
A tiny bud in bloom is she.
It seems she grows a bit each day,
Like a flowering apple tree.

She’s such a darling little girl.
Her personality is sweet.
She can’t help but be so charming,
And when she smiles, it’s quite a treat.

In her world, her dolls are babies
And all of her stuffed toys are real.
She plays her games of make-believe,
While playing dress-up with such zeal.

Her hugs and kisses are precious.
I melt when she says, “I love you.”
She drapes her arms around my neck,
And then I know her love is true.

I wish that my little blossom
Could remain forever with me.
But I know that she must grow up
To become her own apple tree.

SPECIAL SISTER BOND

 

Essence of Reminiscence – Week 3 – Siblings & Childhood Friends: “A Friend for Life”

I believe that everyone should have the pleasure of knowing that they have a best friend, at least at one time or another in their life, and I’m so fortunate that I can say that I have. As a matter of fact, I have a friend who has been a lifelong friend. Her name is Laurie. I met her in 1960 and we are still friends to this very day! We were only five at the time, and she was my very first friend.

There have been periods throughout these many years in which we have not had a chance to communicate with each other for two to three years at a stretch, but when we do, it’s as though we had just seen each other the day before. The fact that we can do this is a testimony to our friendship. It shows that the sands of time have not broken our bond of friendship, and I am forever grateful for this blessing. There’s a song make new friends 10that the Brownie Girl Scouts sing which summarizes how old friendships should be compared to new friendships, and it’s called: Make New Friends: 

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That’s how long I will be your friend. A fire burns bright, it warms the heart. We’ve been friends from the very start. You have one hand, I have the other. Put them together, we have each other. Silver is precious, gold is too. I am precious and so are you. You help me, and I’ll help you, and together we’ll see it through. Across the land, across the sea, friends forever we will always be.

And speaking of Brownies, I will tell you my favorite story about the two of us when we were six years old and in the first grade together. Laurie belonged to the local Brownie troop. Every Tuesday she would wear her Brownie uniform to school. I was so jealous of her. I wanted to be in the Brownies, but my parents could not afford the cost of the uniform. So I had to settle for Laurie’s accounts of every meeting. One day she came home with her Brownie handbook and showed me a story about Brownies. Now these Brownies were good deed-doers, and in the middle of the night when everyone was fast asleep, the Brownies would come out in secret and go  forth to do good deeds. When the people arose in the morning the good deed would be apparent, but of course, no one knew who did the good deed. The most important part of doing a good deed was to never reveal your identity. If you told anyone that it was you who did the good deed, then the good deed would be erased out of the Book of Good Deeds.

Of course Laurie and I, being six years old, were quite impressionable and wanted to be Brownies and do a good deed. So Laurie arranged for me to sleep over at her house one Friday night. Laurie knew that her parents went to bed at eleven o’clock every night so this was the perfect opportunity for us to do a good deed. The plan was that at midnight we would sneak down the stairs and into the kitchen at which time we would set out breakfast for everyone – bowls, spoons, glasses, cereal boxes, orange juice and milk. Since we were only six years old, we didn’t think about the milk spoiling or the orange juice getting warm. We were just concerned with the task at hand – to be Brownies.

So that evening, I went to Laurie’s house at suppertime. I remember we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I can still smell of the fresh tomatoes and the toasting cheese sandwiches. Naturally, the meal which I ate at my friend’s house tasted so much better than it did when I ate the same meal at my house. Mrs. Larson even brought out an apple pie for dessert. Mrs. Larson made the best apple pie. I can still taste the sweetness of the brownie dollsugar and cinnamon mixed with the perfectly baked apples and the flaky light brown pie crust. It makes my mouth water just  to remember it.

After dinner, Laurie and I played the usual game we always played: make-believe. We took turns playing teacher. We even managed to have her brother David and her baby sister Valerie sit in as students. We were allowed to stay up until nine o’clock since it was not a school night. But at nine o’clock we raced up the stairs to Laurie’s bedroom. We were so excited that we were going to be Brownies in just three hours.

Now Laurie’s parents had this beautiful wooden cuckoo clock hanging on the wall in their living room. Every hour on the hour the little cuckoo bird inside would come out and announce the hour by his cuckoo. If it was nine o’clock he would cuckoo nine times.  If it was nine-thirty he would cuckoo only once. This was the way we were going to know when midnight came. We decided that once we could hear the little bird cuckoo twelve times, the coast would be clear, and we would be free to sneak down the stairs and into the kitchen.

To pass the time, we whispered to each other so her parents wouldn’t know we were still awake. We whispered all kinds of things that little girls whisper about. And Laurie had a flashlight which she used to show me how to read underneath the blankets. This was a new trick to me. So we read stories. I remember our favorite book at this point was a book that Laurie owned: The Big Book of Mother Goose. There was one more book which Laurie owned and was also a favorite of ours: The Fairy Tales of Grimm.

I remember listening for the cuckoo clock and sure enough, just as Laurie had promised, we could hear it in her bedroom. The time seemed to drag by. We were so anxious to do our good deed that there was no way we would fall asleep.

Then finally, the time came. Midnight. We crept out of the bedroom, tiptoeing past the other bedrooms, hoping the wooden floor would not creak. We reached the top of the stairs. We had decided beforehand that the best way to get down the stairs quietly was if we sat on each step and then slip down to the next one, using our backsides instead of our feet. I remember counting those stairs as we slowly descended the staircase – there were thirteen steps exactly. I remember sitting side by side with Laurie, sliding down those steps. Because of the darkness it was difficult to see, but we managed by holding on to each other’s hand. When we reached the bottom of the stairs we tiptoed quietly into the kitchen, trying hard not to giggle. Of course, we had to do our good deed in the dark because Laurie’s mom and dad slept in the downstairs bedroom.brownies 6

Into the kitchen we tiptoed, as slowly and as carefully as we could. Finally we reached our destination and started whispering in each other’s ear about what to put out on the table. We set about our work, knowing that one day perhaps our good deed would be rewarded. I admit that it was hard not to giggle as we set out the bowls and glasses. We were having a wonderful time being Brownies.

As a matter of fact, we were having such a wonderful time that at first we didn’t notice Laurie’s mom when she entered the kitchen. Laurie saw her mother first and darted underneath the sink. There was no cupboard under the sink, so it was the perfect place to go. When I noticed my friend hiding beneath the sink, I knew something was up. I turned around and there she was – Mrs. Larson in her pink nightgown with her big fuzzy slippers. She was standing there looking at me with her hands on her hips. Now when I think about it, I know she was suppressing a smile. As soon as I saw her, I hurried to where Laurie was, but it was no use; the jig was up. Mrs. Larson flipped on the kitchen light and said, “Girls, it’s not time for breakfast yet. You still have about eight hours of sleep time left. Go on now. I’ll finish up in here; you two get to bed.”

We scurried out of the kitchen and upon passing the cuckoo clock in the living room, Laurie pointed it out to me. It showed the time to be only 11:15. I guess we had miscounted the cuckoos! We giggled all the way up the stairs and into Laurie’s bedroom.  We never tried to be Brownies again. But I think our good deed counted, anyway!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”   ~ John Leonard

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Siblings & Childhood Friends

The Kiss

This week’s word:  ENGULF

 

Danielle could barely contain the excitement she felt as she practically danced through her apartment, lighting the dozen or so candles she had placed to create a romantic atmosphere. She had to make sure kissing silhouettethat everything was perfect because at any moment Josh, her brave and handsome soldier, would be finally coming home, and she could hardly wait to be in his arms once again.

When she heard the knock on the door, she gasped, her heart skipping a beat as she raced to the door. There he was at last, after all those months, after all those long and lonely nights, after all those tears that were shed into her pillow for missing him and worrying and wondering if he was okay, after all this time finally he was here. But there were no words spoken between them, for none were needed, and the kiss they shared was filled with all the unspoken love between them.

 

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Red-Letter Saturday #7: “Twitter”

RED-LETTER SATURDAY #7:

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On this day, March 21, 2006, the social media site Twitter was founded by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and was launched by July 2006. Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”.  If you are a registered user of Twitter, you can read and post tweets, but if you are an unregistered user, you can only read them. You can access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app. The corporation is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world. After its launch, Twitter quickly gained popularity, and as of  December 2014, Twitter had more than 500 million users, out of which more than 284 million were active users.

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When Twitter was originally introduced, it was Dorsey’s idea for a small group, a way of communicating with a small amount of people when he was an undergraduate at New York University. He introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service, but before long, the idea grew. And according to Dorsey: “…we came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.

Do you “tweet” or “twitter?” Millions of people all over the world do these days. You can discover all kinds of information on Twitter every day. I’ve been doing some research as to what kind of content is available on Twitter and I found that it’s divided into six categories:

  • Pointless babble – 40%
  • Conversational – 38%
  • Pass-along value – 9%
  • Self-promotion – 6%
  • Spam – 4%
  • News – 4%

And there’s the oh-so familar hashtags (#) that we are constantly being bombarded with. It seems that whenever I watch something on television, it’s always being mentioned. Isn’t that right?

And then we also hear about a topic that is “trending” on Twitter, right? This means that a certain word, phrase, or topic is being tagged at a greater rate than other tags. These topics become popular either through a concerted effort by users or because of an event that prompts people to talk about a specific topic.

But there are rules for using Twitter, too. These rules are in place to keep you safe as a user. Rules about impersonation, trademark, private information, violence and threats, copyright, unlawful use, misuse of twitter badges, and abuse and spam. As with any social network, you really should read the rules first before you use it.

So, do you “tweet” or “twitter?” Today might be the perfect day to do so because after all, it’s the 9th anniversary of this ever-growing social media site. I’m sure that its founders would appreciate a “chirp” from you today!

  “QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “”On Twitter we get excited if someone follows us. In real life we get really scared and run away.”  ~ Author Unknown

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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

If I could have personally witnessed one event from history, I know exactly what it would be, for I have often thought about this very thing. You see, I am a history buff. I adore history, and my favorite era to study is the American Revolutionary War from 1775-1783. Just the fact that the thirteen American colonies, struggling for their independence from Great Britain, were able to hold their own and eventually triumph over the greatest army in the world (that being the King’s British Army) has always amazed me and filled me with a sense of American pride. I have always felt that the Americans were fighting for the right ideals— that are all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They felt the need for independence, with the right to be free from the tyranny of King George II and and in turn govern themselves.

Therefore, the event from the American Revolutionary War that I wish I could have personally sighing of declaration of independence 2witnessed would be the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. I wish I could have been at Independence Hall as each one of fifty-six delegates strode up to the table, was presented with a quill pen, and affixed their signature to the document. I can just imagine John Hancock signing his name with a flourish, his signature the most prominent of all. How exciting and memorable it would have been to hear the comments being made as the document was signed:

 “There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. And he can double the reward on my head!” John Hancock

 “We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling different ways; we must hang together.” John Hancock

 “Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin

 “My hand trembles, but my heart does not.” Stephen Hopkins

 One of the best-known sentences in the English language comes from the Declaration of Independence, written by one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson:

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 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

Thomas Jefferson summed up the Declaration of Independence in a letter to Samuel Adams Wells on May 12, 1821, by stating: “The Declaration of Independence . . . [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.”

 Truly an exciting time in the history of the United States of America, the American Revolutionary War marked the birth of our nation, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence was akin to its birth announcement. How courageous all of our founding fathers were. And I think that all of their wives and children were just as courageous to have supported them during this perilous time.

To have been present during the signing of the Declaration of the Independence would have truly been an honor for me.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “The Declaration of Independence is a sacred part of American history.” ~ Paul Gillmor

Share Your World – 2015 Week #11

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

I am usually a happy person, but this week did not start out very well for me because I was hospitalized over the weekend. But never fear, the good doctors and nurses had me back in shape in no time, thank goodness! I’ve grown used to being in and out of the hospital over the past ten years, so it really was nothing new to me. So the first thing that I’m happy about is that I only had to stay in the hospital over the weekend and no longer than that!

The second thing I’m happy about is that when I returned to my doctor today he gave me a clean no_glassesbill of health, which means that I can go ahead and have my cataract surgery next week, which I’m really thrilled about! And that means that I will never have to wear glasses again, and I’ve been wearing them ever since I’ve been five and that’s been over fifty years. Can you believe that? I wonder if the indentations on my nose from my glasses will ever go away? What do you think?

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise?

plain cheeseburger 1I detest ketchup. I cannot stand mustard. And I hate mayonnaise. And my husband always says the same thing to me whenever we have hamburgers: “I just don’t understand how you can eat your hamburger without anything on it except for cheese. You are such a plain-Jane when it comes to eating, honey. You need to spice up your food a little, for Pete’s sake.” I guess I’ve always been a fussy eater. I’d tell you why this is, but then we’d have to delve deeper into my life history, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to hear about all those boring details right now. But maybe at another time I’ll tell you if you really want to know . . .   

If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use? rainbow hearts 2

I grew up as the middle child of seven children, which goes without saying that life could be pretty interesting at times, terribly frustrating at other times, wildly happy a lot of the time, and usually hectic most of the time. And when I look back on it now, I’d have to say that I have very fond memories of my childhood, even though we were a low-income family. But you know what? We kids didn’t even realize it because we had what we needed; maybe not what we wanted, but what we needed, and the most important thing we needed was the love and support of each other. So, looking back on my childhood, I have very fond memories. And I’d have to say that the colors I would use to paint my childhood picture would be all the colors of the rainbow. I’d use the darker colors for the sadder and darker days that we all experienced, and the brighter colors for those happier times filled with warmth, love, laughing, and fun. And with all those colors, I think that my picture might turn out pretty great!

shower bath 1Do you prefer a bath or shower?

I usually prefer a shower because it is quicker. I also like taking a shower shower bath 2because it’s easier to wash your hair in the shower, right? I do enjoy taking a nice, warm bubble bath when I feel the need to relax. I fill up the tub with just that oh-so-perfect water temperature, then I light a few candles, turn down the lights, and play my favorite tunes. Then it’s time to step into the tub, gently sinking into the nice, warm, sudsy water,  while I slowly let all my worries and tensions just float away . . . 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I live in Minnesota and last week I was grateful that the last of our winter snow melted. Yes! I am a hardy Minnesotan, mind you, and I’ve lived here all my life and I love it. But I am always glad to spring timesee the last of the snow melt because that means that spring is just around the corner, and as I write this, Spring officially starts today – YAY! Welcome Spring!

Next week I am looking forward to having my cataract surgery done on Thursday. The first surgery will be done on my left eye and then two weeks later they will do the second surgery on my right eye. After that, I will no longer wear glasses. To tell you the truth, I am a little nervous. I’ve had many surgeries, but I’ve never been quite this nervous about a surgery before. I think it has something to do with the fact that they are going to operate on my eyes. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the reason why. I know that’s probably illogical, but I guess I just can’t help it. I am excited about it, but I will be glad when it’s over.

I’m glad we had this time together and I’d like to thank you for spending it with me. I’m so pleased that I was able to share a bit about about myself and my world with you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Best,

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A Trip Home from the Theater

One hot, muggy Saturday afternoon in the summer of August, 2009, my husband and I decided we needed to get out of the house and into some air conditioning. Our old house wasn’t equipped with a central air conditioning unit yet, and this particular Minnesota summer had been unusually uncomfortable.

So we thought it would be a great idea to spend a few hours in an air-conditioned movie theater. I don’t remember which movie we viewed, but I do remember the feeling of being there. It was a lovely treat, sitting in the cool theater which smelled of buttery popcorn and chocolate. It was a welcome respite; those couple of hours of residing in the cool, air-conditioned theater, lost in a world of make-believe.

When the movie finished, I dreaded having to leave because I knew it meant returning home to face the stifling, muggy heat of our house. However, I knew the time had to come sooner or later, so I resigned myself to the fact that I might as well make the best of it.

We strolled out of the theater together, hand in hand, moving slowly behind the rest of the crowd, in no hurry to go back out into the heat. The closer and closer we came to the exit door, the more slowly we strolled. Eventually we theater parking lot 1stepped outside into the sultry warmth, and it was not pleasant. It was the kind of temperature change that practically hit you in the face the second you walked out through the door.

As we walked towards our car, we discussed going out to dinner, ambling leisurely down the aisle in the parking lot, in no hurry to locate our car. The brief relief from the heat had put both of us into a good mood.

In no time at all, we arrived at the spot where our mini-van was parked. I had been driving the family van ever since we had bought it brand-new six years before, and she was still running like a champ. When we were together, my husband preferred to drive — some sort of male ego thing, I suppose — so I always let him. He used the automatic key unlock mechanism hanging from his key chain when we were about four feet away from the car.

I still was in no hurry to step into our van, because I knew how warm it would be on the inside. Even as I opened the van door, I could feel the even warmer air of the van quickly escape. I slowly sat down in the passenger’s seat just as my husband was getting into the driver’s seat. I sat there for a moment and then, at the same time, my husband and I looked at each other and we said in unison, “This isn’t our van!”

You have never seen two adults exit a vehicle faster than we did at this particular moment in time! We quickly closed the doors and walked speedily away, hoping the owner was nowhere nearby. We thought for sure we would be arrested for grand theft auto! Fortunately for us, the owner must have still been inside the theater watching a different film.

Once we located our mini-van and were safely seated inside, my husband turned on the engine, and we laughed so hard that we didn’t even notice the steamy temperature inside our van.

But it’s a good thing we weren’t arrested. I don’t know if I could have done hard time in prison. But I do wonder … are prisons air-conditioned?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “Those who cannot remember the past will spend a lot of time looking for their cars in mall parking lots.”  ~ Jay Trachman

 

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