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Archive for March, 2011

I am taking up the suggestion by huffygirl aka Donna through our comments, and many others on her post today – The Group of Four http://huffygirl.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/the-group-of-four/  .
She begins by saying “we need readers,” how important it is to have loyal readers.

This is so true and especially important to newbie bloggers. We write because we love to, we have something to say, something to share and we hope you will love what we post…or at least LIKE it and click that LIKE button.

Of course, we really appreciate the COMMENTS which in many cases become a dialogue between two or more readers with the author of the blog post. There is much to learn as a new blogger and it helps to hear from other bloggers who often become teachers through our online dialogue via comments.

Those of us new to the blog world hope to interest readers, and hold their interest so they will not only come back frequently, but will become SUBSCRIBERS to receive notice of all new posts.
We dream of huge numbers of READERS, COMMENTS, and SUBSCRIBERS in hopes that one day one of our posts will featured on FRESHLY PRESSED.

The other side of the coin is that although we want lots of readers, we also enjoy reading other bloggers’ posts. We like to subscribe to most of them. However, we find that we get so many to read, we can’t read them all, and sometimes after reading we don’t have time to comment on everything. Like everyone else we have other things in our lives which keep us busy outside of our blogging life. One reminder in the comments under huffygirl’s/Donna’s Group of Four blog is we can at least hit the LIKE button which lets the blogger know we stopped by and read their post.

Bloggers and non-blogger readers do join in on this discussion. Would love to hear from you.

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Reedy River from Main Street Bridge

I had been going to Greenville for day trips and the occasional weekends for art festivals, the Fall for Greenville festival. Eventually I realized it was a very special place for me. One day while standing on the Main Street Bridge looking at the river below and the swing next to the big tree, I knew it was where I belong, where I feel at home.

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Wherever I happen to find myself sitting with paper and pen, my imagination bursting with the words eager to be put on that paper, is the non-exercise activity I wish would keep me physically fit.

However, it is a great workout for the brain cells. As I walk through the maze that is my brain, searching for the right words, to create the perfect sentences in order to describe the scenes, the people, and circumstances which makeup the story I am working on…surely that exercise gives the brain a good workout.

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Cropped screenshot of Audrey Hepburn from the ...

Audrey Hepburn

Figuratively, and definitely exciting because I was being blessed with an opportunity I never would have thought about; never dreamed anything like it could happen.

While living in Ireland I became friends with the Director of UNICEF in Dublin. One day she called to ask me if I would take the photographs over a two-day event topped off with a Grand Ball and Auction to launch the Children’s Appeal. I also ended up helping to organize the final big event. The special guest for the two days of events was the then UNICEF Ambassador, Audrey Hepburn.

Turned out this was not my last communication with Audrey and her partner/manager Robert Wolders. They were amazingly lovely and wonderful to everyone. Experiences I will never forget and always treasure.

So, what is the most on fire you have ever been?

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Suggested photo post was for an ocean. I hope the river will do 🙂

Reedy River and Falls under Liberty Bridge by Ann Marquette

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Rain, Rainy weather

Rain

This was written on May 28, 1996 as I listened to “Ixlandia” the music of Composer/Musician, Jonn Serrie. http://www.thousandstar.com/index2.html
No rain in my heart today.

The tears rain through my heart, softly as a Spring rain on the windows of this castle world I live in. My room is where I go when I’m in need of renewing my spirit. Just now my heart cries for you. Loneliness fills my soul.

I listen to the rain outside, and inside my heart. I watch the river flow by out there beyond my room, and I imagine it carrying my sadness away. As the rain refreshes our earth, my tears wash the pain from my heart and makes me smile again.

In the depths of my soul I know I will see you again one day. The magic, the beauty that was us…for a few brief moments in time…will one day become ours forever. When you have done all you need to do, to find your true spirit. When I am where I need to be. Somewhere, some time, we will meet again in a very special place. We will then truly know each other as we are meant to.

My hands and my heart will reach out and touch you, and hold you. Your tears will flow with a joy never known to you before. You will know you are loved far beyond the moon and stars, and back again. My heart, my soul, wait for you…and long for the day we will be together, forever. We will be together, longer than forever.

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Starbucks in WashingtonDC

Image via Wikipedia - Starbucks in Washington DC

This afternoon I felt the urge to go to Barnes & Noble, get a Starbucks coffee and walk around the book store. I saw some things I would like to buy, but as I am watching finances and they are not needed I moved on. I wondered if there was something to buy for myself. I flipped through a few house magazines thinking I might get one to search for ideas for the future home I dream about. Nothing struck me as needing to spend the money for so I went to the bargain section ~ maybe something there!

Then my eyes fell on the book “When God Winks at You” by Squire Rushnell. On the front of the book it also reads “How God Speaks directly to you Through the Power of Coincidence” and I knew I was led to this message. It is full of stories, real stories of real people and how God answered their prayers; even their thoughts of wishes and dreams.

It is truly a book of stories reminding us to have faith, to become conscious of God’s messages to us…even through others. Yes I bought this book for myself.

I went outside to sit with my coffee and begin reading the stories in my new book. The very first story brought tears of joy to my heart. It blew me away and reminded me of some times when God winked at me. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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It has been an interesting seven days…and the reason I have not posted recently. 

Xperience Greenville photo by Ann Marquette

Ok, these past seven days started out great. Last Thursday I drove, in beautiful weather, to my favorite city Greenville, SC to help as a volunteer for the annual TEDx Greenville event which took place on Friday. Thursday was preparation for registration early the next morning. All day Friday was working registration and helping wherever needed throughout the day. Friday evening I worked registration for the outdoor event Xperience Greenville (yes it is spelled Xperience without the “E”). It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed working with all the people there.

Saturday was another lovely day. I had lunch with one of my friends at Rafferty’s. They do great burgers…yummy! Then the afternoon was spent walking around downtown, along river walk and Falls Park. A relaxing stop for coffee sitting at a café table outside Starbucks on Main Street, and watching people and pets is a special time for me. I also get my puppy fix because there is always at least one person with their dog and they let me pet him/her.

Got back to the house here in Georgia around 9:15pm Saturday night. Sunday was a quiet peaceful day.

Monday was great until my laptop started acting up. By night-time it was unusable. Turns out the video card or screen pretty much died. When I found out it would cost at least $350 to repair either, I decided it was not worth repairing a 5-year-old Celeron laptop. The thought of having to buy another was not very appealing considering current finances.

Gosh, what did we do before computers? I am lost without one…no email, Twitter, Facebook, ability to type my words online, check my spreadsheets, etc.

I am so grateful to my brother for looking on Craigslist while we talked on the phone. Just a few hours before someone who lives in my area had listed his laptop for sale. It is a much better one than mine and only about 2 years old. I called him, we met up yesterday morning and I bought it for the same cost it was going to cost me to repair the other one. And it has a much better suite of programs  After getting it diagnosed, all my data from other one transferred, and everything setup again…I am in happy camper land again.

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White Tulip

This was the suggested topic for March 17th, but I was out-of-town and not back until late on 19th. So today I decided to use this for my post.

“Close your eyes. Count to ten. Then imagine a beautiful ancient castle (tastefully remodeled to include central heating, ……….laptops everywhere). Now walk down the endless main hall, a hall filled with amazing rooms of wonder. Go into the 2nd room on the right. What’s inside? “

There are two beautifully carved wooden doors which open to my own special sanctuary. The carvings in the doors and together depict a scene from the story of Little One during a part of her journey.

As I walk through and into the room it is quiet peacefulness. Although a good size, the room looks and feels very cozy. In the center of the hardwood floor is a magnificent area rug. It was specially made by a tapestry artist and shows another scene from Little One’s story.

The wall on the left is floor to ceiling shelves lined with hundreds of books and some special items are on display. The opposite wall is visually divided in three sections with the center showing two or three of my favorite paintings. On the right are some of scenic photos I have taken over the years. The area to the left near the window wall has many pictures of people in my life.

Extra special is the outside wall which is all windows from ceiling to three feet from the floor where a long window seat was built and is covered with thick comfortable cushions.
It is a great place to sit and stare out at the magnificent view. There is a small section of the window with an etched work of art showing the vision of the dream Little One had in the first story of her journey.

There is a lovely desk angled at the right of the window so I can sit there at times and write with the light shining in over my left shoulder. The rest of the room has comfortable chairs and small sofa about, each with a small table next to them.  And there would be one special table in the middle of the room with a vase filled with tulips, would always include some white tulips.

Although this is my personal sanctuary I sometimes invite a friend or two to join me for a visit. And there are occasions when some children will come in for storytelling. All enjoy the room and the view outside. It is a very comfortable and peaceful space.

What would your room look like?

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Shamrocks

This day is extra special to me because I was blessed to have lived in Ireland for 12 years; and made some lovely friends.

And I have friends here who are of Irish decent. Each year at one of the March birthday celebrations the theme is St. Patrick’s Day, even though not actually on THE day. There is a sign draped across the fireplace mantle, shamrock plants on the tables and at least some of us wearing green. We have a great time…especially the birthday boys who are more interested in the gifts they are getting.

I don’t always have anything special planned for St. Patrick’s Day itself, but tomorrow I do.
No, I am not going to tell. I will tell about it at another time, so you will have to stay tuned.

In the meantime, I just heard this young man sing Danny Boy on Britain’s Got Talent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utfkGocmCiE&feature=related  His voice gave me goose bumps. Enjoy.

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Clean Garden Space

I wrote this piece in 2006. It is amazing what even a little time spent clearing the weeds, even a tiny garden can do for us. Last Fall, in order to paint the fence and totally change the little garden I cleared out all old plantings and readied for winter. See photo.

Pulling the weeds
From my little garden
This morning,
I realized…

It is time
To pull the weeds
From my soul
From my life…

And maybe it is time
To plow my little garden
And start anew
Fresh and glorious…

It is time in my life
To free my mind
To plow
The thoughts of old…

Time to begin
A new path
To allow God
To show me the way
His way for me…

Oh the joy
Of a beautiful new garden
A clean heart
The soul, a ready vase
For God to fill
With His gifts, His blossoms.

Copyright August 6, 2006

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I am friends with a family of five children. I have known the couple since the oldest was 6 months old. As the family grew I’ve had the privilege of babysitting and helping them in other ways with the children. Sometimes taking different ones to places they needed to be, or picking them up and taking them home when the parents were busy with the other children, maybe driving the others to and from different events.

Over the last few months I have been able to help in this way with one or the other of two who have been in rehearsals for a play, going to band practice, or dance classes. I love all five of these children. They are awesome. And I enjoy being able to have the drive time with one or the other as we talk one on one.

Well, the past couple weeks they haven’t needed the help with that nor sitting with the kids while Mom and Dad go on their weekly date night. Gosh, the weeks are not the same without at least one appointment with them 

I got my fix today when the extended families gathered to celebrate the 3rd oldest of this family, and the oldest of their 5 cousins in another family. We all gather at the grandparent’s house for the celebrations.

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This was yesterday’s suggested topic, but I started writing so late last night I got too tired to finish it. This is an exciting topic and thank you WordPress for it.

I thought about this for a while, trying to think of one which I would love to meet and talk with. My first thought of the characters in The Neverending Story, specifically Atreyu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characters_of_The_Neverending_Story#Atreyu.  But then I realized the one I would like to meet first is the protagonist in the story I wrote “Little One~End of Journey Alone” who is called Little One, for reasons only found in reading the story. In just now reading the details of Atreyu’s life before he comes into the story I am blown away that the beginning of his life has a similar characteristic to Little One’s.

Some years ago I read The Neverending Story five times. The story and underlying messages blew me away. The popularity of the story around the world and still today is such a wonderful legacy to leave behind for the author. I didn’t know I could tell stories of my own at that time.

Anyway, I would love to meet my character, Little One.

We would start the day having breakfast at a little French café sitting in front of the fireplace by the window. As we enjoy our meal together we chat about her first impressions of this city since she arrived. She wants to know more about it so I tell her some of the things which I love about it, including its people. When we leave the café I give her a tour, showing her the sights and introducing her to some of the people I know. We have a wonderful time and she is so excited about everything, especially the people she meets.

Later I bring her to my home. After I show her around we sit on the big porch and she tells me about her experiences during her travels from her point of view. They are experiences I didn’t tell in the story. I am enthralled listening to her and in awe meeting her in person.

It is sad when it is time she has to leave and go back into the story. But I am grateful for the time with her. It was so great and the experience helps me to write more of her story.

Tell me, what fictional character would you like to meet?
 

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Reedy River

I decided tonight I wanted to another photo of my favorite place.

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Illustration depicting thought.

Thought

When I read this question it reminds me of the movie “What Women Want” with Mel Gibson where he has an accident and can hear everything all women are thinking. At first he thought it was freaky, and then he thought it was cool because he could know what his new boss was thinking and be a few steps ahead of her.

Of course, as with many things we think we want, when we actually get it it’s not exactly what we hoped it would be 🙂

My first thought for me was that I would like to know what God is planning for my life 🙂 Hey, I like to aim high. But then if I knew ahead of time what He has planned for me then I would miss out on having them show up as surprises. He has gifted me with some amazing, unbelievable surprises in my life. So I don’t want to read His mind.

It is tempting to want to read someone else’s mind. Yet, still being a bit of a sensitive person I would not want to know if they were thinking something bad. I wonder though how cool it could be to know if they were thinking something wonderful, or maybe something that I would be able to help them with if I knew what they needed.
Well, I guess I am not sure if I would want to read minds for a day! Interesting idea though 🙂

And, as for the sub questions on same topic: Whose? What would you want to find out?
I can’t think of anyone in particular at the moment…probably will when I am just about to slip into dreamland tonight.

So if you could, would YOU?

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