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Archive for November, 2011

It was a lovely Thanksgiving celebration last Thursday with friends….7 adults and 10 children, plus Kelly the dog, and Charlie the cat.  So much GOOD food.  I had to try just a little of everything, and oh so yummy.  After dinner we all went out for a walk then back for the two birthday gals to open cards and gifts.  Then it was time for the desserts and blow out the candles.

Homemade Cookies & Apple Pie by Ann Marquette

Candles for the Birthday Gals by Ann Marquette

Today is my actual birthday and it has been a great day…even through the rain.  I am grateful to be here, being well, and having wonderful people in my life.

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My blogger friend, Mark, or known as The Idiot Speaketh, is so funny.  He writes these wonderful stories as if they are from his real life and we readers have to figure out which are really true or his tall tales 🙂  Because I usually call his bluff he decided to dedicate his post tonight to me 🙂  So check it out…

Gerbil example

Image via Wikipedia

http://redriverpak.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-day-bryan-cranston-tried-to-kill-my-gerbil/

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Frances Brundage Thanksgiving

Image via Wikipedia

It is Thanksgiving time, and there is so much I am grateful for…mostly for God in my life and all the wonderful people ~ family, friends, acquaintances, and those who softly breeze through my life even for a short while.

 I have been through many difficulties at various times in my life, and I thank God for bringing me through them to a better, brighter side. 

 I never knew this until 2006 the day we were putting mother in the assisted living home, when she told me that she was moments away from having me aborted when she decided not to go through with it.  So, here I am many years later alive and kicking.

Thank you God and Mother. for giving me life.   Mother is home in heaven and I am grateful that she is no long in pain, and at peace.

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I am grateful for the blessing of special quiet time with God.   

My Favorite Spot by Ann Marquette

 

I have a dream, which I believe God has placed in my heart.  It has been a long time already waiting for the right circumstances for the dream to be fulfilled.  In the meantime I pray I am walking the right steps to fulfill what I need to do while I am where I am, and prepare me for the time I can step into the path of my dream.

 There have been tough times before and He has brought me through each one with loving kindness.  Throughout the years He has also gifted me with wonderful surprises beyond my wildest dreams.  He has gifted me with special joys in my life.  When I struggle with the questions of when, what, and how…I remember that He is preparing the best for me and I look forward to His next surprise, His next blessed gift.

 Make a list of what brings you joy and post it somewhere you will see it often.  When times get you down, look at the list and remember those times.  Do what you can to help yourself, do your best, help others when you can; and leave the rest to God who loves you unconditionally.

P.S. Today I took my SUV in to Toyota for the oil and filter change.  The management had a Thanksgiving feast for all their employees.  After the staff ate, one of the managers came into the waiting room and invited those of us waiting on our vehicles to help ourselves to lunch 🙂  It was good and a nice unexpected treat.

 

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Little One and her companions are silent as they begin the next part of their journey.  Each is in their own thoughts of what has happened during this last part of their journey, and wondering what’s next.

It is still early morning and the sun has not been up long enough to warm the day.  Since it is still a wee bit cool Little One is wearing the long pants, a little t-shirt and the sweater Martha had given her.  She is not wearing the shoes because she loves the feel of the sand on her feet.

L’Uni walks alongside of Little One while their flying companions go on ahead, yet sometimes circle back as if to check on the others.

Little One is quiet in her own thoughts.  She feels sad having left Martha and Kelly, but knows it is time to move on.  Although she wonders what will happen next she decides she does not want to think about it…only take one day at a time.

She walks on slowly.  Sometimes shuffling her feet in the sand as she goes, occasionally walking backwards to see where she has come from.  Then she stops for a moment.  Although she no longer sees the place where Martha lives, she thinks about her, wondering how she is and what she is doing.  Maybe she is getting ready for her family to arrive for their visit.

As they continue along this stretch of beach, her friends are nearby, but quiet.  They know Little One has much on her mind and heart.  It has been a couple of hours since they left Martha and Kelly.  Little One notices a huge piece of driftwood on the beach near the water and decides to sit for a bit.  L’Uni, Angel Mary and their feathered friends rest nearby.

Little One is thanking God for the blessings in her life ….

After awhile Little One takes a snack from her back pack and eats with a smile in her heart for Martha’s gift.

Angel Mary decides now is a good time to talk to her about life in the world…how it is in this time, this century.  She wants to tell her about the upcoming holidays and what people do in the communities, the cities across America.

“Little One, I want to tell you about two special holidays coming up soon.”

Little One asks “What is a holiday?”

“Holidays are yearly celebrations of special events which happened long ago.  There are some which are only celebrated in some countries” Mary explains.

Little One looks confused, maybe just thoughtful.

“What is it Little One” Mary asks.

“What are countries?” asks Little One.

Mary laughs.  “Oh my dear child, you have much to learn.”

Little One’s face lights up with eyes big and bright, she says “I really like to learn new things and I like meeting new people.”

Mary smiles and continues.  “I have seen that about you.  Your experience with wild animals in your travels, I saw you unafraid when typically many of them can be dangerous to humans.  That will help you be more patient and understanding, and accepting of humans who may not be so nice.  And I’ve seen how you have been with other people.  Your openness and acceptance of others you have met, like L’Uni and her fairy friends will keep you believing in the unexpected.  Even when the time comes that you won’t see them or me anymore there will be quiet memories in the back of your mind.  You may not even remember what it is exactly, but there will be a special feeling inside you.  I know that is a gift from God you will always be thankful for.  That brings me to the special holidays coming up.

The first is Thanksgiving.   This began centuries ago, not only in America, but also in other countries.  It is for giving thanks to God for plentiful harvests.  It is a time to celebrate with family and friends over a meal together.  It has become a time to be grateful for more of God’s blessings, not only the food to nourish our bodies.  Many people give thanks for the wonderful people in their lives, for work they get paid for and the ability to pay the bills to support themselves and others, for their health, and whatever else they are grateful for.”

Little One has been listening with great interest and says “what a wonderful celebration.  I hope I will get to share that time with people some day.”

“Oh you will Little One,” replies Mary.  “You will have wonderful people come into your life, and have family of your own.  You will share your blessings with others, which in turn will give them even more to be thankful for.”

Mary continues the holiday stories.  “The next and most important holiday soon after Thanksgiving, is Christmas which is a celebration of the birth of Jesus.”  She tells Little One about God giving the world his son Jesus, and Jesus giving his life for us, and how Christmas traditions evolved, and now so commercialized.”

Little One replies “Maybe Thanksgiving is the time to thank God first for giving us Jesus, and then preparing for the real purpose of the Christmas celebration.”

“Yes” Mary says.  “I agree with you and wish everyone would feel that way.  Maybe one day that will come to pass.  You are very insightful, and that will do you well in this world.”

While Mary and Little One talk, L’Uni gets up and takes a short walk along the beach.

Little One says “I think L’Uni is ready for us to get going.”

Mary agrees.  “We can continue talking as we go.”

L’Uni sees Little One getting ready to go so she joins them.  Of course, eagle Tom and their Dove friends go with them, but from a distance.

As they go Mary continues telling Little One how people prepare for the upcoming holidays.  During the telling she also explains some details of things which Little One never heard of before.

“Most people in this country, America, traditionally have turkey and maybe ham, with various kinds of potatoes, vegetables, salad, and desserts.  Many people here come from other cultures in other countries, and they may prepare foods traditional to their country.

The meal time is a big part of both these celebrations.  Turkey is used most often on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Although Thanksgiving has not become commercialized since it is not a gift giving event, usually family and friends who enjoy time on this day at someone else’s home will bring a prepared dish or dessert to share.

Christmas has become overly commercialized because it is promoted by the stores to sell products for decorations and gifts.  Sadly people have gotten so they feel obligated to get gifts for so many others who are not friends or family.  Even within families people tend to spend more than they can afford which then causes them stress throughout the year trying to pay for it all.  Many feel they have to return the gesture when someone they did not plan on gives them a gift.

It would be so much nicer and more meaningful if people would make something as gifts to give.  Or they could create personalized gift cards for a service, something they know the other person would really appreciate.

In time many people have forgotten the true reason for the celebration of Christmas…the birth of Jesus.  They spend much of their time stressed about decorating, shopping for gifts, and if hosting on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, worrying about meal preparations and cleaning the house.

However, as many people have lost jobs, their homes, the ability to pay bills, and feed themselves there has been a shift in what some people now believe is truly important.

There is a trend toward remembering the true purpose of Christmas.  Many people are cutting back, making some of their gifts, simplifying their holiday plans, appreciating what they do have, especially their relationships with family and friends.

It is a lovely time when families and friends attend their church celebration of Jesus’ birthday, then at home sharing a meal and opening their gifts.”

Little One has been listening with much interest.  “It sounds like a lovely holiday; at least when remembering the purpose and keeping the celebrations simple.  I look forward to experiencing it some day.”

“Yes it is a wonderful and very special holiday” says Mary.

While Mary has been telling this story to Little One, Eagle Tom, and the doves Peace and Love have taken off on their own.  L’Uni is a little ahead of Little One and Mary.

It is now late afternoon. They decide to stop for a while.  They realize they seem to be coming to the end of this beach.  There are huge rocks up ahead.    They notice L’Uni walking around them.   So they follow her and find on the other side an opening.  They go in to see what is there.  It is a smallish cave.  The opening is big enough so the current location of the sun in the sky shines its light into the cave.  It is quiet and rather comfortable inside.

In one corner there is a tiny pool of water which comes from a small trickle out of a wee crack in the wall.   It is fresh water.  Little One realizes she is thirsty so she cups her hand to get the water which she drinks.  She steps into the little pool and feels the water is a comfortable temperature.  “Oh, this feels good.  And I can wash myself with the little cloth Martha put in my pack” she says.

Mary smiles and nods a yes as she says “I think this is where L’Uni plans for us to stay tonight.”

“I think so too” says Little One.  “It almost reminds me of the one we stayed in the last night before we started our new journey along the beach where we saw the three people who had been in an accident, and before we met Martha and Kelly.  It was a lovely cave.”

They know their feathered friends will join them again later.  So here they stay.  Little One has food to snack on and the water to drink.  They talk while they rest.

Now that the stars are out and Little One has grown tired it is time to sleep.

As she sleeps she has a magnificent dream about a Thanksgiving celebration and a Christmas with some wonderful people she has yet to meet.

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Great time enjoying the autumn colors in Greenville and visit friends.

2011 Autumn in Falls Park by Ann Marquette

 

Silent Bench under Fall color 2011 by Ann Marquette

2011 Fall along River Walk by Ann Marquette

Reedy River Falls and Autumn Colors by Ann Marquette

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One recent evening while driving Miss Eve, (15 year old eldest of five children) from her dance practice to her home, we discussed the positive and not so positive definitions of the word SENSITIVE.  She is a very smart and well spoken young lady and a delight to discuss various subjects.

When I got home I decided to go to the online thesaurus and dictionary.  In the thesaurus I found three different groups of adjectives under the word SENSITIVE.

Under Responsive it includes: Receptive, Susceptible, Aware, Perceptive, Insightful, Indifferent (antonym)

Grouped under Thin-Skinned: Easily upset, Easily hurt, Hypersensitive, Touchy, Vulnerable, Impervious (antonym)

And, the third group of adjectives under the word Precise: Precision, Exact, Delicate, Finely tuned, Responsive

I had forgotten some of the other uses of the word SENSITIVE.  Interesting to learn of them again. However, she and I were speaking specifically about the mental and emotional psychological aspects of being SENSITIVE. 

Are you sensitive in the way of being easily hurt, or being perceptive/insightful (having empathy)?  Or maybe a little of both?

 

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Yes, this is a “wonder” … it is ME with Audrey Hepburn in Dublin, Ireland.  Someone took this of me, the photographer for the UNICEF events with Audrey there as UNICEF Ambassador.  I am still in wonder/amazement that this experience was gifted to me.  This will always hold a special place in my heart.  She was an amazing woman.

Me with Audrey Hepburn in Dublin, Ireland

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The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

I am grateful for the spirit of the upcoming holidays … Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There is an emphasis on being grateful at Thanksgiving time. If we could only remember to be grateful each day of the year.

And Christmas…it is supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Jesus. How many of us remember that in the midst of decorating, buying gifts, and looking forward to opening our own gifts! And if hosting the Christmas Eve and/or Christmas day meal, the buying of groceries and maybe some special table decorations; then cleaning the house and preparing the meal. Through all of this, many still feel the “spirit” and joy of this holiday. I hope your spirit of Christmas includes joy for the birth of Jesus.

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Windows on Main - Across from Starbucks by Ann Marquette

Windows on Main - Fidelity Bldg. by Ann Marquette

Windows - Restaurant on Main by Ann Marquette

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