The Circle of Kindness 

Has anyone ever said something nice to you and it instantly made your heart bubble over a little?

Aw! Those moments are the best! 

It seems like they have the ability to multiply like crazy and cause a ripple effect. 

It reminds me of when I was a volunteer at Little Bit’s old school. The counselor was quite a genius in the way she taught kids how to make friends and treat each other. 

The Compliment Circle. 

They sat in a circle, one started and turned to their neighbor and said a few friendly words.

“I like your haircut.” “What a great shirt.” “Wow. I love your new shoes!” 

By the time they made it back to the starting point, everyone heard something that someone liked about them! 

What a great concept!

Turns out there’s something similar in blogging, and it’s called Blogger Awards. 

When I started my blog last October, I’d never heard of such things. Then, in January, someone nominated me for an award. 

An award? Me? I was pretty excited, though had no idea what it meant! I googled it. 

Basically, it’s an avenue for bloggers to get to know each other by asking  a list of questions, recognizing who nominated who, and naming more people to essentially continue the circle.

That’s pretty cool because last fall when I researched how to have a website/ blog, I read that there are like 294 million blogs. Wowsa! 

At that time, I had no idea that bloggers even interacted, and now I see that “awards” make it a bit easier to find writers/ readers with common interests. 

Since January, I have been nominated for 7 awards. SEVEN? Where are they? 

I know, I know, I’m a bit behind. It’s kind of like when our new neighbors moved in last year. I was g-o-i-n-g to bake cinnamon rolls and take them over there to welcome them. Then, a month passed, which turned to six, and going now would be a bit embarrassing! 

This week I was nominated for two more awards! Woo hoo! So, the best I can tell, it’s my turn. 

Thank you to these wonderful writers for nominating me from January until now:

I’m choosing a few questions from each award.

1. Name something you love about yourself: I rock at making meringue! 

2. Favorite movies ever: The Cure, The Mighty, The Big Chill

3. Name a random fact about me: I drive a Toyota Tundra and it’s paid for! 

4. Why did I start blogging in the first place? Last August I told a friend I’d never have a blog- I thought I was too old fashioned and too scared to try it. The next month I had a huge health scare and something was pushing me to start a blog, so I signed up for WordPress in the middle of the night…

5. If you could be any animal, what would you be? Dolphin

6. Write a short paragraph about you and what your blog means to you: For about 10 years I wanted to write a book. I have one finished, another started, and several ideas swimming about. I’ve never had the money or guts to publish them. It’s scary putting writing into the world for others to judge. 

This blog has helped me put my thoughts into the world and essentially learn that it’s not so scary and that except for one negative remark in 10 months, (which was deleted!) everyone has been completely supportive of my writing.

7. If you could go back in time, would you and when? Hmm. That’s tricky. I love the time I’m in. But, if there was a moment I could relive, it’d be when we found out I was pregnant. After losses and five years of infertility, THAT was an incredible moment! My sister in law was there and her sheer joy was something I’ll never forget! She was jumping up and down and her hair was flying! It was SO awesome! 

Recently I wrote a story about getting hit with gratefulness suddenly in the midst of a weekday afternoon. I thought it’d be fun to share all those who “liked” it, to continue the circle of kindness. 

Miriam, Karen, Jessica, Joy Loves Travel, Daily Musings, Swamp Yankee Style, Rachel, Mrs. Strawberry Blonde, Diane, Weird Guy With The Dog, Lynn Thaler, From Dream to Plan, Claudia Hernandez, The Snow Melts Somewhere.

      Greek Marinated Steak with Tzatziki

      Way back in January, did you make a New Year’s resolution?

      I generally make a list of a few and try to make it through the year with them all in tact.

      When I saw this post, it ignited one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks lightbulb moments! I not only love that she chose a word of intention, but also that she picked JOY as her word!

      Can you imagine? There is enough ability in that single word to turn any sort of day and any situation around. Just think of it!

      Raining out? There’s joy in puddle jumping and flowers growing!
      Weeds taking over the garden? Hey, something is growing!
      Truck break down? There’s that joy-filled moment when someone stops to help and for the tow truck!

      From now on, I think I’ll try choosing a word of intention as well. What an easy way to tell defeating thoughts to “vamoos! Scat! Be gone!”

      Thank you so much, What’s For Dinner Moms?, for not only letting me reblog this, but for opening my eyes to the positive power of a single word.

      Bonus? She shares an amazing recipe, too!

      What's for Dinner Moms?

      Greek Marinated Steak with Tzatziki

      Back, what seems eons ago in January, I chose the word JOY as my word of intention through this year. My life got off track a bit and I was starting to get overwhelmed by health stuff and home stuff. I went back and read my resolution to choose JOY in making decisions and living life this year.  There is no reason for me to not choose it. The weather is sunny, the beach is a mile away, we are relatively healthy and we have what we need. My house may not look House Beautiful ready but it is what we need. It keeps us safe, dry and comfortable. It is a place where we are feed emotionally and physically. We are okay. Sometimes I just need to be reminded it is okay for me to be joyful.

      So last night we cooked out. I had a steak marinating all…

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      Have you ever had a stray animal show up at your house? 

      We live in the country near a county road, so that’s a common occurrence around here. 

      Last year, besides that crazy wild possum that showed up, there were three stray cats hanging out in our backyard. 

      They’d kind of come and go. We’d feed them while they were around, but then they were gone and we didn’t see them again.

      Several weeks ago, a little boy kitten with gray stripes and white feet appeared on our deck. All three of us were instantly smitten! 

      Every evening for a week, we’d sit on the deck in hopes that he’d get used to us, and maybe stick around. 

      Every night he came to eat and a little more each day, we fell in love! Little Bit even picked out his name. 

      Then, he was gone. 

      Well, that’s the nature of life in the country. I tried to not be heartbroken about it, and kept myself busy with the daily life of this and that. 

      A week later, out of nowhere, he returned! I tell you what, I think our hearts burst wide open! We were so excited to see him again! 

      He is the sweetest thing! At about a year old, he’s so much fun. He’s different than our two girl cats- he lets us rub his tummy! 

      He’d never seen toys before, and a few days ago, he finally learned how to play with them. Sooooooo cute. He’s bats them all over the dining room, then takes a nap when he’s tired. 

      I’m not sure where he came from or why, but I hope he’s with us for a long, long time. 

      Recently, you met mom and dad’s new cat, Sara. Now I’d like to introduce you our newest little sweetheart, Skunk. 

      Let’s Get Chatty

      Are you ever gliding along in your day, and suddenly feel grateful? 

      Like, completely out of the blue? A heart overflowing, lump in the throat kind of thankful? 

      That happened to me like an hour ago. Just a normal day, then bam! Grateful. 

      I LOVE that! 

      It got me to thinking, what are YOU grateful for on this beautiful July day? 

      A Great Cause With a Great View

      Isn’t serendipity a wonderful thing? 

      Sometimes when things seem pretty ordinary, fate grabs our hand and says, “Looky here.”

      A few days ago, it was a regular Saturday afternoon. Little Bit and I decided to go to the dollar store. 

      As we pulled onto the main business street in town, we saw a helicopter. Like landing. IN town!

      A half block later,  in a small shopping center’s parking lot, we saw orange cones and a line of people. 

      Instantly, I remembered I’d seen an ad for a fundraiser. A helicopter ride in exchange for a designated donation.

      After a quick call to my husband and a stop at the ATM, we were in line. The tail end of the line to be exact. Like the very, very last in line. 

      It was 1:50 pm and the pilot had to leave town at 2:30 pm. They said the last flight would be at 2:25 pm.

      Uh oh.

      I did a quick bit of math in my head. With rides being 4 minutes each, plus load and unload time, our chances were looking very slim. 

      Which for me, either way, it would have been ok, but come on! Little Bit was really excited! 

      We crossed our fingers and waited. 

      Time ticked… and ticked…

      I found myself silently pleading with the helicopter gods, “PLEASE, my kiddo will be so disappointed.”

      2:10 pm tick tick tick

      2:15 pm MY HUSBAND ARRIVED!! 

      2:20 pm WE BOARDED!!

      Thank you, Fate! 

      Up over our town we flew, for a great cause with a great view. 

      A Goldfish He Named Fair

      Don’t you just love a county fair?

      The food, the lights, a starlit night? A breezy break from the day’s scorching heat? Whizzing past tree tops on a ride that makes your belly laugh suddenly appear and spill out?

      Usually this time of year, Little Bit and I are gone visiting my parents and miss our town’s summer festivities, but Saturday we got to go. 

      At first step through the gate, it looked way too small. There was like 7 rides, 2 food stands, an exhibit hall, and a rodeo arena. 

      I mean, we are used to huge events where just getting from the exhibits to the midway is tiring, so I found myself wondering if there’d be enough to do.

      Turns out this one was the perfect size! All the fun of a big one, with a slathering of hometown flair. 

      We watched men try to stay upright on bulls and braved the dizzying rides at dusk. Oh how we laughed. I’m pretty sure smiles were plastered on our faces for 2 solid hours.

      As our evening drew to a close, we stopped at the game booths. Do you ever play those games? I just love seeing my husband and Little Bit trying to win a prize! 

      Well, I’m happy to report, there was more than enough to do. And, when we walked back out the gate to leave, Little Bit was carrying an inflatable dolphin and  a goldfish he named Fair.