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…

      View original post 151 more words

      Skunk

      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. 


      Meet Sara

      Don’t you just love those stories about how when an animal needs a home, it gets one? 

      Oh my gosh! Me, too. 

      A few months ago, my parents were shopping. Dad wanted to go into a sporting goods store that was right next to a pet store. 

      What’s a girl to do?

      My “heart of gold” mom who looooooooves cats, marched herself right in to the pet store! 

      There was an extremely nervous female cat hiding in a crate. Like so nervous, that no one could see her face. Mom was curious, so she asked about her. 

      Turns out, after 8 years, the previous owners gave her to a shelter. The poor thing’s life had to have been flipped sideways. She had such a hard time adapting, the shelter took her to the pet store. 

      The pet store workers tried to talk mom into getting a friendly, yellow tabby, but  mom went with her heart and chose the  cat that nobody wanted. 

      Good choice.

      After a few weeks, that once “scared in the pet store” cat, warmed up. 

      Now, it’s almost like she’s right where she was meant to be, with mom and dad. 

      Meet Sara!

       


      BLIND DATE BOOKS

      When stores have “Grab bags”, are you ever so curious about what is inside the bag, that you buy one?

      My blogging friend, Annika, found the coolest book shop that has a similar idea, except it is done with books. I LOVE that! It’s sort of like that singing show on tv, called “The Voice”.

      Only instead of choosing singers by voice alone, books can be chosen by a few words alone. Now THAT is an amazing concept!

      Thank you for letting me share, Annika. 

      This has given me ideas for other things as well. Like, wouldn’t it be neat to buy a few of those books for Christmas or birthday gifts and let family or friends pick the one that sparks their interest?

      How fun!

      Annika Perry's Writing Blog

      brownbooks

      I’m always on the look-out for bookshops with a difference. There are the cafe bookshops. More recently the one-book bookshop in Tokyo. However, these still have books and their covers clearly visible on a shelf.

      Elizabeth’s Bookshop in Australia is turning the way we often choose our books on its head by wrapping up the books. Instead of ‘judging books by their cover’ the bookshop feels its policy allows the book to be bought for its contents and also encourages a diversity of reading genres by hiding the book covers. Neatly wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string, the book parcels line shelf upon shelf in one section of the second-hand bookshop. Upon each book is written a few key words about the book – its genre, main plot line. That is all. The rest is pot luck.

      An employee originally had the idea to have a ‘blind…

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      Introducing “The Merle”

      Are you a sentimental sap like me?

      For Father’s Day, I made a list of 49 things I love about my dad. You can read it here, if you like. 

      #47 was kind of hard for me to write because I’ve been carrying around the “you didn’t dance with your dad” regret on my shoulder like an invisible library book bag ever since.

      Man, after 17 years, that got heavy.

      On many occassions, I’ve contemplated crawling back into my wedding dress and asking my dad for that dance, but when it came to actually asking, it seemed a bit silly. 

      Recently I found out that my friend has been carrying around the same missed dance regrets, only hers is worse because her dad, Merle, passed away 10 years ago…

      Because of that, and in honor of her and her dad, I finally got up the nerve to ask my dad for that father/ daughter wedding dance. 

      He was shocked, we both got a little teary, and then, mom put on some music. 

      I wasn’t in a fancy gown, and the 30 guests who attended our mountain-side wedding didn’t see it, but it was genuine. 

      Honestly, in a way I’m kind of glad that dance didn’t happen 17 years ago because I’m certain if it had, we wouldn’t have done the do-over dance in my parent’s living room 2 days ago. 

      I just have to tell you, it was the BEST DANCE EVER! 

      Little Bit and my mom were dancing, too. And, after we finished, mom and dad looked into each other’s eyes and moved about the room. 

      The last time I saw them dance was at a friend’s wedding years ago, so there are no words to describe what it was like seeing that again. 

      Life’s gifts piled up that day and I was finally able to set that book bag of regret down. Oh, and that belated wedding dance with my dad? 

      It will go down in my family history books  as the greatest father/ daughter wedding dance ever, also known as “The Merle”.