Feathers in my cap

Thank you

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

~ William Arthur Ward

I have been remiss in the area of gratitude lately.  Over the past several weeks some wonderful fellow bloggers have nominated me for various awards.  Please accept my sincere thanks for the honors you have bestowed upon me, and my apologies for waiting so long (in some cases) to acknowledge the awards.

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We have been gifted with a gorgeous autumn day.  If there were awards for the top 10 days of the year, I think this day deserves one.  At the very least, an honorable mention.

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190: Somebody come and play

(Playing in Picnik.com)

The real joy of life is in its play.  Play is anything we do for the joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of duty.  It is the real living of life with the feeling of freedom and self-expression.  Play is the business of childhood, and its continuation in later years is the prolongation of youth.

~ Walter Rauschenbusch

When I was, oh, about 11 or so, my youngest brother received a Sesame Street album (vinyl, in those days) for Christmas.  It was his favorite thing to listen to, and it got more play time than a #1 hit on the pop charts on the radio.

(The original, pre-Picnik, version)

While going through my snow shots from yesterday, I found some photos that begged for somebody to come and play.  I took them to Picnik.com via Picasa, and while I was playing I thought of the song “Somebody Come and Play” from the Sesame Street Album.  I have a thing for song lyrics.  They stick in my head.  And I’m almost willing to bet that I know most of the song lyrics from most of the songs on that album.  (That explains, by the way, why I can’t remember simple nouns, where I put things, and people’s names.  My memory is filled with song lyrics that refuse to go into the recycle bin.)  At any rate, the song is now firmly stuck in my head.

(Pine trees marching up the hill.)

I know it is customary to reveal the secrets behind the editing.  It’s not that I want to keep secrets.  I wouldn’t mind at all telling you what I did to arrive at the final photo.  Except…  it was play.  No notes.  No cares.  No worries.  Just play.  I have no idea how I arrived at my destination with each photo, but I sure enjoyed the getting there.

(Entrance to the woods.)

I’ve been invited to play something else, too.  Perhaps I should rephrase that.  I have been honored with, and incredibly flattered by, the gift of the Versatile Blogger Award.

Who? Me? Thank you!

Rapunzel/Christine and Holly (who are well-deserved recipients of the same award) have each honored me with this award.  Thank you, thank you.  I truly am grateful that you think so much of me and my blog, and appreciate the honor of having you share this with me.

Those who have been visiting my blog for a while know I don’t play by the rules.  Once bitten, twice shy, so the saying goes.  And I have been bitten by passing on an award.  Would you believe there are some bloggers who don’t like receiving blog awards?  It’s true.  They get grumpy about this sort of thing.

So.  I will not be posting or following the rules.  I have posted 7 random facts about myself so many times that I’m not sure there are any left to share that are within my sharing limits (some things are not meant to be blogged about in any way, shape, or form).  Just in case you want to read 7 random facts (or something of that nature) about me, here are a few of my past posts on that subject:

I am now going to bestow the award on all of my blogging friends and visitors because I happen to think you are all wonderful, versatile, bloggers.  Everyone has something different and special to offer, and it would be very difficult to choose from amongst such a great group (even if I were so inclined).  Feel free to pick up your award, and follow your own rules.

Thank you, again, to Christine and Holly.  🙂

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

…were mostly about doing chores and getting a little exercise.  The day started out gray with snow flurries, but the clouds have moved in and out giving us the occasional sunny spells.  It’s warmer than it has been, too.  In the 40s.  Heat wave!

(A pair of geese on the pond.)

P.S.  I see WordPress is playing today, too.  I love the little April Fool’s joke.  Did you catch it?  I’ll give you a hint.  Look at your Dashboard.

154: Stylish Blogger Award

I was recently awarded the Stylish Blogger Award by Bearyweather of the blog Bear in Mind.  Thank you so much, Bearyweather.  I am flattered that you picked me, and will try to meet the requirements without breaking too many rules.  The first requirement is that I link back to the person who gave me this award so we’re off to a good start.

The second requirement is that I share seven things about myself.  Honestly, I think I’ve shared so much about myself already that there’s not much left, but let’s see what I can come up with…

1. I experienced my first ice storm (or at least the first ice storm I can remember) while living in South Carolina.  It happened sometime during the first few years M and I were married.  Although it was destructive to trees and power lines, it was still one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.  A thick layer of ice covered everything and when the sun came out, Everything Was Illuminated.  (The book title I’m borrowing from, by the way, is Everything Is Illuminated: A Novel.)  There have been other ice storms since but none as beautiful as that first one, perhaps because it was the first.

2. I collect rocks.  Most of the rocks in my collection are not as polished as in the photo because they are usually rocks I pick up while out walking or hiking.  I particularly like round and egg-shaped rocks.  They tend to show up quite a bit more than I would have expected, or else I have an eye for them and so it just seems that way.  I’ve been collecting rocks of some sort since I was a child.  Is it any wonder that one of my sons got his college degree in geology?  And then moved to Colorado?  (I told you three things here, but I’ll be nice and carry on with a full seven categories/things.)

3. I used to collect feathers too.  Now I collect them by taking photos rather than picking them up and bringing them home.

Perhaps I should start doing that with rocks, too.  Before my home becomes a big rock pile.

4. I was so taken with the book Where the Wild Things Are (even after reading it a few hundred times to my youngest son) that when I saw a Wild Thing in small shop in U City, Missouri (just outside of St. Louis), I had to buy it.  Eighteen years later, it still hangs out with us in the room we turned into a library/guest room.

The chair he is sitting in is The Comfy Chair.  It is The Best Comfy Chair Ever.  It’s where I love to sit when I’m settling in for a long session of reading.  The best thing about the chair is that I can get comfortable in it no matter how I sit.  My feet touch the floor when I sit comfortably in this chair.  Not all chairs are designed for us shorter people.  (I’m not unusually short or anything.  Just enough that sometimes it’s hard to be comfortable in chairs or on stools because they seem to be designed for folks taller than me.)

5. I hoard unread books.  Not on purpose, mind you.  People (usually family) know I like to read.  They give me books.  In the meantime, I buy books I want to read.  And before you know it, I have a HUGE collection of unread books.

I have read the books in the back on the bottom shelf.  Looking at this photo it occurs to me that I really should go through this stack of books because I’m pretty sure there are books in there that won’t appeal to me.  I can eliminate those pretty quickly with my 50-Page Rule.  (If I’m not into the book by page 50, I give up and donate it.  There have been exceptions to that rule, books I felt I should press on with because there was something there that did interest me.)

6. I am a terrible liar.  I can prove it:  Lie to me.

7. I have always wanted to learn to draw, but have not really taken the time to do so.  There was a brief period in 2007 when I gave it a try.  I was having serious back problems, living in a great deal of pain and barely able to walk.  It gave me something to do other than feel sorry for myself.  After a few months of a physical therapy plan I designed for myself, I was once again able to get out and about with the camera so the drawing attempts were put away for another day.  The things I did learn to draw during that time were cartoon animals which I turned into cards and/or postcards for my oldest granddaughter (only granddaughter at the time).

I’ve been thinking of giving it a try again.

Okay, then.  That’s two requirements met and I haven’t broken any rules yet.  I will do so now. The third requirement is that I should pass on this award to six bloggers I feel are Stylish Bloggers.  Honestly, I think you are all Stylish Bloggers.  Pick up your award if you want one and run with it.  Follow the rules, don’t follow the rules, but make sure you have fun with it.  I learned early in my blogging career that sometimes awards are not appreciated so I’ll leave it to you as to whether you accept or not.

I am, however, going to tell you about (and link to) a few blogs, old and new to me, I have been wanting to share with you all.  I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and this gives me the perfect excuse to do so.

  • Grace-full Thoughts.  I have been visiting Sister Catherine Grace’s blog for a few years now.  She is currently posting a chapter a day of a wonderful video series, Our Cosmic Origin Story.
  • Pat Bean’s Blog.  Pat and Maggie (Pat’s 13-year-old Cocker spaniel) are in their seventh year of traveling in a small RV.  I really enjoy her snippets on life, travel, and nature.
  • reinventing the event horizon.  Kathy is a writer and artist currently living Haiti with her partner who works for an international NGO that is helping with earthquake recovery.
  • Poems ‘n Stuff.  Meet the LadyP (or Pen) and enjoy some of her poems and stories.  She has quite the imagination and sense of humor, as well as a wonderful way with words.
  • Magnificent Minimalist.  Seriously.  MM’s stuff is funny.

I haven’t included any of the wonderful photography websites this time around.  I’m saving that for another post.

Today’s Walk

It dreary here today.  We had some rain early this morning.  There is snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning.  I didn’t do anything exciting.  Fed the birds, walked around in the slush a bit.  Good enough.

They can’t all be mesmerizing days.  Things would be rather flat if they were, with nothing to contrast or compare them to.