OH, Drats! This Summer HEAT WAVE took my Foxy Roxy!!

“Heartbreak is LIFE educating us.” ~George Bernard Shaw

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Roxy, before her egg laying days…

Roxy lost her life yesterday. She was a foxy feathered friend who gave an egg a day, kept the bug population under control and was a constant companion to our one rooster. The cause of her death is unknown and being a very young chicken, age was not a factor. I suspect the extreme heat wave lingering over this land (with day temperatures brewing in the triple digits) may have been a factor. It is difficult to keep outside animals from heat related injuries and fatal mishaps during extreme heat temperatures. A regular, fine mist, water sprinkler throughout the day, I guess, was not enough to keep Roxy cooled down. I just do not know.

It was a sad day anyway, especially for her rooster companion. I also found myself tearing up just the thought of Roxy passing without anyone outside to help her.

I know Roxy was just a hen, and around here, hens are easy to come by, but somehow, have you noticed when you give a name to anything, it seems like the named item becomes the Velcro that sticks itself to your heart? Maybe next time I will cautiously give a name to anything that may strongly attach to my heart. Away with you, Velcro! Arrgh.

Grief is so painfully real, regardless of its origin. The love of, and attachment to, an animal friend can equal that of human relationships. Likewise, the loss of an animal can be just as devastating.” ~Rev. Joel L. Morgan

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Have you ever named something and later found your heart grieving when their final time came sooner than expected?

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On Blogging: Why, ‘self,’ are you still living as a half committed blogger?

Change is not merely necessary to life–it is life. ~Alvin Toffler

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Well, life for me lately has been all about blogging. If I am not working to pay the bills, doing general housework to live in a tidy and decent space and caring for the spoiled household pets around here, you know I am doing something related to blogging. Yesterday was no exception. I spent half the morning doing what most bloggers do, that is, reading, commenting, gather ideas to put together the next post and occasionally do some blog page renovations. While practicing the art of blogging, my thoughts lingered over what I could share that would have some meaning (and not just fluff) to anyone who may happen to come over to this blog.

The one thought that stood out was how blogging uncovers the person living inside you. For example, I discovered how much fun writing can be. It has been so enjoyable that I am now reading with delight, Julia Cameron‘s, The Right to Write book. I have also found that I think like a bird. You know, a free bird, no major commitments, ready to fly out of any situation with just a few flap of the wings. However, I have come to see that sometimes it is good to have your wings clipped to make a, *gasp,* commitment; especially if blogging brings stability and opportunities to practice many ways to become a better communicator.

Perhaps change is not merely necessary to life, but change may also be necessary to a blog.  Commitment, for those with a flighty heart, may be necessary to a blog as well.

Since my one-year blog anniversary is coming up in September, I thought I would share with you some good changes that have happened around here and a commitment I am proud to have made since my first shaky post on, of all things, snakes!  Now how charming and elegant of a start is that?

Beginnings

After a long “shopping trip” over at the Word Press Theme store, I originally thought the Chateau theme was an elegant way to make my mark on the blogosphere. After a few posts, however, it occurred to me that the Bueno theme was really the one that showed the sunny and fluffy blogger (yikes!) I was turning out to be. Only I knew about the slowly emerging writing style coming out of me and it took my 12th post–can you believe it–before someone noticed my existence. Suddenly, after laying out a dozen eggs posts, I got my first like!  (Thank you, Ng Tom!)

I stayed happily in love with my Bueno theme, experimenting and playing around with most of its options and had the time of my life blogging almost everyday. It took me several months to figure out how to activate the Featured Post widget to show a thumbnail image next to the widget feature. Whenever I saw another blogger using the same Bueno theme and using the thumbnail image with their featured posts, I would ask how they did it. I did not hear back from any of them, (maybe I forgot to say the magic word, please) but somehow, I managed to figure it out on my own.

Permanency

In May of 2012, the tag line (is it called a tag line?) that shows up when you first open your dashboard finally got my attention.

Upgrade your own domain!

I would press to read about upgrading my domain, but never dreamed of committing to it.  It sounded so complicated and please, do not ask how many times I went over there to read about it. (Okay, I went over many times! Sheesh.) Then, my half way mark as an almost daily blogger went by and I was still, totally ‘in love’ with writing and blogging so my ‘serious self’ suddenly asked this bold question:

Why, ‘self,’ are you still living as a half committed blogger?

“Uh, well,” I said, “because it is free? There are no strings or money involved and I can leave and walk fly away anytime. Nothing lost. ”

Then, to make sure I removed any thoughts of committing to an upgrade, my thoughts whispered, “oh, upgrading is much too expensive.” Alas, after calculating all the cost, I knew I could afford $2.75 per month and what is that, about nine cents a day, on something I felt was one of the best change that has come my way in a long time. Therefore, in May of 2012, I finally said YES, and my blogging life has never been happier. Oh, gosh, I felt like I had just said YES to be married or something!

Domain

I simply want to say that the domain upgrade makes me feel this is not just a ‘drive-by’ love affair, rather, an affair that has an unspoken promise of sharing no matter how I feel or how busy my life becomes.

“A full commitment is a promise to stay active regardless of the endless changes and challenges life brings to us.” ~Sunshine

Forever

However, with the domain upgrade, I found another thing about myself. Self control. I need to practice not going overboard when I find a good thing. For example, with the new domain change came the customized fonts and soon after, another theme change: the Forever theme. It seemed only logical to go all out and celebrate like that of a festive wedding ceremony. Okay, so now my love affair is costing me a mere, $5.25 per month minus internet service fees but that is cheaper than going to the movie theater these days.

Endless changes are all part of life and part of blogging. I hope this has encouraged you to welcome changes despite the disruptions changes often bring. Oh, and if you happen to suffer from commitorum metus or commitment phobia, I totally understand where you are coming from.

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 Do you find yourself  reflecting on  how blogging is uncovering and defining the person inside you?

Are you the type who welcome blog changes and accept commitment well?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

Lay it out in lavender…the beautiful pale purple flower that grows abundantly without asking for much care except a bit of sunlight, water and occasionally fertilizer. I am so grateful to have lavender thriving in the yard.

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This week with Jenny Joseph:

“When I am an old woman I shall wear PURPLE
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.”

This sounds like the perfect old woman I plan to strive for. Ha! Cheers!

Hurry over to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple and check out all the wonderful contributors to this week’s theme: PURPLE.

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How does the color PURPLE play out in your life?

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Stay, Stay at Home, my Heart

“His home, the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.” ~James Montgomery

Hey, here is something charming and warm. Today I saw a billboard advertising and some local doctors in our area are making house calls. I know, big deal, right?  Just think though, one day you wake up sick, you feel awful, feverish and so very weak; the thought of going over to the doctor’s office would simply be painful, if not impossible.

Not to worry, just dial the physician who makes the house calls and depending on the appointment schedule, relief for a better tomorrow can be just around the corner. Yay! There is no effort on your part except for the waiting, dozing off and a bit more waiting. Labored breathing may take some effort, but we trust the traveling doctor and in all the healing medicines soon to arrive to put everything back into proper balance and order.

Therefore, we patiently wait for the doctor to arrive.

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–photo credit: Wikipedia

Then I got to thinking, why stop with doctors making house calls, why not activate a whole team of home delivery services for the ultimate home body, (or would it be a hermit’s) lifestyle?

The first thing a home body should have delivered, starting tomorrow morning, would be fresh milk. You know, like the ones you see in the movies where the milkman comes in a white uniform carrying the chilled bottles of fresh milk with the round cardboard cap carefully placed on the narrow bottle top.

For my neighbor next door, I would have her switch from plastic baby diapers to cloth diapers and have her activate the cloth diaper service that would bring fresh, clean diapers right to her front doorstep every few days. Why wash poo-poo diapers when you can have the diaper service people do it for you. Right?

Let us see, hmm, my neighbor would also need to give birth to her next baby at home, preferably with the doctor who does house calls, however, if the doctor on call is too busy to attend to the birth, my neighbor could use a midwife just the same.

Enough on the neighbors, we should have all our meals brought over with one of those fancy grocery/meal delivery services. We could order groceries and meals on-line, but only in between blogging, and have it delivered right to the door.

So, since our health care is just a call away to the house call doctor, our neighbors and food situation all set up and ready to go, we  just need to have the newspaper, and the mail delivered everyday. Oh, and of course, to finance this home delivered lifestyle we need a successful home business.

Gee, it is nice to know that the heart that finds rest in a peaceful home, rarely seeks to venture far from the source of happiness as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writes:

“Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.”

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Is there anything else we need to keep us trapped flourishing at home forever? 

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A Collectible that R-O-C-K-S!

Sometimes one can find God unexpectedly in one of nature’s collectible items such as in a simple rock:

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him.
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He alone is my ROCK and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.”
~Psalm 62: 1-2

It is easy to start a simple rock collection. Usually, a few steps outside will have you stumbling over a few, if not many, various rocks of different sizes and shapes. It is easier to find rocks living in country towns where dirt roads are as common as paved sidewalks are to big city towns, but, if one looks long and hard enough, rocks can be uncovered in the least expected places.

Heck, the easiest would be to go buy yourself a rock collection.

Now, once your rock collection starts to take off, finding ways to display your collection is also easy. For example, by adding a few river rocks to a simple prayer/meditation table it can help visualize the fortress, the Divine One made visible; the ROCK of safety, ready to shelter and protect during any earth shattering life storms.

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Other people have used their rock collections for hot/cold stone massage, as decorative pieces in their rock garden and one woman I know fills her guest bathroom sink with small rocks she picked up over in the garden supply. Washing your hands over rocks brings a bubbling brook right into your own home!

So, rocks, as a collectible, can be an economical, practical and best of all, spiritually inspiring for those looking for a “solid” way to build a collection that R-O-C-K-S!

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Do you have a favorite collectible that simply rocks your world?

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Find weekly inspiration over at Jakesprinter, SUNDAY POST : Collectibles.