September Gratitude: Part One

September – the month for some signifies the coming of autumn; for others (like Sonel’s Corner) the season of spring.

Some readers know, every day I (make the attempt) highlight a daily ☼Grateful 4 list on my sidebar. At the end of the month, I compile the list as a gratitude post feature.

Because it takes a good amount of time to compile and time, as we all know, is never enough, I decided it would easier for me to break up my monthly post into two parts.

In this first half, let me say, I love September – and for many reasons. Here, the weather is cooling down, many are returning to school after summer break and on September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote my country’s national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

Cover of sheet music for "The Star-Spangl...

September finds me grateful for: Nourishment and comfort that comes with food…

– snack pack yogurt – crock pot cooking –  sub sandwich fully loaded – baby carrots – leftovers for dinner – carbonated drinks – after dinner mints – fresh pineapple – thick crusted pizza – finding a dry dog food my dog actually likes to eat – raw garlic – healthy dog bone treats – oatmeal and flax-seed mush for my dog to eat…hope it helps the skin condition – beef brisket dinner (not burned and really tasty!) fresh cantaloupe

Grateful for: Special days within the month…Monday – Labor Day – getting big dog washed – early morning prayer time – gorgeous sunrises – joyful random singing out loud days…

Autumn Photo credit: decafinata via flickr

Grateful for…the coming of autumn season – thirty days this month to find gratitude…

Little surprises…old coffee pot with lid almost coming off but still works – Epsom salt foot soak to wind down a busy day – finding a shady parking stall – locating a package lost in the mail – not running over baby armadillo or the little squirrel crossing highway…

– truck hood that opens, thanks to auto mechanic who fixed it without charge – piano music – new walking shoes – petite jeans that fit in length…finally ♥ the body’s pancreas…must never abuse it with too much alcohol consumption – chrysanthemums – a healthy spinal cord

– bumping into people in town while running errands then chit-chatting to catch up on latest gossip ☺

Grateful for: Kindness found with those lending hands, passionate people…community food/spiritual outreach center – WP Support team – happiness engineers ☺ honest auto mechanics – eye doctors – Sonel’s tip to help Chuckle with dry elbow syndrome – honest used car dealers – Steve Biko’s freedom fighting work – youth pastors that inspire with genuine personalities – NEW SUBSCRIBERS  –


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual POV

Grateful for: Convenience of modern life, entertainment and…window spray cleaner – computer printers – National Public Radio – telephone books – sharp cutting scissors – masking tape that sticks – weekly curbside trash pick-up – classic pearl jewelry designs – US Postal Service – garden clippers – BLOG life – garden hoses that do not kink up – small shoe box that house cat finds to squeeze in for a cat nap – wonderful offerings by Celestine | ReadinPleasure

…and for all of you who have stopped by, left your thoughts or just left liking a post – thank you for your valuable time. I really appreciate the support. ☼

haiku challenge,writing challenge, haiku,

On Chrysanthemums

chrysanthemums, haiku, carpe diem challenge, autumn,

Today I discovered a few things about mums, Kiku if you speak Japanese, or the Chrysanthemum plant.

Traditionally, in the Japanese culture, the Kiku signifies the coming of autumn.

There are about forty different species of Chrysanthemums.  As for its colors, white chrysanthemums symbolizes grief, so, if you plan on flower gift giving to a love one, then the red chrysanthemum bouquet may be a better choice – it symbolizes love and affection.

Did you know, Chrysanthemums can help purify the air naturally?

By keeping potted chrysanthemums in living and work areas, it helps purify the air – especially from the well-known carcinogen, benzene. No time to waste, I must run over to the local garden center and adopt a few plants for the home and office!

I do hope the natural grocer stocks the white chrysanthemum tea. According to one article, it said the white flowers make a delicious sweet tasting tea.

Gosh. I am grateful for the Chrysanthemum plant and Chevrefeuille’s Carpe Diem for the inspiration.

Chrysanthemum, haiku, carpe diem challenge, beauty, nature, inspiration

rejuvenate the senses
between autumn leaves

elegant beauties
blooms bright while purifying
allures autumn home

What are your thoughts on the mum flowers? 🙂


More on Chrysanthemum Haiku:

garden spider,gratitude, August,list,

Grateful Living: August Reflections

Grateful for: New opportunities 

– to remove distractions for a few hours (cell phone, internet, television) just being still – take part in a successful silent auction for charitable organization – to share thoughts & love with all of you here – for a weekend house guest – keeping fly population in control with natural homemade spray – do nothing Saturday afternoon – share Jack Russell puppy time – exterminate a few (sorry, but what powerful stingers) small red biting ants – watch little kids videos with little toddlers at church nursery – create a monthly post for Everyday Gurus Monthly Peace Challenge– shake my head in disgust with an overzealous mole(s) or gopher(s) leaving huge dirt mounds that spills over to walkway…


Gopher – not my photo but it may be the same pesky varmint! Photo credit: sgrace

– to reconnect with a friend from high school – staying calm during an unusually crowded day at the grocery store checkout line – have a reliable driving vehicle –  take some kids to funny puppet show – the musical group, Pink Martini – auto feed weed eaters fresh ♥  community stage theater – board meetings with wine and finger foods ☺ clean public restrooms – not finding scorpions in the house – watching the house cat eyeing the hummingbirds at feeder – fine tipped ink pens – doing a good deed for neighbor…mowed the overgrown front yard – a wall to slap on post-it-notes on – floor brooms – hard-working police force – soft cotton shirts – lotion infused tissue so your nose stays chap free ☺ smiles from strangers – strong handshakes – smooth gravel roads to drive on

Grateful for: Comfort, nourishment and love found in so many places 

– to have a large selection of groceries/supplies available 24/7 –  create lemon stir fry chicken with bare essentials in the freezer – share some leftover stew with a Great Dane pal – BBQ at the lake – mix sour cream and salsa for a unique chip dip ☺ to enjoy a cup of coffee and read – teriyaki stir fry chicken for dinner – summer potluck dinner

Darla's Water Fountain

to enjoy the backyard…this is cool. i need one of these: Darla’s Water Fountain  (Photo credit: javaturtle)

– homemade hamburger sandwiches – hot chili pepper powder – fruit salad –  Southern fried chicken with red potato salad – Tabasco sauce – People magazine for fluffy gossipy reading entertainment – frozen bananas – no leftover refrigerator shelf – maple cream cookies – Cuban chicken dinner – sweet raw onions – blogging buddies ♥ morning walk – memory foam mattress pad – ice cream drumsticks – first sip of hot freshly brewed coffee – mornings – LIFE – flavor of fresh garlic – fellowship with Christian women in prayer – to reach out and touch another living being out of goodness and without selfish motivations – over the door hanger hooks – small family owned grocery stores –

Grateful for: Nature, friends, movies, books, special moments…..

– to get in an automobile and just drive – to know helpful, kind people in my community – Morning Glory vines growing on backyard fence – Matthew McConaughey’s DVD: The Lincoln Lawyer – hear the buzzing of hummingbird wings as they fly by –  taking hot showers anytime – German Shepherd pups finding fur-ever homes – visits to my blog neighbor: aFrankAngle – enjoying fairy tale comedy, Wedding Planner, with J. Lopez and Matthew McConaughey – to enjoy a clutter-free desk – automatic pencil sharpener ♥ sing in the shower – hear roosters crowing and thunderstorm approaching – feel the cool wind after the rain…

English: Painting "A Type of Beauty"...

To see beauty in our flaws and struggles – to hear the rumble of trains passing...

haiku – Native American relaxing CD music – fine point writing pens – water balloon fights – cooler temperatures especially at night – overcast days – rain puddles – pre-addressed stick on mailing labels – bamboo cutting boards – art work on postage stamps – a full moon night – finding assortment of bird feathers while walking – wild yellow daisy flowers – beautiful sound of Chopin piano musiccomplexity of our emotionsgoodness found in people we encounter briefly throughout our day – kindness and sacrifice of individuals taking in animal strays and finding foster or adoptive homes…

garden spider

Giant garden spider wraps up big grasshopper…

giant spiders keeping insect population in check – college ruled writing paper – security home alarms; gentle words; prayers learned as a child that surfaces when you need them the most – inspiration when it comes in a flash – window shopping – comfortable walking shoes – window glass cleaners – big dogs that think they are little in size ☺ happy ending stories

Grateful for: Wisdom shared 

a radio talk show featuring the best ice shape to use in drinks (one large ice-cube) – to know about inflammatory breast cancer through fiction novel, Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah – The Rebelution youth doing hard things and raising low expectations around the worldEdeyo Foundation bringing literacy to Haitians – Goodreads that inspire the love for reading – finding half-priced books at a book sale – TinCanTraveler’s Flight 93 Memorial post – Locks of Love – collect hair (wigs) for children with cancer; hair salons that participate in Locks of Love – @ symbol and other shortcuts.

And this is the end – my wrap up of August – just a small way to say thank you for all the things mentioned and the many blessings I failed to notice.

Thank you!

Being Grateful: July in Review

Mother always said, “Be grateful for all that come your way.”

Now I say, listen to Mother.  My monthly, at-a-glance, review on four daily grateful moments.  May you also find gratitude a blessing in your life.

In July…Grateful for: natural bug spray using distilled water and oil of eucalyptus; Stephen King’s book: On Writing; black forest ham sandwich with red potato salad; 100 degree + temperatures outside has not made my furry 100 + pound dog sick…yet; ♥ glazed donuts and hot steaming coffee before church;

They look like colored donuts :-) View Large O...

No, these are not edible donuts unless you like fungi…

…strawberry milkshakes for lunch; quiet Sunday afternoons; the rooster who eats all the nasty spiders…quiet celebration with friends on 4th of July; Pinterest–and trying hard not to spend too much time there…

…long handle spoons; kiddie swimming pool–a mini water hole for outside animals; DIY recycle shower fixtures-instead of buying new shiny ones, hardware store man suggested cleaning fixtures with vinegar (remove water deposits) and shine with window cleaner; finding a bird’s nest with my dog’s fur to line its nest 3 4 small blue speckled eggs in back yard tree…

 …auto mechanics that start their work day at sunrise; auto mechanics that do extra service without charge like cleaning leaking battery and adding a sealer to help stop the leak ☺auto mechanics that talk little but service your car in expedient way; auto mechanics who are honest and affordable…

Road works

Not the real long and winding road…any roadwork volunteers??

…road construction workers that pave the highway in the summer heat; cashiers that stay patient with rude customer; volunteers during summer Feed the Children program at church; professional workers, like lawyers, who are down-to-earth good people. ♥

International Kissing Day: 7 Best Songs…; central air conditioning; clean drinking water; chai tea

Grateful for in July: movie night with Collin Farrell. Jessica Biel in action film, Total Recall; hair clips; Greek yogurt; jello and cool whip; kids who joined in our church summer vacation bible school; grilled hamburgers, chips & pink lemonade; funny book by Don Rickles: Rickles’ Letters…

…a family operated business that serves the community not strictly for profit but more about keeping strong caring customer relationships…

…Almond-Coconut milk; corn dogs– little kids love them; 5-minute thunderstorm after 100+degree daytime temperature; Pinto beans fresh…not from can; drop in summer temperatures instead of average 100 degrees, a cool, 75 degrees with overcast skies…

…Learning about Blavatar: Small Yet Mighty; clean grocery stores; homemade burgers with fried onions and baked seasoned fries! Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad…

In July…Grateful for:

Watermelon Juice

It does look delicious…
photo source: flickr

…ice-cold drinks after work; internet working like a charm; BBQ pork cooked all day in the crock pot…yum! little puppies ♥ powdered donuts; quiet moment to sit and read; headbands that keep hair off the face during intense 95 degree temp outside; key rings; reading lamps; public libraries; sweet crunchy apples…

…the awesome support, encouragement and inspiration from my blog readers…😄

Grateful for in July: cornmeal pancakes; fresh water lakes; hummingbirds that hover near waiting for their feeder to be put back into place. ☺ …white vinegar used as household cleaner; clothes pins make great clips for opened chip bags…

Sonel’s Corner for the re-blog of my Blavatar – Small yet Mighty post…

…early morning before sunrise keeping company with bloggers; a cool 65 degree summer evening; Wikimedia commons; ice coffee; ceiling fans; do it yourself car wash service; ice cubes…

…finding informative post by One Cool Site: Is Your Email Address a Spam Magnet?

…natural homemade dog conditioner made with rosemary, apple cider vinegar and water; watching a nest full of baby birds grow to maturity; small amount of household bleach to keep mold from growing in wading pool for outside pets; the camera– allows us to capture treasured moments to memories fresh…

…New York Times bestseller author, Sara Gruen…her book, Water for Elephants is one you cannot put down…

Cover of "Water for Elephants: A Novel"


…the Tan Renga Challenge over at Carpe Diem; bagels and cream cheese; family time; big grasshoppers or maybe locusts; cold, juicy and sweet orange; hardy Rosemary plant…

…dense fog; learning how easy it is to install windshield wipers on a car. ☺ cooling effects of rainy days during this hot July month; long-term friendships; wall clocks…

red cardinal

red cardinal…yummy eye candy.☺ Photo credit: ehpien

…huge eight inch in diameter field mushrooms; water filters; poison oak liquid spray killer; red cardinal birds;  convenience of bread toasters and rice cookers;  the male mockingbird who actually sings during the night ☺

Did you know the male mockingbird sang at night or fungi grew resembling tasty donuts?

Did you know  I think you are simply charming?

You are! ☼sunHUGS!!

Guest Writer: Chuckles on Loyalty, Liebster and Very Inspiring Mentions…

Hello Everyone,
As you know, on occasion, my good fur-buddy, Chuckles, comes around to help say thank you to the blog friends who took a good chunk of their precious time to write-up an award or tag game post.

During the summer months, with the intense heat, Chuckles, sorry to say, becomes irresponsible in his writing duties. Not to worry though, I usually send my secret snitch, Mr. Rooster to badger the old boy to get the beep up!


A snitch at work…shh!

Here, finally, the Simply Charming thank-you post, paw-typed by Chuckles, (he looks filthy dirty because he really is!) to our thoughtful friends:

Dear Blog Humans and Blog Animals,
I am awake and yes, dirty only because someone, I will not tell you who, refuses to let me inside the air-conditioned house.

What else am I to do? I have to make the dirt my natural cooling agent.

Let me make this quick since I am perspiring and panting and must go lay down soon. I learned me some haiku while dozing in the heat…

Three mentions given
Hugs and kisses sent their way
Please visit them soon

Angelswhisper and Little Binky : a WONDERFUL post, full of kind words and the Loyal Reader Award.

Little Binky (shhh, do not tell my other feline girlfriends) is my number one kitty love of all times.


loyal reader award

Big thanks to our sweet friends from Granny and Little Binky

Now that my dog heart is pounding like crazy in love, let me say thank you to:  Johann is Thinking | Liebster Blog Award.

Johann blogs from the United States, a retired teacher who, at one time, taught with the Missionary Sisters of our Lady of Africa.

COOL huh?

thank YOU, Johann!

Wait, one more award and we can all go and take our naps…Maria’s RandomlyAbstract kindly brought us the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Please visit our Awards page for more details on this award.

That is it…signing off dear friends in deep gratitude…many thanks!

Your adorable blog dog,

Chuckles…a.k.a guest blog dog writer.

JUNE Grateful 4 Moments…

Hello! Once again, finding inspiration from Everyday Gurus monthly thanksgiving reflection, I humbly follow expressing simply my blessings throughout the month of June.

Photo Source: Pinterest

Grateful for: opera singers; my mom ♥ cayenne spice; backyard BBQ nights; clear blue skies after torrential rain and flooding; poison ivy/oak spray killer; aloe vera gel to soothe dry skin; electrical power outages–the force that gets me doing things not normally done namely, de-clutter & paperwork…

…pocket-size calculators; finding old textbooks (free) with relevant interesting info; big spiders that die on their own–so awful when you must smack them dead;  fancy refrigerator magnets; a stray cat that decided to come over, eat some, then relax and chill out while my cat looked at him…

…finding a tick on my shoulder because it reminded me to pray for those affected detrimentally by nasty tick bites; not hitting any river turtles while driving as they randomly cross the highway due to recent rivers flooding (poor things); a Cuban sandwich lunch; a no rain day; hot tin roof ice-cream; cool summer evening ☺

Grateful for: ceiling fans that work; balanced check book; clothes hangers to keep things looking neat and tidy; tough garbage bag liners; durable, easy to clean reusable water bottles; weekly photo challenges; book by Erin McHugh: One Good Deed ; pencil/pen magnetic holders; ice-cube trays when auto ice maker breaks down; finding out about harem yoga pants; time to do some blog housekeeping; learning about WordPress page attributes and the drop down title listing…

trustworthy air conditioner service repair person who got the cool air running again! pretzel snack; mocha coffee slush drink; a women’s charitable organization that helps women coming out of prison to start back on the right road; beautiful orange lilies growing profusely in the yard; homemade brownies; flip-flops aka rubber slippers;

sick days because it’s a reminder 2 let everything be; Ninja blender because hot summer weather needs slushy drinks in hand; my legs that move me wherever I want to go; my hands because they work hard doing everything i ask from typing on keyboard to holding up a book to read; ice cubes because cold water tastes so much better than lukewarm; vanilla milkshakes in the heat of a summer afternoon; glittery body spray because the light fragrance and sparkles help take your mind off the intense hot summer air blowing all around you…

Clayton McDonald because this young man left the world a powerful message: “life is very short…it’s a vapor...” (Video and full story on Have You Met Clayton Mcdonald)

Grateful for: new ☼sunROOM page; finding out about a rare disease, Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), because i can pray for a cure; inside window ledges because little plants can feel @ home year round; soft, extra absorbent bath rugs…toes & feet oasis; $1.00 hardcover (excellent condition) book sale buys: The Mermaid Chair & Water for Elephants; Spam pasta salad … not healthy but yummy! black forest ham with egg sandwich–delicious ♥ magnesium oil because it’s a natural way to restore magnesium levels within the body

…denim fabric because of its durability and timeless dimension; snakes that keep rat population in check; people who teach you to stay strong in your decisions despite their insistent methods to try to break you down; 15-min power nap; nice new WordPress dashboard updated look; the neighbors who finally mowed their yard…their grass was so long even the snakes and rats moved out; old movie called Cemetary Club because it reminds you to appreciate life and those who care about you; getting a water test kit…just have to figure it out now…

…yoga pose – Salamba Sirsasana or head stand pose; 3 ring binders to help organize my paper life; sandal and shorts weather; simple Friday afternoons at home ☺the opportunity to photograph a children’s theater dress rehearsal; giggly little children not listening very well to stage instructions; wriggly little children in full costume and rubbing off their stage makeup; extra time to read blog posts; big fan in garage to keep Chuckles, the blog dog, cool in 100 degree weather…

summer heat

Grateful for: homemade greeting cards; busyness of Monday morning; my outdoor cat that takes the dive bombs from birds in peaceful manner…she just keeps walking without a care. ☺ not jack knifing a trailer – first time driving one; when you get lost down a dirt country road, the neighbors all know each other & easily direct you to your destination; pull away type cat collars; pretzel sticks that have tons of salt on them…

…having an early morning getting the to-do list checked off before sunrise; making it in on time for the monthly peace challenge; a dead tree in yard – now home for birds…maybe woodpecker. not sure. there are round holes everywhere; outdoor cat finally taking down the bird that dive bombed her incessantly. what now, bird!?!?

::: ::: :::

Thank you.

For those who celebrate the Fourth of July…

A blessed and safe one to you and your loved ones.

international kissing day July 6, 2013

Celebrate the Fourth of July Kiss Under Fireworks
Photo Source: Pinterest