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. ☼

Grateful 4: March 2013

i had such a late start…two weeks before March 2013 ended, an inspiration blossomed after reading, Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Secret Gratitude Book and everyday guru’s…Everyday Thanksgiving-March 2013.

i find it very easy to forget, during the busyness of everyday, all the blessings that go unnoticed and never a whisper of a “thank you” leave my lips. this is why i know how i must momentarily stop and reflect on at least four things that i am so thankful for everyday. this is my personal list highlighted everyday and summarized here as a love offering and prayer to the Universe.

~~my dear readers, please know i do not expect you to read through this long list…just sharing the blessings in March and saying thank you dear Universe…♥

i am grateful 4… spring seasonthe freedom to create & share with so many folks around the world via this blog and other social networkshoneybeesthriving cactus plants on my windowsill, majestic creations…horses, Earl Grey tea, firewood, ♥ ice cream sandwich especially if vanilla ice cream is really, really thick!  public libraries, Friday Fictioneer stories, post-it notesHosanna! Palm Sunday procession, spiritual nourishment…knowing we are all children of God ♥  fresh, cream filled chocolate donuts! ☺ learning to balance in Bakasana or Crane yoga pose. Monday. I love this day because it works like a fresh start into new projects, ideas, planning etc.☺coming home to sweatpants/shirt and fuzzy warm socks, PBJ (peanut butter jam) sandwiches, getting bills paid on time, a very busy day getting the TO DO list completed. Yay! Lasagna with lots, lots, lots of cheese! soothing classical guitar songs on the radiobook written by Loung Ung: First They Killed My Father, warmer weather with lots of sunshine! ☼ tasty leftovers ->lasagna!  cooking ovens and refrigerators, grammar lesson on future tense, Holy ThursdayGod’s unlimited blessings, Institution of the Eucharist. Passover meal celebration with friends, Good Friday. St. Teresa of Avila‘s poem: The Way of the Cross, grateful stray dogbeing able to help a stray dog with some food and water. ♥ the special mention for the post, “Soriya” over at Ligo Haibun. Holy Saturdaysilence, simple meals, time spent with family. Amen ♥

☼sunLOVE to you all!

© 2013-simplycharming

Elections 2012: A Short Reflection…

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The elections of 2012 are finally over here in the United States. I have to admit it was getting to be quite depressing listening and reading people’s viewpoint on their opposing candidate.

The hardest views to take were the overly critical and hateful remarks spoken or written by people who supposedly live by some religious code. I will not reprint or quote any of these remarks because I prefer not to relive such appalling behavior.

I was hoping to see less hateful comments once the elections was over but no, the behavior still continues especially from the conservative camp.  *sigh*

Our re-elected President, Barack Obama once said:

“And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain ONE nation.

I hope, and at least that is better than nothing, as civilized adults, we can somehow lay aside our differences, cut the amount of whining and complaining, and instead, change them into positive words and actions that help unite our nation into ONE and not a fighting and divided nation.

Finally, a reflective moment with Lord Jeffrey:

“The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.”

Hmm, I wonder…as a nation, do we the American people live up to our name, UNITED STATES?

Nevertheless, congratulations to our newly re-elected President, Barack Obama.


A Splash of Color to Make You or Break You…

Have you ever had a random, foggy black and white kind of day?

fog, landscape, black and white, photograph

Splash of black and white color: brings in a foggy, random, depressed, slightly despairing mood…

Nothing life threatening but a mild sort of hazy feeling that traps you into an unfocused, lethargic attitude and, no matter how you try to be productive, the drive to pursue whatever is your passion becomes seriously lacking; the only solution seems to be found in frequent cat naps, like my house cat illustrates so beautifully here…

cat nap, bed, feline, photograph

…on the bed…

cat nap, couch, photograph

…on the sofa…

cat nap, floor, feline, photograph

…on the floor…

shy, cat nap, photograph, feline

…on a chair and oh, so shy…

Cat naps work well just about anywhere!

I wonder at times if this uncertain randomness is due to a black and white way of seeing the world. You know, it is either the way you want things to be or nothing at all–talk about thinking in extremes!

Take for example the effort one puts into publishing a blog post. Do you anticipate, as often as I do, how a blog post will turn out? I admit this is a grave fault of mine– over anticipating–and I really should grow up, be done with fretting and worrying over who will like or not like a certain post. For example, if a certain post gets very little traffic, I begin to worry.

Was it something I wrote…or maybe did not write…too long…too short…not enough photos…too many photos (usually never the case) or *gasp* simply poor writing technique?

Fret…worry…more frets…more worries.


Instead of all this wasted black and white way of seeing things, I should develop a more “grayer,” leading up to a more colorful thinking scale and allow the “perhaps” to play a more significant role. For example, as the extreme black and white thinking sets in, I can reason that maybe blog readers are busy with life outside of blogging.  I mean we all have a life outside of the blogosphere and maybe my thoughts can become a bit more colorful to include a transition into a more positive outlook on things. Further, perhaps a post would get less traffic because the subject at hand was in all honesty, just too damn boring or too hard to follow. That is understandable.

I should not take it so personable. Ideally, I should sit back, stay calm and reflect on the moment as I allow the grays and colorful thoughts to flourish in abundance.

stuffed animal, bro button, photograph, chilling

Splash of black and white with a slow transition into color: feeling a little better and no, I am not taking any of this personally…really…

Unfortunately, for all of you, I am still digging my way out of extreme black and white thoughts like, “Oh, no, my readers hate what I posted! They think it is all zombie crazy writing!!…”

zombie, despair, photograph, backslide, worry

Splash of bloody, screaming red color: you are now watching me backslide into zombie-ish kind of despair and worry…

AHHHH, SOMETHING IS WRONG…did I not use enough colorful adjectives??? Tell me…aahhhaahh…Oh, to hell with it all…I give up…go on, poke out my eye…I sacrifice it all for the love of my craft…farewell my dear friends…

…Wait. What is this?

Amazingly, the mist of gloom from my day has suddenly lifted, perhaps because I made the effort to clear my mind and write without a worry. How nice it is to witness the world in color, dive happily into the great Weekly Writing Challenge: A Splash of Color and finally accept whatever comes my way.

So long, black and white colors, be off with your splashes that left me in a slump and feeling like an eyeless zombie!

color, photograph, landscape, see clearly

Splash me in rich autumn colors: warm oranges, soothing greens and peaceful blues…the fogs been lifted…I can begin to see clearly once again…

* * *

What kind of colors surround you today and how has it affected your well-being?

* * *

As you may have guessed, the writing challenge this week was to “highlight a color in a story or event.” I chose to focus on the dominate colors that surrounded me the last couple of days. The type of weather we experience does seem to affect our outlook for the day…at least it happens to work that way for me. Enjoy more contributors to this writing challenge below:

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things–Faded Photographs and Papa

Faded photographs are all I have to remember the man I once called Papa. After a long successful career as an overseas dredging captain, Papa, retired on a little island in the Pacific and shortly after, suffered a major heart attack.

The photographs, honestly, are a mixture of sweet and not so sweet memories of a man who lived a bit reckless but always with a generous heart that sometimes did not know the meaning of the word, limitations.

dredge, papa,captain, photograph,construction

Papa, what exactly did you do here?

As a child and even today, I hold a hazy image to exactly what my father’s work involved. All I have are some faded photographs of odd-looking boat-like structures, big steel looking equipment and the memory of a few of his men, coming over to our house to “have-a-few (drinks),” as part of the drinking tradition among the dredging construction workers.

Papa was generous with his hard-earned money. Not only would he not hesitate to buy you the moon, had you asked, he would often host many of these, after work, have-few-drinks-on-the-house, as a regular social activity.

Naturally, his wife, our mother, would not be so happy with this type of generosity, although all his drinking buddies simply adored him. Now, you are probably wondering, why would I cherish faded photographs that remind me of my papa’s lack of sense when it came to his social entertainment.

I wonder myself, I mean what is so charming about a father having one too many drinks, then having loud profane laced arguments with his wife? She  made the fatal mistake of pointing out that if his spending behavior did not improve, his family would soon end up on the streets. Okay, first, never argue with a drunk person because it never will make you a winner. Second, this back and forth confrontations went on for years but surprisingly, our family never ended up in the streets.

Papa always ended every argument with, “Don’t worry about anything; I was born with Lady Luck on my side.”

Well, this was good to know.

workers, pondering, challenge,photograph,construction

Let’s get the job done, boys…

In fact, despite my father’s reckless spending, he always provided everything and more for his family. My mother never had to work outside the home; we always had a nice place to live and food in abundant supply.

In conclusion, my favorite memory of my papa is, I believe he belonged to a dying breed of men that worked hard to provide for their family and generously gave to life what they expected to receive from others, in spite of their personal failings.

Of course, I always will remember Papa as a winner; he had Lady Luck to guide him and left me faded photographs for me to remember him by.

Thanks, Papa! xoxo


Have you found cherished and favorite moments in your collection of  faded photographs?


Join the fun with the Weekly Writing Challenge: This week’s theme is …A Few of My Favorite Things.

Hide n Seek, Anyone?


Hey, you want me to come over? Yeah? Okay, I will be over in a sec…

visit, home, postaday, hide n seek, home page, blog

Shuffle, shuffle…varoom, varoom…

I’m here!!

Hello? Anyone home?

What is that? Did you say come on inside your home?

Okay, (looking and looking) how?? Where is your freakin’ door?

What?? I have to get creative and find a way to get inside your home?!? You say I have to play, Hide n Seek?

But I do not have time to play Hide n Seek!?!


The above Scene 5 may seem like a weird thing if you happen to find yourself unable to get into someone’s home that lacked a proper door to enter in. It happens, every so often, unfortunately, when visiting blog sites that omits a HOME tab option to click on and without it seems much like a visit to someone’s personal home where the entrance door is either non-existent or hidden.

Has this ever happened to you?

Are you happy when you arrive at a blog site and you cannot find the latest post because the HOME tab option is not available?

This is not a complaint, just a bit of wondering why some blog sites lack a home tab option to click into their home page if you happen to find yourself on a single post from the blog.

Is is part of the their blog theme where the HOME tab is not available?

I am just throwing questions out simply to understand.

You see, occasionally I will use my email as a way to check into blog sites that leave a ‘like’ or better yet, a subscription to my blog.

As you know, from the email way of navigating over to a blog, when you check on a blog site, you usually land on a single post usually not the most recent post. Since I prefer to read on the most recent posts, I will quickly scan the blog page for the HOME button. Usually this button is an easy find, but as you guess, on the days when time is as precious as a drink of fresh water during a severe drought, a few blogs have a creative game I have appropriately named as the Hide n Seek to find the Home Page game.

When I land on such a blog game, some of you know how competitive I can become, I quickly sprint frantically with my little computer mouse, in search of the next best hints. Usually it is either a monthly calendar or the most ‘recent post’ button.

If I quickly find either of these prized items, I am like, “oh, yah…what now, huh? What now??”

Jazzed and pumped, I feel my quick actions with the computer mouse has now put me ahead in this Hide n Seek game. However, a few Hide n Seek games do get the best of me and I know it is time to raise the white flag and admit defeat when my computer mouse, no matter how hard it races over the blog page, fails to find a HOME tab option, a most ‘recent post’ option or a monthly calendar.

I am so done. The game is over, baby. All I can do is click wherever and hope it will take me to the most recent post of the day.

Listen, this is no biggie and no hard feelings to those blogs who purposely leave out the HOME tab option. I had a rather long day today and coming over to play the Hide n Seek game on a few blogs got the best of me and well, I just had to let my thoughts out.

All I want to know, for those who omit, on purpose, the HOME tab option on your blog site, uh, WHY, exactly??

My apologies ahead of time for unloading about this topic.

Thank you.