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. ☼

Kikaku’s “The beggar! – A Carpe Diem Haiku Special

What better way to start a day completing a short verse written by Takarai Kikaku, a contemporary and disciple of Matsuo Basho, in haiku form.  Carpe Diem’s host, Chevrefeuille, mentions the haiku should flow “in the same tone, sense and spirit as one by Kikaku.”

A challenge for sure but doing hard first thing in the morning is good for the soul so they say.

First, words by Master Takarai Kikaku:

the beggar!
he has heaven and earth
for his summer clothes

I humbly follow with two haiku:

Homeless stray
It joins a shared meal

Seasons change
Shift nurse checks vitals
Two beggars wait

dog beggingI missed the deadline on this special haiku but you can read all the entries here or join in the daily haiku for the day:  Carpe Diem Special – Kikaku’s, “The beggar.

Thank you and have a great day!

Taking a Sting from Nature – Ligo Haibun

As part of the weekly Ligo Haibun Challenge, my offering on this photo prompt:

Biting large mosquito.
Before my propensity to kill, I let this rapacious pest take its fill.
I understand.
From the offering come serious discomforts.
My bite wound swells; it burns and itches intensely.

Cool gurgling stream water.
Home to small fish and tadpoles. Mother and baby raccoon pause to quench their thirst.
Fresh water supply.
In the still stagnant areas, female mosquito finds haven for her two hundred plus eggs.
From the small sucking predator to the life-giving water licking smoothly across my feet–
We are one. Nature’s food chain providers.

cold bloodsuckers
warm shots of red elixir
hot fish food supply

::: ::: :::

How does your love for the mosquito grow?? 😆

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Silhouette:  An outline or general shape of something …as defined by Dictionary.com…Silhouette, the Weekly Photo Challenge theme as it leads to a quiet moment on the lake:

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

~John Buchan

angler, alone, solitary, photograph, lake, fishing, nature, peaceful

Silhouette of a lone angler

The silhouette of a lone angler 
On a chilly autumn afternoon
He knows and understands
That all too soon
His success in life will manifest 
Because he applies both persistence and patience
Two key life principles forged out while fishing
–Now carried over into his prosperous career and loving family life.

* * *
Have you discovered key life principles from pursing a fun past time?

* * *

Well, I would like to recommend a few creative contributors to this week’s challenge but Zemanta seems to be “napping” at this time. I hope to update this at a later time. Thanks for you visit today!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

In the sphere of free spirit reflections, what comes to mind are the words written by Jeremy Aldana:

free spirit sphere, reflections, passion, photograph

“A man’s spirit is free, but his pride binds him with chains of suffocation in a prison of his own insecurities.”

Living in a prison full of insecurities can keep us locked away from experiencing the passion that is within our daily lives. Like fragile soap bubbles floating randomly in the air, if we fail to work out our insecurities, our passion in our outlook on life may burst and vanish quickly before our eyes.

If we are insecure about aging, we may miss the passion to give a whirl at new projects…so what if we are approaching the golden centenarian mark, go for that college degree dream, or whatever dreams you hold within in you that are screaming, “DREAM HERE NOW!”

If we are insecure about our physical looks, we may miss the passion to enjoy who we really are; miss being content with our own bodies without Botox and boob jobs, simply accepting the masterpiece uniquely created by the Master creator and tagged, YOU.

If we are insecure about artistic talent, we may miss the passion to let go and just create!


Therefore, will we allow our insecurities to inhibit the free spirit within us?

Are we brave enough to break down the prison walls, kick out all the insecurities that chain us to mediocrity and for the last time, bury the nebbish human beings we once were becoming and bring on the exhilarated free spirit within us?


If you are looking for a fun weekly challenge, why not break out of the routine and join the Weekly Photo Challenge: This week’s theme is Free Spirit.

Weekly Image Of Life: Beautiful–The Horse

Some animals command our attention, perhaps by their size, unusual features or majestic presence. When I think about the most beautiful animal, one commonly found here in the United States, the horse comes to mind. According to Pam Brown:

A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves
And it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”

horse, equine, weekly life image, beautiful, strong,powerful, dream

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beautiful horse is the projection of my dreams about myself.

Strong and Powerful

Naturally, I seek some physical strength, but you and I know the inner strength is more important when striving to become a better human being. When I see a healthy horse grazing in the fields, it reminds me, ugh, time to add fresh fruits and vegetables everyday to my diet. Yippee.

Occasionally, I will see a horse just standing, tail swishing back and forth to keep the horse flies away, and just gazing out over the pasture.  Hmm, a reflective moment for the horse?

Maybe, but the moment does remind me to, ‘be still,’  and offer gratitude to the universe for all the beautiful gifts that have come my way.


Face it. Beautiful is where it is at! According to an article written in AlterNet, the cosmetic beauty industry, is…

“Worth $50 billion in the U.S. alone, with Asia a close second and gaining speed, the $170 billion beauty industry conspires to convince women that our fates depend on our looks which depend on what we spend. In this equation, ugliness — as society sees it — can be remedied like a disease, if you just spend enough. Refuse to buy? Your face and fate are your own fault.” (Read more on the Cosmetic Racket here…)

Nothing like twisting ones arm to make you think all those expensive beauty products will actually buy a beautiful self. My take? Why not keep the planet happy and make ourselves as decent as we can but do it simply in our price range. Enough said.

There you have it, a short reflection on the most beautiful animal, the horse: “God’s gift to mankind,” as written in the Arabian proverbs.


So, have you thoughts on any beautiful animals that project what you dream of yourself?


Why not hop over to Island Traveler’s, Weekly Image Of Life: this week’s theme=Beautiful and join the fun community of weekly contributors.