14 May 2015 Leave a comment
Originally posted on Bread and Butter Days:
Heritage Park in Euless – the first brick house in Euless, an 1850’s log cabin and an old barn from Camp Bowie lumber.
I want to go there!
Chestnut Square Historic Village in McKinney – a living history museum demonstrating how people lived in early Collin County.
I want to go there!
Heritage Farmstead in Plan – a living history museum on 4 ½ acres.
I want to go there!
A walking tour in Rockwall.
I want to do that too!
The list keeps growing, longer and longer from week to week. Places I want to see and visit. Museums, sites, and heritage villages that will take me back in time.
And this is without the places where I’ve been that I want to return to: Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth. Dublin, the home of Dr. Pepper. Fort Richardson in Jacksboro. And so many more.
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10 May 2015 1 Comment
15 Apr 2015 9 Comments
This fairy tale could have had an ugly ending. But it wouldn’t be a very good fairy tale without a happily ever after ending, would it?
Enter a bit of magical luck – the little kitten (one without mittens) was rescued. He found a new forever home, in the midst of a family filled with other rescues. A bought of calicivirus in the feline family almost caused a totally different ending. Fortunately the cats only lost one of their nine lives and Scooter lived another day.
He tells the tale of his life, dictating his words to Mama Pat, who transcribes his story to bring it to others.
Tips for caring for young kittens and information about feral’s and calicivirus is included in this ebook.
100% of the author’s proceeds of this story goes to help other rescue kittens and cats. Half of the profits remain in the DFW Metroplex area while the other half go to Cats of Angel’s Meadow, in Kentucky.
01 Apr 2015 1 Comment
Traces of a friendship over a hundred years ago remain in the postcards Pauline Washburn sent to her friend Arlie Shinkle. Enjoy the journey of their friendship through these postcards from 1907 to 1913.
The historic images on these 21 post cards, along with the words inscribed on the back, take us back to a different time and place. The first cards are sent from Pauline in Bloomington IL to Arlie in Ellsworth IL. Images showcase East Side Square in Bloomington IL, Main Building, Illinois State Normal University, Normal IL and others typical of popular early 1900’s postcard.
Postcards after 1910 were sent from Los Angeles CA, showcasing many historic features of southern California: the California Alligator Farm, a steam engine traveling through orange groves, bathing at Long Beach, the National Orange Show in San Bernardino, Avalon on Santa Catalina Island, an assortment of New Year’s cards, and Pauline’s photograph postcard gracing the cover.
A bonus 1911 postcard from another friend, Millie, shows Sauble Inn in Ludington, Michigan, with a period motor car.
A brief history about early postcards follows the images. Information on Miller Park in Bloomington and Old Settler’s picnics in McLean County IL, both mentioned in the correspondence, are included as historical background to the two friends.
Come along and join us as we travel back in time, thanks to the traces of the past these women left us.
Dear Arlie is available now at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/531997
It will be available on Amazon.com after April 2nd.
22 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
12 Mar 2015 1 Comment
Be Gentle with Yourself – Tomorrow is Another Day
(Today’s post is an excerpt from EVERY DAY’S A GOOD DAY: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession.)
This journey of remaining optimistic in the face of retail or service annoyances is not a smooth, even road. Yes, this is a journey that we’re on, hopefully progressing at a somewhat steady pace. Some days or weeks we’ll make great strides, reaching reservoirs of patience and infinite calmness that we didn’t know we possessed. And other days, well … they exist, those days where we feel like we’re back at the beginning. Our goal is, or should be, to have continued growth, be it baby steps inching along, or be it huge leaps bounding along the path. At the end of each day, if we can look back and see progress, whether in large or small increments, that is what’s important.
For this issue of remaining positive in our working environment is not an all or nothing thing. It’s not one-day-we’re-Negative-Nellies and the next day …. Whoop … Instant-never-wavering-Positive-Polly’s.
There will be days, and even weeks, where we’ll sail along on an optimistic tide – always cheerful, patient, nary a grumble escaping from our lips. And then, in one moment, it all comes to a screeching halt, with steam rising from our collar, our ears bright red with aggravation, and temples pounding, warning of an impending headache.
Today was one of those. The day was almost over. Thirty more minutes and a genuine smile was still on my face. My order was completed well before lunch time, leaving me some extra time to help order in another department. General maintenance in the department done, labels on, new labels ordered, a few packages repaired. I’d even had time to pop in and watch my safety videos for the month. Check. Check. And Check.
I was still cheerfully assisting customers, helping them figure out fabric dimensions for a project and taking them to other areas of the store in search of what they needed. I had the duster out, finishing the last of my zoning (general straightening and cleaning of our departments) when I heard a voice behind me.
Yep. There he was. The district manager. I didn’t even know he was in the store. Thank goodness at least he caught me in the middle of doing my job and doing it properly. But, his impromptu visit rearranged the rest of my day.
I called for my zone check, which we can’t leave without the closing manager walking our department to ensure we’d done a proper zoning.
Fifteen minutes later – nothing. No response. I went looking for the closing manager. Ah, she was in the middle of a discussion with the DM.
That’s okay. It shouldn’t take long. It’s still not quite time to clock out. I’ll be patient and catch her in a few.
And then, in my pacing, I pass by the office and see all three managers sitting in the office, with yellow legal pads on laps, and the DM sitting behind the desk.
Now my dilemma. It’s now past time to clock out. I can’t clock out without a manger checking my zoning. Yet, I can’t stay late waiting for them. It’s already marked on my sheet that I’m 0.20 OVER my allowed time (yes, that’s a whole 12 minutes over. We can’t have that!)
I can’t go. I can’t stay.
There’s a third option. Interrupt the grand powwow in the office and ask. Woo-boy … I’m not EVEN going to go that route! No siree! I’ve never been on the receiving end of the wrath of the DM. But I’ve seen others there and I know that that’s one place I don’t want to be.
By 4:08 pm the convention was over and I got my reprieve. Now I’m 20 minutes over, instead of my 12 minutes. And by now the shoulders are tense, the jaw is clenched and the cyclone of aggravating and irritating thoughts is rampaging through my brain, stirring up every negative thought about this job that I thought I’d laid to rest long ago.
No matter the progress, no matter how consistently you’ve improved in wearing the mantle of cheerful optimism around your shoulders, just know that in a moment, you can be right back to where you started on this journey.
My purpose of sharing this story with you isn’t to garner your sympathy. It’s merely to show that we all, every one of us, has moments where we revert to a negative, complaining employee. And that’s all right.
What you need to take from this is
- Don’t beat yourself up.
- Be gentle with yourself.
- Tomorrow is another day and another chance.
When setbacks appear, don’t spend your time and your energy whipping yourself over it. Admit it happened. Acknowledge that you’re human, just like the rest of us. Know it happens to us all. And go on.
Go home. Treat yourself to a comfort snack. Call a friend. Take a long hot bath. Get a good night’s sleep. And go on. It won’t be the last time. But as you gain more practice at remaining positive, these instances will happen less frequently, at longer and longer intervals.
04 Mar 2015 2 Comments
What? You can’t garden you say. Your thumb is perpetually brown, not a green sprig in sight?
That’s okay. You can still have an area where you pay tribute to your loved ones that have passed. You can use statuary, stepping stones, garden signs, flags, windmills, chimes, bricks painted with their names – the possibilities are endless.
Here’s a short excerpt from MEMORY GARDENS: Botanical Tributes to Celebrate our Loved Ones (just released at Amazon this week) to give you some ideas.
It is possible to have a beautiful memory garden area without a single plant. Thousands of concrete and polyresin pieces exist, with loving sayings, angels, rainbows and a multitude of symbolic meanings that can create a memory area at your house, on a patio, in a corner of a room, or on a mantle. Angels in every form or fashion you can imagine are available. Pick up any mail order catalog. Do an internet search. Possibilities abound with something you can use to create a special space for our loved one.
Were they an ocean lover? Fill a basket, or a planter area, with sea shells, driftwood or pieces of smooth edged sea glass.
Were they a bowler? An old bowling ball or a bowling pin inscribed with their name will fill your memory area with special thoughts.
Look around your house or your yard. Find a corner, a niche, an area that you can fill with mementoes that bring your special loved one to mind. It may take a weekend. It may be an ongoing project that you keep adding to as you go along. When you spy that additional little trinket that brings your loved one to mind, think of them as you purchase it and bring it home to add to your collection. Their memories remain alive in your remembrance. Cherish the memories that return to you unbidden, even though they are sometimes painful and saddening. Our tears and emotions keep our feelings alive, and the connections with our loved ones open.
25 Feb 2015 1 Comment
MEMORY GARDENS: Botanical Tributes to Celebrate our Loved Ones
Planting a Memory Garden is a very special tribute to honor the memories of a loved one, or loved ones. It is a way to have a living reminder, where seeing the plant, tending to it and enjoying the beauty of flowers or fragrance brings your loved ones to mind.
Your Memory Garden can be anything you want it to be. It can be as simple as one plant or one stepping stone to honor someone’s memory. It may be a small corner with a few plants and possibly a piece of statuary. It can also be a more elaborate, full-blown garden with many plants, possibly a winding path and perhaps a small bench or seating area to sit and reflect. Your garden can be any size you wish it to be, according to the space and land you have available, and the number of plants you wish to maintain.
A Memory Garden can be a place of solace, a place to remember and heal. It is a gift you give yourself, a living legacy of memories and love.
A memory garden is just that, a place to recognize and honor memories – the memories of our loved ones.
A garden is a living memorial for us, the living. It does not bring them back. It does not remove our pain or grief, although for many it does help soothe and soften the grieving.
The planning, the gardening, the caring for living plants nurtures our souls; it is a way for us to say — Here. I place this plant, or this stepping stone, or this statuary, in your honor and memory. It is a symbol. It is a symbol of my love for you. I cherished you in my life. I miss you. I will remember you.
I believe they see our tributes. I am a firm believer in the afterlife, and that our loved ones still know what is happening in our lives. I have too many unexplained coincidences in my own life and experiences that confirms it for me. Does it help to believe my brother is here, that he is sending a message, that he is still involved in my life, yet I can’t see him? Some days, yes! It is comforting. Some days, absolutely NO! I want to see him, I want to give him a hug, I want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. But I can’t do that. And sometimes I still get angry about that.
Grief is not a static emotion. It is not a one-way path. We do not walk the pathway of grief, one step at a time, to the end, where we reach ‘non-grief’. We waver. We’re back and forth. Some days we’re good. Sometimes we drift along towards healing. We go on and live our lives. (We have to. We have no choice.) And other days, there will be one memory, one song, one fragrance, one thought – and we are suddenly back to a painful place that we thought we’d left behind.
Just remember this, on the path of grieving NO ONE’S path is the same! None of us will have a journey exactly like another’s. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s ‘normal’, or what’s ‘not normal’. Follow your own heart. Follow your own healing.
Yes, go on living. Definitely do so, as we are still alive. But we can do that while keeping the memories sacred and honored.
I take comfort in the actions of caring for zinnias, believing that my brother will know that when I tend to them, I’m thinking of him. When I tend to the red rose, I’m thinking of Grandma Jones. When I clip the carnations, I’m thinking of Grandpa Jones.
For many years, families were the caretakers of loved one’s gravesites. The whole day was spent there, often with picnics. A celebration was created around the loving care of the final resting places. Nowadays, some people still do this, but not many. I loved to take flowers to the graves of loved ones at Christmas. Now, I’m too far from any of them to be able to do that. So tending the plants in my backyard is a way of making that connection. That is something I can do every day, not just on holidays and honoring special dates.
Why plant a memory garden? For our own healing. For our own souls. For a tribute to the ones we loved that no longer walk this earthly planet with us.
Stay tuned …. MEMORY GARDENS: BOTANICAL TRIBUTES TO CELEBRATE OUR LOVED ONES is slated for ebook publication next month!
18 Feb 2015 4 Comments
Attitude of Gratitude
It took me a long time to learn this lesson. And it’s one that I have to keep relearning periodically.
I was grumbling to myself on the way into work one day. I didn’t want to be up at that hour. I didn’t want to be there. I don’t make enough money. I wasn’t looking forward to my tasks for the day. Blah-blah-blah … I kept my internal gripe session going all the way across the parking.
Then, I remembered I should be having an attitude of gratitude. What? For THIS? For THIS job? Gag.
But … it could be worse, I reminded myself. I could have NO job. I could be working outside in the heat. (It was June in Texas). I could not have the ability to perform my job.
I turned it around and started listing out what I WAS grateful for.
Thank you for this job.
Thank you for the groceries I can buy and the supplies, gasoline, and meals I can purchase because of this job.
Thank you for my legs that work, which enable me to get to this job.
Thank you for my arms that work, that enable me to do this job.
Thank you for my mind, which gives me the knowledge I need to do this job.
Thank you for my sight.
Thank you for my car, which gets me to work.
Thank you for the house with its roof that keeps me dry and the air conditioning that keeps me cool.
Thank you for the dogs and cats at home that slather me with love.
Thank you for where I live, with no smog and blue skies filled with fluffy white clouds.
Thank you for my life and breath, there are worse alternatives.
Thank you ….
Once I got on a roll, the things I saw in my life to be grateful for rolled on and on. All through the day I kept seeing new opportunities to be grateful. (After an encounter with a particularly rude customer that morning, I even had a ‘Thank you that I’m not grouchy and rude like that lady’ moment.)
It was amazing. This literally changed my attitude and my life.
Do I remember to do this every day? No. I get busy. I get rushed. I get stressed. And before I know it, I’ve fallen back into my old habits. But I find that I don’t dwell there for as long. Something reminds me and I start my litany of gratitude’s again, resurfacing to a life that is filled with blessings once again.
Give it a try!