Monday, April 30, 2012

"Z" is for Zero, Zilch....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~


Sporadically, modern life throws us into a bottomless murky abyss through ceaseless demands and obligations, loss of a loved one or a job, faced with a life threatening illness, financial forfeiture and constraints with hundreds more of equally demoralizing stressors.
….nada, the well is empty and you have reached the end of your rope.
Of course, we don’t all become destitute or consider suicide as a way out; although I’m certain if you are like me at the time it feels as if this is how you may end up since your world is caving in on you. Hopefully you are assured in your heart of hearts that this period of nothingness will not continue forever.
During these times, we all are walking wounded be it financially, emotionally, physically or spiritually.  But when we have nothing left where do we turn? Many turn to prayer or reach out to a friend or loved one to fill their reserves.
What are your options when there’s zero, zilch left in your tank?
“Nothing lasts forever, I think that’s the easiest lesson we all learn in the hardest way.”
By Elaine Kirby



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flowers for Leontien....

Flowers for Leontien


A fellow blogger, Leontien is battling cancer so Nancy has organized an event that was to take place yesterday for bloggers to post Flowers for Leontien on their blog.


With the A to Z Challenge happening, my flowers for Leontien was delayed to take place today with no less significance.



Leontien, I pray for strength and healing....



May God heal your body and soul.
May your pain cease,
May your strength increase,
May your fears be released,
May blessings, love, and joy surround you.
Amen.



...thinking of you Leontien...



Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Y" is for Yesterday...

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~



The span of our lifetime is a conglomeration of days-
Often connected with what we tag as memories,
nostalgia, or the good ol’ days…
Memories of yesterday loiter within my mind
conjuring up all that was left behind.
Although remnants remain in the rearview mirror,
Yesterday lays the substance of our todays
as the door swings in silence
sealed on our residual times.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that's why we call it the present. "

by Winnie the Pooh 



Friday, April 27, 2012

"X" is for Xerox...

perceptions + quotes + reality +
A to Z Challenge~

 

Do you recall as a child when a classmate or friend arrived in school with a new-fangled toy such as Mr. Potato Head or Gumby that you just had to own it? Or how about in junior high when all the girls were sporting a lunch box with David Cassidy on the front, oh la lah well, each teeny-bopper was begging their mother or father to buy the container. How about that psychedelic tye-dye t-shirt, you wanted one didn’t you?
No doubt, if you happened to be the usual adolescent you consumed your formidable years aspiring to be identical to each and every person in your school-an identical being.  This desire to replicate each creature in your presence was critical to the development and acceptance of self. I know personally I hoped to be a carbon copy of my friends because it was cool and ensured acceptance within society, or at least the society of my own educational environment.
I wonder, was it an exact moment or a gradual process when I ceased to hope to be more than a counterfeit of my friends be it their property, their personality or their mannerisms?  Though recognizing it’s a challenging period developing into the person you were meant to be and almost certainly we all spend a lifetime emerging into our personhood.
Quite simply, although not a simple process, we are a work in progress and not a xerox copy.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. "

~e.e. cummings

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"W" is for Whispers...

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~


Her life resembles a whisper,
with soft and gentle hands-
though concealing a sword to strike
impending aches of the open-air .
Her soul rides the temperate breezes
concealing the sorrow using shrouds of snow.
She embraces the act of living
with profound consideration and reflection.
Her spirit seeks strength through
the stream of gratitude
while silencing critics.
She soars on the wings of butterflies
and murmurs hopefulness and compassion
with a tender kiss of adoration.

"Let not thy will roar, when they power can but whisper."
by Thomas Fuller







Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"V" is for Visions....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge



“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
By Henri Matisse


“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
By Jonathan Swift

 “Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder.”
By Eberhard Arnold quotes




 “Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.”
By V. S. Naipaul




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"U" is for Unnecessary....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~


As a daughter I regularly wanted to display the love for my mom by purchasing her a gift. So on special occasions I inquire about the present she’d want or need.  Very seldom would she have a request or need rather most often she’d say she didn’t need a thing-that any offering was unnecessary.
Really? How could that be? In my juvenile mind I was unable to grasp that notion that a person could not ‘want’ for something particularly in the very materialist world in which we live.
Fast forward to today where understanding walks hand in hand with age. When a similar query is posed to me, most often my response matches that of my mom’s; ‘A gift is unnecessary’.
As my forties have bowled into my early 50’s the citation, ‘Live simply so others may simply live.” reverberates in my mind. How many pairs of pants or shoes is critical for one person? How many sweaters are obligatory when truly only one garment can be worn at any one time? How much clutter does a house hold?
I comprehend and appreciate the ‘unnecessary’… as most things are just that; NOT essential. Therefore, the response my mom would offer which was exasperating to hear was accurate as Mom’s typically are- She gets even wiser the older I become. Imagine that!
“Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities”
By Mark Twain


Monday, April 23, 2012

"T" is for Think....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge~

My mind was prepared with no ‘OFF’ switch; seems I’m always creating, writing and thinking in my head. Believe me, I’m not begrudging my contemplations, I‘d just like to get a reprieve from them particularly during sleep hours.
Therefore, I ascertained as butterflies are released into the air so my thoughts are freed onto paper.  So to get underway, here are three things I think I think… ironically beginning with the letter “T”!

1.)   Tiny Treasures: in my sometimes eventful hectic days, I frequently overlook the abundance of tiny treasures in my life. The riches of my son’s giggle, a mug of my favorite specially prepared blend of coffee delivered to my writing space by my hubby and the kitty curled in my lap. More so the soft out-of-the-dryer blanket draped across my shoulders on a chilly day and scrumptious meals lovingly prepared by my husband who knows I hate to cook; tiny treasures indeed~


2.)  Treading into New Territory: Change, while challenging is good. Shaking things up provides a diverse shade of lenses to view life while also allowing and instigating self-discovery, reflection and rejuvenation.


3.)  Together:  The last two Saturdays ‘my boys’ have run in 5K road races. Scott, my husband has come in third in his age bracket while Nicholas has finished in the top ten in his division. Regardless of the position-their best placement was completed together.

So there you have it-three things I think I think. Well actually, I know…
“We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be.”
By George Bernard Shaw


Saturday, April 21, 2012

"S" is for Serendipity....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge


The light in the study remains aglow as darkness envelops me like a warm blanket. I struggle to stay conscious with the ensuing cold medication trickling through my veins. The throbbing ache in my throat grips as I attempt to gulp and breathe.  Dear God, please let me feel better in order to complete the essential paperwork for my early morning meeting. Regardless, sleep apprehends my body.

I awake to the gentle aroma of cinnamon swirl coffee while the cloudiness in my head persists in imprisoning my thoughts. I glance to the time keeper on the cable box and hear the soft buzz of the talking heads on the television announcing school delays and closings. School is closed!
This is what I call a serendipitous moment.

Serendipity is defined by Mirriam-Webster as the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.  Serendipitous is a derivative of that word marked by events that are come upon or found by accident; fortuitous.
This is one of my favorite and most distinctive words as it marks joyful unique moments when life whispers affirmations- a found diamond earring I’d lost years earlier, a dream that revealed clues to an impending fork in the road or yes, an unexpected snow day just at the ‘perfect’ moment.

What is a serendipitous moment in your life?

“Serendipity is putting a quarter in the gumball machine and having three pieces come rattling out instead of one—all red.”

- Peter H. Reynolds

Friday, April 20, 2012

"R" is for Ridiculous Reasons....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge

Miss Angel-Kitty
One of my pet peeves is tardiness. I despise when I’m late for an event or pre-scheduled appointment, which is not very often. In fact, as a result of my disdain for belatedness, I’m classically ten or so minutes early. In my mind, constant delays show a lack of respect for another person’s time.
Therefore, as a result of my disparagement for dillydallies, I’ve created a list of ridiculous reasons for pokiness. Okay, here we go and just so you know, these could very well happen in my house:
1.)   Angel-Kitty wasn't finished with her breakfast yet.
   
     2.) Hurricane ran out the door to romp with Ripley and had to be chased around
          the development.
3.)  I didn’t want to be accused of being the principal’s pet so I began acting out by being late.
4.)  I got lost on my way to work. Yeah, I know I only live one mile down the road but my husband was showing me a new way to get there!
5.)  My son burned his pop tart in the frying pan and dropped a gallon of milk on the floor.
 
"I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much
jollier than the people who have to wait for them.”
By E.V. Lucas
  Hmmmmm, perhaps I should try this method~


Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Q" is for Quiet...

perceptions + quotes + reality =

A to Z Challenge~


…the soft whirring of a fan…
…a brook tripping over stones…

...a bird singing his tune...
…the reeds gently swaying in the breeze…
…paint brushes dancing across the canvas…
…tears streaming down my face…
…a candle glowing in a room…
…gentle rains trickling off the trees…
…an eagle in majestic flight…
…kittens purring by my side…
…the humming of the light welcoming me home…
…these are the things that are..
Quiet


“In quiet moments when you think about it, you recognize what is critically important in life and what isn’t. Be wise and don’t let good things crowd out those that are essential.”

By Elder Richard G. Scott


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"P" is for Prince...

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge



I am not a princess.

Although as a little girl, I’m confident I desired to be royalty as did most of my chums.  We imagined being glamorous and elegant with perfect figures, flawless hair, wearing exquisite dazzling gowns singing a most cheerful tune.

We envisioned ourselves dancing gracefully across a magnificent golden ball room floor in the arms of the most handsome prince who was of course, head over heels in love with us. We were the adoration of every woman and desired by fine outstanding gentlemen. Our leading man was catering to our every whim.
Well, I love a fairy tale as much as the rest of the world but truth be told, I grew up in a very small town bordered by farm fields far from anything resembling royalty.  At thirty years of age my hopes had faded and I was content to scrub the floors, wash dishes and turn down the beds. I was sealed within the walls of the stone castle, destined to the glass encasing.

Little did I recognize my prince was hovering around the corner atop his white horse ready to implant a wakening kiss while slipping on the proverbial glass slipper.  My knight in shining armor was disguised as the man who would ask for my hand in marriage.
My husband, my prince...and in his eyes, I am a princess.
“Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after.”
By Dr. Robert Anthony


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"O" is for Ocean....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge




As I sit and watch the ocean
It appears to be calm, but it isn’t always.
I notice the sea gulls, waiting in anticipation
Of something-food, a storm, perhaps a companion.
They watch me closely,
As if in some way, I would provide for their needs.
In the west, the sun begins to set,
Losing its brightness like a burned out fire.
The tide inches in toward me.
I feel it’s closeness as it caresses the rock
Upon which I sit.
The splashes feel like cold tear drops
Against my arms and face.
The sky, which was once blue jeweled with the sun setting
Is turning a dark grey.
Clouds rumbling like the rushing waves.
It’s getting late now.
The tide’s moving again.
I feel cold and lonely as it ebbs away.
Losing the tide’s closeness
Waiting for it to reappear
Soft and calm.



“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”


--Anonymous

Monday, April 16, 2012

"N" is for Nourish...

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge


The sun setting at Emerald Isle, NC


We pray, read devotions and attend church to sustain our spirituality.  We consume healthy foods in an attempt to maintain a balanced diet that enhances our bodily self.  To manage our heart we lift weights, ride a bike or run on a treadmill. We complete puzzles, read books and study to augment our brain power.

When emptiness is upon us, what is it that we embrace to nourish our soul? For many of us this sustenance is derived from a sense of purpose; an extension encompassing our job or family.  For others nourishment may be fluid and embraces our social circles, leisure activities or volunteerism.

Personally, I try to preserve an even personality by maintaining structure and balance between all the undertakings noted above.  However when demands and expectations come at me like projectiles, my stress level intensifies and intervention is in order.
No doubt, my preferred undertaking is a trip to the beach; to engulf my ambiance with the sea. The act of peering out over the vast ocean reminds me I am just one grain of sand amidst thousands-- it prompts me to recognize I am not alone. The rhythmic song of the waves feeds my spirit and reinforces my oneness with the world as I immerse myself into what is true and genuine. My soul once again is thriving, tranquil, and in concert as the sea…

What do you do to nourish your soul?

"The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on." 
~Josiah Gilbert Holland

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"M" is for Mirror....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge

Image taken from internet...

“Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”  


Mirrors are decorative, often used wall hangings that Webster describes as a looking glass that gives a true description of life, a true representation.

Self-reflection is a progression as well as an essential skill to enhance and transform our person. This course of action is tough, although the received tips are relevant toward the betterment of the individual we desire to be. Ego analysis is also vital in advancing toward and mapping our life’s dreams, goals and desires.


However, I must confess it IS demanding to evaluate our thoughts, feelings and actions especially on the occasion when we’ve mistreated another. Yet, that appears to be the precise time when it is required most- to honorably gaze at the mirror’s reflection and candidly question our own distinct faults and shortcomings.

Undoubtedly, as we all know, the mirror’s response was Snow White- much to the chagrin of the Queen. At times, the answers reflected back tend to mirror the response of the Queen-that which we don’t care to hear; much to our own embarrassment since some introspection is tricky to swallow.


“It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection; force of character and judgment.”
By Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous.”
 – Confucius

Friday, April 13, 2012

"L" is for Love Limerick...

Perceptions + Quotes + Reality =
A to Z Challenge



I once met a guy named Scott
I wanted to like him a lot
We dated for years
despite all my fears
Then eventually tied the knot


I love you my sweet husband....

"Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning."
by Unknown

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"K" is for kindling.....

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge
image from the internet...
y Dante Alighier
As defined by Mirriam-Webster’s Dictionary, kindling-the dry twigs, pieces of paper, etc…that burn effortlessly and are recycled to start a fire reminds me of small beginnings.

I consider this brushwood to be the fleeting thoughts or ideas that spark and commence with "I wonder if…" or "Do you think it possible?" These notions possess the chance to develop into the early stages of significant happenings or events. To nurture the tender beginnings requires careful planning and preparation as well as the ideas necessitating a course of action.

I am a teacher of children with special needs. However, in recent years I have become disillusioned with education; the minimal funding, the stress on testing, the shrinking services available to my kids besides the fact that the growing demands of paperwork stifled the enjoyment of educating my students.

Within the last few months, the twigs were ignited by the conception of moving jobs that perhaps would alleviate these frustrations. Yesterday I received a job offer to teach a special education Kindergarten class. I am thrilled beyond belief and the fire is burning bright.

Yes, "K" is for Kindling, but in my world, "K" is also for Kindergarten!

"From a little spark may burst a flame."

By Dante Alighieri

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"J" is for Joy~


Perceptions + Quotes + Reality =
A to Z Challenge


Joyful!
satisfaction, exultant
laughing, smiling, glowing
an unexpected job offer~
Jubilant!

“May today mark the beginning of many new joys and accomplishments…and a continuation of all of the good things that you have already achieved.”
by unknown...


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"I" is for Imperfections? Ideas?...perhaps 'I don't know...'

perceptions + quotes + reality =
A to Z Challenge

 

I had a perplexing time determining an idea for letter ‘I’ although the subsequent terms came to mind; imperfections, inadequate, insufficient. Interesting, yes?
What made this letter more difficult than all the rest and what I knew would eventually catch up with me in this challenge is my desire to be perfect. Most times, or a lot of times, or some of the time I can pacify, soothe and appease this robust yearning to be flawless and faultless. I really thought I would find the most awesome word for letter “I” and the ensuing words would spill onto the paper.

URGH, but no, not this time as my impeccable and undulating desire to please was hindering me to settle for anything less than perfection- NOPE, imperfect was not a viable option.
You see, I have hundreds, or thousands of ideas in my head for most occassions; as we all do but long ago, decided that’s exactly where they are the safest. If they remain tucked inside my cranium no one can critique me, ridicule me or cast me aside because they don’t favor my idea, therefore my thoughts and my impressions and yes, my ideas stay neatly tucked away inside this skull.

So if you have any ideas to curb perfectionism, I’m all approachable, I think!
I don't know.... maybe I am~

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”

By Buddha