Good Wednesday morning. I’ve been on a siesta the last few weeks with my inspiring posts of the week. We’re back.
Kurt Harden @ Cultural Offering with his post titled You Sir at Pump 16…. I watched this clip three times. Susan watched it. The kids watched it. We all loved it. Do yourself a favor and start your day with a smile. Hit this link.
Rian @ Truth and Cake with her post Forget The Blueprint, Ride the Mechanical Bull: “…Often, we’re so hellbent on getting it right that we miss the point entirely. The right career, the right school, the right spouse, the right restaurant, the movie with the good reviews, wearing the right outfit and snagging that just right opportunity and hopefully doing something really meaningful and perfect with our lives: these things obsess us. I can look back on a (very large) handful of times in my life when I was given an amazing opportunity or experiencing something really great that, in retrospect, I stressed way too much over. Will I blow this? Will it work out? Where’s the next opportunity going to come from? What if people think I’m crazy?…Read more of this great post from a Freshly Pressed Blogger @ this link.
Seventhvoice with her post A Childless Mother, Is still A Mother. Though her arms may be empty… her heart never will: “Mother’s Day has always been an incredibly difficult day for me. Filled as it is with mixed emotions but not for the reasons you might think. It’s not a difficult day for me because I have a son with Autism or a daughter on the spectrum. In many ways their presence here helps to counteract the whirlpool of emotions that this day normally stirs up in me. Mother’s day is hard for me because I am, or at least I would have been, had everything gone to plan, the mother of seven children. You see, four of my lovely ones never made it kicking and screaming into the light of this world…” Read more of this moving post @ this link.
“…There are moments on the brink, when you can give yourself to a lover, or not; give in to self-doubt, uncertainty, and admonishment, or not; dive into a different culture, or not; set sail for the unknown, or not; walk out onto a stage, or not. A moment only a few seconds long, when your future hangs in the balance, poised above a chasm. It is a crossroads. Resist then, and there is no returning to the known world. If you turn back, there is only what might have been. Above that invisible crossroads are inscribed the words: Give up your will, all who travel here…”
Passage Excerpt from nytimes.com.
Eddie Catlin – Actor. Peter Batchelor - Narrator / Voice. Music Credits: ”Preparing” by In The Nusery. ”Hope Renewed – Instrumental” by Martin Sebastian Holm.
I can’t say that I execute every day, but I do believe this. Yes I do.
Credits: Story – Thank you Ed O for sharing this amazing story. Image of Jeff Bauman at Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Boston on Saturday: Dailymail.co.uk
Two men. Hitchhiking from Vancouver to Yukon. They traveled over 4,000 miles to the land of icebergs and grizzly bears. This clip reminded me of quote in a post by makebelieveboutique.com:
Infinite nature, which is boundless Spirit, unutterable, not intelligible, outside of all imagination, beyond all essence, unnameable, known only to the heart.
~ Robert Fludd
Lying here in the tall grass
Where it’s so soft
Is this what it is to go home?
Into the Earth
Of worms and black smells
With a larch tree gathering sunlight
In the spring afternoon
And the gates of paradise open just enough
To let out
A flock of geese.
~ Tom Hennen
I felt my blood pressure rising after hitting the send button a few minutes ago on the “bad manners” post. I needed something soothing…so I flipped open Tom Hennen’s new book and voila…magic.
There is some secret that water holds that we need to know. I edge up close to the creek and peer into it for a revelation of some kind, an explanation of the world. Some things I think I know: that the sun rises, that the darkness heals, that animals are intelligent, that rocks are aware, that the earth has a sense of humor. The spring wind is blowing hard. The aspens along the bank make sounds of wood rubbing together, dry boards of an old house in a storm. Fair-weather clouds break loose on the bottom of the western horizon and drift one by one across the blue sky. Below me in the creek there is a clear pool full of minnows. I get down on my belly and carefully put my hand in the water among the small fishes. The minnows jerk past my numb fingers, swift as black seconds ticking. I cannot catch even one.
~ Tom Hennen
Tom Hennen was born in Morris, Minnesota and grew up in a farming family. His poetry was informed by a lifelong and intimate relationship with the prairie. He lives in Minnesota.
It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon.
You are in Paris.
You have no plans for the evening.
Your phone rings.
It’s an invitation to the annual Diner En Blanc.
You and “13,000 people, dressed elaborately in white, will converge at a secret location (in Paris) for the annual DINER EN BLANC. In fifteen minutes they will position 4,000 tables, unveil miles of linens, crystal, sterling and epicurean delicacies. You’ll eat, drink and dance until midnight at which time you’ll will depart as swiftly as you arrived. [Read more...]
Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:
Jon-Mark Davey, South Florida Wildlife Photography kicks us off with his photograph of a orange butterfly shot at Rock Springs Park, Apopka, Florida. Check out one amazing shot after another at Jon-Mark’s site at this link.
Annabel Ruffell @ Journey For Earth with her post titled I am Enough: “But…Often in my life I have felt that I am not enough. I am not being a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough person…I am not doing enough, being enough, am just not enough…” Beautiful post. Read more at this link.
Bonnie @ Pagekeeper with a letter to her her son titled Not All At Once: “…You, growing up, is a long game and even though you and I both want it to all be ok for you right now, let’s both try to remember that you need to take your own time with things. I want you to know that everything I do is for you – so that things are better for you. So that your easy laugh and smiling eyes are always what people see first when they meet you...” Moved. Inspired by this post. Read more at this link.
Coach Bill Moore with his share in a To Run – A Prayer for Boston: “I will take you…on in the street…Every breath of mine…I will consume your hate…I will run straight into you…as if you were a finish line of joy…picking up the fallen…along the way…you will never stop me.” Wonderful. Read full poem by Scott Poole at this link.
Image Source for Juvenile Bald Eagle: Thank you (again) Fairy-Wren
- Fauja Singh ran his first marathon at age 89 and became an international sensation.
- Records? Fastest to run a marathon (male, over age 90), fastest to run 5,000 meters (male, over age 100), fastest to run 3,000 meters (male, over age 100), and on and on they went.
- By his second birthday, Fauja’s parents had cause for concern: He couldn’t walk. His legs were short and spindly, capable of movement but too weak to support his body. He turned 3. No steps yet. Then 4. Still crawling. Children called him danda, Punjabi for “stick.” Family members worried he might be crippled for life, so they consulted village doctors…At age 5, he developed enough strength to hobble. Proper walking didn’t come until around age 10.
- His goal? Get into the Guinness Book of World Records for finishing a Marathon at 100 years old. The race: The Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16, 2011. He’d finished in 8 hours, 25 minutes. He waved to the crowd as he walked across the line, then lifted his arms and accepted a medal. There were smiles and handshakes and photos with friends and strangers, then a rambling news conference for Fauja to reflect on his record. Amid the chaos and congratulations, however, Fauja never noticed the absence of one celebrant they’d expected. Guinness. (Guinness would not recognize Fauja Singh for the record. Read why at this link.)
Epilogue: On February 23, 2013, Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong 10km (6.25 mile) event in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. (Source: BBC News - Oldest Man Runs His Last Race)
DK Note to Self: Get. Off. The. Couch.
Good Wednesday morning. Here are my selections of the inspiring posts of the week:
Luggage Lady with her post titled We Can Never Go Back: “…Every summer growing up, my family journeyed from Chicago suburbia to my grandparent’s farm in southern Illinois. They called us “city kids,” and we couldn’t wait to indulge in the expansive freedoms of country life…Woven into the daily demands were simple pleasures, like piling onto the front porch swing at the end of the long day. Grandparents first, followed by a layer of grandchildren, and topped off with the latest litter of purring kittens. The swing’s chains creaked in time with chirping male crickets claiming their conquests. An occasional freight train rumbled down nearby tracks as we kids marveled at stars not visible back home. Sometimes, a puff of cool air bored through the wall of humidity, teasing us with anticipation of a brewing storm…“
Kurt @ Cultural Offering. with his post titled Friendly Advice where he shares excerpts from a Peggy Noonan interview with the “founder” of Singapore: U.S. is still ‘a frontier society.’ ‘The American culture . . . is that we start from scratch and beat you.’ They would settle an empty area, call it a town, and say, ‘You be the sheriff, I am the judge, you are the policeman, and you are the banker, let us start.” And then Kurt shares a wonderful story about Margaret Thatcher leading from the front among a group of men. This post is titled: Margaret Thatcher R.I.P.
“While describing the uncommon experience of being rejected for a role he coveted, Harrison Ford is amused and understated. He provides the details calmly, without disdain or condescension for the director who initially refused to even talk to him. The story has a successful ending with Ford getting exactly what he wanted, but the striking part about Ford telling it is the noticeable absence of entitlement. Here is a man who has generated an estimated $6 billion in movie-ticket sales worldwide and is one of the most successful actors in film history. But he is still not even slightly offended by a hesitant director.
The character Ford found so compelling is Branch Rickey, a man of surpassing intelligence who played a significant role in advancing civil rights in this country, not only because it was morally proper but also because it was good business. Rickey was the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the man who desegregated baseball by signing 26-year-old Jackie Robinson in 1945 to play for the Montreal Royals, the organization’s top farm team. After spending the 1946 season with Montreal, Robinson was promoted to the major leagues in 1947. Their story is told in the film 42, which debuts in theaters this month. In Rickey, Ford saw a man with complex motivations — honorable because Rickey deplored racial prejudice, but also practical because the better his baseball team, the more money he made. “Ethnic prejudice has no place in sports,” Rickey once lectured, “and baseball must recognize that truth if it is to maintain stature as a national game.”
Harrison Ford. An inspiration. Read more @ American Way Magazine
The Lilac-breasted Roller ”is found in sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring open woodland and savanna; it is largely absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level. Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries. The sexes are alike in coloration. Juveniles do not have the long tail feathers that adults do. It is also the national bird of Botswana and Kenya.” (Source: Wiki)
Image Source: Fairy-Wren
What a task
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun [Read more...]
I’m red faced. This post, and several other Pay it Forwards, are coming in the next week or so. Thank you Ellie @ The Muse Is Working, Barbara @ 365Guitars and Sheri @ Theothersideofugly for your Sunshine Award nominations. I’m paying it forward by nominating the following bloggers who bring a ray of light in my daily reading (with a slant towards photos and photo shares):
- Carol @ Flowers, Trees, & Other Such Gifts of Nature (Simple. Spectacular. Spellbinding. Shots of flowers. Mixed with inspirational quotes.)
- Anake @ THE WAY I SEE IT (Gets me thinking. Eclectic shares. Look forward to it each morning.)
- Seth @ SETHSNAP (Prolific photography of shots in and around Cincinatti and elsewhere. Amazing.)
- Tom & Kat @ hovercraftdoggy (Mix of photography shares. Can’t miss posts. Creative. Wondrous. Thought-provoking.)
- Cristi @ Simple. Interesting. (Wave upon wave of incredible city and scenic shares.)
- Maralee @ Through My Lens (Landscape and Nature shots in and around Oregon. Love her work.)
- Linda @ A Nature Mom (Nature. Family. Captured in awesome way.)
- Nitzus (Family. Landscape. Dream-like shots of Australia, New Zealand. Two places on the top of my bucket list to visit.)
- Sylvia @ Another Day in Paradise (Amazing blend of family and nature. Warmth.)
- Val @ Seattle Inspired (See site. Think imagination and creativity. Never disappoints.)
- David @ David R. Wetzel Photography (Potpourri of ordinary and extraordinary shots of life)
- Scott @ Scott Marshall Photography. (Scotland. Bucket List. Incredible shots. What talent Scott has.)
- Patrick @ Canadian Hiking Photography. (Simply Wow shots of home.)
- Inga @ Inga’s Angle (Spellbinding shots of NYC…)
To accept the award, the rules are: [Read more...]
Michael Bublé and 15-year old Sam. Sam sings a few bars. Bublé’s reaction? Sam’s facial expressions? Priceless.
And if you haven’t had enough of Bublé (one of Burnaby, B.C. Canada’s favorite sons) and “Feeling Good”, here’s the full version…
It’s an Amazing Grace feeling-kind-of-morning. Here’s Rodney Britt and friends with 53-second clip, which I wished kept going and going.
And from a simple, spiritual, soulful version – - we move to the soul stirring pipes. Amazing Grace hits a crescendo after 4:00 minutes. [Read more...]
A goose bump story from Deadspin. Anthony Robles was born poor and one-legged in Mesa, Arizona. Anthony never met his biological father. He longed for acceptance from his stepfather who wouldn’t forgive him for the color of his skin. He criticized his step-son mercilessly and physically abused his Mother in his presence. Anthony was bullied at school and he chose wrestling to toughen up. He lost every match at first. Then he found the key… Opponents were baffled. Four years later he was a national champion. And now he planned to quit a sport just as he had come to dominate.
Whether you love, hate or are indifferent about sports or wrestling, this is one of the most powerful human interest stories that I’ve read. Some excerpts:
“The day Robles entered the world, doctors whisked him from the delivery room, to spare his mother, 16 years old and single, the shock of seeing her one-legged child. He was what’s known as a congenital amputee, and the cause of his condition remains unknown. When the doctors finally returned him to his mother, she looked her boy over carefully and predicted that the smooth declivity where his right leg should have been marked the end of her freedom forever.”
“Three years later, another doctor thought Robles would walk better with a prosthesis and fitted him with a heavy artificial leg. The boy promptly took it off when he got home and hid it behind a piece of furniture. At five, he shinnied 50 feet up a pole outside his house.”
“But if Robles was willful and assured by nature, a childhood of being stared at and taunted eventually saddled him with terrible self-consciousness. ‘I wanted to fit in so badly,’ he later said of his elementary and junior high school years. ‘For a while I tried to hide … to be camouflaged.’ But the bullies were not put off, and Robles gave up trying to disguise his differences.”
You are a college student. You go to see Billy Joel perform on campus. He was a childhood idol. You also happen to play the piano. You raise your hand during the Q&A section. He calls on you. You ask if you can play your favorite song with him. He agrees. The rest is history. As this student describes it: “The greatest moment of my life.” Sit back and enjoy…this is something special.
Thank you Lori @ Donna & Diablo for sharing this wonderful clip. (LOVED IT!)
The crested caracara is in the falcon family but not fast-flying aerial hunters, but rather sluggish and often scavengers. They are found in Cuba, South America, Central America and Mexico and in the southernmost parts of the U.S. The Northern Caracara has a length of 19-23 inches, a wingspan of 42-51 inches and weighs 1.8-2.9 pounds. It is broad-winged and long-tailed. It has long legs and frequently walks and runs on the ground. The Northern Caracara is an omnivorous scavenger that mainly feeds on carrion. The live prey they do catch is usually immobile, injured, incapacitated or young. Prey species can include small mammals,amphibians, reptiles, fish, crabs, insects, their larvae, earthworms, shellfish and young birds. The voice of this species is a low rattle. (Source: Wiki)
Image Source: Thank you Steve Layman via Head Like An Orange
A jobless Senegalese man (Omar Sy) applies for a caregiver position for Philippe, a wealthy quadriplegic (Francois Cluzet). He is hired and brings Philippe a reinvigorated appreciation for living. As improbable as the plot line may be, the movie is feel-good medicine for a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It is light, warm-hearted and funny. Omar Sy steals the show. The movie was a smashing success in France. Critics’ Reviews: Andrew O’Hehir (Salon), Roger Ebert (Sun-Times), Rex Reed (NY Observer). DK Grade: * * * * *
The Intouchables @ Amazon. (Note: this is a French flick with subtitles.)
The burrowing owl is a tiny but long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. The burrowing owl measures 19–28 cm (7.5–11 in) long, spans 50.8–61 cm (20.0–24 in) across the wings and weighs 140–240 g (4.9–8.5 oz). As a size comparison, an average adult is slightly larger than an American Robin. Burrowing Owls can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any or any other open dry area with low vegetation. Unlike most owls, Burrowing Owls are often active during the day, although they tend to avoid the midday heat. But like many other kinds of owls, Burrowing Owls do most of their hunting from dusk until dawn, when they can use their night vision and hearing to their advantage. Burrowing Owls have bright yellow eyes; their beaks can be dark yellow or gray depending on the subspecies.
Source: Thank you fairywren for the photo by Alfred Forns.
The cute birds are Guira Cuckoos and are found in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. It is generally rather shaggy-looking and has a total length of 13 in). It feeds on large arthropods, frogs, eggs, small birds (not nice cuckoo) and small mammals such as mice. It is not an accomplished flier, mostly gliding or hoping from one perch to another. The bird’s call is unmistakeable for bieng long and shrill, something between a long whistle and a wailing. (Just what we need for a wake-up call on a Monday Morning.)
Source: Thank you fairywren for the photo by Jason Ellison.
Thursday. He was running late for lunch. My college roommate. Just like him to be late. My mind whirring back to college…
Short (very) and stocky build. Permanently attired in University of Minnesota Gopher sweatpants and an oversized sweat shirt with hoody. Everything hung large. Everything rumpled. “Unkempt, having an untidy or disheveled appearance.” Webster’s should have added his name. He was the magnetic center – the beating heart – of every college party. Quarter-bounce champ into Pabst Blue Ribbon at the Alibi. Ringleader for late night games of Hearts. Out late. (Very) Up late. (Very) Blessed with a quick wit and quicker on the ice. Selected easiest path to graduation: Art. Sculpture. Sociology. Physical Education. And even this was a struggle. Yet, he was never late for hockey practice. Vote never taken, but most likely to end up next to the curb.
He walked in. Hair salt and peppered grey. Blazer. Blue open collar shirt. Tropical skin tone. (He’s got it together.)
One word. Beautiful.
If I could stay just for a minute more
Then I could say all the things I’ve been saving up for
Never enough time in the day & moments like this
come a moment too late
And, there’s so many things that I don’t understand
And I’m standing in line with my open hand
Waiting for some explanation
Something to hold onto
And the minutes of the day turn to hours of the week
And time’s slippin’ away & we don’t hardly speak
And I’m feeling so lost deep in my soul…
Yet, another remarkable post from Brainpickings titled 9 Rules for Success where Maria Popova shares excerpts from an essay by British novelist Amelia E. Barr (1831-1919). Barr, despite a devastating loss of her husband and three of their six children to yellow fever in 1867, went on to become a dedicated and diligent writer, eventually reaching critical success at the age of fifty-two. I’d encourage you to read the entire post at this link as it is that good. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:
1) Men and women succeed because they take pains to succeed. Industry and patience are almost genius; and successful people are often more distinguished for resolution and perseverance than for unusual gifts. They make determination and unity of purpose supply the place of ability.
2) Success is the reward of those who “spurn delights and live laborious days.” We learn to do things by doing them. One of the great secrets of success is “pegging away.” No disappointment must discourage, and a run back must often be allowed, in order to take a longer leap forward.
5) We have been told, for centuries, to watch for opportunities, and to strike while the iron is hot. Very good; but I think better of Oliver Cromwell’s amendment — “make the iron hot by striking it.” [Read more...]
“Mohammad Azmi, a 55-year-old former contractor, has dedicated his life to rescuing stray dogs and cats, despite living in a country (Malaysia) where dogs are considered taboo and filthy…However for Mohammad Azmi, who is fondly known as Pak Mie, his love for these animals is unconditional, as he, with the help from his wife, splurge their savings on the stray animals by providing a shelter, food and medication on daily basis, apart getting donations from concerned citizens… This also means that they have to lead a simple life; so simple that they sleep in the car parked outside the shelter that they built just to make sure that no one harms the animals during the night. Although Pak Mie knows that he will never get anything in return by sacrificing his normal life, he is hopeful that he will continue to do so until his last breath.”
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Young baby elephant goes for a swim. I haven’t seen anything like it. One happy creature…
Good Sunday Morning.
Source: Thank you Eric.
Woke up this morning with
a terrific urge to lie in bed all day
and read. Fought against it for a minute.
Then looked out the window at the rain.
And gave over. Put myself entirely
in the keep of this rainy morning.
Would I live my life over again?
Make the same unforgiveable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance. Yes.
~ Raymond Carver, “Rain“
The runaway winner among all the Superbowl commercials. Dodge Ram Truck. And Paul Harvey. GOOD DAY!
Here’s my Aunt Olga.
She grew up as the only girl among four brothers. Tall. A striking blond. Remarkable blue eyes. A warm and infectious smile.
She left our rural home town more than 45 years ago to strike it out on her own. The Rebel. A young, single woman. Moving to the big city. Leaving behind a Mother who worried about her welfare. A Mother who took every opportunity to remind her daughter about her angst.
As a professional stylist, she built a deep and loyal roster of clients. Several times over. Her practice supported her love of travel. We’d know because she’d bring back gifts. A “Babuska doll” from Moscow. Maracas from Mexico. A flaming red scarf from Spain. A miniature Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower.
She’d come back home to a three generation pile-up of freeloading customers. We’d move a kitchen chair into the garage and she would mow down the Kanigan mullets one by one. Never a complaint. The line stretching around the corner. Yep, Olga came home for a few days of R&R.
My Auntie. Independent. Industrious. A positive spirit. A generous, big-hearted soul. And, a lady who has suffered through some of life’s deepest disappointments. Yet, those sparkling blue eyes and hearty smile keep it all rooted deep down, with no evidence of flotsam bubbling to the surface. She’s since found happiness. And a good Man. And no one deserves it more.
Here was her email to clients and friends on her last day of work yesterday: [Read more...]
“A pair of backpackers, trail names of North Star and Shutterbug, quit their day jobs in 2012, and took 165 days to hike the Pacific Coast Trail, from Mexico to Canada, all 2,660 miles of it. And each day, they snapped off a photo of their tent.” The foot-tapping music is “Old Pine” by Ben Howard.
Bottom line: LOVED IT.
Good Sunday morning.
Source: Grindtv. ”North Star” is Anna Sofranko, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Shutterbug is a professional photographer and a native of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Both are dedicated backpackers who this year will be hiking the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand. You can find their blog @ Wandering the Wild.
This short ~3 minute clip is a portrait of a modern Inuit family set in North Greenland. Beautiful cinematography, music and script. Good Sunday morning…
SEPTEMBER, 2010: START OF RACHEL’S FRESHMAN YEAR
Dad: Don’t do it. Don’t join a Sorority. I didn’t join a Sorority…I turned out O.K.
Daughter: Dad, you’re a hermit.
Dad: Honey, it’s all about drinking, parties, and trouble. Don’t do it.
Daughter: Dad, you don’t know what you are talking about.
Dad: Honey, I’m not going to tell you what to do. You are 19 now but I wish you wouldn’t do it.
Daughter: (Ceases conversation on topic. Cuts yet another infuriating side deal with Mom. Does it anyway.)
Dad to Mom: If Grades tank, Katy Bar the Door. There will be a Day of Reckoning.
Kanigan Household: (Ignores Dad. And life goes on. King goes back and sits on his throne mumbling.)
SEPTEMBER 2012: START OF RACHEL’S JUNIOR YEAR
Rachel is named President of her Sorority, Delta Delta Delta (aka Tri Delta).
JANUARY 24-26, 2013: TRI DELTA NATIONAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE. MEMPHIS, TN.
Here’s the email she’s pecked out on her phone to her Mom and Dad late last night…