Words for Wednesday: sorry, not sorry

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Social distancing in more ways than one

Believe it or not, I haven’t had much spare time to write posts for this blog.

Yes, we are sheltering in place at home, social and physical distancing, flattening the curve, etc., doing our part to help contain the virus that has most of the world in its grip.

And you would think by being at home and having nothing on the calendar except cancelled appointments, I would have ample opportunities to sit down at my desktop computer and compose. String words together to make sentences galore. Fill up the screen with my thoughts in written word.

Huh. Not happening. Why?

Because a five-year-old now lives with us for the duration of this crisis. And five-year-olds don’t allow for much peace, quiet, and alone time. Five year-olds go non-stop from the time they awaken in the morning (“Papa, Nana, it’s morning time, get up!”) to when they finally fall asleep at night (while you read countless stories over and over again).

On warmer, nicer days (and we haven’t had many so far this spring), we play outside and go for walks. But our indoor activities are chock full of made-up games of pretend, daily challenges (and she makes up the challenges!), doing workbook pages of letters, numbers, dot-to-dot, and kindergarten lessons (even though she won’t attend kindergarten until fall), coloring, painting, play-dough creating, Lego building, and games, games, games.

Our granddaughter LOVES games. And since we have played games she has here (Trouble, Sorry, Guess Who, Daniel Tiger Bingo, and Frozen Match Game) so many times, we resorted to our cache of games from our kids’ childhoods that were stored away in the basement. So Little One now has learned how to play Uno, Jenga, a card game called Waterworks, and even Battleship. And she’s caught on quickly.

She’s truly proved it might be genetic because we are a family that plays games every time we are all together. And you know what? Even though I’m tired (and so is Papa) from our 24/7 child care duty during this time, I am grateful.

I’m thankful that we are enjoying time with our granddaughter when so many grandparents can’t visit with theirs in person. I’m grateful that we can see and converse with all of our family, including our other two younger grandchildren, on a group FaceTime like we did just the other evening.

We had the best time talking, laughing, and just generally being silly with our entire immediate family all on our cell phones. And it warmed this Nana and Papa’s hearts to hear our three-year-old grandchild yell into the cell phone, “I want to see Nana and Papa!!”

Is it easy staying home? Not too difficult for us retired folks, but it does have challenges. Is it hard to be physically separated from our loved ones and friends? Yes, it is.  But we have phones and other ways to communicate. And I’m grateful for that.

Last month, I had planned to once again lead a ladies Bible study in my home. Well, obviously, that didn’t happen. So this week, I’m especially thankful for our computer guru son-in-law who gave instructions for this non-technical person on how to video conference online with my group and get our sessions started in the next few days.

I do feel sorry that we all have to endure this difficult time. I’m sorry that hardships have come our way. But I’m also not sorry because as we stay home, we must find reasons to feel gratitude. To express thankfulness. And we will.

I will leave you with words recently written by American retired teacher and chaplain Kitty O’Meara, that’s been making the rounds on the web. You may have already seen it, but I urge you to read it once more because you can find reasons that make this all worthwhile.

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: heavenly scent

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I bring this offering to you today to brighten your world.

Several of these bloom right off my front porch.

They are of the most beautiful bluish purple persuasion.

They are one of the reasons I welcome the season called spring.

Those delicate petals exude the most luxurious scent.

And I wish you could delight in their delicious aroma.

They are hyacinths. One of my favorite spring time flowers.

“Man needs bread and hyacinths: one to feed the body, and one to feed the soul.” ~ Sharon Creech

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Words for Wednesday: desert adventure

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My brother-in-law leading us on an adventure

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That view!

 

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Arizona sunshine and beauty

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies, and adopting new viewpoints.”  ~ Wilferd Peterson

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Words for Wednesday: tools

blogIMG_9246Tools, technology, or both.

I captured this photo of Papa (my husband) surveying an entire wall full of hand tools. The display was one of the many exhibits we viewed at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation last fall on our trip to Michigan. I found the quote from the late Steve Jobs written above the display interesting.

Papa gazed at this exhibit for a long time because Papa is a tool man. He likes tools. He likes to own tools. He likes to tinker with tools. He like to repair, replace, replenish, or build things with his hands while they hold some useful tool for doing so.  

Papa also uses technology. He uses it as a tool, sometimes to search online for help in using his handheld tools, sometimes to find suggestions for solving a problem with one of his tools.

But technology can’t and doesn’t replace utilizing our hands to wield a tool to get a job accomplished. There’s a time and place to use good old-fashioned tools and there’s a time and place to use technology.

What would happen if we abandoned using real tools for virtual ones? What might take place if we use our hands only for technology?

“If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: timeless

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“To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.” ~ Daniel Libeskind

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“Architecture is not about space but about time.” ~  Vito Acconel

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“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.”  ~  Frank Gehry

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: Spring by Tiffany

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Tiffany glass art @ Carnegie Museum of Art

I’m longing for spring. I’m longing for color in my world. 

Green. In the expanse of grass on our lawn. In the leaves budding forth on the trees.

Purple. In the first crocuses of the season that pop up through the soil.

Yellow. In the daffodils that peek their sunny faces through the shrubs around our house.

Pink. In the aromatic hyacinths that make the air smell so sweet.

Red. In the perky tulips that make me smile.

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Tiffany glass art @ Carnegie Museum of Art

And if spring won’t cooperate and arrive soon, I’ll have to find those colors in these photos of beautiful Tiffany glass artwork on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

For me, they are a complete picture of spring.

“Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture.” ~ Maggie Stiefvater

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Words for Wednesday: Party!

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The birthday celebration was grand. The My Little Pony theme proved to be a big hit with the younger set and the adults enjoyed a great time of friendship and fellowship as well.

Little One (our first grandchild) turned five. (How can that be???) The children played pin the tail on the pony (Nana made the pony tails and Mommy made the pony), had pony races, got pony cutie marks (washable tattoos), designed their own bookmarks,  made rainbow edible jewelry with Froot Loops cereal,  and smacked the head off a My Little Pony pinata to gather up candy.

Keeping with the My Little Pony theme by using some of the characters’ names, food served included Twilight Sparkle hay bales (Rice Krispie treats), Spike’s spikes (Bugles snacks), Rarity’s crystals (rock candy), Apple Jack’s applesauce, Rainbow Dash’s fruit salad, and Fluttershy’s bunny food (raw veggies and dip).

And now that Little One is five, she now says she wants to be six! Don’t grow up too fast, my sweet grandchild. Remember that F I V E is Fantastic, Incredible, Vivid, and Energetic and enjoy every moment as you grow and learn this year. 

“Grandkids bring you into a sweeter, slower present. They show you the future at a time when a lot of your friends are thinking about the past. And they take you back to childhood–theirs, the parents’, your own: a three-time admittance to wonderland.” ~ Adair Lara

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: Inspiration

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Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems @ Carnegie Museum of Natural History

On our recent jaunt to the city to escape the throes of winter doldrums and cabin fever, Papa and I visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art. You can read about that in yesterday’s post.

I’ve learned over the years that I am a very visual person. Pictures, photographs, images often provide inspiration for me. So when my visual world is colorless and drab (like it is now), creativity sparks just don’t fire in my brain.

That changed once I stepped into this mirrored room in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems at the Carnegie museum.  Perched on glass shelves inside of octagonal-shaped, glass curios lined up and reflected by lights and wall-to-wall mirrors, the gems and minerals displayed there lit up my brain like a Christmas tree.

blogIMG_0535blogIMG_0536blogIMG_0538I wanted to stay in that room for a long time just gazing at the astonishing beauty of it all and capturing photos with my camera.  The optical illusion of it all felt like you were wandering through a maze, making you, perhaps, feel a bit like Alice trapped in the looking glass.

Glimmer, shimmer, and magical, it was almost like a siren song, calling out to me and uplifting my weary, dreary spirit.

Happiness is where you find it. Sometimes you just have to look for it. And for me, I found it here.

“There are little gems around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” ~ Richelle Mead

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: the mountain

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Camp on the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro

When a mountain towers over us, some of us find ourselves immovable. Others are motivated to climb that mountain to the very top and shout, “I did it!”

Some of us are challenged by what seems a daunting task. Others dig down deep, find inspiration and motivation to keep moving onward and upward.

“Mountains know secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up.”  ~ Tyler Knott

If you didn’t get a chance to read my oldest daughter’s story about developing perseverance while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro five years ago, please click here.

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Getting a little closer

Today I’m sharing some of her photos from that amazing journey she took – the one which not only challenged her physically but mentally as well. I’m proud to say she tackled that mountain both ways and found inner strength while doing so.

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Nearing the summit at daybreak

I hope you also can face whatever challenge before you, tackle your own mountains, and reach the rewarding summit.

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The summit

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”~ Barry Finlay

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com