Tag Archives: writing

Theme Song Thursday:) Come Sit With Me

28 Sep

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

~Warren Buffett

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One of my passions is writing, thus this daily blog. But, I also enjoy reading posts every day from the many other writers that I follow. This morning, when I read my daily inspiration from DivorcedCatholic.org, I was genuinely moved. It reminded me of the many times when my boys were little, and they would ask me to come sit with them or play with them. I usually tried to comply, but sometimes the standard, “Just a minute” would pop out.

When I read this story, I started to tear up. I remembered so vividly a few occasions when my youngest son would come home from school or a baseball game or some event, and he would be very quiet. Even back then, he never really talked about what was bothering him. But, once in a while, he would just come and sit next to me, then lay his head on my chest and prop his feet up on the couch. I would just stroke his hair without a word. He didn’t need me to say anything or fix anything. He just needed to sit with me and know that he was loved.

Sometimes that’s all we need, someone to sit there without a word and love you. That’s why when I go to church on Sunday, or light a candle before support group on Wednesday, or when I open my eyes in the morning, or before I fall asleep and close my eyes at night, I silently say “Thank You” to God for my blessings and strength and family and friends. I don’t have to say it out loud. I just rest my head on His chest, silently.

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Your Daily Inspiration for Thursday, September 28, 2017

The other day, I remembered an incident that happened when my son was four years old. As I walked into the kitchen, he was watching his favorite TV show. Patting the seat of his chair, he looked up at me with these big, puppy-dog eyes and said, “Can you come and sit with me?” My heart melted. Even though I had a million things to do, I could not resist the invitation and sat down with him. He snuggled up close to me and rested his head on my chest. We sat there very content for the next twenty minutes silently enjoying each other’s company. It was one of those “moments,” and I came away with a renewed sense of peace, feeling very grateful for the time spent and for my son.

A divorce or separation can crash into your world fragmenting your time, attention, and energy. Whether it’s raising kids as a single parent, working two jobs to make ends meet, coping with the emotional fallout of a dying marriage, or all the above, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

Just as my son invited me to “come sit,” our Lord, Jesus Christ, makes the same invitation to you, everyday, 24/7. He is present in the tabernacle of every Catholic church throughout the entire world. Think about that. Our Lord, the Great Healer, the Great Comforter, the Creator of the Universe, is available to you pretty much whenever you want–and most likely within 15-20 minutes of where you are standing. And He is longing for you to come and sit with Him. Take Him up on His invitation often. No matter how difficult or stressful your life may be, He promises that you are sure to come away with a renewed sense of peace and hope. Won’t you come sit with Him?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27
For more resources visit vincefrese.com and DivorcedCatholic.org


Saturday:) Six Words Book Signing

24 Sep

“Much wisdom often goes with the fewest words.”

~Sophocles

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This afternoon, my dear friend, Lynne Weinberger, had her book signing at Barnes and Nobles in Plano.

From the New York Times Best Selling Six-Word Menories Series, “Fresh Off the Boat” is the ninth in the series, from author/editor, Larry Smith. Inspired by Hemingway, he found that by asking people to describe their life in only six words, the most poignant stories could be told. This book is a compilation of insightful stories of immigration, identity, and coming to America. These stories are told by writers, famous and obscure, a tale expressed in only six words. 



Friends and family gathered to hear Lynne’s moving story of immigration by her father, a young man fleeing Eastern Europe, coming to America to start a new life. 

Although the book expresses her father’s life in only six words, her stories were fascinating descriptions of hardships, challenges, and triumphs. A man who cherished the priveledge of becoming an American citizen and serving his country, serving heroically in ways that few would ever know. 



We are all proud of our dear friend, Lynne Marsak Weinberger, and honored to know her. 

My six words for today… ” WE ALL LOVE YOU, DEAR FRIEND.”


Wednesday:) What Wonders Lie Within The Sky

10 Aug

What wonders lie within the sky

Dark clouds disguise the sun

Soft grey will play with amber hues

To herald day’s begun.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaits


Wednesday:) WordPress Writer’s WOW Moment~ 75,000 Views

3 Aug

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” ― Muriel Rukeyser

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Some of you already know this, and some of you are new here on my page… I started writing my blog January 1, 2013. It was my New Year’s challenge. I love to write, so I wanted to see if I could write a blog post every day for an entire year, 365 consecutive days. I wasn’t sure if  I could do it, but when I give myself a challenge, I don’t give up.  

Well, if you notice today’s date, August 2, 2017, not only did I meet my challenge, but I haven’t missed a day in 4 1/2 years. There were a couple of internet glitches where my story didn’t get posted on time, but one was written every day for 1,687 days so far. 

I remember when I reached 10,000 views. I couldn’t believe it. Me, a no name writer-wannabe, had my stories viewed 10,000 times. Then, there were 100 followers, then 200 followers. Now, I have over 1,000 followers! Oh my goodness! Every time I reached another amazing milestone on my stats, I would share my amazement with my wonderful readers.

When I started writing in 2013, my posts were the typical suburban housewife tales of tennis matches, friends, family, happenings on the square, and everyday life in McKinney Texas. This blog has seen me through my early countless carefree moments, all the way through a devastating divorce, betrayal, pain and more. This has become my daily diary, my escape, and my voice.

Each day that I shared my life and my world with you, this helped me grow, learn, and heal. Now, I start each day looking for something interesting, beautiful, positive, or inspirational, so I can share it with all my new friends that I’ve made here, and all the old friends I’ve known for ages. 

Today, I hit 75,147 views during my 1,687 days of writing, and I’ve had 38,554 visitors.

The number of people following my blog is just overwhelming. 1,186 followers. Woa!!! How did that happen??? I guess writers and readers are like me. The most popular days and hour of views is Sunday at 3 a.m.  Sounds about right.


My new goal, or shall I say, my new mission, is ” To boldly go where no man has gone before.” I’m going to shoot for FIVE YEARS. I also happen to be a huge STAR TREK fan.

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”


So, that’s what I’be been doing…EXPLORE NEW WORLDs~ I actually ate sushi and went to the VFW Hall to sing karaoke. SEEK OUT NEW LIFE AND NEW CIVILIZATIONS~ I have ventured out past McKinney and went to Plano, Allen, and Prosper. I even drove to Oklahoma! Now, that’s some strange civilization right there. TO BOLDLY GO WHERE…well, you know the rest. This is my five year mission. Wish me luck and “BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY.”

THANK YOU! 

Thursday:) This Is What Happened~ Experiment by Jeff Hayden

21 Jul

“A compliment is verbal sunshine.”

~Robert Orben

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I’ve been writing for many years, but I’ve also been reading and learning along the way. What better way to learn how to write, grow, and learn about life and yourself, than to read what other people have to say.

I was especially tickled when I read this post by Jeff Hayden. He gave himself an interesting challenge, and I’d like to challenge you to give it a try. I’ll admit that I already do this every day on a smaller scale. Sunday at church, greeting at the door, is my most rewarding day. 

This may be a long read, and if you don’t have time to finish the entire post, here’s a synopsis. Jeff challenged himself to compliment everyone he saw for an entire day. Everyone he made eye contact with, whether friend or total stranger. Here’s the thing, when you compliment someone, they smile and feel good, and in turn, you feel good for making someone happy. It’s contagious. 

 Sunday, greeting at the door of St. Gabriel’s, I have the perfect opportunity to say, “Beuatiful dress. I love your hat. Look at those handsome young men. You girls look so pretty today. Let me see that precious baby.” And the list goes on. I find the more I compliment people, the easier it is to be genuine and share my observations. 

Challenges are wonderful. I remember when I challenged myself to write a blog post every day for one entire year. Impossible! Well, it’s over 4 1/2 years later, and I still write every day. This is post number 1,675.

So, I challenge you to give it a try. Compliment someone, or everyone. You’ll find that one day turns into a week, turns into a way of life. You’ll never know how much one kind word might brighten someone’s day.

By the way, you are a very kind and special person. Why? Because you are reading this and you put up with my ramblings. Love you guys!


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This Is What Happened When I Complimented Every Person I Met for an entire day.Jeff Haden

Ghostwriter, Speaker, Inc. Magazine Contributing Editor

No one gets enough praise. No one gets enough recognition. The reason is simple: Very few of us praise and recognize people as often as we should.

I know I don’t.
So in the spirit of challenging myself (like when I was foolish enough to 5,000 pushups in one day), I decided I would compliment everyone I ran into for an entire day–even just in passing, whether I knew them or not, whether it seemed socially appropriate or not…and whether or not I could think of something (anything) I could compliment them about.
While that might sound easier than doing 5,000 pushups, for me it wasn’t. I’m fairly shy and don’t go out of my way to speak to people I don’t know. (You might even argue that I go out of my way not to speak to people I don’t know.)
And here’s how that little experiment went.
The Rules
Challenges work best when you impose structure, helping you stay on track and reducing the temptation to lose resolve and rationalize that you should change your goal midstream.

For this challenge, the structure was simple:
If I made eye contact with someone, I had to compliment them in some way…
… and to make sure I never chickened out, I had to actively try to make eye contact. I couldn’t intentionally look away.

But I didn’t have to compliment people already having a conversation, or on the phone, or wearing headphones.

And I couldn’t hide away all day. I had to go out into the world at least four times.

So with that in mind…

Morning
The first few were really easy.
I was rolling the trash out to the street and saw my neighbor. She has a great collection of plants and flowers, so I said, “I’m always impressed by how beautiful your plants are. You have a real gift.” Her face lit up. I don’t think I made her day, but I do think I helped get her day off to a good start.
Then I went for a quick walk on the beach. Since it’s fall, many of the people I met were walking their dogs or throwing balls into the surf for them to retrieve.
“You have a beautiful dog,” I said to the first one. He smiled and I realized I had complimented his dog, not him. Although many dog owners don’t see a difference…still.
So I followed up with, “She always seems so happy. You must take really good care of her.” He beamed and I realized I was right: Complimenting a person’s dog (or child or car or whatever) is nice, but making the compliment personal makes a bigger impact.
So that’s what I did. I told one man he had done an amazing job training his dog. I complimented a lady on what a great job she did grooming her dog.
I felt pretty smug. Complimenting people was easier than I thought.
Then, off in the distance, I saw a fit, pretty, 20-something young woman headed my way. No dog. No third person-ish thing to compliment. Uh-oh.
I didn’t want to be that guy, that older guy who goes around randomly complimenting young women and comes off creepy and, well, icky.
I started to walk slower. I was thinking furiously but had nothing.
Then, from about 20 feet away, she made eye contact and smiled; not a half smile, not an automatic “good morning” smile, but a big, genuine smile.
I smiled back and said, “Thanks.”
“For what?” she said.
“Lots of times when I’m walking people don’t even make eye contact. I’ve always thought that was kind of rude. You seeming so happy and saying hi was really nice.”
She smiled even bigger and said, “How could I not be happy when I’m out here? Have a great day.”
I know: What I came up with was pretty lame. But I like to think she walked away feeling good about herself, if only for a moment or two, which was the whole point of the exercise.
And I felt pretty good about myself, too, at least until I later led with, “Your daughter is really cute,” only to be told, “Thank you, but he’s a boy.”
Oh well.
Afternoon
Except for a few miscues, by this point I was rolling. I had learned to quickly size people up and pick out something obvious to compliment: how they cared for their animals, how they landscaped their yards, even how they dressed.
Yep: I even managed to whip out a, “That is such a pretty sweater–I wish I had your fashion sense.” (And to my surprise, she took it well.)
Then I went to the grocery store.
And let’s just say that no one in a grocery store expects you to walk by and compliment them–not even the people who work there.
And let’s just say that, “Wow, you picked the perfect melon,” isn’t the right way to go.
And neither is, “You look like you’re on a mission. You seem extremely well organized.”
And, “I wish I was as good at choosing the right steaks as you are,” falls pretty flat.
And I wanted to give up. In some settings, it seemed, compliments are not just unexpected but also unwanted.
But I decided to try one more time, but with a twist. I decided to ask for help, because asking for help is implicitly complimentary: If I ask you for help, that means you know something I don’t know, can do something I can’t do…asking you for help is like saying, “I respect your knowledge/skill/experience.”
That’s what I did. I was in the seafood section and made eye contact with a 30-something woman. She didn’t smile or nod (gulp!) but I forged ahead.
“I’m terrible at picking the right piece of salmon,” I said. “Can I bother you for a second and ask you to help me?” And she did. She actually seemed to enjoy it.
And I got to say, “I really appreciate it. Thanks for helping me, and for being so nice.”
So while I did have a couple tough moments, especially when I was standing in the checkout line behind an extremely frazzled father with three borderline out of control kids–the last thing he seemed to want was a random compliment–I made it out of the grocery store and through the parking lot with my compliment streak intact.
But I do have to admit I was relieved to get back in the car.
Evening
Dumb move No. 2: I went to the gym.
On one hand, it was easier: Most people wear headphones when they work out, so that eliminated them from my challenge.
On the other hand, moving from bench to squat rack to machines to free weights meant at some point I ran into almost everyone who was at the gym.
Still. One guy was benching 325 pounds for reps. Easy compliment. A woman was doing a split and then laying all the way forward on the mat. Another easy compliment. A guy jumped in and helped an apparent newcomer with his form on squats; presumptuous, yes, but also kind, since the way the guy was bending his back was a recipe for injury. When I ran into the Good Samaritan a few minutes later it was easy for me to say, “That was really nice of you to help him out.”
Then I found myself doing pull-downs near a guy doing seated rows. And I had nothing.
Then I noticed the tattoo on his forearm.
And I was in. “I really like your tattoo,” I said.
He smiled, said thanks, and then spent the next five minutes talking all about it: where he got it, how he came up with the design, what it means to him…. And I realized that sometimes the easiest thing to compliment is the thing that people seem to want you to notice or are obviously proud of: a tattoo, a piercing, an unusual hair color…a Porsche, a Hayabusa, a tricked-out truck…almost everyone has something they do or say or wear that they feel represents who they are inside.
All you have to do is look for it.
What I Learned
I can’t say it was easy. Complimenting every person I ran into got easier, but never easy. It’s not hard to compliment people you meet who are doing their jobs: grocery clerks, managers, front-desk people at the gym…saying thanks and telling them they did something well is fairly easy.
All you have to do is remember to do it.
Complimenting “random” people is harder but surprisingly rewarding. It was fun to watch people’s faces light up.
You’ll think so, too. Every day, people around you do good things. Most of those people don’t work for you; in fact, most of them have no relationship with you, professional or personal. Compliment them for something they would least expect.
Expected feels good.
Unexpected makes an even bigger impact.
Complimenting people who try something different can also be hard. Do it anyway. Status quo is often status safe. Taking a risk, however small, is hard, especially if you’re insecure. Insecurity feeds off silence, so mention when you see someone trying something different. Compliment the effort. Praise the risk.
Even if what they try doesn’t work, they will know you noticed, and everyone likes to be noticed.
And they’ll know, regardless of how it turns out, that you respect them for trying.
Most of all, make the compliment personal. Compliment what the person did to achieve a certain outcome, not the outcome itself.
And never be afraid to ask for help, because the act of asking is a compliment in itself–and then gives you the chance to praise someone for his or her knowledge and skill.
Give it a try. Commit to complimenting five people today, or 10, or nearly everyone you meet.
It’s not easy, but I promise you’ll make the day brighter for at least a few people–and you’ll learn a little something about yourself, too.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ Walk a Mile in My Shoes

8 Jun

“Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes isn’t as much about the walk or the shoes; it’s to be able to think like they think, feel what they feel, and understand why they are who and where they are. Every step is about empathy.”― Toni Sorenson
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I often wonder how many pairs of gym shoes I’ve worn out during my many years of walking. How many miles have I walked, yet really haven’t wandered more than a mile or two from home? I’ve walked just about every day since I moved to Texas in ’04, and the 17 years in Hawthorn Woods, IL. Then, a few years in New Jersey. So, if you calculate about two miles a day for, let’s say 300 days a year for over 30 years…hmmm? That’s a minimum of 20,000 miles, but probably more than that. Some days I’ll walk 4 or 5 miles in one day. And where has it gotten me? It always takes me to a very good place.

Chicago is about 900 miles from McKinney, TX.  I could have walked there 22 times.

5,573 miles Distance from McKinney to Rome.  I could have walked there 3.5 times.(But I’d have to swim a little, but I don’t know how to swim.)

Well, you get my point. I walk for my health, for my recreation, and for my soul. It’s my thinking time, my happy time, my crying time. I need my walks.

But,  I do go through a lot of gym shoes. I’ve worn the soles off of these poor guys. 

Worn soles for worn souls. That’s why I share my daily blog. So, now you CAN walk a mile in my shoes. 


BY STEVE MUELLER LAST EDIT: MARCH 31ST, 2017 CONSCIOUS LIVING

The earliest traces of the enlightening proverb date back to the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans, who warned: “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”  

Nelle Harper Lee, an American authoress, was seemingly inspired by the saying of the Amerindians in her book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” where she wrote:

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960

Wednesday:) WOW!!! We Did It…30,000 Visitors, Over 60,000 Views

28 Sep

“Success isn’t achieved by what you’ve accomplished for yourself, but rather what you have shared with others.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’ve been watching the stats on my WordPress page for several days. I was getting close to the 60K mark of total views, and almost 30 K total visitors on my blog. It’s been an exciting personal challenge for me to see how many people I could reach with my little mundane stories of faith, family, love, heartache, and heartwarming tales that I’ve experienced along this wonderful but bumpy journey we call life. 

My initial personal challenge was to see if I could write a blog every day for entire year. That first day was January 1, 2013, and guess what? It’s been over  3 1/2 years, and I haven’t missed a day. There were a couple of days my story didn’t get posted because of Internet failure, but the story was written and posted later. I haven’t missed a day. I write and share every day

This writing challenge has been more of an inspiration, a healing, and a constant source of joy. I have met many interesting bloggers and have read many fascinating stories and poems, and have seen fabulous photography and videos.

This afternoon, around 3:30, I saw the 29,999 visitors and I was holding my breath waiting for the next number. YES! At 3:34, I saw 30,000 visitors. 1,378 consecutive posts!

The reason I wrote, “We Did It” in the title is because I just wrote the stories and took the pictures. You are the ones who have read, commented, shared, laughed, cried, and prayed along with me. It is OUR journey. I have shared with you, and have learned so much from you.

597 WordPress followers

347 Facebook followers

117 Twitter followers

36 Tumblr followers

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! I AM TRULY BLESSED!