Tag Archives: joy

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award!

I smiled with joy when, upon opening a comment, I discovered that the writer had given me the Sunshine Blogger Award! What a treat and an honor. So thank you, Jay Morris, for honoring me so. I think my readers will also like your blog, which is The Wayward Journey (link will open in a new window).

I must admit I’m embarrassed to be so late announcing this. Jay actually wrote to me at the beginning of January. However, it’s been a rough couple of months health-wise, so I am behind on many things! Now, I am feeling better, and the beautiful Gerbera daisy above heralds the beginning of spring.

The requirements for accepting this award are that I tell you seven things about myself and that I nominate ten other bloggers for the award, not to mention letting Jay know how much I appreciate his award to me.

Let’s start with the seven things about me that you may not know.

1. I’m a cat person. I like dogs and had them while I was growing up, but I adore cats. I love their independent spirits, their ability to take care of themselves when I leave for a few days, and the way they curl up in balls when they sit in my lap.

2. I’ve traveled to South Korea, Japan, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.  I lived in Korea for nearly two years and loved that wonderful country and its friendly, loving people who always had a smile for this expat. I took an eco-hike on St. Croix and learned many things about herbal medicines from the naturalist who led the hike.

3. I’ve been in every state in the Union except for Maine, Massachusetts and Alaska. I would love to visit Alaska one day. It’s been a dream for many years.

4. I have one daughter, who is 39. She is a woman of many talents. I adore her and her son, who is the light of my life. When he moved back to be with his dad during his teenage years, I missed him so much I could hardly stand it. But I am so grateful for the spending most of the first ten years of his life near him in person. We had wonderful times and still do have beautiful, warm talks and hugs when I see him!

5. My favorite color is yellow. My sofa is yellow, and the chair that goes with it has lots of yellow too. Yellow is such a sunshine color and always makes me feel great, whether it’s in my own living room or at the store buying flowers. I hope my daisies will come back this year.

6. I love gardening and I have had several wonderful combination veggie/flower gardens. Unfortunately, because of my health now, I can’t garden like I used to. However, I can do container gardening. In 2012 I had way too many containers with plants and flowers and veggies! It took me 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to water them each day. But they were beautiful.

7. It is still my dream to travel more. I would like to go to the holy healing places of Medjugore and Lourdes. Maybe God will send me a miracle healing if I go there. Of course, maybe He’ll send one even if I don’t! Next, I’d like to go to Israel. It doesn’t seem like a very safe place right now. I always pray for peace in that region. Finally, I’d like to go to Eastern Europe and see the Czech Republic and some other places. I hope one day I can achieve this dream. But if I don’t, I feel blessed and grateful for the traveling I’ve already done in my life. Many folks haven’t even been out of their home city or state.

Okay, now for the nominations.

1.  Monce Abraham is a writer who lives in India. His blog posts will really make you think. They’re not fluff at all!

2.  Lead, Learn and Live is David Kanigan’s inspirational blog.

3.  Piya Singh is an Indian Artist, currently living and working in Germany. I think you’ll like her creativity.

4.  Charlie and Tom are photographers whose work is lovely. Their blog is PhotoBotos.

5.  Shannon Elizabeth Moreno writes about her strong faith in Revelations in Writing.

6.  Marney McNall scribes her volunteer experiences in The Volunteer Fringe.

7.  Rebeca Bud has a different take on her blog: Taking the Kitchen

8.  Loolie and Poolie have a fun blog about their vacations: The Adventures of Loolie and Poolie.

9.  Dianne Gray is an award-winning Australian author. Her blog is Writing and Loving Life.

10.Speaking from the Heart is an out-of-the-box blog by a woman who is a holistic health practitioner.



Filed under Family, Helping Others, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Spring blooms on tree in front of my house

“Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love” has always been one of my favorite hymns. And now, with spring’s abundance all over the place, it seems even more evident to me that God is one of love and glory is due. (Click on the link to hear the hymn.)

What is your joy factor today?

For me it is finding the beauty within and without. It’s not easy for me to see my own beauty within. I’ve spent a lifetime blaming myself, feeling sorry for myself and playing the victim. A friend told me last night, “Lots of people have a hard time forgiving themselves. You have made it an art form.”

And she is right. I find it so much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.

But today I feel joyful. Spring is here, the trees and flowers are blooming profusely, and everyone seems to have a spring in their step.

Many years ago I had a very rough year. It was 1974. My daughter was born in February and in March someone vandalized our little house. They broke the mobile over her crib, smashed the vases from the flowers people had sent while I was in the hospital and poured cooking oil over our brand new chairs (the first new furniture we’d ever owned). Later that year, our business burned down and our best friend died suddenly. I was talking with my priest and he said, “Ellie, I once had seven years of Good Fridays, but Easter finally came.”

And that is how I feel today. Easter has come in terms of my health. I am healthier than I was a year ago, even more so than a month ago. I’ve always taken my health for granted. I will never do so again.

Anyway, I am joyful because some people recently told me I’m an inspiration to them. Wow. What a wonderful compliment that is.

I’m joyful because I have so many things to be grateful for: a comfortable and serene place to live, friends and family who care, food in my fridge and two cats who adore me! I adore them as well and have not had to get rid of them, thank God.

I am joyful because I’m getting ready to start working on my book again and know I will finally finish it.

I am joyful because I have eyes that see, a mind that works, ears that hear, feet that walk and hands that do what I tell them to do. Not everyone can say that.

I hope you are joyful during this season of renewal. Feel free to comment and tell me about your joy or to contact me by email or phone. Thanks for reading.


Filed under Feelings, Friendship, Uncategorized

When I Was 20, I Wanted a Kitchen Filled with Tupperware.

front door

Welcome to my world.

My daughter’s dad worked for the only traveling opera company in the United States that sang all the operas in English. That’s how I learned to love opera. La Boheme is my favorite. The starving artists, fated romances and Paris setting lured me into Puccini’s melodic music. But I digress.

We stopped working for the opera company after the spring tour in 1969. My husband got a job at an architect’s office (he did sets and lighting for the operas) in Tampa, Florida, and we finally settled down in our first apartment. I remember jumping up on a chair and screaming the first time I saw a Palmetto bug. (Think HUGE, very HUGE roach-type insect).

I also remember selling Avon and meeting the gal who lived down the hall with her new husband. Teresa was a tiny thing with bouncy curls and dark brown eyes. She invited me over for iced tea one afternoon, and I just about opened my mouth wider that ever before when I walked into her apartment.

She had freshly ironed shirts hanging on a hook on the kitchen door. I asked her about it. “Oh, I love ironing my husband’s shirts,” she said. “They just look so good when I’m finished.” Rather than think her arrogant, I wondered if perhaps I should start ironing MY husband’s shirts as wel. After all, he had a “real” job now, so maybe that would be a good thing to do.

Our talk turned to other things and eventually got around to wedding presents. That marriage of mine was a shotgun marriage without the gun. I wasn’t pregnant. We just decided to get married, so it all happened with very little planning. It certainly wasn’t the long white dress with trailing lace veil type affair I’d always dreamed of, but it did the trick.

Theresa showed me some of her wedding presents (she and her hubbie had JUST gotten married with all the bells and whistles. We”oohed” and “ahed” over the shining crystal glasses, matching china and sparkling silver flatware. Though I loved the idea of throwing small, intimate and formal dinner parties, I wasn’t really sure that’s how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

Then she escorted me into the kitchen from the living room where we’d been drinking tea and proudly pointed out one cabinet that was filled to the brim with Tupperware. “I just love Tupperware, don’t you?” she asked.

I did. Though Tupperware had been around for almost 40 years, it was all the rage. So handy, so sturdy, so convenient. A housewife’s dream. My dream. I was beet red with envy.  I wanted a kitchen full of Tupperware. But I didn’t have the money to buy it, and nobody had given me any as wedding presents.

I forgot about that incident until this morning. At one garage sale on Saturday last week, I found a GIANT turquoise blue Tupperware container for a buck. Perfect to hold my kitties’ food. What a steal. What a deal. What a delight!

Today, I don’t want a kitchen filled with Tupperware. If I had to pick a material thing out that I really want, I don’t know what it would be.

It’s ironic how our wants change over time. At some point in our lives, we want a job or a better job, a loving husband or wife or partner, children, grandchildren, a new car, a bigger place to live, more money in our bank accounts, more time off, a perky puppy, the latest fashion garb…the list goes on and on. But these are all things or people we think might make us happier.

But what is it you really want? If I offered you peace and a smaller place to live, would you take it? If a stranger came up and handed you $25,000 dollars with the condition that you had to give it all away, how would you respond? What would you do if you could have pratically no stress in your life, but you had to live on half of what you’re living on now?

It’s easy to want things, impossible to hang onto them, and simple to let your worries get you down.

It’s harder (but gets easier) to accept exactly where you are and in what circumstances you live, and to recognize you have what you need.

What’s really hard is accepting yourself for exactly the way you are, be grateful for everything and everyone you have in your life, cease judging others, and stop comparing yourself (or comparing others) to you. All of that takes a lot of work on the INSIDE. In the end, though, it’s the most gratifying work you’ll ever do.

What is it you REALLY want today? If it’s material things, more money or some of the other things I mentioned, will you really be any happier if you get it? Or will you then move on to the next item on your list of wants.

Whatever it is, I wish you peace and joy.


Filed under Uncategorized