May 2009 Archives

An excerpt from No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

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(It is because of passages like the following that  I love reading the books in this series so much)

   The world, Mma Ramotswe believed, was composed of big things and small things.  The big things were written large, and one could not but be aware of them - wars, oppression, the familiar theft by the rich and the strong of those simple things that the poor needed, those scraps which would make their life more bearable; this happened and could make even the reading of a newspaper an exercise in sorrow.  There were all those unkindnesses, palpable, daily, so easily avoidable; but one could not think just of those, thought Mma Ramotswe, or one would spend one's time in tears - and the unkindnesses would continue.  So the small things came into their own:  small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better:  acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter.  Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?

 

Taken from The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith, copyright 2007, Random House 

Honoring their memory

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In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

What is a Veteran? This bears repeating.....

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What is a Veteran?

 

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies
unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the
freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag."

Father Denis Edward O'Brien/USMC

 

Just like a farmer

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While the weather is good, a farmer will be out in the fields getting crops put in.  I am no different!  This past week has been perfect to work outside and nearly everything that needs planting is in the ground.  All that's left are some annuals to fill in when the "daisy phase" of my back flower bed is over.  I was also able to plant my flower seed garden yesterday - zinneas and cosmos.  And also like a farmer, now that I have most everything planted, a few gentle rain showers would be quite welcome!

Emily D

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Remembering  one of my favorite poets on the anniversary of her death in 1886, age 55.  Out of her ordinary but yet unique life came so many brilliant thoughts set down in poetic form.  It's really quite something to think that she wrote them with no thought of evey having a single one published - it's almost as if that was the reason for the deepness and richness of her words. But thank you Emily for the beauty of your work that the whole world has shared.

Weary bones

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I have started the planting for this season!  I bought alot of flowers at the Blind School sale several weeks ago, also at the wonderful Gardener's Cottage nearby.  Then this past Friday Gloria and went to Allisonville Nursery where I used my gift card (best Christmas present!!) for some new hydrangeas.  Finally today all of the planets were in alignment and nothing prevented me from getting started with putting things in the ground.  I planted 6 new shrubs, relocated 2 shrubs, cleared out some unwanted daisies from the big flower bed in back and put in 2 climbing tropical vines along the trellises there.

Tonight I am pretty well done for ~ but  I look forward to alot more planting these next few days.  The sooner it's all in, the sooner I can sit in the porch swing and enjoy the view!

Yay!!!

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Thanks to webguy for getting me back in business.  I will be posting again probably by tonight or for sure sometime tomorrow.  For now, I am enjoyng this beautiful 70 degree sunny Sunday!!

Just Awesome

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The "Brothers Hatfield" percussion concert last Sunday was brilliant!  They packed the house, it was SRO!!  The variety of musical styles and percussion instruments made it enjoyable for everyone in attendance.  Matthew reprised "The Creston", an extremely difficult marimba piece that he first performed 15 years ago ~ a real highlight of the show.   Taylor wrote an unbelievaly realistic piece that he played on three snare drums entitled "Surigao Stomp".  He dedicated it to Grandpa C who fought in that battle in WWII ~ the sounds of the battle were perfectly sounded out by the fierce playing of the snares.  There were also hymns played, a "rag", a beautiful sonata, an original song for marimba that Matthew wrote,  hand drums and the grand finale which was a drumset duel (written by Taylor) followed by an encore of improv marimba jazz and drumset!

I couldn't have been more proud!!

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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