Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing." ~ James Brown

I just returned from spending a few days in Vermont visiting Alex and Hannah. What a beautiful state, and what a wonderful time I had!

The photos below are from a Contra dance that we attended. My niece Laura is a member of the group The Irregulars, and they were the musical group for the dance. It was great fun, though I admit that I was just a spectator this go-round. The photos are a blur - but so was the dancing!

"The Irregulars are a talented and energetic group of young musicians on Vermont’s traditional music scene. The teen band's high spirits, tight harmonies, and driving contra dance tunes delight both listeners and dancers. Performance highlights include performing for hundreds of dancers at the Dance Flurry weekend in Saratoga Springs NY three years in a row, and winning First Place in the Young Traditions Vermont competition held in Burlington in June 2011. The band has entertained at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival for several years running, as well as the New World Festival in Randolph and Burlington’s First Night celebrations. They have played sets for the Queen City Contras and Mad Robin contra dance series and also frequently host benefit contra dances on their own. They have also enjoyed performing at festivals, farmer’s markets, house concerts and other venues. Their first CD (Waiting for Wisdom) was released in the spring of 2013."

Laura, before the dance begins.

My sister, Robin and her husband Mike.

Alex and Hannah take to the dance-floor!

I did a quick phone video of the action. This particular dance was a bit calmer than some of the others - but still spirited and fun to watch!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"You can't be friends with a squirrel! A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit." ~ Sarah Jessica Parker

With our summer hawks in residence, our song birds have been pretty scarce. I guess that while the birds are away, the squirrels will play!

Hanging out!

I think that the "squirrel baffle" should be renamed "tabletop dining"!

Working for a meal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow." ~ Helen Keller

I recently had a friend pass on the Positivity Challenge to me via FaceBook. The Positivity Challenge entails posting three things daily, for five days, that make you happy. You may pass the challenge on to someone else each day, or all on Day 5, which is what I did.

The timing of this challenge was particularly good for me, since I'm feeling a tad stressed with so many things to take care of at the moment. How wonderful to pause and reflect on the things that bring me joy. Below, you will see what I posted each day. I end with a challenge for you!

Day 1

1. I am forever grateful that I have a husband who is loving, caring and supportive of all that I do, and that I have a son who has grown into a young man that I am so proud to say is my son.

2. I am so grateful for my sisters and my parents. I always have a safe place to land.

3. I beyond grateful to have friends flung far and wide. They bolster me, make me laugh, and inspire me every day!
 — feeling thankful.

Day 2

1. I am thankful for my step-children and grandchildren. They make the circle of my life ever wider and richer.

2. While I know that there is much work to be done, I am so happy that recent years have brought significant improvements in equal rights for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

3. I am so happy and grateful that after a life time of loving everything "ocean", Bruce and I have been able to purchase a small condo but 3 miles from the beach. It's not fancy, but it's our little slice of heaven!

Day 3

1. I am so happy that I recently decided to "unfollow" numerous "news" and "cause" sites on FaceBook. It's not that I don't care - I do. And it's not that I don't want to be informed - I do. It's just that I have found that they suck my time and leave me blue.

2. I'm so very happy that my son shares his life with a wonderful young woman.

3. I am grateful for my nieces, nephews and their significant others. They are all at such a fabulous time in their lives, and I love hearing about all of their latest adventures!

Day 4

1. I am never, ever, ever bored. Ever!

2. While I love the summer, autumn is my favorite season. It brought me joy to see the slightest touch of changing leaves as I was driving along yesterday.

3. In spite of the heavy heart that I share with most of you, I celebrate the happiness that Robin Williams brought to all of our lives.

And today, Day 5

1. I am so happy, now that my parents have decided to down-size, that they are moving full steam ahead!

2. Day after tomorrow I head to Vermont to spend a few days with Alex and Hannah!!!!!

3. While is seems that our world is going to hell in a hand-basket, I'm grateful to have been nudged to spend the last few days reflecting on the good things, of which there are many!

And now my challenge to you - please take time over the next several days to think of the things that bring YOU joy and happiness. Post them here, or post them to FaceBook, or most importantly - post them to your heart.