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Bands of Gold August 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Music & Dance, People.
9 comments

Paula wrote a tribute to her father recently, about the band of gold he purchased for her in Italy: The Book and The Ring ~ Part 2

I too have such a ring.  My grandmother gave the ring  to her sister Edie when they emigrated to the States from Scotland in 1918.  

Years later, after my grandmother died, Edie gave the ring to me.

I’ve worn the ring, a simple gold band wrapped around a teardrop-shaped  turquoise stone, since the early 1970’s.  Twirling it rekindles fond memories of my great-aunt ~ a lovely lady with a fine Scottish brogue who rarely went “abut” without a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. 

Thinking of her brings a smile to my face and a twinkle to my eye.

One afternoon, after sunbathing on the beach, I took a shower, toweled off, admired my golden tan, dressed, and glanced down at my hand.  Instead of a flash of gold surrounding a turquoise sea, I saw a band of gold surrounding a gaping hole ~ an empty setting intended to grip the missing turquoise stone. 

Saddened at the image of Edie’s turquoise teardrop laying buried in the sand for a treasure hunter to find, or washed down the shower drain to a larger turquoise sea, I retraced my steps to the bathroom . . . pushed to search by a slim band of golden hope. 

I glanced across the tiled floor, cold against my bare feet.  Seeing nothing, the sliver of hope constricted, interferring with efforts to breath. 

Please . . . 

Please . . .

In the far corner, a tiny turquoise teardrop twinkled.  I snatched it up.     

Thank you.

Stone replaced, I wore the ring for another thirty years, removing it for surgeries only.  

Over time, the ring grew smaller and tighter, constricting blood flow to my finger.  Cut off by a jeweler, the banded teardrop sat silently in my jewelry box, kept company by my wedding band and engagement ring.  

Sadly, they too had grown smaller over the years. 

Staring at my hands one morning, I reached a sobering realization:  Fat, aging fingers look bad.  Fat, aging, naked fingers look worse. 

With sudden resolve, I extracted the bands of gold from my jewelry box.

Re-sized and re-claimed, three bands of gold adorn weathered hands:  a diamond engagement ring, a simple wedding band, and a cherished band of gold surrounding a turquoise teardrop sea.

Edie gave me her cherished band of gold in 1971 . . . the same year Freda Payne’s Band of Gold hit Solid Gold.

For a related post:  A Case of Expensive Mistakes

What I Learned From My Fridge August 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Vegetarian Recipes.
6 comments

On Tuesday, our fridge overflowed with food prepared for guests:  cubed watermelon, bowls of red and green grapes, containers filled with ready to serve crudités (carrot and celery sticks, strips of red pepper, broccoli florets), tender zucchini ready for slicing into a sizzling sauté pan, onion rolls to toast, chunky vegetarian chili to serve over fragrant basmati brown rice.

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For the next few days, while our guests relaxed and enjoyed their visit, we utilized the contents of fridge (and pantry) to satiate appetites with hearty bowls of chili, salads bursting with delicious colors, moist banana nut bread (which my niece baked and brought), plates piled with spaghetti noodles and sauce, sautéed zucchini with red peppers, and other assorted sides.

After our guests left, we were left with left-overs.  Delightful! Instead of cooking from scratch, we re-purposed  ingredients pre-pared to serve our visitors. We blanched broccoli, roasted carrots and red pepper with potatoes, reheated the chili, and greatly enjoyed “cleaning out the fridge.”

This morning, I opened the fridge and saw bare shelf space for the first time all week.  How delightful!

Tonight, we’ll start with a clean slate.

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Refrigerators remind us to enjoy the natural ebb and flow of life:

1.  Whether shelves are barren or bursting with food, cleanliness counts.
2.  If you don’t know what it is, you probably don’t want to know.
3.  If you smell an off odor upon opening the door, investigate immediately.
4.  Nature did not intend for all cheeses to wear Technicolor coats of mold.
5.  Even more so than when cleaning junk drawers:  if in doubt, toss it out.
6.  Life never seems empty when our fridge is full.
7.  Like a loyal friend, our fridge purrs and hums no matter what we throw at it.

No rules.  Just write!

FUN With WORDS: Anagram Antics 2 August 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor.
2 comments

Time for a coffee break?

In FUN With Words: Anagram Antics, I tossed out 5 Anagram Puzzles for you to solve:

1. DORMITORY –> _ _ _ R _         R _ _ _

2. BILL GATES –>  _ E _ _     _     _ _ _ _

3. PRESBYTERIAN –> _ E _ _    _ _    _ _ _ _ E _

4. ASTRONOMER –> _ _ _ _     _ _ _ R _ R

5. JENNIFER ANISTON –> _ _ _ E     _ _     _ _ _ _     _ E _ _ _

Here are 5 promised solutions (other solutions are possible):

 1.  DORMITORY –> D I R T Y    R O O M

 2.  BILL GATES –>  G E T S   A   B I L L

 3.  PRESBYTERIAN –> B E S T     I N    P R A Y E R

 4.  ASTRONOMER –> M O O N     S T A R E R

 5.  JENNIFER ANISTON –> F I N E     I N     T O R N     J E A N S

Did you come up with better solutions for these first 5 challenges? 

      If so, toot your horn below! 

C’mon . . . don’t be shy!  Toot it louder! 

Are you hooked yet?  

Here are 5 more Anagram Puzzles to solve, with some E’s and R’s filled in: 

 6.  DESPERATION –> _     R _ _ _     E _ _ _     _ _

 7.  THE EYES –> _ _ E _     _ E E

 8.  PRINCESS DIANA — > E _ _     _ _    _     _ _ R      _ _ _ _

 9.  GEORGE BUSH –> _ E    _ _ _ _     _ _ R E

10.  OSAMA BIN LADEN –> _ E _ _     _ _      _ _ _     _ _ _ _

Solutions soon.

Be Absolutely Determined August 21, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, People.
10 comments

Life is full of rules, regulations, philosophies, theories, debate, instructions, and all manner of well meaning and conflicting advice. 

Follow it at your peril. 

The alternative?

(1) Trust yourself and you will know how to live. ~ Goethe

(2) Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do. ~ Gerry Sikorski 

Writers who study writing books for tips and techniques often complain of being thoroughly confused by the conflicting advice offered by various authors.  Likewise with bloggers who try to emulate what works for others  rather than taking the time to figure out what works best for them.

Before starting Spirit Lights The Way, I didn’t read a bunch of other blogs to try and copy their approach to blogging.  I didn’t sign up for classes on blogging taught by seasoned bloggers.  I didn’t create a list of rules to follow as I blogged each day. 

After being a Guest Blogger on Uphill Writing, I decided to give it a go. 

Rather than standing on the sidelines, worrying about whether or not I might make a mistake, I just dove into the blog-o-sphere absolutely determined to enjoy the experience each day while allowing “the way to teach me the way.” 

No rules.  Just write!

Did I have a few questions about the technical aspects?  Sure.  And I found people (like Rik!) who could answer them. 

But I never felt the need to look to others to decide what to write about, or how to convey what I wanted to convey.

Maybe my blog would be more popular if I followed the Rule Books, but it would be less fun for me.  I’d rather figure it out as I go along.

Maybe the Search Engines would elevate my posts more often if I followed the Guidelines for Optimizing Titles and Tags, but it would be less fun for me.  I want to call my post what I want to call it, not what 213 other bloggers would call it. 

When you are absolutely determined to enjoy what you do,  you aren’t afraid of making mistakes or taking detours along the way.  Instead you just take it one delightful step at a time.

Rather than aiming for some distant destination, your one and only goal is to enjoy the journey through life.  As a result, you win!  

No matter what happens, you win.

Related post on enjoying the journey:  Journey (Naomi’s Notes)

For wonderful writing advice, especially when well-meaning friends say, “You know what you should write about?” or “I’ve got a great idea for a story!”:  Keeping Focused by Jennifer R. Hubbard (Becky Levine)