Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Positively Working

by Mauverneen

Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching. - Satchel Paige

Happy Get Back to Work Day.

Yesterday was Labor Day - a day to recognize and honor the common worker - the truly indispensable cog in the machinery of our country, and indeed, the world.

Not everyone gets holidays off however, so a big tip of the hat to the nurses, firemen, police, and others who are on call and at their posts every holiday!


I got to thinking though, that if there were no monetary systems in the world and everybody had what they needed, would anyone choose to work? I think yes. I think we all need something to do. There are people whose love and passion for what they do transcends the concept of 'work'. Artists and musicians of course who never consider making art as a form of work but whose creations nurture the soul.

There would still be caregivers, there would still be gardeners - nurturing plants, people or animals is innate in some people.
There would still be architects and builders - people whose vision pushes them to create something bigger, something better.
There would still be scientists and inventors - people who always feel the need to push the boundaries of the known and pursue the 'what if'.
Car design is forever changing
Think about it. If you didn't have a job, what would you do? After the first few weeks of reveling in doing absolutely nothing - what would you do?

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. - Confucius
Restoring instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, AZ
So today, congratulations to those who love what they do. It may be work some days, but overall, if you love what you do, you are fortunate indeed. And if you don't....maybe take some time to think about what your dream job would be. What would you do even if you weren't paid to do it? We all have dreams to pursue. Sometimes achieving them takes work.

Yes, these guys are actually 'at work'
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -Thomas A. Edison

Me? I'd probably write and travel the world taking pictures. Oh yeah, and I'd still bake pies.

For a good background on the history of Labor Day go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Positively Bailey

by Mauverneen

"No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
- Louis Sabin


      There are cat people and there are dog people. I am dog people.
     When I was married, with kids, we had dogs. The kids, as adults, all have dogs. After a divorce and several moves, I had no dog. But I found myself wishing more and more that I had one. Presently I live in a small space, and knew my ideal dog could not be too big - it would have to be smallish, but not too small.
      My youngest daughter kept emailing me pictures of shelter dogs. One day I had nothing else to do so I went and took a look at the latest one. He was a cutie for sure. They put us in a room for a little 'meet 'n greet' where he enjoyed chasing a tennis ball. I went out to the desk to ask a couple of questions about him and when I came back, he was just sitting there, staring at the door, waiting for me to come back. That was it. I was done. Home we went.
Going to a new home
     He has been my buddy, my confidante, and my salvation. I sometimes call him my angel. I truly believe he saved my sanity. I have had Bailey for three years now - or he has had me - and his birthday is also this month. He is turning four. We have trained each other, and he gets most of the bed, as most dogs do, regardless of size.

Sometimes he likes to stay in bed

He likes to sit and watch for deer with me. We both hope one day a fawn will come over and play.


Too cold! Let me back in
Look like my birthday, but he doesn't mind sharing

Here are a few random dog quotes that I like.

"The more people I meet the more I like my dog."  - Unknown

"When you feel dog tired at night, it may be because you've growled all day long." - Unknown

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."  - Gilda Radner

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
check it out   MauveOnTheMove.  My travel blog!
 See more photos at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-mauverneen-blevins.html
                      and visit my website: http://mauverneen.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Positively ECLIPSED

by Mauverneen

     Next week, Monday, August 21, 2017, is the big eclipse. I have my glasses.
      I tried them out just this morning and everything was black - save for that little shining circle in the sky.
      I'm kind of excited. I remember the solar eclipse of 1963 when I viewed the eclipse with my head in a box. Really. Those of you who remember that eclipse probably did the same. I hear everyone is selling out of the glasses. You might want to get yourself a big box.
      You put a pinhole in one end of the box, off center so your head isn't in front of the hole. You can use a nail. On the opposite side of the box, line the inside with white paper or posterboard. Voila! Test it out, making sure you see a circle of light on the inside of the box in front of you.
I also found this video from NASA on how to make a viewer out of a cereal box. Same principle.
      https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/video/nasa-video-explains-how-to-make-a-diy-solar-eclipse-viewer/vp-AApSRR4
      In either case what you are viewing is a reflection of the eclipse. Very safe. Do NOT stare at the sun! You really can go blind.
      In case you are interested in some eclipse trivia did you know in 1935 there were FIVE eclipses? A partial solar eclipse occurred on February 3 and covered much of North America.  The other, partial eclipses, occurred on January 5th, June 30th, July 30th, and an annular eclipse occurred on December 25, 1935.
      And just for fun, here is a presidential couple viewing an eclipse. Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States, serving from 1923 to 1929


Enjoy the eclipse, and remember to do so safely!


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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Positively Be

by Mauverneen

“Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Matt. 6:28-30)

In other words “Don’t worry. Be happy.” (Bobby McFerrin)
      Sometimes happiness eludes us. Sometimes we forget to be positive. Sometimes we forget we are in charge of our own life. Sometimes - life is just plain hard!
      It's then, when life seems unfair, that we need to stop and take a deep breath and remember it wasn't always like this and it won't always be like this. In other words "This too shall pass" - ancient proverb.
      So, that's the best time to linger over that cup of coffee, that glass of wine, that decadent dessert you just treated yourself to. Linger and enjoy. Something.
      I guess today's pep talk is mainly for myself. But I have plans, I have things to look forward to. I can't forget that. So I take a deep breath, pour a second cup of coffee and dream for a few minutes. And besides, it is Positively Tuesday! No complaining today, no whining - woe is NOT me today!

      I will muddle through today, or this week, or this year, and keep my mind on the future, on my goals, on the prize. On the good things. And I will take some time to appreciate that this world can be a wonderful place. Have a Positively Glorious Day!


 
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Positively Gardening

by Mauverneen

"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are"  ~ Alfred Austin 

     Perhaps Mr. Austin was talking about flowers, but right now, I have a vegetable garden to show him. After reading this quote I wandered outside and assessed my garden. Hmmm. 

Messy yet organized in its own way.  (It may look in disarray but I can tell you where everything is.)

Ambitious.  (I do tend to take on more than I really should.)

Hopeful.  ( I always expect a bumper crop. Sometimes I am rewarded. Sometimes....eh)

Needs some tending.  (TLC is never wasted here. AND, it cleans up nicely.) 
.
Prospering. (Everybody loves the tomatoes and green beans, but not so much the zucchini.) 

Nurturing. (My garden feeds me and nurtures my soul. It also nurtures bees, birds, and on occasion                       some of those pests I try to keep out.

 Ahem.  Perhaps Alfred wasn't too far off the mark.


*note:  Alfred Austin was an English poet who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1896, following the death of Tennyson.

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Positively Summer Morning Coffee Klatch

by Mauverneen


“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” ― Charles Bowden

Summer mornings for me are best spent outdoors, in the morning sun, with a good cup of coffee. The world is still peaceful, not yet fully awake. Maybe that's why the animals like it. I have been fortunate, these past few years, to live on the edge of a wood. So, I take my summer mornings with joy, and hope for a good day as I sip that coffee. And many mornings, I have company...

Of course, there is always Bailey, hoping for a cookie.

There are always all types of birds


The squirrels always try to crash the party - but they're always fun  to watch
And sometimes, the mother deer will bring out a baby or two

And on occasion, we get the unexpected!

Luckily this one was only after some apples!


As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

INDEPENDENCE DAY


by Mauverneen

INDEPENDENCE
Synonyms: self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-subsistence

Happy Independence Day!  July 4th – the day we Positively Celebrate our freedom as a nation. 
Very often, when I hear the word freedom I get this ringing in my head – “freedom…freedom…freedom…”  It’s Aretha Franklin belting out those words in her song ‘Think’!  " Freedom – freedom – freedom – yeah freedom…"    It always makes me want to dance, which I don’t think is too inappropriate for today. 

There are different forms of freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from oppression, freedom from a dictator, freedom from an abusive spouse or parent.  Freedom of and freedom from.  Freedom brings responsibility; being accountable for one’s self and not infringing on other people’s rights - even when they don’t believe the same things we do.
The revered Lady with the torch
There have been wars and revolutions throughout history in the name of Freedom.  I think sometimes we forget how dearly our own country paid for our Independence.   

We have a number of symbols of our freedom here in the U.S. – the flag, the eagle, the statue of liberty, among others. Betsy Ross is credited with sewing the first American flag.  (Did you know A flag expert is called a "vexillologist?")  It was also a woman, Emma Lazarus, whose poem "The New Colossus" appears on the base of the statue of liberty.  Francis Scott Key of course wrote the lyrics to the Star SpangledBanner, something that I hope is still being taught in schools. It became our national anthem in 1931.

I think the National Mall in Washington D.C. is one of the most exciting places to see some of our monuments to freedom.  Laid out on about 1000 acres the mall really is the people’s place. The boundaries of the mall are the Capital building to the Lincoln Memorial, and the White House to the Jefferson Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

Washington Monument, Washington DC
Several years ago I was fortunate enough to spend some time walking along the reflecting pool, the section between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument – a good sized piece of real estate – and was totally impressed.  It’s a beautiful area, anchored by the two monuments just mentioned, with other memorials in between and further out.  On the other side of the Washington Monument is the two mile green mall where protesters often gather, exercising their right to freedom.  I wish every American could see our nation’s capitol at least once in their lives. Not only is it impressive, but it’s a wonderful history lesson that instills a sense of pride in being an American. 

In Philadelphia, there is the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and in Boston there is the harbor and the Old North church where the lanterns were hung to alert the militia that the British were coming. In New York there is of course, the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island and FreedomTower, built on the site of the World Trade Center.
In South Dakota there is Mount Rushmore with it’s carved faces of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.  It was built as a ‘shrine to democracy' by Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln, although a state historian named Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of the sculpture.  It is far more impressive in real life than it is in pictures, with faces 6- ft tall or, to put it in perspecitve, the size of a 5 story building. 

Mount Rushmore
Civil War Re-enactment
There is Chickamagua, Fort Sumter, Antietem and Gettysburg.
There is Selma, and Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama.
There is Wounded Knee and Little Big Horn.
In Texas there is the Alamo and in Hawaii there is Pearl Harbor.
From sea to shining sea.
Different wars, different fights, different freedoms.

We enjoy our beautiful Monuments to Freedom as well we should and revere those graveyards that honor the fallen who have defended that freedom.  For they deserve to be honored.  And thanked. Profusely.

In the midst of our picnics of hot dogs, burgers and sodas, our dips in the pool or the lake or the boat ride on the river, in the midst of our brightly lit, loud, colorful fireworks, let’s all try to stop for a just a minute and think about what we are celebrating.  And then get back to dancing! 


Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.  Abraham Lincoln
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
                                                                                                          Ronald Reagan
                                                   



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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Positively Leaving The Nest

by Mauverneen




      I watched those baby robins from the day they hatched. Yesterday, they tested their wings.
It took just 14 days.
      I would peek into the nest every morning, just to see if they were all still there - there were four. I was prepared to put anyone back into the nest who fell out. The bigger they got, the more I worried that would happen. They began to look pretty crowded. But every day, there were four. Until yesterday.
      When I peeked in I saw only two. I immediately looked around, wondering where the other two had gotten to. They were nowhere to be found.
      Suddenly, one of them flew from the nest, little wings flapping, as it landed in the grass, a few feet away. I watched as it hopped off into the taller grass surrounding my garden plot.
      Realizing the fourth one would probably do the same, I grabbed my camera. Sure enough, within minutes, out he flew! This one eventually made it under a bush.


      Watching the yard from the deck, I hoped to see mama Robin come and find her little ones, but the sight of a huge hawk landing in a nearby tree had me running into the yard. "Not the babies!" I vowed. Immediately five other birds flew from nearby trees and chased the hawk off. I was relieved. They take of their own.
      I have not seen the babies since. But I have seen mama and papa robin, who took turns feeding them constantly while they were in the nest, nearby with food in their beaks. I tell myself the babies are safe and the parents will feed them and teach them to fend for themselves and that they will make it out into the big wide world.

      It was sad to see them go. I hope they come back for a visit. Aunt Maureen misses them.
     

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Positively Spring Life

by Mauverneen


“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”  - Rainer Maria Rilke

      To think of Spring is to generally think of flowers, and trees bursting into bloom and grass becoming green again. And rain. It is a time of new life. Not only for the plants, but for the animal world. Babies of the animal world arrive in spring - calves and lambs and geese and squirrels and birds....
      I am waiting for the day the mama deer will bring her babies out very early one of these mornings to let them play in the open field. I drive to the park where mother goose takes her babies for a swim. 
      Here at the house a robin has built a nest in a rose bush that climbs the wall just outside my back door. I would never have noticed it except that I passed too close one morning and she flew out suddenly, scaring us both. I tend to give a wide pass now to the rose bush and the nest. I want Mrs. Robin to be comfortable and to hatch those babies. She does leave occasionally, to find food I suspect. When she does I have taken the opportunity to rush over and take a quick peek into the nest. At first it was bare - just brown twigs. Then, lo and behold I saw four blue eggs! Today I peeked again. I saw no blue, but something soft and feathery. I will keep you posted!  

“The bird dares to break the shell, then the shell breaks open and the bird can fly openly. This is the simplest principle of success. You dream, you dare and you fly.”   - Israelmore Ayivor

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Coming Soon!   MauveOnTheMove.  My travel blog!
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Positively Nothing for Granted

by Mauverneen
It’s hard to imagine life without a lot of the things we take for granted. Transportation for instance.
 Late last summer I traveled to Utah to visit my oldest daughter and her husband, who had just moved to Park City. We spent a wonderful day in Salt Lake City viewing an auto museum, seeing a couple of  beautiful mansions, having lunch and visiting the Mormon Tabernacle, to which we made a return visit on Sunday morning to be part of the live broadcast of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If you are ever able to witness that, do not pass it up.  It is both inspirational and awe-inspiring. 

But what stuck in my mind most was something else. Something that would have been easy to miss.

The Mormon Tabernacle is part of a complex also containing the Temple, an assembly hall, and of course a museum - all worth seeing. There are also some monuments and sculptures in various spots throughout the grounds. One such was the monument to the Mormon handcart pioneers. Those intrepid souls that crossed an unwelcoming, harsh land to establish a new city.



Here is the inscription:
"The Handcart Pioneer Monument is a tribute to the thousands of hardy Mormon pioneers who, because they could not afford the larger ox-drawn wagons, walked across the rugged plains in the 1850s, pulling and pushing all of their possessions in handmade, all-wood handcarts. Some 250 died on the journey, but nearly 3,000, mostly British converts, completed the 1,350-mile trek from Iowa City, Iowa."


They walked. Walked. 1,350 miles. With all of their belongings, and sometimes their children, on a tiny cart. 

Indeed it is hard to imagine life without a lot of the things we take for granted. Transportation for instance. 





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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring has (almost) Sprung

by Mauverneen


        “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant..."   -Anne Bradstreet

So true. We are so anxious for spring because we are tired of being cold. We want to be warm again, to see sunshine. We are tired of shades of gray - as in the sky, the trees, and the mud. 

Its encouraging to see the grass turning green again, uplifting to see the dead-looking branches on the trees showing signs of life again and how thrilled we are to see the seasons first robin or that first spring flower!
In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours. - Mark Twain
Ah but mother nature is fickle and shy. Sometimes she must be coaxed into showing off all of her charms. A little sun, a little snow, a wayward robin, a little rain... Until at last, damn it, It really will be spring! 

Every April, God rewrites the Book of Genesis. ~Author Unknown

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.

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