Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Positively (dis)Organized

by Mauverneen

“The only difference between a mob and a trained army is organization.” -Calvin Coolidge

Wildebeest only look disorganized 
      I admit it - I am not organized. Of course anyone who knows me well already knows this. I have good intentions. I really do. But somehow, I always get sidetracked. Being disorganized does not mean I can't find things. I can find anything - I can tell you exactly which pile to look in.
      I looked for examples of disorganization in nature. There are not many - fallen leaves blowing about randomly, clouds, weeds, perhaps. Birds flock, wolves pack, ants colonize, wasps nest... It seems that man is the only creature capable of being disorganized.
           "Organized people are just too lazy to look for things." - unknown Yeah, I think I'll stick with that. At least I'm not lazy.
Fallen leaves - disorganized beauty

These clouds certainly look organized to me

A well organized cactus plant
A wasp's nest. Don't mess with it or it's inhabitants will organize and hunt you down
“Organizing is a journey, not a destination.” -Anonymous   I guess I can think of better places to go.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Positively InBetween

by Mauverneen

“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

                    ~Clyde Watson


      Early November is sort of an in-between time. Summer, and generally Fall, are over. The garden is pulled up, the flowers are all but gone, and people can't decide how to decorate; how long can I leave up Halloween?  should I bother with Thanksgiving? Is it too early for Christmas? We are gearing up for that Thanksgiving meal, and most of us have not even thought about Christmas shopping.
      It's a little different this year. At least here in my little corner of Illinois. There's been hardly a frost. Yes, the garden is done, but I still have flowers - even roses - blooming. It seems only now the trees are starting to get some color but there is still so much green. There have been cold days and I am not looking forward to the real cold of Winter.
      I turned my clocks back one hour and have to say I do enjoy the fact that it is not dark when I get up, but don't enjoy the fact that it is dark before suppertime. I wonder if we couldn't just split the difference - 30 minutes and we would have the best of both.
      It seems with a little time on my hands this might be a good time to catch up on a couple of those projects that have been started, or merely considered, a good time to try to get organized so I am not so scattered the rest of the year, a good time to make a few lists; menus, guests lists, Christmas gifts, Christmas cards. I'd like to paint that room before the holidays, and there's the baking...

       Hmmm, maybe there's not so much time as I thought.
    
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Positively Halloween 2017

by Mauverneen


Happy Halloween everyone! Found this creepy creature in Dublin.

And here is a link to the ghostly blog of Halloween past.  




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Positively Aromatic


by Mauverneen

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived." - Helen Keller

The Long Room, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
      Someone, in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, recently posted a funny comment on book sniffing. If you are a book lover, you get it.  
        There is something about the smell of books - particularly old ones.
       As a kid, my favorite store in town was a place called Henley's Book Store. Oh how I loved that place! My mother would take me there for books and paper dolls. For some reason I remember getting magnetic paper dolls. You didn't need tabs to hold the clothes on, they stuck on all by themselves by static electricity. (Kind of like when you rub a balloon on your sweater and stick it to a wall.)
     I am laughing as I write this - not only am I sounding like my mother, remembering my childhood, but it is amazing how little it took to keep us entertained. A little paper, a balloon, maybe an old catalog... Do they still make paper dolls?
      Funny how a smell can bring up so many memories.
      I do love the smell of old books. I recently had occasion to visit a very old library - the Long Room of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. And the first thing I noticed was the smell. The wonderful aroma of books. Very old books. Chatting with another visitor he asked me if I noticed the smell. "You too?" I responded. And then we both launched into our shared feelings on the love of that particular smell and how we were both completely awestruck at the sight of all those books, agreeing we did not want to leave.
      Looking at this picture, I can almost smell it.
      Have you ever read the book The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon? I wonder if he got his inspiration for the Cemetery of Forgotten Books from this place.
      Some of us still prefer to turn paper pages as opposed to virtual pages. I think part of that may be that holding that book engages other senses - not just sight, but touch, and smell, in a way an electronic device never will.
      Have a Positively wonderful day - go sniff a book!
   
"She liked the combined smell of worn leather bindings, library past and freshly inked stamping pads better than she liked the smell of burning incense at high mass.” - Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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 out   MauveOnTheMove.  My travel blog!
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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Positively Out of Town

by Mauverneen

"A vacation is like love — anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia." ~Author unknown

There has not been a Positively Tuesday post in a couple of weeks because, well, I've been on vacation. It just so happens I left on a Tuesday - a Positively wonderful bit of serendipity! I had been anticipating this trip for months. I looked at guidebooks, researched my destination online, and asked anyone who had been to Ireland what I should not miss. Of course I overpacked - but I am getting better at taking a bit less of what I don't need and won't wear and although it didn't feel it, my luggage was under the weight limit. In trying to reach that goal I think my carryon weighed as much as my checked bag though.

I really needed a holiday. I've been back a few days now and I still feel pretty mellow, or maybe just  tired, but I don't feel stressed, and I'm still not sure what day it is.

"If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home." ~James Michener

Vacations are, for me, always eagerly anticipated. I love going new places, or back to favorite places, seeing new things, trying new food, getting no sleep, rushing from one place to another trying to fit it all in. All the fun things a vacation should be. I vacation to get away, apparently I do not vacation to relax. 

Yes, I did go to Ireland. That green isle of fairies, leprechauns and beautiful people, stunning landscapes and castles. And rain. But you can still have fun - and adventures - in the rain.


You can read about those adventures - and misadventures - on my new blog                     http://www.mauveonthemove.com/    So, come on along to the Emerald Isle...

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!
                      and visit my website: http://mauverneen.com







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

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
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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!


 
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!

  MauveOnTheMove.  My travel blog!

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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!
Visit  MauveOnTheMove.  My travel blog!
 See more photos at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-mauverneen-blevins.html
                      and visit my website: http://mauverneen.com


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!
Coming Soon!   MauveOnTheMove.  My travel blog!
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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
                                                   



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



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