One must face life with a spirit of gratitude.  There is less and more in this world.  And troubles abound.  And it is so easy to point your finger at God and say, “Why!?”  There is no disputing the world is unfair but the only way to face it (???) with love and gratitude toward the Maker.

Thank Him for all your blessings.  God does not owe you anything.  Sometimes your basket is half empty and other times it is half full.  Everything in your life is by grace and the only way to face it is to have a spirit of gratitude.

It is too easy to rail at God for disappointing you.  The only solution is to thank God for all your blessings and trials.  Life is, indeed, precious so face it with courage and again gratitude.  That is, truly, the only way.

It Is A Day To Stay In

Author: siggy

It is a day to stay in.  No doctors appointments.  Nothing I need to buy.  There is plenty of food in the house.  There is no reason to go out.  I am enjoying the flurries and the swarms of birds I can see out my large dining room window.  The first thing I did after dressing was put out more sunflower seed.

I am almost finished with my morning coffee.  The hour, though, is late morning.  I am about to start the coal stove.  Everything is set:  there is wood I collected and coal in buckets.  I just have to play with it.

Last night I was up in the wee hours (1:20AM) reading a book I could not put down (“The Soloist”).  It was made into a movie I wanted to see and could not find.  I happened to be in the library and was looking for the movie to rent but they did not have it.

It never occurred to me until then to read the book.  The prose was scintillating.  I was riveted by the writing and could not put it down last night until I finished it.  Now my wife is also reading “The Soloist”.

Why do couples fight so hard about money?  The reasons are simple although not so easily corrected.  What you spend your money on represents your values.

And it is also a control thing:  who makes the decision on what.  And sometimes when you do not have enough you bicker more.

I have no easy answers except a couple needs to make up their mind who makes the decisions on what.  It is also a matter of trust.  Usually one partner is freer with spending and the other is tighter.

That is actually a good thing.  You have to work things out between the two of you and each person acts as a check and balance on the other.

A couple has to have agreement on their handling of money.  Otherwise, there will be constant conflict in that area.  That is one major area each couple just has to work out.

There is a point your musical collection becomes unwieldy.  There is so much music one can listen to.  One thing that has not changed is the power of one.  That is all you can listen to at one time.  One CD.  One album.

And the more unlistened albums you have the harder it is to listen to new pieces of music.  If it doe not get your attention right away, it vanishes in your collection.  Not every album captures your attention right away.  Many don’t.

There is too much music I am not familiar with.  My wife discovered E Bay and went a little crazy with purchases of music.  And got music I never would have advised her to buy had she run it by me.

I have several hundred CDs, maybe two thousand LPs and hundreds of cassettes.  I have trouble enough storing them much less playing them.  My musical collection has become unwieldy.

How careless is He with the two feet straw sticking out at all angles out of the snow.  The last day or two I noticed this wild straw and how beautiful it looked against the white.

There is so much beauty around and He is so careless and free with it.  I never forgot the time my son was in the car speeding down a major highway and he mentioned how beautiful the sky was.

I looked and it was a plain gray.  Not so plain to Saul.  There is so much we miss and God is so free with it.  I strained to figure out whether the bird a hundred feet away was the elusive pilliated woodpecker.

Finally I walked away.  I saw the red head but could not tell if it was the red bellied woodpecker or the other.  Both are fairly big woodpeckers.

I could not tell in the distance.  Such beauty all around.  And I am so blind to it sometimes.  Or just plain preoccupied.

The beauty of a superb piece of writing (as a gorgeous musical composition) is what is left out–the empty spaces.  A writer does not want to confuse the writer (???) with clutter.  Every thing that is not necessary has been taken out.

You want every word, every phrase, every sentence and paragraph to matter.  I always said that an excellent editor is worth their weight in gold.  It is very difficult for the writer to see their piece objectively.

You always need someone from the outside who you trust for their advice on your written piece.  Sure you need to do everything you can before you submit your piece to someone else.

Nevertheless, at some point you need to present your piece to someone else for their opinion.  You have to be very careful who you choose and when to do this.  You have given your piece your all.

Now it is time to let someone else read it.  Everything that gets in the way has to be taken out or changed.  You want every word to count.  You can not do this by yourself.

You always need a mission to write and at the same time you must have an imaginary audience.  It is that audience which gives your writing focus.  It is striving to reach them which will give you the words you need to complete your mission.

The words necessary to reach your audience will come if you know why you are writing.  You may not know how to get there but the words will materialize as you make your journey.

Your only job when you are complete with this leg of the journey is not to confuse the reader and take out everything that gets in the way.  If you can still delete your passage and your writing stands it was not necessary.

You always need a mission to write and that always comes first.  Know why you are writing.  And to whom.  The words always follow.  They do not come first but are always last.  Start with your mission.

It was a choice between looking ridiculous or being cold.  A few years ago for a Christmas someone presented me with a ten foot scarf they must have spent many hours knitting.  When I saw how “impossibly” long it was I roared.

Yesterday it was cold and I pulled out that scarf from the closet and wrapped it around my neck six times so I would not trip on it.  I felt absolutely toasty with it when I went out.  I even forgot I had it till then.

My other commented how silly I looked in it when I returned.  I also had a white cap on which said San Francisco to complete the picture.  I told her I did not care and if I had to make a choice from looking ridiculous or cold I pick ridiculous any day.

She just laughed at me again as I departed the house.  There are few people in this world who have a ten foot long scarf.  I am just plain lucky.

I was starting to panic.  I could not find the checkbook I just used minutes ago.  I looked everywhere and no luck.  Finally I decided to drive to the store I wrote my last check.  I was almost there and I thought of one place I did not look in the house and called my wife on my cell.  That is exactly where it was.  I must have placed the checkbook back into its regular spot without thinking.  I did it so automatically that I did not remember doing it.  I was simply relieved it was found.

Everytime I see a bright red cardinal in my backyard I am awed by its beauty.  I could not believe it when I was in the car and my passengers could not identify one that flew across our car.

My visitors were from NYC and maybe never saw one in the heart of the City.  It is such a common songbird yet such a beautiful one and the sighting of the male never fails to take my breath away.

The female is quite drab yet if you see her usually her mate is not too far away for they mate for life.  They love to feed on the sunflower seed I put out in the yard although they are more wary than some others birds that come to the birdseed I put out.

It is always a treat to see the brightly red colored male.  And I don’t take them for granted.  My heart always skips a beat when I spot a male.

The temperature is always relative.  Someone I knew at the local library was from Minnesota where temperatures in the winter often fall thirty or forty below zero and was not fazed by single digits temperatures.

This week the temperatures were in the twenties and thirties and I thought we had a minor heat wave although keeping the house heated for over two days by our coal stove had something to do with that.

It became down right toasty in our house and I had to discard my thermal underwear.  And other extra layers.  It always depends what temperature is normal for that time of year.

I am starting to count the weeks of winter that have gone by.  It is still too early for my yearly countdown to spring.  But it is getting there.

“Cool Hand Luke”

Author: siggy

“Cool Hand Luke” is sitting on the corner of our bed.  He can usually be found in that room.  He is the last survivor of the animals I brought into this marriage.  The other two, oddly enough all black like she, are now dead.  The cat must be at least nine years old.

She does have some peculiarities:  not only does she hang out in our bedroom she also likes going through doors.  Open one she will dash out and seconds later if we open the same door she will quickly scoot back in.

She is kind of a loner:  she does not hang out with any of the other six cats although she is the most aggressive.  If we put out cat food, she is the first one at the dish.  I usually go to bed first and she often is near me snuggling up to me arching her back asking to be petted.

She is one laid back cat and I don’t remember who named her “Cool Hand Luke” although the name suit (???) her perfectly.  She is my cat although you really never own a cat.  They own you.

Her presence on my bed when I go to sleep is a comfort to me.  She is a special pet to me.  I don’t pay as much attention to the other six.