Monthly Archives: May 2014

 
 

On: The Caged Bird Released, Sings and Flies Free

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Dr. Maya Angelou

April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

Maya

Maya

Dear Maya,

You have sung in your cage, sung in Your release and now You sing, flying free! I cannot offer up Your praise and give words of your many accomplishments. There are many others that knew You, knew You well and that can do the far better telling. I can only shed my own tears of the sad and of the joy. I can only say here, what You mean to me. I call You Maya because, it’s deeply personal and You are this to me, as if I have always known You, though I have never met You, though as if I have! We are not related. Our skins and sins are not the same. We came here to life at different times. All that I may leave here pales, to what, You have left. But I love You and I know You loved me because, You lived!

Your first book, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ set You not upon your path, but it brought many to you and my seeking heart to your path and with your smile, You bid any and all, welcome!

Maya's 1st book

Maya’s 1st book

I always thought of You as my dear and trusted aunt, though I never had the privilege of meeting You. You were born in my home state of Missouri. You lived in Arkansas and I first met of You, when I lived there. I will never forget Your performance in the 1995 movie, ‘How to Make an American Quilt!’ You had only a small part. You did neither write it nor directed it. You were not its narrator. Your character was Anna. You told the story of, “the story quilt.” You are the “story quilt.” You were the master quilter and brought every person into this story. And it is brilliant and so deep and has so many meanings on so many levels. It was more than about a quilt for one woman. It was more than just about women or a movie for women. It was about people, all people. Ignorance makes us all slaves to something or to someone. But together are we freed, WE the many different and beautiful “shreds,” make up ‘An American Quilt!’  ‘An American Quilt,’ is by far, my favorite movie of all time. To me, You were the whole movie! I cannot imagine it being written, directed, acted or presented without You. All the great acting, music and sets were the background. You are its subject. You are the quilting needle; WE are the quilt!

 

“It’s a story quilt.  It’s meant to be read.” 

“That summer the Grasse quilting bee did something they’ve never done before. Anna called everyone back and wouldn’t let them go home until they finished the quilt. They all worked [straight through the night] sustained by Anna’s will and gallons of ice tea.”

 

Young lovers seek perfection. 

Old lovers learn the art of sewing shreds together

 and of seeing beauty in a multiplicity of patches  

 

“As Anna says about making a quilt, you have to choose your combination carefully. The right choices will enhance your quilt. The wrong choices will dull the colors, hide their original beauty. There are no rules you can follow. You have to go by your instinct. And you have to be brave.”

 excerpts from the transcript: ‘An American Quilt’

 

I hear You and see You and feel You in every frame of the whole movie and in the following video clip.

 

 

Your  last Tweet on Twitter:

Maya5

 

Your last personal Facebook post was typical of, your concern for others

 

Maya4

Maya’s FB Profile

Maya Angelou
May 26, 2014

 

“And now we come to the day [Memorial Day] where we can honor the brave men and women who have risked their lives to honor our country and our principles. Our history is rife with citizens who care and who are courageous enough to say we care for those who went before us.”

 

You earned three Grammys, spoke six languages, and were the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. You received two Presidential Medals of Honor from two separate presidents, one for Art and the most important, for Freedom.

 

On Thursday, May 28, 2014, you took your last breath and I was breathless when I knew.

On your Facebook page:

Your FB  profile

Your FB profile

Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family:

Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.
Guy B. Johnson

 

https://www.facebook.com/MayaAngelou

You were a beautiful young girl, a beautiful young woman, a beautiful woman, and a beautiful lady in Your glorious sunset! There is no place for a beautiful mind to be shone, than shining out and upon, from within!

My favorite poem of Yours, I will share here to follow. You meant a lot to me personally, and I will greatly miss Your presence on this earth and in the life that I have left!

Still I Rise

by Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

 

Cradle

by Dahni

How does one summarize the impact of a single life? Indeed, there have been countless books penned, poems and paintings that have tried to capture this deep enigma. Perhaps the smallest sentence to have ever seized all the emotion of loss comes from the Bible,

 

“Jesus Wept!”

 

William Shakespeare from ‘King Lear,’ concluded a single life simply and plainly with the words,

 

“He died!”

 

But the things penned, the poems, the paeans, and paintings all try to show the eons of time, events and unique forming that brought forth the birth of a single life. And then they try to show the waves and connections and spheres of influence from all the moments and all the years of a single life. And thus a summing up of all that are touched by this single life may simply and plainly conclude –

 

They Lived!

 

No one can escape tears sometimes. Sometimes these droplets of one’s measured life are of great joy. Sometimes these droplets of one’s measured life are of great sorrow. The push of sorrow and the pull of joy is this not like a crib and are we not cradled of love? A life enters and exits, but leaves a cradle rocking. The push and pull continues. Turn the page, keep reading. Pen, poem and paint. Rock the cradle, for the point is

 

We live!

 

Note: a “paean” – any song of joy, praise or triumph

© 2011

From the collection: ‘Full Measure’ © 2008-2014 by the same author, all rights reserved

Even more than my ‘Cradle’ poem, You taught me to always trust love –

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time

and always one more time.”

Maya Angelou

Even more than my ‘Cradle’ poem, You taught me that all of us are shackled or we bear the scars of something that enslaves. But my favorite words from You are, only two.

“Love Liberates”

Maya Angelou

 

You sang in Your cage. You sang when Your caged was opened. You sing now in freedom’s flight. Many will fly because, of You.

I will rise

I will sing

 

 

 

Your loving liberated nephew,

 

Donnie

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Categories: Beauty, Birds, Family & Friends, Freedom, Inspiration, Joy & Sorrow, Life, Life & Death, Literature, Live Laugh Love, Love, Maya Angelou, Poetry, Saying Goodbye, Spiritual, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized, Visual Poetry, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

On: Memorial Day

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Today marks the official, 43rd year of observing Memorial Day, as a federal holiday beginning in 1971. It could be the 149th, 148th, 147th or 146th, depending on who you are, what you believe and where you are from. There are no less than a dozen cities, organizations and persons that it has been attributed to or claim it and that they, he or she was the first to come up with the name and or to celebrate the event for the first time. Indeed, a study or personal research undertaken, as to the histories and origins of Memorial Day, will reveal very much, interesting information. That last sentence was highly understated!

The stories range from it began in the south to no, it was the north from after the American Civil War. Some say no, it began earlier than that. Some say it started in Columbus, Georgia, but Columbus, Mississippi, highly disagrees with that, because they say they were first.

Francis Miles Finch (June 9, 1827 – July 31, 1907) was an American judge, poet, and academic associated with the early years of Cornell University. Finch wrote poetry throughout his life. Perhaps his best known poem, “The Blue and the Gray”, written in remembrance of the dead of the American Civil War, was inspired by a women’s memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, who on April 25, 1866 tended the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers, treating the dead as equals despite the lingering rancor of the war.

 

The Blue and the Gray

By Francis Miles Finch

By the flow of the inland river,
  Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
  Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the judgment-day;
    Under the one, the Blue,
      Under the other, the Gray.
 
These in the robings of glory,
  Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
  In the dusk of eternity meet:
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the judgment-day;
    Under the laurel, the Blue,
      Under the willow, the Gray.
 
From the silence of sorrowful hours
  The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
  Alike for the friend and the foe:
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the judgment-day;
    Under the roses, the Blue,
      Under the lilies, the Gray.
 
So with an equal splendor,
  The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
  On the blossoms blooming for all:
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the judgment-day;
    Broidered with gold, the Blue,
      Mellowed with gold, the Gray.
 
So, when the summer calleth,
  On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
  The cooling drip of the rain:
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the judgment-day;
    Wet with the rain, the Blue,
      Wet with the rain, the Gray.
 
Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
  The generous deed was done,
In the storm of the years that are fading
  No braver battle was won:
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the judgment-day;
    Under the blossoms, the Blue,
      Under the garlands, the Gray.
 
No more shall the war cry sever,
  Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
  When they laurel the graves of our dead!
    Under the sod and the dew,
      Waiting the judgment-day;
    Love and tears for the Blue,
      Tears and love for the Gray.

 

 

Though this is a beautiful poem and memory, some believe Memorial Day was inspired by a southern woman and others say it was a northern military officer. Then there is a town in my state, Waterloo, NY that have honored the day since May 5th, 1866. To this, president Lyndon Johnson directed the federal government to recognize Waterloo, NY in 1971, as the birthplace of Memorial Day? You cannot say that the president, a southerner, was biased, being Waterloo, NY, is, in the north. But hold on, wait just a minute.

Some believe and would like the rest of us to believe that the ceremonies in April of 1865, might have begun what has come to be known as Memorial Day? Remember Fort Sumter? It was a fort off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, long used in defense of the city. For all practical reasons, Fort Sumter is where the American Civil War began. It seemed kind of fitting to include it in the memory, after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, which unofficially ended the war between the states. Indeed, the same year, the flag of the United States would fly over Fort Sumter. All kinds of ceremonies were planned and implemented on the island, to honor the dead, the end of hostilities and the long reconciliatory process which was beginning, between the north and the south. This all happened on April 15, 1865. Later the same day and this same year, in Washington, D.C., president Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater.

But hold on again, wait just another minute. What about the story of prisoners of war that had died in captivity in Charleston, South Carolina and were honored on May 1, 1865? Was this the beginning of Memorial Day?

“During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Together with teachers and missionaries, black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony, covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building, an enclosure and an arch labeled, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 school children newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, black ministers, and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field.”

 

Excerpts from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

 

Professor David W. Blight of the Yale University Department of History, described the day during part of his lecture, ‘The Beginning of Memorial Day,’

“This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the war had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”

http://oyc.yale.edu/history/hist-119/lecture-19#ch5

 

However, Blight stated he “has no evidence” that this event in Charleston inspired the establishment of Memorial Day across the country.

Source of quote: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/us/many-claim-to-be-memorial-day-birthplace.html?pagewanted=2

 

Of course, there remain many that want to dispute professor Blight’s claim, but if it were not for his discovery of this information, nearly lost and possibly suppressed, we would not even have it to consider. Did you know this former racetrack-turned open air field cemetery, still exists or efforts are being made to include this hallowed place as, an historic landmark? I did not until very recently.

On and on the stories and claims go, perhaps without ending and without number. But it seems the importance or meaning of the day, is lost on who said what first, made it first, and inspired it first.

At this point, what exactly do we know? We know that somewhere, sometime, someone merged Decoration Day with Memorial Day. It was merged because, after the change, people would still ‘decorate’  the graves of the fallen, but the word ‘memorial’ was more appropriate, for the reason they they did this. So it seems the connection was to honor the dead that fell during the American Civil War by decorating their graves. But we know that today, Memorial Day has expanded.

Many believe the name change from “Decoration Day” to “Memorial Day,” was first used in 1882. But it still was not a Federal Law until 1967.  On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday, in order to create a convenient, three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30th date to the last Monday in May.

Law smaw, many states rejected this change until years later, when all 50 states were finally in compliance. Then there are those that still don’t like the date of the last Monday of the month of May. They would prefer the date being set on a more traditional date of  May 30th, no matter what day of the week it may fall on. Congress has been repeatedly petitioned to make this change, even among its own members, but to no avail. Besides, if this were to happen, it would disrupt Memorial Day business, observed by most businesses because, this is the unofficial beginning of summer. Hmmm, what was really important, the day itself or another day off and part of another long weekend off and the opportunity for businesses to sell us their stuff from out of their stock and off their shelves?

Memorial Day expanded to include fallen soldiers, for all wars and conflicts since the American Civil War. Some did not like that because, living soldiers were not included. So Veterans Day was added for all veterans, living and deceased, for all wars. Veteran’s Day is  on Tuesday, November 11 (this year 2014). But I bet more than many turn this into a four-day weekend, to do more stuff, get more stuff and to sell more stuff.

Memorial Day weekend has expanded to associate with the Labor Day weekend beginning, Monday September 1st (this year 2014). What is the association? Most people, businesses and organizations, with private or public swimming pools, open their pools around Memorial Day and close them down, after Labor Day.

Memorial Day weekend has expanded to associate with, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca Cola 6oo races. These car racing events have for some time, been run on Memorial  Day.

Somehow, Memorial Day was expanded to include all deceased members of families and friends and associates. People everywhere started decorating other graves besides those of soldiers. Then Memorial Day expanded to include picnics, gatherings of friends and families, businesses, other groups and of course, including barbecues!

Around the 16th century in England, the word potluck is said to have first been used. In the writings of Thomas Nashe, he defined this as, “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot.” In the 19th or 20th century, this potluck or sometimes called potlatch, was considered a communal or community meal, where people brought their own food. To the native Irish, this “luck of the pot,” had no particular menu, but was shared with many people and with many types of food, from whatever you had on hand because, quite often, this was the only pot people had to cook with. So many got together to use it and share the food together. This could have been neighbors, friends, families or all of them. This could have taken on the character of an extended family or a family reunion. Some people would often travel hundreds of miles to reconnect or with friends and families. They would gather on a certain day (like Memorial Day), decorate the graves of loved ones and renew their relationships or meet other new friends and family members. Sometimes, there could have been a religious service at the site and often this would follow with a “dinner on the ground.” Yes, at the cemetery, they would spread sheets or tablecloths on the grass or set up tables and “pass the pot,” sharing together what each brought to share. Now many believe this practice started way before the American Civil War so therefore, it predates any other origin of Memorial Day. But there are plenty of people around to dispute that claim or idea!

So what do we know for sure? We know that Memorial Day has expanded to include a lot of people and stuff. But what actually is Memorial Day? What is its purpose? I dunno, so I looked up the word “memorial,” in the dictionary.

 

The word memorial is a noun. It’s first definition, found in most dictionaries is, something similar to that which follows:

 

“something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.’

Origin:

1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin memoriāle, noun of neuter of Latin memoriālis for or containing memoranda. belonging to remembrance

Old French memorie, from Latin memoria, from memor mindful”

 

excerpts from: http://dictionary.reference.com/

 

In the least common denominator, memorial comes from the word memory and is connected to ‘being mindful.’ What should we be memorializing? For what purpose should we remember. keep in our memory and be mindful of?

In a previous post on this blog  ‘ON: ANZAC DAY, I wrote about my recent experiences in Australia. You can can read it for the first time or again if you so choose, but it began for me, an evolution if you will, for what Memorial Day means to me now.

Here at The Gathering Place, me and the Mrs., which is pretty poor, improper or just bad English (but the 2 m’s may make it easier to recall) or properly, the Mrs. and I, are spending the day much like many others. We started by attending our first Memorial Day Parade, in our new home-based area of, Macedon, NY. As relatively new members of this community, we wanted to become more involved. We waited at the cemetery, as the parade approached.

 

 

We connected with new friends and reconnected with old friends. We walked into the cemetery and were part of the short service that was followed by free hotdogs, chips and drinks up at the Macedon Center.

But the service began with a moment of silence, honoring those soldiers that were buried in this field. Next, there was an oral reading of a poem I had not heard before. The poem was written by Archibald MacLeish, a poet who served in the U.S. Army in World War I:

 

The Young Dead Soldiers

by Archibald MacLeish

The young dead soldiers do not speak.
Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses:
who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock
counts.
They say: We were young. We have died.
Remember us.
They say: We have done what we could
but until it is finished it is not done.
They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can
know what our lives gave.
They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours, they will mean what
you make them.
They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope
or for nothing we cannot say, it is you who must say this.
We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died; remember us

 

 

This was followed by a short prayer in thanks for the freedom that we there and we everywhere, are charged with as overseers and preservers of this freedom. The service concluded with a 21 gun salute to those fallen.

Both my wife Susan and I have had members of our individual families and mutual friends that served in the military. We have friends and family that are presently, serving in the military. We are quite used to and understand, “extended families.” These friends and families and soldiers became, ours and my friends and families and soldiers!

My manner for quite sometime has been, to remove my hat and extend my right hand to any soldier I meet, to say thank you, for their service to our country. All of theses men and women either paid the ultimate sacrifice or were or are willing, to give their lives, for what they believed and believe is in defense of this nation. But what does that mean? What is this nation? How are we any different than any other person upon the face of the earth, living or dead? Isn’t it that we have placed into writing that “all…are equal,” and all have, “certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?” Is this not the cry of every heart; of every man, woman and child – past, present and future for, the freedom to exercise these rights?

For Susan and I like many people, we will put something on the grill later and do some yard work, visit with and talk to friends and family. I will personally reflect upon what Memorial Day has now come to mean to me.

I will change my greeting to any known solidier I may meet. I will thank them for their part is keeping us all free to enjoy Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And I will extend this greeting to you, wherever you may be or whenever we may meet. For you too are, a defender, protector and an overseer of this freedom we all here, are here by rights to enjoy.

To truly honor our dead, we may continue to decorate their graves, get together, barbecue, open or go to a pool, and all the things we do, do on Memorial Day, but How SHALL WE HONOR THEM the BEST!

Let us go forth this Memorial Day, for all time, in the memory of and mindful of that each of us contribute or take part in the attempts to destroy freedom. If we cannot all, always agree, let us agree to disagree and part as friends and family, but let us each continue to preserve the path in peace, and decorate, and remember that we each are preservers of the freedom to enjoy, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!

So to you, anyone that reads this or that I meet today or that I may meet one day, I say THANK YOU! Thank you for taking care of all our freedom to all our rights for, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!!! Thank You!

 

In gratitude for your life,

 

Donnie

Memorial Day, May 26th, 2014

Categories: ANZAC Day, Family & Friends, Freedom, Holidays, Inspiration, Liberty & The Pursuit of Happiness, Memorial Day, Poetry, The Gathering Place | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

On: A Mockingbird

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

I was outside on Tuesday afternoon on May 20th, just sitting, when a little mockingbird showed up. She was maybe three feet away from me. When she saw me she flew away. Later, around 12:30 am eastern daylight time (EDT), the following morning, I was still awake and I went outside to see the night sky and if there were any stars visible. As I came out of the side door, I could hear her singing in a nearby tree. So I recorded her songs. Later I played it back and she imitated herself. It was quite amusing. 🙂

I’m not sure why she was up so late or why she was singing? I counted at least 7 or 8 different sounds she made and one sounded like a hawk. Maybe this was a defense thing, just in case there was a real hawk closeby? Maybe it was to discourage a real hawk, from thinking they had first ‘dibs’ on sounds like many birds, a varietal early morning breakfast in the tree, because another hawk, had gotten there first? 🙂

I mentioned food. What do mockingbirds eat? Mockingbirds eat mostly insects during the summer and switch to fruits in the fall and winter.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird

Mockingbirds are best known for the habit of some species, mimicking the songs of other birds and the sounds of insects and amphibians They often sing loudly and in rapid succession. Our little bird’s scientific name is,  (Mimus polyglottos) and means, “many tongued mimic.” The Northern Mockingbird is known for its intelligence. A 2009, study showed that the bird was able to recognize individual humans. Maybe she knows me? Maybe she likes me? Maybe she will stay here and raise a family?

Some mockingbirds may learn as much as 200 songs, throughout their lives.  Some have been known to imitate car alarms and animals and frogs. 

I call my Mockingbird a “she” because, OK, I like guys, but I love girls, alright? 🙂

But my mockingbird is most likely a he. It is usually unmated males that sing at night and particularly, during a full moon, which by the way, happened recently and is still a pretty good size. Maybe this is part of the reason, for it’s late-night/early-morning singing?

The oldest (Northern Mockingbird), on record was, 14 years and 10 months.  source: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_mockingbird/lifehistory

Mockingbirds are the the ‘state birds,’ for five (5) states in the United States: Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. It used to be the state bird for South Carolina from 1939-1948, when it was changed to the Carolina Wren until 1976, when it was changed again, to the present state bird which is, the Wild Turkey.

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, had a pet mockingbird named, ‘Dick.”

Mockingbirds are found quite often in works of American culture. I’m sure most of you recall one in a title of a book that was made into a movie – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ by Harper Lee. In the book, mockingbirds are portrayed as innocent and generous. Two of the major characters, Atticus Finch (played in the movie by Gregory Peck) and Miss Maudie, say it is a sin to kill a mockingbird because,

“They don’t do one thing for us but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing, but sing their hearts out for us”.

Source: Lee, Harper. (1960). To Kill a Mockingbird (50th Anniversary (2010) ed.). HarperCollins. p. 148. ISBN 0-06-174352-6.

Scene from the movie

“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. Your father’s right, she said. Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

 

The previous lines are from from Chapter 10 of the book and are the source of the novel’s title and introduce one of the key metaphors of the book: the idea of mockingbirds as good, innocent people who are destroyed by evil.

Well, I don’t know if it is a “sin” to kill a mockingbird or if they are so “innocent,” but there may be some truth to their singing  being, just for us or mostly, for us because, apparently their songs don’t fool other birds. Their singing and songs seem to warn their own kind to stay away from their territory. The males also sing,  to tell other males to stay away from their ‘girl’ or that, “all’s fair in love and war,” and  as if to say: “I’m moving in on your girl to make her mine!” Right, the males sing to get “chicks.” Oh, that was literal, not figurative. 🙂 But to get “chicks,” (baby birds), you first, have to attract the ‘Lady Bird’ to become the ‘Mama Bird.’ I can attest to the fact that singing does work in attracting females! Yep, singing does work for sure! It is after all, how I attracted my Susan. OK, actually it was with poetry, but Susan said it was purty’. 🙂

Male or female mockingbird recorded below? Enjoy the singing. 🙂

[audio http://i-imagine.biz/mockbird.mp3 | loop=yes]

recorded live, May 21, 2014 about 12:30 am, eastern daylight time (EDT) outside The Gathering Place

Categories: Birds, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fun, Harper Lee, Literature, Music, The Gathering Place, To Kill a Mocking Bird | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

On: Silo-wering

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all right reserved

 

 

Well, I know about house warming and barn raising. I even know “Hi Ho” from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, but I never heard of a silo-wering, until today! 🙂

Our neighbor across the road that owns all the farm land around here, as far as eye can see, has three silos. This morning, I received a phone call from his wife. “Don’t get excited,” she said, “If you see car-gawkers along the road or people standing in the top of one of our silos by the barn, we’re having it taken down.”

Sure enough, I looked across the road and could see men, “standing in the top,” of one of their silos, just like she said. I had to go for a closer look and snap some pictures.

 

Silo-wering

Silo-wering

This silo being taken down was about the same size as the one you see to the left, in the next picture. It had not been used for some time and it did not have a roof, long lost to some wind storm in the past.

The people were a group of Amish, contracted to de-construct the silo.

You can tell they are Amish by their familiar clothing of blue trousers, lighter blue shirts, suspenders and straw hats. I could see the beards on the men and hear their speech, which sounded German or perhaps, Pennsylvania Dutch.

The picture to the left was shot around 10:00 am and already, they had removed almost a 1/3 of the structure. They probably started around seven this morning.

There were three groups with each having a certain job to do.

The men standing inside the structure (somehow), would remove any metal and throw it down. Then they would go around the circumference and remove the concrete panels about 3′ X 1′ X 2″ thick.

The concrete panels probably weighed at least 100 pounds.

Then the leader on top would call out to the men standing on the ground to stand clear and then the would toss down the panels. They would yell clear and stop dropping materials.

The men on the ground would go pick up the pieces and take them to the truck and lay them on the bed. Then the leader on the ground would call out to the men on the silo, that they were clear.

There was one man on the truck bed that seemed to be the team leader or supervisor. The rest were young men around 12-15 I guess. They would stack the concrete panels on the truck bed. I asked one of the young men what they were going to do with the material and I was told they were going to use it to re-construct this silo, somewhere else.

They are amazing to watch how the work together and just keep moving!

Teamwork

Teamwork

This went on all day until they finished the job. Each group rested between their specific jobs. This was very interesting and very efficient. I am amazed at their work ethics, how they kept moving, worked together, resting only they were not directly involved. I can imagine that other groups or companies might take days to do this job and probably with a lot of broken materials. But the Amish completed this job in one day. The flat bed truck was fully loaded. The only thing left was some concrete panels stacked up and the concrete pad the silo stood on.

All in a Day's Work

All in a Day’s Work

 

Categories: DailyMotion, Entertainment, Home, Inspiration, The Amish, The Gathering Place, Work, Work ethics | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Thrill of the First Grill

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

 

Well, today at The Gathering Place, we’re cooking. Yes, this post is abut the ‘thrill of the first grill,’ of the season.

Fresh from sleep ( I think the jet lag is over) and fresh with inspiration from our recent travels to Japan and Australia, we’re cooking up a storm!

Let me first explain the word ‘”storm.” It has been literally “storming” here recently. We have had quite a bit of rain and the temperature dropped dramatically. I’m not complaining, just explaining, for up here on the hill, we have fared better than some that have gone through a lot of flooding and damage. “Storm,” “Stormy” and “bad weather,” can be used and are used here, figuratively.

About a week before we left Australia (OZ-tralia), my wife Susan, was suffering from pain in her right leg. We thought it was just muscular or something like that from the much walking we have done these last couple of months. The day after we got home, I drove her to the doctor. A ultrasound revealed that she has a blood clot in her leg. Rather than go into details, let me just say that she is doing better, but has to take it easy. Now “easy” to you might be easy to you, but not to Susan. She has plenty to do that she both wants to do and needs to do. So, it’s not “easy,” it is scary, different, frustrating and kind of stormy here, at the Gathering Place.

There were things, important things we missed while gone. For one, our only granddaughter has a mouthful of teeth, is walking and is keeping up with and will be soon the boss of her two older, fraternal twin brothers. There’s graduations, birthdays and even a wedding coming up. I’ve painting to do, grass to grow, a yard sale to plan and implement so, we can get rid of this huge pod in our driveway and have a full driveway again. And there has been the loss of a dear family member and the daughter of two of our other dear friends.

We’ve gone through all the mail and junk mail. We’ve a lot of catch-up to catch-up on, about many things. You leave for a couple of months and when you get back, everything you left is still here and more and less. Susan is retired. Me? I only know that we were tired while traveling; tired from traveling and when we got home as we still are, we’re re-tired! 🙂

Sometimes, we just don’t realize how good people are at what they do until, we have to step in and try to do, what they do. Susan is the shopper, the meal planner, daily cook and specialty cook too. I could go on and on about what she does, but the point is, for the present and for an indeterminate period of time, I have to step in and step up. Not complaining just explaining.

Me? Oh, I am a trained gourmet chef. I know how to shop for the best and how to prepare the best. Blah, blah, blah, you want to know what I really am, I ‘m just a show-off chef. I’m the guy you want to have prepare feasts, special occasions, holiday meals and fancy dinners for 100’s of guests! I’m not boasting, that’s a fact Jack (or Jill or whatever pray tell, your name is. 🙂

But there is a whole bunch of differences between what I do and what a daily good cook, like my wife Susan, has done for years. Like what, like feeding a family on a budget, coupon collecting, best-deal detective-ing, and with grace under pressure, adding variety and all, with delicious and nutritious food, day in and day out, 450 days a year (extra days for extra people that often show up extra-ordinarily).

Oh sure, I used to know grams and milliliters. I’ve had a lot of experience with healthy food and shopping on a budget. But that was then and this is now. Like the saying goes, “use it or lose it.”

Well, if I am such an experienced chef with all this training, why have you never heard of me? Why am I not a successful chef and restaurateur with a whole bunch of the famed culinary and prestigious, Michelin Stars, associated with my work? The short answer is, I can’t handle the pressure! But also, I cannot stand to cook the same stuff over and over again, day in and day out! Food is either just something I HAVE to eat, when I’m doing something else that I deem more important, but my stomach won’t shut up until I cram something down my throat. Thank God I married Susan because, at least her food is delicious, balanced, and nutritious! If I just had to feed me, I’d either sort-of-starve, which really means, I gain weight or just eat junk which means, I gain weight. PROVE THIS TO YOURSELVES FOLKS! If you, would just eat three balanced meals a day at the same times and you do NOTHING else, I guarantee you will lose weight! You can even eat my food, BUT NOT A LOT OF IT, ALL THE TIME; EVERY DAY!

I love to cook. I love to cook for others. But in the kitchen, I AM INTENSE! I would NOT want to work for me or with me in the kitchen! I don’t know many chefs that I would want to be like. Many of them are just jerks, bossy-expletive-flinging dictators. And this is another reason I do not cook professionally. Not cooking professionally just means, I am not paid. I am a professional in all other senses of the word. I clean as I go. I cannot stand a messy kitchen!!! Besides, in a restaurant, the person that cleans the dishes is called a dishwasher, not the kitchen-washer or the kitchen cleaner. That’s my job and especially here recently. We have a mechanical/digital dishwasher and we have me, the hand dishwasher, while Susan rests, takes it easy and keeps her feet elevated.

My new roles are: nurse, caregiver, cooking, cleaning, shopping and many other things of which Susan, used to do a lot of these and much, much more.

Me shopping? By myself? Even with a list? Whew, what else do I bring home? How much more do I spend? To be fair to me, from my recent shopping trip, I did think in terms of extra stuff to prepare ahead of time, meals were planned and I purchased extra stuff to have on hand (in the refrigerator and freezer, on the shelves and in the pantry), just for you, when you stop by say on a moment’s notice or just to have extra if you stop by unannounced and we were just sitting down to eat. You are always welcome here though, by the way!

But OMG (Oh my God), we are going to eat well, I’m just not sure how well we will be eating or how well we’ll stay. 🙂  Here’s some clues – French, Italian, cream, butter, sugar, and salt and etc.. Am I communicating? Well, have you ever noticed that many of the people from France and Italy are not overweight, seem fit, firm, frisky, and fabulously, full of fun from food? They eat this way and probably, most of the time. Their secrets are balance, variety, the contrasts, lots of food, but smaller portions. As the saying goes, “a little bit goes a long way.” And there are three other secrets. A little wine with your meal is good for the digestion. I do apologize to those that do not partake of alcohol, but this is a proven fact. Wine aide in digestion, has antioxidants and some stuff in it (red wine has more) that has been shown to prolong life at healthier levels.

Many of the French and Italians take their time to prepare and to enjoy their food. This also aides in digestions and if you are really and truly satisfied, you will actually eat less. The last secret is the quality of the food, the fresher the better. In Japan and in Australia, many people shop, every day. In the USA, we often just buy stuff on sale and cram it all in our huge refrigerators, freezers and if we have them, the extra fridges and freezers. In the USA, we have a lot of OVER-processed, over-sugared, fat-stuff that has a lot of empty calories, chemicals and stuff our bodies can’t use much of, get rid of and promote cravings and get stored as fat.  If you think about it, it is very simple to understand. Every calorie gets used, it’s burnt up through exercise or it gets stored as fat. And this is still true, no matter how old I’m getting or how slow my metabolism is becoming. Eat what you love and love what you eat, just so long as what you love to eat does NOT, end up eating up, your life!

I do not like sleeping and I don’t like eating. But when I have to sleep and it’s needed and restful, I sometimes love it and I love eating exciting food! I love to cook. It’s fun! I love to cook for people. But I’m not real good at hosting, or keeping good conversation going, if I’m cooking. Oh, I’m OK if there is just one, two or a few people present. But more than a few, I can be really shy. I’d rather be behind the scenes watching you have a good time, watching and listening to what you have to say. I keep busy in the kitchen and even though I really do want you here, this is the only way I can handle crowds. It’s OK, go see Susan, she’ll talk to you and make you always feel, right at home!

Hey, wait a minute. I thought this post was supposed to be about the, ‘Thrill of the First Grill?’ It is, I’m getting to it!  I have written all of this in the hope that you can relate and or find it helpful, if not now, perhaps sometime in the future. And it is all in keeping with the vision of, The Gathering Place, our home, this post, and this blog, YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME! We gather together to share. I’m about to share some more and it’s about food; about the ‘Thrill of the First Grill,’ of the season.

Food is like art to me and well, I am a food artist. Food has to smell incredible, taste fantastic and be presented beautifully. Besides the joy this gives to our palette and how it excites our taste buds, all of this actually, aides in digestion. Why settle for something ordinary when just a little extra, can make it extra-ordinary!

Today, I made some heart shaped ginger sugar cubes, for what I call, Gingepagne (Ginger + Champagne). About three little mini heart sugar cubes into each glass of champagne. Made these to have on hand. Tasted delicious, but no champagne on hand to try, but I’ve had something similar (a taste) while we were in Australia (OZ-tralia) and it is wonderful. While making this, I also made fresh ginger syrup or ginger beer. Stored it in the refrigerator to have on hand for my ginger drinks. I have been working on my recipes for ‘Dark & Stormy’ (with rum), Moscow Mule (with vodka), Gin Gin Mule (with gin), Kentucky Mule (with Bourbon) and Scotch Mule (with Scotch). These all use pretty much the same ingredients (ginger syrup, ginger beer, and lime. The only thing different is pretty much the type of alcohol (spirits), the type of glass they are served in and the way they are garnished. Today, I made Gin Gin Mules for the Mrs. and me. They were incredible, especially since I used the fresh ginger syrup. Tomorrow, I’ll try the Scotch Mule.

Got everything together to make fresh, raw beets and horseradish mix. This is great on kielbasa, sandwiches and salads. You can’t get this any better or fresher than making it yourself. Just remember to peel the root and beets, use a food processor, but especially don’t forget to wear rubber gloves (no purple fingers from the beet juice) and a face mask so you don’t fall over and cry like a baby from the horseradish fumes! Hmm, could I possibly know what I’m talking about?! 🙂

Got everything to make my smoked fish dip. Will finish this tomorrow.

Well, you certainly can’t live off of sugar cubes, ginger juice and drinks! No you can’t, but you can LIVE with them when they are a part of your whole Gathering Together! I’m getting to the meal. Actually, I’ll be closing this out with four pictures. As we’ve heard many times, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Surely I must be over halfway of that in words? So maybe my pictures are only worth around 500 words. Sorry, but I won’t try harder, just to try your patience more. 🙂

With the pictures, I will give you some idea how to make what they show. But for more information, details, ingredients and recipes, you will just have to wait until I finish the cookbook I have been working on for some time. It’s title is:

t

The Gathering Place

Holidays & Special Occasions Entertaining

 

When finished, this will be loaded with pictures, recipes cards for handy reference and everything necessary to plan, prepare and present incredible and exciting food for all your special occasions. This will include breakfast, lunch, dinner, deserts, beverages, entrees, soups, sauces, salads, bread, rolls and a fool-proof flaky-tasty every time, yummy pie crust.

it also will include plating, garnish and decorating and anything else I may not have thought of yet. All of the food and everything in it has been tried and trued, tested and proved by many, to be all and more I say it is. Why settle for or take your family, friends and guests to a five star restaurant, when they can experience the intimacy and the personal touch of a ten star restaurant at your home, where the food is all made by you! You know, “there’s no place like home!” Well why not add to this, the best feast that can be had anywhere!!

OK, along with everything else done today, we had to eat. Today it was fish. The name of the fish is simply, Cobia. It was farm raised in Panama. Around $12 dollar for two fresh and more than ample size fillets.

Cobia is also called – black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeater, prodigal son and aruan tasek. I like the ‘prodigal son.’ The bible story, from where this comes from in part is, about a man that leaves home with all his inheritance and blows it all. He has no choice, but to come home and even beg to be a servant, just so he can survive. But his father sees him approaching from a distance and prepare a huge feast because, he is so happy that his son has come home. The corbia fish I prepared was so delicious, I have decided to call this meal, ‘The Prodigal Son.’ Why you might ask, because, if you prepare this for those that love fish, they will “return.”

“Cobia is a relatively high priced fish and is sought after,  for its firm texture and excellent flavor. The flesh is usually sold fresh. It is typically served in the form of grilled or poached fillets. Chefs Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali each cooked several dishes made with cobia in the “Battle Cobia” episode of the Food Network program Iron Chef America, which first aired in January, 2008. Thomas Keller’s restaurant, The French Laundry, has offered cobia on its tasting menu.”

 excerpts from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobia

 

‘Thrill of the First Grill,’ of the season.

 

‘The Prodigal Son’

Grilled Cobia

 

I cleaned our propane gas grill and set the temperature to around medium to low. Garlic and herb basting oil was brushed on top, bottom and all sides of both fillets. Lay fish horizontally on the grill. Cook around 2 minutes, then flip over with a spatula, for another 2 minutes. Recoat fish with the basting oil, each time you turn it over. After both sides have cooked each for two minutes, flip again only this time, turn the fillets vertically so grill marks will show up as a square or diamond pattern when finished. It looks nice! Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, the last two times you grill the fillets. Remember to keep basting. Total cook time is around 8 minutes. We were having rice and if you have a rice cooker, it takes about 15 minutes to cook, so plan accordingly so everything is done at the same time. And while you are waiting…

Thrill of the First Grill

Thrill of the First Grill

…hey, what’s in that glass to the left of the grill by the spatula? By the way, the plate to the right with a fork and the yellow basting brush, started with around 3-4 tablespoons of garlic & herb basting oil. Get from any store or make your own! Anyway, what’s in that glass?

Gin Gin Mule

Gin Gin Mule

Gin, fresh made ginger syrup, ginger beer, lime, and crushed ice in a pretty glass with a lime garnish. It was supposed to have a little muddled fresh mint, garnish of a sprig of fresh mint and a chip of crystallized ginger. OK, I like ginger, alright? Well. I forgot to get the mint at the store and I almost forgot the piece of crystallized ginger for garnish, but it got in there! 🙂

Close up of grill marked fish fillets turned once. Repeat second time, turning fillets, the opposite direction.

Close up of grill marked fish fillets turned once. Repeat second time, turning fillets, the opposite direction.

Prepared a fresh salad with veggies and fresh ripe avocado. Sprinkled with feta cheese. I used light sesame seed and ginger salad dressing because, OK I like ginger. I’m not sure what Susan used?

Rice was just plain white rice. Just Plain white rice can be quite boring. I sprinkled ours with a little Japanese rice seasoning, to really make it pop or as chef Emeril Lagasse says, to make it, “BAM!” Find some seasoning you really like and with even just plain O’ white rice, it will NEVER be, “plain O,” again!

Arrange a couple of fresh raspberries for tartness and color, along with a nice piece of honeydew melon. I cut off about 1/4 of a ripe banana and removed it’s peel. I stuck a chopstick up into the center of the banana (side that was cut from the rest of the banana). I used the chopstick to hold the banana piece in one hand. With my other hand and with a butane, long fire starter, I torched (lightly blackened) the banana to add smokiness and a nice color. By the way, you can grill a whole banana in its peel and these are wonderful. I Removed the chopstick and cut the banana piece lengthwise and put one per plate by the honeydew melon. I sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon on all of the fruit. Next, I squeezed some fresh lime over the fruit. By the way, just honeydew melon with lime juice alone, is like a marriage made in heaven! If you have not tried this, do your ‘buds’ (taste buds) a favor and try it! Last, I squeezed lime over the fish and twisted the peel and laid it over each fillet. Dinner was DELICIOUS!!!

We had some leftover rice so for desert, I made some fresh rice pudding. I added a little bit of coconut milk to the rice, a little cinnamon and maple syrup to taste. I whisked about 3 table spoons of heavy cream with a pinch of Xanthan gum to thicken. Using two small ceramic custard dishes, I spooned the pudding into them and placed two red raspberries for contrast, tartness and color. Last, I added a little dollop of  whipped cream, and we added our lips and gums and then delicious, here it comes! 🙂

Leftover pudding was placed into a covered plastic container in the refrigerator to have again and again until we run out or I make more. Try this meal.You and all that like fish will say, WOW!

CobiaDinner2_med

Completed Meal – The Prodigal Son (or Daughter) 🙂

Tomorrow (Today), we’re doing: grass seed, taxes, steak au poivre, spaghetti carbonara, grilling ‘white hots’ and corn on the BBQ, making more sugar cubes, making fresh beets and horseradish mix, Scotch Mules, smoked fish dip or whatever my boss Susan, tells me! 🙂

Categories: Beverages, Cooking, Entertainment, Food, Live Laugh Love, Shopping, The Gathering Place | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to YOU

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Bouquet for YOU!

Bouquet for YOU!

Bouquet for YOU!

I realize that Mother’s Day is nearly over as I am writing this post and by the time it is finished, published and read by anyone, it will be. But I have been busy today, doing my part to make the day as special as I could for my wife Susan that is a mother and others that we shared the day with. I have also had the unique situation in that Mother’s Day was also, my wife Susan’s birthday.

Like many people, I too spent time sending emails, Facebook comments and sent messages to friends and family that are mothers as well.

I saw that many people changed their profile cover pictures on Facebook using one of their own mothers. I think this was really nice. Besides celebrating the day with great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, and cousins (sorry if I left out anyone) all themselves mothers, for which we honor them on this day, there remains some things perhaps not yet said? I will try to address them here.

There are the wonderful step-mothers and mothers-in-law that stepped in, not to replace any mother, but to fill the void in the life of a family, where for whatever reason, the mother is missing. It is hard enough to be a mother as it is, but I give extra special kudos to the step mothers and mothers-in-law that must need to work extra hard.

For myself, being busy today, I hardly had time to think of my own mother who, like many that changed their profile pictures, has passed some time ago. Yes, on this Mother’s Day 2014, there are many mothers missing. And to those of us still here, we are still here because, we all had a mother.

I miss my mother like many do. This is all I have to say about this, but I’m sure that anyone that reads this and share with me in similar circumstances, there is not enough time and then, there are all the words we cannot speak  which linger like a cloud of butterflies, flitting around, inside our hearts. Here, I will post a couple of pictures like many have, but there is something more I want to share.

I am most blessed in this life and on this day because, I had a mother, a mother-in-law and my mother-wife. My mother-in-law that I always just called Mom, was just as much a mother to me as mine was. I never saw any difference. And she certainly stepped in and filled the great void, when my own mother had passed. On this day, I remember her as well, for she too, has passed. And I remember Susan my wife, for without her I cannot imagine life, but with her I can.

Mom I

My Mom I

 

My Mom II (or too)

My Mom II (or too)

My Suezzzzq

My Suezzzzq

As I mentioned earlier, today was unique because, May 11, 2014, Mother’s Day, happened to fall on my wife’s Susan’s birthday. I don’t know how often this occurs, but it happens and it happened today.

Without my Mom, I would not have been around to have ever met Susan or her mother that became my mother too. I love Susan with all my heart! If soul mates are a real thing, she is certainly this to me!

My mother loved me, fed me, clothed me, held me, comforted me, inspired me and made me want more out of this life. She encouraged my curiosity and interests. She lived, laughed and cried, gave to others of her own joy and often out of her own need. She sacrificed much for me and for others. My mother(s) influenced me to be the person that I am as does my wife Susan. Though both my Moms are gone, Susan is still here. I carry them inside myself, in all that I say and do in this life. Sure, they screwed up; made mistakes; were not perfect and neither am I. But when you see me or meet me, you’ll meet my Moms and Susan. I hope you like me, because they surely would have loved or will love you!

And I often think about my first mother, how much I would have wanted her to meet my Susan and her mother (my other Mom) because, I know absolutely that she would have loved them both as much as I do and probably, even more. And why not, I love them both still because, she first taught me how to love.

There is a curious thing about love, a mother’s love or any kind of love. No matter how great a person’s capacity to love is, it requires a recipient to receive it. Love is something active, it gives often and always. It does not distinguish, meter itself out nor is a respecter of persons. It gives of itself completely and always. It just is, but it needs recipients. It is what it is and it does what it does, it loves. It is always in motion. When it comes back (as it always does), it is always more; always bigger; always stronger than when it went out. But it needs recipients. To get love, we give love, not because we want it back, but because we just have to give it like we have to breathe. But we still get it back and it comes back to us making us fuller, richer, deeper and stronger, whether we like it or not! 🙂 We really do like it though! Need love, want love? Give love and make yourself LOVABLE! Be a recipient of love. Be one huge, EMPTY VESSEL, without a top, sides or a bottom, to receive love and you’ll always have plenty to give.

It grieves me greatly to think of those that are born without a mother’s love or are raised without a mother’s love. But we recipients can step in and fill the void, just like it has been done for us and so often, for each of us. We all carry our mothers with us, wherever we go in this life. Our mothers loved and love us! What do you think or believe our Moms expect us to do with their love, LOVE OTHERS!!

I love life. I love that I am alive. I love my two Moms. I love my wife, Susan. I love our kids, grandkids, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, (any one else I may have left out) and our friends. This incredible joy, I carry around in my soul, every moment that I live. But it is only possible because, I had the blessing of having a mother and the double blessing of another. Each of you, every child, had at least one!

And I am thankful that you love me. And I am thankful that I allow myself to be loved by you. And I am thankful to all of you that you let me love you.  Isn’t this what our mothers wanted, when they wanted us? When you meet me, meet my Moms! When I meet you, I’ll meet yours!!

So to you, all of you, every child, the bouquet above is, for YOU!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO YOU, today and every day! 

Categories: Birthday, Family & Friends, Flowers, Holidays, Inspiration, Love, Mother's Day | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: The World’s Most Interested Man

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Perpetually - 'Jus 4 Year Old Tahday!' :)

Perpetually – ‘Jus a 4 Yeer Ode Tahday!’ 🙂

He has read, written and spoken.
He has hugged and kissed babies, children, women, men and animals.
He has lagged behind jets (jet lagged).
He has raced through parking lots and stores on shopping carts and trolleys
   on several continents and in several countries.
He is on a first name basis with dirt, but somehow remains, a perpetual –
   ‘ fo yeer ode wittle kid tahday.’ 🙂
He has whistled.
He eats and drinks, spits and chews.
He lives, laughs and loves.
He cries, dances, and whittles whistles from weeds.
He has been often diagnosed with excessive happiness.
He has been acquainted with sickness, sorrow and death.
He has been to many schools, colleges and universities and has enjoyed their snack bars.
He is musically inclined (when playing an instrument he frequently is horizontal).
He has been to several Boone County, Missouri, county fairs.
He has been happily ever after, once in a while.
He is a legend in his own time mind.
He is curiously curios.
He is…
The World's Most Interested Man

…The World’s Most Interested Man

 “I may never be interesting, but if  I am, that would be interesting.

Stay curious my friends!”

 

 

 Telling someone that needs drink to “stay thirsty,” is like telling someone that needs food to stay hungry. Stay Hungry-less and Thirst-less. Live, Laugh, Love, Get Your Needs Met and “Stay Curious My Friends!” 🙂

Donnie Hayden
aka The world’s most interested man
Categories: Being Good at What You Do, Curiosity, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fun, The World's Most Interested Man, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Jetlagging

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Well, we made it home. We left Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, May1st, 2014, at around 11:00 AM  and arrived in Chicago, IL around 9:00 AM. Huh, say what? This is messing with my head and my body! Yes, we flew from the future and then all night to get back to the past. This is called: jet lag.

Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on high-speed aircraft. It was previously classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Me in the middle of tomorrow, today & yesterday

Me in the middle of tomorrow, today & yesterday

The condition of jet lag may last several days until one is fully adjusted to the new time zone, and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is a suggested guideline.

Suggested one day per time zone to adjust? But we flew through around 13!! Do we need 13 whole days to get back to our normal?

Whatever, these posts are suspended until I have finished jetlagging (for whatever time this may require me). 🙂

Going to bed now around 12:45 past midnight eastern daylight savings time on May 2, 2014 or 1:45 PM tomorrow in Japan somewhere or 2:45 PM tomorrow in Australia somewhere. 🙂

Stay tuned to this channel. I’ll be back as soon as the jetlagging is over or the confusion dissipates (whichever comes first). 🙂

There is more to come, much, much more!

Categories: Australia, Family & Friends, Home, Japan, Jet lag, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: On Our Way Home

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Ok, by the time you read this say 10:00 AM eastern standard time (EST), May 1st, 2014, we have already lived through that and will likely have to again, on our way back home. What we gained from going into the future, I guess we lose coming back into the past. But perhaps if we lived a day ahead of our life expectancy then came back, is it a wash? I guess we will just live as long as we’re gonna’ live. But what will ‘jet lag’ be like at home? Well, we’re on our way to finding out.

But, just in case you ask or are curious, which country did we like better, Japan or Australia? Well, the question is like comparing apples to oranges. We not only visited two counties, (4) kids (OK they are adults), two in Japan and two in Australia, but two new grand babies too. There is no comparison. They are all different and WE LOVE THEM ALL!!! 🙂

Japan - "The Land of the Rising Sun" & Australia - "The Land Down Under"

Japan – “The Land of the Rising Sun” & Australia – “The Land Down Under”

 

THERE IS NO COMPARISON!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Land of the Rising Sun' - JAPAN

‘Land of the Rising Sun’ – JAPAN

'The Land Down Under' - AUSTRAILA

‘The Land Down Under’ – AUSTRAILA

Blue Mountains in Japan

Blue Mountains in Japan

Blue Mountains in Australia

Blue Mountains in Australia

NO COMPARISON!

On Our Way Home!

On Our Way Home!

Luv Yah!! :) Dahni & Susan

Luv Yah!! 🙂
Donnie & Susan

Categories: Australia, Blue Mountains, Family & Friends, Homeward Bound, Japan, Land of the Rising Sun, Missing You, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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