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Happy Birthday

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March 27, 2020

Today is my Mother-in-law’s Birthday 🎂

 

Ethel and her two sisters, Audrey and Anne (in this order), were the first which welcomed me with open arms and open hearts, ♥️ without hesitation or reservation; without judgement. Some believe your marry a family when you marry someone (my wife, Susan Meech Hayden), in it. But there was also my father-in-law, an uncle, three step-sons, their wives, their 7 children and cousins and other kindreds. Marrying any woman is work enough and then there is work with all she is kindred to. Few men are ever good enough for a mother’s and father’s daughter. Multiply this many times, if you marry a divorced woman with children! But, call it Kingly or Queenly kindness, Mom and her two sisters (my aunts), graciously accepted me the first time I met them. And I liked all three of them, the first time I met each of them. Now unless you think this is about me or three sisters, it is not. But it is about a similar trait that all three shared and this merely is my observations of the qualities of one in particular.

Ethel Lovatt Meech, is my mother-in-law, to which I have long dispensed with the factual and formal title and just call her Mom. Blood not, but not any less is she to me, than my birth mother.

Her husband Henry, “Bud” Meech, my father-in-law called her “Lovie”. She was indeed, a loving 🥰 sister, a loving 🥰 wife, a loving 🥰 mother, a loving 🥰 aunt, a loving 🥰 cousin, a loving 🥰 grandmother, a loving 🥰 great grandmother and a loving 🥰 friend!

Our only granddaughter Leona, and one nephew Chase, both have ‘Lovatt’ as their middle name.

Mom was a proper Lady. She was often quiet and a good listener. But she was an exceptional conversationalist too, poignant, sharp and smart.

She also had a fun and funny side too. Both her two true children could tell you about her burgundy red convertible 67′ mustang she loved to drive.

Her comedic timing was often unexpected, but greatly appreciated. I would’ve loved to have been at the dinner table when her husband Bud asked her to throw him a pickle and she tossed it into the air! I remember standing next to her and my wife Susan, was on her other side at the funeral home. We were there to say goodbye to her husband, the father of her children, “Bud” Henry Meech. The grandchildren called her, ‘Grandma Sweetie Pie’. Yes, she was a sweetie, made great pie and was a wonderful cook. But there we were and it was a solemn moment, for all in saying goodbye, as we drew near to see him and pay our respects and begin the grieving process. Mom looked on her husband and friend and just quietly said, “The shell is still here, but the nut is gone.”

I would have loved to have been a fly in the car when she and dad were in the front seats (Dad was driving) and it was the first time she met his mom and grandmother. They were all singing songs and then there was a sudden quiet. To break the ice and cut through the edginess, Mom broke out singing, ‘Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall’. If that’s not funny enough for you, unbeknownst to Ethel, her newly met grandmother-in-law just happened to be the wife of a Methodist minister and her new mother-in-law was aligned with The Women’s Temperance Movement that opposed the consumption of alcohol. 🍹 🍸 🍺 🍷 🤣🤣🤣

But to me, the greatest thing my Mom had been was a career registered nurse. And that fact does not even begin to tell the story. I have met a few famous people in my life and had my heroes and heroines, But never in my wildest dreams, could I ever have imagined, marrying into a family with one hero and one heroine, married to each other. Their family became my family!

But Ethel was not only a registered nurse, oh no, a million times no! She was a proud and lifelong member of, The United States Nurse Cadet Corps.

Logo

The United States Cadet Nurse Corps (CNC), was authorized by the U.S. Congress and signed into law as a nondiscriminatory program, in July 1943. Its purpose was to help alleviate the nursing shortage that existed during World War II. The United States Public Health Service (USPHS), was named the supervisory agency; it was answerable to, the Surgeon General of the United States.

Its origins can be traced to the establishment in 1798, of a system of marine hospitals. In 1870, these were consolidated into the Marine Hospital Service, and the position of Surgeon General, first began.

The program was formed, July 1st, 1943 and was dissolved, December 31st, 1948.

The Media carried the news and offerings everywhere

The program was open to all women between the ages of 17 and 35 who were in good health and had graduated from an accredited high school.

All state nursing schools in the U.S. were eligible to participate in the program; they were, however, required to be accredited by the accrediting agency in their state and be connected with a hospital that had been approved by the American College of Surgeons. The participating schools of nursing were required to compress the traditional 36-month nursing program into 30 months and were obligated to provide the students with the clinical experiences of medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and obstetrics.

Ethel was an operating room and surgery nurse, for the better part of her career in nursing.

This was an incredible opportunity for women, for financial independence and a lifetime career, no matter the economic situation or societal woes that may befall a nation. If you were a nurse and even today, you always have a job. All of these things appealed to young women which before, may have had little to no opportunity to improve the quality of their lives. The uniforms, stockings, lapel pins, a particular shade of ruby red lipstick, and berets were highly attractive to many. If you were a nurse, a Cadet Nurse, you were in essence, a fashionista!

Status symbols and fashionistas

Many wanted to be one or to be seen with one!

 

There was a lot of prestige being a Cadet Nurse. You were not just anybody or just a woman, you were often gorgeous, highly intelligent, professional, highly trained, in high demand and were often viewed like rock stars of the times. Many women longed to be a Cadet Nurses and along with all these characteristics and compassion for others and the faithful dedication, many men fervently desired to date a Cadet Nurse, kiss one and with an ultimate hope of marrying one!

    

Beyond these things, Cadet Nurses were honored to serve their country as the country was honored by their presence. They filled great voids in this country, when so much of the medical field were on the front lines overseas. But no matter where a Nurse Cadet served, she was also on the front lines and among the ‘first responders’. They did not only give life giving aid and literally saved many a life, they often wrote letters for their patients, read to them, talked to them, comforted them, and kept vigil the whole dark night of their patients’s souls. They were heroes and heroines each one, and often your trusted confidant and best friend! Doctors could never, and cannot ever, survive for any length of time without them! And the greatest medical people in the world are in the USA! 🇺🇸 The quality of the entire medical industry that we enjoy today, are the direct results of The Nurse Cadet Corps that forged it in fire, 🔥 on the front lines, of the front lines of, human trauma and tragedy, crisis and redemption, by what many think on as the ‘angels of grace and mercy!

My mother-in-law, Ethel Lovatt Meech, my adopted mom, was a pioneer on a love frontier. And she is my heroine!

She knew her grandson Jonathan was following, in her footsteps and she spoke of him often fondly and beamed with pride. He wanted her to be the one that pinned him when he graduated from nursing school, but sadly, she passed before. But he did graduate, is a husband, a father of three boys, and a NICU nurse (neonatal Specialist), but he is also studying and soon to graduate, as a Nurse Practitioner. I know she would be (is), so very proud of him as he like her, in our current World War against the Covid19 virus, is on the front lines of the front lines!

Triple Victory- The War is Over, Home Again, & Kiss a Nurse! 🙂

Jonathan was there and Susan and I were there when Mom took her last breath. I have no other way to say this than, it was a beautiful death. She was surrounded by people that loved her and that she loved and she quietly closed her eyes and went to sleep. She was draped with a quilt that was given to her by a Nurse who had also served in the military. The quilt has an American flag woven design. We still have this. It was just a token of a grateful country, for her service!

The Quilt that draped Ethel, in honor of her service to the USA

We now live in the same home that she and my father-in-law lived in, from 1973 until they passed. We inherited a simple little kitchen timer that runs off of batteries. It is just inside one of the cabinets in our kitchen. For some unknown reasons and at different times, when either of us walk by the cabinet, the alarm inside starts dinging. We always think it’s Mom trying to say something and we always say, “Hi Mom,” and then shut the alarm off. And today is, your birthday! Your your daughter Susan, is making a cake for you, to celebrate you today and for as long as we still draw breath.

I don’t know if I ever said this to you, but like the line from a favorite song of mine, “Did you ever know that you’re my hero?” 🥰❤️

Your Dahni
(Because you made me yours)

A Beautiful Woman inside and Out

Still kept her red curly hair

   


Cadet Hymn

Faithful ever to my country, to the Corps, my sacred trust,
Grant that I may follow wisely, all the guidance offered me.
Give me kindness, grant me patience,
That I may not fail this noble challenge to heal the suffering ones.
Help me to ally the sorrowing in a world torn by strife,
May I hold the lamp of nursing in the sprit of the Corps,
Give me strength, and grant me knowledge,
To pursue my chosen way with courage to heal the suffering ones.
Now I dedicate my service, pledge myself and all I am,
Thus to make of life a triumph, over sorrow over death,
Give me pride in my endeavor
In the service of my Corps, o grant that I may heal the suffering ones

The cadet hymn was composed by the director of music at Mt. Vernon Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. and the words were written by a member of the Division of Nursing Education of the USPHS. It was released in 1945 on the second anniversary of the CNC

Categories: Birthday, Family & Friends, Inspiration, Life, Live Laugh Love, Love, The Gathering Place, Things that really matter, Uncategorized, Women, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

HellBreak

By Dahni

© 2017, all rights reserved

Well, when all hell breaks out, within and without and it looks like this is your sign to just stay home or it’s just hell trying to keep you home WHAT, wadeeah yah do?

Cold, hot, foggy, snowy, blowy, sick and tired? Either stay and let all hell continue to beat the hell out of you or let all hell beat the hell out of itself and let it stay.

Don’t even bother sweeping the dirt under the rug, or clean and organize nuttN. Don’t make the bed 🛏 just throw the bedspread on and call it good. Shut the door to the office crapola. Turn off the lights, stuff your stuff, grab your two Ladies (your wife and your dog), don your sunglasses 🕶, flip up or down the sun visor, and/or turn on the windshield wipers and just git goN! Don’t stop 🛑 on Go to even collect your Monopoly parking money and just Gooo!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 🦃 Enjoy the ride! Man what a trip!! 😂

https://youtu.be/eyU3bRy2x44

Love is comforting, healing, restful, peaceful, and a warm and toasty fire 🔥 of family and Friends, waiting on you to arrive! 😃

Categories: Family & Friends, Holidays, Inspiration, Love, Making Memories, Thanksgiving, Toast this Life, Uncategorized, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

A Toast to Life

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By Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

 

A Toast to you on St. Patty’s Day:

May your every need, be ever met
And your heart, always full
And all the best that’s yet to come,
May it be your crowning jewel
May love and hope ever find you,
sharing these two, with all you meet
And this, ever circling
will never find complete!

The Gathering Place

Your Friends and family on the road of Life

Toast Life

 

 

Categories: Holidays, Inspiration, Irish, Irish Music, Life, Live Laugh Love, Love, Music, Poetry, Spring, St. Patrick's Day, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, videos, Visual Poetry, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

The Robin Report

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by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

 RobinReport1

The American Robin is, a more sure harbinger and prognosticator of spring, than Punxsutawney Phil the ground hog, could ever be, in his or her, wildest dreams.

Robins are actually, part of the family of thrushes. They received their familiar name from homesick European settlers in the United States, many years ago. They were reminded of their beloved and familiar little Robin Red-breast, which has a color pattern brighter, but somewhat similar to our robin, even though the two are, not closely related.

Years ago, there was a median strip between our home (then) and our neighbor’s property. In the middle of this strip of land was a Hawthorne tree with long and potentially hurtful thorns. Trust me they hurt, having been pricked by them, more than a few times. The berries are bright red orange and often stay on the tree throughout the winter. The reason for this is quite simple. Their berries are not considered to be, culinary fowl fare or bird yum yums. 🙂

Most wintering critters and birds don’t care for them, that is, until one snowy wintry, February morning. I happened to look outside our bedroom window and right below in this Hawthorne tree was, at least a hundred robins. In about a half an hour, they picked the tree clean. There was not a single berry left. I was astounded!

I had never seen so many robins before and I did not know they would group like this. So, I did some research.

I suppose, I never really thought about where robins go in the winter? I guess I never entertained the idea that they migrate, but they do. Curiously, first of all, some, for some unknown reason, will winter farther up north in Canada (We live in NY). But others, will migrate thousands of miles, from Vancouver Island to as far south as, Guatemala. Some will just hang around where they are.

Robins are of only, just a few type of birds that change their diet. They will eat nuts, seeds and berries (even those nasty Hawthorne berries), insects and grubs and their favorite delicacy, earthworms. Obviously in February, it was still a little cold for earthworms. But the interesting thing I have come to understand about the robins I saw in February is, they were all male. The males return before their females to begin building their nests, scoping out new or defending their territory. And how do they defend their turf – by singing, sometimes fighting, but a good song seems to be, what works best, most of the time.

After the male robins first appear, the spring rains begin soon thereafter. When the grounds become saturated, the earthworms come up for air. From the time the males show up and the rains fall is, around two weeks. Right on cue, about two weeks after the males, the females arrive hungry from the long flight and earth worms are easy to find. Contrary to what I thought and perhaps many others as well, robins do NOT hear the earthworms underground, they see them on the top of the waterlogged soil. I know, we’ve all seem them pecking on the ground when it looks like there’s nothing there, don’t they really hear the worms? Just remember, their eyesight is far superior to ours. They can see the smallest movement of leaves and earth and KNOW, something alive is moving!

So dear friends and family of, The Gathering Place, robins are, the sure sign that spring has sprung! 🙂

 Robin song mp3 on SoundCloud (may not work on Apple devices)

 

YouTubeIcon32X32Robin Song on YouTube

 

 

The following poem which inspired by these robins was, posted on another one of my blogs at: Dahni Daily, Februrary, 21, 2010. It was written right around the time the robins first appeared in the Hawthorne tree. They did come back the next year, but only around 30. That was the last time I saw them in such numbers or in that tree. We moved to where we live now at: The Gathering Place. But we still see robins here. I can’t wait to see them soon and report that spring here, has definitely arrived! I hope you enjoy the following poem.

A Sure Sign

By Dahni, © 2010, all rights reserved

The Hawthorne berry bright red

Seemingly an attractive fruit,

But most unsavory,

For they last the whole of winter,

Undisturbed and uneaten.

A robin one or two or few,

A sure sign of spring,

Though long after the snows melt,

And the rains come,

And the worms surface.

Two years ago, about a week,

Before the end of February,

Hundreds of robins picked the Hawthorne clean,

In minutes,

Their migratory mates followed two weeks later,

And brought spring with them.

Today, about a week,

Before the end of February,

Many robins sat in the Hawthorne;

My heart was lightened,

Though snow still upon the ground,

And in the air,

Surely their mates are on the way,

And bringing with them,

Spring.

From the collection: ‘As it Happened – Collections of Recollections, by the same author
Short url to this post: http://wp.me/pc5BC-39

 RobinReport2

 So, what is, your robin report? Are they where you are yet? Is it spring where you are yet?

Categories: Beauty, Birds, Family & Friends, Poetry, Robins, Spring, Uncategorized, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Winter’s Tale

By Dahni

© 2014, all rights reserved

AWintersale

     A Winter’s Tale is an original poem set to music, by Dahni & I-Magine © 2014, all rights reserved. It is gifted FREE of charge and was produced for you and given to you, for your 2014 holiday. Merry Wintermas & Happy New Year! 

  Following the Youtube video, you may click on the PDF file below for a copy of the entire poem, if you so desire. We hope you enjoy this work and such as it is (sound quality and an out of tune piano), may it fill your heart with believing, hope and love!

Thank you,

MySig4WP

PDF_icon_WP_tiled

click above for the PDF file to download the poem

Categories: Family & Friends, God, Holidays, Home, Inspiration, Life, Love, Music, Poetry, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized, YouTube | Leave a comment

“Frost on the Punkin”

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by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

  Punkin2I grew up in the Midwest. We lived in town and had grandparents that lived in the country. City living gave us culture and the advantages which benefit, from higher education. We had the rural roots and common sense, fresh air and produce from the farm. We had the best of both worlds. I especially loved the fall, autumn, falling leaves and colors, crisp apple cider and crisp air, ripening, harvest, plenty and well, just that whole cornucopia idea of, abundance. A familiar phrase to me as a child growing up, just set the whole season into mind and motion. Just a few words gave me the visual promotion or concept of autumn – “when the frost is on the punkin.” Yes, I do know how to spell pumpkin, but “punkin,” is how the word was first pronounced to me. I am not sure where I first heard this. Perhaps it was our mother, from her mother or father, our grandparents? Both of our Mom’s parents were from large farming families so, you might expect the word “punkin” to be proper pronunciation for the farm, country, and the south. Pumpkin would be correct, for the formally educated, the city dwellers, the landlubbers or as a friend refers to me since I am a new transplant to the “country,” a “flatlander.” Well, I think it is pretty obvious as to what “frost on the punkin” means. Pumpkins turn their bright orange color in the fall and while still not winter, the nights and days can be quite cool. Elementary science taught us that something freezes at 32°F. Frost can occur on the ground, on leaves, and yes, even pumpkins at higher temperatures from 32-say-36 or 37°F. So, “frost on the punkin,” means, it’t chilly outside. It’s time for my favorite olympic sport of, raking leaves and jumping into the piles. Not to mention pumpkin eats and drinks, OMG it’s AUTUMN!!!   🙂 I’ve used this phrase for most of my life. Recently, I used it and some people had never heard of it. So, I thought, maybe it is a Midwest or a southern expression; not known to us northerners? Yes, I included myself as a northerner, since I live here in New York, even though I was born and raised in the Midwest. Well, again with the well, well, how deep is this well? Where did this expression come from? I consulted with the oldest trivia, where-did-that-come-from expression expert, our local home-spun-poetry committed to memory aficionado and my fellow poetry-lover kindred spirit, Aunt Anne Magar (Bab’s) [pronounced: Bob’s]. She’s 91 and sharp as a tack. So I put it to her, “Aunt Bab’s,” I said, “have you ever heard the expression, “frost on the punkin?” “Oh, sure,” she said grinning confidently, “It is from a poem. You should look it up!” So I did. It was written by James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

“There is an interesting incident about how Riley’s job was once saved because he had written “When the Frost Is On the Punkin, and the Fodder’s In the Shock.”  It is in a book written by Riley’s friend John A. Howland entitled, “James Whitcomb Riley: Prose and Pictures.””

“Riley, as a young Greenfield man, had had a hard time finding a niche in the world since he did not care to follow his father in the practice of law.  He sold Bibles, painted signs, entertained in a medicine show, always coming to a dead end.  His mother died in 1870 and he felt he could not bear to stay in Greenfield so he went here and there seeking newspaper employment.  He ran into E.B. Martindale of “The Indianapolis Journal” whom he later called, “my first literary patron,” who added him to the staff of the paper to write poetry.  Some of these poems appeared on the first page of the Journal under the nom de plume “Benjamin F. Johnson of Boone,” supposedly an old farmer.  As they were well received, Riley emerged from under his disguise, writing poems such as “When the Frost is on the Punkin.””

 “In a short while after Riley joined the paper, a gentleman named Halford was appointed manager of the Journal.  One of his first ideas was to cut down on expenses of the paper, and he was considering Riley as his first victim to get the ax.  It so happened that a political convention was held in Indianapolis at this very time.  One of the candidates nominated for office was a big burly fellow who had never made a speech in his life.”

“When he got up to accept his nomination, his mind went blank and he could not utter a word.  The pounding and cheering went on until in desperation he blurted out, “The ticket you have nominated here is going to win “when the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.”  This Riley poem had just been published a few days before. in the newspaper.”

“The applause that greeted these words showed that most of these prominent men had read Riley’s work and approved of it.  Halford kept him on, and he became an established poet.” 

“Riley saved his job by a landscape!”

excerpts from: http://www.jameswhitcombriley.com/frost_on_punkin_saved_job.htm

  I share the lines with you below and a wonderful oral reading by a man from a You Tube video. I believe you will understand every word below, when you hear him recite it; understand why his father wanted him to share it with strangers each year and you, will understand, “frost on the punkin,” as I now do! Thank You Aunt Bab’s!   🙂   Donnie          

Punkin1

“When the Frost is on the Punkin”

James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
 
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.
 
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
 
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! …
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock! 

 

If you like to read another poem I wrote for spring, see: “When the SugarN’s in the Maples”

Categories: Autumn, Fall, Inspiration, Poetry, Seasons, The Gathering Place, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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: From Australia With Love

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Guhday Mates, from Dahni your Aussie gift guide

Guhday Mates, from Donnie your Aussie Easter gift guide

Easter is, the first Sunday; after the first full moon; after the beginning of Fall down under here in Australia, so that you in the United States, can celebrate Easter on the first Sunday; after the first full moon; after the beginning of Spring, up there. 🙂

The stores here were all mostly closed on Friday, supermarkets opened on Saturday and closed again on Sunday and Monday. In fact, most stores here in Camden, New South Wales, Australia will not open until Tuesday.

We went to the supermarket here on Saturday which is your Friday and they were nearly all sold out of Cadbury Chocolate products for Easter.  So, we didn’t get any, can’t send some home or bring some home to you. And sorry Janet, but we cannot bring home any butter. 😦

Besides all of that, down under’ here, there is a concerted effort to replace the Easter Rabbit with the Easter Bilby.

The Easter Bilby

The Easter Bilby

Carmello Koala

Carmello Koala

But for now (your tomorrow, but when you get this it will be your today there and yesterday here ), most stores, well they used to until they were sold out, had Carmello Koala.

Anyway, We down under here, having already lived through your today, yesterday, are already living in your tomorrow, tuhday mates. But what can be done for you is, to capture the past, for your today. So I did. I have captured the moon, for you yesterday, so you can have it tuhday!  HAPPY EASTER, which is now your first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the beginning of Spring up there! 🙂

HAPPY EASTER up there yesterday, from down under here, now tomorrow for your tuhday! :)

HAPPY EASTER up there yesterday, from down under here, now tomorrow for your tuhday! 🙂

Seriously, I did find some Cadbury Creme Eggs for you! 🙂

Cadbury Creme Egg

Cadbury Creme Egg

Rent or watch the movie ‘Hop,’ with your family!

Rent or Watch w/ the Fam' :)

Rent or Watch w/ the Fam’ 🙂

Hmmm...:)

Hmmm…:)

HAPPY PAGAN UNHOLY DAY! 🙂

 

 

Note: Easter is an ancient Babylonia celebration of the goddess Ishtar of love, war, fertility and sexuality or Ostara a Germanic pagan goddess. Rabbits and eggs are mere symbols of fertility as is the Spring equinox for procreation.  including rabbits and eggs as symbols.

“An important historical result of the difference in reckoning the date of Easter was that the Christian churches in the East, which were closer to the birthplace of the new religion and in which old traditions were strong, observed [the Resurrection] according to the date of the Passover festival. The churches of the West, descendants of Greco-Roman civilization, celebrated Easter on a Sunday. 
“Constantine the Great, Roman emperor, convoked the Council of Nicaea in 325. The council unanimously ruled that the Easter festival should be celebrated throughout the Christian world on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox; and that if the full moon should occur on a Sunday and thereby coincide with the Passover festival, Easter should be commemorated on the Sunday following. Coincidence of the feasts of Easter and Passover was thus avoided.” 
“The name [Easter] probably comes from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated a month corresponding to April. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox; traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored easter eggs, originally painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts…”

Source: Encarta Encyclopedia, article: Easter.

The word holiday is a transliteration of the word holy day and has nothing to do with Easter.

Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity or the resurrection of Jesus Christ, except its close proximity to the calculation of time of the spring equinox. Jesus Christ was crucified on a Wednesday (the 14th of Nisan), before sunset (sunset began the 15th or the Passover feast) so in the year of his death, he would have been the Passover Lamb. Death requirements were for 72 hours for one to be declared legally dead. So 72 hours from the 14th of Nisan, would make his resurrection occurring on Saturday the Jewish (Judaic) Sabbath. When the two  Mary(s) went “early in the morning” and found the stone rolled away and an empty tomb, “the first day of the week,” it was sometime after sunset of Saturday making this day, Sunday, but as the angel at the tomb said,  “He has already risen.”

The Bible, The gospel of Matthew 28: 1-8

King James Version

Categories: Australia, Australian Life, Bilby, Cadbury, Chocolate, Desserts, Easter, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Food, Fun, Holidays, Japan, Koala, Spring, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Uncategorized, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: John West

Guhday mates from Dahni,  Your Aussie Koala entertainment director

Guhday mates from Donnie, Your Aussie Koala information & entertainment director

We have been to the grocery store or as they call them here, supermarkets several times since we have been in Australia. Each time, I have seen many products with the name of John West on the label.

So, I thought it would be informative and fun to share some stuff I found with you.:)

Who is John West?

Today, John West is a brand famous throughout the world.

In the early 1800’s though, John West was a man; an ambitious migrant from Linlithgow in Scotland who went on to chase gold seams in California, mill the giant timber of Canada and Oregon and most importantly, export salmon to the world.

John West

John West

The first fish John West processed were salted, packed in barrels and shipped from Oregon’s Colombia River to California and then on around Cape Horn to nourish the hungry workers of Britain’s industrial north.

Seeing the potential – and being the inventive and ambitious Scot that he was – John West not only co-founded the Westport Cannery, he devised and built his own automated can filling machine to get it up and running.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

John West has been a fixture in the kitchens of Australia for the best part of half
a century and today is one of the nation’s best loved food brands.

From About Us –

http://johnwest.com.au/about-us

Enjoy these funny YouTube videos 🙂

Into The Woods

Tuna Tempters

Snatch and Grab

Man & Bear

Categories: Australia, Entertainment, Food, Fun, Japan, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: The Camden Show

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Guhday mates from Dahni,  Your Aussie Koala Camden Show guide

Guhday mates from Donnie, Your Aussie Koala Camden Show guide

Well the Camden Show. Where do I begin? The Show was held April 4th and 5th, 2014 in Camden, New South Wales, Australia. I probably took close to 300 pictures and with the exception of perhaps a small handful, I’m pretty happy with the rest of them. Choosing which ones to share and sizing them (down) has been quite time consuming. But I had the time.

Thus far during our stay here, it seems we have some activity on one day, followed by a day of rest. This has worked out very nicely for me. I’m not sure what factor or factors may be involved (my age, physical condition, the high humidity, intense sun or all of the above), but walking a lot and the activities have pretty much left me spent the following day. Adjusting to the time zone and/or jet lag may have made their contribution to my tiredness as well? But nothing hurts, I feel great and enjoy the walking just like we did much of it in Japan too. Days have been really pleasant. The temperature rose during our visit to the show, but was cooled off by the weather-predicted rain or actually, the downpour. It was nice, fun and funny. We were all able to duck into a large tent of interesting demonstrations and wait out the rain.

Well anyway, back to pictures. I have chosen 50, yes 50. That may seem like a lot and they are not because I believe they are such great shots that I want to share them with you, but because they reflect the wonderful Camden Show. It is very similar to any county fair you may have ever been to, but still different. So I will just start with pictures and some text and some captions and see how it goes. Perhaps it will end up with more posts about the show? Here we go.

Lady in a lovely 1960's style dress

Lady in a lovely 1960’s style dress as we walked in

Balloons and colors

Balloons and colors

Interesting

Interesting – Lady Funerals?

Beautiful display made from fruits, vegetables and seed

Beautiful display all made from fruits, vegetables and seeds

horse and riders nicely dressed and groomed

Horse and Riders nicely dressed and groomed

Whip cracking

Whip cracking

Susan's New Aussie Hat

Susan’s New Aussie Hat

Aussie Hats

Aussie Hats

Painted Pony

Painted Pony. Do you see the silhouette of the head of a horse on its side?

Aussie Coats - lanolin/bees wax coated

Aussie Coats – lanolin/bees wax coated

 

 

 

 

Well yes, camels. We missed the camel race, pooh. :(

Well yes, camels! We missed the camel race, pooh. 😦

 

Authentic Aussie Wear Wearers :)

Authentic Aussie Wear Wearers 🙂

Brahma Bull Yeh hah mates!

Brahma Bull Yee hah mates I mean partners! 🙂

Some baaad Sheepies :)

Some baaaaad Sheepies 🙂

Camden42

Sheep Shearers Shearing Sheep 🙂

Close Shave Sheep Shearer!

Close Shave Sheep Shearer!

Beary Cute

Beary Cute

Camden26

Aussie Snake Woman

Buy what you want and put it in a show bag

Buy what you want and put it in a show bag

 

Show bag shops were everywhere. Very decorative and artistic billboards. You find the stuff you want for a certain price and then put it all in a show bag. There were many of these vendor/shop/kiosks. Very popular with the youts (youths). 🙂

Henna Tattoos anyone?

Henna Tattoos anyone?

There the sheep again heading for shearing

There go the sheep again, heading for their sheep shearing

Sand Sculpture First Prize. WOW did the artist have intuition or what?

Sand Sculpture First Prize. WOW, did the artists know they would win?

Cattleman Cattle Cart Hauling

Cattleman Cattle Cart Hauling

20 Cattle Cart Team :)

20 Cattle Cart Team 🙂

Kite Flying And there were several balloons lost to the clouds.

Kite flying and there were several balloons lost to the clouds.

Large Christian Commune eatery.

Large Christian Commune eatery.

 

The Common Ground is a totally self-supported and self-sufficient Christian Commune. The support themselves by places like these eateries. We ate in one in Picton Australia where I recorded the Bell Birds. see: Bell Birds here

They make their own clothing and grow their own organic food, some of which they use in their restaurants. Their food is excellent! I believe they have a sister cafe in Ithaca, NY in the United States.

Common Ground

Common Ground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bundab Distillery Display

Bundaberg Distillery Display

This was an interesting and miniature museum. It was filled with history of the company which is a major producer of rum in Australia. Various shapes of bottles were on display as well as the process involved in how rum is made from raw cane sugar. We even got to taste samples of the molasses. The next picture is of a bottle of rum made to look like one of those pirate movie pistols.

Rum Pistol

Rum Pistol

Petting Zoo for the kids. OK, kids younger than me. :)

Petting Zoo for the kids. OK, kids younger than me. 🙂

 

Soft & Fluffy Feely Touchy Thingies

Soft & Fluffy Feely Touchy Thingies

 

Touchy Feely For Kids of Every Age

Touchy Feely For Kids of Every Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Carriage and a Wheel Maker

Old Carriage and a Wheel Maker

 

Blacksmith making horseshoes

Blacksmith making horseshoes

 

All kinds of...

All kinds of…

 

...Rides!

…Rides!

 

Beautiful Horses and...

Beautiful Horses and…

...Clydesdale Horses too!

…Clydesdale Horses too!

 

Airplane displays and rides.

Airplane displays and rides.

Cotton & Wool Displays

Cotton & Wool Displays

 

 

A Real Cotton Ball

A Real Cotton Ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edible Art for Kids

Edible Art for Kids

More Edible Art

More Edible Art

A Bloomin' Onion

A Bloomin’ Onion

A Beautiful Swan Fit For Feasting

A Beautiful Swan Fit For Feasting

There was something for everyone at the Camden Show! So many different kinds of food, animals, shows, rides, demonstrations and people of all ages having fun. It rained both days and was not perhaps the greatest for the vendors pocketbooks, but it was a wonderful experience. They even put down straw and other materials so people did not have to walk through the mud. That’s was real nice and something I have never seen in the United States at any of the fairs I have ever been to. And the children were all so engaged, curious and their excitement was well contained, controlled and managed. People were all, for the most part, nice, friendly and well behaved. No alcohol was allowed except for the two wineries that gave samples. All in all it was a wonderful time. I was like a young child again. I would have loved every minute of both days, rain and all, but glad for the time I had. It was all eye candy for me. My camera was not unhappy either. 🙂

After we left the tent where we ducked under after the downpour of rain had stopped, we had to take the ardent and difficult task of getting home. WE HAD TO WALK LESS THAN SIX MINUTES TO GET HOME!!! 🙂 Around 9:00 PM, we watched the fireworks from the middle of our street. That was perhaps the closest and best view of fireworks I have ever had. And it was produced by a world class and world renown top pyrotechnical company, F0ti International, based in Australia.

http://fotifireworks.com.au

Then two of us walked back to the carnival at night and watched the wild Brunby run. The Running of the Brunby are wild ponies in Australia, similar to the Mustangs of the southwest in the United States. So I will conclude this post with a small Youtube video I made and uploaded.

Final Night of the 2014 Camden Show

http://www.camdenshow.com

Categories: Aussie, Australia, Australian Life, Beauty, Bellbirds, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Food, Fun, Inspiration, Japan, Music, Running of the Brunby, The Camden Show, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Uncategorized, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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