Who won that race?

The year is 1968

The event is a race in the very first Special Olymipics

There are six runners in the race

The one in the lead trips and falls

The runner in second place steps past the fallen runner then stops and turns around and goes to help the fallen runner up as the other four runners continue to the finish line

The fallen runner and the formerly second place runner who helped him then continue and cross the finish line together in last place

Who really won that race?

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… and it starts

I’ve started and it will be loaded with lights when I’m done.

First thin it as it was too thick for the ornaments to hang.

First thin it as it was too thick for the ornaments to hang.

Then the lights, I'll be at this for a while.

Then the lights, I’ll be at this for a while.

I’m using the new GE C-9 size LED lights this year. I haven’t used big lights since I was a kid and am looking forward to the nostalgia.

Warm Puppies

The holiday has been a busy one with family in and out of the house. Breakfasts, dinners, games, conversations, shopping, movies, love and lots of laughter have been the norm for the past week in our normally quiet home. Two extra dogs visiting with the house guest too made our dog count rise to 8.

We are worn out and so are our pups. We are grateful for such a wonderful family and all of the love we share. One of our nieces, who lives here in San Diego, announced she is expecting a baby boy in May!

The guests are waking up and packing to get on the road. We will spend the day cleaning and straightening up. I got the exterior Christmas lights up yesterday and will start working on the fat 8 ft tall Frasier Fir tree that now sits in my living room. The Christmas music will start playing on the stereo today and life will get back to normal with just the two of us and our six puppies.

I will get back to my blog reading by tomorrow as I haven’t had a chance with all the commotion to stop and read, relax or meditate. I am off until Monday so I have a true weekend to settle down into our quiet contented loving life. Although we are tired when we have had moments alone we have both expressed how happy we are to be so blessed.

Our big old house seems to smile when it’s full of family. Maybe it’s just us, maybe big old houses can actually smile … I choose to believe it’s both us AND the house that smile when filled with joy. I thank god, the universe, my higher power or whatever it is that gives me life for the life it gave me … It gave us.

Virgil rests on the top pillow keeping Patsy and Abner warm on this cool morning of 60 degrees F in San Diego.

Virgil rests on the top pillow keeping Patsy and Abner warm on this cool morning of 60 degrees F in San Diego.

May your day be filled peace. Big Hug, Bigger Smile! 😃

Beard of the day

Jake Gyllehaal Beardspiration Celebrityspiration here to share One of the many reasons for Thanksgiving, Beards! Happy Thanksgiving to all the Yanks.

Jake Gyllehaal Beardspiration & Celebrityspiration here to share One of the many reasons for Thanksgiving, Beards! Happy Thanksgiving to all the Yanks.

…and don’t forget the reason for the Season…Beards…start growing if you ain’t already!

Nuthin is more seasonally appropriate than a beard!

Nuthin is more seasonally appropriate than a beard!

Finished product

The cakes are ready!

Two coconut and the most incredible chocolate cake ever. Both recipes are on this here blog thingy if you want to check them out under category Recipes.

Two coconut and the most incredible chocolate cake ever. Both recipes are on this here blog thingy if you want to check them out under category Recipes.

My gratitude today is for my wonderful old kitchen in my 1920 California craftsman home. Complete with a top of the line vintage 1946 Gaffers & Sattler stove.

Tomorrow morning this old kitchen will be the center from which 16 people will have breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. After that clean up…dinner for 20 will include a 25 lb turkey, 12 lb ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry, broccoli, spinach salad and fresh rolls. This old kitchen will be busy and the stove its usual work horse self.

You already Know what dessert is. (For the pie hounds there will be pie brought by a guest.) I’ll be having cake!

Fearsome bakes for Thanksgiving

Ok…

For Thanksgiving I’m making three cakes.  The chocolate cake I posted here:

https://fearsomebeard.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/fearsome-bakes-2/

I am also making my coconut cake which is a tradition that everyone loves so much that I have to bake two each year to fill the demand (totals thee cakes). My coconut cake is super easy as it is just a modification that I made up myself from a mix. Here is my secret made up by me recipe:

Cake…

1 box of Betty Croker French Vanilla cake mix and 8 oz package of flaked coconut.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and mix the cake mix as directed substituting 1 stick of melted butter in place of the vegetable oil and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. As soon as the mix is finished being mixed, stop the mixer and add 1/3 cup coconut and then mix the coconut in at low speed until evenly distributed. Split batter into greased 9 inch pans and bake as directed on box. After removing from oven cool 20 minutes in pan and then flip out onto towels to fully cool.

Frosting:

1 lb of confectioners powdered sugar, 1 stick of room temperature butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup coconut.

Beat sugar, butter, milk, salt and vanilla with mixer on high speed until smooth. If too stiff add very small amounts of additional milk (as in drops) and mix until spreadable. Then add the coconut and beat in with mixer.

Frost cake and then pour remaining coconut on top of cake.

It’s easy, moist and delicious. I’ll post pics after they are frosted as they just came out of oven. I feel gratitude for my family, the smell coming from my oven and this blog that I may share this recipe!

Now be honest with me…

Was I bad for posting about my seat mate on the last fight as we sat waiting at the gate?

Was I bad that I made him get up twice so I could use the restroom?

Was it bad of me to be slightly entertained that after being ignored by him and getting some attitude when his group “1” was called for boarding that he found himself sitting beside me for the next two and one half hours?

I feel it’s not too bad as long as I keep myself in check. Yes I really, only “really”,had to get to the restroom once the second trip could have been held… And yes I realize I was being slightly passive aggressive. I must acknowledge that being passive aggressive is at times a character defect of mine. I have to recognize it when I let that fault show its head and put on some restraint. However if you are riding my bumper, and I am going at least the speed limit, don’t expect me to speed up.

Constant examination of my actions and motivations are helping me to become more aware. Aware of my conciousness, desires, values, drives, faults and helping me to grow. Thus I post to share with others and document for myself.

It’s life, it’s a good life and I intend to get as much out of it as I can. I intend to love. I intend to live it better and better to the best of my abilities!

May your day be fabulous!

 

Flying

Fearsome rather enjoys flying. He’s done a lot of it this year. Travels to Ft. Lauderdale and to visit his parents in Virginia has racked him up more than 60,000 total miles in the air this year. The most ever in one year.

Flying is another place where I do a lot of oberservation. Most people do very well with flying but a few seem miserable. I’ve learned that you just have to go with the flow, smile and enjoy it. I rent movies on my iPad and spend my hours in flight experiencing fantasy worlds. Sometimes I read. Rarely do I sleep.

Watching people is another aspect of it. Time spent in airports for a people watcher, which I can sometimes be, is a smorgasbord of endless entertainment.

Then there’s the guy in the seat beside me right now on the plane. When I walked up to the gate and asked him if this was the line for group 2 he looked at me like I was from outer space. I repeated my question and then he turned his back. The guy in front of him in line saw what was happening and said “yes it’s the line for both groups 1&2” . When they called group 1 the guy with the attitude kinda threw his nose in the air as he stepped in front of me and walked on ahead. Little did he know when group 2 boarded I would be sitting beside him blogging.

I love flying!

Today I am grateful for a silly sense of humor!

Vacation groove and perspectives

Here I sit by the pool at the resort on a relaxing Saturday noon contemplating as I stroke Fearsome Beard in thought…

Fearsome Beard poolside selfie

Fearsome Beard poolside selfie

As you know from earlier posts it’s been a rainy vacation. It has warmed up and today will be 78 breezy cloudy with occasional showers. I’ve had a good trip and seen friends, spent needed time alone and observed. Observed others and perspectives they have.

I’ve observed what I call bad focus. People who are so wrapped up in a situation they perceive as negative that they can’t see anything else.

As an (occasional) artist painting with oils I have been taught to step back. Get away from the painting and look at it from different angles and in different lighting. When you step back and get out of the painting you suddenly see what is right and what is wrong with it. What the paintings strengths are and its weaknesses. Where you can improve it and make changes that can make the painting work. You can also notice that maybe it can’t be fixed and its time to scratch it and move on. Whatever you see from the other angles gives you direction. Whatever that direction is, it’s better than being stuck or blind to faults.

With a painting, like life, I have found that if when I step back and I focus on what is working I can figure out how to change or modify the parts that aren’t working for the better. Then the painting takes a turn for the better and becomes a successful painting. If I focus on the imperfections in the painting and try to “fix” them from the perspective of imperfections, I create more and it just doesn’t work.

I have observed several people during this time of travel focusing on the bad. Thus I have observed bad focus. While having a club soda with a friend here at a bar last night I brought this up in discussion. Bless him for he immediately said “Well if that’s what they choose its what they get”.

BOOM! I couldn’t have said it better.

Now how do we help change someone’s perspective? In my experience I have found we can’t just tell them. I have found all I can do is lead by example. I can offer a smile and a kind word. I can offer indirect suggestive comments, be thankful for my circumstances, my positive outlook and not let myself be drawn into their drama.

I hope that my little musings on this blog thingy somehow help someone along their journey. They help me.

Who could not have a wonderful outlook when your wonderful husband sends you a picture like this saying “We miss you!”

Mitzi warm in our bed this morning.

Mitzi warm in our bed this morning.

Update:

Apparently Mitzi is upset as she doesn’t think this is a very flattering photo of her. I apologize to her but she is so cute that I don’t think she can take a bad photo.

It is a choice

On my flight out here to ” Not so sunny Ft. Lauderdale ” I watched a wonderful movie. The movie was “A Fault In Our Stars”. I’m not a movie critic or expert, I just know what I like. There were many good messages in this movie but this one I found profound:

“You don’t get a say if you get hurt in this world. You do get a say in who hurts you in this world”

It is a choice. I can honestly say that while I’ve made some bad choices and may have been hurt by some that I wish I hadn’t chosen,  I have been hurt by some that were good choices as well. The point I must take away is that I accept the choices I made. In accepting them I can let go of the bad ones and treasure the time I had with the good choices.

From here I can freely move forward. No regrets, just joy, gratitude and peace.