12 Things That Really Annoy Me

These things really, really bother me.

Mamacita says:  I’m a pretty easy-going person, regardless of what you may have heard from people who know me well, but there are some things that really annoy me.  Some are major; some are minor.  Most of these are petty.  I admit it.  But they still annoy me.  And nobody should do them.

All of them are easily preventable.  All of them are things people do by choice, and when there is one choice, there will always be another.

Nobody is perfect.  I’m certainly not, and neither are you.  But these are such simple things, none of them rocket science, and all are things people choose to do, or not to do.  And when there are choices, there are consequences. At least, there should be.  When we choose well, we welcome the consequences.  Rewards are consequences.  When we choose poorly, we dread the consequences and rightly so.  We all get the consequences we earn, ie deserve.

Seriously.  These are things that annoy the breath of life out of me, almost literally. (See #6)

These are in no particular order.  They all annoy me.  A lot.

  1.  Litterbugs.  Trashy people who throw paper products, cans, etc, where such things are not supposed to find their final resting place are pigs.  Period.  Oink oink oink.  Pigs. Keep a bag in your car until you get home, and I don’t care how badly your baby blew out that diaper.  It’s yours and it’s your job to take care of it, not anyone else’s.
  2. People who don’t seem to understand that a grocery store aisle is like a highway.  You travel up one side and down the other.  You don’t travel down the middle.  You don’t go up the down aisle or down the up aisle.  It’s a little road.  Each aisle is a little road.  Drive accordingly.  And if you run into friends, don’t gather for a long chat and block things.
  3. Grocery carts belong in the corral after you’ve unloaded them.  If your small child is in the cart and you don’t want to leave him/her in the car – but why would you even think you had to do that? – keep the child in the cart while you’re unloading and parking and walk the child back to the car.  Problem solved.
  4. People who don’t know how to use their own language.  Grammar, spelling, punctuation. . . these are not difficult things.  We all took the same classes in elementary and junior high.  We all had the same books.  Some of us picked up on these things the first week.  Some people are in their sixties and still don’t get it.  WHYYYYYYYY?  We didn’t know who the semi-illiterate among us were until Facebook, of course, but now we do.  Oh, yesssss, we do.
  5. Those who choose not to use their turn signals.  So rude.  So crude.  So mean-spirited.  So lacking in basic good manners.
  6. Listen.  “Literally” doesn’t mean what some people seem to think it means.  If you tell me that you literally died laughing, I will look for you in the obits because that’s where you had better be.  “Literally” means “actually.”  If you are literally rolling on the floor laughing, you are physically down on the floor, actually rolling around on the floor whilst laughing.  Perhaps you mean that you were “figuratively” or “inferentially” rolling around on the floor laughing.  Picky much?  Hey.  Words are magic.  Use them properly or they will bury you.  Literally AND figuratively.
  7. Thieves.  People who steal from others are scum.  Whether a person is a shoplifter or a bank robber or an addict grabbing whatever he can for drugs or an embezzler or an adulterer or whatever, those who help themselves to someone else’s property are creeps and criminals.
  8. Speeders.  How dare you turn yourself into someone else’s executioner, you selfish thing.  There is no place you have to be that is worth someone else’s life.
  9.  Do you have a handicap plate or hangtag?  You do?  Then and only then may you park in a handicap spot.  You don’t?  Then park elsewhere.  And it doesn’t matter if you’re only going to run in for a minute, either.  No permissions?  Back out and park where you belong.
  10. Did you do your homework?  Then you’ll get the points.  Did you forget to do your homework?  No points for you this time.  This applies to your kids, too.  P.S.  Is your name on your paper?  No?  I keep a shredder in the room for those.  (Third offense)  (Tomorrow is too late.)
  11. Are you a marketer who pimps and/or creates daytime television commercials?  Medicare?  Medicaid?  Lawyers?  Drugs?  Weight-loss programs?  Novelty ways to sue someone?  “Can we do this tomorrow?”  Cell phones for people who can’t figure out how to use a cell phone?  Creams for those under-eye bags?  The same dreadful TV show being pimped over and over and over and over, sometimes two or three times in one ad slot?  Shame on you.
  12. People who are knowingly (or unknowingly) undereducated, and who fall for carefully keyworded political speeches and reality-show pimps who tell them precisely what they want to hear and continue to support such horrors because they either don’t know any better or know exactly what they’re doing and have chosen to be that kind of people.   I really don’t what which is worse:  stupid, or evil.  Most days I’m pretty sure they’re one and the same.

Again, most of these are petty things.  Golly, to be upset because people are people and do people things.  But these are not my people.  Heaven help you if these are yours.

Every Child Deserves An Audience. Stay In Your Seat.

children's choirMamacita says:  I’ve posted about this subject before, but with the approach of holiday season, it’s on my mind again, so I’ve written a new post about this same thing.

This is important. Proper behavior isn’t always fun. Nice people behave themselves anyway.

This is for you, parents. ALL of you parents. Holidays concerts are fast approaching, and your children are working hard to prepare. Don’t discount their big night because your personal feet hurt, you’re hungry, you’re missing your shows, and you left your good manners at home.

We’re tired.  We work all day and in the evenings, we deserve a few hours to rest, eat, and just, well, unwind. We deserve some time to ourselves, to put our feet up, watch some tv, sigh a lot, snack, and just BE.  We deserve  some time to do these things before we go to bed and get some sleep so we can do the same things again tomorrow.  Undisturbed downtime.  Yes, we deserve some of that.

If you are a parent of school-age children and this is your typical evening, shame on you.

If this is what you choose – yourself – instead of getting up off your, um, couch, and heading out to watch your child participate in something, shame on you.

Shame on you, too, if you stay in your seat just long enough to watch your own child’s part and then leave as soon as you can to get home and commence your well-deserved unwinding.

EVERY CHILD DESERVES AN AUDIENCE. 

sparse auditoriumFor over twenty years, I attended school concerts, spelling bees, science fairs, plays, and other things, and for over twenty years I watched families pack up and leave the very minute THEIR child’s part was finished.  These people paid no attention to the fact that the show was still going on while they were loudly bustling themselves up the aisles, out the doors, and across the parking lot so they could beat the rush getting out of the place, and get HOME where they could, finally, after an extra-long day, unwind.  After all, they deserved it, didn’t they?

No, they didn’t.  In fact, what these people want or think they deserve doesn’t even enter into the equation here.  It is the children who matter, not the adults.

The smallest children had the biggest audience, but as soon as the lower elementary’s part in the concert was over, these were also the very people who couldn’t leave fast or soon enough, paying no attention whatsoever to the older children still on stage.

The upper elementary children had a smaller audience, and even those parents often required their kids to find them as soon as their part was over so they could go home and get what was left of that well-deserved downtime-before-bedtime.  TV is important, you know, and a kid’s show isn’t, especially when it isn’t even MY kid up there now.

By the time the middle school kids were onstage, only Grandma, Mom, a few antsy siblings, and those families with class remained in the audience.  The older kids played mostly to empty seats, because the once filled-to-overflowing, standing-room-only auditorium had emptied like a kicked anthill.

Yes, sometimes a school concert means a late night.  You can’t deal with that once a year?  Poor you.  Your younger children can’t deal with it?  Take turns going out in the hallway with them.  Let them fall asleep.  Your kid can’t deal with a disrupted schedule once a year?  Are you sure you’re talking about your child? Athletic functions often mean a late night, too; do you behave like this for basketball games? I suspect not.

There’s FOOTBALL on TV that night?  Lost is on?  Good parents know that’s not even a negotiable point.  Your children come first, or you’re a bad parent.

If you have small children whose part in a concert is usually first, try to picture YOUR child singing his/her heart out before an empty auditorium.  kids-choirThink of how those children must feel when you’re packing up and leaving while they’re on stage singing much-practiced songs meant for you, and you obviously care more about yourselves than about children who aren’t yours . . . .

Oh, and before I forget:  even though I pretty much covered the subject of proper theatre behavior in another post, let me repeat a few things here:  While you’re sitting in your seat, watching a concert, shut up.  Nice people do not talk or otherwise make noise in a theatre. Nice people are quiet as mice in a theater, as well.  (Note the spelling difference.  Look it up.)  In both places, nice people are quiet.

Stay for the whole thing.  I don’t CARE if you’re tired or bored out of your mind.

Put your child in those other children’s places.  Remember, YOUR child is someone else’s child to everyone else in the universe except you.  You don’t want other people treating your child like that, do you?

Stay for the whole concert.  You’re bored?  Too bad.  You hate this stuff?  I don’t care.

Don’t detract from the glory and wonder and delight of children singing together just because you’re too selfish to even try to listen properly and enjoy it.  Don’t make children feel that their hard work was in vain because all YOU can think about is that if you leave now you might get in on the last quarter of your very important game.

Anyone of any age who does not show respect to those onstage is a rude, childish beast.

I can’t say this enough:  Every child deserves an audience.  STAY IN YOUR SEAT until the entire thing is over.

Yeah, poor you.  Poor you with a child who has the ability and the desire to participate in the arts or the sciences.  Millions of parents would give anything they’ve got to be in your shoes, and you would rather throw it away than take advantage of it.

How much would y’all bet that these same parents find no difficulty whatsoever in sitting for hours watching a sport?

I was often bored, watching an overlong school concert.  But I stayed for the whole thing.  I stayed for the whole thing because those children were far more important than anything else I might have wanted to do that night.

Why are so many parents so childish and selfish?  Childhood is such a brief fleeting moment in life; what kind of parents would CHOOSE not to watch every possible microsecond of it that’s possible to watch? Why do so many parents choose to stay home and watch Honey Boo Boo and her repulsive family instead of their own children? June Shannon’s kids are more important than your own? The Duck Dynasty family is more important than yours?  The Game of Thrones dynasties are more important than those children?  That awesome new series on Netflix is more important than a child?  What kind of parents choose those things over children?

I think we all know what kind of parents would make that choice.

Children singing their hearts out while adults are walking out so they can get home and watch tv and have a beer and put their feet up.  Such people are beyond my comprehension.

Children are singing for us; why don’t we even want to listen?

Oh yeah.  Football, Duck Dynasty, recliners, selfishness, and entitlement.

Quotation Saturday: The Magic that is Christmas

 

. . . because Christmas IS a magical time.

Mamacita says:  I love these days leading up to Christmas more than any other time of the year. I love the planning. I love the baking. I love the making lists. I love the shopping, which I actually do all year long. I love the Amazon super-secret-discount-deals. I love wrapping the boxes and decorating them with ribbons and glittery things.  I love the Christmas cd’s in my stereo.  I love getting out and using the Christmas plates and bowls and glasses. I love making my house look like a Christmas card. I love welcoming people into my home and sharing everything I have with them. I love watching Christmas movies, which I’m doing today, in fact; welcome to my Dickens’ A Christmas Carol marathon – updates Twittered regularly.  I know the book by heart, thanks to my father, and I’m quite critical of any movie version that takes too many liberties.  Any liberties, actually.  I mean, why diddle with perfection?  (Stupid scriptwriting doodlers. . . .)

Still the best Christmas story ever written. (fiction)

#25 is my favorite.  I think of it regularly.  It reminds me of my father, before the diabetes made him. . . different.  He used to read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol aloud to us when we were really little.  I loved it.  I loved the big words, and the three ghosts, and the lessons learned.  Dad would explain what the big words meant so next time we would understand the story even better.  We did, too.  “What is a doornail, Daddy, and how could it be dead?”  I loved hearing Dad read out loud.  He used to do it a lot when we were little.

Dad loved Christmas more than any little kid ever could.  He could shake a package and guess what was in it, and most of the time he was right.  He used to lie on the floor and just gaze at the tree.  His own childhood was pretty bleak; maybe that was why he threw himself into Christmas for his children so thoroughly.  The reading aloud might have been my favorite part.

1. There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. — Erma Bombeck

2. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone. — Taylor Caldwell

3. Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree. — Charlotte Carpenter.

4. Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’. — Bing Crosby

5. Christmas, my child, is love in action. — Dale Evans

6. My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still. — Charlton Heston

Every ornament contains magic and memories.

7. My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? — Bob Hope

8. The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.
— W. C. Jones

9. Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. — Oren Arnold

10. The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect! — Charles N. Barnard

Even the sad Charlie Brown tree was perfect in his eyes.

11. Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. — Hamilton Wright Mabie

12. Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves. — Eric Sevareid

13. Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. — Mary Ellen Chase

The best day of the year!

14. There has been only one Christmas – the rest are anniversaries. — W.J. Cameron

15. Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. — Laura Ingalls Wilder

16. Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself. — Francis C. Farley

17. Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. — Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

Open us! Open us now! (bursting with magic!)

18. In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’ — Dave Barry

19. When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? — G.K. Chesterton

20. The message of Christmas is that the visible material world is bound to the invisible spiritual world. — Author Unknown

21. The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin. — Jay Leno

22. The earth has grown old with its burden of care, but at Christmas it always is young. — Phillips Brooks

23. Nothing’s as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas. — Kin Hubbard

Are you kidding? Socks for Christmas?

24. Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. — Augusta E. Rundel

25. There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it! — Charles Dickens

I say God bless it, too.  God bless all of you, too.  Every one.

O Christmas Tree. . . .

Mamacita says:  I’ve been talking about Christmas trees with beloved cousin Tammi. . . . Hers are fantastic, and she has almost as many as I do. I don’t like ribbons and bows and huge garlands on Christmas trees; mine are studded with ornaments, thousands of ornaments spread over seven trees – literally, thousands of ornaments. Not ordinary ornaments, either.

A tiny sampling of my main Christmas tree. TINY sampling.

I can look at most of my ornaments and tell you how old my children were when I got them, and how the weather was, and what was going on with us. My ornaments glow with history. And maybe a little geeky whimsy.

Christmas space ships on another tree!

Christmas is the time when all my nerdy tastes and loves and memories and family history take form. I look at my trees and remember things. And, like much of the wall art in my house, many of my ornaments talk and sing and move around. I like triple-cluster lights, too. If the trees are turned on, I can turn off all the house lights and it will still seem like daytime in the house. I love this time of year so much. . . . there are no words. My trees personify this love. I also have a quirky thing wherein the ornaments have a permanent home on each tree and must be hung in that exact spot each year.

Some of our ornaments – the ones we got when the kids were little – have names. The tree-topper, for instance. Ask my daughter Sara what her name is. And why.

To sum up: I love a glowing, magical Christmas.

Quotation Saturday: An Attitude of Gratitude

Let’s all cultivate an attitude of gratitude and use it all the days of our lives.

Thanksgiving isn’t really just one day, you know.  It’s just the one day wherein we are all reminded that EVERY day is a day of thanksgiving in one way or another.

Some people consider this official Thanksgiving Day to be politically incorrect, but I think it’s all in one’s perspective.  Don’t think of this day in terms of clueless pilgrims  in buckled shoes and dull clothing – which is not correct, by the way; pilgrims were quite colorful in more ways than one – who didn’t know how to plant gardens and were starving to death out of sheer ignorance, and stereotypical Native Americans in loincloths who sighed, put down their scalping tomahawks, and taught the newcomers how to plant corn so they wouldn’t drop dead of starvation.  Think of this day as the symbolic Day of Gratitude.

Think back on your life; there was always something to be grateful for, even in the midst of horror, and there still is.  There always will be. Thanksgiving Day is a good time to be retrospective.

I hope we have all taught and encouraged our children to be grateful; few things are uglier than a person of any age who takes for granted all the blessings – small, medium, large, and XXlarge – that make up the pattern of our days.

A simple “thank you” can make or break us, sometimes.

Now, get out there and cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude.  It’s contagious, you know.

1. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” –William A. Ward

2. Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. –G.B. Stern

3. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. –Meister Eckhart

4. There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. –Robert Braul

5. Gratitude is the memory of the heart. –Jean Baptiste Massieu

6. When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? –G.K. Chesterton

7. The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. –John E. Southard

8. If you have lived, take thankfully the past. –John Dryden

9. As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. –Adabella Radici

10. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. –G.K. Chesterton

11. You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. –G.K. Chesterton

12. If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. –Frank A. Clark

13. The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! –Henry Ward Beecher

14. Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. –Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

15. Praise the bridge that carried you over. –George Colman

16. If you count all your assets, you always show a profit. –Robert Quillen

17. He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. –Epictetus

18. What a miserable thing life is: you’re living in clover, only the clover isn’t good enough. –Bertolt Brecht

19. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.–Oprah Winfrey

20. Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou are not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude.–William Shakespeare (As You Like It)

21. Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.–Brian Tracy

22. Eaten bread is forgotten.–Thomas Fuller

23. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.–William Arthur Ward

24. For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude.–Clarence E. Hodges

25. For what I have received may the Lord make me truly thankful. And more truly for what I have not received.–Storm Jameson

26. Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.–Cicero

27. Gratitude is the memory of the heart.–Massieu

28. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.–Melody Beattie

29. Gratitude takes three forms: a feeling in the heart, an expression in words, and a giving in return.–John Wanamaker

30. Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.–Anonymous

31. If one could only learn to appreciate the little things…
A song that takes you away, for there are those who cannot hear.
The beauty of a sunset, for there are those who cannot see.
The warmth and safety of your home, for there are those who are homeless.
Time spent with good friends for there are those who are lonely.
A walk along the beach for there are those who cannot walk.
The little things are what life is all about.
Search your soul and learn to appreciate.–Shadi Souferian

32. If you never learned the lesson of thankfulness, begin now. Sum up your mercies; see what provision God has made for your happiness, what opportunities for your usefulness, and what advantages for your success.–Ida S. Taylor

33. In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.–Albert Schweitzer

34. Keep a grateful journal. Every night, list five things that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change our perspective of your day and your life.–Oprah Winfrey

35. No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.–Saint Ambrose

36. No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.–Elie Wiesel

37. None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.–Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

38. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.–W. T. Purkiser

39. Of all the “attitudes” we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.–Zig Ziglar

40. One can never pay in gratitude; one can pay “in kind” somewhere else in life.–Anne Morrow Lindbergh

41. One of life’s gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reasons for thankfulness.–J. Robert Maskin

42. Part of growing up spiritually is learning to be grateful for all things, even our difficulties, disappointments, failures and humiliations.–Mike Aquilina

43. Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.–Henry Ward Beecher

44. Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.–Charles Dickens

45. Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart.–Anonymous

46. A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.–John Bunyan

47. Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.–Gertrude B. Stein

48. So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible. So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done.–Marian Wright Edelman

49. Somebody saw something in you once – and that is partly why you’re where you are today. Find a way to thank them.–Don Ward

50. Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee’s collected treasures sweet,
Sweet music’s melting full, but sweeter yet
The still small voice of gratitude.–Thomas Gray

51. There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way.–Jim Rohn

52. We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.–Sacred ritual chant

53. When eating fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.–Vietnamese proverb

54. When we are grateful for the good we already have, we attract more good into our life. On the other hand, when we are ungrateful, we tend to shut ourselves off from the good we might otherwise experience.–Margaret Stortz

55. . . . .when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present–love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure–the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth. –Sarah Ban Brethnach

56. Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.–Estonian Proverb

57. Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. –W.T. Purkiser

58. We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. –Thornton Wilder

59. Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all. –William Faulkner

60. If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. –Gerald Good

61. Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices. –Thomas Fuller

62. There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. –Joseph Addison

63. I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude. –Benjamin Disraeli

64. There is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people. –R.H. Blyth

65. Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. –Henry Clay

66. A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. — Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes

67. Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. — Mark Twain

68. The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Abraham Lincoln

69. Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart. — Sarah Ban Breathnach

70. Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. — Garrison Keillor

71. But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine. Thomas Jefferson quotes

72. Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. –Estonian Proverb

73. Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
— George Herbert

74. The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. — Eric Hoffer

75. Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul. — Henry Ward Beecher

76. When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? –George Canning

77. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. –John Fitzgerald Kennedy

78. We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. –Cynthia Ozick

79. Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things. –Horace

80. The grateful person, being still the most severe exacter of himself, not only confesses, but proclaims, his debts. — Robert South

81. Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer. –Verbena Woods

82. Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors. — François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

83. Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. — Aldous Huxley

84. When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them. –Chinese Proverb

85. Thanks are justly due for boons unbought. –Ovid

86. In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. — H.L. Mencken

87. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. — William Arthur Ward

88. Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. –Robert Louis Stevenson

89. To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude. — Albert Schweitzer

90. Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. — Doris Day

91. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. — Leroy (Satchel) Paige

92. Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. — Margaret Cousins

93. Kindness trumps greed: it asks for sharing. Kindness trumps fear: it calls forth gratefulness and love. Kindness trumps even stupidity, for with sharing and love, one learns. — Marc Estrin

94. There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it. — Seneca

95. What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? –Erma Bombeck

96. Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. –W.J. Cameron

97. Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. — Robert Caspar Lintner

98. Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. –Theodore Roosevelt

99. It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast. — W.J. Cameron

100. In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. — Albert Schweitzer

You’re welcome.

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Mamacita says:  This day used to be known as Armistice Day, in honor of the armistice that was signed on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”.  This year, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

People wear poppies on Veterans’ Day.  Do you know why?

John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields”

This term also refers to the fact that back in ancient times, a worker who was hired at the eleventh hour of a twelve-hour workday was paid the same as those who had worked all twelve hours.

After World War II, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans’ Day.  Many people do not realize that this is an international holiday, observed by many other nations as well as by the United States.

Schools do not teach students much about World War I, and I have never really understood why.  Most social studies classes, unless it’s a specialized elective, study the Civil War (Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn) and then make a giant leap over everything else so they can briefly mention World War II (Hitler was bad) and then leap again and remind students that JFK was assassinated (“I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris”) (“I am a jelly doughnut!”)  all just in time for summer vacation.  I learned most of what I know about World War I from reading L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside, and yes, it’s another Anne book; this one is mostly about Anne and Gilbert’s daughter Rilla. I cry every time I read it, even though I know what’s going to happen.  You’ll cry, too.  This book was written eighteen years before Anne of Ingleside, which takes place when the children are very young and was was sort of “inserted” into the list of Anne books, but that’s all right.  I would imagine, though, that at the time the books were being written and published, that might have been confusing to readers.  Anne of Ingleside has an ominous vision in it, that comes true in Rilla of Ingleside.  I have not been able to re-read Anne of Ingleside ever since I realized this.

L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite authors.  Can you tell?

Which of her characters are you?  I’m, ironically, Jane of Lantern Hill, which is another of my favorite books.  If you aren’t familiar with these titles, my goodness, get yourself to the library right away.  This is unacceptable!  Anne might be Montgomery’s best-known heroine, but there are many others!  I think my ultimate favorite Montgomery heroine is Emily; her story is told in a lovely trilogy that thrills me to the core.

Ahem.  Sorry.  In any lesson, often the tangents are more interesting and teach us more than the actual lesson.

On this day, let us honor the men and women who keep us safe, both past and present.

“It’s about how we treat our veterans every single day of the year. It’s about making sure they have the care they need and the benefits that they’ve earned when they come home. It’s about serving all of you as well as you’ve served the United States of America. Freedom is never free.” – President Barack Obama

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” – former president Bill Clinton

I also like this one by Calvin Coolidge:  “The issues of the world must be met and met squarely. The forces of evil do not disdain preparation, they are always prepared and always preparing… The welfare of America, the cause of civilization will forever require the contribution, of some part of the life, of all our citizens, to the natural, the necessary, and the inevitable demand for the defense of the right and the truth.”

And I’ll end this post with this one, by FDR:  “When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”

God bless America.