Instagram · Photography

This is how we roll at the Grandma New Year Sleepover #newyearcelebration #2017 #ringinginthenewyear #kidsoutnumberus

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Photography · Words Written

Happy New Year

Photo by TJ Parker

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. ~ Neil Gaiman

Daily Ray of Hope · Photography · Words Written

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

~ Maya Angelou

Photo by Brian Gardner | Gargantua Harbour is located within the Lake Superior Provincial Park, between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa, Ontario


Gargantua Harbour

Going Global · Nature · Video

Welcome to the World E9

A baby eaglet hatches.

K and I have been a tad obsessed with Harriet and M15, the eagle pair sitting on their eggs in Florida. There is a live feed going all the time, even at night. This morning, about 7:30 Eastern time, the first egg hatched and E9 was born. It was a beautiful and lovely thing to see. With the tumult of 2016, it’s nice to be ending on this fantastic note of hope and inspiration.

If you are interested in continuing to watch and to read about the eagles go here for the info.

10 Word Review · Opinion · TV

10 Word Review – The OA (TV)

oaStrange. Ethereal. Storytelling. Characters. Compelling. Netflix. Writing. Atmosphere. YES.

Instagram · Photography

Sunlight #wintersun #afterthebloom #plants

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10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Jason Bourne

bourneTedious. Misfire. Disappointing. Action. Clunky. Predictable. Vikander. Dull. No.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Florence Foster Jenkins

florence-foster-jenkinsStreep. True. Grant. Love. Era. Society. Feel. Humor. Sweet. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film

10 Word Review – Suicide Squad

suicide-squadCampy. Fun. Action. Crazy. Cast. Robbie. Ridiculous. Enjoyable. Effects. yes.

Instagram · Photography

What you’ll find me doing on Christmas Day. #christmastime #christmasjammies #christmasphotos #isthatafaceoracamera

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Instagram · Photography

Christmas Eve walk with the pups #nightwalks #walks #walkingthedogs #quiettime #itsquietouthere #ahushfallsovertheworld

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10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – The Intervention

the-interventionCast. Writing. Direction. Conversation. Relationships. Friendship. Humor. Quiet. Leg. Yes.

Going Global · LiFe

Candy Coated Kindness

candy-caneWe were out and about again today, running more errands, getting ready for some upcoming Christmas festivities.  Since we were going out we thought today would be a good day for the candy cane caper.  Sounds more adventurous or slightly naughty than it was, but it ended up being pretty nice.  We’d purchased a box of big sized candy canes a while back in preparation and today we took them around and passed them out to people, saying Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, giving people a smile as we did.  Librarians, people sitting at a cafe, the ladies who work at the coffee roasters we go to, a couple of policemen, and a girl sitting outside waiting for a ride were all recipients.  My honey is really good at this.  Her smile can light up a room.  Every single person who got a candy cane smiled back at us.  We gave a few of the people two candy canes telling them one was for them and one was for them to hand out to someone else.  A sweet bit of shared kindness.

10 Word Review · Film

10 Word Review – Captain America: Civil War

captain-americaAction. Characters. Fights. Effects. Fun. Super. Enjoyable. Frolick. Adventure. Yes.

Family & Friends · Going Global · LiFe

Kindness Hits You Where You Live

Today might have been the most simple act of kindness we’ve done to date.  We were kind to each other.  We slept in, laughed, talked, shopped, did laundry, cooked, did dishes, drank our nightly decaf, held hands, showed each other cool photos online, took the pups for a nice walk, problem solved a couple of things, said I love you and thanks honey a few times, and had a pretty quiet day together.  It’s important to be aware of your spouse, to be kind to them.  We do a pretty good job of that most of the time, but it’s good to talk about it, good to be present with it.  It’s a form of kindness that’s not talked about enough.  It’s great and important to be kind to others, but it’s equally important, if not more so, to be kind to the people you are closest to, people who you share your life with.  

10 Word Review

10 Word Review – The Meddler

meddlerSarandon. Grief. Simmons. Writing. Fear. Relationships. Cute. Quiet. Chickens. Yes.

Chicago · Going Global · LiFe

Conserving Kindness

mead-quoteToday K and I made our yearly Christmas trip into Chicago.  We usually go to several places on our Christmas trip day, but this time we ended up just staying at the Lincoln Park Zoo all day.  We looked at the animals, had several different talks with zoo staff about various animals, ate some lunch, then strolled around the place a couple more times after the zoo lights came on.  We had meant to park at the zoo, take a bus downtown and check out the Bean, the Macy’s windows, some other sites we usually see at Christmas time, then get back to the zoo in the evening to see the zoo lights, but it didn’t happen that way.  At one point we just looked at each other and both kind of said we were having a great time, a very relaxing time, just wandering around, no rush, nice and mellow.  It was awesome.  While we were there we also decided to put our money where our mouths are and donate a bit to the conservation and research programs the zoo participates in.  Kindness through conservation.

Instagram · Photography

Skyline #chicago #lincolnparkzoo #winter #solstice

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Poetry · Words Written

Detail Of The Hayfield

Photo by TJ Parker

I followed myself for a long while, deep into the field.

Two heads full of garbage.

Our scope was larger than I realized,
which only made me that much more responsible.

Yellow, yellow, gold, and ocher.
We stopped. We held the field. We stood very still.

Everyone needs a place.

You need it for the moment you need it, then you bless it—
thank you soup, thank you flashlight—

and move on. Who does this? No one.

~Richard Siken

Daily Ray of Hope · Photography · Words Written

Sierra Club Daily Ray of Hope

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.    ~ Rachel Carson

Photo by Andrew Castellano | Hudson Bay near Churchill, Canada

Arctic Morning

Eats · Going Global · LiFe

A Morsel of Kindness

img_2468Everyone loves cookies and it just so happens my honey makes great M&M cookies.  Today’s kindness was a simple one.  She made cookies and we delivered them to three of our neighbors.  Needless to say they were surprised and very happy to get them.  Nothing like seeing people with big smiles on their faces.  Kindness through sugar overload.  That’s what we’re talking about.

Going Global · LiFe

A Pop of Kindness

img_2461We decided to go with a fun act of kindness today.  We taped a couple of packages of microwave popcorn to a Redbox outside a local Walgreens.  The signs said, “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie”.  We hope someone does!

Instagram · Photography

It’s a frozen world #ice #illinoiscold #icestorm2016 #freezingrain #itscoldoutthere #goingtominustemps

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Going Global · LiFe

Keeping The Cold at Bay With Kindness

hand-warmersWe found a big package of handwarmers at the bottom of our hat/scarf bin in our closet. At some point we bought them in bulk. Each little package is a pack of two handwarmers. It’s very cold out today so our act of kindness was to drive around our towns, both Champaign and Urbana, for a couple of hours handing out packs of handwarmers to people at bus stops and other people just walking around who looked really cold. We would pull up and K would roll down her window or jump out and offer up a package of handwarmers to the person. Some took them, others didn’t. One guy said he didn’t need them because he had socks on his hands. K tried to convince him socks weren’t warm enough. He smiled, laughed a little, and still refused. We gave that pack to the next cold looking person we saw. Even the people who refused them smiled at us. The people that took them were very grateful. Small kindnesses mean something.

Music · Video

It’s Quiet Uptown

I haven’t seen Hamilton, don’t know this song in the context of the story, and I haven’t even heard the original, but Kelly Clarkson sings it on the Hamilton Mixtape that just came out. This is a master class in singing, and I get so emotional when I listen to it… “forgiveness, can you imagine, forgiveness… can you imagine”. This isn’t meant to be a Christmas song, but somehow it is.