Thankful Thoughts

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Whale shark and friends by E.A. Schneider

Happy Thanksgiving, dear pond readers! Today I find myself counting my blessings. I’m thankful for my spouse, my family, my friends, my faith, my work, my words, my readers, and this incredibly beautiful world. This post is filled with pictures of some of our magical wild neighbors which I hope you enjoy. Despite multiple setbacks, I’m thankful that I’m still plugging away at NaNoWriMo, slowly but surely (2574 words and counting!), as well as my reading goal of 52 books (43 books and counting!) this November.

This Thanksgiving may be extra stressful for many in the USA because we’re dreading the P-word (P-O-L-I-T-I-C-S) rearing its head over the turkey and sweet potatoes while grappling with the usual stresses of travel, family, distance, and cooking things we only cook once or twice a year. Fingers crossed for no food poisoning or flu! Look on the bright side, given the statistics on political opinion in the USA, odds are high that we’re all stressed out together. If misery loves company, then surely anxiety enjoys a crowd.

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Jellies in the deep by E.A. Schneider

No matter how tough it is or how divided your dining room might be, it is more important than ever to hang on to those we love and find the strength to keep talking to each other. Count your blessings together, I guarantee that you will find many in common if you try. The future may be uncertain with lots of things to be afraid of, but, cultivating a grateful, loving heart can only be an asset. Especially when coupled with yummy food in the company of dear ones.

What are you grateful for, dear readers? Are you in the final sprint of your own NaNoWriMo experience? Are you cramming in some reading time? Or cramming in a new tasty recipe? Please, leave a comment below while you have a safe, happy, and tasty holiday filled with love. Thanks for stopping by the pond today.

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Tanuki in Autumn by E.A. Schneider

 

Musings on the 4th

B&W leaf by E.A. Schneider

Happy 4th of July, dear readers! I hope you’re enjoying a day of peace and relaxation with people you like wherever you are in the world. Here in the States communities are celebrating the approval of the Declaration of Independence with hometown parades, backyard BBQ, family dinners, and fireworks among other things. Today I got to spend a delightful day with my family, some of who braved Chicago, IL traffic to be here. If that’s not love I don’t know what is. Being the kind of people we are we chose to celebrate freedom and pursue happiness by downloading free e-books from Gutenberg.org before going to the most vegetarian friendly BBQ night in the Midwest. It was lovely.

Wildflower by E.A. Schneider

I find myself counting my blessings tonight as the sun sets on the 236th birthday of the U.S.A. I’m a registered voter and an educated woman working in a safe environment doing scientific research living with electricity and a spouse I love that everyone in the government acknowledges I married. I have food in the cupboard, clean water at the tap, and access to all the books I want to read; one way or another regardless of whom they might offend I can pretty much find and read whatever I want. Books are one of the most profound symbols of freedom to me. Just thinking about all the people in the world who don’t have access to books will bring me to tears faster than thinking about dead puppies. I’m already looking ahead to Banned Books Week 2012, I love that the theme will be “30 Years of Liberating Literature.” Tonight I find myself feeling profoundly humble and grateful for all these blessings that are only possible because a lot of people I will never know or meet have given their lives one way or another whether on the battlefield or in the streets or in the capital throughout history in the name of freedom. Yeah, things aren’t perfect, I will never pretend that they are, but things could be so much worse and it is all too easy to forget the good things while thinking about the “to-do list,” for the world.

Hope blooms by E.A. Schneider

One very humble thing I find myself especially grateful for tonight in addition to everything else I already listed is having a room of my own ~65% assembled. The freedom of space, of one’s own room to plant oneself and create, is one I have not had for quite awhile. I find myself very keen to read A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf (a banned author) soon as I continue my summer reading list. Having been a guerrilla writer and crafter for so long, having to set up and take down my laptop, my writing notes, and my sewing machine so many times, living out of tote bags and briefcases— I find myself staring in wonder at my desk and sewing table.  I have a place. When I take off on flights of fancy in future I can do so from a steady launchpad organized to facilitate that purpose.  It is a marvel for which I am grateful and I look forward to using it soon; hopefully I will be back here blogging with more book reviews, fiction, and craft items made in my space. On that happy thought I leave you tonight; here’s hoping that wherever you are and whatever you’re dealing with in your life you take a moment to lean back, close your eyes, and think about what you’re thankful for, large or small, so that you go to sleep with a smile. Happy Independence Day, dear readers, let freedom ring.

Family day on the river by E.A. Schneider