Rest in Peace Dr. Maya Angelou

source: mayaangelou.com
source: mayaangelou.com

Dr. Maya Angelou

April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“I encourage courtesy. To accept nothing less than courtesy and to give nothing less than courtesy. If we accept being talked to any kind of a way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best. And if we have the effrontery to talk to anybody with less than courtesy, we tell ourselves and the world we are not very intelligent.”

“I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.”

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Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

Yesterday, my husband and I took our kids to a Memorial Day service at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas (near Fort Hood). There wasn’t enough seating so many of us had to stand. When the National Anthem began to play, these veterans in front of me snapped to attention.

5 vet

Lieutenant General Mark A. Milley gave a moving speech to honor those who served. Many veterans from our nation’s wars (all the way back to World War II) attended and received recognition.

After the speech, I saw this disabled veteran proudly walking around with his adorable little granddaughter (or great-granddaughter) and he allowed me to take a picture of them.

DAV

The ceremony concluded with the dedication of the 2013 memorial slate which listed the names of those Texans who died last year,  followed by a 21-gun salute and Taps. I spent some time among the mourners, reading the plaques of the memorial. I snapped a few more pictures, then turned to see my son with a solemn face and eyes reddened by the effort of fighting back tears as he watched those in attendance mourn the loss of a loved one.

2013 SlateThe plaque reads:

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” ~ Arthur Ashe

 

AbeI hope you took a moment during the Memorial Day weekend to pay tribute to those who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

In honor of my late grandfather, Joseph Lutz, who served in WWII and my children’s “adoptive” grandfather (Veteran’s Day: A Tribute to Peepaw) Donald Morrison who also served in WWII.

 

 

Teaser Tuesday: Champion by Marie Lu

champion.inddI’m reading Champion by Marie Lu as part of my Series Challenge for 2014. It is the third book in the Legend trilogy. Here’s a teaser:

“A slow smile spreads across Pascao’s face. ‘Well, That sounds like it could be fun. What do you have in mind?’

I put my hands in my pockets and put my arrogant mask on. ‘What I’ve always been good at.'”

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Musical Monday: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly

Sue Archer at Doorway Between Worlds introduced me to a new blog titled In the Garden of Eva. The blog title might make you wonder if it’s a play on the biblical Garden of Eden. If you’re like me, you might think it’s a play on the song In A Gadda Da Vida by Iron Butterfly and you might wonder if you’ve stumbled upon a blog that reads like a drug induced psychedelic trip.  No? Okay, well, that’s just the way my mind works. Call me a weirdo.

My apologies to Eva if that’s offensive.  Once I started to read her blog it was obvious that no drugs were used in the making of her blog. 🙂 Her posts are obviously written by someone with a clear mind.

Anyway, that’s a roundabout way to introduce the song of the week, but that’s how the idea came about. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of this song, but it brings back wonderful memories of my brother when we were kids. He’d play a snippet of a tune on his electric guitar and I’d have to guess the song.

In A Gadda Da Vida was released in 1968 and is a whopping 17 minutes long. It’s said the title of the song was meant to be “In the Garden of Eden” but the lead band members were so drunk and/or drugged out of their minds that they slurred the words into In-a-gadda-da-vida and then forgot the original title.  Wow. We are talking about the psychedelic sixties, folks.

 

 

 

Musical Monday: Radiohead’s Creep by Jena Irene

My daughter and I have been watching American Idol and I must say Jena Irene has given some stellar performances. Her cover of “Creep” by Radiohead blew me away. The girl is incredibly talented. I’m predicting she’ll win American Idol this season. If you missed her version, here it is.

 

 “Creep”

When you were here before
Couldn’t look you in the eye
You’re just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You’re so fucking specialBut I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong hereI don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice when I’m not around
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

She’s running out the door
She’s running out
She runs runs runs runs..
Runs…

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here

 

 

Quote of the Week: Winston Churchill

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
~
Winston Churchill

If by Rudyard Kipling

Do you read poetry? While I’ve read it occasionally, I have to admit it wasn’t something I routinely turned to.  I have my favorite poets and have shared a few of their works on this site.

After reading Ray Bradbury’s book Zen in the Art of Writing last year, I decided to make reading poetry part of my daily routine. Bradbury said you must feed the muse a diet of poetry, essays, and short stories. In fact, he recommended reading one essay, one poem and one short story every night before going to bed.

“Poetry, essays. What about short stories, novels? Of course. Read those authors who write the way you hope to write, those who think the way you would like to think. But also read those who do not think as you think or write as you want to write, and so be stimulated in directions you might not take for many years. Here again, don’t let snobbery of others prevent you from reading Kipling, say, while no one else is reading him.” ~ Ray Bradbury

 

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son