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A Poem-The Tireless American Rose


The Tireless American RoseEve GaalThe tireless American rose.Graced our fallen,pricked our foes. A graveside decoration,saluted by soldiers,a comfort to widows,the perfume of angels,to any discerning nose.A queen’s bouquet,a honeymoon kiss,where petal strewn walkways,grace romantic getaways.Glistening with a bride’s tears,or a lucky graduate’s surprise,maybe a new mother’s gift,and those wreaths explode with beauty,when loved ones die.The tireless American rose,seen at parades,waiting after war.There backstage,awarding every star.A centerpiece at the gala,a holiday corsage, there to win,every battle,every kind of heart.With, or without thorns,Through raging pain,On altars,At hospitals,In the...
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Crying or Laughing?


Those of you who visit my blog regularly, know I like to dabble in drawing. My last post was about painting, and how landscapes can become a type of escape, especially during tough times.Most fiction writers’ study human behavior or psychology, so they can create or “paint with words,” characters with realistic qualities. Right now, all you have to do is turn on the television, where the evening news is filled with colorful protesters who shout about peace, while carrying firearms. Oddly, if I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t believe it and novel readers wouldn’t find it believable either.  Mark Twain said: “Truth Is Stranger than Fiction, But It Is Because Fiction Is Obliged to Stick to Possibilit...
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Spread Peace Through Art--Wish I Knew How to Paint!


ArtPastures painted in vivid greens,‘neath skies of blended blues;soothing scenes depict tranquility,of places past--Where tall grass blows upon a lea, shepherds tend gentle flocks,work horses graze,farmhands nap,chickens waddle to a trough.How fortunate that grandmother knew how to paint. Her heart,in cracking oils on canvas,randomly splashed on my suburban walls,reminds me,and those who visit,of peace and serenity. And you!How lucky are you?Given a chance to leave a legacy,to express yourself with art.A lifetime ahead--anew--to spread love to future generations.Please pick up the brush, the pencil,even a box of crayons. It’s never too late to begin. (Written by Eve Gaal in loving memory of...
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Rufus van Dalen


My darling doggie, Rufus, went to Heaven today. I could not have asked for a better friend. For ten years of the fifteen years we were together, Rufus and I only had each other and my priority was always him. I organised my life around my dear, faithful, wonderful hound. I could have given him up and gone off to live in London enjoying theatre, opera, art, all of the things I love. But here was someone who totally relied on me and who was my responsibility. People used to say that I should give him away so that I could have a better chance of meeting the man of my dreams. To me that wasn't as important and seeing my doggie smiling and knowing HE was happy and contented.Rufus and I used to  w...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  93 Hits

Happiness is...


...sharing when you love someone..Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  2 Hits

We're Almost There-30 More ideas


Don’t Give Up!Here’s Some More ideas to help keep you busy while at home.(I tried something like this one.)1.       Play cards. Rummy, poker or 52 pickup? 2.       Paint a rock for gifts or paper weights.3.       Have a balloon fight on the patio4.       How about a family barbecue?5.       Make chocolate or vanilla shakes6.       Decoupage might be fun-no Mod Podge? Use Elmer’s glue.7.       Quilting with scraps8.       Chalk drawings on the sidewalk9.       Make lemonade or iced tea in different flavors10.   Read an ebook (I can suggest several good ones!)11.   Write a book review on Amazon12.   Cut your bangs? Maybe not.13.   Color your own hair? 14.   Tell ghost stories15.   Take a fanci...
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  146 Hits

In Awe


I was watching “The Universe” on Netflix. The sun, the planets, the galaxies. Mind boggling terms of billions of years, millions of miles per hour. I had to stop as it made no sense. Infinite numbers you can’t put on a blackboard and explain. Awesome dude….Life just happened to commence with the “Big Bang”? Give me a break.I am also in awe of Good, so powerful and meaningful and helpful.I am in awe and terrified by the rise of evil in the world today.Truth is good. Always. Our Judeo/Christian heritage is mocked.The truth is that truth can no longer be easily discerned. We are pandering to the feelings of minority/identity groups. When everybody has a cause there is chaos. The news has become...
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  116 Hits

AS-201 The First


First place is what we try for in classes and on the athletic field. Always it is a dream to achieve a first place. It requires effort, a lot of effort. Just to be given a first place award without hard work makes it meaningless.There will be so many opportunities in life to make first place. The most important is to be the first there when someone is hurting, in need… Maybe it is just a pat on the back at the exact moment needed. Look at first responders. Look at our military who may be the first to save a person or buddy.Maybe being the first to tell the Truth in a group discussion. The award is given to you privately in the smile in your heart. Be the first to help someone see what is rig...
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2020 Commencement Address

A Special Address from Bishop C.E. Melville:A Personal Testimony of Praise and ThanksgivingI wish I could write a somber post, but I can only state that I was always blessed, and for this I am eternally grateful to God, for His love and tender mercies.Thanksgiving Meaning: the expression of gratitude, especially to God (Dictionary.com).Growing up in the foster care system only offered me one way out, and it was through education. I found myself dreaming what it would be like to be a teacher, a nurse, or someone really big. I wanted make an impact in the life others. Though many thought I was different, I was just a little girl with big dreams. I knew that my beginning wasn't going to be my e...
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Hope In Times of Adversity

A Special Address from Bishop C.E. Melville:A Personal Testimony of Praise and ThanksgivingI wish I could write a somber post, but I can only state that I was always blessed, and for this I am eternally grateful to God, for His love and tender mercies.Thanksgiving Meaning: the expression of gratitude, especially to God (Dictionary.com).Growing up in the foster care system only offered me one way out, and it was through education. I found myself dreaming what it would be like to be a teacher, a nurse, or someone really big. I wanted make an impact in the life others. Though many thought I was different, I was just a little girl with big dreams. I knew that my beginning wasn't going to be my e...
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  30 Hits

Becoming Like Christ

Sheltering in The Most HighThe journey of spiritual formation can be summed up like this, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” – Romans 5:3-5 [1] For one to grow spiritually, and become like Christ, it means striving each day to emulate his character. Essentially, Paul describes the spiritual formation process—the process of being transformed from our temporal perspective to an eternal one. [2] This is not an easy walk, considering we live in world which has fallen so ...
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  95 Hits

Beauty in small things


Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  165 Hits

50 Not So Boring Ideas for Staying At Home


Does it sound like this in your home?“I’m bored.”“Can we go do something?”“Do we have to stay home?”“Mom, did you know some people go to the beach?”“You just want me to do chores.”“When can I go to school?”“I already washed my hands.”“I don’t want to stay home.”“Can I walk the dog, again?”“Read? Why?” Not everyone likes staying at home but it can be fun. There are so many fun things to do and none of them are on television!Here are a few ideas to help make the stayathome situation better.Most of these require adult supervision:1.       Read to each other (Prizes for best listener?)2.       Bake something together3.       Play board-games or invent one of your own.4.       Plant a container g...
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  192 Hits

Sweetness in #lockdown


Confined to the house since 17 March, hubby has taken to cake making like a duck to water regaling me daily with unctuous, fattening delights which I cannot resist. I am weak. Someone else in this photo is tempted too.Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  154 Hits

The Fight For Unity

What is Unity?The fight for unity is the invisible crucible mankind must bare. For thousands of years and centuries past mankind have failed ultimately at unifying themselves unto one body, faith, and purpose. But, in order to achieve success, and a feeling of accomplishment, one must understand that the world exists with many members of the same body (Ephesians 4:16). To be unified or in unity is to be of one mind, body and spirit. Likemindedness is needed and very crucial to work together in unity. Unity in the body of Christ is the essence and key to a powerful church, the precursor of miracles, deliverance and ultimately redemption.What Does it Mean to Be Spiritually Mature?To be spiritu...
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Estrangement: darkness before dawn


For the last five years I have been working in French law and helping French property owners resolve succession or buying/selling isssues. In one particular case, a lady rang up to say that her mother had been sequestered in her house in France by her son who had also stolen all of the mother's money, or put in a more PC way, drained her bank accounts. I remember listening and then calmly putting the 'phone down once the conversation had ended. You see, the same thing happened to me.One can read all the latest psychological ramblings and research on the effects of sibling estrangement. Supposedley it is rare (less than 5%) in the US but here's what I've learned through experience. I am an or...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  113 Hits

Dormant but Alive!


I pray for for those who are working full time during these difficult times. The police, the sheriff’s department, firemen and women, the cashiers at the stores, those who stock the shelves or drive the trucks. Those who clean the store and have to pick up rubber gloves left by sloppy, selfish people. Those who deliver groceries or mail; those who work in hospitals, clinics, testing stations and laboratories; those who work at curb-side pickup restaurants, coffee shops and fast-food. I am grateful for all you do.(And victims. Those who are suffering from this virus. I pray you recover, soon.)Thank you to everyone who helps the world continue to rotate on its axis. We are not shut down. We ar...
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  167 Hits

Better days are coming....


#Lockdown means I can enjoy walks with the dogs in the Spring sunshine and my, isn't it lovely, the warm rays on my face after a long and damp Winter. Yesterday, as we hoiked ourselves up the hill, the hounds panting loudly, I was reminded of the passage in the Bible about  the birds always having enough to eat, so why should we worry? We came upon dozens of oak seedlings carpeted under the parent tree, their nascent, pale green leaves, straining towards the sun.  The local red squirrels in France can often be seen jumping from tree to tree and this Winter, had a surfeit of acorns to gorge on and forgive the pun, squirrel away. Any that were left over germinated into saplings, nature renewin...
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  117 Hits

When everything looks this perfect....


....it's hard to imagine the current chaos in the world. 'Things fall apart, the centre MUST hold.'Photo copyright SvD.Original link
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© WordsandphotoscopyrightSamanthavanDalen

  176 Hits

No Chocolate Eggs?


Happy Easter!Did you hear they closed down See's Chocolate Shops right before Easter? Oh, no. What are we supposed to do?Don’t you know, Eve wrote three books and she's working on a fourth? Let’s read!  Do we need to wear a mask?No silly rabbit, you can read her books at home.Which one should we read first? Well, there’s Penniless Hearts about an artist who gets lost in Hawaii.Hawaii? Are there pineapples?I think so. The second one is Penniless Souls about the same lady in Vegas. Ooh, I bet that’s intriguing. Bunnies don’t bet.What’s the last one called? The Fifth Commandment. It’s perfect for Easter, 'cause Peter's in the story. Peter Rabbit? Peter at the gates of Heaven. Oh, he’s more impo...
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  192 Hits