Be Like The Wind. Calm, Yet Strong.

Thank you to Ngobesing Romanus for asking me to be

a Guest Author on his site! I appreciate the opportunity!

Pat Davis

kindergartenknowledge.com

 

who-has-seen-the-wind-neither-you-nor-i-but-when-the-trees-bow-down-their-heads-the-wind-is-passing-quote-1

Who Has Seen The Wind? Neither I Nor You.

We will never really see the wind. We see the results of the wind. We see the leaves on the ground. We see the bended limb and the fallen tree. The wind is calm now. We cannot imagine what caused the wind to be so urgent during the night.

We will never really touch the wind. We touch the results of the wind. We touch the papers that we hold in our hands.  We try to grab the papers, but cannot touch them again. The wind is too strong. The wind is sometimes too urgent.

We can hear the wind whistling through the trees and around the corner of a building. Moving along swiftly and softly and sometimes loudly, the wind always retreats to the calm stillness that it needs.

If the wind needs stillness and calm, why would you be any different? Why would you need to remain in a state of urgency? How can you learn to be calm, yet strong?

When I began my second career as an elementary teacher, I assumed that urgency would be the name of the game. I would need to be urgent in teaching the five and six year olds to learn the letters, to read, to add, to subtract. I quickly learned that children never, ever respond to an urgent teacher. They are apt to be fearful of the urgent teacher. I finally figured out that the calmer that I became and the more subtle/patient I acted…the better the children responded. Like the wind, we all need to retreat to a calm atmosphere.

Before I became a teacher, I worked at newspapers in the editorial and retail advertising departments. There was a sense of urgency from the time I walked into the office until I left many hours later. Most of my co-workers tended to talk loudly, walk quickly, run up the stairs, run down the stairs, and barely engage in real conversations. I relished the urgent deadlines. I liked the fast pace and the instant results of seeing my work in print. I was young and just out of college. For the seven years that I worked at newspapers, I didn’t yet know about comparing my work ethic to the behavior of the wind.

My first supervisor continuously advised the staff to…

Work Smarter, Not Harder.

I could embrace that kind of attitude about work. Now I know that a better motto and directive would be…

Work Stronger, Work Calmer.

 

What I learned from thinking about the wind and success at work:

1. Organize your day into small sections and decide on a time to hopefully finish each section. If you don’t meet your time goal, take a deep breath and try again.

2. Make an effort to get to know your co-workers. Take the time to have real conversations. The more you know your colleagues, the more you will be able to discern their problems. The more you know your colleagues, the more you will be able to celebrate successes.

3. Control your temper. Control your negative words. Control your loud voice. Control your need to be in charge of everything.

4. Try to not put yourself in the position of having urgent work that is due today, or due within an hour, or due right now. Sometimes deadlines can’t be helped, but many times procrastination escalates the urgency of your job.

5. Walk somewhat slower. Smile somewhat more. Complain somewhat less. Be totally consistent somewhat more…well…somewhat always!

 

Like the wind, be calm.

Like the wind, be strong.

Like the wind, be patient. 

Like the wind, be purposeful.

 

 

 

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Let Us Light Our Candles Together.

Thank you to Roberta Pimentel for

the opportunity to post on her site!

Pat Davis

kindergartenknowledge.com

flickering-candles

WE ARE SEPARATE STARS

WITHIN IN THE MUTUAL NIGHT.

AGAINST THE ENCOMPASSING DARKNESS,

LET US TOGETHER LIGHT OUR CANDLES.

When I was just out of college and totally an optimistic dreamer, I spent my extra time going to Hallmark stores to read/buy greeting cards and to read/buy small poetry books. I don’t even know if Hallmark still has those types of books anymore. I was so very impressed with these small books with the interesting pictures and drawings.

I found the above quote about “lighting our candles” in one such book. I have used it as my mantra, my focus ever since I first read the words. Mantra is defined as a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs. I would never have believed that I would keep this quote in my memory for so many years. I just knew that the words resonated with me.

I have found use for the words so many times in my life. When a very close friend married many years ago, I spoke the words as part of my toast at the rehearsal dinner. I have written the words as a special message to friends on special occasions.

When we had the memorial service for our son, we used the poem on the small printed program that we gave to our friends and relatives. One of our close family friends read the program prior to the service. When I spoke to her before the service began, she asked me if we were going to each have a candle. How I wished that I had thought about candles…maybe those small, safe battery operated candles.

 

As a longtime grownup person, I now understand deeper meanings to the words…

1.  We are all separate, but we need to work together as one entity.

2. Everyone experiences darkness at some point in their lives. It might be just by virtue of the time of day or the season. However, it might be because of dark feelings of sadness, fear, or incorrect understanding.

3. Encompassing…to encircle, to surround. Perhaps…to protect?

4. Let us together. What profound words in a simple poem. Let us…allow us…ask us…plead with us…tell us.

5. Light our candles. Illuminate our world. Work together to bring peace and light.

Just a small poem in a small book in a Hallmark store… and yet, the words have instilled a sense of true direction in my life.

 

Let Us Together Light Our Candles.

Perhaps We Need To Read These Words

As We Experience The USA Election Spectacle.

Both Candidates Appear To Have Not Received

The Message About Lighting Candles Together.

 

 

The State Fair of Texas! Fun!

texas-state-fair-sign

What do you need if you take your small children to The State Fair of Texas? Perhaps…

1. A stroller. That won’t work. Need two strollers.

2. Forget the strollers. Just rent a stroller built for two.

3. A diaper bag. Both children are old enough to be out of diapers. Oh! What did you say? They forget at the fair? Two diaper bags.

4. Water. Lots of little bottles of water. Or you can spend a fortune and buy water at the fair. Bad idea. Bring the water.

5. Little Fishy Crackers. Cheerios. Gummy Bears. Vanilla Wafers. Bananas…two will do. Cheetos (getting desperate now). Not anything really healthy on the list. Might need food immediately. We will have lots of super delicious vegetables tomorrow.

6. A Whistle. They may escape from the strollers. Our son once reached his feet to the floor from his stroller and started scooting to the door in a store. Someone who I did not know said…”Lady, your child is leaving”.  I didn’t know that his legs were that long already. No wonder he turned out to be 6’2″. I think that they will stop with the loud whistle.

7. Clothes. Don’t forget clothes for them to change into after the ice cream melts and drips down everywhere. Plus the snow cones.

8. Paper Towels. They can solve any and all problems.

9. Handi-Wipes. No explanation.

10. Your Own Running Shoes. You will need to move very fast past the games where you can win a giant teddy bear or bunny or spider-like thing. Our daughter once cried for 15 minutes because we did not play the “pop the balloon” game. She wanted us to win the baseball glove. She was two years old. I didn’t even know that she knew the words “baseball glove”. We did not even see the baseball glove.

 

state-fair-tower

 The tower ride. Not for me to ride!!

 

Most Of All…Bring Money! You Have to Buy Tickets For the Food and Rides!

 

Metro All Zones

 The Midway

Our children rode the Bumper Cars over and over again. They rode the Tilt-a-Wheel (maybe that is the name). Early on, they were not that interested in the rides. The rides were so big and loud. Thank goodness! I know that they rode the rides later on when they were older. I just couldn’t watch!

You do need a lot of stuff to take two children to The State Fair of Texas for an entire day. That is fine! They are only that little once!

 

Besides…The State Fair is Fun, Fun, Fun! Memories Are The Important Part!

 

ferris-wheel

 The Huge Ferris Wheel!

My husband and I went to The State Fair of Texas on Tuesday…a weekday! Just the two of us. We walked through every exhibit building and there are a lot of buildings! The State Fair is huge! We looked at all of the cars and we don’t even need a new car. We had tamales, chili pie, fudge, we turned down the free yogurt, some kind of crunchy candy, macaroon cookies, three Cokes each (too much, really!), and best of all…

 

We Had Fletcher’s Corny Dogs…Several! Honestly, They Are The Best!!

 

Big Tex.jpg

Big Tex! And he “talks”! 

Big Tex Boots.jpg

Big Tex and his big boots!

 

What you need to take for two adults at the fair…

1. Comfortable Shoes. Not necessarily running shoes.

2. Cell Phone for when one person turns right and the other turns left. And for the pictures you really, really need to take.

3. A Happy Attitude. Child-Like Curiosity. Your Laughter!

alberts-mother-at-the-fair

 

Fun and laughter are surely part of the day for 88 year old Noreen Durant at The State Fair of Texas! The most important part…her Fletcher’s Corny Dog!!!

 

Needing Flattery. Being Vain

 

“What really flatters a man is that you think he is worth flattering.” 

George Bernard Shaw, Playright

An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.

E. A. Bucchianeri, Author

Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

 

“A man’s interest in the world is only the overflow from his interest in himself.”

 George Bernard Shaw, Playright

 

The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired, the other universally condemned.

Dale Carnegie, Author

How to Win Friends and Influence People 

 

aesop

 

 To me…when someone needs to be flattered, when they are pleading with their whole being to be flattered, when they are desperate to be flattered…I think of a person who is also needing to stand on their own two feet. I think of a person who needs to be individualistic. I think of a person who should not be afraid to voice an opinion and to be proud of that opinion. How can someone who needs flattery to exist be grounded enough to be happy with the simple beauties of life? I think that it would be quite impossible for the person who looks for flattery to take the time to see the flowers on the hill or the floating leaves from the trees. Those who seek flattery are caught up in their own vanity. They are conceited. They are vain. Perhaps we are all at this position at some point in our lives. Surely we can find a way to walk away and find a bigger picture of the world than just ourselves.

 

charlotte-bronte

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/flattery/

 

Praline Thumbprint Cookies!

 number-2-thumbprint-cookieHalloween Treat or Any Day of the Week Treat!

These Praline Thumbprint Cookies are one of the best cookies ever! I cannot say “the best cookie of all time” because that would have to be my mother’s tea cakes or maybe my mother’s chocolate chip cookies. However, Praline Thumbprint Cookies are certainly in the race for top three designation. The recipe is easy, but you need to be very careful when you bake cookies…they may brown too quickly depending on your oven! These cookies are fairly quick to make…and they look festive! Plus…they are almost like the vintage chip commercial…no way can you eat just one…so be careful or there might not be any left for everyone else! That is a sign of a good recipe!

I have had this recipe since Christmas, 1992. I was teaching Pre-K at at a wonderful Methodist day school and one of my young students gave me a cookbook for a Christmas present. The cookbook was from her “very own” church…Countryside Bible Church. I remember the child bouncing in the room carrying a Christmas gift bag with tissue flying out everywhere. “Mrs. Davis!! Open this now! You’re gonna’ love it!”…and I did love it!

signed-cookbook

Merry Christmas note from Holly’s mother on the cookbook title page!

Collecting cookbooks is one of my favorite things to do…  then and now. Perhaps I have too many cookbooks, but I am always on the look-out for another. Bountiful Blessings became my one of my favorite cookbooks from the moment I pulled it from the Christmas gift bag.

cookbook

My special Christmas present cookbook…well used as you can see!

As the dedication page reads: We dedicate this book to all cooks. In our homes today, as always, life is centered around the kitchen. Some of the recipes are treasured family keepsakes and some are new; however, they all reflect the love of good cooking!

Praline Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions for cookies: Cream butter; gradually add powdered sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add flour, mixing well. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Press thumb in center of each cookie to make an indentation. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Be careful NOT to brown. Cool on wire racks. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon Praline Filling (recipe follows) into each cookie indentation. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Praline Filling for Thumbprint Cookies

1/2 cup butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Dash of salt

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter in a medium saucepan; add brown sugar and salt; bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in evaporated milk. Bring mixture to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes or until 232 degrees. Remove praline mixture from heat. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla; beat with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth. As the cookie recipe says: Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon Praline Filling into each cookie indentation!

ENJOY!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/careful/

 

Singing Across Many Borders.

 

Texas Girls’ Choir Promotional Video: Choir Girls from 1962 to the Present.

 

Texas Girls’ Choir members have been singing their way around the world since 1962. Crossing borders into over 50 countries through the years has given the choir girls a deep understanding of other cultures. As parents of a former choir girl, we know that this understanding and acceptance of differences in the world lasts well beyond their youth.

Perhaps the lessons that the choir girls learn about lands faraway from Texas are equally as important as the professional musical training that they receive. I truly believe that offering an over-abundance of exchange programs for students is one key to solving so many of our current problems. I realize that this is an over simplification of the world situation, but every effort that we can make will push us forward.

Our daughter auditioned for the choir when she was eight years old and remained a member of the Texas Girls’ Choir for seven and 1/2 years. The choir program is a series of stepping stones through the various choir levels. The girls can advance through Preparatory Choir, Millsap Main Choir, Thompson Main Choir, Pate Concert Choir, and Carter Concert Choir.

Each semester, the girls take a written music theory test and have a vocal audition to move to the next level. With three rehearsals a week for the older girls, the choir represents a significant amount of their time. Parents are encouraged and needed to volunteer with every choir activity. Choir members, their parents, and the choir directors become a large family with one purpose in mind: to “Develop little girls’ lives through excellence of music”.

The Texas Girl’s Choir was founded in 1962 by Shirley Thompson Carter and the Executive Director is now Layne Trent. The choir began with 16 members and now has approximately 275 girls in the five levels. It was Mrs. Carter’s belief that the choir would accept all girls with an adequate voice, an overall B or above grade average in school, and be selected without regard to race, creed, or religious origin. I view the choir as an early lesson in the positive results from being a part of a diverse culture.

Besides leaning to appreciate diversity, the girls in the Concert Choirs may audition each year for the wonderful opportunity to tour to various locations around the world. In addition, the choir has sung at the White House six times since 1989 and has appeared on many television shows. They have performed at many of the most outstanding concert halls in the world. The girls learn about the results of accepting responsibility and the joy that comes from perseverance.

Their voices are beautiful, but their sense of personal discipline and focus is a gift that they will never forget. Our daughter traveled throughout Europe, to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New York City as well as the White House. She is grown now and still very involved with helping the choir to keep succeeding. The friendships she made in choir are still important to her. Perhaps even more important are the borders that she and the other choir girls crossed in order to bring music and friendship to distant countries.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/border/

 

 

 

 

Our Son’s Words. His Legacy To Us.

trail-at-farm

 A trail through the woods at our farm.

From a very early age, our son was drawn to the woods at our farm. Justin knew every trail through the woods and would hike for hours at a time. He could identify every unusual type of plant life. He could name every type of tree. Our farm represented his heritage and he spent every moment possible enjoying the thick grass, the beautiful wildflowers, the soaring pine trees, the flowing creek, the flowering dogwoods, and the rolling hills.

Justin taught his sister how to appreciate and love the land that was bestowed to our family. We have never taken our responsibility lightly and Justin realized that we are caretakers of our ancestor’s land. We are caretakers for future generations. As a family, we joyfully share the land with family and friends. This would have been Justin’s wish as well.

Our son is sadly no longer with us, but our memories will always remain sweet and loving towards our free spirit of a young man. We lost him on October 4, 2004 because of a car accident. It was raining and a truck came over a hill losing control as it reached the top. The other driver moved into the oncoming traffic. Our son, Justin was gone instantly and our lives changed forever. We have been able to find our smiles again because of faith, friends, and resilience.   We know that…

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3-1

Justin left many of his journals at the farm. We had no idea that they were there. Reading his words has brought us such understanding and peace. Justin was a writer and had written for a publication in Austin. Just before we lost him in the accident, he had spent about six weeks at a seminar in Oregon. Justin had been studying Sustainable Living  and Permaculture at the Lost Valley Educational Center. At the time, they had a magazine titled Talking Leaves. While at Lost Valley, Justin wrote an article for the magazine. We found the article with his journals at the farm. His words were profound and gave us a look into the depths of his inner being.

When we finally found the right memorial for Justin, we decided to incorporate one important paragraph from the article into the stone. The memorial is a large piece of granite with one smooth side…we had it shipped to Texas from North Dakota. My husband and I found an artist in the Texas Hill Country who could etch the writing onto the stone as well as some artwork of trees that I drew. It is our wish that those who read Justin’s words in the future will have a much wider understanding of the environment and particularly the land that Justin loved so much.

 

Written by Justin Davis on July 31, 2004: 

 

The wilderness is my church.

I can go into the wild

and receive guidance for anything.

It is mainly a matter of opening up

my heart, my door by breathing

through it and focusing on it.

My heart is my connection to the

Great Spirit/Nature/God.

memorial

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tree/