The Saga Of The Late Bagpiper

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The bagpiper played  many gigs.  One day, he was asked by a funeral director to play at a
graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

As he was not familiar with the backwoods, he got lost and  being a typical man,  didn’t stop for
directions.

He finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral employees had evidently gone and the hearse was
nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. He
felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

As he went to the side of the open  grave and looked down into the deep hole in the earth he saw that the vault lid was already in place.  Not knowing know what else to do, he started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.  He played out his heart and soul for this man with no family and friends.  He played like never  before for this homeless man.

And finally, as “Amazing Grace” was being played, the workers began to weep. They wept, he wept,  everyone wept together. When the man was finished, he packed up his bagpipes and started for his car. Though his head was hung low, his heart was full.

As he opened the door to his  car, He heard one of the workers say, “I never seen anything like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

The moral of this story is to play your heart out like nobody is listening and then play some more.

LOVE IS MY RELIGION (Thanks Ziggy)

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According to blogger Toronto Mike, there are over 1187 songs that have the word love in the title. That doesn’t surprise me as everyplace you go and everything you see is about love.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s February with Valentine’s day or what. It’s crazy, so I decided to join that craze and spread even more love around!! I compiled my love lists. It was a cross between a trip down memory lane and a memory challenge.
Here is my list of:

Top 10 songs with the word “love” in the title.
1. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
2. Love Is My ReligIon – Ziggy Marley
3. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Blues Brothers
4. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
5. Love Me Tender – Elvis
6. Baby I Love Your Ways – Peter Frampton
7. I Love You More Than Words Can Say – Otis Reading
8. Only Love Can Break Your Heart – Neil Young
9. Love Is A Rose – Linda Ronstadt
10. I Wanna Learn A Love Song – Harry Chapin

Because I am a well rounded individual ( in many ways, lol)

Top 10 Books With the Word “Love” in the Title:

1. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
3. Love – Toni Morrison
4. Love Story – Erich Segal
5. Love Me To Death – A Novel of Suspense – Allison Brennen
6. Love Saves the Day – A Novel – Gwen Cooper
7. The End of the Novel of Love – Vivian Gornick
8. Brotherly Love: A Novel – Pete Dexter
9. Chicken Soup for the Soul – Love Stories
10.To Love Again -Danielle Steele

Top 10 Movies with the word “Love” in the Title:

1. The Love Guru
2. The Love Bug
3. Love Conquers All
4. Love is a Many Splendored Thing
5. Love Me Tender
6. I Really Love My Wife
7. Love in the Time of Cholera
8. Love Letter
9. Love Train
10. Shakespeare in Love

So, you get the point – it’s pervasive and it’s in your face but we can’t live without it!

Leo Tolstoy said it best. “He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began.”

Wow! Where are guys like that hiding in our time?

TURN ON YOUR HEART LIGHTS

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Remember E.T.?   Sorry, this has nothing to do with him, but when I started thinking about it being February and Valentines Day, the catchy song came to mind. I loved the lyrics about letting your heart lights shine where-ever you go and the part about the happy glow and all that….

On the first of February my angels gave Jim advanced notice that this was the “Month Of Love.” It was funny how it happened. He typically goes to bed long before I do (I’m a veteran second shift person whose sleep cycle hasn’t registered the word retirement) as he is up with the first ray of morning light. About two hours after he went to bed, I was coming up the stairs and found him coming down them all sleepy-eyed and somewhat tearful. As I went into seasoned  nurse mode, I was assured that he was OK and that he had just wakened from a dream that he had to share with me. Now I am intrigued as I follow him upstairs. He is holding on to my hand as though he would never let go.

Apparently, he dreamed about when we first met in college back in the early 70’s. We met through a mutual friend and hit it off immediately despite the fact that we were both “semi-seriously” dating other people. He was shown how we did everything possible to make time for each other from cutting classes to go to Hoopes Park and watch the ducks to meeting for coffee after class. He dreamed about the drive from Geneva to Auburn on the weekends and basically how we put each other first in our lives. He was showed  many silly memories of doing the stupid things young couples do that in remembrance are pretty endearing. One of them was at a  dance, I was tossed over his shoulder and carried to the car so I wouldn’t get my shoes wet in the snowy wet parking lot. Things like that.

As he was relating this dream to me, I was really touched. I think my angels knew that I was feeling a bit displaced since retiring and Jim is still working. It teared me up thinking about our crazy beginning and how we got married after knowing each other for 5 whole months.  No one thought we’d ever make it. That was 1972.

The next morning, I got thinking about when was the last time we skipped something to steal some time together. When was the last time we made a really special moment that we will remember for the rest of our lives?  When was the last time we said how much they mean to us and how much we love them?

I decided that it doesn’t have to wait until Valentine’s day.  It’s the little things that really matter. It’s never too late.

$86,400

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Every once in a great while you get an e-mail that is actually worth reading! This one was forwarded to me by my husband Jim. “The magic bank account?” Initially, I thought “WOW, he has a secret bank account stashed in Switzerland and now we can get out of this %*+< snow and relocate to Aruba!!! Alright, I hadn’t finished my first cuppa yet and I wasn’t thinking clearly. As I started reading this, I got over the Aruba thing pretty fast. Sort of. I hope you enjoy this and try to stay warm!!

THE FOLLOWING WAS FOUND IN THE BILLFOLD OF COACH PAUL BEAR BRYANT, ALABAMA, AFTER HE DIED IN 1982. THE AUTHOR IS UNKNOWN.

THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules:
The set of rules:
1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say,“Game Over!”. It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?
You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL …
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it.

The PRIZE is *TIME*
1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.
3. What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.
5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…
SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?
Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start “spending”…

My first cuppa is gone now and my imagination is in full swing. I know this isn’t the point of the story, but I got thinking about what I would do if I had that kind of money.
I would:
Give it to each of my kids – they would draw straws to see in which order.
Then all of my few remaining relatives. Get ready Mary, Jackie, Marylynn and the few rest of you out there. Now I’ll know if you are really reading my posts. Ha ha!!!
To my friends
To the Metaphysical Church for me and then to Jim’s church
To the rescue mission
To the SPCA and the Boston Terrier and Labrador Retriever rescue groups.
I would establish a real actual building for the Quiet Cottage and dedicate it to being a gathering place for women to nourish their souls.
I would take Jim on the cruise of a lifetime. To somewhere warm, of course, a suite, a drinks included package and all of the side trips we could fit in. Wow!!!!
I would pick a list of worthy charities that served women and children and animals and alternate between them.
I would buy a ginormous house with a ton of wings overlooking an ocean. It would take in homeless people and give them hope, job skills, counseling, etc. Jim and I would live in a cozy cottage next door. The kids would be part of it if they would so choose.

I realize that this list could go on and on, probably longer than I would actually live – even if I lived to be a hundred years old. That’s a long time and all we have is time, right? We really do need to live each day the right way. Follow your angel’s path, treat everyone like you’d like to be treated and perform random acts of kindness often. Spend your “bank account” wisely.

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A Sad Day At The Cottage

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It was a very sad day here at the cottage, a bittersweet kind of sad. We knew it was coming and I was counting the days and mostly dreading today.

Our Boston Terrier puppies turned 8 weeks old today and their new owners couldn’t wait to pick them up. They came bearing new puppy sweaters, new collars, Sherpa bags and toys. They went to fantastic homes where they will each have a sibling to play with. It was just so hard to let them go. My husband and I took turns sleeping on the floor next to the puppy box for two solid weeks when they were first born.
We were so worried about the littlest pup, he weighed only four ounces to his litter mates eight. His head was misshapen and he was sooooo tiny. What a scrapper! He was the firstborn and he latched onto mom’s nipple like he had a diagram and instructions! He sure caught up fast and is now only short of a pound behind his sibs. His new owners wouldn’t even consider the other male!
Peanut will be a “Stitch”. His big Boston sister is Izzy, who is one of our pups from a previous litter.
Our pretty girl, Maris is going to be a southern belle in Georgia. It looks like she will be Merida instead of Maris. She will have to be a good girl as her sib is almost a year old and is deaf. She will have to set a good example. Give her enough chew toys and I think she’ll be up to it.
Livvie (oh- Livvie- a, when she’s being naughty) will have a big sister, a Boston named Ripley. I think they’ll be best buddies in a short time. She will have great parents, too. They plan to call her Gemma which fits her to a T.

That leaves my buddy Starbuck or Bucky as I call him. image He is Livvie’s opposite in white and black markings. He looks like the dog with one black eye in Spanky and our gang. He’s a doll baby. I’m hoping one of my kids will take him and we’ll co-own him. Or else we will have to interview another five hundred prospective puppy parents.
On the up side, I am getting pretty tired of washing the kitchen floor every day and doing loads of puppy laundry. At least I’m trying to convince myself that I am.

Oh and also, did I mention that this is most definitely the last litter? Just can’t go through the goodbyes again. My angels will be working overtime trying to make me smile for the next couple of days.

I Am Like A Little Pencil in God’s Hand

imageimageMother Theresa is the foremost person I would strive to emulate. She is one of my most divine inspirations. Not that I could hope to even follow in her holy footsteps, but her words and actions call to me over and over again. They are so much of what the Quiet Cottage is all about – Inspiration for Your Soul.

According to The Prayer Foundation, this was found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta. Other sources claim it was on the wall in her room. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. It’s certainly deserves contemplation, don’t you think? I love how realistic she is. No rose colored glasses for her, just reality and love of God lighting the way. Here goes:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them.

According to a biography written by Joan Graff Clucas, Mother Teresa was born SheAnjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu meaning “rosebud” or “little flower”. As a child she was fascinated by the work of missionaries. She took her first religious vows as a nun on May 24,1931. At that time she chose to be named after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries but because one nun in the convent had already chosen that name, she opted for the Spanish spelling Teresa. During her tenure at the school, she became disturbed by the poverty and violence in Calcutta.

According to author Clucas, on September 10th 1946, Sister Teresa experienced what she later described as “the call within the call”. “I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them. It was an order. To fail would have been to break the faith.” One author later observed, “Though no one knew it at the time, Sister Teresa had just become “Mother Teresa”.

She began her missionary work with the poor in 1948 and then ventured out into the slums. Initially, she started a school in Motijhil (Calcutta) and soon she started tending to the needs of the destitute and starving. In the beginning of 1949, she was joined in her effort by a group of young women and they laid the foundations to create a new religious community helping the “poorest among the poor”. Mother Teresa wrote in her diary that in the beginning, they resorted to begging for food and supplies. She was tempted to return to a more comfortable convent life, but resisted the temptation.

On October 7, 1950, the Missionaries of Charity was started. Its mission was to care for, in her own words, “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.” (By the time of her death, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity had over 4,000 sisters, and an associated brotherhood of 300 members, operating 610 missions in 123 countries. These included hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children’s and family counselling programs, personal helpers, orphanages, and schools. The Missionaries of Charity were also aided by Co-Workers, who numbered over 1 million by the 1990s).

In 1952, Mother Teresa opened the first Home for the Dying. With the help of Indian officials she converted an abandoned Hindu temple into the Kalighat Home for the Dying, a free hospice for the poor. She renamed it Kalighat,The Home of the Pure Heart (Nirmal Hriday). Those brought to the home received medical attention and were afforded the opportunity to die with dignity, according to the rituals of their faith; Muslims were read the Quran, Hindus received water from the Ganges, and Catholics received the Last Rites. “A beautiful death,” she wrote “is for people who lived like animals to die like angels—loved and wanted.”

Mother Teresa also opened “the City of Peace”, a home for lepers and and The Children’s Home of the Immaculate Heart, an orphanage for homeless children and orphans.

In 1983, her health waned. She suffered a heart attack in Rome while visiting Pope John Paul II. After a second attack in 1989, she received an artificial pacemaker. In 1991, after a battle with pneumonia while in Mexico, she suffered further heart problems. In 1996, she sustained a broken collarbone, a bout with malaria and further deterioration of her heart. She went to be with her beloved God in 1997.

There aren’t words to describe Mother Teresa and all she accomplished in her lifetime. I am in such awe and only wish I could have met her. She has many quotes and I’ll end this long post with a few of my favorites courtesy of quotations page.com.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

I am like a little pencil in God’s hand. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it.

Amen.

USE PROTECTION !!

imageNow that got your attention, didn’t it?  It is important, right?  Absolutely, but not in the way you’re probably thinking!!!!

There are three things I do every morning all within the first five minutes of waking. First, I ground myself ( see previous post),  next I protect myself (we’re getting to that, I promise) and then I get my coffee. Thank God for k-cup machines – they’re really quick.

Protecting yourself is done by a prayer to Archangel Michael who is the patron saint of  – you got it – protection.  He helps keep you safe, helps guard you against other peoples negativity ( some people are very sensitive to other’s emotions) and generally sets the tone for your day. All you need to do is believe in God!

Archangel Michael is a hero to anyone who knows him. He is the only angel who is mentioned by name in all three of the major sacred texts of the world’s religions: the Torah (Judaism), the Bible (Christianity), and the Qur’an (Islam). In all of those faiths, believers consider Michael a leading angel who fights evil with the power of good.

Even If you’ve forgotten to protect yourself, he will always respond when you call on him if you find yourself in a bad situation.  Author and angel expert Doreen Virtue says that Michael’s aura is a vivid royal purple, almost a cobalt blue. He manifests himself in different ways.  Some people see flashes of blue or in extreme cases, hear his voice clearly.  I have read that people who have had a vision of him have had it upon wakening or just as they’re drifting off to sleep.

There is a formal prayer I like to use that I want to share with you. The Pope ordered this prayer to be recited daily after low mass but the practice was changed in the 1960’s in the wake of the Vatican Council II.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel :

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

I know I’ve written this before but it merits another reminder.  We are never alone.  Talk to your Angels, believe, pray and trust that they have your back!