Posted in Culture, Events, flashback, Music, Quotes

The Importance of Play: A Mysterious Lion Captivates

As we grow older, our playgrounds change – where do you go to play?

Shelley @ Quaint Revival
Created a word cloud with Background Image from Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Hello there! Hope you are all well and safe!

Shelley’s quote peaked my interest today. How often do we neglect this area of our lives dismissing play as being infantile and frivolous? Throughout history, many influential people asserted the importance of play.

  • Albert Einstein: “Play is the highest form of research.”
  • Mr. Rogers: Play gives children a chance to practice what they’re learning.”
  • Johan Huizinga: “Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.”
  • Abraham Maslow: “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”
  • Roger von Oech: Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.

Play relieves stress by releasing feel-good endorphins. It improves connections with your relationships which can help ward off depression. Play helps increase vitality and helps replace negative beliefs and behaviors. For adults it can be something small like flirting with your partner, joking with your coworkers, or enjoying spontaneity with your relatives.

A Young Adult’s Playground

There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme.

Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel’s Chosen

A few days ago, I received a gift in the mail. As I unwrapped the box, I was stunned by the beauty of “Mysterious Lion”, a wooden Unidragon puzzle. I found out my thoughtful siblings mailed it to me as a surprise for my birthday. Mom called the night before and laughed when I told her I received a “toy”.

My eyes got watery. Unintentionally, the gift was rather meaningful and symbolic for me. VJ invited her readers to think about circling this week. For me, the invitation to play again was coming back full circle. I remembered the joy I felt to complete a puzzle as a child. Even though it’s been a while since I physically completed one, I was always attracted to things resembling a puzzle. Circling around the idea of solving a mystery.

My heart swelled a bit when my Facebook wall was flooded with lovely messages from local friends. It’s a strange sight to behold since I’m typically not active there. Since the quarantine however, all sorts of groups popped up to hang out. I had trouble choosing a non-profit to invite donations this year. So, I created a short video featuring non-profits that help the local community to drum up support.

Google Arts and Culture partnered with more than 2000 museums all around the world. I virtually explored some of these spaces and their exhibits. In the evening, I watched Verdi’s opera, Un Ballo de Maschera, a free nightly streaming at the Metropolitan Opera.

I had a very small gathering to celebrate in my cozy home. My roommates created a tasty meal of BBQ ribs, asparagus, mashed potatoes, ambrosia salad, chocolate cake with coconut-pecan icing. My boyfriend helped me build a desk as we enjoyed chatting with one another. My friend gave me hilarious t-shirts, Hawaiian floral hair clips, makeup which I’ll probably feature soon on Instagram.

Creating this banner made me feel pretty happy and features my bright personality. 😉 Sometimes it’s the little things that can bring a smile to your face. 😊

Posted in Books, Events, Music, poetry, Quotes

Moments in December

“Topology is the science of fundamental pattern and structural relationships of event constellations.”

R. Buckminster Fuller
Image Credit: Pixabay

Partaking in the sweet delights that start with P
Peppermints, Prunes, Pudding, Parfaits
Relishing in a blogging sabbatical
Capturing beautiful scenes
Snapshots through my lens

Swimming in scholarly research
Computer networking class investigations
Challenging me beyond belief
Navigating among puzzling topologies
Sailing the network infrastructure

Listening to holiday live orchestra
Created by Air Force’s talented musicians
Looking forward to Breakfast with St. Nick
Playing arcade games and bowling with friends

Image Credit: Pixabay

Enjoying my coworker’s Secret Santa mission
A Russian gentleman’s favorites
Color black, Rock n’ Roll, Extreme Hot Cheetos
Playing music & games, Reading the night away

Black gift bag filled with goodies
Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro 2033
Rolling Stones Circus Expanded Edition
Coffee-scented snifty pen
Terminator button pin
Gothic pocket watch

I write Leo Tolstoy’s quote
Inside a greeting card of a festive cat staring at a gift box
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

Image Credit: Pixabay
Ain’t that a Lot of Love – Taj Mahal

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season! 🙂

Posted in Food/Recipes, Music, Nature, Photography, Quotes

Life’s Too Short

“We only have one life and one body to care of, and we better do it right. You never know what tomorrow may bring and so we better live this life the best we can and be grateful for everything we have.”

Novak Djokovic

I want to wish all of my readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Life outside the blog-o-sphere has been very busy. Tried a confetti creamed corn recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for a few potluck dinners I was invited to, and though it doesn’t quite look like her pictures 😉 it was still a great hit!

Rory’s Challenge? 3 quotes. 2 songs. 1 image…
Once again, I over-delivered! Take care everyone! ❤

Rory’s 321 Quote Me
Beautiful mellow sentiments
Enjoying my varied tropical music jams! ❤
Chill Your Mind background music – Summer as a mindset! 🙂
Snapshot of my new cute bracelet that my women’s fellowship gifted me with!
Image Credit: Pinterest
Posted in Books, Culture, Events, flashback, Music, poetry, Quotes

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

Alexander Hogue, “The Crucified Land,” oil on canvas, 1939
Reference: Russer Tether Fine Art Associates LLC

“And I know now that all the time I was trying to get
out of the dust,
the fact is,
what I am,
I am because of the dust.
And what I am is good enough.
Even for me.”

Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust

Good evening! Please forgive me for my absence, everyone. It’s been a whirlwind, and I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle, but it seems like it going to pick up again soon! Recently got back from Las Vegas travels filled with personal development nuggets, and I have fun Halloween adventures to share. I also had an enjoyable collaboration with Joey on Writing with Strangers which resulted in a Grimm inspired poem, “A Boy Named Gullible“. I’ve also been learning how to navigate the world of solicitors touting their products and services in my new job. Discerning what is really the best value for what my boss needs is… a process. 😉

Karen Hesse wrote a verse novel called, “Out of the Dust”, which is set in Oklahoma’s dust bowls during the time of the Great Depression. Billie Jo, the 14-year old protagonist, must cope with the tragic losses of her family members and forgive herself for some devastating mistakes.

I was 13 years old when I first read it, and stepping into Billie Jo’s world was an eye-opening experience. This book was the first time I encountered a full length written in poetic format. The quote above makes me wonder about the symbolism of dust in the story and how it shaped Billie Jo’s identity. I wonder how the proverbial dust in my life has affected my character.

I’m hoping taking more breaks and relaxing my mind will help me find a few answers to my homework and work responsibilities. I decided to pass on the Brain Focus supplements in the pharmacy aisle. I like to think I can naturally release the fog in my mind and wait for it to gradually clear so I can find my way ahead…

Image Credit: Tang Jiao @ Pixabay

Though, I wouldn’t mind a metaphorical leaf blower to speed up the process of blowing the brain fog away! 🙂

In response to:

  • VJ’s Weekly Challenge #71: wait
  • FOWC with Fandango: tout
Posted in Awards, flashback, Music, Nature, Quotes

Sunshine Blogger Award #6 from Wondering Belle

Good morning! These past few days, I’ve been enjoying a moment of respite as I indulged in my hobby of sewing. I’ve been walking been on nature walks with friends, and I can’t help but feel inspired by mother nature. I like to thank Wondering Belle who has graciously nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. I really enjoy these as I get to know my questioner better by the questions he/she asks and introduce a new person to my readers! She enjoys having fun exploring the wonders of the world through her lovely writing! Here are the rules:

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

Belle’s Questions:

What makes you the happiest about your blog?
I love taking photographs of my walks in nature, writing stories and poems, and documenting my adventures and explorations alongside quotations and prompts by others. I have so much fun doing these questions too!

What is your all time top goal?
It’s rather funny – this was the same question that was on my recent scholarship essay which I titled “Metamorphosis” inspired by a quote from Metamorphoses by Ovid, a Roman poet:

“As wave is driven by wave
And each, pursued, pursues the wave ahead,
So time flies on and follows, flies, and follows,
Always, forever and new. What was before
Is left behind; what never was is now;
And every passing moment is renewed.”

I later found this photo shared by Helene Vaillant and felt like I could relate to the profound changes a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly.

I concluded my essay with some goals I wanted to achieve with my degree:

“By embarking on a Master of Science in technology and innovation management at NCU, this endeavor will help me reach my goals of helping my community develop a stronger cybersecurity defense line by creating a unique and new product or service that maximizes the best use of resources, time, and money. The specialization in project management will enable me keep up with the trends, implement breakthrough research and development which can serve as a catalyst for social change. “

I know my goals will evolve as I continue to live my life. On this blog, it seems that I talk the least about it. My blog serves a different purpose outside of my career path. I think my top goal here is to inspire bloggers to enjoy the writing process.

What is one thing on your bucket list?
I want to take a few weeks to go check out the vast collections at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC someday!

Aviation Hangar
Photo Credit: Dream Vacations

Where would you suggest someone go visit?
A place that my family and I have visited that I would suggest someone go visit is the Grand Canyon. Encountering its sheer magnitude from the North Rim for the first time made my jaw drop! It’s absolutely breathtaking!

Photo Credit: KeYang @ Pixabay

What do you think would make a difference to this world?

I think Gandhi was onto something when he said this. I think of our inner lives affect our actions in the world around us and nurturing the garden within us can bear fruit.

What is a hobby you wish you had more time to enjoy?
500 piece Thomas Kinkade Disney Dream collection puzzles. It’s a super magical collection and I can only manage 15 minutes a week or less. It’s a relaxing hobby for me and reading about its benefits such as “accelerated ingenuity, thought process support, dopamine production, meditation” on dumblittleman is intriguing. Yes…I should play more! 🙂

Image Credit: Barnes & Noble

What is your favorite song right now?

Earlier this month, I came across decision that made me somewhat upset, and I imagined what would it be like to be separated from those I cared about for even a short time. Although I decided to stay close to loved ones, Freya’s beautiful voice captured a piece of what I was feeling.

Standing on the platform
Watching you go
It’s like no other pain
I’ve ever known
To love someone so much
To have no control
You said I want to see the world
And I said go
I think I’m lost without you
I just feel crushed without you
I’ve been strong for so long
That I never thought how much I needed you
I think I’m lost without you
Read more: Freya Ridings – Lost Without You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Emeli Sande’s lyrics is also currently resonating with my spirit.

You’ve got the words to change a nation
But you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence
Afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it
How we gonna learn your song?
So come, come on
Come on, come on
You’ve got a heart as loud as lions
So why let your voice be tamed?
Baby we’re a little different
There’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows
So stop hiding it away
Come on, Come on
Read more: Emeli Sandé – Read All About It, Pt. III Lyrics | MetroLyrics

What would you like others to know about you?

I have two dream catchers dangling above my bed. I love my dreams, always makes me ponder about life throughout my day.

Image credit: Pixabay

Have you ever written a book? What is the name of that book if so?
No, not yet, but what I hear from many authors is that writing a book an exhilarating, nerve wracking, time consuming, and rewarding experience! Ideally, I think I would want to stay in a small cabin by myself in the mountains somewhere with few distractions. I’m not sure what the solitude would do to me though. Perhaps, it would be a profound experience!

“I like the mountains because they make me feel small,’ Jeff says. ‘They help me sort out what’s important in life.”

― Mark Obmascik
Image Credit: Switzerland @ Pixabay

What is one thing that would make you happy right now?

A fruity ice cream bar! The impending summer weather is making me say that!

Image Credit: OyeHaha @ Pixabay

List 5 things you love.

Animals, Sunshine, Exploration, Writing, Loved ones, Art

Image Credit: Julius Silver @ Pixabay

11 Questions

  1. What are your plans for the the summer?
  2. What is one of your favorite posts that you’ve written on your blog?
  3. What place in the world would you want to visit?
  4. Which book had an impact on your life?
  5. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
  6. What is your favorite memory from your childhood?
  7. What is your creative style? If you’re curious, here’s a quiz!
  8. What have you done to pursue your dreams lately? How about today?
  9. When you think of your home, what immediately comes to mind?
  10. Describe the greatest adventure of your life
  11. When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?

11 Nominees

There’s no obligation to answer this award, but I wanted to recognize your beautiful blogs today and thank you for bringing some sunshine into my life. 🙂 ❤

  1. Michelle @ Mws. R Writings
  2. Subbashini Meenakshi Sundaram @ Exploring the World Around Us
  3. Ester @ Travelling Around the World
  4. Michael Ogazie
  5. Ilona @ easydiet.blog
  6. Ailish Sinclair @ Stories and Photos from Scotland
  7. Imelda @ My Wall
  8. SkyNRainbow
  9. Megan @ ESL Ventures
  10. Rachel Alexandra @ Roots and Rosemary
  11. OUKASnation
  12. RadGamer @ Rad the Poet
Posted in Books, Music, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

Gratitude Scavenger Hunt: 8 Things

Hello everyone! I first saw this challenge on Winnie’s blog in which I enjoyed the beauty she explores. Sadje at Keep it Alive has found this scavenger hunt, and she invited her followers along. So, I decided to tag along as well!

Find something that makes you happy

Currently I’m feeling good as I am building a website for a church while listening to an enjoyable tropical deep house playlist. I’m learning so many concepts! I love coding with a programming language and creating something beautiful out of the lines of characters.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Something to give someone else to make them smile

I recently helped fund raise to help a friend build his own computer by selling books. It was a lot of fun to help him build it from scratch and a fantastic learning experience! It’s a tight squeeze, but slowly getting there. Once the zip ties are in place, we’ll wrap it up. 😉

Looks like a metal jungle in here!

Find one thing that you love to smell

I enjoy visiting the Pier 1 Import store. Colorful, bright, with a peaceful ambiance. I came across a lovely scent “Pink Champagne” as I stopped by the candle section.

Find one thing you enjoy looking at

I enjoyed viewing this fun pillow with flamingos. 🙂

Find something that’s your favorite color

Stopped by this dream of a store called Sam Moon’s! I was “window shopping” as I enjoyed checking out these fun, unique accessories. Tassels and pineapples are trending!

Find something that you are thankful for in nature

I bought two bonsai plants at a nursery for my brother’s college graduation and mom’s mother’s day gift. They both really enjoy plants.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Find something that you can use to make a gift for someone

It’s teacher’s appreciation week and my last day volunteering with the youth literacy group this year. I made gifts for the teacher and the two boys. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it!

Find something that is useful for you

This book caught my attention while hanging out at a friend’s place. The title stood out to me on the shelf, and my friend let me borrow it. According to Amazon, Mr. Kahneman’s book explores how we think and our cognitive biases in a nutshell. Something I will skim to explore why I make the choices I do! 🙂

Well that wraps it up! Much gratitude to all of you for stopping by! Hope you find pockets of gratitude in your lives! See you in a bit! 😉

Posted in Books, Culture, Dance, Music, Quotes

A-to-Z Challenge: Tarantella

Image Credit: A Broadway World
Actress playing Nora in “A Doll’s House”

Tarantella in Literature

“Like the macaroons, the tarantella symbolizes a side of Nora that she cannot normally show. It is a fiery, passionate dance that allows Nora to drop the façade of the perfect mild-mannered Victorian wife.”

Litcharts.com quote from Henrik Ibsen’s book, “A Doll’s House”

A few years ago, I read Henrik Ibsen’s book, “A Doll’s House” for a literature class. One of the characters is named Nora who is a bubbly child-like wife strictly dependent on her husband…at least in the beginning. She begins to develop a passion for individuality which fully emerges at the end. She shows a deep yearning for independence when Nora tells her friend to earn her own money by copying. Times have changed so much since the time of Nora’s quote!

“It was tremendous fun sitting, working, and earning money. It was almost like being a man.”

Nora , A Doll’s House

Tarantella in Music

The Tarantella is one of my favorite piano pieces! Its lively cheerful beats are quite popular in various movies. Its light-hearted, upbeat staccato notes are a joy to play. Loads of fun and a form of music that usually makes me feel in a hurry.

Italian Origins

Image Credit: Pixabay

During the 11th century in an Italian province called Taranto, Apulia, the Tarantula’s, a locally common wolf spider, bite was popularly believed to be venomous and lead to a hysterical condition called tarantism. At the time, the people believed that they needed to engage in frenzied dancing as a sort of therapy to prevent death from tarantism which was later coined Tarantella. It is commonly played with a mandolin, guitar, accordian, and tambourines, and sometimes flutes, fiddles, and clarinets are used as well. It’s speculated to be a fusion of the dance forms, Spanish fandango and the Moresque ‘ballo di sfessartia’.

Feiernde Neapolitaner. Öl auf Leinwand, 108 × 210 cm

Tarantella Napoletana Dance

Tarantella Ballet
Image Credit: Dance History Development WordPress

The tarantella is a graceful dance in which the dancer and the drum player constantly try to upstage each other by playing faster or dancing longer than the other, subsequently tiring one person out first.

The Godfather’s C’è la luna mezzo mare wedding

Cinderella’s Bippity Boppity Boo


Harry Potter’s Tarantellegra Dancing Feet Spell

Image Credit: Harry Potter Fandom

The “Dancing Feet” spell has its origins in ancient Italy, but is best remembered for its improper usage by Warlock Zaccaria Innocenti who is credited with conjuring a ‘dance’ within Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

History of this spell, Cast-a-Spell handbook

Draco Malfoy used this spell on Harry in the Dueling Club. Students used it on a pineapple to make it dance.

Image Credit: Harry Potter Fandom

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge 
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Posted in Culture, Dance, Events, flashback, Music, poetry, Quotes

A-to-Z Challenge: Madrigal

It’s a wonderful time when you sit down around the table for dinner and discuss life. No matter where you are, it gives the semblance of normalcy to my crazy world.

Melina Kanakaredes

I have been blessed to have experienced a madrigal dinner twice in my life. The first time was in high school. It was a beautiful night. I created a burnt orange Renaissance gown for myself to prepare for the occasion. It was a marvelous sight to see my high school English teacher dub me lady as she took a Styrofoam sword and tapped me on either side of my shoulders. We drank wassail and clinked our glasses as we wished each other a great year ahead. The warm cider tasted wonderful as we chatted with one another about our plans after graduation.

Photo Credit: Tiny New York Kitchen

The second time was during college when I quietly served as a waitress during my college’s annual madrigal dinner in the ballroom. Various directors have primed the students for various roles throughout this interactive dinner. As I helped out in the background, I enjoyed the student thespians dancing between the tables, listening to the choir’s melodies, cheering on the fencing entertainment, and embracing the poetry that was recited.

The Texas Union Ballroom was transformed into a medieval world where magic and dragons exist for the 33rd annual Madrigal Dinner. Joanna Lyles gives us a glimpse into one of UT’s oldest traditions.

What is a Madrigal?

Source: Translation Directory

“A madrigal is a type of secular vocal music composition, written during the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Throughout most of its history it was polyphonic and unaccompanied by instruments, with the number of voices varying from two to eight, but most frequently three to six.

Elizabethan musicians
Image Credit: Hank Whittemore’s Shakespeare Blog

The earliest examples of the genre date from Italy in the 1520s, and while the center of madrigal production remained in Italy, madrigals were also written in England and Germany, especially late in the 16th and early in the 17th centuries. Unlike many strophic forms of the time, most madrigals are through-composed, with music being written to best express the sentiment of each line of a poetic text.

The madrigal originated in part from the frottola, in part from the resurgence in interest in vernacular Italian poetry, and also from the influence of the French chanson and polyphonic style of the motet as written by the Franco-Flemish composers who had naturalized in Italy during the period. A frottola generally would consist of music set to stanzas of text, while madrigals were through-composed.

However, some of the same poems were used for both frottola and madrigals. The poetry of Petrarch in particular shows up in a wide variety of genres. The madrigal is related mostly by name alone to the Italian trecento madrigal of the late 13th and 14th centuries.

The madrigal was the most important secular form of music of its time. It reached its fullest development in the second half of the 16th century, losing its importance in the early 17th century, when forms such as the solo song became more popular. After the 1630s it merged with the cantata and the dialogue, and the solo madrigal was replaced by the aria because of the rise of opera as an important genre.”

Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa. 22nd Annual Madrigal Dinner, December 13, 2001.

Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

In response to:

  • FOWC with Fandango: prime