CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 30, 2014

Whine Away: Singing the Blues (WP prompt for 3/28/2014)

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hugs for Kitty and David

WHINE AWAY: SINGING THE BLUES

The WordPress weekly writing challenge for March 28, 2014, is: singing the blues: How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

IMG_3643EMy friends rolled their eyes. Good, I thought. I must be whining successfully.

I’ve never been a whiner. It’s a talent I’m just now developing, perhaps six decades too late in life. I limit my practice to a small group, several women from my community who gather most Saturday evenings, a group my husband Monte refers to as the winos, and we refer to as the whiners and winers.

We happened to be together at a local restaurant on a Tuesday evening when I too every opportunity to whine.

“Do we have to listen to much more of this,” I was asked.

“I deserve to whine this week. As such I claim the right to continue to whine until Tuesday or Wednesday.”

IMG_3246EI did have reason to whine. I was sitting with these women when I should have been in Harrisburg, having enjoyed attending the Senate hearing on Pa. House Bill 162: Adult Adoptees Right to Access Original Birth Certificate held this morning.
And there was a lot more I was missing.

Several weeks ago Monte, a retired pastor, was invited to perform a wedding for the daughter of a friend in another community. It was to be on Ocean Beach, New Jersey, on March 22. On the sand. On the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.

I encouraged him: “Say yes, say yes.” He did say yes.

We re-met the bride, met the groom, and counseled them via SKYPE.

“After the wedding let’s visit my sister, Kitty,” I suggested. She lives close enough to Ocean City Beach that we went there when I visited her home a number of years ago.

(more…)

March 29, 2014

WP photo challenge 3/28/2014: street life

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
WP PHOTO CHALLENGE 3/28/2014:
STREET LIFE

The WP Photo Challenge for March 28, 2014, is street life: document the movement (or stillness) of a street: tell a story with your snapshot, capture a scene

I took the following photographs when we visited Boston on September 12, 2013.

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March 27, 2014

Winter to Spring: Snow Cover to Snowdrop Blooms

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WINTER TO SPRING:
SNOW COVER TO SNOWDROP BLOOMS

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CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is now located at Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

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The WordPress weekly writing challenge for March 3, 2014, is threes:

write a post using three photographs for inspiration.

March 1, 2014

According to a Tribune-Review article This winter has been so bad, it’s spawned a whole new vocabulary to express the misery many persons (except winter sports enthusiasts):

  • The Weather Channel began naming winter storms and the term Polar Vortex entered normal conversation
  • …a pair of Midwestern meteorologists developed a way to measure winter’s severity—their Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index, which ranks winters from category one (the least severe) to category five (the most severe).
    The meteorologists studied two dozen cities, using a combination of accumulated and daily snowfall and daily high and low temperatures to calculate the severity of winter weather, but exempts wind chill and ice storms.

Sadly, the big city of Pittsburgh, around which I’ve lived all but five years of my adult life, wasn’t one of the two dozen cities chosen for the study. To make amends, index co-creator (Steve Hilberg, a meteorologist at the Midwestern Regional Climate Center at the University of Illinois) crunched the Pittsburgh numbers.

And he declared the city had just edged into a category five winter.

March 1 in Moldovan

 March 1 is a national Moldovan holiday, a day when people present each other with the traditional flowers. One old Moldovan legend says that once in a fight with the winter witch, that didn’t want to give up its place, the beautiful lady Spring cut her finger and few drops of her blood fell on the snow, which melted. Soon on this place grew a snowdrop and in such a way the spring won the winter.

March 12, 2014

A late evening heavy snowfall amidst a few days hinting of spring, with temperatures reaching toward 500 F. Late in the evening it begins to snow. I quickly retrieve my camera and snap a photograph of the apple tree. The flash reveals the thousands—no, perhaps millions—of large snowflakes.

Looking closely at the picture later I wonder—could it be? Under the old apple tree? Could it be snowdrop stems attempting to reach through the snow blanket toward the stars?

IMG_3423E 140312

Snowdrops are a traditional flower for January. Native to Switzerland, Austria and of Southern Europe, its blooms look like drops of milk hanging from a stem—thus, its Latin name Galanthus, which means milk-white flowers.

In myth the snowdrop symbolizes promise—a promise to break winter’s spell and bring back spring. The snowdrop has a split reputation. The following tale tellw of its emblematic meaning of consolation/promise or death.
“When the first winter lay white upon the earth, Eve sorely missed the beautiful things of the fields. An angel who pitied her seized a flake of the driving snow and, breathing on it, bade it live, for her delight. It fell to the earth a flower, which Eve caught to her breast with gladness, for not only did it break the spell of winter, but it carried assurance of divine mercy. Hence the flower means consolation and promise.

March 16, 2014

No snow. Temperatures enable me to remove the purple and the blue Christmas bulbs from the outside shrubbery. A nice break from the continual phone calls in the wee hours of the morning, calls that inform me that the Ligonier Valley School district is indeed closing for the day due to the region’s severe winter weather.

Not today.

I step outside my back door, set my booted foot on the spring-muddy driveway, and walk to the apple tree. Yes, droplets of milky-white blossoms mark the arrival of spring.

Well, perhaps. Wishful thinking. Last year we had a late-April snowstorm.

It is the year’s earliest flowering bulb, are usually borne singly on stems that arch like they can’t handle the weight of the light blooms.

The snowdrop is variously known in England, France, Italy, and Switzerland as virgin flower, snow piercer, winter gallant, firstling, blackbird flower, little snow bell, little white bell, baby bell, spring whiteness, and white violet, bulbous violet,fair maid of February,Candlemas bells, Mary’s tapers.

Its scientific name is galanthus nivalis (nivalis is a Latin adjective, meaning ~relating to~ or ~resembling snow). It belongs to

  • Kingdom, Plantae
    Division Magnoliophyta
    Class liliopsida
    Family Amaryllidaceae
    Genus Galanthus (Greek in origin, the word signifies Milk white flower).

(more…)

March 26, 2014

The Lord’s Prayer: Part 3

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A 6-PART STUDY OF THE LORD’S PRAYER

The Lord’s Prayer: Part 3

PART 3:

DAILY BREAD

MONTE W. HOLLAND, GUEST WRITER

Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

NOTE: The main photo appearing on each part of this study features the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania. To learn about this spectacular site click on Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

 STUDY INTRODUCTION

This study began with my personal story, Where I Learned Key Church & Scripture Readings and continues with A 6-Part Study of The Lord’s Prayer: Part 1. Each of the 6 parts of this study of The Lord’s Prayer will reference selections drawn from the writings of three historical clergymen:

Matthew Henry (1662-1714)

Adam Clarke (1760-1832)

Albert Barnes (1798-1870)

These commentators lived long ago, but their words still ring true. They have a universal power in our lives.

I will write a personal perspective following the commentator’s words. I invite you to add any comment you might have in the comment box at the end of each study.

WEEK 3 INTRODUCTION

Give us this day our daily bread… Bread has always been on the agenda for sustaining life. While in the wilderness the Israelites existed mostly on manna, a basic bread-like substance. Jesus teaches us in our prayer to ask for that daily bread.

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MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714)

      Every word here has a lesson in it: (1.) We ask for bread; that teaches us sobriety and temperance; we ask for bread, not dainties, not superfluities; that which is wholesome, though it be not nice. (2.) We ask for our bread; that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for the bread out of other people’s mouths, not the bread of deceit (Pr 20:17), not the bread of idleness (Pr 31:27), but the bread honestly gotten. (3.) We ask for our daily bread; which teaches us not to take thought for the morrow (Mt 6:34), but constantly to depend upon divine Providence, as those that live from hand to mouth. (4.) We beg of God to give it us, not sell it us, nor lend it us, but give it. The greatest of men must be beholden to the mercy of God for their daily bread, (5.) We pray, “Give it to us; not to me only, but to others in common with me.” This teaches us charity, and a compassionate concern for the poor and needy. It intimates also, that we ought to pray with our families; we and our households eat together, and therefore ought to pray together. (6.) We pray that God would give us this day; which teaches us to renew the desire of our souls toward God, as the wants of our bodies are renewed; as duly as the day comes, we must pray to our heavenly Father, and reckon we could as well go a day without meat, as without prayer.

(more…)

March 25, 2014

Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hug for my mother’s Lithuanian cousins,

HILL OF CROSSES  (Kryžiu Kalnas)

IN LITHUANIA

Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

It’s an ever-changing never-defeated religious folk art gallery, a historical and architectural monument in an unlikely place that attracts people savoring its peace, spirituality, authenticity, and sacred nature.

The Hill of Crosses (Kryžiu Kalnas) is a stunning complex that consists of thousands of crosses of various materials and sizes brought and left there by the people, mostly Lithuanians.

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

An oblong mound, once the location of a castle of Semigallian tribe (until it was burned down by the Crusaders), sits next to a former ancient village dating to the 13th-14th. The mound, somewhat similar to a saddle, stands on a plain surrounded by the valleys of Kulpė Stream and its nameless tributaries. It measures only 8-10 meters high and 40-50 meters wide.

The Jurgaičiai-Domantai mound, located in the countryside 9 miles outside the small northern Lithuanian city of Siauliai, is covered with crosses.

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Hill of Crosses:

  • Many crosses appeared after the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus appeared on the mound in the 7th decade of the 19th century. It was Mary who supposedly encouraged people to put crosses at this place.
  • Crosses first began to appear at this spot in the thirteenth century, shortly after the city of Siauliai was founded in 1236. The city was controlled by Teutonic Knights during the 14th century. The tradition of placing crosses seems to date from this period and may have risen as a symbol of Lithuanian defiance toward foreign invaders.
  • The first crosses were erected on the hill by the next-of-kin of the rebels who fell in the 1831 rebellion against Russia. Family members were not permitted by the Tsarist reign to pay proper tribute at the graves of their relatives. The Hill of Crosses became a place of vows.
  • There was a Lithuanian tradition of leaving the crosses on the road and most beautiful sites. The story is that each person who put his own cross on this mountain would become a (more…)

March 23, 2014

11 Facts About April Fool’s Day

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hugs for Joanne, Mary & Lois

11 FACTS ABOUT APRIL FOOL’S DAY

April-Fools’-Day-Coloring-Pages-392x336

Also see April Fool’s Day—Children’s Stories & Poems, and WP Daily Prompt: Success! My April Fool’s Prank .

QUESTIONS

  1. Where is the earliest recorded association between April 1st and foolishness found
  2. If a fellow is fooled by a pretty girl what is his fate?
  3. On April Fools’ Day, 2009, travel site Expedia offered exclusive flights to this highly what desired space destination?
  4. According to a CareerBuilder.com survey, what percent of workers say they have either initiated or been on the receiving end of a workplace April Fools’ Day prank?
  5. What do children in certain areas of Belgium do on April Fool’s Day?
  6. What author wrote It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and leave no doubt; and Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed and The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year?
  7. What late 1980s April Fool’s Day joke about a futuristic technological advance ultimately became a reality?
  8. On April 1, 1946 what happened when a pacific island population didn’t believe a weather warning, thinking it was an April Fool’s hoax?
  9. What hoax did the Dutch television news once report?
  10. In Scotland, an April fool is called an April ___________ — Scottish for _____________, which is an emblem of _____________.

BONUS QUESTION

Name three possibilities of how April Fool’s Day started.

To learn the answers click on MORE:

(more…)

March 22, 2014

WP Photo Challenge 3/21/2014: Reflections

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WP PHOTO CHALLENGE 3/21/2014:

REFLECTIONS

The WordPress Photo Challenge for March 21, 2014, is reflections. When the weather broke for a day last week I took my camera and shot the following two pictures at the little pond beside the path around our property.

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IMG_3413E  140307Have a nice day—I hope spring springs eternal in your neighborhood!

March 20, 2014

Iodine Deficiency Information: Part 2

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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Hug for Fran
IODINE DEFICIENCY INFORMATION: Part 2

Previous Articles:

Iodine Deficiency: My Story

Iodine Deficiency Information: Part 1

DISCLAIMER: This article represents information I gleaned from the Internet articles (some well-referenced) on iodine deficiency in adults. It is not and should not take the place of medical advice. I encourage you to talk with your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, and/or use of iodine and what may be best for your overall health.

This is the second part of an article disclosing the research results of my Internet research on iodine deficiency in older adults.

WHAT ARE THE TESTS FOR IODINE DEFICIENCY?

thyroid_gland

Thyroid hormone levels are determined by a blood test. NOTE: Hypothyroidism can occur even without abnormalities in measured thyroid hormone levels.

The body eliminates 90% of its daily ingestion of in the urine. Therefore, the urinary level of iodine is a good indication of the amount of iodine in the body****

For individuals the most common medical test for diagnosing iodine deficiency is a 24-hour (more…)

March 19, 2014

The Lord’s Prayer: Part 2 of 6

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A 6-PART STUDY OF THE LORD’S PRAYER

PART 2: THE FIRST TWO PETITIONS

MONTE W. HOLLAND, GUEST WRITER

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

NOTE: The main photo appearing on each part of this study features the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania. To learn about this spectacular site click on Hill of Crosses in Lithuania

STUDY INTRODUCTION

This study began with my personal story, Where I Learned Key Church & Scripture Readings.

To view last week’s review click on A 6-Part Study of The Lord’s Prayer: Part 1.

Each of the 6 parts of this study of The Lord’s Prayer will reference selections drawn from the writings of three historical clergymen:

Matthew Henry (1662-1714)

Adam Clarke (1760-1832)

Albert Barnes (1798-1870)

These commentators lived long ago, but their words still ring true. They have a universal power in our lives.

I will write a personal perspective following the commentator’s words. I invite you to add any comment you might have in the comment box at the end of each study.

WEEK 2 INTRODUCTION

Petitions to God follow the salutation to God. The first two are about God:

  • ‘hallowed be thy name’
  • ‘thy kingdom come’

A LOOK at the LORD’S PRAYER—Part 2

View of chapel on top of Wahlberg Mountain, Germany, with the Alps in the distance

View of chapel on top of Wahlberg Mountain, Germany, with the Alps in the distance

MATTHEW HENRY

Hallowed be thy name. It is the same word that in other places is translated sanctified. But here the old word hallowed is retained, only because people were used to it in the Lord’s prayer. In these words, (1.) We give glory to God; it may be taken not as a petition, but as an adoration; as that, the Lord be magnified, or glorified, for God’s holiness is the greatness and glory of all his perfections. We must begin our prayers with praising God, and it is very fit (more…)

March 18, 2014

Iodine Deficiency Information: Part 1

  • CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

IODINE DEFICIENCY INFORMATION  Part 1 Movicon2-happy

Hug for Fran

NOTE: I first posted this but somehow it didn’t post, or it disappeared—we all know computers—so I’m reposting Part 1 on its original date, hoping some readers will return to read it. My apologies that the original is floating out there somewhere in space.

 DISCLAIMER: This article represents information I gleaned from the Internet articles (some well-referenced) on iodine deficiency in adults. It is not and should not take the place of medical advice. I encourage you to talk with your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, and/or use of iodine and what may be best for your overall health.

This is the first of two articles disclosing the research results of my Internet research on iodine deficiency in the adult and older population.

I preceded these articles with Iodine Deficiency: My Story.

FOCUS OF THIS POST

Iodine deficiency is described as a secret health issue: Rates of iodine deficiency have reached epidemic levels…over the past 40 years.^

This article shares the surprising information on iodine deficiency, information I discovered while doing an Internet search on the subject. I am sharing in this article. I encourage you to review the material and draw your own conclusions by reviewing the list of source material at the end of this article.

This article focuses on iodine deficiency in adults and the elderly. I found little information on this population–the vast amount of iodine deficiency studies focus on children and pregnant women.

 DOES WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU HARM YOU?

Many guidelines exist for a healthy life. Some (my research implies) have unintended negative side effect. For example:

  • Eliminate/reduce dietary salt intake for protection against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and edema.
  • Include more vegetables and less meat in our diets to reduce cholesterol.
  • Exercise more, which benefits all biological systems.

What is the damaging side effect? Each of the above depletes the body of iodine.

WHAT IS IODINE?

Iodine is a non-metal trace mineral that our bodies require in small quantities. It rarely occurs as the element, which is a gas. Instead, it occurs as a salt, referred to as iodide (not iodine). Iodide is quickly and almost completely absorbed in the stomach and duodenum.^^

WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF IODINE IN THE BODY?

Iodine plays a large role in our mental and physical development. Without it, your body cannot (more…)

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