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daily prompt inspiration life lifestyles Mississippi nature spiritual squirrel

Bitter: How a Family of Squirrels Won the Bird Feeder War

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/bitter/”>Bitter</a&gt;

There is a family of squirrels at the bird feeder this morning. It is difficult if not impossible to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder. Each day there is a constant war going on between me and those squirrels. I have become bitter toward this rodent.

Such is the way that events affect us in life. The battle with the squirrels eats away at my soul. It has become an illness in my life weakening me each time I get after them with the broom. To the observers in the house watching me chase the squirrels with the broom it is quite funny and they are entertained each day.

In an effort to make peace with the squirrels and repair the damage to my soul, I have decided to understand the life of this animal. In many ways it is a cute little rodent that is fun to watch.

Squirrels are small rodents that live in the woods. They come in a variety of gray and brown colors. The ones in my yard are light gray with big fluffy tails. The squirrel normally lives in a wooded area where there is protection from predators. The wooded area provides a place to burrow and make a warm pleasant home.

The squirrel likes to eat a variety of nuts, plants, and meat if it is available. A rodent with a well-balanced diet is healthy and playful. Bird seed is an easy food to obtain and apparently extremely tasty to a squirrel.

The war with the squirrels continues as I write this piece. We are at the critical point in the morning where the bird seed is gone from the ground. The time for the acrobatics has begun. Watching a squirrel scale the poles of the feeders is entertaining to watch. Climbing and sliding down the pole several times is the game of the day until the edge of the feeder is reached. The squirrel grabs some seed and shakes the feeder. This small amount of bird seed sustains him until the next round.

The second act is now upon us as the other squirrels attempt to jump on the feeder from the retaining wall. It is a bit of a distance but these persistent little rodents are successful in landing on the side of the feeder. The bird seed scatters to the ground and the squirrels on the bottom of the feeder delight in the prize. It is reminiscent of a pinata being broken and the candy spilling to the ground.

By this time the game is old and I decide to allow the squirrels to have the remainder of the bird feed. It would be nice if a hawk would come and scare these rodents away from the yard. Ah there is the bitterness creeping back into my soul.

My husband suggests that instead of feeling bitter each morning that I find a compromise that ends the war. Since negotiation with the squirrels is not possible due to communication issues I decide to take action that will be acceptable to both parties.

The first action will be to scatter a certain portion of the bird seed on the ground for the squirrels. There will be some seed near the feeder and other seed a little distance away. This will ensure that there is seed for them and the birds.

The second action is to observe what time the squirrels appear in the feeder. By changing the refill times on the bird feeder the seed will last for a longer time. The birds will have a chance to enjoy the feeder.

My last course of action is to watch and enjoy the antics of these rodents. They are entertaining to observe running from each feeder trying to win the prize of bird seed. If left alone to eat the squirrels appear to pose for photographs. We both win on this one since photography is a hobby of mine.

With this course of action the war will end. Bitterness will be replaced with joy and all will be right in the world again. The squirrels will have their food and be happy with the cornucopia put before them each day.

My soul is nourished and renewed as I ponder the possibilities of a day without bitterness for these rodents. It will be nice not to be running outside every ten minutes with a broom. My family will miss their entertainment each morning but there will be peace within my soul.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

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culture daily prompt inspiration life lifestyles social issues spiritual

Exposed: Random Kindness Shines in a Dark World

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/exposed/”>Exposed</a&gt;

Our world is filled with acts of violence that make the news each day. It appears that the world is filled with evil and that there is no hope. Darkness fills the soul. But then one day a ray of light enters a person’s life. Someone commits an act of random kindness.

Acts of random kindness are committed everyday around us. Our world has become so jaded that it is difficult to notice small nourishing acts done for the human soul. This is an exploration of some random acts of kindness during a typical week.

It is a Monday and we are rushing to get to work or school on time. Everyone is in a foul mood and negative thoughts fill the air. The family is in turmoil until one of the children decides to give up their treat and put it in a siblings lunch box. At lunch time the sibling is surprised and a smile emerges on his face. There is a change in the tone of the day. The sibling decides to share the extra treat with a friend and the chain of random kindness continues. There is a ray of light in the soul.

Tuesday comes and the father feels the weight of the world on his shoulders. The company has announced that everyone will take a salary reduction in an effort to keep the company from having to shut down. The family is struggling to make ends meet and the father’s soul is beaten to the core. Walking around the corner at lunch he sees a homeless man on the street. Without thinking the father hands the man a dollar and his lunch. All of the sudden the father remembers that his family is together and that there is love in the house. Random kindness has renewed the father’s soul.

It is Wednesday and the middle of the week. The mother is doing the family errands. There is food to get at the grocery store. It has been a frantic day at her job and she is in a bad mood.  Someone has not put their shopping cart where it belongs and now there is a scratch on the car. Then the mother sees a young man running trying to collect the shopping carts and put them in the correct place. He looks frazzled and tired. The mother gets out of her car and begins collecting buggies and putting them in the proper place. The young man smiles and thanks her for this kindness. The mother smiles and both lives are brightened by acts of random kindness.

Thursday comes and it is a busy day for all the family. There are school activities in the evening. The youngest child decides to secretly pack a treat for the family to enjoy later in the evening. The tired family returns home to an unexpected treat. Smiles and laughter are now the order of the day. Random kindness has again renewed the soul.

Friday is here and the weekend is near. The family has decided to have a game night with pizza. There is an elderly person that lives near them and does not have visitors. The family invites this elderly person to their home to join them. All involved enjoy the evening of conversation and food. This random act of kindness has nourished the souls of everyone.

Saturday is a work day for the family. There is yard work to be done and the house to be cleaned. The oldest child has noticed that a family down the street has an unkept yard. The mother remembers that there is a sick family member and all resources have been used to care for the family member. The oldest child suggests that their family clean up the yard and take a meal to this family. The random kindness nourishes the souls of both families.

Sunday comes and it is a day of rest and reflection. The family gives thanks to God for all the blessings that have been given to them. The act of random kindness on this day comes in the form of saving a group of small birds from being the meal of a feral cat. The youngest child chases the cat from the fence where the bird house hangs. The youngest child’s efforts ensures the baby birds will survive another day.

Random acts of kindness nourish our souls in a dark world. Seeing all the violence in the world is a frightening thing that can discourage us. When we commit acts of random kindness hope is restored to all that we encounter.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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daily prompt happiness inspiration life lifestyles personal spiritual superheroes

Better: Superheroes in a Modern World : How Average People Can Become One

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/better/”>Better</a&gt;

Superheroes are popular in present day culture. There are movies, games, and comic books depicting the various adventures of modern-day heroes. There are many characteristics that all these characters have in common. I wonder if many of these characteristics would not apply to all of us.

Some superheroes have supernatural strength which enables them to perform incredible feats. One such feat is the ability to lift a heavy object with little effort. Lifting heavy objects can be achieved by many people after a considerable time lifting weights. In times of great stress others are able to lift heavy objects to save their life or the life of a loved one.

There are other types of supernatural strength such as the ability to deal with a crisis. It is easy to see this mental strength in a children’s hospital, a person with a disability, or someone dealing with an extreme circumstance. In these instances a person becomes a superhero. They have the super powers of courage, overcoming tremendous obstacles, and the ability to light up a room with a smile.

The next superhero power is the ability to spontaneously heal from a wound or other crisis. Superheroes are immune to physical infirmities of this realm of reality. Ordinary people have become healed in what seems to be an impossible condition. Some are healed of these conditions through modern medicine. Others are healed through the power of prayer and faith. In our modern world these people are superheroes conquering conditions that would have been fatal in the past.

chapel in strawberry patch park april 24

There are a few special people in the world who have been given the power to heal with a touch or a prayer. They pray boldly to God for the healing of a person or community. These special people walk the earth quietly and go where God sends them. This is a quiet super power.

Another superhero power is the mental superiority. They are more intelligent than the average person. The hero has the ability to resist the manipulation of other people. These superheroes may develop the ability to move things with their minds and telepathy. To have these abilities is amazing and fun to contemplate.

The average person can achieve some of these abilities through modern technology. There are computer programs that allow an extremely handicapped person to communicate and move about the world with only the blink of an eye. Telepathy is an ability that many people have with loved ones. The average person is able to communicate with their loved one without words being spoken. This communication comes with living and getting to know their loved ones.

In society there is a form of telepathy as well. Average people are able to read what a person is thinking by observing and interacting with them. Our body language is a powerful tool for humans. Often thoughts and emotions are conveyed by the way we move our bodies. Anger is expressed by a stiff body and a frown. It not difficult to interpret what these people are thinking. The same is true with a smile and a relaxed body posture. Although not always accurate this super power can be achieved by average people.

Some superheroes are able to maneuver in nature and appear to be able to control all things in the ecosystem. The animals seem to do whatever task they are commanded to do. This is another area that an average person can accomplish. Each person is familiar with the environment in which they live. People living in the forest or other area close to wildlife are able to predict what animals will do in the wild. By understanding these behaviors these people are able to use an animals natural instincts to accomplish certain tasks. The average person has become a superhero.

alligator on golf course 2 may 5

Another superhero power is the ability to control the emotions of people. They are able to manipulate situations by sparking intense emotions in people. Emotions are a powerful human force. This force may be used for good or evil. The average person has the power to influence others around them. A simple smile or a sincere compliment can fill a room with joy and happiness. The opposite effect will happen when a person enters a room complaining or filled with hate. All the people are absorbing the negative energy and soon violence will erupt.

Superhero powers are within all of us. The characters in our literature express a combination of many people. The superhero is fun to watch and live out a fantasy life for a few hours. In reality we can all be superheroes to the world. How cool is that!

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Better

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daily prompt food inspiration life lifestyles Mississippi picnic

Lifestyle: A Spring Picnic at Mississippi Petrified Forest

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lifestyle/”>Lifestyle</a&gt;

The warming of the days bring on the urge to connect with nature. Mississippi is filled with exciting and beautiful places to engage the outdoors. On a recent visit to the Mississippi Petrified Forest we discovered a picnic area on the park property. Jess and I packed a picnic basket and journeyed to a park table surrounded by trees and a field. This was a calm and quiet area during the week with only a few people walking the grounds.

We decided to decorate the table and enjoy the simple pleasures of the nature around us. The trees were full of green leaves that moved to the light breeze blowing through them. There were birds chirping and small insects buzzing around the table. We were amazed at the serenity and tranquility of the spot.

With a full picnic basket containing a table-cloth, napkins, plates, candle, and goblets the table began to take on a festive theme. The food is usually simple and easy to pack. Our meal consisted of shrimp sandwiches, fruit, carrots, and baked beans. Shrimp sandwiches have become one of our favorite picnic foods. Grilled to perfection with a mix of jalapeno peppers and garlic the shrimp travels well as the ingredients continue to marry each other as time passes.  Jess and I love this time to connect with nature and reflect upon all of our blessings.

After the meal was finished it was time to take a gentle stroll around the field and trees. We walked and took photographs of the presentations of nature’s beauty.

IMG_4191

I reflected upon how some of the landscape reminded me of my grandmother’s land. As a child visiting my grandmother was an adventure. The land upon which she lived had many types of flowers, trees, and a large yard. This picnic area had pine trees and a large area of grass that blew gently in the wind. This walk and photography session were a pleasant relaxing memory.

Jess and I packed our picnic basket and camera as the day came to a close. It was getting to be late afternoon and we were relaxed and ready to head home. The day was wonderful and some day soon it will be time for another picnic.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: Lifestyle

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daily prompt happiness inspiration life lifestyles

Happiness: How to Wander But Not Be Lost

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/none/”>None</a&gt;

Most people aspire to be happy. There are stories, poems, and music that take on the topic of how to be happy. Many people wander throughout a lifetime searching for how to accomplish this goal. There are two types of wandering in this existence. One type is about sadness and the other about happiness. Nothingness is foreign to the group who are wandering without being lost.

People can wander and be lost. They are caught up in the struggles of life. None of the things given to them will make them happy. The daily grind of work wears them down. Their families are scattered and in disarray. Wandering is a curse instead of a blessing. Life is sad and disappointing. The path to happiness is forever elusive.

The more exciting and fun type of wandering is to be happy but not lost. Happiness is found through different paths of exploration. The word none is used far and between in this form of wandering. There are many avenues to this form of wandering.

The first avenue to wandering without being lost is through travel. Many people take extended trips to explore the world. It may be a trip into the past by exploring ancient artifacts from past civilizations. These may include the pyramids in Egypt or the ruins of the coliseum in Rome. Each has an exciting element of learning how ancient people lived. Happiness is achieved by experiencing the thrill of touching or seeing ancient items.

The second avenue to wandering without being lost is through minimal living. The concept of having few possessions is appealing to some people. There is happiness in using material things in more than one way. The minimalist finds happiness in limiting the amount of things owned and consuming less in the physical world. Inner peace is more important than possessions.

The third avenue to wandering without being lost is through loving relationships with other people. Love is a feeling rather than a material item. Love may be expressed in many ways such as the touch of the hand, a compliment, or simply sitting with someone in a time of crisis. This form of wandering without being lost is fun and exciting.

Some people wander without being lost in a family setting. Each person brings joy and committment to a unit of people. There is shared love and respect. During times of crisis a family is drawn closer with a common interest. The addition of people to the family is welcomed and encouraged. Each addition adds strength and stability to the family. Happiness is increased with this type of wandering when family members grow and succeed in life.

The fourth avenue to wandering without being lost is spirituality. The concept of something higher than oneself. To serve God is a wonderful and exciting experience. Wandering into someone’s life with no expectations except to serve is a wonderful feeling. Spirituality is also expressed in worship. There may be singing, meditation, chanting, or a combination of these things. Each experience is unique and exciting.

chapel in strawberry patch park april 24

The fifth avenue to wandering without being lost is through the search for inner peace. This is a special experience for people and there in no specific way to achieve this form of happiness. The wandering soul may explore many different paths to achieve the goal.

Some may try to obtain inner peace through humanitarian projects that will improve the lives of others. They may travel to countries where the people live in extreme poverty providing relief in the form of education or medical intervention. This form of wandering provides happiness and inner peace by helping the person focus on an external factor.

The sixth avenue to wandering without being lost is to focus on the land. There are people who grow flowers and plants in search of happiness. Each plant will represent a story in their lives. The cycle of life is wonderful and fills them with joy.

Other people will hike a path in the forest or canoe on the water.They find a deeper meaning in the beauty that nature provides. Nature is always changing and there is a new discovery around the corner waiting to be found. There is the renewal of life in each season that brings them happiness.

petrified forest water path 1 april 14

There is no clear path in wandering without being lost. It is a unique experience for each one of us. There is always a new adventure to be engaged in. Life is a wonderful experience filled with joy.  Do you wander without being lost? I hope that your wanderings are fun and filled with joy.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

via Daily Prompt: None

Categories
art food gardens life lifestyles Mississippi museums

An evening at the Mississippi Museum of Art

The Mississippi Museum of Art is a wonderful place filled with many beautiful sculptures, paintings, and other works of art. During some months of the year there are special exhibits from artists all over the world. These exhibits range from contemporary works of art to paintings from the Renaissance. Each month the museum holds an outdoor event. This month the museum featured a band and a movie.

Jess and I packed our chairs with a snack and headed to the museum. The Mississippi Museum of Art has a large outdoor space filled with a grass lawn, patio area, and gardens. After picking a spot to watch the people and movie, I headed to the gardens with my camera.

The gardens are filled with paths separated by a large concrete entrance area. I headed to the garden section that has areas dedicated to the memory of loved ones of museum sponsors. This garden is filled with various colors of flowers and some grasses. It is a well-kept area and filled with visitors.

white flowers at ms art museum april 20

My favorite flowers in the memorial area are the foxgloves. The beauty of the colors in the flowers stands out among the green grass. I take several photos of the foxgloves on the path. These flowers stand in their full colorful glory.

foxgloves ms museum of art april 23

The next garden section is across the concrete area that is very well planned and groomed. There is a sculpture that welcomes visitors through this part of the garden. It has vibrant colors that shine in the afternoon sun. The path going through this garden has flowers and trees on each side. The various plants are a feast for the eyes and the fragrance from the flowers pleasant to the nose.

sculpture ms art museum april 23

I stop and take pictures of several flowers. There are some beautiful white flowers on a hedge along the back fence. These flowers are surrounded by trees and are across from a bed of tall green plants. There are other people with cameras taking pictures along the path. One is a young couple having engagement pictures taken by a photographer. The scene through the path is serene and tranquil.

It is time to return to our spot on the grass to snack and watch the people. There is an eclectic group of people in the crowd. Many of them have stopped at the food truck parked on the street. The smell of food from this truck is enticing and it is hard not to walk over to try some tasty treats.

The museum has a restaurant and a patio with tables for outdoor dining. This area is full with waiters bringing a variety of dishes to the tables. Most of the people in this section are dressed formally and have come directly from their jobs. All is calm and relaxing as the people dine listening to the band.

The museum has a small water feature with water spurting into the flat area like small geysers. There are several children playing in the water having an exciting time. It is fun to see their smiles. The museum encourages people to bring their families to this event.

water feature ms museum of art april 23

This month the band is playing contemporary music and the crowd is filled with young people. There are a variety of fashion styles in the crowd. Many of the people have dyed their hair to match the outfits they are wearing. Others have come wearing the costumes from the movie to be played. I admire the diversity in the crowd and how well they interact with each other.

There are many dogs in the audience as well.  They are content to walk and observe the crowds. The dogs sit with their owners during the movie and are extremely quiet.

After the sun has set it is time for the movie to begin. The movie is one of the most recent from the Star Wars series. Several members of the audience remark how the outdoor theater is a better place to watch the movie. This is a popular fairly new release that is free at this event. The audience is in love with the characters and visual effects of the film.  It is a good movie much like the old ones from the seventies and early eighties.

The movie has ended and it is time to return home. As Jess and I pack our things and move toward the truck I admire how a group of diverse people can enjoy dinner and a movie together. It has been a wonderful evening filled with conversions, food, a movie and flowers.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce