International Peace Day

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Reblogging this post from “My Eyes Are Up Here,” which inspired me to Let Go. Today, I choose to rise about what is occuring in this country — the hatred of the “other”, vitriolic language, and violent acts that I have allowed to steal my peaceful moments.

My Eyes Are Up Here

Today is International Peace Day. I think a lot about peace and I try hard to cultivate it within myself as well as to be a peaceful participant in the world around me. The degree of success varies but it is rare that a day goes by without my being mindful of my intent.

I have not written as frequently as in the past, in part, because my mind is fragmented. My emotions are fragmented. The world is not making sense. There are many things going on but they are all getting wrapped up literally and metaphorically in our U.S. Presidential election. It is white male heterosexual privilege against everyone else. We have a major presidential candidate with no experience who is viable just because he is white, heterosexual, powerful, and more importantly, an explicit spewer of hate and selfishness. When he cheats, he is savvy. His exploitation of people…

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Summer Family and Friends Gathering

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The big smile on my face is in anticipation of a fun-filled day at our Summer Family and Friend Gathering, which is held every July in Milwaukee at our youngest daughter’s home.  Separated by thousands of miles, I look forward to this gathering to reconnect and create new memories with my Midwest family and friends.

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As soon as we arrive the first game begins.  Everyone is given a strand of beads with instructions not to cross their legs or arms for the entire day. When you see someone with a crossed leg or arm, you can take their beads. I am a leg and arm crosser and someone always takes my beads within 10-15 minutes.  At the end of the day, Damien had the most beads won the prize.

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Miles, Justin and Damien

The teenagers practicing to play a basketball game scheduled for later in the day.

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Cameron

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Cameron and Kaleif

Before the golfers arrive to takeover the putting range, this little guy asked his mom, “How do you play this game”?

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The younger children waiting for the ready, set go with hopes of winning the Fastest Runner Prize.

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One of the most popular games of the day is the three-legged race, enjoyed by the younger children, teenagers and adults.

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Lyric and Ava

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Kertaeja, Tianna, Kaleif, and Cameron

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Tiyawn and Leslie

Twister is a game that my adult grands played and it still is a favorite with the younger kids.

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Justin, Savannah, Miles, Damien, Lyric, and ?

We also recognized newlyweds, Tiyawn and Leslie Walker.  They tied the knot on June 16th.

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Leslie and Tiyawn

I couldn’t end this post without a HUGE THANK YOU to my BEST FRIEND FOREVER and CO-GRANDMOTHER, CEBBY.  Knowing how much I rely on photos to remind me of times spent with friends and family throughout the year, she captured and surprised me with some of these photos and many, many more.

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Bonnie and Cebby

 

Bucket List: Checked Off Two Items

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In the summer, I  look forward to taking a break from Florida’s hot weather to visit family and friends in Wisconsin.  This year, Hubby and I extended our vacation from four to ten days. I needed the extra time to check off two items on my Bucket List.

Visit Mama’s Gravesite in Chicago

I set aside one full day and traveled to Chicago about 90 miles from Milwaukee to visit Mama’s gravesite.  In two earlier posts, I shared:

  1. Why? – Lost Memories of Mama, and
  2. What Happened?Update: Lost Memories of Mama

Solo, 2-Day Mini Vacation in Madison, Wisconsin

I lived in Madison, Wisconsin for more than thirty years.  A solo, 2-day mini vacation, without Hubby, freed up space for me to: (1) spend quality time with my “girlfriend” family; and, (2) re-visit several of my favorite places.

I spent many quiet afternoons and evenings at a local park looking out over Lake Monona. To recapture this experience, I booked a room for two nights at the Hilton-Monona Terrace Hotel with a window view of Lake Monona.

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Because I wanted to spend time with as many family members as possible, I invited my grand-nieces and step great-granddaughters for a two-night sleepover at the hotel.  Sleepless in Madison is my best description of what it’s like to share a room with three teenagers and a nine-year-old; but, I enjoyed every minute with my girls.

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Avi and Tianna

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Avi, Lyric, Tianna

The next day, I, along with my girls, meandered through one of my favorite places in Madison, Olbrich Botanical Gardens.  

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Lyric, SeasonedSistah2, Avi, Tianna, Tierra, Kertaeja

I couldn’t stop the camera from clicking and capturing memories of a beautiful afternoon spent in the presence of nature and family.

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Tierra (Step-Granddaughter); Lyric (Step-Great-Granddaughter); and Avi (Great-Grand Niece)

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BFF and Co-Grandmother – Cebby.

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In the evening, I went to dinner at one of my favorite eating places, Paisan’s Restaurant.  It was my first visit in twenty-six years and I enjoyed a girlfriends night out of lively conversation and sharing memories with thirteen of my favorite friends and family members.   The highlight of  the evening was meeting my newest family member, Miss Jaelah.  She traveled from arm to arm throughout the evening.

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SeasonedSistah2 and Jaelah

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Jaelah

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Cebby

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Tierra, Cathy and Jane

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Hershey

The 2-day solo, mini-vacation in Madison, Wisconsin was awesome; and I am happy to have checked of two items on my Bucket List.