Things I Have Learned From Harry Potter

With the awful weekend shootings and today’s huge drop in the stock market, I thought a light-hearted blog was in order on this first Monday of August.

And as I have mentioned before, Mondays have been hard for me since November, so I thought the Things I Have Learned From Harry Potter might be just the thing.

I have read all 7 books one time and have seen all 8 movies multiple times.  And, I have been thinking of re-reading the entire set again since it is a great series, although a bit dark at times.

Before starting this series, I never thought I would like it.  Then during the summer of 2018, we went to a used book store to buy the first three books since Ian said he was interested.  He spent all of his time reading so I decided I would try them as well.  And, very soon, I was hooked.

These books feel like another world — one that you want to go visit.  One where a lot always happens and school is never dull.  One where people learn about love and loss, how to work together, and so much more.

The above picture is of Ian reading one of the Harry Potter books.  I think this was the first one when he first discovered the series.  The other is from his 11th birthday cake that we made similar to Harry’s.  Ian loved it.  We just wonder what happened to his invitation to Hogwart’s.  It must have gotten lost in the mail.  Hee, hee.

So, here is the list of things that I have learned from Harry Potter — the character and the books.

  1.  Good vs. evil is real.  At times, there may may be major fights between them so be ready.
  2.  Loyalty and friendship are real and important, so choose wisely.
  3.  Having a bag like Hermione’s would make traveling so much easier.
  4.  The ability to aparate would be really cool.
  5.  Prejudices have been around for many, many years but you don’t have to have them.
  6.  Anyone can be brave.
  7.  Love is amazing, a gift, and can protect us.
  8.  Cherish and appreciate your loved ones.
  9.  Hard work is what it takes to succeed in life and reach our goals.
  10.  Friends come in all shapes and sizes as does family.
  11.  Learn from your losses and struggles.
  12. Teachers are people too.  The good ones truly care for their students.
  13.  It’s important to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh.
  14.  Mistakes, lies, and shortcuts will catch up with you.
  15.  Stand up for what you believe in and find others to stand up with you.
  16.  Let your imagination soar.
  17.  Hermione was just as important as Harry and Ron.
  18.  Everyone has a special talent or gift.  Let’s help each other find it.
  19.  School was enough of a challenge without having to learn potions or to ride a broomstick.
  20.  Everyone is dealing with some kind of loss or pain so be kind and don’t prejudge them.

What did you learn from Harry Potter?  I am sure there are many more things that I learned but these are the first to come to mind.

If you haven’t read these amazing stories, I highly recommend them.  You will soon become a fan of Hogwarts, owls, quidditch, flying brooms, and chocolate frogs.

If you have read them, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have.

Happy Birthday Dear Dawn!

Patti.Dawn.HB_5-17-2016Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Dawn. Happy Birthday to you! 

Today is my friend Dawn’s 40-something birthday! She is one of my favorite people. I have many wonderful memories of the two of us.

We met at the beginning of our freshman year in college and have been friends ever since.

You know how you sometimes click immediately with people? We did and have stayed close. Sadly, we don’t see each other as much anymore, but we will keep in regular touch. So that is great.

This photo was taken at Dawn’s wedding at a lovely mountain spot. It was a fun day, a small and intimate wedding, and then a great reception.  It was so fun to be a part of this celebration with her.

We have celebrated a lot over the years — each other’s weddings, weddings of friends, vacations, the births of our children, and so much more. And we have comforted one another during losses and deaths.

In Beaches, one character says of the other, my memory of you is very long. Or something like that. That is how it is with my friend Dawn. My life has been richer for having this dear friend.

Hope you have a great day Dawn and lots of fun with your family and friends.  Only wish that I could be there to celebrate with you.

Honoring Dr. King

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  Today we honor the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What a man he was!  He was an amazing speaker, motivator, and worked hard for equality and freedom for all people.  He and many others changed things and for that I am truly grateful.

As a former speechwriter, I know the challenge of writing words that will inspire and motivate others.  Dr. King had this skill beyond most. He was eloquent, moving, and called people to peaceful action.  I have learned so much from him, his words, and his mission in life.

It is amazing to look back 50 years and see how some were treated.  I have wept at movies I have watched that have brought it all to life and sat stunned that anyone could be treated so poorly.  I realize that there are still things that need changing, but great strives have been made.  I hope we can remember to be kind and loving to all people.

While there is still much to be done with relations between races, I am blessed to have a child who doesn’t see these differences in his friends.  He likes them for who they are, not what they look like.  His class at school is diverse and he knows and likes kids from many varied backgrounds.  I feel so fortunate for this.

May we always remember to be kind to one another, to love and not hate, to bear one another’s burdens, to not judge others, and to practice the golden rule of treating others as we want to be treated.

Some of my favorite quotes by Dr. King are:

  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Hatred paralyzes life; hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
  • “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
  • “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”
  • “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hatred cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy.”
  • “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”
  • “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
  • “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
  • “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

May you have a blessed day!

(Photography Note: This photo is of Ian and one of his dear friends. I didn’t want to post their entire faces in order to retain their privacy.  Hopefully you can still see the friendship of two close buddies.)

The Blessing of Cub Scouts

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday.  Just a few weeks until Christmas and there is still so much to do.  I better get to it.  But, first I want to write about the blessing of Ian’s Cub Scout den and pack.

We started with a great group of boys at the beginning of this school year.  And, each Monday we go and do fun activities and then on the first Monday of each month, the boys earn pins, patches, belt loops, and other items.

There is so much to like about this organization.  Not only is Ian learning to live by their motto: Do Your Best, he is also learning the importance of attending activities and being on time for things. And, he is learning the lesson of patience since it takes time to earn the patches, etc.  And, he is making new friendships and deepening others.

His den leaders are really nice people and the Pack leader is a friend of my sister’s from high school.  I have as much fun as Ian does. He is in first grade at in the Tiger den.  Parents of Tigers are required to attend all events with their sons.  That makes it a real family event, which we enjoy.

We recently completed the popcorn sales and Ian did quite well.  Since he had such good sales, he was able to choose a prize.  He chose the fishing rod.  Can’t wait to try it out in the spring!

In addition to regular meetings, we have also had some fun outings — called “Go See It” activities.  We went to a soccer game played by the high school girl’s team, we went to the bowling alley (see picture above), we went on a tour of an old city square and then had ice cream.  Last night we went to visit a local radio station where we got to meet one of my favorite DJs.  This coming weekend, we have the chance to march in the city’s Holiday Parade with the entire pack.

In a few months, Ian is supposed to be earning his first big award — the Tiger patch.  This has taken the entire first part of the year to earn and has included go see it activities, den meetings, as well as homework with our family.  We are very excited that he is about to get it!

Many of our friends and family members have also been involved in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  We love hearing from all of them.  If you have any fun stories, please share them with me and our readers.

I wonder what new adventure we will have at our next Cub Scout event?  It will be soon and it will be fun, I am sure.

The Blessing of Friendship

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday is the birthday of one of my oldest friends.  I don’t mean oldest by age but oldest as in the one who I have known the longest — except for family members. Happy 40-something Birthday to you dear Tammy!

My earliest memory of us being friends was in second grade.  We may have known each other before that too, but I just don’t remember.  Do you remember Tammy?

While in second grade, we had the same teacher Mr. Toler.  He was a fantastic teacher and one of the best.  One day that I still remember, we got in trouble for talking in class.  He pulled us out of the class and sent us to the coat closet to try to behave again.  Well, needless to say, we still had too much to discuss.  The punishment didn’t quite work since we kept talking.  Our parents were both called I think.

In addition to talking, we have always loved to laugh.  She is one of my favorite ones to laugh with.  We liked to laugh with our younger sisters too.  The four of us had a blast together! I hope that the four of us and our families can get together soon.

One of the nicest things that Tammy ever did was surprise me by attending my wedding.  The day before the wedding, she called me and said she wished she could be there. Little did I know she was downstairs.  When she came up the stairs, I screamed and starting crying happy tears.  It was so special to have her in town for our wedding.  If I had known, I would have asked her to be in the wedding.

So that day, I had my sister, my sister-in-law, and my best friends from elementary school, high school, and college there.  Five very special women were there for the big day and that meant the world to me. I am still friends with all of them and keep in regular touch with all of them.  What an amazing blessing that is!

Long-term friendships are few and rare so I am very thankful to still be friends with Tammy.  Although we don’t see each other as much as I’d like to, we seem to always pick right back up where we left off.  And, we always have a great time.  And, Ian had a blast playing last time with her son.  Hopefully the boys can get together again.

This photo is of the two of us the last time we were together at the beach two years ago.  Tammy, hope to see you again soon!

Hope you have a wonderful birthday Tammy!  Thanks so much for the blessing of your friendship!!    And, just between us, Cindy, and Sonya, AGADKTGA!!!!!!!  GGP rock!!!

Throwback Thursday – Toes In the Sand

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday!  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to post a photo of Ian taken in 2009.  We were at a great shelling beach in Fort Pierce, Florida. He was 2-years-old at the time and always with his paci (pacifier).

I love the sand on his hands and feet and that he is so carefully and intently studying the stick. I also love the look of wind blowing through his sun-kissed hair. It is hard believe that this picture was taken 5 years ago.  My how time flies.  My short and sassy two-year-old now is almost 7-years-old.  Now he is just under 4 feet 1 inch tall.

The notion of time flying is especially true knowing that my best friend from college has a son who is leaving for college this week. She wrote a lovely blog about him, which absolutely made me cry – both sad and happy tears.  I have a feeling that it will touch you as well.  The link is http://gibsongirl247.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/good-byes-are-hard-they-just-are.

I remember meeting Dawn in college during our freshman year.  All four years, we were in the same dorm, just changed floors a few times. We even roomed together during our senior year.  That first year, we clicked right away and have remained friends ever since.

We have been through good and bad together and we’ve had some very funny times and some very sad.  She is someone who I have a very long memory of and love dearly.  To have a friendship like we do is very rare and I am so very thankful for it and for her.

And, now her son is going off to college.  I remember the year he was born and seeing the two of them at the hospital, along with her hubby.  I remember when her son was the age Ian is in the above picture, and at 7-years-old. And, so quickly he grew up into an amazing young man.  Now he is leaving for his own college adventures.

I hope that he has as much fun in college as we had.  And, I hope that he learns as much as we did and that he makes some life-long friends.

There is a song that states how I am feeling this week, “Time keeps on slipping into the future.”  It goes go by so fast.

I wonder if I will remember to savor each and every moment? I plan to since before long, Ian will be off to college. For now, I will enjoy our adventure as he enjoys 1st grade.

Happy Birthday Dear Karen!

Karen-2Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Karen, Happy Birthday to you!!!

Happy birthday to my friend Karen.  Hope you have been having a fantastic birthday!

Karen has been a friend for many, many years!  We met at work and have stayed friends long after leaving those jobs.

Here we are many years ago at the beach with her wonderful hubby.  These two have always been like my big brother and sister.  We always got along really well and for that I am truly thankful.

I knew them for several years before meeting Kirk.  When Kirk and I started dating, it was fun to have a great couple to do things with.  The four of us have always had a great time together.

Karen is a friend who I enjoy being with and spending many hours together talking, shopping, eating, or spending time at the beach.  We have always had a great time together!  We always like to smile and laugh.

When I think of a happy and cheerful person, Karen is who comes to mind.  She loves her family, her friends, is passionate about several hobbies, is a hard worker, and is quite smart.  I have learned many things from her over the years and continue to do so.

I decided to post these old photos of us. (hope you don’t mind)  At the end of the post, the photo on the left was taken at a luncheon with colleagues from work and the second one was taken at my old apartment.

May you have a wonderful day as special as you are my dear friend!  Hope to see you again soon.Karen-3 Karen.1

Throwback Thursday – Pam and Patti

img067For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a few pictures of me with my cousin Pam.  In honor of our recent visit, I thought I’d go back a few years for the photos.

This first picture was taken in the early 1990s.  I don’t remember what year.  I love it of both of us.

Since this was taken, we have posed for many pictures, including our recent visit.  We have also laughed a lot, cried a little, and had so many fun times together.

girls 2Pam is one of my best friends.  And, I love that we are family.  No matter how long it’s been since we have seen each other, we pick up right away and chat like no time has passed. Vacation 2006 185The friendship we have is rare and I cherish it.

This second picture is (from left) of me, Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie. And the third was taken on that same day while shopping and walking on the boardwalk of Beckie, Pam, and me.  These were taken in 2006. Fun times with my girls!

Shared stories, laughter, togetherness, time at the beach or pool, and talking over a glass of wine are some of the many things we enjoy doing together.

Now that we are both married and have families, our circle has grown.  There are more people to have fun with and to love. Our families are so important to both of us and I just love that!

A verse in scripture (Proverbs 17:17) says that a friend loves at all times.  And Elbert Hubbard said, ““A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”  I am blessed to have such a friend who is also my cousin.

I wonder when I will get to see my dear cousin again?  I do hope that it’s soon!

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

Jen.1Happy Birthday to you dear Jennifer!!!  Today is my friend Jennifer’s birthday.  And, since it is also Throwback Thursday, I decided to include some photos of the two of us from many years ago.

Jennifer is a friend who I met in high school.  We were in chorus and show choir together and had a ball.  We went on a few trips with the chorus our senior year with many other friends.  I have such fond memories of this time in our lives.

This first picture was just after we graduated.  We were ready to take on the world and both went off to separate colleges.  We still stayed in touch and remained tight. For that I am truly thankful.

Jen.2This next picture was taken at the back of Jen’s car while we were both home from school.  We loved riding around town in this Z28.  I love our big late-80s hair!

Through the years, we have remained dear friends and have been there for each other through good times and bad.  I love having Jen in my life and always have.

A few times, we were more distant than others but always found our way back to spending regular time together.   We still often see each other and always have a great time.  We still can talk about almost anything.

As Bette Midler said in the movie “Beaches,” my memory of Jen is very long.  And wonderful and full of happiness, some sadness and all of life’s experiences.  It is a true blessing to have Jen as my dear friend.

To Jen, I want to say thanks so much for being you and for being such a great friend to me over all of these years.  How many again?  Many wonderful years!  Thanks for inspiring me, teaching me about being a mother, and for being you.

For my dear friend, a few quotes about friendship:

  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.” ~Author Unknown
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” ~Sicilian Proverb
  • “A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad.” ~Arnold H. Glasgow
  • “The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” ~Elbert Hubbard
  • “A good friend is cheaper than therapy.” ~Author Unknown
  • “A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.”~Donna Roberts
  • “Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.” ~Author Unknown

Jen, may you have a wonderful and truly blessed day!  Happy Birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday Dawn!

Dawn_bdayTomorrow is my friend Dawn’s birthday.  Happy Birthday to you dear Dawn!   She wrote a great blog today about it.  Please see the link at the bottom of the posting.  It is a fun read.

Here are some fun pictures from the era we met — when we were in college.  We met our freshman year and have been friends ever since.

The black and white photos were taken on a trip we took to Ocean City, MD.  We had a blast and were real hams for the camera as you can see. The color photo is from our college graduation!  YEAH, we made it.  We celebrated with our families and had a lot of fun.

Dawn is a forever friend, which is a rare gift!  I am so happy that I have known her for all of these years. Now we are in our mid-40s, which is truly amazing to think about.  Where did the time go?  It seems to have flown by.

I like that for many years, we lived near each other after college.  We stayed in touch and saw each other regularly.  Now, we no longer live close in distance, but do still keep in touch.

I just miss spending time in person with her over a glass of sweet iced tea, a tasty meal, and a shared memory.  I would love to go dancing with her, go to a chick flick movie, or on a long walk with my friend.  Another trip to the beach would also be fun.

We have always had differences but also quite a few similarities.  I like that about our friendship.  I continue to learn things from her and am inspired by her life, her career, her relationships, and those things that are important to her.  We clicked from the moment we met during freshman year and I am very thankful for her being in my life.

Dawn, may you have a wonderful birthday!  May your time with family and friends be blessed!  Hope to see you again soon.   Happy Birthday to you!  Welcome to the 46th year of life.  Can you believe we are that age?  I sure can’t!!!  Love ya!

You can read Dawn’s great birthday blog at http://gibsongirl247.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/a-rich-life/