Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

By Lois Jamieson

I find so many things to be thankful for this year. First of all, that I made it to age eighty two and a half. I still get up in the morning and greet the day with enthusiasm. I throw a kiss to my sleeping husband of fifty eight years and walk around the house I love. Then I check to see if the flowers are still growing in the courtyard and watch the birds taking a morning bath in the fountain. Some quiet meditation and “thank you God” comes next. What more could I ask for.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at our son’s home. There were 17 of us – not all family – who gathered together. A special treat was having all three grown up grandchildren with us. We all feel so very grateful to have and love each other.

My life hasn’t always been like this. When I was eleven years old my parents were divorced. I went with my mother to a state 1200 hundred miles away. We had no money and had to live with my grandparents. The hardest part was leaving my two brothers behind to live with my father. There were lots of uncertain years, not knowing where my next dress would come from. But even then I had many gifts bestowed upon me. I was so lucky to have a fun and loving Irish mother, the opportunity to stay close to my brothers in spirit, and a great God given faith.

I wish all of you, whereever you are, a happy and thankful holiday season.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kids Without Stuff

I write another blog, with my daughter Jan, called Kids Without Stuff. In that blog we write about the children at StarShine Academy, where I have volunteered for seven years, and Jan has been principal and now superintendant of the StarShine Schools. We are also writing a book called Kids Without Stuff to be published in the spring of 2012. The following is a post I just wrote for our KWS blog. I would like to share it with you.

There Are Kids Without Stuff all over the world
And volunteers helping them, just like at StarShine. Just this week I heard that my great niece, Stacy has been volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal.
Stacy, an interior designer decided to spend her two week vacation in Nepal. Here are some of her experiences in her own words.

“I walked to the orphanage through the busy and narrow streets. There are 34 children in total . Seven children are pre-school age and there is one baby. I will be spending most of my time with them. The older children are in school. When I first arrived, Krishna who is 2 years old, Himal who is 3, and one boy who normally would be in school but could not attend because he did not have a clean uniform, were playing. I sat and played with them for about an hour. I gave them bouncy balls and covered them in stickers, they loved it. We went outside and I read to them. That is when I met Sony who is 4 year old girl. She came up and jumped in my lap. She held my hands. I learned later that her little friend was recently adopted and she hadn’t been the same since. Later we put together a puzzle.

The next day when I got to the orphanage I was pleasantly surprised to see the children playing outside in the sunshine. They love having their picture taken and then looking at the picture. Later I was upstairs writing with three 5 year old boys when the director’s assistant came in to ask me if I would stay with the baby for awhile. The baby was lying in his bassinet, which is a rusted metal triangular shaped frame that sits on the floor. He was falling asleep when she left the room. Of course the second she walked out he started screaming and crying. I picked him up and held him and started to sing the only lullaby I know. One that my Mom used to sing to me when I was a child. As I sang I lost it. I was sitting on the floor holding the baby and we were crying together.”

Stacy shared some stories about the rest of her time in the orphanage in Nepal. I am so proud of this young professional woman who would give up her vacation and travel so far to help these poor little children without parents. They truly are kids without stuff and Stacy is truly a saint.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quotes From Famous Women

by Lois Jamieson

I recently came across a very little book called “Quotable Women”. I would like to share some of my favorite quotes with you.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. – Erica Jong

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. – Colette

Life itself is the proper binge. – Julia Child

Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. – Sarah Bernhardt

Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans – Betty Talmadge

I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to earth. – Pearl S. Buck

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold – Helen Keller

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Interesting Facts About Arizona

by Lois Jamieson

In my last post I wrote about my love affair with my home state – Arizona. I have, since then, come across some interesting and humorous facts to share with you.

During the Second World War there were a group of U.S. Marines who created the first unbreakable code that baffled the Japanese. There were 29 Navajo Code Talkers. Only one remains alive today, Ninety year old Chester Nez. Ever the patriot, Chester Nez went on to serve in the Marine Reserve and fought in the Korean War in the l950s.

Arizona is home to twenty one American Indian tribes, each has its own history, language and ceremonies.

There are a lot of interesting and quite humorous names in Arizona. Some of these are towns and some are places of interest. There are 95 names with the word “bear” in their names, at least 100 with the word “black”. Here are some interesting names you will find somewhere in the state of Arizona:
Bagdad, Buenos Aires, Winsor Castle, Ajo, Sasabe, Devils Hump, Devils Corkscrew, Devils Bridge, Spud Mountain, Dewey, Potato Patch, Young, Wotans Throne, Freya Castle, Cape Royal, Siegfried Pyre, Cape Final, Antares, Aquarius Moutains, Constellation, Catholic Peak, Holy Jo Peak, Winkelman, John the Baptist Mountains. Hell Canyon, Hades Knoll, Hookers Hot Springs, Tortilla Flat, Holy Grail Temple.

I can’t say I have visited all of these places, but I have been in some of them. Maybe the rest should be on my “bucket list”.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Love Where I Live

By Lois Jamieson

I was born, and lived my first eight years, in Pennsylvania. The next twelve years I lived in Florida. I was married, had two children, in Indiana, where I lived for six years. I lived two years in the state of Illinois and since 1959, I have lived in Arizona. I feel blessed to have lived in Arizona for fifty two years and I love where I live.

I love living in Arizona for lots of reasons. The weather, yes, even the Hot Hot summers. From where I live In Scottsdale, I can drive two hours to Flagstaff in Northern Arizona with an altitude of 7,000 to 12,000 feet. I can enjoy the cool weather amid the largest stand of Ponderosa pines in the world. I can stop, on the way North, at the historic city of Prescott, the first capital of Arizona Territory. I can lunch in beautiful Sedona with a background of red cliffs. I can stop for tea in the old mining town of Jerome. On another trip, I can drive North and East of Flagstaff and onto the Navajo Indian Reservation. There I can spend a few hours in Canyon De Chelly, and then to the Four Corners area, the only place in the United States where four states come together – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.

On another trip North, I can drive to Page, Arizona and houseboat on beautiful Lake Powell. I can spend the night at the historic hotel, El Tovar, at the Grand Canyon. I can ride a mule to the bottom of the canyon at the South Rim. I can ride the rapids on the Colorado River, and I can ride a horse along the North Rim. I can arrive at the Grand Canyon via a train from Williams, Arizona or in a car. While I am in Northern Arizona I can see Sunset Crater and the Petrified Forest. I can drive a few hours East and be in the White Mountain area and be at an altitude of 8,000 feet and above. In the winter I can ski in Flagstaff and in the White Mountains.

I can drive two hours SouthEast and be in Tucson – the “Old Pueblo”, as it is affectionately called. From Tucson I can drive South to Nogales, Arizona on the border with Mexico. From there I can drive East through the wine country and on through the Huachuca Mts. to Tombstone. I can walk to the OK Corral of Wyatt Earp fame and I can spend a pleasant hour in the very fine Tombstone Museum. I can drive South East to the mining town of Bisbee and stay overnight at the famous Copper Queen Hotel or at one of the many Bread and Breakfast homes. I can then return to Tucson by driving through the Dragoon Mts. and the Cochise Stronghold.
Those are some of the many reasons I love where I live – Arizona.
Watch for a post on some interesting and fun facts about my favorite state.