SYW: On Being Better, Love, Memories, Death & the Composition of a Baseball

A new set of questions this week from Melanie’s Share Your World!

QUESTIONS    (Going DEEP on these today)

Are human beings required to better themselves and will doing that make them happier?
Required? No, no one is required to do anything in their life, but it’s better that they achieve their potential, which will be a contribution to our society and human existence in general. I think if a person works hard to achieve something, or meets a goal, (s)he will be happy with what was achieved; so collectively, people who strive to be the best they can be will be happier and more confident in themselves.

Is it easier to love or to be loved?
Depends on who is doing the loving! If one who loves another is always having to give, give, give and the other gives little in return, that can’t be an easy emotion to deal with. Love ultimately requires work, while being loved requires nothing. So being loved is easier, but both are needed.

Outside traumatic brain injury, can memories be completely erased?
I don’t know. I do know it’s possible to “block” traumatic events in one’s life – such as a history of child abuse. A person may block such memories for self-preservation and to forget those terrible events to be relieved of suffering, having nightmares, etc. But I guess these memories aren’t really “erased” – a good psychotherapist may succeed in bringing a patient’s blocked memories to consciousness in order to confront them to aid in healing.

Is there such a thing as a good death?
Sometimes. If a person has been suffering a lot or has no quality of life, or “alive” due to machines but in a vegetative state…then yes, their death could be considered “good” because it alleviates their suffering. When my mother was suffering from dementia and could no longer really communicate – and she was a person who loved being sociable, to talk on a variety of subjects, reading and writing – I used to pray for God to allow her life to end.

Perhaps we can also say that a human monster (like Hitler) who has caused terrible suffering and death of innocents, also had a “good death,” in that the world is better off without him!

Or perhaps a “good” death is simply death free of pain and prolonged suffering – such as dying in one’s sleep or very suddenly with no pain involved.

Anyone’s idea of a “good death” is really subjective.

and one ‘silly’ one because the former questions were fairly serious:   What do you imagine is inside a baseball? 
Some stuffing – cotton, or fibers of some kind. Maybe a ball of string? I’ve never thought about it before.  But your question made me curious, so I looked it up.


Feel free to share something uplifting this week!  

Love Me Do!

What would life be without friends? So my love on Feb. 26 for Paula’s month of lurve goes to…

Feb. 26: I love…friends! I have friends pretty much all over the U.S. and in Brazil because I have lived in several different places and in my high school there were students from all over. I have come to think of some of you as my blogger friends, reading your posts and commenting, and you doing the same! But I am dedicating the collage below to good friends, even though we have seen little or nothing of each other during this pandemic! All the more reason to appreciate them!

I also love the Beatles!

Kinda Square #5: Close Encounters

This photo invokes memories of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, so although no aliens greeted us, I’m submitting it for Becky’s October Kinda Square challenge:

Oops, I lied! We did encounter an alien – in the souvenir store! (He didn’t greet us but I did have my husband take a photo of me with him!)

In fact, I don’t think I ever heard of Devil’s Tower until I saw that movie. I suspect it’s the same for a lot of people. I wonder if after the movie was released the number of tourists increased substantially? Probably! We had not intended to or thought of going there on this trip we took to the Dakotas in 2017, but when we saw the advertising and realized how close it was, we decided to take a side trip! I’m glad we did!

30 Day Book Challenge: 16, 17, 18

Here’s my latest installment in Sandman Jazz’s June 30-Day Book Challenge.

Day 16: A book you’ve read more than once: I don’t often do this, much as I’m tempted, because there are too many other books to read! However, every few years, I need an injection of Jane Austen, so I reread Pride and Prejudice. Each time I discover something I didn’t notice before!

Day 17: A book with a person’s name in the title: There are so many! Two that I have read within the last year are 1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Quite an interesting and humorous book – much of it is her interior monologue in judgment of other people, often people she hardly knows. It is wickedly funny!

2. Circe by Madeline Miller. Miller is an excellent writer and has written at least three novels which are based on Greek mythology. She is an expert in Greek classics, and her stories draw from The Iliad and Homer’s Odyssey. I admit that I have not read either one of these, but Miller inspires me to be tempted! She uses characters in these epic works and builds a very believable story around them. Circe was a minor goddess and hardly mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey except that she was banished to an island for all time. When men land there on their voyages, she turns them into pigs – well, not all the time; only if they behave badly! The whole novel is engrossing and clever, so much so that I as the reader began to think I really knew some things about Greek mythology! Circe (the book) has a definite feminist viewpoint. I loved it.

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Day 18: a book you like by an author no longer living: Many come to mind! My siblings and I were raised on the classics, and there were many complete collected works to choose from at our house. My favorite series as a kid was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series of books about her life in a pioneer family: Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, etc.

The most recent one I’ve read is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I was actually surprised I had never read it before! It is the story of the life of the four March sisters, who are very close growing up, and each of them follows her own path – women did not have as many options open to them in the 1860s as they do now. But the main character, Jo, is the sister who bucks the system and becomes a writer no matter what she has to do to get there! In the end, she also marries (even though she had vowed not to for years), and puts her writing on hold to start a school for boys with her husband. That is the subject of the next book in the series, Little Men.

Following is the official trailer for the latest (2019) movie version of Little Women.

LAPC: Long & Winding

Lens-Artists’ 100th(!) photo challenge is long and winding roads.

French countryside, province of Normandy
Not exactly a road, actually it’s a path. But it’s a long way down! Above the town of Arromanches, France and Port Winason. The British created an artificial harbor here using old barges and truck bodies, which was named Port Winston, in preparation for D-Day.
The island of Mont St-Michel is reached by a long causeway at low tide (at high tide, the island is cut off from the shore). Taken from the abbey at the top of Mont St-Michel, France.
Are we looking down at the road just traveled, the road yet to be traveled, or the road not traveled? Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA
The road winds up and down mountains at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
A long and winding hiking trail (which we did not explore) at Arches National Park, Utah, USA. We were content to photograph the scenery!
A dusty and winding road at the base of Masada plateau, Israel – the workers’ entrance?
A very long and very dusty path for the hardy hikers who take it up to the Masada plateau. Taken from the cable car our group wisely chose!
Another photo of hikers on a very windy path taken from the top, at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.
Not much of the road is visible here, but the sign tells us about it! Near Oatman, Arizona, USA
Around that 15 mph bend in the road and who do we see? A couple of Oatman residents on the road! Oatman, Arizona, an old mining town today survives because of the tourists on Route 66, (of which this is a part), who come for the burros that hang around town – and hike along the road! Oatman has a couple of Route 66 touristy stores and buildings that are the remnants of its mining heyday.
Leaving Sedona, Arizona, after a weekend celebration of the 70th anniversary of Verde Valley School, where I attended high school (but much less than 70 years ago!).

And to end, I can’t resist – because this is what I was singing in my head while composing this post.

Song Lyric Sunday: Christmassy Music

I found this song on YouTube and really liked it. In doing research on it, I found out that it was composed and sung by British composer Leigh Haggerwood in 2010. He wanted to bring back the spirit of Christmas that he felt was lacking from the UK charts for decades. He was disappointed by the annual non-festive songs and when he was writing My Favourite Time of Year, he recollected his own childhood in the early 1980s. The melody is catchy and upbeat, which “weaves up and down the major scales of Eb and Bb.” It also has traditional Christmas sounds such as chimes and harmonies.

The video is set in Victorian England, filmed in Shropshire which gave it an authentic recreation of the period. In the video the street becomes “Florin Street.” Haggerwood had trouble promoting the song at first because it wasn’t coming from a major label. It gained prominence through social media. After its release in December 2010, in August 2011 the United States Army Band asked for permission to arrange the song for their Christmas concert at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. After that, it was requested for TV and radio shows, and Haggerwood  received requests to perform it in schools, churches, choirs, orchestras, theatres and youth groups.

You can listen to the entire album Christmas Songs by the Florin Street Band on YouTube.

My Favourite Time of Year lyrics: 

Lanterns lighting up the town,
Peace on earth is all around,
Everything is calm on Christmas Eve.
There’s goodwill in the air tonight,
Angels sing by candle light,
Their voices carried on the wind.
When carol singers gather round,
When I hear that festive sound,
I wanna join with them and sing!
They sing a merry song and we all sing along,
A festive melody that tells us Christmas time is here.
See the stars tonight; they’re shining bright,
‘Cause it’s Christmas time
and it’s my favourite time of year.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Give me mistletoe; it’s the season to be jolly,
Wrapping presents, writing cards,
helping decorate the tree,
But there’s one thing that makes it all for me.
When carol singers gather round,
Angel voices fill the town,
It’s like the world is joining in
(Noel, Noel, Noel)
They sing a merry song and we all sing along,
A festive melody that tells us Christmas time is here.
See the stars tonight; they’re shining bright,
‘Cause it’s Christmas time and it’s my favourite time of year.

Christmas Eve,
Still believe,
So excited,
Can’t sleep,
When the morning comes,
Church bells ring,
And he’s been
They sing a merry song and we all sing along,
A festive melody that tells us Christmas time is here.
See the stars tonight; they’re shining bright,
‘Cause it’s Christmas time and it’s my favourite time of year.
And it’s my favourite time of year
(Noel, Noel)

Song Lyric Sunday
Dec. 22, 2019


Summer in the City: Takin’ a Break

Lens-Artists’ photo challenge for this week is Taking a Break.  When the weather is hot (or even when it’s not), it’s always nice to take a break, such as…

before a Beach Boys & Ringo Starr concert at Ravinia,
young Parisians enjoying a warm afternoon in the sculpture gardens behind the Louvre,
after work at the Overlord Museum at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France,
cooling off on a sizzling Sunday by the canals of Amsterdam,
or how about being on an Amsterdam canal in a boat?

Here’s someone who knows how to let it all hang out – aaahhh!! (midday in Cairo, Egypt)
Now let’s take a break from the heat and enjoy a classic from 1966!


December Squares: Steam Clock of Gastown, Vancouver

20160819_203328 (2) Gastown Vancouver

The world’s first steam powered clock is in the Gastown neighborhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This plaque tells about it.
Glass panels on the sides allow the curious visitor to see the mechanics inside this clock.
Another photo showing the whole clock is in my previous post.

For more timepieces and other interpretations of the theme time, see Becky’s December Squares.

Speaking of time, here’s a video of the lyrics to the song Time Has Come Today by the Chambers Brothers.