Shadows of Simplicity

One never has to look too far to see the beauty of life all around us. This weekend I was again thankful for my vision. My own backyard gave me all the shadows of intricate simplicity I needed yesterday. Look at these majestic colors against the blue sky.

“Simplicity is the last step of wisdom” Victor Hugo

 

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Enjoy this slow motion video of falling leaves

Rosie

Today’s News

What had we really expected from Russia? America, backed by Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has now begun bombing IS. 130,000 refugees crossed into Turkey yesterday and on the news today, I heard them thanking America and the other countries involved for their help. Russia’s Foreign Minister Spokesperson claims this is a gross violation of international law, despite the fact that Vladimir Putin has been doing just the same thing in Ukraine.

My question isn’t why Russia is so against the eradication of this evil band of barbarians. We all know that Russia lives by its own rules and doesn’t give a damn about anybody else. My question is why are only America, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seeking to destroy these wicked, child murdering, women raping, throat cutting, life hating savages?

I am not a warmonger and do not believe in war. I do believe though that IS must be taken down before even more innocent lives are put to waste.

Where is the rest of the world when this is going on?

Gavin

author website

Shades of Autumn

I watch a graceful Monarch butterfly and a bumblebee drink nectar together. The Monarch leaves the plant and flutters all around me for several minutes. I feel peace with nature.  I take in more beauty by looking closely at vibrant autumn flowers.  An occasional leaf here and there has begun to make the transition to autumn.  Giving off hues of oranges, reds and yellows in the beams of the sunlight. I hear the cardinal in the near by tree and to try to get a glimpse of his radiate color and outstanding beauty.

As I try to hold on to summer I know that is not possible. Another season and day are upon us.

 

 Find a quiet spot today and take a moment to pause and reflect on your life. Enjoy the wonderment of the world all around us.

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Rosie


 

Simple and Delicious

Sometimes you just need to have something “sweet” to perk up your day!  One of these Pretzel – Rollo – Pecan cookies will do the trick.  They freeze well so you can pop one or two or three into a lunch box or picnic basket at anytime!

Ingredients:

50 small pretzel squares (they make gluten free pretzels)

50 Rollo candies

50 whole pecans

  1. Place pretzel pieces on a baking sheet.
  2. Top with one Rollo candy.
  3. Place in a warm (250 degrees) oven to just let the Rollo candy melt on top of the pretzel to hold it in place.
  4. Remove from oven and place a pecan piece on top.
  5. Let cool and harden.


 Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie and Gavin

 

If you laugh at it you can deal with it!

Joan Rivers 1933 – 2014

Comedian Joan Rivers died in a New York hospital Thursday afternoon, a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a medical procedure at the age of 81.

Joan Alexandra Rosenberg, known by her stage name Joan Rivers, was an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host, best known for her stand-up comedy.

I had the great pleasure of being in the audience to see Joan Rivers in 1983.  It was a dinner theater performance at the Carlton in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Joan was promoting her album at the time entitled: What becomes a Semi Legend most?  She was very cordial after the show to sign autographs, have photos taken and chat briefly.

Joan was a quick-witted and sharp-tongued comedian on stage. Her famous line was, “Can we talk?”   In real life Joan had a heart of gold, having gone through many battles.  When being interviewed by Larry King, I recall her profound statement about life. She said, “If you laugh at it you can deal with it.”  How very true that statement is.

My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa Rivers said. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie

The Cowboy Rides Away

Front row seats at a George Strait concert doesn’t happen to just anyone. Last evening I was lucky to have one of those front row seats in the comfort of my own home. CMT was airing a special, the final George Strait concert from Texas, “The Cowboy Rides Away.”  This final tour ended this summer for George with over 105,000 faithful, delighted fans in attendance.  The biggest indoor concert to date in history. George is not retiring from country music; just country music touring.

With my life size George Strait cut out, which stands by my TV screen, I captured a photo of the special event for you to view.

I was in my glory as I sang along with George’s sixty number one hits. He had nine friends stop by to sing with him. Some of the biggest acts in the genre. Each capable of selling out stadiums in their own right.

As George ended his concert and was about to leave the stage, he threw his signature cowboy hat out into the crowd (something he has never done before). I knew I had just witnessed a historic event not just an ordinary concert.  I recalled the first time I saw George Strait on stage in Minneapolis, I was the age my son is now. I have no idea how the years can go by as quickly as they do. Music truly can lift one’s spirit. Thanks George for the memories and songs that linger forever!

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie

 

 

Where will it all end?

Imagine a world where one could watch the news and smile afterwards, a world where only good things happened and where all people, no matter their color or religion actually cared for each other. Wouldn’t that be something?

Sadly that’s not the world we live in. The number of people forced to flee their homes across the world has exceeded fifty million for the first time since the Second World War. Half the world’s refugees are children, many traveling alone, often falling into the clutches of traffickers. This world is a scary place.

Just yesterday American journalist James Foley was cruelly beheaded by a British jihadist. Thinking about what this man went through breaks my heart, knowing it was a British citizen that committed this heinous crime causes my blood to boil. Even, I as a published author cannot imagine the hell James was forced through, the hell his family went through, are going through right now.

The world really has gone too far and life appears to mean so little to so many. How is it possible to kill in the name of religion? How can anybody ever justify slaughtering men, women and children in the name of God? James Foley was a journalist. He wasn’t there with a gun, wasn’t there to kill, wasn’t responsible for government policies in the Middle East. He was just a reporter, a simple man who happened to be an American. The only weapons he carried were a pen, a note pad and camera.

Rest in peace James Foley.

It’s important though to remember that hundreds of thousands of people are facing death as I write; that countless numbers have been murdered in cold blood, slaughtered in the name of religion. I am not against religion. I am a proud Christian. I just wish religion didn’t have to be used as a weapon to destroy lives.

Until next time,

Gavin

author web site

Off the Beaten Track

Sitting here right now, the sun on my back; mug of coffee in hand, it’s difficult to believe summer will soon be giving way to autumn. The older we get, the quicker the years rush by. Isn’t that the story of life? Last week this time I was still in America, still in Litchfield Minnesota, my home from home.

It’s been an eventful summer, a summer of meeting old friends and of making new ones, of completing my latest novel, of editing, of promoting my books and Sweet Conclusions.

Six weeks passed like wild horses and in just a few days’ time, I’ll be back at work here in Sweden. I always cherish my time in America; always look forward to visiting new and exciting places, places the average tourist doesn’t usually get to see. I have friends who have traveled from New York to Orlando, from Seattle to San Diego. Some have flown from Sweden to Washington DC or Minneapolis while others have experienced Dallas or Denver, Phoenix or Las Vegas. I’m not really a city person though; don’t really need to see streets lined with shops and tourists packed in cars and on buses like tins of sardines well-passed their sell by date.

If you want to see the true America, you should take a step back, leave the tourist tracks and head off into what is for me, one of the most amazing countries on earth.

You can find a McDonald’s or a Burger King, a tacky clothes store or and shoe shop in pretty much any city on the planet and surely, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I always make a point of visiting small towns, discovering new watering holes, mixing with the good people I meet on the way. As much as I would like to take a road trip from New York to Orlando or from Seattle to San Diego, I think I’ve seen and will keep seeing the best of America!

  Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Gavin

 Gavin Hill author web site

What have you seen in your backyard this summer?

Do you ever pause long enough to enjoy the lovely sounds of nature? The earth has music for those who stop and listen!

This is what I found waiting for me to capture recently. 

A hungry bluejay with its beak open waiting patiently for some suet.

A baby cardinal enjoying some safflower seed.

 A beautiful swan protecting her young.

Did you ever wonder why there are so many types of bird beaks or bills? The most important function of a bird bill is feeding, and it is shaped according to what a bird eats. The bill is one of the characteristics used to identify birds. You can learn about bird behavior by looking at the bill and thinking about what it eats. Then you may think about where it lives, and so on.

We have the most beautiful hummingbird grace our presence daily.

Hummingbirds have long, tubular bills that resemble straws, which they use to sip nectar from flowers and sugar water from feeders.

We recently found this woodpecker in our tree.  Sadly the city crew had to cut down our tree last week due to Dutch Elm disease. Woodpeckers have strong beaks which taper to the tip, forming a chisel for pecking holes in trees for food or nests. Most feed on insects which live under the bark.

 A cone shaped bill is found in many birds such as finches and grosbeaks. They have a strong beak used for cracking seeds. We enjoy this grosbeak when he arrives to the feeder. We have a catbird watch over us daily.  Sometimes he comes close and sits in a branch near our table when we eat outside.  This week Gavin saw a fawn run across our backyard … a very rare occurrence for our neighborhood.  What have you seen in your backyard this summer?

I will leave you with a John Burroughs quote:

I go to nature to be soothed and healed,

and to have my senses put back in order …


Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions

Rosie

 

Eden Valley Area Library- an inspiration to all (Part Two)

It’s always fun meeting and working with children, educating and guiding them, filling their young minds with creative thoughts. At the William Gray & the Family Next Door event though, we also met many amazing adults. The Eden Valley Area Library really does know how to reach out to the young. William Gray & the Family Next Door was the first of two shows, the second being a mad scientist. Well, that’s what he was billed as. He was actually a science teacher, just another adult with a burning desire to teach and to interact with the young. The world needs more teachers, more educational storytellers, more adults who want to reach out and help others.

Last Saturday Rosie and I had an adult event at the exact same place. It’s always fun to stand behind a podium, to open the heart and to offer a little inspiration, to gaze into the eyes within the crowd, to see the smiles and to feel the warmth. None of us are invincible. We might think we are and we might believe we possess the strength to purely go it alone. Life’s really not that simple though is it?

Rosie’s heart-rending story brought many to tears, the constant struggle of a woman who has fought every step of the way, who is unable to eat and to drink as we do. My life story has always caused others to think about their own lives, about how they conduct themselves and about how they perceive others. Mine is a story of determination against the odds, of becoming something most thought to be impossible. Hers is a story of sheer courage, a heart-breaking story of a woman who in spite of everything, still manages to get up each morning and to smile defiantly in the face of adversary.

Sometimes we all need a helping hand, kind words and a gentle heart, somebody to inspire us or just to tell us we’re doing okay. If life was easy it would probably soon become quite boring. There is a reason for everything, a place and a time. We all face challenges, all feel sad or lonely sometimes… it’s part of life. We cannot run or hide from our pasts and all of us have done things we dearly regret. I know I have, and that’s why I chose to become a motivational speaker. Rosie chose the path for a different reason.   

But we can all motivate others; all bring joy and words of wisdom into other people’s lives. As long as we can come to terms with the things we have done or the things we are, as long as we can turn it all around, use our mistakes or adversaries as tools to help others. As long as we can find the positives within the negatives and allow our experiences to enrich others. Then we are all motivational speakers.

Schedule  Gavin and Rosie to speak at your group event in America or Europe by contacting:  sweetconclusionsgr@yahoo.com

 Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Gavin

Author Web Site

Sweet Conclusions Web Site