I thought that I almost missed it. Today is the Ides of March. I know St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, overtakes this day. But unless you’re into it a great deal, the Ides of March, isn’t a reason to drink green beer all day. Rickard’s Red or something along lose lines, might work better.
The first time I learned about today was in grade ten in Mr. G’s English class. He was one of my favorite high school teachers. And a hilarious guy, who had no aversions to mocking his students. We made of fun mocked him and each other (in a friendly manner), in each class he taught in grade ten.
We also studied William Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar, where this vital passage appears early in the play:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.
Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
(Julius Caesar Act I.ii. 15–19).
Later on, we learned these lines are foreshadowing Caesar’s death. According to enotes.com, on Shakespeare’s famous play, these lines occur during “Lupercalia, an ancient Roman religious holiday. Caesar, [a] Roman dictator,” is making his way “through the streets before an appearance” in front of “the ‘press’ (crowd).” From the busy streets, a soothsayer issues this famous warning. As well, Caesar, a “superstitious man,” does not take the “soothsayers” words without a great deal of worry and consideration.
As well, the ‘ides’ of March always occurs on the “15th,” but which day of the month the ‘ides'” occurs in each calendar month “depends on a complicated system of calculation.” It was “Caesar himself [who] established” the ‘Ides’ when he “instituted the Julian calendar, a precursor” of our modern calendar. Also, the “‘ides’ of January, for example, “always occurs on the”13th,” but the ‘ides’ of March, May, July and October” happen on the “15th” of these months.
“The [significance] of the ‘Ides of March’ for Caesar is that [it’s] the day [he’s] assassinated by a group of conspirators, including Brutus and Cassius. Despite numerous and improbable portents [foreshadowing and allusion] —the soothsayer’s warning” a “fearsome thundering,” along with Caesers’ “wife’s dreams of his murder,” and other signs, in Shakespeare’s play, mean Caesar can’t ignore the future he faces. Despite all this, he “ventures forth on the ides to meet his doom.”
Also, the site History.com can provide us with more historical insight into this unusual day. Their staff write that “Gaius Julius Caesar,” was “stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.”
Caesar, who was “born into the Julii, an ancient” but not “distinguished Roman aristocratic family, began his political career in 78 B.C. as a prosecutor for the anti-patrician Popular Party.” From there, “[he] achieved. . . influence in the party” through his “reformist ideas” and skills as an “orat[or].” He also “aided Roman imperial efforts by raising a private army to combat the king of Pontus in 74 B.C. ”
Caesar was [also] an ally of Pompey” who was the “recognized head of the Popular Party.” He “essentially took over this position after Pompey left Rome in 67 B.C.,” when Pompey chose to become commander of Roman forces in the east. As well, by “63 B.C., Caesar was elected pontifex maximus, or ‘high priest,” allegedly by heavy bribes. Two years later, he was made governor of Farther Spain and in 60 B.C., [he] returned to Rome,” with “ambitio[ns] for the office of consul. The consulship” was the “highest office in the Roman Republic, [and was] shared by two politicians on an annual basis.”
The “Consuls commanded the army, presided over the Senate by execut[ing the Senate’s] decrees, and represented the state in foreign affairs. Caesar formed a political alliance–the so-called ‘First Triumvirate’–with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus.” While the “majority of the Roman Senate, . . . opposed Caesar,” his “land reforms won him popularity” among Roman Citizen’s and, eventually, the Senate.
Also, in “58 B.C., Caesar was given four Roman legions in Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum.” He “demonstrated brilliant military talents as he expanded the Roman Empire and his reputation. Among other achievements, Caesar conquered all of Gaul, made the first Roman inroads into Britain, and won devoted supporters in his legions.” Nevertheless, Caesar’s “successes . . . aroused Pompey’s jealousy, leading to the collapse of their political alliance in 53 B.C.”
The Roman Senate supported Pompey and asked Caesar to give up his army, which [of course,] he refused to do.” As well, in “January [of] 49 B.C., Caesar led his legions across the Rubicon River from Cisalpine Gaul to Italy, . . . declaring war against Pompey and his forces. Caesar made early gains in the[ir] civil war, defeating Pompey’s army in Italy and Spain.”
However, he “was later forced into retreat in Greece. In August 48 B.C., with Pompey in pursuit, Caesar paused near Pharsalus, setting up camp at a strategic location. When Pompey’s senatorial forces fell upon Caesar’s smaller army, they were entirely routed, and Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated by an officer of the Egyptian king.” Thus, Caesar rose to power in the Roman Republic as a dictator and sole consul member.
Finally, History.com notes that “Caesar was. . . appointed Roman consul and dictator, but before settling in[to] Rome, he traveled around the empire for several years [to] consolidat[e] his rule,” through military might and oration. “In 45 B.C., he returned to Rome and was made dictator [of Rome] for life.
As sole Roman ruler, Caesar launched ambitious programs of reform within the empire. The most lasting of these was his establishment of the Julian calendar.” Except for “slight modifications” and certain “adjustment[s to the calendar] in the 16th century, [it] remains in use today.” Caesar also “planned new imperial expansions in central Europe and to the east.
In the midst of these vast “ambitions, Caesar “was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of conspirators, who[m] believed . . . his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic.” Nonetheless, “the result of the ‘Ides of March’ was to plunge Rome into a fresh round of civil wars,” including Caesar’s once powerful supporter from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra, Marc Anthony.
However, “Octavian, Caesar’s grand-nephew,” emerged as the “first Roman emperor, Augustus” Caesar. He “destroy[ed] the Roman Republic forever,” but did manage to bring the Romans into an age of peace called PaxRomana.
According to Wikipedia, what this age of peace meant was that, the Roman Empire expanded little and had to defend itself little against enemies, until the “Third Century.” Around this time, the Roman empire began its descent in power, especially, in Western Europe.
Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. Thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix’s double take prompt using the words presence – the state of being present/ presents – gifts and holy – with religious significance/holey – perforated, with holes/ and wholly – fully, completely.
Credit: Emily Mortar via Unsplash
The variegated violet sky was an odd site in winter as rain was dangerous this time of year, an ominous icey presence; Jane turned the ring her boyfriend Finn had given her as a Christmas present and her engagement ring. His holy and reverent attitude towards his Great-Grandmother’s wedding ring was strange, Jane thought, as she gazed at the large gleaming diamond and the holey pinpoints around the central diamond filled with tiny white diamonds too. She turned back to the window, staring at the sky outside and recalled telling Finn that all she wanted was a small purple diamond; Jane did not desire this heavy weight of history and duty that hurt her finger; it made the love she once wholly felt for Finn feel cheap and worthless — her preferences did not matter to him, she realized they never would.
The White Horse is a popular bar and inn for tourists to stay at while visiting museums and decaying buildings in town.
Many old ones have been restored in the style of their time period. However, some buildings have rotted away. These past glories are left in ruin because they cannot be torn down as historical sites.
Although some people wish to restore these ancient buildings, the process of doing this correctly, with trades who are trained in forgotten skills, is frustrating. As well, there are a plethora of permits needed from the city, county, and state, along with, random inspections.
Architects and knowledgable art history professors complain, saying that the quality of work by rare trades is not accurate. Or perhaps, they say the right materials have not been used, despite these materials now being nonexistent. But few so-called experts understand that the price paid for not restoring ancient buildings is having them collapse, having history disappear.
The White Horse, however, is an exception to such procedures. The popular bar and inn has been passed down from generations of family since the thirteen-hundreds. Over time, the same lineage has updated the bar and inn through each successive family. The building contains upgrades from the fourteenth century until early 2010.
For some reason, there isn’t much any government official or anyone else, can say about this. The same family line has lived here for over seven-hundred-years, having always owned the bar and inn. Can the state and historical societies reprimand them now? Not likely.
Coastal style interior design can be defined diversely depending on where a person lives in the world. The Tropical coastal style emerged from “Hawaii, Polynesia, and many places near the Pacific” Ocean. It is decor style that is popular in homes across the world. Tropical coastal style, also known as ‘Island style,’ usually “reflects the customs, colors, and beliefs of a place’s native peoples” such as in the Hawaiian islands. “Bright, tropical patterns, natural elements such as teak and other woods, and cultural and nautical decor,” define this coastal style.
Moreover, Mediterranean Coastal style, in particular, is a home decor style with history going back for centuries. It has been used and adapted all the world but especially is found where it originated in Greece, as well as coastal towns in Spain and Italy. Mediaterrian coastal style includes a great deal of natural light, brilliant “sunbaked colors” with “terra cotta, heavy woods, black iron or metals, and carved detailing.”
American coastal style or Florida style (which I am discussing in this post) is about “relaxation and comfort,” at it’s core. It is currently, “one of the most popular decorating styles” in the U.S and in Canada and is also “quickly growing and branching” out into “sub-styles such as ‘Cottage Coastal style,’ and ‘Contemporary Coastal style.'” American coastal style as a whole may include aspects from these branches.
Florida style incorporates clean lines and materials that are natural with simple textures. A neutral background including smooth steel, wood, and woven materials are also key to achieving this look. Textiles and surface materials used in coastal style are durable and include colors such as “clear blues, sea greens, creamy whites, beiges,” other tints and shades of white and even soft gray. While coastal style homes are usually warm and relaxed some people do prefer a cooler color pallet.
My preference for both paint colors and major living room furniture, especially pieces such as couches or large comfy chairs, would be to choose neutral colors in durable fabrics as a background for more colorful decor. Neutral furniture works well for indoor or outdoor living areas as brighter colours can always be added through decorative pillows, nautical or sea themed objects, (etc).
As well, paint colors could be a warm antique white or a clearer nautical white. Subtle tints of blue, sea green, and coral would also work well for paint colors that provide a soothing feeling as if you were in an elegant but comfortable cottage.
I have always found shades of light blue, turquoise, and soft green to be luxurious and peaceful so it is not surprising that these colors are especially found in coastal design. Despite the lakeside or seaside cottage ambience, this style is also uncluttered and decorative pieces and textures should be chosen carefully. As well, if colors of the sea in light blues and greens against neutrals are not your cup of tea, coral shades and tints can create an interesting Florida design style with a more brightness.
As well, coastal style often includes prints stripes and patterns that can be bold and large, based around navel and seaside themes as well as items synonymous with Florida, and other cottage decor. As in any living room or seating area, a chair or two that contrasts against neutral colors is key outside or inside. As well, decorative pillows in a range of the color pallet can provide a room with more vivacity, texture, and key focal points. A blue or gray rug on the floor can also add subtle color and pattern. Rugs in sand shades with a beachy texture like a beach mat or some a courser material are wonderful too.
My own preference for larger pieces of furniture in the Florida style that aren’t coaches or chairs but actual wooden furniture, leans towards restored furniture or furniture that has the appearance of being restored. Colorful light blue and turquoise mid-century furniture made out of natural wood can pop against neutral walls and couches.
If you prefer, beach-like drift wood furniture works well and as does worn looking dark wood. Considering the flooring of a coastal home would also be important to determine what kind of larger cabinets, tables, (etc)., a person would choose. A darker stained wood floor for contrast with neutral walls would be anchoring. But a lighter floor that is more like a ‘sea worn’ wood would keep your home more peaceful. I enjoy painted wood furniture that has been repurposed or has that appearance myself, with darker wood floors.
Moreover, focal points or places that draw the eye to them can be created with statement art, special furniture pieces, and carefully chosen decorative ornaments. As well, nautical and beach accents such as shells, coral, sea creatures, and sea or cottage themed paintings or artwork, brighten up the laid back coastal style. I’ll note again that an uncluttered appearance is key to the style so no hoarding ornaments or decorative items and placing them everywhere. A refined cottage style retaining a tranquil and relaxing environment with an elegant sense of design is the vital. Pops of color here and there are important; however, because they help to avoid manotomy and to provide visual appeal.
Light through large windows is also significant in the contemporary coastal look because we want to keep a house bright and airy so if you are designing a home or looking for a home to decorate in the Florida style, large windows would be a wise investment. Not to mention, new windows will save you money on your power and heating bills in places where the weather becomes colder.
As well, sufficient indoor lighting is beneficial to creating the perfect ambiance. A mix of elegant metal and nautical inspired chandeliers over the dining table and in various rooms, contrast with the laid back Florida or coastal style. Table lamps for lights near chairs to read as well as to provide more lighting at night are also essential.
When designing a coastal themed kitchen it is important to keep things light and airy, carrying in color schemes from other rooms in the house. The kitchen should feel open while maintaining a coastal themed color pallet such as light blue, coral, ocean-like colors, or nautical themed hues.
White or off-white is a great choice for cupboards perhaps some with some glass in the cupboard doors. Also kitchen paint colors in light tints of blue, green, coral, in sand, and white or off-white keep a room neutral in the background.
As well, having a kitchen bar enhances the refined cottage look providing a casual place eat, but also to incorporate bright pops of color on the bar stools or on the bar top. A backsplash is also a vital place to play around with brighter shades of light blue, turquoise, navy, or coral. Perhaps only certain tiles could be vivid acting as accents in the kitchen or in a bathroom.
As well, curtains or shades in the kitchen and everywhere in the house, can contribute to having a light airy feeling through out. Curtains should not be too heavy or dark but in lighter shades or tints of the colour scheme. Sheer curtains, cotton-like, or fabrics reminiscent of nautical sails and or other nautical materials, all contribute to the coastal style.
Also, a similar design in the kitchen can be followed in places such as the bathroom and laundry room, incorporating coastal colors, textures, and tones while keeping most of the space neutral. Remembers pops of color or accents are essential in neutral spaces but should not be overdone.
Florida or coastal themed bedrooms share similarities with the other rooms in the house creating more continuity of style. The key if you are decorating your entire home in coastal style is to keep the flow from room to room without overdoing the trend. Oceanlike, comfortable, and calm surrounding are essential to recreating the effect of the luxury or a refined cottage theme for the Florida style in your own home. Bedrooms in particular should be cozy, comfortable, yet stylish.
All in all the coastal or Florida style throughout a home should keep a color palette in mind, think about flow, and how certain Colorado and hues blend with each other and neutral walls and bigger pieces of furniture. As a whole coastal style seeks to be a place people can return home to and feel at rest as if they can relax and forget about their day in their own place of a seaside haven.
Whether you prefer coastal decor or the the use of tropical vibrant colors, you can find inspiration by checking out Florida real estate for more ideas of how to bring an outdoor feeling into your home.
Welcome to another biweekly interview for my interviews series. I apologize I am behind with interviews as other projects have been keeping me extremely busy. Today I have a wonderful interview for you with Kathy Dunn, her team, and their blog for the cause of bringing awareness for animals in a Christian context. Kathy’s blog is called: Shepherding All God’s Creatures
1. What is Your Name and the Name of Your Cause? Where are you located?
My Name is Kathy Dunn, and I love animals! Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in SAGC’s ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!
My team includes myself, Kathy Dunn, from Minnesota, US; Roslyne Smith from Leeds, England; Marcello Newall from Italy; Jessica Lopez from Florida, US; and Philip Guyott from London, England.
2. Please Tell Us About Your Cause and What You Are Trying to Accomplish?
We are Christians who love animals. I (Kathy) started a spiritual venture a few years ago that led me to blog. One day I was awakened to the industrialization and incorporating of animals into factory settings. I realized animals are exploited on every level by man for factory farms for food, the skin and fur trades, vivisection, puppy mills, hunting, and animals in entertainment. In the wild, animals face unprecedented pressure just to survive; many species are endangered and face extinction. In homes, some people mistreat and abuse family pets.
Our organization seeks to accomplish certain goals including:
Using a Biblical approach, to share Christ’s love for us and all of creation, following the Holy Spirit’s lead, and using the truth of scripture.
To focus on animals and exploring their role in creation as well as to explore what mankind’s role is as a caretaker of creation and the earth in general according to The Bible.
To provide resources on our blog page so that readers have a place to find educational material on the topic of animal exploitation and abuse. They can also find information on how to become involved and take action against animal abuse. There is also information on diet and how to live a Vegan life-style.
To encourage others to speak out to church leaders about the need for Creation Care Ministries within the church.
To serve as a tool for people to take information to their church bodies, as churches awaken to their role of caring for creation. On our site, we hope to provide some material that leaders can use to help them create ‘Creation Care Ministries’ for their church.
To work alongside the animal welfare movement in their most important work, bringing the love of Christ and knowledge of scripture with us to minister to people who do not know God. For those who don’t know Him, we invite you to take a look and make an informed decision as to what this life all about!
Our ministry encourages people to have a heart for Jesus and for His truth, that God will show up for them (Jeremiah 29:13) and is real. He is there to comfort people and loves people and animals. His intent was not that mankind would exploit animals but care for them. We believe Jesus Christ is the answer to overcoming every kind of evil plaguing this troubled world.
“Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in the SAGC ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!” – Kathy Dunn
3. When Did You Begin Writing and/or Blogging for Your Cause and Why?
I started our blog in December 2013, when I asked Roslyne to join me in my endeavor. In 2014, we asked Marcello to join us. As well, in 2017, we asked Jessica to join as an author and prayer event leader. We are in process of bringing aboard Philip as an author as well as our Information Technology blog and web designer.
4. Why is Your Cause Meaningful for You and Your Team? How Does it Help Other People and Animals?
Our cause is meaningful as it fulfills our desire to help animals according to God and His word in the Bible. It is a calling I have felt since the onset. I have heard from others who follow us, how our ministry is helpful for people in finding support and understanding through our faith-based cause, focusing on animal welfare.
Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world to bring hope, love, mercy, kindness, and peace for all of God’s creation.
“Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another, in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world” – Kathy Dunn
5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue in Your Cause? Why Is Your Cause Important to You and Your Team?
I am motivated by my faith in Jesus Christ and other people whom I share my personal walk with Christ with. Reading The Bible and studying scripture – the written Word – as well as the spoken and Living Word of Jesus also inspires me. As well, sermons from going to church and other blogs add to my inspiration. Knowing about animal suffering and how it break the hearts of my team at SAGC and God’s heart, leads me to urgently want to share our message.
SAGC’s cause is significant because a lot depends upon it! The spiritual world manifests itself in the physical world. War, hatred, bloodshed, and death, were never intended to be experienced by people or animals. One day, Jesus is going to return to the physical world as he says he will in the Bible. “Our reward,” Jesus says, “is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12) for following and believing in Him.
Our organization believes that all who entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.
6. How Does Your Blog and Writing Habits Fit with Your Cause?
We hope and pray that our blog raises awareness of caring for animals and creation from a Biblical perspective. We want it to encourage people of faith to reach out to their communities and leaders, insisting that they take up animal and earth welfare issues. People are responsible for these issues such as any other social justice issue that affects people such as poverty and sickness.
We desire to bridge the gap between secular animal welfare and faith-based outreach, showing the world that Jesus cares about animals and the earth and drawing people to Him so the can achieve salvation through Christ.
“We believe that all who believe and entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.” – Kathy Dunn
7. Have You Published Anything On Your Cause Outside of Blog Posts? Have You Held Any Special Events for Your Cause or Do You Have Future Plans to Do So?
In 2016, the article, “God, Love, Peace and the Animal Kingdom” was published in the annual edition of Twin Cities, Veg Living, a publication by Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA). They are a local animal welfare organization dedicated to building community and raising awareness to the suffering of animals in factory farms, and advocating for a Vegan lifestyle.
For Special Events: We host Prayer Events Online and recently, SAGC absorbed “Christian Vegan Prayer Calls Group” and their membership which was led by Jessica Lopez. We will host the prayer conference call which was the main feature of Jessica’s prior group on a monthly basis (to begin with). Members can join in this call for prayer as the prayer leader (Jessica) leads them.
For the future, there are many considerations. After attending the’ Creature Conference’ hosted by Sarx in the UK (March 18, 2017), I have been feeling inspired to put together a similar event here in America. This event would be dedicated to bringing faith groups together to strategize on common goals of animal and earth care issues, while unifying, finding support, renewal, and encouragement for the cause of our blog as well as our calling as Christians in the world.
6. Can You Briefly Describe How Your Blog and Your Cause Began?
In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur. I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
It led me on a journey seeking all the realities of our industries where animals are concerned; I wanted to know what was going on in our world. I discovered many of the various uses mankind utilizes animals for, treating them as “things” at their disposal. I kept asking myself “where is the church?” This took me on a spiritual journey to find that answer and the SAGC blog was born three short years later.
“In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur. I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” – Kathy Dunn
7. What Is Involved In Supporting Your Cause and Blogging for It?
Staying on top of the issues and current news around the world in regards to animal welfare issues is vital. I do a lot of this work by gleaning through other animal welfare organizations and what is happening with them. I also study the Bible and read the related material and educational books both from a faith/theological perspective as well as from a secular animal welfare venue. Networking with other people and other organizations with God’s guidance is also important!
8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for other Bloggers/Writers who are Blogging/Writing for A Cause?
Follow your passion where God leads you! Read, study, don’t be quick to judge but find out as much about your cause and its background including: people involved, the culture, the history of the cause, and other particulars about your cause as to gain as much truthful knowledge and understanding as possible.You will find confidence approaching your cause this way, knowing you know the material thoroughly.
A favorite piece of scripture of mine is: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; and to Godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)
God has given us everything we need to work with for supporting causes such as animal welfare in a Christian context.
9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share with Readers of This Interview, Pertinent to Your Cause or Your Organization?
Always be ready to go the extra mile! Causes are human made – all social justice issues are the result of a fallen world and man rejecting God. It is easy to fall under the influence of the powers and principalities of evil at work in this world.
Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly.
“Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly.” – Kathy Dunn
10. For Fun, Please Tell Us Your Three Favorite Blogs?
Greg Boyd — A theologian, Bible scholar, and teaching pastor at Woodland Hills Church; he is the author of this blog. His wonderful teaching keeps me seeking and ever hungry for truth and knowledge of God
Swords To Plowshares — Craig Wescoe is a wonderful writer in his knowledge of scripture and our Biblical responsibilities for the earth and animal kingdom
Animals Are Feeling Beings Too — LeeAnn’s blog is uplifting with a serious side. I love all the photos and videos she finds and shares. She is very creative and her posts are short and to the point.
11. Please Share with Us Some Favourite Link From Your Cause’s Blog:
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN:
Father, we come to you now in the midst of great division among the people in the United States and around the world.
HALLOWED BE THY NAME:
First, we honor you as Creator of all and PRAISE YOU for all that you have made! Without you, we can do nothing (Joh 15:5). We want to put on display the glory of the Father by bringing about the rule and will of God on earth – guide us in doing so and protect us as we work at it with the Spirit’s guidance.
THY KINGDOM COME:
In us and through us, with us and without us, because of us, for the animals the earth, the downtrodden, abused, voiceless, marginalized among us so that we are an example of Christ for those who live by the power of the sword, who are living by the patterns of this world, that they also might humble themselves and repent and find you, Jesus; shower your Spirit upon us, enable us to be that example of Christ the world needs to see, guide us in studying what that means and to apply it in ALL we do – You are the answer to ALL that ails mankind.
THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN:
When I think of your will being done on earth as it is in heaven, I think of the Garden of Eden and what a pristine, peaceful world would look like for ALL that you created. I think of how we would treat each other, the animals and the earth, under your complete Lordship and that love is the goal – may we all pray for our world according to this model and the visions he gives each of us. Help us use our imaginations when we pray and in how we live out what we see in as much as we can in this broken world by the power of the Holy Spirit; help us love as Christ loved. We are asking that your reign is accomplished now in us, through us, in spite of us, and without us!
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD:
We ask that all that we need daily to remain steadfast in a dark world ruled by Satanic powers will be supplied and that we will utterly rely on the Father to trust him for all that we will be needing as we work to bring about your kingdom on earth.
AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS:
Lord that we would extend the same forgiveness to others that you extend to us, unworthy though we all are. We are admonished by you to extend grace to all, including those we consider our enemies (maybe there is no love lost for animal abusers, or perhaps in light of the American election, a candidate who won the election that we may feel is our vehement enemy) – Lord not that we sway to and fro with the powers that be in every kind of wickedness or agree necessarily, but that we stand our ground on the basis of what Jesus taught, act like he did when he came against enemies, and that we leave the final judgment of a person’s character and any revenge for wrongs done up to the Father. As Micah reminds us, we are to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” Micah 6:8
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE:
Lord, please protect us from the hardships that accompany our kingdom work; yet when they come as they will in this war zone in which we live, strengthen us to place all our hope and faith in Jesus and to carry on, knowing that like Paul said, no matter the situation, whether well fed or hungry, with plenty or little…. we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:12, 13); enable us to put on all the armor of God (Eph 6:10-20) and having done all to stand; and Lord that we will not give up, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not! (Gal 6:9)
In the Holy name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN
For an excellent article on the Lord’s Prayer, go here.
Thank you for reading and following our blog, we hope you are blessed by it and will share it with others! ~Kathy
Thanks to Kathy Dunn and all the members of her blog and organization. The preservation of the earth and the ethical treatment of animals is an extremely important issue in today’s world so thank you for sharing your cause with us and from your unique Christian perspective as well. Here is the link to Kathy’s Home Page again: Shepherding All God’s Creatures.
If you would like to have your blog or writing featured on my biweekly interviews please reach out to me on my blogContact Page. I am happy to interview writers/bloggers in most any kind of writing, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and any kind of blog theme including blog pages for causes such as animal welfare. See You Again Soon!
He sings the song, he knows so well, “American Pie” resounds,
A story “a long long time ago” the lyrics found,
On the lips of those passing by,
Throwing coins for memories sighed,
Thinking of “the day the music —
Died,” a plane crash in history mused.
Brought into the present, the “music [that] makes [him] smile.”
Singing talent innate: “Bye, Bye Miss American pie.”
He sings of the “good old boys . . . drinking whiskey and rye,”
Of the day they thought “this would be the day that” they’d up and die,
He breathes life into Rock and Roll,
Thinks music can save “mortal” souls.
His sonorous voice knows he has —
No luck; but he’ll sing for the past.
For “Miss American pie;” she drives her “Chevy” to the dry —
Levy;” all passing, know the lyrics “the day the music died.”
He’s a hit, his voice similar to Don McLean of past,
He drives home the point as if it were shards of sharp glass.
As history occurred, passed,
“Dirges in the dark” that collapse.
Of forgotten heroes, music lost,
Of times forgotten, with cost.
Singing for the “kings” and “queens” who walk on by, listening,
He sings the song he knows so well “Bye Bye . . . American pie.”
Don McLean – “American Pie”
Wrapped Refrain (Form No. 2), created by Jan Turner, carries some similar aspects as her Wrapped Refrain form, with further advanced techniques. It consists of 2 or more stanzas of 8 lines each, with the following set rules:
Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview withMicheleVecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.
1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?
I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.
One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore calledThe Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.
2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?
I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.
My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.
I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life.My husband and I have been married just over five years. Markis an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.
Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.
On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.
Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.
“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto
3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging?
I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.
My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.
When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.
4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.
I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.
Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).
“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto
5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.
Inspiration for me can come from anywhere:a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.
As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.
6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?
I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.
“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto
7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?
I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.
My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!
8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?
I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.
Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.
I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.
“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto
9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?
My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.
The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.
If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.
If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.
I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.
11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?
I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.
My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.
I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy inspirational pieces as well.Both of these kinds of writing have their place.
“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto
12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?
I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.
I’ve also started aFacebookpage and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitterhas been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.
13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?
I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running calledBelle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.
14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:
Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”
More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:
Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times. I try to live my life as described in “The Choice”and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.
Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blogone more time: Steps Times Two.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page.See you in two-weeks!
Paulette had never seen anything as thrilling as the dawning sun kissing the ocean turning the blue-green water of the ports a shimmering orange. She was high above the city in a helicopter.
It used to be her favourite time of the day, before violence, destruction, and war was waged against the island of Jespa. Although many international leaders did not want to aggravate their largest trading partners, the communist country Hincqua, other countries supported the democratic island country of Jespa who had formed seeking independence from Hincqua.
Hincqua had not put up with Jespa’s humiliation for long. As a result, when the sun was high in the sky, Paulette’s heart sank at the decimation before her. She only knew it was her team’s job to aid the survivors in starting over. Jespa had become uninhabitable.
I considered the colour red. How I’m equally attracted and repelled by it. How I pass by a red v-neck sweater in the right shade, but mix my acrylic colours, blend them until my instincts say stop; stop sign red. No wait . . . a bright cool startling red appears on my canvas. I think this is passion and passion is the boldest red. I think of how I not only crave to paint in vivid red, but in many vivid colours and textures. How I trace the feeling of layered paints with my fingers, and hunger for other colours with my eyes – blue, green, and purple. Though I adore all these colours, my favourite paintings are all in red.
As with my love for sexy heels, which I adore in red too. If red is passion, what more can I say about women and sensuality then red shoes. They’re expression and fierceness. Like Kelly Picklers song “Red High Heels” — “I’m about to show you just how missing me feels, in my red high heels . . .” Red for revenge, red for moving on, red for love. But I hate red for love, it’s memory is sickening. He looked good in that colour – almost the best.
Yet red is so many things more. It’s anger, hate, rage, hurt, demons dreaming — the beast inside who does not die. Red is sinful, delicious, and deadly. It’s sex and power; a primilness. It’s royalty and blood, red blood spilled for in the body it’s blue (hence bluebloods). I love how classic red is — nothing more classic then a cat eye and red Bridget Bardot lips. Nothing as classic as red Mustang.
I don’t wear red, the colour outshines me and doesn’t fit with such pale skin and blond hair. Please no red dress – I’d rather blend in and be a classic black or navy dress cut perfectly. But I seek out bits of red and cling to them, not wanting red to blind me. Only some sparkle and razzle dazzle to hold in my hand. Red nail polish is beautiful, with a bit of bling Red as some of the lights in Las Vegas and red fireworks; red stoplights.
Red is perplexing because it’s complex, not simple at all. Red is nationalism and red is internationalism. It’s a proud Canadian colour and I don’t mind wearing it on our Nation’s Birthday. Or cheering on our Canadian hockey teams in the Olympics and junior hockey.
As well, roses are so divine, so deadly pricking your finger. Red, passion and pain. Together swirled these colours of red, of love, and hate collide. There are many shades of grey, but even more shades of red. It’s more than a primary colour it calls as a siren, “Look see me.” No one hides in red. Red cars are often caught barely speeding and Red is a theme of many songs albums as in “Red” as T. swifts song and album and the Beatles album “Redone.” Red as “My love is like a red red rose.” Some choral song I cannot recall.
But I’m sitting here, music blaring trying to decide what to paint. I’ve that special shade of red and it’s mixing and melding with other colours. Shades and tones. I see, red on my canvas and it bleeds. Red blood, blood . . .life, the most prolific association. Red is blood. Blood is life. Red such as poppies, that we must always remember. Red for anger, red for hate, for war. Red to hurt, poor the droplets down a crystal glass. Red red wine. To drink away the blood and crippling thoughts. Red to forget. I like a Malbec with bite. A Zinfandel to make me chatty. A Merlot or Cav-Sav with some friends. Red sangria is delicious. Red strawberry margaritas because there’s real fire in tequila. Red is too many things, too symbolic, too self-contradictory. Red is life.