Mr. Mandarin, the Duckus Causing All the Ruckus

Mandarin Duck, Ducks, Central Park Duck

The famous Central Park mandarin duck has been vacationing in New Jersey. (DON EMMERT / AFP/Getty Images)

Mr. Mandarin

Oh, bright perching duck

festive, multi-textural

like abstract paintings.

© Kym Gordon Moore

Where on earth did it come from people wondered? This beautiful duck whose species is found in East Asia appeared inconspicuously one day in the pond of Central Park in New York. This colorful and exotic bird is very social and began to intermingle with the community of Mallard ducks in the park. Oddly this beautiful duck usually nests in trees. 

Recently the male duck was missing from the pond which brought on a ripple of panic by onlookers and birdwatchers. Where did it go they wondered. Interestingly, the Mandarin duck was recently spotted vacationing in New Jersey. What a hoot!

Advertisements

Conversations of Comfort In the Grocery Aisle

Market, Grocery Store, Supermarket, Shopping, Food

My husband and I share shopping responsibilities when purchasing our staples at the grocery store. I, on the other hand, do most of the shopping, simply because who wouldn’t want to get the most for their buck these days right?

My patience with strolling down the aisles looking for good deals, no matter how long it takes is the type of patience my husband does not share with me. He, on the other hand, is very focused to go in, get what he needs, get out and on his way. I like the idea of searching the aisles more methodically, seeking for something new to try, and discovering great sales on staples to stock up on.

While the grocery store would not seem to be the most ideal place to strike up conversations and socialize, I’ve found that the conversations somehow find me. I run into many people with stories, genuine stories of heartbreaking grief, but their loneliness leads them to the grocery aisles finding themselves now making adjustments in how much they are buying. These conversations are like poetry – heartfelt stories told in an abbreviated timeframe.

Thumbing through sale items or waiting for the associate to restock products that have literally flown off the shelves, you may randomly strike up a conversation about that particular out-of-stock sale item, which leads to some intimate details of that individual’s unexpected and sorrowful life changes. Yet, in just a few moments, these conversations of loss, loneliness, and heartbreak lead me to a greater place of understanding, compassion, and gratitude.

I don’t personally know these individuals I strike up such random conversations with. I don’t know if they are rich or poor, their political affiliation, their religious convictions or educational aptitude. I don’t care if they are cultural opposites of me or even their sexual preferences. I just recognize that I am speaking to another human being, another child of God who just needs a moment to talk, and a moment for me to listen. I will probably never ever see these individuals again, but in that one moment in time there is simply an intimate connection of the spirit and shared compassion of the encouragement we genuinely give to others with sincere agape love.

What Are You Reading That’s Good?

Reading, Books, Goodreads

Image Source: leegabel.com

What category of books do you gravitate to reading? What types of books have you read lately? I once listened to a forum led by Maya Angelou speaking to a crowd of writers and she said this, “In order to be a good writer, you must be a copious reader.”

One need not be confined to one specific genre, even if you have a favorite. Reading is indeed fundamental to increased learning. Each year, Goodreads.com allows you to set a goal of how many books you want to read for the current year on your account. This social site is a great tool to use for prolific readers and writers alike. Let’s connect and share on Goodreads.com.

Guess What? Curiosity Didn’t Kill All of the Cats

Cats, Curiosity

 

They said curiosity killed the cat. How very sad.

What they didn’t know, is that the other eight lives

learned the rules of engagement,

equipped themselves with tactical gear

for better covert operations

became more observant,

and lived to operate curiosity with greater finesse.

MEOW!

One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Ravioli Soup on Food Porn Friday

Food Porn Friday, Pillsbury, One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Ravioli Soup, Comfort Food

Image Source: Pillsbury Kitchens

Ahhh…here’s a quick and easy dish to make that you can cozy up to in front of your fireplace, on those cold blustery days outside. Today on Food Porn Friday we are featuring this recipe for One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Ravioli Soup from Pillsbury Kitchens. Actually, it really does not take long to make.

  • Prep: 35 MIN
  • Total: 35 MIN
  • Ingredients: 11
  • Servings: 6

If you still have some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, you could substitute it in place of the chicken if you prefer. So pop some crescent rolls in the oven and then wrap your taste buds around a spoonful of this lip-smacking, soul-stirring soup. Click here for all of the ingredients and directions for making this hearty and easy One-Pot Creamy Tuscan Ravioli Soup! For more delicious One-Pot Meal ideas, be sure to check out Pillsbury.com.

Ongoing Thoughts About Our Magnitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving, Gratitude

Image credit: Kai Stachowiak

A week ago today we celebrated Thanksgiving and when asked what we were thankful for, the top three answers were family, friends, and food.

My thoughts for today, post-Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, makes one ask again and wonder what you are truly grateful for. Is it still the same as it was a week ago? I thought about this as I looked through my slew of emails in my inbox at the EXTENDED Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers.

I can’t help but think about the people affected by this year’s devasting hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and wildfires who lost everything, some including their lives. I can’t help but think about the people who were brutally murdered by the hands of domestic violence, the school and nightclub shootings, the shootings in synagogues and other institutions of worship. Lives changed forever. Where does the level of the survivor’s gratitude stand today?

I think about the missing people who were found brutally murdered or individuals caught in the crossfire of injustice and hatred. I think about friends and relatives who passed away and people I knew who were tragically killed in a vehicle accident due to a driver who was driving impaired, or with a suspended/revoked driver’s license. Can survivors still find a glimmer of hope in gratitude?

I think about all of those innocent, immigrant children who were separated from their parents with the greatest of insensitivity, some who will probably never be reunited with their families ever again. I think about those parents who seek safe refuge for their families, who are demonized for trying to fulfill that responsibility of protecting and serving. Can they still remain hopeful and grateful?

As I watched the crowds who swarmed the aisles of stores during marathon hours of operation over the past week, seeking ‘slasher’ deals for items that may be obsolete this time next year, I am reminded of the humble gratitude of people who appreciate food donations or lonely seniors who have no family who checks on them frequently or anyone who will take the time to talk. 

So, in retrospect, I do not frown on those super fantastic deals that everyone is either rushing to brick-n-mortar or online stores to take advantage of. Nah. I simply say, let’s not forget how much we truly have to be grateful for each day, as we show compassion for the least of these, far passed the day we call and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Deck the Walls with Boughs of Poetry

Poetry, Kym Gordon Moore, Deck the Walls with Boughs of Poetry

The halls may be decked with boughs of holly, but the walls are decked with boughs of poetry! Lots and lots of holiday poetry in motion.

Poetry has a way

of absorbing the essence flowing through the air

in its present condition,

regardless of its sense of or lack of calm and order.

Poetry through wordart has its angles,

slants, arcs, and waves of creativity

penetrating the pulse of such expressionism.

Tis the season

to deck your walls with boughs of poetry,

in any adventurous way, shape or form you can.

Celebrating the holiday season of poetry!