the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for 
and to return kindness.

I spoke to an old friend the other day.  
Our conversation included the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday which led us into the topic of "Gratitude".   
Giving thanks should be done everyday.  
Genuine gratitude is also being able to give thanks despite the circumstances.  
Gratitude is a choice.  We can choose to be grateful or ungrateful. 

Ungratefulness often results in a "tude" instead of gratitude.
"Tude" symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following: 
(Feel free to recite the following warnings as they do in those prescription drug commercials.  Insert your own imagery.)
  1. A moderate to severe sense of entitlement. I deserve this.  I am privileged..hear me roar.
  2. Frequent episodes of discontentment and the feeling of never being satisfied.  Constantly searching for the next big thing that will make you happy.
  3. Chronic complaining lasting more than 4 hours per day.
  4. "All About Me" Syndrome has also been reported.  Symptoms include thoughts of putting yourself first, thinking it's all about you and asking what's in it for you.

The cure for ungratefulness is easy.  Choose gratefulness.  
Be thankful for what you have and stop focusing on the things you don't have.
There will always be those that appear to have more than you and less than you.  
Outward appearances are not fool proof.  I have met many that have a lot of "stuff" but lack heart and soul.  
On the contrary, I have met many that appear less fortunate but they would give you the shirt off their back and can serve the up the biggest bowl of soul food.  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

This Thanksgiving, indulge in some Humble Pie with a topping of Gratitude.  It taste delicious and it's very good for you!

From sunrise to sunset to moonlight.
From sunny days to rainy days.
New York City...the city that never sleeps.
Today's autumn sky lent for some nifty looking photos taken on Long Island's East End.  
The grayish blue sky accompanied by the rusty and golden tones make for a nice combination.

These photographs go well with the words from a song entitled "The Journey" by CT Townsend.

He may take you through the wilderness, so barren and alone...
and there may be some heartache on the road your traveling on ...
but you must keep on moving, there’s no place to turn around ...
His grace will make you strong!
I just love it when Autumn struts its stuff!
your life is a reflection of your thoughts.
if you change your thinking, you change your life.
I prefer to keep my blog entries as my very own creations but when I read the below message, 
I just had to share it.   It serves as a good reminder to all of us.

Analyzing Unselfishness

To be "humble in heart," as Christ stated He was, is to be submissive to the core. It involves being more interested in serving the needs of others than in having one's own needs met.

Someone who is truly unselfish is generous with his or her time and possessions, energy and money. As that works its way out, it is demonstrated in various ways, such as thoughtfulness and gentleness, an unpretentious spirit, and servant-hearted leadership.

Ours is a day of self-promotion, defending our own rights, taking care of ourselves first, winning by intimidation, pushing for first place, and a dozen other self-serving agendas. That one attitude does more to squelch our joy than any other. So busy defending and protecting and manipulating, we set ourselves up for a grim, intense existence.

In our selfish, grab-all-you-can-get society, the concept of cultivating an unselfish, servant-hearted attitude is almost a joke to the majority. But, happily, there are a few who genuinely desire to develop such an attitude. I can assure you, if you carry out that desire, you will know the secret to a happy life.

Unselfishness is the stuff of which Christlikeness is made!

Choose an unselfish attitude and you’ll find one of the secrets to a happy life. —  Chuck Swindoll

Some of my Fall favorites taken over the past several years.  
We can't forget when it snowed in October 2011 and became known as "snowtober".




It was an Autumn day in Pennsylvania when my husband and I spotted a Billy Goat alongside the road.
There he was, enjoying some fresh grass for lunch.

The odd thing about this sighting is that this wasn't the typical setting of where you would see a Billy Goat.
It was a busy road.  One could only assume that he wandered away from a farm in the area.
And, while he didn't belong on this road, he seemed quite content.  
Fearless of the cars driving by and the "Goatarazzi" that stopped to take a photo of him. Yours truly being one of them.
He adapted to these new surroundings.

Sometimes in life we are faced with situations that push us out of our comfort zone.
If we become fearful, we will be paralyzed by fear.  Without fear, we adapt.
Hey lady, you take one step closer with that camera and these horns are coming your way.
Billy Goat  Goes Out to Lunch
Somewhere in Pennsylvania
Pink ribbons are often affiliated with all things "girly"…pretty little hair ribbons for baby girls or embellishments for gift wrapping.  Today, pink ribbons have taken on a whole new meaning as the national symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness. The month of October is nationally known as "National Breast Cancer Awareness Month".

Even if you google "pink ribbons", the top searches generated are the Breast Cancer pink ribbon symbol versus actual pink ribbons.   Separate and aside from the "symbolism" of the pink ribbon is the meaning that it has to someone that has endured breast cancer and for those fortunate enough to have survived. 
One of those people is my sister, Patti.  A breast cancer survivor of 15 years.  Praise the Lord!

I remember the day when she shared the news with me.  My heart sank.  A healthy mother of three young children whose world was rocked after an annual mammogram.  As if that wasn't enough, our mother was also battling cancer at that time.  During this trying time, these extraordinary women remained focused on the needs of their family instead of themselves.  
They kept life moving.

So what's the moral of this story?  Life can change literally on a heart beat.  
Many recite this philosophy but how many really live by it?   If we truly lived it, our actions would be different.

We would stop holding grudges and work towards rebuilding healthy relationships.
Traysays translation:  Act your age!  Put your big girl pants on or man up and say your sorry!  
Some would rather not speak to others for an extended period of time as opposed to resolving quickly in a peaceful manner.
Precious time wasted over trivial things.

We would lift others up instead of tearing them down.
Traysays translation:  None of us are perfect. We all have our quirks.  Focus on the good qualities of that person and why they are part of your life. 

We would put the needs of loved ones first instead of always focusing on our own needs and wants.
Traysays translation:   We need to mean it when we say "Let me know if you need anything"  or "I'm here, if you need me".
Oftentimes, we make these statements conditionally. In other words, I will only be there for you when it's convenient for me. 
There's never a convenient time for a tough time.

We would spend more time being positive as opposed to focusing on the negative.
Traysays translation:  Look at the glass half full instead of half empty.  Our cups runneth over much more than we probably realize.

We would ask God to search our hearts and set us on the straight and narrow path.
Traysays translation:  God sees our hearts.  A clear conscience is priceless.

Life can change literally on a heart beat.  May our actions speak louder than words.

Pink Ribbon on White Door
Shelter Island, NY  2014
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, 
the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1
Sky, Sun, Sea, Surf and Sand
Cape May, NJ   2015