Royal Wedding Wishes of Happily Ever After

 

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PA photo credit: Yui Mok

I was one of almost 23 million and counting worldwide who watched the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Like his mother and father, Diana and the Prince of Wales, and Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it did not disappoint in its pageantry. No one throws a royal wedding quite like the British.

 

Several things were very different from Harry’s mother and brothers weddings — it was filled with multi-cultural touches and a great deal of physical contact between the bride and groom. A first on many levels for the monarchy.

Yet, no surprise really for those of us who have watched Harry grow up. It makes total sense he would choose a self-identified woman and do it their way.

I found some of their ceremony quite humorous as the cameras panned the faces of the ranking royalty as the bishop gave his sermon and the choir rang out in a soulful rendition of Stand by Me. They truly looked bewildered to the point of giggles, they didn’t know what to do.

Meanwhile, two people very much in love glowed oblivious to it all feet away.

The wedding was all wonderful and entertaining. But it looked stressed.

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It was later that evening when they emerged from Windsor Castle in their evening party clothes that stole my heart. He, in a black velvet jacket tuxedo, she, in a white silk column halter dress AND she had on Diana’s iconic aquamarine ring. They looked happy, relaxed, and were laughing.

That scene to me was an amazing multi-million dollar one. The Duke and Duchess driving off into a perfect sunset of their happily ever after.

Today I am thankful

  • A new week with a few goals I need to accomplish.
  • I have wild turkeys in the forest beyond where I live. Initially, their early morning sounds were quite annoying. Now I am growing fond of them.
  • I am incredibly grateful to look out my window and see the landscape of green.

In a world with a headline of such political bullshit, an inept president, school shootings, volcano explosion, a plane crash, this royal wedding was a welcome relief.

I look forward to watching this power couple — not just them — I anticipate seeing what both of Diana and Charles’s sons and the strong women they have chosen as their partners do in the future.

Already the Princes Royal Foundation is on the world stage and taking a leading presence in mental health, wounded veterans, and relief in third-world country’s. I, personally, am very excited to add the Duchess of Sussex to this mix. As an advocate for women’s rights and a known feminist, it will be intriguing to how she uses her new world status at Harry’s side.

Are they pregnant, yet? LOL. I’m such a fangirl. #royalwedding #harryandmeghan

affectionately yours, Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome, May!

“At last came the golden month of the wild folk– honey-sweet May, when the birds come back, and the flowers come out, and the air is full of the sunrise scents and songs of the dawning year.” Samuel Scoville Jr, Wild Folk

Today I am thankful

  • Fantastic day .. sun and blue skies.
  • I am happy to get a doctor appointment done for my bad knee.
  • What a wonderful feeling to be ending this long winter and heading into spring and summer!

Enjoy your day.

affectionately yours, Laura

Udder-ly Robotics

I just read the craziest article about milking cows. 🐮 I actually reread it twice to make sure I had read it correctly. Then I Googled it just out of curiosity.

Farmers have started new automation for milking cows. Betsy, Daisy, and the girls are being milked by robots.

The cows can now roam around the barn which has hay and ground covering for their comfort. When they are ready to be milked, they head to an individual stall.

Each cow has a code, and that code is scanned when they enter the stall. Based on the cow, a determined amount of particular feed that is actually molasses pellets (cow candy) is dispensed to get them in position.

(Which ensures if Daisy just wants a cow candy snack, and is not ready to be milked, she won’t be given a treat.)

Once in position, their udders are sprayed with disinfectant. A laser then begins to scan their udders to direct the machine where to attach the suction tubes for the milking.

The milk is then funneled into a large holding tank.

This can all be monitored by the farmer’s cell phone through computer and cameras throughout the barn.

Wow — huh? At the risk of aging myself, I still held on to the image of going to the farm and seeing the farmer on a stool, chatting it up with Betsy as he gave her a good milking.

Today I am thankful

  • The snow is melting. Yay!
  • I have animals coming to the feeder outside my living room windows. It’s a beautiful scene.
  • I started my new Lenora Bell book.

From the cow perspective, they are conditioned to a Pavlovian response. I guess it isn’t so bad, you get cow candy, although I am not so sure about the whole tube suction action.

From the farmers perspective, the days of getting up at three-in-the-morning to milk the cows are over. That has to be a freeing feeling. Also, it might attract new farmers to the profession if there is a bit more farm freedom.

All of this is just moving with the technology of the times. That, and with workers not readily available to do this manual, labor-intensive work.

It is a thought to ponder that what we survive on comes from land which orchards and farms utilize to grow nutrients and care for animals.

Land that requires clean air, pristine water, and to be free of debris to thrive healthily. Yet, very little value is placed on that. As well as, the priority to assist the farmers to keep them doing the long hard days.

It makes you grateful for what you eat. It all started from a farmer somewhere.

As for Betsy, Daisy, and the girls .. enjoy that cow candy. I hope it doesn’t flavor the milk eventually. Maybe they could feed them chocolate pellets? I’d be down for that.

affectionately yours, Laura

Then Do Better

Today is one of my favorite people’s birthdays, Maya Angelou. Her life, writings, and quotes have inspired me at different times in my life.

Recently, I wrote this quote of hers down as a reminder; when we know better, we do better.

I am very good at beating myself up. Often to look at me, you wouldn’t know I was solid black and blue on my insides. I can be my own worst enemy.

Many situation that have haunted me are ones where I just didn’t understand or know better at that time.

Times I didn’t have the skills I needed to be a “better” me. Or the situations that I hadn’t learned lessons to handle what life had dealt me with more finesse.

I carry my past into my future in lessons that I never want to forget.

Today I am thankful

  • A beautiful blue sunny sky.
  • Being out and able running errands.
  • I heard from a dear friend. That is the best feeling.

The gift of life is that at any moment we can change our life direction. As Maya points out, once you know better, do better.

I don’t believe people set out to intentionally hurt people or make bad choices. I keep that in mind in my own life. There is always a reason behind a behavior. It makes for a more forgiving person.

affectionately yours, Laura

The Facebook Paradox

I read the headline of the article, “It’s Time To Delete Facebook” and I felt anxiety sweep through my body.

What? Delete Facebook? A bit drastic, don’t you think?

That is my daily connection to my family and friends. I need to see my friends dog pictures and my other friends motivational videos, my cousins daughter, and so much more. Yes, I get joy from simple things others post.

And the application has been a part of my life for years now. I have life history on my timeline.

The Facebook Paradox — the designers of the application did an exceptional job of reeling me in and hooking me.

I have read the headlines. I am aware I could be one of the 50 million whose personal data was sold and used without my knowledge.

Yet, in reality — I know anytime I login to internet my information is gathered in some way. I justify it as the price of using the social platforms I do.

It is like my Target RedCard. Every time I use it for that 5% off, they gathering my data. Somewhere at headquarters a researcher is saying “Ahh, this one was craving carbs really bad on Saturday. Send her bakery coupons so she buys more.”

Today I am thankful

  • Life is good and content
  • I bought a new cabinet. Other than a few minor operator errors putting it together, very nice
  • Love into the universe to those I miss so very much #heartbeats

The lesson in all of this is what you post and the information you give.

Granted, if you’re a long time Facebook user like me, they already know my religious, political, race, age, and my favorite color.

I am not going to drastically change what I post. I am going to more conscientious going forward. I also want to watch what actions Facebook is taking as they change data protection policies.

Two things I am doing and did: is go into my settings and cleaned up my applications that were attached to my account.

Every time you go in to do a quiz or What do you look like as a movie star, all arts things on your timeline. Any of those are applications. When you access them, you give them the right to ALL of your information, including access to those on your friends list.

The second thing I am doing is; there is a way to request the information Facebook has on file about you. I am curious to see what data they would have.

Just a heads up, if you are going to delete Facebook, that does not delete the data trail they have of yours. There is a process you have to go through to truly delete all your information.

I encourage everyone to go into your Settings and check your privacy settings, applications, and know what information is available to peering eyes.

I may delete Snapchat for Rihanna, but, nah — I can’t delete Facebook.

affectionately yours, Laura

Action and Prayers

I just came home from a rally for gun control. I can’t stop thinking about what one of the speakers said.

She shared the story of an 8-year-old girl who went to her mom and asked for a new pair of shoes. When asked why — the little girl said her tennis shoes lit up when she walked and she was afraid a shooter might see them.

A child wasn’t thinking about being a child. A child was thinking of how to protect herself from being shot.

I immediately thought of my 7-year-old granddaughter and began searching my mind for what shoes I had seen her in. Did she have any shoes that lit up when she walked?

The recent shooting in Florida has raised awareness that has lasted an almost two-week news cycle. With previous shootings, we are usually on to another news topic. Not this time.

The high school where the shooting occurred has brought forth the voices of our next generation.

And they aren’t going away. Their voices are reflective of a combination of fear, sorrow, and common sense to keep themselves alive because they are realizing the adults in charge are not.

Today I am thankful

  • I saw Blank Pather yesterday with my grandson. It was amazing and then some. #wakanda
  • Every day the sun is staying with us a little longer.
  • My Wii Fit weight is back in the normal range.

I don’t like guns. I have had relationships with people who are avid gun owners. I never felt safe with them. One of them carries at all times. I felt less safe. It was a deal breaker for me. I am not an advocate of a good guy with a gun for every bad guy with a gun. Bystanders tend to get shot in the cross-fire.

My heart goes out to those affected by loss and to the government officials who need to make better choices to keep us and our children safe.

The time for thought and prayers has ended is no longer enough. It is time for action and prayers. 

When we have children reverberating with the message of “Keep us safe” it is time for change to happen. The message these students from Florida are speaking is a drop in a very large pond that is making big waves. We saw it yesterday when high school students across the nation walked out of classes to bring attention to gun control.

Gun control. Do not buy into the hype. No one is taking away guns. Although the NRA will play on people’s fear and tell you that is the bottom line. This movement is about improved gun control.

I wrote a blog on gun control after the Las Vegas massacre. Here I am today writing with a little girl’s wish for new shoes on my mind.

Our next generation will be old enough to vote in November 2018 and November 2020. We are witnesses to the voices of change and they are promising to take action. I am adding my voice and a promise of action to theirs.

Stay safe.

affectionately yours, Laura