Me in the Middle of FlashBack A to Z Reflections 2016

      
It’s FlashBack Friday ~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by Jemima Pett and originally introduced by Michael D’Agostino from A LIFE EXAMINED.  That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on May 4th, 2016.  Even though I was unable to participate in this years A to Z Challenge I was still able to visit some blogs and enjoy their posts.   I updated the Dozen Brave Bloggers with the links to feature those who participated this year (2017).  They did such a great job meeting the challenge!  I hope  you’ll visit their blogs and let them know where you heard about their great A to Z posts.    

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Me In The Middle of #atozchallenge Reflections

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

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Reflectons

When I saw Damyanti Biswas‘ post introducing me to the A to Z Challenge 2016, I thought ~ ‘Oh, another one of those challenges.  Maybe I’ll try this one!’  One month’s commitment seemed like a doable time period to make this effort a challenging one.  As time went on I began to realize the amount of organization and the scope behind this endeavor!  My enthusiasm grew!  This could be a very rewarding event for me!  I was #100 on the Sign-Up List and I watched the number of sign-ups grow to an impressive number of 1,946 bloggers!

When the call came for us to Reveal A Theme, I had already been pre-scheduling my alphabet letters around the thought of sharing with my children and grandchildren some of the Lessons Learned through my life.  This was becoming for me a moment in time where I would no longer just think about it.  I was being inspired and motivated to get my thoughts on life down in writing.  The Challenge provided a creative and inspiring vehicle.

Much thanks to Arlee Bird and his Ambassadors for providing this moment in time to what turned out to be the most rewarding (and intense) experience in my blogging so far.  I look forward to 2017!!

https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/category/a-to-z-challenge/

My A to Z Challenge ~ Lessons Learned (Click Here)

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~ My A to Z Blogging Community ~

During the month of April, every morning was like Christmas morning!  I would wake up with a sense of anticipation and log onto my laptop to see who stopped by and commented on that day’s post.  I created my website/blog in September of 2015 and had met a lot of great bloggers.  I was pleased with the initial reception of my blog ~ Me in the Middle ~ and was gaining confidence and experience as I went along.  A to Z was something new!!  The traffic to my blog shot up and I had 1,611 views, 548 visitors, 678 likes and 652 comments throughout the April A2Z Challenge.  I used Facebook and Twitter to launch each day’s posts.  Visitors came to my blog from Facebook, Twitter and WordPress Reader.  Honestly, I’m now in A to Z Withdrawal and miss the stimulation of non-stop connecting and blogging with other bloggers.  It’s nice though that my life has returned to a calmer, steady pace and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be able to maintain the effort for more than one month out of the year.  So Bring It On 2017!

2016-05-03

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~ A Dozen Brave Bloggers ~

(Updated for AtoZ 2017)

(There are so many more bloggers who came to visit Me in the Middle and I hope to return to everyone’s blogs and read all of their AtoZ posts.  I decided to share a dozen of these bloggers because I got to know them through visiting their blogs and chatting in comments.  Click on their links and see the amazing blogs they’ve created!  ♥ )

If I Only Had A Time Machine

Happiness and Food

Simply Marquessa

Madness of a Modern Writer

Sharon E. Cathcart

Coach Daddy

All in a Dad’s Work

Cresting the Hill

A Momma’s View

Poetry Penned in Moon Dust

Planet Pailley

Dandelion Fuzz

 

Me in the Middle of A to Z Theme Reveal 2016 (#FlashBack)

        
It’s FlashBack Friday ~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by Jemima Pett and originally introduced by Michael D’Agostino from A LIFE EXAMINED.  That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on March 21, 2016.  Last April was a month of non-stop blogging and commenting even though I had pre-scheduled most of my alphabet posts.  I was seeing  alphabet letters in my sleep and would wake up early in the morning to make sure my day’s post was delivered as scheduled.  The many blogger friends that I’d meet each morning became my little blogging community as we encouraged each other and praised each other for the amazing ideas picked for themes.  This year I really will miss this part of the Challenge.  I’ll still be visiting A to Z Bloggers and hoping that I’ll continue to make new friends.  

All 26 posts for the A to Z Blog Challenge, along with the comments, can be seen by clicking HERE ~ or by clicking on the Title below. 

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atoz-theme-reveal-2016 v2

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My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned

My theme for the A to Z Blog Challenge @AprilA2Z during the month of April is ~ My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned.  For each of the 26 Days (with Sundays off) I’ll be posting a word that begins with each letter of the alphabet that fits my theme.   This blog/website has become one way to share about myself to my children, my grandchildren and my extended family who are scattered all over the country and the world.  Hopefully, anyone who reads this will be in some way blessed by my throwing my words out onto the World Wide Web and into the Universe.  

 My About Page gives me the focus so that, as I age, I don’t forget what I worked so hard to learn.  It’s going to be fun and challenging!   I hope you’ll stick with me as I strive to meet my goal!!

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* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *

A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

Blogger Users can also follow me at atozchallenge2016.blogspot.com

 

Me in the Middle Revisiting the President (#FlashBack)

        
It’s FlashBack Friday ~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by Jemima Pett and originally introduced by Michael D’Agostino from A LIFE EXAMINED.  That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on November 10th, 2016.   On November 7th, 2016, shock and dismay registered across the country when we realized this man was going to be our president.  The whole campaign was a farce and I decided to send a protest message that neither candidate met my hopes for Leadership.  Shortly after Election Day I read Regie’s post and decided on a ‘wait and see’ approach.  Now, after three months of chaos and instability, I decided to re-visit both the president and Regie’s Blog.  The now infamous press conference has left us feeling more uncertain about the leadership qualities of the man sitting in the oval office.  Regie’s most recent observation can be found by clicking on this link ~ Full Court Press:

“If you watched (NOW) president Donald Trump’s recent press conference and got clammy hands and heart palpitations, fearing the free world is in jeopardy, I understand.”

“If you want to understand what’s happening between Donald J Trump, the press and the nation, it basically comes down to this: reasonable people have gotten tired of arguing with, and being treated like, 10-year-olds …so they elected one.

Have a nice four years of news.”

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~ And now for my FlashBack post ~

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PRESIDENT TRUMP

November 10, 2016

Thanks to Regie’s Blog ~ Well written! ~ the power of positive thinking ~ It’s all a crap shoot and we’ll all have to wait and see.  

“For the Hillary supporters …pull yourselves together. Please. Some of you are embarrassing yourselves. For the Trump supporters …some of you are too. A little grace and humility might be in order. You just elected Donald J Trump as your nation’s president …and he was once a part of Wrestle Mania.”
“I suppose it’s easy to call for everyone to accept the will of the people when you think your candidate is going to win.”

Regie’s Blog

In 2008, Oprah and Will Smith yelled and screamed and high-fived each other over how amazing the Obama presidency was going to be.

But then, we had a “beer summit” (that was odd). Then, a trillion dollar stimulus package …that turned into a deficit. Then a Tea Party. Then Occupy Wall Street. Then Ferguson, Baltimore, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Orlando, Chattanooga, Benghazi and Dallas. Then came Obamacare. And ISIS rose up in the middle east.

Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Merle Haggard and Steve Jobs ALL died during the Obama presidency. Peyton Manning retired. American Idol got cancelled. Tornadoes still ravaged trailer parks in the mid west and hurricanes still chewed up beaches. Several people got eaten by sharks. Brad and Angelina broke up. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian procreated. Smart phones blew up in people’s pockets. We had, like, six hundred Country Music award shows…

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Me in the Middle of Being a Strong Woman (#FlashBack)

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It’s FlashBack Friday ~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by Jemima Pett and originally introduced by Michael D’Agostino from A LIFE EXAMINED.  That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on December 4, 2015.  To see the original comments to that post you can click on the title  ~ Me in the Middle Being a Strong Woman ~ below to be taken to the original post. 

I chose this post because it’s just about a week since the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st and I think we can all agree, no matter where you stand on politics, that it was impressive.  Men, women and families all joined together across the nation and beyond to voice their concern about the new leadership in our country.  People of faith and people from different political leanings all stood side by side in unity and peace to send a message of respect and mutual support.   I didn’t march and I was with them in Spirit.  I’m not a Democrat and I didn’t vote for Hillary.  I’m not a ‘feminist’ in the sense of embracing the label.  I’m for humanity and striving for a better world.   I’ve seen many advantages for me as a woman that have emerged due to the activism of dedicated women.  I might not agree with every stand that was represented on the 21st yet I was deeply moved by the peaceful coming together of people of different beliefs and different concerns.  All willing to join together in one voice.  Let’s choose a forward looking patriotism!  I think Brene Brown  says it with class and grace on her Facebook Page.

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 Me In The Middle Of Being A Strong Woman

My Word 2014 #2

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“I wish I had known from the beginning that I was born a strong woman.  What a difference it would have made!  I wish I’d known that I was born a courageous woman; I’ve spent so much of my life cowering.  How many conversations would I not only have started but finished if I had known I possessed a warrior’s heart?  I wish I’d known that I’d been born to take on the world; I wouldn’t have run from it for so long, but to it with open arms.”

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~

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Me in the Middle of Letting Go 2016>Welcome 2017 (#FlashBack)

        
It’s FlashBack Friday ~ A time of the month where you can republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  This Blog-Go-Round is hosted by Jemima Pett and originally introduced by Michael D’Agostino from A LIFE EXAMINED.  That’s where you’ll find the rest of the participants or to join up yourself.

The post I’ve chosen for this month first appeared on ME IN THE MIDDLE on September 12, 2015.  To see the original comments to that post you can click on the title  ~ Poems and Sketches ~ below to be taken to the original post. 

I chose this post because I’m letting go of the old year 2016 and welcoming the new year 2017.  The poems were written by a friend who came into my life at just the right time and inspired me to let go of the past and make room for new and better things in my life.  My sketches were inspired by his poems and, joined together, they represented an opening up in my life to a new sense of joy and promise.  What better reminder for me as I close the door on 2016 and step through into the promise and hope of the New Year?  “Letting go can be your best friend.”

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 Hope Beyond All Hope

Lovers of the world, unite
Bound to Creator’s vision bright
That even these our darkest nights
Become the light, become the light

Fashion all you can create
That delights the one who incarnates
And links himself to the same fate
As we sleepers who must rise to wake

(Click on the link below to hear the song)

Hope Beyond All Hope

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Poems and Sketches

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Letting Go

(c) Mary Lou Q

 Letting Go

Letting go – Is a place;
Is a time; Is a space.
Letting go – Sometimes a pain;
Sometimes numbness; Sometimes gain.

Letting go –
of the memories that are bad;
Of the arguments we had; Of times that were sad.
I let go of those things; Of those times; Of the zings.

Instead, I choose not to ever lose;
And I will retain those things where we gain.
Smiles and laughter; Creation and elation;
Security and maturity; With these make a nation.

Letting go isn’t easy;
And, yet, we know It’s the path to take
– From the learning we grow.

So – let go . . . Of what fails thee;
Focus on what enthralls thee.
There is a beginning to each end;
Letting go can be your best friend.

Arthur Rashap

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Seasons Sketch #3 Cropped

(c) Mary Lou Q

Season’s Song

When I leave this body, My aura, more spoor
May I be like Autumn’s leaves: Multi hued, flaming.
Set in clear contrast to that awesome blue sky
On a cloudless day in Fall,
Attracting and reflecting the sun,
Low in the heavens as it rises and sets.

  When I “die”, remember me as the one on a Quixotic Quest,
Searching for meaning. Feeling alone and apart,
Swimming in the context of Love’s eternal soup.
The seasons of the year, like the seasons of life,
Have been given to us as paper and paint
To create our picture of time’s journey.

And, what is time but some made-up measure
So we can box experiences. Storing them on the Shelf of Life.
Ah! Autumn, when we can harvest the fruits of lifelong learning;
Of lifelong yearning.
When all the “this’s” and all the “that’s” line up,
Coming together.

And, all the colors of thought and deed
Do come together to flash as Rainbow
No longer whispering,
But making a bald, bold statement:
Live, harvest, expire
Be, be in each moment.

Winter: The bare, still, colorless cold.
Time: Is this a season for passing?
Or rather, a season for resting?
The pause in the cycle of creation;
The contemplation, the stock-taking
Before ONE’s re-borning?

Winter: Season for preparing; For recycling
The re-coiling. Springing forth.
Ah! Listen! Regard!
The seasons sing; Life’s stages harmonize.
We, in the end, are ONE
And Love is the answer.

Arthur Rashap

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Seasoned

We sit in a circle,
Breathing in the smoke of elderhood
As we watch the flame reflect life’s turnings.

At first, there was the time Spring:
The time for springing forth,
full of energy, dreams, desires;
Tilling, planting, cultivating
Wide-eyed and impressionable
As we now see it In life’s rear-view mirror.
 
Greening turned to
 the full colors
and active buzzing of our Summers.
Life was like the circus performer
running back and forth,
Spinning so many plates
on sticks overhead;

Did it matter that some fell and shattered?
What was growing then, so important, bursting forth:
Bearing all kinds of fruit,
Now changes as viewed
through the glory of Autumn’s colors.


  Let us luxuriate, making new tracks in the colors of Autumn,
 Celebrating the days past; The work done.
Time to share the harvest.
  Our seeds now drop, Some to take root
Even as Winter stills the cycle,
 Covering the fields that once were plowed and yielding.
There is fresh space, Time is stretched,
Memories bring smiles And “Ah Ha’s!”
 
We sit in a circle
 around the fire,
Fashioning solutions from the smoke of memory
And the joyous living that was/is our lives.

 

Arthur Rashap

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Nature and Soul NYC #2

(c) Mary Lou Q

NYC Weekend

 
The most exciting thing in New York City
Is the robin building her nest outside the kitchen window
where I am staying.

One can bring nature and soul
Into any nest – Anywhere.
Pile in the shining leaves –
Create a hiding spot underneath.
Weave pieces of string into a nest that is “home.”

The most exciting thing in New York City
Is the robin affirming life by building her nest
Outside the kitchen window.
Noises, graces, shops, cafes, taxis, get-aways;
Couples sparking; Unimaginable diversity:
Museums, universities, slums and alums
If you can’t find it here it ain’t anywhere.

The most exciting thing in New York City
Was the feeling that the robin gave me:
A feeling of being safe and secure,
In the tree outside the kitchen window.
Two weeks’ salary to park your cars;
Anything you could want ain’t very far
Except perhaps Nature’s balm,
Babbling brook’s sound,
Senses becalmed.

People, faces, noises, graces, shops, cafes, taxis,
“Oy-veys:”
Sirens, barking, sirens, hawking;
Shopping, charging, pushing, bargaining;
Humanity spilling out everywhere;
Their hearts, their souls, their cares.
If you can’t find it here, it ain’t anywhere.

The most memorable thing in New York City this weekend
Is to know that a robin is building her nest
Outside the kitchen window.

Arthur Rashap

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Mariposa #4

(c) Mary Lou Q

Mariposa

 Winged friend: Mariposa;
You flew circles
while I waited for love to arrive.
You incarnated in each place
Cupid-playing while bathing in the vibes
Of love’s unfolding.

Winged friend: Mariposa; You were there,
Trailing twinkles and love dust
Wherever we looked.

Dear Mariposa,
Winged friend. Love’s messenger.
Come fly on the bosom of enchantment.
You have earned a place in our hearts.

Arthur Rashap

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 Watercolor Sketches ~ © Mary Lou Q

*Special acknowledgement and thanks to Arthur Rashap for his support in my putting together this website.*