≡ Menu

What It Means to be Grateful

Being grateful means showing appreciation for all of life’s gifts, including good health, wellbeing, and talents. As well, I believe that sincere expressions of gratitude and appreciation create more things to be thankful for. When we are grateful and appreciative of the things that are important in life, we are better able to handle temporary setbacks that may impact our daily routine.

It is important that we take advantage of the numerous chances we have been given to be thankful. That means not complaining about trivial issues, and making an honest effort to highlight the positive aspects of our lives—even in trying times. It is not immediately apparent, but maneuvering through difficult times helps us to grow stronger as we persevere. Not only are we able to maintain control, we are empowered to create a better lifestyle for ourselves. We also set a positive example for relatives and friends.

Take a few minutes every day to express gratitude; there are so many things to be thankful for. Make everyday a day of thanksgiving—not just the day indicated on the calendar as an annual holiday. You will be continuously amazed to see all the things there are to be thankful for.

Unfortunately, stress related health problems have plagued individuals in all walks of life. Use gratitude and appreciation as tools during those times—and celebrate your miracle as you go through the healing process.

Expressing gratitude and appreciation builds faith so we are able to tackle the hills and valleys encountered on our journey. So be grateful. Be blessed.



Celebrate Black History

Black History Month is a good time to acknowledge the contributions of past black leaders, inventors, and innovators. Those individuals were influential in the creation of better lives for us.

In addition to celebrating past contributors, we need to spend time creating unity within our families. If there is disconnection in the family, someone has to take the first step to reconnect family ties. Moreover, reestablishing unity among family members sets an excellent example for young people. Keep in mind, we are creating history right now, so why not focus on reinventing unity and family values?

There are many positive ways to celebrate Black History Month. No matter how you choose to participate, make an honest effort to inspire and motivate others. After all, we want to create reasons for future generations to celebrate our contributions.

Celebrate Black History Month February 1st through February 28th–create positive black history throughout the year.

(This was originally posted on January 29, 2012-thegdrblog.com)

Image: blogs.aupairinamerica.com


Sometimes we place obstacles in our own path. Is that our way of avoiding pending challenges? Challenges condition us—mentally and physically. They give us a chance to tap into the reserve of strength that reveals itself when all other options have been exhausted.

The road to success may have various obstacles, but we can maneuver much faster if we don’t bring our own road blocks.

This post was originally uploaded June/2013

By Gdr



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpeg

Just when I was convinced that the miracles I’d seen in my life were overwhelming, I became aware of the following story:

The story of the little boy (Casey) who was lost in the woods, after wandering away from his grandmother’s home, really touched me. I was glad when it was announced on the news that he had been rescued. I know his family prayed without ceasing. I believe  that was the power that guided the heavenly angels to camp around that baby. According to Casey, he was with a bear during his time in the woods. Guardian angels come in all shapes and sizes. That family is fortunate to have their child back. 

Anyone that is familiar with the story, should feel a sense of thankfulness for the power of prayer. Additionally, we should all remain ever grateful for the miracles that await us. Even in the darkest of night, miracles will find their way—even if we can’t.

Inspired by the story about @Caseyandthebear. 


La historia del niño (Casey) que se perdió en el bosque, después de alejarse de la casa de su abuela, realmente me conmovió. Me alegré cuando se anunció en las noticias que había sido rescatado. Sé que su familia oró sin cesar. Creo que ese fue el poder que guió a los ángeles celestiales a acampar alrededor de ese bebé. Según Casey, él estaba con un oso durante su tiempo en el bosque. Los ángeles guardianes vienen en todas las formas y tamaños. Esa familia tiene la suerte de recuperar a su hijo.

Cualquiera que esté familiarizado con la historia, debe sentirse agradecido por el poder de la oración. Además, todos debemos permanecer siempre agradecidos por los milagros que nos esperan. Incluso en la noche más oscura, los milagros encontrarán su camino. Incluso si no podemos encontrar el nuestro.

Gracias, @Caseyandthebear.

(This is a repost from February, 2019)


Learn From Those Who Inspire You

My favorite public speakers are Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Not because they were the President and First Lady of the United States, but because they speak so well. I am inspired by good writing and the flow of words, especially when those words can be delivered as a powerful spoken message. As someone who is focused on becoming a good writer and speaker—my most valuable lessons come from listening to great speakers. Though there are many, many writers and speakers I applaud, Barack and Michelle are my favorite two.

As with many people, the Covid 19 pandemic has put on hold the things we did so regularly—and maybe took for granted. While sheltering-in-place, I thought it would be easy to do something as simple as write, just putting words on paper; it is not. The devastation surrounding the pandemic made it very hard to find a clear space in my head to formulate positive ideas. The more I tried to write positive blog posts, the more the tragedy of the pandemic, the senseless killings of Blacks, and the depressing political noise clouded my creativity. Rightfully so, because it is very hard to focus on the positive when so much destruction appears to be mounting.

As I have learned over the years, it is up to each of us to find a way to move forward from where we are. Michelle Obama mentions in her book that ownership is an important part of resolving problems–small or large. In other words, being honest about which of your actions are part of the problem. Remember, the “calvary” is not going to come directly to you. So while you’re waiting, dig deep within yourself to find your survival tools. For me, it means thinking back and remembering how my mom always continued to move forward. She didn’t waste time dwelling on what stopped her, but kept using what was on-hand to bring our family through the storm or out of the valley.

After I experienced Michelle Obama’s audiobook “Becoming”, I was truly inspired; she was raised on the south side of Chicago, not far from the area where I grew up. She highlighted how important it was to have the boundaries that her family instituted. But within those boundaries, she and her brother were encouraged to express themselves. She emphasizes how that aspect of her upbringing helped her a lot in her adult life. I believe that may be the reason she is able create powerful written words, and deliver them orally in such a captivating and eloquent manner.

Barack Obama is not only a dynamic speaker; he, like Michelle is able to captivate his audience regardless of the subject. Each time I listen to one of them speak, I am inspired to write something or create a new blog post. I am able to improve how my writing flows by listening to speakers who I truly admire.

I consider Michelle and Barack Obama’s speaking platform my personal tool for overcoming writer’s block. And I must admit, I am a little starstruck by them.

This is a unique time in our history, so find your inspiration, get inspired and start writing your stories!

The following is a quote from Sarah Hurwitz, Michelle Obama’s former speechwriter, (found in an article from People.com):
“The job of being her speechwriter is really  to ask her, ‘What do you want to say?’ And then I type as quickly as possible what she says.”


Teach a Craft, Share a Skill

Hello World of Crafters!  Hola y bien venido amigos!

I am really pleased to see that so many people are learning crafts.  There are  a large number of knitting  and crotchet crafters.  Since I  crochet, I will focus on that particular craft.  Crochet is being enjoyed by individuals of all ages, male and female.  I personally believe that crochet is a magical craft.   A tangled pile of yarn on the floor can be transformed into a hat, a scarf, a sweater or a vase.   Magic!  The possibilities are endless.

Two crochet books that I like are:  “Get Your Crochet On” by Afya Ibomu and “The Crochet Dude” by Drew Emborsky. Both have great projects that are suitable for various skill levels.

Craft is defined as: a profession or activity involving the skillful making of decorative or practical objects by hand, e.g. weaving, pottery, or woodcarving

Your craft is all about you; it adds value to your life.  No matter what you make or who owns it, your skillful hands meticulously pulled it all together.   Now you can sit back and watch the credits for your crafty work roll across the imaginary screen, you hear applause in the background.  You’re thinking –I am great at this…that’s how I feel.

As crafters, our biggest and most important Project is to teach someone a craft or skill that will add value to his or her life.   Enjoy your craft.  Encourage others to join in.


Meatless Meal

Setting out on a course to correct poor eating habits can be exciting, challenging, frustrating, fun and rewarding……. but above all it can be a successful endeavor.

The hardest part of switching to healthier eating habits is changing your eating patterns.  Replace the heavy stuff with less fat and add more vegetables and whole grains.  Decrease the portions; increase the frequency.  Try small sensible meals every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day. Continuing in this pattern leads to improved appetite control.   It works!

Try having 1 or 2 vegetarian meals each week.  Invite a friend to try the plan with you; have fun and support each other.  Most doctors are impressed with these subtle changes that lead to improved health.  Confer with your doctor to be certain.  I decided to skip the trial period and go straight to becoming a vegetarian.  I got excellent results; I lost 16 pounds and I am down 1 dress size.   Food is more exciting than ever; it is so much fun to enjoy good food and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A friend tried the 1, 2 or 3 veggie meals per week.   She lost 15 pounds; her skin has become much more radiant and her energy level has soared.  She has inspired me to reach out to others that might need some motivation as they began their exciting  journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Hey, if you end up drifting off course……RECALCULATE.….get back on course.  Amaze yourself!

(This is a repost from 2008: I recently celebrated 12 yours of my vegetarian lifestyle.)


We spin a lot of time and effort focusing on what is wrong in our lives.  Somehow we have arrived at the conclusion that the other guy has it all.  All of what?  We don’t know the answer; it just makes for a good defense when someone actually pauses long enough to listen to our non-productive comments.   

We spend a lot of time and effort focusing on what is wrong in our lives.  Somehow we have arrived at the conclusion that the other guy has it all.  All of what?  We don’t know the answer; it just makes for a good defense when someone actually pauses long enough to listen to our non-productive comments.   

It is time for each of us to make a commitment to ourselves and to those around us that we will stop focusing on becoming a part of the other guy’s plan.  Instead, direct that energy toward recognizing the positive aspects that exist in your life.  Reinvent yourself!   Break the old destructive patterns.   Once you undertake that quest you will inspire others to join in.

 Express gratitude and appreciation for what is accessible…quietly celebrate where you are now.   Your best life can be launched from right there!



Many of us, at one time of another, have been accused of being in someone else’s proverbial video.

Review the video—you may be shocked to discover that your life-style is causing you to attract  negative, unproductive energy.  Take a moment to reverse the video…

Identifying your own imperfections  is the first positive step toward creating harmony in your life.

In short, the solution to creating a more user friendly life-style is to first resolve the unfavorable issues that are clearly visible in your video.  You can then, not only change the direction of your life, but you can impact a new generational trend.  

Go ahead—- it’s your power—-try it out—- bring forth positive change from where you are right now!




Hey parents, have you noticed that the things we defied most with our parents are the very things that we reach back for when we need strength and purpose while raising our own children?  Don’t worry—your children will forgive you and if you use all the right stuff at the right time—they might even thank you…along with some enlightening criticism , of course. 

Go to your parents and thank them.

(This is a repost)