“Scarlett” My Greatest Gift!

“Scarlett ” My Greatest Gift!
“Scarlett ” looks into my soul.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10215553875280491&id=1848131331 Laura’s favorite quote. I love it too!

Laura Burkett Sparks and “Annie” https://survivethriveptsd.org/2021/03/annie-goes-home-to-a-new-mom-and-loving-home/

Scarlett saved my life! The hungry black bear was on the steps of the porch of the old house looking for a snack or two…

The black bear with cubs in tow, stopped in her tracks when Scarlett looked at her with those eyes that looked into souls.

Scarlett blocked the door so I wouldn’t go out. She knew protecting me was her life’s duty to me…

When I got stuck on the trail, Scarlett pulled me up the steep and slippery slope, never in fear when she was at my side on the high mountain trails…

I was so very depressed in 2009 when she saved my life again…

I was suicidal, confused and frightened sometimes. Scarlett would howl with love in her heart while I cried in the night…

Scarlett would lay her head on my lap and look up at me with her beautiful blue eyes like she was telling me, “I have your back Mom, forever.”

Scarlett is Siberian Husky. She is a pure bred, the most intelligent and loving furry loved one I could imagine…

Scarlett’s love is unconditional with the purest of loyalty, kindness and love for me. I wouldn’t be here if not for her loving and watchful eyes that see my soul…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Fire_(2018)

The big fire was the truest test of Scarlett’s love we could have ever imagined. She saved my life again, and my family’s too…

Scarlett is the greatest gift I ever received. My love for her is from deep in my soul…

Laura Burkett Sparks

                           About the Siberian Husky

The graceful, medium-sized Siberian Husky’s almond-shaped eyes can be either brown or blue—and sometimes one of each—and convey a keen but amiable and even mischievous expression. Quick and nimble-footed, Siberians are known for their powerful but seemingly effortless gait.

As born pack dogs, Siberians enjoy family life and get on well with other dogs; their innate friendliness render them indifferent watchdogs. This breed is also energetic and can’t resist chasing small animals, so secure running room is a must.”

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.

Seabirds Returning to Oregon Islands Refuge…

“Seabirds are already returning to Oregon Islands Refuge for the summer breeding season. Keep your eyes peeled for the lanky Cormorants atop nearby islands, rafts of Common Murres floating in the surf, and the feathery flapping footballs that are the Tufted Puffins. A number of Puffins have already been spotted around both Pacific City’s and Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rocks this year. Head to the Haystacks early in the morning to take a look at the earlybirds.”

Photos by Ram Papish

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/oregon_islands/

Spanning the Oregon coast, the wilderness islands and windswept headlands of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge are celebrated for their abundant wildlife and rugged grandeur. Rocky islands and sheer cliffs provide isolated breeding and resting habitat for diverse communities of birds, marine mammals, and plants along the wave-battered coastline. 

My days are most rewarded from learning more mystery, magic and stunning beauty of the Oregon Coast. I literally can’t get enough of this delicious and delightful soul food by the sea…

I learn new things each and every day. Living in the moment allows me to be completely captivated by this dreamy life by the sea…

Yeah! Breathing the fresh clean air from the sea is mindful and healing all day long, if my mind can dream, not fret. The seabirds bring new life to the coast in the spring, just in time…

Seabirds bring us more love and kindness too. After all, it’s springtime on the coast. We need more love and kindness than ever before…

Spring is here when the seabirds arrive at Oregon Islands National Refuge. It’s time once again to be thankful for our blessings in this beautiful land by the sea…

I see brighter days ahead! I see pink SeaThrift blooms and seabirds flying together, through the winds that heal us, by the sea…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.

“Ralph ‘n Robbie Wabbit” ‘n Pal Stephen at The Farm c1960…

“Ralph ” and young Steve , Sandstone MN c1960
Sis Laura and Ralph, Sandstone MN c1960…
“Robbie Wabbit ” at The Farm

“Yes, and I remember you bringing dead Ralph, all flat and frozen, into the kitchen while mom and Dad started yelling at you. I went upstairs to my bed to hide,” Laura cried when I asked her about this time so long ago…

Ralph was my first, very first furry loved one. He was my first real pal. We loved hanging out in the woods with Robbie Wabbit…

But when Downtown Willie Wabbit came by, like he always did, things turned bad. “Two is company, three is a crowd,” my Uncle Harry would say at the farm…

While Robbie Wabbit played with Ralph, Downtown Willie Wabbit would always pick a fight with Robbie Wabbit. Ralph chased Downtown Willie Wabbit away, because he wanted to play with Robbie Wabbit and me…

Ralph ‘n me were pals. I didn’t have any close pals back then except for Ralph. He loved to swim in Skunk Lake near the farm, and chase after ducks in the pond…

Ralph ‘n me hiked down to the Kettle River too. Robbie Wabbit always came with us. We loved to swim in the river. Robbie Wabbit waited for us, hiding in the bushes nearby…

When we were swimming in the river near the dam, Downtown Willie Wabbit came by looking to pick a fight with Robbie Wabbit…

“Downtown Willie Wabbit!”

But Ralph saw Downtown Willie Wabbit right away. He swam to shore and chased him away. His friend Robbie Wabbit was safe again…

Ralph was like that. He was a loving and kind friend. He kept me safe too. When I was lonely and scared, he was always with me when no one else was there for me…

Ralph ‘n me had to stay in mostly when it was cold, very cold in the winter. We didn’t like the cold weather in the winter on the farm…

One night, a very cold night at the farm, I let Ralph out to go pee and poop by himself. I was scared to go out at night in the below zero weather. My mom wouldn’t let me anyway…

While calling out for Ralph to come home, I heard a big truck drive by on the highway next to the farm. I called for Ralph again and again but he never came…

I was so scared that night and couldn’t stop thinking about Ralph. I thought the worst had happened. I knew it was too cold for him to survive in the cold, ohhh… so cold cold it was back then…

The next early morning, I went looking for Ralph. I was heartbroken when I found my dear pal frozen dead next to the highway…

I knew then, it was a terrible mistake to let Ralph out the night before alone. I just knew in my heart and soul it was wrong to let him out at night in the cold…

To this day, I grieve for Ralph. I didn’t know about the Rainbow Bridge back then. I know now, though…

I can heal now. For I now know, Ralph ‘n me are still pals. He is safe and happy, waiting all this time to meet him and Robbie Wabbit on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Ralph is still chasing Downtown Willie Wabbit away too. He keeps Robbie Wabbit safe, so we can play in Heaven together, again…

I miss Ralph, my pal, and still do. But now, we heal together, Ralph ‘n me. We’ll play again someday, when we meet again on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.

“Naturally” from The Sea…

“Naturally” from The Sea survivethriveptsd.org/mindfulness-meditation-creations-gallery-by-steve-and-judy-sparks/
Judy Sparks, Executive Editor and Producer, SparksAssociates Media…

Judy named this latest masterpiece, “Naturally.” She has been asking me for awhile to find the perfect draftwood treasure on our special beach in the Cove by the sea…

This piece has a natural groove all the way across the middle on the top. It has a natural notch on the bottom that lifts it up an inch or so.

Judy loves Air Plants and other things found in the Cove and other places by the sea. She lays these treasures in the groove when the spirits tell her so… Then, changes them around when she is moved by her soul.

We do this labor of love together as kindred spirits in love with each other and the sea. The stunning beauty of Little Whale Cove and the sea keeps our spirits alive while our love endures…

It is always love that keeps us whole and alive with inspiration. It is only love that keeps our hearts and souls at peace in the Cove by the sea…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillandsia
Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.
At the Cove by the sea…

Cape Kiwanda on a Gorgeous Sunny Sunday on The Coast with My Pal…

//en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_City,_Oregon
Neskowin Blooms…
Cape Kiwanda
Neskowin Shores

I got up this Sunday and looked out at the bright sun and clear skies. A Sunday drive north to Kiwanda was on my mind…

Judy was getting up at the same time, I noticed with some surprise. She likes to sleep in for awhile. I, on the other hand, “rise early to catch a worm,” like my mom used to say…

“Let’s head up to Pacific City and have lunch at the Pelican Pub,” she said to me, with that big pretty smile I adore… She already knew I wanted to go up north to one of our favorite places to hang out and explore…

It’s been over a year since we were there last. Covid kept us away, sadly… We love Pacific City and Kiwanda…

We love the drive north, especially when Neskowin and Proposal Rock fills our mind with adventure and romance…

The Central Oregon Coast is stunningly beautiful and God’s gift on a Sunday drive. The ‘church’ of forests, snow peak mountains and the sea in all of its glory is where we feel God’s presence, not just on Sunday, but each and everyday…

Driving to Pacific City is a left turn, not very far after crossing the Salmon River Bridge. The windy road is a treat no matter how many times we go. Heading west out to the coast to Kiwanda along the Nestucca River’s edge, is a never ending visual experience of nature’s imagination and stunning beauty…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestucca_River

Once over the Nestucca River Bridge heading into Pacific City, the high dunes rise up to greet. We make a right turn for the final mile or so before the magic of Kiwanda appears just off the coast…

Cape Kiwanda…

Pelican Pub is our first stop. But the wait was 90 minutes to long for hungry old folks. Judy ordered Fish ‘n Chips for take-out. They have a new take-out outside order window. Two windows to order at that. The wait was 15 minutes, none to soon for hungry folks…

I’m not walking so good right now. But, love the convenience of a “Disability Parking Permit,” and so does Judy…

We loved sitting in the comfort of our Subaru CrossTrek eating our delicious Cod and fries from the Pelican Pub. It was messy and fun. We laughed and brushed off all the crumbs like little kids about to get in trouble. But, being goofy kids is what we like to do…

On the drive back home we stopped at Neskowin. Proposal Rock is a thing to see. Click on my YouTube short clip to experience this day from us to you…

Yet another Sunday drive to Kiwanda Neskowin and other places to feel nature, breathe, and look at the wonders of Pacific City and Kiwanda by the sea..

With adventure and romance, no matter how young or old, go to Neskowin and Kiwanda whenever you can. You will want to go back more than once just like us…

Steve ‘n Judy Sparks 2018 in Stehekin, Washington
“Proposal Rock” with Judy Sparks

The Beauty of Yachats by The Sea…

https://www.facebook.com/pattie.hugginsdeitrick

Everytime we head south from Depoe Bay, Yachats is on our mind. But, it’s hard to get there sometimes, because their is so much to see ‘n do in between…

We love Newport and Waldport just as much if not more. Guess I love every inch of the Central Oregon Coast.

When we go east a little ways, Toledo, and Siletz, offer warm sun. art shows, jazz music, and more…

It’s always a treat to make it down to Yachats where the beaches, surf and Cape Perpetua fill my soul with spirits who meet me there…

It is Neptune Beach that moves my soul the most. It is not easy for me to get down there these days with cartilageless joints and all…

I meandered down the trail last time a few weeks back. I took off too fast, with my handy cane, while Judy was looking out to sea…

She found me looking over the bridge down to Neptune Beach. I wondered if I could get down there. Judy, said, “no you don’t!”

Getting down to Neptune Beach…

I asked her to help me down. I wanted to get down to the beach where I could see the enchanting falls and magical driftwood, waiting for me to dream of lands far away…

There is so much prestine beauty here in this secret Cove, where the agates, shells, and rocks of treasure hunters beachcomb… I wanted to get down there, even if it was hard and maybe the last time for awhile…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate,…and aspiring artisan.
Devils Churn
Neptune Beach

“Gucci” The Goodest Kitty…

Adria n “Gucci” Best pals forever!

I remember visiting my brother in Reno long ago. That’s when I met “Gucci” The Goodest Kitty.

Or, was he a good kitty then? I didn’t know then. But, I believe Gucci was always a good kitty. Adria knows this too…

I love Gucci too! For he was a special furry loved one in my life, and all my loved ones too..

They live in the land of deserts, high mountains, snow, tall trees and a really big lake, and much more… Gucci loved his whole life and his clan in the valley where Meerkat’s roam.

I hear Meerkat’s make great pets for some folks. I don’t know any folks like that, though…

Gucci was flown in from someplace near Belarus next to Russia. That’s where all the very special kitties come from. Adria told me so…

I love the way all of us called out for Gucci! “Guuuucci, Guuuuuucci, Guuuuuuuuucci. He loved to be loved by his fambamly…

My brother did the Gucci call far better than anyone I’ve ever heard. I know this to be true…

Well, sadly, we said goodbye to our sixteen year old kitty. Our hearts are breaking. We are with ease, he is no longer suffering…

Adria’s tribute…

“Thank you for getting me through the last two years of being a teenager, all through my 20’s and almost halfway through my 30’s my best buddy…

Now go chase all those birdies and butterflies and indulge in all the whipping cream to your hearts content!

I’ll miss you until we meet again in Heaven. I love you so very much my Gucci kitty…

May your little heart Rest In Peace 2003-2019 #myguccikitty #norwegianforestcat #bippitty #blackkittiesrule 🌈😿❤️🌈

Happy 16th Birthday to my first baby boy! I can’t believe I’ve had you almost half my existence.

You’ve been with me through the worst and best times. #lionkitty #norwegianforestcat #gucci 😻 Love you little buddy 💙”

Written with love and kindness…

Cecille E Kennedy photo
Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan

“When We Are Kind to Others, We are Happier” by Jill Suttle

Jill Suttie https://www.mindful.org/author/jill-suttie/

How Kindness Fits Into a Happy Life
A new analysis of decades of research shows that when we are kind to others, we are healthier and happier.
THE GREATER GOOD MAGAZINE

BY JILL SUTTIE | FEBRUARY 17, 2021

We all know that it’s good to be kind to others. Kindness is an important virtue for sustaining relationships, which helps to build a trusting and cooperative society.

You may have also heard that kindness makes you happier and healthier. But what does that mean for you? What acts of kindness will make us happiest, and who tends to benefit the most?
A newly published review of decades of kindness research provides some answers.

In this paper, researchers analyzed the results from 126 research articles looking at almost 200,000 participants from around the world. The studies they chose all had to meet certain criteria, such as including only adults and reporting good statistical data; some were experiments, where people did a kindness practice to observe its effects, while others just surveyed people about how kind and happy they were. The studies measured well-being in a variety of ways, including both mental and physical health.

As expected, people who were kind tended to have higher well-being. Lead researcher Bryant Hui was surprised the relationship was not stronger than it was, but he was still encouraged by the results.

“Although the overall relationship between prosocial (kind and helpful) behavior and well-being is weak, given that so many people around the world act prosocially, the modest effect can still have a significant impact at a societal level,” he says.
A small effect like this—an average of all the participants’ experiences—can sometimes hide other patterns going on below the surface. So, he and his colleagues considered when kindness might have a bigger impact on our well-being.

One thing they found was that people who performed random, informal acts of kindness, like bringing a meal to a grieving friend, tended to be happier than people who performed more formal acts of kindness, like volunteering in a soup kitchen. It’s possible that informal helping may fill our more basic psychological needs for autonomy and close relationships, which is why it could lead to greater happiness.

The researchers also found that people who were kind tended to be higher in “eudaimonic happiness” (a sense of meaning and purpose in life) more than “hedonic happiness” (a sense of pleasure and comfort). Perhaps this makes sense, given that being kind involves effort, which takes away from comfort but could make people feel better about themselves and their abilities, which would provide a sense of meaning.

Being kind came with greater eudaimonic happiness for women than for men, too. According to Hui, this could be because, in many cultures, women are expected to be kinder than men; so, they may have more to gain from it. And younger participants experienced more happiness when they were kind than older participants, perhaps for developmental reasons, he says. Younger adults are at a stage of life where they tend to be figuring out their identity and actively seeking the purpose and meaning in life that kindness can bring, less so than pleasure and comfort.

What other, specific benefits might kindness have? The researchers found that people who were kind tended to have higher self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy. To a lesser degree, they also experienced less depression and anxiety and improved physical health—with the links to health being strongest in older adults.
Hui doesn’t know for sure why acting kind might have these different effects on different groups, but he points to theories put forth by researcher Elizabeth Midlarsky: Being kind may make us feel better about ourselves as a person or about the meaning of our lives, confirm our self-competence, distract us from our own troubles and stressors, give us a warm-glow feeling, or help us be more socially connected with others. All of these could potentially improve our well-being—reducing our stress, improving our mood, or providing community—and they could hold more importance at different stages of life, too.

By understanding the connection between kindness and well-being, Hui thinks researchers can design better studies that take into account all of the relevant factors, and innovators could create more effective kindness practices. In the future, he hopes there will be kindness apps or online programs that could reach more people, generating a larger impact around the world.

In the meantime, Hui says, the biggest take-home from his research is something he heard the Dalai Lama say long ago: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

“Helping others is a universal virtue and a very affordable and economic way to benefit others’ and our own well-being,” he says. “As the saying goes, helping others is helping yourself.”

“Mindfulness Meditation Moments” by Steve Sparks
Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.

“Abby” Over The Rainbow Bridge…

“Abby” Over The Rainbow Bridge…

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. S

Meredith asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven. God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it.

Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.

That afternoon she dropped it into the letterbox at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it.

Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page were the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.

Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.

Abbey loved being your furry loved one. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture. So I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have.

I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

Don’t say you’re too busy to Share this. Just go ahead and do it

You will all be happy to know this wonderful story is 100% true. Please don’t take offense to the reference of God, it’s part of the story.

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind.”

Marry Jane il
💚Live❤️Love💛Laugh

Cecille E Kennedy photo
Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate…and aspiring artisan.

“Jack” Friend of Coasties, King of The Rain Forest…

“Jack” Friend of The Coasties

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depoe_Bay,_Oregon

Jack in his natural element. King of the Forest, he is. He loves walkies in the woods behind Depoe Bay…

Jack and his pal Jenny go to this secret place in the rain forest near Depoe Bay. Jack knows right where it is. He takes Jenny by the the hand and leads her there each day before the sun goes down.

Jack is “King of The Rain Forest and the coastal trails too. He believes it with all his heart and soul… And so does Jenny too…

Jack looks out for Jenny and all his wildlife friends in the rain forest. He looks for “Nettie Newt” sitting on his favorite little Fairy House waiting to chat with friends. They walk by the trail under the tall trees that reach to the sky….

Jack and Jenny went up the trail looking for Nettie Newt’s Fairy House. Jack fell down and lost his crown, still wagging his tail, while Jenny came running after…

Nettie Newt loves Jack the most, and Jenny too. He is excited when he sees Jack dancing and singing on the trail next to the creek by the Bay. The tall trees reach to the sky here in the rain forest by the sea…

“Nettie Newt”

Jack is back again soon. for he is King of the Rain Forest. He so loves to chat with Nettie Newt and all his wildlife friends by Depoe Bay and the sea…

Join me again soon for another adventure with Jack and Jenny, and Nettie Newt too. On the coastal rain forests and beaches, coves and rain forests by the the sea they explore. We will see Jack again. For he is King of The Rain Forest and all the coastal trails by the sea…