Thursday, August 14, 2014

The 'Where were you today?' Giveaway! by Rula Sinara

Photo by Rikahi
It's impossible for me to look at a sunflower and not have positive energy flow through me. They're bright, airy, happy (yes, I asked and it was quite obvious they weren't lying), they stretch and face the sun as it moves across the sky. They're the yogi of flowers and a sure sign that mid-August has arrived. And like most flowers, they have a cup-half-full attitude. Clouds coming? Ah, yes, but our petals look so peppy against any sky :).

Which brings me to the reasons I decided to celebrate today (and giveaway money :). It's not just any day in August. It's the 14th day of 2014. Call me nerdy but I think number coincidences are cool. Am I fishing for a reason to celebrate? Maybe, but come on! Cup-half-full, remember? So many terrible things have been going on in the world from local to international reaches. It has gotten to the point where I don't want to hear the news on TV and I avoid the news on my computer home screen. I do want to be informed, but there's only so much I can take of depressing news. And no matter how bad things are, I believe there's always hope or at least a sunflower in bloom somewhere. Sometimes, you just have to look harder for the bright spot.

So that's what I did. I went onto a cool site called HistoryOrb.com and to their 'On this day in history' page (see link). It begins with Aug. 14 of the year 554 and I'll let you check the list yourself. It's extensive and plagued with war related occurrences. But weeding through, I found things about Aug. 14 to celebrate, such as 'the oldest known exactly dated printed book' in 1457 or the first beauty contest in England in 1908 (officially maybe...because I'm convinced even cave women had their version of one...and I'm not sure it's something to celebrate LOL). Let's see...the Beatles taped an appearance for the Ed Sullivan show in 1965 and were featured in Cleveland Stadium's first rock concert in 1966, Sonny and Cher's 'I Got You Babe' hit #1 on charts, the first US lunar orbiter began orbiting the moon in 1966 and Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend the Citadel in 1995. All of these things happened on August 14.

Photo by Rikahi
Oh, and we can't forget anniversaries and birthdays! I know a bunch of you out there took your first breath on August 14, along with famous writer Danielle Steele (1947), gorgeous and talented actress Halle Berry (1968) and my favorite animal humorist Gary Larson (1950). I think I have most of his 'The Farside' comic collections. These will brighten any day! Hilarious :). And if you're a Leo born today, according to CafeAstrology.com, you're in for an excellent day in business and a good day for love. Can't beat that!

I actually flipped through my calendars (I keep them in a stack, almost like journals) and found that this day in 2006 marked exactly one week in our new home (our current house)...settling in and unwrapping our first housewarming gift.

What about you? Is today your birthday or anniversary? Did you give birth or tie your shoes for the first time on Aug 14? First date? First kiss? Made an A+ on an exam or paper? Tell me about anything positive that happened to you or a loved one on Aug 14...or even something in history that makes you happy...and you'll be entered to win an Amazon.com gift card! I was going to make it $14 for obvious reasons, but then I remembered the whole birthday 'and one to grow on'...which brought it to $15. But then I remembered there's all that back-to-school shopping going on and the sunflower pictures above were making me extra happy and my coffee this morning is tasting really good so...I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who leaves a comment about where they were or what nice thing happened to them on August 14 on any year in history...or the future if you have a wedding date or something like that :). The winner will be announced here tomorrow morning, so be sure to check back. Now, bring on the smiles!

43 comments:

  1. I love your post, Rula! It and particularly the pictures made me smile! With respect to your question about August 14th, here is what I came up with:

    - I took possession of my cottage on this date in 2001. It has served as a wonderful retreat since then. In fact, that's where I wrote most of my first book, SILVER LININGS.

    - Getting a little creative, it's midway between my birthday and my husband's. (Sounds like something new we should start celebrating!)

    - My favorite season is fall. I know many readers may object that I am rushing things when we finally have been enjoying some nice weather, but to me the middle of August is the turning point when the evening air gets a little crisper, my fall-blooming perennials are in their full glory, and those first leaves start to turn to crimson and gold.

    Hmm . . . that's got me in the mood to take a long walk through the woods with my dogs!

    Happy August 14th everyone!

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    1. That's so cool about your cottage, Kate! And fall is my favorite season too. We're down in the 50's at night already and you can feel fall in the air. I planted a lot of sunflowers this year, but it was raining so I couldn't get my own pics for the post. The flowers I'm sure enjoyed the spa treatment lol...by camera wouldn't have ;). Enjoy your walk with your dogs!

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  3. Arg, sometimes MAC won't play nice when it's time to make a comment!
    Great post, Rula.
    I actually keep my purse calendars, kinda like a diary.

    In 2008, I was in Yutan, Nebraska, at some sort of rehearsal.
    In 2009, I was meeting Mike's Kindergarten teacher for the first time.
    In 2010, I was at a Writers' Workshop

    So, there's always something for going on for me on August 14th.

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    1. Yes, my calendars are like diaries! I have them clear back through high school! Meeting your son's K teacher for the first time...now that's a milestone to highlight for sure!! Time flies with kids.

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  4. Rula, your post made me smile--and I could really use that smile today. I'd have to dig out my calendars to get really specific, so I'm going to get creative, too, and mention that it is one week from my husband and I's anniversary--21 years on the 21st of August. I thought you might appreciate that 'number coincidence' (I'm a little 'nerdy,' too):

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    1. Ha! LOVE the number coincidence! You know me well lol. When I sold, I went nuts talking about how the number 13 kept coming into play (really...to the point of freakiness) and one of the 'coincidences' was that I turned my revisions in on May 13...worried that I'd given myself bad luck...then got The Call on May 31st. Oh, and during edits I discovered that the book didn't really have 14 chps...I'd miss counted and it really had 13 chps. I could go on LOL. Happy Anniversary next week!

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  5. And I don't know...but it's a beautiful day here in the middle of the cornfields, and that's reason enough for celebration. This was a great post, Rula. I love the sunflowers, too.

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    1. Liz, a beautiful day in the middle of cornfields sounds so perfect :). Of course...now I'm wondering what you're doing in the middle of cornfields right now LOL.

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    2. LOL. I live here, Rula. I should say *between* the cornfields!

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    3. Ha ha, Liz! And here I had you pictured sitting on a picnic blanket with your laptop, hiding between cornstalks to write LOL. I was thinking...I have cornfields nearby...that would be one way to hide from everyone and get writing done! LOL :).

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  6. I guess I'm odd because I don't look back. I try to start each day looking forward. And like you said the news has made it difficult to look forward to better days. But I'm optimistic that with all you've found good about August 14th--this will be a wonderful day. And I love your pictures of sunflowers.

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    1. I hope it'll be great for everyone, Roz :). The power of positive thinking. And looking forward is a great practice!

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  7. Love the photos of Sunflowers and all the historical trivia for this date. Always fun to look back. Nothing spectacular for me except too many years ago to count, I was getting ready for the birth of my brother and sister who were both born near the end of August. I was kayaking down the Deschutes River last year and will do so again tomorrow. (Hopefully no lightning this time) Thanks again for the nostalgia

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    1. Sandra, waiting for siblings to be born is pretty unforgettable! I'm assuming they're twins, then? Very cool, and I bet it was a big adjustment at the time!

      Okay, I had to look up pictures of the Deschutes River in Oregon. Wow! It's gorgeous!! You're so lucky! I hope you have an awesome time tomorrow. I haven't been river kayaking, but now I want to come along!

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  8. Great post Rula! I can't think of anything good for this particular day (in general, August has never been a good month for me lol) BUT Aug 17th is the anniversary of my engagement...sorta, kinda, close??? No? I tried:) xo

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    1. We'll make it count, Jen! All that's needed is a bit of re-phrasing LOL. Aug 14th is great because it means only three days left to your anniversary ;)! Happy Anniversary!!

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  9. Your cup is not half full, it's over flowing. Because August 14 means so much to me, I wrote a short story about it. My cousin had her 7th birthday, WWII ended and her birthday party was cancelled so that her parents could go out and celebrate. Okay, that's not all that pleasant for her but it meant my uncle came home from the war and that was wonderful. Enjoyed your post.

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    1. Marion, what an amazing day! Okay, hearing that just made Aug 14 even better for me too :). This really made me smile! Happy Aug 14th!

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  10. Rula - thank you for your post and your determination to bring us something to smile about. I have to play with the numbers a little, too. Nothing particular on the 14th - except that it's four days after our 46th wedding anniversaryl. And about sunflowers - a dear friend passed away a week ago (she was 95, and had a wonderful life) and had an apartment filled with sun-flower-themed appointments. She loved that sunflowers reached up to God. I imagine her in a field of them. Thank you!

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    1. Aw, Muriel, so sorry to hear about your friend's passing, but it's beautiful that her apartment was filled with sunflowers, especially since she loved them so much. It sounds like you were blessed to have known her. May she rest in peace, surrounded by joyous sunflowers.

      And a Happy Anniversary to you too! That's at least three Heartwarming authors who were married in August :).

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  11. On today the 14th of August, I finished my edits!!! Woo-Woo! Oh, and a year ago, I started the renovation on my house. (Two months and 10 lbs. lol)

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    1. Those are awesome Aug 14 events! Congrats on finishing your edits! And yes, I can totally see house reno and weight loss (probably sleep loss too :) going hand in hand lol.

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  12. This August 14th was the first official day of high school for my oldest son! I can't believe I have a real high schooler in the house. Where does the time go. Great post. My sister-in-law found an app that scans your Facebook timeline and tells you what you posted on that day through the years. She loves it and it makes me think of this exact topic!

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    1. Congrats, High School Mama!! :). My middle child is about to start HS too, but we don't start until Sept. And how cool is that app? Sounds like it could become addictive lol.

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  13. It sounds like your glass half full is overflowing. Which is lovely.
    And I avoid the news myself.

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    1. Thanks! And I can't blame you for avoiding the news. Part of me likes to be aware, but news on a daily basis gets me down. I like to spend that time doing what I can, as one little proactive person with baby steps, to make our world a better, happier place. Your photographs always brighten a day!

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  14. What a fun and happy post! Of course, on this date in 1945, WWII ended. My grandpa served in that war.

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    1. Katie, both you and Marion Ekholm mentioned the end of WWII which is one of the very best reasons Aug 14 is special!!! I wish it had been the last war on earth, but at least it did end and I'm thankful for all our veterans and those currently serving who keep us safe so that we can have the chance to make happy 'sunflower' memories :).

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  15. Amy, that app is called "Time Hop." My husband has it, too, and I thought of it as soon as I read Rula's post. The app scans your social media (facebook and twitter) to see what you posted one year ago, two years ago, five years ago, etc. He sends me a message about once a week with a cute picture of our daughter and it helps me remember so many little things I've forgotten. Just this week, he sent me a pic of my six-year-old daughter and I from five years ago at a birthday party. Sometimes I feel like I barely remember when she was that little!

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    1. Christy, thanks for the info! I'm going to check out 'Time Hop'. An app that keeps memories alive is pretty fantastic...especially since our little ones grow up so quickly! :)

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  16. Apparently nothing special has happened to me on August 14. The closest to the 14th I can get is on August 18, 1997 when I on the verge of being divorced and started a new job. Still at that same place today.

    Sunflowers - love them. They make me smile. Just like birds chirping in the morning.

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    1. Hi Marcie! It sounds like Aug 1997 brought major changes to your life. And yes, sunflowers really are like chirping birds in the morning! Here's wishing you the biggest, brightest sunflowers this August :).

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  17. One year ago in August 2013 I started getting the Heartwarming books each month! Thank you for all the wonderful books you all are writing for us! If I win the Amazon gift card August 14th will definitely be a day I will remember!!

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    1. That's awesome, Leo of Dixie!! I know you just put a smile on the face of all of us here at Heartwarming :). Thank you!! We're all thrilled that you're enjoying the tender stories Heartwarming has to offer.

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  18. Rula, what an encouraging post. It's been a really rough week as far as the news goes and it's a hard week for me personally, but I have to say that this week's weather has been bright and sweet and cool and a real boost to the spirit, something that can hardly ever be said in August. I'm so thankful for that and for people like you who encourage. Thank you!

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    1. The weather has been breathtaking in my area too, Cheryl! So unlike mid-Aug over the past couple of years. We've been unseasonably cool and it has felt like an early fall. I think we might warm up for a few days, but it'll still be nice. Sometimes I just step outside and take a breath of cool, fresh, country air and I feel energized, as you said :).

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  19. Hi Rula!! I, too, keep calendars. I went back as far as 2011 but couldn't find anything significant on Aug 14th. I saw that I was on a diet in 2011 and was recording my weight, but that's about it. ) : It was fun to look back though, and Sunflowers are one of my absolute favorites!! They're right up there with Daisies and Zinnias for me.

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    1. Laurie, I love old-fashioned paper calendars LOL. Even if I have an iphone and computer, it's not the same for me. I keep a regular calendar (several actually...one for house/kid/school stuff...one in my office for work...one for pets)...paper and pen (I like to color code with pen too sometimes) because it allows me to take an entire month in with a glance. Maybe the act of writing on it helps embed dates/appts in my mind too! But looking back through really is a trip down memory lane.

      Oh, and I love zinnias and daisies! Two more day-brightening flowers :).

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  20. Drumroll...and the winner of the random drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card is...

    KATIE WATKINS!!

    Congratulations, Katie! You can send me an email through my contact page at www.rulasinara.com or my name at gmail and I'll get the gift card sent to you :). Now, have a great Aug 15th :)!

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