Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ten pounds of love

As if gifted to me by the calling I had after I lost my 75 pound Weimaraner dog, I knew like a person, a loved pet can never be replaced yet I ached for another dog to love and to be loved back unconditionally.

You would think that a dog is a dog right ? No, in every case no. This small 4 pound yorkie was more like a cat. She jumped high off the ground and pulled off the scarf I was wearing when we first met. Never still and in constant motion. Yet, I found myself still making the decision to  keep her after her owner found her more than she could handle and was ready to give her up. I spent two weeks wondering if I had made a big mistake with this little dog.

But slowly she came to me and looking up at me as if to ask "can I trust you ?"  One day she leaped up into my lap and stayed there. We finally made a connection. The kind that is comforting like one's favorite blanket or old worn slippers.  I gave her a name I thought suitable to her personality, Sasha, she follows me room to room, even knows the time of day and night when she will let me know that its later then ususal for anyone of our routines.

 She is 10 pounds of willful independance and tucks herself into any suitcase or box that she thinks will leave without her. She also has her own travel bag and doesn't mind being tucked under the front seat of an airplane, in spite of her ticket being as costly as mine. She never barks in public and is used to the attention she gets when I have to take her out of her bag going through security. And me, clumsily like any barefooted, laptoped,  dog traveler I think most of the time it goes well.
Much of my budget includes a pet sitter that cares for her when I travel without her. But I would never have it any other way. Because she is the first one to greet me when I return. And I yell to her " Sasha, Mommy's home" And I know it matters to her. 10 pounds of love that fills my world unconditionally, just one of the many I love in my life.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The way the Christmas cookie crumbles

Every year my preparations for Christmas has included making cookies. All kinds of cookies, using an old fashion cook book. I begin making a different batch every day right after Thanksgiving. But I finally have fine tuned making Christmas cookies into an art form. I usually make only one batch a day in order to not get "cookie fatigue" . One day this week one of my batches didn't turn out well, they stuck to the cookie sheet , in the end when I finished them they were a pile of crumbled cookies. Feeling disappointed and while eating far too many of the pieces that tasted good , a light bulb went off in my head. "Make cookie crumbles to put on ice cream" it said. So I crumbled the rest of the broken cookies into smaller pieces and packaged them in  colorful Christmas boxes and then labeled them Christmas crumbles for ice cream.Then I put a colorful bow on the top. Needless to say my misadventure turned out better than I could have imagined. 

There is so much in life that turns out to be like crumbled cookies. It has become a pass time  for some of us to see just how creative we can be with our lives. Sharing the struggling economy, fractured relationships,or the pain of loss in our lives. However, if we keep focused on what really means the most to us, even our crumbled cookies can turn out to be a gift. Especially,if we can remember that the most important ingredient is love.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Everything has a crack in it,that's how the light gets in"

Recently I found myself reading all about Leonard Cohen...A Canadian born poet and novelist. After many personal struggles and world wide travel,he is now a well known world singer songwriter. His baritone voice blends pessimism,about cultural affairs and those of the heart. As well as support for the oppressed. CD's ,books and his music will surely leave some lasting notes.
                                 Youtube video: Dance me to the end of love

 See my new Helium-How-to Guide

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What does it mean to be successful ?

A tribute to Steve Jobs
To laugh often and much ,to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty;to find the best in others;to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child,a garden patch,or a redeemed social condition;to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sometimes we're just lucky

Daniel a stray beagle mix shouldn't be with us today,but he survived his appointment with death. In Alabama, after walking out of a gas chamber unscathed he now has a second chance to do what dogs do. A non profit -Eleventh Hour Rescue  group arranged to have the dog flown to N.J. And if  they're really lucky a family will find him waiting for them. This dog "has got to have some destiny" so said a rescue volunteer.

Sometimes computer failures can be blessings in disguise. As it was for this beagle when a carbon monoxide chamber failed to euthanize him.
Can you imagine Daniel walking out of the chamber wagging his tail and picking up his leg as if to say ....?

I pray that Daniel will meet a child, hold their eyes and fall in love. Daniel will finally have a home, fill a child's heart and run and play in a yard. While taking deep breaths of God's purest air. The child can only be blessed with the love of him and form a lasting bond until he has fulfilled his calling.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who will tell ?

" Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing, or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies ? "

Erich Fromm

Sunday, October 2, 2011

When did you last say I love you ?

A recent event started me thinking about all the stressful "stuff " going on in life for just about everyone I know. Busy days and nights of great anxiety rob them of the opportunity to spend the quantity and quality of time that they would like to with their children and spouses. The struggle to stay afloat and adapt to unexpected change is all consuming. Society and it's unrest has impacted the stability of the constants that keep us grounded and validate one's value to another.

I am in favor of the established routines that used to be part of family life. Mornings, although hectic included the last rush out of the door and the all important quick goodbye kiss and the words "have a good day."

Family life is at its best when dinner together is possible. When the good and the bad is shared at the table. Even when there are unexpected small uprisings,so too are the shared prideful accomplishments of each child  and parent. Today's family meals are often absent through no fault of their own.

Parents must find other opportunities to spend time with one another. A trip for ice cream together, or even one to one time with each child.  An impromptu pizza party becomes a major event for family bonding.

Stolen moments and impulsive get aways, for an occasional long weekend is essential to reinforce couples commintments to each other. Creative ways to be together need not be expensive. For it's the time together, that is worth its weight in gold.

There is always time to hug your child, parent or spouse. It takes less then two minutes to focus on someone and make sure they know how much they are loved and how important they are to you.

Ask a child  these words " Do you know who loves you ? "  Every child  should smile and be able to tell you. And so should you. 

Don't miss the chance to say " I love you" to someone today.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

One pair of hands

You have followed me to my comfort zone. I welcome you with open arms and hope that these words somehow touch your heart, and ease your troubled soul. This is a time of such great unrest for many. Families are sometimes overwhelmed by a feeling of powerlessness, magnified by trials and tribulations relationships are taut and sometimes torn. Hang on to the promises that you are not alone. You are loved by many and blessed in ways that may not have been revealed to you yet. Trust that you can meet the challenges as many have before. Put one foot in front of the other,just one day at a time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Uncertainty and the power of good people

Today I had the opportunity to walk the walk, to practice what I preach, and to take a stand. I'm proud of myself and all the others who sent over 14,451 supportive emails in about two hours, to a prime minister who will enter "the loins den" and speak on behalf of peace between two countries. 

Regardless of where you stand politically, even a self educated man can see the bigger picture ,and will walk alone or follow the lead of the man on the white horse. The one without the sword,and sometimes the more humble of men. Certainly, now armed with the support of many in the USA, the prime minister will feel empowered and more confident in his country's future.

I have reached a time in my life when speaking up comes easier then the days when being politically correct was the way to go. Trying to please the least pleasing of people soon failed in my eyes. As well as the eyes of others who thought that keeping peace meant not making waves, and then held on for dear life, when the waves came anyway. Follow your hearts,trust in your soul and have faith in your God, no matter how others paint the paths they think you should travel.  This is the time to lay claim to what belongs to the just and the peace keepers among us. There is power in prayer and in good people,if they choose to use it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our country is not the only thing...

"Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and humanity.Patriotism consists not in waving the flag,but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.
James Bryce
As we are caught up in all the unrest in the world, our once small world has become larger. Humbled by our blessings, and proud of our success as a nation. We as a people must always strive to be all inclusive. The melting pot, that now seems like an impossible dream,is actually a work in progress.
Our success and our failures, must not be measured by our political landscape, one that often looks like our dirty laundry. Better yet, see for yourselves the sometimes invisible acts of our citizens.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jonathan Livingston Seagull came for a visit today

While walking my small Yorkie today we couldn't help but be distracted by the sudden influx of seagulls,each squawking as if they were having a meeting of the minds as they lined up on the rooftops on this inland town in New Jersey.

This isn't the first time they made a visit and the feeling of the damp air and westerly winds made it likely that our shores were stormy.
However, always amused by human nature and our wildlife I started to wonder more about Jonathan Livingston Seagull.{Thank you Richard Bach} There he was along with all the rest of the flock, frustrated with meaningless materialism,ritualistic conformity,and bored with his life as a seagull. He again with some of his friends searched for new challenges.

Jonathan knew there were better things in life,higher callings waiting somewhere. Even if half the flock stayed behind and some talked of casting him out,he searched on for the freedom he wanted. Many times against the high tide that ravaged the shores.In time Jonathan, while being true to himself,flew higher and higher with seagulls he knew to be wiser then himself. Soon Jonathan knew that he must return to his flock. There was much that bonded them to each other,regardless of their differences.

While in flight Jonathan felt his spirits fly higher then they had ever flown before. It was then when he looked down on the rooftops, and he saw the scattered flock that he knew flying higher was a gift,and of equal importance was love,deserved respect and forgiveness along with the freedom from pressure to obey rules just because.
For as a seagull,and as a man,we can fly no higher.

Now, what I want to know as I look up at the rooftops,have these Sea Gulls left yet or have they just returned from their highest flight ?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spotlight On Donald Hancock

A Hug of Comfort

After a loss that was too close to home,each of us tried to provide some sort of comfort to a friend. Some words just seemed to say it all. Like those of Donald Hancock, who as a retired Chaplain has comforted hospice patients and their families for many years, and now he was comforting all of us with these words.

" I believe that each of us comes to earth with certain goals, things to learn

things to accomplish and people to help in their own life plans. In some lives it takes 80 or more years to finish this,and then we go to another phase of our existence {we graduate}to enter another high level experience. But in other lives as with your son { and Jesus in the bible} all these goals are accomplished far sooner. And we are left { again with Mary the mother of Jesus} saying in our hearts; why? Why? It is my firm belief that,though we are left in sorrow, no one dies one moment sooner or later than his plan of life has called for. And though our love pays the price of sorrow, as the old song says, we actually will understand bye and bye. Thank you for allowing me to try to give a hug of comfort."

Don Hancock

Donald has shared his thoughts about his passion to live life so that when he dies folks will say he was a gentle, loving man and he was a lot of fun too.
Donald's writing friends will tell you that he has long ago proved that so.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

There are four questions of value in life

There are four questions of value in life- What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love-

Author unknown

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just when you think.........

"Just when you think it can't get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can't get any better it can"

Nicholas Sparks

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Waiting for Irene 2011

Well it looks like the entire east coast is about to have an unwelcomed guest. Hurricane Irene.Government and state preparations have been most impressive. Evacuations and massive closing of roads, and with  infrastructure precautions including shelters and services are in effect. Transportation of all kinds brought to a halt in an attempt to lessen risks to citizens and damage to infrastructure.

It was easy to fall into the all too common anxiety mode,like buying too much food and the chocolate donuts that ordinarily I would pass by. But this time I succumbed to the feeling that I needed them as my comfort food. Along with a bottle of chardonnay. Why not be ready for a hurricane party. I love entertaining,but Irene was not among the guests I had in mind. 

Words to the wise have been spread through every possible media outlet. Now the long wait begins.

It is amazing how the possibility of pending danger brings life into perspective. Our minds are focused on survival mode for family and friends.  The petty day to day stuff seems small and insignificant.  Irene, a not so gentle reminder that in the end, what matters most to us is those we love. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Standing at the border

Its not about politics its about people,families and most of all about the children.

Would it not be more productive to train communities to care for their own? By creating revenue producing jobs to educate illegal citizens themselves to teach the path to citizenship to other illegal citizens. With appropriate oversight and with optional  training in manual labor skills,those that complete requirements, including participation in classes in English.  They would then become citizens and be required to meet the  financial responsibility that every citizen is required to do.  Their failure to participate legally would remove any benifits from them and make them candidates for deportation.  Of course this is an oversimplification of a serious problem. The great disappointment is really related to intelligent beings failing to look out of the box.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's prayer that fills the empty spaces in our lives

Each of us in our time have had or will have those times in life when we have no control over a health crisis of our own or a family member. Just beyond such an event, I used my long standing coping skills and prayed none stop as I drove to the hospital. The pouring rain and darkened skies were an appropriate backdrop. On arrival, the comfortable rhythm of cardiac monitors answered my clinical needs, and the ability to touch, talk  and see his stability.Slowed my anxious heart . Once again the outcome being positive ( for now), is the answer to the rambling prayers that  filled the spaces of time.

As I leaned on the hospital wall. I reflected on a modestly framed hand  embroided quotation. The frame although slightly askew, had its own place in this acute care area. It was no less meaningful with some imperfections.  In fact one could see them as a simile for the bruised and battered hearts that were cared for in this facility.  It made me wonder just how many times these words when read, provoked silent prayers that then spilled into the rooms, adding to the healing and coupled the clinical skills of the physicians and staff. One can only pray.
" I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go"   Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Where ever you are-be all there " Jim Elliot

The turmoil of our times is real in our lives. Competing  forces sap all the energy from some as they struggle to stay afloat financially and emotionally in today's environment. This instability sometimes dilutes the ability to enjoy what matters most in our lives. That which is most important to us.Those who we love, those for which our heart beats. Protect your sacred places in your homes and communities. Shut out the world when it gets too much. Wallow in what gives you joy,savor it. It belongs to you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

" Never, never, never, never give up "

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."    Winston Churchill

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spotlight on Diane Quinn

" When it comes to our wonderful pets,there is no right or wrong choice and there is no political party affiliation implied. Animals can co-exist in the proper environment."

"We have a lot more to learn from our animal friends. Perhaps if we all licked each other more and barked and scratched less,we would have fewer reasons to act intolerant"

 Humor  Politics

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Does this not make your heart ache ?

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you;figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.

Barbara Kingsolver

Photo from:Robin Good Master new media, Soldier and working dog

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How do others know you ?

"Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image"

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Monday, July 25, 2011

You will know what you want when it calls you


The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one."

Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A taste of secular humanism

"The superior man is the providence of the inferior.  He is the eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and the shield for the defenseless.
He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others."

Robert Green Ingersoll

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Being ready for the unexpected

Blogger Post 7/19/2011

Being ready for the unexpected : The Egret

As an early riser I have the pleasure of seeing a beautiful sunrise over the wetlands behind my home. I never fail to appreciate this beauty of each day. My view from my sliding door and grand window offers the ever changing scenes of every season. I keep both binoculars and my camera within reach. Having lived here a

year now, I have captured PICS from every season. This has been part of my morning ritual.

We occasionally have a major problem with geese in our area, however, the Geese Patrol manages to occasionally remove the gander and then the open water reservoirs becomes calm without a ripple.

The past couple of days there has been a great white bird, I believe it is an Egret. It has been alone and gracefully meanders around and then settles in one area of our dried water basin. I have not seen another bird settle there for days. I wondered if perhaps she had a nest in the area. I began to look for this Egret every morning and she was beginning to look like elegant statuary. I often wondered if this Egret saw me every morning. My small digital camera lacks the ability to take PIC at that distance. I always hoped it might come a little closer.

Today, after taking a picture of the sunrise. My camera blinked that my battery needed to be charged. I proceeded to do that. I returned to my kitchen and looked out the door. YES, it finally happened. There in front of me, as if having answered my silent call was the beautiful white Egret on the fence just outside my terrace area. I looked at my camera charger with the barely charged battery. I decided that even if it was charged enough for one PIC I would be happy. Sometimes it's the little things.

I did get a couple of PICS that I am sharing with you. However, the Egret appears to have said her goodbyes and has left this location. I hope she returns another day. Or that she is adding some light to someone's dark day. Or perhaps even making a young child smile.

A little like life, the Egret shared her graceful beauty and allowed me to capture her PIC even with a half dead battery. She stood out there for days before gifting me with her presence close up. Sometimes its just being in the right place at the right time, and always being ready for the unexpected..

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It is what it is

No ..were' not going to like the changes we never do...however, like the growth of omeba they will come. In every area of our lives the only constant is change.

We are always socially and politically evolving into God only knows what. ..Oh, I just forgot they want to keep God out of things don't they? They are trying real hard without him. As if we all live under a rock and respond to the least common denominator, often the noisiest among us. Yes, that always gets our attention. Like a naughty child acting out. Unruly and sometimes embarrassing in public.

Who are “they” anyway..we always say “they.” I guess it depends on where we are standing. Sometimes “they” are us and sometimes “they” is the other guy, the one we are disagreeing with..
Your following me right? Its O.K. I appreciate that you stopped by.

Have a nice day and don't let anyone take that away from you. Don't let anyone spoil it for you with our political unrest or our country's struggle to maintain the values that it was built on. So what if other countries want to dilute them with one broad stroke of the same color for all. Don't let them.

There is a lot that is good in our country, everyone wants what we have. We are all different races, creeds and color, we like it that way. But they don't want to share in our county's hard work and struggles. They want us to give all the rewards away to them, free and clear without any reciprocal responsibilities.

Now its time for our leaders to get off the pot...enough is enough, pull the band aid off quick and it will hurt less. But trying to cover it up, or spend time praying that it will all go away. Won't work anymore.

.“ Common sense is compelled to make its way without the enthusiasm of anyone.”

Edgar Watson Howe

It is what it is. Just saying thats all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In honor of Caylee Marie 2011

Look the other way if you must
Don't see this small child's frame
Or comfort what was a crying child
as she lived through her final pain

Her once smiling face surely feared
letting go of the someone she loved
Wide eyed did they see her last struggle
As our God looked down from above

Was the warmth of her small body lost
in the taped plastic bag overnight
Did her small blanket keep her warm
or comfort her in her fright

Who will speak for this child
Left in waste on the roadside
Who's fractured little body in parts
dismembered as time had enabled

We haven't forgotten you little one
for we surely know, that your little soul
now rests on the lap of our God
With a love that will never let go

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Olivia's Open Book: The Spirit of a child

Olivia's Open Book: The Spirit of a child

The Spirit of a child

Yesterday's child By Petra Newman

White cloud
A veil concealed
Moved gently over time;
An image

Dreams of tomorrow
Happily ever after
A fairytale
No pain or sorrow
She twirls
And dances
To songs of the wind

A ballet
To earth's rhythm
Perfumed breezes
Plucking ribbons
Red ribbons from hair
Beautiful and fair

Running barefoot
In strawberry fields
Chasing rainbows
A soul so free

The child stopped and turned
She faces me
Beguiling eyes
What might have been?

Who is this child
So fair and free?
My heart stood still
The child was me

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy 4th of July

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him "

Abraham Lincoln

Friday, July 1, 2011

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

I often find myself worrying about my loved ones. I am, as others are, saddened about the state of our country, our troubled economy , and most of all about the threats to value systems we have struggled for so long.

As we watch the many changes in our society take place and see the evolving challenges ahead of us, there is only one area that provides me with the assurance that I seek. That is the faith I have in knowing there is a divine hand in play. Regardless of our faith ,or lack of it, divine interventions will take place in their own time. Reinforced by the power of our prayers the often unsubstantiated blessings will continue to happen in their own quiet ways.

After being proactive in the support of what we value, perhaps we should not be too anxious over which we have no control. Maybe, we should just believe that the other shoe will not drop.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise,trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." Unknown

Olivia's Open Book: Yes you can

Olivia's Open Book: Yes you can

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sometimes it's the little things

Today I decided to paint a little bit of trim around my front door. I am now guessing it will need two coats of paint. I was quite proud of myself remembering to remove my flip flops so I wouldn't fall off the ladder, when I accidently painted over a spider that walked into my white path...I felt kinda bad as I watched his small legs trying to escape and decided that painting over him quickly, was all that I could do for him. Its funny when you reflect and realize that even little projects turn out to be bigger then you thought. And grateful that God sometimes forgives you for the bigger things, like painting over a spider.

Monday, June 27, 2011

First story ...Lonely choices in life

This article was written by a friend who quietly struggles with her blessings,their pain and untold stories.

Yes you can

Use today as the new beginning you wanted yesterday. Every step you take toward your goal is the right direction, own it and be proud.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Welcome to my world

Thank you for stopping by. I promise in time to share with you words that make a difference. Favorite quotes, poetry and stories from writers who know the power of their words and then gift their readers with stories of love, life and living.

Tell me what you are looking for and I will help you find it.