Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wiser on Wednesdays - Calvin and Hobbes on Santa Claus

“CALVIN: This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn't make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery? If the guy exists why doesn't he ever show himself and prove it?
And if he doesn't exist what's the meaning of all this?

HOBBES: I dunno. Isn't this a religious holiday?

CALVIN: Yeah, but actually, I've got the same questions about God.”  - Bill Watterson

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wiser on Wednesdays - 15 Quotes of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has died. During his long life, Mandela inspired countless individuals. Here is a collection of quotes that personify his spirit:

1) "Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end."

2) "It always seems impossible until it's done."

3) "If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man."

4) "I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles."

5) "Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people."

6) "A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of."

7) "Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do."

8) "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

9) "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

10) "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

11) "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies."

12) "Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front."

13) "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."

14) "I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days."

15) "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."

Monday, December 9, 2013

My How They've Grown! 2013

 g-baby boys  Spring 2013

g-baby girl Spring 2013

g-babies Summer 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Mom Song

Get ready to really LAUGH!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Cactus - 2013

So earlier this year I saw this plant struggling in a dark, empty office.  I inquired about its owner and decided to care for it and back if the owner returned for it.  Below are photos of my reward!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Sometime ago...I can't say daughter introduced us to a thanksgiving go 'round. She wanted us each state what we were thankful for and encouraged our participation by tellin us there were no parameters. It was quite interesting to experience but I never felt prepared...after shopping and cooking and traveling and in front of people some.strangers... you get the idea. I often wouldn't remember that we'd be doing it until we'd Sat sown, said grace and she started with "let's share what we are thankful for this year..." 
This year while I still didn't remember until we'd sat down, said grace and she started I was ready nonetheless .  A list of things came rolling off my tongue that shocked even me - the person expressing the list.
1- A job (I remember even if you don't that I was a year unemployed--or as I prefer to say practicing for my retirement! smile)
2- A successful cross state move
3- Passing my nine-month.probation
4- A very positive review of my work and contribution to the company
5- My car and the fact that it makes it up and down the road - 22 miles each way everyday
6- Having my daughter and g-babies spend time with me this summer
There's more...much more...but this is what came to mind in that instance with my family --my daughter, my g-babies, my sister, my niece.  Thank you...Amen!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lily in Philly!

Day Lily 2013

This is the Lily that I photograph every year (thanks dear sister!) It traveled this year and seems to have adjusted quite well!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Clothes shoppng - Spring 2013

So with lots of encouragement and a more than a little professional assistance, I am brave enough to venture out on my own, to shop for clothes.

It is spring and even I --the novice-- knows and can appreciate the value of a crisp, white blouse. I'm told they are an essential part of any well appointed wardrobe, that they can dress up any pair of slacks and of course, allow you to be ready and dressed with little angst or forethought. Essential.

I'm told that the side tie is flattering, as well as, the blouses with the fit and flare seams--two in the back and/or two in the front.

But every one I own, as well as every one I try on, makes me look flawed --to my own self. Flawed --you know-- rounder than our mind's eye can accept, believe, or translate to reality. I mean, usually when I stand in the mirror, I am able to explain the flaws to say to myself, "not bad, considering".

So I'm just saying, that if I  try on a blouse where even I can't explain the body flaws, then clearly, there something wrong with the blouse!

Friday, March 29, 2013

A path in the grass...

In Highland County there is a 30 minute labyrinth. It is in the side yard of a local church and depending on which day the grass is cut you might even miss it. But it's there. It has an entrance and everything.
My friend created it and when I was there with her last year to visit (and recuperate) was excited (excited for her that is) to tell me about it. Keeping in mind that I'm a city girl, I was gracious and crossed wet grass to see it. I mean she was so "excited" after all and some big wig from a Labyrinth society had noticed and walked it --so who was I not to pay attention. --the things you do for friends --but I digress.

She told me all about the labyrinth, the visit from the man from the international labyrinth society and how children from the community walk and love it. So I started to walk around and around. I mean it was just a path in the grass, right? In her way, she tells me different by saying "...well you know it takes thirty minutes".  "Thirty minutes? Well never mind, maybe later" and I jumped across the pathways --was it irreverent to start and not finish--and got out there.

But the faint circles in the grass--the labyrinth--called my name. What's thirty minutes? What's wrong with you? So sometime later I went out at least three different times. The first I started and felt way too stupid to continue...I mean what is walking around and around in a circle going to do? and who has time for this?  I will never be classified as your quiet, settled, laid back friend. I need to do something--and I like to be doing something---all the time. So what was walking the labyrinth doing?

But it was so important --or at least felt that way to me--to my friend and there was a whole society for the things after all---that I went back out to it two more times. I took my Bible--remember I have to be doing something and read it while I walked. I got finished the passage before the walking and stepped across the pathways and went back in the house.

The next time --- I did complete it! awkwardness and all! Though I can not report that I had any deep or profound epiphany, I did however, get ideas and make decisions about how to make the best use of my time of recuperation. I did decide to stop the mental battle against not being productive, not being able to "do anything"... and maybe that was deep and profound enough for my first time and considering I had weeks of recuperation ahead of me.

 And while I must admit that walking a labyrinth is not something I will travel far and wide to do...nor is it something that will have me join a club or society of labyrinth walkers...I can see the appeal...the necessity actually, of a set aside space to walk and think...a set aside, measured space...where entire societies are dedicated to educating the public, preserving the tradition, the sacredness, the togetherness (the first Saturday in May is World Labyrinth Day --"Walk as One at 1"--seriously who knew!?) of what to some only seems to be "a path in grass".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wiser on Wednesday - ...when I grow up...

Almost certain of what I will do when I grow up.
And just as steadfastly determined never to "grow up" completely--where's the fun in that?

So the question becomes, "what must I do now, today that manifests love and gives life?" The answer involves what it really means to be grown. Right?

To be free and filled with joy in a way that no bars, nor sadness, not even a justifiable despair, can steal this light. I am happy to be me and I am happy to be changing into something extraordinary: me tomorrow.

Not so much grown, but growing...a giant eventually: as love as love can be, over flowing with wonder, whimsy and the wisdom that can only come from courage and failure and exhaustion and well earned rest, disappointment and the fulfillment of making and being a difference

Toby D.Sanders - January 10. 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wiser on Wednesday - Our Thoughts

We cannot always control our thoughts; but, we can surely remember in a way that gives the present the power it needs to endure whatever challenges us, appreciate whatever aides us, and overcome whatever threatens to limit us, in service of a better tomorrow. It all begins with a form of thoughtfulness that is open and directed and hopeful. - Toby D. Sanders (January 30, 2013)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wiser on Wednesday - The Best Road

If you don't like the path, make your own.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wiser on Wednesday - The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12 
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him,(2) and He began to teach them, saying:

3) Blessed are are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4) Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5) Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.
7) Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
10) Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11) Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12) Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

When there is nothing left to actually do...Be Still

When there is nothing left to actually "do" ...  pray these words... "Dear Lord give me the strength to just stand (be) still and know that you are God" (Psalm 46:10)*

* Psalm 46 - 
1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress

Ballad of Harry T. Moore - Sweet Honey and the Rock

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wiser on Wednesday - Frederick Douglass

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. 
You cannot have crops without plowing up the ground 
or rain without thunder and lightning 
 Frederick Douglass

Plowing : a large cloud of dust during work on a dry field farming    Stock Photo

Saturday, January 19, 2013

You Can't Win... You Can't Break Even...

...and you can't get out of the game!

I'm not sure if my daughter remembers but for a long time this was our favorite song. She had a friend who would say ..."you can't win" all the time. Naturally, whenever this friend said it my daughter would break out into our rendition of this song. It made her friend cringe...we might have been off key...but I remember having a good time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Fine Vocabulary

Once, way back, a woman called me on my use of the word "fine". She stated that I would say "I'm fine" when I really wasn't.  So this prompted me to take notice and to become more accurate --when it was warranted-- whenever I answered the question 'how are you?'

Today I was thinking about being "fine" and I want to present the case that there are degrees--or at least kinds of "fine". 
   There is the "fine" that is connected with the word then, as in "fine, then". Usually stated emphatically, as a retort , generally when one person is attempting to convince another and that other won't budge ... you know, I don't have to say but so much here.
   Then there is the "fine" that comes out so quick that the already short word is bitten back into a yelp. The "fine" that stands very close to the tears that are welling up; the "fine" that indicates a losing battle in an attempt to control a rush of  emotion.
   There is the I'm not telling you anything "fine" and the I want to tell you everything "fine".   The way I see it, there is a whole "fine" vocabulary, if one just pays attention. 
Now I'm sure this is not what the woman meant, but it is what I observed, while I took notice of my own use of the word. And there is what is mostly meant, when I say, "I'm fine"...that when all is said and done for the day...I am alive...I am healthy...there are people who love and support me

           ...I am therefore... fine...just...fine.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We Who Believe in Freedom Can Not Rest

We Who Believe in Freedom Can Not Rest

1990 - 'Voices' festival in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Happy Birthday!!! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“History teaches that the struggle for justice is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

Friday, January 4, 2013

Audio (and Print) Books 2012

Heaven's Fury - Stephen Fry
Leaving Cecil Street - D. Whitstone McKinney
Hell's Corner - David Baldacci
Hell's Gate - Stephen Fry

The Spellman Files* - Lisa Lutz
Heads You Lose - Lisa Lutz; David Hayward
Leaving Yesterday* - Kathryn Cushman

MARCH 2012
Rain Fall - Barry Eisler
Curse of the Spellmans* - Lisa Lutz
Inside Out - Barry Eisler
Sonoma Rose* - Jennifer Chiaverini

APRIL 2012
Nowhere is a Place - Bernice L. McFadden
Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
Loving Donovan - Bernice L. McFadden
10-10-10 - Suzy Welch

MAY 2012
Strangers - Anita Brookner
Choke Point - Barry Eisler
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff and It's All Small Stuff - Richard Carlson
The Warmest December - Bernice L. McFadden

JUNE 2012
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
On Second Thought - Wray Herbert
The Gift of Fear - Gavin De Becker

JULY 2012
The Ares Decision - Robert Ludlum
Person of Interest - Ernest Hill
Cry Me a River - Ernest Hill
The Book of Night Women - Marlon James

The Search - Nora Roberts
The President's Daughter - Robert Ludlum
Missing Persons - Stephen White (book)
Executive Power - Vince Flynn (book)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Killer Heat - Linda Fairstein

Dawn - Octavia E. Butler (book)
The Christian Atheist (book - almost done)

Adulthood RitesOctavia E. Butler (book)

ImagoOctavia E. Butler (book)

*Narrator - Christina Moore

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cute in the Cold

     First let me say, " I know better". But the weather was so nice, and my outfit was nice too. I really like suit jackets and jeans; a scarf... maybe a necklace, shades. So grown, so pulled together. and yes I can make it from the car right into the store without putting on that coat...this time...the next time and the next. And that time after I promised my friend that it was indeed time to wear coats consistently. Well, as they say ...I had to pay the piper... and pay I did.
     Last week, let's just say I felt it coming and still had no idea how bad it'd be. I was cold and hot. I ached everywhere. My blood hurt. 
     Today ...five days later... is the first day I've felt anywhere close to my normal human self. And yes, I did too much. But in my defense, I believe getting dressed was probably too much! 'cause by mid day I was ready to crawl back in the bed and try again tomorrow! 
     and yes, I'm wearing my coat, scarf and a hat...even if just going from the car right into the store!

Wiser on Wednesday - Elie Wiesel

We must not see any person as an
Instead, we must see in every
person a universe with its own 
with its own treasures, with its
own sources of anguish,
and with some measure of

from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Kwanzaa!

The Nguzo Saba - The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa
(The Seven Principles)

Kwanzaa Symbol - Umoja (unity)
Umoja (Unity)
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kwanzaa symbol- Kujichagulia (self-determination
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Kwanzaa Symbol - Ujima (collective work and responsibility)
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Kwanzaa symbols - Nia (purpose)
Nia (Purpose)
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kwanzaa symbol - Kuumba (Creativity)
Kuumba (Creativity)
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Kwanzaa symbol - Imani (faith)
Imani (Faith)
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
           ­ Maulana Karenga