Friday, December 31, 2004

2005!! Another 'Seven' of Abundance

Happy New Year to everyone!
I gathered some thoughts together for inspiration for the upcoming 'clean slate' of 2005. Let's make this the best year ever.. by bringing positive thoughts into positive action & energy.
Thank you all for being who you are!
Cherokee Sage Woman

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.

Ayn Rand

Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

Chinese Proverb

Great souls have wills, feeble ones have only wishes.

Chinese Proverb

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while DARING GREATLY so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.

Booker T. Washington

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
and though they are with you, and yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.

Kahlil Gibran

Inspiration is a fragile thing... just a breeze, touching the green foliage of a city park, just a whisper from the soul of a friend. Just a line of verse clipped from some book.
Inspiration... who can say where it is born, and why it leaves us? Who can tell the reasons for its being or not being? Only this... I can think. Inspiration comes from the Heart of Heaven to give the lift of wings, and the breath of divine music to those of us who are earthbound.

Margaret Sangster

Man with the burning soul
Has but an hour of breath
To build a ship of truth
On which his soul may sail
-Sail on the sea of death,
For death takes toll of beauty, courage, youth,
Of all but truth.

Author Unknown

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

Veronica A. Shoffstall

Do all the good you can,
in all the ways you can,
to all the souls you can,
in every place you can,
at all the times you can,
With all the zeal you can,
as long as ever you can.

John Wesley

Re-examine all you have been told . . . dismiss what insults your soul.

Walt Whitman

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.

Robert Louis Stevenson

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

Bessie Anderson Stanley

When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get your divine attention and your blessing.

Catherine Ponder

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anonintest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The Bible, 23rd Psalm

No matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out.

Al Gore Sr.

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is aliveā€¦

Eleonora Duse, Italian Actress

I sought my soul,
But my soul I could not see.
I sought my God,
But my God eluded me.
I sought my sisters and my brothers,
And here I found all three.

Author Unknown

And I saw the river
over which every soul must pass
to reach the kingdom of heaven
and the name of that river was suffering:
and I saw a boat which carries souls across the river
and the name of that boat was

Saint John of the Cross

Blessings on your 2005!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Pardon me..

Excuse me while I spew my diet coke across the computer screen. There are some things that just anger me beyond thought & reason. King George W. is one of those hapless 'things'. Everything he does & says grates on me like chewing on aluminum foil. The man gives me the willies..

Today when I read that he basically had nothing to say about the Asian disaster, except to defend throwing a few paltry dollars at them, & he would continue to brush-hog his land & ride his bike.. 'Because actions speak louder than words & I don't grab camera time & say things like 'I feel your pain'.. oh dear god.

Go ahead & brush your hogs, in fact go ahead & clear cut that land, burn it up, like you plan on doing to the rest of nature. But for the love of Pete don't put down the man who was always first to express his sadness during times of international & national mourning. He attended the funerals of the victims of the Okla. City bombings. He was our representative when we needed him most. You, monkey-boy.. are just a cosmic joke who embarrasses us all on every level.

So pardon me, while I chew on some Rolaids & try to calm the roiling in the pit of my stomach.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Coming Down..

And so begins the tenuous attempts at lowering one's shoulders, of taking some deep slow breaths, of throwing out the sale ads without perusing the 'last-minute' gift ideas. And it feels g-o-o-d.
I am putting away the 50-some Christmas cd's. I am silencing 'Silent Night'. Oh Go all ye Faithful, into the nether regions of the music holder. Norah Jones, bring some good old R&B into my airwaves.

I have worked all of the holidays, and so the memories of this particular year will be rather scant. With the exception of the grand daughter born on our birthday, of course. Dan & I have promised each other that next year we will book a cruise for the holiday week! Fun in the Sun.. far away from the maddening workaday world.

Our social calendars are still much too full.. & I have to remind myself to 'be in the moment'. Stop, smell the mocha, pet the cats, taste the food.. don't just inhale it. Try not to measure my days in hours left before going to work. Try not to count the days in the week, by uniforms hanging in the closet. Or count the weeks by paydays left in the month. I am here on this earth at this particular time for reason & purpose. I must try to remember just what for & why.

Next week we will return Dan's mom to the sea. We will entertain family from 2 coasts. We will host a 12th Night Dinner. We will celebrate a New Year! And even that celebration carries it's baggage of 'resolutions'.. egads.

But for this moment.. for this time in my day.. I will gaze out at the puffy white clouds on the horizon & I will guess if they look more like elephants or angels. And I'm suspecting the latter..
Peace upon your day.
And prayers for the precious souls lost in Indonesia; our concerns are so small in comparison.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry, merry..

A wet, but warm seas-sand-greetings to you from FL!
It's raining buckets & we needed it.

I thought Santa was extremely generous with his purchase of my 5X8 utility trailer for hauling the camping gear. Then the jolly elf placed a fire opal necklace & bracelet under the tree! I'm one lucky Mrs. Ho-ho-ho.
And now it's off to work I go.

But save some eggnog for me 'round midnite. And we'll be checking out the magical powers of the mistletoe.

Happy Festivus!!
The rest of us.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Xmas List RipOff

Today's blog is a direct ripoff from www.michaelgryan.blogspot.com . Simply because he is utter genius & I feel in a thievery mood today. He blogged about his 'Favorite Christmas' things of all time, & of course it set me to thinking about my own. Thanks Michael!

My Favorite Christmas Movie of all time; Such a hard one! Because I loved National Lampoon's 'Christmas Vacation', but it would have to go to 'Scrooged' w/ Bill Murray. The man makes me laugh just to look at his deadpan face. He had me from the time he was ready to staple the antlers on the mice's head.

Favorite TV Special; 'The House Without a Christmas Tree', w/ Jason Robards. He seems like such a rough & gruff old Dad, much like my own. And like my own, had a marshmellow center. I saw this movie as a young lady, & despaired when it was never repeated. Imagine my joy last year when I found it in a Walmart bin for $5! The acting in it now seems contrived.. but it still remains my fave.

Favorite Christmas Song; 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'. Doesn't matter who sings it.. it still pulls up the memories of being a little girl in a crowded house, clamoring for attention, gifts & dessert!

Favorite Christmas Ritual; I've written about the rituals w/ my own children. But when I was a child, the tree didn't go up until Christmas Eve, & remained up through the the 12th Night. I guess that was part of my Germanic background, who knows? Most of the decorations on the tree were homemade. We strung popcorn & made trimming. We took construction paper & made red & green chains. Old earrings could sub for the expensive glass balls. We cut snowflakes out of folded napkins; all sizes all shapes. Our living room was turned into a winter wonderland. Then the piece de resistance.. my mom would bring out the silver tinsel strands (the kind that remained on the lawn til June or July)We would start out ever so carefully, strand by strand, placing it just so on each branch of the skinny tree. But give 8 kids a tedious job like this & it soon is reduced to chaotic fun. We decorated each others heads as well as flinging balls of the aluminum eco-hazard onto the tree in giant glumps of Christmas cheer. With the house smelling like spiced cider, gingerbread men (which we all got to decorate), mama's fudge which never hardened, & the older kids pulled hot taffy.. my olefactory memorybank is full to overflowing.

Favorite Christmas Treat; I wish I had carried on the traditions of the baking/cooking my mom did for the holidays. But hence, I was born without that particular gene. She made popcorn balls to die for, rolled pie dough sticks w/ cinnamon sugar topping. Divinity that earned it's name. Cookies of all shapes, sizes, flavors. Mincemeat pies, pecan pies, angel food cakes (from scratch!) We were so spoiled and seldom realized it. Every cooking venture ended w/ us fighting over who got to 'lick the bowl'. Such heathens!
But my all time favorite was the 'snow ice cream' she would make, after about the 3rd snowfall of the season (waiting for the radioactive fallout to be washed away?) A little sugar, some vanilla, & voila.. instant melt on your tongue dessert. And plenty of it!

Favorite Christmas Memory; Everyone was a special one for one reason or another. There was the yr when Daddy only had $5 each for us, so he gave us what he had & we made extensive 'lists' of what all we would buy w/ our bounty. I recall my list having a 'Set of Luggage' 'Make Up of all kinds' (I think I was 9 or 10)Imagine my disappointment when I got to the store & discovered things were so expensive! I ended up w/ a boxed game that bragged '50 games in 1'. The cardboard pieces lasted about a week. But that too, is a precious memory.
The best that I recall came when I was about 6 or 7 (I'm a Sagittarian cusp baby, so ages are blurred for me). My little sister Sallye & I were sent into the back room for some non-sense chore, while Mama & Daddy set up our little scenario. I would guess that my older brothers & sisters were also part of the 'giving' of our largesse. So when we heard the plaintive cry, 'Girls! Come quick!' we came running & stumbling on those old cold wooden floors.
My Daddy was standing at the door holding the screen open & yelling into the darkness, 'Get your fat butt outta here & don't you come back no more!'
We were stricken!
'Daddy! Was that Santa Claus?'
'Yeah, but he won't be bothering us anymore'. (Adults & their macabre senses of humor).
Sallye had big tears in eyes.. Santa ran out of town on a rail, by her own father..
And then.. TAADAA! We saw what Santa had had time to dump before his unceremonial boot out the door. There in all it's glory (I swear there were lights beaming down from heaven upon them. But maybe it was just the open bulbs that hung from the ceiling wires). There sat 2 little decorated Mexican straw chairs w/ a beautiful bride doll propped into each chair. We were in awe. Never had there been anything so beautiful placed into our arms.
I played w/ that doll for yrs, until she started losing body parts. And in the end, I kept her head, because I liked combing her hair.

I hope we all have blessed & wonderful memories like these. And that we keep on making the holidays just as special.

Friday, December 10, 2004


I've got to quit watching documentaries. They're tearing my heart out.

Today's feature was 'Stevie', the life path of a child born to a mom who didn't know his dad was married; who forever after was a child punished for that fact. She abandons him to his step-grandmother, & then proceeds to play yo-yo mom when it serves her best. In mom's home (when he is present), he is the whipping boy. His little sister is the princess on the pedestal, & even sis is left with 'worship' guilt.
He starts acting out with anger, drugs, sexual abuse. He is given over to the system which fails him utterly.
The course of the film takes you along for the ride, from Christianity conversion, to the gates of hell that is prison.

I can't say, 'Watch this movie, because it is wonderful.' But I can say, 'Watch this film and see what we as a society have created'.

I think next week my bleeding heart will be ready for a light romantic comedy.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Getting Into the Spirit of It

I've been closely following the levels of Christmas Spirit in my grandchildren this year. It's about up to their belly buttons now, and the Advent Calendar just seems to give up those 16 days til Christmas soooo slowly.
The gifts have started arriving on a daily basis to their homes, from relatives flung across the country. Each box goes through the scrutiny of all 5 senses. What does it look like? Feel like? Smell like? Sound like? Taste like? (Cardboard.)
Maybe if you accidentally kick it a little, the paper will tear a bit, and maybe you could almost read what's on the box..

It takes me back 30 years or so.. when my kids were those same eager souls. Wondering, wishing, willing, waiting..
Dear God, it all goes by so quickly. And as adults we rue the day we said, 'Why don't you all just GROW UP!?' Because they do and they did.

I would start shopping for my brood in September. Money was scarce and I had to hoard what I could from the grocery money. Their dad was the original Grinch before he was even an animation. He hated all holidays with a passion. But I loved the 'season' from Halloween to New Years! And I wanted my children to love them too.
So I would hide things here & there.. & if the kids ever found them, they never let on to me about it. Maybe they wanted to keep the magic alive for Mom.

On my birthday, Dec 21st, we would drive around looking at the city lights. Back then towns would decorate Main St, as well as every local neighborhood trying to out-do one another. Some houses were as heavy-laden as Chevy Chase's in the Christmas flick.
Then when we were home, they would be allowed to open an 'early' present. This was agonizing, because the choice was theirs. Pick the biggest one? But then you'd be disappointed on Christmas Eve. Pick the smallest? But then you haven't fully used your choice well. So go for the medium-sized one.. it never fails to please.

About this time, the extended family would have a Christmas extravaganza. Where we would share good desserts & swap gifts. Sometimes there was a rental Santa there to add pazazz to the event. Screaming with cousins, nephews & nieces is the best noise in the world.

Christmas Eve was the evening to open the gifts under the tree. Some from the parents, some from grandma's & grandpa's (usually socks & underwear from those guys)
Play,play,play! Go to bed about midnight exhausted. While our work was just beginning.. assembling all those toys! And the kids calling out at 2 a.m.. 'Is it time to get up yet?' "NO!! Go to sleep!!"

Then the magic of the break of dawn.. and Santa has left his bounty in the living room. How did he know? How did he guess this was exactly what I wanted? What was Santa thinking when he chose this thing? I LOVE it!! Mixed reviews.
Then my dad would come over & ooh and ahh over all their gifts. This was almost as exciting as opening them the 1st time; having them reviewed by grandpa.

I miss those days and there is a lump in my throat as I even write about them. I am grateful for the chance to have experienced them though..
Parents, enjoy your children.. keep that wonderment alive in their hearts & eyes.
Joy to the World!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Movie Short

Just a quick note to recommend a wonderfully stark & startling indie film, 'Capturing the Friedmans'.
OMG.. this one will stay with me for weeks. The de-constructing of a family.. SO powerfully done in kodak-film-clips of an 'everyday' family.
*& then tell me what you think..

Monday, December 06, 2004

Poser Puki by the singing tree..(almost as irritating as the singing bass fish). Posted by Hello

Santa gets the 'list' & is checking it twice, I'm sure.. Posted by Hello

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